Content of the article: "Letting your players be exceptional. They are heroes, don’t try to “balance” that."
So, likely to catch some hate for this, but hear me out fully beforehand. I see a lot of posts on this sub asking for ways to handle certain characters trivializing certain aspects of the game. Like, a bard who nails every social interaction. A rogue who picks every lock. An unhittable fighter. Etc. Through some amount of min/maxing or a "broken" class, this character is unstoppable in their focus. Now, before I dive into this, I understand that some combinations exist that truly do make the game super difficult as a DM to balance. But, it is important to understand that these characters are meant to be the heroes of this story, they are those legendary warriors and mages of myth spoken across the realm. When you read a good book, or watch a good movie, you don't think to yourself "Legolas is broken AF, he just shot 3 orcs while riding down the stairs on a shield." You don't think "this thief is OP, they keep saying he's never failed to pick a lock". "What, this swordsman has never been defeated? He needs to be balanced."
The problem that I see is that it seems many DMs gauge their success on the failure of their party. If the party, through clever choices and specializing can get through the challenges presented, the DM has failed. But, the only time I believe that is true, is if it is one player at the table who is overcoming every challenge. Otherwise, if you have one player who steps up and sweeps the combat aside, while another sweet talks the guards without problem, and the last unerringly opens the lock to the safe, then that is what a party should be and what players find enjoyable. That is why they are a party, both as players and characters. Because they are the best in this world at what they do. They may be the archer who never misses. Rather than trying to nurf them, make the world react to this. Have people give them a badass nickname. Have other archers challenge them to contests or beg to be their student.
Let your players excel at their chosen avenue. If you constantly try to make them struggle with their specialty, they never get to enjoy getting better or becoming the best. It also robs you, as the DM, of the opportunity to occasionally present them with a challenge that takes this away temporarily. The bard rolls 20+ on every cha check? Awesome, but that one time they talk to a seemingly normal guard, roll a 32 and fail? Now they have no idea whats going on, who is this guard, what is this guard?
Your players are the legolas', the indigo Montoyas, the John wicks of your world. Don't try to take that away from them.
- There needs to be hero select protection for Cho’Gall players
- How To Tell the Good from the Bad “Asshole Character” Players: The Chest of Gold Example
- A counterpoint to characters not having their own free wills and not being “real” people
© Post "Letting your players be exceptional. They are heroes, don’t try to “balance” that." for game Dungeons & Dragons Online.
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