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Miles Invictus
2007-01-04, 11:45 PM
Yes, how dare you deviate from the rules, simply because everyone has more fun that way.

The_Pope
2007-01-05, 06:21 AM
I havent met too many bad DMs in my experiences, thankfully. But there was one game that's shudder worthy.

The thing started out pretty alright actually, despite some annoyances. I was playing the only normal character, oddly, with a half-vampire bard.

One guy played a weird homebrewed demon-thing that was probably the ****tiest creature ever imagined. Kobolds could whip the snot out of them. The big thing was this creature is they had sex with things and produced a lot of weird children. And they died in three weeks. So every three weeks, he'd start playing another one of the offspring. I'm not kidding, these things were horrible. The guy wouldnt take any class levels either. He flat out refused, saying they were all stupid and unimaginative. I dont know what he was smoking.

Another guy played a deranged succubus that ran around naked and was bright blue. And yet, was not attacked on sight or had any adverse consequences for being a demon. This character again, had no character class. It was so useless, it wasnt funny. It had a 7 Charisma. 7. Don't ask.

The last was a friend of mine, and was the only other successful character in the group, despite the oddity. It was an illithid, but he had it go around with a bag on its head, and was good natured and very drunk.

Yes, I started playing this, and the train wreck was visible from three hundred miles away. And yet, like a retard, I went along with it. It started rather normally, evil cleric raises zombies, attacks town, we go kill it, yippee. And for a short while, it was enjoyable. We had some funny roleplaying instances, and destroyed a town. Though I couldn't help noticing the DM allowed anything we asked. ANYTHING. Obviously, considering the characters involved.

Things went to hell when the DM decided to introduce an NPC of his. And this was the most useless thing ever. You thought the others were bad, this was even worse. It was this weird demon-thing, that looked like girl crossed with a cow. Of course it had huge tits, and it had the most annoying bubbly nature and speech imediment ever imagined. And then, when combat came around, it would get all dark and sinister and threaten things menacingly, despite the fact it too lacked a character class, and had no skills at all. (Why all these demons could run around unhindered by anything made me smack my forehead. I had started off hiding my character's vampiric teeth, to avoid conflict, but in the end I just said screw it.) Needless to say, it became the ever-fun DM PC. The DM only paid attention to the cow-demon-weirdo-thing, and ignored most of the rest of us. Then, he gets it in this lesbian romantic relationship with the succubus, with sappy crap enough to make you vomit, complete with idiotic groping and feeling. And the guy playing the succubus goes along with it with gusto. That was worth a shudder and a half.

So it quickly devolved into a love-fest between to sex deprived guys, while the other whacko demon thing ran off mating with whatever it could and amassing an entire force of pathetic children. What plots the DM did install were overwith in three minutes, and it went right back into the love-fest. My friend and I basically sat there the whole time doing absolutely nothing at all.

I tried to get the DM to include the rest of us (why I hadnt quit, I have no idea), but he got extremely defensive and stand-offish. Then, one session, he finally pays attention to my attempt to have my character do something, and goes along with what I'm doing. Of course, things dont go as planned. In the end, my character gets raped by the weirdo-demon-thing for no apparent reason, all set up and instigated by the DM. At this point I had had just about enough. After practically ripping the guy a new one, he turns to the group and asks us if we want to "start over". All of us say yes immediately. And then, he takes it all out on me, saying I ruined his campaign and its my fault it ended. I finally left at that point.

That game was like pressing white hot needles into my eyes. And the needles would have been less horrible, and frankly more enjoyable. Euck. And I'm a total dumbass to not have left earlier. I hate being nice.

Lord_Kimboat
2007-01-05, 07:15 AM
Pope, that is the most frightening game session I've ever heard of. I saw this thread and I do have a story but I don't know if I should include it now because it will probably seem pretty lame compared to yours.

I will include it though just to provide perspective for you. You've had the worst that there can be, now you can listen and smile at what an ordinary bad game session is like.

It was a Living Greyhawk game and we were assigned an Asian DM called either Juke or Duke - English was obviously not this guys first language. Now this would have been fine but he then looks at our characters and picks on one guy who's having his first LG game. This guy has a Wood Elf and D/Juke looks it over and says, "no, no. You need more con, get rid of this dex and put it in con. Now, how many dogs do you guys have. Spend some gold on dogs to fight for you or you will all die."

A little surprised by this, we decided to take the advice and each spend about 100gp on dogs. While this is going on D/Juke enlightens us all on how wood elves are the result of an Orc and an Elf having sex. No, I didn't really catch that one either.

We finally start the mod and it turns out to be some sort of investigative one where there is a murder in the town and we have to find out who did it. I'm honestly not sure what happened because D/Juke just moved us from encounter to encounter with almost no input from us. I do remember that we went to a book store and got 'the Tome of Torture' volume II. He asked if we had volume I but none of us knew what he was talking about so he said, "Okay, look I'll say that you all have a volume I. Now, lets fight as the shopkeeper turns into a zombie." To this day I am still uncertain if the shop keeper would have turned into a zombie if D/Juke hadn't given us volume I.

The only other encounters I remember was one at the inn, where an assassin disguised as a prostitute tries to lure one of the PCs away and kill him - this may have worked but D/Juke's role play abilities and the fact that we barely ever talked to anything we didn't have to fight pretty much killed that encounter, but it at least earned us a diatribe on how we should all have female characters because male characters always have a bad time.

The final encounter was, you guessed it, another combat. This time with the big bad demon thing. We decided (or actually had it decided for us) that D/Juke should handle this one. He'd tell us when to roll dice and moved miniatures across the battle map. Finally we won and congregated outside to try to convince the guy who had just had his first game that it isn't normally like this. My brother's comment was that if we ever had Juke again, we should just hand over our character sheets and then head down to the pub for a few hours, then come back and ask how we did. It really was like watching a bad movie - there was almost no interaction at all.

That was my worst gaming experience. I hope it makes you feel better Pope and anyone else who has had an absolute shocker.

Peregrin_Tooc
2007-01-05, 08:56 AM
Sorry to ask it in this thread, but am I the only one seeing evry " ' "in LK's signature as an " \' " ?
BTW - I am a pretty bad DM, due to being too lazy - well, but since I know that, I can avoid it... ;-)

Matthew
2007-01-05, 11:18 AM
Wow, those are some pretty horrible stories. My 'bad' experiences don't really approach that degree of horror.

krossbow
2007-01-05, 12:13 PM
Heh, using multiple templates can be fun though :p


I'm probably the worst; I once had a vampire possessed by the souls of a celstial and a demon, so they had a half-celestial/half fiend/vampire. Three templates.

cool fight though :p; even if they did manage to get some lucky grapples and cut out the souls possessing her.




I have to admit, most of these over the top things sound like what does on when either me or my friends DM.

purple gelatinous cube o' Doom
2007-01-05, 01:33 PM
I'm often accused of being a bad DM because I bend the rules very often to the benefit of the players, and if I don't know a rule off the top of my head and no one in the group knows the exact mechanics, I'm just as likely to make it up as I am to actually look for it. I also prefer power gaming the players with high stats, gestalts and free LA. I always have one player that thinks I'm a terrible DM because I play like this and swears up and down he's better at everything and tries to collapse my session outside of the game by starting his own and inviting my group to their's.

To my credit, though, I've never lost any players through my nay-sayers. Turns out their extreme adherance to by-the-book combat mechanics isn't as much fun as superhuman roleplaying.

First off, anyone who doesn't like a DM fudging die rolls and such to benefit players is stupid. Would they rather die instead? Second, in my experience power gaming like that leads to all kinds of trouble, and characters that end up being albe to beat CR's 5 levels in front of them. As for the strick adherance to rules, nobody likes a rules lawyer. I've had one in a group for a long time, and it gets really annyoing.

Premier
2007-01-05, 01:43 PM
First off, anyone who doesn't like a DM fudging die rolls and such to benefit players is stupid. Would they rather die instead?

Yes, they would. For many, many gamers, enjoyment of the game comes not from seeing their hit points and the list of their feats grow longer and longer with no real effort, but from overcoming challenges. And if the DM fudges the rolls so the PCs can never die, there's no challenge in the game. It would be like playing Chess as white but with a special rule stating that black is not allowed to capture pieces.

And to put some perspective on the idea of "respect", these many, many gamers would call you and your playing style "childish", "immature", and "munchkinny". Or worse things that I've heard in the past. If that hurts your sentiments, think about how you did the exact same thing with your very first sentence. So how about not insulting other players' playing styles?


Anyway, speaking of bad players and DMs, does anyone use bail-out calls when going to a new group to play with? I mean, asking your friend beforehand to give you a bogus phone call an hour or two after you start playing, to give you an excuse to leave if the gang turns out to be all psychos. I'm asking because I'll be meeting some never-before-met-in-real-life people next week.

The_Pope
2007-01-05, 02:15 PM
That was my worst gaming experience. I hope it makes you feel better Pope and anyone else who has had an absolute shocker.

Aheh heh heh. Yes, yes it does. But really, that must not have been fun either. A fun thing you could have done, actually, is whenever the DM started dictating your movements, you could have spoke out saying you did not do as he said you were doing, and did something the complete opposite. Like, he goes "Do you have the Tome of Torture vol. I?" You'd say something like "No, but I do have "Heavenly Baking Receipes and What Not to Do With Them vol. 11." He gets you into combat with zombo-shopkeep "No thank you, my character doesnt feel like fighting, and instead whips himself up a drink with his portable martini shaker and bowl of cocktail olives. Do any of you want a pimento?" Probably piss the guy off, but it might give you and the rest of the party a good laugh.

Premier
2007-01-05, 02:33 PM
It was a Living Greyhawk game and we were assigned an Asian DM called either Juke or Duke - English was obviously not this guys first language.

Reminds me of this session I've read about on the Net:

Party enters a room.
DM: "There's a fountain in the middle of the room, and you see a leak in it."
Player 1: "Okay, I walk up to the fountain and stick my finger into leak to stop it."
DM: "The leak casts a Fireball at you."
Players: "WTF!!?!"
DM: "The leak casts a Fireball at you."
Players: "The leak casts a Fireball at us?"
DM: "Yes."
Players: "What sort of a friggin leak is this?"
DM: *opens Monstrous Manual at appropriate page and shows* "This kind, here. Under "L. I. C. H."


DM was German and speaking with an acccent...

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-01-05, 03:16 PM
People still die in my campaigns, it's just not as often as it should happen. Like in my current game, a character managed a critical failure reflex save to hang on to something after he jumped out of a window as a narrow escape. So he was plummetting to the ground out of a tremendous tower. He was a half-dragon that we'd houseruled would get wings despite his medium size (at the cost of the breath weapon and one stat gain, of his choice), but everyone gains the powers of their LA's one at a time every four levels, and he hadn't earned his wings yet. He was level 3 and very nearly at 4, however. So here was the deal- I'd give him early EXP, up to his next level, so that he could survive a critical failure at a critical moment, since he'd otherwise be dead for a rather long time.

CR's aren't so much of a problem for me either, because I also gestalt-power monsters. They're meeting the Tarrasque at level 12. Shh, don't tell.

purple gelatinous cube o' Doom
2007-01-05, 03:28 PM
Yes, they would. For many, many gamers, enjoyment of the game comes not from seeing their hit points and the list of their feats grow longer and longer with no real effort, but from overcoming challenges. And if the DM fudges the rolls so the PCs can never die, there's no challenge in the game. It would be like playing Chess as white but with a special rule stating that black is not allowed to capture pieces.

So basically you're telling me that if you were playing a low level character, that you would rather die and have to roll up a new character due to not being able to afford the res, than have a DM fudge a die roll to keep you alive?

Nerd-o-rama
2007-01-05, 03:40 PM
People, people, it's a difference in play styles. No need to get into an argument or name-calling over it. Some people like a more cinematic game, meant more to tell a story, where it really helps to have your characters pull neat, not-quite-in-the-rules stunts rather than rules lawyer over whether they're dead or not. Other players like it as a game in the traditional sense, seeing the goal as winning encounters (combat or non) and keeping their character alive to have a story. Most of these players like playing by the rules, because if they haven't played "fair", it diminishes what they have accomplished. If people are lucky, they're in a group with like-minded people.

That a nice summary? There are shades of gray in between, obviously, and sometimes people really are just ******* rules-lawyers or cheaters. But that paragraph above seems to be the two separate but equally "right" camps you're arguing from, right?

Matthew
2007-01-05, 04:08 PM
Which reminds me. How's this for a bad session?

http://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=-5825493270005637835&sourceid=zeitgeist (http://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=-5825493270005637835&sourceid=zeitgeist)

Premier
2007-01-05, 04:28 PM
So basically you're telling me that if you were playing a low level character, that you would rather die and have to roll up a new character due to not being able to afford the res, than have a DM fudge a die roll to keep you alive?

Yes, I would.

If it was because of my own stupidity (not scouting, not planning, not preparing, not paying attention, not knowing when to retrat, etc.), then it's only fair.

If it was because I had a low-level char and made a single very unlucky roll, it would be fair and square. After all, for every bad fluke in a critical situation, you have a very good fluke in a critical situation, and you don't complain about those, do you?

If it was because the DM was bad, unfair and/or out for player blood at all costs, then I would vote with my feet and walk away from the game. Not like such a DM would be fudging to keep you alive, anyway.

But be that as it may, Nerd-o-rama is completely right. So please don't go calling people "stupid" because they have different sensibilities than you do.

Lord_Kimboat
2007-01-05, 05:59 PM
Premier, Cube, I'm with Nerd-O-Rama here. Relax. I think your both actually a lot closer than you think. The game is about the players characters, so we don't wont them needlessly killed by a few errant die rolls. But we also want it to be a challenge where the chance of character death is always there.

The trick for the DM is to get this balance right.

If I was a player and had two characters killed in a session I'd be pretty peeved, especially if it was just from some lucky die rolls. If I hadn't done anything stupid and it came down to unlucky die rolls then I would think that the DM would give me a break and fudge a roll in my favor.

However, I have lost characters due to bad luck before and this is something that makes the game a little more exciting. I know that every time I game there's a chance my character will die - perhaps permanently. It's a risk I'm taking because I do invest a lot of time and energy into my characters but that doesn't mean I want them to always win.

Heck, a good, heroic death, even if it is permanent is something good. I've even had it enhance my reputation as a player. I'd have then been pretty browned off if the DM DID fudge a roll in my favor to keep my PC alive.

The_Pope
2007-01-05, 06:35 PM
Which reminds me. How's this for a bad session?

http://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=-5825493270005637835&sourceid=zeitgeist (http://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=-5825493270005637835&sourceid=zeitgeist)

I cracked up so hard when he walks out of the forest with a loincoth and the helmet on. That thing was damn funny.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-01-05, 07:45 PM
Yeah, that movie's a classic. I've used it for a while now when joking about D&D to the players.

Me: You see a man in a loincloth and a helmet come out of the forest.
PC1: It's Boba Fett again, isn't it?
Me: Yes. Yes it is.
PC1: I'm standing watch tonight with Fett.
PC2: Hell no you aren't! You help him rape me every time!
Me: People, let's settle this like proper roleplayers. Roll diplomacy checks.

MrNexx
2007-01-05, 09:03 PM
Yeah, that movie's a classic. I've used it for a while now when joking about D&D to the players.

Me: You see a man in a loincloth and a helmet come out of the forest.
PC1: It's Boba Fett again, isn't it?
Me: Yes. Yes it is.
PC1: I'm standing watch tonight with Fett.
PC2: Hell no you aren't! You help him rape me every time!
Me: People, let's settle this like proper roleplayers. Roll diplomacy checks.

This is a serious game. We talk later.

Peregrin_Tooc
2007-01-06, 07:33 AM
When I once DMed a "Pirate-Campaign" (it wasn't Dnd though), I had this rule: When a Character dies due to bad luck, he will die - another time and with heroic last words or what he likes best. He won't die because a ballista got him - that's not heroic. He will, however, die when he defends his buddies or some defenseless civilians. Of course, only if he chooses to, he can die y getting hit by a Ballista... i used to have this note I'd slip to the Player: "You are dead. Don't let the others know, but you are dead. From this moment on, your life is mine, and I will take it when you can die a heroic death. Be prepared."
Sometimes I'd let them live though - unconscious and to be rescued from the gallows.
In DnD I'd say: If you are low-level, it's alright to die. It's annoying, and when you die every session, it's bitter, but it's alright. But from level 5 on, you should not die because the dice are foes. (because usually, one bad throw won't kill you...)
But if your death is heroic and serves a higher purpose - it's alright. heroes die an epic death, defending their buddies, sacrificing themselves...

I remeber a certain fight - all characters but the fighter were unconscious. The DM sent us out and played with the fighter alone. When we were allowed back in, the fighter and the monsters were dead. We never found out what happened (because there was no resurection) - but it was - touching. Neither the Player nor the DM ever talked.

Narmoth
2007-01-06, 08:18 AM
Meh, I've only had one DM. Let's just say that it wasn't smooth sailing.

I suppose there's something to be said for the fact that it was 2nd Ed., which is a lot more complicated than necessary, but he didn't teach us very well.

Then, of course, when he made a mistake, he killed all our characters off, made us make new ones, and started over. Like it's our fault he let a Wood Elf have a Katana. :|

OH YEAH. Then there was this one time he wasn't quite done making an important NPC, so he stuck me in jail while he did it. Not so bad, right? Under threat of bodily harm to my character, I had to escape. There's a door with a bunch of locks on it. Okay, fine. I acquired the keys (think I killed a guard for them), and set about trying to open the door.

There were far more keys than there were locks, and they were identical and unlabeled. Put the key in the lock, FWOOSH, flame trap. Great.

So I'm barely conscious, lying on the floor for a few days (nobody really knew I was there, I guess), and try it again. I eventually find the right keys (after EXPLODING a few more times), and get about halfway, then screw up. Not only do I explode again, but the lock resets.

All while he's here picking skills for this chick I was supposed to meet, only looking up to say, "Wrong one. Roll a d6 for damage."

Did I mention I was level 1?

Oh well. Now I'm out on my own, learning 3.5Ed. by myself... and setting out to be a better DM than he ever was. ^^

The problem here isn't caused by the rules, but by the DM. The lock and how it functioned was made up by the Dm, not gotten from the rules. The most important rule in 2nd ed, and I assume also in 3.5 is that everybody should have fun. Your Dm just didn't care:smallmad:

Ali
2007-01-06, 08:26 AM
Kimboat and Pope, I am sorry to hear of your awful experiances... both of them just like nightmares..

It was lucky that video linked by Matthew was so funny!

The music during the combat though, that was such cool music...

Lilivati
2007-01-06, 09:47 PM
I don't blame the DM for this one, except maybe for trusting us (his players) too much with our characters since he has DM'd for us on numerous prior occasions.

We were starting a new campaign, four players rolling up characters. Two of us were evil-aligned sisters essentially running away from home, the other two were a good-aligned bard and a neutral goblin who was serving as the bard's minion. I still hold that the alignment differences would have been ok if we hadn't started out already in two loyal subgroups, because that meant at every turn we were deadlocked on decisions. For example the sisters would always agree, even if one of them thought the bard's idea was better, just on general principle. So the game from the start was fraught with infighting, which got in the way of progressing the story or accomplishing anything in the game. Eventually the two subgroups stormed off in different directions in the middle of an extremely dangerous situation, and I imagine the DM got quite a lot of pleasure over our deaths, and I wouldn't blame him a bit.

Arbitrarity
2007-01-07, 01:44 PM
I feel blessed :/.

A couple of funny incidents occured to some of my characters, but not on the scale of most of this thread...

Lessee, once we went into a dungeon, and we had a seer. We then knew what was in the dungeon. Luckily, the DM didn't disallow that :). Later though... "A discorporeal spirit approaches you. It may be of absolute evil, or complete good" "I cast protection from evil, protecting me from mind-affecting effects" "As you begin casting the spell, the spirit slips inside your body. Make a will save" "2... +8, 10." "Ok, your spirit is discorporated from your body"

Later, my character's soul was bound to some sort of armour. While I wasn't there :).

Meh, our group is generally casual. We don't RP much (though some), we have seen characters whose lowest score, after racial -, was 15. We have spontaneously appearing characters.

Oh, wait... death story :). Not the DM's fault, just bad luck :/.

DM had time crunch, downloaded some sort of campaign... So we wandered around a town, picked up and escort job, and set off down a well described path of DOOM. We walked down, encountered I think an owbear, and these three things with DR 10/magic. And SR 14 or so. At level four. With a changeling rogue, a paladin, and a warmage, with an NPC cleric who was so stingy with heals it hurt. After a couple more encounters, we were out of spells, and so so for health. We rested. In an unknown forest. I now know why to bring a proper wizard.

In the middle of the night, while the paladin sits on guard "Make a listen check." "15". "You hear nothing". The warmage, and the cleric get coup-de-graced. Paladin is sneak attacked, the rogue full retreats out of there. The escort stays with the paladin. The paladin wipes out the bandits, and decides to continue on. 1 mile later, runs into shadows. At the time, being a new player, the paladin didn't know about run rules, or even double move :0. Using all his turn undead attampts, he managed to keep the shadows off him for about a mile. Then bandits showed up. The paladin was knocked into the negatives, the escorted was killed by bandits, and shadows critically sucked strength from the paladin till he died.

Whooo, TPK :).

Tzekan
2007-01-08, 04:05 PM
Ouch, this is all painful stuff.

My old group was a small nightmare, It was only broken up because i've hit Sixth-Form now, and everyone's doing other things, good news. The GM was by far the worst, by the others were often pretty poor.

The people were as follows:

GM: Just read the stoy below, that's all. And i might add that have for quite a while now hated this person with passion, in the Friendly Banter section he has been mentioned by me as an enemy, which is very true
A+B: These two might as well be clones in style, they are both terrible rules lawyers, you cannot fudge ANYTHING at all in their presence, if the rule is even slightly ambiguous they will spend forever looking it up. They are strong advocates of realism as well, they spent over an hour trying to figure out how much oats they need for the horses each due to them needing different amounts due to age, weight etc.
C: ...was never there during sessions
D: Was unusual. He was arguably the best gamer at the time by far, but he had little "moments" when he went crazy, these often involved setting fire to everything asnd everyone, turning starships into ramming missiles into cities, stuff like that
E: Japanophile, Attention Seeker, Drittz wannabree with a touch of Pervert

There was also me and two others who qualified as sane.

As you can imagine, this was not a nice group to play with. A short stroy from one of our campaigns illustrates this quite well. This focuses mostly on the GM's idiocy.

We were playing a scifi campaign using the GURPS system, and for some reason we've never understood, our ship went into hyperspace by itself, emerging just in time to crash into an unpopulated swamp planet. Unfortunately as we crashed he rolled a D6 for each of us, on a 5 we were in a coma and bleeding, on a 6 we died. I got a 5 along with several others. So amongst the wreckage the others tried to cope, as i was the medic so they felt blessed i pulled through. Then the GMsprung on us that this planet had an atmosphere corrosive to metal. All our gear was broken completely, even items we paid for with our own points! The two lawyers, A+B decided to head for some mountains, some geographical premise of something, so six sessions of eventless travelling (you don't want to know how that's possible, really) later we reached these mountains. We found there an escape pod which could launch us into orbit and to safety. The Gm left that session with that, and i thought that all would be well.

I missed next session, due to something i was forced to take care of, and came to school next day hoping we were off that planet. No such luck for me. Apparently the pod had only room for half the party, so the Gm just sat back and pretty much said, "fight it out!". I felt a little cross when i came in next day to hear, "Sorry (Tzekan), your character's dead". That was it, not needed that session, go elsewhere.

I didn't pay much attention to it after that, but i heard had all their money in bank acoounts removed while they were away, so couldn't replace any equipment, and almost all of them died.

Glad that group is finished

Tzekan

Colin Archibald
2007-01-08, 04:43 PM
Well let's see worse player experience in D&D was my ex i have to say...wanted so much to play with my group but would get bored because we would be roleplaying and not roling any dice...she isn't one for that would leave to go to the computer..which annoyed us. so yeah as i said "ex" so i don't have that problem anymore.

We also had another girl play just for the rp and didn't try to improve her chracter as she leveled up. geat character developement but when a fight came up she couldn't power game like the rest of us. lvl15 and she was still a really good 8th elven fighter. She couldn't make game anymore...pity..

Besides that our little group for D&D understands each others type of play and we work around it and have a good time.

Dire Penguin
2007-01-08, 07:24 PM
what I hate are GMs who do this:



Make a 1st lvl character, but first roll this die. Oh! you're a half feind were drow!
Roll a die again. Oh! you have 48648358935 gp to spend on whatever you want.
oh! here's my epic lvl 456 demigod you have to fight. Don't worry, the super axe will protect you.
Next week: start a new character! I've got another idea!

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-01-12, 04:32 PM
Just thought I'd addendum the bad DM I've mentioned a few times before, including here. In the campaign he's running, I haven't shown up to any meeting besides the first, due to an overwhelming lack of interest (and he's running it a good 30 minutes away from where I live, despite actually living near me himself, because he wants his girlfriend to watch. Ugh...). I figured this would mean that I'm behind everyone else, but that's apparently not the case. See, in three weeks, nothing has actually occured outside of the first time we played. They haven't played any other time, either because he felt not enough people showed (usually 3 besides himself, apparently too few?), because he didn't plan for it, or because he suddenly decides that he doesn't feel like DMing right then. On the second meeting, he ended up playing the original Legend of Zelda in front of them for five hours before dismissing the group.

In hindsight, not being involved might be a blessing.

Dark
2007-01-12, 04:55 PM
JOn the second meeting, he ended up playing the original Legend of Zelda in front of them for five hours before dismissing the group.

It might almost be worth it to prepare an adventure yourself and then go. If he's busy playing Legend of Zelda, offer to run your adventure for the other players while you wait for the DM. See what happens :)

Dragor
2007-01-12, 05:10 PM
From reading all these nightmarish sessions, I feel blessed. My group has a great mix of character and-although we have our occassional argument- we pull through and usually have a great game, provided we have the time.

Next up- my first attempt at DM'ing. I hope I don't completely mess up! :smallbiggrin:

Brauron
2007-01-12, 06:47 PM
Wow. I don't have much that can compare to what's already been posted...but here goes:

About a year and a half ago, in the first weeks of my freshman year of college, I found out that a guy down the hall from me was going to be starting a D&D campaign. I'd wanted to play for about three years at that point, but couldn't due to my father insisting it was "Satanic" and he wouldn't allow it in the house.

So I let the guy know I'm interested, and he has me roll up a character. I decide I want to be a Lawful Neutral Human Druid. Fair enough; the party doesn't have any healers, the other people in the group having made a Human Sorceror, a Half-Orc Barbarian, and a Gnome Alchemist.

At the first session, there is, in addition to the original planned four, a Human Fighter (based on a montage of anime characters, from the looks of his backstory), an Elf Monk, and an Elf Rogue.

The guys playing the Half-Orc and the Sorceror are the only ones with any D&D experience; the Alchemist is the DM's roommate.

And it turned out that the DM had no patience for anybody who didn't already know the system inside-out. Everyone but the Alchemist participated and worked together (whenever there was something to do, the Gnome Alchemist would say, "OK, you do that, I'll sit over here and play solitaire."

And somehow, only the Half-Orc, Sorceror, and Alchemist got any XP. Not that the DM kept track of that or awarded any. Randomly, he'd say, "OK, you, you, and you, level your characters up. The rest of you...whatever."

The campaign lasted a total of 2 five-hour sessions. Then the DM got a girlfriend and didn't have time for us any more. Ah well; for the best.

I'm now in an amazingly fun campaign with an awesome, fun, fair and creative DM. We were originally a party of four; two players are currently taking a break from the game to deal with schoolwork. Right now it's just me and the DM's girlfriend. He was quite plain with her that dating him did not get her any in-game privileges or bonuses, and she was fine with that. But she's IMPOSSIBLE to satisfy! One day she was too sick to play; since the characters had reached an inn at the end of the previous session and she was too sick to help decide what was to be done with her character, the DM ruled that her character, a male elf wizard, had contracted food poisoning from an undercooked rabbit eaten out in the wilderness the day before. When she came back, and I and the other unaffected character (hers was not the only character so afflicted, another guy couldn't make it so his character suffered food poisoning as well) had gone on a side-quest that had netted us a chest full of coins, she threw a fit. She spent the entire session sulking, refusing to make eye-contact with the DM, having me relay everything the character did to him ("Bill, tell the DM...").

The next session we achieved enough XP, by getting 20-odd people out of a burning building, to level up. She asked to look at my character sheet, and I handed it to her. She threw a fit, threw her PHB on the floor and screamed at the DM, "You're penalizing me for the time I was sick! You are! There's no reason for him to have 400 more XP than me!"

Another session began an hour late because she'd spent the day in his room playing Kingdom Hearts on his Playstation. Her D&D stuff was in her room, on the opposite side of campus, 10 minutes away if you were slow about it. By this time it was down to me and her playing. She announced that she wasn't even sure she wanted to play, and she certainly didn't want to walk back to her room. "Why should I walk all the way across campus for you?" she asked her BOYFRIEND. The argued and fought, I sighed, found a quiet spot and leafed through my PHB, studying Feats. After an hour of fighting she stormed back to her dorm room, got her stuff, and came back and sulked for the first half-hour of play. I eventually cajoled her into having fun and by the end of the session she was actually enjoying herself.

Winter break ends in a few days, and when we go back at least one person will be joining the party, possibly two, and the DM's girlfriend (her elf is the one in my sig, one time we were twenty minutes into a session and she whined that she was tired and didn't want to play any more, so I knocked her character unconscious and left him that way long enough for her to take a nap, and my character's productivity skyrocketed) has resolved to not drag her feet at the start of play and not complain about every little thing. I told her I would hold her to that resolution, and if she wavered too far from it I would bounce the miniature I carefully converted and painted to represent her character off her thick, empty skull.

She slows down play so much...one time she spent 45 minutes arguing with the DM about what a "strength check" was and whether re-tries were possible.

I'm sorry to rant and carry on about her...but I feel much better now.

jono
2007-01-12, 07:40 PM
The thing that annoys me most is people complaining about the rules not being followed as-written, and that I think the fact that so much homebrew stuff is written backs up the fact that the PHB is not perfect.

Usually what I do is make minor changes to the rules in order to discourage this. Just minor little ones that don't really affect CR. For example, Demons are immune to fire and not electricity. The Negative/Healing energy thing doesn't reverse for undead. Something along those lines.

The worst game I ever played I was a goblin rogue. We were clearing a cave of bandits, and this one guy constantly went on about the rules! It was tiresome as hell, especially considering the base rules had been drastically altered on purpose for the campaign (Something along the lines of, no discernment between Arcane and divine spells, but evocation magic was banned. And a bunch of classes were disallowed). He moaned about detect magic not working like that, and constantly brought up complaints about the rules. I seriously felt like picking up my stuff and leaving.

Vispear
2007-01-13, 10:52 PM
What I REALLY hate is the DM..that doesn't let you do anything, unless it's his preplaned out path, and if you do manage to do it, he kills you, cause he's a ****.
Example

Me as the party figther had to duel this nobel guy. Terms were, winer gets the loser as a slave..I lost. So, our party sorcerer was like "I want to go up, and shake his hand..and use 'Shocking Grasp'"
DM, "Nope, can't do that."
Sorcerer rolls the dice anyways and gets a 20.
"Okay..fine"

So, we do that..knock him out, take his clothes, and tie him to a tree, then a giant meteor falls down, we go boom =]

That is the story of the worst fight, from the worst campaign ever!

Dark
2007-01-14, 08:00 AM
So, we do that..knock him out, take his clothes, and tie him to a tree, then a giant meteor falls down, we go boom =]
Rocks fell!
Everyone died!

I didn't know that actually happens :)

Matthew
2007-01-14, 11:19 AM
The thing that annoys me most is people complaining about the rules not being followed as-written, and that I think the fact that so much homebrew stuff is written backs up the fact that the PHB is not perfect.

Usually what I do is make minor changes to the rules in order to discourage this. Just minor little ones that don't really affect CR. For example, Demons are immune to fire and not electricity. The Negative/Healing energy thing doesn't reverse for undead. Something along those lines.

The worst game I ever played I was a goblin rogue. We were clearing a cave of bandits, and this one guy constantly went on about the rules! It was tiresome as hell, especially considering the base rules had been drastically altered on purpose for the campaign (Something along the lines of, no discernment between Arcane and divine spells, but evocation magic was banned. And a bunch of classes were disallowed). He moaned about detect magic not working like that, and constantly brought up complaints about the rules. I seriously felt like picking up my stuff and leaving.

Yeah, that can be a major drag.

Em
2007-01-14, 11:45 AM
There's quite a few about "The DM always favours his girlfriend!" I wish that when LR33 is DMing, he'd do something similar... I work my arse off for every copper piece and tiny chunk of XP, and actually every opportunity to live with at least one intact hit point... he's far nicer to everyone else ;)

OK, so everyone in our group, apart from the 12-year-old, gets to try their hand at running a campaign. LR33 is a good DM, using a standard fantasy setting well. Another guy is a good DM, with his own rather bonkers, creative setting but D&D rules. I'm starting a Vampire chronicle in 2 weeks' time... and then there's... let's call him Mr X.

Mr X's first game, D&D rules... puts us in a room with around a hundred orcs with class levels, so we have to go into the next room. When he's designed a dungeon so that some creature or other cannot fit around its corners, so it's stupidly easy to kill, he says "Er... another one appears! Yes! A smaller one!". This kills our paladin. Then we are transported into a modern battlefield - again, 250 minatures... given modern weapons and told to kill the random opposition. Mr X then gets cross because we are roleplaying like very confused people who can't use guns or telephones. We kill an entire army, then BAM! he produces another one.
Whenever our characters make a decision, they hear a mysterious voice in their heads saying "Are you sure you want to do that?"

We refuse to play this game after two horrible sessions... but then...

"I've got another idea for a campaign!" says Mr X happily. "I've learned from my mistakes! It'll be entirely roleplaying!"
"But you don't know what the word "roleplaying" means. You wouldn't know what "roleplaying" meant is you were trained theatrically by the RSC for fifty years."
After a session of the campaign, we learn that he "knows" what "entirely roleplaying" means. It means, "An even better way to railroad 4 characters - characters that I've made up - without the frightening element of chance present in dice rolls."

Whenever LR33's unhappy because a session hasn't gone perfectly, or I'm worried that my games will be rubbish, or whatever, someone says "Another one appears! A smaller one!" and we feel a lot better.

Leminex
2007-01-14, 12:21 PM
Probably not the best example because this was actually probably the best game I've ever run. The setting was Eberron and I had started with three players, a dramatic RPer, Mike, I knew from another game and his two friends Gord and Clem. Now Clem was a good guy, painfully average maybe and a bit quiet, but he did a good job with it and wasn't completely RP adverse.

Well by the 3-4 session I'm told another player would like to join, and heck I'm all for that, so the next game I'm introduced to Gord's girlfriend, Ying. Of course we know how well that goes, so I'm figuring this just can't end well. To my amusement she's turns out to be one of my better players.

Oh there are a few priceless moments, as she wasn't willing to play NPC support to Gord, which led to a bruised male ego, including him trying to lightning bolt her druid. Predictably they broke up before long and both players kept coming to games, once again I steel myself for hell, but again all is civil.

So where is the horror? I obviously dodge quite a number of bullets. Well bluntly put, the problem was Gord.

Gord played DnD as a game to be won. I didn't pick up on this till the third session and it was especially problematic since I'm a rather casual GM opting to play light with the rules if it makes things easier and more entertaining. Thus I got to smash heads a few times with Gord, due to the fact I was 'cheating' him by not playing RAW. He was playing a wizard, a wizard geared to melee combat. I'm not sure if it was just his power gaming spirit, dice fudging or luck but this actually proved to be highly effective. The tactics he tried to use...occasionally less so which leads to my better stories.

The general sum of my plot is a secret organization dedicating themselves to reuniting the country that was divided by the Last War by any means possible. In this case threat of a doomsday device which they need several plot gimmicks to unlock. The PCs are investigating and about to walk into an ambush, namely a Warforged Sniper and a Changling Rogue.

During the battle Ying's druid locks down the rogue and several passer-bys with entangle (and yes I later realized the caveat with required plants nearby for that spell). Anyhow, now under fire by said sniper, the party dives for cover, as does Gord's character, in this case he uses one of the trapped peasants. That's right the good-aligned wizard decided the 'any means neccessary terrorist group' wouldn't dare fire on him if he blocked by a civilian. He was actually quiet surprised when the sniper still shot at him, predictably killing the person he was using as cover.

More stuff happens and due to some bad luck the party lost all their plot gimmicks to the villain, which of course turns to be a demon planning to use the doomsday device for well...doom. But he's cocky and doesn't move immediately giving them one last chance to storm his mansion and do epic battle with him. So Gord pipes up that he's going to use his Knowledge: Architecture to bring down the house by removing a primary support pillar, a tactic that was rapidly becoming his first resort to everything. As much as I dislike railroading, I had to nix this if only because this was our last game to wrap up the campaign and I couldn't help but feel that'd be an epic dud, especially as none of the other characters were keen on it.

So they ninja down through the skylight and engage the monologuing villain. Battle on, the epic show down starts and Gord goes for his normal battle buffs including invisibility and so he eyes me once then reaches for his mini and takes it off the board. I ask him what the hell he's doing, to which he says "I'm invisible so you shouldn't be able to see where I am." I had to blink at that, and told him in no uncertain terms to put it back. Somehow I doubt he'd be one to volunteer that he'd been clipped by one of the many AoE spells being slung around.

And so the heroes win and all is happy and we shake hands with a good campaign done. I'm talking to Gord after, and find that despite all failing of logic he really loved my game and had so much fun role-playing...yes role-playing. His character had all the personality of cardboard. I mean he got into town and immediately started working as an apprentice smith for coppers a day...yes a third level mage working as a smith's hand. So what does he do when his old mentor whom had fled their old country after being branded a traitor shows up and offers him more lucrative work? Well first he goes to work at the smith, gets a good nights sleep and then eventually shows up with the rest of his friends...and lets them do the talking about this new job. Yes, not one word of hello to his old master, nor a 'how are you doing?' or even a 'wait aren't you a traitor?' But no seriously, he said he had a great time plumbing the depths of his character, you see he even multiclassed as a barbarian cause his character was so angry at the villains evilness.

Fortunately the rest of the game was made of enough win to completely elipse this one blemish, but I've gotten a lot more careful when selecting my players.

The 8th Sin
2007-01-14, 10:13 PM
This was with a group I met with about 5 times. Sometimes DMs are lazy and stupid with terrible consequences. We all started at level 1 but by the 4th session, the DM was bored enough that he ordered us all to apply munchkiny templates to ourselves. One of us became a Werewolf, another a Vampire and another changed to an entirely different race altogether (I can't quite remember but I think it might have been Tiefling.)
I was pissed naturally but also outnumbered so I just gave my character some bonus levels. The worst part was that one of my friends was there, and he sold himself out to his munchkin dark side (he was the vampire.)

Yahzi
2007-01-15, 02:30 AM
Or perhaps what really bugged me was that they kept trying to enlighten me with the superiority of Communism,
Ok, you could possibly learn to live with psychotic conspiracy theories about JFK and the moon, but this Communism thing is just so... passe. I mean, these guys might as well be playing Disco music!

Run far, far away.

:D

Yahzi
2007-01-15, 03:02 AM
Ah, bad players...

Ed.

Ed was not a bad guy. Ed was nice. He wanted to be helpful. He meant well. He was just... Ed.

Ed and the Shield of Power

The party gains a magic small shield, aligned with Goodness. This shield has several awe-inspiring powers, one of which is the ability to emit a beam of sun-light (usefull for fighting undead and such). There's just one caveat: every time you use any of the powers of the shield, a corresponding power is given to Evil. A balance thing, you see. So obviously, you should only use the shield when it really counts.

So the party is travelling late at night, on a mission for Good. Ed loses something trivial, like a shoe or a hat or something. It's dark out. So Ed uses the Shield of Power as a flashlight. Repeatedly. For the rest of the adventure.

Ed and the Staff of Power

The party finally succeeds in gaining the Staff of Power, which, once delivered to the right hands, will allow Good to win the current battle. We walk out of the dungeon... and are met by a major Evil leader.

"I have a professional assassin aiming a crossbow at your head. Either give me the staff of power or die."

Tough call. Are we gonna fight, or give up the staff and fight another day? Well, Ed has the staff. So Ed makes an Ed decision.

He throws the staff at the Evil guy, thus simultaneously a) giving up the staff, AND b) starting a fight.

(It was a short fight. The assassin one-shots Ed, and the rest of us hide until the Evil guy goes away.)

Ed and money

Ed gets himself crippled somehow - he's got a game leg. A regeneration costs 5,000 gp: a bit more than Ed has. So Ed gets a job as a short order cook. Calculating his salary, we find that he can afford the regeneration after only 5 years of labor.

So Ed decides to settle down and stop adventuring for the next five years. The party offers to raise the gold somehow; the DM even says the local temple will let him owe them. But Ed wants to pay his way. He's adamant... five years as a short order cook.

Ed was a nice guy. Ed kept all the notes on what was going on. So we stopped the campaign, and picked up it again the next session, after 5 years had passed. The DM advanced the rest of us a few levels from our adventuring, and told Ed he could now afford to fix his leg.

There were more Ed stories, but it was a long time ago and I can't remember them all.

Thomas
2007-01-15, 08:54 AM
Somehow this causes the essence of reality to be destabilized, the shop was destroyed by arcane fire and a gigantic demon appeared for the players to fight.

I don't play Mage myself but that just seems...not how it's supposed to be at all.

Man, I always thought that was precisely how WW's Mage worked. Use magic, the world ends...


So basically you're telling me that if you were playing a low level character, that you would rather die and have to roll up a new character due to not being able to afford the res, than have a DM fudge a die roll to keep you alive?

In D&D, absolutely. My players expect the same treatment. They know mortality is high at low levels, so they work to reduce it by playing clever (and ruthless). Other games work in other ways; in WHFRP and Mongoose's RuneQuest, for instance, players have fate/hero points that let them avoid a sticky end, until they run out.


I don't really have any horror stories; none of my bad GMing counts, because it happened years ago (prior to age 16), and the only player problems I have is with "bungee players" - usually friends of players who want to try a game, but end up not making it to sessions, etc. (It's enough of a pain trying to schedule the core three of us, when one guy works nights and weekends.) I just usually say "no," because... well, I'm enough of a bastard to do it. (I can't comprehend the stuff people apparently get away with around the gaming table!)

Yahzi
2007-01-15, 04:20 PM
Great DM moments:

Waiting

The party goes to a meeting place to find an NPC. He's not there. Well, we need him; the current adventure simply cannot proceed without him. So I announce, "We'll sit right here on this rock until he shows. Even if it takes all day."

The DM rolls some dice. "He's not here yet."

"We're still waiting. All day, if necessary."

The DM sits silently. For five minutes of real time. Then... "Ok. He's here now."

Now I loved this guy; he was a good dude and a decent DM. But I just have to wonder: what was he waiting on? For the character to show up? :D


The Castle of Solidness

This lady was a terrible DM. When we tried to kill a dragon, it turned out to have N+1 hitpoints... N being the amount of damage we inflicted. At one point we got into a fist-fight with a group of angry housewives. The DM had run a program to generate some monsters randomly... some 3HD monsters. So she decided to use those stats for the housewives. Our 2nd lvl party beat a hasty retreat, after many pointed comments about how the local army was less effective than housewives.

But the absolute best part was the Castle of Solidness. By this point we had so frustrated the DM with our clever tactics (despite being only 2nd level) that she had the local King holed up in his castle, with his entire army, afraid to come outside.

Me: "I taunt you a second time."

DM: "They don't lower the drawbridge."

Me: "Fine... I've got a pick-axe here. I'll start tunneling through the castle wall. Eventually I'll make a hole, then we'll go inside and slaughter them all!"

DM: "You can't. The castle walls are too strong."

Me: "Nonsense. They're only stone. That's what pick-axes are for. (I start looking up the rules on digging through stone). What are they, granite? Marble? Concrete?"

DM: "The walls are made out of... solidness!"

Ah, good times!

(We cut down the local forest, stacked it around the castle, and set it on fire, arguing that the inhabitants would suffocate from lack of oxygen. I mean, we cut down a whole forest... the logs were piled as high as the castle walls, and twenty feet thick. At that point we had a lot of slave labor.)

Appearances can be decieving

This doesn't really belong here, because the DM in question was in fact brilliant. But we were playing a round-robin campaign (every adventure was run by a different member of the group, while his character sat out that adventure for some reason - this was the same evil group that assaulted the Castle of Solidness).

So my evil character hatches a plot with another PC (called S): we steal the party treasury for ourselves. But we're on a ship far out to sea. How to cover our tracks?

We murder a sailor, toss his body overboard, take a lifeboat, knock a hole in the bottom, and toss it overboard too.

In the morning the players are outraged. "Where's our treasure?" Me and S are of course the loudest voices. We search the ship and what do we find? A sailor and a lifeboat missing. "Aha!" we declare.

One of the other players glares at the DM. "That's stupid. Nobody would escape in a lifeboat so far out to sea. That's just unbelievable."

DM's response: "Yes, it does seem rather unbelievable."

Me: "Still, what ya gonna do? Oh well, on to the next port!"

And that was it. We sailed on, the rest of the players casting dark looks at the deeply frustrated DM. Who cast plenty of dark looks at them, for being so stupid - after all, his character had been robbed from too!

So just because the DM looks stupid doesn't always mean he is!

(The cool thing is, at the next session, we had to tell the next DM what had happened, and so on... by the end of the game, at least half the players knew what we had done, but only OOC. It was an awesome campaign!)

Same DM, different game

A deeply annoying PC, whose name escapes me, has polymorphed himself into an ant and crawled into a collapsed cave to find the location of a vampire's corpse. We've been fighting this vampire and his minions for many sessions (soul-trap is like, uber - we thought we had killed the guy at least 3 times, but he kept possessing new bodies).

Anyway, the PC is doing his scouting, when the vampire suddenly wakes up and starts smacking him. Wham! -2 levels. Wham! -2 levels.

The guy is livid. "How did he wake up? Why would a vampire suspect an ant, anyway? This is so unfair!"

DM: "It does seem unusual, that's true."

Me and S (different campaign, same player): snicker-snort-snort.

See, the thing is, after the PC had started crawling into the cave, S had used the Message spell (the only time I have ever seen it used) to tell the Vampire, "An adventurer in the shape of an ant is coming to get you!"

Because, you know, we hated him. But of course the poor DM wound up taking the blame, because the player was too dumb to figure it out.

Lest you think that was the only case....

The Door of Doom

We're finally ready to assault the dungeon's last level. Now, there are two ways in. One is through the top and the other is through the bottom. A bit of a disagreement: S and I say the top, and Annoying PC demands the bottom. Obviously his tactical sense is worth snot.

So, to dissuade him from doing something stupid, and to channel his efforts into helping us, I secretly have my workmen brick-up the bottom entrance. Then put a door in front of the brick wall. Then I cast a fistful of Symbols and Wards and Runes on the door, shut it, and lock it seven ways.

Come the day of the grand assault... Annoying PC still insists on going through the bottom. S and I say fine, go ahead: as we approach the top entrance, we dwaddle along, trying not to actually get started yet.

Annoying PC goes down, finds the door, cracks the locks, opens it, and gets blasted seven ways to Sunday, only to find a dead-end.

"Aw man," we say, "guess the orcs figured out that was a weakness. Oh well, forget about it: come on up here and join us. We haven't even started yet, and I can heal you."

But no. Annoying PC summons some workmen, and spends the rest of the adventure tunneling through the brick wall... while we fight through the entire lair. (I think once we got to the BBEG, we convinced him give up on the masonry and help us in the final fight.)


I think eventually I had to instruct the DM that, while I was doing the ritual, I wasn't actually casting Raise Dead. So the DM had to roll the dice secretly and pretend the player had failed his CON save. Obviously, the player was ticked at the DM for not letting him see the roll, let alone make it himself.

Ah, that poor DM...

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-01-15, 04:51 PM
Would anyone here say that a DM is incorrect in threatening an alignment change from good to neutral for a PC that was about to threaten to murder a friendly NPC ally if he didn't tell him information that the PC had no reason to believe the NPC had, let alone had the PC any idea of what kind of information he wanted. So basically, he was threatening to kill a friend if he didn't give him "information" without explicitly explaining what that information was or why he needed to use such a high-stakes intimidation to obtain it. He threw a fit when I told him I'd lower his alignment for even attempting it.

Matthew
2007-01-15, 04:53 PM
I would say that would be an Alignment Infraction. If he is of a Class that doesn't require a specific Alignment, you don't even need to tell him about it. Also, the Dungeon Master determines what is and is not an Alignment Infraction. No exceptions.