How do you deal with your players making obviously bad decisions?

CommentI’m always amazed at how frequently you put your PCs in deadly situations. I don’t know how the Waffle Crew hasn’t died 10 times over. How do you deal with your players making obviously bad decisions in such dangerous circumstances? Do you pull your punches?
I let the dice fall where they may, but I also try to let the players come up with crazy ways to keep their characters alive. When a player tries to do something to survive a perilous situation, I usually keep the save DC or check DC low so that they have the best chance to succeed. from discussion Chris Perkins AMA.

2 thoughts on “How do you deal with your players making obviously bad decisions?

  1. Depends on what it is. I have had players do some pretty stupid things, like spend the entire nights session proudly and loudly claiming they can’t be touched by anything in the dungeon, only to critically fail a save vs poison and die. I let that stand because DAMN that was aggravating.

  2. Doug says:

    Depends on the scenario. If they are playing a particularly dumb character, i’ll invoke fool’s luck. They won’t die, but they will get hurt. If they’re avoiding metagaming (such as not knowing to use fire on a certain monster because the character has never encountered one like this before) i put hints in the game that would help the character figure it out. i.e. the monster has burn and scortch marks from previous bad encounters with fire or it carefully avoids the campfire. If they’re playing a discworld style campaign I’ll steal a plot twist from the great master (terry pratchet) and keep the campaign running along that line. If the player just doesn’t seem to “get it” i may point it out at the table if it affects the party or i’ll coach the player privately after the session. If the player is deliberately trying to get their character killed or is just being a jerk (or joik) then that character may die as a result of the bad decision. This is followed with coaching during the creation process for that player’s new character. It may be a case of player boredom. Maybe they want more or less of something. Maybe they don’t understand what the game is about or how to play that class.

    Bottom line; communicate and adapt to what the players need.

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