D&D 5E Polymorph is a bad de-buff spell

Yes, and having once been of the same mindset of the people with whom we're debating, I understand the thinking and can see where the flaws are. The problem so far as I can tell is that many a group's culture can be based on this thinking such that seeing the flaws is problematic. It's easier to ignore the flaws and contradictions than to consider whether a longstanding way of doing things might have been a waste of time and energy.
It's more likely they do see the flaws and contradictions, and just have different weights on their priorities. I respect your opinions a great deal, and believe you've contributed a lot to this forum. However, I think you and elfcrusher are outliers on this issue.
 

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Yunru

Banned
Banned
It's more likely they do see the flaws and contradictions, and just have different weights on their priorities. I respect your opinions a great deal, and believe you've contributed a lot to this forum. However, I think you and elfcrusher are outliers on this issue.
Bwcauaw it doesn't match your personal view?
Well then, consider me an outlier.
My, there's certainly lot of outliera. We should get union, or at least blankets.
 

Hussar

Legend
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on how my scenario "goes much further than that." It seems to me that if the player at your table was brand new to the game and legitimately had no idea how polymorph worked, his or her proposal of the toad jumping under the running bard's boot and being squished would not be suspicious. So what you're actually doing here is policing the thoughts of other people at the table - by choice - and allowing your opinions about how a player arrived at the action declaration to "ruin the fun and enjoyment." Whereas someone like me would only be focused on the toad's action in the context of the scene rather than what the player may or may not know (or his or her character)./snip

Tell you what. If a new player, with no knowledge of how to break a polymorph spell, commits suicide by Bard Boot, completely innocently, then sure, it's no problem.

Granted, it's about as likely as monkeys spontaneously emerging from my pancreas, but, hey, I suppose it could happen. :erm:
 

Bwcauaw it doesn't match your personal view?
Well then, consider me an outlier.
My, there's certainly lot of outliera. We should get union, or at least blankets.
Because I’ve met like... 8 people who claimed to support the idea before this conversation, and more people than I can count who don’t. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, just suuuuuuuper rare.
 

Hussar

Legend
Oh, and on the notion of trolls and fire. I'm one of the ones who has no problem with newbie characters using fire on trolls. There are tons of perfectly plausible reasons why a character who has never seen a troll would know to use fire: fairly common knowledge in a D&D world being one.

But knowing to commit suicide to break polymorph? Yeah, not going to buy that one. It's not exactly something that's going to come up all that often. That someone had heard a story that you could break polymorph by killing yourself, and then actually believing that story is a very, very far stretch.

Look, I get it. I'm totally behind of the idea of not policing the players. But, by the same token, there are limits. For the same reason that I don't try to create gunpowder in your game, or use Major Creation to create white phosphorous or a nuclear bomb, everyone at the table is somewhat responsible for trying to keep things in the realm of plausible.
 

Others have answered as well as I could. If a brand new player in my game took knowing and deliberate steps to get their character killed off, I would stop the game, take them aside, and find out what the problem was.

Yes, it is possible for a player to decide to have their frog character stepped on. It is also possible for a player to decide to kill the other PCs in their sleep. I would stop the game there, too.

I cannot envision a circumstance in which the hypothetical you want me to rule on would actually happen. Actions that might get Frogger killed? Sure. Actions that are deliberate and inescapable suicide without explicable reason? No.

And player motivation does enter into people's enjoyment of the game. I'm sorry, it just does. It's one of the reasons disruptive players are disruptive. Completely ignoring player motivation and "thought policing" are two ends of a spectrum; most decent gaming happens between the two.
 

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
Of the people who have thought deeply about "metagaming" and have a strong opinion, I agree iserith and I are probably outliers. Most people who actively think about it do so because they think it's not roleplaying.

But the vast majority of players I've encountered don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about it, and don't have a problem with it at the table. So in the sense of "allowing it" I think we're in the majority.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
If a new player who sincerely knew nothing about polymorph intentionally killed herself? I would politely have a conversation with her after the game about why she didn't seem to be having fun, and what we could do to make things more interesting in the future.

It might have nothing to do with having fun. I can imagine a scenario where a player figured being turned into a toad meant his or her character was effectively dead anyway. A character dying does not mean the player is not having fun. In fact, the rules of the game specifically mention this.

When you remove emotion and preference from the equation, I suspect you are correct. But that's not a useful thing for the question to become.

For my part, my "preference" went away when I figured out what that preference was based on.

Being an intentional act by the player is what makes the experience un-fun for other players. I can think of many ways a player might suggest a course of action that accidentally leads to the death of the frog, including a valiant and amusing "Frog's Last Stand." But intentionally declaring your desire to kill yourself would be disruptive on many levels.

I don't see why that is necessarily so. You yourself carve out at least one exception. I bet many more exist.

Hrrm. Meeting with me before the game and explaining that you would like to kill your character off, to play another character?

So, to be clear, this has absolutely nothing to do with how reasonable the act is in the context of the fiction. It has everything to do with the player's state of mind or what his or her motivations are?
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
It's more likely they do see the flaws and contradictions, and just have different weights on their priorities. I respect your opinions a great deal, and believe you've contributed a lot to this forum. However, I think you and elfcrusher are outliers on this issue.

I actually think it's the other way around now - this "metagaming" position is an old one and I see less and less of it these days, based on the many games I join or run with random players. I think that's good for the hobby as a whole. I'm hoping that conversations like these help that along.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Tell you what. If a new player, with no knowledge of how to break a polymorph spell, commits suicide by Bard Boot, completely innocently, then sure, it's no problem.

So it really is about the player's thoughts here then, why he or she chose the particular action. If it's a reasonable thing to happen in the context of the fiction, why does that matter to you?

Even if you feel the player is trying to gain a particular advantage, isn't that what players are supposed to do when faced with a challenge? And if that's an advantage you don't want to provide in the challenge, what responsibility do you suppose the DM has for setting up the situation where that choice is among the most optimal? Wouldn't it be smarter for the DM to just turn the fighter into a killer whale if he or she is going to be annoyed that the player chooses to suicide the 1-hp toad to get out of the spell? Or, for that matter, change the troll's weakness to something other than fire? Why set up a situation where "metagaming" is the best choice, then harshly judge the player for taking it? Seems counterproductive to me.
 

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