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scurv
2013-02-23, 05:42 PM
My group is upset at me because they choose to venture in to a one way tour though a cursed castle. And now that they are in the kings secret way out that they have no rogue and to many traps and they can not turn around.
Its going to be a long whinny night tonight but they knew i drew this dungon up months ago and they opted not to include a rogue in their mix. knowing full well my policy's on changing the world for accommodation of player decisions. ( I don't )

But at least the player who got tired of rerolling rogues for the group is happy at the situation. And Yes i know the rogue debate is as tired as the palidin debate. But players who habitually rob the dead body of their rogue has no room to complain about rogues swiping a few gems from time to time.

Gnomish Wanderer
2013-02-23, 05:47 PM
You should change up your world.

You're writing a story. If the players are in a lose/lose scenario, give them a way out. Make them lose something, like get a hole in the wall they can squeeze out of but will have to leave half their gear behind or something. Don't screw them because 'it was already written that way'.

Dumbledore lives
2013-02-23, 05:50 PM
Depending on the traps they shouldn't need a rogue. I mean there might be a few zap traps but if the traps are noticeable and getting around them is the difficult thing they should be fine. For a party with no rogues or hell even a party with rogues that is what I would suggest.

navar100
2013-02-23, 06:04 PM
If it's the king's secret way out, why is it full of traps? No one else is supposed to know it's there. If the king wanted to trap the way out anyway, then surely he would know how to bypass them. The party should be able to find out too.

A criticism of late is a module where the only way a 2nd level party can continue on is to cast Dispel Magic on a door. If the world ignores the party, then the world wins. It is impossible and unfair to demand the players account for every possible scenario of everything. It is not for you to decide they must have a certain class or feat or skill or spell or else they cannot play because the adventure stops them from continuing on without that thing. That is not to say a party without a rogue must mean a world without traps. What it does mean is you should not have a trap that ends the game because the players can't solve it. Solve it could mean suffer the trap, take damage, and move on. Even if a party does have rogue a trap should be logical. Traps aren't just there for the rogue to do something. Traps exist to protect something or for a delaying tactic. Traps can also be bypassed because the owner may want to get past it himself to return to the protected place for some reason. Only for those occasions where the owner specifically never wants to return would a trap be a finality.

scurv
2013-02-23, 06:20 PM
I told them up front what the results of their decision would be, And if they choose not to have a rogue, then they had best avoid those situations that require a rogue.
I do not put marshmallow pillows under them when they jump off of cliffs
I don't put scrolls of resurrection in the next chest just because someone died.
And i will not change an already written dungeon just because they wanted to change the group dynamic.

And yes, It is for me to decide, I am the DM in that story. I am up front with my terms. Most things are open for debate but when the word is said that this is the way it is, And the players rush it anyway. Then it is on the players to out think the traps. I'm not saying it can not be done. But I do not see this group doing it.

<edit>
As for context, It is a passage way hid near the old dead jerkwad kings personal chamber, It is not going to have baby traps. The level 7 trapmonky would of handled them with little incident that would be drastic. Now the best the party can hope for is to use as many protections as they can, and maybe someone MIGHT remember to use those boots of levitation. , although there is a surprise or three planed for that.

Slipperychicken
2013-02-23, 07:03 PM
Maybe they can hire an NPC Rogue. Or they find one in the dungeon who can help.

Why can't they turn around?
Why is the escape passage full of extremely deadly traps? Isn't the King supposed to be able to get through there safely, quickly, and at a moment's notice?

scurv
2013-02-23, 07:26 PM
Players kicked me out of the room for plotting:smallsmile:

As for why they can not turn around, Apparently kill it with fire is not always a good solution. So long story short they set fire to much of the wooden structures that helps one move about in a castle, You know like floors. It also alerted a few of their friends in the area who have blades to dull on the party in question.

But the dynamics of an escape rout is it needs to permit the escapee to move with relative freedom, While impeding all others. That as well and good, but a peaceful walkway to an evil kings personal chambers MIGHT not be a good idea for the kings well-being in the long term

So basic dynamics is this, Aera's of magic darkness, Many turns and such to hide one as they move though, And the passage tends to be 10 foot wide, Divided into a choice of one of 5 two foot routs one can take at each segment to pick the safe way though. remember It does the king no good if his assassins have a back door to his personal chamber.

ArcturusV
2013-02-23, 07:32 PM
Well, this is the sort of situation Monks (Or Paladins) were made for. "Okay, you have good saves, and in the case of the Paladin a decent armor class... just run down the corridor and hope you don't die. After you trip all the traps we'll follow."

scurv
2013-02-23, 07:38 PM
Right now i think their best strat is to put all the protections they can on beefcakes (Minotaur) and let him run down the center to soak it with his hp pool. After using the tried and true methods of finding traps like boulder tossing, walking sticks and bowling, Don't laugh but they can very well find trip wires and trap doors. and give the pc's a chance at damage avoidance.

nedz
2013-02-23, 07:45 PM
Well: Nothing is written, until you've run it.

They'll just have to take it in turns to trigger the traps they do have a healer don't they ? And they can deal with poison ? I guess you will soon find out :smallbiggrin:

Rhynn
2013-02-23, 07:49 PM
You should change up your world.

You're writing a story.

Disagreement. DM's don't have to write a story, and, indeed, writing a story (with a plot) causes problems at some point when the PCs wreck it. You should write a situation (AKA a scenario) and let the PCs wreck that.


The party should have hired an NPC rogue to deal with traps if they didn't have one. (Assuming they knew they'd be likely to face traps. If they didn't, you need to work on letting them learn about where they're heading.) If your group don't ever hire NPCs to help them and round out their capabilities, you need to work on encouraging them to.

Baalthazaq
2013-02-23, 08:04 PM
I'm not sure you're getting what is being suggested.

You are saying TPK.

People are suggesting two things:
1: It should be plausible for the players to succeed.
This is not the same as impossible for the players to fail (AKA Marshmallow Pillows).

2: As the writer of the story, you should not require a specific make-up of party to succeed, and that that is a mistake you've made, not a mistake the party has made.
As a result, they're suggesting compensating for that mistake is justified.

Another way of looking at this is that they're suffering because of a meta-decision (I want to play a paladin), not an in-character decision (my paladin moons the king).

They've given legitimate world-building tips for why it shouldn't be a TPK situation (If the king needs to get out quickly, it shouldn't be impossible for a party to get out carefully. Being able to avoid/see/disable some of the traps coming from the king's side may be both more realistic, and more fun for your players).

Everyone already knows rule 0.
That you are the DM means your word is final in your world.
That does not mean all your decisions are good decisions in the real world, just final decisions. All the more reason to be careful with them.

Luckily for you, you have this cool rule called rule 0. It allows you to change, even things that you yourself have written down in order to make the game more fun... which many of us are, I think, assuming is your aim, and the reason for this post.

Or... are you just telling us you plan to kill a party?

scurv
2013-02-23, 08:32 PM
As they debate tactics and bring out secret stashes with me exiled again.

This group has a long history ( nearly 4 years over many dm's ) Of letting rogues hang out to dry and putting them in situations they should not be in. And shortly after looting their corpse and making said player make a new one. Now when said player, Who knew full well my stance on the topic Decided he was going to play a fighter because that is how the group treats their rogues, He knew what would happen and actually was quite passionate on the subject to a party with out a rogue.

And I dislike the concept of playing a rogue npc in my own campaign, it is to close do DMPC for my tastes...and quite frankly I doubt the guilds or any non suicidal rogues will deal with them based on said party being a death trap for that profession.

No one else took it on them self to make a rogue, And said party willingly went in to a place that I told them two weeks ago they would need a rogue to navigate.

So it is not me killing the party They choose to go down a path being forewarned what the results could be, If I put out the marshmallow pillows for them when they are being daft, I cheapen every other victory they earn. They want the loot and the glory, they need to earn it.

Kane0
2013-02-23, 10:02 PM
Seems like rogues have the short end of the stick in your group. Not wanting to take up the short stick is understandable, but arent you just following the groups precedent on this one? Be sure you are not punishing a lack of rogue, that would force the players to choose being one where it seems nobody wants to be one. It is your world and your game, but the players are there to have fun and both you and they must be having fun. If someone is forced to play a character they dont want to they wot have fun, and as a dm you should be avoiding that.

It would make them value rogues at least..

Sith_Happens
2013-02-23, 10:55 PM
This group has a long history ( nearly 4 years over many dm's ) Of letting rogues hang out to dry and putting them in situations they should not be in. And shortly after looting their corpse and making said player make a new one.

A behavior that you strongly encourage by making Trapfinding mandatory for survival.

Rhynn
2013-02-23, 10:56 PM
2: As the writer of the story, you should not require a specific make-up of party to succeed, and that that is a mistake you've made, not a mistake the party has made.

Augh. No. The DM does not write the story of the adventure/session. The story is emergent - it is created by the actions of the player characters and the reactions of the NPCs run by the DM. Pre-writing a plot/story is bad news.

Writing situations/circumstances/scenarios/locations and letting the PCs do with them as they will is a tried and true, age-old (as old as RPGs), and perfectly good approach.

Obviously, it needs to be communicated to the players, and some players may not like it, but there is nothing categorically wrong with it, and the presumption that the DM has a responsibility to adapt to the party's weaknesses is not at all true. You can play that way, sure. I wouldn't want to. Finding clever ways to overcome your characters' and party's weaknesses is what role-playing is about, to me.

Baalthazaq
2013-02-24, 12:56 AM
Augh. No. The DM does not write the story of the adventure/session. The story is emergent - it is created by the actions of the player characters and the reactions of the NPCs run by the DM. Pre-writing a plot/story is bad news.

Sufficed to say, you've said many sentences on my behalf that I have not.

My entire post can be summed up as:
"People are giving you reasonable suggestions, to make your game more fun for your players. Perhaps consider them."

I'm not addressing a room of people who have never roleplayed. Neither are you. If you say "Dragons are attacking the village. They're asking for help.", that can easily be considered your story. The players flesh out the details with the DM throughout the campaign. I'm not interested in debating minutiae, or what "the word story means to you", or what "a real story is".

The rest of my post is encouraging the DM work more "on the fly" rather than considering some aspects pre-ordained. And this somehow communicated to you that I pre-write everything the party will do?


Some players may not like it, but there is nothing categorically wrong with it.

This sentence describes many many many things. That 'some players may not like it' is already a description of a problem, especially if 'some players' turns out to be a large number.

"Is my decision making the game less fun" is the question, before "is my decision wrong in absolute moral or legal terms". We're talking about re-evaluating an escape route's challenge rating in a game, you're not making Sophie's Choice.

scurv
2013-02-24, 07:35 AM
First, I treat my players as adults, And as adults there is results for their actions and in-actions. My npc's and encounters are by and large drawn up before hand. This way there is no claims from this player or that player of favoritism when so and so finds something when they are off on their own (Who tends to pocket it, even if they are of a lawful good alignment)

In our group, we have several people who DM their own campaigns and this is problematic across all of them. The group tends to view all that can pick up a blade as having a d10 hp a nice plus to con bonus and being fully armored knights. And as little as I dislike going in to that dynamic I got 4 years worth of log sheets that show that the rogue of the party, For very valid IC reasons (as it is claimed by the player of a heal bot) will always be the last one that is healed in a tough situation.

So when the other rogue player decided not to draw up anymore rogues. I told the group as a whole. That The onus is on them to make up for that loss of skill in their group. They did not when they had 11 sessions with kids gloves. Three weeks ago they were informed ic and in that oh so special dm to players meta way that said castle was trapped. They could of got back in their awesome wagon (Thanks for the help in drawing that out, we call it the A team scooby wagon now) and went to the next tourist spot down the road, But they choose to go grave robbing from the cursed and haunted castle.

And sith yes a rogues life is its own risky bushiness But death by trap seldom happens to the rogues,


As a side note, one made it out alive and now has the bodies of two pc heal bots (I call them what they are) Two pc fighters, and one wizard. I gave the group a choice that if they wished the traps to be retconed out that it could happen, But the riches in the kings chambers would not of been there with out traps to protect them, They choose lewt.

But as a thought exercise, How would one DM a group with out melee's or with out priests, who wished to do a dungeon crawl? what accommodation would one make for that?

Zefren
2013-02-24, 07:54 AM
If they were warned and knew what they were getting into, then it's not your fault, like you said, let them deal with the consequences of their actions and overconfidence. Players should respect the DM's work and conform to the world he made. Of course you shouldn't be a douchebag DM that just wants to annoy the players by putting them in situations they can't do anything about.
Like someone suggested above, give them a way out to keep the campaign going, but punish them by taking their equipment or something so they have to start over (which in D&D shouldn't take long...). People have to learn that adventuring is serious business :smallbiggrin:

Gnomish Wanderer
2013-02-24, 11:25 AM
Disagreement. DM's don't have to write a story, and, indeed, writing a story (with a plot) causes problems at some point when the PCs wreck it. You should write a situation (AKA a scenario) and let the PCs wreck that.


The party should have hired an NPC rogue to deal with traps if they didn't have one. (Assuming they knew they'd be likely to face traps. If they didn't, you need to work on letting them learn about where they're heading.) If your group don't ever hire NPCs to help them and round out their capabilities, you need to work on encouraging them to.
I mean as a group, you're writing a story. Not the DM, the roleplaying group, including the DM who writes the backdrop that the story is happening in. The players give it direction and character. Still, altogether a story comes out of the wetwork. It's the DM's job to make sure the story has challenges that aren't impossible.

Grod_The_Giant
2013-02-24, 11:42 AM
But as a thought exercise, How would one DM a group with out melee's or with out priests, who wished to do a dungeon crawl? what accommodation would one make for that?

Without melee... I probably wouldn't change much. Maybe work in more ranged monsters/NPCs, more skirmishers rather than brutes, but I wouldn't work too hard. Unless we're talking an all-squishy party...

Without divine casters... drop more healing wands and scrolls and make sure someone either has the spells on their list or has a good UMD skill.

scurv
2013-02-24, 12:17 PM
I never was a fan of mage or cleric by magic item, I mean don't get me wrong, Nothing wrong with potions or the occasional wand. But I rather keep it so the class's are defined, Not that androgynous rogue/wizard muck. Truth be told I am not a fan of bot clerics ether in campaigns I see little difference between how some people use them and a magic wand in practice.

Besides they have one party member who made it though, although they are down 4 points of cha most likely till they get some more professional healing.
Don't get me wrong Normally I let people run with two chars. Its a good thing its a dangerous world out there and bad things tend to happen And I am not fond of letting people sit for a night when everyone else is having fun around them. So I do permit people to run with two chars.

But the campaign style i run is I paint a world and it has challenges to be over come, avoided or passed along. I'll occasionally let the party higher a npc guide, but I have little intention of playing a key class in the party that I am DMing for. Just not how it works when i'm behind the screen. That and considering this partys reputation for what it does to rogues, there would need to be quite a few critical failures in judgement for any guild rogue, Or most freelancers to join that party with the mino that is always hocking their last rogues gear at the pawn shop.

Mark Hall
2013-02-24, 02:01 PM
I don't feel a whole lot of sympathy for a group of players who, when told, "This will be full of deathtraps; Not having a thief is stupid" choose to not include a thief in their number. It's like being told "This adventure will be full of undead. It is the 'Undead Hordes of Castle Vampiresnwights'" then choosing be six thieves and a fighter. It is making poor decisions, then expecting the GM to pull your bacon out of the fire you jumped into.

So, yeah. Let them go through it. Let them try to roleplay and puzzle-solve their way around checks. Let them play some D&D as "subterranean fantasy ****ing Vietnam." Give them the search checks to notice things, but don't hold their hands.

Oh, and if they insist on taking 20 on searches every 5 feet? Keep track of food.

Baalthazaq
2013-02-24, 03:27 PM
Party without healbots?
I ran one of those for about a year and a bit.
We had an artificer who could heal himself with repair rolls.
I had the party attacked by a homebrew spider early on in the campaign that did con damage, but also gave fast healing equal to that con damage.

One character got fast healing 3, in exchange for 3 con.

In a fight this doesn't actually help dramatically. A level 7 character has lost 14 HP, in exchange for gaining 18 HP in healing over the course of an average fight, and this discrepancy only worsens as they level.

The real benefit becomes that they don't need healing downtime, so it speeds up play. Also, they can't use remove poison or restoration on themselves or they lose the healing, (though they regain the con).

Beyond that I made sure to suggest defensive feats when asked for character building advice, and left them to themselves to figure out how to stay alive.

Incidentally, a PC's cohort took the most poison damage and ended up with a con of 3, but a fast healing of something silly like 12, so if he survived the hit, he'd be back on full health within 3 rounds or so, but even a moderate hit could kill him.

Rhynn
2013-02-24, 03:55 PM
So, yeah. Let them go through it. Let them try to roleplay and puzzle-solve their way around checks. Let them play some D&D as "subterranean fantasy ****ing Vietnam." Give them the search checks to notice things, but don't hold their hands.

I love the smell of fireballs in the morning. Smelled like... victory.

Seriously, though, that phrase pretty much decribes what I want out of to the Undermountain. (Although, even then, I've scrapped a lot of the traps as being a bit too Gygaxian - many are specifically designed to punish PCs using good dungeon operating procedures...)

But yeah, I agree. To me, preparation is part of the game. If nobody wants to play a rogue, they better hire a trapfinder (or twenty, if you know what I mean). If nobody wants to play a cleric, they better hire one, or buy a lot of healing potions or a wand.

Mark Hall
2013-02-24, 04:03 PM
I love the smell of fireballs in the morning. Smelled like... victory.

Seriously, though, that phrase pretty much decribes what I want out of to the Undermountain. (Although, even then, I've scrapped a lot of the traps as being a bit too Gygaxian - many are specifically designed to punish PCs using good dungeon operating procedures...)


Reading Undermountain always makes you appreciate what an utter bad-ass Durnan must be.

Grod_The_Giant
2013-02-24, 06:39 PM
I don't feel a whole lot of sympathy for a group of players who, when told, "This will be full of deathtraps; Not having a thief is stupid" choose to not include a thief in their number. It's like being told "This adventure will be full of undead. It is the 'Undead Hordes of Castle Vampiresnwights'" then choosing be six thieves and a fighter. It is making poor decisions, then expecting the GM to pull your bacon out of the fire you jumped into.

I, on the other hand, don't have a lot of sympathy for a GM who knew that his group was hard on rogues and that no-one had trapfinding, and then proceeded to go, "here's a giant awesome dungeon full of traps." Sure, they could have gone somewhere else, but it comes across as kind of mean-spirited taunting. "I know none of you like playing this class, but look! Here's something cool you could have done if one of you had bowed to convention!"

In this specific situation? Yeah, the players did cause their own problems. But as a general rule... 'sbad.

Gavinfoxx
2013-02-24, 06:40 PM
You have gone through the list of stuff and shown them what options there are to get Trapfinding, so they don't have to play Rogues to get trapfinding, yes?

scurv
2013-02-24, 07:12 PM
we play second edition with imports from skills and power and all that. And well...I would like to think that I do not need to spoon feed my group and hold there wee wee when they pee. If they want to research other options They can research other options. There is a perfectly viable class that deals in traps, And I tend to be fairly liberal if someone wants to draw up a custom class.

They are adults, I will treat them like adults,

<edit>
I gave them 11 sessions with no traps, and treasure so stupidly under guarded that it made my brain bleed from the loss of verisimilitude. If they decide that they want to do things the hard way, I can respect that, But on the flip side of respect they also get to take the hits for their decisions.
And they are going though all this drama because of envy of a rogue occasionally finds a dead body in a pit trap when they foul a roll and take half their hp's and helps them self to a few shinnys. I mean seriously How much hand holding does this deserve?

Grod_The_Giant
2013-02-24, 07:26 PM
There's a difference between pampering players and recognizing "oh, gee, no-one wants to play a trapfinding class, maybe that's not an aspect of the game that my players enjoy, maybe I shouldn't use it."

scurv
2013-02-24, 07:37 PM
grod, have you read any of the above posts?
Granted you posted after my edit hit, but still

Gavinfoxx
2013-02-24, 07:41 PM
Grod's point stands irrelevant of your other posts. If there is a part of a game that no-one but you enjoys... why are you forcing this theme and concept on the group??

scurv
2013-02-24, 07:46 PM
Fun observations in social dynamics here, And some very healthy bureaucratic reflexes, But enough observations on people playing troll as a class rather then a race.
But that aside, The players who knew full well what was there, choose to go there when there was other content available, So how is that my bad?explain this in small concise words please.

ArcturusV
2013-02-24, 07:49 PM
Sometimes? Just because they've ticked you off or to make them realize the importance of teamwork. Sometimes both.

For example... I had a group that would always ask me to play a Cleric. Who was allowed to do nothing but Cure X Wounds after a fight, and sit fights out or they'd throw a fit and hey... we're all here more or less to get along. I also DMed most of the time for that group and when I DMed they expected (even begged me) to DMPC a Cleric doing the exact same thing. I wouldn't complain about it because honestly I didn't want to run a DMPC anyway so just having someone who sat there like a bump on a log until he needed to heal was fine.

But then they'd get to asking me to do other DMPCs for them. A thief, Fighter, etc, so they only had to play the classes THEY wanted (usually wizards, one guy liked a bard) and could all try to be rockstars and do what they thought was "Best" without worrying about blindspots in their team because I would obviously cover them up with DMPCs or alter the game so the situation never came up.

Finally one day I got kinda fed up when I realized I was running an adventure with 3 Wizards, 1 Bard. And they had me running 4 DMPCs to flesh out the party and cover all the roles they wanted so they could focus on just one narrow aspect. I was their whipping boy and being made to do about 20 times the work of everyone else just because they were all too focused on trying to be the "Star" instead of being part of the team. They were notorious for being unable to work together and it was my DMPCs carrying the day because no one would ever help any other PC. Why set up (The Bard) when I can just try to have the glory for myself? That was their mindset.

So eventually I told them, "New campaign. This is going to be VERY different than my usual campaigns. Play whatever you want, but I'm not doing ANY DMPCING, AT ALL! Make sure your party is balanced and you can work together to overcome things."

... next session I had two Enchanter Wizards, one Illusionist Wizard, one Bard. The adventure was an undead apocalypse sort of situation. It went BADLY... fast. Two of the players learned however (The bard and the Illusionist) and decide to be more team oriented after that.

FreakyCheeseMan
2013-02-24, 07:49 PM
Fun observations in social dynamics here, And some very healthy bureaucratic reflexes, But enough observations on people playing troll as a class rather then a race.
But that aside, The players who knew full well what was there, choose to go there when there was other content available, So how is that my bad?explain this in small concise words please.

Because your job is to make them have fun.

Mark Hall
2013-02-24, 07:52 PM
There's a difference between pampering players and recognizing "oh, gee, no-one wants to play a trapfinding class, maybe that's not an aspect of the game that my players enjoy, maybe I shouldn't use it."


Grod's point stands irrelevant of your other posts. If there is a part of a game that no-one but you enjoys... why are you forcing this theme and concept on the group??

He didn't force the theme on them. They said "We're looking at going here." He responded with "This place is reputed to be full of traps. You don't have a trapfinder. This will be hard and deadly." "We don't care, we want to go there."

I don't see much difference between your "If they don't like traps, then there shouldn't be traps, even places where they are warned there will be traps" and "If they want to go to a Dragon's lair at 1st level, it would be wrong of the GM to have there be an ACTUAL dragon there. They're first level!"

Dropping them randomly in a deathtrap dungeon? Yeah, problematic. Leading a candy path of clues to the deathtrap dungeon? A little bit less problematic. Saying "Don't go there. It will be bad"? They made their bed; now they get to lie in it.

Glimbur
2013-02-24, 08:08 PM
Because your job is to make them have fun.

I'd like to argue a small point. The game should be fun for everyone, including the DM. The DM has the most work to do to make a good game (though anyone can ruin the game). The problem here is that none of the players have fun being a rogue due to their meta-game, but the DM finds it implausible not to have traps.

Personally, I'm worried for your group because there is a class that no one wants to play due to bad history, but killing the entire party is sometimes the right move. Remember that they are coming from the safe(er) side of the secret exit.

Grod_The_Giant
2013-02-24, 08:13 PM
He didn't force the theme on them. They said "We're looking at going here." He responded with "This place is reputed to be full of traps. You don't have a trapfinder. This will be hard and deadly." "We don't care, we want to go there."

I don't see much difference between your "If they don't like traps, then there shouldn't be traps, even places where they are warned there will be traps" and "If they want to go to a Dragon's lair at 1st level, it would be wrong of the GM to have there be an ACTUAL dragon there. They're first level!"

Dropping them randomly in a deathtrap dungeon? Yeah, problematic. Leading a candy path of clues to the deathtrap dungeon? A little bit less problematic. Saying "Don't go there. It will be bad"? They made their bed; now they get to lie in it.
In this situation, it's clearly the player's fault. That, I'm not debating. They made a whole series of bad choices, and got killed. I just object to the DMing style that says "this is how things are, like it or not." Because...


Because your job is to make them have fun.
This. This is the core principle of DMing*. Does that mean you have to baby the party? Of course not; that's not fun. But if your group says "we're tired of fighting undead" or "we're bored of trap-heavy dungeons," you should accommodate them.

It's perfectly possible to have games and challenges without traps-- I ran my last D&D campaign for a year and a half, and I can count the number of traps on the fingers of one head. Was there challenge? Absolutely-- I can't even count how many PC deaths we had.Did my players have fun? So they assured me, many a time. If your group is sick of rogues and traps, and your style doesn't accommodate that... maybe it's time for someone else to take a turn running things.

(Also, I may be overreacting a tad because I ****ing hate traps, and the instinct to cram them in everywhere, in which case I apologize. I just cannot at all figure out how they make sense in the average adventure. But that's a different issue)

*EDIT: yes, you have to have fun too, clearly. But generally speaking, when the players are enjoying themselves, the GM is too

Khatoblepas
2013-02-24, 08:18 PM
They are adults, I will treat them like adults.

But are you acting like an adult? You insist on traps... and insist there's only one way to solve them, but that's not fun. If they had a thief, would that make the adventure any more fun? No, it would just mean that the thief would go "I search for traps", then "I disable the traps". Whoopee, you could skip all that noise and lose nothing but your verisimilitude, which, by the way, no player cares about unless they're really invested in your game. And if they're not? Make them invested first.

You could easily make a trap filled dungeon that doesn't instagib your party because of a lack of a rogue. Floor tiles that send swinging pendulums towards you, jumping out of the way of a falling pillar, grasping the edge of a pit trap. All exciting things you want to happen. Having a rogue on standby to disable all the excitement is boring. Run each trap and tribulation as it's own encounter, let the players describe clever ways to get past it.

Have traps that have broken down because of disrepair, and now block the party's path in a new and exciting way! They can solve the puzzle, and if it involves smashing through it, they might just succeed, but cause themselves more problems along the way. Perhaps smashing through the spiked wall trap in Floor 1 causes it to fall in the way of a treasure chest on Floor B1!

You don't need a thief or a rogue or a Trapfinder General sniffing out traps and disabling them like the Matron of No Fun. You don't need your players to stand back while the Thief of Fun takes the limelight away from them.

If the Minotaur wants to disable the falling ceiling trap by his sheer heroic strength, if a fighter wants to swing from pendulum to pendulum over the hot lava and jam a dagger into the mechanism, if someone wants to dig his sword into the wall of the pit trap, slowing his descent, then they can do that. Perhaps one of them might get a poison arrow in the arm, and if they haven't prepared a healing spell, they'll need to tourniquet and suck out the poison. Drama! Suspense! Perhaps it doesn't even kill them, but weaken them until they can find an antidote. (even the stupidest trap setter leaves an antidote hidden SOMEWHERE, just in case he springs the trap on himself!) Each trap is a mini adventure, that grinds down the PCs and leaves them exhausted and maimed. If the Paladin fails a saving throw to dodge the whirling blade trap, attack his HP, give him a telling scar that he will talk about for years to come. Don't kill them outright if there's still more adventure to be had in the Deathtrap Dungeon. Give them injuries. Beat them up. Teach them the true meaning of suffering and adversity through this hellish gauntlet. Just don't kill them... unless it's dramatically appropriate. Your players will thank you.

You got your traps. They got their high adventure. Just enable them to kick ass and have fun. And if they're shy about the traps? If they dither and are like "We don't have a rogue! Oh no!" just smile and say "You'll find a way.". Keep to small, easily dodgable traps in the beginning, leading up to the big guns in the end. You can have your swinging blade poison lava death pits of death. But even if they're adults, they have to have their rite of passage.

You don't need a rogue to deal with traps. And you don't need to use traps to have "a trap filled dungeon".

What is a trap, anyway?

It's just a kind of encounter. Change how you interact with it, and suddenly, even a big dumb beefcake can solve it. It's all about how you look at the problem. Using a thief is easy. Using your head... is hard.

FreakyCheeseMan
2013-02-24, 08:20 PM
*Wall Of Text*

This. All of this.

jindra34
2013-02-24, 08:26 PM
Khatoblepas: Your missing the fact that his players, despite their lack of a trapfinder, chose to take a detour into a trap filled place. That either means they at least enjoy traps, or they really cannot put things together. So arguing the lack of a trapfinder means they don't like traps is kinda silly.

scurv
2013-02-24, 08:38 PM
@Khatoblepas

Oh there was plenty of that last night. But they choose to go there knowing what was on the plate. So explain to me why i should let players bully me in to dumbing down a campaign to the point where the lack of verisimilitude makes my brain bleed? I mean what measures would you take if you where an evil king to protect yourself? Can you explain to me why you would leave a backdoor to your personal chambers that was not protected? Because if the only thing protecting it is a foot of dirt and some grass on a steep hillside to cover the door to keep it secret....thats kinda one point contact failureish to me.

An looking at things, the group tends to run with two pc's per player. with 4 players and plenty of multiclass options avalible to people. I mean seriously if people do not want to put there char at risk in a situation i can understand. But to roosterblock anyone who is willing to do so just because it nets them the occasional shinny is kinda immature.

Khatoblepas
2013-02-24, 08:40 PM
Khatoblepas: Your missing the fact that his players, despite their lack of a trapfinder, chose to take a detour into a trap filled place. That either means they at least enjoy traps, or they really cannot put things together. So arguing the lack of a trapfinder means they don't like traps is kinda silly.

Oh, no, I don't mean that they don't enjoy traps per se. But the OP says: "It will be a TPK without a rogue!" and the players are saying "Traps? pfft, we can take it as three fighters and a cow man.".

I was presenting an alternate way of portraying a trap filled dungeon, that doesn't require the presence of a thief to disable all the traps and remove all the tension and adventure for the other players, because, as it stands, the addition of a thief would mean that the traps might as well not be there, because the thief alone will (and can) deal with them. And by presenting the traps as puzzles and not a HP tax, you make traps more engaging to them. (As in, they don't just trip over an unseen wire and take 3d6 fire damage, they trip over an unseen wire and suddenly the entire corridor is dancing with flame. How do you proceed?)

By presenting the traps in a more two-fisted, puzzle style that the players have to interact with to solve, it will be more engaging for the player, and for the DM, you got your wanted traps, so verisimilitude is not broken. The players are obviously pulp adventurers more than paranoid adventurers. They want to smash the door in and take on the world.

(Also, you might want to present to them some thief classed characters that aren't sneak thieves who steal, but more rough and tumble Indiana Jones type characters, who never steal anything without good cause. That way, the thieves won't get ganked.)


But they choose to go there knowing what was on the plate. So explain to me why i should let players bully me in to dumbing down a campaign to the point where the lack of verisimilitude makes my brain bleed?

Did you read anything I said? You still have the traps, you still have the danger, you just present it in a different way for the players to overcome. You don't have traditional "traps" in a metagame sense, since they don't have a traditional "trapfinder" in a metagame sense.

You make the traps a different kind of encounter. In-character, they're still the same traps. Out of character, they're an encounter the players can solve. I don't see how this is making your brain bleed, the way is still fraught with danger and traps, but they can be overcome by wits and valor, not just a dice roll from the right class.

Grod_The_Giant
2013-02-24, 10:46 PM
I mean what measures would you take if you where an evil king to protect yourself? Can you explain to me why you would leave a backdoor to your personal chambers that was not protected? Because if the only thing protecting it is a foot of dirt and some grass on a steep hillside to cover the door to keep it secret....thats kinda one point contact failureish to me.

Firstly, if I'm an evil king, why the heck do I have a secret passage to my chambers? If I need a quick escape, I'll use contingency teleports. Or a custom magic item with a 1/day word of recall (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/wordOfRecall.htm) or something. With magic aura to register as non-magical...

If something demands that I have a actual physical passage.... my first thought is to not have it actually connect to anything on one side, and simply remember what otherwise-featureless section of wall to use a custom passwall item on. If that's not feasible, some combination of permanent illusions and magic aura to cloak the hidden door. Maybe put the whole thing behind a mildly magic tapestry-- looters will go "ooh, pretty," grab the tapestry and move on because hey, they found the shineys in this area!

In the passage itself... I'm probably not going to have mundane traps-- if I'm running this way in a panic, I'm more likely to trip over them than not. Instead... I'm thinking golems. Maybe some bound devils, too-- things that are magically bound to attack anyone who's not me.

Alejandro
2013-02-24, 11:11 PM
@Khatoblepas

Oh there was plenty of that last night. But they choose to go there knowing what was on the plate. So explain to me why i should let players bully me in to dumbing down a campaign to the point where the lack of verisimilitude makes my brain bleed? I mean what measures would you take if you where an evil king to protect yourself? Can you explain to me why you would leave a backdoor to your personal chambers that was not protected? Because if the only thing protecting it is a foot of dirt and some grass on a steep hillside to cover the door to keep it secret....thats kinda one point contact failureish to me.

An looking at things, the group tends to run with two pc's per player. with 4 players and plenty of multiclass options avalible to people. I mean seriously if people do not want to put there char at risk in a situation i can understand. But to roosterblock anyone who is willing to do so just because it nets them the occasional shinny is kinda immature.

It sounds like you have a very confrontational, me vs. them DMing style. Which is your prerogative, but it doesn't make for long term gaming health. Probably a contributing factor to why your group is so harsh on rogues; they're just copying what they see the DM do.

Rhynn
2013-02-24, 11:27 PM
You have gone through the list of stuff and shown them what options there are to get Trapfinding, so they don't have to play Rogues to get trapfinding, yes?

This is important, IMO. Rogues/thieves shouldn't be a requirement to deal with traps - they should be the "lazy way". Traps that are just skill tests or damage/healing tax are boring, traps that can be interacted with are engaging and often fun.

IMO, Find & Remove Traps/Search and Disable Device should just be tools to allow the shortcutting of RP if someone's feeling lazy - "I search the box for a false bottom" should not require a Search check, but "I search the box" might, and "I search the room" would.

So trap-filled dungeons should be perfectly doable with a party without the "necessary" dungeons. (Of course, you have to be careful with how devious your traps are; you don't want a party that goes around disbelieving every 5'x5' section of the architecture at a time, and rolling marbles across every floor, etc.)


I gave them 11 sessions with no traps, and treasure so stupidly under guarded that it made my brain bleed from the loss of verisimilitude. If they decide that they want to do things the hard way, I can respect that, But on the flip side of respect they also get to take the hits for their decisions.
And they are going though all this drama because of envy of a rogue occasionally finds a dead body in a pit trap when they foul a roll and take half their hp's and helps them self to a few shinnys. I mean seriously How much hand holding does this deserve?

Yes, yes, yes. My players have enough experience I wouldn't insult them with hand-holding. If we're doing something we've never done before (like wilderness hexcrawling with a chance of getting lost and starving), I'll give them a heads-up, but that's it.

Synovia
2013-02-24, 11:43 PM
As they debate tactics and bring out secret stashes with me exiled again.

This group has a long history ( nearly 4 years over many dm's ) Of letting rogues hang out to dry and putting them in situations they should not be in. And shortly after looting their corpse and making said player make a new one. Now when said player, Who knew full well my stance on the topic Decided he was going to play a fighter because that is how the group treats their rogues, He knew what would happen and actually was quite passionate on the subject to a party with out a rogue.

If your party dislikes rogues so much, why do you keep forcing your players to play them?

ArcturusV
2013-02-24, 11:49 PM
Well... it's not really "Forced" to use them. There are plenty of ways around traps other than "Use a Rogue" or "Hope you make a bunch of Saves and take minimal damage". Of course there are also non-combative traps that don't do straight damage either to consider. A popular one I've used is a trap that, when triggered, just sounds a huge alarm. Great, you just told everyone there is an unauthorized presence in the building. Good luck for getting surprise rounds now or using stealth (Though without a trapfinder you probably weren't counting on stealth).

scurv
2013-02-24, 11:52 PM
If your party dislikes rogues so much, why do you keep forcing your players to play them?

as has been said several times, They could of avoided that encounter

<edit>
I normally make it a point to avoid anything that resembled an ad hominem But this has got to be one of the best displays of self entitlement I have seem from the people here. Is this how you treat your DM's when they make a decision that you are not fond of? Seriously do you expect things to always be as you want them to be?

Can I get a mod to lock this childishness please? I'm embarrassed to have been a part of it.

Synovia
2013-02-25, 12:18 AM
as has been said several times, They could of avoided that encounter

<edit>
I normally make it a point to avoid anything that resembled an ad hominem But this has got to be one of the best displays of self entitlement I have seem from the people here. Is this how you treat your DM's when they make a decision that you are not fond of? Seriously do you expect things to always be as you want them to be?

Can I get a mod to lock this childishness please? I'm embarrassed to have been a part of it.
Did you give your PCs other options? Did you suggest other things they could go do? Remember, you control the information they have access to.

I expect my DMs to play the game that the players want to play. Thats what we're here for. People don't come to a game to be told they have to play a class they have no interest in. If your party wants to play all casters, its your job as DM to find a way to let them do that. THATS WHAT A DM IS FOR.

The DM's job isn't to tell a story. It isn't to build an adventure. Its to facilitate the story that the characters are telling.

As to childishness, how about coming onto a forum asking a question, and then getting pissed off when people disagree with you?

FreakyCheeseMan
2013-02-25, 12:27 AM
as has been said several times, They could of avoided that encounter

<edit>
I normally make it a point to avoid anything that resembled an ad hominem But this has got to be one of the best displays of self entitlement I have seem from the people here. Is this how you treat your DM's when they make a decision that you are not fond of? Seriously do you expect things to always be as you want them to be?

Can I get a mod to lock this childishness please? I'm embarrassed to have been a part of it.

Really?

Try to step outside your own perspective, and look at this conversation from someone else's eyes.

What a lot of us see is that you're taking the role of DM as an expression of personal power, rather than something done to create an enjoyable experience. You came here to vent your frustrations, and are angry that people here - people who, I should mention, have heard *only* your side of this story - disagree with you.

None of us are your players; none of us have a personal stake in what's happening in your game. Hell, I'm willing to bet that at least half of the people commenting identify as "DM" as much as they do "Player." There's no "self-entitlement" there, because there's no "Self".

What you should recognize - what everyone arguing anything should recognize - is that there is a possibility that you are wrong. Rather than just try to muster arguments against that possibility, try to give it a fair consideration; even if it doesn't change your mind, it can help broaden your perspective, which will make it easier to avoid destructive conflicts with your players in the future.

Doorhandle
2013-02-25, 03:02 AM
You should change up your world.

You're writing a story. If the players are in a lose/lose scenario, give them a way out. Make them lose something, like get a hole in the wall they can squeeze out of but will have to leave half their gear behind or something. Don't screw them because 'it was already written that way'.

My personal favorite option here is "Have the party regroup in hell."

Killer Angel
2013-02-25, 04:14 AM
Can I get a mod to lock this childishness please? I'm embarrassed to have been a part of it.

You cannot ask to close a thread because you don't like the answers.

That said, i don't see your problem. Someone agrees with your approach, many others don't, and their suggestion is not to put on soft gloves, but to play the same encounter in a way different than "automatic failure".
Someone suggested that you should review some of your attitude, and explained their PoV... it's a debate, isn't it?

Shadow Viper
2013-02-25, 04:16 AM
Firstly, if I'm an evil king, why the heck do I have a secret passage to my chambers? If I need a quick escape, I'll use contingency teleports. Or a custom magic item with a 1/day word of recall (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/wordOfRecall.htm) or something. With magic aura to register as non-magical...

If something demands that I have a actual physical passage.... my first thought is to not have it actually connect to anything on one side, and simply remember what otherwise-featureless section of wall to use a custom passwall item on. If that's not feasible, some combination of permanent illusions and magic aura to cloak the hidden door. Maybe put the whole thing behind a mildly magic tapestry-- looters will go "ooh, pretty," grab the tapestry and move on because hey, they found the shineys in this area!

In the passage itself... I'm probably not going to have mundane traps-- if I'm running this way in a panic, I'm more likely to trip over them than not. Instead... I'm thinking golems. Maybe some bound devils, too-- things that are magically bound to attack anyone who's not me.

Good suggestions/ides, but not all worlds/campaigns are high magic/magical. :smallwink:


If your party dislikes rogues so much, why do you keep forcing your players to play them?

Have you been reading the thread?

Codyage
2013-02-25, 04:39 AM
I read through this thread, and here is what I think of it.

Both the DM and Players did things tonight. But here are the big questions.

Did the Players have fun?

If the players didn't have fun, perhaps the encounter could have been slightly changed to accommodate for the lack of a class. Don't make people play a class that they don't want to play. If you know someone is not going to be having fun in an encounter, why make that encounter in the first place?

You know that one guy may end up playing the Thief/Rogue, and you know how that class gets treated in your group, why do that to someone if there is a slim chance you believe that the guy playing the Thief/Rogue isn't going to have fun. What you are possibly risking is this.

"I search for traps...sigh" *rolls dice* "I search for traps...sigh" *rolls dice*

I don't think designating an entire class to one singular role is the best way to do it, but to each their own.

Edit:I KNOW that they didn't HAVE to go to the castle. But if you were hinging everything on one particular skill, why even bother if you know someone will not have fun doing it?

Example: There is this great temple full of amazing treasure, but is guarded by magic. Unless one of you plays a wizard with high Knowledge(Arcana) and Spellcraft, don't bother, just go to the town down the road. (Btw your group has been known notoriously for abusing the wizard, and making him play as a tank in the front lines. It isn't a surprise why no one wants to play as one.)

"Well guys, I am the bard, and I have some ranks in those skills. I am not fully devoted but we could give it a shot right?" *Proceed to what your game was like.*

Am I right?

The second big question. Did YOU have fun tonight? If you didn't, why was that? If you did have fun, why was that?

nedz
2013-02-25, 08:57 AM
I read through this thread, and here is what I think of it.

Both the DM and Players did things tonight. But here are the big questions.

Did the Players have fun?

If the players didn't have fun, perhaps the encounter could have been slightly changed to accommodate for the lack of a class. Don't make people play a class that they don't want to play. If you know someone is not going to be having fun in an encounter, why make that encounter in the first place?

You know that one guy may end up playing the Thief/Rogue, and you know how that class gets treated in your group, why do that to someone if there is a slim chance you believe that the guy playing the Thief/Rogue isn't going to have fun. What you are possibly risking is this.

"I search for traps...sigh" *rolls dice* "I search for traps...sigh" *rolls dice*

I don't think designating an entire class to one singular role is the best way to do it, but to each their own.

Edit:I KNOW that they didn't HAVE to go to the castle. But if you were hinging everything on one particular skill, why even bother if you know someone will not have fun doing it?

Example: There is this great temple full of amazing treasure, but is guarded by magic. Unless one of you plays a wizard with high Knowledge(Arcana) and Spellcraft, don't bother, just go to the town down the road. (Btw your group has been known notoriously for abusing the wizard, and making him play as a tank in the front lines. It isn't a surprise why no one wants to play as one.)

"Well guys, I am the bard, and I have some ranks in those skills. I am not fully devoted but we could give it a shot right?" *Proceed to what your game was like.*

Am I right?

The second big question. Did YOU have fun tonight? If you didn't, why was that? If you did have fun, why was that?

this, pretty much.

So your party doesn't like rouges. Maybe they will have learned the error of their ways 'tonight' ? But, probably not.

Perhaps they like playing the game in hard mode ?
Yes Rogues can find and remove traps; but that's too easy.
The 'Barbarian' could just run through them setting them all off.
Or the Druid could summon some lemmings.
Or maybe they get creative in their problem solving.

obryn
2013-02-25, 10:21 AM
I normally make it a point to avoid anything that resembled an ad hominem But this has got to be one of the best displays of self entitlement I have seem from the people here. Is this how you treat your DM's when they make a decision that you are not fond of? Seriously do you expect things to always be as you want them to be?
I am really tired of this "new gamers are entitled" meme that's been going around. As if it's a bad thing that a group of people should sit down to a D&D game and expect to enjoy themselves. Gaming is a form of entertainment, and if it isn't fun, it's either a bad game or a badly-run one.

So in answer to your question... My players deserve to have fun at my table. So do I. If that makes us "entitled," well... So be it. I'll gladly accept the label.

-O

Raimun
2013-02-25, 11:33 AM
Okay, in this situation, I can see the fault in both the GM and the players.

It's not cool of the GM to require people to play characters they don't want to play (or else you will all die) but on the other hand, the players didn't listen to the voice of reason and went to the castle anyway.

My solution is: let them hire a NPC (non-DMPC) rogue or recommend that someone takes the Leadership-feat and picks a rogue cohort. If the rogue is hired, make him/her greedy but a bit cowardly and not much use in fight, so the group has a trapbot.

That way you can still include traps but no one has to play a rogue.

Alejandro
2013-02-25, 02:00 PM
as has been said several times, They could of avoided that encounter

<edit>
I normally make it a point to avoid anything that resembled an ad hominem But this has got to be one of the best displays of self entitlement I have seem from the people here. Is this how you treat your DM's when they make a decision that you are not fond of? Seriously do you expect things to always be as you want them to be?

Can I get a mod to lock this childishness please? I'm embarrassed to have been a part of it.

You wanted to know what people thought of the situation, and clearly a good chunk believe part of the fault lies with you. If that makes you angry, then don't solicit feedback, it will always be like that. The players did make a mistake; they intentionally went somewhere knowing it was filled with a challenge type they can't handle very well. OK, that's their black mark.

Yours, however, is caring more about punishing them for trying something outside their comfort zone, than encouraging alternate solutions, or even making them possible. It's possible your group (and reasonably so) expected you to work with them, not directly against them.

Codyage
2013-02-25, 05:42 PM
Actually now that I think about it, having the GM kicked from the room usually means the players don't trust you, because with your information, you tend to try and use it against them, by knowing what they will do. (I have learned this from personal experience) I think your players believe you to be a GM who tries to kill the party if they do something against your wishes. Normally GM's WORK with the players through an encounter, not against. So I don't see why they have any reason to kick you from the room, unless they believe that you may try and hamper them more.

You probably are gone seeing as how you want the thread locked. But I am still curious, did you have fun in your session? If you did, was it because your players were stuck in a bad place after making a bad move?

Tal_Akaan
2013-02-25, 06:59 PM
Personally this feels like DM Trolling to me.

Edit: just to clarify, I mean the event in and surrounding the game in question, not the thread in general.

TuggyNE
2013-02-25, 07:13 PM
What you should recognize - what everyone arguing anything should recognize - is that there is a possibility that you are wrong. Rather than just try to muster arguments against that possibility, try to give it a fair consideration; even if it doesn't change your mind, it can help broaden your perspective, which will make it easier to avoid destructive conflicts with your players in the future.

My good sir, I wish to congratulate you on being Right On The Internet. Have a cookie. Actually, have 40 cakes. :smallwink:

(Also, I want to stick this in my quotesig!)

FreakyCheeseMan
2013-02-25, 08:58 PM
My good sir, I wish to congratulate you on being Right On The Internet. Have a cookie. Actually, have 40 cakes. :smallwink:

(Also, I want to stick this in my quotesig!)

Heh. Thanks, and go ahead.

Shadow Viper
2013-02-26, 01:41 AM
If a certain location(like an old tomb vault for example) is going to realistically have traps, those traps shouldn't just disappear because the adventuring party raiding the tomb doesn't happen to have a anti-trap expert in their ranks. :smallwink:

Codyage
2013-02-26, 03:07 AM
If a certain location(like an old tomb vault for example) is going to realistically have traps, those traps shouldn't just disappear because the adventuring party raiding the tomb doesn't happen to have a anti-trap expert in their ranks. :smallwink:

Then they should also realistically be disabled, or have fallen apart due to age or whatever vermin can get in there to set them off.

(Not saying ALL traps, but a decent amount should realistically have been set off if no one is able to maintain them.)

ArcturusV
2013-02-26, 03:14 AM
Possibly replaced with "new" traps due to disrepair and lack of maintenance. Sure the Trip-Wire Crossbow trap may no longer work, out of ammo, already tripped, etc... but the wooden floorboards are rotting away and weak in several spots leading to new pit traps.

Shadow Viper
2013-02-26, 03:15 AM
True, but the traps shouldn't just disappear magically because the adventuring party that is encountering them, doesn't have a trapfinder.

ArcturusV
2013-02-26, 03:19 AM
Oh, I'm in agreement myself. And there are enough ways to have "Traps" and enough ways to deal with "Traps" that a trapfinder isn't really necessary. Easier. But unless you are dealing with... I dunno, a team of nothing but single class fighters, you probably have a way of dealing with it.

Codyage
2013-02-26, 03:45 AM
True, but the traps shouldn't just disappear magically because the adventuring party that is encountering them, doesn't have a trapfinder.

I am not saying they SHOULD disappear magically. I 100% agree with you that traps are still able to be there. I am only saying that some of them shouldn't be working at 100%.

Now if the matter is the party seeing them, I would personally say yes, they would be able to spot disabled traps. All though the active ones couldn't be as easy to spot because what is the point of a trap if everyone can see the trap?


Oh, I'm in agreement myself. And there are enough ways to have "Traps" and enough ways to deal with "Traps" that a trapfinder isn't really necessary. Easier. But unless you are dealing with... I dunno, a team of nothing but single class fighters, you probably have a way of dealing with it.

Actually fighters MIGHT be able to pull it off if they have a lot of health, and try to do it barbarian fashioned. They can all take shifts at who runs through the traps and loses a majority of the health. It could be a sport! See how many traps you can take without going to 0 or less.

Killer Angel
2013-02-26, 03:49 AM
True, but the traps shouldn't just disappear magically because the adventuring party that is encountering them, doesn't have a trapfinder.

I don't recall anyone advocating this. :smallconfused:

(edit: I've found one post about it... but it was about a different perspective: to don't introduce the element of "traps" at all, not to alter an existing location)



You probably are gone seeing as how you want the thread locked.

That would be sad, but it's a possibility. I hope not, the thread is interesting.

obryn
2013-02-26, 09:24 AM
True, but the traps shouldn't just disappear magically because the adventuring party that is encountering them, doesn't have a trapfinder.
The thing is... The traps have no independent existence in the real world. They can't disappear because they never existed in the first place.

In the game world, the only thing that "exists" (as I understand the setup) is the PCs' knowledge of the traps - whether that was gained in-game through rumors (good!) or out-of-game through the DM saying, "hahaha these traps will kill you all" (not as good!)

There are a number of ways to handle this.

(1) All the traps are there, in full working order, and slaughter PCs left and right.
(2) As above, some may have fallen into disrepair.
(3) The King has spread rumors about a trap-filled passageway, but knows it's actually really dumb to fill his escape route with things that can kill him; think of it like an ADT sign on a house without a burglar alarm. Instead, there are plenty of guards capable of sounding an alarm.
(4) A group of would-be assassins have come down the hallway already, disabling the traps as they go, so it turns into a fight (or an alliance or an interesting roleplaying encounter),
(4a) As above, but they all died, serving as the party's mine detectors before their worthy sacrifice.
(5) The passageway has been infested with ... I dunno, giant spiders or something whose webbing has hosed up a lot of the mechanisms.

None of the above are illegitimate in the context of the game. Some, however, may be more fun for the group and I always recommend going in the direction of fun.

-O

Alejandro
2013-02-26, 10:45 AM
http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/admiral-ackbar-ole-miss-bigger.jpg

Trebloc
2013-02-26, 11:54 AM
If I'm understanding things correctly, you almost require there to be a rogue in the party. However, the poor sucker who plays a rogue gets the short end of the stick from their own party? I see bad things happening on both sides of the DM screen there. Why is the party screwing over their own PC rogue who is saving their bacon from a Trap-obsessed DM?

I know in my group, we rotate between different games. And we try to make sure that in each game, every person is filling a different role. Sure, we've had groups without an arcane caster, or without a rogue...etc, and that certainly presents it's own unique challenges. However, none of those challenges have been to the level of "Whelp, you're missing class XYZ who has ability ABC, so it's a TPK".

So in short, yes rogues make traps much easier to overcome. However, there are other ways to do it as other posters have said. And also, it is in part on the DM as well to realize what their group is able to handle, and on the group to recognize a challenge they may not be equipped to overcome.

MukkTB
2013-02-26, 12:34 PM
Traps are not particularly engaging things in and of themselves. Assuming any one trap does not cause instant death then basically the party is trading some charges off its wand of cure light wounds in exchange for some experience. If they do cause instant death we're now playing russian roulette more than anything else. Neither is hugely engaging.

Traps are much more interesting when you use them as part of an encounter. Fighting a monster in a room covered in spikes or trying to duel over a floor with covered pits is interesting. Hoping over a pit, or falling into one and climbing out is not so much.

The party should be able to handle this anyway. If they didn't bring a way to nullify traps they should have brought a few more wands of cure light wounds. The meatshield should go out in front, get pummeled, and then pick up some healing. Even better is to send a summoned monster out in front. Expendable pets are wonderful for this. Thats before we allow for things like prodding the next square over with a ten foot pole or other ways of protecting yourselves from traps.

Beyond that the party should theoretically be able to back out. I see absolutely no reason that they couldn't backtrack and run away if they found they were not properly prepared. What, did the party teleport into a room with only one exit? Are they running from something through the escape route? What happened to them anyway?

TuggyNE
2013-02-26, 08:32 PM
Traps are much more interesting when you use them as part of an encounter. Fighting a monster in a room covered in spikes or trying to duel over a floor with covered pits is interesting. Hoping over a pit, or falling into one and climbing out is not so much.

Or, in other words, "an obstacle not covered by [weapons] fire is not an obstacle".

ArcturusV
2013-02-27, 12:00 AM
I would rather frame it as "Obstacles in a vacuum are not truly obstacles, or fun".

Take... a 6' high wooden slat fence. In DnD terms it's probably something like a 7 to climb over. Even a guy with 6 strength can do it by taking 10, and having the fence there in and of itself provides no difficulty to the players, and no fun really.

Now if they are being chased by someone with some ranged firepower? Suddenly they can't just "Take 10" as they are under attack while doing it. Sure it's easy, even the 6 strength guy has a decent chance to clear it in one go. But suddenly the fence MATTERS. It's an obstacle, and it's possible cover if they want to turn and fight. Or Concealment if they keep running until the pursuers hurdle the fence themselves.

Or say that the Fence has a trap on the other side of, doesn't even have to be clever. Say a 8" deep trench 1' wide. It's enough that someone just vaulting over the fence might sprain their ankle (Failed Dex Check?) and be forced to hobble along at 1/2 speed until they get healing or rest.

... which might matter as they have to deal with the fence owner's less than friendly dog who doesn't like strangers in it's yard.

Just... something. It doesn't have to be "Under fire". But it has to be something on top of there just being a trap/obstacle.

Shadow Viper
2013-02-27, 02:14 AM
I am not saying they SHOULD disappear magically. I 100% agree with you that traps are still able to be there. I am only saying that some of them shouldn't be working at 100%.

Now if the matter is the party seeing them, I would personally say yes, they would be able to spot disabled traps. All though the active ones couldn't be as easy to spot because what is the point of a trap if everyone can see the trap?



I was not saying that you were saying that, that is just the point I was making.


If an area would realistically have traps, then it should have traps, regardless of the make-up of the adventuring party encountering them.

Gnomish Wanderer
2013-02-27, 04:56 AM
I was not saying that you were saying that, that is just the point I was making.


If an area would realistically have traps, then it should have traps, regardless of the make-up of the adventuring party encountering them.That begs the question then of when an area should 'realistically' have traps. Traps are largely a romanticized concept. Not saying they weren't occasionally utilized, but very rarely in the matter like we get presented in D&D. In the game itself I suppose you could argue role-playing reasons for traps anywhere, but you could also argue any number of alternatives just as easily.

navar100
2013-02-27, 09:11 AM
Suppose the party did have a rogue but he failed to disarm a trap. What then? TPK right then and there? That wouldn't be fun even in epic level play*. It is better to have contingencies for what happens when a rogue does not disarm a trap. A party without a rogue just means those contingencies are always in play. Perhaps the party can disarm or bypass the trap encountering the environment instead of someone just rolling a skill check.

*It's not unfair to have deadly traps at high level play, but ideally they're treated the same as save or die spells. Use them when the party can mitigate them, but that's a different topic.

Jerthanis
2013-02-27, 03:29 PM
Yeah, I find d20 rolls to be so random that even having a Rogue trapfinding specialist is only going to reduce your overall damage from traps by say, 40%. (Obviously depending on the DCs for finding and removing them)

If 100% of the damage even has a chance to kill all 5 PCs, 60% of the damage will kill 1 PC in almost every situation. This seems consistent with your results, losing your rogue repeatedly over the course of several games.

Your traps just do too much damage. If they did less damage, the Rogue wouldn't be dying every game and the party without a rogue might have some small chance of getting past traps without getting TPK'd.

Also, traps are boring and I don't know why people put them in RPGs.

Synovia
2013-02-27, 04:21 PM
Part of that is that DM's set DCs really high to make things challenging, when they really shouldn't be all that challenging for a mid-to-high level character.
I've seen DC50+ traps. They also tend to forget that higher DC traps should do less damage. The basic problem is that traps generally aren't interesting.

As a comparison, tracking a mouse across solid rock, on a moonless night, with a night of snow between the tracks being left and you finding them is like a DC40.

Krazzman
2013-02-28, 05:08 AM
Ok... let us sum it up:

DM having a group of 4 guys with two characters each. They had a Trapmonk 12 Sessions ago that died like the other Rogues due to the players choosing stupid moves or basically not healing that role/character because... well they just do. And he sees an TPK apparent because he has a certain difficulty in mind and doesn't want to change Trapped castle with loot to castle without loot and traps.

DM brags about it on a Roleplaying Forum and get's basically a load of opinions in what he has done wrong.

They are playing second edition (I personally have NO experience in that system) with quite some addons where SOME Character could have picked up Trapfinding. Especially with 8 Characters.

The DM told his players beforehand that this place was old but still possibly deathtrapped and that they should need someone with the means of getting traps solved. Players basically ignore this and due to "stuff" lose their way back and can only "venture" on. The passage they are in is designed in a way that the RIGHT way is basically without traps, tracking is nearly impossible and the other ways are trapfilled. As such a "Trapfinder" also called Rogue further on could have adverted this because seeing traps in 2 passages but sees them missing in another. The King knew the way. The party doesn't. The party couldn't hire a Rogue because of their reputation (that they brought on themselves).

Maybe the problem here is a difference in mindset. I for my part am of the opinion that the story that evolves while playing should be somewhat good, the characters should feel included into the world and having a semi-realistic world to interact with. If the "trapped" castle isn't trapped at all why should there be treasure? He even offered the players to retcon the traps but scratch treasure away as he wants to have a versimile (is that even a real word?) world for the PC's to interact with. Of course he could have handled those traps differently and that were some pretty good advice but they... somewhat came around snobbishly at least that's the feeling I get from reading, could be my mistake.

Some of the reactions here are like being pissed at the DM that said Intrigue and Diplomacy Campaign and the character with the highest charisma is a Dwarf who has a 12 in it because he wanted another Turning attempt as cleric... at least that is what I get from reading through this thread.

@TO:
I would like to ask too if fun was had that session as you mentioned that your players were upset about the passage. And what difficulty do you want to have in your game and which do your players want?

Kaervaslol
2013-02-28, 07:22 AM
Have something interesting happen brah.

You can have your death trap filled dungeon and use it, but at some point allow for a "ye olde trap" to fail, in the process revealing an adjacent room and means to scape.

There is no point in challenging someone if they don't want to be challenged.

Jerthanis
2013-02-28, 11:37 AM
Some of the reactions here are like being pissed at the DM that said Intrigue and Diplomacy Campaign and the character with the highest charisma is a Dwarf who has a 12 in it because he wanted another Turning attempt as cleric... at least that is what I get from reading through this thread.

The fact that the rogue consistently DIES facing these traps and that they have no trapfinder now because no one wants to be saddled with that burden indicates that it's more like an Intrigue and Diplomacy campaign where the 18 Charisma bards are put into impossibly difficult social situations and get killed when they fail. After this happens enough no one wants to take the hit and be the social guy, and so the DM just kills the whole party for not having a social guy.

The fact that characters in this role die so regularly that the role is being avoided means that the players that do that role aren't having fun doing it.

So it seems like the Players were playing along, making appropriate characters, the DM made it not fun for those appropriate characters, and so Players stopped putting in the effort. This is a trajectory that the DM is responsible for and must reverse if he wants to continue being the DM. HOW he reverses this trajectory can take a number of directions. My suggestion is to acknowledge traps have been too deadly and to issue a mea culpa over it, insist that traps won't be so damaging in the future (although perhaps more numerous if possible) and scatter limited use healing items throughout dungeons in hidden places that the rogue can palm from the party instead of gems.

jindra34
2013-02-28, 12:06 PM
People its not dying to traps that got the player to stop being a rogue. It was the party treating the rogue like they were a fighter (full d10 hitdice, heavier armor, et all) in combat and thereby not giving the rogue the healing/support that caused the player to stop. That was stated first or second page, by the OP.

Shinigaze
2013-02-28, 12:25 PM
The fact that the rogue consistently DIES facing these traps and that they have no trapfinder now because no one wants to be saddled with that burden indicates that it's more like an Intrigue and Diplomacy campaign where the 18 Charisma bards are put into impossibly difficult social situations and get killed when they fail. After this happens enough no one wants to take the hit and be the social guy, and so the DM just kills the whole party for not having a social guy.

The fact that characters in this role die so regularly that the role is being avoided means that the players that do that role aren't having fun doing it.

So it seems like the Players were playing along, making appropriate characters, the DM made it not fun for those appropriate characters, and so Players stopped putting in the effort. This is a trajectory that the DM is responsible for and must reverse if he wants to continue being the DM. HOW he reverses this trajectory can take a number of directions. My suggestion is to acknowledge traps have been too deadly and to issue a mea culpa over it, insist that traps won't be so damaging in the future (although perhaps more numerous if possible) and scatter limited use healing items throughout dungeons in hidden places that the rogue can palm from the party instead of gems.

That's quite a leap you made there. No one ever said that the thieves die from traps. In fact, if I remember correctly the thieves in their group usually die because the party consideres them to be a trapbot and give them no healing or help because they view the fighters as more important and in need of the healing more. As far as I can tell the thieves in this party are usually treated as castoffs because they feel that they don't contribute anything to the party other than scouting and trapfinding and if the thief dies they just have the PC roll up a new one.

The main problem I am seeing here is the PCs are unaccomodating to the other PCs. You have a select group who says "I want to play this class you can play the rogue." and force one person to be the rogue over and over again and refuse to take up that role themselves. Also, I see a lot of people arguing for the DM to dumb everything down for the PCs even if they put themeselves into bad situations through their own stupidity. I do like the idea of treating traps as puzzles to solve as that would seem like a lot more fun but I see little difference between having the traps being broken and having them disappear. You are essentially saying "I am not saying the traps should magially disappear! I am saying that if you don't have a rogue they should be broken so that they do not hinder the party in any way which essentially accomplishes the same thing as if they had disappeared!"

dps
2013-02-28, 12:30 PM
The fact that characters in this role die so regularly that the role is being avoided means that the players that do that role aren't having fun doing it.

This. There is a class which no one in the group has fun playing, and the DM is setting up a situation where if no one plays that class, the party will fail. So, in a sense, the DM is trying to force someone in the party to play a class they won't have fun playing. However...


So it seems like the Players were playing along, making appropriate characters, the DM made it not fun for those appropriate characters, and so Players stopped putting in the effort.

NOT this. The reason no one can have fun playing a rogue isn't because of what the DM has done, it's because of how the rest of the party has treated their rogues. I'm not sure what the DM can do about the party's behaviour towards rogues.

mangosta71
2013-02-28, 12:31 PM
Your group should be grateful that I'm not their rogue. Because I'm a sick, twisted psychopath, and I would exact vengeance. See how they all like it when I laugh and loot their corpses while they all reroll characters.

While scouting ahead, I would fail to warn the group of enemies waiting in ambush. When combat breaks out, I would either remain hidden or betray the group. If the cleric refuses to heal my character, he won't heal anyone else either because I will kill him.

Find a trap? If it's possible to rig it so that it resets after the party walks through, it's possible to rig it to reset after the rogue walks through, but before the rest of the party does.

And, of course, there's always the old "I slit all their throats" during my watch while the party is resting.

To keep them from seeing it coming, my rogue's alignment would be Lawful Good, and the first piece of equipment he buys would be a Helm of Opposite Alignment (which I have not had identified).

Magesmiley
2013-02-28, 12:31 PM
TBH, I run my campaigns a lot like this. I set things up with the assumption that there will be a well-rounded group of characters proceeding on the adventure. I do so in a manner that gives them a reasonable chance of succeeding if they play reasonably well. If the players make foolish choices in my games, I don't pull punches and they don't succeed. That is MY responsibility as a DM - to set the stage and let the players' choices determine whether they succeed or fail.


My players seem to like this style of play - success depends on the coices that they make. Most have played in other games, but they keep coming back to mine. Why? Because if they succeed, they know that they have succeeded. And it is much more satisfying for the players and the DM alike to have a game that plays this way.

If I were to dumb things down to accomodate foolish choices the players make, it detracts from the feeling of success.

And yes this does mean that we have TPKs from time to time. 99% of the time this is due to bad choices by the players. And the players recognize thsi too.

It sounds like to me that the OP is of the same mentality in he runs his game. Kudos to him in trying to step up the level of his game.

ArcturusV
2013-02-28, 12:32 PM
That, Shinigaze, was also my read into what the OP had stated and clarified. It sounds like it's one of those groups where basically someone goes, "Well we NEED a trapfinder rogue..." then they make whoever was the last guy to finish his character or the newbie showing up play it. Then just completely ignore him in the game and consider him a throwaway character. Let him die if he tried to do anything outside of just sitting in the back, being unobtrusive until the Traps came out then let him do his thing only to return to the shadows of Do Nothing until the next series of traps.

... it SOUNDS weird to say it, I know. But I've been in lots of groups where Cleric was treated the same way. No one wanted to play it, they'd force someone (Usually me) to play it, and demand that I just be a healbot who did nothing but stand aside in battle and top off their HP after everything was said and done. They wouldn't even let me take point in non-combat scenes.

... I got tired of Cleric REAL fast.

Origomar
2013-02-28, 01:27 PM
Are there other sentient things in the castle? If so i think your party found its trap testers.

"heres the way out of this hell hole, either you die trying, or die right now."

Jerthanis
2013-02-28, 02:24 PM
That's quite a leap you made there. No one ever said that the thieves die from traps.

Wait, they don't!? *Rereads* Oh darn, I missed him saying rogues seldom die to traps. I had assumed they did based on my experiences with trapfinders in trap-heavy conditions and from earlier, more generic descriptions of 'leaving the rogue out to dry' or 'not healing the rogue' (assuming not healing the rogue from damage taken from traps). Well, allowing rogues to be killed in combat seems really callous and stupid of the PCs. Obviously if they do everything wrong, they did everything wrong and don't deserve to win in spite of doing everything wrong. However, I still think that without absurd extenuating circumstances, putting certain death in front of the PCs, regardless of whether it's traps or monsters is a bad idea in general.

But... wait, how do Rogues not die to traps if traps are sufficient to TPK the party? I mean, just on weight of numbers you've got a single d6 HD class absorbing the risk of damage that would kill several d10 and d8 classes. I mean, unless trapfinders have 95+% trapfinding percentages...

obryn
2013-02-28, 02:33 PM
99% of the time this is due to bad choices by the players. And the players recognize thsi too.
I don't consider "I don't want to play a Rogue" a bad choice.

I think that's where the gap's coming in. I don't think anyone's arguing a complete softball; it's important to keep balance between what the party wants to play and an appropriate level of challenge.

-O

MukkTB
2013-02-28, 02:57 PM
I wouldn't call traps that aren't one hit kills softballs. A party without a rogue can handle those. If the traps are one hit kills, then theres always the possibility that the rogue will roll badly and die. Then through no fault of their own, the party is in the exact same spot as they would be with no rogue.

Realms of Chaos
2013-02-28, 03:30 PM
Disregard. Teaches me for responding without reading the entire thread. :smallsigh:

Doug Lampert
2013-02-28, 03:36 PM
For whatever it's worth, my view is as follows:

What you've done, basically, is make a door. If the party opens the door, they die. You've made the party aware of this and they chose to open the door. In your view, I can see how you'd think the situation is totally justified.

In my view, there should be no such door in existence. I personally believe that the decision to put a "death switch" anywhere in a campaign is a horrible idea.

So in your level 1 campaign if the PCs decide to attack an army they'll have a real chance of winning? Or are you careful to have no armies in the world till they can fight them?

If a level 9 party plane shifts to Hell to attack Asmodeous should they win? Or should Asmodeous not exist at level 9?

ANY REASONABLE CAMPAIGN is chock FULL of "death switches", just like the real world. There are things you can't do, and there's no magical barrier stopping you from trying them anyway.

They knew this was bad without a rogue, they tried it anyway. Softballing because "there shouldn't be death switches" is no better than letting a level 1 party kill the king and take over his palace because they want to.

The world DOES NOT get easier because the party is stupider.

jindra34
2013-02-28, 03:37 PM
For whatever it's worth, my view is as follows:

What you've done, basically, is make a door. If the party opens the door, they die. You've made the party aware of this and they chose to open the door. In your view, I can see how you'd think the situation is totally justified.

In my view, there should be no such door in existence. I personally believe that the decision to put a "death switch" anywhere in a campaign is a horrible idea.

To be fair, this was more of a conditional death door. "You instantly die if you don't have a rogue" is a lot more lenient than just "you instantly die". This type of thing is hard to avoid altogether and some parties (an all healbot party, for example) would suck in even very commonplace situations (such as a straight-up fight) unless you cater the entire campaign to them.

While I'm being more precise however, this isn't exactly like the door example above. The party didn't instantly die the moment they make their decision. Instead, they made a decision and ended up in a situation where they are almost certainly assured to die no matter what they do. No matter how much warning a party has received, that strikes me as sadistic to the point where you probably would have been less cruel by just collecting everyone's character sheet the moment they took the passage (yes, even knowing now that one of them ended up surviving) rather than forcing everyone to voluntarily walk off of the cliff in-character and accept their "just desserts" the hard way. this is what I have the most problem with.

Honestly 1. We've gotten the results of the session this was precluded. One member of the party managed to escape alive, so the environment was NOT an assured kill.
2. The party was only trapped with that as the only avenue to travel because they managed to torch the area behind them. Now putting something which LIKELY will kill the party if they go through without something the might reasonably have or be able to get seems relatively fair. The question is if they trap themselves there knowing that (roughly), should the DM go back and adjust it so that their odds of survival are HIGHER.

Realms of Chaos
2013-02-28, 03:48 PM
Yeah, finally read a bit further and saw that the party willingly chose traps over a lack of loot. Combining that with burning their own entrance back out, you can probably disregard what I just typed. :smallsigh:

Bogardan_Mage
2013-02-28, 04:55 PM
I don't consider "I don't want to play a Rogue" a bad choice.

I think that's where the gap's coming in. I don't think anyone's arguing a complete softball; it's important to keep balance between what the party wants to play and an appropriate level of challenge.

-O
The bad choice wasn't not wanting to play a rogue, it was going into a dungeon when the DM had specifically told them they'd need a rogue. Because of this it's difficult (for me at least) to decipher how much was the party's fault (not just this bad decision to go there in the first place, but also actions like cutting off their retreat lines, which might have been more of an accident than just an obviously bad idea) and how much could be alleviated by not having anything that needed a rogue in the first place. Since one of them did make it out alive and presumably unhindered enough that he could carry five corpses and a stack of gold (hopefully more than 27250 gp) I'm guessing the thread title is something of an exaggeration. One character escaping by the skin of his teeth could be a fluke, but escaping with the rest of the party (albeit with fairly serious, though not incurable, status ailments) sounds like a victory to me.

The Glyphstone
2013-02-28, 05:06 PM
I'm still confused as to why a king would have a 'escape tunnel' riddled with traps that could be set off while both exiting and entering the castle, as opposed to traps that would hit people coming in while being easily bypassed on the way out. Seems like in most cases, staying behind and facing whoever was wrecking his castle would be the safer option, unless said king was also a high-level rogue.


EDIT: Is anyone else reading this thread title in the voice of Leonidas from 300? "Well tonight, WE TPK!"

Worira
2013-02-28, 05:13 PM
I've actually been consistently reading it like the start of the chorus for this. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXvmSaE0JXA)

ArcturusV
2013-02-28, 05:17 PM
I can see it both ways. I mean if your place is getting overrun and you have no chance... you want to make it so whoever is looking to off you can't easily follow you. But you also want it so no one can discover your Emergency Escape Route and use it to get into your inner sanctum, past all your defenses, and off you in your sleep.

Grod_The_Giant
2013-02-28, 05:20 PM
I can see it both ways. I mean if your place is getting overrun and you have no chance... you want to make it so whoever is looking to off you can't easily follow you. But you also want it so no one can discover your Emergency Escape Route and use it to get into your inner sanctum, past all your defenses, and off you in your sleep.

Right, hence the one-way traps The Glyphstone mentioned.

ArcturusV
2013-02-28, 05:23 PM
Actually I meant that's why it made sense to have them going both ways.

You don't want people coming IN through your tunnel.

You don't want enemies to follow you OUT through your tunnel either, in the case that your castle was being sacked, burned, assaulted, etc, and your defenses have otherwise failed.

You want the guys trying to follow you and mount your head on a pike to be slowed down/killed by traps you can easily bypass by sheer knowledge of where all the traps are and how to avoid them.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-28, 05:37 PM
You want the guys trying to follow you and mount your head on a pike to be slowed down/killed by traps you can easily bypass by sheer knowledge of where all the traps are and how to avoid them.

One assumes that this is a dwarf fortress trap system principally operated by short men named Urist pulling levers then, because that's simply not feasible. Either it has exploitable holes on the way in (for the King's use in escaping) or they'll flence the King.

This is a lot of work to retain a part of the game the players don't seem to care for, that didn't exist in real life, and that doesn't make sense in this case.

The Glyphstone
2013-02-28, 06:03 PM
One assumes that this is a dwarf fortress trap system principally operated by short men named Urist pulling levers then, because that's simply not feasible. Either it has exploitable holes on the way in (for the King's use in escaping) or they'll flence the King.

This is a lot of work to retain a part of the game the players don't seem to care for, that didn't exist in real life, and that doesn't make sense in this case.

The series of deadly traps could only be bypassed by performing a dance the King uses to sing the infant Prince to sleep?

Shinigaze
2013-02-28, 06:20 PM
The series of deadly traps could only be bypassed by performing a dance the King uses to sing the infant Prince to sleep?

ISEEWHATYOUDIDTHERE!

Grim Portent
2013-02-28, 06:21 PM
One assumes that this is a dwarf fortress trap system principally operated by short men named Urist pulling levers then, because that's simply not feasible. Either it has exploitable holes on the way in (for the King's use in escaping) or they'll flence the King.


The series of deadly traps could only be bypassed by performing a dance the King uses to sing the infant Prince to sleep?

I think the OP mentioned that there is a safe path through the traps as it's based on a 'you have five arches to walk through, one isn't trapped' sort of thing and the King knew the safe one at each point.

The Glyphstone
2013-02-28, 06:22 PM
ISEEWHATYOUDIDTHERE!

I wondered if anyone would get the reference...

ArcturusV
2013-02-28, 06:28 PM
Don't make a move until you're in the groove.

Not to mention if it's a fantasy setting, I believe the OP said ADnD 2nd Edition, the presence of Magic makes the "Both ways" more feasible as you could program wards to only trigger on certain circumstances.

Shinigaze
2013-02-28, 06:28 PM
I wondered if anyone would get the reference...

Yeah, I watch a lot of children's movies.... which is odd because I don't have a child and don't really associate with children on a regular basis.

RPGuru1331
2013-02-28, 08:25 PM
The series of deadly traps could only be bypassed by performing a dance the King uses to sing the infant Prince to sleep?

What happens on succession? :D


Not to mention if it's a fantasy setting, I believe the OP said ADnD 2nd Edition, the presence of Magic makes the "Both ways" more feasible as you could program wards to only trigger on certain circumstances.

Magic can be dispelled, IIRC. Well, maybe not in second ed.

nedz
2013-02-28, 09:08 PM
Magic can be dispelled, IIRC. Well, maybe not in second ed.

Dispel Magic is a thing, even in 2E.

BTW I think the OP legged it a couple of pages ago :smallamused:

The Glyphstone
2013-02-28, 09:11 PM
Dispel Magic is a thing, even in 2E.

BTW I think the OP legged it a couple of pages ago :smallamused:

Since when has that ever stopped us?:smallcool:

RPGuru1331
2013-02-28, 09:13 PM
Dispel Magic is a thing, even in 2E.

BTW I think the OP legged it a couple of pages ago :smallamused:

Slight correction, magic traps. IIRC Dispel will temporarily disable magic traps in 3E, it's just incredibly inefficient - not an issue to an army in a siege that can actually take the time to just craft a wand to do it. REally, trying to rely on any defense aside from stealth to defend a secret passage is... probably not going to work. I could see traps to guard from outer entry, disabled by pulling a lever on the king's end, but other than that, you're really stretching it further, even after accepting the concept of traps. And why bother, if your players aren't a big fan?

And obviously, mundane stealth is beatable...

Deophaun
2013-02-28, 10:30 PM
So in your level 1 campaign if the PCs decide to attack an army they'll have a real chance of winning? Or are you careful to have no armies in the world till they can fight them?
Attack an army how? They should be allowed to confront the army and live, but expected victory conditions are going to be much smaller scale, such as maybe stealing their battle plans or figuring out who the leaders are. Annihilating the army just isn't on the table, and should not be expected.

Now, if they do something stupid and try to annihilate the army with a frontal assault, let the dice fall where they may. But you do not, as a DM, create an army that can only interact with the PCs by killing them.

If a level 9 party plane shifts to Hell to attack Asmodeous should they win? Or should Asmodeous not exist at level 9?First, it shouldn't be possible to plane shift right to Asmodeous. Forbiddance is a thing. Yes, there are magical barriers stopping you from trying. Second, why are they? Did you point them to Asmodeous for some reason? If so, see the army above. Don't introduce something to the campaign that can only serve to kill the PCs.

They knew this was bad without a rogue, they tried it anyway.
Yup, this was a bad decision on the player's part. It's also a problem with system design (not really the DM's fault) where a class of obstacles are, by default, only overcome by a particular class feature.

I mean, I'm really having problems coming up with a scenario where the PCs must automatically die for going somewhere insane. Dying for decisions they make while there? Absolutely. But not for visiting; there's always something interesting that can happen instead. Doesn't mean something interesting always will happen. Sometimes, creativity fails us, but it is something I think DMs should strive for.

Codyage
2013-03-01, 01:41 AM
I mean, I'm really having problems coming up with a scenario where the PCs must automatically die for going somewhere insane. Dying for decisions they make while there? Absolutely. But not for visiting; there's always something interesting that can happen instead. Doesn't mean something interesting always will happen. Sometimes, creativity fails us, but it is something I think DMs should strive for.

If I am correct, the party had all ready gone in, discovered they couldn't get past the traps, but were unable to turn around due to something stopping their route back.

The OP also pointed hints, and ideas to us about what they can do, such as boots of levitation, etc. I don't know if he actually reminded the PC's of those items however.

So he had SOME idea or way for them to get out, but that doesn't mean he told them.

EDIT: Also, the fact that MAYBE....JUST MAYBE. The players didn't want to put "months" of written adventure put into waste, so they decided to in anyways, to appease you?

Grim Portent
2013-03-01, 04:56 AM
I mean, I'm really having problems coming up with a scenario where the PCs must automatically die for going somewhere insane. Dying for decisions they make while there? Absolutely. But not for visiting; there's always something interesting that can happen instead. Doesn't mean something interesting always will happen. Sometimes, creativity fails us, but it is something I think DMs should strive for.

The OP did say they had other options to get out. They set them on fire. I think that counts as 'decisions they make while there'.

In any case as the OP stated they did get out, or one of them did anyway, so it was hardly a situation of them automatically dying.

Killer Angel
2013-03-01, 05:03 AM
The OP also pointed hints, and ideas to us about what they can do, such as boots of levitation, etc. I don't know if he actually reminded the PC's of those items however.

About the boots, the OP also said that "there is a surprise or three planned for that".
In the end, (the general sensation I've got) it's again: "they have no rogue, I'll kill them".

Sith_Happens
2013-03-01, 05:29 AM
That, Shinigaze, was also my read into what the OP had stated and clarified. It sounds like it's one of those groups where basically someone goes, "Well we NEED a trapfinder rogue..." then they make whoever was the last guy to finish his character or the newbie showing up play it. Then just completely ignore him in the game and consider him a throwaway character. Let him die if he tried to do anything outside of just sitting in the back, being unobtrusive until the Traps came out then let him do his thing only to return to the shadows of Do Nothing until the next series of traps.

... it SOUNDS weird to say it, I know. But I've been in lots of groups where Cleric was treated the same way. No one wanted to play it, they'd force someone (Usually me) to play it, and demand that I just be a healbot who did nothing but stand aside in battle and top off their HP after everything was said and done. They wouldn't even let me take point in non-combat scenes.

... I got tired of Cleric REAL fast.

You've been going out of the way to mention this in almost every thread I've read for the past few weeks, so I have to ask...

Did you ever think to just, you know, make a combat cleric anyways? By the time they could have said anything it would be too late, and after the first fight where you kick as much rear as the rest of them put together before topping them off with a cheap wand (while giving them condescending looks in-character, of course) I'm pretty sure they'd have shut up.

Deophaun
2013-03-01, 09:12 AM
If I am correct, the party had all ready gone in, discovered they couldn't get past the traps, but were unable to turn around due to something stopping their route back.
Yes. The only real problem I have with what the OP presented is the attitude he displayed here, not how he ran the game. I get the feeling he isn't as extreme in dealing with his players.

My post was in response to Doug's "death switch" statement, which didn't just talk about dumb tactical moves (burning down your only escape route) but questionable/dumb strategic moves (planeshifting to visit Asmodeous). Bad tactics should risk killing you. Bad strategy should make your life more interesting.

Gavinfoxx
2013-03-01, 06:24 PM
You've been going out of the way to mention this in almost every thread I've read for the past few weeks, so I have to ask...

Did you ever think to just, you know, make a combat cleric anyways? By the time they could have said anything it would be too late, and after the first fight where you kick as much rear as the rest of them put together before topping them off with a cheap wand (while giving them condescending looks in-character, of course) I'm pretty sure they'd have shut up.

This, so much this! Also, make sure to take away your ability to lose normal spells for cure spells; there are a bunch of ways to do this, not just Inflict...

Amphetryon
2013-03-02, 05:38 PM
Oh there was plenty of that last night. But they choose to go there knowing what was on the plate. So explain to me why i should let players bully me <snip>It seems from here that bullying was not a unidirectional activity. If you believe you're entitled to bully the Players into dealing with a one-way dungeon filled with traps when you know they have no Thief in the party (and you did, for all the "it's already written in" rationale you may choose to use), why are the Players not entitled to push back?

mangosta71
2013-03-04, 10:45 AM
I'm still confused as to why a king would have a 'escape tunnel' riddled with traps that could be set off while both exiting and entering the castle, as opposed to traps that would hit people coming in while being easily bypassed on the way out. Seems like in most cases, staying behind and facing whoever was wrecking his castle would be the safer option, unless said king was also a high-level rogue.
Or they're magical traps that don't trigger for anyone of the King's bloodline, so he and his family can walk right through but anyone else gets turned into a human(oid) torch/pincushion.

Psycho Yuffie
2013-03-04, 01:19 PM
My personal DM philosophy is that player enjoyment comes before DM enjoyment. You are setting a scene for a game. Games are meant to be fun, some DMs forget about that. Also, if you are TPKing your parties, you are simply doing something wrong. When this happens, it isn't the players' failure, it's the DM's failure.

Player characters dying should be a rare, traumatic thing for the party. There should be an emotional impact. Again, if there isn't one, you're doing something wrong as a DM.

Should your players have hired a rogue if they knew they were going into a place riddled with traps? Sure. Maybe a character dies as a consequence, but not the entire party.

mangosta71
2013-03-04, 04:59 PM
I wonder if you're reading the whole thread. To summarize -

The guy that usually plays the rogue got sick of playing rogues because the party has repeatedly refused to help him at all, leading to his death over and over and over...
The "trap-riddled King's escape route" was not intended to be the only way for the party to leave. It only gained that status because the party burned the castle down while they were still inside it.

These are the factors that turned the situation into a near-TPK. Both of those are the result of the players making terrible, stupid decisions. As a DM, you can only ask "You were serious when you said you wanted to do that?" or say "Perhaps you're forgetting, but your character would be aware that this is not the best way to proceed under the circumstances" so many times before you just say, "All right. Here's what happens..." and unleash the fury that their blatant stupidity has provoked. In general, when the players are working together and not being ****ing morons, I would agree with PC death being a rare occurrence. But it's like this group is *trying* to TPK.

One idea for the OP - if the party healer is a cleric of a good-aligned deity, the night after the rogue dies because he refused to support him, have the PC afflicted by nightmares. He wakes up the next morning with the uneasy feeling that something very powerful is angry with him, he's fatigued, and does not recover HP or spells - essentially, he gains no benefits of having rested. If it keeps happening, his deity stops answering his prayers entirely. If the party includes a paladin, the paladin that refuses to aid a friend and ally should fall.

Next time they're in town looking to recruit a replacement PC, perhaps they could come across an NPC rogue that tells them, "You guys have a reputation for hiring individuals with a particular skillset every time you come into town. Your reputation includes that hireling never coming back. How do you convince anyone to work for you?"

nedz
2013-03-04, 06:49 PM
Yep, that sums it up well.

Though to be fair Rogies in 2E were pretty naff. The normal solution would be to have someone multi-class.

Psycho Yuffie
2013-03-04, 10:21 PM
Well, okay. Yeah, they're kinda asking to be wiped at that point. I would wipe them to teach them a lesson. I would hate doing it, but I wouldn't let that **** fly.

Mechanize
2013-03-05, 02:32 PM
Being a good DM isn't about planning, in my opinion, it is about being able to improvise in a manner that is believable and fun.

I don't think the players should have an easy way out, but they should have a way out. A kings secret way out would also be near some sort of sewers, other caves, or any sort of inner workings underneath a castle.

Perhaps with the right searching, they find a weak wall that a strong character can bash through. Maybe that tunnel leads them in the wrong direction toward more danger instead of away from it, but it is better than a dead end.

Maybe there are 2 paths, one is trapped, the other is a cliff side to scale with a river below. They could attempt scaling the cliff and dying due to the higher fall, or jump into the river, abandoning most heavy gear in the process, but escaping danger.

Improvise man. Your job as a DM isn't to plan out stuff then stick to it with an iron fist. It's to give your players an adventure!

Mechanize
2013-03-05, 02:34 PM
After a little more reading in the thread, it sounds like you have retarded players... Rather then anger them all right away, perhaps you should have an honest out of game talk with them lol. If they still plan on playing like idiots, then I would TPK them as well. ^_^

scurv
2013-03-10, 06:27 PM
Not quite overboard, But I did have things to do other then repeat myself dozens of times.

Now do not get me wrong, If the party is determined to do something I will DM it, Now there is a fine line between giving players a change and I will toss a bone to keep it sporting. And rebendng the world to suit the whims of the players who apparently put the ADD in adnd.

My Content is drawn up in advance. Some improv from time to time, but I keep it prefabed just so no one can complain of a capricious DM. I have had them in the past and quite frankly it tends to be a buzz kill for me.

But as for traps in the real world here is a small list of traps and trap like objects to consider. And in the real world we do have people who are skilled at countering said devices.

Land Mines
Car Bombs
Motion detectors.
Locking safe doors
Panic Rooms
IED's
Electric fences
Motion switchs (think your wee controler)
Lazer/IR trip lines (You will see many of these in factory machines as saftey devices...or as the door opener in wally world)
Level detectors


Now the above aside If a CE warlord king is going to construct a trapped escape rout And wishs to keep it a secret his choices are to kill ether a wizard OR a few dozen labors and engineers. Now my liking for a low magic campaign aside, There are practical issues in depending on spells to protect yourself if you are not a caster. Things like duration, dispels and quite frankly it is a control/trust issue.

That and well...In the campaign that this castle and warlord orginaly got their start in, A tactic That I enjoyed was letting the PC's Army win a bit. Let the royalty set up shop in a captured fort/castle and have said warlord go back to beat the new owers of said castle to death with their queens head. BTW Pro tip, When you find the lewt keep looking for secret doors!

<edit> I also forgot, Trolls are a trap! If it is troll and on something wood You might want to consider what your DM is setting you up for!

Killer Angel
2013-03-11, 02:59 AM
I also forgot, Trolls are a trap!

Only if there's a bridge. You step on it, and the trap snaps!

Synovia
2013-03-12, 10:17 AM
These are the factors that turned the situation into a near-TPK. Both of those are the result of the players making terrible, stupid decisions. As a DM, you can only ask "You were serious when you said you wanted to do that?" or say "Perhaps you're forgetting, but your character would be aware that this is not the best way to proceed under the circumstances" so many times before you just say, "All right. Here's what happens..." and unleash the fury that their blatant stupidity has provoked. In general, when the players are working together and not being ****ing morons, I would agree with PC death being a rare occurrence. But it's like this group is *trying* to TPK.

This sounds like a party that has a fundamentally different idea of what the rules/contracts of the game are than you do. The DM isn't necessarily right in these scenarios. You should talk to them.

Sebastrd
2013-03-12, 01:08 PM
<edit> I also forgot, Trolls are a trap! If it is troll and on something wood You might want to consider what your DM is setting you up for!

Interesting...

I think the situation is becoming more clear.

dps
2013-03-12, 02:17 PM
My personal DM philosophy is that player enjoyment comes before DM enjoyment. You are setting a scene for a game. Games are meant to be fun, some DMs forget about that. Also, if you are TPKing your parties, you are simply doing something wrong. When this happens, it isn't the players' failure, it's the DM's failure.

Player characters dying should be a rare, traumatic thing for the party. There should be an emotional impact. Again, if there isn't one, you're doing something wrong as a DM.



While I agree that there should be an emotional impact, I can't necessarily agree that if there isn't, it's the DM's fault. Far too many players simply min/max instead of actually role-play; their characters aren't actual characters they have any attachments to as much as they are mathematical constructs. While DM's can discourage that and encourage role-play, they can't actually stop it if that's what their players want to do. (And trying too hard to get players to adopt a play style they don't want goes against your first point that player fun should come first.)

praetor156
2013-03-12, 08:12 PM
I am really tired of this "new gamers are entitled" meme that's been going around. As if it's a bad thing that a group of people should sit down to a D&D game and expect to enjoy themselves. Gaming is a form of entertainment, and if it isn't fun, it's either a bad game or a badly-run one.

So in answer to your question... My players deserve to have fun at my table. So do I. If that makes us "entitled," well... So be it. I'll gladly accept the label.

-O

this so much this

mangosta71
2013-03-13, 09:20 AM
So what do you do when the reason one of your players is having a bad experience is that the rest of the players are intentionally being ***** to him? Is his unhappiness the price you have to pay for everyone else to enjoy the game? Do you expect him to tolerate it indefinitely?

Synovia
2013-03-13, 10:41 AM
So what do you do when the reason one of your players is having a bad experience is that the rest of the players are intentionally being ***** to him? Is his unhappiness the price you have to pay for everyone else to enjoy the game? Do you expect him to tolerate it indefinitely?

You tell those players to stop being *******s. If you can't get them to do that, he needs to find a new group, as playing with yours clearly isn't going to be fun.


This isn't a D&D problem. Its a "my friends are terrible people" problem.

Alejandro
2013-03-13, 04:56 PM
I find the only thing more important than drawing up content in advance, is being able to throw some of it away and improvise as the scenes and actions shape the game.

Jarawara
2013-03-13, 05:08 PM
I find the only thing more important than drawing up content in advance, is being able to throw some of it away and improvise as the scenes and actions shape the game.

This and oh so much this!

And that praise is coming from the board's resident defender of the railroad!

Scow2
2013-03-13, 05:12 PM
The GM's job is NOT to "Make sure everyone has fun". The GM's job is to provide an environment in which everyone can have fun. To do otherwise is to rob the players of their Agency, the true source of fun in a rules-based, challenge-oriented tabletop game like D&D.


we play second edition with imports from skills and power and all that. And well...I would like to think that I do not need to spoon feed my group and hold there wee wee when they pee. If they want to research other options They can research other options. There is a perfectly viable class that deals in traps, And I tend to be fairly liberal if someone wants to draw up a custom class.

They are adults, I will treat them like adults,

<edit>
I gave them 11 sessions with no traps, and treasure so stupidly under guarded that it made my brain bleed from the loss of verisimilitude. If they decide that they want to do things the hard way, I can respect that, But on the flip side of respect they also get to take the hits for their decisions.
And they are going though all this drama because of envy of a rogue occasionally finds a dead body in a pit trap when they foul a roll and take half their hp's and helps them self to a few shinnys. I mean seriously How much hand holding does this deserve?

This pretty much sums up your problem. Originally reading through this, I was of the opinion that the players knew what they were doing and deserved what was coming to them. But now, what it seems you've done is rig the party against rogues, then punish the party when they finally give up and say "Screw the rogue." And it sounds like you've created an atmosphere in which NOBODY can have fun.

The 11 sessions of no traps and underguarded treasure pretty much destroyed any respect for rogues the party may have had - From the rogue's perspectiv, in combat he's nothing more than a second-rate fighter. Without something to challenge his skills, he's probably prone to intra-party larceny (if I remember you saying something to that effect earlier). Meanwhile, the party is going on 'adventures' that offer no traps, nor any challenge that forces them to attempt a more subtle approach. Because of that, the rogue's a dead weight of no value to the party for any reason beyond "Because he's a PC". The rogue player finally gets sick of having nothing to do as a rogue, and quits that role, at about the same time you get sick of hand-holding encounters.

So then you spring a deathtrap on them.... I probably should have been paying attention to the rest of the thread, and can only hope that because of this, you keep the game at the 'more challenging' level, and the party develops greater respect for rogues.

Killer Angel
2013-03-14, 05:49 AM
Also, if you are TPKing your parties, you are simply doing something wrong. When this happens, it isn't the players' failure, it's the DM's failure.

No exceptions, really? I would avoid absolutes...

mangosta71
2013-03-14, 09:29 AM
TThe 11 sessions of no traps and underguarded treasure pretty much destroyed any respect for rogues the party may have had - From the rogue's perspectiv, in combat he's nothing more than a second-rate fighter. Without something to challenge his skills, he's probably prone to intra-party larceny (if I remember you saying something to that effect earlier). Meanwhile, the party is going on 'adventures' that offer no traps, nor any challenge that forces them to attempt a more subtle approach. Because of that, the rogue's a dead weight of no value to the party for any reason beyond "Because he's a PC". The rogue player finally gets sick of having nothing to do as a rogue, and quits that role, at about the same time you get sick of hand-holding encounters.
I interpreted the "11 sessions with ludicrously underguarded stuff" as coming after the rogue player had gotten sick of the rest of the party leaving him out to dry and rerolling, and the traps returning because the players insisted on having traps so they could get more loot.

Back to the OP: Your players might appreciate a switch to 4e - at least then everyone will have a clearly-defined role in combat. I assume that the party healer would be more inclined to keep the rogue alive if he's obviously the guy dishing out the most damage.