Wednesday, July 09, 2008


I am sick of whiny players. No, really, I am.

I do not know what is it about Dungeons and Dragons in particular that brings out the worst in a player, but it does. I am not talking about hack and slash. I can tolerate that.

What I am upset about is how ill-behaved a Dungeons and Dragons player is when a rules call goes against them. Especially where there's a challenging encounter.

Here's the context. It's the last game I'm running for a while. I wanted to pit a young white against a number of new characters. I expected it to be a slaughterhouse. I've communicated it to them that I expect it to be a slaughterhouse, exactly because I know that they are not prepared for this PLUS they've expended resources reaching this point in the game that I thought was a really bad idea. For those in the know, they've expended their dailies.

So this group of experienced players, wanting to win, pull out all the stops. They get fairly creative in trying out new things that are not a part of the game system, which I try to quickly reward by improvising rules.

At the end of the fight (which ends in a slaughter, as predicted), the players start bitching about the rules calls that went against them and ONLY the rules calls that went against them, and that they could have beat the dragon IF the rules calls went their way, not taking into account that:

  1. All throughout the fight, there were rules calls that were clearly wrong but in the players' favour that influenced the fight to their advantage.
  2. I was clearly lenient in favor of creativity, but the bulk of the bitching was in the portion of the improvised rules encouraging creativity.
  3. I get very irritated when someone selects bits of physics and rules to come up with the most advantageous rule set applicable to the situation. You either argue real world physics in its entirety or rulesets in their entirety.
  4. IF I had wanted to make the fight unfair, I'd have had the dragon circle the top of the cavern blasting them with dragon breath after dragon breath once their only ranged attacker had been turned into mush.
Henceforth, I'm going to save myself player aggro and not run Dungeons and Dragons. Ever.


Trebuchet said...

Haha, w00t!

I must just say I've been tremendously fortunate in the players who I've been having all these years, except for some very rare cases.


The Disappearing Man said...

That's unfortunate. Having had a look at the 4th Ed ruleset, I think it's really cool.

It's not the rules that are the problem but the players. In the end it should be obvious the DM holds all the cards anyway - if you trust him to be fair, then trust him. If not, don't play.

Khayce said...

It's a very specific thing. For the most parts, the players are pretty good.

Except that they feel that they should be able to "win" every encounter, and will stop at nothing to do so.

And again, I've nothing against creative play. I do have something where the weapon of choice is creative play combined with creative rules interpretations.

I also made it clear that this dragon encounter is way beyond their power level, and its there solely because they've asked me to run a finale for a game that got replaced while I was away.