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Helping The PCs Prosper

Dastir: I agree that the two are not mutually exclusive categories -- as I said, they are just archetypes, and most people blend the two to varying degrees. But for purposes of this discussion, I believe that what determines whether a player is willing to accept fudging or not is determined by the battle between the inner Powergamer versus the inner Roleplayer.

dauphinous: I used the term Powergamer only because Dastir used it to describe himself. They're just labels; you could name the categories Lollygaggers and Ragamuffins for all it matters

Please excuse me for not reading this thread in it's entirety.

I would just like to add that I might only with the rules when it suits the plot, and leaves the players entertained.

As a DM, from the moment I start off my game saying "Welcome back to the Dragon Between", I am an entertainer. I am an Actor. I am a playwright.

The show must go on.

I do tend, however, to be a brutal DM. I always lean towards grittier games. I get that cringe from the player when he loses over half his HP. I have killed off more than my fair share. It keeps my players involved, knowing that this character might die any moment. Adventuring is a dangerous job. My players know that, and spend the extra minute to search for traps.

Last thought: I hate those location traps.

Well, to me, what matters is the plot. A player always gets the consequence of his actions. I hand out liberal warnings, which are stuff that his character, a seasoned adventurer, would know. However, I don't pull my punches. If he does something that he knows will get him killed, then I let him die. Now, assuming we're talking about intelligent players, then the answer is easy. My "encounters" are challenging, but not deadly. I tailor them so that they require effort on their behalf to overcome, but that they have several possible ways to be defeated. If the dice decide to be a harsh mistress, then I make the enemies make alternative tactical decisions. Stuff which would be logical for them, but would give the characters a chance to escape or win.

For example, I had a boxer who had disarmed a character who specialised in guns. The guy could've thrown a regular punch, and possibly killed the character, but instead I had the guy aim for his face to disfigure him (the boxer was a sadist, so it made sense), but the reduced damage made it possible for the character to recover his gun and shoot the guy with his last bit of strength. It made for a much better story than just killing him.

To me, it's a matter of pros and cons. If the advantages of killing the character outweight the disadvantages, then I do it. Otherwise, things will happen. Enemies will get overconfident in their victory and change tactics. In short, what matters the most to me is the story. I do whatever benefits it the most.


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