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So while I like my DM, it's kind of hard to say that our game has a consistent story and that she legit decides everything on dice rolls. Oh you want to persuade that character? Yeah, that depends on my dice. Oh, I need to know if this NPC will respond to something. Dice.

"It's on my dice if anything you say to this character gets through to them." Like DUDE please just make a decision without dice.

Context

It's a one on one campaign. A roll they'll make is to see if an anime character will show up or not, even though there's been no hints of such character in this world before and it's a completely different source media.

I don't think there needs to be a roll on Dr. Stone characters showing up when as their only player, I haven't watched it whatsoever and will not care to interact with these characters.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps you could edit your question with a more specific example or two of situations you thought should not involve a roll. Persuade is a skill check and sometimes the appropriate thing, after all. \$\endgroup\$
    – aschepler
    Jun 28 at 8:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ What exactly bothers you about this? Would it be a problem if you didn't know dice were being rolled to make the decision? Is it a problem because of the time it takes? Because of the emotional reaction to "my DM is indecisive and wants to appeal to an outside decision-making tool"? Because improbable things happen too often / without proper justification? Something else? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 28 at 22:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KarlKnechtel hold on sent it early. It's more so I want to know if she knows she's deliberately crossing some of the boundaries I've set. I can forgive it if the dice said so to a degree, but in another comment I wrote , she's rolling for characters showing up from a source of media that I've made sure to voice discomfort with. I'd also like it if not every story beat was decided by dice, just because of how sporadic it is \$\endgroup\$ Jun 29 at 7:02

2 Answers 2

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First, what your DM does is not wrong. The rules of the game even tell them to use dice however they want (page 236 DMG):

THE ROLE OF DICE
Dice are neutral arbiters. They can determine the outcome of an action without assigning any motivation to the DM and without playing favorites. The extent to which you use them is entirely up to you.

Leaving the direction in which the story moves to chance based on the outcome of a roll is as valid a way to play as taking more influence on it. They are just different styles of play.

If you feel that the way your DM is running the game is not fun and detracts from your enjoyment, the best way to address this is to speak with them about it and share your perspective, so they can consider it.

All of you play to have fun, and if you have very different expectations about how to play the game, this can lead to problems. If you have not done so, it might be a good idea to hold a belated “session zero” with the entire group to understand how you all want to play.

Especially the social skills like persuasion are often problematic, because it is frustrating to role play a great argument, only to be then told to make a roll, and fail if it fails, as if you had not said anything. On the other hand, it also is problematic if the character’s abilities do not influence the outcome. There are long articles written on the subject of how to deal with this.

To give you an impression from the other end of how this can go, in our game, some of the players decided to not take Persuasion as a skill any more, as the DM relies so much on the narrated discussion and the prior motivations of the parties involved, that the skill is borderline useless. That’s also not a great outcome.

In the end, it is your DM’s call how they do this. If you can convince them to ease up on it, great. If not, you’ll have to decide if the game overall is still fun, or not.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Jun 29 at 14:54
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You've written that you're in a one-on-one game, and:

A roll they'll make is to see if an anime character will show up or not, even though there's been no hints of such character in this world before and it's a completely different source media.

It sounds like your DM is trying to make the dice responsible for their decisions: they don't feel comfortable saying "I decided to add this character," so instead they say "I rolled the dice and the dice made me add this character, if you don't like it blame the dice."

I have a story about this, as it happens.

I started a one-on-one game (as the DM) with a player who was pretty aggressive about the rules, and about what I was or wasn't permitted to do. I had originally planned to run the game diceless, but I soon started feeling like it wouldn't work -- I worried that, any time I said "the monster hits you," the player would complain that it was an unfair decision. So I said "okay, we're going to use dice after all."

It didn't work very well.

I don't think we know enough about your situation to diagnose what's happening in your game. But, in my game, what would have helped is if the player had said: "please feel free to make any decision, I promise I won't get mad at you or feel like you're being unfair."

You've written that you didn't like some of the decisions that the DM justified with dice, so maybe what's happening in your game isn't too different from what happened in mine.

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    \$\begingroup\$ it's just kind of sporadic? I told her multiple times I was uncomfortable with another media source she decided to use dice to see if they 'showed up'? I told her why I was uncomfortable with it too as my ex who was into said source media stalked me and talked about it non-stop, along with the fact I haven't watched it. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 28 at 13:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you were clear that some piece of content made you uncomfortable, and then the DM still put that content in the game, this isn't a problem of the dice deciding, this is a problem of the DM not respecting your boundaries. In this case, a new conversation about boundaries and respect is the minimum you need to do, but more likely, I'd just stop playing with such a DM \$\endgroup\$
    – Tal
    Jun 28 at 18:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think players that complain about "unfair decisions" whenever something happens to their character are always going to be a pain - dice or no dice. Especially if it's over something as mundane as a monster landing a hit... \$\endgroup\$
    – Shadow
    Jun 29 at 6:08

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