2007 December 13
by Stupid Ranger

Yax posted a great article on D&D Nemeses… those things that detract from enjoyment of the game. Included in Yax’s list: his roommate, crits, stress and conflicting schedules. I completely agree with (at least the sentiment) these nemeses, though I do have a slightly different take to add to my list.

The Parents

Instead of the roommate factor, I have the parental factor. My family consistently forgets about D&D night, and even if reminded that afternoon, will call and expect to talk. Now, we don’t have a no-phones-at-the-table policy, and as much as I like to ignore the phone, I am always concerned it might actually be something important.

The Oops!

I do truly enjoy the critical hits (what player doesn’t?!)… it the critical misses that undermine my game enjoyment. There’s really nothing more degrading than hitting yourself in the foot during a very crucial moment of battle. And if it happens multiple times, well, just call me cranky for the rest of the night.

The Calendar

Scheduling conflicts are definitely in my top list of nemeses. A long hiatus can ruin the cliff-hanger moment and create a distance from my character that can be difficult to overcome sometimes. Unfortunately, with the holidays, there’s not much we can do about the scheduling except to try our best to find a time that works for everyone. The implementation of a Google calendar has facilitated our scheduling, but there’s only so much organization can do in the face of family gatherings.

And The Arch-Nemesis is…

In-game stress can very quickly reduce the level of fun. I have had situations where evil characters have attempted (and succeeded) in killing party members (me). Or recently, the strict laws of a matriarchal society created a lot of tension and arguing among the party. The kind of stress that does not lead to good roleplaying but instead leads to anger is my arch-nemesis (also, Taryn, who stabbed me in the back).

4 Responses leave one →
  1. Dave Peyton permalink
    December 13, 2007

    I couldn’t even imagine living at home again, especially while trying to do anything fun!

  2. Dave The Game permalink
    December 13, 2007

    I tend to not use critical fumbles for the PCs UNLESS it’s going to entertain them. (For example, two games ago, a PC had a gelatinous cube in a jar, and rolled a 1, and everyone was amused that it bounced back at the thrower.)

    I will, however, use critical fumbles for bad guys more often.

  3. Micah permalink
    December 17, 2007

    Critical fumbles are a bad idea, IMHO. Especially in D&D, where you get more attacks as you gain levels. A 20th level fighter with 4 attacks per round is going to end up rolling 1s 4 times as often as a first level fighter.

    So, the 20th level fighter ends up stabbing himself in the foot a lot more. Not very heroic, huh?

    Critical failures on skill checks (such as breaking off your lock pick inside the lock, ruining both) are more fun.

  4. Micah permalink
    December 17, 2007

    Err, wait, the fighter will roll 4 times as many 1s, not 4 times as often. Ugh, I’m no statistician…

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