Social: I have a relentless DM and I am considering leaving the party. What are my options to minimize the negative impact for the rest of the group?

I joined a game with a group of friends and a couple of people I do not know, one of which is the current DM. While I like everyone in the game personally, the current DM is extremely strict, a DM RAW.

This is not my first encounter with a strict DM, so I can adjust my game style accordingly. But while this campaign began as a home campaign, it quickly jumped to the modules. Again, it's not the end of the world, but this is where it really started to be painful for me.

The module we are running is designed for a group of 4-5, 6 or 7 level characters. We are a group of 4, 4 levels. So from the beginning, the module is extremely difficult. The challenge is fine, but when the DM is very RAW, some of the situations that we find (for example, the traps) are practically impossible to overcome without firing.

We have been playing for 10 sessions, 6 of which have been in this single dungeon. During our last session, about a month ago due to the village vacations, two of us died, including myself, due to a difficult encounter.

The encounter was a horde of zombies. (14 zombies against 4 of us) I was immediately surrounded and shot down. In the next turn, 2 of the 5 zombies around me began to eat me, they beat me easily and gave me 2 death sentences each. 3 of them decided to go after another member of the group at the end of the corridor.

I rolled a new character and we continued to go through the dungeon. This session started us in combat, to which I could take an action, and then I was KO and killed immediately by the use of the coup de grace. I sat there for two hours while the fight was resolved, with another player whose character was also killed quickly. At the end of the fight, the DM told me to just roll a new character so we can continue playing.

My problem is: I could shoot a new character, but since I'm more interested in the narrative, min / maxing really does not interest me as a role player. But it seems that I to have To live alone through individual combat. I already mentioned it to the DM, but he thinks that, since that is the module that we are executing, we have to solve it. I'm tempted to leave the party, but I do not want to ruin the fun for the other people in the group.

Specifically, what is the best way to handle a ruthless DM, if you have already tried talking to them outside the game, to minimize the impact on the party in general?

dnd 5e – Like DM, how to avoid unconscious metajaming when dealing with a high CA character?

Evaluate the information you have at hand and see if you are metagaming or not.

You should bear in mind that those 19 BC come with a large amount of investment of resources, not only by the choice of fighting style that defines the character, but also by the choice of character class. During the first encounters, you will often face enemies who will have difficulty dealing with a high AC (yes, + 1 AC and the skill option due to the fighter class is an investment). This is the time for the player to shine and enjoy the investment of building their character.

How will that affect the monsters that deal with the tanky fighter? This depends largely on what kind of creatures you throw at them. A Zombie (MM 315) has a limited ability to reason and will attack the nearest enemy, but other creatures are not so limited in their reason. An Harpy (MM 181) would never go to a fair fight or face an obviously heavy heavy warrior in front. Creatures have variable intelligence and tactics that you can usually find in creature descriptions. Some of them will face the heavily armored fighter in front (letting the character building decisions shine), and others will immediately notice that the fighter is not the target they want to attack.

The fact that the creatures make decisions gives your players the option to play with tactics and all the interesting options that the resolution of encounters has in waiting. If you force an intelligent creature on a narrow path, for example, and can only reach the fighter with heavy armor or make the decision to avoid risk opportunity attacks (PHB 195) to reach the launcher that raises a beam of his palms, then that choice and the configuration of that player pays.

The evaluation of the threat, as long as it uses the information that is obvious and discernible to the creature, is not metagaming. The group of players reveals by their actions and their team what type of threat they represent, and the intelligent creatures will reevaluate the threat that any player character represents.

So, how do you avoid meta-loading additional information that you have as a GM, but that the creatures do not have?
This is done through clear communication and a description of what the characters of your player want to do before narrating their actions (PHB 5), and the reflection of the information that the creature can access. Sometimes, you accidentally target particular things that would not be obvious to a child, as most players know things that their characters do not yet know. I consider it a wash unless it becomes a problem, but that would be a different question.

dnd 5e – As DM, how to avoid an unconscious metagame when dealing with a high AC character?

In my previous campaign, a player started the campaign with a tank battle with a mail chain, a shield and a Defense combat style, for a total of 19 initial ACs. For a level 1.

I was still learning to do DM, so I was frustrated when it was the monster's turn and the closest target was him. Unconsciously, I finish the monster's turn noticeably faster than others by attacking other targets ("Oh, a 12. The dagger can not pierce your armor, it's okay, the next one is …"

This resulted in:

  1. Frustration when you should deal with it: the closest goal or the only objective.
  2. Preference in attacking the target other than him, if possible.
  3. Preference for attacking with effects based on salvation on him. Usually, I keep limited resources of effects based on salvation and use them exclusively in the tank.

I tried to be as objective as possible, and this made me try to do the opposite: force my monsters to be ineffective by attacking him on the easier target to hit at his side, reluctant to use effects based on salvation on him, etc. . .

I tried to be fair, but it seems that I become metametaming and I do not like that.

How to deal with this tank fairly? I tried not to think about 19 BC, but it is inevitable that I need that information to play the game correctly (and it is likely that the AC does not change for a long time).

dnd 5e – What are the pros and cons of using prefabricated character sheets for new players and DM?

I will allow others to delve into the potential pros and cons of the use of pregens against players, but I believe that the pros and cons of potentials should be overcome by what their players are interested in doing.

You should talk to your players to see if they are interested in building their own characters or if they prefer pre-gens. The pros / cons that come to mind may help guide a decision, but I think that for the most part, players will generally know if they want to build their own character or if they give them some completely constructed options.

They may have their own reasons for wanting one over the other that have nothing to do with the mechanical advantages / disadvantages. And those reasons are much more important than what we can cover here, because they are the reasons that their players really have.

dnd 5e – What kind of cheat sheets should a new DM have for a better 5e game of Dungeons and Dragons?

Questions about cheat sheets, but your problem is at present "how to make the game flow well without long breaks in rule control". That is what I am going to address.

First, what a great resource you have found. I printed it immediately to use it tonight. That said, there's too much information here (you almost do not need books), just use the last page of combat as part of your "screen".

By the tone of your question, I assume that you think that stopping the game to look for rules is a bad thing. I mention this because it is very specific for the group, since for some groups learning the game (and these rules are so new that everyone is learning) is part of the fun. I only make this point and leave it there.

Luckily for you, D & D is very easy, how to play is on page 6 of the Player's Manual:

  1. The DM describes the environment.
  2. The players describe what they want to do.
  3. The DM narrates the results of the actions of the adventurers.

Well, you can not have a problem with No 2 because that is not the DM problem, so we only need to see 1 and 3.

1. The DM describes the environment.

You have to know what it is, luckily there are only 2 parts for these people and those things.

Things are the easiest: you have to have read the module, preferably twice, and have re-read the bit in which the PCs are just before you start playing. Then, describe the things (places, traps, objects, etc.) and let the players tell you what they want to do with them.

The people are a little harder. The people in this module have fragments of information scattered throughout the book. So I built a mind map (it contains spoilers for Lost Mine of Phandelver):

Lost Mind of Phandelver Mind Map

This shows how people are connected to things, so I can see this and know if they are talking to X, then he is connected (in some way) to A, B, C and D: this is enough trigger (for me from anyway) to allow me to remember what the NPC knows without having to flip through the book.

When PCs meet an NPC for the first time, they decide how to play them (for example, timid, shy and loud or blunt, gruff and angry) and WRITE THIS DOWN so you can be consistent the next time they meet. In general, play to write BUT the NPCs that the players remember are the ones that stand out ("Remember, the barbarian half-effeminate with the pink umbrella").

3. The DM narrates the results of the actions of the adventurers.

Let me highlight the important thing: The DM tells the results., not "the DM solves it" or "the player's debate with the DM" or "everyone spends 15 minutes with their heads in the books" or even "someone rolls a dice".

You are being paid (or more likely not paid) to make a decision; do it!

This does not mean that you are arbitrary or unfair to your players, tell them that if they can not give you the rule in 15 seconds, you will make the decision and that will be binding until the end of that period of play. . The rule, not the reference, creates what they say, most people do not cheat and even if they do, it is likely that a decision that is kind on PCs will now be kind to monsters later on. Reserve a time during or after the session to consult the rules that nobody knew. together and use that rule in the future. This is a process called learning.

If we are dealing with combat, well, now you have your handy flow diagram, which should cover 95% of the things that can happen in combat.

Know the capabilities of the monsters that PCs can fight against. I photographed the monster statistics for this module and highlighted the key things (Goblins "Sneak", Bugbears are "Brutal") – this makes a much greater difference in the way they play. what things like hit points or class armor.

If it is a non-combat situation (or a combat situation that is not covered), ask yourself the following question:

"Is there anything important that depends on the player not doing this?"

If the answer is "no", then they do it; If the answer is "yes", then decide if what you want to do is easy (DC10), medium (DC15) or difficult (DC20) and if circumstances give you an advantage or disadvantage, tell them the objective and let them roll the dice. If you feel generous (I am always very generous) give them 10 seconds to convince you that you are wrong or to change their mind about doing it.

Some things are impossible (you can not read a closed book, fly without wings or magic or hold your breath for an hour), if it is impossible, say so.

For spells, make the PCs responsible for knowing the effects of their spells: you already have enough to do so.

Two final points:

  1. you do not graduate in this
  2. Make sure everyone has fun!

dnd 5e – A player is constantly bothering me because of the rules, what do I do as DM?

Generally speaking, a player should not interrupt the DM to discuss how the rules work. What the DM says is final, and if the players do not agree with the way the DM is handling the rules, they must wait until the end of the session to resolve the disagreements.

So, with this player, you should be very clear and direct in telling them that, even if they are absolutely right, they should wait until the session ends to talk about mistakes or changes in the rules. Then, based on that discussion, you may agree to reconfigure certain events in the previous session, or you may agree to follow different rules in the future, or you may affirm that, instead, you will follow your understanding of the rules.

As a DM, you have a responsibility to make sure you understand the rules to the best of your ability. Players have specific class characteristics, actions they can perform during combat, spells they can cast, etc., etc. If you do not follow the rules as best you can (or do not make an explicit signal when you are not following the rules as written), it is more difficult for players to make informed decisions about how to play. their characters.

This is not necessarily limited to changes in rules or home-made material: an assistant will probably keep Identify in your spellbook to help identify the magical items you purchase, and if you are using the rules of the Variant Identification (DMG, page 136), where Identify the spell alone is not enough to completely reveal the properties of a Magic Object, they could be bothered if you do not inform them that you plan to use those rules in advance, since it was a decision of character creation that they took under false premises. Now, that is a relatively small example, and easy to handle in most tables ("Okay, I'll let you exchange that spell from your spell book with a free first-level Wizard spell") but the more substantial deviations could be more frustrating for the players, because if the rules are not well defined, the players will feel that they can not make significant decisions.

In relation to the above, the introduction of new mechanisms without taking into account how they interact with the world to which they have been introduced can have negative consequences.

An example that emerged in a recent campaign in which I participated was my DM's decision to add a new creature type to the game to represent the central villains of the campaign. I think the DM's intentions were to create a villain who was alien to Faerun's configuration, and it could be said that they were successful. But the problem then became that this new type of creature had no interaction with any of the skills or characteristics that any other character had:

  • They were a NEWTYPE, so spells that say things like "affect Aberrations, Celestials, Fey, Demons, Undead and Elementals" would not affect them.
  • His special abilities were from NEWTYPE, so, for example, a Paladin Aura that says "gain resistance to spell damage" would not affect his "Spell-like" abilities.
    • This also meant that his features overlooked things like Anti-Magic Fields.
  • Its damage type was VETETIPO, which means that no feature that gives Resistance to Damage (or Vulnerability) could interact with it, unless it reads something like "Resistance to ALL Damage", which is a very small subset of features

As a result, it was impossible, as players, to make meaningful decisions regarding how to prepare for fights with this type of creature. We could not revise the features of the class without just preparing them again, and we could not prepare spells to deal with these creatures because most of our spells did not work at all.

Eventually, we were able to convince the DM to incorporate the NEWTYPE creatures as an alleged addition to the "Aberrations, Celestials, etc." lists that have many spells, which allowed us to make tactical decisions when we approach these types of encounters.

Also in general, it has marked dramatically the frequency with which they appear in the meetings; We have spent more than a dozen sessions since the last time we fought against such a creature.

One thing I do as a DM is that I will spend a lot of time trying to examine the extreme case scenarios in D & D to better understand the interactions of the rules. Sometimes, if I see something strange, like a long-range goalkeeper who improves his chances of attack by blinding himself, I expressly decide that it is not necessary to follow the rules as they are written to improve the game.

But here is the trick: Even if I do not plan to follow the rules as they are written in a specific scenario, it is important that you understand what the rules are. areand why they were written that way, because that helps me better understand what problem I'm trying to solve and better justify my decision not to follow that rule.

Therefore, since these disagreements about the rules affect not only your relationship with this player, but your relationship with other players, it is important that you make sure you understand what the rules are and develop a good justification for not following those rules. rules as written. Planning meetings when you do not know what kind of mechanisms interact with them will end in frustration, even if players know they should not express that frustration in real time at the table.

D & D historically has its roots in the gameplay of Wargaming. Then, as a broad principle, a player who "plays to win" is not a strictly invalid method of playing. D & D, even the 5th edition, facilitates this type of metagame, "that's how we plan the strategy to win!" game, and many groups that do not play this way often do so by circumventing the mechanics of the game that they believe do not contribute to the style of play they desire.

However, the evidence suggests that this is not the kind of game you want to play. So, what is very important is that you sit down with your players and decide what kind of game you want to play. If all of you agree to want to play a Wargame-type game, or if you are all in agreement that you want to play a more social game, less focused on combat, then things will be fine. But if each one tries to play different games, then he will only have more problems.

Many problems at the table can be solved by discussing openly and honestly what does not work and what should change.

I've emphasized it so much by implication, but if you're willing to talk to your players about what frustrates you in the game and are willing to listen, I'm sure you'll find a solution that works for everyone. .

dnd 5e – Like DM, how do you control a dysfunctional group that wants different things from a game?

Recently I saw a video that talked about different types of players in DnD and I always understood that people play the game for different reasons. I myself am a role player and enjoy conversations and the side of acting. But it is increasingly clear that our group is becoming increasingly stupid and chaotic if you know what I mean.

So, a player, let's call him Tom, always ends up being the same character in each campaign, and that character is Tom. Do not get me wrong, I like Tom, but Tom is an elitist conservative radical Christian feminist. In all the games, he refuses to kill enemies (really nice, since he is the only magician). Now that's not so bad, but the problem is his reasoning, to see that Tom says it is "impious" to kill someone, again, that can be an interesting character trait. But: in every conversation with an NPC he is either Radical Feminist (EXCULTS ME YOUR HEIGHT, BUT YOUR TREATMENT OF WOMEN INSULTS YOU B ****) super uncomfortable (hey, I know you are a level 20 assistant but you want to join me my worship) or simply insulting me (you, slaves, are very good at building pyramids in spite of all the dying). The problem with Tom is that when he insults the king, I, the role player and others have to get him out of the situation, we can not let him die. Why? Because we are playing at Tom's house, and the last time he had to do death-saving roles, he told the DM: "You will not be able to play DnD here if I die." Again, he really tried to bribe the DM with real money to win armor from the plot. So that's just a sample of Tom's antics …

Next we have Max and Daniel who are basically clones of each other. When I started playing DnD, I played Edgelord's character and, in retrospect, it was a bad move because everyone loved my character. Then, when we started a new campaign, Max and Daniel appeared with "tormented souls of the underworld". Probably, the deformed assassins are in a blood pact with Satan, determined to fulfill the will of his master. Now, again, there's nothing really wrong with that type of character, but Max in particular is a complete MURDER ASSASSINATION. I swear there have been times when he simply says "I cut his throat". On one occasion, he made detailed information about how he tortured someone alive in the game, he did this behind the back of the party, and on many occasions he spoke with a villain or an earl and told him right in front of him "What are you going to do? You F *** – wit you can not hurt me. " As DM is now getting older because I've tried to punish Max for all his killings, but while he says it's "character development", I know he will NEVER change. Daniel is not really that different either, his job is to talk to Tom about the problems after he talks 5 minutes about the treatment of the women.

Finally we have Alex and Mark. Mark is the friendliest, he was the one who introduced us to DnD, but I can say that he is getting bored that everyone is ruining things. I think that's why he stopped being DM. He has good intentions, but he's not an actor like me, so he usually takes a back seat when Tom and Daniel start arguing. Alex is exactly the same, but in reality he is universally considered the best player in the group because he is not disruptive, he is a so called "Member of the audience" and does not do any role play. He just sits down and does what the DM tells him to do.

But while Mark is full of irritation with the group, I feel that Alex has a lot of fun watching us all fail and be a chaotic fool. We all laugh about it and I guess if everyone is having fun that's the only thing that matters, but I'm about to introduce this group and I'm worried that, like Mark, I regret having asked this group of people to They play because they simply ruin the story and we have to spend 2 hours escaping from a castle because we set fire to the queen. How do I prevent the group from destroying the plot and the game?

In addition, all are prone to fight among us, we are like the avengers, the biggest threat is ourselves.

dnd 5e: Is adding a new player (or players) a DM decision or a group decision?

Until the group

This is not something where the DM fiat applies, since it refers to the composition of your group, not the game world or the rules. Some groups have the DM administer all the material of the organization on their own, including the search for players and things like that, but that the situation is still a social agreement between the group and is not inherent to the position of the DM .

I should talk to the rest of the group about their discomfort with the addition of more players.

dnd 5e – How do I manage a table by mixing the DM and the roles of the players too often?

Then, after a while I went back to playing RPG live (not online) because a friend of mine, who is used to D & D 3.5, asked me to help him with a 5e table where almost all the players are new to D & D (most has although he played other systems before).

The thing is: both parties seem to be confusing what their role in the game is. For example, the first narration of forced DM movements in a player character (the DM moved the PC by itself, instead of the player describing where he wanted the character to go). Another example is that the DM constantly narrated how the characters He felt, for example, "you are scared", "you trust this person" (when they launched a bad perception roll against a high disappointment roll), etc.

Similarly, players often argue that an NPC should behave as it did, which significantly slowed the pace of play. The players also seem to have some problem with the suspension of disbelief, or simply trust the DM, complaining about how something happened. For example, a cleaning NPC appeared "out of the blue" and players wasted minutes complaining about how their characters did not perceive the NPC going through them before (which could easily be a teleportation magic, an illusion, the NPC simply had a really good stealth roll, or an infinite number of other explanations).

By itself I do not think it's a problem if everyone was having fun, but as I mentioned, my main concern is that these arguments are slowing down the game too much. Also, it's remarkable that everyone feels a little frustrated about everything.

The DM ended up resorting to (a bad IMO solution) in the game (which consisted of knocking out the player's PC that slowed down the game for a few hours in the game) so that the story could continue, but in addition to being extremely temporary. , also (rightly, I suppose) frustrated the player more.

To clarify, the DM does not intend to fuck with the players; from what I understand, he does this to advance the story. The players, on the other hand, feel that everything that does not go according to their expectations / plans is the DM that tries to ruin them, and they waste too much time discussing about it.

In summary, how can I gently remind you that the role of players is to describe the actions and feelings of their character (and the DM should avoid interfering in this part), while the role of the DM is to describe the environment, the consequences of the actions and behavior of NPCs (and players should probably trust that if the DM says something happened, then something happened, and do not waste half an hour in a discussion about that being impossible, unfair or whatever) .

I sensation that this could be related to his previous experiences of RPG that involved a bit of the previous dynamics "DM vs. Players". That's why sometimes the DM seems to think that he should force PCs to do something (not trusting that the player has the honesty / ability to play according to what makes the most sense)one and the players feel that everything is an evil plan by the DM to kill their characters.two

If relevant, the adventure is homemade (based on a book that the DM is writing).

All players are between 20 and 30 years old, except for a girl who is 19 (and possibly the least problematic, she is very calm, with experience in 5e).


one More details on an example already mentioned: an NPC lied to the PC. That particular PC did not have any kind of a priori information to know it was a lie (although other PCs had it, therefore, the player had done it) and threw a really bad Insight check. The DM immediately narrated it as "You trust him!". The player agreed, and anyway he was going to do a role play, that is, there was no reason for the DM force That about the player / character.

two The NPC that "appeared out of nowhere", which the players lost minutes discussing, was actually an ally. They were worried that the NPC would appear behind them because they thought they were being killed. In the end, she was just an ally who watched them closely to see if she could trust them and help them if necessary, eventually. He decided to leave the shadows when he thought there was enough evidence that the PCs were reliable.

dnd 5e – How do I manage a table that mixes the DM and the roles of the players too often?

Then, after a while I went back to playing RPG live (not online) because a friend of mine, who is used to D & D3.5, asked me to help him with a 5e table where almost all the players are new to D & D (mostly though I've played other systems before).

The thing is: both parties seem to be confusing what their role in the game is. For example, the first narration of forced DM movements in a player character (the DM moved the PC by itself, instead of the player describing where he wanted the character to go). Another example is that the DM constantly narrated how the characters He felt, for example, "you are scared", "you trust this person" (when they launched a bad perception roll against a high disappointment roll), etc.

Similarly, players often argue that an NPC should behave as it did, which significantly slowed the pace of play. The players also seem to have some problem with the suspension of disbelief, or simply trust the DM, complaining about how something happened. For example, a cleaning NPC appeared "out of the blue" and players wasted minutes complaining about how their characters did not perceive the NPC that went through them (which could easily be a teleportation magic, an illusion or simply the NPC had a really good stealth roll, or an infinite number of other explanations).

By itself I do not think it's a problem if everyone was having fun, but as I mentioned, my main concern is that these arguments are slowing down the game too much. Also, it's remarkable that everyone feels a little frustrated about everything.

The DM ended up resorting to (a bad IMO solution) in the game (which consisted in knocking down the player's PC that slowed down the game for a few hours in the game) so that the story could continue, but besides being extremely temporary. , also (rightly, I suppose) frustrated the player more.

To clarify, the DM does not intend to ruin the players; from what I understand, he does this to advance the story. The players, on the other hand, feel that everything that does not go according to their expectations / plans is the DM that tries to ruin them, and they waste too much time discussing about it.

In summary, how can I remind you that the role of the players is to describe the actions and feelings of their character (and the DM should avoid interfering in this part), while the role of the DM is to describe the environment, the consequences of the actions and behavior of NPCs (and players should probably trust that if the DM says something happened, then something happened, and do not waste half an hour in a discussion about that being impossible, unfair or whatever).

I sensation that this could be related to his previous RPG experiences that involved a bit of the old dynamic "DM x Players". That's why sometimes the DM seems to think that he should force PCs to do something (not trusting that the player has the honesty / ability to play according to what makes the most sense)one and the players feel that everything is an evil plan by the DM to kill their characters.two

If relevant, the adventure is homemade (based on a book in which the DM is working).

All players are 20-30 years old, except for a girl who is 19 (and possibly the least problematic, she is very calm, with 5e experience).


one More details on an example already mentioned: an NPC lied to the PC. That particular PC did not have any kind of a priori information to know it was a lie (although other PCs had, therefore, the player had) and launched a very bad Insigh test. The DM immediately narrated it as "You trust him!". The player agreed, and anyway he was going to do a role play, that is, there was no reason for the DM force That about the player / character.

two The NPC that "appeared out of nowhere", which the players lost minutes discussing, was actually an ally. They were worried that the NPC would appear behind them because they thought they were being killed. In the end, she was just an ally who watched them closely to see if she could trust them and help them if necessary, eventually. He decided to leave the shadows when he thought there was enough evidence that the PCs were reliable.