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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Quite, also, players and GMs are supposed to be role-playing. Their characters are not (usually, robots and the like excepted) problem-solving computational machines capable of determining in the second or so they have between actions what the tactically optimal choice in a given situation might be. Sure, the character probably has better combat instincts than the player assuming they are meant to have experience, which justifies a little bit of assessment, but that's all. Make choices in character and make them at combat speed. If you want to play a tactical combat RPG with endless pause for consideration, then just do that, but if you're playing a roleplaying game assume that neither side is operating at anything like perfect efficiency.
    Actually the DM is. All the bad guys fight together tactically at the speed of DM thought. They have a plan of attack before the combat started by the DM creating the encounter. They adapt in unison to the situation of whatever happens in the fight because the DM thinks on it. It is quite fair for the players to talk to each other in combat for tactics. It is reasonable for the DM not to let the combat pause while the players have a 5 real world minute conversation about it, but players offering quick suggestions of actions to take is fine. The DM is already doing it with himself in his head.
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    Actually the DM is. All the bad guys fight together tactically at the speed of DM thought. They have a plan of attack before the combat started by the DM creating the encounter. They adapt in unison to the situation of whatever happens in the fight because the DM thinks on it. It is quite fair for the players to talk to each other in combat for tactics. It is reasonable for the DM not to let the combat pause while the players have a 5 real world minute conversation about it, but players offering quick suggestions of actions to take is fine. The DM is already doing it with himself in his head.
    The GM is supposed to be roleplaying the bad guys too. They should only adapt in unison if that's in character for whatever the antagonists happen to be (ex. Formians). Otherwise they should be just as fractious, dissonant, and potentially at cross-purposes as the PCs, perhaps moreso in many cases since common antagonists in RPGs represent groups with extremely low espirit de corps (ex. goblins).

    Anyway, I didn't say anything against quick suggestions, but 'quick' has to be applied fairly strictly. There are many tables were one player offering a 'suggestion' to another, consists of spending multiple minutes to completely map out the other player's turn, which is not only unreasonable, it's a role-playing failure. In general, it is pretty much impossible to both stay in character in combat and to have combat move slowly (unless you're portraying something like Adam West style Batman slapstick), because combat is by nature a fast-moving process, and if characters aren't operating at combat speed then those characters are acting wildly out of context - this is rather in the fashion of how VATS shatters immersion for many players in Fallout games.

    Now, if you're running a tactical wargame, none of that matters, because the game is about problem-solving rather than role-playing, this is one of the reasons why generic and disposable characters are common in tactical RPGs but not scripted RPGs. D&D's problems with overly involved combat resolution systems trace back to its tactical wargame roots. And, in fairness to D&D, a huge portion of the player base is content to play it as a sort of modified tactical wargame squeezed into dungeons and that's actually arguably the most developed part of the system. So this is one of the many areas where D&D is confined by its highly restrictive implicit design goals.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    Actually the DM is. All the bad guys fight together tactically at the speed of DM thought. They have a plan of attack before the combat started by the DM creating the encounter. They adapt in unison to the situation of whatever happens in the fight because the DM thinks on it. It is quite fair for the players to talk to each other in combat for tactics. It is reasonable for the DM not to let the combat pause while the players have a 5 real world minute conversation about it, but players offering quick suggestions of actions to take is fine. The DM is already doing it with himself in his head.
    Its also worth noting that we don't roleplay every second of characters lives. The hours of riding down the road, sitting up on watch at night, and relaxing in a tavern for a couple of days are going to be spent doing something, and one of those things is going to be discussiong combat tactics, and making plans for common (and probably very uncommon) situations.

    In my mind, player tactical table-talk is simulating that missing time. Call it a flashback to when one evening around the camp fire when a similar situation came up in conversation, but barring the truly bizarre occurances, its highly likely at some point the party members will have discussed a situation very similar to the one the party are in, and would have forumalated some way to deal with it.
    Last edited by Glorthindel; 2019-12-13 at 09:07 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    Actually the DM is. All the bad guys fight together tactically at the speed of DM thought. They have a plan of attack before the combat started by the DM creating the encounter. They adapt in unison to the situation of whatever happens in the fight because the DM thinks on it.
    That depends on the DM, and the DM's understanding of the situation. If the NPCs are a well-trained unit, then yes, they will fight like a well-trained, coordinated unit.

    But if one NPC sees something, I don't assume that the others know about it. For instance, some games have specific rules for seeing through illusions, and how much it helps that one of your group tells you it's an illusion.

    My goblins are a undisciplined rabble. Alone, they just rush in randomly and each attacks the closest target. They will also run away at the first sign of trouble, unless there is a strong non-goblin leader. Six second- and third-level PCs once broke a siege of about 50 goblins, by taking out the three ogres leading them.

    Once, a group of wolf-riding goblins attacked the PC's camp. They expertly cut between one PC and the rest, and tried to drag that single PC off. That tactic was chosen because the actual leader was the alpha wolf, not the goblin riding him.

    By contrast, my kobolds fight a carefully planned, coordinated attack. If they are surprised and had no time to plan, they will flee, and try to set up an ambush later.

    The gnolls that the PCs have seen so far have had an initial plan, but without further coordination. They generally work together, and will break off if it seems warranted. But the next time the PCs encounter them, the gnolls will be starving, and the PCs will be the first meat they've seen in three days. The gnolls will fight to the death because they have to -- but at a minus for being starved.

    The point is that the NPCs act as coordinated, or as fractured, as the DM plays them. And a good DM plays different characters differently.

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    if my bad guy knocks down or knocks out a player, it's the dice's fault. i don't intentionally single out a player for the ko. that said, i also impose time limits on turns. it forces on the fly thinking for the players, resulting sometimes in less than optimal decisions, but hey. combat is chaotic, sometimes you will myopically do a moronic thing. it happens.

    in general, a player's turn takes maximum a minute, dice rolls included. that means if you're knocked out for three rounds, you're out for what? 15 minutes tops? last game i played, our scout was out for 2 turns since he failed his spot check and was out of range for the ambush. he wasted 2 turns running like crazy to get in the fight. the only complaints were that we were getting thrashed without him. he was rolling combat in less than 10 minutes.

    if you have a problem with being taken out, talk to the dm and the players about it, and get yourself an hourglass so that people know how much time they've got left to act. if you don't act before time runs out, too bad, either skip your turn or play at the end of the turn. believe me, it speeds up combat spectacularly.

    knockouts suck, since often it ties up the medic as well, but it happens. just make the best out of a bad hand and speed up combat considerably via time limits.

    "oh, but i can't do that, how will i look up the perfect spell to use at that moment?!" i hear you say. that's what the downtime between turns is for. keep one ear on the fight and prepare accordingly. memorize your spells, make cheat sheets, and failing that, remember vaarsuvius' theorem of fireballs. if it speeds up your turn, it speeds up everyone's turn.

    the games i run are brutal in terms of damage dealt. it's not rare for an encounter to last 2 turns. most fights are dealt with in less than 30 minutes real-time, and once the adaptation period is over, most players are loath to get back to the old system of "let me see, um, what should i do, maybe drink a potion? no, i need to cast a spell, but which one, lemme see my spell list..."

    hell, i gave that pointer to my dm in pathfinder, and after some grumbling he tried it out. the oracle grumbled loudest, since he's an optimizer, but the monk and bard (both victims of multiple knockouts per combat) loved it. we impose a 2 minute time limit however, to read up on how spells work.

    hope this helps. i know i thank the psycho-dm that taught me that rule.
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drache64 View Post
    Even having us miss a few rounds of combat could turn into sitting out 2 hours of a 4 hour session.
    That's your problem, right there. Even in 4e, which IMX had the slowest and most tactical combat of any edition of D&D, a full combat with five players didn't take more than 45 minutes.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    That's your problem, right there. Even in 4e, which IMX had the slowest and most tactical combat of any edition of D&D, a full combat with five players didn't take more than 45 minutes.
    4es combat was slow not as a measure of player turn length but by a measure of total turns as on level fights were tuned by 4es tighter math to take so long to kill. Short of intricate blender interactions most turns were simply toss my encounter power Im just rolling extra dice. IIRC it was benchmarked as 6 rounds at lower levels then bloating towards 8+
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xervous View Post
    4es combat was slow not as a measure of player turn length but by a measure of total turns as on level fights were tuned by 4es tighter math to take so long to kill. Short of intricate blender interactions most turns were simply toss my encounter power Im just rolling extra dice. IIRC it was benchmarked as 6 rounds at lower levels then bloating towards 8+
    That wasn't my experience at all. They were long turns each, maybe as much as 2 minutes per player and 5 for the DM. Individual powers took a lot to properly resolve. But even at 15 minutes per turn, which is a LOT, combats were only about 3 rounds. Combats only went to at-will powers at the very lowest levels, and those are the powers that could be resolved quickly, but also could take more than 3 rounds, so it tended to take about the same time.

    Contrast to 5e, where a player taking a minute to execute is taking a long time, and a Medium difficulty combat with 5-6 players only takes at most 15-20 minutes to run. A complex Difficult combat with 6 or so rounds (each with long player turns) might take up to 45 minutes, but it's twice as many rounds at 4e.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    That's your problem, right there. Even in 4e, which IMX had the slowest and most tactical combat of any edition of D&D, a full combat with five players didn't take more than 45 minutes.
    4e? The edition with minions? Your combats ran long with freaking minions. I can't even...

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tawmis View Post
    Those same people don't always seem to realize, those same spells, can be used on players.
    That's one of the reason I actually like asymmetry between PCs and NPCs for tactical combat. It allows to give to the player capacities no player would ever want against them, and to NPCs capacities that wouldn't make sense in the player action economy.
    The only real problem I have with such an asymmetry is that if it is too significant, it can become difficulty to not ignore it during the RP. (Oh, and it makes PC vs PC mechanically weird, if not impossible by rules, but that's rarely an issue).

    Quote Originally Posted by redwizard007 View Post
    4e? The edition with minions? Your combats ran long with freaking minions. I can't even...
    4e is the D&D edition I've played where the combats tend to drag the most. (I've played 3.5, Pathfinder, 4e and 5e)
    Minions are great, in fact, one of the very good idea of 4e, but that doesn't compensate for all the rest.

    The only fight that lasted longer than my 4e fight were:
    + "3 in 1" fight, where the PCs essentially got 3 successive fight without transitions (Ive done that once in 5e).
    + Fight with long rule discussions and game design analysis. Those are not necessarily long in number of turns, but they compensate.
    Last edited by MoiMagnus; 2019-12-13 at 05:23 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #71
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by redwizard007 View Post
    4e? The edition with minions? Your combats ran long with freaking minions. I can't even...
    Minions saw a lot less use in the actual written material than they were actually employed by DMs at the table. Most "combats" would be against 4 or 5 regular enemies who all had HUGE amounts of HP and pretty good defenses, especially compared to the previous edition where defenses were good, but HP was minimal. I think "average" low-CR enemies had around 30-40 HP.

    The advantage to minions is really just numbers. They're great to fill out an army or a horde without having to track individual HP or use swarm mechanics.
    Last edited by False God; 2019-12-13 at 05:41 PM.
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  12. - Top - End - #72
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoiMagnus View Post
    4e is the D&D edition I've played where the combats tend to drag the most. (I've played 3.5, Pathfinder, 4e and 5e)
    Minions are great, in fact, one of the very good idea of 4e, but that doesn't compensate for all the rest.

    The only fight that lasted longer than my 4e fight were:
    + "3 in 1" fight, where the PCs essentially got 3 successive fight without transitions (Ive done that once in 5e).
    + Fight with long rule discussions and game design analysis. Those are not necessarily long in number of turns, but they compensate.
    My wife is in a 3.5 game where each round of combat took over an hour. It has 8 players, each player has multiple npcs they are responsible for, ect. When her character got taken out once she spent the next 3 sessions not playing the game because a single combat took that long.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Dear players:

    Get over it!
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  14. - Top - End - #74
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jakinbandw View Post
    My wife is in a 3.5 game where each round of combat took over an hour. It has 8 players, each player has multiple npcs they are responsible for, ect. When her character got taken out once she spent the next 3 sessions not playing the game because a single combat took that long.
    without going to that extreme, combat is long at my table too, and for problems that cannot really be solved with timers.
    on one hand we all talk about tactics before deciding what to do - and we like doing that, we wouldn't want anyone setting a timer to stop our fun.
    but there are also a lot of other interactions.
    we rarely use a grid, so resolving area spells can be complicated. when we do use a grid, we take time setting it up.
    there are often discussions on how to adjudicate rules interactions, and whether some enemy will have some immunity or not. at high level, i've never been able to keep track of all the passive defences and abilities of anything more than my character.
    then there are also times when one character wants to do something out of the ordinary, and asks what check should be entailed. In particular, "does my character think he can make it?" i wouldn't roll in the blind, as my character should know in advance if he can make a certain acrobatic feat. on the other hand, it requires me asking the dm, and the dm figuring out a dc, and perhaps he would tell me that it would be too hard and so i'd have to pick another action.

    and finally, most of it is descriptions. we often try to clarify stuff. especially when the dm uses homebrew mosnters and we are trying to ddetermine how they are reacting to our attacks.

    and frankly, i much prefer the homey babble that results. the fast fights some people are describing here feel.... sterile. passionless. and way too fast to enjoy properly.
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  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    I pay attention to the game when it isn't my turn. Even when my character is unconscious and it won't be my turn again throughout this melee.

    I actually like D&D. Not just my turn -- the entire game.

  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    That's your problem, right there. Even in 4e, which IMX had the slowest and most tactical combat of any edition of D&D, a full combat with five players didn't take more than 45 minutes.
    You haven't played with 7 players vs 30 mobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guizonde View Post
    if my bad guy knocks down or knocks out a player, it's the dice's fault. i don't intentionally single out a player for the ko. that said, i also impose time limits on turns. it forces on the fly thinking for the players, resulting sometimes in less than optimal decisions, but hey. combat is chaotic, sometimes you will myopically do a moronic thing. it happens.
    No offense but I stopped reading right here, it's obviously not what I'm talking about.

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drache64 View Post
    You haven't played with 7 players vs 30 mobs?

    No offense but I stopped reading right here, it's obviously not what I'm talking about.
    But thats what your title and OP indicate youre talking about.
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  18. - Top - End - #78
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    and frankly, i much prefer the homey babble that results. the fast fights some people are describing here feel.... sterile. passionless
    Weirdly enough those are the exact words Id use to describe the kind of combat you illustrated.

    Different strokes n all.

  19. - Top - End - #79
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drache64 View Post
    You haven't played with 7 players vs 30 mobs?
    Generally no, and you shouldn't be either. Tabletop gaming systems are generally designed for 3-5 players. Going above that will almost always have deleterious consequences for gameplay, it's simply too many people involved at once. This is true even in exceedingly simply systems, but doubly so in complex ones like D&D. If you have 7 players and the GM keeps arbitrarily removing one from play, it suggests they are unable to handle the multitasking necessary to manage such a large group at once.
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drache64 View Post
    You haven't played with 7 players vs 30 mobs?
    So... You enjoy suffering at your games?
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    This sounds an awful lot like the DM is somesort of babysitter or dancing monkey who has to keep the players engaged and entertained at their own cost, rather than someone who gets to have fun with a game. No wonder so many seem to think of DMing as a chore that should rotate frequently...
    Yeah, the DM has more responsibility to managing "the game" than the players do. Yeah, the DM has more responsibility for presenting a viable gameworld and ensuring it's elements engage the players. The gameworld won't do that itsself, the book won't roll dice, manage NPCs or present the plot hooks. It'll just sit there until someone reads it and then presents it in an interesting way. All the fish have to do is swim in the river and take the bait. The fisherman still needs to travel to where the fish are, ensure he has proper supplies, and have at least some idea of how to cast a line. The fish? Swim and bite.
    Last edited by False God; 2019-12-14 at 12:40 AM.
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by False God View Post
    Yeah, the DM has more responsibility to managing "the game" than the players do. Yeah, the DM has more responsibility for presenting a viable gameworld and ensuring it's elements engage the players. The gameworld won't do that itsself, the book won't roll dice, manage NPCs or present the plot hooks. It'll just sit there until someone reads it and then presents it in an interesting way. All the fish have to do is swim in the river and take the bait. The fisherman still needs to travel to where the fish are, ensure he has proper supplies, and have at least some idea of how to cast a line. The fish? Swim and bite.
    {Scrubbed}
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    {Scrub the post, scrub the quote}
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    Last edited by truemane; 2019-12-16 at 11:51 AM. Reason: Scrubbed
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by False God View Post
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Does nobody playing D&D 5E have spellcasters in their party who uses Counterspell to protect the others from SoS/SoD spells? D&D combat takes teamwork, and if the teamwork is lacking, everyone suffers for it. At my table the DM pulls no punches (he once tried to Plane Shift a character to Hades) and there's no whining; we count on our casters to counterspell, or cast Bless/Resistance to boost saving throws when needed. Our martials either protect our casters, or go after enemy casters if they're concentrating on a spell that's keeping one of our guys out of the fight.
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drache64 View Post
    No offense but I stopped reading right here, it's obviously not what I'm talking about.
    none taken, but if that's not what you're talking about, then i don't understand what you are talking about. you don't want dm's to knock your characters out, that's understandable. if it's done on purpose to up the challenge, that's a problem with the dm. if it's accidental, it sucks, and my solution is to set up turn time limits to alleviate the pain of uselessness.

    also, in your case of 7 vs 30, may i suggest "swarm rules"? i homebrewed one (my preferred system doesn't have that rule) that i'm still tweaking, but essentially, you take one standard mook profile and multiply its attack value and its hp by however many you want in the game. speeds up the game a lot more than "ok, mook 6 does his turn, now on to mook 7 of 16".

    i read your problem as a case of slow combat. if it's the "getting knocked out" part, i'm sorry, but never play a medic or healer class, you will be bogged down often with all your turn being "go heal this guy, go heal that guy" and very little casting spells to end the encounter.
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by JakOfAllTirades View Post
    Does nobody playing D&D 5E have spellcasters in their party who uses Counterspell to protect the others from SoS/SoD spells? D&D combat takes teamwork, and if the teamwork is lacking, everyone suffers for it. At my table the DM pulls no punches (he once tried to Plane Shift a character to Hades) and there's no whining; we count on our casters to counterspell, or cast Bless/Resistance to boost saving throws when needed. Our martials either protect our casters, or go after enemy casters if they're concentrating on a spell that's keeping one of our guys out of the fight.
    It depends a lot on how Counterspell is actually handled by your DM.
    Do you know which spell is cast before choosing to counterspell?
    Do you know which person is targeted before choosing to counterpsell?
    As for RAW, the only thing you know is "this creature is casting a spell", since it cost a reaction to know more about it, and casting a counterspell also cost the reaction. As for my particular DMing houserule, I communicate the spell level and the "approximative targeted zone", which indeed significantly reduce the problem of SoS/SoD. But without that kind of houserule, unless you accept to waste a significant number of counterspells against cantrips, then you cannot really rely on counterspell. Unless you're particularly good at reading the DM's bluff, or your DM is particularly bad at bluffing.
    (I've also encountered DMs that find counterspell OP in 5e, so ban it, but that's another subject)
    Last edited by MoiMagnus; 2019-12-14 at 06:55 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #88
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    I sympathize. I really do. For me, the most frustrating part is coming to the table with my character sheet prepared, and waiting for everybody else to update their sheet with the experience points from last week. Last week's "4:00 game" actually started after 5:00.

    Yes, it's frustrating to have your character knocked out of a fight early.
    It's frustrating to sit on the bench because you're a defensive player and the offense is currently on the field.
    It's frustrating to play Monopoly and have your piece stuck in jail.
    It's frustrating to be at a fencing tournament after you've been eliminated.
    It's frustrating to watch the game go by when you landed on the "Lose One Turn" square.
    It's frustrating to sit in the dugout when somebody else is up to bat.
    It's frustrating to sit in the car while somebody else is driving.
    It's frustrating to visit a museum with somebody who spends more time at each exhibit than you want to.
    It's frustrating to be at a track meet or swim meet waiting for your event.
    It's frustrating to ...

    ... but enough.

    In every group activity, there are times when you aren't the active person -- sometimes for long periods of time. D&D is like that, too. You will get your full allotment of time and action, but that means some long stretches when your teammates are waiting while you have the spotlight, and other long stretches when you are waiting while they are in the spotlight.

    Accept it. Learn to enjoy watching the action, or at least, to wait patiently.

    [Another of my frustrations is when a PC is knocked out, and a couple of rounds later the cleric heals him so he can act again, and then he needs us to waste time explaining the situation because he wasn't paying attention while his character was unconscious.]
    Last edited by Jay R; 2019-12-14 at 11:38 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #89
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drache64 View Post
    You haven't played with 7 players vs 30 mobs?
    6 vs more than 30 in 5e, several times. Staged as 2 Medium wave fights of 15+. I don't recall any of them taking more than an hour, so call it taking 3-4 times as long as a single fight to do two (high creature count) fights back to back.

    But if 7 players vs 30 enemies at once is your normal game ... then all sorts of adjustments probably need to be made. Your request not to have to sit it out is probably reasonable.

    OTOH if it was a one time thing, I understand your frustration and sympathize.

    But calling for DMs to avoid it globally based on either of those unusual circumstances, while a classic vent, isn't going to resonate.

  30. - Top - End - #90
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dear DMs, Please stop taking players out of the fight.

    So .. 3 pages worth of snide remarks? Not going to read through all that. Drache has a point - and if he's termed it as player agency instead, most of you would be cheering for him.

    As I see it, this is the good old Hold Person conundrum: A spell perfectly designed to rob the Fighter of his one moment to shine. Several classes, but perhaps the Fighter more than any other, is only ever really relevant in a brawl - so when initiative is rolled, and the first thing that happens is that the cleric takes you out of the fight, that's legitimately frustrating.

    And ... to be completely honest, if you fail to see that, you're not trying hard enough.

    It's not necessarily the DM's fault, though. The spell is there to use, and the cleric villain really should - it's hugely effective. It's not the players fault either - the class is there to be played. I'm sure some would claim that it's up to the player to shore up those defences. Go buy a ring of mind shielding*, ya scrub.

    But it's neither's fault in reality. It sloppy game design, and that really all there is to say. No player of any game ever created has a good time not playing**. Even when it first becomes available, hold person lasts long enough to eliminate the fighter for pretty much the entirety of the fight.

    * Ring of mind shielding doesn't do what I'm implying it should - but that's on the game designers, not me.
    ** The exception being Bingo - there's a christmas bingo at my workplace I'm more than happy to not be playing.

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