Monday, April 19, 2010

Il s'agit d'un Jeu Serieux

This is a serious game.

Some people need a serious wake up call. I value taking the game seriously, I really do. However, there is a point where it loses the fun because people have lost their sense of humor. When it comes to being serious about D&D, there really are only two acceptable situations.

1. When your players don't call or text to tell you they are going to be late or not coming. This is just rude. The fun of everyone in the party depends on the players actually showing up.

2. When no one wants to chip in for snacks...I mean seriously. I need my Cheetos and Mountain Dew!

There are players out there who take a very serious attitude toward gaming. I have seen players who have quit because you killed their pet dragon (my sister...she never played D&D again). This attitude is detrimental to the group because it decreases the fun that everyone has. The purpose of D&D is to get together and have an adventure. I'm sorry if you worked hard to get your character that +5 vorpal longsword of god slaying but if the rust monster eats it, then the rust monster eats it.

People are sometimes too focused on what they lost and not on the challenge of what to do next. The biggest thing to remember is that it is a GAME. Games are supposed to have challenges to them. If you're character is so powerful that he can overcome the challenge with little to no effort then it isn't a challenge.

A subset of the serious player is the rules lawyer. Those players are the bane of the Dungeon Master. I remember reading in one of the first or second edition books (I can't recall which) where it said that the dungeon master is God. This is still true today. I don't give a damn if the rules say that you get a saving throw to be thrown off ledges. I just knocked you into the air and then slid you. You're going off the damn ledge.

Rules lawyers decrease from the player of the game because they make life difficult for not just the players but for the DM. When the DM isn't happy he starts to beat up the party more...okay not every DM does this, but I know I do. Punishing players makes me happy when I'm sad. So when there's no one shoving rules down my throat then I'm less likely to be sad.

I'll be the first to admit that knowing the rules is important. But if I choose to ignore the ledge saving throw rule I mentioned earlier then my players can ignore it too. I'm not unfair. It's important to remember not to have a double standard, otherwise while it may be fun for a sadistic bastard like myself, it won't be fun for the players. And as I have said over and over, games are supposed to be fun.

D&D is a very entertaining game. It requires a level of commitment that cannot be achieved without being at least a little serious about it. It is important not to let the seriousness get in the way of the game. If you're too attached to your character, gear, or the letter of the law then it won't always be fun. Roll with the punches and experience the game. It's a lot more fun that way.

Until next time,

1 comment:

  1. MadMan,

    I see you point. Sometimes using the rules too much can draw away from the game 'drama'. The rules are always limiting and DM's don't like to be told no. They are like a 3 year old sometimes :P. However, there is a point to be made on the issue of the physics of the world. Let's take your example - the falling of the ledge rule with a saving throw. As a player I jump up on the ledge counting on it. I take the risk with the idea of the physic of the game. If you change those physics on the fly then how am I to make an informed choice in my actions? If it was just as easy as hitting with a slide effect, I might act completely differently.
    The DM is GOD, but he is bound by his own physics. Otherwise, the game is not fun for anyone. If you want to really throw the players off that cliff, then give a negative to the saving throw or have more powers that slide the target. Or give him effects that allow a second attack that only sides a target - thus giving you 2 chances. That may not be in the normal monster stats. The same goes for everything else. Make some things free actions that are normally minors.
    Whatever you want to do to get the ‘drama’ you must be consistent. If you players think that you are not paying attention to the rules or changing things on a whim then they get pissed. If you are going to change things then do things to avoid this reaction. Announce actions. This troll does this for his minor, this for his free, this for his move and this for his standard. Don't change the actions after you have done them. If you want an effect, add that to the monster new power or adjust one power that you have not used. Sometimes if your troll can't do something - it can't do it. Deal with it.
    Finally, remember this. A good player does not want his character to die. He/she is invested in their character a ton. When that character dies for good a good player puts a character to rest. Never to appear in any game again. Using the rules gives them an edge on living. You are attacking your players. If you are doing your job there is a risk of death that they feel – and a good player should think of ever way to live. If that is fight to the end or run a way – the rules can mean the difference between life and death.
    My last point is this. Pulling from another post - if the DM is Vs. the player then I'm happy to be that player known as the bane of the DM :P. At least I piss GOD off before I get killed.