D&D General What do you want to be able to DO as a player?

Reynard

Legend
So, this is going to be a bit of a meandering idea post, but I will try and start with as succinct a central question as I can manage:

When you sit down at the table (virtual or otherwise) to play D&D (any edition or adjacent game) specifically as a player in the game, what is it that you want to be able to do while you are in that chair? I mean this both via your PC but also as a player manipulating the game mechanics themselves. Plus as it relates to interaction with the other participants (players and GM).

What I am trying to get at (and am probably not explaining well) is finding out what is the best possible actual experience of play for you. What do you want out of your 4 hours? What do you want to be able to do?

I will try and explain mine as an example of what I am asking about:

When i sit down to play D&D, I want to be able to playa character that strikes a bonus between ease of use and being complex enough to offer meaningful mechanical decisions. I also want to be able to make meaningful decisions otherwise, both tactical and strategic, as well as "narrative" (not in the "narrative game" sense but in a player agency kind of way). But I also want to be able to experience a coherent flow of events while playing -- not a story per se (it becomes a story after we are done, IMO) but a fulfilling experience at least. I don't mind if the GM is running off the cuff or railroading us if it FEELS like we are making our own choices and things are happening. As a player, I would rather be railroaded than stuck spinning my wheels in a giant sandbox. I also want to be free to make jokes, pop culture references, callbacks and other out-of-character banter. I want to have a few beers and some snacks. I want to be able to know that what we did in those 4 hours will matter for the next time we play, too. I don't mind episodic, but I still want an ongoing campaign.

So, I hoe that kind of helps explain what I am aiming for. I want to know what other people want to be able to do, as players, when they sit down for D&D.

Thanks.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
1) I want to be able to roleplay. And by that I mean that I want to have interactions in character with both players and NPCs that aren't fights or roll the dice. Dice can be a part of it, but I want most of it to be..............................roleplay.

2) I want my actions to matter. That means that if I do something unexpected, the DM doesn't shut it down or just make it unimpactful if should have impact. Even if it's something the DM predicted might be done by me, let it still have the full impact that it should. It also means that if I wander away from a plot hook, it won't follow me and hook me against my will. And no illusionism railroading!!

3) I want a reasonable rate of level gain. I hate staying at one level forever. Feeling like my character is advancing in ability is important to me. That doesn't mean I need super powers, but I want to feel like I'm getting better at a decent rate.

4) Magic items should not be common as spit. I'd rather have far fewer meaningful magic items, than a +1 sword, +1 shield, +1 ring of protection, +1 armor and a few potions and scrolls at 3rd level.

5) Let us die stupidly if we do something dumb. Dying to a random encounter where you roll badly sucks, but if I walk myself out of existence(did that once), let it happen.

6) Let actions matter. If I can describe to you what I am doing such that I should succeed, don't make me roll. If my description should fail, don't allow me a roll.
 
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Remathilis

Legend
So you know the part where you watch a show/movie or read a book and you get to experience an engaging story with a character you relate to?

I want to do that, but I want to make the character and I want to influence the story. I don't want to just be a passive spectator; I want to be part of the narrative.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
From a high concept level;
For me, setting and campaign theme are pretty big drivers. I can do an episodic West Marches kind of game, but they usually don't hold my interest unless the GM is top of their game. So, I want a specific set of goals and goings on that appeal to the character. I think this is best accomplished in tandem with the player(s) and GM. If the game play isnt moving in that direction, I'll lose interest and eventually patience. I am ok with a GM driven idea (particularly if there is a good players campaign guide available) I just want to see it being realized in play.

For example, I had a GM that ran a cyberpunk game for us a few years ago. This GM is notorious for saying, "anything goes" but actually has some pretty specific directions they expect their campaigns to go. We wanted to start a detectives agency and solve crimes/problems in the city. The GM wanted us to start our own street gang and take over the city. That latter part, however, was never spelled out. The GM tried to move us in that direction by dead ending our pursuits and railroading us into their desired path. I felt like my character's agency was a mirage, and the real goal of the game was left unclear.

Edit: ninja'd by a more succinct @Remathilis. I want my character to influence the narrative of an interesting story.

From a base mechanical level;
I want a system that is flexible, yet intuitive. If a subsystem is necessary, its easy to understand. I am all good with rulings over rules style, but I believe the system has to make it easy to play that way. For my character, I want to know how to engage the mechanics to make their actions realized as intended. If the system makes it too difficult to apply, or worse, odds greatly out of favor of the character, I wont enjoy playing it.

Traveller is an example of one of my favorite games. Essentially, everything comes down to 2D6+attribute mod+ skill. The difficulty is 8, unless the Ref sees a situation it is easier or more difficult. Explain action, Ref adjudicates situation, discover result. If I can come up with clever narratives to exercise in the above paradigm quickly and numerously per session, thats a winning system for me in character play perspective.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
When you sit down at the table (virtual or otherwise) to play D&D (any edition or adjacent game) specifically as a player in the game, what is it that you want to be able to do while you are in that chair? I mean this both via your PC but also as a player manipulating the game mechanics themselves. Plus as it relates to interaction with the other participants (players and GM).

What I am trying to get at (and am probably not explaining well) is finding out what is the best possible actual experience of play for you. What do you want out of your 4 hours? What do you want to be able to do?
I want to make a character I'll enjoy playing. The longer I'm at this hobby the less and less I enjoy rigid class and level systems, they're far too restrictive. The closer to free-form character creation the better. I've had a lifetime of coming up with cool ideas and needing to find the tiny little box that sort of but doesn't really fit to stuff the idea into, and in the process mangling and cutting off large chunks of the idea to make it fit that tiny little box. All these RPGs promise you're only limited by your imagination in the intro then do a great job of showing that to be a lie in their 400+ pages of rules restricting what you can and cannot do.

I want to make choices for my character that actually matter. My preference is a purely open-world sandbox. The players pick the direction and go, which direction they go actually matters. The players pick the quests, assignments, missions, etc. The players determine what they do, where they go, etc. I'm perfectly fine with the referee making the challenges difficult, opposition smart, etc but I'd rather read a novel if the referee is going to force feed us their precious story or linear plot.

I want to get immersed in the fiction of the game, lose myself in the unfolding story. Every single interaction with the mechanics, dice, and interaction between the player as player and the referee as referee breaks that immersion. The player as character interacting with the referee as world is where I want things to stay as much as possible.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
1. Engage with the world in any way I can think of*, and
2. have a rough sense of my chance of success**


* That makes sense in context, of course.
** I don't need to know exact number of a DC, for example, before I roll, but I want to gauge based on what my character would know as to make informed decisions when such decisions make sense (some scenarios call for bold action) ;)
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Some where between this
...

I will try and explain mine as an example of what I am asking about:

When i sit down to play D&D, I want to be able to playa character that strikes a bonus between ease of use and being complex enough to offer meaningful mechanical decisions. I also want to be able to make meaningful decisions otherwise, both tactical and strategic, as well as "narrative" (not in the "narrative game" sense but in a player agency kind of way). But I also want to be able to experience a coherent flow of events while playing -- not a story per se (it becomes a story after we are done, IMO) but a fulfilling experience at least. I don't mind if the GM is running off the cuff or railroading us if it FEELS like we are making our own choices and things are happening. As a player, I would rather be railroaded than stuck spinning my wheels in a giant sandbox. I also want to be free to make jokes, pop culture references, callbacks and other out-of-character banter. I want to have a few beers and some snacks. I want to be able to know that what we did in those 4 hours will matter for the next time we play, too. I don't mind episodic, but I still want an ongoing campaign.

So, I hoe that kind of helps explain what I am aiming for. I want to know what other people want to be able to do, as players, when they sit down for D&D.

Thanks.
and this.
Play a game with friends.

Be social. Laugh a little.

Face friendly competition. Do some problem solving.

Kill things and take their stuff.
I like knowing going in the type and or premise of the campaign but I am willing to meet my DM halfway on that. I do like some mechanical heft in my characters and 5e is pretty close to my sweetspot.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
1) I want to be able to roleplay. And by that I mean that I want to have interactions in character with both players and NPCs that aren't fights or roll the dice. Dice can be a part of it, but I want most of it to be..............................roleplay.

2) I want my actions to matter. That means that if I do something unexpected, the DM doesn't shut it down or just make it unimpactful if should have impact. Even if it's something the DM predicted might be done by me, let it still have the full impact that it should. It also means that if I wander away from a plot hook, it won't follow me and hook me against my will. And no illusionism railroading!!

3) I want a reasonable rate of level gain. I hate staying at one level forever. Feeling like my character is advancing in ability is important to me. That doesn't mean I need super powers, but I want to feel like I'm getting better at a decent rate.

4) Magic items should not be common as spit. I'd rather have far fewer meaningful magic items, than a +1 sword, +1 shield, +1 ring of protection, +1 armor and a few potions and scrolls at 3rd level.

5) Let us die stupidly if we do something dumb. Dying to a random encounter where you roll badly sucks, but if I walk myself out of existence(did that once), let it happen.

6) Let actions matter. If I can describe to you what I am doing such that I should succeed, don't make me roll. If my description should fail, don't allow me a roll.
I'm pretty much on board with 1, 2, and 5 above.

My '3' would be almost the direct opposite: I want the game to potentially last forever, and rapid level gain is the sworn enemy of that desire.

My '4' would also be close to the opposite: I'd rather an easy-come easy-go approach to magic items, where you'll probably find a lot of 'em but - if unlucky - lose them just as fast.

As for '6', I'm not a fan of outright certainty; in that it ignores the 1% (or less) chance of something unexpected happening. There's always a tiny chance that just about anything out of the ordinary can fail when it should succeed or succeed when it should fail (though 1-in-20 is often far too frequent).

And I'll add a couple more:

7. Let us players do what we want with our characters even if it means you-as-DM just get to sit back and put your feet up for the evening. If we decide to throw down and fight each other all session, let us. If we decide to spend the session playing in-character jokes on each other, let us. If we decide we're going to spend the session planning the mission before leaving town, let us. If we decide to split the party, let us.

8. And in the end what I really want to do is roleplay, roll dice, drink beer, and laugh - often but not always in that order. :)
 

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