Content of the article: "Ignored or misunderstood clues/hints/breadcrumbs – my bad communication, or the player’s bad playing? How to work around it?"
As a new DM, there are a lot of times that my players (also new to the game) just don’t act in their best interests, and I’m constantly worried it’s MY fault for somehow not being clear enough. A few examples:
1) Players are loaded with gold, have downtime, and I give them a list of several intriguing shops they found and can check out. “Nah I’m good.” …Have I not broadcasted clearly enough that these shops have very cool and very powerful buffs for their characters?
2) Players are about to embark on a journey across dangerous frozen wastes to reach a ramshackle frontier town in the arctic north. I ask if they want to prep anything: “Nah, I’m sure if there’s anything we need we can buy it in the next town.” …Was I unclear that this is a dangerous, long journey, and the town they’re going to is barebones?
3) Players have been uncovering clues that the family they’re working for is plotting something very sinister. They don't seem to care, and have decided to just inform the mayor and peace out. Did the clues not communicate the high stakes of this plot as well as I thought they did?
Whether it’s my fault for being unclear or my players’ faults for not using the information I give them, I’m sometimes not sure how to handle it. For Example 1, I’d LIKE to tell the players at the table that they are really missing out on some good stuff. At the same time, though, I don’t want to risk railroading them into something they genuinely aren’t interested in.
For Example 2, I think it makes sense to punish their characters for not preparing for that journey. But then again, what if it was my fault for not hammering home the point that their lack of prep would have consequences?
For Example 3, I’m inclined to have an NPC recap all those clues and piece it all together for them so they have a very clear idea of what’s ahead, so they can make a fully informed decision. Then again, explaining clues sounds pretty lame, and a bit railroady in the case that they DID understand the stakes and just weren’t into it anyway.
Any thoughts? Is this a common problem for (new) DMs to have with their (new) players? Exposition/Table discussion/consequences/giving up and moving on — what do you guys do?
More about Dungeons & Dragons OnlinePost: "Ignored or misunderstood clues/hints/breadcrumbs – my bad communication, or the player’s bad playing? How to work around it?" specifically for the game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Other useful information about this game:
- How do you play a Circle of Spores druid so it doesn’t seem evil what with the zombies and skeletons and all?
- Oh Druids just wanna have fun (suggesting magic items for druids, especially moon)
- My Top 10 Assets For DMing Virtual D&D
- I love the Astromancy Archive magic item from Tashas so much!
- Magical Problems Require Goblin Solutions
- Concentration checks variant
- It’s okay that lower level gameplay is so lethal, and it’s okay that modules include encounters you can’t just faceroll
- How trying not to metagame turned into a hilarious situation
- Demon’s Souls style Nexial Binding?
- Oathbreaking Needs To Be Expanded: An Argument In Favor Of Greater Mechanical Roleplaying
Top 10 NEW Games of November 2020
November 2020 is filled with tons of games to pay attention to thanks to the upcoming launch of PS5 /Xbox Series X and beyond. Here's a roundup of the big ones.
Top 10 Best Video Games of 2020 (So Far)
In times of uncertainty, video games allow us to escape from the stress of the real world. For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the best games released in the first half of 2020.