They have no idea what the hell they are playing.
By suck, I don't mean they can't win battles or can't finish the game, I mean they pinball through and haphazardly come to a successful conclusion.
That's fine, DnD is not everyone's cup of tea and giving a fair trial at it is commendable.
But why do people SUCK at this game ?
I suggest, it's because It's not just that it is difficult, it is emotionally draining and mentally challenging as well and some folk don't like to have both their emotions stoked and efforts trialed at the same time.
I'll give you an example, the Irenicus fight in Spellhold.
Did ANYONE win that fight without reloading?
Of course not. Why? Because you were overwhelmed with the unexpected. Now for some folk, that is an instant challenge to reload and kick-ass.
For some others however it was an excuse to call it a day and move on to other games.
Playing a DnD game creates a mindset in an individual that is unique to other games;
- they become cognizant of how to allocate proficiencies to an individual
- They learn how to develop and cultivate a team that will assist their endeavours
- they learn leadership as the game progresses
- they learn the weaknesses of individuals and how they can be supported by the strengths of a team effort
- they learn how progressing, as opposed to being stagnant in abilities can prove worthwhile
- they learn how acquisition of special items can be but toward the betterment of the team as opposed to hoarding.
- they learn loss, not as much as I think there should be but that's me.
- they learn how to exploit an enemies weaknesses.
So why do people suck?
- don't care about outcome. If you have no interest or divestment then it won't matter if you lose.
- won't learn the rules; of which there are many. Call of Duty asks you to pick up a weapon and get good at killing. Mission accomplished. In BG you best know that most enemies are stronger than you and if you do not vary your weapon strategy you will not proceed.
- Can't make use of a gimped player; I swear that visiting Faerun would instantly make us misfits. 18 stats in 3 or 4 abilities with an intelligence below parakeet (4) or Charisma below 5 ( hated troglodyte). Really?
Is that how we want to play?
In pnp, if you gimped your stats, the DM made your death quick and unremarkable. Usually you rolled well rounded stats next game.
- Re-rollitis. Some folk just are not faithful to their character and feel their game will be MUCH better with a high powered character. Very first game I played with BG 1, I was so excited that I took the first role that came up and it was certainly not pretty. Won the game though because I persevered and played to the characters strengths.
- influence by external means, including this forum, heh. Some folk spend HOURS reading the crap we write and try to digest and develop best strategies that serve their purpose. Better to spend those HOURS playing the game and see what works FOR YOU.
- won't learn from others; opposite from above. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is well obsessive/compulsive sure, but signs of a good Dnd player as well. And not necessarily a sign of insanity. Unless you don't bloody well LEARN from it. Damn it, if you throw a fireball at an effretti and discover he LIKES them, why do it again?
- Complex spell menus and/or complex spells. Two words - pause button. Believe it or not, your computer will fry itself and die before that pause button releases you characters. You can read War & Peace while on pause.
Maybe you could pull out the chapter on spells from the menu while on pause and give it a cursory glance?
- Hate your character; opposite of re-rollitis. Hellm and damnation will take me before this character fails! But you have no love for that character so of course they will fail.
- Won't read the spell book or rule book as they advance. Figures all will be revealed in-game. Too sad for words.
Well, sucking isn't always a game killer but it will suggest your time is best spent elsewhere. On the other hand, you could try to become BETTER.