Why I overpower my players

I have... REALLY bad luck, it spreads, so sometimes I have to make up for it.


I sometimes get people telling me that my campaigns are too easy or they are set up to make the players too powerful.

I often give players the ability to reroll their stats multiple times, and the option to change any negative modifiers to 0 by increasing that stat to 10. I've had many players tell me that such is not how you're supposed to play.

Here's the thing though, I have horrid luck. I don't care if you don't believe in such things, I don't need you to believe when I have on multiple occasions, flipped a coin and called it wrong 58 out of 60 times, and that was to PROVE to someone else I had bad luck.

Every once and a while I take these super under powered characters and throw them into a quick easy game, kinda like an arena combat situation but I put them against a stupid weak foe.

I remember, this one guy was really proud of his Warlock who had absolute crap AC as he had a negative dex modifier and he "didn't need DM help to make an awesome character"

So I put him in an arena with… a CR 1/8 Pony and told him to roll for initiative. He rolled significantly lower than the pony. But he still laughed that I was throwing a pony at his warlock who served the darkest of dark gods.

First move, I rolled a 6 on the D20, plus 4 for the pony's attack. Out did his AC by 1. Rolled damage, 2d4+2 max damage of 10.

"You are dead, start rolling death saves."

First death save fails, pony isn't done, it stomps on him killing him forever.

After his tantrum at being one shotted by a CR 1/8th pony I told him to redo his stats and he finally did.

Please note, I did not fudge any rolls at all.

I have had this sort of nonsense happen so often that I full on expect it to happen every time.

I remember one of the games I played way back in the navy. I don't remember all the details other than the rolling. Me and three others started, not in a tavern but already on a mission as a scouting detachment for an army or something, I think we were supposed to get lost and find some ancient power or something as the story line. But first we ran into a small group of goblins.

Four of us total, six goblins. Not terribly hard, especially since I know we had at least one person with burning hands or some sort of AOE spell.

We did terrible with our imitative, and it is important to explain that our DM was kinda rough and used the crit fail/success system meaning, if you rolled a 1 on the attack, you effectively attacked yourself.

Two of us went first, rolling natural ones. Attacking ourselves. Our DM explained that the goblins weren't very smart but they appeared to have some tactics, so they threw themselves at us at least semi logically, two for the melee experts, and one each for the casters if I remember correctly. Long story short…. 5 natural 20s and the before half the party even got a single turn in the entire campaign, total party wipe.

Still to this day… I refuse to allow my players to have negative modifiers or ACs below 15 Because I know they will die extremely quickly. It's not a "chance" of it happening, it's a full blown guarantee.


One Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Like, I get the no neg modifiers, I’ve seen people do that, though personally I’m a “Imma sit there and watch you roll 4d6 and your 1 rerolls and those are your stats” kinda Fm. BUt an automatic AC of 15 seems a little too much.

    I mean, if you’re talking “Dm helps them build it up to 15ac” I guess that makes sense, but something about how this reads together made me initially think you automatically pop up your player ac up to 15 on your own.

    Personally I just had a “Halo Hombrew” one off where I made pregens for the game b/c my players are new enough I don’t want to force them through character creation with us only being 3 sessions in (Half of them couldn’t make it, hence the one off) and one of them had a 7 in charisma, and he roleplayed the HELL out of that. His character wasn’t very communicative to his teammates, he was rude and vulgar towards humans, he literally threw the team into a quarentine lockdown AFTER discovering there was no internal mechanism to let them out on the inside, sealing himself in there with them because he thought he was making a noble sacrifice after a disease was noted as probably having been released (By a rocket launcher he had fired and missed with btw), but once he was called out for making a brash decision because they could have just made sure to communicate the success of their mission and say that they were infected, the player RP’d this low charisma elite as having skulked off to pout for awhile about his own stupidity, before his own angst of being locked up with these people lead to him going absolutely HAM on the door with multiple energy sword strikes.

    I guess my point is that characters with Negative modifier’s can be INCREDIBLY interesting to play with, both from an RP perspective, as well as a combat perspective, cause NOBODY IRL is perfect in every situation, and they’ll do better or worse, and it adds a dimension of character flaw to the story that can make your character seem more interesting than someone who instantly succeeds at everything.

    I do feel you on the player who thought he knew what’s best, because I just went through that kind of process with my current team and the wizard in my group that i’m DMing for now, “I know what i’m doing” then I look at his wizard and he has spells outside of his level, unapproved homebrew out the ass kind of stuff, haven’t had a negative main dc yet, but I feel like that warlock deserved to get that taste of reality and why he shouldn’t have put that there. Personally, I let the player have full agency with the numbers after they role them, but I make sure that they KNOW what the main dynamic stats of their characters are, and then encourage them to play them however they want to from there.

    I mean I get you have bad luck, but if your group is wiped out early on by those goblins, that campaign can be saved by simply having them roll new characters as the squad who’d be sent out after the last one went missing, only to find the last squad dead and left looted, but I know not every group is mature enough to survive such a thing.