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D&D General Survivor Dungeon Masters -- discussion


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Mort

Legend
Supporter
I don't mind you having a different opinion than I do, @overgeeked. But let's dial back the trash-talk, okay? It's easy to forget that we are discussing real people here, not game theory and imaginary monsters.

There's a difference between trash talk and pointing out what you believe are specific flaws.

Honestly, I couldn't get past the first episode of EXU (her DM style really didn't click with me) but the video @overgeeked posted raises some very serious issues that go well beyond minor viewer tastes stuff.
 


CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Honestly, I couldn't get past the first episode of EXU (her DM style really didn't click with me) but the video @overgeeked posted raises some very serious issues that go well beyond minor viewer tastes stuff.
If that were true, and if it were as "very serious" as you say, the people at the table would be the ones complaining. Everyone who was at the table has had nothing but good things to say about it during play and afterward. (I watched the entire 8-episode run of Exandria Unlimited, and wasn't offended, but I'm not really the one to ask about it.)

This is a difference of style (and a difference of opinion), if it's anything at all. And differences of opinion are fine! All I ask is that we be respectful of the people involved, and that's not a big ask.
 
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overgeeked

B/X Known World
If that were true, and if it were as "very serious" as you say, the people at the table would be the ones complaining. I watched the entire 8-episode run of Exandria Unlimited, and wasn't offended. Everyone who was at the table has had nothing but good things to say about it during play and afterward.
Imagine you're a jobbing actor. A company hires you for a role. One of the other new hires is mean to you. You want to work with the company again. Do you: A) act unprofessionally, i.e. publicly bad mouth the other employee and risk no new work from that company and possibly less work from other companies, or; B) act professionally, i.e. play nice in hopes of getting more work.
This is a difference of style, if it's anything at all.
These are not things you say to your players as a good DM...

"What part of 'it's hard for you to move' are you not interacting with as a human?"

"How are you trying to move? I'm asking an intelligence question here, of either your character or you."

These are both things Aabria said to Aimee during the game.
Player agency is primary. If the players don't have the ability to make meaningful, impactful choices, there's literally no point for them being at the table.
Aabria repeatedly railroaded the story and repeatedly railroaded the players into various situations. Declaring they were inside a building for a fight when the group was outside and not interested in fighting. At the end Aabria railroaded Aimee into putting on the crown. Aabria constantly changed the rules of the game to favor not-Aimee and to punish Aimee. Other players could make extra actions on a whim whilst Aimee frequently couldn't do anything.
I prefer something that tries to emulate the rough structure of a story, but I'm far more interested in emergent story. The game is a collaboration between the DM and the players. Whatever story there is should be a result of the DM putting obstacles in front of the characters and seeing what happens as a result. Prescripted endings or railroading is anathema to RPGs.
Aabria railroaded the hell out of the players and the game.
The DM is in charge but shouldn't be a jerk about it. They should be somewhere between neutral referee and fan of the players. And if a DM ever gets to the point of insulting their players, they can screw. That burns infinite goodwill from me.
Aabria insulted the players on several occasions. As above. Those are both direct quotes.
So removing player agency, railroading, playing favorites, singling out and punishing players, forcing specific outcomes, being a jerk DM, insulting the players, etc are all things that are terrible DM/GM habits. Any DM/GM that does those things shouldn't be running games.
Again, all stuff I watched her do as DM on EXU.

Aabria played favorites with Matt, Liam, and to a lesser extent Ashley and Robbie...all while focusing on punishing Aimee and taking away her basic class features. Aimee spent the majority of the 8 episodes unable to do anything related to her class. At the end of the show Aabria literally railroaded Aimee into putting on the crown. How many divine boons did the rest of the party have by the end of the game? It was a Monty Haul game for the rest of the cast and Aimee got railroaded into wearing an evil Vestige.

That's not a difference in style or preference. That's strictly bad DMing.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
You already know that we're going to disagree here.
So railroading, blatantly playing favorites, blatantly targeting characters, and insulting the players are good DM habits according to you?

Because all those things factually happened in the game. They're not up for debate. There's video evidence they happened. The only debatable part is whether that's good DMing or bad DMing. After 37 years of playing and running D&D, I'm solidly in the "that's bad DMing" camp. I'd love to hear some kind of actual argument that those things are somehow good.
 
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Mort

Legend
Supporter
I'm having second thoughts about the next Survivor thread. I was seriously considering a "Survivor: Editions of D&D" challenge, but I don't know if I'm ready for the stress.

I think for that, rather than a survivor thread, a + (positive only) thread with something like "what editions of D&D have you played and what did you like about them..." would be more productive?
 
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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Yeah, don’t do it. It’s edition war for sure.
I would suggest asbestos underpants.

...assuming the thread isn't locked within a day.

I know, right?

I think for that, rather than a survivor thread, a + (positive only) threat with something like "what editions of D&D have you played and what did you like about them..." would be more productive?

I had a lot of fun with the nostalgia-themed D&D surveys I did last year, at the beginning of the pandemic. We went through each edition, one at a time in chronological order, and it was a lot of fun (most of the time). So maybe I should just leave well-enough alone.

But still...

1630348037086.png
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So railroading, blatantly playing favorites, blatantly targeting characters, and insulting the players are good DM habits according to you?
Mod Note:

So, we could ask - are berating posters, insulting them, an engaging in hyperbole good poster habits?

The answer is: No, they are not.

So, you are hereby instructed to stop. If you cannot engage with people in a constructive and respectful manner, you will be removed from this discussion.

That same goes for everyone, honestly. People have different players at their tables than you do, and very likely have different needs and desires than you do. If you don't have room for that in your head, it is time to leave the discussion.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
I think for that, rather than a survivor thread, a + (positive only) threat with something like "what editions of D&D have you played and what did you like about them..." would be more productive?
It won’t. It’ll still degenerate.
 




CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Possibly, this is the internet.

But, speaking for myself, I've had more than enough extremely positive experiences in every edition of D&D to not have to edition war.
Same here; think it would be interesting to hear everyone's positive experiences. But alas, I don't think it's wise at this time. I don't want to host the first "Survivor" thread to ever get locked.
 


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