D&D General What wastes time at your table?


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fba827

Adventurer
I don't know if it really "wastes" time - but about every other session there is a point where some rule comes up we have not dealt with yet or often but that seems like it might - so I insist on looking it up - but the 5E PHB index is SO FRIGGIN' TERRIBLE I struggle to find it. Seriously, I get mad whenever I look at that index.

Other than that, sometimes when we first get started we run a little slow because folks are having a smoke outside or my wife (who does not play) is catching up with one of her best friends (who does) or folks have to seek out where the pets are hanging out in the house to give them pets and scritches.

However, overall? This is the most focused group I have ever had the pleasure to run for.

so, you’re saying, you’d have less wasted space in your games if you just got rid of cigarettes, your wife, your best friends, and your pets. Sounds easy enough!
 

fba827

Adventurer
What do you see happen at your D&D/RPG table that wastes time and slows down the game?

(1) when someone makes a single line joke as a throw away joke, but someone wants to halt their action to discussion how the joke doesn’t apply to this situation
(2) players that always seem to forget how their characters work in any situation and need the same abilities and rules reexplained at least once per session
(3) players who forget the story context of every encounter and need it reexplained about half way through when he/she forgets what the goal is
(4) players that have a different arrival time due to personal responsibility, I get it, but it slows the game down drastically as they arrive since another recap of last session needs to be done, then a side bar to being the player and character up to speed
(5) when plans are being made for in character actions, but some players will continuously talk about how every plan anyone suggests is for crap, but never offers alternatives , just keeping us in planning discussion longer and longer because we can’t agree because someone is counter arguing everything
(6) in the past I’ve had DMs that play very adversarially. This often led to pacing issues as we could never actually accomplish anything because the DM got his thrill by giving us a random encounter for every five steps we took ( yes, that’s hyperbole but not far off) it led to player frustration which would deflate enthusiasm which in turn just made things move a lot slower because ‘nothing really mattered as the dm wasn’t going to let us doing anything anyway’
 

Oofta

Legend
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.

You forgot one

Gygaxian DM: the door leads to the plane of oblivion, your PCs are all sucked into the void and die instantly.
 


Oofta

Legend
Speaking of wasting time at doors and whatnot ... if PCs are taking too long checking out things like doors, it's the DM's fault IMHO. If you're using "contact poison" that somehow penetrates any glove while simultaneously never drying out or leaving any trace that no one has ever used the doorknob then you shouldn't be surprised if players waste time asking 20 questions about every door.

If it happens in your game because players had DMs who did this in the past simply take a time out and explain that you aren't a gotcha type DM. Remind them that if they're trying to break into the back door of the thieves' guild that there are probably going to be traps, if the door is locked just tell them that yes it is. If it's a situation where the PC (not the player) would reasonably believe it could be trapped, ask if they want to check for traps first.

The reason people waste time on things like this is because they've learned that if they don't ask twenty questions and don't describe their actions "correctly" they'll be penalized because they didn't grasp your carefully coded "foreshadowing" that totally went over everyone's head.

I want to reward players that build PCs that invest in things like finding traps or hidden things, I don't want to force people to read my mind when my broadcasting of clues only makes sense to me because I know what's going on behind the scenes.

P.S. I think I would have hated Gygax as a DM, even back in ye olden days.
 


Ixal

Adventurer
"Its my turn? Oh, let me take a look at the map because I totally did not think about what I would do next while everyone else was taking their turns. Lets seeeeeeeee.........."
 

Jmarso

Adventurer
"Its my turn? Oh, let me take a look at the map because I totally did not think about what I would do next while everyone else was taking their turns. Lets seeeeeeeee.........."
This is a problem at ordering counters as well. Why is it that everyone who's been standing in line for ten minutes ahead of you doesn't give a moment's thought to their order until they're standing right in front of the cashier?
 

nevin

Hero
I have a tiny 2 minute hourglass for this combat problem that's been around since D&D started. i set initiative and go around the table . I ask what do you do give them a few minutes then flip the hourglass, when it's done they lose thier turn in indecision and I go to the next player. I usually only have to do that 2 or 3 times to a new player or an indecisive player before they start making decisions quicker.
 


Azuresun

Adventurer
Speaking of wasting time at doors and whatnot ... if PCs are taking too long checking out things like doors, it's the DM's fault IMHO. If you're using "contact poison" that somehow penetrates any glove while simultaneously never drying out or leaving any trace that no one has ever used the doorknob then you shouldn't be surprised if players waste time asking 20 questions about every door.

Once, when my players were exploring an ancient temple, they triggered a fiendish blade trap....which immediately collapsed harmlessly into flakes of rust and rotten wood, because nobody had maintained it for centuries. :)
 

Oofta

Legend
Once, when my players were exploring an ancient temple, they triggered a fiendish blade trap....which immediately collapsed harmlessly into flakes of rust and rotten wood, because nobody had maintained it for centuries. :)
I may have to steal that at some point. Ancient temples with functioning traps (sorry Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, etc.) have always struck me as a bit silly. :)
 


Oofta

Legend
A wise adventuring party will always ask around town to see if they can figure out if the bbeg shelled out the extra gp for extended warranties on their traps.
Yeah, those lifetime warranties sound good, but that fine print will get you every time. Darn clauses on everything! Not responsible for damage caused by adventurers is the worst!
 

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