Content of the article: "a PC is discouraged that what he says doesn’t matter, but only the dice roll does. how can i help qualm this?"
(skip to the bold at the bottom if u don’t want to read this ramble I have going on)
for context: back in june we had a two sessions of a three player Lost Mines of Phandelver, where they finished chapter 1 (after klarg). then our schedules got messed up, and we never truly got to finish it out. it was me, my dad (PC in question), and two brothers first experiences with DND, and we all had a great time.
now im creating a homebrew campaign taking place after klarg battle, and after telling the PC (my dad) about how their level 2 characters would be returning, told me he was discouraged by how: “it doesn’t matter what you say, but only the dice roll matters”when he was in combat. and he was even thinking about changing character from human fighter to—-> anyone. (which is not a problem, just thought to mention)
i like to be detailed with my combat, im all about making the player feel powerful/badass when the time comes and the dice rolls in their favor. when it doesn’t go exactly their way, like a nat one, for example, i do make them seem a little foolish. (my brother, a theiving wizard, tried to sneak into a closed shop through the window. he rolled a nat one, and so fell through the floor and into a barrel of wine, that kind of thing)
the phandelver sessions were more light-hearted, so i believe everyone was okay with laughing at each other’s bad luck.
in one case, my dad (driving the wagon) wanted to turn around on the wagon, and throw a knife into a goblin with “deadly precise accuracy”. i explained to him before that a lot of it relies on the dice roll, so i let him roll thinking he knew so.
the roll comes, and it leads the goblin from 7hp to 6hp. so i describe it as so: “you turn around in your seat, brandishing your entrusted knife with a little flair, throwing it with what you believe is precise and deadly accuracy. you watch it’s arc, spinning beautifully and evenly, until it ends up impaling the goblins toe.” we all laugh, and he’s a little confused as to how he didn’t kill the goblin even with his precise and deadly accuracy description. this was his first time in combat.
i explained it to him again, but he repeated this mistake towards the end of our last session. he grabbed two goblins, and “smashed them together hard enough so i could kill them” he rolled, and i explained how it only knocked out one of them. he was confused again.
now he says he understands that it doesn’t matter what he says, but only the dice roll. but im worried he’s more discouraged now to say things past “i stab him with my sword”. he’s not hugely creative, so i don’t want to push him to be overly descriptive, either, but i want him to really get comfortable in his character, and feel powerful and badass, like his paladin dwarf teammate has been so far.
how can i help him? do i let him have those “precise and deadly accuracy moments?” is it my fault for abiding by the roll too often? would a change to a Barbarian, or a different class in general help? i am afraid to be a bad dm for them.
(obviously i do know my dad best, but from a game perspective, i just want to get a second opinion. sorry for the ramble!)
- DMs: If a PC is going to fail please don’t let it be boring
- Always enter combat before making any attacks
- My first time DMing
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