Having only participated in two Dungeons & Dragons campaigns ever, I found
that my DM was both unforgiving and unrealistically realistic at the best of
times. How so? Well, read on and you'll see.
Early in our very first campaign, we were a little bit of a rambunctious
group, perhaps. We took it upon ourselves to have a little bit of "fun"
in town, mostly by needlessly killing one person after tightrope-walking on
some merchant's clothesline and putting a few monks to sleep. I'm not sure
exactly what happened, but we found ourselves thrown in jail by the end of
the first night of play.
That was fine and dandy, sure, but the fact is that our DM was a bit
ruthlessly realistic. We tried to escape more than once, but of course,
every time we attempted to, some critically-important dice rolls would
inevitably fail miserably. The problem was, that rather than come up with a
creative alternative, it was always "back to the cells with you!"
We spent almost the next full day of gameplay actually working our way out,
but our troubles didn't end there. Thanks to his need to be over-realistic,
he made sure that we were the most wanted folk in all the land. That's
right, the baron's men chased us all over the countryside, so if we weren't
fighting goblins, we were certainly watching out for the thought police.
I understand the need to keep things semi-realistic to make the game
believable, but it gets a little bit tiresome to have the same situation
drag on and on for months of playing-time. In the end, we wound up in jail
no less than three more times over the course of the next year, before we
made an attempt at an escape that ended in a dramatic ocean battle in which
most of us suffered salt-watery deaths, marking the end of a not-so-grand
The moral of the story, I suppose, for all you DMs out there: Let your
players off the hook every once in awhile, or at least let a few things
slide every now and then. It can make the difference between the dull and