Critical Fumbles. And why they suck.

A post on the Facebook “D&D DMs Only” group worries me.  You can click to go over there and see it for yourself, but you might have to be a member. I dunno.

Anyway, here’s the post:

Your player has just rolled a dreaded ‘1’. A fumble has occurred, what is your go-to story line? ( ” You throw your weapon / Your bow string snaps”. )

There were, at least a few moments ago, a couple dozen comments about the various methods by which DMs punish their players for rolling poorly. I don’t know about you, but that irritates me, because it’s stupid. It’s stupid whether you look at it from a story or game-design point of view.
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A bit of a rant.

I read (or at least glance through) the ENWorld 5e forums every morning. Often there are neat ideas being kicked around, and I can either contribute or let them germinate in my own imagination, see if I can’t come up with a different approach to an interesting idea.

Sometimes, however, the noise-to-signal ratio is too goddamn high.

This morning, for example, there were about seventeen threads on the Warlord, and others talking about prestige classes, and others talking about new classes and archetypes and character “builds.” I swear to god, since D&D Next, there has been a strong contingent of people who basically want 5e to be 3.5e Second Edition, or 4e Second Edition, or Pathfinder Second Edition. They wanted the game they’re already playing, but with…what? Damned if I know.

It makes me want to scream. I can’t rant there, because I’ll get shouted down for causing an edition war or something, so I’ll do it here, in my own living room:

There are any number of games which have prestige classes and Warlords and intricate mechanical character builds all of that shit built right in. GO PLAY THOSE GAMES. Play Pathfinder, or 3e, or 4e, or whatever already has the mechanics to let you do what you want to do. Stop trying to turn one game into another. You clearly prefer that other game, so GO PLAY THAT GAME, FOR FUCK’S SAKE.

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Sandboxing is HARD

The first thing I wrote for DMs Guild was a stream-of-consciousness brain dump of DM-centric advice and trivia. It must not suck too badly, because it became a Copper Best Seller. (You can find it here, if you’re interested.)

Periodically I get correspondence from that. Some of it has to do with clarification. Some is just praise. Some is just snark. Sometimes, I get something completely new. I want to tell you about that.

Recently, Bryan wrote me an email:

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Spell cards are AWESOME.

Whether you play or DM, the most annoying thing in the game is flipping through a book to determine the effect of a particular spell. Never mind flipping back and forth when trying to figure out which to cast, comparing and contrasting. When I’m behind the screen, I get really annoyed when a player keeps flipping pages instead of doing something, and when I’m playing I hate not having that information immediately available.

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TeamDontWanna…

…needs to see this every morning.

[trundles off to work on a new adventure]

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The DM’s Guild and me

Most everything I write I write for the world’s greatest role-playing game: Dungeons & Dragons. Here’s why.

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A new site, a new endeavor. Whoa. Heavy.

A little bird – okay, the internet – told me that self-publishing and freelance writers need a website. So I made one!

Welcome. This is a completely new thing for me. Please be patient while I establish stuff.

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