praguepride
 member, 1769 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Thu 18 Feb 2021
at 22:22
Re: It's a waste of time...
This isn't so much a problem as it is a curiousity that I cannot keep contained. A game of mine has the players seemingly accidentally bypassing 75% of the content. Like they enter a room with four doors and they don't just immediately pick the right door, but they never circle back to check the other doors out.

It isn't a problem for me but it is going to be a problem for them because they are beelining straight to the final boss without picking up the treasure and XP that they should have at this point.

I'm worried that when they meet the final boss and get splattered that they're going to be upset at how difficult it was. Or worse that they get lucky and beat the final boss and leave and never come back thus bypassing tons of cool encounters. I mean there was supposed to be an NPC that joins them to help them fight the final boss that they're likely to never even encounter, let alone complete her cool side story.

I'm not upset that they're bypassing encounters, I'm upset that they might think I'm being stingy or not doing proper level design when they finally reach encounters they can't outluck or outsmart and the game mechanics crunches them for speedrunning the megadungeon.
Piestar
 member, 840 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Thu 18 Feb 2021
at 22:34
Re: It's a waste of time...
In reply to praguepride (msg # 1780):

That is odd, as my characters tend to be annoyingly completionist, I really like to check out every nook and cranny if the game allows.

That said, a lot depends on how far you are will or able to adjust things. Tough if it is a module of course, but it should always be possible to push the boss further away and put more things between them and him to give them the oomph they need to succeed.

If they are still heading towards the big boss, things could be worse, too many stories where the party wanders aimlessly away from the plot.
jkeogh
 member, 100 posts
Fri 19 Feb 2021
at 01:48
Constantly the victim lol
In reply to praguepride (msg # 1780):

What a tough balance. On the one hand your players are active and pursuing the common goal and not getting bogged down in the “weeds” of the dungeon. But on the other hand getting bogged down would help them in the long run.

A similar thing has been discussed on the Glass Cannon Podcast lately as they have skipped massive amounts of encounters and are likely about to get owned by the final boss of the entire adventure path.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 370 posts
Fri 19 Feb 2021
at 01:56
Constantly the victim lol
Alternatively, there's always the possibility of the encounters happening in the "proper" order, from your point of view, regardless of what order they open doors in...

Sometimes it's best to let the characters feel like they have license, not necessarily give them completely free rein with it.
NowhereMan
 member, 420 posts
Fri 19 Feb 2021
at 02:48
Constantly the victim lol
In reply to SunRuanEr (msg # 1783):

I couldn't disagree more. If the players don't have meaningful choices, don't pretend there's a choice at all.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 371 posts
Fri 19 Feb 2021
at 03:57
Constantly the victim lol
I would normally agree, NowhereMan, but if the issue at play is 'The players chose to go through X encounters in the wrong order, and they might be screwed and wind up angry at their GM because they did so', then I'd counter that the onus is on the GM to make sure the encounters happen in the right order so that the game itself doesn't fall apart.

If the GM is concerned about the outcome being an adverse one, as it clearly seems like it might be.
Piestar
 member, 841 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 19 Feb 2021
at 04:11
Constantly the victim lol
In reply to NowhereMan (msg # 1784):

So what you say saying is, when we are playing make believe, we shouldn't pretend?
NowhereMan
 member, 421 posts
Fri 19 Feb 2021
at 04:52
Constantly the victim lol
@SunRuanEr: In such a situation, I think it would be better for the GM to have a way for their players to understand that they are nearing the "boss" encounter and allow them to backtrack if they choose to do so. Or even the OOC "hey, you realize that by skipping large sections of the dungeon, you're missing out on loot and experience you might need later".

Taking away player agency through the quantum ogre just means that the players will continue doing what they were doing already, and will lead to you having the exact same problem in the future.

@Piestar: Talk about a bad faith argument. But I'll indulge you anyway. There is a difference between playing pretend and meta-game pretending. You wouldn't call it "playing pretend" if one of your players was "pretending" that every roll they made was a natural 20. Making both Door A and Door B lead to Encounter C turns a dungeon exploration adventure into a dungeon railroad theme park ride, which isn't the same thing at all.
Piestar
 member, 842 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 19 Feb 2021
at 05:01
Constantly the victim lol
In reply to NowhereMan (msg # 1787):

It wasn't an argument, it was a joke.

That said, ever ridden a roller-coaster? The path is all laid out, but the illusion of risk is sufficient to make it a very popular ride. Same is true with movies and books.

As long as the players are having fun, I an content, and in my experience having meaningful choices has never been a factor in how much fun they were having. If anything, it often works in the opposite direction.
NowhereMan
 member, 422 posts
Fri 19 Feb 2021
at 05:09
Constantly the victim lol
My apologies, I should have known.

Anyway, I don't disagree. However, the difference with a roller coaster is that you know you're on one. I personally don't mind the odd railroady adventure path game, as it allows me to switch off the old thinker and hit stuff with a stick for a while. But, I want to know that's what I'm in for. Player agency is important, both in the game and the metagame. If player agency is to be suspended, the player should have a say in it. You gotta let them choose whether or not to get on the roller coaster.
Zag24
 supporter, 677 posts
Fri 19 Feb 2021
at 14:31
Skin in the Game
In reply to praguepride (msg # 1780):

Oh!  I hope that's not the game I'm in.  :-)  (Hardly.  Not only am I pushing for completionism, but we are hardly pushing our way through the place quickly.)

There are a hundred ways to channel the PCs without actually seeming to do so.
* You can make the final boss behind a door that needs keys that can only be obtained in the different places you want them to go first (i.e. the video game approach).  This makes it more obvious, but it's such an established trope that nobody is likely to be offended.
* You can make the final boss be behind a secret door that they fail to notice on the first pass through ...
* or that only your NPC knows how to open ...
* or only the NPC has the key for.
* or it's actually a trek to find the final boss, that they wouldn't even know to go on until meeting the NPC and hearing their story.
* You can change the map around so that whichever way they choose to go is the one that leads to the 'first' encounter.  This is tricky and not likely to be noticed, but it feels wrong to me, somehow (not that I haven't done it).

This message was last edited by the user at 14:33, Fri 19 Feb.

praguepride
 member, 1770 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Fri 19 Feb 2021
at 22:29
Skin in the Game
The beautiful thing about running about a dozen games on RPOL and a couple of games offline is that as long as I am vague and change the set dressings I can talk about my games without anyone ever knowing the truth :D
Bastian
 member, 46 posts
Thu 25 Mar 2021
at 00:32
Skin in the Game
I really like my players. One always takes notes, the other one takes care of initiative, the third is the life of the party, the fourth is a veteran and a great role player but then there is number five...
Great guy, likes to play... as long as everything is about his character and his story/quest. His character quirks are all anti social so he usually doesn't open his mouth or throws one liners into the room. We've played for over 8 months together and he still has troubles figuring out how to attack, how his characters work and what they can do, how often they can do it.
And then he also has his cellphone in his hand almost all the time.

We made a "No cellphones at the table" rule which seems to work till now.
We're playing a main campaign and a west marches style game (Another player DMs the main campaign) and I've already sat down with him, telling him to make more social characters, make someone that works with the group and not abandons the others at the beginning of the battle. (He wanted to switch characters)
I also sat down with him and showed him what dice to roll and how to add his proficiency to his attacks... we practice for 30 minutes, he does well, the next game he again has to check how to roll for his attacks.

And yes, he usually plays melee fighters.
praguepride
 member, 1777 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Thu 25 Mar 2021
at 03:07
Skin in the Game
Maybe he doesnt really want to play? Peer pressure has led to many an unenthusiastic player.
Zag24
 supporter, 682 posts
Thu 25 Mar 2021
at 14:17
Skin in the Game
In reply to Bastian (msg # 1792):

You've really bent over backwards, IMHO, to hold a private session with him to go over what to roll when.  When doing that, did you get the sense that he was trying to learn, or just tolerating you?  If the former, then it sounds as if he does want to play, but has a learning disability of some sort.

You might try a different way to identify dice, which could help.  That is, rather than telling him "use a d20 to attack," tell him "use the red die to attack," etc.  You'll have to put together a set of dice for him that stays consistent, but that is pretty easy.  If he has trouble recognizing between types of dice, then it would explain him succeeding during your private tutorial and then failing later -- he was recognizing dice according to some criteria that you didn't realize, and they've changed in a way that seems irrelevant to you but confuses him.
praguepride
 member, 1778 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Thu 25 Mar 2021
at 15:37
Skin in the Game
If he really does want to play perhaps a learning disability is on the table. Depending on what system perhaps cue cards or a cheat sheet would be helpful. Think of it like a boardgame where for new players you have the card that says

"If you want to do X, take steps A, B and C
If you want to do Y, take steps D, E, and F"

etc. etc.

It might be easy and intuitive for you and if it is d20 it might be that simple but some people have trouble with the remembering all the numbers in their head. Having a card that says

"Attack: Roll red die, add 5 to result.
Will Save: Roll red die, add 3 to result.
Fortitude Save: Roll red die, add 6 to result.
Reflex Save: roll red die, add 4 to result.

Might really help get him back in the game. Also some games have mobile apps that can help streamline and simplify your maths. For example some apps you plug in your stats and you can just click "Roll longsword" and it RNG's a number and automatically adds the bonuses.
praguepride
 member, 1782 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Fri 26 Mar 2021
at 05:51
Skin in the Game
Why is it that there are like 3 vents threads that are always at the top of the front page but the "only positive stuff" gets constantly buried?

BOO! BOO ON ALL YOU COMPLAINERS!!!!

My mother-in-law was like that. I would get home from work and she would be lying in wait to ambush me to complain about how life is terrible and her job is terrible and her work is terrible and blah blah blah and I would be like "DAMMIT! LET ME SIT DOWN AND ENJOY MY TIME AWAY FROM WORK!"

Just so much negativity. It was like her negativity was biological and compelled to breed. Like she couldn't go to bed unless she had ruined my day by talking my ear off about how bad her day was.

Pro tip, never invite your mother in law to live with you, no matter how homeless she is. You think you're that good of a person, but you're not. You're just going to end up considering divorce attorneys because it would be easier to get rid of your marriage than your live-in mother-in-law.

The only plus side is that I have about 20 minutes of material if I ever do stand up.
NowhereMan
 member, 428 posts
Fri 26 Mar 2021
at 07:27
Skin in the Game
You know, you count for a full fifth of the posts on the newest page of this thread, buddy. ;) I say this as the second fifth.

Your story reminds me of when my grandmother lived with us in the last days of her life, after being kicked out of every assisted-living facility and apartment complex we could find due to her wildly antisocial and actively malicious behavior. That was... uh... "fun".
Isida KepTukari
 member, 378 posts
 Elegant! Arrogant! Smart!
Mon 29 Mar 2021
at 04:24
Skin in the Game
For some folk, complaining is their pleasure, they like nothing else than complaining and making other folks miserable.
GreenTongue
 member, 950 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Mon 29 Mar 2021
at 16:14
Skin in the Game
Like the "Nail in the Forehead" video.
Your task is to sympathize.
ladysharlyne
 subscriber, 3055 posts
 Member before Oct 2005
 THE GLASS IS HALF FULL
Tue 30 Mar 2021
at 16:46
Re: It's a waste of time...
So does this mean that negative is stronger than positive?  There are fewer to praise and being an empathic people we roleplayers are we are more ready to agree and help try to resolve problems.  I agree we need more good things posted in life.  Look on the brighter side of life... well maybe not a little ray of sunshine hun.  LOL
Yaztromo
 supporter, 431 posts
Tue 30 Mar 2021
at 18:43
Cultural issues
For sure part of it is a cultural issue: some people doesn't like to feel like they are boasting or celebrating in public too much.
On the other hand, having a place where you can vent (and it's OK to do it in that specific place) can be seen as a relief by somebody else.
I wouldn't recommend writing a sociology publication based on the number of posts in these specific threads...
Piestar
 member, 853 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Thu 1 Apr 2021
at 03:01
Cultural issues
People who feel the need to answer questions in irrelevant ways.

This is based on FB, not here, but I follow several D&D pages there, and it is baffling. People will ask about a rule, or how we play some aspect of the game, and there are always these irritating people who reply 'the DM can do whatever they want'. Everybody knows that, if you don't have something to say that is useful or relevant, move on! Geez...
GreenTongue
 member, 951 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Thu 1 Apr 2021
at 17:17
Cultural issues
In reply to Piestar (msg # 1802):

That is a way to "tag" the chat to be able to follow it but, yeah, "I'd like to know too" would be better.
Piestar
 member, 854 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Thu 1 Apr 2021
at 20:04
Cultural issues
In reply to GreenTongue (msg # 1803):

I usually just drop a post that says 'following' but you can actually turn on notifications without leaving any post at all.