DM/Player preferences and expectations.

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DM/Player preferences and expectations.

Post by DM-Christian on Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:36 pm

I wanted to take some time today, and open the discussion as well, to talk about playstyles in D&D.  As a DM, it's important that I'm up front as to what you can expect from me, because there's no point hyping our campaign as the best thing ever if the way that we present it bugs the hell out of you.

It's kind of a tradition for me that I leap straight to DMing before mastering the nuts, bolts, numbers and minutia of the rules we're using, and Weirdale will be no different.  I've always been able to pull this off through recruiting players both honest and communicative, willing to answer, even to their character's peril, just "what that thing does," while I'm still learning.  Through playing Neverwinter nights, I enriched my education of 3rd edition D&D, and thankfully 5th edition is basically 3rd edition without stat bloat, so I don't expect a longstanding learning curve on my end.

What I do think deserves touching on and highlighting is my stylistic choice toward dialogue and roleplay, and away from numbers.  I consider it a badge of honour to be a DM that enjoys hours of talking and encouraging discussion among the players, with few dice rolls.  Dice and numbers are important to simulate the things we can't accomplish socially (and to flavour some things that we can), but I'm generally not out here to put your character sheets through their paces, I'll save that for your characters themselves.

Combat is fun, but it's the slowest few minutes of your characters' lives when we must live them, so while combat can, will, and must happen, it is not my focus.

If there is one area that I think any new DM can't be expected to immediately master, it's the spells.  Every edition of the player's handbook reads the same: roughly half the book is game introduction and character realization, and the other half is spells.  Straight up, if you would like to play a magic user in this young campaign, understand that you will probably be "the local expert" on your class, even above the DMs, for awhile.

This all transitions well into my final point.  When you make a character, you invest creativity and effort into realizing that persona.  Consequently, I, being interested in your character, will invest a degree of story planning around that character.  This means that my goal is not to kill you, but to engage you, to entertain you as you play this beloved creation.  That being said, if it becomes apparent that a player is abusing this understanding, through cheating, taking advantage of my rules-learning state to overtly, abusively powergame, or doing "stupid stuff because the DM doesn't want to kill my character" that character is doomed.  I might not even roll dice.  This doesn't happen often in my experience, because I'm somewhat picky in recruiting my players, but it has happened, and I have responded accordingly.  I'm not against character death, but in a high magic campaign, I offer many options for a character belonging to a worthy player to return to the fight if desired.  I've also seen players work with me to purposely kill off a character that they were getting tired of, and those were also some important, memorable moments.  I don't consider player characters invincible, I do consider them important.

That'll do for an opening post, I'll leave the floor open for questions or for players (or DM-Estelle) to chime in with stylistic preferences.  I'm sure Estelle will impress upon you her undying love affair with the long winded and statistically precise nature of D&D magic! (/sarcasm)


Last edited by DM-Christian on Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: DM/Player preferences and expectations.

Post by DM-Estelle on Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:23 pm

RE: Impressions.

The following post is rated R for hateful language.

If you have questions about RP, the story, melee combat, basic D&D mechanics, et cetera, PLEASE don't hesitate to ask me. I am here for this.

But if you have any questions that are all related to magic in D&D, my answer will always be the same:

"Fuck if I know."

I typically refuse to DM D&D because there are not words, except perhaps in the black tongue of Mordor, that adequately convey the seething hatred I possess for D&D's magic system.

On that note, if I am DMing, I am trusting you not to be like, "I roll 4 d100's as I invoke my Screaming Unicorn Demon perday," because I would probably believe you.

Seriously, I have never DM'd for D&D before and when I play, I'm always a physical damage class. My lack of fucks given about D&D magic cannot be overstated.
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Re: DM/Player preferences and expectations.

Post by Tackett on Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:47 pm

I'm probably the least RP oriented person here, so most of my reading has been on spells and combat and classes and such. I've never played DnD before, and I don't have an established character like everyone else, so I don't really know what to expect.

P.S Estelle banned for using vulgar language.
P.S.S Estelle unbanned so I can summon my Unicorn Demon.
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Re: DM/Player preferences and expectations.

Post by DM-Estelle on Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:11 pm

Tackett wrote:I'm probably the least RP oriented person here, so most of my reading has been on spells and combat and classes and such.  I've never played DnD before, and I don't have an established character like everyone else, so I don't really know what to expect.

P.S Estelle banned for using vulgar language.
P.S.S Estelle unbanned so I can summon my Unicorn Demon.

Pls don't ban me. I cannot help my heathenous vulgarity.

Tack, seriously, don't worry about being new to RP. Just be who you want to be. We all start somewhere. And, bonus, we all already love you. So there's that.
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Re: DM/Player preferences and expectations.

Post by DM-Christian on Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:13 pm

Tackett, your signature just reminded me of something really important I forgot to mention in another thread because I TOTALLY AGREE!
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Re: DM/Player preferences and expectations.

Post by DM-Estelle on Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:13 pm

I can't stop staring at his icon tbh. It speaks to me.
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Re: DM/Player preferences and expectations.

Post by DM-Christian on Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:14 pm

That's THE BEAST INCARNATE, THE REIGNING, DEFENDING, UNDISPUTED WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION...

BRRRRRRRROCK LESNAR!
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Re: DM/Player preferences and expectations.

Post by DM-Estelle on Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:18 pm

He looks like he really has to go to the bathroom, but someone just shoved past him and occupied the only lavatory.
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Re: DM/Player preferences and expectations.

Post by DM-Christian on Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:44 pm

There is a fairly important point that I thought I should mention, as a DM and as this multi-DM campaign's "keeper of numbers."

I was very guilty in the past of escalating both access to copious magical loot and, more importantly, experience rewards to maintain an even leveling pace from low level to high, meaning levels 4-5 would take the same amount of time as levels 14-15, usually through grossly inflated roleplay rewards. I see this now, in hindsight, as a huge mistake, especially in a game where everyone, especially the DM, are learning the new system as we go.

Leveling at artificially inflated speeds tends to expedite not only the complexity of each character's abilities, but also the obsolescence of the monster manual as printed. This leads us, way too quickly, to every monster being specifically doctored, or to logistically nightmarish mass wave battles with complicated spell effects on both sides of the board.

I'm going to be straight with you all: I'm not in a hurry to get to that point.

We have countless gaming mediums at our fingertips now to get our "power leveling fix," and so I do not feel compelled to do that with our tabletop game. I feel it is important that I communicate this to you all because, as a guy who loves planning character builds out long term in those other mediums, I think it's important that you know that you should build your characters to be "comfortably played" early in their career, to then have later powers just add to an already fun foundation. What this means is that if you've got a long term "at 17th level, the whole thing clicks, I just need to tough it out until then" sort of plan, you might want to re-evaluate your choices

Furthermore, while I don't think I will ever run a "low magic" campaign, I am going to try my damnedest to resist the impulse to go overboard on magical loot, so don't expect everyone to have +5 swords of godslaying any time soon. Wink
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