One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
I recently ran two one shot games and I am concerned that the latest generation of players are....spoiled? The characters were pre-generated and I handed them out based on what number the players chose (1-10). One girl looked at her fighter and frowned like the local alley cat just coughed something up. She complained and wanted a "Drow." I explained there were none in the batch. She made her request again. I explained the situation. She threw a temper tantrum (yes, an adult threw a temper tantrum) and walked away from the table. Another player in the group said, "Yeah can I just have an adventurer's kit?" I asked what that was and he explained it is a basic equipment kit that has everything an adventurer would need. I asked how much he thought that might weigh? He replied, "Oh we never use encumbrance or stupid stuff like that."
The next group was shocked that there were environmental factors. One player wanted to make a very unwise decision. I asked him twice if he thought that was wise and what the consequences would be (death!). He tried to perform his jump, failed miserably and did a swan dive into a pool of lava. He died. He was shocked that he died, couldn't wrap his mind around why he died, accused me of being unfair. And what bothered me the most is that his eyes started to tear up! One of the other players laughed and asked, "Dude, he warned you like twice. We're over a volcano, what did you think was going to happen?" The player then said, "Yeah, but like I didn't think it was real lava and it's not like armor weighs anything. I can do all kinds of stuff like this in Assassin's Creed." Uh-huh..... _________________ No one ever suspects the gnomes
I'm a high school teacher...don't even get me started about the entitlement issues I see and lack of accountability or understanding of consequences for personal actions. That's pretty much what you are talking about.
I say, those players needed your stern DMing to teach them a lesson. Hope they learned it.
It sounds like they weren't people who knew you before the one-shot adventure. That's like someone whining about something on the internet. If they were friends of yours, or even acquaintances, I bet they wouldn't have had the gall to act that way.
My young players don't whine, and if you've read any of my campaign blogs, you know that I kill them off quite frequently - even multiple TPKs! When they take turns DMing short adventures among themselves when I'm not available, they aren't so deadly, but they've come to accept it when they game with me. And, they keep coming back. I am simply training them to be comfortable with various styles of play.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not out to trash the players. I realize everyone brings a little something different to the table, but I was truly amazed at the attitude of "This is what I want and how I want it!" The concept of failure (character death) was almost too much for some of the players. Sadly, I used the rules, straight up. The good news is, one of the most memorable lines from one of the players was, "I'll never take a bag of holding for granted ever again." _________________ No one ever suspects the gnomes
The fuss from the younger players sounds more like a Pandora's Box than a generational trait.
It's painful to take away 3E/4E luxuries once they're taken for granted, but younger players are happy to embrace the old school if they cut their teeth on it.
I have a couple younger players in my group (21 & 25 yrs) and they've never voiced any objections to my stingy stat-rolling method or meat-grinder dungeons. Sometimes they get excited about a new splat book and grumble when I don't allow all of the bells and whistles, but that's it. The difference is they never played D&D before our group. They now happily brag to to their 4e peers about how they play the old-school "Gygax version."
Starting the new year back at home and can get back to regular posting / reading!!! So It will be a bit for me to catch up on all the threads of goodie-ness, but was compelled to begin here....
Sizable REBUTTAL post (hey I've been gone awhile).. so have to get my word count back up right??
WARNING I (unlike others) AM going to BEAT on the Younger Generation.
Just as nature has no society for the protection of slow zebras to protect them from lions, I am simply calling it as it is.... Deal with it.... Young people, as a general rule seek the path of least resistance, shortcut, or blame assigning for most actions they participate in. As Lanthorn said, I wont go into the depths of my opinion of their need for entitlement, lack of personal motivation or responsibility. Those that do have those things, are generally the exception, not the rule.
Sadly its partly our own fault (Gurnards)... We (though not personally) have nurtured the expectation that "did you try your best little Joey?" Well that's all you can do... This of course, is a mistake... Sorry Joey you suck at baseball, get over it... there will be no blue ribbon for you because you "tried hard". Life, my young friends, simply doesn't work that way... Imagine, if you will, telling your boss, "Hey I know that report you wanted Monday isn't done, but being as it is now Thursday, here is what I have, it was the "best I could do".. LOL yea that would work out well.... not.
In my work place I have often mentored young people on self motivation, responsibility, planning, and accountability.... no different than what was expected of us when we were "the young people"...
The Game table is no different. I often tell my players it is a micro chasm of our own world. You can learn many skills that (if the DMs crafty) will transcend to the real world... Problem solving, planning, Foreign Languages, History, Crafts, etc. But it ALL starts with the will & desire of the Player and the dedication of the DM.
My latest group (now a few years in the adventuring) is a mix of some of my old players <2> (10+ years average age 44) medium players<3> (4+years average age 26) and new players<3> (average age 20).
With it comes various "challenges" as commented here (love the entitlement comment Lanthorn ..spot on with that) and in other threads.
So to be brief,
My mixed group decided to switch from 2e to 3.5e (As I noted in long lost threads elsewhere) I can now report switching from 2e to 3.5e does bring more detail to the table with skills and feats (as long as DM keeps a close eye on what of the over 3700+ feats, skills, and variants they allow). Instead of dexterity or Intelligence being a defacto check, the players can fine tune to their preference.
New players are genuinely fearless for the most part.
Just as when we "Started" they wonder at all the Rich Detail & History that is Greyhawk
Using 3.5e is generally slower, with the extra defined skills, feats and variants, the game is slowed by extra rolls for checks, feats, etc. Don't get me wrong, it is immersive as to the variety of things a PC can do (or have done to them hehe), it can be overwhelming for newer players.
3.5e CR for awarding experience is terrible ( I don't use it) it is designed to give max experience (and some!) for far less risk than previous versions. This in the name of "balance and helping fledgling DMs (now GMs) determine what is too great a challenge for the party of characters to face. Fore me, I leave that determination to the PCs.. if they are not smart enough to know when they are out classed or skilled, I let nature takes its course, stupid DIES.
3.5 lowers EXP for attaining level and raises exp for all monsters encountered (some up to triple), why because the young players (not just mine) complained how hard it was to "win" in the "old version" so WOC, of course, caved and made it easier. Their idea of a true campaign I won't go into here, just to say in brief, they lose focus on anything they can't concentrate on more than a few weeks. (hence the whole sub market for cheat books for software they buy so they can beat the game sooner??? WTF???)
As other pointed out, their problem solving skills are weak at best, and seldom is the occasion to actually think of a consequence BEFORE taking the action... they are more likely to leap first and "see what happens" and then are totally dismayed that they were less than successful.
Most "New / Younger" players come to think playing is akin to WOW or some Diablo / Elder Scroll PC game. They think they can & SHOULD win in a week, two tops....
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
There is hope though.... Through the course of the last 3 or so years, my younger players have learned that D&D doesn't have to equate to EPIC Roll Play...... Its not the level nor the number of dice you roll.
EPIC is truly defined by ROLE PLAY.. What is Memorable, Challenging, heartfelt, Tragic, Grand, and Glorious.
Now getting them to apply what they have learned.. that's another matter all together at times..... They, on occasion, slip back into the Xbox / WOW / PC Gamer mentality, and the Dark Lord Crushes them for their shortsightedness.
Since May of 2014, I've had the opportunity to play in two campaigns outside of my 1980s group, and have begun DMing for some of them, as well. More on that below. No names will be used to protect the incredibly guilty.
I recently ran two one shot games and I am concerned that the latest generation of players are....spoiled? ...
-Hmmm... define "latest generation."
I think Vestcoat is on to something here. If we talk about people who probably started after 2000 (in the D&D 3.0 era or later), some of it seems to be built into the game. IIRC, an AD&D1 1 HD orc was 15 XP. In D&D 3.5, whacking a basic War1 orc is worth 150 XP (or 75 XP, + up to 75 XP for mission accomplishment, as I do it), even though it only takes 1,000 XPs to make it to 2nd level. If you start with the (literal) rules of the game being one thing, and you suddenly ratchet up the standards, it might seem unfair (the four letter "F" word: "Fair"! ). So, some of it is probably that.
...Most "New / Younger" players come to think playing is akin to WOW or some Diablo / Elder Scroll PC game...
-I haven't played video games since Vanguard and Pacman were all the rage (well, one stint with Second Front back in 1992, but that's a glorifed board wargame), but one of the guys is one of the oldest school D&D players we have here (besides your's truly); he both plays and DMs. I forgot to ask that part of the questionaire, but I think he goes back to late AD&D2. Anyway, when I first showed up, his (younger) wife was a regular player. One day, she didn't show up. He said something like "she can stay home and play all the Diablo she wants."
Anyway... In the two campaigns, rolling for stat's was usually 4d6, with contiuous rerolls for 1s and 2s. Everyone gets max' HPs at 1st level (as per D&D3X standard rules). Pretty generous with the goodies (sometimes verging on Monty Haul). Maybe a little free with the XPs, but YMMV.
Well, when in Rome... except I always start 1st level. Everyone else at 5th or 6th level? No matter what. Most people are astounded. As player's often will, I'll often point out my philosophy on such matters when the opportunity comes up. So people know where I'm coming from. So, when I finally opened up the Flaneass to them, they sort of knew what to expect. It was still funny to hear the older-school player describe his 25 point point stat (i.e., averaging a little better than 12s across the board) as "squishy." But there's been no whining, other than legitimate debates over rules interpretations.
So, I think it might just be expectations. Of course no one has actually gotten killed yet, although they did get overrun.
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