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[DnD 4e Discussion] DMs with too many TPKs

D.CrowD.Crow Registered User regular
edited June 2010 in Critical Failures
For those of you who DM and end a a lot of games with TPKs, don't you think that you're doing something wrong? Especially when the party asks for you to take it easy and everyone else in the FLGS who's playing the same module survives with the exception of one or two people?

D.Crow on

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    illgottengainsillgottengains Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Sounds like you had rough game. Next time you should take the DM's mountain dew and pour it all over his dice and maps and books. :D Just ragequit.

    illgottengains on
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    D.CrowD.Crow Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Sounds like you had rough game. Next time you should take the DM's mountain dew and pour it all over his dice and maps and books. :D Just ragequit.

    Because acting like an ass solves everything.

    D.Crow on
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    SnowdownSnowdown Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I'm not sure if your intention here is to vent, look for a solution, bring this to some thick headed people's attention, co-comisserate, or warn others.

    Yah, there's tons of crappy DMs out there.
    Some of them subscrib to the old old old mentality, DM vs Players.
    They'll try their hardest to kill a party.
    Some of them will take it particularly hard on certain characters, or an entire party.
    You've probably pissed them off somehow.

    If you think that a group who consistently ticks off a DM, whether it be by constant bickering, constantly challenging rulings, group infighting, or whatever isn't going to draw the ire of a DM, you're wrong.

    I'm not particularly proud of it, but I was so tired of a group's constant in-fighting (both in and out of character) that I had wolverines sneak into a camp at night and coup de grace the entire party, then gang up on the one person on watch. (it's now referred to as the "assassin wolverine" incident)

    DMs are people, and they're already sacrificing quite a bit to run a game and facilitate others fun. Lots of prep time, dealing with the players themselves (who all have their own personalities and opinions)...face it, many Role Players don't have the most developed social skills.

    Some rare DMs really really enjoy running games. They are rare, and a gem to be treasured.

    Many DMs do so because it's the only way they'll get to play a game at all because the rest of the group doesn't want to put up with the hassle of running a game or doesn't know how.

    Some DMs are particularly strict about fudging the dice.
    I believe that as a DM I'm there to provide an enjoyable time for the players, so I fudge dice both ways.
    An encounter that is stomped through without any struggle is just as little fun as one that's nearly impossible to win.

    So if the PCs are wiping the floor with an encounter, it becomes a bit harder, or if they're having a particularly hard time due to rolls, it'll become a bit easier.

    Most of the time, character death should be to stupid mistakes.


    Honestly, if a party asked me to "take it easy"....I'm not sure how I'd respond to that. A module is a module and that request very well might annoy me and cause me to stick to every single roll that came out, no matter what.

    Dice are fickle masters, for EVERYONE. DM and player alike.
    What module in particular are you talking about?

    Snowdown on
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    illgottengainsillgottengains Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    D.Crow wrote: »
    Sounds like you had rough game. Next time you should take the DM's mountain dew and pour it all over his dice and maps and books. :D Just ragequit.

    Because acting like an ass solves everything.

    I suppose the humor is lost on you.

    illgottengains on
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    DMACDMAC Come at me, bro! Moderator mod
    edited June 2010
    It's definitely a tricky thing. The writer for the first season of D&D Encounters says that he basically doesn't believe that an adventure can ever be run "as written" because things are always going to be open to interpretation by the DM. It's always going to be up to the DM to find a balance between challenging the players and not just being vicious because he can.

    As a player though, you kind of want to feel like you really defeated the monsters as written, not that the DM let you win because it was better for the story. The players are never going to "take it easy" on the monsters, although I have seen some players make tactically unwise decisions in service to playing in character.

    DMAC on
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    D.CrowD.Crow Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Imagine this man. He is short. Six heroes stand before him, they worked hard to get where they were, yet they have so far to go. The man doesn't like this, he thinks that their success is a very affront to his nature. He scratches himself inappropriately, constantly.

    Six brave heroes fell, their only crime was they dared to live. He struck them down, mercilessly with no way out. There were far too many wights for this encounter.

    D.Crow on
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    PinfeldorfPinfeldorf Yeah ZestRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I tried to kill a PC on Thursday and was unsuccessful. I've had a couple encounters at the end of the 'day' go pretty badly for the PCs in general, but I don't think they were ever in danger of a TPK (maybe one or two deaths) but they may have thought they were.

    Pinfeldorf on
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    illgottengainsillgottengains Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Wights are actually a particularly nasty monster at mid heroic. I did an encounter with them, an elite skel, and some ghouls or something. I was starting to worry about my PCs and it was only a +2 or +3 encounter.

    illgottengains on
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    PinfeldorfPinfeldorf Yeah ZestRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Ill, funny, that's pretty much the encounter that gave my PCs the most trouble, but I thought it was because I used 2 'controller' monsters. The fight was against a Stench Wight (or whatever the level 6 elite soldier is) the level 5 Wight Skirmisher that eats surges and 2 Witherling Shriekers. They took down the elite pretty quickly (the ranger is the best player / most optimally built character in the group and does about half the group's overall damage), but the blasts and pushes from two Shriekers was really starting to wear them down. The Wights didn't seem like an issue in and of themselves, it was the 2 Shriekers, but I didn't have the same perspective as the players.

    Pinfeldorf on
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    delrolanddelroland Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    D.Crow wrote: »
    Imagine this man. He is short. Six heroes stand before him, they worked hard to get where they were, yet they have so far to go. The man doesn't like this, he thinks that their success is a very affront to his nature. He scratches himself inappropriately, constantly.

    Six brave heroes fell, their only crime was they dared to live. He struck them down, mercilessly with no way out. There were far too many wights for this encounter.

    Rule number one of "Good Dungeon Mastering" is to use a variety of monsters rather than six copies of one monster you think is badass, because generally that will end up overwhelming the party. Wights are a good example of this, as are needlefang drake swarms.

    You want your baddies targetting different defenses and causing different status ailments so that you don't just gang rape one defense. I was at a convention last weekend where one of the adventures had an encounter that involved six brains in jars. Some tables had all five party members dominated round one.

    delroland on
    EVE: Online - the most fun you will ever have not playing a game.
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    GhostGhost Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I was at a convention last weekend where one of the adventures had an encounter that involved six brains in jars. Some tables had all five party members dominated round one.
    That is just awesome.

    Ghost on
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    DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Ghost wrote: »
    I was at a convention last weekend where one of the adventures had an encounter that involved six brains in jars. Some tables had all five party members dominated round one.
    That is just awesome.

    I imagine the brains would just start singing "I've got you under my skin" and made all the PC's dance backup as it twirled in their jars.

    spoilered for unrelated movie.
    like this at 45 seconds in:

    DiannaoChong on
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