Page 1272 - Passive Regressive

12th Sep 2019, 6:00 AM in School Raze
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Passive Regressive
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Newbiespud 12th Sep 2019, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Once someone yells "I charge," it's very tempting for the GM to immediately capitulate and start combat in the party's implied underprepared state, to teach the trigger-happy player a lesson.

But they never learn. They never, ever learn.
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11 Comments:

Guest 12th Sep 2019, 6:21 AM edit delete reply
First!
Story Time! Tell a story about charging in. I don't have anything from the player side of the table, but on the DM side, I had my group attempt to charge a pair of aquatic aberrations in undermountain. They got cold feet after the cleric was grappled and ran away to let the cleric die. To be fair, the cleric was playing an edgy chaotic neutral cleric, so I can kinda see why the paladin did it, but it's still very stupid.
CmndrHurricane 12th Sep 2019, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
one player wasn't there one session so his character was elsewhere

we were fighting a necromancer and his undead horde. we failed, but instead of getting all killed, we were just captured and held prisoner.

next session the player that wasn't there had an investigation-session to find us (it was hilarious). he finally finds the base, unties me and immediatley gets attacked by the necromancer.

now I'm at 1 HP and my stuff are in the room. I could have taken my bow and shot at the zombis. I could have spent a turn to search for a healthpotion (there was one). Nope! I pcik up my spear and attack head one
and that was my first PC death
Clifford Snow 12th Sep 2019, 11:57 AM edit delete reply
I got one. I had my players running through a set of ancient ruins, dealing with a lot of extraplanar creatures that been bound there and had outlived the collapse of the civilization that built the place, and a single charge attack nearly ruined one of the best encounters I made for it.

There was one encounter I created that I called "The Floor is Lava," because, well, as soon as combat started, the floor would erupt in lava. The creatures they were fighting were Smelt and Smolder, a magma elemental and a smoke elemental that were bound to the old smithy, and I had planned for Smelt to turn infuse the floor with veins of molten rock, damaging any characters standing on the ground, and for Smolder to throw himself at anyone who climbed onto anything to get away from the lava to try to knock them off.

The players entered the smithy, and after a bit of banter, we rolled initiative. The party's minmaxed, fullblade-wielding tank won and charged Smelt before he had a chance to infuse the floor, at which point he rolled a crit, nearly maxed his damage, and one-shot Smelt.

After a few moments of shock, I decided that I didn't want a single lucky roll ruining one of the most interesting encounters I'd ever made, so on the spot, I decided to double Smelt's HP. The fight continued as I'd planned and ended with the party agreeing that they would try to free the two elementals.

When combat was over, I explained what had happened, gave them experience for defeating three enemies, instead of two, and gave them an amulet that allowed them to summon Smelt and Smolder in combat. Thankfully, everyone agreed this was a better outcome than the alternative.
Enigmatic Jack 12th Sep 2019, 7:59 PM edit delete reply
For Halloween one year, I ran a small campaign of All Flesh Must Be Eaten. The party found a settlement where everything seemed nice, but were in the process of discovering its requisite Shady Secret (they were working on ways to create what was essentially a "Zombie Lure" to prompt undead attacks on enemy settlements so they could come in afterward and loot.) The party had split up after reaching the settlement and were doing a few different things; one of the players had gone out with a member of the settlement on something of a supply run.

One player had been separated previously when a dam burst and honestly SHOULD have been dead, but had managed to stabilize himself near death, hotwired a truck AND got it unstuck from the mud in a series of awe-inspiring rolls. He encountered the player on the supply run, the member of the settlement was afraid the player would turn, and in the ensuing chaos the guy from the settlement got shot.

They put his body in the back of the truck, head back to the settlement, were stopped by guards and were attempting to explain everything at gunpoint... and were doing a decent job considering one of them was covered in blood and a trusted member of the community had died when out with a newcomer.

And then The Stupid hit.

One of the other players decided that his high school track star was a ninja and wanted to jump a fence, charge the leader of the guys pointing guns at the party members and kill him... because that would somehow deescalate the situation? He succeeded on the rolls, catching the guy by surprise and killing him. Which essentially PROVED to the guys with the guns that the party was made up of enemies so they gunned down the two players in the truck AND the player who'd killed their boss. They then went to find the other players and executed them. Only one player managed to make it out of the settlement... and he was playing an 8-year-old boy.

Worst (best?) part of all is that the truck had some of the zombie lure stuff in it that had been spilled during the initial conflict where the settlement member was killed. So in the chaos of executing the party, a massive wave of undead started swarming the town because the lure had been spilled out and spread all the way back to the town gate.
CCC 13th Sep 2019, 12:31 AM edit delete reply
It was a game at a convention. A fairly simple little one-shot - track down the local blacksmith's daughter, a little eight-year-old who'd got herself captured by goblins and was about to be sacrificed by a cultist to draw out some terrifying summoned creature. It was intended to be something that a group of complete newbies could easily succeed at, just for a bit of fun.

Whoever wrote the module had clearly not been expecting *this* group of newbies.

The half-orc Paladin just charged. At everything. (That player knew he would have to leave early, so he was planning on getting himself a heroic death). He survived surprisingly long, actually... so did the goblins (there were an incredible number of natural ones rolled that day). And not just natural ones. Every now and then one of us would roll a natural twenty - but only when attacking an enemy that had no more than one hit point left.

With Sir Chargealot leading the way, we never once stopped for a short rest to refresh our hitpoints, and we reach the final room (with the little girl caged in the corner) low on hitpoints. The Wizard had been saving up his spells, steps forward, uses one spell - and gets promptly whacked into "start making death saves" territory by a hobgoblin. (He never made any of his death saves - not one.)

--------------

Several rounds later, the only people left conscious are the Dark Cultist who's just one round away from finishing his summon, the (badly injured) rogue, one *very* frightened goblin cowering in the corner, and the little girl we were supposed to be rescuing - and that was after some not-so-subtle GM fudging in our favour. He let the rogue take one extra action and throw his knife at the cultist, which hit and killed him, taking his last hitpoint; but, in all fairness, he let the cultist throw his knife at the rogue, which also hit.

Fortunately, one of the other players managed to make some death saves, and the remaining goblin was so intimidated by all the violence that he welcomed the chance to run away when it was offered; so the blacksmith's daughter didn't need to find her own way home through the sary forest...
SureenInk 13th Sep 2019, 1:22 PM edit delete reply
I had some players decide to charge right into the heart of the enemies. It was a group of 5 people, and 2 of them were rushing ahead. So, I gave the remaining 3 players the "surprised" status. Meaning the two players charged in and then the monsters had a turn before the rest of the party could respond.
Wulfraed 12th Sep 2019, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
Even "prepared" (but ignorant) doesn't help.

RuneQuest -- party on horseback charged a force on foot... Foot troops had set/braced pikes... About 66% of our horses went down.

Unfortunately for the foot troops that put them right where I wanted them; I was playing the tank in the party. My 4.5 foot shorty with the 4 foot bastard sword -- who ended up on foot (I think my other was an Aldryami with fairly high DEX whose horse made it through the pike wall, and the horse was fairly agile too).

Tank basically started at one end of the pike wall taking one swing at each foot troop, while my other character made a pass two strike ranks later on horse back.
Classic Steve 12th Sep 2019, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
So Silverstream is the new Rainbow Dash.
Digo 12th Sep 2019, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
Maybe they never learn, but I don't worry about those players. If the party is in general agreement that they wanna charge in, then I'll oblige. I worry about the player(s) who might feel dragged into the fight unwillingly. Those I'll cut some slack and give them a chance to maneuver themselves to a more comfortable position before attacking.
Zengar 12th Sep 2019, 9:19 AM edit delete reply
The only time I can remember a character in a game I was in actually yelling "Charge!", that character was the only one who followed through on it.
Everyone else was better at range than in melee.
The system allowed you to take an accuracy penalty to be sure of your target when firing into melee, so we took out the enemy ranged and then took potshots while the mage focused on trying to keep the idiot warrior alive. It worked well enough that the warrior decided that this was going to be the party's "go-to" tactic... Thankfully, they at least focused on defensive abilities after making that decision.
Anvildude 14th Sep 2019, 9:13 AM edit delete reply
Okay, can't apparently post my previous message 'cause ComicFury thinks it's spam for some reason...

Anyways, basic story is "DM wants us to be aggressive and a little careless 'cause we're playing an Evil, high-fatality campaign", other players are being passive and careful (even the Oath of Conquest paladin). My Horc War-Priest smacks one of the mob-bosses we were working with 'cause reasons, he's a Young Black Dragon, and we manage to kill him and take over his criminal empire (and get the starts of his hoard).