D&D General When do you overrule RAW?

Mort

Legend
Supporter
See ya.

I mean, really. In the OP example I'd say it's on the player to recognize that while the rules say the ability should work the fiction is screaming that it working as written would be ludicrous, and thus not even try to use that ability in that situation.

The thing was 35ish feet tall, not some impossible height. A high level party fighting that size, while not routine, isn't exactly unforeseeable. And it's not so tall that "standard" tactics shouldn't work.

And if they don't, the DM needs to give the player some leeway - not gotcha them into wasting resources on something impossible.
 

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Clint_L

Hero
Look, if Mercer can't picture how a D&D character could stop a gargantuan monster in its tracks, which in this case is also supported by the rules, he's admitting to a failure of imagination while playing a game based on make-believe. And he's doing it in front of a bunch of nerds on the internet. Certainly not a choice I would make. Make something up - it's all fictional!
Yeah, Matt Mercer totally needs to work on his imagination skills. What does that guy know? :rolleyes:

Just because you can make up a cockeyed reason for something doesn't mean you should. Sometimes RAW lead to stupid results that hurt the story.
 


Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
FWIW, it also shouldn't be per distance fallen, but based on velocity. (In my 1e campaign, I stuck with distance fallen, because I decided my world would run on aristotelian rather than newtonian physics - no, I was not any saner back then)

Velocity of an object falling 10' is about 25'/sec? - if that's a d6 of damage, and damage is directly related to velocity, terminal velocity for a human is like 200'/sec? or 8d6? Which, will absolutely splat an ordinary 0-level D&D human.
Hit Points 🤷‍♂️
Realism 🤷‍♂️

D&D's rules are wildly unrealistic.
Yet, we feel compelled to selectively override them to enforce realism, some of the time.
I'd prefer to enforce realism whoever it makes sense to do so in a realistic world (ie, where the supernatural isn't directly involved), to the limits of game practicality. To do otherwise to me is a rationalism for an gamist or narrative choice.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Yeah, Matt Mercer totally needs to work on his imagination skills. What does that guy know? :rolleyes:

Just because you can make up a cockeyed reason for something doesn't mean you should. Sometimes RAW lead to stupid results that hurt the story.

Have to push back on "the story" bit, a bit.

IMO you shouldn't have some preconceived notion of what "the story" is or will be. The play MAKES the story.

Now if a RAW interpretation actually comes off as completely nonsensical (or worse horribly unfun) even by mythical game world standards - ok maybe it needs to be examined/thrown out.

But if a RAW interpretation leads to a different result than the DM had envisioned? That's not actually a bad thing IMO.
 


It occurs to me that one of the main arguments for Gamism as a philosophy is that it is an elegant solution to all these arguments about realism/verisimilitude.

FWIW, I don't watch Critical Role, but the biggest part of the OP that bothers me is that it feels like the player was punished because they weren't creative enough when put on the spot. IMNSHO, it's a good idea to reward players for being creative. It is a bad idea to punish players who can't come up with something quickly enough to make the DM happy. Also, you don't punish a person playing a warrior class who can't give detailed descriptions of martial arts for the same reason you don't punish someone playing a 20 INT wizard for not being a literal genius at chemistry/tactics/whatever. YMMV.
 
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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
There have been perfectly reasonable visualizations of that posted in this thread, already.

And there's no logical way magic works, so, again, that's selectively enforcing realism.
Magic isn't real, so by definition the concept sidesteps realism. Not to say that a system of magic shouldn't be consistent; it absolutely should, but it can't be realistic.
 

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