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Is This a Jerk Move?


Advice


So I'm trying to finally do a proper breaking in of some guys I've been DMing with for a while. I went easy on them for too long and did soft, overland adventures... but they got bored, so I stuffed them in a dungeon.

Right now they're hiding in the extra-dimensional space above a Rope Trick spell.

The two casters (Wizard and Cleric) are really bad for remembering what their own spells do, and they always seem to forget to write down important info.

So Rope Trick lasts 1 hour per level (they're 6th). I believe he is expecting to sleep a full night in the space.

Anyway, I'm going to ask him next session "How long does Rope Trick last?". When he goes to look it up, I'm going to say "No, I'm asking if your character knows off the top of his head."

If he says "I don't know." or says a duration that is longer than 6 hours, I'm thinking of dropping the party from the space and giving them 20 feet of fall damage.

Is that a jerk move or more of a "learn your spells" move?

Andoran

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Depends on your attitude when you do it. If you play it off cool and nonchalant then it's not really a jerk move. But if you go out of your way to seem like a jerk, then its a jerk move.

The way I see it, its 20 feet of fall damage to level 6 characters. That's 2d6, so nothing that's going to result in a TPK. So again, it all depends on how you present it to the players

Osirion

It's not a jerk move, but I think you may be setting yourself for some payback in the future. I guess the real question is: does it matter if the player knows his character spells by heart?


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By 6th level he should have gotten the jist of playing a full progression spellcaster and should know the spells his character intends to cast. Casting time, duration, and mat cost should be writen down if he cant rem. In a few more levels he will have an enormous amount of different spells he can cast and should have an idea of what they do. Not knowing slows down combat and shows a lack of discipline he should have if playing a full caster. With that said i dont think its a jerk move for you to deny their 8hrs sleep and give em 2d6 fall damage to boot. Hopefully he will get the point to learn what his spells do.

Osirion

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Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

In my opinion, a jerk move. The rulebooks are meant to look up things. Look at the clerics spell list - the cleric can chose all of those spells. Do you expect him to memorize them in real life? I guess for me and most of my players this expectation would take the fun out of the game.

If it is that big a deal for you, point them to the SRD and have them print out their spells on seperate sheets and use small binders with their daily selection, that way looking stuff up won't take as much time.


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Does your player have Int 18? If not, do you make whomever plays the Barbarian lift up a horse every time they swing their axe?

Anyways, it actually depends on the spirit in which you do it. If you play it off right it can work. Or it can backfire horribly. Do it at your own risk.


Knowing every spell in the book is abit dramatic... If that player plans on using rope trick to sleep he needs to know how long it lasts. Spells he plans on using alot he also needs to know.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
SoulGambit0 wrote:

Does your player have Int 18? If not, do you make whomever plays the Barbarian lift up a horse every time they swing their axe?

Anyways, it actually depends on the spirit in which you do it. If you play it off right it can work. Or it can backfire horribly. Do it at your own risk.

That's different. Every gamer on these boards has an IQ at least two standard deviations above normal.

Go ahead. Just ask them.


If it's something you really feel the need to do, I'd suggest giving him a knowledge(Arcana) or Spellcraft roll(DC equal to identifying that level of spell in combat) to see if it's something his character knows before dumping him out. So at least you can say you gave him that chance.

Honestly, however, I'd just give him some kind of interruption at the end of the night while they're out of the rope trick. A social encounter("perception to notice something eating some of your rations", maybe?) or an APL-3 trivial combat encounter just as a reminder that the spell didn't work quite like he wanted and that he should be more careful in the future.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

When you make the choice of playing a spellcaster, you are expected to put in the time and effort needed to keep the game running. That means spell cards for your prepared or known spells, and easy reference (through hyperlinks or bookmarks) to all others. Spellcasters are easily the biggest source of slowdown in the game. I don't think it's unfair to expect a little more responsibility on the part of a player that wishes to play one.


I was thinking of allowing the Spellcraft check.

What would you think the DC would be for a Wizard to remember the duration of his spell?

15+spell level?


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It's all in the delivery.

It seems like you have a personal problem with their level of involvement with respect to spell-knowledge.

It seems like you are trying to correct this with an in-game lesson.

You shouldn't attempt to solve out-of-character interpersonal issues with in-game actions. If you want them to know their spells better, tell them. If you want to mess with them during the rest cycle, mess with them, but only because that's the game plan. Do not mess with them during the rest cycle because you want to teach them a lesson.

As a player (on such rare occasions as I am) I want the game world to be a world. I don't want that world to have a deity who is specifically pedantic towards me.

I'd rather the GM just said "hey, man, watch those spell durations. I'm gonna hit you where it counts."


Giving them a veiled warning (e.g. "Are you sure that'll work?") before casting the spell is okay. Giving them a veiled warning after casting the spell (so that it's too late to do something else) seems a little weak.

Personally, I'm pretty soft-hearted, so I would've just told them the duration when they cast it.

Andoran

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Penalizing the player for not knowing what the PC would know is the worst sort of forced metagaming. I understand the motivation behind the action. Find another way.

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

Your friend can print off spell cards from here.

Then he doesn't have to waste his time memorising spells in real life, and he still has all of the information at his fingertips without book flicking.


Spellcraft Check to know the duration seems reasonable.

Try not to confuse character knowledge with player knowledge. Some people struggle with this, both GM's and players. Probably the single most difficult thing to seperate.


GeraintElberion wrote:

Your friend can print off spell cards from here.

Then he doesn't have to waste his time memorising spells in real life, and he still has all of the information at his fingertips without book flicking.

I've been trying to get the two casters to print off spell cards for 3 weeks.

The wizard forgot again, the Cleric printed off only the spell cards for what he had memorized/picked for last session.

Osirion

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I would let the spell run out, have the entire party fall and scatter their gear/rations/equipment everywhere, and basically have it be a really comedic and embarrassing episode, but I wouldn't impose more than 3-4 HP of falling damage on the party and I would allow them to continue their rest in order not to deprive the spellcasters. Make it a joke at the character's (not the player's) expense.

Then later on you can bring up the real issue with the player.


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Wolfsnap wrote:

I would let the spell run out, have the entire party fall and scatter their gear/rations/equipment everywhere, and basically have it be a really comedic and embarrassing episode, but I wouldn't impose more than 3-4 HP of falling damage on the party and I would allow them to continue their rest in order not to deprive the spellcasters. Make it a joke at the character's (not the player's) expense.

Then later on you can bring up the real issue with the player.

This.


Fleshgrinder wrote:

... I'm going to ask him next session "How long does Rope Trick last?". When he goes to look it up, I'm going to say "No, I'm asking if your character knows off the top of his head."

If he says "I don't know." or says a duration that is longer than 6 hours, I'm thinking of dropping the party from the space and giving them 20 feet of fall damage.

Is that a jerk move or more of a "learn your spells" move?
...

In my opinion, that is a mildly jerk move. There are a lot of spells (even some commonly used ones) that I can't always recall the duration without looking it up. But I only play a caster a few hours every other week. But Caldor the Magic Meister has been a spellcaster 24-7 for umpteen years. Yes, he (the character) knows how long the spell lasts even if I (the player) don't.

On the other hand I do try to learn my common spells and don't have to stop play to look them up everytime. It is reasonable to say ok, you slept past the 6 hours and nobody who was awake knew the spell would be ending (you didn't tell them). So everyboody thumps on the floor.

The way we convince people to know their spells is you only have a short time when it is your turn in initiative. If you aren't ready (because you are reading) then you get skipped. "You don't take any immediate action, because you are still trying to determine the optimal spell to cast. We'll come back to you next round."


Wolfsnap wrote:

I would let the spell run out, have the entire party fall and scatter their gear/rations/equipment everywhere, and basically have it be a really comedic and embarrassing episode, but I wouldn't impose more than 3-4 HP of falling damage on the party and I would allow them to continue their rest in order not to deprive the spellcasters. Make it a joke at the character's (not the player's) expense.

Then later on you can bring up the real issue with the player.

Indeed. This.


Fleshgrinder wrote:

I've been trying to get the two casters to print off spell cards for 3 weeks.

The wizard forgot again, the Cleric printed off only the spell cards for what he had memorized/picked for last session.

It smacks of wiping their behinds, but you could always print the spell cards off for them.

To me, that kind of 'forgetting' says 'I didn't care enough to go out of my way in order to make sure this got done.' So the real problem seems to be that you're the only one at the table who thinks their not knowing spell details is a problem.

Depending on what situations the players are in, I would try different things. If they are working adults who are not on a really tight budget, I'd talk to them between sessions and offer to print it up for them for the cost of printing plus a minor 'I'm the one who had to do this' charge.

A more hard line approach that actually addresses the 'I don't care enough to come prepared' problem would be to tell them in advance that you will be printing up their spell cards for them, and they can either come with their own or buy your copy for 5-7 bucks.

If they're in a place where $5 is a lot of money for some printed pieces of paper, call them the day before the session and lay out the problem for them. 'Look, you really should know your spell details by now. It's affecting how you play the game. These spell cards are designed so that you can use them as a quick reference instead of memorizing a bunch of stuff. I really think it's important that you print and bring them tomorrow.'


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Tell them stuff that there character would know is a mistake with their int/wisdom when they first try it: "Your character knows rope trick at your CL lasts 6 hours and you need 8 hours of rest, do you still want to do this".


In general it is not a good idea to punish the character for things the player does and vice versa.

In a situation like this I would just tell the player "Your wizard would know how long his spells last, and at your level rope trick will only last six hours, make sure you plan around that."

Shadow Lodge

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If you have to ask, yes it is.

Shadow Lodge

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The way your planning it, it sounds jerky.

I have messed up my rope trick duration before and gotten dropped for it (level 5). But I COULD HAVE looked up the spell. My GM just asked for a caster level check (I failed) and then let it happen. When we fell and couldn't finish our rest I learned my lesson. But the GM didn't refuse to grant me access to the book, he just didn't demand I look it up.

There are a lot of spells out there and having them all memorized is impossible. That being said, when I memorize for the day I glance at all the spells and have a page number so I can look them up when it is not my turn (or before I cast the spell at least).

If you wanna let him get dropped, well he probably deserves it. But don't taunt him with it. give him a check and then let him learn.


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It's not a jerk move. Evil Lincoln has the right approach.

Guys, if you don't want to learn what your spells do, don't play a spellcaster. It's unfair to your DM and to the other players at the table to not know the rules regarding your spells, because it slows the game down and places an unreasonable burden on the DM. When I DM a game, my PC spellcasters should know their own spells better than I do.

Ken


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fleshgrinder wrote:
Is that a jerk move or more of a "learn your spells" move?

If nothing else is under them, no. If there's a dozen hungry trolls waiting with their knives and forks, it's a jerk move.


While I defer to your better judgement, I'll weigh in that the characters would know the capacities and parameters of their spells FAR BETTER than the players who seem so content to play it fast and loose. In game terms, the rope trick caster has likely had to cast rope trick countless times and whether formally educated or not, would have likely pushed the duration to the endpoint one or many more times in the past.

In these cases as a DM I'd remind them that their characters know the spell is going to expire, unless there is a good reason they'd somehow forget. (Like the fell asleep in there without thinking about it)

Then again, if you are trying to cultivate a dynamic where you are kicking them out of the shallow end of the pool... drop 'em, or let them realize the spell is starting to decompensate and have them scramble and fall down the rope themselves. That'll learn 'em.


Knight Druid wrote:
It's not a jerk move, but I think you may be setting yourself for some payback in the future. I guess the real question is: does it matter if the player knows his character spells by heart?

The real problem is that you should be atleast a little bit prepared as a player. It gets really annoying real fast when someone has to look up a spell every time they use it, when they could just jot down things like the range/save/damage/effect for easy access and not stop the game every time its their turn. It's more a matter of being consistently inconsiderate.

That said, it doesn't sound like too much of a dick move, as it has minor consequences, but as someone else said, it's kind of poor form to penalize them for something that they didn't know when their characters obviously would know.


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Yar!

an example email: expectations and having fun wrote:


Hey guys, I wanted to talk about the game, but away from the table. It may be an issue of having different expectations for game night, but I'm finding myself not enjoying the game as much as I used to, and I'd like to start a discussion to see if we can resolve this issue together.

Personally, I like a game that moves, where the action doesn't stutter and stop because of the need to look up rules. Yeah, there are a lot of rules, and sometimes things need to be looked up, but recently it feels as though there has been very little preparation for the game. I'll do my best to keep up to pace with as much of the rules as possible, especially if I know they will be relevant to the session, but I am only one person, and I cannot do it all on my own. Can I ask you guys for help regarding this, at least as far as your own characters are concerned?

My apologies if any part of this sounds antagonistic. It is not meant to be. I am simply, genuinely concerned, and I've been finding that my enjoyment of the game has been compromised because of this. If you have suggestions for me to make things more interesting for you as well, I would love to hear them. I want this to be a discussion about the game, so that we can all have fun playing it, and have the same expectations of what the game means to us.

Thanks,

_____ (enter name here) _____

Or something.

Seriously though, this sounds like an out of game, real life, player issue, and as such, it really should be dealt with out of game, in real life, by talking to your players. They apparently have a certain expectation of the game, and it is not lining up with yours. Dealing with it in game, regardless of how well you dress it, runs the risk of being interpreted as a jerk move and simply making things worse.

"Why is ___ suddenly being a d!@# about spells?"

"Where did this passive-aggressive stuff come from?"

"If you have a problem, tell me, don't punish my character for it!"

etc.

Also, by making it an in-game scenario, it becomes a part of the game, and a "hint", and hints are OFTEN missed.

"I don't get it."

Without talking to them, they may NEVER realise that the lack of knowing their own characters is ruining your fun. They are having fun, despite being oblivious, so without talking to them, they will continue to have fun regardless, or you will only end up ruining their fun in return. Now no one is having fun. That is a bad place to be.

Good luck, and again, I HIGHLY recommend talking to them about the issues in person or via email, and OUT OF GAME.

~P


I dunno, I'm of two minds. . .It's kind of a jerk move, and I think people can be able to look up spells.

But I do know where you're coming from. It's one thing to be a new player, and not know everything. But I get the drift it's gotten beyond that - they're not bothering to take an interest in knowing their own character's abilities. IMO, that's a "jerk move" on their part.

This distinction is hard to convey in print; but I recently watched someone's online campaign videos, where he was DMing a party of mostly noob players. (There was one player with prior experience). There was a clear difference between people who just forgot or didn't remember or purely didn't know things, but were trying, and one (sometimes 1.5) member of the group who was just inattentive, didn't seem to bother to learn his character's abilities and slepps (and they were low level, so it wasn't as if there was tons to know).

Right now from what it sounds like it seems they're using your knowledge of the game as a sort of crutch to not invest themselves in it much themselves. There are players who sincerely believe in the disutility of labor.

I suppose this is less of a "jerk move" (the rope trick thing) than not letting them have a helping hand during battle next time they are willfully ignorant. After all, 6th level characters taking 2d6 falling damage is just an owchies, it's not life-threatening.

Sczarni

Yeah, this would be a much more jerk move if it happened in combat. It would be much less of a jerk move if the casting of Rope Trick and the expiration happened in the same game session.

If you're going to punish your players for something, remember: the punishment has to immediately follow or be obviously a direct result of the act it is meant to punish. Otherwise the players won't realize that you're trying to get them to remember their spells-- they'll think they just goofed (or you're just trying to screw them over).

Here's an alternate suggestion: Instead of quizzing them on the duration, just ask them point blank how long they plan to stay in the Rope Trick. If they say longer than 6 hours, tell them they fall out. But you did say you THINK they intend to spend the night there-- by all means, don't punish them if they actually show up prepared.


If they have a smartphone have them look for a spellbook app. Android has 3-4 for Pathfinder alone. 2 of which I know are free. And most have a lite version.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

i think that looking up a spell every now and again isn't a problem however the caster should know most of the spells they plan on using consistently for instance if the caster has used rope trick in the past than yes he should however if its the first time he has used it cut him a little slack and let him make the check personally me and my group almost always sleep in a rope trick so we know that spell inside and out however some spells we don't use as often such as stone shape so if we were to use that and we had to look it up it wouldn't be that big of a deal but in reality the wizard should be looking up the spell he wants to use during everyone else's turns unless he/she knows what it does indefinitely

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
The way we convince people to know their spells is you only have a short time when it is your turn in initiative. If you aren't ready (because you are reading) then you get skipped. "You don't take any immediate action, because you are still trying to determine the optimal spell to cast. We'll come back to you next round."

I don't special-case spell casters - everybody gets the same treatment (which I've adopted from one of the local PFS judges). During a player's turn they are the only one saying what they are doing. If they aren't ready to tell me what their action will be when their turn comes up I just hand them their initiative card, and tell them they are delaying their action. When they have decided what to do they just have to give me the initiative card back, and I'll put them back into the initiative rotation. There's an extra slot at the end of each round solely for player discussion (and players can, of course, talk amongst themselves as long as it isn't their turn), but I don't want everybody else sitting around getting bored while the active player ponders possible actions.


Evil Lincoln wrote:


It seems like you are trying to correct this with an in-game lesson.

You shouldn't attempt to solve out-of-character interpersonal issues with in-game actions. If you want them to know their spells better, tell them. If you want to mess with them during the rest cycle, mess with them, but only because that's the game plan. Do not mess with them during the rest cycle because you want to teach them a lesson."

I have said that here and other boards a thousand times- you can't fix a OOC problem IC.

OP, you have a problem with the player. Sit down with him and talk it out like two mature adults.


Is the wizards intelligence less than 14? If he's clever enough to be a wizard he's clever enough to know how long his spells last.

As I am sure others have said, I didn't bother to read it as I know what they will say, don't try to solve out of game problems in game.

Personally I like to modify that saying to say give people in game carrots do bot beat them with in game sticks.


The way players represent what their characters know in terms of spell effects, durations, etc is by reading the spell descriptions. That is why players actually do have the same knowledge of their character's spells as the characters do themselves. So you can't actually be in a situation where you are seen to be punishing the players for something their character would know but the player doesn't.

If the character should know the rope trick will run out before they have had 8 hours uninterrupted rest then the player should too. In terms of knowledge of their own spells, the player and character are one and the same.

The character's Intelligence score is irrelevant. If the character knows a spell then they know all its effects. The player's responsibility is to read the PHB etc and gets to know their spells. If they can't remember the details then it is up to them to come up with some form of quick reference.

There are enough ways to do this - apps, 3x5 cards, cut-and-paste from PRD into a Word doc etc - that there is simply no excuse for a player to have to search through a rule book on their turn in the initiative order.

Before the next session simply remind the players that they need to create some working aids for themselves in time for the following session. This session they can look up books to their hearts' content, but next session if it is their turn in the initiative order then books are out. Worse case they have to delay in the initiative order while they frantically look up the book, best case they quickly glance at the card/app/whatever and know what the spell will do and be able to act on their turn.

It is no different to martial types who have lots of attack options, spell buffs etc. 15 minutes with an Excel spreadsheet (or a pen and paper) and you can easily make a chart of all attack variations with and without common buffs.

For my Fighter/Monk I have a one-page printout with 15 different permutations of attacks and damage for UAS with combinations of Enlarge Person, Dragon Style, Stone Fist and/or Bulls Strength. Plus a list of effects of less common buffs like Haste, Bless etc.

With Excel, whenever I level up it is simply a matter of updating the BAB cell and everything else is automatically updated.


JohnF wrote:
During a player's turn they are the only one saying what they are doing. If they aren't ready to tell me what their action will be when their turn comes up I just hand them their initiative card, and tell them they are delaying their action. When they have decided what to do they just have to give me the initiative card back, and I'll put them back into the initiative rotation. There's an extra slot at the end of each round solely for player discussion (and players can, of course, talk amongst themselves as long as it isn't their turn), but I don't want everybody else sitting around getting bored while the active player ponders possible actions.

Hey, I might actually copy this idea with cards and decision-time-pressure :-)

Maybe give them like 1-3 minutes to do whatever and once the time is over, anything not done until then is wasted (like only rolling attack and not damage yet: too bad, you hit but the target didn't get hurt)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Jerk move? Yes, in my opinion.

There's a LOT of rules to this game. Expecting or demanding that your players memorize everything their characters can do - especially spellcasters - is unreasonable. The moment you deny your player the right to look things up is the moment you cross the line into being a punitive DM.

Characters know more about themselves, their lives, their backstories, their abilities, and their world than the players ever could. The PCs are themselves 24/7 while we play them as avatars a fraction of that time.

The caster of rope trick knows what it does. The player doesn't necessarily.


JohnF wrote:
... I don't special-case spell casters - everybody gets the same treatment ...

I didn't mean it to sound like this was only for spell casters. If jimmy joe bob it looking up what vital strike does, he also loses his turn while he "ponders his alternatives."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps Subscriber

The issue has become clearer as the conversation continues. The problem you're having is that spellcasters take too long to take their turn, because they have to look up the details of a spell. You should not address this issue in an out-of-combat way as your initial post suggested.

The most recent posters have suggested delaying and initiative, and that's what you should deal with, IMO. If the problem is in combat, deal with it in combat.

...HOWEVER...

Don't just spring this on them at the last minute. (When combat starts.) At the beginning of the session, lay out the rules. "On your turn, you have (x seconds) to act. That time includes explaining what your spells or attacks or whatever do. If you can't do that in 60 seconds, you're on delay while you look up the details." Then, enforce it.


kenmckinney wrote:
... if you don't want to learn what your spells do, don't play a spellcaster. It's unfair to your DM and to the other players at the table to not know the rules regarding your spells, because it slows the game down and places an unreasonable burden on the DM. When I DM a game, my PC spellcasters should know their own spells better than I do...

It depends how extreme you are taking this attitude, but the way you've stated it:

None of the groups I have been in the last decade would probably even be able to play a spontaneous primary spell caster. A prepared caster is even less likely. A cleric would be nearly impossible since they have access to everything without needing a spellbook.

I play about 4 hours every other week. I can usually manage about the same amount for all my prep time including going over any rules, updating PC sheets, and checking things on these forums. I will never have the time to memorize literally hundreds of spells better than then anyone else. Most GM's simply have more time (or at least like to devote more of it) to reading the books.

I have a pretty good memory and can recall most of the details on the spells my PC casts often. But sometimes I forget or mis-remember the details. If I had been asked I probably would have remembered that spell has a duration of 1 hr/lv. But I might not because I don’t think any of my PC’s have used the spell in over 9 months. But that’s me. Who spends less than 1% of my wake time think about the subject. It is unreasonable to say that the Marcus the Magikaine who lives magic 24-7 for umpteen years doesn’t know it. I am even more likely to not know rare or new spells.

Now having said that, this situation is presented as something a bit different. The OP is implying that they are making no effort to learn anything and don’t mind wasting everyone else’s time. That is just rude. That doesn’t mean you need to entrap them into a punishing situation. I would suggest in combat they lose their initiative as I suggested before. Out of combat, “you guys need to start learning your spells or the possible down sides will come back to bite you.” Then if they have been warned you can let the chips fall. “You didn’t tell anyone that was awake to wake you after 5 hours, so you all fall to the ground.”

But I wouldn’t just arbitrarily decide that because the player is being rude the PC suddenly is stupid. That is the part that I would say is the jerk move.

Taldor

A jerk move? Maybe a little...

I usualy warn my players about spell durations, PRIOR to casting spells and ask them to reference them. If they still forget, well, not my problem, spell expires, bad stuff happens.

I also have a problem with a fighter character. His player constantly forgets the effects of his feats, and i even printed out his feat list with a short description for it. He constantly keeps it under his character sheet and never looks at it. I made him reference it in a very simple way.
He says his using a combat feat. I say ok, what does it do? He says i don't know, i'll have to look it up. I say, well you had all the time it took for it to be your turn again to look it up, sorry, you do a full defence for this round. And it worked.

Sometimes you have to punish characters so that their players get the picture.


This is something I have always done (and in consideration of other players) when I played a spell caster, I always write down the spells i can cast. I don´t need to memorize them, nor do I expect my player to memorize them either, but I do ask my players to have the info immediately available so that when they do cast them they know right then and there what it does. One of my pet peeves is when a players turn comes up and then they decide to look thru 2 or 3 books to see if the spell (or ability or whatever they are looking for) can do what they need or if it has a saving throw or a DC check or any other of things. This causes to much slow down time and the player that goes two players later id there with their head on their hands starting to yawn as he/she waits her turn.

So reminding them to keep information like that is not a jerk move, just presented in a fashion that was unexpected. Ask then if they ever got that feeling when they were asleep of falling and the sudden jerk they make when they wake up, when they (hopefully all) say yes that they recall that, tell them that is just what happened, except it happened for real when they fell down the 20 ft while asleep :-)


My opinion is almost the same as Wolfsnaps, have them drop after 6 hours when the spell fails and roll 2d6 nonlethal damage for them. They get bumps and bruises, stuff scatters around, they make a racket, but no monsters show up and they can finish the night and spell memorization without any trouble this time. This makes it more of a light poke at the wizard than a passive aggressive move towards the player. Then, out of game bring up the problem you have with their lack of preparation. Explain how it affects the game, how it's been going on for awhile, and make suggestions like the spell cards(or heck, index cards with the basics scribbled down) to fix it moving forward.

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