It's both. Even really enjoyable things get boring if they drag on forever. Entering spam mode just amplifies it. Even by default though you're taking actions with low success rates and that do nothing meaningful even if they work, which is like 3.5 except with no casters and much slower.
I've found anything more than 3-6 rounds becomes a grind fest no matter what... and that's in 3.5, where there's a wide range of things that influence combat. Namely those save or something effects.
Sure, 3-6 rounds is my sweet spot. But 1 round is too short, and that's what SoDs do.
This sounds like a great way to amplify Iterative Probability based problems.
*looks it up, finds thread on old BG board on IP proofing* Wow.. No.
No @#$^ way. Please don't mention that again, and I'm now going to know to ignore that argument whenever it comes up again. Thanks for informing me.
Just to clarify my vehemence, single losses are
acceptable, because they can be compensated for in the overall whole. That could be the loss of a single save, which can be countered the second try, assuming there is one. (maybe another party member's contribution is to give you that second chance?) It could be the loss of a party-member, a risk that is always present (and should be!), but can be avoided with work. A challenge incapable of being lost is not worth doing.
That status does so many different random effects there's no way to tell what's happening. It's just random stuff happening. It'd be different if all of them were consistently beneficial or detrimental, then you'd know how to react when you see them.
Sure, that's exactly the point. They alter the circumstances of the fight in a lot of different ways, and make the outcome harder to predict from the outset. By making it both positive and negative for different situations, it means that the player doesn't always have a clear-cut goal, they have several options to choose from. They don't know whether dropping the opponent's HP might result in them getting weaker, or getting stronger. It's the easiest way to kill them, but it's got risks.
Capable and competent both mean exactly what you'd expect. Not some low tier gimp who dies all the time. All the time also means what you'd expect. Very constantly or frequently, with extreme regularity and consistency.
Yeah, but 'capable' of doing what? Damage? Removing an enemy? How often, and how frequently? And 'Competent'? At what job? How is that job defined? And what determines the specifications of 'all the time'? You can only die once, unless we're including resurrection. Risk is part of the game, and IP proofing is just as demeaning to the DM as underpowered monsters are to the players.
A weak character isn't worth the effort of getting attached to and making an elaborate backstory for sure. Not all characters have to be walking corpses that don't know they're dead yet.
Ohhh! I get it now. A defeat in a single combat is the same as total game-over for you, isn't it? Wow, that informs a lot of your opinions..
This is the mindset of most of my villains:
A living opponent is a tool to use against your enemies, whether as source of information, demoralizing example of your power, or even prisoner-turned-bait. A dead opponent? Just a corpse.
It's a bit evil-overlord as a mindset, but it's also a bit machiavellian. It creates an opening that can be exploited, whether that is the prisoners escaping the dungeon, the player returning to fight again empowered by the knowledge gained the first time (since knowledge cuts both ways), or even the rest of the party going willingly into the trap, and still overcoming the villain through skill and dedication.
And it means a single loss is not the end of the world.