A Dm's swift hand, 3.5ed (Playing harsh, but challenging)

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Hello, anyone reading this. This is a rant about an arguement of the correct way to Dm. Staying to the point before I bore anyone, as i've already written this rant and decided I can agree upon posting it. I feel as if a scarred player wanting to inflict the same anguish on my players. However, being the logical person I am I require reason for why this wrong doing is a right. And a right as the Dm. 

Allow me to give a description of the kind of Dm I dealt with and hope to be but with full understanding upon my rulings.

From a players perspective, my perspective. This is what would happen;

My Dm would drop the players in a tavern and let them find each other through friendly conversations in a bar.
One character would maintaine the role as the protagonist, the rest are sub characters. If the protagonist is unlucky enough to fall, then a sub character with sufficient background takes the leaders role. If no one is suitable then the campaign falls apart, a break period seems to come aswell and we start over. 

Now this system doesn't sound harsh until I mention, that it would be a suprise if someone doesnt die in a session. Some take damage and one always seems to fall into the danger zone of being killed or through a miracal finds his way out of the grasp of his god and is favored to allow him to awake and crawl before the world for utter survival, after passing a form of riddle or true understanding of your god. No roll is taken, and time is of the essence, if you hesitate in an attempt to find what your looking for you fail the roleplay. So through deadly experience it whips players into trully evolving and understanding the character they choose.
-to my understanding I believe my Dm based CR directly. At a minimum, a player is expected hold even vs his own level of CR. For example, if you are level 4 and your ally is level 4 the both of you should be able to take on 2 other level 4's. Making not only above average dice rolls to have the combat in your favor but using rp and skill to alter the rest. If you are cunning then you will be unscaved. If you are mechanical, then may the dice gods have mercy on your soul. (Lack of intellect based characters are usually shunned with this style) but then again no one likes an idiot, you have the chaotic for that.   

* This is the mind set I wish to use as a mold, I dont want idiots following arrows saying one direction or the next. I'd like an objective, a more then probably reason for that objective. And a well witted attempt to acheive that objective. If it were to begin failing a smart player would run knowing it was a failure, or get stuck in there to die trying (if they live than good on them). 

If failure becomes the result I would force a form of rp based predicament that would stop them from going back to the drawing board, Either target environment changing or a new path opens up only for an immediate attempt. If this part fails than the mission would become a true failure resulting in a definite closure to the mission, and re launching them into resulting campaign.

**Why to comment.
-- If anyone has any Base concepts to formulate into campaigns, which to run these Swift handed Dm'ing, please comment below and perhaps we can work on something. 

--Please tell me your opinion on this Swift hand's Dm'ing.

--I dont think you can convince me how dungeon crawling can become fun, but I welcome the argument, and will more than likely respond to anything. 

--How can I impliment this Swift Hand's DMing, that is still only challenging but has a lack of PCs? .. Npc's?
Or new players?

(ps. we are in need of players. 3.5 ed Online, Pm if interested our timing isnt set but we play as often as possible, and dont mind waiting if scheduled sessions are necissary. We use Skype, MapTools, all 3.5books, & anything is negotiable.)
I've read your post five times and I'm still having trouble figuring out exactly what you are looking for. I assume that English is not your first language because in all candor your grammar is atrocious. So let me see if I can summarize so we are on the same page... You are looking to start a new campaign. As DM you are trying to convey your style which is:

  1. that there is one player in the party that is the main character of the plot line. the rest of the party are associates of this main character.

  2. that in your campaign there is the high probability that this main character (among others) will die at some point and one of his associates will then transition to become the main character.

  3. you believe that a given character should be able to hold their own against an equal level NPC/monster.

  4. that intelligent players should be able to role-play their way out of bad situations; that if you are more of a roll-player (vs role-player), that you had better hope the dice do not go against you.

  5. that if a character does "die" that there would be some form of role-playing event to return him/her to life.

  6. you only want responses that basically approve of your DM style; while you will respond to arguments against your style chances are you will not change your style.

 

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

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.

If you'd want to summarize what I said, then yes those would be the key points but technically, I've already started a campaign and its just people getting pissed off for not understanding, that's I worry about. Of course I expect it but the logic behind it would be comforting.

1) a protagonist is a main character. (so duh)

Any thoughts on actually using this DM style?

P.s English is my first language but I'm studying abroad so I'm kind of losing touch with my langauge. (Keeping to forums to help with it, but writing without word only does so much.)

 
 
If you don't want constructive criticism, then you shouldn't be posting in this forum.  It needs a lot of work. 
The first part promotes favoritism.  If the party wants a leader, let them work it out on their own.  You assigning one just makes things worse.
The second does as well.  And sounds like a me vs the party kind of thing.  Which is a bad premise to dm on.
The fourth is convoluted enough to make it sound like anything using dice is bad if you are in a bad mood.  Btw, unless the dm rolls extremely bad, there is no way for 2v2 to end with one side untouched.  But if you were to read the dmg, you would see that the basic encounter is one enemy per character, with being the same level.
You keep capitolizing Swift, like it's a name.  But never actually explain that.
If you have a lack of pcs, then you need to go get some.  If you lack npcs, then you need to sit down and write some out.  And new players would be completely confused by what you typed.
I don't mind constructive criticism, that's why I posted it on the forum, I just digress I have a strong opinion. 

1) I like your point about favoritism. In this style it is almost a necesity or the back bone of the campaign, me assigning one is a bad idea. (Thank you for helping me relize that). So who would become the favorite? My first assumption would be the one with the back bone.

2) Well dm vs the party would be true. I mean who else is throwing them into danger? I just want to find a middle ground where players will hate or fear me but not rage quit cause I make a game too hard. It's like balancing being a dictator who does bad things, before a revolution. How to keep it in that balance.

3) you skipped #3

4) "The fourth is convoluted enough to make it sound like anything using dice is bad if you are in a bad mood" -- this part isn't true. Or I didnt mean to make it sound like this. "intelligent players should be able to role-play their way out of bad situations; that if you are more of a roll-player (vs role-player), that you had better hope the dice do not go against you." In other words the out come will only be based off the dice. Good is alright, you'll succeed at what you wanted, if you fail your dice rolls then something bad will happen that you'll need rp to save yourself or suffer the concequences of failure. Usually ends up with dieing.

--And I capitolize Swift because its apart of the title as I refer to the explanation. "Swift handed Dming" compared to "Soft hearted Dming"

If you'd want to summarize what I said, then yes those would be the key points but technically, I've already started a campaign and its just people getting pissed off for not understanding, that's I worry about. Of course I expect it but the logic behind it would be comforting.



 
 


Maybe they dont understand because your style seems arbitrary and completely about what you want to have happen while taking in no player opinion.

The phrase 'the one with backbone' is terribly subjective and inclines you to decide who is in control and forces the other players to sit around and watch someone else's story.

All in all it sounds like a DM game in which the players are only there to serve as plot devices to forward your own progress. Not a game I would ever wish to play in.

Well it is subjective. Its players in the DMs world that he creates. Just like how a Dm is the overall ruler and decider of fate and what happens. Of course your actions alter this fate. And If I would allow player opinion to alter the gameplay then I allow players to dictate decisions. If they are the ones making decisions then they're going to create a world with no punishment to themselves.

I dont decide who has the backbone, the players do. Some are the sheep, and some the herders.

Also IT IS a DM's game, who the hell creates the world the campaign the plot? Players can, but Dm dictates the outcome or Dm can and players dictate the outcome. Its either or, thats like the basics of d&d. And the stubbornly inexperienced I wouldnt want to play with either. 
Wait. Are you actually saying that it's impossible for the DM and the players to work together and collaborate on building both the world and the story, and deciding what happens to the characters? The game belongs to both the DM and the players. Also, I'd say the DM suggests an outcome rather than dictates one. If the players don't like it, then they can suggest something they think would be better for the story.

"Encouraging your players to be cautious and risk-averse prevents unexpected epic events and-well-progress at a decent pace in general."-Detoxifier

"HOT SINGLES IN YOUR AREA NOT REGENERATING DUE TO FIRE" -iserith 

"If snapping a dragon's neck with your bare hands is playind D&D wrong, then I don't want to play D&D right." -Lord_Ventnor

I didn't say impossible for dm and pcs to work togeather. But as the Dm is the story teller, he is the end all decider and if allows players to start pushing him left and right, then it becoems a struggle for power. And characters are going to have a harder time excepting the bad after being able to argue the good.


Also IT IS a DM's game,  



This is the first and most important thing you need to realize is incorrect with your methods. Until you change change it, you will not have a very successful game, and you will encounter a lot of players like kugnar, borhdumb, mastercliff, and dabeards.


The game you describe is one I would walk out of 15 minutes in. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

15 minutes if there are no snacks.

Are you a decent chef, whitephantom323 ?

By the way, the entire premise seems so very selfserving, I find it a miracle you do have players. This game is supposed to be fun for all involved. If a character dies each session, how do you expect the players to get to know, get attached and involved with the characters they created and the group they are in ?    

In the last 20 years I have walked out of a few games, said my goodbyes to a few DMs whose styles did not match mine, but in my opinion this is atrocious.  
Hello, anyone reading this. This is a rant about an arguement of the correct way to Dm. Staying to the point before I bore anyone, as i've already written this rant and decided I can agree upon posting it. I feel as if a scarred player wanting to inflict the same anguish on my players. However, being the logical person I am I require reason for why this wrong doing is a right. And a right as the Dm. 

Allow me to give a description of the kind of Dm I dealt with and hope to be but with full understanding upon my rulings.

From a players perspective, my perspective. This is what would happen;

My Dm would drop the players in a tavern and let them find each other through friendly conversations in a bar.
One character would maintaine the role as the protagonist, the rest are sub characters. If the protagonist is unlucky enough to fall, then a sub character with sufficient background takes the leaders role. If no one is suitable then the campaign falls apart, a break period seems to come aswell and we start over. 

Now this system doesn't sound harsh until I mention, that it would be a suprise if someone doesnt die in a session. Some take damage and one always seems to fall into the danger zone of being killed or through a miracal finds his way out of the grasp of his god and is favored to allow him to awake and crawl before the world for utter survival, after passing a form of riddle or true understanding of your god. No roll is taken, and time is of the essence, if you hesitate in an attempt to find what your looking for you fail the roleplay. So through deadly experience it whips players into trully evolving and understanding the character they choose.
-to my understanding I believe my Dm based CR directly. At a minimum, a player is expected hold even vs his own level of CR. For example, if you are level 4 and your ally is level 4 the both of you should be able to take on 2 other level 4's. Making not only above average dice rolls to have the combat in your favor but using rp and skill to alter the rest. If you are cunning then you will be unscaved. If you are mechanical, then may the dice gods have mercy on your soul. (Lack of intellect based characters are usually shunned with this style) but then again no one likes an idiot, you have the chaotic for that.   

* This is the mind set I wish to use as a mold, I dont want idiots following arrows saying one direction or the next. I'd like an objective, a more then probably reason for that objective. And a well witted attempt to acheive that objective. If it were to begin failing a smart player would run knowing it was a failure, or get stuck in there to die trying (if they live than good on them). 

If failure becomes the result I would force a form of rp based predicament that would stop them from going back to the drawing board, Either target environment changing or a new path opens up only for an immediate attempt. If this part fails than the mission would become a true failure resulting in a definite closure to the mission, and re launching them into resulting campaign.

**Why to comment.
-- If anyone has any Base concepts to formulate into campaigns, which to run these Swift handed Dm'ing, please comment below and perhaps we can work on something. 

--Please tell me your opinion on this Swift hand's Dm'ing.

--I dont think you can convince me how dungeon crawling can become fun, but I welcome the argument, and will more than likely respond to anything. 

--How can I impliment this Swift Hand's DMing, that is still only challenging but has a lack of PCs? .. Npc's?
Or new players?

(ps. we are in need of players. 3.5 ed Online, Pm if interested our timing isnt set but we play as often as possible, and dont mind waiting if scheduled sessions are necissary. We use Skype, MapTools, all 3.5books, & anything is negotiable.)



I haven't read the thread in full, just the OP.

Let me say, I find this atrocious as a DM.

First part:

One PC is the protaganist and everyone else plays second fiddle. <--- if="" ever="" there="" were="" a="" no="" good="" low="" down="" dirty="" rotten="" way="" of="" playing="" d="" this="" is="" the="" number="" one="" offender="" all="" pcs="" are="" important="" and="" stars="" show="" every="" single="" their="" tales="" br="">
Second part:


If you have a party of two level 4 adventurers, then they can only take down a single CR 4 monster in combat. As that monster is naturally designed to take on a classic party of four. A party of two level 4 adventurers are going to have their hands full and WILL get killed if they go up against two CR 4 monsters. How do I know this? I primarily have been DMing for a group of two players for 8 years. A party of two level 4 characters should be able to take on two CR 2 monsters or a CR 3 monster with one or two CR 1 pet/minion creatures, at best. Or a single CR 4 creature.


I'm all for challenging the PCs and sometimes even killing them if their decisions are just bad or the dice are totally against us all (not all stories end well)

My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Because editing gives me a headache because of the arrow I included, I'll just add in a double post:

The math on CR works like this, straight from the monster manual:

Two creatures of the same CR, say CR 4, gains +2 CR. So the encounter would be a CR 6.

^That is strong enough to decimate your party of two level 4 adventurers unless you've given them some hellacious gear and they get good rolls.
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
Lunar:

Thankyou lunar savage for clarifying what the actual Cr varient is for multi person combat. 
Honestly didn't know what it was exactly. However I'll take note to watch the Hd of the creature rather then the Cr. Maby that'll give me an even fight.

The reason for these challenging fights is so characters and players take into account the brutal ness of real combat and death. It gives better reasoning why we all dont get into sword fights with every stranger we see on the street. Some times its far more rewarding to talk your way through or out of things, and if reason can't be concluded then a fight will be taken into account and perhaps on those particular occasions true Cr is taken into account.

 Anyone who'd walk away: 

I'd just argue your too simple minded to trully talk or find your way out of a situation you can't muscle your way through.

Ps. I am a good cook, 
But this isn't real combat and death-it's a game. We're not playing random guys getting into fights, we're heroic adventurers who kick ass and take names. You can't feel like a hero if you die every session.

"Encouraging your players to be cautious and risk-averse prevents unexpected epic events and-well-progress at a decent pace in general."-Detoxifier

"HOT SINGLES IN YOUR AREA NOT REGENERATING DUE TO FIRE" -iserith 

"If snapping a dragon's neck with your bare hands is playind D&D wrong, then I don't want to play D&D right." -Lord_Ventnor

And calling anyone who'd walk simpleminded? What the hell is wrong with you? Just because they don't fit your "lofty" requisites they're an idiot? Did you ever consider that not everyone is good at spur of the moment speeches and planning like that?

Spiteful Wizard and Voice of Reason of the House of Trolls The Silent God of the House of Trolls Unfrozen OTTer Arbiter of the House of Trolls Yes, I have many titles. Deal with it.
--Please tell me your opinion on this Swift hand's Dm'ing.



I dislike the idea of a story being about only 1 of the characters, as opposed to the party in generl. I certainly wouldn't do this as a DM, the group is the protagonist imo, not an individual. There is also no real need for  a leader, although some characters migh end up as the party spokes person (due to skills in that area) and some are naturally leaders and some followers, this is just a role in the group, the story is about the group, not the leader.

--I dont think you can convince me how dungeon crawling can become fun, but I welcome the argument, and will more than likely respond to anything. 



Not every fight should be life or death, equal CRs. They are meant to be chalenging but also resource draining. A dungeon crawl, a good one, should involve puzzles and various chalenges

--How can I impliment this Swift Hand's DMing, that is still only challenging but has a lack of PCs? .. Npc's?
Or new players?



You won't attract new players by having the story focus on someone else, it shoudl instead focus on the group as a whole. they really don't need a leader either.
I don't mind constructive criticism, that's why I posted it on the forum, I just digress I have a strong opinion. 



A strong opinion and being right are two different things. 

I like your point about favoritism. In this style it is almost a necesity or the back bone of the campaign, me assigning one is a bad idea. (Thank you for helping me relize that). So who would become the favorite? My first assumption would be the one with the back bone.



No need to have a leader at all. Sometimes a party has a spokeperson, ussually somone with charisma, but a leader? Why fous your story on the individual rather then the unfolding plot?   The one with backbone might be an idiot, arrogance does not make leadership, and favortism is a bad way to DM. Make it bout the group.

2) Well dm vs the party would be true. I mean who else is throwing them into danger? I just want to find a middle ground where players will hate or fear me but not rage quit cause I make a game too hard. It's like balancing being a dictator who does bad things, before a revolution. How to keep it in that balance.



This is a bad way of thinking, no the DM is an impartial arbitrator of the game. he places encounters to chalenge the players, not to screw them over, he's looking to chalenge, not bet them, so his encounters should be advancing the plot or be interesting.  
Do you mind giving a couple examples of how a group of complete strangers get roped into caring about a problem or situation. If you need a scenario of characters, I can give one.
Do you mind giving a couple examples of how a group of complete strangers get roped into caring about a problem or situation. If you need a scenario of characters, I can give one.



If you mean the players are complete strangers, then they should understand that, normally, an adventuring party works together to solve problems.

If you mean the characters are complete strangers, then just ask the players to say why their characters are interested in a problem or situation.

There's also no reason to assume that the characters are complete strangers either, even on their first adventure together. It's perfectly reasonable that they have a history. If the players can imagine their group having a past as a team, then they can certainly imagine how or why they might care about your situation, location, or plot.
I just want to find a middle ground where players will hate or fear me but not rage quit cause I make a game too hard. It's like balancing being a dictator who does bad things, before a revolution. How to keep it in that balance.




I didn't notice it before, but that is possibly the worst simile I have ever heard for DMing.

"Encouraging your players to be cautious and risk-averse prevents unexpected epic events and-well-progress at a decent pace in general."-Detoxifier

"HOT SINGLES IN YOUR AREA NOT REGENERATING DUE TO FIRE" -iserith 

"If snapping a dragon's neck with your bare hands is playind D&D wrong, then I don't want to play D&D right." -Lord_Ventnor

I just want to find a middle ground where players will hate or fear me but not rage quit cause I make a game too hard. It's like balancing being a dictator who does bad things, before a revolution. How to keep it in that balance.




I didn't notice it before, but that is possibly the worst simile I have ever heard for DMing.




No kidding.

A DM who wants to be 'hated or feared' as completely and utterly missed the point.  You're supposed to run a game that's FUN.  D&D is not competitive or adversarial ... it's cooperative, not just between the players, but between the players and the DM.
Do you mind giving a couple examples of how a group of complete strangers get roped into caring about a problem or situation. If you need a scenario of characters, I can give one.



The characters are started in the same local, some sort of event happens, such as an attack by some villains, whatever, and after wards they are rewarded and then hired as a group. From there they ussually stick together, because it's profitable if nothing else.

Ie they  all happen to be in the town courtyard, there is some gathering there about an announcement by the village mayor. Some villains attack from the crowd, sending people running and quickly overpower the guards, the PCs will naturally take this opportunity to save the myor from assassination. Afterwards he thanks them and tells them the plot against them and their need for a group of heroic mercenaries to deal with it, suggesting they form a band and take the job together.


Another way is to advertise "heros needed, adventure, treasure, patronage. See Commander Sir Cladamara of the town guard for details " on a billboard, or by some town crier. This Patron is looking to hire a group with unique skills to deal with various special problems that can't be dealt with a normal band of guards.
That's a very decent beginning but how does one throw in characters to that plot to those who scramble or maby take advantage of the guards being occupied?
Do you really expect all the PC's to be lawful good and do what is obviously expected of them?

That's a very decent beginning but how does one throw in characters to that plot to those who scramble or maby take advantage of the guards being occupied?
Do you really expect all the PC's to be lawful good and do what is obviously expected of them?



Pretty easly.  Afterall, not all of those who answer "the call" have to be doing it for altuistic purposes.  
For example;
The last time I DM'd I started the campaign off by blowing up the local castle during a festival.
There were all manner of things going on  - & people in town doing them.  Including the PCs.
PC#1:
Was a squire to an NPC knight participating in the jousts.
His mentor, along with the other knights were in the castle when it fell.
Responded because it was the right thing to do.  And for glory.
PC#2: 
An elven ranger come to ask the local lords help dealing with a problem further afield in the realm.
Responded because A) right thing to & all, but more B) because of the problem from his backstory.
PCs#3: 
An elderly, ailing, debilitated, nearly retired cleric (actually the Bishop in the one area we set alot of previous games in) who insisted that his diety had instructed him to come to this town, now.
No choice.  His diety said "Go."  So he went.  Figured he'd find out more/why as needed.
*was actually many more LVs higher than the other characters.  But due to age bracket penalties & RPing other flaws like memory problems you'd never hardly realize it unless you saw the character sheet.  
PC#4: 
A young acolyte/assistant to PC#3 - WAY more of a RP/support/non-combat type.  Began as one of the NPC expert classes.
Was assigned by the church as a chaparogne to PC#3.  No choice in the matter.  Adventuring was NOT AT ALL on her list of things to ever do.  But since she couldn't stop her Bishop from heading into a smouldering ruin....  Well, an adventurer she was destined to become (an actual cleric).
PC#5: 
And then there's the Rogue....  He and his (NPC) crew were in town plotting to infiltrate & rob the castle at the hieght of the joust festivities.  He's not a goodguy.
He ditched his "crew"* & responded to the disaster by coming forward to the assembling party (#s1-4) claiming that he'd worked in the lower areas (ground floor), knew the layout (yes, he did.  he had a map) and could get them in a "secret" way.
He was in it purely for the $, thouroghly intending to loot as much as possible AND collect any reward that might follow.  Wich he accomplished, even selling out the party once (though they don't know it IN-character) to do so.

Arc II saw the Ranger convince the other PCs to aid him.  And so they (including the rogue) set off north to stop a trio of witches....

*The rogues ditching his previous NPC crew ultimately wound up getting him killed when an assassin caught up to him several arcs later. 

           
Only reason for them not to is if the DM is playing "DM vs PC", in which case they won't for fear of being trampled by their DM.

It's nothing to do with the PCs being Lawful Good or not. The PCs are adventurers, looking for adventure, so selling them on a story should be easy enough.  They will want to get involved. And of course if you ask for them to roll initiative, then that is basically giving them the green light.
CCS thankyou for your explanation, the example is very helpful. True examples is what I'm looking for.  And I think by using the means of distance can cause players to stick near the allies they are handed, so long the explanation that they had lives and people they gave up in order to attend the quest and until returned safely to that live PCs should rather stick near people they know then not. 

MrCustomer - If my PC's dont have a proper begining, something that would trully be intricate, and meaningful, that is worth remembering. Then saying the Green light to go, is like lets go play craps. We rolled some dice, we won, we lost. Big ****in woop. It's why I'm searching for the proper methods to envoke players with meaning. I want my players to have a sense of surrealism worth remembering and believing its a reality. Along side of that feel when it comes to the adventures and adventurers I want them to feel like every swing every blow is a true hit to the chest. Worrying about if it'l be thier last, even if they're paper says 60%-80% health. They'll get the feeling that they arnt just at in thier basement at home rolling the statistics game, but worry and look over thier shoulders when a stick breaks beneath thier feat. 
Of course this all about setting the mood, and making sure they're in the right environment to know thier in the danger zone. In comparison to when they're chatting amonst npcs and each other in the bar, They're open ears for information about what's the next thing that'll throw them back into the danger zone.



 
CCS thankyou for your explanation, the example is very helpful. True examples is what I'm looking for.  And I think by using the means of distance can cause players to stick near the allies they are handed, so long the explanation that they had lives and people they gave up in order to attend the quest and until returned safely to that live PCs should rather stick near people they know then not. 

MrCustomer - If my PC's dont have a proper begining, something that would trully be intricate, and meaningful, that is worth remembering. Then saying the Green light to go, is like lets go play craps. We rolled some dice, we won, we lost. Big ****in woop. It's why I'm searching for the proper methods to envoke players with meaning. I want my players to have a sense of surrealism worth remembering and believing its a reality. Along side of that feel when it comes to the adventures and adventurers I want them to feel like every swing every blow is a true hit to the chest. Worrying about if it'l be thier last, even if they're paper says 60%-80% health. They'll get the feeling that they arnt just at in thier basement at home rolling the statistics game, but worry and look over thier shoulders when a stick breaks beneath thier feat. 
Of course this all about setting the mood, and making sure they're in the right environment to know thier in the danger zone. In comparison to when they're chatting amonst npcs and each other in the bar, They're open ears for information about what's the next thing that'll throw them back into the danger zone.



 



You won't need to instill this. 99.99% of players already feel this way. Few are the players you'll find that think they're invincible.

As it stands, you're leaning far more towards cruelty to PCs than an interesting experience.

If combat seems to easy, you're the DM, you can up the challenge at any time by increasing a monster's hit points or making it strike just a tad harder. You do not need to go overkill and make every battle be at the same CR or even a higher CR. In fact, doing so will ruin the immersion you're seeking. And likely just piss all your players off. It's unrealistic to have every single encounter be one that threatens their life. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
I realize some characters feel invincible. I don't like it when they get in that man mode and lose thier head but I do understand now that Cr is a variable that would be fluxuated based on the situation. In particular situations that involve characters attacking something they know, it'll be simple and they shouldn't have to think too much, but when it comes to being suprised or caught off guard, I think I'll emphasize the rp around them aswel. Try and make it a match involving the environment. 

That does bring me to the point that every encounter should be importatnt. If your just throwing **** then its meaningless but if the out come of the battle were to change the course of everything or anything, and let that form of information be leaked later. A simple city guard being releived of his post may cause a mother to write in her journal how her husband didn't come home one day and so she began doing unspeakable acts to feed thier young boy.
-- maby a prositute or maby the next villiage murderer.

Understanding how killing less intelligent things becomes harder to incorporate, behind scene backstory. I can think of how it may incorporate a druid but that'd be too easy/ would quickly become over used. Any other ideas?
It depends really. Theres a few thigns I would like to say.


1) Even though generally there is a protagonist or leading member or the party, that isn't always the case. Easpically if the party has a direct to go in. Generally speaking, if you let the party confer, they will likely come up with some sort of structure. Then after questing for a bit and may eventually start doing things more relivent to their characters.

2) Not every incicident need a consquence. But the consquences should be fairly streight forwards. Slaying monsters is streight forward and often needs very little consquence, but more grevious acts get one. But aside from that, punishments need a reason. Less inteligent creatures will likely respond to the death of their own kind in much the same way as they normally behave, they will have an immediate responce before go back to natural behavour.

3) The truely difficult encounters can be worked in as an appertiser, but otherwise other tactics include in and runs, snipe attacks. In addition, not every fight has to be to the death but rather to achieve their objective. So if the intention is to drive the threat off for example, or to steal an item. They will only deal with the PC's as much as nessiary.
For what it depends on, that is what I'm generally trying to tinker out. Not example by example but by situation, it's why I welcome the examples so I can find the silver lining. 

1) Generally yes but I was concerned with when thier isn't, I suppose determine character motives wisely so to avoid differing motives until necessary.

2) Perhaps consiquence isn't a good word, but outcome, in potential later dates. Betwen quest giver or villain. To keep things "personal" to the characters and fresh with the players.

3) These are tactics I find worth implimenting, some times though you have the players who get it in thier head they defeat it, and begin fighting to the death. In this particular case I'd say they better find some way to rp in an epic kill using something besides just thier swords, otherwise those a player will die. And then you get whiners who are concerned with what over powered bullshit you put them up against. ( I have relized that in these situations make sure that this death is slower then imidiate. Or have a Npc guinea pig to represent its power. (I worry about this part cause some players might think it'd be weaker then them). Perhaps a formidable foe get's Ks'd and then a Npc gets taken out. (Think that'd be enough warning to gtfo?)
MrCustomer - If my PC's dont have a proper begining, something that would trully be intricate, and meaningful, that is worth remembering. Then saying the Green light to go, is like lets go play craps. We rolled some dice, we won, we lost. Big ****in woop. It's why I'm searching for the proper methods to envoke players with meaning. I want my players to have a sense of surrealism worth remembering and believing its a reality.



You are going to play more then one game with them right? In general the first level or two should be to get a feel for their playstyle and strengths and weaknesses. But to draw them in, to do this has less to do with combat and more to do with describing and establishing the setting. Make your NPCs feel like real people that the PCs can interact with. Your goal should be to create a world that the PCs control with their actions, not that the DM controls as the master of Fate. It doesn't work by making combat brutal, it works by their actions having consequences that the PCs can control with their choices.

Example, Suppose you started with the Rebels attempted assasination of the town Governor. They are thanked after foilin gthe assassination and saving the Governor, and asked to aid the in hunting these criminals down, a group of Rebels that are more criminal then anything else, and after the party sees the guards doing their own investigation, which seems more like harrassing the locals and making pointless or even false arrests. This raises the question of if the Rebels are in the right of things, perhaps fighting to overthrow a tyrant. Or perhaps that the guards aren't really interesting in uncovering the rebels as much as they are in blaming "rebels" This could have been their plot to have the Governor assasinated so that they could take over themselves.

How can this end? The PCs could end up siding with the rebels, helping to overthrow the tyrant Governor and setting up the Rebel leader as the new ruler. Or they could side with the governor and throw down the rebels and reinstate a stable government. Or they could uncover the Guards plot and with a much reduced military force after the corrupt guards are removed, the governor is forced to appease the people. Any number of outcomes.

The point in this example is that the PCs choices matter, and it is the PCs that control the world with their choices, not the DM handing down Fate. Your plots should not be about leading the characters by the nose, but about creating a situation and letting the PCs decide how to solve it.
 
Along side of that feel when it comes to the adventures and adventurers I want them to feel like every swing every blow is a true hit to the chest. Worrying about if it'l be thier last, even if they're paper says 60%-80% health. They'll get the feeling that they arnt just at in thier basement at home rolling the statistics game, but worry and look over thier shoulders when a stick breaks beneath thier feat. 



What you will get is a party that min/maxes their characters, rather then develop them, as there is no room for anything else. The other effect is that by making each battle a brutal trial of survival, the party will always want to rest, retreat, and fully recharge before continuing, it's very hard to survive back to back encounters of such a brutal nature, as well as a high burn rate of consumables (that ultimately leaves them weaker then they should be) Instead consider a series of more moderate encounters, this chips away at their resources without completely draining them, then have a good, challenging encounter.

Why does this work? Because the PCs can't always unleash hell, understand that your brutal battles causes PCs to have to rest and recharge to continue. They burn all their resources in 1, maybe 2 fights, and this isn't really what you want.  Ans it is part of the reason for the huge gap between pure melee like Fighters and casters like Wizards, because it allows the casters to dump all their spells in one fight. Make them spread it out between more fights and you have less of a gap between melee and casters (still there, but not as bad)

Also instead of looking for brutal, look to make encoutners interesting. Goblins that hide in the trees and shoot poisoned arrows with a few crude pit traps and falling rocks traps, even if goblins are an easy encounter the tactics and situation is more interesting then yet another brutal fight. Having to charge up a slippery slop against defenders that are pushing them back down, spoting an enemy and setting up an ambush (or being ambushed). The lower levels are a good time to start making the Players think of different, interesting tactics and smart playing and it gets players to branch out in their abilities rather then blindly focusing and min/maxing them.

The problem with making such brutal encounters as you want, is that it is harder to make the encounters interesting without slaughtering the PCs. An even fight where each blow could kill them is one thing, that same encounter ambushing them or holding a better position or tactical advantage will mop the floor with the PCs, less brutal encounters allow the DM more leeway in adding interesting elements. Brutal fights are what make it a statistics game.
I like the idea of having easy encounters be tactically challenging but, to have minor encounters that dwindle the opponent down is like trying to run a marathon vs a sprint. Although running specifically isnt very exciting, seeing a character pull out all the stops is far more entertaining for both the player and dm. One use items should be used only when you are pulling out those stops, not chuckin it cause you have it. What significance did getting that item give anyone. 

If a player doesn't have to use his head, then it's a statistics game anyway. He can still be creative with the environment around him to cause an equal to a landslide.

Like goblins having a high point cause they're on a ledge or balcony, I'd want to see that person try to knock them off the ledge, or topple the balcony. They succeed in that, what once was a losing battle is a clean up of the injured.

If they couldve won anyways then they arn't going to look for the alternative roads, and stay in the unimaginative box. Only remembering, that they shot some goblins on a ledge. 
I like the idea of having easy encounters be tactically challenging but, to have minor encounters that dwindle the opponent down is like trying to run a marathon vs a sprint. Although running specifically isnt very exciting, seeing a character pull out all the stops is far more entertaining for both the player and dm. One use items should be used only when you are pulling out those stops, not chuckin it cause you have it. What significance did getting that item give anyone. 

If a player doesn't have to use his head, then it's a statistics game anyway. He can still be creative with the environment around him to cause an equal to a landslide.

Like goblins having a high point cause they're on a ledge or balcony, I'd want to see that person try to knock them off the ledge, or topple the balcony. They succeed in that, what once was a losing battle is a clean up of the injured.

If they couldve won anyways then they arn't going to look for the alternative roads, and stay in the unimaginative box. Only remembering, that they shot some goblins on a ledge. 



You are going to kill many, many, MANY characters very quickly. And this is going to lead to pissed off players, more so if they min/max for combat. You have our warnings. The road you're going down is going to drive away all, save for the most hardcore of players. And even then...they're likely to get bored with it.

As for shooting goblins on a ledge, that can be quite a memorable experience with many out of the box moments. Some players will even take pride in the smaller moments rather than the larger moments.

Consider this my last post here. And when it blows up in your face, just remember, we tried to tell you. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
There us definately somethign for encounters where they go all out, burn everything to win. But if it is every encounter that they do this, then you will have a problem. The idea is that the smaller encounters lead up to the major encounter, and the PCs hold back somewhat so they have something left to fight it with.

If every encounter is life or death, full burn, then they will stop, rest and fully recharge between nearly every encounter. This will reduce your ability to chalenge them (since they will unleash hell each and every time) and it also further distances the unbalanced classes, ie fighter vs wizard, since the Wizard can burn his abilities and the fighter really can't. The fights also become mundane if they are always facing the same level of difficulty.

See a serries or regular to moderate encounter and then a chalenging encounter causes them to try and reserve their resources so they have something to burn on the chalenging encounter, this ussually leads to a spot to rest and prepare for a "final boss" fight where they pull out all the stops and burn everything to win.

Part of the reason for the smaller fights is to prepare them for the bigger ones, this is where they get the gear they need. ie the equipment they start level a level with as opposed to the gear they have when they are almost ready to turn the next level can be vastly different. So they might start a dungeon poorly equiped at level 3, but when they reach the Big bad at the end they are fully geared, level 5, and lookign to kick ass.

There is also more of a cinimatic feel as they get better and the stakes get higher. You want to engage the players, then you want to bring them with to climactic battle, leave them wanting more, rather then a constant grind.  Suspense has to be built as they get closer and closer to the goal.
So long then Lunar savage. 

And I think I've been misunderstood about every situation being a brutal fight to the death, but rather every fight is a puzzle in and of itself. The small who use tactics can be brutally stomped but the Pc's would need to get out of being tactically defeated. Or you have creatures who would brutally murder the Pc's unless they think tactically. And also I'm hearing alot about min/maxing abilities. That option is already implimented and everyone does it cause it'd be stupid to put ur scores into dex if your a fullplate whereing fighter. I dont quite understand. I mean yeah they can do that and decide to be a dwarf weapon finesse fighter in leather armor, with some actual character for being different but for those who try and be badasses then an epic story that'll touch your brain is necissary.
whitephantom, I think it has been made quite clear that your prefered style is rejected by all posters in this thread as being dictatorial, selfish, and most importantly, prone to drive players away.

I do not think you will convince us your style has any merit, I also think you are stubborn enough not to be convinced by us that fun is important, and apparently in your game severely lacking.


Summarised and done. Can this thread die now ?     
I think my prefered style is flawed, yes. But not 100%wrong. Ive taken into account plenty of arguements, and simply replied with counter proposal of trying to deal with other situations. Don't think I'm not taking notes, as if im just trying to argue for the sake of argueing. 
I don't think anyone who'd follow my style would be on forums, but I do have to realize I'm playing with new people and not my old Dm and my old group. So I wanted to create something that would get the othersides perspective than trying to argue my friends to death trying to justify myself.

I have a page of key note I've take from this topic, I just hope you were. Cause if not then you were just argueing to argue and didnt care about applying a new system of intesifying a game that would become stale quickly. If you want to trully understand what kind of gamers my old group were, then take a look into the Dungeon masters guide, "supercoolness, story and psycodrama." So often you would have a problematic character with the charisma to entrance the audience with how dope yet sad his life is, a dm who displays an over complicated story to let a failure of a person become this awsome hero for saving the world or something like that, and mix those 3 togeather. You have a dope action/dramatic movie. That the players not only starred in but created.
  
Well, since you are asking for advice on this forum, it means you do need some, right. My suggestion then is to start with the more traditional approach to get the feel of it and from there branch out into your particular style. 

It is common, and good advice, for a DM to run the first level or two of a game as sort of a milk run, get a feel for the players and their playstyle and then increase the diffiulty from there to match the desired results. The PCs are kinda too weak in the early levels to really handle much anyways so the DM can afford a degree of generosity at this stage.  

Start with something you can tone up or down to fit, and get feed back with. What you want to avoid is making the game more frustrating then chalenging which is easy to do when you start with brutal.
Errr... No. I can savely say I did not follow this thread as if my future DMing "career" depended on it, I did not take notes, and I do not intend to assimilate your style. If you read my posts, I was not arguing with you, though I do agree since both positions seem established and neither side willing to abandon their stance, further arguing seemingly serves no purpose.


I have no clue what you meant to say with the second section of your second paragraph, but I think you are trying to tell me you found a group of people who enjoyed your style.
That would, in my eyes, giving all your posts above, seem unlikely, but good for you.

New players, usually looking for a fun time, would probably do better with a gentle guiding hand. What you are describing sounds more like the choice between the stick and the whip. Perhaps for your next adventure, you should run some published module, and try not to deviate too much.  
Yes, I am looking for advice MrCustomer. I do go about introduction and low level campaigns as the traditional route however, I'm not playing with the inexperienced. Just people who may not be used to something I am. I rather not fold my opinions in order to let my players have all the fun, otherwise I wont have the energy to Dm them if the situations dont change. On the other hand I am searching for all the possible players and how to attend to them accordingly while, they still know they're dm is going to be a mysterious story teller holding the cards that'll present imminent fortune or doom. It's just if fall upon the proper coaxing to avoid my cards of doom or interpret my reluctancy to hand them the powers of the world, and go out of the box to make they're characters entertaining enough to obtain the power.