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Tanuki Tales
2013-02-03, 03:49 PM
Alright, I checked back five pages on here and site searched google for five pages and didn't find this exact topic being discussed in the last six weeks. Awesome.


As you can most likely tell from the title of this thread, this is a horror story thread about DMs/GMs/STs/etc. If you've been gaming long enough (and I pity the new players who didn't get a chance to game long enough before this happened to them) you've most likely run afoul of a session, adventure, campaign (or worse, years of gaming) that was practically out of a nightmare because of the actions of the guy who's supposed to be making a fun experience for everyone.

So why not sit down and share your own while you can't tear your eyes away from reading everyone else's. They're like Pringles in that regard, except the flavor is either Empathy or Schadenfreude. :smallwink:


I'll start us off:


Many moons ago, back when I was a High School freshman, I wandered into the art room near the cafeteria when I had heard the school had a DnD club. Those were the golden days, back when the group was made up mostly of the then senior classmen, the juniors who had been with them this long, a few sophmores and us wide eyed newbies. Things were rad and fun and awesome; we fought giant chicken gods, had Enchantment Sorcerers deathly afraid of rabbits and best of all, Pikel the Punk Rocker Dwarf.

But then the year ended and we lost the old guard to graduation. The game was still fun, at times, but the group now lacked the more dedicated leaders who made sure that sessions didn't devolve into LARPing Solid Snake through the school library.

And then, when those juniors turned seniors were lost to us, things went straight into the realm of unspeakable horror. Only one person remained to take the DM's chair, a position he held through a combination of highest system mastery, ownership of the vast majority of the books and some browbeating and coercion and capitalization of folks who didn't realize that things were stopping being fun or who tried to ignore that as best they could (like me).

Mr. Sole DM had these relationship problems you see, with his girlfriend who was in the school's theater group. She had him completely whipped and more or less emasculated him on a constant basis, while also trying to sleep with this other guy we all knew. She had no interest in breaking things off with the DM (he was her "safe choice") and he was too attached and needy to ever break it himself.

So where does all his suppressed and latent rage and impotence get let out on?

Yup. Us.

He would run games where his power was completely absolute and he'd do things arbitrarily regardless if you incited his wrath or not.. The following are just some examples:

We were in a bazaar of a normal city looking for some information for the quest we were on. The Cleric was inspecting a jewelery stand and picked up an interesting metal cube. It turned out that the cube sucked out the soul of the first person who touched it, was completely indestructible and gave the now empty body over to an Archdevil. No plot reason for any of this, he just thought it was funny.
The barbarian tore through the combat encounter he had planned to be very dangerous and near fatal to the group with little harm done to the party. Next thing we know, there was an entire fortress being chucked at us from over the horizon. We managed to survive through this and that's when the Giant who threw it came moseying along.
A new player to the group annoyed him in some innocuous manner. This got his character locked in a motel room randomly inside the dungeon we were exploring. With a Succubus and a Psuedo-Natural Donkey....
He would play up the negative behavior of the players who we only tolerated at the table because they weren't "sitting on the couch and eating Cheetos". He thought this tended to be hilarious.
If his girlfriend was playing at the table, which she did infrequently, she would always have the most leeway on her character concepts and he'd do everything he could to make the game run her way (though to be honest, all the DMs over the years had spoiled her. Didn't help they were all guys, that she was the only girl for most of the group's tenure and they all wanted to get with her :smallsigh:).


I've tried to run some games myself since graduating all those years ago, but nothing has really reached the levels of the unadulterated fun of the Pikel year.

ReaderAt2046
2013-02-03, 06:46 PM
I offer the healing balm of Silverclawshift, member of the Platonic Ideal of D&D groups! Read and see your faith in the system restored!

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116836

Kane0
2013-02-03, 06:49 PM
I don't have anything nearly that bad, but I'm the current DM for my group on a monday and I'm a first time DM.

Last session the dex fighter was positively certain i was out to get him because of a recurring rogue two levels higher than the party constantly jumping out of nowhere and trying to kill him before being chased off by everyone else.

He was right of course. That rogue was out to get him cause he is a petty assassin hired by a merchant that got screwed over by said fighter in a deal.

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-03, 07:10 PM
I offer the healing balm of Silverclawshift, member of the Platonic Ideal of D&D groups! Read and see your faith in the system restored!

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116836

My faith was never shattered. And I don't really see how this post was on topic. :smallconfused:

Deepbluediver
2013-02-03, 09:23 PM
I'm a little confused as to the purpose of this thread. Obviously we all like a good story, but is this for DM's who have seen their players go entirely off the rails? Players who have had their DM's induce repeated TPKs out of spite or simple bad design? Or games that where just not fun all around?

Cause I haven't DM'd very much, but I've got at least one of each.

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-03, 09:34 PM
I'm a little confused as to the purpose of this thread. Obviously we all like a good story, but is this for DM's who have seen their players go entirely off the rails? Players who have had their DM's induce repeated TPKs out of spite or simple bad design? Or games that where just not fun all around?

Cause I haven't DM'd very much, but I've got at least one of each.

*facepalm*

Sorry, I just realized how ambiguous my one sentence was.

This thread is meant to swap horror stories about DMs/GMs/etc., not as them. Let me go fix the first post.

ReaderAt2046
2013-02-03, 09:59 PM
My faith was never shattered. And I don't really see how this post was on topic. :smallconfused:

It's supposed to be an example of really good DMing to contrast to the really bad stuff that you've experienced (and we're talking about) and keep us from cynicism. Also, they're really good stories, so I thought you'd like them anyway.

Venusaur
2013-02-03, 10:12 PM
So my DM story:

I'm in 8th grade. The DM says we are going to have the final "boss battle" with our characters. I'm a cleric/RSOP and the most experienced, my little bro is a paladin/cavalier charger, and we have a ranger and a barbarian. We are all somewhere between level 18 and 20. We are fighting some Half-Dragon lady, and she has a bunch of clones. So, I decide to get my blast on to eliminate the copies, and and I cast miracle to emulate firestorm. He says here Ioun stone of spell absorption blocks it. It didn't even work that way, but no one knew that. I did know it counted as a 9th level spell, but apparently she had a custom one that blocked those too.

So, the barbarian charged and slaughtered some of the copies. She then casts a poorly explained custom spell the DM made that would let you cast parts of a spell for partial affect. It didn't really make sense. However, she hits him with part of a flesh to stone, and the DM rolls to decide where it hits. It lands on the head, making it basically the same as a regular flesh to stone. Due to misunderstanding manyshot, the ranger is OP and can use all his archery feats simultaneously, and destroys all the copies and we win.

I heal the party and fix the barb, and we go to free the hostages, which are 2 female people we have had zany and fairly irrelevant run-ins in the past. The ranger and Paladin are setting them free. When they are untied, they immediately start kissing their rescuers. The ranger doesn't resist, but the paladin makes her role a grapple check. He rolls a 1. The DM says they release a poison from their throats (which makes no sense and was never justified) and says they are no save knocked out. We protest, and he says they get a fort save. Paladin has massive CON+CHA, and gets a 48, which still fails.

The DM then tells us that they are 2 epic levelled Mystic Theugres, and that this is the real boss battle. A smoke bomb gets thrown, and stuff gets insane. They turn invisible, and "have magic items" to counter all of our tactics. I cast AMF to try and counter them, and the DM calls me a cheater. The other players insist I really did have it prepared, so he allows it. It doesn't really do anything, so I cancel it and cast prismatic sphere. One of the MT is in there with me, and grapples me despite my 18 STR and higher BAB because of "magic items". He then tries to kamakazie by dragging me into the prismatic sphere. Despite the text saying I'm immune, he says I should suffer all the effects because I am touching the other guy. We start arguing, and he starts talking about my clothes and if they would be affected if I wasn't there and a bunch of weird tangents. I basically say, the text says I'm immune, and Pelor says so.

He gets so worked up he throws a pencil at my face and tries to tackle me. I weighed about 180 pounds at the time, and had a significant size advantage on him. I basically sat on him until his mom came down to the basement, and my dad came to pick me and my brother up.

So I didn't get stabbed like The Lanky Bugger, but it was an interesting story. The DM was crying when I left because he was so sorry for what he did, so I came back a few weeks later. The group fell apart a couple months later for different reasons.

Con_Brio1993
2013-02-03, 10:33 PM
I don't really have an interesting story, but due to the broken nature of the Diplomacy rules in 3.5e my current DM basically makes rolling for Diplomacy irrelevant to your modifier. Instead you get results based on how he feels about you (personally) and the nature of your request.

Deepbluediver
2013-02-04, 01:14 PM
Let me know impart to you the tale of...THE DEADLIEST GAME!!!1!


But because every super-hero tale needs an origin story, first a little background:

Were I went to school, there was a fairly substantial geek/nerd population, with various groups for anime, card games, D&D, videgames, etc. There where about 12-15 people who played D&D, but our schedules where so random and different that most of what we ran where short things that could be done in a single evening or at most a weekend, and so they tended to be heavy on the action and light on plot and character development. There where multiple "adventures" that could be accurately summed up as "We fight monsters in a cave. The End."

This is just so you know the sort of game most of us where used to playing.


Anywho, our story begins when a certain individual (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Gygax) failed the ultimate fortitude save and passed beyond to the great gaming table in the sky. A handful of us decided to get together and run something in his honor.
The reason this story is appropriate is because of WHICH module the DM picked for us to run. It was a certain (in)famous dungeon crawl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_horrors) that has a reputation for being the "thinking man's game" of adventures, which was in direct contrast to our "kick in the door, then burn everything" style of play. A few of us had heard about the adventure in question, but none of us had run it, in any incarnation.


Five or six of us got together late at night with a bottle of potato juice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vodka) to give the ol' dice a workout, and the DM, being not COMPLETELY oblivious, told us to each bring multiple character sheets of 10th-11th level. Everyone just kind of grabbed what they had lying around either unused or from other campaigns. The background fluff was that a rich patron was funding an expedition to the dungeon, and most of the party would camp outside for support and backup while a select group worked their way deeper in. Any deaths would be replaced with "reinforcements" from the surface. (fyi, this was about twice as much effort as normally went in to actually explaining things for our games)


We managed to blast our way into the dungeon in fine style, and everything pretty much nose-dived from there. My first character, a paladin (thats "paladin" with a lowercase "P", I was actually a Fighter/Holy Liberator) died within 10 ft. of the entrance. I smashed the wrong painting and woke up a four-armed gargoyle that chewed my face off in a round and a half.
The distraction of my tank-character getting pulped was the only thing that saved us from losing another PC to an ugly statue and an orb-O-death. Having managed to get past the threshold in slightly less than one piece, we blundered on.
From here, I'll merely relate a few of the more dire bits.

One of our heavy-hitters had sunk the majority of his wealth into a greatsword with several different enchantments. I forget the exact details, but in addition to it's normal damage it dealt something like 2d6 Fire, 1d8 each of Cold and Electric, and 1d6 Acid. On every hit. He rolled an entire handful of dice and used a small chart to keep track of everything. His plan was that no matter what we faced, he'd never be entirely useless. Facing off against on particularly nasty beast, he rolled, scored a crit, counted off everything and reported it to the DM, who responds "One."
"One?"
"Yes, one. That's how much damage you just dealt."
"Well...****."

Another character in heavy armor took repeated tumbles down a series of pit traps. We managed to hoist him up and patch him back together, only to have him fail a will save a minute later and run screaming back down the hall in a panic. We didn't bother trying to recover his corpse.

Because we wheren't paying much attention to what skill-sets we had in the dungeon, and tried to just soak-damage our way through everything, at one point we ended up with no skill monkeys, and the entire group rapidly got trapped in a solid-stone chamber with no way out. We had to be retrieved by a "backup party" sent from the surface.

We TPK'd at one point and the next attempt only succeeded because the monsters where half-dead and we managed to surprise them as they where disposing of the bodies of our formerly-alive brethren.

We had fewer than half our original character sheets left when the DM'd informed us we where only a third of the way through the dungeon.

Eventually we started running out of warm bodies to throw around and people resorted to controlling several NPCs and a horse we had brought along to carry supplies.

Sometime around dawn (real-world dawn) we DID manage to defeat the dreaded and feared demi-lich, and celebrated our pyrrhic victory. Then the DM asked what our characters did next. NOT ONE of them made it back out of the dungeon. Not alive anyway.


I like to think our ghosts hang around our fancy new tomb to either warn any subsequent groups who venture in, or try and hinder them into failure so we don't go down in history as the worst adventuring party of all time.


Edit: To make it more clear, the DM picked a dungeon that was virtually guaranteed to turn a night of fun and whimsy into a grueling slog.

Slipperychicken
2013-02-04, 01:44 PM
I like to think our ghosts hang around our fancy new tomb to either warn any subsequent groups who venture in, or try and hinder them into failure so we don't go down in history as the worst adventuring party of all time.

Much more fitting for them to go insane and haunt the place, killing any more adventurers who dare enter. Also defending against smart-alecs who Ethereal/Burrow their way through the dungeon.


I'll throw in a story or two of my own once I have the time.

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-04, 01:56 PM
-Snip-

Vodka and Tomb of Horrors...just...geez. :smallbiggrin:

How did the DM make this a horror story though?

Deepbluediver
2013-02-04, 02:26 PM
Vodka and Tomb of Horrors...just...geez. :smallbiggrin:

How did the DM make this a horror story though?

By picking the dungeon in the first place.

Our groups tended to keep things light and entertaining, so nothing we did was ever truely terrible, but this game rapidly devolved from exciting to humurously bad, to tedious and depressing.
Right around 4:00 a.m was the time when we where getting really tired and not having fun any more, but by that point we had all hit the stubborn-drunk phase and wheren't thinking clearly enough to quit. And the GM wasn't doing us any favors because they were also stubborn-drunk, and was getting frustrated by our continued incompetence.

It was meant to be a "rousing good time" and instead ended up as the revelation of "wow, we really REALLY suck at this".
Maybe I should append that line to my original post.

Krazzman
2013-02-05, 05:42 AM
My experiences were... let me say this beforehand, WHILE playing I always had fun, but... it was most of the time not really spot on to the rules of how DnD "should" work.

In the first DnD game I ever played it was fun, we started at level 6 and got to level 12. After this campaign "ended" or more or less broke down we switched to basically playing one-shots every weekend maybe playing it on for another weekend. Basically we were switching between 3 players and 6. With the first and another "campaign" ending too soon we only had one-weekend-games with minor plot hooks or twists and basically low-level every time. The good thing is I got to switch through many different classes. Sometimes the same character but not always. The sessions were most of the time for fun and giggles. Not that serious but serious enough.

The guys usually DMing were... sometimes special. Sometimes they did special rulings that made no sense whatsoever... like I was playing a 2nd level Cleric of Velsharoon and was attacked by an Paralysing touch of an undead. He rolled my Initiative and my Save, although I did the rolls and won both. Another times he tried to counter everything my Psion was doing, making him basically a worse wizard (tried to introduce psionics).
One habit of a DM was to basically let the players lose stuff. We started on a saturday evening to build 18th level characters. I build myself a Fencing Airgenasi Rogue with a weapon and other magic items for WBL and basically DM fiat loosed everything except for my armor in a night ambush between two regiments in which I didn't woke up. This basically was nearly always the way. You had a nice toy, you might lose it if you don't watch out... but basically it was always fun... although building the urge inside of me to nearly everytime make sure the DM can't steal my "precious"... which is a bit annoying, this made monks basically pretty good in our groups but the first time I tried to play one I was told that I get 1000G from advancing to level 3 (character was already level 2, had lost half his wealth due to the adventure he was on) but the other Monk could start with a glove that gave her cleave.

Looking back I know I enjoyed a few things and were annoyed by a few other but I now play with a different group so this has resolved. I might write some stories out later.

Krazzman
2013-02-06, 10:41 AM
I might write some stories out later.

And here is one. The reason I dislike GURPS:

A few years ago one of our more "powergamey" friends wanted to try out the GURPS system. Together with me the two other guys usually DMing and another friend of us wanted to play.

It was said we do a Medievil Supernatural (yes the TV-show) Monsterhunt type of game. As the First season aired recently in Germany and we all were basically hooked for it we agreed.

It began with the Charactergeneration. One guy made an austrian or swiss tinkerer. He was short, more gnomy in stature but was an engineer and build quite some funny stuff (The galloppo 3000 was our vehicle he fixed out of 3 different carts/wagons we nearly destroyed in our first few hours together).
The second one was playing a Magician/Exorzist/Priest type of character, he tried to warn the "driver" of the cart in front of him because of something... with a fireball to the hat. The third one was an Greedy scottish(?) lord, that could use a gun (rifle) and was a Medium although not the brightest bulb in the lamp.
We were all under a Code of Honor... which I understood as Coat of Honor for which I was laughed at quite some many times... became a running gag and well it was fun.
Now to my Character. I being entirely new to a Point-Based system wanted to be a "Shield-Blader". This was basically a guy fighting with either 2 weapons or weapon and shield and enhance this magically. Basically being a Paladin without the healing stuff. Now my story was being raised by church and so on and well due to the nature of the system I failed miserably. The DM helped me but at we came to "magic stuff" I wanted to do I was told nope you don't have any points left and... I already took a disadvantage (monotone voice, dunno if I needed the points or just for fun) and could only play a guy fighting with 2 baselards. Since now the whole spiritual part of my character was missing... I couldn't use my backstory and since I suck at improv... the backstory was some point of comedy again (went for orphan raised by some swordmaster dude...).

The campaign itself was more or less Medium + Exorcist doing stuff, Engineer and me getting dragged along. The Engineer would build stuff and I basically just helped our wagon to not crash... I was already quite down because my character idea couldn't be done but that was it. We tried out gurps later once more with a few other guys but I don't recall really liking it.

mistformsquirrl
2013-02-06, 01:13 PM
I'll keep it brief, but my very first DM killed my first 3 characters in some pretty ridiculous fashions, here's a list:

1) First character ever, I joined a campaign near the end, so I ended up as a level 12 half-celestial sorcerer/fighter/spellsword; DM didn't like the concept (did not tell me this), and then paid XP to the other characters under the table to kill my character. (I won't deny my build was... questionable at best, but dear sweet crap, that's not a good way to get people into gaming; I'm sort of shocked I stuck with it after that to be honest.)

2) Second character was a half-elf paladin in the campaign that followed the above. I get murdered by a party member, who turned out to be a Bodak. I blame the DM for one: encouraging the player in question, and for two, allowing him to play at level 1 a character of that CR. (Note that the level adjustment was NOT dropped for my half-celestial in the previous campaign; but for the Bodak? Sure. Why the frak not.)

3) Finally, my brother joins the third campaign I try with this guy* - I played a samurai, my brother played a ninja, we played as a pair figuring that the two of us together could handle anything the party threw at us.

We haven't even met the other party members yet, and we have our first encounter... the DM throws 3 Xill at us (CR 6 if I recall right) - note that we're level 1, neither of us knows what these things are, they're faster than us so we can't run, and they're immune to our damage.

We die.


----

Needless to say I didn't stick around after that.

*I don't know why I kept coming back, but I did...

ReaderAt2046
2013-02-06, 04:25 PM
1) First character ever, I joined a campaign near the end, so I ended up as a level 12 half-celestial sorcerer/fighter/spellsword; DM didn't like the concept (did not tell me this), and then paid XP to the other characters under the table to kill my character. (I won't deny my build was... questionable at best, but dear sweet crap, that's not a good way to get people into gaming; I'm sort of shocked I stuck with it after that to be honest.)

That, in my book, is a justification to immediately leave the group, and arguably to tell every gamer of your acquaintance never to game with these guys. That is breaking the rules on so many levels (metagame motivation, breach of party loyalty contract, dedicated assassining, etc.).

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-06, 05:25 PM
Maybe I should append that line to my original post.

Now it makes sense. :smalltongue:


-Snip-

I'm sorry, but what did the DM/GM/etc. do to make this game a "nightmare"?


That, in my book, is a justification to immediately leave the group, and arguably to tell every gamer of your acquaintance never to game with these guys. That is breaking the rules on so many levels (metagame motivation, breach of party loyalty contract, dedicated assassining, etc.).

It doesn't even really make sense outside of just spiteful d-baggery. If the DM wanted the character dead he has unlimited power in which to do so just by himself.

Mcdt2
2013-02-06, 07:11 PM
Once, I was filling in for a friend of mine in his DnD group(1e AD&D, with some 2e stuff added in. They loved THaC0 for some reason. To this day they refuse to use d20 systems. Even ones that aren't D&D). I knew everyone in the group but never played with them, so I figured it would be fun. Little did I know how much of a Killer DM I had on my hands (which everyone in the group enjoyed, but never warned me about.)

Spoilered for length
So we are in this dungeon, level 1. We're being chased through the place by some wierd man/scorpion hybrid (don't know 1e monster manual that well, looked like a Drider but a scorpion.) This monster was ridiculous- had -10 AC, base THaC0 of 5, you name it. We triggered a cave in on it, it still came after us a few minutes later. it had caused almost-TPK's twice already, the party started with 8 or so, 2 of us made it out of the first fight with it. The first was our dwarven beserker, who kept surviving due to sheer luck, mostly. The Second was my character... and boy was he a tricky case.

You see, I was playing a halfing thief, and apparently my friend I was playing for had a habit of saying dumb things to strong NPC's. For one particular offense (I never did find out what) he was cursed to be completely unkillable. Anytime he died, it always truned out he somehow survived (was just unconcious, saved by timely giant eagles, whatever) no matter how dead he appeared beforehand. Doesn't sound too bad, but for a few problems- firstly, the party (in-character) hated the halfing, and tried to kill him frequently. Secondly, I became the go to guinea pig for anything we found. Things I died to included: Aformentioned Man-scorpion, crushed by cave in, eaten by spiders, fell into bottomless pit, eaten by even bigger spiders... Needless to say, I died even more than everyone else did, and the Revolving Door Afterlife was in full swing here.

Ended up getting some revenge though, when made to investigate a suspicious black cloth resting on a chair, I picked it up and found it to be a cloaker. Naturally, I immediately threw it at the beserker, then sat down and made sand castles while they struggled to get it off of him. He was so upset he accidentally left our unconcious paladin in the room when we left (impressive, because said Paladin glowed with the light of the sun. I called him The Holy Lightbulb.) Of course, I died again, to yet more spiders, and the party later found me kidnapped by Cultists, who sacrificed me to summon the Tarrasque. Keep in mind, still level 1 party. Finally lost the beserker, as he stayed back to hold off the Tarrasque, and we escaped the dungeon, after conveniently finding a Deck of Many Things (side note: This DM, and one of his friends who later DM'ed for me, never once failed to put a Deck somewhere in the campaign. for no real reason.) After pulling from the Deck, I caused all of the magic items I was carrying to disappear. Hey, guess which quasi-immortal halfing was carrying all the loot for the party?

Although that DM really put us through hell (speaking of, he later put that party through each Layer of Hell individually, culminating in a dight with Grazz't. They were level 3 by this point) it was still quite fun. They also had campaigns that were much less overkill, it's just a shame no body warned me about this madness beforehand.

ReaderAt2046
2013-02-06, 07:59 PM
It doesn't even really make sense outside of just spiteful d-baggery. If the DM wanted the character dead he has unlimited power in which to do so just by himself.

There's honorable Killer GMs (will push you to the absolute limit, but you can always scrape through if you are cunning, brave, or lucky enough). Those are frustrating, but they aren't exactly evil. There's straight Killer GMs, which will pit you against impossible odds and set cunning booby-traps for you. Those are evil. Then there's this.

mistformsquirrl
2013-02-06, 08:13 PM
Yeah, had I been older and wiser I don't think I'd have let the rest happen lol; but at the age I was, combined with the fact that this was a 'friend' <x_x>

On the upshot I'm glad I stuck with it though; I've had many, much better DMs since, and I've even DMed myself, which is a nice change of pace.

Vorr
2013-02-06, 08:30 PM
DM Mark

Bad enough that we played at his house with his wife and baby interrupting the game every five minutes or so, but the game:

We were 1st level characters in winter in a city. Folks were being murdered in the streets, with absolutely no evidence. They were just stabbed at random. No one knew or saw anything, so we wasted hours doing nothing as there was no mystery to find. Finally we just walked the streets. And that is when the quickling attacked(small fey with permanent invisibility and haste). One by one the quickling hacks us apart, and we can't even come close to fighting back. We try to use the common sense of ''even though he is invisible we can still see his foot prints in the snow'', but the DM just said ''nope''. So we all died.

Krazzman
2013-02-07, 04:01 AM
I'm sorry, but what did the DM/GM/etc. do to make this game a "nightmare"?


The "nightmare" wasn't a real nightmare. It sucked to have a in your opinion cool char concept and see it not come together because you don't know the system and the DM who said will help you drops you at this point because "get ready the others are waiting...". So I went with it but was laughed at because my backstory made no sense. The magical potential was a cornerpoint of my beforehand thought backstory and well basically I then had to scrap it and had to improv... which I sucked at (and probably still do). As I said it was most of the times really fun to play with them but such things were the points why I think I am now better off without them.

Friv
2013-02-07, 09:47 AM
It doesn't even really make sense outside of just spiteful d-baggery. If the DM wanted the character dead he has unlimited power in which to do so just by himself.

It makes a certain amount of sense if you look at it through the lens of psycopathy. By bribing the other players to join him in his insane vendetta, the GM makes them complicit in his crimes, reducing the likelihood of anyone taking the victim's side and forcing a confrontation.

Deepbluediver
2013-02-07, 10:54 AM
It makes a certain amount of sense if you look at it through the lens of psycopathy.

Well that's depressing. :smallfrown:


D&D can be a great form of catharsis, but I hate all those stories where it seems like some one is using it to work out their power and/or control issues. And it's not just DM's, I've heard tales of players wrecking campaigns, too, just because they where bored or hadn't gotten enough individual screen-time lately.


IMO, there should be a big, neon-orange sticker on the first page of every book that says:D&D is not like other games, you are not playing AGAINST the players or DM. You "win" at D&D by cooperating to create a narative and a scenario that everyone enjoys. If you just want to kill and/or backstab people, go play Paranoia.

mistformsquirrl
2013-02-07, 02:14 PM
Ya know, I have to admit that WOULD explain a lot about that guy lol; he had some... odd... ideas about life in general. Buuuuut meh, one bad DM over a decade+ of gaming? Not really too shabby. These stories can be depressing for sure, but at least for myself it's easy to remember all the good times had too.

Lol I still remember this one time with my old game group where we decided to order a pizza out of town* - me and a friend get dropped off at the pizza place because there's too much traffic to just stop and let us go inside to pick it up... we were under the impression the DM would be right back around the block for us... waited about 20 minutes and then we get a call that he's parked somewhere and wants us to come to him. OK, sure, fine... except neither me nor this friend know where this place is, and our cellphone cuts out about this time as well.

So to make a potentially enormous tangentially related story very short -
we ended up walking through a classic car convention in the middle of the night carrying pizza asking people if we could use their phones. The best part was when we checked the State Capital night security desk. You can imagine the look the guard gave us lol

I grant that's not an in-session anecdote but it still is one of my favorite D&D related memories just for the shear exercise in absurdity that entire night was. You'd have to have been there to really get the full effect of some of the bizarre random encounters we experienced in real life.

---

Uhm... which is basically a way of saying "eh, one bad DM ain't so bad."


*The short version is our DM (a different guy) loved this one place's pizza above all others. He paid for it, he drove us to get it, we just had to be willing to go along - and frankly it was a fun road trip every time we went so it wasn't like that was a burden of any kind. Still it was a 45 minute drive each way to get pizza, which is a bit much thinking back. Meh, still worth it.

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-08, 01:47 PM
It makes a certain amount of sense if you look at it through the lens of psycopathy. By bribing the other players to join him in his insane vendetta, the GM makes them complicit in his crimes, reducing the likelihood of anyone taking the victim's side and forcing a confrontation.

That's just sad.

More so that someone would be complicit with him than his own sociopathic behavior.

Slipperychicken
2013-02-08, 04:47 PM
That's just sad.

More so that someone would be complicit with him than his own sociopathic behavior.

That's how we (humans) roll. Follow the leader, hate the out-group.

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-11, 06:35 PM
The "nightmare" wasn't a real nightmare. It sucked to have a in your opinion cool char concept and see it not come together because you don't know the system and the DM who said will help you drops you at this point because "get ready the others are waiting...". So I went with it but was laughed at because my backstory made no sense. The magical potential was a cornerpoint of my beforehand thought backstory and well basically I then had to scrap it and had to improv... which I sucked at (and probably still do). As I said it was most of the times really fun to play with them but such things were the points why I think I am now better off without them.

Ah, that makes more sense once you've explained it out. It does suck when the DM/GM/etc. puts more attention and effort into some players over others.

almightycoma
2013-02-12, 04:33 PM
in my first campaign with a group in college we we're all mid level (around 9-11). we were on a quest to stop BBEG from opening a permanent portal to the abyss or the nine hells (which ever one pit fiends come from).
Eventually we find his base and start mapping it out while he's not home. when we get to the deepest part where we're sure he's keeping the Mcguffin, what do we find? not only is it there, we were too late and the portal is open. from the portal steps a pit fiend 2 balor body guards and a small squad of lesser minions( who's species i don't recall).
Seeing that massive force I'm like **** that and burn rubber out of there. the rest of the party disagrees however and charges and gets wipe out hard. so im the sole survivor and whats my reward for not committing suicide? being told i can no longer take barbarian levels because "barbarians aren't cowards and don't run away. you aren't playing the class right"

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-12, 05:19 PM
in my first campaign with a group in college we we're all mid level (around 9-11). we were on a quest to stop BBEG from opening a permanent portal to the abyss or the nine hells (which ever one pit fiends come from).
Eventually we find his base and start mapping it out while he's not home. when we get to the deepest part where we're sure he's keeping the Mcguffin, what do we find? not only is it there, we were too late and the portal is open. from the portal steps a pit fiend 2 balor body guards and a small squad of lesser minions( who's species i don't recall).
Seeing that massive force I'm like **** that and burn rubber out of there. the rest of the party disagrees however and charges and gets wipe out hard. so im the sole survivor and whats my reward for not committing suicide? being told i can no longer take barbarian levels because "barbarians aren't cowards and don't run away. you aren't playing the class right"



Ok.

That's just messed up, especially since "run away" sounds like it was the reaction you were supposed to have. You know, tactical retreat and deal with the fall out of failing to stop the BBEG and start a long, entrenched Mortal/Fiend War.

Though I think a group of optimized level 11s could possibly deal with that.

Arbane
2013-02-12, 05:43 PM
so im the sole survivor and whats my reward for not committing suicide? being told i can no longer take barbarian levels because "barbarians aren't cowards and don't run away. you aren't playing the class right"

9_9

"Funny, I don't see where it says 'Paladin' anywhere on this character sheet."

Oh, well. What's the GM's next campaign going to be?

Slipperychicken
2013-02-12, 08:24 PM
in my first campaign with a group in college we we're all mid level (around 9-11). we were on a quest to stop BBEG from opening a permanent portal to the abyss or the nine hells (which ever one pit fiends come from).
Eventually we find his base and start mapping it out while he's not home. when we get to the deepest part where we're sure he's keeping the Mcguffin, what do we find? not only is it there, we were too late and the portal is open. from the portal steps a pit fiend 2 balor body guards and a small squad of lesser minions( who's species i don't recall).
Seeing that massive force I'm like **** that and burn rubber out of there. the rest of the party disagrees however and charges and gets wipe out hard. so im the sole survivor and whats my reward for not committing suicide? being told i can no longer take barbarian levels because "barbarians aren't cowards and don't run away. you aren't playing the class right"

Well hey, you made the right choice and the DM (accidentally) gave you some good build advice. Win-win. I would first ask him where it says that, then gleefully start taking Warblade or Fighter levels as I build another party.

almightycoma
2013-02-12, 09:09 PM
Though I think a group of optimized level 11s could possibly deal with that.

yeah no, our group was pretty low optimization.there was me 10 levels pure barbarian(this was early in my D&D career i didn't really know about optimization yet) a trap finding rogue, a dwarf paladin, a fighter,a werewolf druid, and a DM run NPC heal bot cleric.

his justification when I understandably complained was barbarians have low int scores, and wouldn't know that it was a bad plan/ that those creatures are super tough.I than countered that argument by showing him my sheet and my 10 int and 11 wis. he just stuck to his guns though so I just switched to fighter levels.

As for the next campaign the live me was plane shifted to an astral plane like home brewed plane where the souls of the party were. while on it we tracked down the souls of long dead heroes to help us

Silva Stormrage
2013-02-13, 03:09 AM
Wow some of these are pretty horrible dm's. I am glad I have never had anything like some of the worse ones here :smalleek:

The worst dm I had really wasn't out of maliciousness more of incompetence and my poor knowledge of what was "Average" power level.

This was my first time playing D&D ever, I had played neverwinter nights so I knew the rules decently and am very good at game design. I didn't know what the baseline for the group was so I decided to play it low and have fun with a Dread Necromancer at level 8. "Average" in this case was being a spell stiched necropolitian lesser aismir with a corpse crafted level 8 dread necromancer animating me in a desecrated altar with almost all the other bonuses from corpse crafter. Good feat selection and a 24 charisma. Ya apparently the group was more low op than I thought, the other players were a fighter with a spike chain that used whirlwind attack. A glaivelock who overcomplicated his build and basically just fired eldritch blast and flew around. And a cleric who forgot most of his spells.

First encounter was against a bunch of xorns, we manage to win barely and kill all but two of them causing those two to flee. I grin and say that I wish to animate them, the GM asks how many and I say all of them (Dread Necromancers :smalltongue:) At that exact instant half the corpses are dragged into the ground by the two xorns who had "Fled". Before I could cast any spell the remaining corpses were also disposed of. When I asked why the xorns would do that as they weren't intelligent he said, "Just because". Okay slightly annoying, we go on for a bit and eventually heading into a swamp area with a bunch of kobolds and signs of a dragon. The GM describes the kobolds as all having slings and just slings and there being about a hundred of them. I tell the party to sneak around and try to find the dragon's lair/info about it and I can tank the kobolds as non of them can deal damage against my damage reduction 4/magic. The instant I mention that he changes his mind and they all have special slings that deal 1 damage regardless of damage reduction. I sigh and we fight the kobolds forcing them to retreat. At that point the dragon reveals itself, I proceed to one shot it with shivering touch. The DM surprisingly allows this and lets the dragon die, when I wanted to reanimate it he mentions that it "fell into the swamp" and becomes unreachable. Despite the fact that it fell 20ft from me and into a swamp that wasn't there earlier... The session ends on this note.

After the session, I talk to the DM and state that I think my character was a bit too strong so I would remake a similar character that is much weaker. The DM agrees readily and says that he changed his mind and I could keep the dragon if my next character can animate undead.

Next character is essentially a mounted fighter with a lance and spirited charge. Other feats include weapon focus and similar random feats that I thought were interesting. During this session we enter an arena where fights are to the death, now level 9 my character has to fight a singular mind flayer. I win initiative and charge at it killing it in one attack. The next fight I have to deal with? Two Ghaeles... http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/ghaele.htm.... Caster level 14 clerics... I am level 9... Combat starts, I charge one. I don't kill it, it 5ft steps and prismatic sprays me and I die due to turning to stone. Joy... Session ends shortly afterwords.

Next session I come in with a malconvoker at level 10. We fight a team battle in the arena which was ship combat and I summon a bunch of fiendish whales to help us which the DM was very annoyed about for a reason I am not quite sure. Mostly he was annoyed that I managed to lift a submarine out of the water with them. So while we are resting at an inn we are ambushed by assassins, fairly typical. Whats not typical is that the party apparently went out of its way to leave the fight to me... One of the players was ACTIVELY trying to kill the other players (Calling the city guards on the inn upon the players. I still have no idea what the point of that was) while another wasn't part of the group yet so he stayed out of the fight (Assassins weren't after him) the other character fled as he thought we would lose the fight. Clearly the fight was meant for multiple people and I am struggling to live. I have to choke-point them and summon almost every round to prevent them from just swarming me. At this point the "caster" who has only cast 1st level spells at this point targets me with disintegrate, I roll a 19 on the save I believe something like 29 total or something high. DM says I fail and I take 120 damage killing me in one hit... I tried to use abrupt jaunt to dodge but the DM said that the ability still hit me even though I abrupt jaunted behind a wall... At this point I am kinda annoyed as this will be the fourth character in four sessions...

The story ended well though XD. Mostly he just wasn't a good DM as he didn't know how to make encounters challenging. Afterwords his campaign fell apart (party split into 4 groups that all hated/didn't know each other) so I actually ended up doing a campaign and the group got a long quite well after that. And now that I am still the dm I have plenty of time for payback! (I am joking of course :smalltongue:)

DigoDragon
2013-02-13, 08:25 AM
I once got singled out for being forsaken.

One of our players decided to run a space opera loosely (And I mean hanging by a thin thread loose) based on combining Star Trek and Star Wars. We were the crew of a private transport ship (one PC was captain/owner of the vessel) and the adventure was us uncovering a big conspiracy where a corporation wanted to genocide a colony world owned by the Federation. and blame the Empire so that the two would go to war.
Step four on the company agenda was obviously PROFIT.

Trouble was, for some unexplainable reason the GM was so unorganized that he kept losing track of my character. Especially noticable in combat where 2-3 rounds would go by and I'm still awaiting my first initiative pass to do something.
Worse yet, since I was the ship's doctor, after combat ended I was constantly strongarmed by NPCs to tend to the wounded instead of joining the other players on the investigation/interrogation/looting the dead.

One session I got so tired of being forgotten that I decided to just sit at the table and doodle. Let's see how long it takes for the GM to notice he's forgotten about my character.
Time between sitting there and finally getting noticed by the GM: 7 hours.

I'd say that's a pretty good example of being forsaken. :smallsmile:

almightycoma
2013-02-13, 11:46 AM
One session I got so tired of being forgotten that I decided to just sit at the table and doodle. Let's see how long it takes for the GM to notice he's forgotten about my character.
Time between sitting there and finally getting noticed by the GM: 7 hours.

I'd say that's a pretty good example of being forsaken. :smallsmile:

ouch i used to have a similar problem with my IRL group (but not nearly that bad), so to get his attention i started writing down my actions to the DM as secrete notes. it worked out pretty well and drove my friends nuts trying to figure out what i was up to. maybe you could try something like that?

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-13, 02:44 PM
-Snip-

The story ended well though XD. Mostly he just wasn't a good DM as he didn't know how to make encounters challenging. Afterwords his campaign fell apart (party split into 4 groups that all hated/didn't know each other) so I actually ended up doing a campaign and the group got a long quite well after that. And now that I am still the dm I have plenty of time for payback! (I am joking of course :smalltongue:)

Yeah, it sounds like he just continued to overreact after you completely out-optimized the party by a considerable margin in the first example.

It's one thing to throw odds at them that they can't survive when you're being passive aggressive and feel like you're losing the reigns in your game (like with the Ghaeles), but when you're arbitrarily just going "Nuh-uh. Because I say so.", then you're just cheapening the game for everyone.



Time between sitting there and finally getting noticed by the GM: 7 hours.

I'd say that's a pretty good example of being forsaken. :smallsmile:

That's....that's awful. :smallfrown:

Deepbluediver
2013-02-13, 03:35 PM
That's....that's awful. :smallfrown:

Yeah, I'm not even sure how that's possible.

I mean, I know that DMs have a lot going on behind the screen, but do you rely on them to tell you when your turn in the iniative order is? Normally we would either right it down on a list or everyone sort of keeps track of their own.

white rider
2013-02-13, 08:30 PM
in my first campaign with a group in college we we're all mid level (around 9-11). we were on a quest to stop BBEG from opening a permanent portal to the abyss or the nine hells (which ever one pit fiends come from).
Eventually we find his base and start mapping it out while he's not home. when we get to the deepest part where we're sure he's keeping the Mcguffin, what do we find? not only is it there, we were too late and the portal is open. from the portal steps a pit fiend 2 balor body guards and a small squad of lesser minions( who's species i don't recall).
Seeing that massive force I'm like **** that and burn rubber out of there. the rest of the party disagrees however and charges and gets wipe out hard. so im the sole survivor and whats my reward for not committing suicide? being told i can no longer take barbarian levels because "barbarians aren't cowards and don't run away. you aren't playing the class right"

Wow, that has to suck, especially since it appears your DM doesn't know his universe canon- balors and pit fiends are of equal power, and are on opposite sides of the blood war.
Furthermore, what kinda (non-raging) barbarian wouldn't run from that? Barbarians are (usually) dirty fighters, not honorable crusaders. If you wanted to play someone who charges stupidly at anything in front of them, you would've played a paladin. Wizards don't get banned for hitting someone with a quarterstaff!

DigoDragon
2013-02-14, 08:26 AM
maybe you could try something like that?

Well, the GM has improved significantly in being organized since that time so I haven't had a similar incident. The secret for him is apparently not using bar napkins as his notes for an adventure (I kid you not, he did that twice).
Now he has a notebook to keep track of combat so it's much smoother. He might forget someone's turn once every other combat, but that's perfectly acceptable.



Yeah, I'm not even sure how that's possible.

During that adventure, the GM simply didn't write anything down. I'm sure you can see how fustrating it can get when you have to remind him EVERY combat round when your turn is in the initiative order. Especially when it feels like you're being singled out.

But again, he's gotten much better now.

Sith_Happens
2013-02-15, 10:27 AM
Wizards don't get banned for hitting someone with a quarterstaff!

Of course not. They get killed.:smalltongue:

As for my story, in my first ever session of D&D 3.5, the DM decided that Diplomacy works on PCs, in fashion more or less identical to a Suggestion spell. Enter the Loony of the group who had a +7 (at first level) and spent the next four hours spamming checks on my character...

Slipperychicken
2013-02-15, 04:44 PM
Yeah, I'm not even sure how that's possible.

I mean, I know that DMs have a lot going on behind the screen, but do you rely on them to tell you when your turn in the iniative order is? Normally we would either right it down on a list or everyone sort of keeps track of their own.

My groups just write the initiative order down where everyone can see it. That way someone can say "Hey we missed my turn!" or "You skipped me!". After the first round, it's not like it matters much that everyone can see it.

Bronk
2013-02-17, 10:16 AM
Game Master stories, eh? I usually gamed with the same group I had known for quite some time, so games usually went okay. I mostly had fun, and my only gripe was that I often felt ignored at the table. If our party was making plans, mine weren't listened to. If we decided to rest to heal or train, the rest would change their mind and bring out a laundry list of stuff they were going to do, up to and including breaking camp and leaving. Honestly, I never understood that. Were were all playing the same game, and we all needed to train... what was the deal? Well, it's the GM's job to keep things on track... But for truly being forsaken from the GM, two incidents come to mind.

I was in a GURPS game once where the setup was "You are in the Matrix, but you don't know it. Take the points I give you and build your character. You can use any book you want, any power or ability you can afford, as long as you can justify it using the Matrix. Anything... GURPS balances itself out." We all thought that sounded really cool, so we got started. We weren't given that many points, so I had just enough to get the GURPS equivalent of damage reduction. My guy had grown up in a rough neighborhood and had once been beaten by a gang so badly that his real body thrashed about in its goo pod and damaged a few of his matrix connectors. Then he grew up and became a teacher, and somehow becoming friends with the other PC's.

So the game starts, and there is no plot... we're just going about our normal day, and we decide to go camping. We pile into one of our cars and head out... but we need gas. However, when we stop at the gas station and go to pay in the attached mini-mart, it gets held up! Now, up until now this had been a non fighty game, and although all of our characters have some powers, we're still just regular guys out on a trip, completely unarmed. So we're all hiding and cowering, trying to get back out to the car or find a payphone to call the police, when the baddies decide to start attacking the customers (probably a shout out to Pulp Fiction). I got winged by a bullet, but... DR! I was fine. The GM narrowed his eyes, and suddenly the focus is all on me.

Now, the way I remember it was this: my poor school teacher got shot and punched a few times and didn't get hurt... but he also had no way to fight back. He hid behind a set of shelves, but the baddie crawled around a corner, put a shotgun right to his forehead and pulled the trigger. Interestingly, I had used my points (that I could use 'however I wanted') to buy quite a bit of this DR, 20 points worth in all (and the ability to talk to plant 'programs'), so the blast had no effect. I think the damage on the gun was 2 or 3 d6. By this time, I was just thinking that these guys were the worst robbers in history, but the GM was thinking "I must destroy him!" because the baddy got up, went to the front of the store, ripped up the entire front counter out of the floor by himself, cash register and all, somehow got it over to me and crushed my legs with it, all in one go. The GM declared that this extraordinary attack did 30 points of damage and shattered both of my legs into a pulp. It really wasn't much of a game after that... somehow, after that little altercation, the other guys took the baddies down easily. The GM basically told me that the baddy had some sort of GM fiat burst of strength to handle all of that, and that he didn't like my power because it was too strong, and that my character would be laid up in the hospital for a year to heal due to the fractures being more than regular damage. Of course, his GMpc character, who had taken the 'no internal organs' power so that his body worked as if it had DnD style hit points was fine to play... anyway, although I convinced him to switch my power to some amount of 'regeneration', we never played that game again.

Another time, another game, same GM. This time the game was Earthdawn, and I had missed the first sessions because it had been an off the cuff test of playing the game and they didn't think to call the rest of us over. The group - humans, dwarves and a lizard-like t'skrang, had started out underground and made it to the surface and had already explored for a while in game before my character was introduced. My character was a windling thief, a foot tall elf-like dude with bug wings. A first circle character, like the others, he started with just wee leather armor, a wee sling, a wee dagger and a couple of silver to rub together. The others had all obtained quite a bit of loot for one adventure, including a legendary magic weapon, but I was okay with that.

I swear that a windling must have insulted the GM's mother in a previous life. He especially didn't like that the he was small (he was always either too small for big stuff or too big for small stuff) or that he could fly. As soon as he was introduced to the game, a torrential downpour started that prevented me from flying more than a few feet at a time, because my wings would get soggy. Now, before another friend and I could join up with the others, we had to take out a pair of cave trolls. My friend, playing a regular PC type troll, fought head to head with one, while I flew up to a tree branch and pegged the other with my sling until I knocked it out. Knowing that it would be after us again if it came too, I pulled out my dagger and went to finish it off, when I was told I was just too small to do it easily. I said, "Okay, I'll just stab it until it dies" but was told that I couldn't possibly do that because trolls had bits of bony armor here and there in their skin. "Okay, I'll just take my time, find a good spot, and go to town". No, he had me roll to hit, then crawl through the things blood until I was completely drenched in gore (ruining my wings for a while). Then I couldn’t rinse off in the ‘torrential downpour’… I had to find a puddle and clean off.

After bonding with the my friend’s troll PC over our kill, we worked it out so that my little guy, who was super slow on the ground with his wee legs, would ride around on his shoulder most of the time. We met up with the rest of the group, started adventuring, made it to a town, became caravan guards, and so on. Weeks went by in game, maybe even months… and the rain never let up. You’d think we were in monsoon season in southeast Asia, not the middle of Europe! As a wee character, I was always having trouble with my loot… despite having a higher strength score than some of the ‘casters, I was the only one who couldn’t handle carrying my gold and such. And if I put my loot on a pack animal, the animal would always be inaccessible somehow when I needed it. And traps! I was always either on the ground (1 foot high, remember) or on a troll’s shoulder (as much as 12 feet high, maybe more... probably where I was since I was continually forced to roleplay slogging through knee deep mud when I wasn't up there), but once when we were edging along a cliff a tied up log swung down from above and hit everyone right in the gut… including me. “Oh, uh, the tree was actually… you get hit in the gut. Take the damage.” Another time I was pitted against a squirrel in a death match I nearly lost so that I could comission some tiny hide armor. That squirrel was tougher than the cave troll from my first adventure, and again I couldn’t fly off the branch to slingshot it!

Finally came my windling’s final hour. I had missed a session when my car broke down, and it was ruled that my character, who wanted to become a ‘lightbringer’ and oppose the Horrors, wandered off in the night and got himself horror marked while I was gone. When I played in the next session, this was hinted at, but there was nothing I could do about it. Our group headed to a nearby town, stalked all the while by a magic sapping dog of a type that hates horrors. Now, when going to a new town in this game, locals will often test you to make sure you aren’t horror marked by making you practice your craft skill. If you do well, you’re in. If you fail, you’re out. If you fail and you’re horror marked, you think you did a great job, but it looks all wrong somehow and slightly lovecraftian to everyone else. My guy nailed the test, but we all got put into a decrepit house at the edge of town anyway, because they just ‘distrusted everyone’. Well, okay, that’s a healthy attitude in Earthdawn I guess. The house was barely functional, and had huge gaping holes in the roof where the still torrential rain was coming through in sheets, making the night miserable, and there was so much rain coming down what was left of the chimney that we could only have a weak fire to keep warm. Suddenly, the house was surrounded by an angry mob from the town, and they boarded up the front door and set the house on fire!

At this point, one of the other players says “Yeah, I figured this would happen.” The rest of us looked at him incredulously while we tried to figure out what to do. Many theories were run past the GM at this point. How was the house burning if it was waterlogged? It just was. Can we break down the door? No, it’s nailed shut too tightly. Even though it was just hastily done by humans and we have a troll on our side? Yes. How about breaking down the walls… you said they were falling apart anyway? No, too sturdy, blah blah. At this point, I was like, “Okay, so I’ll fly up out of the gaping holes in the ceiling and see what’s going on!” After all, by then I had picked up a windling made rain coat, that should have covered my wings (but never very well). The reply? “Impossible, those holes are way too small, more like leaks really.” By this time the whole house was ablaze, including the roof, and including the puddles of water, I guess, and no there was no oil. Now what? “I’ll wait until the roof caves in a bit, then fly up!” “No, there is too much fire there”.

Now, here is where flying, size, and not being listened to all come into play. In a previous adventure we had found a red sphere that offered fire immunity, that I had ended up in possession of. It had first been described as a bead, but when I got a hold of it, suddenly it was a fist sized sphere, far too big for me to hang on to… it was like a medicine ball to me! I eventually got a ruling that it wasn’t all that big, and I took it out of the saddlebags of our pack mule and kept it in my backpack. So now was it’s time to shine! “I’ll take out the red sphere, then wait, then fly out!” “No, it is still on the mule.” There was nothing I could do to budge him on this. “Okay, well then, I’ll fly up the chimney then!” “You fly up the chimney, taking damage from the blazing fire within, choking on the billowing smoke!” When I pointed out that we couldn’t get a decent fire going before, and the bricks would protect me from the fire in the rest of the house, again he would not relent. But I was out! Now to find a way to help the others!

No. The magic sapping dog was out there the whole time and… sapped my magic! Suddenly I was falling from the air! “What? My wings are non magical! They are physical wings! I can’t fly without flapping them! I can’t use them if they get soggy or even damp! I use my strength to flap them and I when I get tired I have to stop!” “No, windlings are inherently magical and your magic is gone. You fall from the sky and take enough damage to kill you. You are dead.” “But I was only one story up!” “Dead.” “But the ground is mush! It’s been raining for months!” “Dead.” Once I was dead, everyone easily broke out from the side of the house and ran away. I guess the mob was only in the front of the house? Somehow they were easily able to get my poor dead body off the ground (even retrieved the mule!), and they buried me out in the woods… and that's when the rain immediately cleared up, never to return again.

I was allowed to come in next session with a new character. I chose an Obsidiman, a big, heavy, rock elemental guy. In his first session he nearly got killed by an evil killer bunny. Nothing I could do to this thing would even touch it! Finally, the GM made a big deal about it latching onto my knee and just going to town on it, and even with my now Herculean strength I couldn’t dislodge it. So I said, “Okay, well then, I kneel on it. Please remember that I weigh at least 900 pounds!” The very next encounter I got ‘cut in half’ by an orc. “Wait, you mean take a bad ‘wound’ (a game term) right?” “No, you get bisected at the waist, and your two halves tumble to the ground.

That was the last time I played with him as a GM.

AuraTwilight
2013-02-17, 03:49 PM
Wow, that guy seems like he had a personal problem against you, specifically. What the hell?

Arbane
2013-02-17, 04:13 PM
Wow, that guy seems like he had a personal problem against you, specifically. What the hell?

yeah, definitely the impression I got. Mind you, Jerk GM could have been heaping similar obstacles on the other PCs and Bronk just didn't notice as much, but it does sound rather vindictive as it is.

almightycoma
2013-02-17, 04:17 PM
Wow... the DM must have really hated you. It's a good thing you got out of there.It's one thing to punish players, but that's a whole other level of d-baggery.Hope he didn't sour you from gaming.Do you know if he had something against you IRL?

Bronk
2013-02-17, 11:06 PM
Well, he always did have some weird emotional problems, which probably extended to the game. And it probably didn't help that although we were in the same circle of friends, we weren't super friendly. Looking back on those times, it seems to me that despite his assurances in both cases that we could be whatever we wanted, and the fact that each time he approved the character beforehand, when we started playing he realized my character just didn't fit his grand plans.

In fact, from what I remember of the description of the first game I missed, he had this whole scenario planned out, had the characters start in the kaer, but only a blocked off small corner of it, and the rest was this giant dungeon filled with traps, monsters and puzzles that they had to win their way free of in order to get to the outside world. How the heck was that off the cuff? Sigh.

Oh, and he did do some mean spirited stuff to the other characters, just not as much. One guy was standing watch when he started having visions of fires dancing around... turns out he fell asleep and tilted over into the fire pit. Plus, that lame log trap did hit everyone equally... not that it made any sense.

It's not all bad though. I gamed with all of those guys for years, and we played another Earthdawn game a few years ago. That guy was a fellow player that time, and the game was run by the guy who played the Troll before. I played a windling again, a beastmaster, teamed up with my new wife, who chose to play the same thing. Former GM guy played some kind of lame monk. Our last session was a grand battle royale and let me tell you, our wee windlings scythed through the enemy with a fiery vengeance while his character tried to paw at one baddy ineffectually while unarmed, tried to find a stick to use, then hid under an enemy bedroll for the entire fight. It. Was. Awesome!

Lord Torath
2013-02-17, 11:20 PM
Game Master stories, eh? <snip two stories of DM blantantly going after Bronk's characters>
This is the part where I would ask to speak to the DM alone, and ask if I've done something to offend him, or if there's a particular reason he's going to extreme lengths to neutralize my character. If I need to, I'll tell him I want to discuss something game-related that I don't want the other players to hear -- which is true enough.

Of course, I've never actually had this problem, so I've no experience with how that would turn out. At least I'd hopefully get a reason why he was being so unreasonable. Anyone have any luck with this tactic?

As for my story, I was playing with a new group, and we'd had a pretty good time. We'd played for probably 6-8 sessions, and things were going pretty well.

In game, if I had a disagreement with the DM, I'd present my side, listen to what he had to say, then go with that. Didn't want to bog down play with an argument. Then I'd discuss it with him via email afterward.

The DM decided to start a new campaign, and he wanted to start this one up on Skype and Roll20. He met with each of us individually to help us set up our characters. So I got a 9th level semi-retired paladin with a couple of followers and a Light Warhorse (that could just barely carry me and my equipment moving at 1/3 speed, but not while wearing my Field Plate Barding. A mounted charge on this poor brute was NOT going to happen. My character had a dream about his Paladin's Warhorse in a forest (I didn't start with my warhorse; I had to go on a quest to get it) where it was being held in thrall by an evil, jackal-headed warrior.

In my first encounter, my light warhorse gets killed. It wasn't a deliberate action by the DM, just something that happened. Later we passed a forest, and when I asked, he said they were the same trees as those in my dream. "Aha!" I think. "The GM's going to make up for the loss of my warhorse with my Warhorse Quest!" I tell the rest of the party to mark the trail they're taking and I'll catch up with them later (we're tracking some giants that raided our village), and set off to rescue my Warhorse. I quit that session, so as not to hold up the other guys with my solo mission, and made arrangements with the DM for a single session for me, so I could rescue my warhorse.

Solo Session:
After wandering around in the forest for a week, I run into a pack of bears, and am forced to kill one before the others run off. Nothing else of interest happens during the week, other than making hunting checks to make certain I can feed myself and my followers. The DM asks me how long I want to stay in the forest. Convinced that this is the forest I dreamed about, and that my Warhorse is being enslaved by an evil warrior, I naturally tell him I plan to keep it up until I rescue my Warhorse. The DM then breaks character, and tells me, as the DM, that this is not, in fact, my warhorse quest, and I should probably head back to the rest of the group. I ask him to pretend the week never happened (I took no damage, and only killed a bear, so nothing of import happened, and this is a solo session, so none of this has impacted the rest of the party yet). He says no, and I continue making my way back to the party. End solo session.

Afterward I emailed him to discuss retconning that week, as nothing really happened, and really, my character had gone on two previous Warhorse quests before he retired (this was the DM's input into my background), and he should have the In Character knowledge that I as a player lacked for how his god communicated with him so he could recognize "No, these are NOT the right woods" as soon as he saw the forest. He replied with an email with his views, stating he would not recon the week, but saying he enjoyed having me in the group, and looked forward to many more discussions regarding various ways of DMing. I replied with another email with further arguments, and again asked him to retcon the lost week.

No reply. Suddenly I couldn't log into his campaign on Roll20. I sent him an email asking about it. He withdrew his Skype contact info. I sent another email. No reply.

I sent an email apologizing, and asking what I'd done wrong, so I could (hopefully) avoid doing it in the future. Nothing. I still have his cell number, and I'm occasionally temped to call him, just to ask what I've done, but I figure he'll probably just let it go to voice-mail and ignore it.

So I've been kicked out of the group with no notice and no stated reason, right after he says I'm an asset to the group, and he enjoys having me participate.:smallannoyed:

TuggyNE
2013-02-18, 01:34 AM
So I've been kicked out of the group with no notice and no stated reason, right after he says I'm an asset to the group, and he enjoys having me participate.:smallannoyed:

His wording was probably intended as a subtle passive-aggressive threat: "You're a great asset to the group. Shame if something should… happen… to upset that, no?"

Bronk
2013-02-18, 11:30 AM
Later we passed a forest with the same trees as those in my dream.

What did he expect you to think if he told you they were the same trees! It would make sense for a paladin to receive visions and act on them... Its weird that he let you waste your time and his in the woods like that.

ReaderAt2046
2013-02-18, 12:55 PM
I played a windling again, a beastmaster, teamed up with my new wife, who chose to play the same thing. Former GM guy played some kind of lame monk. Our last session was a grand battle royale and let me tell you, our wee windlings scythed through the enemy with a fiery vengeance while his character tried to paw at one baddy ineffectually while unarmed, tried to find a stick to use, then hid under an enemy bedroll for the entire fight. It. Was. Awesome!

Thrice ought you to be congratulated. Once for finding a wife, once for her sharing one of your great passions, and once for the old wrong being made right!

Tanuki Tales
2013-02-18, 02:09 PM
What did he expect you to think if he told you they were the same trees! It would make sense for a paladin to receive visions and act on them... Its weird that he let you waste your time and his in the woods like that.

What's weirder is that he wouldn't retcon it when it was a case of his in-character self having more knowledge than his out of character self.

Lord Torath
2013-03-02, 03:00 PM
Yeah. That was kind of weird. He assured me that he had a reason for that not being the Warhorse Rescue Quest (TM), but I never got to find out what it was.

Jarian
2013-03-02, 03:58 PM
Nearly three pages in and no mention of that Lanky Bugger? (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23784)

For shame! :smalltongue:

DigoDragon
2013-03-03, 11:19 AM
Last session two players didn't show up to the game, so the rest of us delegated their characters to simple, out-of-the-way jobs that would be easy paperwork for the GM. We figered this would mean the GM can concentrate on those of us who did show up and the others can catch up when they return next session.

During the adventure the GM killed off the two absent characters and the rest of us had no way to even collect their bodies or the items they had which were kinda useful to the plot at hand! :smalleek:

Not sure how the players will take it when they come back next week, but that's pretty "forsaken" in my book.

almightycoma
2013-03-03, 12:27 PM
Nearly three pages in and no mention of that Lanky Bugger? (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23784)

that's a thing that can actually happen?:smalleek:

The Random NPC
2013-03-03, 01:03 PM
that's a thing that can actually happen?:smalleek:

Not just once, but twice (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93633) more (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=95189).

almightycoma
2013-03-03, 02:43 PM
(shakes head in disbelief) wow... just... I don't think there are words for how much suck is in that man's life.:smallfrown:

Gamgee
2013-03-04, 12:59 AM
I've never had the chance to really game with any groups. I have been the GM for life, but these are some true horror stories. I'm generally regarded as a fair GM, but can make some really tough and challenging encounters.

Worst GM I had looks like a blessing compared to these ones.

We went to his house around 4pm we very quickly made characters within 2 hours. So now it is 6pm. He finally starts to host and he starts us in a tavern killing some goblins... geez. Boring as hell.

Then just as he was about to get to the plot, random people start showing up wondering if he has a party this weekend. He just starts inviting them upstairs. Says he will get back to us in a few minutes.

5 ****ing hours later and about dozen and a half or so guests show up. Maybe more I didn't go upstairs. He finally comes back downstairs stoned the **** out of his mind.

He sits down ready to GM again. Is about to open his mouth, stops, looks around. "I'm cold, let me go find a blanket." Leaves. Comes back like 10 minutes later. I can quote you the end of the session.

"Okay... so your wandering through the forest.... *long pause* you see some spiders *group prepares for combat* *long pause* but some arrows hit them killing them. *long pause* You see some elves... *long pause* they take you to their village. *longest pause yet* you see their leaders... man I am so tired. I think we'll pick this up next time. I'm cold and tired. Goodnight *rolls over on the couch with blanket and falls asleep*

I was not amused (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woxW1GZnAAA#t=3m35s). He was one of the only three GM's I've ever had in my life. By far the worst though. He is probably one of the worst players I've had in my games too. He was only there for one session and was just grumpy all night. In the end when we tried to save him he kept pointing out logical consistencies. Oh these bugs should be smaller if they are under our skin ect. (I had a larger group than usual since it was try outs to see who would get in the group. Also we play to just have fun.) So I was like... okay fine there are more swarms and they attack more often. Now your being killed twice as fast.

Another player had a flamethrower and was clearing a path ahead of them, this stoner could have just followed him to safety. But no...? He instead decides to sprint down a 60 meter corridor full of these insects. Then another 30 meter one back to the ship. He died. We tried to save his body but this just made him more angry? He could have spent a destiny point to live ect. But no. So I think bugs ended up bursting out of his body killing him.

I can be very lenient in saving players, but I can't protect you from yourselves guys and gals.

Eldan
2013-03-04, 02:41 PM
Huh. Why did you wait five hours for some douchebag who just walked off in the middle of the game? I would have left after maybe twenty minutes.

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-07, 03:38 PM
Yeah. That was kind of weird. He assured me that he had a reason for that not being the Warhorse Rescue Quest (TM), but I never got to find out what it was.

Did you ever try contacting the other players?


Nearly three pages in and no mention of that Lanky Bugger? (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23784)

For shame! :smalltongue:

Well, I was assuming this thread would get personal stories of woe, but no thread of this kind is complete without Lanky.


Last session two players didn't show up to the game, so the rest of us delegated their characters to simple, out-of-the-way jobs that would be easy paperwork for the GM. We figered this would mean the GM can concentrate on those of us who did show up and the others can catch up when they return next session.

During the adventure the GM killed off the two absent characters and the rest of us had no way to even collect their bodies or the items they had which were kinda useful to the plot at hand! :smalleek:

Not sure how the players will take it when they come back next week, but that's pretty "forsaken" in my book.

That's just...I don't even...

Under what mind set is that proper DM/GM behavior towards absentee players?


Not just once, but twice (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93633) more (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=95189).

I've read the one where he got stabbed, but I now am unsure if I've actually read the other two stories concerning him....

Fighter1000
2013-03-08, 12:39 AM
My friend is a HORRIBLE DM. He's always switching campaigns and systems on us. He would say, "I'm gonna start this campaign using this system and this plot and bla bla bla" and then a few days later pull the rug out from beneath us and make us do a different one. It got so bad that the gaming group reached a unanimous decision, disallowing him from using any other system besides Pathfinder.

There was one campaign that he ran. It was really bad. I wasn't there for it, but my friends told me stories. He got bored with the campaign before the first session was even over and caused an avalance on the party. The party somehow survived that so he made snow sharks pop out and eat the party. I created a character for that campaign too, but never got to play her.

The campaign he is currently running is totally weird and screwed up. In the first session, we started out in Golarion, but because of some random portal we ended up in the Disgaea world. I'm like, what the heck? Cuz I don't know anything about Disgaea. And our chaotic evil human barbarian chick becomes queen over an entire realm without so much as a single battle happening. The most recent session, I was playing a gnome monk and it was annoying him because I kept running away from every single battle. There was no plot. Just one random battle thrown at us after another. And then he metagames, making the ice drake attack me only. I should have run away from that fight too. ****.

Minitroll
2013-03-08, 02:10 AM
Spoiled for length.
So, me and my friends were in 4th grade- mere fools who still barely understood anything. So, for my birthday, I asked my dad to run me and my five best friends in an adventure. So he had an adventure and we all made characters- a half-dragon sorceror (Drak), a halfling sorceror(Twinkletoes-me), a troll barbarian (Flame), a drow Theif assassian (Gib), a albino lizardfolk cleric (Huin- he wasn't a vampire, for the count), and a human paladin (Yioia).
So, we went into this dungeon to unplug this dam for some brownies. Of course, being fourth graders, our opinion was MONSTER! KILL! So when Twinkletoes and Gib found a group of 4 wererats, we prepared a method of attack. Drak flew Flame to a hidden crany where he could leap onto the battle as Gib and Twinkletoes could cast spells with Huin, and Yioia would leap into battle after Flame did. After the battle had begun, Gib woudl wait and pop out with some backstabs. Considering our age, this was a good plan. However, we didn't realize that my dad was giving us a bunch of hints that the wererat seemed to run a democracy like group and didn't seem evil. So, we leaped out and attacked. We quickly dispatched two of the wererats in our surprise round, and were very proud of ourselves. The boss wererat had a low inititive, so the first round began. We first focused on the small wererat- a max damage burning hands combined with Yioia's sword killed him quickly, so we turned to the main wererat. Twinkletoes' magic missle got blocked by spell resistance (we later learned was a magic item), Gib leaped and couldn't hit the beast flat-flooted, Huin tried some and even Flame with an overpowered hit didn't hit the rat. When the rat went, all we heard was time stop. When it ended, the rat had a protection from fire up and unleashed a few fireballs centered on himself, killing Flame, Gib, and Yioia. Drak, Twinkle and Huin quickly realized that the best idea is often the simplest- running away from the, as dad then revealed, level 18 npc wererat sorcerer that we needed to speak with and get his help to magically seal the dam. So, we ran and the wererat used a teleport to find us. Drak tried to fly away and Huin and Twinkle ran to the ladder up to the above floor rather then navigating through holes in the ceiling. Twinkle made it to the ladder first with an expeditious retreat, which the wererat cast likewise, sprinting to Huin and killing him with a melee attack that ended the albino lizardfolk. Then, he turned to the soon escaping Drak, as Twinkle got lucky and the wererat bombed his spot check. The wererat used a telekinesis to hit Drak with a rock, knocking him out and flinging him to the side. Luckily, I got out, possibly because it was my birthday. I then, for every gaming session for a while, used Twinkle as my character until he reached level 15 and got a group of mercenairies together with a large group of high level clerics to find his level one friends and bring them back. However, the wererat had turned them all into slaves and used guerilla tactics and killed all of us, finally, after 4 years of gaming, causing a finished TPK from years ago and killing the entire new group.


Happy birthday.

Lord Torath
2013-03-08, 10:35 AM
Yeah. That was kind of weird. He assured me that he had a reason for that not being the Warhorse Rescue Quest (TM), but I never got to find out what it was.Did you ever try contacting the other players? I still have one of the other's contact info on Skype, and I've sent him a couple of messages with no reply.

It's a real shame, because I was having a good time. You know, apart from wandering aimlessly in the forest.

Agincourt
2013-03-10, 01:01 PM
My friend is a HORRIBLE DM. He's always switching campaigns and systems on us. He would say, "I'm gonna start this campaign using this system and this plot and bla bla bla" and then a few days later pull the rug out from beneath us and make us do a different one. It got so bad that the gaming group reached a unanimous decision, disallowing him from using any other system besides Pathfinder.

There was one campaign that he ran. It was really bad. I wasn't there for it, but my friends told me stories. He got bored with the campaign before the first session was even over and caused an avalance on the party. The party somehow survived that so he made snow sharks pop out and eat the party. I created a character for that campaign too, but never got to play her.

The campaign he is currently running is totally weird and screwed up. In the first session, we started out in Golarion, but because of some random portal we ended up in the Disgaea world. I'm like, what the heck? Cuz I don't know anything about Disgaea. And our chaotic evil human barbarian chick becomes queen over an entire realm without so much as a single battle happening. The most recent session, I was playing a gnome monk and it was annoying him because I kept running away from every single battle. There was no plot. Just one random battle thrown at us after another. And then he metagames, making the ice drake attack me only. I should have run away from that fight too. ****.

Someone else needs to step up and take over being GM. This is full on Calvinball where the rules change at any moment.

Gamgee
2013-03-12, 08:17 PM
Huh. Why did you wait five hours for some douchebag who just walked off in the middle of the game? I would have left after maybe twenty minutes.

Rough town, I didn't own my own car. So I was stuck waiting for my ride, who was the friend of said GM and putting up with it.

Demidos
2013-03-13, 02:41 AM
Long Unhappy player rant

Wow some of these are pretty horrible dm's. I am glad I have never had anything like some of the worse ones here :smalleek:

The worst dm I had really wasn't out of maliciousness more of incompetence and my poor knowledge of what was "Average" power level.

This was my first time playing D&D ever, I had played neverwinter nights so I knew the rules decently and am very good at game design. I didn't know what the baseline for the group was so I decided to play it low and have fun with a Dread Necromancer at level 8. "Average" in this case was being a spell stiched necropolitian lesser aismir with a corpse crafted level 8 dread necromancer animating me in a desecrated altar with almost all the other bonuses from corpse crafter. Good feat selection and a 24 charisma. Ya apparently the group was more low op than I thought, the other players were a fighter with a spike chain that used whirlwind attack. A glaivelock who overcomplicated his build and basically just fired eldritch blast and flew around. And a cleric who forgot most of his spells.

First encounter was against a bunch of xorns, we manage to win barely and kill all but two of them causing those two to flee. I grin and say that I wish to animate them, the GM asks how many and I say all of them (Dread Necromancers :smalltongue:) At that exact instant half the corpses are dragged into the ground by the two xorns who had "Fled". Before I could cast any spell the remaining corpses were also disposed of. When I asked why the xorns would do that as they weren't intelligent he said, "Just because". Okay slightly annoying, we go on for a bit and eventually heading into a swamp area with a bunch of kobolds and signs of a dragon. The GM describes the kobolds as all having slings and just slings and there being about a hundred of them. I tell the party to sneak around and try to find the dragon's lair/info about it and I can tank the kobolds as non of them can deal damage against my damage reduction 4/magic. The instant I mention that he changes his mind and they all have special slings that deal 1 damage regardless of damage reduction. I sigh and we fight the kobolds forcing them to retreat. At that point the dragon reveals itself, I proceed to one shot it with shivering touch. The DM surprisingly allows this and lets the dragon die, when I wanted to reanimate it he mentions that it "fell into the swamp" and becomes unreachable. Despite the fact that it fell 20ft from me and into a swamp that wasn't there earlier... The session ends on this note.

After the session, I talk to the DM and state that I think my character was a bit too strong so I would remake a similar character that is much weaker. The DM agrees readily and says that he changed his mind and I could keep the dragon if my next character can animate undead.

Next character is essentially a mounted fighter with a lance and spirited charge. Other feats include weapon focus and similar random feats that I thought were interesting. During this session we enter an arena where fights are to the death, now level 9 my character has to fight a singular mind flayer. I win initiative and charge at it killing it in one attack. The next fight I have to deal with? Two Ghaeles... http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/ghaele.htm.... Caster level 14 clerics... I am level 9... Combat starts, I charge one. I don't kill it, it 5ft steps and prismatic sprays me and I die due to turning to stone. Joy... Session ends shortly afterwords.

Next session I come in with a malconvoker at level 10. We fight a team battle in the arena which was ship combat and I summon a bunch of fiendish whales to help us which the DM was very annoyed about for a reason I am not quite sure. Mostly he was annoyed that I managed to lift a submarine out of the water with them. So while we are resting at an inn we are ambushed by assassins, fairly typical. Whats not typical is that the party apparently went out of its way to leave the fight to me... One of the players was ACTIVELY trying to kill the other players (Calling the city guards on the inn upon the players. I still have no idea what the point of that was) while another wasn't part of the group yet so he stayed out of the fight (Assassins weren't after him) the other character fled as he thought we would lose the fight. Clearly the fight was meant for multiple people and I am struggling to live. I have to choke-point them and summon almost every round to prevent them from just swarming me. At this point the "caster" who has only cast 1st level spells at this point targets me with disintegrate, I roll a 19 on the save I believe something like 29 total or something high. DM says I fail and I take 120 damage killing me in one hit... I tried to use abrupt jaunt to dodge but the DM said that the ability still hit me even though I abrupt jaunted behind a wall... At this point I am kinda annoyed as this will be the fourth character in four sessions...

The story ended well though XD. Mostly he just wasn't a good DM as he didn't know how to make encounters challenging. Afterwords his campaign fell apart (party split into 4 groups that all hated/didn't know each other) so I actually ended up doing a campaign and the group got a long quite well after that. And now that I am still the dm I have plenty of time for payback! (I am joking of course :smalltongue:)


Sounds like an awful DM. In his defense, its a definite improvement over his first campaign --

The party refused to leave the town to visit the (spooky) mines, until, through various chains of events involving flooding and players walking into collasping video game arcades, a giant tunnel made of an indestructible substance fell from the sky, literally channeling them into the caves (the flooding helped ensure they didnt just sit around at one end of the cage and wait for it to vanish (the fact that caves are generally below ground and therefore prone to flooding is an illusion -- please ignore)).

IMPROVEMENT!

Silva Stormrage
2013-03-13, 05:09 PM
Long Unhappy player rant


Sounds like an awful DM. In his defense, its a definite improvement over his first campaign --

The party refused to leave the town to visit the (spooky) mines, until, through various chains of events involving flooding and players walking into collasping video game arcades, a giant tunnel made of an indestructible substance fell from the sky, literally channeling them into the caves (the flooding helped ensure they didnt just sit around at one end of the cage and wait for it to vanish (the fact that caves are generally below ground and therefore prone to flooding is an illusion -- please ignore)).

IMPROVEMENT!

Well I wasn't there for that one so I couldn't tell the story of it :smalltongue:

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-16, 10:35 PM
Sounds like an awful DM. In his defense, its a definite improvement over his first campaign --

The party refused to leave the town to visit the (spooky) mines, until, through various chains of events involving flooding and players walking into collasping video game arcades, a giant tunnel made of an indestructible substance fell from the sky, literally channeling them into the caves (the flooding helped ensure they didnt just sit around at one end of the cage and wait for it to vanish (the fact that caves are generally below ground and therefore prone to flooding is an illusion -- please ignore)).

IMPROVEMENT!

There are still people who think it's proper GM/DM behavior to do stuff like that? :smallconfused:

Steward
2013-03-17, 12:22 AM
That last one is so heavy-handed and overbearing that I'm surprised that he didn't install railroad tracks in the giant indestructible tunnel. Or, hell, once you've abandoned all verisimilitude, why not just use the old classic saw where the PCs are all of a sudden knocked unconscious from behind and wake up in the DM's intended destination, with no idea how they got there.

Fallbot
2013-03-17, 06:01 AM
The DM obviously reacted very badly, but the players apparently "refused" to leave town and go on the adventure he had prepared, and this was the guy's first campaign so likely he wasn't experienced enough to make up an alternative adventure on the spot or convince them to cooperate in a more graceful manner. It sounds like it was a case of jerks all round.

Khaelic
2013-03-17, 07:50 AM
Lurker Tax:
I have two friends (Jay and Bee) who usually take turns DMing and they are both really good for different reasons. We also have four other regulars, including myself, that play on a regular basis. Toward the end of the Jay's campaign, one of the players (Cee) who had never DMed before asked if anyone was planning a campaign. Both Jay and Bee replied that they had nothing else planned. So Cee says he wanted to DM a campaign.

For reference, Cee is notoriously meta-game-y and not a roleplayer in general. He only plays one build of fighter and when asked to talk with NPCs, he can only do basic interactions. (He's tried to talk himself out of situations, only to put himself in hotter water and drag us in with him) He's not a bad guy, he's just more used to CoD or online games with no need for talking.

So for two weeks, we listen to him talk about how he wants to DM a campaign. I had a small amount of hope for the campaign because he genuinely looked like he wanted to learn about more than just character things and made a concerted effort to put thought into his campaign.

Game day: Because of work, school, and whatnot, only three players and Cee show up. So we take about two hours, chatting and designing characters. When we say we're finished, he puts down a stereotypical town map and says: "You're in a town." We ask some questions about where we are in the town, how big it is, things of that nature, as he hadn't supplied any of this information to us. To which he responds after a stunned silence: "I can't do this."

Eldan
2013-03-17, 08:31 AM
Well, it's certainly not incompetent DMing, but at least it's upfront, honest and not dickish. I'd say some other examples in here would have annoyed me a lot more.

Lochar
2013-03-17, 09:34 AM
Playing in a fantasy world created by our DM, we're having a lot of fun and generally following along with the plot that the DM has in store for us.

We started about level 5 or so, made it to 7 and were just starting to get drawn into the overarching plot of world shattering importance. You know the thing.

The plot manages to kill me, I get resurrected by the other players getting me a rez for lots of gold.

I die again shortly thereafter and even if the players sold my gear they wouldn't have had enough to rez me again. I shrug, and ask to roll up another character instead.

My new wizard gets introduced to the party and drug along, but two sessions later the GM gives into 'DMing fatigue' and hands the reigns of the game over to his wife.

We then find ourselves magically teleported into a cave system and we wander through it for a little while, following some obvious humanoid tracks.

We come out of the cave, the wife-DM says 'you see buildings ahead of you, hundreds of feet tall. Strange things fly through the air, and you can see thousands of people walking about in the city nearby.'

Welcome to D20 Modern/Sci-Fi, with our fantasy world characters. We spent the entire session trying to communicate (Language translation spells failed) and then running from an increasing strong police/military force after we were attacked by thugs and we defaulted to SOP for fantasy characters of kill the enemies.

I left the group, and from what I understand so did the rest of the players shortly thereafter as well. Looking back, I can see the original DM had 'prophecy' plans for all of our characters and just rolling new ones threw him out of his comfort zone. But when the local clerics won't rez for anything but money and I didn't want to sit out for two or three sessions while the rest of the group ran around building up a cash reserve just to blow it. We barely scrapped WBL-2 anyways.

Sith_Happens
2013-03-17, 02:40 PM
Here's (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=275152) an epic one in the making.

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-17, 06:34 PM
Here's (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=275152) an epic one in the making.

Just...what...ugh...


For those who don't want to or have the time or what have you, post 13 sums up that thread and why I think it's one of the worse GM horror stories I've read yet:


Okay, I spoke to the GM. At length.

Apparently part of the reason we're being so hemmed-in is because he already wrote the major plot of the adventure, and us in it, as part of the ascension of his literal author avatar to godhood, so while we're free to do anything ("no rails"), the laws of the universe as delineated by his future in-game self prevent us going outside our assigned role and the world changing to thwart us is an artifact of that. :smallconfused:

As in, there's a character that is literally him in-game through some many-worlds shenanigans who's been going around to all of his favorite fictional universes and "fixing" them, and we're playing in one of the universes he's yet to "fix", and so we need to see how badly off we are before the god that is literally the GM in-universe fixes all our problems for us. Said deity is apparently literally invincible, as well, because he can read his OoC self's mind and knows what we're going to do before we do. Sort of. And apparently he can retroactively switch places with a clone of himself in case we manage to get around all of the above.

At least that's everything I understood. I don't really know even what to call this other than "not at all how I'm used to playing RPGs".

Gamgee
2013-03-18, 12:16 AM
I don't get how GM's can get DMPC's wrong. I treat them like people from a Bioware game. Ie they have their own backstory for why they are doing this. Their own faults and if they screw up they screw up and will die like a player. They are also not infallible and will not metagame because I want to play them as an interesting character.

Even then I know the DMPC's place when the party wants one for whatever reason. Be it they want an extra man on the field, or to fill a gap in party balance, or hell in rare occasions because they like the character itself.

Tsriel
2013-03-18, 05:24 PM
I got one, happened recently too. I'm kinda glad to get this off my chest as I really didn't have anybody I could vent to within the group since I was the newbie.

I was in a low-powered D&D 3.5 campaign playing bi-weekly via Maptool. In the group to start was a Cavalier, Warlock, an NPC cleric, and myself as a Factotum. We soon added a bard and a rogue shortly starting. There were a few things that was made clear. We didn't "need" nor were we allowed to pick any heavy spellcasting class. Our NPC cleric was vital to the story (aka, leash to lead us wherever he wanted). We were only allowed 20 points to apply to attributes, meaning we were only a little better than your average peasant. Not a dealbreaker, it just meant it would be a challenging game. Next, the DM stated that we would be taking penalties to attacks, saves, and skill checks as damage accumulated to half and one-quarter of your life. I cringed over this, but thought it wouldn't be so bad since we basically had Healbot 9000 being escorted by us.

The first few sessions actually went fairly well. The story progressed to where we discovered that our undercover route we were assigned to had been compromised and our decoy that we were escorting turned out to be the "blessed one" that needed to be rushed to safety under the king's protection. Our group, now suddenly feeling quite vunerable, immediately made alternate plans to get off the planned route and proceed in secretcy. Conveniently enough, we were attacked by frost gnolls in sporatic waves and were continually attacked even while in town, just wearing down the group and draining our resources to exhaustion. Suddenly, our NPC healbot was out of healing power (which never seemed to suggest that it could prior to this) as we finished off the last wave. By this point, all of us had taken heavy damage with -4 penalty to attacks, saves, skill checks, ect (one of us only had -2, it wasn't me). Then, an armored, mounted platoon consisting of one commander, 9 soldiers, and one wizard came in and proclaimed that they were sent to escort our cleric for the rest of the trip. In character, I recognized right away their intentions thanks to some good knowledge and sense motive rolls.

Being the brains of the outfit, I knew right away we were in no position to fight. I did the only thing I could do. I created this elaborate story about how our cleric was my little sister and that it was my personal responsibility to see her through her quest. We said our "goodbyes", which was an elaborate plan to sneak into their camp at night, take our cleric back, and ride off with their horses. I would be the mole and leave a trail for the party to follow.

Things started out well enough before the captain ordered his men to tie me up and throw me in a ditch. I broke free in less than a minute and followed the mass of hoofprints back to their camp, tearing off pieces of my cloak for the group to follow as I went. I made it to their camp roughly around midnight. Meanwhile, the rest of the group had no way to heal and got sidetracked by some friendly goblin just outside of town who provided a safe place to rest. (Each group learned in their own way that a death squad from the kidnapping party was coming to finish us off.) My character literally watched a majority of their force ride out and away from the camp back to town, armed to the teeth. Not knowing where my party was nor if they found my trail, I waited until about 3am in-game. I decided then that I couldn't wait any longer and proceeded to sneak into the camp. By process of deduction, I figured out where our cleric was and successfully snuck inside. She was there, along with a wide awake commander (lvl 7 fighter) and his mage cohort (lvl 5 wizard). I being only level 3.

I immediately had a problem with this. It had been explained by that very same commander earlier in the day that they had been riding hard with little rest for a couple days. I've been in the military, and have done things under orders where I had to stay awake for extended periods. I can say with experience that nobody is ever "battle ready" after having to push yourself that hard. Anyway, I knew right away that this was a fight that I couldn't win, so I grabbed our cleric and was pulling her along, barely dodging the mage's Shocking Grasps as the commander sounded the alarm. Suddenly there's 10 other guys (who knows where they came from, since most of the horses were gone) popping out what I was certain to be vacant tents. I was quickly surrounded, captured, and had a hand cut off.

I'm not completely sure what happened next. I showed up for the next session but fell asleep out of sheer boredom of having nothing to do. Apparently the group finally made it to the camp with now the cleric and myself captured. I fight must've ensued and it went very badly, as I expected it would. My character was summerially killed without my knowing except for a group email later recieved from the DM recanting some of the evenings events, but I was still dead. By now, I'm rather pissed about a few things like "How come you can have mages but we can't?", "Why were there so many troops still in camp even after I watched most of them leave?", and of course "Why am I still dead even after it was very clear that there was zero chance of rescuing our cleric?"

By now, I was feeling rather useless at this point anyway with having both a bard and rogue in the party. I was the only skill monkey, suddenly there were three. We were sorely lacking in diversity. I'm fairly certain after that fiasco that we really needed something that could do crowd control, or heal, or possibly both and had explained very valid reasons why we needed this. So I made two characters, one a cleric that focused on melee, the other a druid that focused mainly on buffs and heals. Both of their spell capabilities were toned down using the guidelines from Unearthed Arcana. I got a long, elaborate email from the DM a couple days later basically stating "no" to both ideas and that if I wanted to play this kind of character, then I had to play his "dull as dishwater" personality cleric. In response, I promptly deleted any sembelence that I was apart of that game from the DMs forum and never bothered to respond to his e-mail.

That probably wasn't the most mature of responses that I've done as of late, but honestly I really didn't feel like it was worth my time to try and continue. Over the course of the game, I learned that the DM thought wizards and clerics were the most OP things in all of D&D and hated them, hence why we couldn't have any. Now I'm patient and tolerant with lots of people, but to me, it's a huge red flag if you think that a basic cleric or wizard is OP. The pantheon knows I've certainly played host to worse.

Pink
2013-03-18, 06:07 PM
snip

I feel bad but I gotta play devil's advocate on this one because I only see a couple things that seem like bad GMing and the rest of it seems more like play style clash.

First, the GM laid out his house rules by openly to start with. If you felt you weren't going to have fun under those rules, you should've felt free to walk away right there.

Second. You assaulted a strong force by yourself. You should realize that chances of you succeeding at this were slim to begin with. While certainly on the stronger end of challenges, a Lvl 7 fighter and Lvl 5 wizard is certainly not the most unreasonable of challenges to present a group of Lvl 3. However I don't necessarily believe that it was required to challenge them immediately. The group could've tailed the force and regained their strength and used guerrilla tactics to lower the enemy force until the challenge was more tipped in the PCs scales. Also, regarding their stamina, potions of lesser restoration are great at getting rid of fatigue if I recall correctly.

Point for you: the enemies appearing out of nowhere does smack of railroading. Difficult to say if the death force wasn't an elaborate ruse to set up a rescue attempt and have the force double back unseen to rejoin the camp.

Third, you fell asleep for the second session and are very vague about the whole thing, which makes it hard to see you as a victim. While I have no problem with a player letting me know if they don't feel like playing on game night or wondering what they can do if their character is incapacitated, I would feel fairly insulted if a player just up and went to sleep in the middle of a session with no warning. As for your character dying, giving the lack of information of the circumstances it's impossible to tell how fair the GM was or not. Was he asking a person who was asleep at the keyboard to make fort saves for disease or infection and when nobody responded he had someone else make them, and the results resulted in a death? Was it a logical response to the party attack (more consequences for attacking a camp solo)? Did he actually try to give you opportunity for escape from the inside the camp and you were just asleep and non responsive? We'll never know.

Point for you: as a GM, if a character was going to be largely incapacitated during a session, I'd talk with them beforehand to figure out what they'd be doing, whether they have a temporary NPC to control for the sessions or something.

Fourth, I don't think you can necessarily fault the GM for other players rolling up similar characters, and in fairness I think that the three classes play differently enough that, assuming your factotum had been alive, you'd function great as a group. And again, the GM laid out the house rules of no full casters at the beginning, you can hardly fault him for sticking to his own rules. In fact it sounds like he was perhaps even accommodating in his offer to let you play the basic cleric.

I won't say that he was a good GM or anything. He certainly sounds like he had some flaws. But you don't sound like the best example of a player either. Mainly thought, it seems like a play style difference. This GM seems to run gritty difficult games, lower PC power, and you perhaps are more used to a regular DnD high fantasy game. But he seemed to be up front with the type of game he was running from the beginning, so I don't think he really belongs in this thread.

Sith_Happens
2013-03-18, 06:29 PM
Now I'm patient and tolerant with lots of people, but to me, it's a huge red flag if you think that a basic cleric or wizard is OP.

In that case you should put up a "red flag" on most of the Internet, because you'd be hard-pressed to get many people to disagree with your DM on this particular point.

Where most of us can disagree with your DM is on thinking that it's okay to "ban" something for balance reasons and then promptly use it against the players to whom it's been denied.

Tsriel
2013-03-18, 06:41 PM
Snerk... Your title is "Troll in the Playground". OK, joke over.


First, the GM laid out his house rules by openly to start with. If you felt you weren't going to have fun under those rules, you should've felt free to walk away right there.

Clearly...


Second. You assaulted a strong force by yourself. You should realize that chances of you succeeding at this were slim to begin with. While certainly on the stronger end of challenges, a Lvl 7 fighter and Lvl 5 wizard is certainly not the most unreasonable of challenges to present a group of Lvl 3. However I don't necessarily believe that it was required to challenge them immediately. The group could've tailed the force and regained their strength and used guerrilla tactics to lower the enemy force until the challenge was more tipped in the PCs scales. Also, regarding their stamina, potions of lesser restoration are great at getting rid of fatigue if I recall correctly.

None of this was an option. Without a ranger, we would've lost their trail by sunrise.


Third, you fell asleep for the second session and are very vague about the whole thing, which makes it hard to see you as a victim. While I have no problem with a player letting me know if they don't feel like playing on game night or wondering what they can do if their character is incapacitated, I would feel fairly insulted if a player just up and went to sleep in the middle of a session with no warning. As for your character dying, giving the lack of information of the circumstances it's impossible to tell how fair the GM was or not. Was he asking a person who was asleep at the keyboard to make fort saves for disease or infection and when nobody responded he had someone else make them, and the results resulted in a death? Was it a logical response to the party attack (more consequences for attacking a camp solo)? Did he actually try to give you opportunity for escape from the inside the camp and you were just asleep and non responsive? We'll never know.

That's the million gold dillema. I certainly had no idea what was going to happen prior to the session as there wasn't any communication between sessions. I didn't find out about the hand thing until the day of. I'm guessing the DM didn't want me to break free like I had before so easily. Inspiration points will do that.


Fourth, I don't think you can necessarily fault the GM for other players rolling up similar characters, and in fairness I think that the three classes play differently enough that, assuming your factotum had been alive, you'd function great as a group. And again, the GM laid out the house rules of no full casters at the beginning, you can hardly fault him for sticking to his own rules. In fact it sounds like he was perhaps even accommodating in his offer to let you play the basic cleric.

Missing the point. When you're already going out of your way to make a base cleric or druid weaker than intended, I would think that you're certainly trying to make a suitable compromise. Let me put it this way, would *you* play something that you would hate playing? Or have zero attachment to?


I won't say that he was a good GM or anything. He certainly sounds like he had some flaws. But you don't sound like the best example of a player either. Mainly thought, it seems like a play style difference. This GM seems to run gritty difficult games, lower PC power, and you perhaps are more used to a regular DnD high fantasy game. But he seemed to be up front with the type of game he was running from the beginning, so I don't think he really belongs in this thread.

To each their own opinion. I simply came to share a story. Not seek approval for how things went down. :smalltongue: That being said, I do agree that he wasn't a DM for me. It happens. Life goes on.

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-21, 10:05 AM
None of this was an option. Without a ranger, we would've lost their trail by sunrise.

Did the DM flat out say this though? Generally a Ranger is just being used as a DM's tool to put his party back on the rails, but that can be done without one.




That's the million gold dillema. I certainly had no idea what was going to happen prior to the session as there wasn't any communication between sessions. I didn't find out about the hand thing until the day of. I'm guessing the DM didn't want me to break free like I had before so easily. Inspiration points will do that.


While I don't condone sleeping instead of participating, I do have to side with you on this point in that the DM shouldn't have just had the plot go rolling on without talking to you or anyone unless there were extenuating circumstances.




Missing the point. When you're already going out of your way to make a base cleric or druid weaker than intended, I would think that you're certainly trying to make a suitable compromise.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here.


Let me put it this way, would *you* play something that you would hate playing? Or have zero attachment to?

Do you need a Tier 1 to be unrestrained to be something you wouldn't hate and something you'd have attachment to? Or am I missing what you're trying to convey?

Sith_Happens
2013-03-21, 01:24 PM
Did the DM flat out say this though? Generally a Ranger is just being used as a DM's tool to put his party back on the rails, but that can be done without one.

From what I gather, the rails were leading away from rescuing the cleric.

DiscipleofBob
2013-03-21, 02:18 PM
I have had these two friends, let's call them Scarecrow and Specs.

Scarecrow and Specs were best friends. I played in two very long campaigns with them, both 3rd edition and set in the same heavily homebrewed world.

Props where it's due, they both had some really cool ideas conceptually and put in enough work to keep a constant soundtrack going. But there were significant problems with their campaign styles.

Both were heavily influenced by Suikoden. What this means is that we had 6 "slots" in the party. We started with a group of 4 or 5 PC's. By the end of the campaign, most of the other people would drop out and the rest of the slots would be filled with recruitable DMPC's with completely broken homebrewed abilities, and we were basically reliant on them to get anything done. Both times I joined late in the campaign. The first campaign (run by Scarecrow) I rolled a Beguiler and, with some prestige class tweaking and the Spell Compendium, I did all right, especially considering that somehow after the illusionist joins the game, everything we fight is either undead, a plant, a construct, or otherwise has too high a will save for it to matter. In the second campaign (run by Specs) there was a full party with all the roles covered, even a Druid and a Swordsage. Since there were a lot of army battles with homebrewed rules, I decided to make a Marshall. Only when I actually joined the second campaign, most of the group had gotten fed up and left, leaving me (the Marshall), a Gnome Bard, and Scarecrow's character. Which leads me to the second problem.

Scarecrow and Specs played enormous favoritism with each other. In Scarecrow's campaign, I never got to see exactly what Specs played. I think it was a Duskblade/Paladin with a bunch of homebrewed abilities. He also got what, for the longest time, was the only magic item in the game: an epic sword with bonuses against everything we fought and the ability to teleport the party anywhere at will. It was much worse in Specs' campaign, where he let Scarecrow play a GESTALT Monk/Cloistered Cleric with further homebrewed abilities that were fresh out of Dragonball Z. He also got the sword let us teleport everywhere (somehow). Then both complained when I started taking levels in Warblade (they wouldn't let me redo the character) saying Tome of Battle was broken. I agree, but nothing compared to what they were doing. We fought ridiculous boss monsters that should have been epic but basically required rolling MULTIPLE CONSECUTIVE 20's to do any damage. I had to rely on manuevers which could bypass the DR and other stuff. But Scarecrow and Specs didn't have this kind of trouble.

Specs outright cheated, and everyone could tell the way he hid his dice. We didn't say anything though, because at the time he was a player and we had to do something in order to beat whatever ridiculous thing the DM threw at us. Scarecrow on the other hand didn't cheat. We watched his dice carefully each time. Whenever he was DMing, he'd roll almost exclusively 20's. Whenever he was playing an actual character, he'd get a natural 1 every other roll. This was the same pair of dice and we watched him roll every single time. The trick to surviving was when Scarecrow was DMing to let the DMPC's do the dirty work since he'd roll several 20's in a row for each attack, and when Scarecrow was playing, let him use all those roll-less homebrewed abilities.

In the second campaign, we couldn't even find any magic items (except for the sword) until at least 16th level. Not even a +1 sword for my completely useless Marshall/Warblade.

almightycoma
2013-03-21, 10:28 PM
wow. saying ToB is broken when your gestalt that's ballsy. (neat avatar what is it exactly? looks like spiderman with a cape.

Reading these stories has made me want to post another of mine. i like to call this one, the infinite hallway of increasingly difficult traps.
this is with the same group as before, but a couple of campaigns later.
the group this time around was a ranger, a rogue,a fighter,an NPC healer(not the same one as before) , and me a gnome wizard (a master specialist elemental savant). this was my first spell caster ever so he mostly blew stuff up and had other random spells i thought were cool.

We just arrived at a ruined temple/castle of an ancient vampire king (he's long dead/destroyed thankfully) looking for one of the 4 maguffins to destroy the BBEG. We slay some left over undead mooks and creepy-crawlies that have taken over the entrance into the front half of the structure. All is going well so far we aren't exploring the place though we are just following the main path to the throne room. (it's where DM usually puts stuff or the deepest pit in the deepest dungeon.)
We get to the grand entrance hall ,and here is where things start to go sideways. The rogue searches for traps cause its what they do, lo and behold he finds some, he disables them no problem. We go another 5ft more traps, again rogue disables them. The process repeats 15 times.the DC's steadily increase over the next hour real time about a day in game. We rest up and go at it again, so i figure ill switch to my non-blasting spell list you never know what might help and a have a couple decent non damage spells. The rogue get back at it and gets to the point where he's taking 20's while that works for another 5 checks.
keep in mind we've made it like 200ft down this entrance and still cant see the other side. This i where I pitch in with an idea. ill use tenser's floating disk and take the rogue across. (if we aren't on the ground we cant set off the traps. that's my reasoning any way) He sits on it crossed legged and I being size small sit in his lap. That works for about 100ft then we spring a trap.
I ask" What we hit we aren't touching the ground"
DM replies "You hit a light beam leaking through the cracks and sit it off."
(fine whatever) We survive so a throw up a wall of iron to block where the trap came out and keep going. We make it another 50ft when we spring another trap.
I ask "Did we hit another light beam?(slight irritation in my voice)"
DM "Nope you feel your cloak catch on a fish hook dangling from a line on the ceiling."
me "Wait no spot check?" DM "Nope." me :smallmad:
The rogue and I both fail this time and are knocked to the single digits, so we head back to the healer, then rest up so i can refresh/change my spells.
The next day in game I tell the DM "I cast teleport to get myself and the rogue where we stopped to turn back."
DM reply "You cast the spell it fails you don't go anywhere."
me :smallconfused: "Why? (rolls spell craft and knowledge arcana both totals in the high 30"s)"
DM " You have no idea."
We trek down it the long way. I'm pretty fed up with this now almost all my spell slots are walls of some kind. We make it down the hall an additional length of a football field when i run out of walls. Ive been refreshing the disk so we are still of the ground. then i cast resilient sphere around us anchored on the disk, and keep going down the hall. traps are bouncing harmlessly off the sphere until the duration expires. and we still can't see the end of the ****ing hall!
I tell the rogue's player "I'm done and am turning around he can push on without me or i can give him a ride back".
He chooses to come back with me and as we head back not a single trap goes off. I tell the others in and out of character this way isn't an option and we have to find another path. They all agree so we explore the some other rooms get a little loot and the session ends. As we are cleaning up to go home i ask the DM "what was up with that hallway that was bull crap?"
DM "I know, I was wondering when you'd get the hint. i wanted you guys to explore the place and look around.I spent a lot of time making this place and there is a lot of stuff in there i want you all to see."
Me .......:smallfurious:

Sith_Happens
2013-03-21, 10:41 PM
Obviously you didn't have enough Power Stars.

Feddlefew
2013-03-21, 10:46 PM
A never ending hallway of traps could be awesome if done correctly. Especially if they became increasingly more absurd as you went along.

Gravitron5000
2013-03-22, 09:32 AM
A never ending hallway of traps could be awesome if done correctly. Especially if they became increasingly more absurd as you went along.

You seem to have discovered a portal to the elemental plane of traps. Either that or you have a Kobold infestation.:smallsmile:

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-27, 01:09 PM
-Snip-

Overly attached to the mysticism of Shonen and playing DM favorites is never a recipe for a fun game for everyone. Add in cheating and eh....


wow. saying ToB is broken when your gestalt that's ballsy. (neat avatar what is it exactly? looks like spiderman with a cape.

Now now, we're all friends here. Even if I don't agree with his opinion either (unless one is arguing that it's broken compared to mundane melee...which it is when it comes to certain aspects. Or if we're talking about Arcane Swordsages).


-Snip-

Yeah, that was really ham-handed. If you don't want the players exploring a certain area, do it with more finesse. I would have just had that passage way's ceiling collapse for example.

Peanut Gallery
2013-03-28, 01:12 AM
Our first game was lvl 0 commoner scrubs in a back water village. A waitress, a hobo, a pickpocket and an aprentice blacksmith. We hung out in town did daily mundane stuff but the role-playing was fun. We played 2 days straight.

Our second game (a month later) had two paladins show up out of nowhere and tell us Ravenloft wanted our souls and they dragged us out of there kicking and screaming (the hobo screaming that they were being kidnapped by slavers and the blacksmith screaming "But who will take care of my dad?")

And then he had the balls to complain afterwards that we "weren't playing in character".

And you know, it could have been fun. If every time we tried to invite a vampire in (he asked politely) or tried to give medical aid to a zombie (he was still walking so he obviously wasn't "dead") a big ol' deus ex paladin showed up to rail road us to a new plot point.

Zaggab
2013-03-28, 09:51 AM
One gamemaster I've had was pretty uneven in quality. He could run great games, but there are some really frustrating episodes I could tell you.

First, no campaign this GM ever started that I was in it lasted over 4 sessions. He tended to blame the players because they didn't seem interested enough (even though we could ask him about it a couple of times a week until we forgot about it a month later).

First example:

In one game of Mutant: Undergångens arvtagare (~Mutant: the inheritors of apocalypse, think Fallout with psykers and anthromorphic mutated animals), we had discussed before the game what it would be about. Basically, the point was that we were a group of childhood friends that decided to become zonehunters (people that venture into the dangerous wilderness) to find treasure.

Well, we never reached the wilderness. We were 4-5 players (don't remember exactly), one who was a psy-mutant. I was a mutated crow that could breath fire (or was it laser vision? Can't remember). One player was a mutated rat wielding two sharpened shoehorns as swords. I forgot the rest. Anyway, the GM told us that psy-mutants were generally disliked, on the level that most people would avoid them if they knew what they were. Fair enough.

First quest was to get supplies. For some reason I don't remember we had to break into a place. The rat goes up on the roof, I circle in the air keeping watch. There's a hatch on the roof. While picking the look, a stealth check is failed that alerts the owner, who opens the hatch from the inside. The rat tries to hide behind the hatch - but wait, there's a window in the hatch that GM didn't tell us about, so he's spotted. Rat was not allowed to adjust his actions when he found out about the window, he's just spotted.

Things escalate. Psy-mutant uses a minor psychic power and get noticed. A mob forms and instantly surrounds him (in the middle of night) that is impossible to escape, and starts beating him up. Apparently, shunning includes mobbing someone to death. This is the town that we've all lived in our entire lives. We fear for our comrades life, and tries to rescue him. Violence ensues. One player gets killed, psy-mutant is unconscious. A few town people dies. Then we end the session.

GMs comment after the game? We should have fled and left our childhood friend to get beaten to death, so it was out fault everything ended in violence and everything went wrong. It was absolutely not GMs fault.

Second example:

This time the game was Drakar och Demoner (Dragons and Demons, Swedish DnD/Basic RPG clone). Campaign lasted 1 session. We were tasked with delivering something. To do that, we needed to get to a river. To get there, we needed to go through a forest. My character was a guide, and my reason to join the group was to get them through the forest.

We enter the forest. I spot some markins caused by happyas (harpy-like monster), marking it as a territory boundry. I know absolutely nothing about this setting, so I roll nature lore, succeed, and ask the GM what I should recommend. He mostly just shrugs and says that this marking means that there's happyas ahead. I ask if they are aggressive or dangerous. He just shrugs.

I tell this to the rest of party (ie, nothing substantial). We decide to press on, through the happya territory. Soon, we are attacked by the entire happya clan. We kill them all, but all of us are critically wounded. The fight takes the whole session.

Ends with the GM calling us stupid for entering the territory that we didn't know was dangerous but should have known, and blames us for forcing him into a fight that he didn't want. Yep, we forced the GM into a fight he didn't want by getting ambushed by a whole clan of monsters that we didn't know were aggressive due to us walking across their territory.

As I said, this GM was generally good, but has still made the worst GMing efforts I have ever been part of. There are few more I could mention, but I won't. They generally include derailing the entire plot, ("against his will") due to us acting on incomplete information, like missing windows, not knowing about monsters, not noticing stairs being so rusty they are about to fall of the building and so on.

Agincourt
2013-03-28, 11:38 AM
Our second game (a month later) had two paladins show up out of nowhere and tell us Ravenloft wanted our souls and they dragged us out of there kicking and screaming (the hobo screaming that they were being kidnapped by slavers and the blacksmith screaming "But who will take care of my dad?")



I am completely mystified as to why paladins wanted you in Ravenloft, especially considering who the PCs were.

Fighter1000
2013-03-28, 11:47 AM
Wow, Zaggab. I feel sorry for you. Not even I have had to endure such terrible GMing mistakes.

eggabubu8e
2013-03-29, 06:16 PM
I have a story somewhat like almightycoma's. A quick plot taste is that my group died and I was the lone servivor. All of them were trapped in the 9th layer of hell for there for there "missdeeds" and I had to save them. At the time I was playing my lv. 27 Demigod-warlock-lich-storm Titan- Githyanki-red dragon rider. (Wow quite the title now that I think about it, started at level 1 to) My goal was to break into hell fight my way to the bottom and GTFO. I decided my best bet was to enter through the foretress of Bane in the Astral sea by teaming up with Gruumish. I took a legion of Phanes and teleported into the foretress. All hell broke loose. It took 5 hours alone just to get through he first 4 rooms, each round the DM rolling a dice. I asked him what it was and he just said you'll see. 12 sessions of battling later I had managed to sac Phanes, Teleport, and sneak my way into the lowest layer. Then for the first time in all 12 sessions my DM stopped rolling. I was really freaking out because I knew something horrible was a about to happen. I naturally took a Spot check for monsters and my party, then turned on my in invisibility. After I while I found my party. Guarded by Orcus. Now for those of you who don't know Orcus is a level 33 undead prince who kills gods in his off time, he has 1,525 hit points and can heal himself. My party was slowly being turned into dread wraiths and I didn't have much time. I managed to reverse he process on our cleric and started to tank Orcus. Slowly the cleric was able to heal e eryone in the group and we worked together to whittle down Orcus's HP. Right when we had Orcus within 2 rounds worth of attacks from winning, The DM's girlfriend texted him saying she was breaking up with him. He just had a blank look on his face then he came up with a illegal move that arua killed all of us. I was the only servivor because of my phylactery wasn't destroyed.

137ben
2013-03-29, 08:12 PM
Yeah, that was really ham-handed. If you don't want the players exploring a certain area, do it with more finesse. I would have just had that passage way's ceiling collapse for example.

If you don't want them exploring part of a dungeon...why build it in the first place? Just don't build that area of the dungeon if ya don't want people to go into it.

Tanuki Tales
2013-03-29, 08:39 PM
If you don't want them exploring part of a dungeon...why build it in the first place? Just don't build that area of the dungeon if ya don't want people to go into it.

Do you mean "don't include a corridor there at all" or "don't put anything in the corridor in the first place"? Because the first makes sense, but the second doesn't.

And you're not going to chock every inch of a building full of "Worth PC Time" or "Want the party here" stuff. There's always going to be parts of the map that are there for continuity or design aesthetic and what have you. You know, parts that are there but not worth the time for the party to waste investigating (unless that's what you like).

Lord Torath
2013-03-29, 09:24 PM
If you don't want them exploring part of a dungeon...why build it in the first place? Just don't build that area of the dungeon if ya don't want people to go into it.

Heck, have the corridor dead-end. Then, after they've explored the bits you want them to, have them find a lever, or step on a trigger, or push a button, (or see their reflection in a mirror!) and suddenly there's a loud grinding noise from the no-longer-a-dead-end, and when they go back and check, they discover it's no longer a dead end!

Sith_Happens
2013-03-30, 01:44 AM
My DM just made an offhand comment yesterday (while waiting for the DM of a different campaign we both play in) about railroading the party into each drawing a single card from a Deck of Many Things. Words cannot describe how desperately I hope that he was just joking.:smalleek:

Slipperychicken
2013-03-30, 11:47 AM
My DM just made an offhand comment yesterday (while waiting for the DM of a different campaign we both play in) about railroading the party into each drawing a single card from a Deck of Many Things. Words cannot describe how desperately I hope that he was just joking.:smalleek:

Personally, I would ask him if he was kidding. And tell him he had better be kidding, because that's a horrible idea. Either that, or recoup any emotional investment I had in the game or characters therein.

Fighter1000
2013-03-30, 12:08 PM
I have a story somewhat like almightycoma's. A quick plot taste is that my group died and I was the lone servivor. All of them were trapped in the 9th layer of hell for there for there "missdeeds" and I had to save them. At the time I was playing my lv. 27 Demigod-warlock-lich-storm Titan- Githyanki-red dragon rider. (Wow quite the title now that I think about it, started at level 1 to) My goal was to break into hell fight my way to the bottom and GTFO. I decided my best bet was to enter through the foretress of Bane in the Astral sea by teaming up with Gruumish. I took a legion of Phanes and teleported into the foretress. All hell broke loose. It took 5 hours alone just to get through he first 4 rooms, each round the DM rolling a dice. I asked him what it was and he just said you'll see. 12 sessions of battling later I had managed to sac Phanes, Teleport, and sneak my way into the lowest layer. Then for the first time in all 12 sessions my DM stopped rolling. I was really freaking out because I knew something horrible was a about to happen. I naturally took a Spot check for monsters and my party, then turned on my in invisibility. After I while I found my party. Guarded by Orcus. Now for those of you who don't know Orcus is a level 33 undead prince who kills gods in his off time, he has 1,525 hit points and can heal himself. My party was slowly being turned into dread wraiths and I didn't have much time. I managed to reverse he process on our cleric and started to tank Orcus. Slowly the cleric was able to heal e eryone in the group and we worked together to whittle down Orcus's HP. Right when we had Orcus within 2 rounds worth of attacks from winning, The DM's girlfriend texted him saying she was breaking up with him. He just had a blank look on his face then he came up with a illegal move that arua killed all of us. I was the only servivor because of my phylactery wasn't destroyed.

That's quite a story

Eldan
2013-03-30, 12:23 PM
I'm just wondering what Orcus is doing in hell.

The Random NPC
2013-03-30, 12:26 PM
My DM just made an offhand comment yesterday (while waiting for the DM of a different campaign we both play in) about railroading the party into each drawing a single card from a Deck of Many Things. Words cannot describe how desperately I hope that he was just joking.:smalleek:

If he is serious, when the Deck of Many Things shows up, tell him you draw 2000 cards. Insist that he draw every card because, even if you die, the deck will still draw every card for you. You may even get enough "Undo Misfortune" to come out ahead.

AuraTwilight
2013-03-30, 04:49 PM
That wouldn't work. Cards such as Void specifically stipulate that you cease drawing cards, so you'd only shoot yourself in the foot.

Slipperychicken
2013-03-30, 04:52 PM
That wouldn't work. Cards such as Void specifically stipulate that you cease drawing cards, so you'd only shoot yourself in the foot.

If you got everyone to do it in protest, it would certainly end the campaign, giving you the opportunity to elect a new DM.

Sith_Happens
2013-03-30, 05:32 PM
Personally, I would ask him if he was kidding. And tell him he had better be kidding, because that's a horrible idea. Either that, or recoup any emotional investment I had in the game or characters therein.

I assume he is in fact kidding, since the campaign has so far been bereft of the sorts of things that might make it into this or any similar thread. Still, if I'm wrong...

Peanut Gallery
2013-04-01, 01:17 AM
I am completely mystified as to why paladins wanted you in Ravenloft, especially considering who the PCs were.

My apologies for not being more clear. The paladins were there to rescue us from the forces of Ravenloft (by literally fighting the entire battle for us since none of us had combat training.) Afterwards they forcefully dragged our characters out of town for their own protection back to their stronghold where the game ended.

Hyena
2013-04-01, 03:54 PM
So there is this guy.
When he learns what night sticks are used for (24-hour buffs for the unhallowed), the night sticks are erazed from existance. Dragonwrought feat is banned. Natural spell? Forgotten ancient knowledge. Tome of Battle? Does not exist. Wish? Every wisher is teleported to Hell, because he did not mention he does not want to be sent to Hell. Any remotely optimized character literally dies from the falling rock.
All because of thoughts that everything that is not 20 level fighter is imbalanced. I hate this guy.

Tanuki Tales
2013-04-01, 05:02 PM
So there is this guy.
When he learns what night sticks are used for (24-hour buffs for the unhallowed), the night sticks are erazed from existance. Dragonwrought feat are banned. Natural spell? Forgotten ancient knowledge. Tome of Battle? Does not exist. Wish? Every wisher is teleported to Hell, because he did not mention he does not want to be sent to Hell. Any remotely optimized character literally dies from the falling rock.
All because of thoughts that everything that is not 20 level fighter is imbalanced. I hate this guy.

To be fair, only Tome of Battle being banned and every single use of Wish turning out that way are issues in my eyes. It's completely reasonable to ban Night Sticks, Dragonwrought and Natural Spell.

I'm curious about your definition of "remotely optimized" though. You say "that isn't 20 level Fighter", but you're comparing CoDzilla and Wish to that (like I said, ToB being banned is weird).

Hyena
2013-04-01, 05:07 PM
We're talking about a guy, who thinks that monk is powerful because of the class features he has. Have you got a picture of "remotely optimized" character?

Tanuki Tales
2013-04-01, 06:44 PM
We're talking about a guy, who thinks that monk is powerful because of the class features he has. Have you got a picture of "remotely optimized" character?

Erm, you gave like no context and you're still giving only remote context. :smallconfused:

He may think the Fighter and Monk are "powerful", but that doesn't necessarily tell any of us how he GM/DMs.

Again, you only pointed out your gripe being that he bans actually unbalanced things and two weird bans/nerfs. That's not really grounds for it being a DM/GM horror story without further context.

Slipperychicken
2013-04-01, 06:50 PM
So there is this guy.
When he learns what night sticks are used for (24-hour buffs for the unhallowed), the night sticks are erazed from existance. Dragonwrought feat is banned. Natural spell? Forgotten ancient knowledge. Tome of Battle? Does not exist. Wish? Every wisher is teleported to Hell, because he did not mention he does not want to be sent to Hell.

These specific examples are all pretty reasonable, except for the ToB ban. And I would have just straight-up banned Wish (wishers can just carry Scrolls of Plane Shift or prepare it).

Arbane
2013-04-01, 07:17 PM
Wish? Every wisher is teleported to Hell, because he did not mention he does not want to be sent to Hell.

:smallsigh:

Ah, good old fashioned Killer DMing at its "finest".

Obviously, the next wish anyone is insane enough to make has to have fifty pages of "and I do NOT want to...." clauses tacked onto the end.

Sith_Happens
2013-04-01, 07:37 PM
We're talking about a guy, who thinks that monk is powerful because of the class features he has. Have you got a picture of "remotely optimized" character?

Obviously you need to play along and get him to ban monks, then.:smallwink:

DiscipleofBob
2013-04-03, 10:54 AM
wow. saying ToB is broken when your gestalt that's ballsy. (neat avatar what is it exactly? looks like spiderman with a cape.

My very first D&D character. All the other roles were taken so I played a Ninja out of Complete Adventurer. Got a Cloak of Arachnida customized into a chest-slot gi since I couldn't wear armor anyway, and since my cloak-slot was technically still open I had room for a Cloak of the Bat we randomly found.


Now now, we're all friends here. Even if I don't agree with his opinion either (unless one is arguing that it's broken compared to mundane melee...which it is when it comes to certain aspects. Or if we're talking about Arcane Swordsages).

To be fair, I'm personally of the opinion that ToB is broken (not compared to Level 20 Wizards or CoDzilla or stuff), since it was actually viable to survive the game with that class.

Tanuki Tales
2013-04-03, 11:24 AM
To be fair, I'm personally of the opinion that ToB is broken (not compared to Level 20 Wizards or CoDzilla or stuff), since it was actually viable to survive the game with that class.

So wait....ToB is broken because it allows you to competently and effectively play Dungeons and Dragons? o.0

DiscipleofBob
2013-04-03, 11:49 AM
So wait....ToB is broken because it allows you to competently and effectively play Dungeons and Dragons? o.0

At that point, I would not consider what we were playing to be Dungeons and Dragons. Dungeons and Dragons has things like level-appropriate encounters and actual loot. This was something that Tomb of Horrors would look at and go "okay, that's kind of cheap."

Another example. We're fighting one of the BBEG's lieutenants, a vampire necromancer person. We're about to kill him, and the GM asks us if he can have 'dramatic license'. We figure it's the guy's final speech, etcetera so we're fine.

Bad guy teleports away and summons two dracoliches for us to fight. He would not have gotten that opportunity if we were still in combat.

This is not we meant by 'dramatic license'.

Slipperychicken
2013-04-03, 09:53 PM
This is not we meant by 'dramatic license'.

Never let a DM cutscene you.

If he insists on it, consider giving him a "cutscene" of your own, where he loses a player from his chicanery.

atomicpenguin
2013-04-04, 03:13 PM
My story isn't as long or explosive as some of the other ones here, but it does illustrate my belief that if you want to know if someone will be a good GM, see if they are a good player.

So I have an ex-friend that I used to play with occasionally. I don't do this anymore because she plays to win and by that I mean she cheats. She loves roleplaying, but will stop the second doing so will inconvenience her. She's constantly meta-gaming as well (for example, one time we were playing Shadowrun and she walked down a hallway that she should have checked for traps. Sure enough, a gas grenade gets dropped right in front of her, to which she responds that she was holding her breath. After several minutes of arguing about how that was not possible, the GM relents and says that she inevitably has to breath, which she continues to fight until she gets her way).

However, despite seeing some of this in a previous Deadlands campaign I'd played with her, I signed on to play in a Deadlands campaign she was running. Our party makeup is fairly inconsequential, but one of the characters was secretly Harrowed, this games flavor of undead. Harrowed have some telltale signs of being Harrowed, most of which are side effects of being dead (stench, lack of vital signs, etc.), but they are manageable and our Harrowed character (who was aware of his condition) was doing everything to keep from being spotted. However, during our mission, an NPC who turns out to be from the Agency (essentially the men in black for the US government) walks up to him and says "I know what you are". When we asked how she knew he was Harrowed, she said that it was because she was an Agent. I, having been preparing to run my own campaign and knowing that this wasn't the case, pointed out that this wasn't true, to which she responded that the agent "just knew". we argued for a while but eventually we let it go to get on with the game, where she spent the rest of the encounter dragging us by the ear with this Agent.

Mordar
2013-04-05, 03:59 PM
Never let a DM cutscene you.

If he insists on it, consider giving him a "cutscene" of your own, where he loses a player from his chicanery.

I strongly disagree. If, however, you amend your rule to say "Never let a DM you don't trust cutscene you" I'd come along.

I've had the fortune to play in some wonderfully climactic adventures that would have been really diminished had we not willingly trusted the DM and let him monologue/cutscene on occasion. Of course, there were no twin dracoliches involved...

- M

Slipperychicken
2013-04-06, 10:03 AM
I strongly disagree. If, however, you amend your rule to say "Never let a DM you don't trust cutscene you" I'd come along.

I've had the fortune to play in some wonderfully climactic adventures that would have been really diminished had we not willingly trusted the DM and let him monologue/cutscene on occasion. Of course, there were no twin dracoliches involved...

- M

I don't suppose your DM was the type to shout "Cutscene!" at least twice a session to cordon off parts of the game as non-interactable, then.

Vknight
2013-04-06, 01:19 PM
I don't suppose your DM was the type to shout "Cutscene!" at least twice a session to cordon off parts of the game as non-interactable, then.

Note to self start shouting cutscene at players until they stop talking

Tanuki Tales
2013-04-09, 06:50 PM
My story isn't as long or explosive as some of the other ones here, but it does illustrate my belief that if you want to know if someone will be a good GM, see if they are a good player.

Well, that's not necessarily true. Some folks are terrible at one but terrific at the other.

And pardon my question, but how exactly was she cheating in your two examples?

The grenade situation was a little cheap of her to do, but wasn't what I'd call cheating per se. I mean, was the grenade taking her out plot significant at all? If it wasn't, I'd personally let it slide but make a point that she needs to say those kind of things before hand next time.

The Harrowed one, well, she was the GM. She may not have had an actual reason for that bit of apparent railroading, but that doesn't mean she didn't and I know I personally don't enjoy folks correcting the GM in the middle of a game.

I don't know either Shadowrun or Deadlands mechanically to any intimate level, so I apologize if there are exact rules that make what she did flat out cheating.

atomicpenguin
2013-04-14, 12:33 PM
The problem with the grenade thing was one of mechanics and choice. The point of the grenade was to reinforce that not every pathway is safe and a smart player should be cautious and check for traps like this. By saying "I just hold my breath" after springing the trap, she was trying to avoid the consequences of her actions despite her character knowledge not being enough to allow her to do so. I can see what you're saying, though.

As for the Harrowed story, that was another example of using player information instead of character information. The agent character had no way of knowing that the player character was Harrowed, yet she decided that she did anyway with no justification, which not only compromises the story that is being told but hamstrings his character and forces the party as a whole to follow along this path that they perhaps didn't want to follow. I don't have a problem with this kind of railroading per se, but I have a problem with how it was executed. If he had been acting foolish and flaunting the fact that he was Harrowed, then the agent taking notice and controlling our adventures from there on would be justified in story and the result of poor decisions of the player. Without that, though, all she was doing was punishing a player for doing nothing and dragging us through a plot that we didn't have any real reason to play.

Tanuki Tales
2013-04-14, 01:34 PM
As for the Harrowed story, that was another example of using player information instead of character information. The agent character had no way of knowing that the player character was Harrowed, yet she decided that she did anyway with no justification, which not only compromises the story that is being told but hamstrings his character and forces the party as a whole to follow along this path that they perhaps didn't want to follow. I don't have a problem with this kind of railroading per se, but I have a problem with how it was executed. If he had been acting foolish and flaunting the fact that he was Harrowed, then the agent taking notice and controlling our adventures from there on would be justified in story and the result of poor decisions of the player. Without that, though, all she was doing was punishing a player for doing nothing and dragging us through a plot that we didn't have any real reason to play.

I'm not arguing that what she did was right or that she handled it correctly, so let me just clarify that:

Is there a way to determine someone is a Harrowed if they are actively hiding it? A way open to government agents?

Arbane
2013-04-14, 04:47 PM
Is there a way to determine someone is a Harrowed if they are actively hiding it? A way open to government agents?

Well, they're essentially smart zombies. I don't think they bleed when injured, for one thing.

atomicpenguin
2013-04-14, 11:10 PM
I'll try to explain without spoiling much. Those who plan to play Deadlands and don't already know about Harrowed should look away.

In Deadlands, Harrowed are essentially corpses reanimated by demons known as the Manitous. The person still retains full cognitive capacity and their personality; they simply have a passenger who sometimes takes control for a while. As far as how to spot them, Harrowed have a unique wound that will never heal: the wound that caused them to die in the first place. Fortunately, these wounds are typically in places that are covered by normal clothing. Apart from that, the only ways to spot a Harrowed are basic ways to spot a corpse, namely the smell and the fact that the body is cold. But, by not touching anyone and covering the smell with alcohol, it is practically impossible to spot an unwounded Harrowed from a glance. While an agent would be more likely to be aware that Harrowed exist, they are no more likely to spot one than any other person.

Tanuki Tales
2013-04-18, 07:57 AM
How do animals react to them? What's the tech level? Is there magic or anything similar?

atomicpenguin
2013-04-18, 09:01 AM
There's nothing in the books about animals reacting to them. I'm not sure what you mean about tech level. The harrowed are possessed, so technology doesn't enter the equation at all. If you're talking about the setting, Deadlands is the wild west but with cool steampunk technology, including automatic guns, steam tanks, steam-powered helecopters, etc. Magic is all over the place, though it isn't publicly acknowledged or accepted by anyone except the Indians.

Look, I'm really not interested in arguing about this. This is board to post GM horror stories. I had a story about a GM doing something I didn't like and I posted it. If you don't think its legitimate, that's fine. I'm even willing to argue it to a point. But I'm not interested in laying out every aspect of the setting for you to dissect and determine whether there was any way the agent could have spotted the Harrowed character. Whatever reasons you can come up with, the GM didn't use them. I didn't approve. If you did, then you have every right to, but I'm not interested in having a full blown debate about it here.

Lost Demiurge
2013-04-18, 09:26 AM
I'm not arguing that what she did was right or that she handled it correctly, so let me just clarify that:

Is there a way to determine someone is a Harrowed if they are actively hiding it? A way open to government agents?

There might have been, but by the story she hadn't rolled anything for it, done any legwork in game to find it out, or anything.

The PC was metagaming.

It's like playing a superheroes game, going through great lengths to protect your secret identity, then having another player join in who says "My guy knows your secret identity because he's a mentalist! And I'll use this knowledge in-game to get you to do stuff!"

Tanuki Tales
2013-04-18, 09:54 AM
-Snip-

There's no need to get bent out of shape, I was just trying to understand the context of your additions to the thread.




The PC was metagaming.



She was the Game Master in the Harrowed example. Her automatically determining the player was a Harrowed and then having the party dragged around by the Agent on that premise was the submitted GM Horror story.

Lost Demiurge
2013-04-18, 03:29 PM
There's no need to get bent out of shape, I was just trying to understand the context of your additions to the thread.



She was the Game Master in the Harrowed example. Her automatically determining the player was a Harrowed and then having the party dragged around by the Agent on that premise was the submitted GM Horror story.

Ah, I misread that. My bad.

atomicpenguin
2013-04-18, 09:30 PM
There's no need to get bent out of shape, I was just trying to understand the context of your additions to the thread.


Sorry. I missed the comment earlier about not questioning the story and thought you were just derailing the thread. My bad.

Tanuki Tales
2013-05-06, 03:44 PM
Sorry. I missed the comment earlier about not questioning the story and thought you were just derailing the thread. My bad.

Just a simple misunderstanding. No harm, no foul.