Group ready to lynch DM, need advice

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Here is the situation.  I have just gotten back into playing DnD after being away for like 20 years, so am relearning everything.  We are currently running a Forgotten Realms campaigne and have hit a snag of sorts.  We were three and a DM when the campaigne started and did well, I thought, for the first five months of play.  Well that last two sessions have been interesting.    Two sessoins ago two people joined the group and entered the campaigne we ended the sessoin in the middle of a big battle with six players,  one level 4 barbarian, one level 3 cleric, one level 3 druid, one level three fighter, one level 3 sourc, one level 3 ranger, and finally a level 3 rogue.  At the end of the session if was this group against four TR6 enemies,  half orc barb, half orc cleric, and half orc monk, and a human mage.  At the start of the next session two players decided to drop out because they felt the DM rolls the dice for to many things.  The DM did not adjust for the lack ot the two player and as a result two of us died duirng the battle, one was incapcitiated and one player was froson,  the DM then brought in high level nps to rescue the party and rez the dead characters.  The session was really rough and the npcs that DM threw at us were really powerful.  After the session the bitching started.  Some of the group felt that the DM should have adjusted for the missing people and felt that we wasted time while the DM showed off his baddest bad guy creations, then showed off the characters he made to rescue us.  My question is should the DM have adjusted for the missing players?    the groups next issue is they feel the DM rolls dice for needless things and waste time with he should role play more of the actions, our DM rolls dice for every action he takes.  I assume it is a matter of opinion whether dive rolling for everything is normal nor notbut would like some opinions.  The group started off really solid, but seems like it wasn't as stable as i thought.  I know any time you mess with group dynamics you get all types.  Again I the new kid on the block and want some advice how to help the group get past the growing pains in tact.  it took me 8 months to find poeple were were consistent and interested in playing, would hate for it to disolve over something that can be changed to the the sessions are fun and relaxing for everyone.
Apologies for the really bad typing, lol
Step number one:  Talk to the DM about your concerns.  Do so calmly and nicely.  It's just a game, after all.  If you can't discuss things openly and honestly with the DM and the rest of the group without something bad happening, then you're going to continue to have further problems.

Tell him what you told us here, that you have problems with him not adjusting for the group size and with his dice rolling for everything and the DMPCs.  Tell him why you are not enjoying it.  Ask him to change.

As a group, come up with some guidelines on how it will be handled if the same number of people can't make it to each session.

If the rest of the group is okay with it, ask the DM if he would consider a do-over for that encounter, or a way for the dead characters to come back.  Death should not necessarily be the end since there are so many other ways to challenge PCs than death.  Plus, D&D doesn't always have to have killer combats to be fun. 

Look on these boards for discussions of why DMPCs oftentimes fail, and explain this to the DM or ask him to read it.

Look into storytelling and improv methods for RPGs.  These are usually much more interesting than rolling random stuff on a table.  Learn how DMs and PCs can collaboratively build the story instead of relying on random tables with uneven results.  Discuss these things with the rest of the group and see if they find these to be better ideas.

It sounds like your DM is very inexperienced.  He may have played D&D for a long time, but it sounds to me like he's still stuck in the 80s as far as how a D&D game works.  That way can be fun, but there are so many other ways to play that don't involve DMPCs, PCs getting killed off due to inflexibility on the DM's part and random table for everything.  Take it upon yourself to learn some of these different ways to play by reading the boards and playing with other groups, and use what you learned to help this group change.  If they're not interested in changing, or particularly, if the DM vetos all the suggestions because he's under the impression that he owns the game, that's okay, but you've still learned something you can take away from this table to use with other groups you play with.

Bottom line, if you have a problem with something someone else is doing, tell them you have a problem, tell them what you think the problem is, ask them to change it and come prepared with some suggestions on how to change.  If they change, or at least meet you half way, great.  If they don't change, then you have a choice between putting up with it and smiling, or leaving the group.  My motto is that no D&D is better than bad D&D, but YMMV.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Thanks for you advice, that is how I would address the issue to begin with. I am all about the team helping each other get better and have more fun.  As you said, it is a game and it should be fun and relaxing for everyone.  I am just looking for insights and different perspectives, being the new guy at the table as far as experience, has been a fun time so far. 
My question is should the DM have adjusted for the missing players?



Yes, obviously.  The DM's job is to create challenging encounters; when two people drop out, he needs to re-evaluate what constitutes a challenge.

 
  the groups next issue is they feel the DM rolls dice for needless things and waste time with he should role play more of the actions, our DM rolls dice for every action he takes.



This is more of a stylistic preference rather than 'doing it wrong'.  I would agree with you that rolling dice for every little thing would drive me crazy.
My question is should the DM have adjusted for the missing players?



I might have said "yes" to this in the past, but I don't anymore. The reason is because I don't look at things as "encounters." It's just a situation because I don't assume that combat will be the result of the scene. If there is some tension between the PCs and these monsters or NPCs because their goals are in conflict, then I prefer to leave it to the PCs to "solve the problem" however they like. As DM, I shouldn't assume it will be combat nor do I assume that the motivations of the monsters/NPC will be to kill the PCs at any cost. It is very situational.

That said, it is the assumption of many players that the DM will at least make some attempt to balance encounters according to the way that edition handles combat. Your group should discuss and come to concensus on such expectations during Session Zero.

the groups next issue is they feel the DM rolls dice for needless things and waste time with he should role play more of the actions, our DM rolls dice for every action he takes.  I assume it is a matter of opinion whether dive rolling for everything is normal nor notbut would like some opinions.



I think the only time anyone should ever roll the dice is when it truly matters. Most DMs I see ask for way too many rolls and roll too much themselves. If success and failure on a given die roll isn't interesting, then it's not a roll in my book.

The group started off really solid, but seems like it wasn't as stable as i thought.  I know any time you mess with group dynamics you get all types.  Again I the new kid on the block and want some advice how to help the group get past the growing pains in tact.  it took me 8 months to find poeple were were consistent and interested in playing, would hate for it to disolve over something that can be changed to the the sessions are fun and relaxing for everyone.



If you haven't had a Session Zero (doesn't sound like you did), ask the DM to conduct one now so that the expectations for the game are laid out and you can all agree to them (or not).

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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Really appreciate all the responses and advice.  We came up with a likes and dislikes list which we will discuss in detail with the DM before the next session.  The group wanted to submit a list of changes and threaten to quit if they weren't made, which I was able to stear them away from because that is just base bullying in my book and goes no where.  Thanks again folks, wish us luck. 
The group wanted to submit a list of changes and threaten to quit if they weren't made, which I was able to stear them away from because that is just base bullying in my book and goes no where. 

Very smart, I salute you.  I wish more people would realize that an ultimatum is just a threat or bullying dressed up in polite language.  There's no need for threats to raise the stakes in a hollow manner like that.  Instead, if you don't like the outcome of this kind of negotiation, either just put up with it or leave.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

The DM's #1 priority, above all the mechanics and rules, is fun. If the players aren't having fun then the DM has utterly failed, even if he successfully implimented every rule and dice roll. If your DM isn't concerned with your fun, it's time to get a new DM. Or, less drastically, have him play for one session while someone else DMs so he knows how it feels.

However, I'm going to suggest that perhaps not all the blame is on him. When you sat down at the start of the session picking up the battle and looked down at the placemat you saw all the same monsters, but less heroes. At this point you could've done several things. A: Politely tell the DM that this isn't a balanced battle. B: Sound the retreat to the other heroes to avoid TPK due to the sudden increase in challenge. Learning when to retreat is a tough lesson, and the DM might've been trying to teach this to you.
IMO everyone's gotta have one TPK and one reatreat under their belt, they both lead to better battle strategy.

But yeah, in the case of rolling too much the players should just politley suggest changes to the DM and make sure his priority is your level of fun. Consider having Post Mortems to the end of every session, where you take 10 minutes and discuss what you liked and what went wrong, with emphasis on how the DM can make it a better game for everyone's enjoyment.

-Will, Digital Artist

It really depends on the DM's motivations. Is he just inexperienced and you're all jumping to conclusions that he was playing an all-powerful-DM vs. peasant PCs? Or was he really trying to **** with you all?

It's his job as the DM to see you succeed, but you have to work for it too. You can't just go along for the ride and expect him to hand you success. You need to be on your toes, and figure a way out of impossible situations sometimes. It's not a game if you're just following and not actually playing.
It's his job as the DM to see you succeed, but you have to work for it too. You can't just go along for the ride and expect him to hand you success. You need to be on your toes, and figure a way out of impossible situations sometimes. It's not a game if you're just following and not actually playing.

I like your style, ashesnhale.  I've said this many times to my players.  As a DM, I want them to win and be awesome, but part of the fun for me is to have them TRY to win and be awesome, and watching them improve at playing the game in various ways.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Suggest a round-robin DM routine.

That way your DM can see how things are from the PC perspective and also will pick up a few tips of DMing from the rest of the players.

This suprisingly should work well.
Here is the situation.  I have just gotten back into playing DnD after being away for like 20 years, so am relearning everything.  We are currently running a Forgotten Realms campaigne and have hit a snag of sorts.  We were three and a DM when the campaigne started and did well, I thought, for the first five months of play.  Well that last two sessions have been interesting.    Two sessoins ago two people joined the group and entered the campaigne we ended the sessoin in the middle of a big battle with six players,  one level 4 barbarian, one level 3 cleric, one level 3 druid, one level three fighter, one level 3 sourc, one level 3 ranger, and finally a level 3 rogue.  At the end of the session if was this group against four TR6 enemies,  half orc barb, half orc cleric, and half orc monk, and a human mage.  At the start of the next session two players decided to drop out because they felt the DM rolls the dice for to many things.  The DM did not adjust for the lack ot the two player and as a result two of us died duirng the battle, one was incapcitiated and one player was froson,  the DM then brought in high level nps to rescue the party and rez the dead characters.  The session was really rough and the npcs that DM threw at us were really powerful.  After the session the bitching started.  Some of the group felt that the DM should have adjusted for the missing people and felt that we wasted time while the DM showed off his baddest bad guy creations, then showed off the characters he made to rescue us.  My question is should the DM have adjusted for the missing players?    the groups next issue is they feel the DM rolls dice for needless things and waste time with he should role play more of the actions, our DM rolls dice for every action he takes.  I assume it is a matter of opinion whether dive rolling for everything is normal nor notbut would like some opinions.  The group started off really solid, but seems like it wasn't as stable as i thought.  I know any time you mess with group dynamics you get all types.  Again I the new kid on the block and want some advice how to help the group get past the growing pains in tact.  it took me 8 months to find poeple were were consistent and interested in playing, would hate for it to disolve over something that can be changed to the the sessions are fun and relaxing for everyone.

The DM wasn't wrong for not adjusting for the missing players (the remaining players should have thought about that) but his excessive dice rolling sounds like a fixable. If the DM got through 5 months with only one bad session, that's not a bad track record. But DM's are like punters (american football ).. one miss and you're benched for life. I'm surprised he waited 5 months to come up with his sillymonkey powerful character. That's usually a right-off-the-bat early warning red flag.

The DM should show off interesting characters. That might impress somebody Any sillymonkey can make powerful characters, especially if they can abuse DM privileges to do so. And it's a rare situation where the player feels like listening to the DM explain how their 'hero' is saved like a damsel in distress by the DM's level 300 Homebrew creation while the player helplessly waits to regain some semblance of dignity and free will again.

Sometimes rolling the dice is a useful creative tool. If the DM is trying to improvise adventures, a couple of quick randomly decided things can help. If the dice are rolled to decide randomly between equally viable options, so much the better. Assuming you're not just being impatient with the DM and he is reasonable, you might just point out that the dice rolling is slowing things down. Without the dice, you'll have to rely on the DM making judgment calls. In your case, it sounds like that's a bad idea. But generally, it's still better than watching somebody roll dice all day, I think.

Talk to the DM about it. If he is a reasonable person, he'll listen and become a better DM for it. If he isn't a reasonable person, he will likely join some other group and make their lives miserable (all the while threatening to leave the table at inopportune times so as to stroke his own ego). I'll assume he's reasonable.

There's no need for the fun to dissolve, even if the campaign does. Maybe it's time for the DM to have a break. All that dice rolling might just be him trying to come up with stuff (creative tool being over-used because of 5 month burn-out).

A short mini-session can sometimes make things interesting. New characters, maybe a new DM. Play in a different style and setting than usual. Throw-away characters you never plan to play again. If you play a dead serious dark ages campaign, go to a high-magic comedy adventure. Everyone is a bard in a circus. Something, anything to take a break from the humdrum. The characters you make aren't the point here.... it's a creative session. After such a break it may be easier to focus on what each of you wants out of the game.

Dropping unwanted death from the game altogether isn't the answer (ever). And resurrection of an entire party should (IMHO) have some sort of role-playing justification. That's pretty dang significant. Your whole group (DM included; I think it's important to point that out) should have a session to decide if these resurrected characters should continue or not. Lots of questions. Questions that need answering. A whole group of resurrected individuals? That's epic. It should be the talk of the town for some time to come. These PCs may have some new and unforeseen (until now) destiny! Or you could see if it's okay to back up a bit (SCREEEEECH! DREAM EPISODE!!) and pretend the bad stuff never happened. Lame. Cheesecake. Effective, though. Talk it out.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
My question is should the DM have adjusted for the missing players?



I might have said "yes" to this in the past, but I don't anymore. The reason is because I don't look at things as "encounters." It's just a situation because I don't assume that combat will be the result of the scene. If there is some tension between the PCs and these monsters or NPCs because their goals are in conflict, then I prefer to leave it to the PCs to "solve the problem" however they like. As DM, I shouldn't assume it will be combat nor do I assume that the motivations of the monsters/NPC will be to kill the PCs at any cost. It is very situational.

That said, it is the assumption of many players that the DM will at least make some attempt to balance encounters according to the way that edition handles combat. Your group should discuss and come to concensus on such expectations during Session Zero.

the groups next issue is they feel the DM rolls dice for needless things and waste time with he should role play more of the actions, our DM rolls dice for every action he takes.  I assume it is a matter of opinion whether dive rolling for everything is normal nor notbut would like some opinions.



I think the only time anyone should ever roll the dice is when it truly matters. Most DMs I see ask for way too many rolls and roll too much themselves. If success and failure on a given die roll isn't interesting, then it's not a roll in my book.

The group started off really solid, but seems like it wasn't as stable as i thought.  I know any time you mess with group dynamics you get all types.  Again I the new kid on the block and want some advice how to help the group get past the growing pains in tact.  it took me 8 months to find poeple were were consistent and interested in playing, would hate for it to disolve over something that can be changed to the the sessions are fun and relaxing for everyone.



If you haven't had a Session Zero (doesn't sound like you did), ask the DM to conduct one now so that the expectations for the game are laid out and you can all agree to them (or not).

SIDE NOTE about adjusting for the missing players:

Iserith says: "I might have said "yes" to this in the past, but I don't anymore. The reason is because I don't look at things as "encounters." It's just a situation because I don't assume that combat will be the result of the scene."

 - Exactly! Just because the DM sets up a group of monsters doesn't mean the monster's only goal in life is killing the PCs. Hopefully, the PCs don't have a tattoo on their face that says "I'm the PC... kill me".
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
So two players dropped out because the DM took too long on rolls? I am imagining two things.

1) The DM goes "I guess I need to roll for X" and spends the next 10 minutes looking it up. Maybe they need a DMs screen, notes, or a book to study. Perhaps you could internalize more rules to try and help them out? It could also be that the burden of making a "story" falls squarely on DMs shoulders. The DM is no more responsible for the story then the players and the dice. Are you making sure that you are enabling game play Finally the DM might have a hard time with math, reading, and learning. Some folks just take longer then others and there is (at least in the USA) a stigma to admitting you have a learning disability or need help. 

2) You have been spoiled, and you just got served. How many months and the top complaint is the DM takes to long on dice rolls? No offence, but I wish that was my top complaint for many DMs I have played with! Maybe we could help you better if we could get some elaboration on the DMs dice habits. 
Iserith says: "I might have said "yes" to this in the past, but I don't anymore. The reason is because I don't look at things as "encounters." It's just a situation because I don't assume that combat will be the result of the scene."
- Exactly! Just because the DM sets up a group of monsters doesn't mean the monster's only goal in life is killing the PCs. Hopefully, the PCs don't have a tattoo on their face that says "I'm the PC... kill me".



Except that if you go back and read the OP this was a situation where at the end of the PREVIOUS game session play was ended in mid-combat with 6 PC's versus 4 macho NPC bigbads.  Between game sessions two players quit.  At the NEXT game session the halted combat then resumed right where it left off - except that the party was now 2 PC's understaffed because the players of those PC's left.  The missing PC's were not replaced, nor the opposition reduced to account for their having vanished in a puff of logic.  The DM then seemingly went to town showing off his bad guys, killed two of the four PC's, froze a third and incapacitated the fourth.  That's pretty much a TPK.  Then the DM went the deus ex machina route, saving and resurrecting the party with superpowered NPC's.

Should the DM have adjusted the combat in the middle of things to account for the two players.  Hell yes.  A DM could have, for example, run the two player-less PC's as NPC's at least for the remainder of the ongoing combat, or if he now lacked character sheets for them to have made NEW character sheets to fill in those character spots, OR to have adjusted the (apparently) already overpowering foes to something more reasonably handled by a party now only 2/3's what it was when the combat started, OR to have started the combat over, or turned back the clock to some point before the combat started so the players and their PC's could make reasonable choices... SOMETHING.    A DM who simply proceeds without some adjustment somewhere for the missing PC's is... well, I can't really even say it.  It's clear that such a DM is either apallingly short-sighted or JUST DOES NOT GIVE A... CARE whether the PC's live or die, or the players enjoy the game.

You want to say that when putting the PC's against NEW encounters that part of your game is for the PC's to deal with what comes as it comes because YOUR assumption is that combat is not a foregone conclusion, I can accept that.  I disagree somewhat with that approach but I can accept it if your players can.  But the situation described by the OP would be like announcing IN THE MIDDLE OF COMBAT, "All your PC's lose 1/3 of their normal hit points, drop their to-hit by 1, and... lose 1000gp worth of gear too.  There is no reason for this and I feel I have no obligation to explain myself, but it's a permanent effect.  DEAL WITH IT."  In my book that's intolerable and unjustifiable.  Even if unintentional on the part of the DM it's a pretty dumb move not to have prevented it.

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Little late for a chime in here but i thought i'd throw out an experience i had that was similar in some respects and how the DM handled it. While in the service i participated in the second half of a long campaign that took about 4 months to play, 4 hours a day. Being in the service it was difficult to get everyone available at the same time and often times players would permenantly drop out. The DM was able to invent creative death scenes for most them, for instance the Cleric while the group was trapped in 'the abyss' was unable to escape with the rest of the group and became trapped there for eternity. (he was later accidentally summoned by myself out of the abyss...right smack in front of a dead dragon as it fell on him and crushed him to death..) Anyways, around the time i had joined the group had diminished to two-three remaining live characters.

Rather than re-model the enemies with limited time to do so, we worked as a team to create situation where our characters could become stronger than your normal run of the mill D&D characters. For instance, our Monk unlocked his lost memories of being a paladin(his character lost his memory early in the campaign and was trained as a monk) giving him some of his paladin abilities. My Rogue drank the blood of a silver dragon and became a multi-class rogue/mage with somewhat over-powered lightning/fireball spells that gave me the ability to solo fight Adult Dragons. I also made a point of skinning a black dragon to get both myself and the monk/paladin acid resistant armor to defend against the large number of black dragons we were fighting against.

I was 2 seconds away from a solo fight with Tiamat, that i would have lost...barely averted it lol. 
Since it *was* bumped, and because nobody typed it(everyone seems to be saying how the gm should have acted, but this is the player forum).



The players could have run away.  OP pretty much stated that he knew they were tough.  He knew what the opponents could do.  Who says the DM wouldn't have let them?  Or maybe the remaining players could have run the two no-shows themselves?  It's pretty easy to make characters for half a fight.


Now, what should a player do with all the infighting?  That was answered so I wont elaborate.  I hope it all worked out.
Thanks for all the feedback has been helpful in learning, but not so much in addressing the situation.  I decided to be pro-active for the group members who weren't as assertive and explained the concerns to the DM.  He was very close minded in his response.  His response to adjusting for missing players was this "How can I adjust for players when your group is already in the middle of combat?"  He then preceded to act like I was being silly adovcating an adjustment.  His response to excessive dice rolling was this: "Hey thats how the game is played."  So our solution is going to be another group member has DM experience and is going to design a campaign that runs four about two months.  We will use this opportunity to establish norms for the group wants and that will we carry back to with whatever the current DM designs next.  That way everyone helps evolve or we makes changes.  It was never about wanting an easy out, I prefer lots of challenge in gaming otherwise it gets boring. but the session in question was dismal for the whole event.  I hardily agree we could have retreated if that was an option because here was the most frustrating part.  Two of the PC's were stunned an incapacitated at the begining of the session and stayed that way until they were killed out.  the rest of the group spent most of the session trying to rescue them, so it wasn't a lack of common sense.  To the current DM's talent, he really does put a good campainge together and does his research.  Yes we had five good months and hopefully five more good ones, we have just never faced the "DM is right in all things" attitude till now.  I don't think the issues are insurmountable, we just have to try working through them maturely.  Finally to be fair, the DM was more than generous to the new PC's rolled to fill in for the dead ones without taking away the challenge, but making sure not to cripple the group from the previous lossses. 
Iserith says: "I might have said "yes" to this in the past, but I don't anymore. The reason is because I don't look at things as "encounters." It's just a situation because I don't assume that combat will be the result of the scene."
- Exactly! Just because the DM sets up a group of monsters doesn't mean the monster's only goal in life is killing the PCs. Hopefully, the PCs don't have a tattoo on their face that says "I'm the PC... kill me".



Except that if you go back and read the OP this was a situation where at the end of the PREVIOUS game session play was ended in mid-combat with 6 PC's versus 4 macho NPC bigbads.  Between game sessions two players quit.  At the NEXT game session the halted combat then resumed right where it left off - except that the party was now 2 PC's understaffed because the players of those PC's left.  The missing PC's were not replaced, nor the opposition reduced to account for their having vanished in a puff of logic.  The DM then seemingly went to town showing off his bad guys, killed two of the four PC's, froze a third and incapacitated the fourth.  That's pretty much a TPK.  Then the DM went the deus ex machina route, saving and resurrecting the party with superpowered NPC's.

Should the DM have adjusted the combat in the middle of things to account for the two players.  Hell yes.  A DM could have, for example, run the two player-less PC's as NPC's at least for the remainder of the ongoing combat, or if he now lacked character sheets for them to have made NEW character sheets to fill in those character spots, OR to have adjusted the (apparently) already overpowering foes to something more reasonably handled by a party now only 2/3's what it was when the combat started, OR to have started the combat over, or turned back the clock to some point before the combat started so the players and their PC's could make reasonable choices... SOMETHING.    A DM who simply proceeds without some adjustment somewhere for the missing PC's is... well, I can't really even say it.  It's clear that such a DM is either apallingly short-sighted or JUST DOES NOT GIVE A... CARE whether the PC's live or die, or the players enjoy the game.

You want to say that when putting the PC's against NEW encounters that part of your game is for the PC's to deal with what comes as it comes because YOUR assumption is that combat is not a foregone conclusion, I can accept that.  I disagree somewhat with that approach but I can accept it if your players can.  But the situation described by the OP would be like announcing IN THE MIDDLE OF COMBAT, "All your PC's lose 1/3 of their normal hit points, drop their to-hit by 1, and... lose 1000gp worth of gear too.  There is no reason for this and I feel I have no obligation to explain myself, but it's a permanent effect.  DEAL WITH IT."  In my book that's intolerable and unjustifiable.  Even if unintentional on the part of the DM it's a pretty dumb move not to have prevented it.

You're correct. I missed the 'previous' part.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
Finally to be fair, the DM was more than generous to the new PC's rolled to fill in for the dead ones without taking away the challenge, but making sure not to cripple the group from the previous lossses. 


I might be misunderstanding this, but he was "generous" in letting your group replace the PCs that he should never have killed off in the first place?  How is this generous?
Finally to be fair, the DM was more than generous to the new PC's rolled to fill in for the dead ones without taking away the challenge, but making sure not to cripple the group from the previous lossses. 


I might be misunderstanding this, but he was "generous" in letting your group replace the PCs that he should never have killed off in the first place?  How is this generous?



Sounds to me like he ensured that the newly rolled PCs were properly equipped for the party's level/wealth so far. Not really sure I'd call that 'generous' rather than 'covering the basics', but maybe I'm misinterpreting.
This may have already been said, but:  It's perfectly reasonable to keep the encounter the same for the sake of continuity, even though two players couldn't make it or had dropped out.  Equally reasonable, for the same reason, would be to have the two missing players' characters also there.

That would be a pain to play through, with the DM having to run extra NPCs, or two players having to run two characters, not to mention the question of whether the stats of the two missing PCs are even known, of course.

The DM could have hand-waved it:  The two vanished PCs hurl themselves into battle with desperate ferocity and kill one the monsters and wound another before being torn to pieces, themselves - and the battle continues...

 

And, there is always the possibility of someone else running.  DMing still isn't easy, but it's not nearly as intimidating as it used to be.  If you have some players with strong opinions about how a game should be run, maybe they'd like to take a turn?   A DM whose running into issues like these could be burning out from running too long and missing the chance to play, for instance.  Getting some experience from the other side of the screen might also get players to apreciate the DM position more.

just a thought 

 

 

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