5E What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?

Hriston

Explorer
Once damage has been rolled, yes it would be time travel to block the attack with the shield spell. Before damage, it hasn't truly "hit" yet.
What about tables that make attack and damage rolls at the same time as recommended on page 235 of the DMG? No shield spell for them?
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
It need not be abuse. I have reason distrust it when I see people in this thread feel threatened by the DM having less authority or by players expressing desire to have some semblance of authority beyond their character. I have reason to distrust it when DMs express hostile territorial behaviors regarding their role. I have reason to distrust it when DMs condescendingly speak of their players and insist they know what's best for their players. I have reason to distrust it when DMs likewise speak of players from an inherent position of suspicion and distrust. I have reason to distrust it when DMs speak of the game as theirs and not a game shared by the players. If you want to falsely reduce my issue to an assumption of "bad faith" and "abuse," then you are welcome to continue holding that grossly false belief.

I do not want to get into a sword control debate. I would say, rather, that while despots may be moral and enlightened people who act in good faith and in good rulership, I nevertheless prefer systems of government where there is a greater distribution of governing power among the masses than what despotism provides.
You know, you have good points but always seem to end up stating them in antagonistic ways. Like saying here that playing in a "traditionalist" style is akin to despotism. Whatever point you're making (and there's a good one in there) is drowned in calling the "other side" despots.
 

Hussar

Legend
Unless that "culture of attitudes and privileges" is abused, there's zero reason to distrust it. This distrust is nothing more than an assumption that the DM will act in bad faith. You're basically claiming to distrust the sword, and not the person who is wielding it. The sword doesn't do anything by itself.
I was going to answer this, but, [MENTION=5142]Aldarc[/MENTION] just answered it much better than I could.

[MENTION=16814]Ovinomancer[/MENTION] - what is the proper term then for a table where one person holds all (or at least the vast majority of ) the power at the table? You might not like the word despot, but, that's precisely what a "traditionalist" DM is. I'm sorry if you find that overly antagonistic, but, at what point should we call a spade a pointy digging tool?

And, really, if you honestly missed the level of tongue in cheek there in that post, that's gotta be at least a little bit on you.

/edit to add:

In what way is a "traditionalist" DM not a despot? We've seen arguments in this thread alone that the DM is the ultimate authority over all things that happen in the game. We've seen arguments in this thread alone that the DM determines who can sit at the table. We've seen arguments intros thread alone that the DM can overrule the preferences of any or all players at any time.

In what way is that not a despot?
 
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pemerton

Legend
It doesn't matter. After the damage has been applied, it's too late.
But I was talking about the rolling of the damage.

With a blowgun, if I'm hit then I know how much damage is coming in yet can use Shield. So why can't I wait until the damage from a sword blow is rolled - but then use Shield before it is opposed.

(There's also [MENTION=6787503]Hriston[/MENTION]'s excellent point about rolling practices.)

one can twist and tease the narrative in a plausible way to gain additional meta knowledge to assist in their decision making process. At our table we try as best to limit meta knowledge (player knowledge or otherwise).
But how is knowing whether the arrow is coming for my head or my thigh meta-knowledge?

And yet the arrow coming for your head can be a glancing blow that does a single point of damage. And the one for your thigh can hit the femoral artery critting you for 16, and put you on the ground making death saves.
Then make it a blow to my foot and a blow to my head. Or whatever.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
What about tables that make attack and damage rolls at the same time as recommended on page 235 of the DMG? No shield spell for them?
For reasons already noted in this thread, that is a poor recommendation on the part of the DMG authors.

To be pickier about it: there's nothing wrong with rolling both dice at the same time as long as the results are announced separately by the roller, with time between for interrupts. "Roll 18 for 6 damage!" is poor, as any reaction is going to force some sort of retcon. (part of this for me is that AFAIC once the damage has been announced at the table it's also occurred in the fiction, meaning it's now too late for reactions)

"Roll 18!" * "You hit." ** "6 damage" is better, as there's at least a chance to interrupt with a reaction. (though better if the interruption comes at '*' rather than at '**')
 

Imaro

Adventurer
I was going to answer this, but, [MENTION=5142]Aldarc[/MENTION] just answered it much better than I could.

[MENTION=16814]Ovinomancer[/MENTION] - what is the proper term then for a table where one person holds all (or at least the vast majority of ) the power at the table? You might not like the word despot, but, that's precisely what a "traditionalist" DM is. I'm sorry if you find that overly antagonistic, but, at what point should we call a spade a pointy digging tool?

And, really, if you honestly missed the level of tongue in cheek there in that post, that's gotta be at least a little bit on you.

/edit to add:

In what way is a "traditionalist" DM not a despot? We've seen arguments in this thread alone that the DM is the ultimate authority over all things that happen in the game. We've seen arguments in this thread alone that the DM determines who can sit at the table. We've seen arguments intros thread alone that the DM can overrule the preferences of any or all players at any time.

In what way is that not a despot?
des·pot
/ˈdespət/Submit
noun
a ruler or other person who holds absolute power, typically one who exercises it in a cruel or oppressive way.


Definition of despot
1a : a ruler with absolute power and authority
tyrannical despots
b : one exercising power tyrannically : a person exercising absolute power in a brutal or oppressive way

Emphasis mine... that's the problem with the word and I don't think it's usage in this thread is in ignorance of the negative connotations around cruelty, brutality and oppression it has. Or are we now claiming those are traits of traditionalist DM play??
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I was going to answer this, but, [MENTION=5142]Aldarc[/MENTION] just answered it much better than I could.

[MENTION=16814]Ovinomancer[/MENTION] - what is the proper term then for a table where one person holds all (or at least the vast majority of ) the power at the table? You might not like the word despot, but, that's precisely what a "traditionalist" DM is. I'm sorry if you find that overly antagonistic, but, at what point should we call a spade a pointy digging tool?

And, really, if you honestly missed the level of tongue in cheek there in that post, that's gotta be at least a little bit on you.

/edit to add:

In what way is a "traditionalist" DM not a despot? We've seen arguments in this thread alone that the DM is the ultimate authority over all things that happen in the game. We've seen arguments in this thread alone that the DM determines who can sit at the table. We've seen arguments intros thread alone that the DM can overrule the preferences of any or all players at any time.

In what way is that not a despot?
It's not despotism. You don't go to prison or get shot if you complain or try to leave.

Seriously, guys, words have meaning, and despotism doesn't suit any kind of rpg table.

As I said, there's some good points made about how traditional play has a very unbakanced power structure and how that can he liked or not, but when you toss on callimg the "other side" despots, you're not making points, you re just insulting.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
What about tables that make attack and damage rolls at the same time as recommended on page 235 of the DMG? No shield spell for them?
That page is about house rules for the game. If the DM house rules attack and damage to happen at the same time, it's on him to figure out how to run the shield spell. For myself, I'm not going to engage that house rule so it will never be an issue for me.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
[MENTION=16814]Ovinomancer[/MENTION] - what is the proper term then for a table where one person holds all (or at least the vast majority of ) the power at the table? You might not like the word despot, but, that's precisely what a "traditionalist" DM is. I'm sorry if you find that overly antagonistic, but, at what point should we call a spade a pointy digging tool?
And this statement is EXACTLY why you and [MENTION=5142]Aldarc[/MENTION] are assuming that the DM will act in bad faith. Despot is NOT the proper term as a despot uses his power in a cruel and oppressive way, which is the opposite of how the vast majority of DMs use it.

In what way is a "traditionalist" DM not a despot? We've seen arguments in this thread alone that the DM is the ultimate authority over all things that happen in the game. We've seen arguments in this thread alone that the DM determines who can sit at the table. We've seen arguments intros thread alone that the DM can overrule the preferences of any or all players at any time.
See above. Absolute power does not equal despotism. Nor is the statement that the DM CAN overrule the preferences. The ability to do so(fact) does not mean that the DM will do it.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
But I was talking about the rolling of the damage.

With a blowgun, if I'm hit then I know how much damage is coming in yet can use Shield. So why can't I wait until the damage from a sword blow is rolled - but then use Shield before it is opposed.
Damage, whether static or rolled, is not applied until after the portion of combat where the attack hits. If someone uses a blowgun in my game and they don't state within a few seconds of being hit that they are going to use the shield spell, I'm going to apply the damage and it will be too late.

(There's also [MENTION=6787503]Hriston[/MENTION]'s excellent point about rolling practices.)
If by excellent point, you mean not a good point, you would be correct. A house rule allowing simultaneous rolling doesn't do diddly for a discussion on how the game works. I've never had a problem with house rules changing things. If you want to engage the simultaneous rolling house rule, then it's up to you to make ruling dealing with any issues that come up, such as how shield works.

But how is knowing whether the arrow is coming for my head or my thigh meta-knowledge?
It's not, but knowing how much damage will be caused is. As I pointed out above, the head shot could do 1 point of damage, and the thigh shot 16 damage.

Then make it a blow to my foot and a blow to my head. Or whatever.
You can still take the full 1-16 damage at either location.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
Emphasis mine... that's the problem with the word and I don't think it's usage in this thread is in ignorance of the negative connotations around cruelty, brutality and oppression it has. Or are we now claiming those are traits of traditionalist DM play??
I had in mind the so-called "enlightened absolutism" of the 18th century. Warring and power struggles aside, the enlightened despots were fairly-benign absolute monarchs who largely wielded unrivaled power for what they believed was the greater good of their country and people. Hence my word choice. I do think that "enlightened despot" applies to how many DMs here would describe their role and function. Good faith autocratic absolutism performed for the greater good of their players. But benign absolute autocracy performed in good faith is still absolute autocracy, and it is the presumed absolute autocracy around the DM that I take philosophic issue with as a principle.

And this statement is EXACTLY why you and [MENTION=5142]Aldarc[/MENTION] are assuming that the DM will act in bad faith. Despot is NOT the proper term as a despot uses his power in a cruel and oppressive way, which is the opposite of how the vast majority of DMs use it.

See above. Absolute power does not equal despotism. Nor is the statement that the DM CAN overrule the preferences. The ability to do so(fact) does not mean that the DM will do it.
And this is the behavior I take issue with. You can rename "absolute power" if you like. Monarch? Ruler? Autocrat? Dictator? Authoritarian? God-Emperor perhaps? Pick something more neutral than "despot" if it would ease your mind. You and [MENTION=48965]Imaro[/MENTION] are all unsurprisingly missing the forest for the trees - perhaps from your own bad faith distrust and suspicion of me? - as you quibble over the term "despot." The greater point that you both ignore is that I prefer less autocratic power imbued in the position of the DM. So just repeating your inaccurate argument that my DMing preferences can be reduced to bad faith is an argument from bad faith, Max. It's insulting. It's a falsehood. And you perpetuating either would be in bad taste and poor form.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I had in mind the so-called "enlightened absolutism" of the 18th century. Warring and power struggles aside, the enlightened despots were fairly-benign absolute monarchs who largely wielded unrivaled power for what they believed was the greater good of their country and people. Hence my word choice. I do think that "enlightened despot" applies to how many DMs here would describe their role and function. Good faith autocratic absolutism performed for the greater good of their players. But good faith absolute autocracy, and it is the presumed absolute autocracy around the DM that I take philosophic issue with as a principle.
Despotism is negative.

And this is the behavior I take issue with. You can rename "absolute power" if you like. Monarch? Ruler? Autocrat? Dictator? Authoritarian? God-Emperor perhaps? Pick something more neutral than "despot" if it would ease your mind. You and [MENTION=48965]Imaro[/MENTION] are all unsurprisingly missing the forest for the trees - perhaps from your own bad faith distrust and suspicion of me? - as you quibble over the term "despot." The greater point that you both ignore is that I prefer less autocratic power imbued in the position of the DM. So just repeating your inaccurate argument that my DMing preferences can be reduced to bad faith is an argument from bad faith, Max. It's insulting. It's a falsehood. And you perpetuating either would be in bad taste and poor form.
I really don't care what level of power you prefer. Everyone has preferences and it's not really my concern or business how you prefer your games. So long as you are having fun, have at it. I just take exception to being called any of those names. I'm simply a DM. That's what you call me. That's where all the "power" lies. I don't rule a country, so despot, monarch, ruler, etc. are simply not applicable. Hell, I can't even tell my players what to do. Some "despot" I turned out to be.

Save the names. They don't do you or anyone else any good.
 

pemerton

Legend
For reasons already noted in this thread, that is a poor recommendation on the part of the DMG authors.

To be pickier about it: there's nothing wrong with rolling both dice at the same time as long as the results are announced separately by the roller, with time between for interrupts. "Roll 18 for 6 damage!" is poor, as any reaction is going to force some sort of retcon. (part of this for me is that AFAIC once the damage has been announced at the table it's also occurred in the fiction, meaning it's now too late for reactions)
This goes back to my comment about [MENTION=23751]Maxperson[/MENTION]'s account of the 5e system. If you think that declaring the result of a damage roll ipso facto establishes some fiction; or that declaring a reduction to zero hp as unconsciousness rather than death is "time travelling"; then you're clearly interpreting the mechanics differently from how the 5e authors intended their mechanics to be interpreted. At which point I'm not that inclined to accept your readings of the system as reliable ones.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
This goes back to my comment about [MENTION=23751]Maxperson[/MENTION]'s account of the 5e system. If you think that declaring the result of a damage roll ipso facto establishes some fiction; or that declaring a reduction to zero hp as unconsciousness rather than death is "time travelling"; then you're clearly interpreting the mechanics differently from how the 5e authors intended their mechanics to be interpreted.
I probably am, and I don't care.

But the question then arises: at what point during play is the damage intended to become part of the fiction by your interpretation?

At which point I'm not that inclined to accept your readings of the system as reliable ones.
Your prerogative, I suppose. :)
 

pemerton

Legend
You can still take the full 1-16 damage at either location.
What's your basis for saying this?

Suppose my PC has 16 hp left, and suffers 16 hp of damage. S/he now has the potential to be dying. I contend that that was not a blow that clipped the tips of my PC's fingers! It hit my PC somewhere that has the potential to be fatal.

Narration around hits and damage in D&D has always been rather flexible - Gygax in his DMG argues that this is a virtue of the system; he also argues that hp can't work with hit locations for just the sorts of reasons I'm bringing out (ie that you can't know what location was hit until you know something about how much damage was dealt and what effect it had on the character).

To describe two particular mechanics that play on that flexibility - the zero hp rules and the Shield spell rules - as "time travelling" suggests a fundamental failure to grasp it.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
What's your basis for saying this?
That you can mangle a foot(16 points of damage) or scratch a head(1 point of damage). Especially once you start adding in luck, skill and other sorts of hit points. There's no good reason that higher damage has to hit the head or chest, as opposed to a hand or foot.

Suppose my PC has 16 hp left, and suffers 16 hp of damage. S/he now has the potential to be dying. I contend that that was not a blow that clipped the tips of my PC's fingers! It hit my PC somewhere that has the potential to be fatal.
In D&D as written, that potential is smoke and mirrors unless you actually die. The rest of the time you were at "risk of dying" from a scratch.

Narration around hits and damage in D&D has always been rather flexible - Gygax in his DMG argues that this is a virtue of the system; he also argues that hp can't work with hit locations for just the sorts of reasons I'm bringing out (ie that you can't know what location was hit until you know something about how much damage was dealt and what effect it had on the character).
He had a portion of the hit point total as dedicated physical hit points, though. That has long since changed.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
Despotism is negative.
"Absolute power" is also negative, but that did not stop you from describing how you envision the role. But as I said before, you can rename it to "autocrat" or something else less derogatory if you like. But that's again missing the forest for the trees.

I really don't care what level of power you prefer. Everyone has preferences and it's not really my concern or business how you prefer your games. So long as you are having fun, have at it. I just take exception to being called any of those names. I'm simply a DM. That's what you call me. That's where all the "power" lies. I don't rule a country, so despot, monarch, ruler, etc. are simply not applicable. Hell, I can't even tell my players what to do. Some "despot" I turned out to be.

Save the names. They don't do you or anyone else any good.
You are not being called names. I am talking about my position regarding the authority, privileges, and culture surrounding the DM role. You may not care about what level of power I prefer, but it's certainly not out of the blue. It's a direct response following your false accusation that my distrust in the DM role must stem from "bad faith" or "abuse" that is meant to discredit our arguments.

Dungeon MASTER
Games MASTER
This just underlines my point. ;)
 

Hussar

Legend
des·pot
/ˈdespət/Submit
noun
a ruler or other person who holds absolute power, typically one who exercises it in a cruel or oppressive way.


Definition of despot
1a : a ruler with absolute power and authority
tyrannical despots
b : one exercising power tyrannically : a person exercising absolute power in a brutal or oppressive way

Emphasis mine... that's the problem with the word and I don't think it's usage in this thread is in ignorance of the negative connotations around cruelty, brutality and oppression it has. Or are we now claiming those are traits of traditionalist DM play??
Yup, silly buggers with a dictionary. Ignoring the base meaning of the word which is a ruler or other person who holds absolute power. Or, ignoring the primary meaning for the secondary one. Yeah, that's pretty much par for the course.

But, ok, if that doesn't float your boat, howzabout benevolent dictator?
 

Hussar

Legend
But I was talking about the rolling of the damage.

With a blowgun, if I'm hit then I know how much damage is coming in yet can use Shield. So why can't I wait until the damage from a sword blow is rolled - but then use Shield before it is opposed.

(There's also [MENTION=6787503]Hriston[/MENTION]'s excellent point about rolling practices.)

But how is knowing whether the arrow is coming for my head or my thigh meta-knowledge?

Then make it a blow to my foot and a blow to my head. Or whatever.
[MENTION=42582]pemerton[/MENTION], I'm afraid you're barking up the wrong tree on this one. Virtually every interupt power in 5e is used before damage is rolled. It is, however, typically done AFTER a hit is declared. So, technically, they are time travel powers since it can turn a hit into a non-hit.

That of course presumes that die rolling corresponds to actions in the game world. Which, IMO, they don't. You don't actually know the result of an action until the action is completed. So, there is no "hit" event separate from a "damage" event. There is only one event, which remains in a nebulous state until every game action has been taken. So, a "hit" might be damaging or it might not really be a hit until such time as everyone at the table signs off on it.

I'd point out that this is how 5e handles not killing as well. You hit, you deal damage, AND you declare that you aren't killing the target BEFORE anything actually happens in the fiction. Earlier editions avoided all of this because they didn't really have any mechanics that interrupted actions. ((Yes, yes, I realize that 4e had lots of them and I'm sure that somewhere in earlier editions there were examples, but, before 4e, it wasn't something common and it certainly didn't happen every single round)) There is no actual time travel. It's a case of people coming up from earlier editions misapplying how the mechanics actually work in 5e.
 
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