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D&D General What wastes time at your table?

the players are trying to avoid what they should be doing which is saying what they want to do. In some cases, it's a way to corner the DM into agreeing that something is going to work before the action is declared.

Still describing "skilled play" to me. Correction: "skilled Gygaxian play."

While it does exist, this type of play seems to have largely fallin' out of style due to being obnoxious.
 

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That's skilled play for ya...

via The Alexandrian:

Here’s Gary Gygax giving some of the worst GMing advice you’ll hopefully ever read (Dungeon Master’s Guide, 1979):
Assume your players are continually wasting time (thus making the so-called adventure drag out into a boring session of dice rolling and delay) if they are checking endlessly for traps and listening at every door. If this persists, despite the obvious displeasure you express, the requirement that helmets be doffed and mail coifs removed to listen at a door, and then be carefully replaced, the warnings about ear seekers, and frequent checks for wandering monsters (q.v.), then you will have to take more direct part in things. Mocking their over-cautious behavior as near cowardice, rolling huge handfuls of dice and then telling them the results are negative, and statements to the effect that: “You detect nothing, and nothing has detected YOU so far—” might suffice. If the problem should continue, then rooms full of silent monsters will turn the tide, but that is the stuff of later adventures.
Uh… yeah. Do literally none of that. But you can feel Gygax’s palpable frustration with the style of play his own killer dungeons had created boiling off the page.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Yes, it's also stuff like "Is the door locked?" To which I can only respond, "How do you check?"
My response to that is usually to tell them whether or not the door has an obvious lock or locking mechanism, and if there is one I'll add "...but you've no way of telling from here whether it's locked or not".
The first question is a way to avoid consequences. By stating how they want to check to see if the door is locked ("I jiggle the handle to see if the door is locked..."), there may or may not be consequences.
Exactly.
 


iserith

Magic Wordsmith
My response to that is usually to tell them whether or not the door has an obvious lock or locking mechanism, and if there is one I'll add "...but you've no way of telling from here whether it's locked or not".
Whether the door is obviously locked will have been in my description of the environment up front, since it's a good idea to highlight the basic scope of options.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Whether the door is obviously locked will have been in my description of the environment up front, since it's a good idea to highlight the basic scope of options.
Someone asking if a door is locked, then, must drive you nucking futs.
 


CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Messin' With Your Players, DOOR Edition:

Ordinary DM: the door is locked, Dexterity DC 20 to pick the lock.

Cruel DM: ...and the door is barred from the other side (still needs Strength DC 20 to bash).

Ruthless DM: ...and the handle is coated in contact poison (Constitution DC 15), and the door has been scribed with a glyph of warding.

Evil DM: ...and the rug in front of the door is a mimic.

Rat Bastard DM: ...and the door leads to an empty closet.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Still describing "skilled play" to me. Correction: "skilled Gygaxian play."

While it does exist, this type of play seems to have largely fallin' out of style due to being obnoxious.
Gygax ran a very different style of game back then, for sure...very adversarial compared to today's "shared storytelling" games. It's hard to look at something like "The Tomb of Horrors" and think that Gary was aiming for a rich roleplaying experience for his players.
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Whether the door is obviously locked will have been in my description of the environment up front, since it's a good idea to highlight the basic scope of options.
How can you tell if a typical door is locked just by looking at it?

You can tell if it has a lock, sure, but if it's a typical key-lock that's about it until you actually try to open the door. (a poorly-fitted door might have a gap through which you could see an engaged deadbolt perhaps, but that'd be fairly uncommon I think)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Gygax ran a very different style of game back then, for sure...very adversarial compared to today's "shared storytelling" games. It's hard to look at something like "The Tomb of Horrors" and think that Gary was aiming for a rich roleplaying experience for his players.
Yet from all I can tell they found that experience anyway, which might say something.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Messin' With Your Players, DOOR Edition:

Ordinary DM: the door is locked, Dexterity DC 20 to pick the lock.

Cruel DM: ...and the door is barred from the other side (still needs Strength DC 20 to bash).

Ruthless DM: ...and the handle is coated in contact poison (Constitution DC 15), and the door has been scribed with a glyph of warding.

Evil DM: ...and the rug in front of the door is a mimic.

Rat Bastard DM: ...and the door leads to an empty closet.
Rat bastard DM or rat bastard module writer? :)

We had one of these last weekend: a door (which had only a blank wall behind it) at the end of a straight 100' corridor. On opening the door, gravity in the corridor flipped 90 degrees such that the door end became "up" and anyone in the corridor fell to the far end. We mostly got away with it, through two of us having featherfall devices and some sheer good luck, and flying up to the door and closing it reset gravity to normal.

The telegraphing was that no tracks went down this corridor; but that never stops us! :)
 

Azuresun

Adventurer
My turn again already?

Oh wait, I'm after CleverNickName?

Um.....right, how many hobgoblins are there?
Do any of them look hurt?
Do any of them look like they might be a leader or a wizard?
What sort of armour have they got on?
Is that a boulder on the map, or a coffee stain?
If I put the spell right here, does that get all four of them?
Mike, how many HP have you got?
Uh-huh. And what's your movement speed?
Okay, okay...
What sort of armour did you say they had on?
And none of them are holding a rubber chicken?
Hmm.....

....I dunno. I'll just hit whichever one's closest, I guess.
 


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