Wednesday, March 23, 2011

RPG Hate Annoyances - "Muddying the Waters"

New player "What's my AC?"

DM "With felt armor and round shield it would be 7"


DM to new player *sighs* "What is your dexterity score again? 10, okay there's no dexterity modifier in your case."

**** later in the game ****

DM to new player "What's your armor class again?"

New Player "It says 7 on my sheet, but I get a dexterity bonus, right?"

DM *glares at Bystander Player*

File under "It happens every damn time" & "Please don't confuse the beginners"


  1. I hear ya, brother. I keep getting that particular one in my game, DESPITE USING AN EDITION WITH NO DEX BONUS FOR AC! Argh!

    (Do you really use felt armor?)

  2. Me, I'd be happy if my players WITH ability score bonuses remembered to add them, and what they should add them too. I never had your particular problem, but I agree that there's no need to muddy the waters for inexperienced (or casual) players.

  3. I hate the fucking kibitzers!

    On a related note, I went to the local 'craft store' recently to pick up some felt (I wanted to cover the bottom of a box I had made so it would not scratch the table top). When I got home, I discovered that the 'felt' I had purchased was made from recycled plastic (which makes me object somewhat to it being designated at 'felt). So, do warriors on Algol also wear armor made of recycled plastic milk jugs?

  4. What Anonymous said. I've got guys who have been playing RPGs for 30 years who need to be hand held through every fucking combat. It's a big part of why even as I change the game I try to keep things simple, and push all the math off on the referee, who is going to end up doing it anyway.

  5. In our group there is the 'helpful' guy who leans over and helps you add your dice when you roll them... he's memorized everyone's stats and will attempt to shout out how you scored before you can.
    He irritates me but I haven't slugged him... yet.

  6. I like felt armor. My level 5 Half-Orc Pimp looks vary fly in his purple felt armor with leopard fur trim. With treads like that, who needs a Charm Person spell? ;P

  7. That's what Grudge Monsters are for - seriously, you'd be surprised how effective it is as a deterrent, after the rest of the group have either pointed-and-laughed at the offending player or swore their heads off at him for getting them into an unexpected combat.

    I am not afraid to admit to using Grudge Monsters! I remain, however, of the position that it is Not My Job to teach grown adults, better paid than any two other players at the table put together, how to do basic math.

  8. @ Jeff: I haven't yet, but I would definitely would for some fake-history steppe nomad campaign; felt armor was inspired by "fussy/comprehensive" equipment lists in some RPGs.

    @ Limpley: I am exactly the kind of guy that would be Larry David infuriated by being sold "fake felt"; a lot of armor is composite synthetic materials, but I imagine the plastic being mined from fossilized landfills.

    @ Aos: Exactly; the fact is that plenty of perfectly intelligent people have poor math skills, just as many people have no sense of direction; ergo less math and dumping the heavy lifting on the DM is a good thingfor fast & furious adventure.

    @ Omlet: I did :) Although I use the greyhawk ability score modifiers (except for damage).

    @ Netherwerks: I bet it would be, and cosy too!

    @ Knobgobbler: Sounds annoying, but if he's right and "pushes the game faster" I'd consider it to be a worthwhile trade ;)

    @ myrstyr: I am convinced that regardless of intelligence or upbringing, a significant portion of the populace is unable to do math efficiently, no fault of their own. I do try to scrupulously avoid Grudge Monsters...the wandering monster encounters will eventually handle that job...

  9. The Almas certainly like it...but then, the ydo make it themselves...