Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Impatient Players

In my Sunday night Castles and Crusades game, I sometimes find myself getting impatient when the action slows down and my fellow players spend what seems like an agonizing amount of time talking about what to do.

For example, in the last session we encountered a group of 4 pirates, including their captain. Now the party has already slaughtered a number of pirates in this dungeon, but the captain offered parlay, and suggested that we work together to overcome the dungeon, splitting the treasure. The 7 of us huddled together to discuss our options. Very quickly the pros and cons were hammered out, and the general consensus seemed to be that pirates are not to be trusted.

But then the talking continued… Maybe it was just me, but it seemed that it was just going to continue… on and on… In reality, it probably was only just an extra minute or two, but more and more I could feel my patience failing, so I targeted the captain, and loosed an arrow.

I missed, but it focused the party on killing the pirates, which we did with remarkable speed. And I made up for my missed shot by delivering the killing blow to the captain with a charge attack using a broad sword.

I'll be honest, it felt good. Not just landing the killing blow, but getting the action moving.

On reflection though, was I being a bad player? I don’t think I was… we weren't talking with the pirates, we were just rehashing what we’d already discussed, and given how limited my time to play as a player actually is, I want to spend it actually playing!

Any other DMs have the same sort of problem when you play? Or is it just me?


  1. I think this happens to our group a lot. It gets exponentially worse the more players there are. It might be worth creating some table rules to deal with it. Allot time to brainstorm and then vote. I dunno, it's not like we've figured it out.

  2. One of the groups I game with sometimes spends a lot of time pouring over details and working out exactly how to execute every last detail. Sometimes I can tell the DM gets frustrated and starts rolling up 'wandering monsters' or the like. Usually when he starts rolling it is enough to get everyone motivated.

  3. I'm pretty much the same when I'm playing and appreciate players acting like this when I'm the DM. It makes much more for an entertaining game than talking everything to death and I always try to have at least one player at the table that likes to act fast. Especially in cases where the options are clear or at least somewhat established (like in your case). But rash actions can be fun, too ...

  4. It seems like i'm playing Devils advocate, but for me:

    -as a player, this would bug me if i had spent 10mins planning something (and having fun doing it) only to have a trigger happy shooter send an arrow and make all that time a waste. This usually shuts me down for the rest of the game, as i see that none of my input is necessary, and only battle is wanted. IMHO, this also is not a group action, but a selfish action by one player when ignoring all others and acting on something that has an impact on the group.

    -as a dm, i swing where the player's take me, but i usually do the following in the case of a gut reaction while everyone else is planning : "Ok, so-and-so is raising his bow to shoot, before the shot is fired , does anyone do anything else?" where i give a chance for other players to talk down the impatient bowman

    BUT also, as a dm, since we are on a time schedule , I cut back-and-forth talking-in-a-circle (if i see they are going over the same ground) by summarizing their plans : "Ok then, you are planning this, that, then this other thing , right? " And usually they have a consensus and go with the plans or have a last change then i push the action forward.

    And for "slowing down the action", does everything need to be steeped in battle and blood , without a chance to parley? Diplomatic solutions are not the same as a battle, but for me, as a dm, can be even more entertaining since i get to play out Npc's and finally get some roleplaying out of my players!