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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Help me stop my party killing themselves

    I started playing with a new group lately, and found two things in the campaign. #1. Our GM is extremely merciless-- uses higher CR than the group (on the whole), he makes copious use of Fog of War, and our party is rarely able to see further than around 100 feet at a time), and he tends to use swarms of fairly tough enemies against us, and rarely gives us any time to actually make plans for encounters (Although since we can never SEE anything until we're practically on top of it, planning is difficult anyways). This is frustrating, but it's barely workable.

    The far bigger problem is that the party seems aware of this, and doesn't seem to care. The party regularly runs face first into danger, and then seems to get frustrated at the encounters being so difficult. This got really blatant last session where, while trying to figure out how to get into a fortress of enemies, which had ALREADY kicked our butts on a previous attack (and the GM alluded that we had killed only around a third of the inhabitants during that battle). So last session I tried to stress to the party: "Hey, we need to plan. I'm a druid, so I have some good control spells. We can harass them, and draw them to us."

    During the session while I tried to set up a good vantage point to drop Faerie Fire, or Flaming Sphere on the fortress. Our Warlock decided: "You guys are taking too long to figure this stuff out." and promptly attacked the front gate. By himself. Half the party decided to run in with him, ended up in a battle where, true to the GM's word (and our expectations), we got completely overwhelmed and only managed to BARELY escape with our lives (and I'm fairly certain we only did so via GM fiat, the goblins could absolutely caught us if they'd wanted to).

    This is my first time playing in a large group and I am 100% convinced at this rate, the party is absolutely going to get massacred at some point, and, like sitting on a train heading for a cliff, I feel like I'm powerless to stop them. Any advice for me to try and convince them to stop assuming we can stop every problem we run into with our collective faces, and actually slow down to plan for the fact that the GM IS going to throw encounters well above our ability to take in a straight fight?
    Last edited by Chijinda; 2018-06-13 at 08:25 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    Honestly? Unless you have a Doctorate in Herding Cats, you're probably best if you allow the problem children to get themselves killed as many times as it takes for them to wise up, or leave the game. You're a Druid, once you hit 5th level you can cast call lightning, turn into a prairie dog, and zot as many goblins as it takes from safety while your less tactically gifted friends try to high-op their Soulborn/Monk character they came up with after the last three died.

    If that doesn't work for you, I'd suggest trying to come up with some standard plans outside of the game, with the help of any other players who like breathing, and just brief the problem children in game.

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    The party is convinced that the GM is nice enough not to let them die (let them lose, yes, but not let them truly die. Even character death means they roll up a new one at the very least)

    The DM is convinced that the players are acting like idiots, and should be punished accordingly.

    You are convinced that the DM is out to kill the players, and the players are out to kill themselves.

    ^^ Just an observation. The first question is to ask yourself if any of this is a problem to begin with -- that is if the party/DM is ok with nearly killing themselves over and over (when I first started DMing, I imagined that the players nearly dying every encounter to be good: since the players are being challenged, they won't get bored). If there is no problem, then you may as well stop trying to "fix" it. If there is a problem, then the next step is to identify who has a problem, what it is, and what they want changed to no longer make that happen. Then, you should talk to everybody OOC about your problem, and if they'll take you seriously enough to fix it. If they don't, I suppose you'll just have to roleplay your character as a bit more cautious :/

    However, do consider how everybody else feels about playing. If the guy that came in, got handed a barbarian, and just wanted to start smashing things around (we all know that guy ) is ok with things as is, don't draw him into stuff that he'd find boring OOC. Ideally you just tell him when to start smashing and when to stop.
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    killing and eating a bag of rats is probably kosher.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    DM may be misreading the group, the group may be misreading the DM. If so, this is not a problem you can resolve on your own. It requires an out of game discussion.

    As far as getting your group to be more tactical, if they don't want to, they don't want to. You can suggest things but you can't force them to be sensible.

    Personally I'd try to ensure my PC survived the debacles for a game or two and then walk because it sounds like a crap game.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

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    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    You're not having the best of times.

    Are the other participants, the players and the GM, enjoying themselves?

    If they are, this might just not be the game for you (or, you should consider changing your expectation).

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    One thing that can help is to remember that while entangle needs plants nothing says you can not throw a potted plant and cast entangle.
    In addition if you have a potted plant with thorns or particularly tough it might get extra effects according to the description of entangle.
    that can go a long way helping your team to survive through battlefield control.(if no opponents can move and that they all get -4 to their attack throws it makes your allies take a lot less hits)
    Grasses, weeds, bushes, and even trees wrap, twist, and entwine about creatures in the area or those that enter the area, holding them fast and causing them to become entangled. The creature can break free and move half its normal speed by using a full-round action to make a DC 20 Strength check or a DC 20 Escape Artist check. A creature that succeeds on a Reflex save is not entangled but can still move at only half speed through the area. Each round on your turn, the plants once again attempt to entangle all creatures that have avoided or escaped entanglement.

    Note: The effects of the spell may be altered somewhat, based on the nature of the entangling plants.
    That spell can depend of the plants.

    If you can not make your team fight the opponents at the right place then bring the right place to the opponents(by the way carrying what you need to have the right battlefield(walls, a small tower, empty cubes of iron, a barrel of explosives with lots of small round metal pellets and so on) is a valid tactic when you are a barbarian with maxed strength)
    Last edited by noob; 2018-06-14 at 07:02 AM.

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by Chijinda View Post
    During the session while I tried to set up a good vantage point to drop Faerie Fire, or Flaming Sphere on the fortress. Our Warlock decided: "You guys are taking too long to figure this stuff out." and promptly attacked the front gate. By himself. Half the party decided to run in with him, ended up in a battle where, true to the GM's word (and our expectations), we got completely overwhelmed and only managed to BARELY escape with our lives (and I'm fairly certain we only did so via GM fiat, the goblins could absolutely caught us if they'd wanted to).
    LEEEEEEEEEEROOOOOOOOOOY JEEEEEEEEENKINS!!!

    On the one hand, you've got evidence to support the idea that the DM won't kill you for stupid mistakes.

    On the other hand, you've got a limited attention-span player group who will continue to make stupid mistakes any time that the alternative is taking too long.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    This is an OOC problem. OOC problems have OOC solutions.

    The party and the DM want different things out of the game. The DM wants a high-danger, tactical experience where the players act smart to defeat foes that have an upper hand against them. On the other hand, the players sound like they want more of a straightforward hack and slash experience.

    Neither of these approaches are wrong. But they're also incompatible with each other. You should gather before or after a game (or maybe at some other time, the point is - not during playtime) and discuss this discrepancy. Say that it seems like you all want different things from the game, and can you agree on level of tactical play and choice optimization so everyone's on the same page?

    Without this, sooner or later someone's going to have a bad time.
    Last edited by tensai_oni; 2018-06-14 at 12:24 PM.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by Chijinda View Post
    I started playing with a new group lately, and found two things in the campaign. #1. Our GM is extremely merciless-- uses higher CR than the group (on the whole), he makes copious use of Fog of War, and our party is rarely able to see further than around 100 feet at a time), and he tends to use swarms of fairly tough enemies against us, and rarely gives us any time to actually make plans for encounters (Although since we can never SEE anything until we're practically on top of it, planning is difficult anyways). This is frustrating, but it's barely workable.
    Worth noting that depending on the edition, this might not even be an above-average level of difficulty according to the DMG guidelines. For example, in 5e a merely average group of PCs with no magic gear at all is expected to be able to take on as much as 8 "Hard" (e.g. higher CR than the group's level) encounters before taking a rest on a merely average adventuring day. And if you have less than 6-8 encounters a day, you should expect the CRs to be pushed higher. Same if you've got magic gear. If you've got more than 4 players, you should especially be expecting monsters to be both numerous and higher than your CR.

    As for the Leroy Jenkins Squad... not sure what you can do about that other than talk to them and hope they'll listen to reason.

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    I agree with Andor13 on this one - While it's alright to be frustrated at your fellow players for acting gung-ho and short-sighted, it's their prerogative to do so and trying to convince them to play a game in a way that they don't want to might be more harmful in the long run.

    Were I in your shoes, I would probably resolve to be the One Sane Man in the group and try to incorporate a rebellious party into my character. Talk to your GM - tell him your concerns as you have done so to us, in a way that does not criticise him specifically or make demands of him. Just make it clear that YOUR character's goal is to survive the encounter and win the fight, and that you're not trying to spoil the other players' fun but you are not prepared to throw yourself so casually into the grist mill as they seem to be.
    That's your character's personality, in a nutshell. You're the smart one, exasperated by the wacky antics of those around you but too loyal to abandon them to their own inevitable messy demise - I think that's a pretty great hook to be starting out with.

    In other words, role-play it. You're the hyper-competent advisor to a group of murderhobos, and while you do your best to keep them on track, sometimes you are resolved to letting them have it their own way and face the consequences.
    I'm NOT saying that you stand back and let them die, or that you forcibly hold them down and stop them from doing what they want. There is, however, a lot of fun from being the guy in the group whose role is to stand back, watch the fireworks, and then swoop in with a solution/escape plan when things start to get out of control.

    Also, you may wish to practice coming up with plans on the fly and explaining them in two sentences or less. Or maybe even having a few outlines of plans ready to go as contingencies. Not everything has to be a Machiavellian scheme, just maybe find a way to direct your friends' destructive tendencies somewhere that will cause the least harm to the party in a quick and easy to remember manner.
    Some people seize greatness, while others have it thrust upon them - welcome to being the de-facto Party Leader!

    Again, as Andor13 said, you're a Druid. You will have plenty of ways to control the battlefield, create distractions, heal broken allies and to dispatch a mob of enemies who will have clumped together to take down the 'bait' (aka, your party's sorcerer....), so why not revel in it under the guise of trying to get the group back onto the plot? Your GM might even thank you for it - I know I would!

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by Andor13 View Post
    Honestly? Unless you have a Doctorate in Herding Cats, you're probably best if you allow the problem children to get themselves killed as many times as it takes for them to wise up, or leave the game. You're a Druid, once you hit 5th level you can cast call lightning, turn into a prairie dog, and zot as many goblins as it takes from safety while your less tactically gifted friends try to high-op their Soulborn/Monk character they came up with after the last three died.

    If that doesn't work for you, I'd suggest trying to come up with some standard plans outside of the game, with the help of any other players who like breathing, and just brief the problem children in game.
    agreed. ignorant players deserve death. its not a bad thing. if they get so mad that they quit the game TTRPG isn't for them. they can stick to videogames that make YOU the hero.

    TTRPG is all about cooperation and finding common ground. if your other party members refuse to do that, then you can just let them get what's coming to them and hopefully the DM and you and find some other players that are more cooperative or the current players will have a mind shift.

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by Chijinda View Post
    (...) So last session I tried to stress to the party: "Hey, we need to plan. I'm a druid, so I have some good control spells. We can harass them, and draw them to us."

    During the session while I tried to set up a good vantage point to drop Faerie Fire, or Flaming Sphere on the fortress. Our Warlock decided: "You guys are taking too long to figure this stuff out." and promptly attacked the front gate. By himself. Half the party decided to run in with him (...)
    I was re-reading your post, and this stuck out at me.

    Here's one way to interpret what might have happened:

    You: "Hey, we need a plan. All I know is my own spells & abilities, so this plan will only talk about my own spells & abilities. I'm going to do a thing which might work, and if it does work, then you'll all get to participate. So just sit quietly while I take charge for a while."

    Warlock: "It sounds like you want all the spotlight time, but I want spotlight time too, so I'm going to violently disrupt your plan in a way that makes me the center of attention."


    I wonder if you were to come up with a plan that involved other people's abilities, if they'd be more engaged in your plan -- enough to not deliberately disrupt it, at least.

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    When they charge, just call dibs on their best loot. Make sure you've got an escape plan when the TPK starts.

    (You ARE Neutral, right? )
    Imagine if all real-world conversations were like internet D&D conversations...
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    That said, trolling is entirely counterproductive (yes, even when it's hilarious).

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    Won't have a chance to ask my party about this until next session, but figured I could clear some things up in the interim.

    The party is convinced that the GM is nice enough not to let them die (let them lose, yes, but not let them truly die. Even character death means they roll up a new one at the very least)

    The DM is convinced that the players are acting like idiots, and should be punished accordingly.

    You are convinced that the DM is out to kill the players, and the players are out to kill themselves.
    Cannot necessarily speak for the rest of the party. I am convinced the DM is only going to pull punches if he realizes /he/ screwed up, not if we do, and is otherwise going to throw brutally difficult encounters at us even if we do things right, and TPK's if we do them wrong. I feel he's allowing us a certain degree of levity at the moment, because for at least half the group this is our first game of D&D period, and even our most experienced player only has two half-finished campaigns under their belt.


    One thing that can help is to remember that while entangle needs plants nothing says you can not throw a potted plant and cast entangle.
    Two things here. Firstly, while I'm aware of Entangle, I have not used it since the first session, where it caused more problems for the party than not (specifically, we were trying to track down a pack of wolves. When things started going sour for the pack, they turned to flee. I used Entangle on the remaining pack, only for all 5/6 of the remaining wolf pack to make their saves, and escape. GM ruled that I could only dispel Entangle on my turn, and that the 20 foot square of Entangle would count as difficult terrain for allies as well as enemies, meaning the party was unable to pursue the wolves because of it).

    Secondly, where did you get that description of Entangle? As far as I can see in the 5e rulebook, its DC is no different than the rest of my character's spells (that is to say: 8+Proficiency+Wisdom Modifier).

    For example, in 5e a merely average group of PCs with no magic gear at all is expected to be able to take on as much as 8 "Hard" (e.g. higher CR than the group's level) encounters before taking a rest on a merely average adventuring day.
    Fair, although I think my GM is going the other way. Our party has been fairly fond of taking rests (since he so far hasn't given us many incentives to press on after a battle), and so rather than run 8 "Hard" encounters at us separately, he more or less takes 8 Hard Encounters worth of enemies and combines them into 1 or 2 encounters instead. That wolf pack example above? When we finally found their lair, he threw the rest of the pack at us. Which consisted of around thirty wolves and a Dire Wolf, divided over three waves, at five first level characters, giving us around 5 rounds between beginning one wave, and the next one arriving, with almost no time to prepare once we actually found the lair.

    I wonder if you were to come up with a plan that involved other people's abilities, if they'd be more engaged in your plan -- enough to not deliberately disrupt it, at least.
    Hmm... interesting point. Though that wasn't my intent to say: "Listen guys I've got some cool stuff I want to do", it was more along the lines of: "How about we figure out a game plan before we go in. These are my abilities, and I can royally mess with some people, what do you guys all have, that you can do, and let's see what we can work out?"

    You ARE Neutral, right?
    Chaotic Good, sadly. My character would rather his comrades NOT die prematurely and mostly gets roped into these encounters because well. He likes the party, and isn't inclined to let them die if he can stop it, and lives somewhat minimalistically (which I play in-game as him not taking items he can't personally use or find personal value in. If he were to find a magic +5 flaming greatsword of Lifesteal.... he'd probably leave it where it was, and tell the party Barbarian where to find it, since he can't use Greatswords).
    Last edited by Chijinda; 2018-06-15 at 09:54 PM.

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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by Chijinda View Post
    I started playing with a new group lately, and found two things in the campaign. #1. Our GM is extremely merciless-- uses higher CR than the group (on the whole), he makes copious use of Fog of War, and our party is rarely able to see further than around 100 feet at a time), and he tends to use swarms of fairly tough enemies against us, and rarely gives us any time to actually make plans for encounters (Although since we can never SEE anything until we're practically on top of it, planning is difficult anyways). This is frustrating, but it's barely workable.

    The far bigger problem is that the party seems aware of this, and doesn't seem to care. The party regularly runs face first into danger, and then seems to get frustrated at the encounters being so difficult. This got really blatant last session where, while trying to figure out how to get into a fortress of enemies, which had ALREADY kicked our butts on a previous attack (and the GM alluded that we had killed only around a third of the inhabitants during that battle). So last session I tried to stress to the party: "Hey, we need to plan. I'm a druid, so I have some good control spells. We can harass them, and draw them to us."

    During the session while I tried to set up a good vantage point to drop Faerie Fire, or Flaming Sphere on the fortress. Our Warlock decided: "You guys are taking too long to figure this stuff out." and promptly attacked the front gate. By himself. Half the party decided to run in with him, ended up in a battle where, true to the GM's word (and our expectations), we got completely overwhelmed and only managed to BARELY escape with our lives (and I'm fairly certain we only did so via GM fiat, the goblins could absolutely caught us if they'd wanted to).

    This is my first time playing in a large group and I am 100% convinced at this rate, the party is absolutely going to get massacred at some point, and, like sitting on a train heading for a cliff, I feel like I'm powerless to stop them. Any advice for me to try and convince them to stop assuming we can stop every problem we run into with our collective faces, and actually slow down to plan for the fact that the GM IS going to throw encounters well above our ability to take in a straight fight?
    Rules to follow:
    1) Have the party gather all the wealth they own in one spot.
    2) make sure you live through whatever happens.
    3) Your character makes a profit from all that money! Grats!
    4) your character is now a mentor to the replacement group. Repeat 1-4 as needed.
    4b) Option, you are the leader of the new group.
    Last edited by FreddyNoNose; 2018-06-15 at 10:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by Chijinda View Post
    Hmm... interesting point. Though that wasn't my intent to say: "Listen guys I've got some cool stuff I want to do", it was more along the lines of: "How about we figure out a game plan before we go in. These are my abilities, and I can royally mess with some people, what do you guys all have, that you can do, and let's see what we can work out?"
    Sure.

    And their intent probably isn't "Hey, let's sabotage ourselves and die stupidly".

    So you have to either figure out why they're doing something which from the outside looks self-destructive, or not bother figuring it out and instead employ other social strategies to get them to try some new behaviors.

    - Was that guy feeling especially powerless after a hard day at work, and he wanted to get immediate attention rewards rather than delayed satisfaction of success?

    - Was that guy in a group previously where they'd discuss strategy in front of the DM, and the DM would sabotage their strategy every time, so he got inadvertently trained to never have a plan?

    - Did that guy feel like you were trying to "take over" the group and tell him what to do?

    Depending on what the underlying social issue is behind the self-destructive lack of planning, there are plenty of different solutions you could pursue.

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    Imp

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    This is an OOC problem and as a rule always deal with OOC problems OOC.
    Tell the players OOC that the next time they make suicidal decisions you won't risk your hide to have their backs. Make sure they know what you mean and why you mean it, make sure they know when it happens too so they can't feign surprise and indignation.
    Yar! I'm a signature virus, copy me into your signature!

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    IMX, the only way to get players to stop killing their own PCs is for the DM to warn them in session 0 that if they're not careful they'll die, for the DM to warn them at the beginning of each session, for the DM to heavily or even blatantly telegraph particularly dangerous situations ... and for the player to kill off 3-4 PCs each.

    If they haven't blamed the DM and walked away from the table, then might they learn some caution.

    If they're been official play players, it might take twice that number of PC deaths each.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by Andor13 View Post

    If that doesn't work for you, I'd suggest trying to come up with some standard plans outside of the game, with the help of any other players who like breathing, and just brief the problem children in game.
    i imagine the aftermath

    "Shall we apply operation giant potato?"
    "I think the green sheep plan is more appropriate"
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    Good news! After last session I had a chat, and the problem is resolved.

    The bad news is that the reason half the party (and especially the Warlock) were acting so suicidal, was because they were not enjoying themselves in the campaign, and it was their way of protesting, while dropping out. They just neglected to inform the rest of the party.

    So the matter is resolved, though I think the campaign itself may be dead (or at least due for some serious revision). Many thanks for the suggestions and tips all the same, which might still be really useful to me in future campaigns at least.

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by Chijinda View Post
    Good news! After last session I had a chat, and the problem is resolved.

    The bad news is that the reason half the party (and especially the Warlock) were acting so suicidal, was because they were not enjoying themselves in the campaign, and it was their way of protesting, while dropping out. They just neglected to inform the rest of the party.

    So the matter is resolved, though I think the campaign itself may be dead (or at least due for some serious revision). Many thanks for the suggestions and tips all the same, which might still be really useful to me in future campaigns at least.
    That sucks.

    Hope you can find new players, or a new game.

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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by Chijinda View Post
    The bad news is that the reason half the party (and especially the Warlock) were acting so suicidal, was because they were not enjoying themselves in the campaign, and it was their way of protesting, while dropping out. They just neglected to inform the rest of the party.
    Bad form. While a glory ride is an acceptable way to leave a game, one should inform the other players so it doesn't turn into a TPK.

    Better luck with your next game, I hope it starts quickly.

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    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by Andor13 View Post
    Bad form. While a glory ride is an acceptable way to leave a game, one should inform the other players so it doesn't turn into a TPK.

    Better luck with your next game, I hope it starts quickly.
    Considering half the party (plus the OP) weren't enjoying the game, I'd say it's pretty much a non-issue. "TPK" doesn't mean much when everybody wants to drop out anyway.
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    May 2010

    Default Re: Help me stop my party killing themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by Chijinda View Post
    Good news! After last session I had a chat, and the problem is resolved.

    The bad news is that the reason half the party (and especially the Warlock) were acting so suicidal, was because they were not enjoying themselves in the campaign, and it was their way of protesting, while dropping out. They just neglected to inform the rest of the party.

    So the matter is resolved, though I think the campaign itself may be dead (or at least due for some serious revision). Many thanks for the suggestions and tips all the same, which might still be really useful to me in future campaigns at least.
    That's a shame. But at least they told you, and it sounds like things got resolved like grown-ups.
    Imagine if all real-world conversations were like internet D&D conversations...
    Protip: DnD is an incredibly social game played by some of the most socially inept people on the planet - Lev
    I read this somewhere and I stick to it: "I would rather play a bad system with my friends than a great system with nobody". - Trevlac
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    That said, trolling is entirely counterproductive (yes, even when it's hilarious).

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