Dungeons & Dragons Online

Where did this conversation go wrong?

Content of the article: "Where did this conversation go wrong?"



Context: I’m the DM and Player 1 is a cleric. A couple months ago, we had a boss fight with a necromancer. This necromancer had a magic skull that gave him complete control over his undead minions. It also negates the Cleric ability “turn undead.” The cleric was expecting to have a big pop off moment when they used “turn undead,” only to be met with disappointment. Player 1 spent the rest of the combat primarily healing other players and himself from the damage dealt by the undead onslaught as well as large DPS spells from the necromancer. After this encounter, Player 1 expressed his discontent with me for my poor planning and decision making during this encounter. I asked him what he wanted, and he asked for more chances for pop off moments and not to be forced into the healing role all the time. After a few more sessions, I took a few weeks break to plan and rethink my approach. After finishing up with my preparations, I spoke to the player again about this issue. This was roughly 2 months after the necromancer encounter, and it was our third time having this conversation. This is how the conversation went.

Note: aside from redaction of personal information, censoring profanity, and giving further context with square brackets < >, these were the exact words used. If further context is required, it will be provided and it will appear as an edit on this post.

The Conversation



Me:

Regarding the Necromancer fight from , there was one thing you told me that I disagree with and would like you to elaborate on.

"The fight was especially annoying for me because I spent the entire time healing the party. On top of that, you gave the necromancer an ability that was annoying because it cucked my turn undead ability, taking away my pop off moment"

I said this previously as well, but I think that the reason that encounter went poorly was primarily because of player choice, not DM planning/decision making. You were not forced into healing people, as everyone had their own way of staying alive. is so you don't need to worry about him, was untouchable with his 24 AC, had he could rely on, and literally asked you not to heal him. The only person you needed to heal was yourself. As for me cucking your turn undead ability, I don't think it's all that bad. There will be times when certain abilities are not useful. For example, if you spent your turn shooting fire at a creature that was immune to fire damage, you would've also wasted that turn. In this case, I would technically be "taking away" your fire spells, but that's just part of the encounter. If one tactic doesn't work, there are many others that could. Even something as simple as spamming sacred flame would have worked out better for you.

There's a separate criticism that I do agree with, and it's that I need to do better at hinting at the right strategy. Being that you were fighting a necromancer, it made sense why you would think that turn undead would work. I did bring up the green skull that negates cleric powers, but I wasn't clear enough as to what it did specifically. In the future, I'll be clearer so you don't waste a turn finding out something that should have been obvious.

Read more:  Some questions from a new DM 5e

I know it's been a while since this fight, so maybe your opinion has changed. I still would like to hear your thoughts though.

Player 1:

ok a few things

  1. I will ignore the obvious contradicting fact with the statement of "only person needed healing was myself and spam sacred flame would have worker out better for me" as sadly, as a spellcaster, I only get to case one spell per turn and I think the one that keeps me fucking alive is the one that I am forced to cast, WHICH just so happens to be a healing ability. It just also happens that many peopls health drop below half requiring me to heal them worrying that the necromancer is going to case something that will deal fuck ton of damage. For the different people, from what I saw, took quite a bit of damage, ’s form would r*pe me (which I do not think my character would like that), ’s character was still a mystery among the party so character wise, we do not know how busted he is, was just a side thing.

  2. "There will be times when certain abilities are not useful." Let me ask you this, when the fuck was there ANY amount of fucking undeads for me to case turn undead. Literally as a fucking stupid life domain the only big pop off moment i get is when i see an undead army. I am baffled that you would say that some times certain abilities are not useful since this was the ONLY fucking time I got to cast the ability. Before the session, I was informed that there will be a pop off moment for me during the session and I was able to do something aside from HEALING IN ANY FORM. But it just so happens to turn out that I was fucking cucked of my ability to do that. It was physically impossible for me to case this ability no matter what as the necromancer was fucking hella far away and no way was anyone going to interrupt his green skull channel for me to cast turn undead in the fight anyways. A example of this would be you are starving to death for some reason, I walk up to you with a sandwich saying you can have this and a bottle of water. Right as you are about to take your first bite, I snatch the sandwich away from you and say that you cannot pay me 1 million dollars on the spot so I cant let you eat. "If one tactic doesn't work, there are many others that could." Tell me again, as someone with low health, and any attacks can fuck me up with no knowledge how the necromancer can fuck me up, how do you expect me to do literally anything when I am on the verge of being dead every single fucking turn to not case some form of healing ability. I agree there are many others that could but I think you gotta fucking realize that in certain situations, you can only take one fucking tatic.

My opinion on the fight will never change, you may convince me on other fights that happened but for this particular one I will never have a positive reaction about it

Me:

I’m not trying to convince you otherwise. I’m trying to understand what works and what doesn’t.

You can only cast one levelled spell per turn, meaning that u could cast sacred flame then healing word. You had some wiggle room in terms of what you could cast. While you were in a tight spot, others should’ve realized that their healer was in danger and therefore should’ve done something about it (when i said “player choice,” i meant other players as well). It is a shame that and ’s characters are not the kind to be a team player, but that’s how they chose to roleplay so i can’t really fault them for that. I’m surprised that and didn’t immediately come to help you though.

took damage because he purposely went into a cloud of gas that he knew would hurt him (player choice). decided to rush the boss instead of regrouping with the other players (player’s choice). chose to hide his backstory so you roleplaying that you should heal him was inevitable, but still based on player’s choice (in this case, ’s)



Regarding your second point, i see how it feels unfair that i throw you an undead army and then say that you aren’t effective against it. This goes along with the criticism that I didn’t hint at the right solution well enough.

However, my point still stands. There will be certain times when certain abilities are not useful. Regardless of the fact that you had no prior chances to use turn undead, this time wasn’t the time for it either. It’s just a shame that you’re in an area where undead enemies are not the norm. If the complaint is that i should make turn undead more useful by including more undead creatures, then i will take that as criticism.

On a side note, you could have waited to use turn undead. The other guys were like 2 turns away from reaching the necromancer so they could have knocked the skull out of his hands. At this point, I would’ve made turn undead work.

I think you were informed incorrectly. I said that this encounter you would be relevant, as there were zombie lolis. I did not specify that you would be especially useful.

Player 1:

I would like to say that maybe you haven't realized that I was on edge and was getting tired of all the healing shit previous to the necromancer fight. I wanted to do something awesome for one session but I guess you do not want any of that to happen as it will completely ruin all of your story and its progression and me doing something big will alter the story by 120% which I understand. " you could have waited to use turn undead. The other guys were like 2 turns away from reaching the necromancer so they could have knocked the skull out of his hands. At this point, I would’ve made turn undead work." Yep, of course 2 turns away to cast this ability when I was only given the description of him using a green skull to summon zombies and he just so happens to realize I am a cleric without any prior info. I just love this random mans to hold a random skull to completely cuck my 1 turn call to almighty god ability.

I don't really want to continue this topic any more since I have expressed what I would like multiple times. I will just see what happens I guess

End of Conversation

There were certain things he wrote in this conversation that I took issue with but could not elaborate on because he wanted to end the conversation. Other than that, I felt generally dissatisfied with this conversation because Player 1 continued to put all the blame on me. I don’t understand what more I was doing wrong. I think that certain factors that affected Player 1’s enjoyment were out of my control in this encounter. The player was also acting passive aggressive, so I wonder if it’s also something I said that ticked him off. The player in question refuses to give me an answer so I’m asking Reddit for help.

TLDR: I (DM) am being blamed by 1 player for everything that went wrong during an encounter. I don't know if it's actually 100% my fault or not.

Source: reddit.com

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