"Every yes you say to the players, is a yes you say to the bad guys too" - Winston Churchill
“"Every yes you say to the players, is a yes you say to the bad guys too" - Winston Churchill” - Sun Tzu, The Art of War
I've learned to be a "yes, but" DM. I also remind them that whatever they can do, the NPCs can also do. If the PCs find a way of using feats in a way that may be game-breaking, it's a challenge for me to find a way to find a way to compensate for those feats without breaking the game.
It lets the players have more fun while still challenging them in the future. You want to use polearm master along with sentinel feats to prevent any enemy from getting into melee with you? That's fine...the dumb ones will still fall for your ploy, but the more intelligent ones will start switching up to range combat. Now you're at a disadvantage again because you have to move up into 10' of them to make your attack, but they can move back without provoking opportunity attacks and still get hits on you.
This right here. I’m all about players wanting to do interesting things, but it means the baddies will be bigger, smarter, and better as well. Let the players brake the game, than throw them up against something 2CR+ beyond their actual level to fight. They have fun, you get to watch a balanced encounter that shouldn’t be balanced at all.
The way to avoid both those things would be to add the word "but" after them. Instead of just saying yes and running the risk of unbalancing the game say "Yes, but you need to make a check to do it," or "Yes, but it will give the enemy advantage on their next attack against you," or something else relevant to the situation. Rather than straight up saying "No" say "No, but you could do x, y, or z" with x, y, and z being things that are less OP while still achieving something similar to what the player wanted or steps to achieving said goal.
Obviously, there are still times to give definitive Yes or No answers, but adding in "Yes, but" and "No, but" might help to encourage player creativity, while not letting them break the game too much
Love this, always try to encourage your players to think outside the box and solve new problems
Yes, but... Or no, but...
I don't care if players are too strong, enemies will be as well
My favorite answer: *You can try*
All I’m asking is for some more Warlock slots
It’s all I need
I promise not to take EB if you want
I’ll suck your Dic-
Sure, but you have to beat a DC 14 wis save every time you cast a spell
It’s an intuition you develop over time.
I almost always say “yes” to anything social, plot related, or cosmetic.
My brother and I joke that we're the "no fun allowed" DMs.
I remember when I allowed one of the players to try throwing a spade (yes, the gardening tool) around 15 or 20 meters into a temporarily not moving npc. I told him he's got to roll 5/100 (Warhammer) and he rolled 01...
And later, the players ask “Why, oh why, didn’t you take the *blue* pill?” when you turn their own tricks back at them.
Not every new dm, I got high on everything, and every option they made was a bad one
Ok that's cool and not broken go for it, if it sounds broken I'm not saying no, but it will probably screw you over
Nahh, fuck it. I just say yes, let them get unbalanced, and then just make the enemies unbalanced too.
I balance the unbalanced by unbalancing both sides in a balanced manner, got it?
You may have unbalanced me, but I unbalanced your unbalancing
I have a policy of not saying no. Instead I create stipulations. Except when it comes to homebrew. Just say no to homebrew.
Doesn't your policy of not saying no inevitably lead to homebrew in some form or another?
I say roll persuasion.
This is when I whip out the fabled purple pill!
...Benadryl! Don't have to make tough decisions if you aren't awake to make them!
Jokes aside, and I'm sure someone's already posted this, but these can absolutely be solved by saying "yes, and..." Or "no, but..."
Buts are your friend. Buts let you give some freedom, but with restrictions, as oxymoronic as that sounds.
Its okay to say 'you know what, for the sake of sheer coolness, yes, as a one off. Don't make a habit of it'
I overdoesed on meth
My favorite response to most questions:
"You can try."
I've been watching a lot of Dimension 20 lately and I'm really liking Brennan's "Rad, go for it" style of DMing
Only one will haunt you the rest of the game...
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