This weekend we will be entering a new phase in the boys D&D campaign. It is the first time that they will have to really deal with getting smacked down, losing 2 characters. I’m worried about it, but also excited. And I am a little concerned with the new characters that will be coming in, but again it’s not like I am letting a serial killer join the group.
There are lots of sources of advice for people who are running their first game of D&D. What I don’t see often enough is advice for people learning to play, or relatively new to playing. There is this great article:
Which is a bunch of great tips. And I honestly wish every player would read once in a while, even going back to it to be sure they are following the advice. But there is one big thing that is not in there that the boys are still learning, and is one of the hardest lessons to learn:
The DM is not out to get you, and your characters wounds or even death should not be taken personally.
Jimmy has got it, which is good because this is the second time I have killed one of his characters. And the other player seemed to get it. But I know that if it had been one of the other players whose character died it would have created a ruckus.
I can still vividly recall my very first D&D session, when none of us really knew what we were doing. But we knew that our characters had gotten strong, so challenged a dragon. And when my cousins character was killed in the fight he went outside in a rage and proceeded to destroy a large tree branch that was laying on the ground. He took it personally.
But I can tell you, in all of my years of playing in games, and running them, that I have only once had to intentionally take out a character. And that was a unique case where the player and his character were running amok, destroying any thread the game had. Basically violating most of the above rules.
Anyway, what I am hoping is that the boys learn a lesson from our last session. To proceed with a little more caution, and realize that there are no save points. This is not a video game where they can just re-spawn where they want. But no DM wants to kill the characters, they want to challenge the players and tell a story.
I am also a little leery about the choices the 2 players made in creating replacement characters. The party went from having basically no spell casters to now having almost no melee power. The two characters that died were Rangers, and they will be replaced by Wizards. Which really changes my style of game, the threat the party poses is vastly different, and what I use to fight them also needs to change. Which makes for a challenge and adjustment for me.
But I am taking this adjustment as a chance to grow and have more fun, instead of something that could ruin the game. I have my moments when I worry, and I will have to be more on my toes when it comes to spells and what they do. But it does really change the game in what could be a really entertaining fashion. We will see how it all goes.