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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    The first time they retreated as a group.

    The second time they grabbed the artifact, gave it to their fastest member and told him to run, and then the rest stayed behind to act as human shields.
    That's it, no more details? Based on that then, you did screw them over. They had good reason to believe that the enemy would not follow very far, because it didn't last time. Unless the followers were in the same room they had the same chance to retreat as before, and should have lived.

    Even if the enemy was following the stolen artefact it also had no reason to stop and kill anyone else.
    Last edited by Excession; 2019-08-26 at 05:13 PM.

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Excession View Post
    Even if the enemy was following the stolen artifact it also had no reason to stop and kill anyone else.
    It was following the stolen artifact.

    It stopped to kill people because they were explicitly trying to block it from following the artifact.

    Edit: The clarify a bit, it was guarding the artifact in a meta-game sense. In universe, the explanation was that the creature fed upon violence, but had limited ability to interact with the world outside of the site of its death, but the artifact, being the weapon that initially killed it, also had a supernatural connection to the creature, allowing it to exert its power in the weapon's presence.
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2019-08-26 at 05:30 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Sorry for the double post, I didn't see Gallow's rather long post on the previous page.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    I assumed incorporeal and undead because you called it a ghost.

    I was not the only one in the thread who you confused with that.
    I already said that I needed to clarify the nature of the monster in my previous response to you. The players had no indication that it was incorporeal, or illusionary, or undead, or anything of the sort.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    So, just to be clear, they did NOT have any of the specific spells that you specifically called out as viable strategies at the top of the thread.
    No... but they did have access to most of the non-spell methods I set out, and several spells I didn't list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    ...it was not immune to anything else, it could disabled, debuffed, knocked out, put to sleep, grappled, trapped, tricked, charmed, turned to stone, polymorphed into a frog, etc...
    Also, they frequently employ henchmen, many of them who are spell-casters, so they could potentially have had those specific spells at the time, and the alchemist in the party could have prepared potions that replicated those spells while they were in town.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    Also: Third time I'll ask this.

    What spells DID they try?
    They tried command and entangle, both of which it could have worked but made its saving throw against. They also threw lots and lots of direct damage at it, even after they had already decided that damage was only making it stronger; the fact that the sorcerer kept blasting it was one of the things that really turned the encounter around, and was one of the main reasons they turned on one another in the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    Charm spells -are- language dependent, aren't they? Am I on the wrong edition of D&D here?
    In every edition that I am aware of being charmed makes the enemy stop attacking you by default and then you need varying degrees of communication ability to make it obey your commands.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    P1: *thinking* "hmmm, I wonder if we can restrain it... Hey DM how strong does it seem to be?"

    DM: "Exceptionally strong."

    P1: "Well never mind then.
    If that's how you think this hypothetical player thinks, then I guess I can't argue with the straw PC, but at the actual table we have two player characters that are as strong or stronger than the monster was and knew it.

    Not that grappling something that is stronger than you is impossible in any case, especially when you have multiple people assisting one another.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    1> things you interact with through the combat subsystem.
    2> things you interact with through the skill subsystem.
    3> puzzles that the player has to solve

    You built an encounter that you dressed up as 1 but was firmly in 3.
    I guess I just fundamentally disagree with you. Let me try one more example: The Ghost.

    According to the 3.5 SRD It has the following abilities:

    Manifestation (Su)

    A ghost dwells on the Ethereal Plane and, as an ethereal creature, it cannot affect or be affected by anything in the material world. When a ghost manifests, it partly enters the Material Plane and becomes visible but incorporeal on the Material Plane. A manifested ghost can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons, or spells, with a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source. A manifested ghost can pass through solid objects at will, and its own attacks pass through armor. A manifested ghost always moves silently. A manifested ghost can strike with its touch attack or with a ghost touch weapon (see Ghostly Equipment, below). A manifested ghost remains partially on the Ethereal Plane, where is it not incorporeal. A manifested ghost can be attacked by opponents on either the Material Plane or the Ethereal Plane. The ghostís incorporeality helps protect it from foes on the Material Plane, but not from foes on the Ethereal Plane.

    When a spellcasting ghost is not manifested and is on the Ethereal Plane, its spells cannot affect targets on the Material Plane, but they work normally against ethereal targets. When a spellcasting ghost manifests, its spells continue to affect ethereal targets and can affect targets on the Material Plane normally unless the spells rely on touch. A manifested ghostís touch spells donít work on nonethereal targets.



    Rejuvenation (Su)

    In most cases, itís difficult to destroy a ghost through simple combat: The "destroyed" spirit will often restore itself in 2d4 days. Even the most powerful spells are usually only temporary solutions. A ghost that would otherwise be destroyed returns to its old haunts with a successful level check (1d20 + ghostís HD) against DC 16. As a rule, the only way to get rid of a ghost for sure is to determine the reason for its existence and set right whatever prevents it from resting in peace. The exact means varies with each spirit and may require a good deal of research.


    In my opinion Manifestation does not make it a puzzle, it is just a normal monster with a very broad set of immunities, however the Rejuvenation ability does as it requires one specific thing to take it down.


    But I suppose it really is a sliding scale as there is no clear line between what you consider a type 1 problem and a type 3 problem; after all a player who doesn't think at all and just sits there drooling and rolling a d20 will be able to beat, and no matter how many convoluted immunities a monster has you will still need to utilize the mechanical combat system to destroy it.


    Edit: Also, the debate is really splitting hairs. While I don't consider it a puzzle monster and you clearly do, in the end it doesn't matter. There is nothing wrong with putting puzzles in the game; many famous modules include them, and many groups consider them to be one of the core pillars of game play.
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2019-08-26 at 06:15 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    It was following the stolen artifact.

    It stopped to kill people because they were explicitly trying to block it from following the artifact.

    Edit: The clarify a bit, it was guarding the artifact in a meta-game sense. In universe, the explanation was that the creature fed upon violence, but had limited ability to interact with the world outside of the site of its death, but the artifact, being the weapon that initially killed it, also had a supernatural connection to the creature, allowing it to exert its power in the weapon's presence.
    Why would the hirelings be stupid enough to try and stop something the party was either running from or defeated by? That doesn't make sense.

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Excession View Post
    Why would the hirelings be stupid enough to try and stop something the party was either running from or defeated by? That doesn't make sense.
    I agree with you there.
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post

    They tried command and entangle, both of which it could have worked but made its saving throw against. They also threw lots and lots of direct damage at it, even after they had already decided that damage was only making it stronger; the fact that the sorcerer kept blasting it was one of the things that really turned the encounter around, and was one of the main reasons they turned on one another in the end.
    So they tried a mind control spell. It didn't work
    They tried a area control spell. It didn't work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post

    In every edition that I am aware of being charmed makes the enemy stop attacking you by default and then you need varying degrees of communication ability to make it obey your commands.
    That's not my understanding, but its not important and you could certainly be right about it. Regardless, they tried a command spell. And it didn't work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post

    I guess I just fundamentally disagree with you. Let me try one more example: The Ghost.

    In my opinion Manifestation does not make it a puzzle, it is just a normal monster with a very broad set of immunities, however the Rejuvenation ability does as it requires one specific thing to take it down.

    But I suppose it really is a sliding scale as there is no clear line between what you consider a type 1 problem and a type 3 problem; after all a player who doesn't think at all and just sits there drooling and rolling a d20 will be able to beat, and no matter how many convoluted immunities a monster has you will still need to utilize the mechanical combat system to destroy it.


    Edit: Also, the debate is really splitting hairs. While I don't consider it a puzzle monster and you clearly do, in the end it doesn't matter. There is nothing wrong with putting puzzles in the game; many famous modules include them, and many groups consider them to be one of the core pillars of game play.
    Similar to the owlbear, the troll, the balor, the ghost is not fiat immune to the combat subsystem.

    I realize that, from your perspective, that your blanket immunity to HP damage is just another thing like "needs cold iron" or "needs ghost touch". I get that that's how you see it. There may even be others who see it that way.

    But you -seem- to want to understand things from your player's perspective. You seem genuinely want to understand how they see the universe different than you.

    And to them, they don't see it as another thing like "needs cold iron." To them they see "oh, this isn't something i"m supposed to be able to beat with my sword. So its a puzzle.

    Can't beat it through violence? hmmm... We'll, let's try some spells.

    I try commanding it.

    doesn't work

    I try entangling it.

    doesn't work.

    well... lets try non violence. I try talking to it

    doesn't work

    I try healing it

    doesn't work

    I try hugging it

    It attacks you.



    So, its not about what I believe or what you believe, its about understanding what they believe.

    Other than your sorcerer who kept spamming it with firebolts and making it stronger. That guys a dummy.

    So when they switched to "its a puzzle mindset" then when they tried command it didn't work. they're not going to just spam it with more commands until it works because they assume it is immune. When they tried entangle and it didn't work, they're not going to just spam it with entangles, they assume it is immune.

    That's two more spell classifcations written off the books for this puzzle.

    I realize that you're not listening to me, so I'll quit. I just, once again, want to say I hope you find people who appreciate your hard word.

    I, personally, agree with Quertus and think your encounter is great. I love puzzles.
    "The monk hits you a shattering blow in the kidneys, luckily this fixes a long standing alignment issue with your spine, gain +10 Move"

    "The evil wizard fireballs you, since the weather has been nasty you are now pleasantly warm, gain immunity from fear effects and cold and necrotic damage "

    "The drow cleric smashes you in the skull with an adamantine mace, this jogs your memory, regain all your used spell slots for the day"

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    I realize that you're not listening to me, so I'll quit. I just, once again, want to say I hope you find people who appreciate your hard work.
    Boy, that's a great way to get someone to pay attention!

    That's actually a good point though, from the player's perspective it is hard to tell the difference between an immunity and a passed saving throw.


    That is one of the things I have noticed about my players over the years is that if their first plan doesn't work (for any reason) they tend to assume that I am just arbitrarily shutting them down and stop trying to find workarounds.

    You don't know how many times a failed lock picking roll has rendered an entire section of the dungeon unexplored because once that happens they simply assume I don't want them there and stop trying to find alternate routes / look for a key / cast passwall / bash the door down; and then after the session I get a tongue-lashing for putting an "impossible puzzle" in front of them.
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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    It is a thing I've noticed with new/bad players, actually. A certain fragility to their decision making where they interpret an obstacle in their path as "We're not supposed to do this let's give up". For new players I'd suggest just explaining that to them, that obstacles do not equal something being impossible and often times if they push past those obstacles they'll see results. For bad players, I'd suggest not playing with them because they're bad players, so I don't know what to recommend for yours.

    Edit - if people are misinterpreting passed saving throws as immunity, though, then that's a problem with your descriptions.
    Last edited by Koo Rehtorb; 2019-08-26 at 07:18 PM.

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    If people are misinterpreting passed saving throws as immunity, though, then that's a problem with your descriptions.
    I don't know if they did or not, I was just doing what Gallow was suggesting and trying to look at it from their perspective.
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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Although I am sure my players would disagree, I don't tend to run that hard / deadly of a game; but bad things happen, and a tactical blunder or string of bad dice rolls can kill a character at any time.

    And yes, they are extremely cautious, to the point where they actually consider adventuring when low on spell slots to be "throwing good money after bad" even when there are no penalties for death. I keep trying to lower the penalty for death;
    The only more thing you can do at this point is to give them rewards for tpk

    "the giant toss your limp body down a ravine, counting on the fall to finish you. fortunately, your fall is broken by a large patch of moss. your fall dislodges the moss, and you discover it had grown over a massive pile of diamonds"

    "the enemy sticks his sword in your gut, but by luck he misses any vital organ (there are a couple places where it can happen). you run away with the sword still stuck inside you it's +3, by the way"



    but it isn't helping. At this point there is no penalty for a TPK, but they still turn back early because "Adventuring when low on resources breaks their immersion".

    The no permanent death rule came about because I want players to be invested in their characters and I like making long-running plots that revolve around their characters connection to the world, and I want them to be playing daring adventurers who go out and take risks in braving the unknown.
    Well, here for the first time I see a clear fault in you. Several faults combining, actually.

    the first is wanting to impose your style on the characters.
    Now, some will say that you have to cater to the players, submit your will to their. that's wrong. you are entitled your fun. and if you want to play a certain kind of setting and explore a certain kind of themes, you are entitled to do it, at least to some extent.
    But you can't tell the players how to play their characters. you want them to be playing daring adventures taking risks, you are overstepping your DM boundaries. they want to roleplay cautious people, they are entitled to that. forcing them to not be cautious is bad, and giving them rewards for it... well, it comes with its own issues, as you discovered.

    But this bring us to the second, most important point: I want them to be playing daring adventurers who go out and take risks in braving the unknown
    You want them to roleplay goddamn idiots!
    Taking risks for high rewards is brave. it can be heroic. taking risks for no reason, or taking bigger risks when preparation could reduce the risk, that's idiotic and downright insane.
    Let me explain the difference with an example: at a train station, two men jump on the tracks in front of a moving train. the first man is trying to rescue a child who fell on the tracks. the second man has a friend recording and wants to make a badass video to post on youtube.
    Both those men are taking risks in daring adventures. Except one of those men is an hero, and the other is darwin-award level idiot.
    Let's try with another example, closer to your campaign. An adventuring party sees a treasure chest at the bottom of a ravine. So they a) bravely climb down the ravine, facing death at every turn while a thunderstorm is making the stone slippery, or b) go back to the nearest town and buy a rope; the treasure has been there for years, and it will still be there when they come back.
    It seems to me you really want them to pick a) because it's brave and daring, but of course they'd rather do b), because their characters are not morons.

    Seriously, you need to reevaluate your concept of bravery .
    by the way, I disagree with the common notion that bravery is feeling the fear, but overcoming it. I believe that bravery is knowing the danger, but accepting it because you are doing something important and there's no better way. recklessness is dismissing the danger because you don't really think anything will go wrong
    and as a consequence, you can't have a hero without a proper motivation for doing heroics. you can't have an hero throwing himself in front of a train without having a child fallen on the tracks, else the man is not a hero but an idiot. you can't have a d&d session about heroes facing danger on a regular base, unless they have good reasons to put themselves in danger. else they are not heroes, but idiots.

    So, your players are simply taking the sane approach to adventuring. they are wounded and low on spells? why take unnecessary risks, then? the treasure will still be there tomorrow, after we refill out spell slots.

    If you want the party to play when low on spells and resources, you have two ways to make it work: 1) they are on a time schedule, they know it will be more dangerous to continue, but they can't afford to rest any more than necessary, or the dark lord will do [bad stuff]. 2) they are stuck there and must overcome some more obstacles before they can leave.

    And it seems they are not on a time schedule, as they see themselves free to take the time to engage an optional boss over several days.
    that's where most traditional sandboxes (meaning "no overarching plot, there are some places to explore that will always be there") fall apart. with no plot to hurry along the characters, they stop engaging in "heroic bravery" (moronic idiocy) and start using caution and common sense, accidentally killing the game. on the other hand, jumping head-first into danger when you could take reasonable precautions is moronic, and doing it kills your suspension of disbelief. without suspension of disbelief, your immersion goes away, and attachment to the character follows.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Long story short, you should not resent your players for wanting to take the safe and sane approach. they are doing what their characters would do, they are doing what is smart, and it's their choice anyway.

    Giving meta-story incentives for taking risks (but it's not really a risk, because if you die nothing bad will happen) is also not helping, and it is introducing other problems.

    what you should do if you want them to match your concept of heroics is to give them some sensible, in-world reasons for taking risks.
    Good news, you don't need a main villain or a strict timetable for that. You can do it locally.
    Maybe a child was kidnapped by some undead horror living in the dungeon, to be sacrificed in a ritual that must be performed at midnight. if your heroes want to rescue the child, they cannot afford the time to rest and regain spells.
    Maybe that monster, in its death throes, smashed the pillar that held the ceiling. the ensuing cave-in blocks the main entrance. now the heroes must find a way out to safety with the meager resources they have. of course they could try to rest in the place, but there are monsters around, can't guarantee a random encounter won't disturb their sleep*
    Or maybe in town you hear voices about the treasure you just discovered, and you see some well-armed people around organizing an expedition of their own to recover it.

    You can find different excuses motivations every time, and give your players a good reason to play the way you'd like that works better than "gentleman agreement" or "metagame cheap death"

    * we had one such encounter, with wurms attacking us while we were resting. it was decided that the martials could handle it and it was important to let the casters recover spells. led to some great roleplaying moments as the fighter was being swallowed by a purple wurm while the wizard was complaining on the lines of "will you kids cut down the ruckus? I'm trying to study here"
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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    Snip
    I don't really see the GM stating what sort of characters will be appropriate at its outset to be overstepping their bounds. If the players don't want to play that sort of campaign, then you renegotiate or agree to play something else, but imo the player is at fault if they insist on making a character who is contrary to nature of the campaign and hide behind the old "I am just doing what my character would do," argument.


    As often happens on the internet, you seem to be reading a lot more into my words than is intended.

    What typically happens is that they spend several weeks of game time and several hours of real time trekking out to the adventure site, and then decide to turn back because they used more resources dealing with encounters getting there than they had planned. If there is a time sensitive goal, expect lots of OOC temper-tantrums as a result.


    Honestly I really feel like they would be happier playing Accountants and Actuaries as they really do seem to prefer playing an overly cautious workaholic and squeezing every drop of money out of their professions that they can without ever leaving town, but that's really not a game I have any interest at all in running.
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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    You don't know how many times a failed lock picking roll has rendered an entire section of the dungeon unexplored because once that happens they simply assume I don't want them there and stop trying to find alternate routes / look for a key / cast passwall / bash the door down; and then after the session I get a tongue-lashing for putting an "impossible puzzle" in front of them.
    I think you might need to go with "You're skill check failed, do you want to try a different tactic?", even outright stating what the DC of things will be in advance, so that way they know they could succeed, and its either dumb luck or their own approach that is failing.

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    I for one think you are right, your players are wrong, and you deserve a trophy for being so innovative.

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    If you're continually misunderstood, maybe it's time to learn how to talk down to people so they like it?
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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Honestly I really feel like they would be happier playing Accountants and Actuaries as they really do seem to prefer playing an overly cautious workaholic and squeezing every drop of money out of their professions that they can without ever leaving town, but that's really not a game I have any interest at all in running.
    That's a very valid way to play. In fact it describes my best experience at role-playing on a long term table. You have pretty much 3 choices, 1) You accept that's the way they want to play and learn to enjoy it, 2) You bring that problem to the group, hope that they make a compromise to be more adventurous, but you don't punish them for taking daring actions, in fact reward them. Or 3) you know.
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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    I was just thinking, a source of the problem might be a lot more fundamental.

    Half the group are night owls who rarely go to bed before dawn, and the other half have to be at work at 6AM the next day, so no matter what time we schedule the game for at least half the group is tired and cranky.


    I am also going to be taking a long break from DMing come November; it will be interesting to see how long it lasts. In the past every time someone else has tried DMing for this group the incessant player bitching has gotten them to quit after 3-4 sessions; I really hope we can find a way to keep it going longer at this point because I am about worn out.
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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I was just thinking, a source of the problem might be a lot more fundamental.

    Half the group are night owls who rarely go to bed before dawn, and the other half have to be at work at 6AM the next day, so no matter what time we schedule the game for at least half the group is tired and cranky.


    I am also going to be taking a long break from DMing come November; it will be interesting to see how long it lasts. In the past every time someone else has tried DMing for this group the incessant player bitching has gotten them to quit after 3-4 sessions; I really hope we can find a way to keep it going longer at this point because I am about worn out.
    How long are your sessions?
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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    How long are your sessions?
    6-8 hours every two weeks, although if people focus on the game they can be done in four and if they are constantly on their phones or dealing with out of game issues / table chatter can sometimes balloon out to 10-12.

    I have proposed playing 4-6 hour sessions every week instead, but nobody really seems interested in that.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    6-8 hours every two weeks, although if people focus on the game they can be done in four and if they are constantly on their phones or dealing with out of game issues / table chatter can sometimes balloon out to 10-12.

    I have proposed playing 4-6 hour sessions every week instead, but nobody really seems interested in that.
    At my regular group we started doing 4 hours sessions... which seemed really weird and we would never be able to do anything on that amount of time... Fast forward to today, now I have 3 groups, all with 3-4 hours sessions, is very good, everyone is energetic and always willing to try new things. I definitely recommend it.
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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Honestly I really feel like they would be happier playing Accountants and Actuaries as they really do seem to prefer playing an overly cautious workaholic and squeezing every drop of money out of their professions that they can without ever leaving town, but that's really not a game I have any interest at all in running.
    If you're making them track resources in detail, Accountants and Actuaries is exactly what I would expect them to play. That is a sensible response to the conditions. Personally, I don't like that game style, so I don't require players to track that much. Short of winding up lost in a desert they will have enough food and water, arrows, ritual components, spare daggers, etc. to last until they get back to town. Once there, they have enough gold to restock stuff, throw a party, or whatever. I also run magic item light games so buying those is uncommon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    You don't know how many times a failed lock picking roll has rendered an entire section of the dungeon unexplored because once that happens they simply assume I don't want them there and stop trying to find alternate routes / look for a key / cast passwall / bash the door down; and then after the session I get a tongue-lashing for putting an "impossible puzzle" in front of them.
    It is often said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same actions while expecting a different result. This sort of thing should not happen more than once. If they need an explanation of other options for opening a door, give them that.

    "You examine the door. The lock is pretty good, thievery DC 24, the hinges are on the other side, so no luck there, but the wood has not lasted well in the damp dungeon, so DC 15 strength check to break it."

    Breaking the door does have some disadvantages of course. It's loud, it might take longer, and you can't close it again afterwards.
    Last edited by Excession; 2019-08-26 at 10:33 PM.

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Excession View Post
    If you're making them track resources in detail, Accountants and Actuaries is exactly what I would expect them to play. That is a sensible response to the conditions. Personally, I don't like that game style, so I don't require players to track that much. Short of winding up lost in a desert they will have enough food and water, arrows, ritual components, spare daggers, etc. to last until they get back to town. Once there, they have enough gold to restock stuff, throw a party, or whatever. I also run magic item light games so buying those is uncommon.
    I don't like that style of gaming either, and don't track stuff, which constantly frustrates my players.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Talakeal, you mentioned you have difficulty cultivating player trust.

    It is also self evident from reading these threads that your difficulty is partially self inflicted.

    Have you considered altering the playstyle to require less player trust? Decrease the difficulty, decrease the punishments, DM to the player's ability rather than your own, avoid puzzles (including fights like this) unless you have placed 6+ clues per revelation and checked the clues from the player's points of view rather than your own, avoid homebrew unless the players can see it, etc, etc, etc

    We all know that your players "have issues". However we also know you "have issues" as a DM. Luckily you are willing to improve.

    Once you adopt a playstyle that does not require the players to be more trusting that they are, then you can live up to their trust. By doing so their trust will grow. This is in contrast to how your current playstyle undermines and decreases the player trust (even the trust of players that only ever hear YOUR side of the drama).
    Last edited by OldTrees1; 2019-08-26 at 11:46 PM.

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    What typically happens is that they spend several weeks of game time and several hours of real time trekking out to the adventure site, and then decide to turn back because they used more resources dealing with encounters getting there than they had planned.
    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I don't like that style of gaming either, and don't track stuff, which constantly frustrates my players.
    I don't understand, what resources are they using up if you're not tracking stuff? Are they not able to get spells back while camping outdoors? You also mentioned them using professions to earn gold in town. Gold is just another resource you don't need to track, so what's actually going on? When I say I don't track this stuff, I also wouldn't let players track it. They can write "enough food" on their character sheet if that makes them feel better about it.

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    The only more thing you can do at this point is to give them rewards for tpk

    "the giant toss your limp body down a ravine, counting on the fall to finish you. fortunately, your fall is broken by a large patch of moss. your fall dislodges the moss, and you discover it had grown over a massive pile of diamonds"

    "the enemy sticks his sword in your gut, but by luck he misses any vital organ (there are a couple places where it can happen). you run away with the sword still stuck inside you it's +3, by the way"
    I love it, time to invent "problems" that Talakeal's players would find acceptable:

    "The monk hits you a shattering blow in the kidneys, luckily this fixes a long standing alignment issue with your spine, gain +10 Move"

    "The evil wizard fireballs you, since the weather has been nasty you are now pleasantly warm, gain immunity from fear effects and cold and necrotic damage "

    "The drow cleric smashes you in the skull with an adamantine mace, this jogs your memory, regain all your used spell slots for the day"
    Last edited by Mr Beer; 2019-08-26 at 11:47 PM.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    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: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I don't know if they did or not, I was just doing what Gallow was suggesting and trying to look at it from their perspective.
    I just wanted to throw my two cents in on this. I actively work to avoid this miscommunication in how I describe the spell taking effect.

    Example: The Druid tries to cast Entangle on a creature that is immune to the restrained condition.
    I describe how vines shoot up and around the creature, but as they begin to tighten down on it they simply pass through the creature unable to restrain it.

    On the contrary a successful save would be narrated more like: The vines wrap up around the creature legs, but it deftly twists to the side avoiding a particularly large Vine and then kicks forward ripping the others from the ground.

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Uh, did you play 'guess-what-i'm-thinking'?

    Never play guess-what-i'm-thinking.

    Edit: WAIT A SEC, you said that they tried things that could have worked but make its save. Did you communicate this effectively?
    Its fine if you dont want to metagame and outright say Ďhe savesí, but did you at least describe that in-game?
    Its okay to give that sort of information to the players, IMO.
    Last edited by Kane0; 2019-08-27 at 02:49 AM.

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallowglass View Post
    Remember that this is a role-playing game. Your normal mode of dealing with obstacles is hitting them until one of their seven to ten Health Pools run out (default HP).
    You're not so much wrong as I hate that you're kind of right.

    To Talakeal: I'm going to say your current situation is dysfunctional. As in unless you leaving some great stories of good times out I have no idea why you are still running this game. I think you should either abandon it or go for a serious re-invention. As you are leaving the game seems unlikely at this point I bring this up because I have an idea for the re-invention: Write out the "gentleman's agreement" and include the conditions.

    For instance: If a player character dies I may decide to allow the character to survive through "luck" (narrative contrivance). For this to happen several conditions must be met. First the player must want the character to come back (you can let your character die if you want). Second you must not have let the character die because they will come back by this rule. In other words no death abuse. You may take risks but you must have a plan to survive.

    I could write up a draft for the "you will not be attacked on the way home" rule to. Or go on about "lip service to having a plan does not count, run it by me first if you are worried about it". The trust issue can only really be solved with time. But this idea of the gentleman's agreement, maybe make it a bit more explicate. Maybe my legalize is a bit too much, maybe just try writing down some things and giving some conditions. "Player deaths can be negated. But no death abuse." You know your group better than I do.

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Here's the thing I don't get: If they don't trust you, why do they play?

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    "The foul Lich commands his minions to cast you into the deepest darkest dungeon. Once there you find a willing band of nymph spa attendants who help you relax and enjoy your three week dungeon spa excursion. You are exfoliated for +2 natural armor"

    "The Black Dragon spews his acid breath upon you. It clears up your psoriosis. +2 charisma."

    This is fun! Going in the signiature!
    "The monk hits you a shattering blow in the kidneys, luckily this fixes a long standing alignment issue with your spine, gain +10 Move"

    "The evil wizard fireballs you, since the weather has been nasty you are now pleasantly warm, gain immunity from fear effects and cold and necrotic damage "

    "The drow cleric smashes you in the skull with an adamantine mace, this jogs your memory, regain all your used spell slots for the day"

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: No amount of damage can kill Talakeal's gaming horror stories!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    I don't really see the GM stating what sort of characters will be appropriate at its outset to be overstepping their bounds. If the players don't want to play that sort of campaign, then you renegotiate or agree to play something else, but imo the player is at fault if they insist on making a character who is contrary to nature of the campaign and hide behind the old "I am just doing what my character would do," argument.


    As often happens on the internet, you seem to be reading a lot more into my words than is intended.

    What typically happens is that they spend several weeks of game time and several hours of real time trekking out to the adventure site, and then decide to turn back because they used more resources dealing with encounters getting there than they had planned. If there is a time sensitive goal, expect lots of OOC temper-tantrums as a result.


    Honestly I really feel like they would be happier playing Accountants and Actuaries as they really do seem to prefer playing an overly cautious workaholic and squeezing every drop of money out of their professions that they can without ever leaving town, but that's really not a game I have any interest at all in running.
    okay, perhaps I overstated your words. when you said you wanted them to be more "daring" and "take risks", it really triggered a lot of alarms, because it really looks like you wanted them to be morons.

    probably they are overdoing the cautious part. they are your players, after all. still, it's not bad to want to be cautious. most people find more rewarding to overcome challenges because they were smart about it (so, caution and planning) than because they had higher numbers printed on their character sheet.

    anyway, I believe you have a problem in the style of game you and your players want. you want them to spend less time planning and gauging resources, they want to spend more time doing so. this difference in expectations cannot really be fixed. you want different things, and that's all.
    I have decided to stop rpging with my old group because we had different expectations, me and a player wanting more engagement with the plot and the campaign world, the rest of the party wanting mindless adventures with less intrigue and more excuses for rolling dice. nobody is a problem player, but we just can't get all we want out of the game, so we're better off splitting.

    no, i'm not telling you to leave your group, as you already decided to not do it
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