View Full Version : D&D Save My Game: Rules for Rules' Sake

PnP News Bot
05-18-2007, 12:56 AM

Check out this new article Wizards of the Coast posted recently:

Save My Game: Rules for Rules' Sake (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/sg/20070518)

Dolran of Arborea
09-22-2008, 10:34 AM
I have had to call out our DM on a few occasions recently. The problem was/is that I felt he was calling for checks, just for the sake of having us roll dice. Every single person we met would be a diplomacy check. If we failed one check, everyone else would turn on us. I had to tell him that the only reason he had us making checks is so eventually we would fail. I don't mind making a check in a situation requiring some kind of skill, but too many checks can bog down the game. We spent over an hour trying to jump across a few obstacles because he wouldn't allow us to take 10, even though there were no enemies in the room, nothing threatening us. When your DM is determined to keep you from succeeding, you need to speak up and say something. The reason we play D&D is to be heroes. The DM is supposed to present challenges to the players, but also allow them the opportunity to overcome those challenges.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
09-22-2008, 11:23 AM
That would drag things to a snails pace. I couldnt stay in that game for long. I agree with your advice. Confront the DM, and if that doesnt work, it's time to move on. Best of luck to you.

09-22-2008, 07:12 PM
Skill checks should only be called for when something is in question. Meeting people should not call for a check. I hate playing in games when I know that everyone my character meets is going to attack him. Now if you surprise some orcs and decide you want to trade some jerky and beads with them, instead of stabbing them in the back, then you might want to role a diplomacy check.

12-07-2009, 01:54 PM
Rules for Rules' Sake
"Everyone Here Must Follow the Rules ... Except Me"

Jason Nelson-Brown's response is actually something I've been saying for years.
Nice to find people that agree.

If, after a couple of tries to get this DM to understand that everyone needs to be able to be involved in the game, not just him - and failed, I would pack up my stuff, and make the announcement that I was leaving, but that I was able to be the DM for anyone that was interested.

I've been known to clean out other DM's tables doing this.
I am not overly rude about it, just a simple statement of departure, and availability as a DM: and let the other Players decide if they want to join me.

I also have no problems teaching anyone else how to be a DM.

Crom on his Mountain
03-31-2010, 12:20 PM
Mr. Nelson-Brown is 100% wrong, and the fact that people like him are running things at WotC is a big reason their products have gone downhill so fast. The e-mail he was responding to is:

Our DM is a huge stickler for the rules to the point of having to name page, paragraph, and sentence number of a rule one is using, .yet he refuses to use the CR experience chart. "You'll level up when I'm ready" is the usual response. This is getting very, very old for some of us, and it's hard to find a campaign in my area. Any suggestion to right this ship?

-- Losing out on levels in Lancaster (Adam), from AskWizards.com

Nelson-Brown responds by telling him his DM should run RAR. Bull, if the DM wants to advance at a slower pace then that's his call. Many DMs feel characters advance at a ridiculous pace, and I'm one of those DMs. I throw the CR chart out the window and anyone who doesn't like it can find another game.

Tony Misfeldt
05-07-2012, 03:58 PM
Regarding the article in question: As we only have one side of the story, the player's, it's hard to determine a right or wrong. Is the CR system causing players to advance in levels too quickly for his planned adventures to be any challenge for the players? Are the players too concerned with combat XP, or "kill points" as some players call them, and say things like "Let's skip this part and get to the next encounter"? I've had both these problems as a DM, and have drastically reduced the amount of combat XP in my games as a result. I've also increased the amount of RP XP awarded, to encourage players not to play their characters like a bunch of sword swinging and spell slinging automitons. Is that what this DM has done? We don't know. Ask him and find out.

Regarding the DM who insists on everyone rolling skill checks for everything, even stuff that don't require skill checks, and not letting players take 10 or take 20 on skill checks, even in situations where they're allowed. I agree that it sounds like he's trying to just give you things to fail at. But at least he's letting you ROLL to determine if you fail.

I once played a 2nd Edition game where the DM made EVERYTHING to be failed at. We were battling gnolls, who happened to be dug in at the top of a cliff so they had the high ground and cover, so we couldn't reach them for melee and it was nearly impossible for our archers to hit them (we were all 1st level). I tried to flank them, going into the trees so I was far from their sight. I went 500' to their right, but when I came out of the bushes the gnolls were still at the top of the cliff. So I went back into the bushes and went another 500' to their right. I came out and they were still right over me. So I said "Okay, I sneak back into the bushes and run 5 miles to their right!" Guess what my character found? Gnolls, shoulder to shoulder along the top of the cliff! For 5 miles + 1000'! We eventually went back to town. We decided to aleveate our boredom by starting a bar fight. The DM said "The only other people in the bar is a band of adventurers who look like they could kill you all without even trying." Our rogue decides to try and con the barkeep into giving us all free drinks. He rolled a natural 1 on his Fast Talking check (under 2nd Ed rules, that was the equivilant of rolling a nat 20 for a Bluff Check in the 3.X d20 system), and he had a really high CHA score too (16 I think). The DM said "No, the barkeep insists that you all pay".

It was at that point I packed up my stuff and said "F**k this, I'm leaving." Never played with that DM again.

One of the players in the Pathfinder game I'm playing in had a similar experience with his previous DM. He left that game to join our Pathfinder game. They played with him for I don't know how long, not getting ANY magic items. Not even limited use items like scrolls, potions, or wands that were nearly completely spent (only a few charges left). When they FINALLY found a magic item (a Myrlund's Spoon), he arbitrarily decided "No, you don't find that. I don't want you to have it." It's pretty much at that point he said "Screw this, I'm outta here."

If the DM was limitting magic items because he doesn't feel that you should be able to walk into the neighborhood 7-11 and buy yourself a Vorpal Sword, that's fine. I have a similar opinion. My campaigns do NOT have magic item shops. If you want a +1 sword you have to either find one or make it yourself (a process which requires much more than just an item creation feat and a few spells). Magic items lose their value of wonder if they're as common as blades of grass. However, after umpteen weeks of gaming, FINALLY giving your players a +1 spoon, only to take it away 2 seconds later, is going overboard and is simply rediculous (not to mention very irritating to the players and likely to cause mass walkouts).