Reckless Player Advice

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Hello all, I'm hoping to get some advice on a reckless player in a long running D&D game.

Basic Background: I've been in a 4e game for alittle over 2 years now, and while I think our group could work better together, we have a good time. One of our players used to play a knightish Mul Fighter who was abit headstrong, but very loyal/protective. He recently changed over to a new character, a bodyguard Dragonborn Warden, who so far is also headstrong but seems less moral.

Reckless Act: So in last night's session we were in a new city trying to uncover a hidden artifact. We had no leads with local merchants, but we found a gnome university professor who seemed to have heard of it. In the short time we talked to him he showed mastery at a few spells, and could see through our disguises. We scared him off while trying to maintain our deceptive cover story, so we decided to leave a note at his office apologizing for the deception and asking if he could contact us. We were about to leave, when someone suggested that we ransack the office so the gnome would think others were also after the artifact and he would come to us quicker. Another and I said that was foolish because a) there actually were bad guys also after it already, b) we shouldn't push our luck trying to deceive our only lead again, and c) he showed extra ordinary magic ability and probably guards his office. We seemed to all agree, when suddenly the dragonborn player: announces he was bored, says he wants to ransack the office, kicks open the door setting off a magical explosion which hits the whole party, then while we attempt to put out the flames which engulfed the office he jumps out the window and runs off, leaving us to deal with the university guards. He might as well been yelling "Leeroy Jenkins!" the whole time.

Problem: So now our party is in a much tighter spot then it could have been. I'm confident that we will get out of it and push on, yet I am concerned about the dragonborn player endangering us again. If we are in a dungeon crawl or surrounded by enemies he can charge around all he wants; but it seems very rude when we role play and he does the same thing. One the one hand, I'm not sure if I should say something player-to-player about him being more of a team player. And on the other hand, I'm not sure how my kindhearted Halfling Chef Fighter should react in-game. The DM after the game said he didn't think it would be out of line for my character to give him a talking to, but my character's never done anything like that before and I have no idea how to approach it.

Any advice on how to handle this in-game and out would be much appreciated!
The problem is actually that you (and others, maybe even the DM) were trying to block the ideas of another player. The "Yes, and..." approach which is ensconced in the 4e books solves this problem. If someone has an idea, provided it doesn't totally contradict existing fiction, just say "Yes" to it and add additional details to build from there. If he suggested trying to frame up the scene, say, "Yes, and be careful not to set off any traps or alarms. Then let's get out of here." Problem solved. He gets what he wants, you get what you want, and you continue quickly and amicably.

As far as "endangering"... you're adventurers. You should be PUTTING yourselves in danger and loving every minute of it. Now, there is no excuse for him blocking YOUR idea if you want to do something in particular such as talk rather than fight. Again, "Yes, and..." solves this issue. The key is getting everyone on the same page.

This is NOT an in-game issue. It should not be handled in-game. It's not just him that's not being a team player. It's the rest of you as well.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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My post above is pretty broad, so I'll talk a bit now how this might have gone with our groups and where the problems started and could be resolved. Perhaps that will be a bit more illustrative and helpful.

We were about to leave, when someone suggested that we ransack the office so the gnome would think others were also after the artifact and he would come to us quicker. Another and I said that was foolish because a) there actually were bad guys also after it already, b) we shouldn't push our luck trying to deceive our only lead again, and c) he showed extra ordinary magic ability and probably guards his office.



Emphasis mine. This is where the problem starts. Rather than accept the idea of that player and build on it to make it better, it was picked apart and shot down. This is very common in gaming groups and is a sign of failure mitigation. Every plan has to be perfect else we pay the price. Well, the thing is "the price" is interesting. It's where the action and drama is. Not every plan need be fullproof and talking it to death will result in pacing problems in the game and ultimately bored players. Bored players, as you see here, lash out.

Our group would have handled it this way:

PC1: Hey, maybe we should ransack the place a little to make it seem like others who are also interested in the McGuffin are hot on the trail.
PC2: Yes, let's do that. Just make sure to be careful not to really damage anything or set off any traps.
PC3: Be quick about it, too.
PC1: Okay, I start ransacking a bit, just to back up our story and maybe create a sense of urgency in this NPC.
DM: Okay, sounds good. It seems like failure might be interesting here and you're definitely gaining a benefit from the attempt, so I'm going to call for a skill check. If you succeed, your ruse works and the NPC will be more agreeable. If you fail, you set off a trap of some kind and will have to deal with it. Agree?
PCs: Yeah. What is that, a Bluff?
DM: Yeah, Bluff, Thievery maybe. Stealth to cover your tracks? Whatever you think works here, just tell me what you're doing before making the check so I have some fictional context to work with. If more than one of you are working on this, we'll make it a group check. If half of you make it, you succeed.

PCs roll and we play to find out what happens.

We seemed to all agree, when suddenly the dragonborn player: announces he was bored, says he wants to ransack the office, kicks open the door setting off a magical explosion which hits the whole party, then while we attempt to put out the flames which engulfed the office he jumps out the window and runs off, leaving us to deal with the university guards. He might as well been yelling "Leeroy Jenkins!" the whole time.



The trap and ensuing magical explosion strikes me as blocking by the DM and "punishment" for the dragonborn's actions. See example above. DM asked the party what failure might look like and got the players to buy in. They knew the risks explicitly and decided to do it.

If we are in a dungeon crawl or surrounded by enemies he can charge around all he wants; but it seems very rude when we role play and he does the same thing.



First, combat IS roleplaying. What you're referring to is in-character interaction with NPCs.

Yes, it is rude if you want to talk to an NPC or monster and he smashes it. That's HIM blocking YOU, just like in scene you cited above it was you guys blocking another player. Neither is acceptable if you want a smoothly running game with good pacing.

The DM after the game said he didn't think it would be out of line for my character to give him a talking to, but my character's never done anything like that before and I have no idea how to approach it.



It's not out of line for your character to take issue with his character. But really the problem originates with the players, not the characters. So you really need to discuss it as a group. The "Yes, and..." approach solves ALL of these issues. It's not an in-game problem.

Here's some advice to give to your DM as well with regard to PC planning:

Encourage your players to accept the ideas of others. If someone comes up with a plan, address it as if it's the only plan and ask the players to add onto it, not come up with their own separate plans. If everyone comes up with a plan of their own, that likely means that you've spent WAY too much session time on the issue. It also means that - since only one plan is likely to be used anyway - 4 other people get the shaft. It's better to back the first plan that comes up and add your own spin to it rather than say why it can't work and come up with something else. This way, everyone gets their ideas included and the game moves forward.

Good luck, and I'm happy to answer any additional questions on this approach.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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Yeah, failure mitigation is the problem here. Failure in D&D is traditionally boring (you die, you're captured, you feel stupid, the adventure just ends... now what?), but after enough time is spent trying to avoid failure there's going to be a tipping point at which the avoidance is more boring and someone wants something to happen and wants to be challenged. Sometimes people will make impulsive characters just to have an excuse to break out of the endless loop of optimal play.

I recommend talking as a group about how to make failure interesting, instead of boring and punitive. This doesn't mean that things can't be realistic: yes, obviously this NPC would have kinked the office, but it doesn't have to be an explosion. It could be the room filling with gas (is it real or an illusion?) giving the players scant moments to do what they're planning. The gas (if it's real) won't kill them or knock them out, but will do something interesting. If  the DM can't figure out what that should be, then they should ask the players. If no one can think of anything interesting for the failure, then it just shouldn't occur, or should occur but be handled in some way.

There's realism, then there's "realism." Realism is the room being trapped. "Realism" is the room being trapped in such a way that even if you set off the trap it's a scene everyone feels good about engaging in, a scene that you'd watch on TV and think, either "Wow the hero was so cool he handled that foreshadowed trap so easily it was done off-screen" or "Wow, the hero really stepped in it, but it's cool watching him get out of it."

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I don't think they were trying to block the ideas of the dragonborn, they presented very good reasons why attacking the powerful magic users office was not a sound plan.  Instead of working together or presenting reasons why it would be a good idea, the player just did it instead.  Good job to the DM for allowing it to happen !  It shows that the DM was not actually siding with some players over others. 

I don't believe it was a problem of saying "yes, and" and I don't think it's the answer to every problem like iserith and centauri often claim.  I think the problem is that the player really was bored.  From the sounds of it, he wanted action so he created it.  Clearly, some players were not interested in sacking the office, forcing them to do so was not cool.

If the player wants to do that kind of action, where he forces the rest of the party to do what he wants, then let the character deal with the consequences.  It makes no sense to fight the guards who come to deal with the offending character for him as he runs away.  Instead tell the guards what happened and who actually tried to break in the office and offer to help them catch the offender.  By dealing with the consequences yourselves you're only re-inforcing that the behavior is ok within the group.  Show the player that it's not ok, and deal with it head on instead.

The whole you get what you want, he gets what he wants just doesn't work in this situation.  The majority of the group had no interest in sacking or entering the office in the first place.  The one player forced the rest.  That's not acceptable and it's not very nice.

The game is about collaboration, what this player did is not that at all.  "yes, and" does not solve this issue.  iserith and centauri also often seem to think that everyone buys in to their specific style of play and that everyone should convert to it.  So they push it all the time to everyone for every problem.  Nevermind the fact that some problems don't actually apply.
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

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I don't believe it was a problem of saying "yes, and" and I don't think it's the answer to every problem like iserith and centauri often claim.



I swear I don't even need to read people's posts because they always say the same thing, its infuriating

especially in this situation where it isn't on the players to bend over backwards and compromise when there exists no mandate for them to do so and they tried to handle it as a party is supposed to do

I agree that allowing the instigator to jump out a window and escape the consequences was a poor play on the DM's part, that is just going to drive a wedge between him and the other players so that they make threads like this. Its on the DM or letting him get away with it, and then on the players for letting him get away with it.

Mostly, of course, its on the player, sure he has less interest in non-combat and roleplaying, but that doesn't mean he should ruin it for everyone else, and then fleeing when the action he craved arrives just makes no sense to me.
Heh, Noctaem, I watched your group debate whether and how to attack some goblins in a cave for 30 minutes one time. Ended up that one character just went in and attacked. If memory serves, that was you. This is a common issue in RPGs. It's because of people blocking the ideas of others and round and round it goes. "Yes and..." would have saved you that 30 minutes. Someone would have said, "I want to attack these goblins." The rest would have said, "Yes, and..." and the action could commence with embellishments as provided by people with the "and" part of that approach which might have included sneaking up or bluffing to get closer, etc.

Now, I don't doubt that some people enjoy that 30 minutes of debate. I sure as hell don't because it kills a game's pacing and eats up time better spent on heroic action and moving the game forward. ("Action" isn't necessarily combat either.) So please, there's no need to poopoo our advice. Yes, we offer it as a solution to many problems because it is a solution to many problems. A solution not the only solution. It's up to the OP to decide if it's right for their group.

If you don't like to see us posting this kind of advice, you can always block us. There's no need to be nasty. And anyway, collaborative play and the "Yes, and..." approach is in the 4e DMG and DMG2. It's not like we made it up ourselves.


I don't think they were trying to block the ideas of the dragonborn, they presented very good reasons why attacking the powerful magic users office was not a sound plan.  Instead of working together or presenting reasons why it would be a good idea, the player just did it instead.  Good job to the DM for allowing it to happen !  It shows that the DM was not actually siding with some players over others. 

I don't believe it was a problem of saying "yes, and" and I don't think it's the answer to every problem like iserith and centauri often claim.  I think the problem is that the player really was bored.  From the sounds of it, he wanted action so he created it.  Clearly, some players were not interested in sacking the office, forcing them to do so was not cool.

If the player wants to do that kind of action, where he forces the rest of the party to do what he wants, then let the character deal with the consequences.  It makes no sense to fight the guards who come to deal with the offending character for him as he runs away.  Instead tell the guards what happened and who actually tried to break in the office and offer to help them catch the offender.  By dealing with the consequences yourselves you're only re-inforcing that the behavior is ok within the group.  Show the player that it's not ok, and deal with it head on instead.

The whole you get what you want, he gets what he wants just doesn't work in this situation.  The majority of the group had no interest in sacking or entering the office in the first place.  The one player forced the rest.  That's not acceptable and it's not very nice.

The game is about collaboration, what this player did is not that at all.  "yes, and" does not solve this issue.  iserith and centauri also often seem to think that everyone buys in to their specific style of play and that everyone should convert to it.  So they push it all the time to everyone for every problem.  Nevermind the fact that some problems don't actually apply.



As presented by the OP, it wasn't the dragonborn's idea to ransack. It was "someone else." They debated the finer points and that "someone else" backed down from the idea. That's when the dragonborn - who could easily have been your character with the goblin cave - took action. What I'm saying is that "Yes, and..." would have allowed for the scene to have gone along and been done long before the dragonborn player could have been bored to tears about an endless and ultimately pointless debate. "Yes, and" is about not blocking other players' ideas, provided they don't contradict existing fiction. It's how improv actors do their job and create stories from literally nothing. Which is what we're doing in an RPG. We can learn from this.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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misrepresenting a past event eh ?  The situation you're referencing is nothing like the one the OP presented.  The key differences are that 1) the party was going in the caves as a group, everyone wanted to go kick some goblin butt.  We didn't have a situation where one player wanted to go commit a crime and the rest we're not interested. 2) the issue was how to go about it, after 30 minutes of back and forth I decided to just make something happen because even the DM was getting bored out of his mind and messaging me on skype.  I wish you would actually take the time to know what you're talking about before throwing out this kind of nonsense just to try and undermine someone else.

The problem in our group was not a "yes, and" as again you fail to see, the problem was indecision about how best to approach the situation.  Overplaning and trying to figure out every little problem that could come up.  It wasn't people blocking other peoples ideas, it was people coming up with ideas non stop and everyone being paralyzed by the fear of something going wrong.  It was a group of new players and seasoned veterans.  And of course we all know that baldhermit is a killer DM ! ;)

I have no interest in blocking you, I will however continue to point out that your methods are not a one stop answer to every problem.  This is what you and centauri just don't seem to understand.  Not everyone uses your game format and not every group is open to it.  Stop trying to force it down everyone elses throats and I won't have to point it out to you everytime you try.  Yes there is a text in the rules about going along with ideas from the players and adding to them to suit your taste as a DM.  That being said it's not a solution that applies to every problem. 

It doesn't matter who advanced the idea to ransack the office, what matters is the player who acted and did it when the majority did not want to go down that path.  This is the key difference between the situation of the OP and the situation of my group which you're either ignorant about or willfully ignoring.

"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

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especially in this situation where it isn't on the players to bend over backwards and compromise when there exists no mandate for them to do so and they tried to handle it as a party is supposed to do

I don't see that there's no mandate, and I don't see that what this party did is what they're "supposed" to do.

There is a tipping point for anyone's patience around the game table. This is a real thing. A person might like any one aspect of the game, but if it's not going anywhere interesting patience is going to wear thin somewhere, and someone is going to want to cut through it. I don't approve of the way this player did it, but I also can't really blame him.

Mostly, of course, its on the player, sure he has less interest in non-combat and roleplaying, but that doesn't mean he should ruin it for everyone else,

Unless the DM consults with the players on what the outcome to a particular action should be, it's entirely on the DM if a particular outcome "ruins" anything for anyone. Basing an adventure in a civilized area tends to limit (though it doesn't have to) a DM's ability to have interesting outcomes to action situations, so that only made the DM's job harder.

and then fleeing when the action he craved arrives just makes no sense to me.

It does to me. He was tired of the failure mitigation and wanted it to end. He wanted action and reaction. And he got it. Why stick around after that? Why did the other players stick around?

No one is backing anyone's play here. What if the original plan to ransack the office was backed 100%, and even added on to? They go in, the place blows, everyone reacts. What if the dragonborn leapt out the window in that scenario? What if in adding on to the plan, and in the DM making some hasty plans for interesting failure, it was established that it wouldn't be necessary to run away in order to keep having an interesting game?

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

again centauri you're missing that the majority of the party didn't WANT to break into the office.  Damnit read the OP already !
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

misrepresenting a past event eh ?  The situation you're referencing is nothing like the one the OP presented.  The key differences are that 1) the party was going in the caves as a group, everyone wanted to go kick some goblin butt.  We didn't have a situation where one player wanted to go commit a crime and the rest we're not interested. 2) the issue was how to go about it, after 30 minutes of back and forth I decided to just make something happen because even the DM was getting bored out of his mind and messaging me on skype.  I wish you would actually take the time to know what you're talking about before throwing out this kind of nonsense just to try and undermine someone else.

The problem in our group was not a "yes, and" as again you fail to see, the problem was indecision about how best to approach the situation.  Overplaning and trying to figure out every little problem that could come up.  It wasn't people blocking other peoples ideas, it was people coming up with ideas non stop and everyone being paralyzed by the fear of something going wrong.  It was a group of new players and seasoned veterans.  And of course we all know that baldhermit is a killer DM ! ;)



I disagree and I was not undermining you. I'm simply pointing out how common this situation is. I just observed it going on in another group I joined. It was fixed with "Yes, and..." once it was pointed out as being a problem. The group no longer has an issue.

And yes, the situations are very similar. And both situations would have seen improvement with the solution we have offered. These kinds of things simply don't happen with the approach we're suggesting. Thirty minutes of discussion on how to go about it, whether you want to think about it the way I prescribe or not, is a form of blocking. You don't see improv actors doing this. Someone makes an offer, someone else accepts with embellishment. That's how it works. Decisions are made quickly, the game moves forward. Now, that might not be your preference. Some people really like that debate and planning. But others don't - like you and bald hermit (after a certain point) or this dragonborn fellow. The solution I suggest, straight from the 4e DMG and DMG2, is perfectly valid in both cases. It cuts down on the debate, gives everyone at least a bit of what they want, and moves the game forward.

I have no interest in blocking you, I will however continue to point out that your methods are not a one stop answer to every problem.  This is what you and centauri just don't seem to understand.  Not everyone uses your game format and not every group is open to it.  Stop trying to force it down everyone elses throats and I won't have to point it out to you everytime you try.  Yes there is a text in the rules about going along with ideas from the players and adding to them to suit your taste as a DM.  That being said it's not a solution that applies to every problem.  



Good, because I have no interest in blocking you either. I like you and have respect for your opinions. I changed a number of my own approaches because of your input. Still, I will point out that while we do offer it as a solution to many problems, that doesn't mean it's the only solution or that we're saying it's the only solution. I leave it to others to present different viewpoints. The posters can then choose what works for them. We're certainly not forcing it on anyone. That's just a problem of perception of individual readers.

It doesn't matter who advanced the idea to ransack the office, what matters is the player who acted and did it when the majority did not want to go down that path.  This is the key difference between the situation of the OP and the situation of my group which you're either ignorant about or willfully ignoring.



I'm not saying the dragonborn player is blameless. I'm saying that I understand where he's coming from. You and bald hermit do too, right? My solution is to address this BEFORE it becomes a problem, not how to deal with the aftermath. Because by then, it's probably too late.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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wow

so people don't agree with your philosophies and you try to change the subject of the thread?

have more respect for the OP than to rehash old events or start going into "What if"s. I don't care about "What if" I'm trying to help the OP, not force some agenda
I'm trying to help the OP, not force some agenda

Then get on with it, and don't worry about the advice others give. I'll try to do the same. If anyone would like clarification on why "Yes, and..." is a good idea, and why interesting failure should be advanced as an idea for the DM, I'm happy to dicuss it further.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I'm trying to help the OP, not force some agenda

Then get on with it, and don't worry about the advice others give. I'll try to do the same. If anyone would like clarification on why "Yes, and..." is a good idea, and why interesting failure should be advanced as an idea for the DM, I'm happy to dicuss it further.





that's the whole point.  "yes, and" is not the answer to this problem.  The DM did give interesting failure and consequence, as far as we can tell and it would be assumption to say otherwise.  you have nothing to substantiate that claim.
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

To be clear, in this case an interesting failure would be something that elicited some excitement and engagement from the players, rather than player concern about how the party is in a tighter spot than they could have been. It's a failure that's interesting either to avoid or to have. If no such failure can be thought of, then it's not a good use of the players' time or trust to provide any failure at all.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

"Yes, and..." and the concept of interesting failure are two separate things. Both apply here, but they are separate concepts. "Yes, and..." would have seen to it to the players didn't block each other's ideas and failure mitigate until the dragonborn lashed out in boredom. "Interesting failure" would have ensured that even if the PCs screw up royally, it would still be fun for all (which reduces the need for failure mitigation conversations). My fictional exchange example shows the use of both. Players accepting each other's ideas and the DM providing interesting failure with player buy-in. Mechanics come in to determine the outcome.

It's a vicious cycle. Failure is punitive or uninteresting, so we have endless conversations blocking the ideas of others in the interest of mitigating that failure. One PCs has enough of it and does something contrary. The rest of the players get miffed. This is SO common in gaming groups. I think it's the expected norm, frankly, when it doesn't have to be. Once it's pointed out to them and the techniques provided to how to get everyone working in tandem, it simply goes away!

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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@Broc6000


After reading your post I'm going to probably ask a few more questions for clarification and I will try to assist you.  I may give some of my own examples as well. Bear with me here.


You stated that you were being deceptive with the NPC already, suggesting to  ransack the office is simply a another form of deception.   


The Dragonborn character who you described as being reckless and headstrong charges into danger.


You already briefly described this character as charging in combat.  Sounds that this character charges headlong into roleplaying actions as well.


Question for you:  If there had been no magical trap, no guards, etc, would you still be upset at the Dragonborn character?  What if you did ransack the office and found the information you needed?  Would the Dragonborn's actions still have been a problem?


I run a game with a reckless character in it.  I also used to player a reckless Rogue/Barbarian Halfling in an old 3.0/3.5 game.  It has been my experience that for the non reckless characters it's not the reckless  acts that they have issue with, it's when that recklessness acts have negative consequences. The glass always seems to look half empty when things aren't going the way you want them too.


I would suggest talking this out in-game.  If the Dragonborn character believes himself to be honorable, then simply ask him if leaving his allies in the midst of danger is honorable to him.


Out of game you need to be clear and understanding.  Most of all don't look at only your own opinions.  Talk, then let the other player talk, then repeat.  Comment on what they say to make it clear you hear and understand what they are saying.


Pick in-game or out-of-game don't do both.


I would approach the other character/player as you would want to be approached yourself. 


Oh and for the record, I interpret the spell on the door to suggest that the Gnome has something to hide.  It could have just as easily been a spell that made the ink vanish from everything in the room that would have been just as effective.  Fire is a very aggressive way to protects an office filled with parchment and scrolls.

Question for you:  If there had been no magical trap, no guards, etc, would you still be upset at the Dragonborn character?  What if you did ransack the office and found the information you needed?  Would the Dragonborn's actions still have been a problem?

Thanks for asking these. I was trying to get to this. Without any consequence, this problem goes away entirely. It's replaced by the problem of players wondering why the room wasn't trapped, so it's not the ideal route to take.

If a group (or, more typically, just the DM) can't figure out an interesting way for something to fail (as well as accommodating everyone's idea of what's "realistic), then failure might as well not be an option, because failing in a frustrating way erodes trust at the table.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

For starters blocking was done by several people here.

1. Players to dragonborn's ideas

2. Dragonborn to other players ideas.

It's hard to run with a collaborative approach as in "yes and" if the DM has you on railroads or doesn't want you to take a certain action. So a lot of it might have to do with the DM's game as well.

Yeah i'd say the dragonborn guy was being a little rude, but you can't ignore his boredom and say it doesn't have any value. The game is best when everyone works together to have fun results.

What would I do? I'd talk to the whole party about having more fun reacting to fellow members and making that fun over trying to force someone to do what you want.

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For starters blocking was done by several people here.

1. Players to dragonborn's ideas

2. Dragonborn to other players ideas.

It's hard to run with a collaborative approach as in "yes and" if the DM has you on railroads or doesn't want you to take a certain action. So a lot of it might have to do with the DM's game as well.

Yeah i'd say the dragonborn guy was being a little rude, but you can't ignore his boredom and say it doesn't have any value. The game is best when everyone works together to have fun results.

What would I do? I'd talk to the whole party about having more fun reacting to fellow members and making that fun over trying to force someone to do what you want.



We have nothing saying the dragonborn had his ideas "blocked" or vice versa.  This whole "blocking" thing was added to this thread by forum members and not the OP.  We have no idea if this is correct or not and it shouldn't even be a factor.  The actions of the player are what matter, not what we can only assume upon.
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Hmm, some very good points brought up all around. Thanks for replying.

I agree with iserith, Centauri that we should be more open to everyone's ideas. As long as players are interacting the game is going forward which is the whole point.

Noctaem and Chainsawhand's points defiantly hit closer to my thinking on the issue. The fact that the dragonborn ignored what the group just talked about, and that he left the group right after doing it changes the act from "different" to "detrimental".

@Grimli- If there had been no trap, I would still have been frustrated.

There was no reason for the destruction of the only person's property who could help us. I could play video games all day where no matter my intentions as long as I complete A-B-C i'll get to my goal, yet D&D is about interaction and strategy. If we disregard moral alinement and consequences then what's the point? Might as well just play a game that's a constant dungeon crawl. The previous session was one long encounter, and it was fun (on a lightning train, fighting car to car, big bad at the head, diffuse a riddle bomb, try to stop the run away train, leap off at the last moment). So this session was tailored to suit more roleplaying. We all did try many different approaches to find the artifact, and finally when we got a lead the dragonborn wants to sack the place? Just seemed live a very counter productive maneuver, regardless of the fact that there was a trap involved.

The DM runs a great game, and though sometimes I do disagree with his style, he is a very by the numbers DM and sticks to it. While I've been bothered about combats going on too long, no one has ever complained about his consequence determinations. He doesn't play favorites or change the context just to make it easier on us. I feel like expecting him to try and work everyone's ideas into the game to create a positive/interesting is alittle much. Sometimes players do dumb/boring things, so dumb/boring things should happen.

I am welcome to continue talk about what happened in my session, yet my whole point in posting was asking what should happen from this point on. So any new posters please comment on your advice on what I should do now before commenting on what we "should" have done.

After reading what you guys posted so far, I believe it isn't fair to question the dragonborn players choices and gameplay style. I will take it in game. So this leaves me with how my friendly/kind/protective Halfling cook should brooch the subject to either the dragonborn himself or the party.
Also, tension in the game may have been higher simply because we tried many different approaches to get the artifact and nothing was working. Only at the end of a 3 1/2 hour session were we making progress and then the crazyness insued.
@Grimli- If there had been no trap, I would still have been frustrated.

Why is that? I mean, apart from the frustration that comes with making a plan when no plan turns out to be necessary.

Which makes me wonder: was there a trap before the players talked about there being a trap, or did the DM place that because he agreed that it made sense?

There was no reason for the destruction of the only person's property who could help us.

You said there was: "so the gnome would think others were also after the artifact and he would come to us quicker."

There were also reasons NOT to do that, but this is the nature of choice. Just about any choice has pros and cons, and consequences. But game choices have in-game and out-of-game consequences, as well as the overall cost in time of debating them.

I could play video games all day where no matter my intentions as long as I complete A-B-C i'll get to my goal, yet D&D is about interaction and strategy. If we disregard moral alinement and consequences then what's the point?

I don't know, but that's not really in question. No one is saying the PCs shouldn't fail. We're saying they should fail in interesting ways.

We all did try many different approaches to find the artifact, and finally when we got a lead the dragonborn wants to sack the place? Just seemed live a very counter productive maneuver, regardless of the fact that there was a trap involved.

Nothing is the game needs to be inherently one thing or another. All it needs to be what someone wants is for everyone else to back it up.

While I've been bothered about combats going on too long, no one has ever complained about his consequence determinations.

This consequence was not enjoyable, it seems. Any complaints are being leveled at the player, but the DM chose the consequences.

He doesn't play favorites or change the context just to make it easier on us.

Interesting doesn't need to mean easier.

I feel like expecting him to try and work everyone's ideas into the game to create a positive/interesting is alittle much. Sometimes players do dumb/boring things, so dumb/boring things should happen.

For their own sake? This doesn't strike you as a waste of time? I'm really not clear on the purpose of this.

I mean, things the players want to have happen should, in general, happen, at least in broad strokes. But who wants boring things to happen? Who has that kind of time?

I am welcome to continue talk about what happened in my session, yet my whole point in posting was asking what should happen from this point on. So any new posters please comment on your advice on what I should do now before commenting on what we "should" have done.

Ok. In future, back the first idea you hear, as if it's the best idea you ever heard. Add any suggestions you have, unless they contradict or block the original idea. If your ideas and suggestions get blocked, notice how annoyed that makes you and take pride in the fact that you're not doing that to anyone else.

After reading what you guys posted so far, I believe it isn't fair to question the dragonborn players choices and gameplay style. I will take it in game. So this leaves me with how my friendly/kind/protective Halfling cook should brooch the subject to either the dragonborn himself or the party.

Nothing. No harm, no foul.

I don't know the best way to handle it if the dragonborn player is doing something you don't like, but the absolute worst way is to handle it in-game. His character has no reason to compromise with yours, or nor the player to change how he's played, so it's likely to end up with in-character threats and retaliation.

Also, tension in the game may have been higher simply because we tried many different approaches to get the artifact and nothing was working. Only at the end of a 3 1/2 hour session were we making progress and then the crazyness insued.

Can I ask what was preventing your other approaches from working? And how many approaches were tried and discussed in that time? How long for each discussion?

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

There was no reason for the destruction of the only person's property who could help us. I could play video games all day where no matter my intentions as long as I complete A-B-C i'll get to my goal, yet D&D is about interaction and strategy. If we disregard moral alinement and consequences then what's the point? Might as well just play a game that's a constant dungeon crawl. The previous session was one long encounter, and it was fun (on a lightning train, fighting car to car, big bad at the head, diffuse a riddle bomb, try to stop the run away train, leap off at the last moment). So this session was tailored to suit more roleplaying. We all did try many different approaches to find the artifact, and finally when we got a lead the dragonborn wants to sack the place? Just seemed live a very counter productive maneuver, regardless of the fact that there was a trap involved.

The DM runs a great game, and though sometimes I do disagree with his style, he is a very by the numbers DM and sticks to it. While I've been bothered about combats going on too long, no one has ever complained about his consequence determinations. He doesn't play favorites or change the context just to make it easier on us. I feel like expecting him to try and work everyone's ideas into the game to create a positive/interesting is alittle much.



Some perspective that might help you address the DM about the game: As I suspected with the magical explosion, the DM appears to be doing his fair share of blocking ideas. I'm basing this on your account, especially, "Also, tension in the game may have been higher simply because we tried many different approaches to get the artifact and nothing was working. Only at the end of a 3 1/2 hour session were we making progress and then the crazyness insued."

What it sounds like is the DM has presented you with a problem (quest, adventure, combat encounter, interaction scene, etc.) and has already chosen what the solution will be. He's got it prepped and everything. Naturally he keeps that hidden - we DMs do so love our reveals, right?

So, you guys are doing your thing, using your moral alignments, considering consequences, interacting, and strategizing. You come up with a potential approach to the problem being presented. You execute. It doesn't match the solution the DM has in mind, so you're blocked. Stuff doesn't work. Doors won't open. Gnomes run away from you and his shop blows up. In short, you were on the wrong trail and weren't picking up on the cues the DM was giving you to get back on the path. All that cool roleplaying and decision-making really didn't matter, at least in terms of your efficacy at dealing with the adventure. It wasn't ever going to work anyway.

I'm not saying that to be mean. I remember running games like this and I have seen plenty of other DMs do it. It's an easy mistake to make and it's a common complaint on the forums. DMs should be creating problems, but not the solutions. All your moral alignments, considering consequences, interacting, and strategizing need to mean something because, you're right, that's what makes D&D the game that it is. The DM should be saying "Yes, and..." to your ideas about solving these problems he presents you and then asking for the appropriate die rolls to determine success or failure. If you don't need to guess at a single solution every time, there's no need for lengthy discussions and dead ends. Or bored players.

After 3 plus hours of your cool plans and ideas being blocked, can you really blame the dragonborn?

Sometimes players do dumb/boring things, so dumb/boring things should happen.



Awesome line! I wonder why I've never seen that quote on any D&D marketing materials. It sure wouldn't sell many games that way, right? Your games don't have to be that way. If you want it that way though, that's your call. Nobody can gainsay you for having the wrong kind of fun.

I am welcome to continue talk about what happened in my session, yet my whole point in posting was asking what should happen from this point on. So any new posters please comment on your advice on what I should do now before commenting on what we "should" have done.



I wish I could suggest a good way to broach this subject with the DM. Even perfect strangers in internet forums get at each other's throats when you suggest something different than they're used to. Even something as simple as "Give the players' solutions a fair shake." DMs can also run perfectly good, entertaining games in the style he's doing it in, but it requires some non-transferable skills to be acquired through practice. And a great deal of player buy-in. He doesn't have that from the dragonborn player. It's probably not even really combat he craves... just simple progress.

I can imagine such a conversation not going well with someone you're sitting across the table from. I do feel for you though. It sounds like you really want this to work. I have no advice other than to cut the other players some slack. This is a DM-related issue in my opinion.

After reading what you guys posted so far, I believe it isn't fair to question the dragonborn players choices and gameplay style. I will take it in game. So this leaves me with how my friendly/kind/protective Halfling cook should brooch the subject to either the dragonborn himself or the party.



You're right. Almost assuredly, this problem's source is with the DM. Everything else is a symptom. I wouldn't give the dragonborn too hard a time in-game in light of this.

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Well, I hate to say it, but there are ways that border on Player-vs-Player that might also had an effect.
Suppose the healers do not heal said Dragonborn for a few battles?
Suppose the allies do not assist?

Solo fight? sit this one out and let the Dragonborn handle it. After all, said player left you alone to deal with the side effects of the mess he created.

A player being bored is no excuse for ruining the session for everyone else.

The DM's fault? Is it the DM's fault if the player(s) do(es) something stupid and a perfectly reasonable result happens? Kicking in the door of a high-level arcanist's office? Yeah, he's going to have wards, traps and protections. Did anyone LOOK for them (Basic Arcana roll)? No?
Sometimes the players Don't get it. That happens. Sometimes the players get it all too soon. Since I'm the note-taker in the group, sometimes my Dwarf Fighter figures out solutions to riddles and traps that the Arcanists or Priests should have done. Was there an alternative? Sure, an agent/angel/messenger could have been sent by the DM/Gods to present it to us.
Other times, I have built what I thought was a straight-forward riddle and had the players not get it, but side track onto some side plot. OK. We take a side track. They still have to solve the riddle/puzzle eventually. That's the DM improve section. Takes work and practice.
Well, I hate to say it, but there are ways that border on Player-vs-Player that might also had an effect.
Suppose the healers do not heal said Dragonborn for a few battles?
Suppose the allies do not assist?

Solo fight? sit this one out and let the Dragonborn handle it. After all, said player left you alone to deal with the side effects of the mess he created.



That strikes me as passive aggressive. If you don't want someone to do something, just tell them, one mature adult to another.

A player being bored is no excuse for ruining the session for everyone else.



I don't believe anyone here is saying that it is. There's plenty of "blame" to go around though that's kind of a strong word in light of the other things at play here.

The DM's fault? Is it the DM's fault if the player(s) do(es) something stupid and a perfectly reasonable result happens? Kicking in the door of a high-level arcanist's office? Yeah, he's going to have wards, traps and protections. Did anyone LOOK for them (Basic Arcana roll)? No?



What I'm saying is that no matter what plan they came up with, it was going to end in the contextual equivalent of a gnome running away and an exploding ward. Three hours of dead ends is almost a sure sign of an invisible railroad. Now, railroads in and of themselves aren't inherently bad and un-fun, but you do need to have player buy-in to make it work and some good GMing skills in obfuscation and redirection. The players need to understand that their "crazy" plans might not just work, no matter what, because they're not on the right path. It sounds like the DM didn't have those or was having an off night.

Sometimes the players Don't get it. That happens. Sometimes the players get it all too soon. Since I'm the note-taker in the group, sometimes my Dwarf Fighter figures out solutions to riddles and traps that the Arcanists or Priests should have done. Was there an alternative? Sure, an agent/angel/messenger could have been sent by the DM/Gods to present it to us.
Other times, I have built what I thought was a straight-forward riddle and had the players not get it, but side track onto some side plot. OK. We take a side track. They still have to solve the riddle/puzzle eventually. That's the DM improve section. Takes work and practice.



Plans can fail and consequences can ensue, absolutely. But they needn't be boring. And they needn't be a dead-end. This is discussed in 4e DMG and DMG2 at length, especially with regard to skill challenges.

I agree with you on the DM's improvisation abilities. They help even if you're running a railroad, so you can keep things entertaining while the players are off the path. (I myself do not endorse railroading, but if that's your bag, go for it. I did it for years.) 

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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Well, I hate to say it, but there are ways that border on Player-vs-Player that might also had an effect.
Suppose the healers do not heal said Dragonborn for a few battles?
Suppose the allies do not assist?

Solo fight? sit this one out and let the Dragonborn handle it. After all, said player left you alone to deal with the side effects of the mess he created.

With the goal of... what? Revenge? Make his game boring, because he made our game boring? If you don't want to play with him, talk to him. Set the game aside, and talk to him. I can't be the only one who has ever seen in-game get-backs and passive-aggression just blow out of proportion something that could have been resolved with an out-of-game talk.

A player being bored is no excuse for ruining the session for everyone else.

He didn't ruin it for everyone else. They had an adventure. They got in trouble. It had potential to be exciting. If it wasn't then why?

The DM's fault? Is it the DM's fault if the player(s) do(es) something stupid and a perfectly reasonable result happens?

The DM controls the world, at least until they decide to get player input on the world, but don't get me started on that. There are interesting reasonable results, and uninteresting ones. This one seems to have been uninteresting, and, in hindsight, should not have been chosen. There are ways to find out whether the players will enjoy a particular outcome, and no reason to give them an outcome they won't enjoy.

This, I might as well note, is not the same as giving them a successful outcome. Most people have trouble or consequences they'd be interested in seeing. Give them something along those lines.

Other times, I have built what I thought was a straight-forward riddle and had the players not get it, but side track onto some side plot. OK. We take a side track. They still have to solve the riddle/puzzle eventually. That's the DM improve section. Takes work and practice.

Indeed it does, as well as, along with any improv, lots of accepting and adding on. What you suggest is an interesting outcome: the players are on some side plot. Great. Game on. Some DMs, possibly the one in question here, aren't prepared for that, haven't done the work or practice, and don't allow the players to find anything else interesting if they're not finding the thing they're supposed to.

Interesting consequences.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I think Iserith, Centauri advices are very good, but they are for the DM.  This is a player in Player Forum, asking about how he should deal with this barbarian, so lets try to help a fella "playa" out. :p

Well Broc6000, I have no advice really except what I would do in your situation.  If your player was my friend on my table, I would tell him, "Wuz up with that bro? You blasted us with the trap, alarmed the guards and dug out. What kind of barbarian are you!", usually while I'm laughing about it.  I don't take anything too serious while gaming.  IMO "too serious players" tend to "ruin" the game for everyone else more then those who act recklessly to have fun.  If he keeps doing it, whatever.  I just roll with it.  What happens, happens.

You can stop "cooking" for him if you like :p.

Either way, its really up to your DM to promote teamwork, game is moving forward at a decent pace, & every situation no matter what "playa's do" can be turned into a fun "thang", even if that means throwing out his "adventure plot" out the door.

Too much seriousness from either DM & Players is probably the #1 fun killer, playing DnD.


I think Iserith, Centauri advices are very good, but they are for the DM.  This is a player in Player Forum, asking about how he should deal with this barbarian, so lets try to help a fella "playa" out. :p



Thanks, and you're right. It's advice a DM, especially this DM, could do with hearing. I offer it only to offer some perspective on what may be the source of these issues. Perhaps with that information, the player can arrive at some solutions on his own.

Well Broc6000, I have no advice really except what I would do in your situation.  If your player was my friend on my table, I would tell him, "Wuz up with that bro? You blasted us with the trap, alarmed the guards and dug out. What kind of barbarian are you!", usually while I'm laughing about it.  I don't take anything too serious while gaming.  IMO "too serious players" tend to "ruin" the game for everyone else more then those who act recklessly to have fun.  If he keeps doing it, whatever.  I just roll with it.  What happens, happens.



So you accept what the other players are doing and roll with whatever comes out of it? Good advice!

Too much seriousness from either DM & Players is probably the #1 fun killer, playing DnD.



Amen to that.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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@Grimli- If there had been no trap, I would still have been frustrated.



Fair enough. 

Clarification: do you have an issue with the Dragonborn's play style, or does your character have issue with the Dragonborn's actions.

There was no reason for the destruction of the only person's property who could help us.



You could argue that the Dragonborn by kicking the door in inadvertantely caused the fire.  But there is no way you could have known that would happen.  That fire was caused by the DM of his choosing of the trap in question.  An alarm could have surficed in that instance.

We all did try many different approaches to find the artifact, and finally when we got a lead the dragonborn wants to sack the place? Just seemed live a very counter productive maneuver, regardless of the fact that there was a trap involved.



So it was the Dragonborn character who made the sacking suggestion?  You weren't clear in your initial post on who's idea it was.

I am welcome to continue talk about what happened in my session, yet my whole point in posting was asking what should happen from this point on. So any new posters please comment on your advice on what I should do now before commenting on what we "should" have done.



Okay then here is my advice on the subject:

If your character has issue with the Dragonborn's actions then deal with the issue in-game.  If you as a player have issue with the Dragonborn Player's actions then deal with it out of game.

You decide how your character acts.

If you as a player have no problem with the actions of the dragonborn character's player, and your character has no problem with his character, then it's easy to come up with in-game reasons for your character not doing anything to the dragonborn.

If you as a player have no problem with the actions of the dragonborn character's player, but your character has a problem with his character, then as player you two can come up with an interesting in-game approach for how your character treats his.

If you as a player have a problem with the actions for the dragonborn character's player (including the decision to play that character in a certain way), then you should only deal with this problem out-of-game. Dealing with it in game risks the game being wrecked by in-party squabbles that are stand in for out-of-game discussions.

Seriously, has no one else ever seen the destructive power of dealing with out-of-game things in-game?

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

You decide how your character acts.

If you as a player have no problem with the actions of the dragonborn character's player, and your character has no problem with his character, then it's easy to come up with in-game reasons for your character not doing anything to the dragonborn.

If you as a player have no problem with the actions of the dragonborn character's player, but your character has a problem with his character, then as player you two can come up with an interesting in-game approach for how your character treats his.

If you as a player have a problem with the actions for the dragonborn character's player (including the decision to play that character in a certain way), then you should only deal with this problem out-of-game. Dealing with it in game risks the game being wrecked by in-party squabbles that are stand in for out-of-game discussions.



Wise words. And so simple.

Seriously, has no one else ever seen the destructive power of dealing with out-of-game things in-game?



Not enough, clearly.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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My post above is pretty broad, so I'll talk a bit now how this might have gone with our groups and where the problems started and could be resolved. Perhaps that will be a bit more illustrative and helpful.

We were about to leave, when someone suggested that we ransack the office so the gnome would think others were also after the artifact and he would come to us quicker. Another and I said that was foolish because a) there actually were bad guys also after it already, b) we shouldn't push our luck trying to deceive our only lead again, and c) he showed extra ordinary magic ability and probably guards his office.



Emphasis mine. This is where the problem starts. Rather than accept the idea of that player and build on it to make it better, it was picked apart and shot down. This is very common in gaming groups and is a sign of failure mitigation. Every plan has to be perfect else we pay the price. Well, the thing is "the price" is interesting. It's where the action and drama is. Not every plan need be fullproof and talking it to death will result in pacing problems in the game and ultimately bored players. Bored players, as you see here, lash out.

Our group would have handled it this way:

PC1: Hey, maybe we should ransack the place a little to make it seem like others who are also interested in the McGuffin are hot on the trail.
PC2: Yes, let's do that. Just make sure to be careful not to really damage anything or set off any traps.
PC3: Be quick about it, too.
PC1: Okay, I start ransacking a bit, just to back up our story and maybe create a sense of urgency in this NPC.
DM: Okay, sounds good. It seems like failure might be interesting here and you're definitely gaining a benefit from the attempt, so I'm going to call for a skill check. If you succeed, your ruse works and the NPC will be more agreeable. If you fail, you set off a trap of some kind and will have to deal with it. Agree?
PCs: Yeah. What is that, a Bluff?
DM: Yeah, Bluff, Thievery maybe. Stealth to cover your tracks? Whatever you think works here, just tell me what you're doing before making the check so I have some fictional context to work with. If more than one of you are working on this, we'll make it a group check. If half of you make it, you succeed.

PCs roll and we play to find out what happens.

We seemed to all agree, when suddenly the dragonborn player: announces he was bored, says he wants to ransack the office, kicks open the door setting off a magical explosion which hits the whole party, then while we attempt to put out the flames which engulfed the office he jumps out the window and runs off, leaving us to deal with the university guards. He might as well been yelling "Leeroy Jenkins!" the whole time.



The trap and ensuing magical explosion strikes me as blocking by the DM and "punishment" for the dragonborn's actions. See example above. DM asked the party what failure might look like and got the players to buy in. They knew the risks explicitly and decided to do it.

If we are in a dungeon crawl or surrounded by enemies he can charge around all he wants; but it seems very rude when we role play and he does the same thing.



First, combat IS roleplaying. What you're referring to is in-character interaction with NPCs.

Yes, it is rude if you want to talk to an NPC or monster and he smashes it. That's HIM blocking YOU, just like in scene you cited above it was you guys blocking another player. Neither is acceptable if you want a smoothly running game with good pacing.

The DM after the game said he didn't think it would be out of line for my character to give him a talking to, but my character's never done anything like that before and I have no idea how to approach it.



It's not out of line for your character to take issue with his character. But really the problem originates with the players, not the characters. So you really need to discuss it as a group. The "Yes, and..." approach solves ALL of these issues. It's not an in-game problem.

Here's some advice to give to your DM as well with regard to PC planning:

Encourage your players to accept the ideas of others. If someone comes up with a plan, address it as if it's the only plan and ask the players to add onto it, not come up with their own separate plans. If everyone comes up with a plan of their own, that likely means that you've spent WAY too much session time on the issue. It also means that - since only one plan is likely to be used anyway - 4 other people get the shaft. It's better to back the first plan that comes up and add your own spin to it rather than say why it can't work and come up with something else. This way, everyone gets their ideas included and the game moves forward.

Good luck, and I'm happy to answer any additional questions on this approach.



I can't agree at all.  Sometimes, bad idea is bad.  Just because someone comes up with an idea (ie ransacking an office) doesn't mean it's an idea that the group should do.  To insinuate that the party should just jump at the first idea that anyone throws out is ludicrous.
I can't agree at all.  Sometimes, bad idea is bad.

Yes, but in D&D it's impossible to be sure which ideas are bad. Adventuring should, logically, be a bad idea, but most DMs will facilitate it and make it fun. A DM can do that with any idea, but tends to abdicate that responsibility whenever the players want to do something the DM doesn't want them to do. Then, apparently, it's okay to make the idea a "bad" one.

Just because someone comes up with an idea (ie ransacking an office) doesn't mean it's an idea that the group should do.

The common tendency is to engage only in plans that the DM can't play "gotcha" with, plans that cover every possible avenue of attack. This is because the DM's retribution is openended, and doesn't tend to be guided by what would be interesting for the group. On that basis, there are really no ideas that the players should take. It all comes down to personal opinion, with no real statistics or any thing else to back it up.

To insinuate that the party should just jump at the first idea that anyone throws out is ludicrous.

Sure, the ideal is that the party would talk for a bit and find an idea that they are all behind. What can happen though is, because there's nothing the players "should" do, and the DM can make any idea "bad," the players get locked into an endless loop of discussion, and either never get anywhere, or finally land on an idea that is a massive compromise that's not much better than one of the first ideas. If you take the first idea and build on that (which step you appear to have left out) then the endless loop is short-circuited and the game can move forward, with everyone's involvement.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Once again, you should not have to bow down to the first idea that's thrown out there.  We can go round and round about this, to no avail at all.  While there is no magic formula, saying YES every time someone suggests something isn't the right idea either.
Once again, you should not have to bow down to the first idea that's thrown out there.  We can go round and round about this, to no avail at all.  While there is no magic formula, saying YES every time someone suggests something isn't the right idea either.

It's not "Yes," it's "Yes, and...." Accept the first idea (because it's not likely to be significantly worse than anything else, and keeps the game moving), and then add to it. Everyone can take part to make it the kind of plan they're comfortable with.

There were 3 key objections to the idea offered in this situation, but no one, as far as I can tell was in a position to really decide how much weight those objections should carry. We're dealing with fictional issues, with fictional risks, and fictional benefits. The only real things we're dealing with are how much fun something is, and how much time we have. The DM is the primary controller of how much fun something is, and can and will make even the most sound ideas boring, if that's what they want to do. Or make even the most ridiculous ideas fun, if that's what they want to do. I don't know why a DM would ever want to make an idea boring, but some do. So, the only think the players really control is how much time they spend. Spend as little as possible: accept, add on, and go.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Once again, you should not have to bow down to the first idea that's thrown out there.  We can go round and round about this, to no avail at all.  While there is no magic formula, saying YES every time someone suggests something isn't the right idea either.

It's not "Yes," it's "Yes, and...." Accept the first idea (because it's not likely to be significantly worse than anything else, and keeps the game moving), and then add to it. Everyone can take part to make it the kind of plan they're comfortable with.

There were 3 key objections to the idea offered in this situation, but no one, as far as I can tell was in a position to really decide how much weight those objections should carry. We're dealing with fictional issues, with fictional risks, and fictional benefits. The only real things we're dealing with are how much fun something is, and how much time we have. The DM is the primary controller of how much fun something is, and can and will make even the most sound ideas boring, if that's what they want to do. Or make even the most ridiculous ideas fun, if that's what they want to do. I don't know why a DM would ever want to make an idea boring, but some do. So, the only think the players really control is how much time they spend. Spend as little as possible: accept, add on, and go.



"Yes and" is still yes, and that's not always the right answer.
"Yes and" is still yes, and that's not always the right answer.

The "and..." is what makes it the "right" answer. Or, rather, as right as it can be because the DM is the one who decides if it's right. The DM can make a good idea boring, or a bad idea fun. So, the most "right" a group can do is to pick an answer and add to it quickly then try to enjoy the consequences.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

"Yes and" is still yes, and that's not always the right answer.

The "and..." is what makes it the "right" answer. Or, rather, as right as it can be because the DM is the one who decides if it's right. The DM can make a good idea boring, or a bad idea fun. So, the most "right" a group can do is to pick an answer and add to it quickly then try to enjoy the consequences.



It's clear we're going to have to agree to disagree.
It's clear we're going to have to agree to disagree.

Do you disagree that a DM can make a good answer boring and a wrong answer fun?

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

It's clear we're going to have to agree to disagree.

Do you disagree that a DM can make a good answer boring and a wrong answer fun?




You're putting this into the position of the DM.  The original post is from the perspective of the players.  Therefore, I fail to see the relevance.

My original quote was from Iserith, who say the players were wrong for telling the other player that the idea to ransack the office was foolish.  That is an incorrect statement.  A debate among players about the direction they, as a party wish to go is /never/ wrong.  Ever. 

The DM's job is to facilitate that discussion and make sure it does not drag on for too long.  Once their decision is made, then yes, the DM adjusts fire to that and drives on.  But the players should never EVER have to agree to the first thing that another player suggests.  The players should /always/ have a voice as to what's a good idea and what's not a good idea.
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