Content of the article: "A player’s character died last night…they were revived, but I feel emotionally manipulated and terrible."
Tl;dr at the bottom. But leaves out a lot of important details.
Due to COVID, I've started playing a D&D campaign with my family. I'm the DM, but I've been dming for almost 2-3 years now. I know it's gonna happen eventually, but this is the first time a character died.
> Story : The 3 level 4 characters, a theif triton rogue named, "Maya". A Wood-Elf Arcane Archer named, "Aspin". And a human Ancient Oath Paladin named, "Chantal". For the past 4-5 in-game weeks they've been part of the Emerald Enclave that's exploring an island that's apparently the source of all magic in the world. A small frontier-like town as formed on the shore of the island where many other factions and kingdoms have influence. Though, it has been under heavy attack by the native kobolds.
Recently, a heavy attack ended up taking 20+ villagers hostage. The players hired some mercenaries and chased them down to a cave. They decided that the best choice to get them free would be to go in guns blazing. They were doing pretty good, the dice were on their side. They slaughtered kobolds and their monster pets such as massive centipedes and lizards left and right, floor by floor, room by room. Until they got to the main chamber where there were 2 mini-bosses. A winged kobold with a flaming sword and could teleport and a lizard folk who survived an earlier encounter with the party and wants revenge.
The battle was long and fun, until Aspin started taunting the lizardfolk. Since he's the one that killed the lizardfolk last time, the lizardfolk was purely targeting him now. It got two incredibly powerful blows with it's multi-attack and Aspin was down in the first hit, the second made him fail 2 death saving throws. Aspin was pretty much cornered by the lizard and the mercenaries push the lizardfolk back while Chantal got the final killing blow. But it was too late, Aspin failed his final saving throw and died bleeding out on the floor. Later, they found a scroll of revivify within the treasure pile and brought him back.
> How the players reacted : Throughout this whole dungeon, I was keeping track of 10-15 different creatures on the battlefield at once. While this seems like a nightmare, I'm used to it and do a pretty good job with it. It just really makes me mentally exhausted as my mind is racing a thousand miles. So, I struggle a bit to follow what the players are doing and I get a bit more concrete about the rules.
I DM with super leeway about the rules. Pretty much if a player flapped their arms and tried hard enough and got a high enough score, they could fly. Going by, "The rules serve us, not the other way around" as it says in the DMG. The players ended up using this against me big time when Aspin fell and throughout this dungeon.
Examples include :
A rogue currently, dual-wielding a trident and a rapier, use cunning action to make a Slight of Hand check against the lizard folk to take his javelins off his back. "I can just use my fingers, I can't believe you're kneeling the rules"
An Arcane-Archer looking through multiple crates of treasure and closing and locking a door with a single action.
Using a scroll of regeneration(7th level) to attempt to revive the dead because it can also restore any missing limbs and body parts. "Wow, why do you want him to die?" when I said no
Aspin just giving up and throwing his character sheet down and starting to clean up as soon as he failed the death saving throw. Saying, "Welp, that was fun." and looking at me with an extreme disappointing glare(the player is my father btw). Making me feel like, if he dies, the entire dnd campaign is over as we'll only be playing with 2 characters and other two don't think that'll be fun.
And quite a few more things.
Pretty much, I woke up this morning feeling like a shitty terrible DM and feeling mentally exhausted from fighting and mostly backing down against being manipulated and having my own words thrown back at me when I try to play fair. Aspin's player came in this morning and told me, "He's sorry for his behavior last night and he's sorry for caring so much about his character". The others have also apologized a bit in passing. I know that everyone but the rogue is new to dnd and this is their second campaign. But this isn't their first time acting this way.
I don't know what to do anymore, I don't want to play dnd anymore and, I could use a lot of real support right now.
TL;DR. Players had some shitty rolls every now and then in a dungeon and kept going apeshit about it and using my words against me and manipulating me to always succeed.
- Hero points and Proficiency dice, do they make the game funner.
- Dungeon masters of reddit, how many player characters do you typically go through in a campaign?
- Know what kind of campaign you’re running, and know your players.
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