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Theomniadept
2014-09-14, 11:22 AM
I only have 2 comments.
1: Not saying the DM knew this, but there really is an AoE melee attack. AFAIK, only the War Hulk has it, but it does exist.
2: You say tropey like it's a bad thing (here I assume tropey means filled with tropes). You do know that it is literally impossible to not have tropes, right? Even avoidance of a trope is itself a trope.

While it's impossible to avoid tropes we're talking these are the worst tropes, the "I'm level 20 and I'm smug to the point of causing physical pain", the "Why should I explain this to you, you're nobody, just adventurers who are attempting to prevent the end of all existence".

I'm not saying that using tropes is bad, I'm saying every NPCs entire personality was 100% summed up by one or two tropes. If I had dialogue recorded from each NPC and I played them all together it would be impossible to tell if said dialogue actually came from different NPCs.

Lemme give you an example; the DN took Undead Leadership and his cohort was this Cleric of some goddess who was a goddess of vengeance and hated broken oaths. That's it. That's all we knew. An entire religion founded around a single concept of 'Don't Break Promises'. That's the kind of literary level we were presented.

EDIT: I edited by post from before. I forgot the tale about the battle with witches who cast Ironflesh, the spell that grants DR 15/- and were capable of taking a 5-ft-step, casting, tumbling, then casting again, hitting the wizard's black tentacles spell with a fireball that dispelled it and caused damage in an area.

Theomniadept
2014-09-14, 06:11 PM
One of these is not like the others. I can see why there were problems, but will read WoT later.

I didn't post their builds because I didn't see it as 100% necessary. If it helps the Dread Necromancer was taking 8 levels and going into Rainbow Servant, but despite trying to explain to everyone else what does and does not synergize the goblin sorcerer who was going into Elemental Savant decided instead to waste a level in Rogue. He said "Elemental Savant just doesn't give much compared to base Sorcerer". At this point he was level 7 and took his 8th level as useless rogue so after being called a rules lawyer (a term only used by failure DMs and players who want to break the rules to not suck) I didn't even argue this one. I just wanted to give everyone a clarification; my build was a tanky intercepting ubermount build. Unique, fun, easy to roleplay, and at best a Tier 3 build, so it's not like I'm powergaming, but the group clearly thought having more than two classes is 100% munchkin.

EDIT: Edited my first post again. Dread Necromancer reminded me of our first visit to town when a normal dinner was priced at 20 gold.

EDIT 2: The Dread Necromancer just reminded me of when the wizard hit the diseased zombie dwarf with a Dispel Magic and it made the dwarf...grow wings and get larger in size. I don't do enough drugs to process this.

MReav
2014-09-14, 07:01 PM
I've had NOTHING but bad DMs. DMs who railroad terrible games with the most bland, tropey NPCs, DMs who think WBL is 100 times too high and needs to be nerfed, DMs who think a build referencing more than 2 books is broken but Wizard and Druid are balanced.

But my worst game ever? No doubt was the one I just left. I warn you this is a LOOOOOONG rant about the worst gaming group I've ever been in. I cast Wall of Text.

Question: Does the Wall of Text spell have Command: Facepalm woven into it? Because if so, I think I failed my save.

A Tad Insane
2014-09-14, 08:57 PM
I've had NOTHING but bad DMs. DMs who railroad terrible games with the most bland, tropey NPCs, DMs who think WBL is 100 times too high and needs to be nerfed, DMs who think a build referencing more than 2 books is broken but Wizard and Druid are balanced.

But my worst game ever? No doubt was the one I just left. I warn you this is a LOOOOOONG rant about the worst gaming group I've ever been in. I cast Wall of Text.

The party consisted of a goblin sorcerer focusing on fire magic, a catfolk sorcerer, his wife playing a catfolk archer ranger, a tiefling rogue, a human wizard, my friend as a human Dread Necromancer and myself as a halfling Paladin.

Since the group was so squishy I figured I'd pull out the Paladin 6/Beastmaster 1/Halfling Outrider 10/Wild Plains Outrider 3 build, focusing on having an ubermount. That's a lot of HP, good mobility, figured it would synergize nicely. Character had the Slow trait and flaw so I RP'd it as him having only one leg.

We start out searching for a tomb that was recently uncovered in the 'Badlands', which may as well have meant 'Desert'. Inside we find a drow who, after some trite BS, is revealed to be undead-but-not-undead-but-not-deathless. When the catfolk girl touches a sword on a sword rack she is thrown against the wall and KILLED. This fetish-fuel drow in black armor offers to bring her back to life (by stabbing her with his sword because why the hell not) if our level 1 party agrees to save the world, by reuniting the Black Knights, his order of Knights who service Gwynn (not standard D&D cosmology, so this is a TN god of fire and light). Level 1. Save the world. Yeah.

We peruse the ruins for treasures to use or sell and a giant scorpion takes my guy down to 1 HP, but it dies shortly after so it's obviously rest time. One guy rolls Heal and rolls a nat 1 - the DM is tossing rules out on the fly because "this game is going to be different than others you may have played" (I nearly had to stop myself from vomiting when I heard that trite and repetitive phrase). He decides this actually does DAMAGE to me. My character is left outside the tomb to recover and... is carried off by a giant crow. Some crap happens, the party uses this crow to carry them to me, where we are outside some asylum of some sort. As we enter a giant demon with a hammer appears. We win initiative, I toss a sling bullet on a nat 20 square at its face...for no damage. On its turn it hits myself and the rogue in a single attack (because AoE melee is totally a thing) for 30+ damage.

Already this had me worried. We are level 1, enemies are doing my HP in damage and I have bar none the highest HP. Their attack bonuses are equal to my AC. They all have DR/-. And they are ripped straight from Dark Souls (because in D&D I can totally press A to dodge). Oh boy, here it goes...

We traverse an empty asylum and end up finding - *gasp* A BLACK KNIGHT! We give him a token that he crushes in his hands, his armor and spear materializes, and he cutscenes the demon to death. Because it's so much fun listening to the DM gush about his Original Character Do Not Steal. The Black Knight proceeds to....walk back to the Tomb of Razaak (the drow knight leader who is performing the essential task of standing alone in a crypt 24/7 - not even joking about that). Apparently the knights who can save the world are just on vacation and we need to be elaborate patsies.

We go back to town and get exactly nothing for the treasures we've found (which did not include money). We're level 3 now, and we barely have level 1 WBL. On top of this, the DM has the gall to suggest we upgrade a rusty magic longsword we found, which would cost MORE than our entire party wealth combined. Yeah. We also find all prices in the DMG are completely null and void because someone who has literally never played 3.5 before decided he can alter prices to his own 'unique world'. Thus, a simple mithral chain shirt is FOUR THOUSAND GOLD. That's 4 times the godforsaken price...for lighter armor. And we don't have the WBL of 1st level. I should have bailed at the thought of another zero-wealth game, but I was foolish enough to stay.

And that's not all. The tavern we wanted to stay at tried to charge us 20 gold for one dinner. Not even including bed pricing. Note that the first dungeon we went through gave us -exactly- 100 gold and a useless rusted magical longsword. Oh yeah, we're in for -that- kind of game.

At this point I talk to the veteran gamer of the group whose first DM was Gary Gygax. He reassures me that Sean (the DM) is experienced and that he'll have a talk with him. At this point I explain why what he's doing will cause him to fall flat on his face and I call three things about the game:
1. He hates Wealth By Level because he doesn't understand it reinforces magic supremacy
2. All his NPCs may as well be 20th level and are powered by DM Fiat.
3. He thinks complicated characters are broken because he doesn't understand class tiers and that Wizard outshines everything.
Read on and you'll see I was basically 100% right. I tried to explain this to him and gave a simple scenario of how without the money for appropriate weapons a simple golem could kill the whole party. He then says that we just need to roleplay it, like my paladin grabbing an iron pole and climbign atop a building to attack the golem with it (something that would take a retarded amount of rounds to accomplish - also, how is an iron pole more effective than a sword that's made for dealing damage???), or the ranger shooting arrows at a crumbling building (again, arrows do not pierce stone, but convincing him of basic logic is impossible). Also, in regards to poison, himself and the group agreed using poison is inherently evil, despite the fact that magic can do everything poison can, even better, and it's not evil. Plus, according to that logic, tranquilizing guards like Deus Ex or Metal Gear Solid is evil, but killing them is ok. He tells me I can use poison but to not be surprised when my god dumps me and my powers. Yep, clearly a person who should be running a game.

Our great DM tells us famine is rampant because crops will not grow and despite us going to different guilds and whatnot to try and find a source of the famine or solution, all we get is 'bluh bluh there's a famine bluh bluh guild politics'. So we leave for the dwarven kingdom. Some confusion occurs because without a map (these people hated maps) we had no idea which area was where in respect to anything. We seek spiritual guidance at the one church to all the gods, and with no idea what to do whatsoever we basically putz around until we light a fire to hopefully receive guidance from Gwynn. A large white flame shoots out of his altar and we get some vague feeling of where all the knights are. Except the one in the void. Obviously because reasons.

We decide the closest ones in the dwarven kingdom should be first to be found, and we head across the land except we have no rations. I had the audacity to suggest we buy a Field Supply Box from the magic item compendium so we don't have to keep track of rations. This was vetoed because that's the name of the game; tracking rations. The goblin's player even stood up and said "This is bullsh*t"m because I suggested we use basic logic in a game.

So we wait till the DM allows the rogue to procure a bag of holding and a thousand rations which is useless given the obscenely long trips we end up taking, because magic items are obviously too powerful to have. It should be noted that to avoid having to sleep for multiple days at a time after 3 rounds of combat I suggested we buy Healing Belts. The DM decided against that because magic items would need a Use Magic Device check to use them.

Read that previous sentence again. Now again. Once more. Okay, just let that sink in. Yes, Wizards and Clerics can't use magic items that only they can make. Yup, and people think DM fiat is a good device. SO with some DM fiat the catfolk sorcerer becomes a Favored Soul so we have healing. Infinite healing. No, seriously, instead of rationed resources, all cantrips and orisons are infinite a la Pathfinder and Cure Minor Wounds also exists - infinite out of battle healing. Now all challenge is gone because either we win or we die, no in-between. However he, against my advice, decides to focus on healing. With all the crappy healing spells and Augment Healing feat, despite the fact that he has one healing spell that will be all he ever needs forever.

Along the way these blighted creatures attack us carrying some plague and a party member contracts an incurable disease (because Heal checks don't cure anything in this game but can somehow restore HP better than spells?) and we learn from the dwarves (who can't use magic because AD&D was just soooo good and original with its shoehorned rules) that they have a cure that involves a special machine that uses....elf blood. Because elves are magical. ......I can't even begin to describe how terrible this plot was to begin with and now we're being told elves have magic in their blood. You know, considering their 1/day Speak with Animals I would think gnomes are actually magical, not useless elves. But whatever, DM fetishes galore, and also the smallfolk almost don't exist in this world. We encountered 1 gnome during the entire game and I was the only halfling on the planet.

The annoying goblin character playing a compulsive and mentally challenged goblin wanders off because getting things done is for chumps. He ends up being noticed by a local crime syndicate when he wanders into the dwarven ghetto and he ends up almost being mugged. He runs to the Dwaren Defenders (who despite not having Knowledge Local function as city guides) and we end up searching for the Dwarven Roughnecks, a gang of ne'er-do-wells. We find their base and....the Dwarven Defenders march in and fight all the enemies off-screen. Oh boy, such fun and adventure. I love watching the DM play with himself.

We leave the city and end up going into an abandoned mine shaft where we find the walls and floors and chests and everything are made of of this super hard unbreakable stone. Oh yeah, forgot to mention - commissioned an adamantine lance. I wanted starmetal so I could have one specialty in demon-slaying but that got vetoed because usefulness is a roleplaying sin. Also I tried to take the 4th level Smite Evil Outsider option and literally had that taken from me. I was forced to keep the useless paladin Turn Undead which literally has no use because my build is so feat intensive I cannot take devotion feats. Then the catfolk players talk about how one time Turn Undead from a cleric saved them. In a different edition....from a cleric. I had to stop and explain exactly why this would never, ever, ever, ever, ever come into play. But DM has the final say according to uneducated terrible DMs so goodbye usefulness.

In this place we fight Babau demons and my lance needs to make reflex saves to avoid taking acid damage. And the DM says it ignores hardness. Again, stupid rulings because now, canonically, metals, stone, and even extremely hard substances all dissolve in a light vinegar bath. Yep. So we end up at the 'boss', and it's yet another Dark Souls monster. We see the black knight chained up with invicibilium (the only logical name for this stone, also it's like 50 pounds for a small pebble so we obviously can't carry any back to sell), and it's got a Skyrim lock of unpickability on it. The demon has the key, so you'd think the goal is to get the key from him - nope. I take 50 damage in 1 attack, then the favored soul does the same, and suddenly he explodes with holy energy that allows us to basically 1-round the demon. Because tactics and build and party roles are all for losers; real RPers use Deus Ex Machina, the best plot device evar.

We free the knight, we decide to head back to the capital, the invincible stone doors are closed and we have no way back. Of course, being low on rations we continue down the....hallway to the next town. No, seriously, it was just a hallway. Not interconnecting underground roads, a hallway. There we see the town is filled with zombies, but not zombies; plague victims who are taken over by the disease. We've been fighting these blighted things and I think it deserves special mention that this disease somehow buffs the creature to unholy strength. Literally, we fought a single boar and it did over 20 damage an attack and had DR of at least 10, immunity to critical hits, and also these things gain complete magic immunity. Because my monsters are totally original and better than normal monsters.

So we end up spending an entire session just barricading ourselves in the town hall (because the zombies made a hallway for us to go there) looking for nonexistent supplies (because zombies make sure to leave things neat and tidy but throw out anything that is useful) and we wait until the DMs fetish-fuel drow characters come in to save us. Because we're saving the world. They basically come along and act superior and then we leave and they help us get food by finding some 'cave crawler' and killing it. Because we totally couldn't just do that ourselves. Also, the Wizard tried to target a diseased dwarf zombie thing with Dispel Magic, and the DM decided that....a diseased zombie dwarf hit by Dispel Magic grows wings and gets larger. Also, note the following; upon contracting the disease, my paladin and the goblin are given a potion that is said to be a "more permanent solution" to the plague. Ignoring my ***king immunity to diseases, the ONE immunity that never comes up in any game ever on the face of the planet and would actually finally find some use in a game, this 'more permanent solution' is just a potion that staves off the disease for a month. We travel for weeks at a time. yep, smart DM is smart.

So we end up making it to some underground forest that's also completely petrified and also completely unbreakable so I can't even mark where we've been on the trees. God this is painful to recall. We make it to another black knight chained up and protected this time by an angel. And by an angel I mean a god. Yep, all angels have stats that are measurable to those of the actual gods from Deities and Demigods. We roll initiative and after taking 8 initiative scores the DM says she goes on something like a 40. Yep, wasted time. She one-shots party members with nonlethal damage until the goblin uses Expeditious Retreat and runs up to him giving him the token so we can watch another cutscene of the DM playing with himself.

Note that any time I ever, EVER brought up any mention of 'rules' the whole group went full anal-retentive mode and said "OMG YOU'RE WASTING GAME TIME". It's like they enjoyed being bent over by the DM for literally no reason.

Anyway, so at the top of this...temple....is a nest of griffins that takes up back to the same crappy town from before (it's called Harmony and it's the only place where civilized races and goblinoids and kobolds and such get along) but it's entirely empty due to famine. Except the DMs 20th level magic item makers. So now that Im level 5 I want to buy a saddle. Yep, guess what. It takes literally THREE ENTIRE GAME SESSIONS to get a saddle. Note that the whole time we're still taking excruciatingly painful records of rations because that's exactly what the creators of D&D had in mind - tracking rations. SO, in order to get my lance enchanted I need to spend more money than ever necessary because "dwarven equipment requires a tuning bar to be inserted". God I hate DMs who don't know the rules. In order to get this we have to talk to another fetish character, a skeleton who sits alone in the dark and somehow has tusks and horns coming out of his face. In order to get this done we need to have his Necronite (I AM ORIGINAL DM I MAKE ALL THESE SPECIAL MATERIALS AND DON'T TELL ANYONE IN THE PARTY WHAT MY HOUSERULES ARE SO IT MAKES THEM LOOK STUPID!!! I'M A GREAT DM!) which is in the DM's fetish undead city. We go there, fight more diseased monsters, wait till DM fiat allows us to progress, and we go to the blandest, most empty city ever.

Now, up till now, all NPCs speak like ***holes. They just assume you know everything they know despite the fact that the DM specifically tells us absolutely nothing and makes active effort to change any and every rule in the book because he's on a power trip. Every NPC is 100% uninterested in any of our party and has no desire to engage in any explanation of the stuff our party doesn't know (like the basic rules that should be in the PHB or set out on the table on day 1). This whole city is filled with that attitude cranked up to 11. We learn that there are unused sewers below the city (undead poop???) and we determine a black knight is down there. We go down there,....and the sewer is literally one hallway. It branches into a fork. On the path we take is a demon that holds a giant pillar as a weapon. We fight it, I smite it, it takes no damage because it's not actually a demon (Because knowing the game is so difficult), and we run from it. Specifically it attacks all of us with a single melee attack at a 25 foot reach. I had to stop the DM and explain how either that's 5 individual attacks or it's a sweep attack with a reflex save. The entire group of idiots yelled at me for deigning to question the DM. I was convinced getting bent over turned these people on.

We walk down the other hallway. It leads to a forest (I thought I spaced out and missed part of the game - nope, a sewer opened into a forest.) Inside a castle (read: tiny room) was a black knight stuck behind some magical wall. Out from under this open bridge with no cover comes a gigantic butterfly that was immune to any and all possible attacks while flying, but is vulnerable when landed. The DM literally wasted time with 8 players taking 4 turns each while this butterfly shot lasers at us. He then makes it land and we kill it because it was doing like 20 damage to ALL of us with a single laser. 4 times.

He then has the gall to say "Wow, if I didn't make that thing land, you guys would have died!" At this point I am now okay with the idea of murder. We give the knight his token, and then attempt to get the necronite back to Harmony. Little do we know the box of it is the size of a warehouse. SO we have that stupid bird from Dark Souls to carry it, us, and our cart for a couple days (how are we sleeping again? Is this bird the size of a passenger plane?), and then I lose my paladin powers for no reason. Apparently despite the fact that I tanked more HP damage per attack than any other game at this level in the history of 3.5, I keep 'running away' according to my goddess (some one-dimensional lady named Eslpeth), despite the fact that every combat I make sure I;m the last to retreat if we retreat (not like I was able to run given the fact that prior to level 5 I had 5 ft base land speed). Of course, since none of the gods have been fleshed out at this point, when asked who Elspeth is I say she's a goddess of revolution. The DM immediately says "That is NOT what she is a goddess of.", like I just committed blasphemy. Turns out she's a goddess who hates tyrants. Wait, come again? That's literally two different ways of saying the exact same thing. But, whatever, because like all his NPCs, his gods are all one-dimensional singular aspects that have no thought put in them whatsoever. Also I lose paladin powers because the DM doesn't even pay attention to his own game.

I get my 'powers' back almost instantly (are they powers if they don't do anything?) as we burn some dead bodies to prevent disease. The Dread Necromancer has this vision from the embodiment of Death that he must kill Razaak, which is not even a bad joke at this point because we blatantly know all NPCs are level 20 fetish characters who would never be allowed to die. Two players join at level 7 with full Wealth By Level and we are still operating at -barely- level 4 wealth and we're all level 8. At this point the DM is so bored of his own world we go to Razaak and he begins....swinging his sword in the air to open gray portals to the other places where the black knights are. Note that the knights we rescued and Razaak himself are literally just standing inside a room. Not even kidding, it's like they're World of Warcraft NPCs, they are standing there doing nothing.

We end up going to a knight in the Elven kingdom (everything in the world is a kingdom), who is in a dead tree. Inside there's a puzzle where 7 skulls (7 players were present at the time) of different animals, yada yada yada put skull on that represents character (my character''s concept was the most powerful dog and yet I got the horse skull, not the dog skull). Second puzzle was a room filled to the brim with butterflies flapping about. We look at the door. Intricate carvings. We look at the butterflies. All kinds of butterflies, including every species not native to this area, nothing really noticeable otherwise. Grab butterflies, touch, door, etc. etc. etc. We had to wait fro two frikkin' hours until the DM told us to look with butterflies with eye patterns and colors that matched our characters' eyes. He literally did not hint to us at all what the solution was until he told us it. Then at the end of game he said "My other players usually say things like "Wow, that was a great puzzle!"". One, who the hell let him DM a second game? Two, no, that never happened, you're just fishing for compliments when you really don't know anything about puzzles. Or roleplaying. Or tabletop. Or anything.

Ugh is this terrible memory trip over yet? Okay, so we fight some thorn demon lady, free a knight, get teleported to the human kingdom to a nondescript spot in the middle of nowhere. We can only determine 'magical energy' in the area, Detect Magic tells nothing else. So we basically cast magic and open a hole to a little library where some angel of memories has this knight chained up (these knights clearly suck at their job). The only way to free him is to change his memory of his pact with the Lawful Anal god Abaddon (Why did he pick that for a LG god's name??), and we find through trial and error that we can pull any person's memories in book form by thinking of them and making a will save as we pull a book from a bookshelf. Now, these books are in Celestial and only two party members spoke celestial. We try to write that all his current memories are in tact except the imprisonment one, that fails. We try to copy it brute-force style I bring up the spell Amanuensis, those both fail. Wizard cracks a joke and the anal angel kicks him out of his little shed. So the only party member who knows celestial other than him is the goblin who spends an entire hour IRL complaining about having to read because he doesn't like books. After screwing around getting nowhere and getting exactly no hints from the DM he tells us we have to 'will' the book to copy with the little contingency about the black knights being able to leave if called upon by Razaak. How in the ever-loving hell are we supposed to find out we can just will things to be??? That is literally the worst idea for a puzzle I've ever had the misfortune of wasting an entire game session on.

We take the knight, get teleported to the next one (can you tell the DM hasn't fleshed out a single aspect of his crappy world?) and we end up...in front of a tree. Another tree, because apparently thinking is difficult. We find some camo-colored angel who, like all the angels we've ever met, serves the god of anal clenching Abaddon and won't let the knight go even though an angel who keeps the memories of all existing creatures let his go willingly. We end up challenging her to a hunt (this guy clearly has fetishes for male drow and female angels) and we roam the vast....boring plains. With only a single day we basically wander around, find an elephant, look around more, find nothing, look around more, find nothing, and then kill and present the elephant. The angel flies in with a mammoth over her shoulder.

Afterwards we had to go to the swamp to find a black knight but we had to find another DM fiat-powered NPC to guide us who conveniently left us when combat started. The area was filled with WIIIIIIILD MAAAAAAAGIIIIIIIC and by that I mean roll to see if the spell's caster level goes up or down. We fight these three women who apparently mastered wild magic and the battle just proves the DM knows nothing about anything. They cast "Ironflesh". That's right, not Iron Body, the 8th level spell that grants DR 15/adamantine, it's his own new spell that's even better because it's DR 15/-. Which may as well make itself a 9th level spell. We're level 8. He also doesn't TELL ME that my adamantine lance is causing no damage despite the fact that it is explicitly stated that players visually are able to tell if an attack, whether through DR or energy resistance, had no effect. This is because misleading players with dishonest tactics is 100% disallowed. So, we try to dispel their armor (well the Wizard does), and he has to roll for it. During one round the DM's crappy magic witch literally 5-ft stepped away from me, cast a spell, then tumbled away, and cast ANOTHER SPELL that hit the Wizard's black tentacles spel and it simultaneously exploded with fire damage and dispelled it without a roll. We finished the worst battle ever and continued inside some building find a guy with his face cut off, and then find out his black knight powers are gone. Our presented options were to either fix him, find the one knight that abandoned them, or have a party member become a black knight. That's when I just left the game. There's no way I would sit through him forcing a player to lose their character to some crap like that. What was going to happen if one of us became a black knight? Would we also get the privilege of standing around in a tomb doing absolutely nothing like all the others?

One final note; This DM banned Tome of Battle. Apparently it's too broken. I don't care who you are or what you think; if you don't understand anything at all about the system you're playing, you do NOT get to decide what is and is not broken, especially when you can't even take a minute to read basic rules.

This is my end-all argument to the losers who treat the rules as optional. Nobody, not one person on the planet enjoys this. We were bound by a system that had completely arbitrary rules that changed at a moments notice, were hidden from us (because the DM didn't even bother learning the system in the first place and had a bug up his ass about listening to rules), and threw 'challenges' that were only beatable by DM fiat, which made us spectators to his elaborate mental masturbation sessions. As I said I've had ONLY bad DMs in the past, and this guy made them all look acceptable by comparison. Despite the fact that 3.5 is my favorite system I am unable to say I've ever been in a good 3.5 game because as I've come to learn most DMs are power-tripping d**ks who want to make completely static and terribly written, overly tropey worlds that the players are only allowed to tour, rather than interact with.

If there's one thing I'd like this tale to impart to you; DMs are not in control. DMs are the original servers, and if your server is crappy people will leave it. If you want to play by a system then you play by that system, because otherwise your game is a terrible wad of Deus Ex Machina and everyone knows it the minute it happens. If you want to houserule things you put your houserules on the table on day 1 of the game and not one day later, because otherwise you are making players spend their limited resources on things that they do not know are worthless until you spring it on them like some bad joke. Don't be like that guy, because a game where 8 different classes are able to pool their efforts and accomplish absolutely nothing is a game where nobody is having any enjoyment at all.


Did... did you're DM attempt (and fail) to make you play in the dark souls setting? (among other things which are far worse)

Jordan Cat
2014-09-14, 09:04 PM
Did... did you're DM attempt (and fail) to make you play in the dark souls setting? (among other things which are far worse)

Was going to ask this as well, just too many name drops for it to be a coincidence.

Theomniadept
2014-09-14, 09:13 PM
Question: Does the Wall of Text spell have Command: Facepalm woven into it? Because if so, I think I failed my save.
It's interlaced with Contingent Empowered Maximized Twin Spell Repeat Spell Facepalm - basically double facepalm.


Did... did you're DM attempt (and fail) to make you play in the dark souls setting? (among other things which are far worse)

I get it, Dark Souls is supposed to be hard, but it does not work in D&D like in the video game. If I die I level DOWN and play a new character, so an enemy doing 30 damage to a level 2 party member isn't hard, it's just a way of assigning DM fiat: kill player to a die roll. Gee, glad to know my death has a 5% chance of being delayed 1 round.

He even tried to justify it once when a boar, infected with his disease, which was immune to criticals and magic and had DR 10/- by saying it had low AC. Gee, make a party of players resort to just full-out attacking a boar that had 30 strength (seriously I was like level 5 and it dealt over 30 damage to me) clearly means the game is difficult. Not like this game's about tactics or planning or getting involved in a world.

Did I mention this guy always pulled the BS of not allowing Knowledge checks because "You've never seen this before", as learning knowledge on the spot is 100% impossible. Also, if pigs in the forest have 30 STR and none of us can identify anything that exists in this world, does this mean our party was literally just made up of people with physical and mental birth defects?

GoblinGilmartin
2014-09-14, 10:32 PM
My worst GM ever was running a game of VtM. He created this huge back story and worked hard on all his NPCs ( which were cool), but the game was essentially bussing us from primogen to primogen to get the next piece of the story. When my character tried to leave, she got jumped by three gargoyles that just happened to be hanging out in an alley.

Sidmen
2014-09-14, 10:49 PM
(a term only used by failure DMs and players who want to break the rules to not suck)

You know, when I first read your story I was sympathetic, and ready to hate your old DM. But after seeing this kind of drivel more than once. I can't help but feel that the DM's story would be one of a rules lawyering power gamer who constantly interrupted the game and engaged in an arms race with the DM - and kept telling the other PCs what to do with their characters.

A Tad Insane
2014-09-14, 10:53 PM
I get it, Dark Souls is supposed to be hard, but it does not work in D&D like in the video game. If I die I level DOWN and play a new character, so an enemy doing 30 damage to a level 2 party member isn't hard, it's just a way of assigning DM fiat: kill player to a die roll. Gee, glad to know my death has a 5% chance of being delayed 1 round.

He even tried to justify it once when a boar, infected with his disease, which was immune to criticals and magic and had DR 10/- by saying it had low AC. Gee, make a party of players resort to just full-out attacking a boar that had 30 strength (seriously I was like level 5 and it dealt over 30 damage to me) clearly means the game is difficult. Not like this game's about tactics or planning or getting involved in a world.

Did I mention this guy always pulled the BS of not allowing Knowledge checks because "You've never seen this before", as learning knowledge on the spot is 100% impossible. Also, if pigs in the forest have 30 STR and none of us can identify anything that exists in this world, does this mean our party was literally just made up of people with physical and mental birth defects?

I'm not talking about difficulty, but Gwyn, with his knights, and it would explain the undead-but-not-undead-but-not-deathless

Theomniadept
2014-09-14, 11:24 PM
You know, when I first read your story I was sympathetic, and ready to hate your old DM. But after seeing this kind of drivel more than once. I can't help but feel that the DM's story would be one of a rules lawyering power gamer who constantly interrupted the game and engaged in an arms race with the DM - and kept telling the other PCs what to do with their characters.
Arms race? New players to a game do need to know basic information - if you play a wizard, specialize in Enchantment, ban Conjuration and Transmutation, and take weapon focus and exotic weapon proficiency with the Net then you have destroyed your character. Nobody on the planet has fun playing the guy who goes down every battle after accomplishing nothing at all. I told nobody what to do except the very basic stuff.

Am I a jerk for telling the archer ranger she needs Point Blank Shot to qualify for all other archery feats? I stated obvious stuff like how there is no Ironflesh spell and the closest facsimile is Iron Body, which has DR bypassed by adamantine and that 2nd level characters should never be put up against monsters than do 30 average damage on an attack. But then again some of us remember that at its core this is a game, and mechanics and roleplaying must translate into one another.

And yes, 7 levels of sorcerer followed by a level of rogue is a stunted character who may as well have tossed that level in commoner.

Flashy
2014-09-15, 12:44 AM
if you play a wizard, specialize in Enchantment, ban Conjuration and Transmutation, and take weapon focus and exotic weapon proficiency with the Net then you have destroyed your character.

I don't know, this seems pretty reasonable. It's pretty low op, but I've known tons of games this would be playable in. I actually think it could be a fun premise.

The Glyphstone
2014-09-15, 01:12 AM
Not to mention that Enchantment is an extremely valuable save-or-sucks/crowd control school for 75% of the game, right up until it (and Illusion) become worthless at level 15 thanks to Mind Blank.

And yes, a net-throwing Echanter Wizard would be very neat. In a party with sword-and-board fighter, dual dagger rogue, and healbot cleric, he will even still be the most powerful member of the party.

The Random NPC
2014-09-15, 02:51 AM
...
And yes, 7 levels of sorcerer followed by a level of rogue is a stunted character who may as well have tossed that level in commoner.

Unless they're trying to qualify for Arcane Trickster.

Sith_Happens
2014-09-15, 05:02 AM
Unless they're trying to qualify for Arcane Trickster.

That's a weird way to spell "Unseen Seer.":smalltongue:

Anyways, just want to chime in that Babau acid ignoring hardness is totally legit (as in, the ability specifically says so). Dumb, but legit.

The entire rest of that story though... :smalleek:

Theomniadept
2014-09-15, 06:28 AM
That's a weird way to spell "Unseen Seer.":smalltongue:

Anyways, just want to chime in that Babau acid ignoring hardness is totally legit (as in, the ability specifically says so). Dumb, but legit.

The entire rest of that story though... :smalleek:
He found this out and applied this to EVERYTHING, including whenever my weapon was used to attack things like doors.

It's like he found out about spell resistance, so he gave it to EVERYTHING. He found our about Damage Reduction, and gave it to EVERYTHING. He found out about DM Fiat, so he used it on EVERYTHING. Instead of using tools to create encounters he just took whatever he learned about in passing and permanently incorporated it into his hackneyed monster ideas. He found out about the concept of Wild Magic so of course it needs to be in the world no matter how shoe-horned it looks.

icefractal
2014-09-15, 01:34 PM
I don't know, this seems pretty reasonable. It's pretty low op, but I've known tons of games this would be playable in. I actually think it could be a fun premise.It could be fun. Depending on what spells you picked, what other feats, what ability scores. It could also be completely useless.

Don't be fooled by the T1 label - it's entirely possible for a Wizard with the wrong choices to be seriously ineffective, even compared to pretty non-optimal team-mates. I've seen it happen, and it's not pretty.

...

Incidentally if I was going for that concept, I'd take Point Blank Shot instead of Weapon Focus: Net - same bonus, and it qualifies for Far Shot, which you really need for that short range increment. At higher levels, use a Ring of Telekinesis to throw a bunch of nets at once for a decent hindering effect when your spells aren't applicable.

ComaVision
2014-09-15, 01:54 PM
Where can I find the 'Field Supply Box' you mentioned? I couldn't find it searching through the MIC.

Inevitability
2014-09-15, 02:13 PM
I think both the player and the DM made mistakes during the game. I am quite sure that the story as seen by the player is very different from the DM's one. If the average optimization level of a game is low and yours is high, coaxing others in raising theirs seems pretty bad behavior to me.

Of course, the DM doesn't sound that great. However, one thing to consider; maybe your 'bad luck' in finding a good DM has to do with more than just the DM's?

Sith_Happens
2014-09-15, 02:50 PM
Oh, there was definitely an op-fu mismatch between Theomniadept and everyone else, but when the rest of the group's optimization level allegedly sits somewhere around "doesn't expect the PCs' abilities to be what allows progress through the game" I'd say the problem is more on their end. Because really, at that point why aren't they just playing point-and-click games (or The Walking Dead and co. if you want something more modern) instead?

Galen
2014-09-15, 03:08 PM
I had a DM who made us spend two sessions on Identifying items. Not one, but two back-to-back sessions were exactly this:


Wizard player: I cast Identify on <name item>
DM: <engages in lengthy description of the history, background, and every single scratch on the blade of what is essentially a +2 weapon>

illyahr
2014-09-15, 03:52 PM
Of course, the DM doesn't sound that great. However, one thing to consider; maybe your 'bad luck' in finding a good DM has to do with more than just the DM's?

I was thinking along the same lines. If you disliked every DM you ever had, maybe the problem is you? Just like a father who dislikes every one of his daughter's boyfriends.

Theomniadept
2014-09-15, 07:48 PM
Where can I find the 'Field Supply Box' you mentioned? I couldn't find it searching through the MIC.
MIC 160, it's the Field Provisions Box and we weren't allowed to buy magic items and even then apparently wizards and clerics all make items nobody can use because UMD is a pretty exclusive club. To anyone who thinks there's ANYTHING redeemable about this campaign, I want you to understand we had to waste entire sessions coming to complete standstills because we ran out of rations, people refused to eat rations every other day, and we would come up with dozens of possible ways to sustain ourselves but because the horsemen of the apocalypse were on the mortal plane Pestilence was killing literally every possible method of sustenance. It literally took us an hour each game session to just wait, literally wait for the DM to drop rations on us so we could continue moving. Then again, not like it would stop us because everything was either live off DM fiat or die, and if we died the tour of his crappy world would end and he knew that wasn't an option.



It could be fun. Depending on what spells you picked, what other feats, what ability scores. It could also be completely useless.

Don't be fooled by the T1 label - it's entirely possible for a Wizard with the wrong choices to be seriously ineffective, even compared to pretty non-optimal team-mates. I've seen it happen, and it's not pretty.

...

Incidentally if I was going for that concept, I'd take Point Blank Shot instead of Weapon Focus: Net - same bonus, and it qualifies for Far Shot, which you really need for that short range increment. At higher levels, use a Ring of Telekinesis to throw a bunch of nets at once for a decent hindering effect when your spells aren't applicable.

The point was that throwing away feats and abilities will make you useless. When players are new, the worst way to introduce them to a system is to release them like a flock of chickens into a highway - they need a little guidance and advice on what is and is not useful. Apparently this is known as rules lawyering and telling other people what to do, even when you're giving them a list of options that they could take that would be viable.


I think both the player and the DM made mistakes during the game. I am quite sure that the story as seen by the player is very different from the DM's one. If the average optimization level of a game is low and yours is high, coaxing others in raising theirs seems pretty bad behavior to me.

Of course, the DM doesn't sound that great. However, one thing to consider; maybe your 'bad luck' in finding a good DM has to do with more than just the DM's?

Optimization doesn't matter when I'm optimizing a paladin and someone else is playing a Wizard. True fact; paladins can't stand against a wizard on any ground, and I was making a build that would allow others to shine in their areas while I shine in my own so nobody's toes get stepped on. Plus, we had how many spellcasters? Yeah, my optimization was for ME to keep up with their base abilities. Yes, I do in fact have NOTHING but bad DMs. Tell me, what exactly about being railroaded through a terrible tour of the DM's fetish world is supposed to be so invigorating? Please keep in mind the following rules about the DM's fetish world:
1. You may not touch anything in the fetish world.
2. You may not kill any fetish NPCs.
3. You may not kill any fetish monsters. Fetish NPCs maay be consulted or relied upon for slaying of said fetish monsters.
4. You may not deviate from the DM's fetish quest. Deviating will simply be met with invisible walls that only allow you to move in the direction of the fetish quest, no matter how bad it is.
5. Since the DM's fetish quest is the entirety of the game, player death is nonexistent, as the fetish quest must be complete to hear the explanation of the fetish cutscene.
6. Drow and female angry angels and Dark Souls are the greatest concepts in writing history and you should be happy that the DM is allowing you a seat on the tourbus of the world.

...
2014-09-15, 08:08 PM
Has someone linked to that Trogbard story yet? If not, that needs to be on here.

Sartharina
2014-09-15, 11:24 PM
The point was that throwing away feats and abilities will make you useless. When players are new, the worst way to introduce them to a system is to release them like a flock of chickens into a highway - they need a little guidance and advice on what is and is not useful. Apparently this is known as rules lawyering and telling other people what to do, even when you're giving them a list of options that they could take that would be viableIt depends on the amount of advice. From everything else you've said, you take it way, way too far.


Optimization doesn't matter when I'm optimizing a paladin and someone else is playing a Wizard. True fact; paladins can't stand against a wizard on any ground, and I was making a build that would allow others to shine in their areas while I shine in my own so nobody's toes get stepped on. Plus, we had how many spellcasters? Yeah, my optimization was for ME to keep up with their base abilities.Not a "True Fact". Otherwise the tier list wouldn't be as hotly contested as regularly as it is (Even though it's been found to be true by experienced system users) - There are far, far too many instances of Noncasters outshining Casters in D&D 3.5. You have a Munchkin Myopia that you can't see past. You also seem to be blind to the doublethink in "Casters must take abilities X, Y, and Z to be useful and not ruin their characters" and "A paladin can't stand against a wizard on any ground". A paladin can keep up with or exceed a Wizard that doesn't follow your advice on how to optimize and play the game, and can still keep up with expected performance gradients. 3.5 was designed and balanced around what would seem to be absurdly low optimization compared to what we think of it as now.


6. Drow and female angry angels and Dark Souls are the greatest concepts in writing history and you should be happy that the DM is allowing you a seat on the tourbus of the world.I can agree with the rest of the campaign problems - but the DM seems to have absolutely lost the point of Dark Souls if he tries railroading as hard as he does. Dark Souls had absolute freedom to explore and challenge/conquer the world.


Has someone linked to that Trogbard story yet? If not, that needs to be on here.Yes, it's further up.

Theomniadept
2014-09-15, 11:54 PM
Not a "True Fact". Otherwise the tier list wouldn't be as hotly contested as regularly as it is (Even though it's been found to be true by experienced system users) - There are far, far too many instances of Noncasters outshining Casters in D&D 3.5. You have a Munchkin Myopia that you can't see past. You also seem to be blind to the doublethink in "Casters must take abilities X, Y, and Z to be useful and not ruin their characters" and "A paladin can't stand against a wizard on any ground". A paladin can keep up with or exceed a Wizard that doesn't follow your advice on how to optimize and play the game, and can still keep up with expected performance gradients. 3.5 was designed and balanced around what would seem to be absurdly low optimization compared to what we think of it as now.
The point of showing the wizard example was because our Favored Soul had 10 STR, put his 4th level gains into it, and focused feats and spells on healing. He would charge into combat and roll attack rolls unbuffed by any of the amazing cleric buff spells. Weapon of choice? Double axe. Did not possess TWF. In Adventures in Missing The Point, the point was that you can completely miss the point of a class/build/concept, and thus explaining what a class can and cannot do to newbies is important, otherwise left alone they don't understand it and end up completely failing and thinking the system is garbage. Case in point: there was an old thread from waaaaaay back in the day where some guy thought Wizard was only a self-buffing melee type character and he played with like a 12 INT because he thought save-or-dies sucked because no monsters ever failed their saves, missing the point of buffing DCs with stats and feats.

In the case of the tiers, no, there is quite literally no way, other than 100% terrible playing that a paladin build sans any and all spellcasting can keep up with a caster build. Another case in point: the wizard took the spell black tentacles. Despite heavy railroading and adding auto-immunities to everything the DM couldn't think of why something wouldn't be grappled (other than the instance where the witches shot auto-dispelling fireballs at the spell) so there were a few combats where he tossed black tentacles and we just took 10 rounds to win with little effort. If you need an explanation as to exactly why the tiers are the way they are, please re-read the excerpts explaining how Wizards and Sorcerers and Clerics can typically solve a problem with a few spells while Dread Necromancers are more limited but can still be of service in most situations, and Samurais fill graves.

If you actually are one of those DMs that thinks more complex = broken, you need to look at the near-infinite number of threads on why even min-maxed the Truenamer is Tier 4 at best, or why Monk is a dip class and not a real class, or why Paladin is a 6 level class (factoring in planar substitution levels) and there is no point to continuing past 6, or why things like Remove Disease on Paladin is not worth sinking more levels into the class, or why Smite Evil and Smite Evil Outsider combined are a halfway decent attack, but Smite Evil alone ceases to exist at level 6. Complex = interesting, specialized, etc. I could have a character with 10 prestige classes still not compare to core-only wizards who invest 10 minutes before game into looking at spells.

Also, 3.5 was balanced? Stay off them drugs son.

Beige
2014-09-16, 05:17 AM
snip

I've only had bad DM's, it can't be anything to do with me, and I'mgonna get is a sh***y mood with anyone who dosen't do as I say they should or suggests I might not be perfect... :smalltongue:

I think I identified your problem.... you have natural GM traits yet your trying to play XD

Earthwalker
2014-09-16, 05:52 AM
[snip]
In the case of the tiers, no, there is quite literally no way, other than 100% terrible playing that a paladin build sans any and all spellcasting can keep up with a caster build.

In the last pathfinder campaign I played in, I played a wizard. He specialized in divination and I played him like a detective (my favourite archtype to play) He choose spells from the divination school mainly. He also picked up a couple of rogue levels to flesh out his skills some more. Was going to go arcane trickster.
The character would not stand a chance in a straight up fight against a optomized paladin, you could also make a paladin capable of over coming more encounters than my wizard. (What the tier system represents). This is not becuase I am a terrible player. The character I made worked how I wanted him to work. I would very much be offended if the paladin in the group started to tell me I needed to have spell x,y or z becuase all wizards have them.

The GM in your post does sound terribad. I would not want to play in his game. I can see why you posted the story in this thread.

I have to say I do agree with what others are saying. When you are not playing to the same optimization level as the group. The solution isnt to get the group to match you, its to just find another game.

This works if the group is hi op and you are low, or the group is low op and you are hi. Play and find the game you are comfortable with.

DM Nate
2014-09-16, 06:20 AM
Arms race? New players to a game do need to know basic information...


If you actually are one of those DMs that thinks more complex = broken, you need to look at the near-infinite number of threads on why even min-maxed the Truenamer is Tier 4 at best, or why Monk is a dip class and not a real class, or why Paladin is a 6 level class (factoring in planar substitution levels) and there is no point to continuing past 6, or why things like Remove Disease on Paladin is not worth sinking more levels into the class, or why Smite Evil and Smite Evil Outsider combined are a halfway decent attack, but Smite Evil alone ceases to exist at level 6.

Er, these two do not go together.

lytokk
2014-09-16, 06:46 AM
Optimization doesn't matter when I'm optimizing a paladin and someone else is playing a Wizard. True fact; paladins can't stand against a wizard on any ground, and I was making a build that would allow others to shine in their areas while I shine in my own so nobody's toes get stepped on.

I hate to say it, but I made a halfling paladin that outpaced both the psion and wizard in the group. Completely blew them out of the water. Not talking straight damage either. It was up to me to solve about 90% of the social encounters on my own. Hell, even for combat, the DM had to start designing encounters in a way to completely invalidate me, which only resulted in me having to think outside the box and still massively contributing to fights.

Hell, I had a human ninja who completely bypassed whole dungeons while the wizard sat back and twiddled his thumbs.

My point is, player beats class.

Theomniadept
2014-09-16, 06:47 AM
I've only had bad DM's, it can't be anything to do with me, and I'mgonna get is a sh***y mood with anyone who dosen't do as I say they should or suggests I might not be perfect... :smalltongue:

I think I identified your problem.... you have natural GM traits yet your trying to play XD
I actually did DM a Pathfinder game and let me tell you the best way to learn how to DM is to watch terrible DMs and think to yourself "That was stupid. I'm not going to do that." It is infinitely better to roll with whatever the players can do than it is to just veto stuff they should be able to do Rule as Written, Rule as Intended, and Rule as Common Sense. When the party encountered a burning mansion with the owners inside killed and after the battles one player unlocked the safe and the other used forgery to sign the mansion over to himself I rolled with it because the world is there for the players to play in. Playing in this DMs game was like playing Minecraft on another person's server in spectator mode.


I have to say I do agree with what others are saying. When you are not playing to the same optimization level as the group. The solution isnt to get the group to match you, its to just find another game.

This works if the group is hi op and you are low, or the group is low op and you are hi. Play and find the game you are comfortable with.
Guess I have to explain this; a low op paladin in most campaigns with take some damage and go down. Not nearly as bad as Monk because at least the paladin has some nice class features, but one player playing high op vs. others playing low op is not necessarily a bad thing.

Apparently I need to explain this very, very carefully. Build was Paladin 6/Beastmaster 1/Halfling Outrider 10. So let's explain each level. Very, very carefully.
Levels 1 through 4: With the Slow Trait ad Flaw I move 5 ft per round. Feats taken must be Mounted Combat oriented as they are prereqs for my build. Thus, to all you geniuses who think high op paladin - better than tier 1, please reread this sentence; for 4 levels I couldn't move and had effectively zero feats (well I did have Skill Focus: Handle Animal and that's pretty much equivalent to Antimagic Fields in power so I guess I see the point there).
Level 5: The level where usefulness begins. I am able to use a riding dog with a lance to do double damage on a charge. That's got nothing to do with a build, that's just very very basic game theory. Again, still not an equivalent to the other paladin who joined later who took the Elf Paladin substitution level and got himself a Unicorn which was de facto the most powerful member of the party.
Level 6: Mount becomes celestial. Not much there, I mean it's now got some very minor defenses but it is worth mentioning that the Favored Soul and Wizard could and were summoning regular monsters that also had that template.
Level 7: Beastmaster gives me Wild Empathy and some new skills but given my dumped WIS there's no way I'm out-rangering the ranger. Plus I can't really use the Animal Companion because I want to save that for the dog.
Level 8: This is where I quit. Halfling Outrider gave me nothing because the level at which my mount would jump in power as it becomes an Animal Companion and a Paladin Mount as per the Devoted Tracker feat.....is 9.

So in addition to my build being used primarily for occupying enemies while aaaaalllll the squishy and/or long range characters (sorcerer, wizard, favored soul, dread necromancer, ranger, rogue, archer paladin) rely on my character to not get hit, here's the actual definitive proof that no, my optimization did absolutely nothing to upset any single thing in this game. I quit before the level where my build would actually come to its full fruition and I would be using all of my class abilities (sans my DM fiated loss of disease immunity). So, to anyone who thinks optimization can step on someone else's toes no matter the circumstance, I'd like to hear your take on it. Please, explain how optimizing a build that doesn't reach full potential till level 9 is completely broken and angers the DM. Seriously. Also I'm not sure that the people who are complaining about optimization actually read the first post detailing exactly how bad this game was - again, we were taking my HP (d10 HD, +3 CON mod, +1 HP/level from trait) in damage on singular attacks, and enemies all had DR 10/-. If charging with a lance doing 2d6+8 damage is over-optimization then everything above Commoner in power is broken and needs to be banned from the game.

Cazero
2014-09-16, 07:16 AM
Apparently I need to explain this very, very carefully. Build was Paladin 6/Beastmaster 1/Halfling Outrider 10. So let's explain each level. Very, very carefully.
-snip build-
All of this is high optimization, and will appear as needlessly complicated to low optimization players, more so if they don't know what your final result should be.

You are also assuming that wizards are tier 1 regardless of optimization level. It couldn't be more false. A typical low op wizard simply couldn't care less about action economy, and the fact that a save or suck spell can disable an enemy for the whole fight. What he sees is that a fireball will have a immediate, concrete, reliable and measurable effect on the fight. Wich means picking evocation as his specialization school and taking only damage dealing evocation spells is a valid character concept, a coherent build, and tier 3 at most.

On the other hand, yeah, your DM managed to make Dark Souls suck. Some more consistency (like DR/- on heavy armor instead of higher AC, as he obviously did on his "original" monsters) could have solved the sucking rules part, but I guess the plot would still be lame.

illyahr
2014-09-16, 10:41 AM
...snip...

This whole thing makes me not want to play with you. It is condescending and you completely ignore the fact that, even though you play a build that hinders your effectiveness, planning your build in advance is evidence of high optimization. Perhaps they enjoyed low-op play?

Yes, the DM was having issues. I'm beginning to think that the issues were more about him preparing a campaign for low optimization players (deus ex events to prevent TPK, etc.) and having to struggle with a high optimization player.

Considering that you posted an opinion in an opinion thread and immediately went on the defensive when someone started asking questions, I wonder what actually happened as opposed to what you have presented here.

Galen
2014-09-16, 10:49 AM
To anyone who thinks there's ANYTHING redeemable about this campaign ...Oh, but we already know there was something redeemable about this campaign. As you said in your previous posts, the players (other than yourself) seemed to be enjoying, or at least not suffering and taking it well.

Honestly, as much as you try to make it a "playing wrong" issue, it seems more like a player-group mismatch issue.

mikeejimbo
2014-09-16, 01:24 PM
I was thinking along the same lines. If you disliked every DM you ever had, maybe the problem is you? Just like a father who dislikes every one of his daughter's boyfriends.

No, that seems reasonable. None of them are good enough for my Ada.

Theomniadept
2014-09-16, 06:55 PM
This whole thing makes me not want to play with you. It is condescending and you completely ignore the fact that, even though you play a build that hinders your effectiveness, planning your build in advance is evidence of high optimization. Perhaps they enjoyed low-op play?

Yes, the DM was having issues. I'm beginning to think that the issues were more about him preparing a campaign for low optimization players (deus ex events to prevent TPK, etc.) and having to struggle with a high optimization player.

Considering that you posted an opinion in an opinion thread and immediately went on the defensive when someone started asking questions, I wonder what actually happened as opposed to what you have presented here.Typical DARVO attacks. Note that I didn't tell other players my build other than that I was focusing on mounted combat, and my effectiveness was to be in the mount, who would gain a lot of levels in 'Dog'. But please, explain how optimizing an objectively bad class into usefulness is clearly what ruins games. Lemme guess, optimizing Monk is evil too, they should be played straight Monk 20?

Also, I'd like to actually hear what situation would ever call for throwing a monster with +14 attack and 30 average damage in a 20 ft square against a level 1 party. Please, do explain why it is so imperative that Wealth By Level be cut into a quarter and standard prices be doubled. Or is it really that much fun to track rations across 20 levels?


Oh, but we already know there was something redeemable about this campaign. As you said in your previous posts, the players (other than yourself) seemed to be enjoying, or at least not suffering and taking it well.

Honestly, as much as you try to make it a "playing wrong" issue, it seems more like a player-group mismatch issue.That's actually incorrect. The goblin player would never break character, which is something I respect, even if his character was annoying some characters are meant to be that way, it adds flavor. The problem was when the DM threw that gigantic butterfly at us; this thing stayed airborne for 4 rounds and we were railroaded onto a 100% open bridge. No cover, concealment, anything. This thing was also arbitrarily invincible to EVERYTHING until it just decided to land, because apparently despite butterflies migrating hundreds of miles, this one needed to land every half a minute (note that the DM actually FORGOT TO MAKE IT LAND, saying "Oh, I guess it needs to land"). The goblin rolled a nat 20 on a Fireball and was told it did nothing. The archer paladin rolled over 16 on two consecutive rounds for both his shots and nothing hit. The goblin player literally walked away from the table to sit on a couch and watch TV while the archer paladin broke down and demanded an explanation for why all we could do that battle was literally stand there and get shot at with butterfly lasers. No, nobody else enjoyed that campaign, they just literally had nothing better to do in life than play in that game.


I was thinking along the same lines. If you disliked every DM you ever had, maybe the problem is you? Just like a father who dislikes every one of his daughter's boyfriends.Is it so much to ask that I get a DM who makes a game where I can expect my character's skills, background, race, etc. to actually play a part in the story instead of being railroaded through the DM's tour of his world? Is it really that bad to expect standard wealth by level, especially in a game where the DM will be pulling CR appropriate monsters that are created with said wealth in mind?

Seems I need to pull out another story about a previous DM. So this really large guy, Ron, didn't believe in wealth by level. Well, not for current characters. See, he kept allowing new players in and giving them standard WBL but for those of us who were there from the start we got the shaft, which was problematic because I was playing a Fighter/Dwarven Defender and money was necessary to do anything on that build. I just abandoned that character and decided to play a Halfling Rogue/Whisperknife focused mostly on skills but those never came into play. I was told Knowledge (Local) can only let you know about some place if you've been there before, which is like saying you can only know Red Dragons are immune to fire if you have both Knowledge (Arcana) and have shot a dragon with fire.

One dude ends up in prison and I figure it's time to break him out Metal Gear Solid style - I sneak in and pick the lock but they make noise and the guards lock me up with them - they didn't take our equipment because the barbarian originally got himself into prison the old fashion way - break in and break things and break guards, so they're scared. I tell the DM I'm going to use Escape Artist at night to slip through the bars so there's no noise of lockpicking to alert any guards. I get told I can't do this. I tell him that this is the exact definition of the skill. Then the barbarian who was locked up, a fat guy, holds his arm up, points to his upper arm and says "Imagine the width between the bars is half the width of my arm". I had to process this for a moment. HALF the width of a fat guy's upper arm. I'm a HALFling and contrary to popular belief Harry Houdini was not, in fact, mythological. He was very real and could do exactly that as a normal sized human.

Then there was the incident later on - I gave up trying to use skills because on a railroaded game skills are literally nonexistent - you will find what you need to, you will not find what you won't need. You will know what you need to know and nothing more. So I switch to a VoP Healer/Apostle of Peace, and I had to explain to this DM exactly why Wealth By Level is what it is when he threw some outsiders at us (I think they were grey slaads but I can't recall) and he targeted the sorcerer with Implosion.

Thanks to his genius ideas about WBL, the sorcerer was literally given a completely random 'Roll a natural 20 or play a different character' check.

I do have to take one thing back; in my first pathfinder game, despite its unfortunate shortness we did have a good group and a good DM. Then again playing a Bard with a Rod of Wonder is difficult to not have fun with (I secretly hoped to accidentally turn one of the DM's enemies purple permanently just to see the reaction, still do want to do that one of these days). So that's 1 tick for the good DM list, and 5 for the bad list.

...
2014-09-16, 08:03 PM
Yes, it's further up.

Which post number is it? I can't find it for the life of me.

BeerMug Paladin
2014-09-17, 03:41 AM
More lots of words.
It does sound like you've been in some pretty genuinely bad games. But it seems you also have a dismissive attitude towards players and DMs with a different gaming style as well.

I've had mostly decent DMs, but for the most part, the sub-par ones I've had were at least creative and did usually come up with some decent stories and puzzles, even if they did the typical DMPC kind of shenanigans and milder forms of things other people have encountered before.

Although I did think it was BS the time my kobold sorceror cast Disjunction to get rid of something uber-bad, then I learned the area I disjoined contained 6 more identical artifacts that prompted me to make as many saves to remain a spellcaster.

The game was generally geared towards min-maxers, so I didn't mind the loss that much, as anything I would replace that character with would still wind up incredibly underpowered compared to other players (some of whom probably did cheat). I kept roleplaying the character anyway, who mostly helped out with skills from then on and puzzle solving.

I don't personally put a lot of effort into character optimization. I just pick skills, spells or whatever I think my character would focus on (and spends time in the game doing). I think optimization is generally not fun. I'm there for the roleplaying.

I like spellcasters, but I think utility spellcasters are more fun than combat spellcasters. So for each spell level I sometimes only take one combat spell.

I create characters in normal games with starting levels in commoner, or a fighter with a level in sorceror with an 8 charisma or a wizard who divides every skill point between every skill evenly (except handle animal and hide, because animals are stupid and nothing is more important than hiding). For backstory purposes. For roleplaying purposes.

And while there's nothing wrong with optimization as a play choice, when you've got people like me in a game with an optimizer, you really need to know what you're doing in order for the game not to break for either one of us. It can be done, but it's quite a bit harder to pull off than catering to one particular play style or the other. This tension could make a DM appear to be bad when they're not, really.

I'm fortunate enough that I mostly game with people who aren't min-maxers. So I rarely encounter this sort of problem as a player.

icefractal
2014-09-17, 01:47 PM
Well - that's taking it a bit far, I think. Taking classes and feats that are actually beneficial is not some kind of extreme optimization thing, it's what most would consider normal play.

If you're taking Commoner levels, or classes/feats that you can't actually use, then you're intentionally making the character less capable. If that's your intention - you want to play the "in over his head" guy who isn't as competent as his companions - then that's fine. But if you do that and then complain about people outshining you, that's just being unreasonable.

While there was a play-style clash (with Theomniadept), I don't think it was an "optimized vs non-optimized" issue. It was a "by the rules vs seat of the pants" issue. And also it sounds like the GM in question kind of sucked, play-styles aside.

BeerMug Paladin
2014-09-17, 05:04 PM
I wasn't saying anything that doesn't nerf the character is power gaming. Just saying that you can have fun without making sensible character building choices. Which judging by the poster's words seemed like an asserted impossibility.

That was essentially what the given example of an enchanter wizard who uses a net demonstrated to me.

While I might not care for character build optimization, there are people who enjoy that sort of thing. It's important to understand that some people prefer the game that way. But it's also important for them to understand there are people who don't have the same draw to the game.

If you don't, you get gaming group issues.

Algeh
2014-09-17, 09:53 PM
This was over ten years ago, so some of the details are a little fuzzy to me. I'll do my best.


The long running GURPS campaign I'd been GMing was falling apart due to a combination of GM burnout, player attrition due to it being summer (we were all college students at the time or recent grads), and player personal drama (two players left the group because, long story short, they had broken up with each other and did not tell the group about the breakup, they just both started flaking out on us each week with no notice or explanation, so we kept stalling until "the whole group was there" for about a month), so the remaining four of us decided to let each of the players take a turn at GMing on alternate weeks (in their own settings and with different characters for each) for the summer to give me a break. The four of us consist of:

Me (I'm female, which will be relevant later): Long time GM for the group, been playing and GMing for about 6-7 years at that point. I'm the only GM two of the players have ever known, and they've been playing in my long running GURPS game for over a year.

My boyfriend (at the time; we've long since broken up for completely unrelated reasons), who was one of the two players from my long running game

Another (female) friend who'd been friends with us both for several years and also a part of the previous game

and

That friend's Internet Boyfriend, who had moved to our town for the summer so they could live together in person. I think their first in-person meeting was when they moved in together for the summer. He's been gaming for years, too, just not with us.

Anyway, this story is about Internet Boyfriend's game. All the rest of us are running GURPS games, because that's the system I tend to run and the other players hadn't played anything else. Anyway, Internet Boyfriend and I get reminiscing about our high school groups and 2nd edition AD&D (3rd edition had come out a few years before this, while I was in college and mostly playing GURPS and WoD), and he decides to run a 2nd ed AD&D game for the nostalgia factor. We spend some time orienting the other two as to how this would be different from what they were used to (the GURPS campaign we'd been playing for years was a modern low point value low combat game with no supernatural abilities and lots of mental skill use). So far, so good:

Player breakdown: Internet Boyfriend: DM. Me: Male Elven Bard (DM bent the rules on which races could be bards because I like playing bards and wanted to be an elf for a change for reasons that now escape me). DM's girlfriend: Some female character who I think might have been a Paladin. My boyfriend: I honestly don't remember. Maybe a Gnome Illusionist? That's the type of thing he'd pick.

Anyway, it's a fairly standard "the Bad Guy has a big Dungeon-y building and you're going to stab your way through it, then through him" story, which is a nice change from the story-heavy modern game we've been doing, so that's fine. Anyway, along our travels we meet...a DMPC! He's a fighter! (which, to be honest, we could probably use) And higher level! And named after the DM! (Yes, exactly the same name as the DM, although the DMPC went by the full version of the name and the DM went by a common nickname.) And flirting constantly with his girlfriend's character! (It also becomes clear, as time wears on, that this and the other DMPC, who is a magic user and only teleports in to help us during "major" fights rather than travel with the party, together comprise every "cool" idea for a PC Internet Boyfriend has ever had that no one let him play in their game.) Anyway, DMPC clears the way for us to plod through the Giant Building Dungeon (for a slight novelty, we do go up floors rather than down, as this particular bad guy has an Evil Skyscraper).

I'm not much into the tactical combat part of roleplaying at the best of times (hence choosing to play a bard, who tend to do most of their most interesting stuff outside of combat), and having the DM doing all of the major fighting against himself doesn't really make the experience more meaningful for me. (The most boring version of the Man Against Himself story ever is DM Fighting Both Sides Of A Battle He Thinks Is Awesome.) So, being bored and glad to not be in charge and thus have to be the reasonable one for once, my character starts getting aggressively quirky in an effort for some screen time. Among other things, I announce that I'm shaving trophies from my fallen foes and braiding them into bracelets. This requires the DM to remember which monsters do and do not have hair, and thus I get slightly more DM interaction while he looks that up and tells me if my character found any hair to shave. Even this level of obnoxiousness escalation doesn't get me any meaningful amount of screen time, however (I don't remember the more reasonable things I tried to get something to happen outside of an endless string of combats before escalating to hair shaving of corpses, although I do remember that one of them resulted in us getting a treasure of a never-ending bag of donuts), because the DM is too busy being awesome and killing his bad guys, and also flirting with his girlfriend's character. (The girlfriend in question, being an experienced roleplayer used to story-heavy games with large disconnects between player and character, decided that while she was in a live-in relationship with the DM out of game, her character actually found his newly-met character pretty intimidating and awkward and was not going to reciprocate his affections. At a guess, she also found this pretty awkward out of character since our games generally didn't go there and it was a terrible Marty Stu character to start with, which devalued all of the work she'd put into creating a real character who was, you know, not just her but more awesome in some way.)

So, I up the ante. If the only route to screen time is to flirt with the DM's girlfriend's character, well, I'm playing a male bard with high charisma. I can totally do that too! This does actually result in me getting more screen time, as I am now involved in one of our two main plot threads: the quest to get in that character's pants. (Note: in real life, she and I were long time friends and not at all romantically interested in each other.) She decides her character is pretty much going into full intimidated introvert mode and begins ignoring the both of us, while I play the Hopeless, Hapless, Lovesick Bard trope for all it's worth. There may have been poems involved. The DMPC is still getting a good chunk of the screen time, as he's also deeply involved in the Stab The Way To The Top plot, which is now heating up and getting more playing time since all attempts at the flirting plot now end in his girlfriend saying "my character ignores both of you", followed by a description of what her character is doing in terms of trying to move forward in the dungeon. My boyfriend's character is just not into any of the other characters that way, so he (or possibly she - I no longer remember) is just along for the ride.

Anyway, we end up fighting some vampires or something, which is totally going to kick our butts as we're low level and terribly optimized for actual combat. (Except for the DMPCs, who are, of course, Awesome.) To save our bacon, the high level only-teleports-in-for-the-big-fights-then-back-out-again DMPC (as opposed to the always present same-name-as-the-DM DMPC) teleports us...to the moon! In this game, the moon has breathable atmosphere and is very boring. We wander around without finding anything whatsoever we can use to continue the story in any way, or anything at all other than a bunch of dusty rocks, nor do any of us have a reasonable chance of ever learning to teleport ourselves back. The story ends with us marooned on the moon with no further mention of the Bad Guy or his dungeon. At least we have unlimited donuts to eat (I think we also had a flask of neverending milk).

In unrelated news, many years later my then-boyfriend (the only one with a character not involved in the Flirting Subplot) married the Internet Boyfriend's then-girlfriend (the unwilling focus of the flirting subplot). I don't think any of us have talked to Internet Boyfriend for a decade or so.


Anyway, after reading this thread I now see that this could have been much worse, but it still made me wary of dealing with DMs I wasn't used to. Not enough so to avoid The Game With The People My Friend Met On The Bus a few years later, but that's another story for another time.

Theomniadept
2014-09-17, 11:01 PM
The story ends with us marooned on the moon with no further mention of the Bad Guy or his dungeon. This is why I have a personal rule to never play in a game where the DM is in a relationship with a player. Last time that happened the girlfriends' character turned out to be some reincarnation of an ancient priestess, which was followed by her taking 22 credit hours and dropping game, and leaving the DM written into a corner when a player is 100% central to plot and has dropped game.

But I'm curious as to why he thought teleporting to the moon would...anything. I mean that just leaves me at a loss.

Marlowe
2014-09-17, 11:16 PM
Certainly bizarrely random. I was expecting the whole flirting triangle to end in a orgy of jealousy-fueled PvP and the Gm-Girlfriends character to finish by stepping over the cooling corpses of Uber-DM and Elf-Bard and saying "Alas, they're both dead" (turning to Algeh-Boyfriend) "You wanna...get coffee later?"

Random Vampire1: ...there's a nice quiet little place in the food court.
Random Vampire2: We could go double.

But instead you wound up on the moon.

...

Maybe you were supposed to find the Turn X Gundam? Seems no more random.

Sith_Happens
2014-09-17, 11:52 PM
The four of us consist of:

Me
...
My boyfriend
...
Another (female) friend
...
That friend's Internet Boyfriend

http://media.giphy.com/media/qhURwEDavrGQE/giphy.gif


So, I up the ante. If the only route to screen time is to flirt with the DM's girlfriend's character, well, I'm playing a male bard with high charisma. I can totally do that too!

http://31.media.tumblr.com/24f16b6ce04da379a9b9bd00343082c4/tumblr_n54avcTLZp1s5e5bko1_500.gif


teleports us...to the moon!

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/2727748211/c3d0981ae770f926eedf4eda7505b006.jpeg

Xerath
2014-09-18, 02:08 AM
I think i had one of the worst DM yesterday.

We were playing DnD. Set-up - i've been playing as pretty chaotic character who doesn't remember much from his life. I realised i had some connections with underworld so i just checked if i owe anything to them. It turned i don't and i'm clear. I've found pretty important persona for underworld. As it turned out everyone in town was ok with fact that he is underground agent, everyone knew about it and noone did anything(yea yea in capital good city). That was strange by itself. I didn't have anything to do for a week so i thought i should do something with this little fker. He was imba annoying, talked alot and felt like demigod of this city, threaten me, organised illegal fights. I catched him, knocked him unconscious, threw him over my horse and just run full speed through gates. Well guards were mentalists apparently and just killed me right away(DM didn't even roll anything), cos they somehow knew about my kidnap in huge capital city(i assumed i am not the only person going through gates which is pretty reasonable i think). I fell from my horse with this bastard(he was halfling so it was hard to tell what i have on horse - for those who thought i had 6.5 foot guy under coat) and killed him with my last strike to at least know my action did ANYTHING in this damn world. Then i died.

And here is the thing. I am ok with that. Maybe they got some kind of sonic fast informators. I am ok with my death but i just asked DM why it happened and how come they knew about that + what killed me cos as far as i know this game is based on rolling system and i don't think regular town guards are 360 no scope snipers - BUT STILL OK. And here is when imo bomb comes in:

-You know you COULD run through gates and run away from town with him. But whats the point if underground would kill you anyway?
-DM 17/09/2014
So after short conversation it was just
-That's how things go, he wasn't even that important but it's not how i planned this scenario so underground would kill you anyway. What's the point of rolling if you will die next day. Also this guy will be resurrected tomorrow so yeah.
-DM 17/09/2014

Not giving me any chance to do anything. I have tendency to meet DMs who are VERY bad at improvising and this one is even worse since he says **** like this in my face, not even pretending but just straight up saying "i am god and you will die anyway **** you".

There are few characteristics of DMs in DnD i hate:


Poor improvising skills
Acting like he as a god
Not consistent world, not knowing how to play specific environment
Having favorite NPC characters and protecting them for all cost even if it needs breaking rules
Treating players not equally


My DM had all of them. And yes it's DM from my last thread. We had some awesome DnD games back in a day until we started to play Cthulhu.

He is trying to mimic my Dming. Problem is i am mostly Call of Cthulhu DM which is pretty much >50% survival game and ALOT of characters die there. But ffs creating character in Cthulhu takes like 3 minutes and in DnD sometimes hours of thinking what it should be. I always treated DnD as fun game, crazy actions, funny scenarios with unexpectable outcome. As soon as DM treats DnD as survival game in such bad manner it becomes impossible to hit any level above 3.

Poor improvising skills

Well you see. It always goes down to one character or one unexpectable action made by players. Then he goes bat**** crazy and usually it's me who dies.

Acting like he as a god

Nuff said. He said i die cos of reasons. Not rolling, not giving me any chance to take any action and not asking for my intents.

Not consistent world, not knowing how to play specific environment

Well he always plays huge capital cities like they are small villages with 1 tavern it's pretty pathetic. Also doesn't care about how informations pass and how long it takes. Everything is disconnected and just doesn't work. Big organisations have connections only in areas he needs to **** over his players but when it comes to saving someones ass - noone is connected at all.

Having favorite NPC characters and protecting them for all cost even if it needs breaking rules

Well i already mentioned he is "god dm". It didn't happen for the first time and it is not last time i guess. Over past years he had 10 000 characters like this, killing players for no apparent reason other than - it's my favorite NPC and you will die for touching him even tho he is not that important for lore.

Treating players not equally

Well i didn't mention his other scenarios when we play with his GF. She is not very good at tabletop games, doesn't have much experience and i understand that. It's ok to explain rules and how to act. She wants to learn the game. But it is not good reason to treat us totally unequally. For her it's ok to almost kill somebody in center of the tavern and just make heroic run through city, then hide in sewers. If i would do that there surely will be 10 Helm clerics behind my back and they will kill me in one shot or probably when i will somehow manage to escape tavern and go to sewers there will be 10x 15 level thiefs hiding and killing me in one shot too - ofcourse IF there won't be 360 noscope sniper on roof killing me without any roll in one shot - that makes sense.

My thoughts
As he explained his reason for this kind of behaviour is - i am experienced player so i should know how something like this ends - which is total bull****. I have enough problems in real life and enough of struggles to deal with. I play tabletop games not for feeling of frustration but for feeling of joy and just having fun, for breaking rules, making something crazy, funny, good, evil and so on. Why for love of gawd do i have to play tabletop game as if it was reallife + axe or crossbow? It's total bull****. I just thought about something - maybe for him playing tabletop games is to have feeling of being gawd and ****ing people over, making them frustrated. I am so pissed off cos i just lost 9+ hours of my life and got nothing but anger and frustration out of it.

Now when i think about reallife+axe thing - heck! it would be way easier to kidnap someone in real life than in this DMs dnd heroic fantasy world.

Alright so now other thing. I am Call Of Cthulhu DM. I am pretty damn good in it - it's not that i am big headed. People say that, they want to play cthulhu with me as DM. They are scared and sometimes scream. People ask me to play Cthulhu and just like it and say it after each scenario. I just found game in which i am good as DM - finally after 8 years of playing tabletop games. I use real life envoirnment like loud mechanic clocks that provide more tention, put light in certain spots of house or room to play with peoples minds. Ofcourse i kill peoples characters if they make some uterly stupid thing like spreading on boneyard which is full of vampires, trying to jump from 15 meters roof. In Cthulhu you have to be pretty good at improvising at least in a way i lead the game. In Cthulhu you pretty much can't predict what players will use to solve puzzles which makes it even more interesting for me. If they kill someone important or destroy something important for lore i always have some way out of it. Sometimes i improvise whole scenario from start to end and it goes good too - not as good as already prepared one but still noone complains. It does not go like - someone will accidently[or not] burn VERY important letter - which would lead group to next stage or tell them how to protect themselves from monsters - and then suddenly 8 foot tall monster comes out of closet behind their back and kills everyone - cos you would die anyway right?

This DM guy seems like he is trying to mimic my Cthulhu DMing in DnD - which is BAD since these games are TOTALLY different and i explained it to him several times. We(players) asked him several times - if you wanna play Cthulhu like scenario just lets play Cthulhu and let it be it.

Then we had another convo after scenario. Well i poitned out again what is bad about it - then he turned crazy again and started to remind me our older sessions which i was DMing when i was like 16 years old - i am like really? It's obvious i sucked back then and made very poor choices as DM but why not talk about recent scenarios. Then he finally stated "ok i will not DM".

Just ffs :D

DM Nate
2014-09-18, 06:00 AM
Much anger I sense in you.

Inevitability
2014-09-18, 10:58 AM
Much anger I sense in you.

http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/52/52b48e1bea6b99cf751d09230c2ec9fb88fa3c32e95fe7d20d f3a33acea2ac7b.jpg

TheCrowing1432
2014-09-18, 04:52 PM
Me.

The party of around level 8's decided to go into the underdark. And being brilliant they decided to use sun rods.

I sent a drow death squad after them composing of 4 drow fighters and 1 wizard with fly.

This was like my 1st time dming and yeah it....caused a tpk.

Whoops.

Sith_Happens
2014-09-18, 04:57 PM
Me.

The party of around level 8's decided to go into the underdark. And being brilliant they decided to use sun rods.

I sent a drow death squad after them composing of 4 drow fighters and 1 wizard with fly.

This was like my 1st time dming and yeah it....caused a tpk.

Whoops.

Unless the Drow were way higher level than them this sounds like it was the players' fight to lose.

TheCrowing1432
2014-09-18, 04:59 PM
Unless the Drow were way higher level than them this sounds like it was the players' fight to lose.

I made them equal level, but the wizard had fly and fireball, they...couldnt handle it.

Flying is insanely effective and I can see why so many people try to use it.

Requiem_Jeer
2014-09-18, 05:07 PM
Wait, equal numbers or worse of equal level drow, who have a +2 level adjustment? That's an overwhelming encounter there, on paper.

BRC
2014-09-18, 05:09 PM
Wait, equal numbers or worse of equal level drow, who have a +2 level adjustment? That's an overwhelming encounter there, on paper.

+2 Level Adjustment dosn't mean they're necessarily going to be substantially tougher as monsters.

That said, attacking from Ambush, with Fireball, and a flying wizard. THAT can destroy an unprepared party.

TheCrowing1432
2014-09-18, 05:11 PM
Wait, equal numbers or worse of equal level drow, who have a +2 level adjustment? That's an overwhelming encounter there, on paper.

It was my first time dming and it was almost two years ago.

I actually didnt even factor in the drow level adjustment.

....If I recall corectly I think I just used a regular elf fighter stats

Ive learned a lot since then.


...But I still would never light sunrods in the Underdark.

Galen
2014-09-18, 05:25 PM
Oddly enough, the Drow's +2 LA transforms to only +1 CR (Monster Manual). And how tall are the ceilings in the Underdark for Fly to make such a difference??

TheCrowing1432
2014-09-18, 05:28 PM
Oddly enough, the Drow's +2 LA transforms to only +1 CR (Monster Manual). And how tall are the ceilings in the Underdark for Fly to make such a difference??

They were righting in a cavern on a bridge (which was pretty wide, 5 squares wide and some 20 squares across, so they had plenty of room to manuever)

I think i said the cavern was around 100 feet?

BeerMug Paladin
2014-09-18, 05:38 PM
I made them equal level, but the wizard had fly and fireball, they...couldnt handle it.

Flying is insanely effective and I can see why so many people try to use it.
None of them had a bow and arrow? Or dispel magic?

TheCrowing1432
2014-09-18, 05:50 PM
None of them had a bow and arrow? Or dispel magic?

I do not remember, it was 2 years ago.

They probably did.

nedz
2014-09-18, 06:27 PM
It takes a while to work out how strong a given party is and what threats to throw against them. Looking at it on paper is one thing but ignores

Player > Build > Class i.e. a players ability is more important than how the character is put together, though the two things are not unconnected
The CR system is very unreliable
New parties take a while to get their act together, even if the players are experienced
Tactical ability of the Monsters and the nature of the encounter

and possibly a few further factors.

I don't think that one encounter makes you a bad DM, especially if it's your first. The question is: Did you learn from the experience ?

Theomniadept
2014-09-18, 07:38 PM
I made them equal level, but the wizard had fly and fireball, they...couldnt handle it.

Flying is insanely effective and I can see why so many people try to use it.

Yeah, that can happen. I'm assuming the party was something like tier 4-5, like a fighter, rogue, ranger, etc.? If that's the case Wizard may as well be a banned class on the DMs end, unless you only use one wizard as the entire encounter.

TheCrowing1432
2014-09-18, 07:52 PM
It takes a while to work out how strong a given party is and what threats to throw against them. Looking at it on paper is one thing but ignores

Player > Build > Class i.e. a players ability is more important than how the character is put together, though the two things are not unconnected
The CR system is very unreliable
New parties take a while to get their act together, even if the players are experienced
Tactical ability of the Monsters and the nature of the encounter

and possibly a few further factors.

I don't think that one encounter makes you a bad DM, especially if it's your first. The question is: Did you learn from the experience ?

I did learn from the experience, but figured id throw in a beginner horror story it sparked some discussion at least.

How is CR unreliable exactly?

Necroticplague
2014-09-18, 08:05 PM
How is CR unreliable exactly?

Monstrous Crab, adamantine clockwork horrors, several incorporeal creatures before you could feasibly afford ghost touch weapons, the tarrasque being way over-cr'd, the system tends to out more weight on big numbers instead of potent abilities, while actual power is measured the opposite way. When a cr3 creature can garuntee a k.o. against a cr 20 creature, something needs to be changed.

The Random NPC
2014-09-18, 08:07 PM
...
How is CR unreliable exactly?

It is balanced against the iconic party (Fighter, Blaster Wizard, Healbot Cleric, Rogue), and can't handle variation well.

Arbane
2014-09-18, 08:51 PM
How is CR unreliable exactly?

For one thing, it doesn't handle save-or-lose critters very well. (In the game I'm currently in, which is quite good, we had three characters, two of whom blew their save vs. a Vargouille's (sp?) paralyzing scream - leaving the monk to take on the one Vargouille... and about 20 flying spitting heads. THAT was a pretty scary fight... If the dice had been a little worse against us, it'd have been a TPK right there.)

nedz
2014-09-18, 09:35 PM
How is CR unreliable exactly?

As above, also it tends to over-rate fights with large numbers of mooks.

10 CR 1 monsters against 5 ECL 5 characters is rated Very Difficult really ?

Theomniadept
2014-09-18, 10:30 PM
Monstrous Crab, adamantine clockwork horrors, several incorporeal creatures before you could feasibly afford ghost touch weapons, the tarrasque being way over-cr'd, the system tends to out more weight on big numbers instead of potent abilities, while actual power is measured the opposite way. When a cr3 creature can garuntee a k.o. against a cr 20 creature, something needs to be changed.

Not only that, consider the Shadow and the Wraith; Shadows have a touch attack that deals 1d6 STR damage, Wraiths have a touch attack that deals 1d4 regular damage and 1d6 CON damage on a failed save - mathematically the CR 3 Shadow is way more dangerous, especially considering that it has a caveat that it literally kills people it brings to 0 STR. Also, STR damage is way more potent to debilitating a party than CON damage. Wraiths are CR 5 and have a save on their damage, but the devs were convinced CON damage was the ultimate damage, which is why there aren't a lot of routes to causing it on a reliable basis.

TheCrowing1432
2014-09-19, 01:57 AM
[QUOTE=aberratio ictus;17905255 usually, gods are awful, awful individuals in my experience.
[/QUOTE]

Welcome to DND.

Beige
2014-09-19, 08:46 PM
How is CR unreliable exactly?

mostly because it places emphasis on big numbers more than the abilities they feed - a critter with high strength but not much else (eg: ogre) is rated the same or higher as something with lower stats but much nastier abilities (shadow's nigh-unavoidable str damage combined with early game intangibility, wight's negative levels etc) - and on the same note, it dosen't take into account creature type for the calculation, and not all types are even close to equal.

plus there's the dedicated levels part, which is just terrible for determining CR...

Sudokori
2014-09-22, 09:34 PM
Worst DM ever? Well my experience with DnD was a little limited at the time with me only playing about a dozen times before this situation took place. But the worst DM was the one that introduced me to 3.5. I have heard a lot about the newer editions of D&D so I wanted to try it out. So I found a guy online who was hosting a 3.5 campaign and needed players.Now I had only played 1st edition D&D before this so I had no idea what to do with all these new rules and options thrust upon me. I made a basic fighter and needed a lot of help actually going through the skill point system and learning what the heck feats were (did I mention I had to start at level 3?).The DM wasn't any help and often criticized my character a lot because it wasn't "optimized" and didn't have a "good back story". I tried to explain to him that between trying to learn a extra 200 pages of additional rules and combat features I didn't have the imagination to come up with a actual character concept.

Well first session my guy starts in a tavern and I would see how player NPC interaction went down (was told I would meet up with the other PCs when I left town). Now my guy wasn't told about how important diplomacy or any other skill was so I pretty much tried to put a point into everything so I naturally failed every single roll when talking to someone and ended up getting kicked out. First combat arrives, guess what happens? A random thief comes out of a back alley and wins initiative, so he goes first and gets a critical hit that pretty much almost one shots my guy. The DM doesn't really help the mood with the constant nagging about how i "****ed up" and how my guy was the most "un-optimized piece of ****" he has ever seen anyone try to play. Then when I try to roll he goes into this whole speal about modifiers or some rule crud and declared my guy was stunned or something and gets a -3 on an attack roll. At this point I think the guy just wanted to kill my guy off so he could bring in the other players (who he said had made actual characters instead a piece of crud like mine) without my guy being alive anymore. So combat ensues and I die. He then promptly declares that he was right and my guy was a piece of crap, not mentioning how I never got above a 11 on a roll. Then he Completely ignores me and starts the adventure with the other 3 people in the group and tells me to leave.

That was a few hours of my life I never got back and I have always had a grudge against 3.5 ED DMs. I still kinda hate 3.5 for that reason but it's just my opinion that 1st edition was the original and still is better without all the extra stuff. If I wanted to have a fighter that gets a +17 to hit then I would stop playing D&D and play any one of the thousands of generic online RPGs that the sole purpose is to try and make the most powerful character possible (which somehow D&D is starting to take a turn to with all the min/maxing and optimizing flying around).

BeerMug Paladin
2014-09-22, 10:37 PM
Wow, that's pretty awful. Who expects someone who isn't already deeply familiar with a system to be able to handle optimization details the first time around? You're probably better for not gaming with those folks at all if that is what they're doing.

Also, there's a lot of things you only learn by playing, such as most DMs render certain skills as uber-important (spot/listen/etc.) while other skills have virtually no utility at all (appraise/any knowledge). You're not going to know those things by a straight reading of the rules, you'll just discover it once you've been playing for a while.

ReaderAt2046
2014-09-23, 05:47 AM
That was a few hours of my life I never got back and I have always had a grudge against 3.5 ED DMs. I still kinda hate 3.5 for that reason but it's just my opinion that 1st edition was the original and still is better without all the extra stuff. If I wanted to have a fighter that gets a +17 to hit then I would stop playing D&D and play any one of the thousands of generic online RPGs that the sole purpose is to try and make the most powerful character possible (which somehow D&D is starting to take a turn to with all the min/maxing and optimizing flying around).

I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that 5th Ed seems to have reversed that trend to a significant degree.

DM Nate
2014-09-23, 05:48 AM
I hate this DM just hearing about him.

ElenionAncalima
2014-09-23, 08:20 AM
The DM wasn't any help and often criticized my character a lot because it wasn't "optimized" and didn't have a "good back story". I tried to explain to him that between trying to learn a extra 200 pages of additional rules and combat features I didn't have the imagination to come up with a actual character concept.


Ugh...thats awful straight out of the gate.

Marlowe
2014-09-23, 08:25 AM
Agreed. Diplomacy checks just to talk to people? Guy should not have been DM.

The funny thing is that I found 3.0/3.5 very significantly more forgiving at low levels than previous editions.

AquaLord
2014-09-23, 05:50 PM
Not the worst DM ever but definitely the one with the worst moments

At the time me (and my group) had been desperate for a decent DM for a long time (I was the only decent DM in the group and had been suffering from some nasty headaches because of an accident so i couldn't DM very well at the time.) Anyway one of my friends comes back from college and says he will be starting a 3.5 campaign. The game starts and is a roller-coaster ride of player emotions (The guy was a good storyteller but a bad GAME master.) Some of these game decisions include

Quintupling the XP cost of magic items because 2 players put feats into magic item creation and that was "overpowered"

Accusing the entire group of cheating at the game and says he has been keeping a secret tally of rolls we have cheated at (Each play had at least 5 tallies after 1 session). This almost collapsed the campaign and i didn't talk to him for a week.

I ditch my magic item creator and roll up a new character because he was introducing new magic item creation house rules each week (All with the intent of making it harder for players to magic items). He accuses me of min-maxing my back-story so i could justify making an overpowered character.

Artificially increasing the DC of tasks because we had higher ranks in it (A regular stone wall is now DC 20 instead of 10 because you guys are now level 7 instead of 2)

Would get mad every time a player would use a spell to solve a puzzle/trap/general situation. Would start putting anti-magic barriers on everything so we would solve it his way

The worse thing he did was when the party needed to investigate a farm. We fight some ghouls fairly close to the entrance (The house had a large wooden fence surrounding it) and decide because they aren't answering the door that we should sneak in.
DM: Okay so as you climb over the wall you step on some poisoned pigeon glass and you all fall asleep
Me: No save?
DM: No save
Me: I'm an elf i'm immune to sleep effects
DM: It bypasses your immunity
Me: Its a poison right? i use autohypnosis to ignore the effect (rolls) 20
DM: Doesn't work
Me: Okay well i have a stored spell in my familiar and he will cast neutralize poison on me.
DM: Doesn't work
Of course this prompted an argument on how farmers have access to a poison so powerful that it literally breaks the entire world. Apparently he didn't want us sneaking into the fort because "you would kill everyone in there like a bunch of murderhobos."

Sudokori
2014-10-15, 06:03 PM
The guy increased the DC of climbing a wall after you put ranks into it? Did he make a ridiculous excuse like:
"People have been hearing about a thief climbing through windows and killing people, so every climbing surface in every city has been permanently set under the effects of a grease spell"

The Glyphstone
2014-10-15, 06:05 PM
The guy increased the DC of climbing a wall after you put ranks into it? Did he make a ridiculous excuse like:
"People have been hearing about a thief climbing through windows and killing people, so every climbing surface in every city has been permanently set under the effects of a grease spell"

Doesn't even sounds like he justified it. It's just the video game mentality behind things like Skyrim or Fallout, where enemy/challenge difficulty is always scaled to the player's level. In this case, the difficulty of stone walls scaled to how good they were at climbing.

BeerMug Paladin
2014-10-16, 03:47 AM
Doesn't even sounds like he justified it. It's just the video game mentality behind things like Skyrim or Fallout, where enemy/challenge difficulty is always scaled to the player's level. In this case, the difficulty of stone walls scaled to how good they were at climbing.
I had a DM who ran every encounter, potential or otherwise like this. Because he thought his job was to challenge the players. He was also a munchkin player, so this does make sense.

I can't remember why, but once a party member tried sneaking into a completely random someone's room at night to steal from them (I forget why, though). Despite rolling well at sneaking around, the sleeping figure woke up, leapt out of bed with a sword (apparently which had been stored under his pillow) and delivered a surprise attack to the rogue who was in the room. The attack killed him.

The reasoning for the surprise attack was that the player character thought the random NPC was still asleep. I remember a brief argument about how that should have required a bluff roll on the unclassed NPC's part to achieve.

The player got revenge by making a wizard who heavily abused charm spells. The DM didn't understand how charm was supposed to work, so the spells just ended up being a save or dominate for the duration of the spell, with no further saves ever happening. Which was renewed repeatedly on the biggest monster the party could find. Handle animal was rolled to control creatures without a language to give commands in.

The wizard ended up riding around town on a t-rex through the middle of town and enslaving half the important NPCs. I did my own munchkinning with the warlock class to become virtually invulnerable to weapons and flew around everywhere sniping enemies from a distance which could not be charmed. Between me and the wizard, we kept the other players alive. I think the DM couldn't figure out how he could provide an appropriate challenge to the party after that.

Alberic Strein
2014-10-19, 06:08 AM
Snip

Gah. Even though the DM asked for it and proved unable to even check the rules when things started going sour, I still feel for that guy. In MRQII, so no helpful tier system etc, I once lost a player as he had created a very strong character while another created a very weak one. I don't particularly like how damage plays out in MRQII (I don't particularly like MRQII to be precise) so I hadn't chosen how much damage the fire trap would do. Of course, both triggered it. If the damage had been chosen to be a fair challenge to the guy, then the other PC would die, unable to soak such damage. The problem got worse when the player of the strong (maybe not optimized, but strong) character chose to stand his ground and take the hit, while the other one ducked for cover. Looking at the situation, I felt justified to have two separate damage rolls, since that on one hand trying to dodge and duck for cover would be better than just plain defending one's ground, and on the other I felt that no, you don't stand in the middle of a firetrap unharmed.

That peculiar incident plus some zombies which wouldn't die when you killed them, their severed body parts would fall and need to be destroyed independently... Which are legit MRQII monsters by the way, only from a official supplement on necromancy he didn't know about. Caused him to leave the campaign he thought, maybe rightly so, that he knew the rules better than me and since he didn't know such monsters then I was obviously out to get him and he thus left the campaign.

The fact that he was the only male player might have played a role.

Well, anyway, I probably was his worst DM so it's still pretty relevant to the thread.

Ps: If only fallout2 had stronger of weaker fights depending on your level... No wait actually, scratch that, level sensitive encounters are not a really good idea:smallmad:

Illogictree
2014-10-19, 02:13 PM
OK, this one's pretty tame, but this is my worst GM experience.

So my IRL pal who got me into the RPG scene tells me he has an online acquaintance looking to start a new Pathfinder game over Instant Messenger. It's set in Faerun and supposedly based on the setup for one of the early (pre-Drizzt) novels, but that's not important now. Anyway, I chat with this GM over IM and we get to work putting together a character. He seems like a good guy and does his best to help me out with my character concept, but he has some odd houserules - an idiosyncratic method of rolling stats that I've never seen elsewhere, and rolling for starting feat(s) are the two that come to mind. But anyway, I'm happy with how my character turned out, though it's not quite what I had in mind when I started.

Anyway, the group meets up on IM as planned - me, my IRL friend, a third guy, and the GM. We play a great 2 sessions on 2 separate days, then...

Our GM disappears.

Doesn't respond on IM, doesn't answer any e-mails, nothing.

TWO WEEKS LATER...

I finally hear back from him. "Oh, sorry, the new Call of Duty game came out and I was playing that instead."

"OK, so are we going to start the game up again?"

"Nah, [guy #3] got promoted at his job and doesn't have any time to play any more. Sorry."

And I haven't heard from him since.

It was too bad, I really liked that character too.

My second-worst GM experience was again with Pathfinder; though that one was just down to the GM being inexperienced. It doesn't really bear repeating.

Rallicus
2014-10-21, 09:46 PM
Guy who ran a 4e module (Keep on the Shadowfell) and we rolled up 3rd edition characters. TPK in the first encounter, but he retconned it a bit. Barbarian proceeded to suplex an old lady cause... I honestly have no idea, which caused the DM to throw the book down and rage quit.

Fortunately, he's my best friend and has saved my life on two separate occasions. His family also took me in when I had nowhere to go, and we're pretty much like brothers.

If the worst thing I can say about him is that he's the worst DM I've ever had, then I think that's pretty minuscule in the grand scheme of things.

Theomniadept
2014-10-22, 12:01 AM
snop
I remember a DM I had like that. We had one good session of rolling up characters, I intended to play a fear-based Hexblade with Multiple Personality Disorder who believed his multiple personalities were actually his shadow beast and imp familiar (The shadow beast thing wasn't alive so it could be manipulated and I had an idea through story that the Imp obtained through Obtain Familiar was actually just an opportunistic
imp that was actively fooling the guy into thinking he was another personality) and the other players all had their guys made up and had some good ideas too. I think we had a paladin, a ranger, a duskblade, myself - a bunch of guys dabbling in swords and magic which would have been cool since we all had our niches (my guy used a scythe, paladin used greatswords, ranger used a bow, duskblade used elven thin and light blades).

DM sets up first scenario and ends the first session. Next week no game. Next week no game. Turns out he got addicted to World of Warcraft and couldn't even do his job for the campus newspaper. Yep. It was a good session though.

Raptor_00
2014-10-23, 12:16 PM
My worst DM ever...also worst session ever...

The DM wasn't a bad guy, as a player. A bit of a min/maxer back in 3.5. He wanted to run a campaign, not the first time he had so I agree. We all meet up at his house Saturday morning. I have my character all ready, using the rules he'd set out for previous campaigns: any books and supplements can be used. I have an Elf using some elven sword that's DEX based. Basic fighter with Elven feats, planning to go Paladin to fit the character idea I had.
I arrive at his apartment and everyone else is there (DM, and 2 other friends). Of course they were there since last night drinking, so all 3 are hung over. It's 10am, we usually play until 2 because I have a family and can't spend the day gaming. So we all go into his gaming room and sit down. One guy decides he needs coffee, so he goes out to get coffee. I hand the DM my character sheet. Bleary eyed he looks at it, "yeah looks good". Other friend there hasn't made a character yet, so he starts making one.

11am, coffee friend shows back up, oh he hasn't made a character either.

Noon. Characters are done, finally ready to play.

Starts out the DM's describing the scene, brings in the characters. There's a Gnome and a Halfling. I describe my Elf.
DM: "Wait you're an Elf? I hate Elves, there are no elves in my world"
Me: "You looked at my sheet, why didn't you tell me then, I could have made a new one instead of sit here"
DM: "Ok fine, you're one of the last Elves, but you'll never find another Elf. All the Elves are dying."
Me: "Ok fine...and I have this elegant sword..." I describe the elven sword and how it works
DM" "That's not in the players handbook. I wanted only players handbook stuff for this one. We decided that last night."
Me: "But I wasn't here last night. Why didn't you tell me when you looked at my sheet, it's written on there."
DM: "I didn't really look at it. Just take it off and anything else you took from any other books. Or just make a new character, but not an Elf."

I proceed to do just erase things from my sheet. So now I'm fairly not-optimized for anything. A religious fighter Elf with high dex. Skills in Elven knowledge, history and religion...that now don't exist in the world. I could have gone through the books and made a better character then, but I was getting pissed and we wouldn't play at all if I started that now.

Characters all meet up and decide to travel to a town together, safety in numbers and all.
First encounter, 3 level 1 characters...an Imp attacks us on the road. No mages by the way. The Gnome and Halfling are rogues. So we can't see it, it's invisible. We can't hit it, it's got good AC for shooting blind, and we get down to a couple hit points.
The DM gets mad because we can't beat a simple encounter. So the Imp just goes away. He blames my fighter that he can't hit anything and I'm not optimized for a fighter. And that I should just make a whole new character because we're not going to get anywhere with a small party if I can't pull my own weight. And the imp was going to be the reason we all go on a quest together and that's all ruined.

The DM says he needs a few minutes to think up something new. So he gets up and goes into the bathroom. 20 minutes later he comes back in, trailing the scent of raw sewage. He'd emptied his bowels of the previous nights beer and who knows what else and left the bathroom door open "to air out the bathroom". He then begins to go on about how he doesn't use air freshener because it smells bad. But smelling his own crap evidently doesn't in his mind.

1pm
I'm fed up. I've been there 3 hours and we've gamed for about 20 minutes where I've been told the character I made was terrible and I've ruined the campaign. I just excuse myself, get my things and leave.

I never gamed with that group again. I also have far less patience for people wasting my time.

DM Nate
2014-10-24, 07:11 AM
I never gamed with that group again. I also have far less patience for people wasting my time.

You have learned all we can teach you here, young padawan. Go forth now, new Jedi.

NeoNagasaki
2014-10-24, 11:46 AM
It's kind of funny, I thought I had the worst GM ever, until I got the next GM. Now it's kind of a tossup. I'm leaning towards Eric...what the hell, how about I complain about both, and anyone who cares can vote on who sucked the most? Warning, I get long winded about these topics, I'll try to keep it short.

In college we agreed to alternate weeks between Glen and Trevor. Trevor's campaign wasn't great, but we could stand it, Glen's was ****, and he bullied Trevor into giving up his turn every week.

So we started out the game as escaped slaves coming out of Drow mines with a DMPC dual saber wielding drow who helped us escape. I ran a sorcerer and my GF ran a psion. We were all level 3 and just traveling through the caves, we climbed one wall. Well, everyone climbed it but my girlfriend, who no matter how well she rolled he declared she failed to climb the wall.

So we randomly find a huge pile of treasure in the middle of nowhere and suddenly a beholder jumps us. About four rounds of not being able to climb the stupid goddamn wall my GF walks out to spend time with her friends...clever girl. Eventually we beat the stupid beholder and jump to level 6. He also rolled randomly for treasure and one PC ended up getting a +5 short sword that dealt extra lightning, damage, frost, and instantly killed demons on critical hits.

Soon we started meeting the DM's "Amazing NPC's" We would actually mock him behind his back because every one of them had eyes "as blue as the ocean" and would respond to almost anything by stroking their chin and saying "Hmmmmm" in a thoughtful voice. Oh! And all of his female characters were "the most beautiful woman you've ever seen." Oh, they were also ubergods, some of them literally. Most of our sessions consisted of us sitting around listening to the GM's extremely long cutscenes, followed by a battle. We were dragged through internal politics of multiple realms and the entire game became focused on his one friend who had an evil tatoo taking over the nine levels of hell. It was on rails, HARD. I can't tell you how we did it, I missed the one session where we jumped from level 14 or so to level 26 or so.

These battles were dealt with by the DM's DMPC's fighting with casual grace, one of them was poking enemies to death because as strong as they were, drawing his weapon to deal with them was beneath him. All his creatures had really high spell resistance, and usually fire resistance, which happened to be my character's bread and butter. Oh, and "Caster level" to him used the highest level spell the character could use, not the level of the caster. So at the end our level 26 characters had a caster level of 9. The melee fighters basically did all the work the DMPC's didn't. One time my GF decided she wanted to use an AoE.

GF: Ok, I want to use this lightning burst thing, but I need to know if I'll hurt all my friends if I do.
Glen: No, you won't hurt all your friends.
GF: Okay, I use it.
Glen: Okay, you guys take...30 damage, reflex saves for half.
GF: You said I wouldn't hurt them!
Glen: You didn't hurt all of your friends, Trevor was out of range.

Yeah...yeah. Oh, and in case you're wondering, all my out of combat spells went about as well. You know how I said fire was my specialty? We came to these ruins where the ground was covered in snow. I tried to melt the snow with my fire. But I couldn't...it's magic snow. The snow couldn't melt, because it was magic. Luckily Trevor managed to find the trapdoor hidden beneath the snow, he's so clever.

Oh! Almost forgot, he had a thing for nose bleeds. I got an amulet that let me read minds. The only people we interacted with were his DMPC's and any time I tried to read their mind my nose would start bleeding. My GF tried to scry for one once and he but her in a coma...and gave her a nosebleed. In the end it all led up to the crowning moment where we threw down with the archon who guards the gates of heaven or some crap. My GF overcame his spell resistance even with the 16 level penalty for not understanding caster rules, the guy rolled a 1 on his will save, and she forcibly switched minds with him. My GF pulled off an impossible move and stole the body of one of the most powerful creatures in this universe. What was his response? He immediately turned to Trevor and asked him how he'd finish off the archon's new body in great detail and take over the nine levels of hell. What a waste of my goddamn time. He was worse as as a player, but that's not what we're here for so I'll leave it at that.


So, for years I didn't have very good GM's but I never held it against them, they just weren't for me. Glen was still the worst of the bunch. Then I met Eric, the single worst D&D player I have EVER met. But this isn't about him as a player, so let's get to his game.

I came into this game with a friend of mine. We were playing brothers, I was Brass, and he was Bronze. We player two separate archetypes of bards and were exiled nobles hiding from assassins and working as traveling musicians while we hunted down our parent's killers (Entirely flavor for us, has nothing to do with the game) The other players were two goblins, and a ranger who lived in the forest.

So we started our first session with the five of us standing in the court of the king. He told us the necronomicon had been stolen and we were tasked with finding the book and destroying it. If we didn't, the entire world was doomed. This didn't go well.

Me: "My lord! Don't we have some sort of army who can get this book?"
King: "No, you do it. God said so."
Me: "We are mere musicians, and they are goblins. I think anyone with military training would be better suited for the task!"
King: "We can't. all our soldiers are busy."
Me: "Really? Every soldier is busy? All of them?"
King: "Yes, they're all busy, go get the book!"
Me: "Well...if we pull of this impossible task, will we be rewarded in some way?"
King: "We'll figure it out later, for now, go get the book."
Me: "Very well sire, what magical equipment can you give us to aid us in our quest?"
King: "No, just go get the book!"
Me: "You are the king of this land, and surely the retrieval of a book that can end the world is of top priority. Surely you want to do everything you can for-"
King: "DAMN IT NEO, STOP STALLING AND GO GET THE STUPID BOOK!"

So we leave and start heading north, cause that's where the book is. Along the way we bump into three invincible awesome characters who are super strong and have lots of magical items. They agree to accompany us. So next we come to a town, as we walk through we find out that the town is filled with demons that are so strong they can almost kill me in a single hit. I run. The platemail wearing, rifle toting, beautiful vampire chick insists I get back there and fight. Then she threatens to shoot me in the back. I keep running. After the fight where the three superstars take out all the demons she chases me down, handcuffs me, and drags me back to the plot.

Oh, by the way, we played over the internet, and all dice were rolled on the honour system. His friend rolled criticals...a lot.

For brevity's sake I will skip some things. I stopped trying to play a character in the first session. I ended up abducting children and selling them to demons, blah blah blah, nothing I did EVER dissuaded anything from happening. Essentially I ended up being a glorified messenger the whole game, where my role was to get information and bring it to the DMPC's who could go deal with the problem for me. There were two goddesses in the world, one who was good and one who was evil. If I did anything the GM didn't like the good goddess would show up and torture me until I agreed to do whatever I was supposed to.

Near the end of his first arc there was a cave that the bad guy was in, guarded by twenty zombies with rifles. I cast invisibility and tried to sneak in. There's an anti-magic field that stops my invisibility. The zombies, who are sentient and speak common tell me to get lost. Eventually we figure we just have to go in guns blazing because he stops every other approach. The two of us go in with our shields, we got a bunch of stacked bonuses for when we do things next to eachother, one of them let us have AC bonuses when shielding eachother. The rifles go off as we drop into full defense and they unload everything into us, I take one hit, and it's not for much. They're reloading and we swoop in, for the first time in ten sessions we're excited. Their firing lines get decimated as Bronze great cleaves through several zombies. Then the DM's cleric uses an AOE that kills all the zombies.

More of this crap happened, and by the time we found the big bad, who was also in an anti magic superfield, I dropped a lighter on his gunpowder room and turned the goddamn mountain into rubble. THE GOD OF GOOD PULLS US ALL BACK FROM THE DEAD AND LETS US COME BACK IN NEW BODIES AS A REWARD FOR FINISHING HER HOLY MISSION. Oh, and one more thing? HERE'S ANOTHER GODDAMN HOLY MISSION, DO IT NOW OR I'LL TORTURE YOU SOME MORE.

I can back as a 13 year old girl named Sapphire. I was a rogue and I put every point of everything into non-combat skills. My highest stat was charisma, My bluff, stealth, and disguise were literally as high as they could possibly get at that level, I could even roll bluff twice and take the better of the two rolls. Oh, and I blew my items budget on a suit with it's own atmosphere and a flying broom. Also I took unarmed combat so I could suckerpunch people. I didn't care anymore! I wanted to do something damn it!

The rest of it was terrible. One time I killed a child by dealing nonlethal damage somehow, but I only had hope of enjoying it one time after that. Our ship was under attack by pirates. I used my suit to live underwater, I used my broom to fire me like a torpedo at their boat. I came up on the opposite side and hid. I memorized what the captain looked like and his voice. I snuch into his cabin, stole all his stuff, and started going through his closets do disguise myself as him. I would bluff my way to the powder room and set a charge. For once, FOR ONCE, I would be the GODDAMN HERO, ME! But in the middle of the pitched battle on the high seas the captain decided to come into his room, I pull the little girl act, then try to suckerpunch him, but he blocks, CAUSE HE'S A HIGH LEVEL MONK! You want to know why he checked his room at that moment? NO REASON! Because we left the room after that without him doing anything. I GUESS HIS PLOT SENSE MONL POWERS TOLD HIM GODDAMNIT I HATED THAT FREAKING GAME!

So...*Shrug* I guess Eric?

illyahr
2014-10-24, 12:07 PM
It's kind of funny, I thought I had the worst GM ever, until I got the next GM. Now it's kind of a tossup. I'm leaning towards Eric...what the hell, how about I complain about both, and anyone who cares can vote on who sucked the most? Warning, I get long winded about these topics, I'll try to keep it short.

In college we agreed to alternate weeks between Glen and Trevor. Trevor's campaign wasn't great, but we could stand it, Glen's was ****, and he bullied Trevor into giving up his turn every week.

So we started out the game as escaped slaves coming out of Drow mines with a DMPC dual saber wielding drow who helped us escape. I ran a sorcerer and my GF ran a psion. We were all level 3 and just traveling through the caves, we climbed one wall. Well, everyone climbed it but my girlfriend, who no matter how well she rolled he declared she failed to climb the wall.

So we randomly find a huge pile of treasure in the middle of nowhere and suddenly a beholder jumps us. About four rounds of not being able to climb the stupid goddamn wall my GF walks out to spend time with her friends...clever girl. Eventually we beat the stupid beholder and jump to level 6. He also rolled randomly for treasure and one PC ended up getting a +5 short sword that dealt extra lightning, damage, frost, and instantly killed demons on critical hits.

Soon we started meeting the DM's "Amazing NPC's" We would actually mock him behind his back because every one of them had eyes "as blue as the ocean" and would respond to almost anything by stroking their chin and saying "Hmmmmm" in a thoughtful voice. Oh! And all of his female characters were "the most beautiful woman you've ever seen." Oh, they were also ubergods, some of them literally. Most of our sessions consisted of us sitting around listening to the GM's extremely long cutscenes, followed by a battle. We were dragged through internal politics of multiple realms and the entire game became focused on his one friend who had an evil tatoo taking over the nine levels of hell. It was on rails, HARD. I can't tell you how we did it, I missed the one session where we jumped from level 14 or so to level 26 or so.

These battles were dealt with by the DM's DMPC's fighting with casual grace, one of them was poking enemies to death because as strong as they were, drawing his weapon to deal with them was beneath him. All his creatures had really high spell resistance, and usually fire resistance, which happened to be my character's bread and butter. Oh, and "Caster level" to him used the highest level spell the character could use, not the level of the caster. So at the end our level 26 characters had a caster level of 9. The melee fighters basically did all the work the DMPC's didn't. One time my GF decided she wanted to use an AoE.

GF: Ok, I want to use this lightning burst thing, but I need to know if I'll hurt all my friends if I do.
Glen: No, you won't hurt all your friends.
GF: Okay, I use it.
Glen: Okay, you guys take...30 damage, reflex saves for half.
GF: You said I wouldn't hurt them!
Glen: You didn't hurt all of your friends, Trevor was out of range.

Yeah...yeah. Oh, and in case you're wondering, all my out of combat spells went about as well. You know how I said fire was my specialty? We came to these ruins where the ground was covered in snow. I tried to melt the snow with my fire. But I couldn't...it's magic snow. The snow couldn't melt, because it was magic. Luckily Trevor managed to find the trapdoor hidden beneath the snow, he's so clever.

Oh! Almost forgot, he had a thing for nose bleeds. I got an amulet that let me read minds. The only people we interacted with were his DMPC's and any time I tried to read their mind my nose would start bleeding. My GF tried to scry for one once and he but her in a coma...and gave her a nosebleed. In the end it all led up to the crowning moment where we threw down with the archon who guards the gates of heaven or some crap. My GF overcame his spell resistance even with the 16 level penalty for not understanding caster rules, the guy rolled a 1 on his will save, and she forcibly switched minds with him. My GF pulled off an impossible move and stole the body of one of the most powerful creatures in this universe. What was his response? He immediately turned to Trevor and asked him how he'd finish off the archon's new body in great detail and take over the nine levels of hell. What a waste of my goddamn time. He was worse as as a player, but that's not what we're here for so I'll leave it at that.


So, for years I didn't have very good GM's but I never held it against them, they just weren't for me. Glen was still the worst of the bunch. Then I met Eric, the single worst D&D player I have EVER met. But this isn't about him as a player, so let's get to his game.

I came into this game with a friend of mine. We were playing brothers, I was Brass, and he was Bronze. We player two separate archetypes of bards and were exiled nobles hiding from assassins and working as traveling musicians while we hunted down our parent's killers (Entirely flavor for us, has nothing to do with the game) The other players were two goblins, and a ranger who lived in the forest.

So we started our first session with the five of us standing in the court of the king. He told us the necronomicon had been stolen and we were tasked with finding the book and destroying it. If we didn't, the entire world was doomed. This didn't go well.

Me: "My lord! Don't we have some sort of army who can get this book?"
King: "No, you do it. God said so."
Me: "We are mere musicians, and they are goblins. I think anyone with military training would be better suited for the task!"
King: "We can't. all our soldiers are busy."
Me: "Really? Every soldier is busy? All of them?"
King: "Yes, they're all busy, go get the book!"
Me: "Well...if we pull of this impossible task, will we be rewarded in some way?"
King: "We'll figure it out later, for now, go get the book."
Me: "Very well sire, what magical equipment can you give us to aid us in our quest?"
King: "No, just go get the book!"
Me: "You are the king of this land, and surely the retrieval of a book that can end the world is of top priority. Surely you want to do everything you can for-"
King: "DAMN IT NEO, STOP STALLING AND GO GET THE STUPID BOOK!"

So we leave and start heading north, cause that's where the book is. Along the way we bump into three invincible awesome characters who are super strong and have lots of magical items. They agree to accompany us. So next we come to a town, as we walk through we find out that the town is filled with demons that are so strong they can almost kill me in a single hit. I run. The platemail wearing, rifle toting, beautiful vampire chick insists I get back there and fight. Then she threatens to shoot me in the back. I keep running. After the fight where the three superstars take out all the demons she chases me down, handcuffs me, and drags me back to the plot.

Oh, by the way, we played over the internet, and all dice were rolled on the honour system. His friend rolled criticals...a lot.

For brevity's sake I will skip some things. I stopped trying to play a character in the first session. I ended up abducting children and selling them to demons, blah blah blah, nothing I did EVER dissuaded anything from happening. Essentially I ended up being a glorified messenger the whole game, where my role was to get information and bring it to the DMPC's who could go deal with the problem for me. There were two goddesses in the world, one who was good and one who was evil. If I did anything the GM didn't like the good goddess would show up and torture me until I agreed to do whatever I was supposed to.

Near the end of his first arc there was a cave that the bad guy was in, guarded by twenty zombies with rifles. I cast invisibility and tried to sneak in. There's an anti-magic field that stops my invisibility. The zombies, who are sentient and speak common tell me to get lost. Eventually we figure we just have to go in guns blazing because he stops every other approach. The two of us go in with our shields, we got a bunch of stacked bonuses for when we do things next to eachother, one of them let us have AC bonuses when shielding eachother. The rifles go off as we drop into full defense and they unload everything into us, I take one hit, and it's not for much. They're reloading and we swoop in, for the first time in ten sessions we're excited. Their firing lines get decimated as Bronze great cleaves through several zombies. Then the DM's cleric uses an AOE that kills all the zombies.

More of this crap happened, and by the time we found the big bad, who was also in an anti magic superfield, I dropped a lighter on his gunpowder room and turned the goddamn mountain into rubble. THE GOD OF GOOD PULLS US ALL BACK FROM THE DEAD AND LETS US COME BACK IN NEW BODIES AS A REWARD FOR FINISHING HER HOLY MISSION. Oh, and one more thing? HERE'S ANOTHER GODDAMN HOLY MISSION, DO IT NOW OR I'LL TORTURE YOU SOME MORE.

I can back as a 13 year old girl named Sapphire. I was a rogue and I put every point of everything into non-combat skills. My highest stat was charisma, My bluff, stealth, and disguise were literally as high as they could possibly get at that level, I could even roll bluff twice and take the better of the two rolls. Oh, and I blew my items budget on a suit with it's own atmosphere and a flying broom. Also I took unarmed combat so I could suckerpunch people. I didn't care anymore! I wanted to do something damn it!

The rest of it was terrible. One time I killed a child by dealing nonlethal damage somehow, but I only had hope of enjoying it one time after that. Our ship was under attack by pirates. I used my suit to live underwater, I used my broom to fire me like a torpedo at their boat. I came up on the opposite side and hid. I memorized what the captain looked like and his voice. I snuch into his cabin, stole all his stuff, and started going through his closets do disguise myself as him. I would bluff my way to the powder room and set a charge. For once, FOR ONCE, I would be the GODDAMN HERO, ME! But in the middle of the pitched battle on the high seas the captain decided to come into his room, I pull the little girl act, then try to suckerpunch him, but he blocks, CAUSE HE'S A HIGH LEVEL MONK! You want to know why he checked his room at that moment? NO REASON! Because we left the room after that without him doing anything. I GUESS HIS PLOT SENSE MONL POWERS TOLD HIM GODDAMNIT I HATED THAT FREAKING GAME!

So...*Shrug* I guess Eric?

They were both terribly.

That second story? I would've had the pirate crew convinced you were the Captain and had them turn on the original. Because funny.

The Hanged Man
2014-10-24, 12:43 PM
A warning about this story: The GM was pretty terrible, but we were kind of jerks in reaction to it. Blame gets spread around evenly in this story, we were all monsters. But some of us were more entertaining monsters, so those will be presented as the heroes.

My brother and I had taken turns for years being GM for our circle of friends, and we were looking to actually be players in the same game for once. So we signed up for some D&D at the FLGS.

Turns out, the GM was quite a bit younger than us, and pretty inexperienced. But his campaign sounded interesting, so we went in expecting things to be kind of sloppy, no problem. We're Story-oriented more than System-oriented players, so if his grasp of the rules sucked, we were prepared to just roll with it.

Party consisted of:
- Klart the Kobold Sorcerer, fast-talking acolyte of the Secret Apocryphal Dragon God who didn't actually exist, whose Cult he was trying to establish purely for financial gain, played by me.
- Halfling Paladin, who was in love with a human noblewoman and took his paladin oaths to prove to her that he was a worthy suitor, played by my brother.
- Goblin thief/demolitions guy, whose player vanished after that session and we never saw again, which was a shame, because he was hilarious. We still lament the loss of Goblin Guy years later.
- Generic Dwarf Fighter A, played by a guy whose only trait I can recall is an odor that was oppressive even by comic shop standards.
- Generic Dwarf Fighter B, played by the guy who insisted he had sold his homebrew Star Trek RPG to Paramount and was just waiting for his lawyers to finish some things before the check came in and he could stop living in his van (he'll get his own awful DM story later).
- Mysterious cloaked stranger with butterfly wings and Charisma 24, played by the GM's girlfriend.

So we start out in a bar, which we are told is also the major hub for the local Adventurer's Guild. We are given no other information about the city. When we ask, we're told "you know, city... buildings... people in the buildings... magic weapon shop. City." But it's cool, we don't want to be jerks, he's a brand new GM. We figure we can help draw details out of him later without being aggressive about it. He's not forthcoming with any other details though, so we just start brainstorming among ourselves why we're here and what we might get up to.

My brother and I, and Goblin Guy, decide that we already know each other from the "Size Category: Small" luncheon at the Adventurer's Guild. Generic Dwarf B gets mad because we've crafted our extremely silly backstory without including him. I suggest that maybe his Dwarf was our first client, as a registered group of Small Adventurers? Or perhaps we did a job where Team Small Humanoids was matched by the guild with Team Identical Dwarves? He's upset now that I suggested that Dwarf B and Dwarf A are the same, until Goblin Guy points out that they actually appear to have literally identical stats listed on their sheets. But Dwarf A uses a Battle Axe and Shield, while Dwarf B uses a Battle Axe and Mace. Generic Dwarf B is now visibly angry, getting red in the face, but Generic Dwarf A is oblivious to it, and suggests that maybe they're actually twins?

The GM decides it's time to intervene. "You all take 4 points of damage."

What? From what source? Are we under attack? Is it magic?

"No, it's just 'wasting time' damage. Better start doing something quick, if you don't want more."

Obviously, I don't want more, because Klart the Kobold is now at 1 HP. So I declare helpfully that Klart is looking around to see if there are any obvious-looking sources of quests. Shady guys drinking alone, watching us thoughtfully. Bulletin boards with general "PLEASE KILL THESE RATS IN MY BASEMENT" requests. Whatever. He tells me that, no, we are the only ones inside the bar. I say that I'd like to go outside of the bar then, and Goblin Guy says he follows me. Generic Dwarf A interprets this to mean that there's no bartender, so he stays at the bar and starts trying to drink everything, which is a wholly appropriate plan of action for a Generic Dwarf. The GM gets a pained look on his face, and starts flashing sign language at his girlfriend (who has said nothing so far). Neither of them are hearing impaired, they just learned ASL so they could talk behind teacher's backs in school. Then he says "No, you can't leave. Please, don't split up the party. Just... just don't."

My brother and I look at each other and shrug. I declare that Klart is suddenly very interested in these human beverages as well, and he is joining Generic Dwarf A to drink. My brother's halfling attempts to rally everyone to go outside and see if there's anything to do... outside, but rolls poorly on his motivating speech. Dwarf B is still seething, but hasn't said anything since receiving his 4 points of Mercurial Fiat damage. But he pipes up now to stonewall the Halfling's attempt to get the party moving as a unit, declares that he's not going anywhere, and starts rambling about his deep backstory that makes him totally unlike any other dwarf. But it's apparent that he either doesn't remember it correctly, or hes making it all up on the spot, because it's complete nonsense, and he keeps having to backtrack to revise it.

Through all of this, GM and GM's girlfriend have been signing at each other and ignoring us. We are extremely limited in our ability to make things happen ourselves, but he's not providing any action at all either. His worldbuilding so far has been limited to:
- You are all in a bar.
- That bar is in a city.
- There is apparently a Magic Weapons Shop somewhere.
- You take 4 damage.
- No one else is in the bar.

But if another similarly-sized burst of Angry GM Damage flashes through the bar, Goblin Guy and I are dead, which is unforgivable, because our characters are clearly amazing (to us at least), and deserve to shine.

So Goblin Guy looks at the options, and decides to pick Mysterious Butterfly-Winged Stranger's pockets. Might as well go out with style. GM's girlfriend is now frantically signing at the GM. But, again, hasn't said one word since we sat down at the table, while she was quite the chatterbox before. Goblin Guy's pickpocket bonus is insane, and he rolls well on top of it, but the GM tells him that the mysterious stranger has nothing in her pockets.

"But she does, in fact, have pockets?" says Goblin Guy.

"Yes!" says GM's girlfriend emphatically, breaking her vow of silence at last.

"Good. I plant an Alchemist's Flask with a lit fuse." says Goblin Guy, who deserves to have statues built of him.

The DM stares at him blankly. My brother suggests that maybe Butterfly Winged Girl should roll Spot vs. Goblin Guy's Sleight of Hand? In fact, maybe everyone should roll spot, because... well... all apologies to Goblin Guy, but Halfling Paladin would probably object to that sort of thing, if he saw it. GM shrugs and goes "whatever", and we all roll Spot checks.

Only Klart succeeds, and responds by kicking over a table and ducking behind it.

The flask bursts, Butterfly Winged Girl's cloak is blasted off, and she describes in excruciating detail that she's dressed with the extravagance of royal wealth below. And she's immune to fire, the GM angrily declares.

Generic Dwarf A tentatively asks "Are you some kind of queen?"

"YES!" declares butterfly wing girl. "I AM THE QUEEN OF THIS CITY, AND YOU WILL ALL BE EXECUTED AS ASSASSINS! GUARDS!!"

The bewildered GM looks as blindsided by this as the rest of us, but declares that guards start pouring into the bar and arrest us all, and throw us all in jail. No rolls needed.

At this point, I should specify, about an hour and a half has gone by. My brother and I have texted each other indicating that 1.) we aren't trying to be helpful pals to the new GM any more, and 2.) we haven't got anything better to do, so why not be as obnoxious as possible until it kills us. Goblin Guy has shown us the way.

So Halfling Paladin and Generic Dwarf A are in one jail cell, Klart the Kobold and Generic Dwarf B are in another cell, and Goblin Guy is chained up, hanging upside down from the roof in the middle of the room. We're pretty excited, because this is the most detail the GM has offered up to this point. Generic Dwarf B has wandered off at this point to play Hero Clix on the other side of the comic shop, and he's ignoring us when we shout that it's his turn, so I commandeer his character, have him strip naked, and all of his equipment belongs to Klart now. Generic Dwarf B spends the rest of the adventure shivering in the jail cell.

"I... should have said the guards took all your weapons..." the GM shakily begins.

"NOPE TOO LATE NO TAKE BACKS", I shout, scribbling down the stats for Klart's new Battle Axe, Mace and Chain Shirt. The DM does not contest this. Goblin Guy gives me a high five, but then immediately goes back to pretending his arms are chained to his side and he's upside down.

Generic Dwarf A says that if he has his Axe still, he starts hacking at the cell door. He just starts rolling and declaring damage, while the GM stares blankly at him. Hobbit Paladin declares that, since these jail cells are emblems of an oppressive totalitarian regime, he can obviously Smite Evil at them, and he rolls as well. Just as they tell the GM that they've done enough damage to force the door open, the GM declares that a bunch of guards have come down, to escort us to the Queen, who will give us an opportunity to be forgiven if we provide her our services as adventurers. Too bad his attempt to provide a Plot hadn't actually taken place two hours earlier.

So Goblin Guy declares, suspended from the roof, that he is pickpocketing the Guard Captain. Before the GM can say anything, such as "You fail because your arms are chained to your sides", Goblin Guy has rolled. And he has rolled a Natural 20. Every terrible D&D player in the universe knows, 5% of the times that you roll, a Genie will erupt from your d20 and make your dreams come true. There's no denying the power of the Natural 20. None. No logic can thwart it.

So Goblin Guy now has the keys to the jail in his teeth. He swings around a bit and throws them to Klart, who lets himself out and casts Expeditious Retreat, then dashes like crazy past the guards and up the stairs. Sorry, rest of the team, but Klart's highest priority is shooting Queen Girlfriend in the face with Melf's Acid Arrow.

It turns out, they understand, and wish me Godspeed. Halfling Paladin and Generic Dwarf A crash out of their cell and engage the 30+ guards, while Goblin Guy thrashes around trying to bite people from above, and shake himself enough that his remaining explosives will fall out of his pockets onto someone. To the GM's credit, he treats the Guards as though they actually have combat stats this time, and the two with actual mobility manage a fairly credible defense from the door to their cell. Eventually though, they are overwhelmed, and die.

Meanwhile, Klart races through the castle towards the throne room. That's my only description of his direction - "Towards the throne room". The GM doesn't think to question how my Kobold knows the layout of the castle.

There, I find the Queen on her throne, surrounded by more guards. So Klart scream "HEATHENS AND UNBELIEVERS, COWER BEFORE THE MAJESTY OF THE SECRET APOCRYPHAL DRAGON GOD!" I cast my Acid Arrow, and make my Ranged Touch Attack.

Sometimes a Genie pops out of the dice and makes your dreams come true. And sometimes the Genie kicks you in the teeth. Exactly 5% of the time for each.

I declared that Klart's natural 1 meant he had misfired his Acid Arrow into his own mouth somehow, and that he exploded, showering the throne room in far more gore than should be able to fit inside of one Kobold.

Goblin Guy, as the last surviving party member (not counting Generic Dwarf B) declared that he bit down on the cyanide capsule that all Goblin Agents keep in a false tooth, and tore up his character sheet.

And then, we went down the street for late-night tacos, and made plans for a much better D&D game that sadly never came to pass.

DireSickFish
2014-10-24, 12:46 PM
It's kind of funny, I thought I had the worst GM ever, until I got the next GM. Now it's kind of a tossup. I'm leaning towards Eric...what the hell, how about I complain about both, and anyone who cares can vote on who sucked the most? Warning, I get long winded about these topics, I'll try to keep it short.

In college we agreed to alternate weeks between Glen and Trevor. Trevor's campaign wasn't great, but we could stand it, Glen's was ****, and he bullied Trevor into giving up his turn every week.

So we started out the game as escaped slaves coming out of Drow mines with a DMPC dual saber wielding drow who helped us escape. I ran a sorcerer and my GF ran a psion. We were all level 3 and just traveling through the caves, we climbed one wall. Well, everyone climbed it but my girlfriend, who no matter how well she rolled he declared she failed to climb the wall.

So we randomly find a huge pile of treasure in the middle of nowhere and suddenly a beholder jumps us. About four rounds of not being able to climb the stupid goddamn wall my GF walks out to spend time with her friends...clever girl. Eventually we beat the stupid beholder and jump to level 6. He also rolled randomly for treasure and one PC ended up getting a +5 short sword that dealt extra lightning, damage, frost, and instantly killed demons on critical hits.

Soon we started meeting the DM's "Amazing NPC's" We would actually mock him behind his back because every one of them had eyes "as blue as the ocean" and would respond to almost anything by stroking their chin and saying "Hmmmmm" in a thoughtful voice. Oh! And all of his female characters were "the most beautiful woman you've ever seen." Oh, they were also ubergods, some of them literally. Most of our sessions consisted of us sitting around listening to the GM's extremely long cutscenes, followed by a battle. We were dragged through internal politics of multiple realms and the entire game became focused on his one friend who had an evil tatoo taking over the nine levels of hell. It was on rails, HARD. I can't tell you how we did it, I missed the one session where we jumped from level 14 or so to level 26 or so.

These battles were dealt with by the DM's DMPC's fighting with casual grace, one of them was poking enemies to death because as strong as they were, drawing his weapon to deal with them was beneath him. All his creatures had really high spell resistance, and usually fire resistance, which happened to be my character's bread and butter. Oh, and "Caster level" to him used the highest level spell the character could use, not the level of the caster. So at the end our level 26 characters had a caster level of 9. The melee fighters basically did all the work the DMPC's didn't. One time my GF decided she wanted to use an AoE.

GF: Ok, I want to use this lightning burst thing, but I need to know if I'll hurt all my friends if I do.
Glen: No, you won't hurt all your friends.
GF: Okay, I use it.
Glen: Okay, you guys take...30 damage, reflex saves for half.
GF: You said I wouldn't hurt them!
Glen: You didn't hurt all of your friends, Trevor was out of range.

Yeah...yeah. Oh, and in case you're wondering, all my out of combat spells went about as well. You know how I said fire was my specialty? We came to these ruins where the ground was covered in snow. I tried to melt the snow with my fire. But I couldn't...it's magic snow. The snow couldn't melt, because it was magic. Luckily Trevor managed to find the trapdoor hidden beneath the snow, he's so clever.

Oh! Almost forgot, he had a thing for nose bleeds. I got an amulet that let me read minds. The only people we interacted with were his DMPC's and any time I tried to read their mind my nose would start bleeding. My GF tried to scry for one once and he but her in a coma...and gave her a nosebleed. In the end it all led up to the crowning moment where we threw down with the archon who guards the gates of heaven or some crap. My GF overcame his spell resistance even with the 16 level penalty for not understanding caster rules, the guy rolled a 1 on his will save, and she forcibly switched minds with him. My GF pulled off an impossible move and stole the body of one of the most powerful creatures in this universe. What was his response? He immediately turned to Trevor and asked him how he'd finish off the archon's new body in great detail and take over the nine levels of hell. What a waste of my goddamn time. He was worse as as a player, but that's not what we're here for so I'll leave it at that.


So, for years I didn't have very good GM's but I never held it against them, they just weren't for me. Glen was still the worst of the bunch. Then I met Eric, the single worst D&D player I have EVER met. But this isn't about him as a player, so let's get to his game.

I came into this game with a friend of mine. We were playing brothers, I was Brass, and he was Bronze. We player two separate archetypes of bards and were exiled nobles hiding from assassins and working as traveling musicians while we hunted down our parent's killers (Entirely flavor for us, has nothing to do with the game) The other players were two goblins, and a ranger who lived in the forest.

So we started our first session with the five of us standing in the court of the king. He told us the necronomicon had been stolen and we were tasked with finding the book and destroying it. If we didn't, the entire world was doomed. This didn't go well.

Me: "My lord! Don't we have some sort of army who can get this book?"
King: "No, you do it. God said so."
Me: "We are mere musicians, and they are goblins. I think anyone with military training would be better suited for the task!"
King: "We can't. all our soldiers are busy."
Me: "Really? Every soldier is busy? All of them?"
King: "Yes, they're all busy, go get the book!"
Me: "Well...if we pull of this impossible task, will we be rewarded in some way?"
King: "We'll figure it out later, for now, go get the book."
Me: "Very well sire, what magical equipment can you give us to aid us in our quest?"
King: "No, just go get the book!"
Me: "You are the king of this land, and surely the retrieval of a book that can end the world is of top priority. Surely you want to do everything you can for-"
King: "DAMN IT NEO, STOP STALLING AND GO GET THE STUPID BOOK!"

So we leave and start heading north, cause that's where the book is. Along the way we bump into three invincible awesome characters who are super strong and have lots of magical items. They agree to accompany us. So next we come to a town, as we walk through we find out that the town is filled with demons that are so strong they can almost kill me in a single hit. I run. The platemail wearing, rifle toting, beautiful vampire chick insists I get back there and fight. Then she threatens to shoot me in the back. I keep running. After the fight where the three superstars take out all the demons she chases me down, handcuffs me, and drags me back to the plot.

Oh, by the way, we played over the internet, and all dice were rolled on the honour system. His friend rolled criticals...a lot.

For brevity's sake I will skip some things. I stopped trying to play a character in the first session. I ended up abducting children and selling them to demons, blah blah blah, nothing I did EVER dissuaded anything from happening. Essentially I ended up being a glorified messenger the whole game, where my role was to get information and bring it to the DMPC's who could go deal with the problem for me. There were two goddesses in the world, one who was good and one who was evil. If I did anything the GM didn't like the good goddess would show up and torture me until I agreed to do whatever I was supposed to.

Near the end of his first arc there was a cave that the bad guy was in, guarded by twenty zombies with rifles. I cast invisibility and tried to sneak in. There's an anti-magic field that stops my invisibility. The zombies, who are sentient and speak common tell me to get lost. Eventually we figure we just have to go in guns blazing because he stops every other approach. The two of us go in with our shields, we got a bunch of stacked bonuses for when we do things next to eachother, one of them let us have AC bonuses when shielding eachother. The rifles go off as we drop into full defense and they unload everything into us, I take one hit, and it's not for much. They're reloading and we swoop in, for the first time in ten sessions we're excited. Their firing lines get decimated as Bronze great cleaves through several zombies. Then the DM's cleric uses an AOE that kills all the zombies.

More of this crap happened, and by the time we found the big bad, who was also in an anti magic superfield, I dropped a lighter on his gunpowder room and turned the goddamn mountain into rubble. THE GOD OF GOOD PULLS US ALL BACK FROM THE DEAD AND LETS US COME BACK IN NEW BODIES AS A REWARD FOR FINISHING HER HOLY MISSION. Oh, and one more thing? HERE'S ANOTHER GODDAMN HOLY MISSION, DO IT NOW OR I'LL TORTURE YOU SOME MORE.

I can back as a 13 year old girl named Sapphire. I was a rogue and I put every point of everything into non-combat skills. My highest stat was charisma, My bluff, stealth, and disguise were literally as high as they could possibly get at that level, I could even roll bluff twice and take the better of the two rolls. Oh, and I blew my items budget on a suit with it's own atmosphere and a flying broom. Also I took unarmed combat so I could suckerpunch people. I didn't care anymore! I wanted to do something damn it!

The rest of it was terrible. One time I killed a child by dealing nonlethal damage somehow, but I only had hope of enjoying it one time after that. Our ship was under attack by pirates. I used my suit to live underwater, I used my broom to fire me like a torpedo at their boat. I came up on the opposite side and hid. I memorized what the captain looked like and his voice. I snuch into his cabin, stole all his stuff, and started going through his closets do disguise myself as him. I would bluff my way to the powder room and set a charge. For once, FOR ONCE, I would be the GODDAMN HERO, ME! But in the middle of the pitched battle on the high seas the captain decided to come into his room, I pull the little girl act, then try to suckerpunch him, but he blocks, CAUSE HE'S A HIGH LEVEL MONK! You want to know why he checked his room at that moment? NO REASON! Because we left the room after that without him doing anything. I GUESS HIS PLOT SENSE MONL POWERS TOLD HIM GODDAMNIT I HATED THAT FREAKING GAME!

So...*Shrug* I guess Eric?


For Glen as a player we have a post for that here: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?373664-The-Worst-player-you-ve-ever-had-seen-been-heard-of/page4

Please post! I love hearing these stories.

illyahr
2014-10-24, 12:55 PM
A warning about this story: The GM was pretty terrible, but we were kind of jerks in reaction to it. Blame gets spread around evenly in this story, we were all monsters. But some of us were more entertaining monsters, so those will be presented as the heroes.

My brother and I had taken turns for years being GM for our circle of friends, and we were looking to actually be players in the same game for once. So we signed up for some D&D at the FLGS.

Turns out, the GM was quite a bit younger than us, and pretty inexperienced. But his campaign sounded interesting, so we went in expecting things to be kind of sloppy, no problem. We're Story-oriented more than System-oriented players, so if his grasp of the rules sucked, we were prepared to just roll with it.

Party consisted of:
- Klart the Kobold Sorcerer, fast-talking acolyte of the Secret Apocryphal Dragon God who didn't actually exist, whose Cult he was trying to establish purely for financial gain, played by me.
- Halfling Paladin, who was in love with a human noblewoman and took his paladin oaths to prove to her that he was a worthy suitor, played by my brother.
- Goblin thief/demolitions guy, whose player vanished after that session and we never saw again, which was a shame, because he was hilarious. We still lament the loss of Goblin Guy years later.
- Generic Dwarf Fighter A, played by a guy whose only trait I can recall is an odor that was oppressive even by comic shop standards.
- Generic Dwarf Fighter B, played by the guy who insisted he had sold his homebrew Star Trek RPG to Paramount and was just waiting for his lawyers to finish some things before the check came in and he could stop living in his van (he'll get his own awful DM story later).
- Mysterious cloaked stranger with butterfly wings and Charisma 24, played by the GM's girlfriend.

So we start out in a bar, which we are told is also the major hub for the local Adventurer's Guild. We are given no other information about the city. When we ask, we're told "you know, city... buildings... people in the buildings... magic weapon shop. City." But it's cool, we don't want to be jerks, he's a brand new GM. We figure we can help draw details out of him later without being aggressive about it. He's not forthcoming with any other details though, so we just start brainstorming among ourselves why we're here and what we might get up to.

My brother and I, and Goblin Guy, decide that we already know each other from the "Size Category: Small" luncheon at the Adventurer's Guild. Generic Dwarf B gets mad because we've crafted our extremely silly backstory without including him. I suggest that maybe his Dwarf was our first client, as a registered group of Small Adventurers? Or perhaps we did a job where Team Small Humanoids was matched by the guild with Team Identical Dwarves? He's upset now that I suggested that Dwarf B and Dwarf A are the same, until Goblin Guy points out that they actually appear to have literally identical stats listed on their sheets. But Dwarf A uses a Battle Axe and Shield, while Dwarf B uses a Battle Axe and Mace. Generic Dwarf B is now visibly angry, getting red in the face, but Generic Dwarf A is oblivious to it, and suggests that maybe they're actually twins?

The GM decides it's time to intervene. "You all take 4 points of damage."

What? From what source? Are we under attack? Is it magic?

"No, it's just 'wasting time' damage. Better start doing something quick, if you don't want more."

Obviously, I don't want more, because Klart the Kobold is now at 1 HP. So I declare helpfully that Klart is looking around to see if there are any obvious-looking sources of quests. Shady guys drinking alone, watching us thoughtfully. Bulletin boards with general "PLEASE KILL THESE RATS IN MY BASEMENT" requests. Whatever. He tells me that, no, we are the only ones inside the bar. I say that I'd like to go outside of the bar then, and Goblin Guy says he follows me. Generic Dwarf A interprets this to mean that there's no bartender, so he stays at the bar and starts trying to drink everything, which is a wholly appropriate plan of action for a Generic Dwarf. The GM gets a pained look on his face, and starts flashing sign language at his girlfriend (who has said nothing so far). Neither of them are hearing impaired, they just learned ASL so they could talk behind teacher's backs in school. Then he says "No, you can't leave. Please, don't split up the party. Just... just don't."

My brother and I look at each other and shrug. I declare that Klart is suddenly very interested in these human beverages as well, and he is joining Generic Dwarf A to drink. My brother's halfling attempts to rally everyone to go outside and see if there's anything to do... outside, but rolls poorly on his motivating speech. Dwarf B is still seething, but hasn't said anything since receiving his 4 points of Mercurial Fiat damage. But he pipes up now to stonewall the Halfling's attempt to get the party moving as a unit, declares that he's not going anywhere, and starts rambling about his deep backstory that makes him totally unlike any other dwarf. But it's apparent that he either doesn't remember it correctly, or hes making it all up on the spot, because it's complete nonsense, and he keeps having to backtrack to revise it.

Through all of this, GM and GM's girlfriend have been signing at each other and ignoring us. We are extremely limited in our ability to make things happen ourselves, but he's not providing any action at all either. His worldbuilding so far has been limited to:
- You are all in a bar.
- That bar is in a city.
- There is apparently a Magic Weapons Shop somewhere.
- You take 4 damage.
- No one else is in the bar.

But if another similarly-sized burst of Angry GM Damage flashes through the bar, Goblin Guy and I are dead, which is unforgivable, because our characters are clearly amazing (to us at least), and deserve to shine.

So Goblin Guy looks at the options, and decides to pick Mysterious Butterfly-Winged Stranger's pockets. Might as well go out with style. GM's girlfriend is now frantically signing at the GM. But, again, hasn't said one word since we sat down at the table, while she was quite the chatterbox before. Goblin Guy's pickpocket bonus is insane, and he rolls well on top of it, but the GM tells him that the mysterious stranger has nothing in her pockets.

"But she does, in fact, have pockets?" says Goblin Guy.

"Yes!" says GM's girlfriend emphatically, breaking her vow of silence at last.

"Good. I plant an Alchemist's Flask with a lit fuse." says Goblin Guy, who deserves to have statues built of him.

The DM stares at him blankly. My brother suggests that maybe Butterfly Winged Girl should roll Spot vs. Goblin Guy's Sleight of Hand? In fact, maybe everyone should roll spot, because... well... all apologies to Goblin Guy, but Halfling Paladin would probably object to that sort of thing, if he saw it. GM shrugs and goes "whatever", and we all roll Spot checks.

Only Klart succeeds, and responds by kicking over a table and ducking behind it.

The flask bursts, Butterfly Winged Girl's cloak is blasted off, and she describes in excruciating detail that she's dressed with the extravagance of royal wealth below. And she's immune to fire, the GM angrily declares.

Generic Dwarf A tentatively asks "Are you some kind of queen?"

"YES!" declares butterfly wing girl. "I AM THE QUEEN OF THIS CITY, AND YOU WILL ALL BE EXECUTED AS ASSASSINS! GUARDS!!"

The bewildered GM looks as blindsided by this as the rest of us, but declares that guards start pouring into the bar and arrest us all, and throw us all in jail. No rolls needed.

At this point, I should specify, about an hour and a half has gone by. My brother and I have texted each other indicating that 1.) we aren't trying to be helpful pals to the new GM any more, and 2.) we haven't got anything better to do, so why not be as obnoxious as possible until it kills us. Goblin Guy has shown us the way.

So Halfling Paladin and Generic Dwarf A are in one jail cell, Klart the Kobold and Generic Dwarf B are in another cell, and Goblin Guy is chained up, hanging upside down from the roof in the middle of the room. We're pretty excited, because this is the most detail the GM has offered up to this point. Generic Dwarf B has wandered off at this point to play Hero Clix on the other side of the comic shop, and he's ignoring us when we shout that it's his turn, so I commandeer his character, have him strip naked, and all of his equipment belongs to Klart now. Generic Dwarf B spends the rest of the adventure shivering in the jail cell.

"I... should have said the guards took all your weapons..." the GM shakily begins.

"NOPE TOO LATE NO TAKE BACKS", I shout, scribbling down the stats for Klart's new Battle Axe, Mace and Chain Shirt. The DM does not contest this. Goblin Guy gives me a high five, but then immediately goes back to pretending his arms are chained to his side and he's upside down.

Generic Dwarf A says that if he has his Axe still, he starts hacking at the cell door. He just starts rolling and declaring damage, while the GM stares blankly at him. Hobbit Paladin declares that, since these jail cells are emblems of an oppressive totalitarian regime, he can obviously Smite Evil at them, and he rolls as well. Just as they tell the GM that they've done enough damage to force the door open, the GM declares that a bunch of guards have come down, to escort us to the Queen, who will give us an opportunity to be forgiven if we provide her our services as adventurers. Too bad his attempt to provide a Plot hadn't actually taken place two hours earlier.

So Goblin Guy declares, suspended from the roof, that he is pickpocketing the Guard Captain. Before the GM can say anything, such as "You fail because your arms are chained to your sides", Goblin Guy has rolled. And he has rolled a Natural 20. Every terrible D&D player in the universe knows, 5% of the times that you roll, a Genie will erupt from your d20 and make your dreams come true. There's no denying the power of the Natural 20. None. No logic can thwart it.

So Goblin Guy now has the keys to the jail in his teeth. He swings around a bit and throws them to Klart, who lets himself out and casts Expeditious Retreat, then dashes like crazy past the guards and up the stairs. Sorry, rest of the team, but Klart's highest priority is shooting Queen Girlfriend in the face with Melf's Acid Arrow.

It turns out, they understand, and wish me Godspeed. Halfling Paladin and Generic Dwarf A crash out of their cell and engage the 30+ guards, while Goblin Guy thrashes around trying to bite people from above, and shake himself enough that his remaining explosives will fall out of his pockets onto someone. To the GM's credit, he treats the Guards as though they actually have combat stats this time, and the two with actual mobility manage a fairly credible defense from the door to their cell. Eventually though, they are overwhelmed, and die.

Meanwhile, Klart races through the castle towards the throne room. That's my only description of his direction - "Towards the throne room". The GM doesn't think to question how my Kobold knows the layout of the castle.

There, I find the Queen on her throne, surrounded by more guards. So scream "HEATHENS AND UNBELIEVERS, COWER BEFORE THE MAJESTY OF THE SECRET APOCRYPHAL DRAGON GOD!" I cast my Acid Arrow, and make my Ranged Touch Attack.

Sometimes a Genie pops out of the dice and makes your dreams come true. And sometimes the Genie kicks you in the teeth. Exactly 5% of the time for each.

I declared that Klart's natural 1 meant he had misfired his Acid Arrow into his own mouth somehow, and that he exploded, showering the throne room in far more gore than should be able to fit inside of one Kobold.

Goblin Guy, as the last surviving party member (not counting Generic Dwarf B) declared that he bit down on the cyanide capsule that all Goblin Agents keep in a false tooth, and tore up his character sheet.

And then, we went down the street for late-night tacos, and made plans for a much better D&D game that sadly never came to pass.

I am now a member of the Goblin Guy Fan Club. :smallbiggrin:

Inevitability
2014-10-25, 12:35 AM
I am now a member of the Goblin Guy Fan Club. :smallbiggrin:

Same here. That story was the greatest thing I've seen in this thread so far.

Diachronos
2014-10-25, 12:56 PM
A warning about this story: The GM was pretty terrible, but we were kind of jerks in reaction to it. Blame gets spread around evenly in this story, we were all monsters. But some of us were more entertaining monsters, so those will be presented as the heroes.

My brother and I had taken turns for years being GM for our circle of friends, and we were looking to actually be players in the same game for once. So we signed up for some D&D at the FLGS.

Turns out, the GM was quite a bit younger than us, and pretty inexperienced. But his campaign sounded interesting, so we went in expecting things to be kind of sloppy, no problem. We're Story-oriented more than System-oriented players, so if his grasp of the rules sucked, we were prepared to just roll with it.

Party consisted of:
- Klart the Kobold Sorcerer, fast-talking acolyte of the Secret Apocryphal Dragon God who didn't actually exist, whose Cult he was trying to establish purely for financial gain, played by me.
- Halfling Paladin, who was in love with a human noblewoman and took his paladin oaths to prove to her that he was a worthy suitor, played by my brother.
- Goblin thief/demolitions guy, whose player vanished after that session and we never saw again, which was a shame, because he was hilarious. We still lament the loss of Goblin Guy years later.
- Generic Dwarf Fighter A, played by a guy whose only trait I can recall is an odor that was oppressive even by comic shop standards.
- Generic Dwarf Fighter B, played by the guy who insisted he had sold his homebrew Star Trek RPG to Paramount and was just waiting for his lawyers to finish some things before the check came in and he could stop living in his van (he'll get his own awful DM story later).
- Mysterious cloaked stranger with butterfly wings and Charisma 24, played by the GM's girlfriend.

So we start out in a bar, which we are told is also the major hub for the local Adventurer's Guild. We are given no other information about the city. When we ask, we're told "you know, city... buildings... people in the buildings... magic weapon shop. City." But it's cool, we don't want to be jerks, he's a brand new GM. We figure we can help draw details out of him later without being aggressive about it. He's not forthcoming with any other details though, so we just start brainstorming among ourselves why we're here and what we might get up to.

My brother and I, and Goblin Guy, decide that we already know each other from the "Size Category: Small" luncheon at the Adventurer's Guild. Generic Dwarf B gets mad because we've crafted our extremely silly backstory without including him. I suggest that maybe his Dwarf was our first client, as a registered group of Small Adventurers? Or perhaps we did a job where Team Small Humanoids was matched by the guild with Team Identical Dwarves? He's upset now that I suggested that Dwarf B and Dwarf A are the same, until Goblin Guy points out that they actually appear to have literally identical stats listed on their sheets. But Dwarf A uses a Battle Axe and Shield, while Dwarf B uses a Battle Axe and Mace. Generic Dwarf B is now visibly angry, getting red in the face, but Generic Dwarf A is oblivious to it, and suggests that maybe they're actually twins?

The GM decides it's time to intervene. "You all take 4 points of damage."

What? From what source? Are we under attack? Is it magic?

"No, it's just 'wasting time' damage. Better start doing something quick, if you don't want more."

Obviously, I don't want more, because Klart the Kobold is now at 1 HP. So I declare helpfully that Klart is looking around to see if there are any obvious-looking sources of quests. Shady guys drinking alone, watching us thoughtfully. Bulletin boards with general "PLEASE KILL THESE RATS IN MY BASEMENT" requests. Whatever. He tells me that, no, we are the only ones inside the bar. I say that I'd like to go outside of the bar then, and Goblin Guy says he follows me. Generic Dwarf A interprets this to mean that there's no bartender, so he stays at the bar and starts trying to drink everything, which is a wholly appropriate plan of action for a Generic Dwarf. The GM gets a pained look on his face, and starts flashing sign language at his girlfriend (who has said nothing so far). Neither of them are hearing impaired, they just learned ASL so they could talk behind teacher's backs in school. Then he says "No, you can't leave. Please, don't split up the party. Just... just don't."

My brother and I look at each other and shrug. I declare that Klart is suddenly very interested in these human beverages as well, and he is joining Generic Dwarf A to drink. My brother's halfling attempts to rally everyone to go outside and see if there's anything to do... outside, but rolls poorly on his motivating speech. Dwarf B is still seething, but hasn't said anything since receiving his 4 points of Mercurial Fiat damage. But he pipes up now to stonewall the Halfling's attempt to get the party moving as a unit, declares that he's not going anywhere, and starts rambling about his deep backstory that makes him totally unlike any other dwarf. But it's apparent that he either doesn't remember it correctly, or hes making it all up on the spot, because it's complete nonsense, and he keeps having to backtrack to revise it.

Through all of this, GM and GM's girlfriend have been signing at each other and ignoring us. We are extremely limited in our ability to make things happen ourselves, but he's not providing any action at all either. His worldbuilding so far has been limited to:
- You are all in a bar.
- That bar is in a city.
- There is apparently a Magic Weapons Shop somewhere.
- You take 4 damage.
- No one else is in the bar.

But if another similarly-sized burst of Angry GM Damage flashes through the bar, Goblin Guy and I are dead, which is unforgivable, because our characters are clearly amazing (to us at least), and deserve to shine.

So Goblin Guy looks at the options, and decides to pick Mysterious Butterfly-Winged Stranger's pockets. Might as well go out with style. GM's girlfriend is now frantically signing at the GM. But, again, hasn't said one word since we sat down at the table, while she was quite the chatterbox before. Goblin Guy's pickpocket bonus is insane, and he rolls well on top of it, but the GM tells him that the mysterious stranger has nothing in her pockets.

"But she does, in fact, have pockets?" says Goblin Guy.

"Yes!" says GM's girlfriend emphatically, breaking her vow of silence at last.

"Good. I plant an Alchemist's Flask with a lit fuse." says Goblin Guy, who deserves to have statues built of him.

The DM stares at him blankly. My brother suggests that maybe Butterfly Winged Girl should roll Spot vs. Goblin Guy's Sleight of Hand? In fact, maybe everyone should roll spot, because... well... all apologies to Goblin Guy, but Halfling Paladin would probably object to that sort of thing, if he saw it. GM shrugs and goes "whatever", and we all roll Spot checks.

Only Klart succeeds, and responds by kicking over a table and ducking behind it.

The flask bursts, Butterfly Winged Girl's cloak is blasted off, and she describes in excruciating detail that she's dressed with the extravagance of royal wealth below. And she's immune to fire, the GM angrily declares.

Generic Dwarf A tentatively asks "Are you some kind of queen?"

"YES!" declares butterfly wing girl. "I AM THE QUEEN OF THIS CITY, AND YOU WILL ALL BE EXECUTED AS ASSASSINS! GUARDS!!"

The bewildered GM looks as blindsided by this as the rest of us, but declares that guards start pouring into the bar and arrest us all, and throw us all in jail. No rolls needed.

At this point, I should specify, about an hour and a half has gone by. My brother and I have texted each other indicating that 1.) we aren't trying to be helpful pals to the new GM any more, and 2.) we haven't got anything better to do, so why not be as obnoxious as possible until it kills us. Goblin Guy has shown us the way.

So Halfling Paladin and Generic Dwarf A are in one jail cell, Klart the Kobold and Generic Dwarf B are in another cell, and Goblin Guy is chained up, hanging upside down from the roof in the middle of the room. We're pretty excited, because this is the most detail the GM has offered up to this point. Generic Dwarf B has wandered off at this point to play Hero Clix on the other side of the comic shop, and he's ignoring us when we shout that it's his turn, so I commandeer his character, have him strip naked, and all of his equipment belongs to Klart now. Generic Dwarf B spends the rest of the adventure shivering in the jail cell.

"I... should have said the guards took all your weapons..." the GM shakily begins.

"NOPE TOO LATE NO TAKE BACKS", I shout, scribbling down the stats for Klart's new Battle Axe, Mace and Chain Shirt. The DM does not contest this. Goblin Guy gives me a high five, but then immediately goes back to pretending his arms are chained to his side and he's upside down.

Generic Dwarf A says that if he has his Axe still, he starts hacking at the cell door. He just starts rolling and declaring damage, while the GM stares blankly at him. Hobbit Paladin declares that, since these jail cells are emblems of an oppressive totalitarian regime, he can obviously Smite Evil at them, and he rolls as well. Just as they tell the GM that they've done enough damage to force the door open, the GM declares that a bunch of guards have come down, to escort us to the Queen, who will give us an opportunity to be forgiven if we provide her our services as adventurers. Too bad his attempt to provide a Plot hadn't actually taken place two hours earlier.

So Goblin Guy declares, suspended from the roof, that he is pickpocketing the Guard Captain. Before the GM can say anything, such as "You fail because your arms are chained to your sides", Goblin Guy has rolled. And he has rolled a Natural 20. Every terrible D&D player in the universe knows, 5% of the times that you roll, a Genie will erupt from your d20 and make your dreams come true. There's no denying the power of the Natural 20. None. No logic can thwart it.

So Goblin Guy now has the keys to the jail in his teeth. He swings around a bit and throws them to Klart, who lets himself out and casts Expeditious Retreat, then dashes like crazy past the guards and up the stairs. Sorry, rest of the team, but Klart's highest priority is shooting Queen Girlfriend in the face with Melf's Acid Arrow.

It turns out, they understand, and wish me Godspeed. Halfling Paladin and Generic Dwarf A crash out of their cell and engage the 30+ guards, while Goblin Guy thrashes around trying to bite people from above, and shake himself enough that his remaining explosives will fall out of his pockets onto someone. To the GM's credit, he treats the Guards as though they actually have combat stats this time, and the two with actual mobility manage a fairly credible defense from the door to their cell. Eventually though, they are overwhelmed, and die.

Meanwhile, Klart races through the castle towards the throne room. That's my only description of his direction - "Towards the throne room". The GM doesn't think to question how my Kobold knows the layout of the castle.

There, I find the Queen on her throne, surrounded by more guards. So Klart scream "HEATHENS AND UNBELIEVERS, COWER BEFORE THE MAJESTY OF THE SECRET APOCRYPHAL DRAGON GOD!" I cast my Acid Arrow, and make my Ranged Touch Attack.

Sometimes a Genie pops out of the dice and makes your dreams come true. And sometimes the Genie kicks you in the teeth. Exactly 5% of the time for each.

I declared that Klart's natural 1 meant he had misfired his Acid Arrow into his own mouth somehow, and that he exploded, showering the throne room in far more gore than should be able to fit inside of one Kobold.

Goblin Guy, as the last surviving party member (not counting Generic Dwarf B) declared that he bit down on the cyanide capsule that all Goblin Agents keep in a false tooth, and tore up his character sheet.

And then, we went down the street for late-night tacos, and made plans for a much better D&D game that sadly never came to pass.

The Small Creatures Guild sounds like the best people around.

And I'm not going to read posts in this thread during lunch anymore, because the part about Goblin Guy's nat 20 nearly made me choke.

Ravian
2014-10-26, 02:48 AM
And I'm not going to read posts in this thread during lunch anymore, because the part about Goblin Guy's nat 20 nearly made me choke.

Let's be honest, every DM has had times where they wished the dice would quit enabling their player's craziness. It's why I've made it a consistent rule that actions have to be described before dice are rolled. Otherwise a nat 20 becomes a license to take the action to its most illogical extreme. (A diplomacy check to a guard suddenly becomes an irrefutable compulsion to give them all their stuff, a bluff check let's them convince people they're dead, Climbing lets them defy gravity. etc.) Ridiculous things that defy all reason apparently occur in 5% of all situations in this universe.

nedz
2014-10-26, 07:03 AM
Let's be honest, every DM has had times where they wished the dice would quit enabling their player's craziness. It's why I've made it a consistent rule that actions have to be described before dice are rolled. Otherwise a nat 20 becomes a license to take the action to its most illogical extreme. (A diplomacy check to a guard suddenly becomes an irrefutable compulsion to give them all their stuff, a bluff check let's them convince people they're dead, Climbing lets them defy gravity. etc.) Ridiculous things that defy all reason apparently occur in 5% of all situations in this universe.

I've been doing this for a long time. It also stops take-backs, and the pre-rolling scam.

The Random NPC
2014-10-26, 08:07 AM
Though to be fair, bluff doesn't work that way, and you can't critically succeed on skill checks so those DCs should be out of reach even on a 20.

Sartharina
2014-10-26, 08:21 AM
Though to be fair, bluff doesn't work that way, and you can't critically succeed on skill checks so those DCs should be out of reach even on a 20.

The thing is - nobody actually plays it that way. Most people have "Nat 20 is Auto-Success. No matter what you're doing". Any game system that has you roll when you don't have a chance of success is terribly designed.

Diachronos
2014-10-26, 10:10 AM
Though to be fair, bluff doesn't work that way, and you can't critically succeed on skill checks so those DCs should be out of reach even on a 20.

Tell that to the drow samurai who accidentally made a masterwork katana while trying to craft an axe.

...our usual DM is a *little* loose with the crafting rules...

The Glyphstone
2014-10-26, 01:46 PM
The thing is - nobody actually plays it that way. Most people have "Nat 20 is Auto-Success. No matter what you're doing". Any game system that has you roll when you don't have a chance of success is terribly designed.

I've been playing a long time, and never met anyone who ruled this way - everyone I've played with recognized common sense. If they do allow such things, you get absurdities like jumping to the Moon on 5% of your attempts, or having a 5% chance of tripping and breaking your neck every time you climb a set of stairs. And let's not get into the problems of auto-success on opposed rolls, where both sides could roll a 20.

D&D is full of circumstances when you can attempt something with no chance of success, because the target DC for success is not something you are guaranteed to know. That guard you're Bluffing might be a rank green recruit farmboy, or they might be the king's personal spymaster slumming it out in the streets in disguise for a day, and you have no way of knowing without skills of your own.

Sartharina
2014-10-26, 01:53 PM
I've been playing a long time, and never met anyone who ruled this way - everyone I've played with recognized common sense. If they do allow such things, you get absurdities like jumping to the Moon on 5% of your attempts, or having a 5% chance of tripping and breaking your neck every time you climb a set of stairs. And let's not get into the problems of auto-success on opposed rolls, where both sides could roll a 20.

D&D is full of circumstances when you can attempt something with no chance of success, because the target DC for success is not something you are guaranteed to know. That guard you're Bluffing might be a rank green recruit farmboy, or they might be the king's personal spymaster slumming it out in the streets in disguise for a day, and you have no way of knowing without skills of your own.

Those situations are handled by not rolling at all. If you're rolling, there HAS to be a chance of failure or success. Otherwise, put the dice away and stop abusing them.

Of course, in situations where you're rolling when you wouldn't really have a chance of failure or success, 'crit fails/successes' could be either complications(You succeed the overall goal, but something breaks in the process) or lucky breaks (You don't quite succeed, but you don't screw it up, either).

BeerMug Paladin
2014-10-26, 02:35 PM
Those situations are handled by not rolling at all. If you're rolling, there HAS to be a chance of failure or success. Otherwise, put the dice away and stop abusing them.

Of course, in situations where you're rolling when you wouldn't really have a chance of failure or success, 'crit fails/successes' could be either complications(You succeed the overall goal, but something breaks in the process) or lucky breaks (You don't quite succeed, but you don't screw it up, either).
Rolling is sometimes required to not break the illusion of player agency or control.

A 3rd level rogue isn't likely to be able to break into the king's private treasure vaults no matter what they roll on a lockpicking attempt. But flat out telling them that it won't work no matter what breaks the sense of the game world feeling fluid and real. If they take a 20 and still can't open it, that represents considerable in-game time and effort put forwards to accomplishing that goal. Rolling a 20 cues the player into the fact the task was always impossible.

And some players react badly to learning that some goals are going to be impossible for them to accomplish.

But beyond that, there are some skills that no roll allowed does make sense for. Such as some surfaces being impossible to climb without a ridiculously high climb skill. But for the most part, things like picking locks and social skills should probably mostly be handled with a die roll, whether or not it is possible for the player to make the check.

Milodiah
2014-10-26, 06:36 PM
By not enabling dice rolls for impossible tasks, you ignore the two most sacred traditions of D&D- the first is rolling a d20, the second is breaking out scrap paper and calculating every single possible positive modifier you could receive in this situation.

"So if the wizard casts Owl's Wisdom on the cleric's magic-amplifying artifact while the bardic music is playing, and the cleric proceeds to rub the artifact on me while casting that one houseruled-in divine intervention spell, then I can try to roll a nat-20 immediately after the bard switches over to buffing me and the ranger stabs a completely unrelated favored enemy because more numbers are always better and we're pretty sure if we talk fast enough we can trick the DM into factoring some of those numbers in."

...
2014-10-26, 06:54 PM
Stop the derail! We must all unify under the banner of the great and powerful Goblin Guy!

illyahr
2014-10-27, 11:56 AM
Stop the derail! We must all unify under the banner of the great and powerful Goblin Guy!

Yes, back to the thread. Goblin Guy will protect us from further bad DM's. :smallbiggrin:

Sith_Happens
2014-10-27, 01:17 PM
I've been playing a long time, and never met anyone who ruled this way - everyone I've played with recognized common sense.

The groups I've been in tend to treat natural 20s on skill checks as the equivalent of exceptional successes in nWoD. Provided you do in fact pass the DC in the first place, you go above and beyond (to varying degrees) whatever it is you were originally trying to accomplish. As a made-up example, if you're trying to steal someone's purse and roll a natural 20 you manage to slip their watch off while you're at it.

The Glyphstone
2014-10-27, 08:31 PM
The groups I've been in tend to treat natural 20s on skill checks as the equivalent of exceptional successes in nWoD. Provided you do in fact pass the DC in the first place, you go above and beyond (to varying degrees) whatever it is you were originally trying to accomplish. As a made-up example, if you're trying to steal someone's purse and roll a natural 20 you manage to slip their watch off while you're at it.

This I've never experienced, but I could see it happening with the 'pass the DC' requirement. But not '20 is auto-succeed at all times for anything'.

Mr Beer
2014-10-27, 10:47 PM
Those situations are handled by not rolling at all. If you're rolling, there HAS to be a chance of failure or success. Otherwise, put the dice away and stop abusing them.

When someone demands to try something, even though it's silly, I let them roll for it if they want to. It's not going to work though. I occasionally say "It doesn't work" the instant the dice leave their hands, for comedic effect. Alternatively, if they roll exceptionally well and the task is not entirely binary, they might enjoy a partial success e.g. "No the king is not going to make you Arch-duke and let you marry his daughter just for asking, but he thinks you made an hilarious joke and invites you to dinner" or whatever.

AceAwesome96
2014-10-28, 10:44 PM
Yes, back to the thread. Goblin Guy will protect us from further bad DM's. :smallbiggrin:

Just read the story... Count me in the Goblin Guy Fan Club!!!

Also, I probably shouldn't mention that one time I nearly TPK'd my party with a modded dragon that I thought would be a decent challenge. That one incident has made me strive to become a better GM (so far I've been better).

Diachronos
2014-10-28, 11:52 PM
There was one DM I had that liked Dwarf Fortress. He really liked Dwarf Fortress. To the point where he targeted anybody who played an elf of any kind, and he used the Dwarf Fortress definition of "fun" in his games. Wait, scratch that, not in his games; that was legitimately his real-life idea of what fun is.

He's not the worst DM I've ever had, though, because despite those flaws he did make a lot of effort to make the game interesting and fun.

Marlowe
2014-10-29, 01:05 AM
There was one DM I had that liked Dwarf Fortress. He really liked Dwarf Fortress. To the point where he targeted anybody who played an elf of any kind, and he used the Dwarf Fortress definition of "fun" in his games. Wait, scratch that, not in his games; that was legitimately his real-life idea of what fun is.

He's not the worst DM I've ever had, though, because despite those flaws he did make a lot of effort to make the game interesting and fun.

You all died drunk and covered in vomit, roasting in lava while using your babies for human humanoid shields?

Alberic Strein
2014-10-29, 01:47 AM
You all died drunk and covered in vomit, roasting in lava while using your babies for human humanoid shields?

Leaving only a single insane dwarf militia man and a child? The militia man would then tell for long hours how "everything changed when the fire dward attacked... And by fire dward I mean a berserk former ruler who kept punching things to death WHILE ON FIRE!"?


he did make a lot of effort to make the game interesting and fun.

Clarification here, 'fun' fun, or fun* fun?

read 'starved to death by sudden mushroom growth'

Milodiah
2014-10-29, 01:49 AM
The trick to dealing with setting-obsessed DMs is to use that setting to your advantage. For instance, operating under Dwarf Fortress logic, hilarious magma deathtraps are a common fixture of any reasonably-defended settlement, and any conspicuous unmarked levers you see have a roughly one in four chance of triggering them.

That's it, my new campaign ambition is to somehow trick the DM into letting me pull a lever that douses everything in magma.

Diachronos
2014-10-29, 07:39 AM
Clarification here, 'fun' fun, or fun* fun?

read 'starved to death by sudden mushroom growth'

Actual, non-Dwarf Fortress fun. We fought a black pudding made of black pudding. That turned you into more of itself if you ate it

Stuebi
2014-10-30, 06:44 AM
I have one from very recently, my first time playing a homebrew setting.

I say a lot of stupid stuff when I'm drunk. I'm adding "I dont see why I wouldnt want to play in your homebrew-setting!" to the top of the list.

The guy appearantly DM's very regularly, altough I have only experienced him as a player. Group is setting itself up, most people are busy creating their characters (He ported the Char-creation from another system, to save time), while I'm playing X-Com to kill time until everybody is ready. We were around 25 minutes overdue for the game to start, and the DM wasnt quite ready yet. So I asked if it would be fine to get a cup o' coffee. DM told me I could go right ahead, and I was afk for around 10 minutes (My coffeemachine needs ages to warm up and grind beans.). When I came back, it seemed the DM and one of the players just finished a rather loaded argument. They told me it was fine, so I didnt pay much attention to it.

So we start out, and we're sitting on an island with Lizardpeople living on it. A nearby volcanoe had broken out, and was regularly bombarding the area with fireballs, all the while a group of bucaneers was in the process of attacking the village.

There may be some of you finding that scene very familiar. It's pretty much a 1:1 port of Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer. I had played the game not too long ago after a sale on GOG, and after recognizing the scene, I guessed the DM might have played it too. Nothing wrong with getting a bit of inspiration, right?

Emphasis on "a bit".

While I had hoped he was only using the setting and would eventually guided us away from the path in the game, he pretty much copied everything. We entered the first dungeon, an old snake temple. And I swear, every trap, every chest and every Mob was right there where you would find him in the game. OFC, this put me a bit into a bind. Apart from me and the other player who had argued earlier, the others were having fun. And using Meta-knowledge is pretty mean too. Still, I chatted the DM up on Skype and told him, that I basically knew the game right until the point where you would reach the second Hub. He was miffed (How is that MY fault?! Stop stealing Plotideas from Videogames you prick!) and asked me to not use any of my extra info.

Naturally, this translated into me not being allowed to find or disarm any of the hidden secrets and traps. If I even amde the slightest hint at looking at my sourrunding, the DM switched right over to somebody else. Mentally, I allready saw us being mauled by all the mean ****e deeper in the temple. But I was "lucky", if you can call it that. It seems that one other player, the one who had argued with Big Daddy while I was gone, had played the game too (Which was the cause of their earlier argument). DM had shut him down after his first complaint and told him to "just roll with it". And that he did. And proceeded to loot every nook and cranny inside the temple, subtly point other people into the right direction to find Loot or hidden secrets, and managed to disarm almost all traps with the help of another player. You could practically hear the DM's heavy breathing on the other side of the Mic.

All in all, the session was incredibly boring and predictable, and ended with the two guys shouting at each other again. An incredible waste of a saturday evening.

Boci
2014-10-30, 08:37 AM
Those situations are handled by not rolling at all. If you're rolling, there HAS to be a chance of failure or success. Otherwise, put the dice away and stop abusing them.


What is there is no chance of success or failure, but the character wouldn't know that? The GM can say "don't bother", but they can also say "go ahead. nope, nothing happens" and leave the player wondering if the task is impossible or whether they just didn't roll well/badly enough.

Following the above logic, shouldn't a DM just tell the players when they search for traps in a corridor where there are none?

BeerMug Paladin
2014-10-30, 10:55 AM
I have one from very recently, my first time playing a homebrew setting.
I once gamed with a guy who would do this with individual dungeon layouts and designs. But he wouldn't steal everything. And he didn't do it all the time.

The closest I did for that is run a game where the starting scenario for the player party is the opening scene from the campaign Descent Into Darkness in the Battle For Wesnoth game. And it diverged from there pretty quickly.

Mr Beer
2014-10-30, 05:10 PM
Naturally, this translated into me not being allowed to find or disarm any of the hidden secrets and traps. If I even amde the slightest hint at looking at my sourrunding, the DM switched right over to somebody else. Mentally, I allready saw us being mauled by all the mean ****e deeper in the temple. But I was "lucky", if you can call it that. It seems that one other player, the one who had argued with Big Daddy while I was gone, had played the game too (Which was the cause of their earlier argument). DM had shut him down after his first complaint and told him to "just roll with it". And that he did. And proceeded to loot every nook and cranny inside the temple, subtly point other people into the right direction to find Loot or hidden secrets, and managed to disarm almost all traps with the help of another player. You could practically hear the DM's heavy breathing on the other side of the Mic.

All in all, the session was incredibly boring and predictable, and ended with the two guys shouting at each other again. An incredible waste of a saturday evening.

Why didn't the DM just switch around some of the items on the fly? So treasure becomes trap, trap becomes treasure? I mean not copying a video game in its entirety and then getting pissed that other people have also played that game would be a better move, but it's not like it has to be a game-ending problem.

Honest Tiefling
2014-10-30, 06:31 PM
This is from a game DMed by a guy who is normally a stand up dude, but seems to be a bad DM. Neither story is probably as bad as some.

First, we had a large party of 7 people. This isn't a problem in of itself, but it didn't help some flaws in his DMing style. The first problem occurred when some characters were told they came up to the walls, and got a brief description of the queen and the city itself, which was interesting. I forget how, but he turned his attention to others already in the city, who were in a bar. That wasn't the problem, but I zone out at this point and start doodling my character as I am not present and I cannot metagame what I do not know. Perhaps this was a mistake on my point, but I figure that he was getting the four people in the inn to a point where the three outside could walk in on them.

This apparently was NOT the plan, as the four inside were then given a quest which I barely overheard and were leaving to go meet with someone. I start getting concerned, as I have no idea who this person is. I get the idea that we'll meet in this lady's employ, and ask the DM about yanno, getting us into the city. The DM just offhandedly says we were in the bar the entire time. Nevermind that nothing got us from the walls to the bar, and the DM never caught the fact that were were not responding at all to anything happening. Okay, large group, I can forgive this. I have no idea what is going on, but my character can adapt, we're golden.

We get some interaction with an NPC I think was evil (Everyone else was afraid of him, he wore a black hooded cloak, spoke in a deep voice, etc.) but since he repaired my set of drums, I decided that my character didn't really care. Perhaps that was a bit trolly, but I wasn't sure if expecting that character to be evil was the worse gaming sin, honestly. Oh, and I broke my ONLY instrument with a roll of 1...Which is why I am not fond of critical failures on certain skill rolls. At the time, I figured it was just adding to a silly tone as it got repaired quickly. To this day, I am not actually sure what sort of tone this NPC was supposed to be enforcing, honestly.

We get hired to escort this person that the others met (in an already large game, mind you) to deal with some bandits. Did I mention this character was a cleric 10 levels above us? She was. We have 1 encounter where only 2 people got to go before she killed everything. That's...Weird, but maybe she'll die or turn on us. Or something. Or we get some sweet loot for helping her. I can tolerate this for a few sessions after all, maybe we can get some roleplay in. So far, all I have done is break my own drums, but we're just getting started!

We start to explore the watch tower that encounter apparently cleared out. This part as I remember was fun, and a high strength character got to break things as we make sure no nasty surprises were here. I was excited, as our merry band could fortify this place and we could have a neato base! But...No. In the morning we wake up to her already having moved her things in and taking it over. I admit, I was...Feeling kinda useless here, and I think another player was upset we couldn't fix up the place for ourselves and patrol the road. But never mind, we keep going to encounter the bandit camp, maybe that wasn't the DM's intention.

We get another combat there with rather predictable results. Another player playing a Warden or a Fighter (4th edition DnD if anyone cares) had less to do. Then we speak with the bandits, who are upset about a famine. Okay, we promise to help with this and start making plans on getting them settled and able to feed themselves before dealing with the famine. Not combat heavy, but that's fine by me! I figure that myself and a few other high charisma characters can speak with them to work out a deal. I thought this was an interesting idea, and was thinking of ways for all of us to work this angle at once. I was again, excited.

NOPE! Guess who does! That's right, the cleric. Who, by the way, is using this new workforce to aid her position in the clergy and the town by getting them to work cheap. Her, not our, standing. We're just her hirelings. I don't even get to roll my diplomacy and neither do any of the other characters. I could have forgiven it if some other player had. But no. I think we were even expected to simply leave the bandits/refugees in her care, without further interaction with them.

At this point, I probably become the worst player and say that either this DMPC dies, or I leave. This wasn't mature, but after two sessions of no loot, no combat no...Nothing, I lost it, I admit. The DM decided to end the game at that point. I am sorry that my outburst ended it for the others for what it is worth.

This guy was a creep, but myself and my best friend didn't know it at the time. Its been a while, but I remember some points.


I was pretty new to 3.5 DnD, and I loved the look of the Dragon Disciple. So I decided on a sorcerer to enter into the prestige class. The DM house ruled that I could continue spell casting progression as well. I was excited! Of course I only took fire based spells to go with the theme. And I got Improved Familiar, so I got myself a nice little Fire Elemental to go with my theme as the DM said I could not have a dragon.

The first thing that happens? An army of elves has appeared and is readying to kill my character. Why? Because I have set the forest on fire with my elemental. Apparently, my character did not know this might happen and could not have prevented it in the slightest. My character was not descended from the brightest gold dragon! This being my second game, I panic.

DM graciously allows me to select an earth elemental to avoid death by elven army. The earth elemental proceeds to whine about how it was not my first choice, despite that never happening and being retconned. I proceed to threaten to beat it with itself because I am pissed at the DM. I know, I know, I shouldn't have, but this was annoying. I got absolutely no warning and the first thing described to me in the game is how the forest is on fire.

Moving on, we meet the rest of the party and go to defeat a monster terrorizing the city, I think. I cannot remember it, but I believe it was fairly rushed. There was a combat in which I could have effectively use the familiar at least. Yay! Sadly, we got joined by a DMPC who was a dragon. This dragon expected me to worship it and I think tried to get my money by exclaiming that since I respected dragons, I should be glad to give it money after having to dodge pies thrown by it. I believe I threatened to beat it too once I had enough of hiiiiiiilarious comments about how awesome it was and how I should obey it. I think I threatened it with my familiar? Oh, and it threw pies in combat, and was surprisingly effective with this.

The monster, by the way, is a Red Dragon. As in, something immune to every single one of my spells. Of a character the DM helped me build. Oh, and I believe it was an adult or older, given how big it was. I didn't take a single non-fire based spell because I didn't want to ruin my theme of gold dragon blood, and it killed my familiar with one blow (good riddance). The Red Dragon for some reason, decided to give my character a chance to join him if I killed an NPC that was tied up. So I tried to bluff the Red Dragon as I was out of options. I remember failing, but the other party members dispatched it. At least the session ended on a good note as we got access to hot springs?

Later I learned that the dragon became a demigod of pies and trickery in the DM's campaign setting. I still want to beat that dragon with whiny timeline-distorting earth elementals.

Dimers
2014-10-30, 07:28 PM
The DM decided to end the game at that point. I am sorry that my outburst ended it for the others for what it is worth.

You did nothing to be sorry for. If you were in a party with a level-plus-10 DMPC preventing all player agency, I imagine you actually earned some thanks for saying what had to be other some fellow players' minds.

Milodiah
2014-10-30, 07:38 PM
Because I have set the forest on fire with my elemental. Apparently, my character did not know this might happen and could not have prevented it in the slightest.

How exactly did it happen, out of curiosity? Did you employ it aggressively in a forest, or did it just "happen" as soon as you selected it because the DM was a turd? The first one I have done to my players, because forest fires are a thing that happens (didn't include the "army of pissed-off elves" part, which was still a rude move I'd say). But if it was the second one, that's literally just the DM building an express line from Character-Build City straight to Fiatvania, stopping only to change cars at Retconville.

Honest Tiefling
2014-10-30, 07:41 PM
The second. As in, the first in-character description I get of the world is that of a raging inferno. I didn't even get a chance to talk to the fire elemental, (Or fireproof it to avoid this) nor was I intending to attack anyone as my PC was either LG or NG (Moving to Lawful Pissy). Just BAM, forest fire and angry elves. I didn't even know where the village where everyone else was yet.

Hopefully that clears up why I threatened to beat the Earth Elemental so often. Admittedly, I was much younger.

Milodiah
2014-10-30, 07:43 PM
...did you ever encounter another fire elemental in-game? Because I'd rather like to know if the DM was at least consistent with his absurdity, or if it was just an improbably rude way of saying "no you can't have that".

Honest Tiefling
2014-10-30, 07:46 PM
No, but I have no idea why an earth elemental was fine, but a fire elemental basically caused fires the instant my PC started play. I guess I should have been glad that the earth elemental did not cause earthquakes and an army of angry dwarves. I hope people understand why I got pretty annoyed with the second story.

Dycize
2014-10-30, 08:14 PM
Oh I know the feel on the "game where nothing happens". And you had the unluck of not knowing what to expect so you stuck with it.
I had a similar situation with my old DM... Who was both my best and worst DM. Sometimes he just dropped the ball and let some really unsavory sides of himself get the best of his brain.

As you might guess from this box-name, mature content got involved.

It was a small party on a large scope game, DM had made a big map with lots of land, players of various groups did stuff in various places with the overall goal of adventures and conquests! Since it was instant messaging and everyone in their late teens, all the free time made this work actually pretty well!
The party was me, playing a female human wilder, adopted daughter of an elf lord (another player's character) and a hired female elf rogue. You might have noticed that both characters are female. For the most part, this actually did not affect anything, until the DM's hormones kicked in when our party arrived in a city. The city had a bit of a werewolf problem (and the local queen was one so matters were kinda complicated). My friend's rogue actually ended up suffering from lycanthropy, which was fine. I don't remember how everything happened, but essentially, we solved the problem and got invited to stay over at the queen's castle.
And that's where things got weird.
We basically got visited by a naked servant. Our 1st reaction was to laugh and send him away. Then he came back and the DM started talking about giving XP rewards. We still drove him out and locked the door. Then he climbed up the windows and my character may have pushed him over and he may have ended up a bloody mess on the ground (did I mention this was fairly early in my D&D life? I didn't know how to react to this).
Then our characters went to sleep and uh...
Next scene, our characters woke up, the castle was in ruins and we meet a demon who clearly had a thing or two in common with our problem. This the part where we also learned our characters also received a demonic night time visit. Let's just say that me and my friend were pretty close to leaving that game forever when we learned our characters actually became pregnant. Strangely enough, because we read stuff in the BoEF (which was mostly for the laughs) I actually pointed out to the DM that the book mentionned how our characters were gonna die in child-birth.
And that's the part where the game became good again, somehow, as our characters were now rushing to find mundane/magic/divine help with the situation (which was entirely unplanned, the DM wasn't aware that this would kill our characters). And find a solution we did! In fact, I even got to solution the rogue's werewolf issues (our characters had become pretty close, and the alignment shift was becoming really noticeable) along with it. So yay for running with it and turning it around! After that, the game went on and our characters had cool adventures.
...Until his urges came back about 3 adventures later. This time, he was pretty much going all out with trying to have our characters earn bonus XP. My friend ended up caving in but I adamantly refused and left the game. The DM reinvited me multiple times until I made -him- cave in and allow my character to have a normal night's rest. His attempts to make me cave in even included... Giving me "control" of a level 20 DMPC who's name was my username at the time. Yeah that one was just weird. Still, it allowed me to actually get out of this situation unharmed...
And after that night, the game went back on normal tracks. It's just weird how he got like that sometimes... At least me and my friend, for a while, joked about how our psychic-half-demon and half-elf-half-demon-natural-werewolf kids would have been OP.
The next story happened many years later, with the same DM and vastly different circumstances. I may have been a worst player that day... I still think I was mostly in the right (I could have been more subtle). But here it is.

Years later, my DM, my old rogue friend and 2 other D&D friends that were made in-between and were regulars in most of our other games. We were playing in a long running planescape (Sigil based) game. It was mostly RP hijinks with the D&D 3.5 ruleset, but sometimes we also achieved stuff. The game had been weakening a bit over the last weeks and our DM was having some personal issues and an overall lack of inspiration, so we decided to call the game off until he could get back his game, we were more or less switching around with DMing anyway so it was okay if he took a break.
Days were going normally until not too long later, he got us together and we were going to continue the game and he looked like he was doing pretty fine! As it turned out that session though... He wasn't. I don't remember much from that game now, and even less of what happened during that session... But I do remember how we were mostly struggling along that session and no one was really having a lot of fun and then... Our characters' little struggle adventure ended with absolutely nothing getting done. Heck, I think we actually made negative progress there. But here it was, "complete". We had more or less solved the thing we were supposed to do, except with no reward, no plot hook and no fun. I got pretty angry at the DM and asked him what he was thinking, and he told me he thought that if he gave it a spin maybe it would get better... My reaction was not pretty but basically I told him that if he still wasn't feeling well he should have just waited instead of giving us a bland, lame and boring session. One of the other players got angry at me for being so harsh and the session ended there...
For a while, we did not play D&D a lot following this incident. Stuff eventually turned around, but it remains a sour memory all around.
Yeah, I wasn't very nice in that last one... But we had played D&D for so much time together and it was always great fun, even in our more short-lived campaigns. That session really hit a nerve that day...

And there is another story, which I told somewhere else... The PvP thread I think.
Long story short, it was a game my old DM found, with 2 people we didn't know, one of which was the DM. At some point, the party's ninja just switched from neutral good to whatever evil, killed the druid's animal companion and disappeared from the game because "there was no leader in the party". The fact that it all seemed natural to the DM and the player rubbed me the wrong way, but hey, at least he was gone... Then the DM tried railroading us to prison with infinite spawning town guards. I'm not kidding. My character quickly racked up a massive bodycount due to being a psion with a line power and the guards just coming at us through a corridor to get mindlessly slaughtered (until my power points ran out, more precisely). While we were investigating a crypt of some sort. And the guards never gave us any reason before resorting themselves to lethal force (that was before we started frying them, btw). Soon after that the session ended and I didn't come to the next one, my old DM still went, then later told me I missed nothing and he also left.

There was also that one time my old DM tried his hand at doing something grim, gritty and dark, which ended up with some sort of omniscient police state (still in D&D) and our characters getting tortured in prison (this one turned out hilariously due to me abusing autohypnosis to not let out a single word. then they realised my character couldn't talk/write/communicate properly anymore due to the stuff he went through). We all decided "yeah no, never again" and left it at that.

Ah, my old DM... Such a wide range of quality. Most sessions were so good... And then sometimes he slipped up, fell off a cliff, started spinning, dug into the ground and reached ever lower.

(Un)Inspired
2014-10-30, 08:18 PM
My worst DM is actually an incredibly nice guy who is enormously fun to have as a player at a table dispute the fact that his problem solving skills can occasionally be lacking.

His trouble as a DM is that his story's are tremendously meandering and any time he reads about something cool he he will try to immediately fit it into the campaign regardless of it atmospheric appropriateness.

In one game he ran our party had to get to the top of a wizards tower to get some maguffin at the top of a near by town. At the base of the tower was a door that was locket by magic and the only way to open it was by presenting a rose that only grew on the plane of shadow. Then we had to find a ritual that would take us to the plane of shadow. Then we wandered blindly in the plane of shadow till we got to an abondoned shadow fort where we learned that one of the characters had backstory npcs that had worked at the fort years earlier. At this point it's been 6 months in real time since we were asked to climb the wizards tower and what little interest I had in fulfilling this fetch quest had completely dried up. A few weeks after we got to the fort everyone lost interest and the game died.

The next campaign he wanted to run was after he got all hopped up reading about the Al Qadeem dnd setting. He told us to prepare for a 1001 Arabian nights style adventure and everybody made rad desert dwellers while I made a T E Lawrence character to explore some fish out of water fun. We'll like 4 session into the campaign we got sent through a portal to Sigil and there we stayed for about 4 months of real time until everyone's interest petered out and the campaign broke up. It was a very abrupt thematic shift from Arabian desert bandit fights to fetch quests to curry favor with different planar faction that it felt like he had just flat out switched campaign notes with a different DM.

It was only after few years that I pressed him about it and it turns out that he had just read a book set in Sigil and was really excited to have some adventures there. It was like our campaign was a road trip from California to New York and on the second day of driving, without telling anyone, he took a surprise turn south cause he realized he really wanted to see Texas. Maybe Sigil/ Texas is cool but it's a bit jarring if it happens without warning. Especially if the DM doesn't actually have an important overall plan for incorporating the trip into the narrative.

Inevitability
2014-10-31, 11:32 AM
I don't think I've ever seen someone compare sigil to texas. :smalleek:

Raphite1
2014-10-31, 11:46 AM
A warning about this story: The GM was pretty terrible, but we were kind of jerks in reaction to it. Blame gets spread around evenly in this story, we were all monsters. But some of us were more entertaining monsters, so those will be presented as the heroes.

My brother and I had taken turns for years being GM for our circle of friends, and we were looking to actually be players in the same game for once. So we signed up for some D&D at the FLGS.

Turns out, the GM was quite a bit younger than us, and pretty inexperienced. But his campaign sounded interesting, so we went in expecting things to be kind of sloppy, no problem. We're Story-oriented more than System-oriented players, so if his grasp of the rules sucked, we were prepared to just roll with it.

Party consisted of:
- Klart the Kobold Sorcerer, fast-talking acolyte of the Secret Apocryphal Dragon God who didn't actually exist, whose Cult he was trying to establish purely for financial gain, played by me.
- Halfling Paladin, who was in love with a human noblewoman and took his paladin oaths to prove to her that he was a worthy suitor, played by my brother.
- Goblin thief/demolitions guy, whose player vanished after that session and we never saw again, which was a shame, because he was hilarious. We still lament the loss of Goblin Guy years later.
- Generic Dwarf Fighter A, played by a guy whose only trait I can recall is an odor that was oppressive even by comic shop standards.
- Generic Dwarf Fighter B, played by the guy who insisted he had sold his homebrew Star Trek RPG to Paramount and was just waiting for his lawyers to finish some things before the check came in and he could stop living in his van (he'll get his own awful DM story later).
- Mysterious cloaked stranger with butterfly wings and Charisma 24, played by the GM's girlfriend.

So we start out in a bar, which we are told is also the major hub for the local Adventurer's Guild. We are given no other information about the city. When we ask, we're told "you know, city... buildings... people in the buildings... magic weapon shop. City." But it's cool, we don't want to be jerks, he's a brand new GM. We figure we can help draw details out of him later without being aggressive about it. He's not forthcoming with any other details though, so we just start brainstorming among ourselves why we're here and what we might get up to.

My brother and I, and Goblin Guy, decide that we already know each other from the "Size Category: Small" luncheon at the Adventurer's Guild. Generic Dwarf B gets mad because we've crafted our extremely silly backstory without including him. I suggest that maybe his Dwarf was our first client, as a registered group of Small Adventurers? Or perhaps we did a job where Team Small Humanoids was matched by the guild with Team Identical Dwarves? He's upset now that I suggested that Dwarf B and Dwarf A are the same, until Goblin Guy points out that they actually appear to have literally identical stats listed on their sheets. But Dwarf A uses a Battle Axe and Shield, while Dwarf B uses a Battle Axe and Mace. Generic Dwarf B is now visibly angry, getting red in the face, but Generic Dwarf A is oblivious to it, and suggests that maybe they're actually twins?

The GM decides it's time to intervene. "You all take 4 points of damage."

What? From what source? Are we under attack? Is it magic?

"No, it's just 'wasting time' damage. Better start doing something quick, if you don't want more."

Obviously, I don't want more, because Klart the Kobold is now at 1 HP. So I declare helpfully that Klart is looking around to see if there are any obvious-looking sources of quests. Shady guys drinking alone, watching us thoughtfully. Bulletin boards with general "PLEASE KILL THESE RATS IN MY BASEMENT" requests. Whatever. He tells me that, no, we are the only ones inside the bar. I say that I'd like to go outside of the bar then, and Goblin Guy says he follows me. Generic Dwarf A interprets this to mean that there's no bartender, so he stays at the bar and starts trying to drink everything, which is a wholly appropriate plan of action for a Generic Dwarf. The GM gets a pained look on his face, and starts flashing sign language at his girlfriend (who has said nothing so far). Neither of them are hearing impaired, they just learned ASL so they could talk behind teacher's backs in school. Then he says "No, you can't leave. Please, don't split up the party. Just... just don't."

My brother and I look at each other and shrug. I declare that Klart is suddenly very interested in these human beverages as well, and he is joining Generic Dwarf A to drink. My brother's halfling attempts to rally everyone to go outside and see if there's anything to do... outside, but rolls poorly on his motivating speech. Dwarf B is still seething, but hasn't said anything since receiving his 4 points of Mercurial Fiat damage. But he pipes up now to stonewall the Halfling's attempt to get the party moving as a unit, declares that he's not going anywhere, and starts rambling about his deep backstory that makes him totally unlike any other dwarf. But it's apparent that he either doesn't remember it correctly, or hes making it all up on the spot, because it's complete nonsense, and he keeps having to backtrack to revise it.

Through all of this, GM and GM's girlfriend have been signing at each other and ignoring us. We are extremely limited in our ability to make things happen ourselves, but he's not providing any action at all either. His worldbuilding so far has been limited to:
- You are all in a bar.
- That bar is in a city.
- There is apparently a Magic Weapons Shop somewhere.
- You take 4 damage.
- No one else is in the bar.

But if another similarly-sized burst of Angry GM Damage flashes through the bar, Goblin Guy and I are dead, which is unforgivable, because our characters are clearly amazing (to us at least), and deserve to shine.

So Goblin Guy looks at the options, and decides to pick Mysterious Butterfly-Winged Stranger's pockets. Might as well go out with style. GM's girlfriend is now frantically signing at the GM. But, again, hasn't said one word since we sat down at the table, while she was quite the chatterbox before. Goblin Guy's pickpocket bonus is insane, and he rolls well on top of it, but the GM tells him that the mysterious stranger has nothing in her pockets.

"But she does, in fact, have pockets?" says Goblin Guy.

"Yes!" says GM's girlfriend emphatically, breaking her vow of silence at last.

"Good. I plant an Alchemist's Flask with a lit fuse." says Goblin Guy, who deserves to have statues built of him.

The DM stares at him blankly. My brother suggests that maybe Butterfly Winged Girl should roll Spot vs. Goblin Guy's Sleight of Hand? In fact, maybe everyone should roll spot, because... well... all apologies to Goblin Guy, but Halfling Paladin would probably object to that sort of thing, if he saw it. GM shrugs and goes "whatever", and we all roll Spot checks.

Only Klart succeeds, and responds by kicking over a table and ducking behind it.

The flask bursts, Butterfly Winged Girl's cloak is blasted off, and she describes in excruciating detail that she's dressed with the extravagance of royal wealth below. And she's immune to fire, the GM angrily declares.

Generic Dwarf A tentatively asks "Are you some kind of queen?"

"YES!" declares butterfly wing girl. "I AM THE QUEEN OF THIS CITY, AND YOU WILL ALL BE EXECUTED AS ASSASSINS! GUARDS!!"

The bewildered GM looks as blindsided by this as the rest of us, but declares that guards start pouring into the bar and arrest us all, and throw us all in jail. No rolls needed.

At this point, I should specify, about an hour and a half has gone by. My brother and I have texted each other indicating that 1.) we aren't trying to be helpful pals to the new GM any more, and 2.) we haven't got anything better to do, so why not be as obnoxious as possible until it kills us. Goblin Guy has shown us the way.

So Halfling Paladin and Generic Dwarf A are in one jail cell, Klart the Kobold and Generic Dwarf B are in another cell, and Goblin Guy is chained up, hanging upside down from the roof in the middle of the room. We're pretty excited, because this is the most detail the GM has offered up to this point. Generic Dwarf B has wandered off at this point to play Hero Clix on the other side of the comic shop, and he's ignoring us when we shout that it's his turn, so I commandeer his character, have him strip naked, and all of his equipment belongs to Klart now. Generic Dwarf B spends the rest of the adventure shivering in the jail cell.

"I... should have said the guards took all your weapons..." the GM shakily begins.

"NOPE TOO LATE NO TAKE BACKS", I shout, scribbling down the stats for Klart's new Battle Axe, Mace and Chain Shirt. The DM does not contest this. Goblin Guy gives me a high five, but then immediately goes back to pretending his arms are chained to his side and he's upside down.

Generic Dwarf A says that if he has his Axe still, he starts hacking at the cell door. He just starts rolling and declaring damage, while the GM stares blankly at him. Hobbit Paladin declares that, since these jail cells are emblems of an oppressive totalitarian regime, he can obviously Smite Evil at them, and he rolls as well. Just as they tell the GM that they've done enough damage to force the door open, the GM declares that a bunch of guards have come down, to escort us to the Queen, who will give us an opportunity to be forgiven if we provide her our services as adventurers. Too bad his attempt to provide a Plot hadn't actually taken place two hours earlier.

So Goblin Guy declares, suspended from the roof, that he is pickpocketing the Guard Captain. Before the GM can say anything, such as "You fail because your arms are chained to your sides", Goblin Guy has rolled. And he has rolled a Natural 20. Every terrible D&D player in the universe knows, 5% of the times that you roll, a Genie will erupt from your d20 and make your dreams come true. There's no denying the power of the Natural 20. None. No logic can thwart it.

So Goblin Guy now has the keys to the jail in his teeth. He swings around a bit and throws them to Klart, who lets himself out and casts Expeditious Retreat, then dashes like crazy past the guards and up the stairs. Sorry, rest of the team, but Klart's highest priority is shooting Queen Girlfriend in the face with Melf's Acid Arrow.

It turns out, they understand, and wish me Godspeed. Halfling Paladin and Generic Dwarf A crash out of their cell and engage the 30+ guards, while Goblin Guy thrashes around trying to bite people from above, and shake himself enough that his remaining explosives will fall out of his pockets onto someone. To the GM's credit, he treats the Guards as though they actually have combat stats this time, and the two with actual mobility manage a fairly credible defense from the door to their cell. Eventually though, they are overwhelmed, and die.

Meanwhile, Klart races through the castle towards the throne room. That's my only description of his direction - "Towards the throne room". The GM doesn't think to question how my Kobold knows the layout of the castle.

There, I find the Queen on her throne, surrounded by more guards. So Klart scream "HEATHENS AND UNBELIEVERS, COWER BEFORE THE MAJESTY OF THE SECRET APOCRYPHAL DRAGON GOD!" I cast my Acid Arrow, and make my Ranged Touch Attack.

Sometimes a Genie pops out of the dice and makes your dreams come true. And sometimes the Genie kicks you in the teeth. Exactly 5% of the time for each.

I declared that Klart's natural 1 meant he had misfired his Acid Arrow into his own mouth somehow, and that he exploded, showering the throne room in far more gore than should be able to fit inside of one Kobold.

Goblin Guy, as the last surviving party member (not counting Generic Dwarf B) declared that he bit down on the cyanide capsule that all Goblin Agents keep in a false tooth, and tore up his character sheet.

And then, we went down the street for late-night tacos, and made plans for a much better D&D game that sadly never came to pass.

That was incredibly entertaining to read, hahaha. I am genuinely curious about what the DM and his GF intended to have happen in that game, and how they expected the players to get there.

comicshorse
2014-10-31, 12:54 PM
I don't think I've ever seen someone compare sigil to texas. :smalleek:

" If I owned Sigil and Texas I'd rent Texas and live in Sigil "

Marlowe
2014-10-31, 01:48 PM
"I don't even know what street Texas is on".

(Un)Inspired
2014-10-31, 02:15 PM
Texas and Sigil have many similarities. For instance they're both...

They both have...

They're both kinda like...

Hmmmmm

Sith_Happens
2014-11-02, 07:17 PM
Why didn't the DM just switch around some of the items on the fly? So treasure becomes trap, trap becomes treasure? I mean not copying a video game in its entirety and then getting pissed that other people have also played that game would be a better move, but it's not like it has to be a game-ending problem.

Because then he wouldn't have earned his place in the thread (okay, maybe he still would have).:smalltongue:


Texas and Sigil have many similarities. For instance they're both...

They both have...

They're both kinda like...

Hmmmmm

Anything and everything, if you know where to look. I think Texas is a bit bigger though.:smallwink:

Madfellow
2014-11-02, 10:45 PM
That was incredibly entertaining to read, hahaha. I am genuinely curious about what the DM and his GF intended to have happen in that game, and how they expected the players to get there.

Clearly the railroad tracks were pointed directly toward Mary Sue-topia and Imightgetlaidtonightland.

Sudokori
2014-11-15, 09:02 PM
Not really a bad dm, just he had no sense of balance when handing out magic items after a tough boss battle. We had to make sure we didn't break the system because we all knew what was too much and only used them sparringly. One time the Ranger got a +something bow that shot 1d4 arrows every shot, and if you rolled a 3 or 4 you rolled another d4 for how many arrows each of the first tier arrows split into. Adding in that the ranger took ranks in rouge and had 3d6 sneak attack damage it was really a one shot kill anything weapon for the first opponent. Then the +3 holy smite vorpal sword with pocket dimension storing for the fighter and the staff of wand power that can be used to activate up to 10 wands at the same time for the wizard. And then there was that magical steampunk electric crossbow that could enlarge on command and be used to shoot the gnome barbarian (cursed but still had the stats of a human barbarian) at enemies at Long range for a minor electric damage on the gnome.

Honestly we kept quiet until he tried to hand the party wizard a deck of many, many things (he found a deck of many things online that had a d10,000 results). So we reasoned with him a bit and we de-magicked our characters, not to the point of ruin, but til we were having a challenge taking on CR 1-3 levels above us. We had **** loads of fun along the way. Don't let that fact miss your read through of this.

Solaris
2014-12-27, 11:40 PM
I've been the DM for pretty much every game I've been in since the turn of the century. For the last fourteen years, I have had three people DM for me, and only one in the last ten years. I can count the number of games I've been a player in with one hand. I'm not talking campaigns - sessions.

The one DM I've had in this decade, when I made the mistake of thinking I could actually enjoy a game as a player for once, had the audacity to insult and mock both me and my character. He was mocking me for being utterly ineffective due to bad dice rolls (an easy half were natural 1s, and I'm not exaggerating in the slightest)... despite the fact that the dice rolls I screwed the pooch on only resulted in my character taking falling damage for dropping 10 feet.
To add insult to injury, he uses a critical fumble rule. Each time it's come up, I've had to argue that skill checks don't have critical success or failure, generally by threatening to abuse my ranks in Diplomacy and critical successes with eligible princesses/queens, simply to avoid something like a broken leg or snapped lockpicks.

Didn't stop my third-level character from pretty much singlehandedly killing a mob of two dozen bandits through judicious use of fire in a wooden structure to prevent said bandits from attacking any of the other characters, and more fire to keep said bandits trapped inside. Only about a half-dozen actually made it out the windows alive.

But I was an ineffective buffoon. Somehow.

The next session was him and a new player, a friend of his, spending four hours RPing drunken debauchery with a group of dwarves while the rest of us had gone to the inn and tried to, y'know, move on to the point where we could actually do something. Nope. That was completely out of the question - we had to run through this nonsensical non-contribution, wasting everyone's time with the sort of thing that's much more fun in real life (unless you're a teetotaler, like myself). When we finally came to the point where the plot was moving forwards, I made the mistake of attempting to contribute by asking a pertinent question, and was smacked down by both DM and player because apparently there's no way my character would know what was going on right in front of him.

Did I mention that all of this was in my house, eating my food, using my miniatures and my dungeon terrain? Apparently, I'm supposed to just suck that kind of thing up and enjoy my fiancee's friends mocking me to my face while under my roof and enjoying my hospitality.
Yeah. That flew like a stone duck.

In other news, I'm looking for a new D&D group and my fiancee's not talking to me. Remember, kids, only bad people violate the Geek Social Law (http://plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gsf.html)!

UristMcRandom
2014-12-28, 03:44 AM
My first game was... interesting to say the least, and short. Our Sorcerer/Assassin searches a door for traps, and the entire party is asked to roll a Spot check. Apparently none of us rolled high enough to even see the DM, because we never saw him on that thread again.

He did turn up in another game I played as a player, posted a couple times and then vanished. Fortunately, this was before anything serious happened.

Inevitability
2014-12-28, 06:32 AM
My first game was... interesting to say the least, and short. Our Sorcerer/Assassin searches a door for traps, and the entire party is asked to roll a Spot check. Apparently none of us rolled high enough to even see the DM, because we never saw him on that thread again.

He did turn up in another game I played as a player, posted a couple times and then vanished. Fortunately, this was before anything serious happened.

Sounds like the second post made in this thread.
The circle has been completed. Good, good. *evillaugh*

The Hanged Man
2014-12-29, 12:30 AM
That was incredibly entertaining to read, hahaha. I am genuinely curious about what the DM and his GF intended to have happen in that game, and how they expected the players to get there.

I actually have an update! Although it's kind of sad.

I was talking to my brother on Christmas, and brought this story up, reminiscing about the good ol' days of ruining PUGs at the local comic shop. He revealed to me that he gamed with that DM and his girlfriend a second time shortly after the saga of Goblin Guy, while I was out of town. He didn't tell me about it until asked, because it wasn't any better, and he didn't feel like having me berate him for giving them the second chance to fail.

Apparently, their secret plan was this: the girlfriend was the GM. But she had set up this elaborate misdirection, because she was afraid that a bunch of wizened old grognards wouldn't accept a female dungeon master. Also, the two of them were actually really terrible at sign language, so they left us floundering in the least-defined-ever campaign setting because they were struggling to communicate with each other at all. By the time she'd relay the answer to him for one of our questions, we'd moved on to three more questions. But they couldn't just tell us that was what they were doing, because then we'd know she was really the GM, and presumably crucify her on the front lawn for witchcraft.

My brother asked them why they didn't just text to each other, or pass written notes. They said that would be "too suspicious." Also, the setting details that had sounded interesting enough on the sign-up sheet to draw us in in the first place? Copied directly from the back cover of a 2nd Edition adventure module they'd bought for a dollar from the bargain bin, but never actually taken the time to read.

Seriously though, I have no doubt that being the girl in the game store can be pretty harrowing, among even the most welcoming and conscientious groups. So I feel bad about going "Grand Theft Auto freeplay" all over their game. On the other hand, my brother confirmed that the second game, where she tried DMing directly, was even worse.

That comic shop hosted a couple really skilled DMs who were legendary for their ability to improvise without a lot of campaign planning. Indeed, my brother is one of them, and when they opened up to him that having him sign up for their table kind of intimidated them, that's what convinced him to give them another shot. If this were a greek play, this would be the point where the masked chorus comes on stage and starts wailing about HUBRIS.

The problem with heavy improvisation is that when it's done very skillfully, it looks easy. That can convince newcomers to the hobby that freestyling it is the best way. Queen Girlfriend apparently thought that she had the Right Stuff. Sadly, she didn't even have the Wrong Stuff. She had No Stuff At All.

When she started to immediately fumble against the limits of her own wit and imagination, instead of calling for a recess to get her game together, she lashed out at the players. It was the inn scenario all over again - only the most bare-bones details about the starting environment, no details about any people, places or objects that could be interacted with, but petulant demands that the players "do SOMETHING", followed by flat denials when they tried to do something that wasn't the correct "SOMETHING" she was apparently imagining. And more Mercurial Fiat damage when this all failed to produce results.

Eventually, the players decided that, since they were trapped in this featureless limbo, they should duel each other to the death. My brother's new Half-Elf Sorcerer squared off against Generic Dwarf C, played by the former Generic Dwarf A. The other two players were the weird guy who lived on a couch in the basement of the comic shop after his wife kicked him out for being a jobless bum who spent all her paychecks on Warhammer stuff (see the Worst Players thread), and the former Decoy DM, boyfriend of the DM Behind the Curtain. It's a testament to how much things had deteriorated that Decoy DM was a willing participant in this battle royale. Although he did win, because they were all level 1, he was a cleric, and no one else had any healing.

Milodiah
2014-12-29, 01:56 AM
...that sounds like something two drunk people would try!

"Hey man, I, like, don't think people will buy a, like, chick DM."

"...yuh?"

"So, why don't you pretend to, like, be the DM, but I tell you what to do with elab-eluber...complex sign language, and I pretend to be a player."

"...that's so stupid it might just work!"



Also, it's astounding to me that she'd rather obtain the reputation of being the weirdest, crappiest back-seat DM in town rather than face the possibility that one or two of her players might be a bit sexist...I mean, really. Who's going to flip the table because the DM is female? I'd be much more prone to flip the table after I find out about this Rube Goldberg setup built atop a vague accusation of me being sexist.

AmewTheFox
2014-12-29, 02:04 AM
That's the first time I've ever heard of a puppet GM.

Also, while I have the floor, I want to say something about the OP.


Just use your abilities to break out.

I would have said, in that situation, "I literally have been doing that.", as that's my interpretation of those actions.

Honest Tiefling
2015-01-04, 05:47 PM
And one story I forgot that was simple. I made a character for a game, and ran it by the DM. Essentially, she had enough social skills to intimidate decently, a whole lot of gun skills, and not much going on in the brains department other then how to hunt down and kill her enemies. She was very focused on killing monsters and justice, so my thinking was that she was very unlikely to injure other player characters because they weren't monsters and were also hunting down monsters. There was IIRC, no other combat focused character was in the party, so my thinking is that in her vendetta against monsters she'd protect some useful people by shooting things so she could shoot even more monsters in the future.

I don't know if this is a typical White Wolf thing, but the ST insisted on granting us experience points based on what we had learned. I was not aware of this rule when I made her, so her intelligence was...Bad. So of course, she never learned anything and I think I got a grand total of 1 EXP for several sessions while others were sometimes getting 2-3. I know the system isn't made for everyone to be equal, but I sure wish I had known that.

Arbane
2015-01-04, 06:56 PM
I don't know if this is a typical White Wolf thing, but the ST insisted on granting us experience points based on what we had learned. I was not aware of this rule when I made her, so her intelligence was...Bad. So of course, she never learned anything and I think I got a grand total of 1 EXP for several sessions while others were sometimes getting 2-3. I know the system isn't made for everyone to be equal, but I sure wish I had known that.

Your int score shouldn't feature into that. Heck, come up with things like "I learned that pencils count as 'wooden stakes'" or "I learned to pull the fire alarm and run when threatened in a public building."

If the GM still stiffed you on XP, then they are bad and should feel bad.

Milodiah
2015-01-04, 06:59 PM
And one story I forgot that was simple. I made a character for a game, and ran it by the DM. Essentially, she had enough social skills to intimidate decently, a whole lot of gun skills, and not much going on in the brains department other then how to hunt down and kill her enemies. She was very focused on killing monsters and justice, so my thinking was that she was very unlikely to injure other player characters because they weren't monsters and were also hunting down monsters. There was IIRC, no other combat focused character was in the party, so my thinking is that in her vendetta against monsters she'd protect some useful people by shooting things so she could shoot even more monsters in the future.

I don't know if this is a typical White Wolf thing, but the ST insisted on granting us experience points based on what we had learned. I was not aware of this rule when I made her, so her intelligence was...Bad. So of course, she never learned anything and I think I got a grand total of 1 EXP for several sessions while others were sometimes getting 2-3. I know the system isn't made for everyone to be equal, but I sure wish I had known that.

My ST's stance on White Wolf experience system is "look, I'm not touching that. You level up when you've done stuff.

Generally I don't track experience mathematically in games anyway, because it always ends up with something like this. If the system's XP is derived from killing stuff, the guy who doesn't kill stuff loses out. If it's based on "learning things", then yeah, the bodyguard is screwed, welcome to redshirting.

Sidmen
2015-01-04, 09:18 PM
My ST's stance on White Wolf experience system is "look, I'm not touching that. You level up when you've done stuff.

Generally I don't track experience mathematically in games anyway, because it always ends up with something like this. If the system's XP is derived from killing stuff, the guy who doesn't kill stuff loses out. If it's based on "learning things", then yeah, the bodyguard is screwed, welcome to redshirting.

I...

What? You clearly haven't played any white wolf systems or are mixing them up with something else. If you told someone they leveled up in a White Wolf game, you'd only get blank stares because you level up by gaining and spending Experience Points. Typically at a rate of 2-3 per session.

Milodiah
2015-01-05, 01:46 AM
I...

What? You clearly haven't played any white wolf systems or are mixing them up with something else. If you told someone they leveled up in a White Wolf game, you'd only get blank stares because you level up by gaining and spending Experience Points. Typically at a rate of 2-3 per session.

...what? I don't understand what you're saying here. There is leveling up in White Wolf games...so...what's the issue?

Also, I don't run White Wolf games, I've only played in about half a dozen or so. I'm not referring to them specifically in the second paragraph.

Sidmen
2015-01-05, 03:29 AM
...what? I don't understand what you're saying here. There is leveling up in White Wolf games...so...what's the issue?

Also, I don't run White Wolf games, I've only played in about half a dozen or so. I'm not referring to them specifically in the second paragraph.
Sorry, you just made my brain ache earlier, since there is nothing I'd consider "leveling up" in any White Wolf game I've ever played. Sure, you can spend your XP to improve an Ability, Attribute, Skill, or whatever, but I've never heard anybody call that leveling up.

Knaight
2015-01-05, 04:25 AM
...what? I don't understand what you're saying here. There is leveling up in White Wolf games...so...what's the issue?

Leveling up seems like an odd term to apply to a system that doesn't use levels.

Mr Beer
2015-01-05, 05:03 AM
The term "levelling up" is vernacular for "getting more powerful as the game progresses" and does not require a character to receive advancements explicitly in the form of levels. You can argue it's not technically "correct" but it's still cromulent usage.

Arbane
2015-01-05, 05:04 AM
...what? I don't understand what you're saying here. There is leveling up in White Wolf games...so...what's the issue?

Also, I don't run White Wolf games, I've only played in about half a dozen or so. I'm not referring to them specifically in the second paragraph.

White Wolf games are BETTER than those plebian 'class' and 'level' structures those other, lesser, ROLLplaying games use, you ignorant peasant! (Ignore any resemblance the auspices/clans/castes/traditions/kiths might bear to classes, and DEFINITELY ignore any relationship between Blood Potency/Gnosis/Essence/Inspiration and 'level'.) :smallwink:

Knaight
2015-01-05, 05:17 AM
White Wolf games are BETTER than those plebian 'class' and 'level' structures those other, lesser, ROLLplaying games use, you ignorant peasant! (Ignore any resemblance the auspices/clans/castes/traditions/kiths might bear to classes, and DEFINITELY ignore any relationship between Blood Potency/Gnosis/Essence/Inspiration and 'level'.) :smallwink:

It's a lot closer to a class and level game than some others, such as anything which is well and truly skill based (Savage Worlds, Fudge, Fate, GURPS, etc.), and it basically is a class based game without levels in a lot of ways. Still, leveling up seems weird as a description.

As for the assumed pro-White Wolf elitism, just no. White Wolf is one of my favorite targets to illustrate bad game design with, mostly regarding excessive numbers of dice rolls for everything, and surprisingly minor mechanical differentiation for the sheer number of dice flying around.

Earthwalker
2015-01-05, 05:43 AM
[snip] "correct" but it's still cromulent usage.

Thank you Mr Beer I feel embiggened by your correct use of cromulent.

Marlowe
2015-01-05, 08:12 AM
I too, offer my most heartfelt contrafibularities.

Segev
2015-01-05, 12:13 PM
I have to say, even though you can guages a rough "level" based on generation/avatar/gnosis/glamour/essence/legend in a White Wolf game, the truth is that if all you do is say, "you level up," and that means you gain another dot of the Power Stat of your splat, the characters still don't improve in most of the important ways.

The "power stat" of a White Wolf game tends to serve as a limiter or a mana basis for your other powers. It limits how powerful your other effects can be, or how powerful an effect you can learn. You still need exp to raise those or buy new ones. Raising your "Power Stat" just means you can how freely spend exp to get more potent abilities, or that you have more mana-equivalent with which to use them.

White Wolf games have a lot of trappings that make them familiar-ish to those used to race-and-class-and-level games, but they definitely do not use even the analogs in a way that directly translates, mechanically.

Milodiah
2015-01-05, 12:27 PM
I did in fact use the term "level up" to refer to the general gain of individual characters' capabilities. On account of how the "level" of them goes "up".

I sometimes even say to "level your characters" in Call of Cthulhu, which is probably one of the more level-less (damn, autocorrect threw a fit on that word) games I've ever played. But there's skill progression in it, so...

The Glyphstone
2015-01-05, 02:17 PM
What's wrong with just saying 'gain XP'? One of WoD's few points in favor is that characters gain power semi-organically by spending XP as they earn it, rather than incrementally asin D&D. Nothing wrong with using 'level up' as a shorthand for character improvement for people who are most familiar with D&D, but getting angry at other people because they got confused about the misnomer because 'well, you got more powerful so it's basically leveling up' in an explicitly level-less system isn't really fair.

Arbane
2015-01-05, 04:55 PM
It's a lot closer to a class and level game than some others, such as anything which is well and truly skill based (Savage Worlds, Fudge, Fate, GURPS, etc.), and it basically is a class based game without levels in a lot of ways. Still, leveling up seems weird as a description.

As for the assumed pro-White Wolf elitism, just no. White Wolf is one of my favorite targets to illustrate bad game design with, mostly regarding excessive numbers of dice rolls for everything, and surprisingly minor mechanical differentiation for the sheer number of dice flying around.

Fair enough. And I agree with you about the Buckets of d10s System's weak points. (I've run Exalted - I KNOW how much of a slog it can be....)

Segev
2015-01-05, 04:57 PM
What ire there might have been is, I believe, more at the dismissive "we don't bother with paltry things like exp; we just say when you level up" comment that sparked the discussion about how "leveling up" doesn't ... work ... in White Wolf.

If all they'd said was, "Our ST doesn't use the guidelines provided for assigning exp, and just hands them out when he feels appropriate," that wouldn't have engendered this debate at all. Whether or not it came off as dismissive, it wouldn't come off as dismissive and incorrect, and thus would deny the latter hook of confusion to express the irritation caused by the former.

I do think we're drifting a bit off-topic, though.

Mr Beer
2015-01-06, 07:01 AM
What's wrong with just saying 'gain XP'? One of WoD's few points in favor is that characters gain power semi-organically by spending XP as they earn it, rather than incrementally asin D&D. Nothing wrong with using 'level up' as a shorthand for character improvement for people who are most familiar with D&D, but getting angry at other people because they got confused about the misnomer because 'well, you got more powerful so it's basically leveling up' in an explicitly level-less system isn't really fair.

Not sure if this is directed at me but I was, and remain, far from angry, in fact I always enjoy using the word 'cromulent'. It embiggens me.

Eldan
2015-01-06, 07:12 AM
I haven't shared this story in a while, so I might as well.

Our worst DM wasn't really bad. He was just boring. There's been a few versions of the "nothing happens" DM in here, this was one.


We were playing Dark Heresy. For those who don't know it, some have compared it to Call of Cthulhu in the 40k universe. We were two lowly henchmen of the inquisition. I don't remember the exact classes or builds, since it's been ages and I haven't played 40k since then, but basically we were a rogue specialized in sneaking and a priest specialized in social skills and lore. There was a vague sort of idea that two more players would join next session who couldn't make this one.

We dropped down on a hive world, a planet-wide city. Our inquisitor went off to do politics with his important people, while we were dropped of in a slum to investigate a murder. At this point, I already notice two things. One, there is very little description. The only thing I know about the planet is what i just said. It's a city planet. It also had a name. I have no idea what anything looks like, where we are, how many people are around us, etc. The second is that the DM... talks very slowly. With twenty second pauses between short sentences.

So. [pause] You get in the shuttle. [pause] You sit down and strap in. [pause] It takes off.

Like that. It's a bit frustrating, but let's roll with it.

So, we're in the hive. We know that there was a series of murders. The murders are "strange", with no further description, so we go with the default of "probably chaos cultists". We didn't really have any idea what to do so we rolled the equivalent of an investigation check for clues. The DM says, paraphrased, the following:

"People tell you something. [Pause]. There's a house that is important to your case. [Pause]."

We say we go there. He just nods. NO description. I say that I walk around the house. He says I find nothing. I wait for a minute or so if there's a description of the house. Upon asking, he says "it's just a house". We knock on the door. Nothing happens. We see if there's any windows. Apparently, there aren't any.

We look at each other. In this game, even heavily armed members of hte inquisition have to be very careful in combat and quite often end up as small chunks on the wall anyway. We have two pistols, no armour and an inquisitorial ID that says we have no rank. We immediately conclude that there's no way we just kick in the door of a suspected murder cult.

So we shrug, go around the next corner and tell the DM we wait until anything happens at the house. He looks confused. After a minute or so, he nods and say that later, we see a guy walking up to the house.

Given that this is the only thing we have remotely resembling a clue, we immediately draw our pistols, run out and arrest the guy at gunpoint, handcuffing him to a post.

At this point, the DM says he didn't expect that and ends the session. It really has been two hours.

There never was a second session. The guy was actually quite nice outside of DMing.

Anonymouswizard
2015-01-06, 08:24 AM
I haven't shared this story in a while, so I might as well.

Our worst DM wasn't really bad. He was just boring. There's been a few versions of the "nothing happens" DM in here, this was one.


We were playing Dark Heresy. For those who don't know it, some have compared it to Call of Cthulhu in the 40k universe. We were two lowly henchmen of the inquisition. I don't remember the exact classes or builds, since it's been ages and I haven't played 40k since then, but basically we were a rogue specialized in sneaking and a priest specialized in social skills and lore. There was a vague sort of idea that two more players would join next session who couldn't make this one.

We dropped down on a hive world, a planet-wide city. Our inquisitor went off to do politics with his important people, while we were dropped of in a slum to investigate a murder. At this point, I already notice two things. One, there is very little description. The only thing I know about the planet is what i just said. It's a city planet. It also had a name. I have no idea what anything looks like, where we are, how many people are around us, etc. The second is that the DM... talks very slowly. With twenty second pauses between short sentences.

So. [pause] You get in the shuttle. [pause] You sit down and strap in. [pause] It takes off.

Like that. It's a bit frustrating, but let's roll with it.

So, we're in the hive. We know that there was a series of murders. The murders are "strange", with no further description, so we go with the default of "probably chaos cultists". We didn't really have any idea what to do so we rolled the equivalent of an investigation check for clues. The DM says, paraphrased, the following:

"People tell you something. [Pause]. There's a house that is important to your case. [Pause]."

We say we go there. He just nods. NO description. I say that I walk around the house. He says I find nothing. I wait for a minute or so if there's a description of the house. Upon asking, he says "it's just a house". We knock on the door. Nothing happens. We see if there's any windows. Apparently, there aren't any.

We look at each other. In this game, even heavily armed members of hte inquisition have to be very careful in combat and quite often end up as small chunks on the wall anyway. We have two pistols, no armour and an inquisitorial ID that says we have no rank. We immediately conclude that there's no way we just kick in the door of a suspected murder cult.

So we shrug, go around the next corner and tell the DM we wait until anything happens at the house. He looks confused. After a minute or so, he nods and say that later, we see a guy walking up to the house.

Given that this is the only thing we have remotely resembling a clue, we immediately draw our pistols, run out and arrest the guy at gunpoint, handcuffing him to a post.

At this point, the DM says he didn't expect that and ends the session. It really has been two hours.

There never was a second session. The guy was actually quite nice outside of DMing.

Wow, that's almost completely terrible. It sounds like a GM who just couldn't think on their feat. However, this GM scares me, as:

I give bland descriptions unless asked for more.

And IRL "I will often [pause] talk with pauses strangely [pause] inserted in my [pause] sentences, which makes [pause] me hard to follow."

So stories like this make me worried about my GMing ability.

It sounds like the main problem might have been the lack of character personality, I assume this means he doesn't have a random NPC personality grab bag.

Eldan
2015-01-06, 09:01 AM
I'm running completely on unfounded assumptions here, but I think he just had one specific idea about what we should do (storm the place?), but didn't want to railroad us. I don't know. Apparently, he's actually run a D&D campaign with some other players that lasted for years.

zinycor
2015-01-06, 10:55 AM
I haven't shared this story in a while, so I might as well.

Our worst DM wasn't really bad. He was just boring. There's been a few versions of the "nothing happens" DM in here, this was one.


We were playing Dark Heresy. For those who don't know it, some have compared it to Call of Cthulhu in the 40k universe. We were two lowly henchmen of the inquisition. I don't remember the exact classes or builds, since it's been ages and I haven't played 40k since then, but basically we were a rogue specialized in sneaking and a priest specialized in social skills and lore. There was a vague sort of idea that two more players would join next session who couldn't make this one.

We dropped down on a hive world, a planet-wide city. Our inquisitor went off to do politics with his important people, while we were dropped of in a slum to investigate a murder. At this point, I already notice two things. One, there is very little description. The only thing I know about the planet is what i just said. It's a city planet. It also had a name. I have no idea what anything looks like, where we are, how many people are around us, etc. The second is that the DM... talks very slowly. With twenty second pauses between short sentences.

So. [pause] You get in the shuttle. [pause] You sit down and strap in. [pause] It takes off.

Like that. It's a bit frustrating, but let's roll with it.

So, we're in the hive. We know that there was a series of murders. The murders are "strange", with no further description, so we go with the default of "probably chaos cultists". We didn't really have any idea what to do so we rolled the equivalent of an investigation check for clues. The DM says, paraphrased, the following:

"People tell you something. [Pause]. There's a house that is important to your case. [Pause]."

We say we go there. He just nods. NO description. I say that I walk around the house. He says I find nothing. I wait for a minute or so if there's a description of the house. Upon asking, he says "it's just a house". We knock on the door. Nothing happens. We see if there's any windows. Apparently, there aren't any.

We look at each other. In this game, even heavily armed members of hte inquisition have to be very careful in combat and quite often end up as small chunks on the wall anyway. We have two pistols, no armour and an inquisitorial ID that says we have no rank. We immediately conclude that there's no way we just kick in the door of a suspected murder cult.

So we shrug, go around the next corner and tell the DM we wait until anything happens at the house. He looks confused. After a minute or so, he nods and say that later, we see a guy walking up to the house.

Given that this is the only thing we have remotely resembling a clue, we immediately draw our pistols, run out and arrest the guy at gunpoint, handcuffing him to a post.

At this point, the DM says he didn't expect that and ends the session. It really has been two hours.

There never was a second session. The guy was actually quite nice outside of DMing.



Well, not everyone is a good Dm, at least it was only just 2 hours that you lost and not many sessions.

Milodiah
2015-01-06, 11:14 AM
I suspect he had the general idea, but didn't actually do the on-paper development. I'm usually a very good DM, but there was one session where my game sounded very much like this, because I didn't plan it at all. I don't know why I didn't, I really wasn't a rookie at the time, but it ended up being a straight-line slog through a jungle to a place where they fought the bad guy. And I apologized the next time for having screwed the pooch that badly.

Solaris
2015-01-07, 02:04 PM
I'm running completely on unfounded assumptions here, but I think he just had one specific idea about what we should do (storm the place?), but didn't want to railroad us. I don't know. Apparently, he's actually run a D&D campaign with some other players that lasted for years.

Think it might have been a new setting/system throwing him off? It sounds like he was having troubles with coming up with fluffy/descriptive parts on the fly - which, to me, is indicative that he wasn't as comfortable with the WH40k setting as he should have been to run a game.

Eldan
2015-01-07, 03:49 PM
Dunno. It was in the local model store that mostly sold Warhammer at that time, which I know he played for years. And the game wasn't knew, and it wasn't his first campaign.

Windrammer
2015-01-09, 03:28 AM
One was adamant that we didn't add our Base Attack Bonus to our attack rolls.

Another made me fall in a pool of ominous murky liquid for "crit failing" a spot check on something behind it.

My current wouldn't let me cast read magic to read magic, because he felt it would be game-breaking. He instead said that it was like reading an alphabet you know without knowing the language - which sounds an awful lot what it should look like before casting read magic.

Sir Chuckles
2015-01-09, 05:11 AM
One was adamant that we didn't add our Base Attack Bonus to our attack rolls.

Curious here, what did he think BaB was used for, then?

AMFV
2015-01-09, 05:20 AM
Curious here, what did he think BaB was used for, then?

It's a bonus for attacking fixed structures. Isn't it?

Sir Chuckles
2015-01-09, 07:00 AM
It's a bonus for attacking fixed structures. Isn't it?

But...you don't add it to attacks!

Lathund
2015-01-09, 08:12 AM
Curious here, what did he think BaB was used for, then?

It's only used in PvP matches, where you try to attack the other team's base.

goto124
2015-01-09, 08:42 AM
Ah, a misunderstanding of the word 'base'... :smallbiggrin:

Earthwalker
2015-01-09, 08:50 AM
I battle of the bands skill challenges its the stat relevent to the guy on bass guitar.

You need to pick up Lead guitar attack bonus, drum attack bonus and keyboard attack bonus for the rest of the band.

Singers use a seperate scale and other instruments are only available by buying splat books.

Ravens_cry
2015-01-09, 12:19 PM
OK, pages from it, but I actually got an idea from Beige's wall of text that sounds kind of neat for a puzzle,
The PC are sent to get help from the only truly immortal human. They find him in tower filled, and I mean filled, with books. Reading each one, reveals cramped hand writing describing someone's life story in methodical detail. Each book ends with 'And then he wrote this book'. In fact, it is repeated over and over, occasionally interspersed with 'And then winter came', or 'A sparrow flew into the tower' with what happened then before returning to 'And then he wrote this book', There will probably be some combat with things you'd expect to find in a tower of books, but eventually you come to a room with a man with a long, long beard and hair, trailing over his back and the desk in front of him. His wizened, pale face darts between one book filled with the same cramped handwriting and a half filled volume, while an ink-stained hand hurriedly copies the events from one book to the other.
The idea is to distract him while they write an edit into the copying book to say he helps, (the writing is not magic, though the ink pot is, giving an eternal supply of ink) switch it for an otherwise blank book found along the way saying that he helps them, Heck, they could just erase the whole book being copied from, and he'd stare there blankly, almost a blank slate until they tell them what they need) and how they distract him is up to the players. It could be combat, it could be a really good slight of hand check, it could be some kind of display of magic or performance, it could be a conversation. Thoughts, Playground?

Solaris
2015-01-09, 01:56 PM
I'm reminded of Astinius from Dragonlance.

Ravens_cry
2015-01-09, 02:16 PM
I'm reminded of Astinius from Dragonlance.
*looks that up* Dang if you aren't right, though this is his personal history than that of the whole world. Is it too close?

Solaris
2015-01-09, 08:52 PM
Nah, I'd say there's plenty of difference. Astinius has a certain confidence and sense of control over the situation that the guy you described lacks - just the surface descriptions are similar, much like King Arthur and Elric could both be described as guys who used magic swords to kill people with.

Ravens_cry
2015-01-10, 02:23 AM
OK, good. Now, back to your regularly scheduled thread.:smallbiggrin:

Sir Chuckles
2015-01-10, 05:31 PM
I'm behind the DM screen 90% of the time, and those few times when I'm not, it's usually PbP. As such, all my stories are fairly tame or about me. I've been known to hurl the snack size bags of chips at people. Usually the Lays that nobody would eat.

But there are two standouts that, while paling in comparison to most of the stories here, I've been wanting to rant about.

The first took place years ago, at the table. It was a campaign going on epic, and it had a lot of creatures borrowed from third party, a lot of homebrew bits and pieces. That party was me, an Afflicted Weretiger Rogue/Sorcerer, a Ranger/Bard, and a straight Druid. Some interesting plot bits happen, and we apparently obtain "Unlimited Wishes". Yes, as in "wish for literally anything". Not wanting to break the game wide open nor end it right then and there, we each decide to ask for fairly tame wishes. The Bard wishes for a Ben 10 style watch, and now flies around as various high-end demons and devils. I, being Charisma and Leadership based, wish for great leadership prowess, and am granted +10 Charisma and the various Extra Followers feats. The Druid, who is the DM's best friend? Wishes for "Wisdom greater than the Gods". We all expected a deal similar to mine, but instead the DM opened Deities and Demigods and then proceeded to add up the Wisdom scores of every god in that book, added 1 to the total, and set that as the Druid's Wisdom score.

Both me and the Bard ceased doing anything, voluntarily, because whatever was immune to the absurd saves that Druid now had on his death effects would simply be the target of an equally debilitating spell. It spiralled downhill from there, though the Bard and I managed to be entertained by ignoring the BBEG (Orcus himself, actually) and making our own battles against his armies. The only notable and satisfying event, however, was killing the Druid when he went evil in a somewhat contrived way. He was immediately resurrected by fiat, but was no longer evil.

The second is a bit more simple. In a PbP game, the DM added a player before he had selected from the list of applicants. He said it was a friend from school and would not affect his choice. To his credit, it didn't. However, the character added was one that I quickly found I had absolutely no interest in being in a party with. Why?
Character portrait is a suggestive anime character? Check.
Character had illegal stats on an incomplete sheet? Check.
Backstory was little more than "Father was a pirate. He died. She hate him for dying, so now she hates men."
Actual list of words posted as character personality: "Selfish, loves herself, lesbian, affectionate, flirty, motherly, sharp tongued, ruthless towards enemies, acts without thinking, short temper, intelligent, charismatic."

I know I shouldn't rant about other peoples' characters, but this was absurd. I had guessed it would have straightened itself out in time, as every player in the group voiced concerns over the character, and, IC, the role play the was sad. The character was marginally useful in combat, though only because of the inflated stats. Slightly disappointing because everyone else was great.

MesiDoomstalker
2015-01-10, 05:52 PM
Ok, somewhat longwinded.

My worst DM is, unfortunately, only 1 of the 3 IRL DM's I've had. Started back in about 2008. I had just been introduced to DnD, specifically 3.5. Game only lasted half a dozen sessions after I joined (it was near its end already) and I didn't get to much grasp of the rules (they were high level, and I was spoon fed the rules as they came up instead of actually reading rule books). All fine and dandy, enjoyed myself, really got into character, and the lack of rules understanding was fine.

Fast forward a few months, other friend (the Worst as you'll see) said "Hey, I wanna run a 4e game." She wasn't part of the group I started with but she was friends with them, so it was basically that group+her as DM. I was told "Oh we need a Cleric." Sure, I have no qualms being the Cleric, I didn't have a character in mind yet, so it gave me jumping point. I built my character with the character builder and the assistance of my friends from the first game (again, no direct understanding of the rules). Admittedly, that was a bad idea because their build advice was geared towards 3.5 Clerics, which doesn't mesh at all with 4e Cleric. I built him more as a Striker than a Leader. However, in 4e a Leader is a Leader. Your healing Power will always heal and take minimal effort in build resources and combat. So I was an ineffective Striker and a mediocre Leader at worst.

Fast Forward 2 weeks and the game starts. In that time, I've borrowed the PHB and familiarized my self with the rules. Memorized, no, but familiar. Not the mastery to realize how I screwed up either though. Game starts and theres almost an instant problem. The Wizard is dropped round one of the first combat and most everyone else is hurting. I've only got my 2 Encounter Heals, and the rate were going, we'll wipe easy. So I scramble to heal and she stops me. "Your a Cleric. You gotta touch your target to heal them." But... it says Range right here. "No, you gotta touch them." Well touching the Wizard put me adjacent to the baddies, so after I got the Wizard on his feet, we both get smacked (and he's down again). Combat pretty much went like this for several sessions. And with every session, more DM comments of how ineffective healer I am, and how ****tly I built my character.

The last straw was when we in a swamp, hunting a Black Dragon. We found its nest, its a puny little thing (as far as Dragons go). Initiative rolled, and the map has us opposite the Dragon, with big open space between (weird, considering its a very vegetative swamp). So everyone charges, on my turn I get interrupted. The Dragon's (which was Young IIRC), Mom shows up and scoops my guy up (and is specifically called a Great friggin Wyrm). "wait what?! Can I roll like Dodge or something?" "No, she picks you up in her hind claws." "Well what the fudge for!?" "Your armor's the shiniest." I call bull on that, we've been slogging through a swamp for well over a day, and I've been submerged in muck more than once without a chance to rest and even attempt to clean my armor. "No, your the shiniest."

Ok fine, whatever. I unload everything I got at it, obviously doing nothing as its an Epic Solo versus a Heroic single PC. I even get creative, shooting at its eye, jabbing at the joints on its claws, aiming for the lone chip in its scales (har har). Nothing. While on the ground the Dragon kid is wiping the floor with my group, who can't stay standing without my healing/buffs (we've leveled up a few times and I picked up more useful powers). I only get dropped because a different Great Black Wyrm shows up and starts fighting the one carrying me, and I fall... Way the fudge away from the group. By the time I am reunited with them (I was told to leave the room, so I didn't know what was going on), the only one left alive was the Minotaur Fighter who was unconscious. He was only alive because the Dragon hadn't ate him yet. Ok, FINE! I sneak up and try to take the minotaur away. Roll really well, considering untrained and no Dex to speak of. Dragon hears me, roasts me with his Acid breath and I'm down. I didn't even hear dice behind the screen. "Your all dead now. Good job Mesi, you killed the party."

Apparently, I was supposed to ask the Wyrm to kindly put me down. You know, because if I had my child's would-be murder in my grasp and had tons of power over him, I'd let him go because he said please. And then I was supposed to ask the kid to kindly not eat my friend (nevermind the ones he already partially ate). Because when my attempted murderer asked me nicely, i will spare his friend, but not the others, and let them go no worse for wear.

UGH! Theres more to this story, but I'm too pissed to keep typing. I'll be back later for the rest.

YossarianLives
2015-01-10, 10:43 PM
I battle of the bands skill challenges its the stat relevent to the guy on bass guitar.

You need to pick up Lead guitar attack bonus, drum attack bonus and keyboard attack bonus for the rest of the band.

Singers use a seperate scale and other instruments are only available by buying splat books.
I can't wait to buy my copy of complete acoustics.

Envyus
2015-01-10, 10:48 PM
UGH! Theres more to this story, but I'm too pissed to keep typing. I'll be back later for the rest.

Well I want to hear this.

Sidmen
2015-01-10, 11:40 PM
"Your all dead now. Good job Mesi, you killed the party."
The appropriate response to this is "Thanks, that's exactly what I intended when I decided to be picked up by a great wyrm then drop myself off far from the party." Followed by an ironic eyerolling.

MesiDoomstalker
2015-01-11, 01:08 AM
Well I want to hear this.

Ask and you shall recieve! Ignore the lack of an actual question!

The game obviously ended after that, and it was a while before we attempted another. In the meantime, I discovered this forum and quickly gained a cross-edition system mastery (ok, it took a few months, but whatever). Anyways, new game, same DM. She said she was designing a campaign and she'd be running a short, module-based game till its ready and that we'd be going level 1 to 5. I decided I wanted to be a Bard, I had a character idea rolling around in my head.

DM: No. Your not allowed to be a healer, you sucked at it last time.
Me: Ya, when the damage you were sending at us was dropping a person a round, a single healer will struggle.
DM: The encounters were perfectly balanced.
Me: The party wiped when you fiat'd the healer away!
DM: Bah! You just didn't do it right. No healer for you.

Ok, fine! (This is my catchphrase at this point). I roll up a Warforged Wizard. Show it to her to get it approved. She looks at it for two seconds and...

DM: Warforged can't be wizards!
Me: Why not?
DM: Cause! It makes no sense! Your an artificially created robotic lifeform and you spend your time in a book?
Me: Ya, and?
DM: (obviously scrambling for any flimsy reason) Your big mechanical fingers can't form the movement for spells.
Me: Then Warforged racial entry would say they can't have a class with Arcane power source.

Went round and round for a bit before she finally relented. And apparently, she didn't look beyond my race and class. First session, with far less murderous encounters, we open a door to a cellar. She describes the interior as 'dark' and nothing more, then looks at me with a stupid smirk. I cast light. She frowns and threw a throw pillow at me.

DM: Your supposed to cast Magic Missile! Its the darkness!
Me: Ya, I get the reference. I don't have Magic Missile.
DM: But your a Wizard! Every Wizard has Magic Missile!
Me: Not I. It did weak damage, no secondary effect. Its only usefulness was extreme range, but our game map isn't even that big. I chose a different At-Will that better fill the Controller role.
DM: (snatches my sheet, reads powers quickly) Thunderwave? You barely use that! (scratches out and writes Magic Missile) There, now you know Magic Missile.
Me: ... I don't want Magic Missile. Thunderwave is a defensive spell, to push enemies away from me. I don't have to use it much because its situational. I will literally never use Magic Missile.

The session ended there, and we had leveled up. I was pretty freaking livid, so I when I leveled up my guy, I took the retraining option and swapped out my level 1 Daily for one that let me cast MM as a Swift for the encounter. The next session we also got a chance to go to the market, so I picked up a staff that added its enhancement bonus to MM damage. If I HAD to have MM, at least it be useful.

So fast forward and we're level 5. End of the game is upon us, we're in this arena where we have to fight successive waves of enemies and we could bet on the winners (obviously we were supposed to bet on ourselves). We did and specifically, we all bet on ourselves as MVP (as in, my guy bet on himself being MVP, etc). She ruled (and actually told us ahead of time) that the arena would be one giant encounter. So no rests, no time to spend Healing Surges, no time to rest for Encounter Powers. Alright, fine. We can do this.

Start of the battle, the arena is long and wide, I think it was about 5 squares wide and 15 long, with the party on one side and the waves at the other. First we get a group of Kobolds. At this point, we've learned that when there are a group of kobolds in what seems like an ordinary room, its trapped to high heaven and this was no different. Rogue wins init and goes first. Takes first step, spikes shoot out of the floor. Second step, poison gas from a hidden jet. At this point, he stops his move and chucks a dagger and kills a kobold (obviously a minion). Then its my turn. I burn the level 1 Daily for Swift Action Magic Missiles. I then take the rest of my turn to tell my group to not move and to just snipe. Everyone agrees wholeheartedly, and finish all but one of the minions before they acted. The lone Kobold charged the Rogue (not triggering a single trap), and failed to hit the Rogue. Rogue's turn, KO'd the minion.

Next wave starts: More Kobold minions and one Kobold magic user. This round pretty much went the same way. I used my At-Will to keep the magic user at bay, and Swift MM to help clean up the minions.

Each wave was like this. Mostly minion, and 1 or 2 non-minions. And we responded in the same way. Sniping minions and my Controling the non-minions. The DM was quite obviously fuming at this point. She plopped down the mini for the final wave with a smirk, a big Ogre. It rolled low in initiative, so I got to go before it. Finally, I burned my 5th level Daily. I can't remember what it was, but it created a pretty big zone for the encounter that dealt some minor damage and knocked prone anyone who entered (every time they entered). I placed it dead center of the arena, it was wide enough (and Ogre big enough) that it had to pass through it.

Everyone plinks at it with what they could (honestly not much). Ogre's turn, it charged, hit the Zone, plopped down and took more damage. Used its Standard to stand back up. My turn, I use an Encounter Utility to force it to move back (and out of the zone). This turn repeats. My turn again, use different power to make it back up again. DM is about ready to blow as everyone is hooting and hollering at how awesome the battle is.

The Ogre dies through repeatedly falling on its ass. Everyone's excited, congratulating me on the strategy and such. DM pulls me aside.

DM: You shouldn't have done that!
Me: Done what? Beat the Ogre?
DM: Trivalize my final fight!
Me: I acted tactically. Its been established he was trained by a general. This was his schtick!
DM: You shouldn't have made the encounter so easy! It was supposed to be hard!
Me: Made easy? I found a work around! We avoided the traps, and sniped from a distance! When faced with an obstacle, you don't run head first into it, you bypass it!
DM: And the Ogre! You put your Daily in the center! Not even targeting the Ogre!
Me: Tactics! I knew I could keep it from crossing for a few turns, I placed it there to keep it away from us!
DM: Its supposed to attack you! It was supposed to be challenging!
Me: What was I supposed to do!?'
DM: Not shut down my monster! Give it a fighting chance!
Me: ... So not use my powers.
DM: No! You can use your powers, just not to shut down my monsters!
Me: THATS WHAT A CONTROLLER DOES!
DM: ...
Me: Controllers debuff and restrict the movement of the opponents, putting them in disadvantageous positions and setting up his allies. You want me to NOT do the entire point of the class!
DM: Wizards don't move people around! They shoot fireballs!

The argument went in circles after that. The next campaign never took off, which is fine as I didn't even bother to build a character for it. Just... ugh. I like her, she's a good fan. But as a DM, she's infuriating.

Ravian
2015-01-11, 01:33 AM
What a bizarrely infuriating story. It's odd that she chose 4ed as the system when she seemed to believe everything would function the same as in 3.5

Still you can hardly be blamed if she couldn't use her own monsters tactically. An ogre's pretty dumb and likely to fall for a zone of damage at least a few times. But I figure it would eventually figure out that a retreat might be in order.

Sir Chuckles
2015-01-11, 01:54 AM
Take a second look at the dimensions of the arena.
It was completely her fault for poor design. It's a classic case of "You're an X! You do X!", which is funny because of 4e's directly labeled party roles.

However...

DM: Your supposed to cast Magic Missile! Its the darkness!
Me: Ya, I get the reference. I don't have Magic Missile.
DM: But your a Wizard! Every Wizard has Magic Missile!
Me: Not I. It did weak damage, no secondary effect. Its only usefulness was extreme range, but our game map isn't even that big. I chose a different At-Will that better fill the Controller role.
DM: (snatches my sheet, reads powers quickly) Thunderwave? You barely use that! (scratches out and writes Magic Missile) There, now you know Magic Missile.
Me: ... I don't want Magic Missile. Thunderwave is a defensive spell, to push enemies away from me. I don't have to use it much because its situational. I will literally never use Magic Missile.

This likely would have caused me to walk, especially with that reference (I hate that reference). Taking other players sheets and rewriting them because you dislike a choice they made is, in my opinion, one of the cardinal sins of tabletop.

(Un)Inspired
2015-01-11, 02:40 AM
Mesi, I'm sorry. I could not force myself to finish reading your post. After a read that your DM snatched your character sheet away from you and crossed things out without your permission I knew that I would only get angry if I kept reading.

You have my sympathies for dealing with that...that...beastly hefalump of a DM.

I'm gonna try and finish reading the post now.

Alberic Strein
2015-01-11, 04:34 AM
But. This doesn't even.

Even 3.5e had a tendency to have wizards be controllers! How in the name of hell could she not expect controlling spells?!

And, hit me in the mouth if I'm wrong, but doesn't 4e have SPECIFICALLY encounters mapped to prevent spells from
easily dealing with an encounter?!

God have I seen my share of rage quits in 4e (turns out the wizardess dislikes standing adjascent to the fighter when he eats an houseruled spell which makes him turn against the party) but that level of... Fiat. Not even good fiat. Some clear as day, useless as hell fiat...

God! Good job enduring through all that.

Edit: I've been in a similar situation (barring the character sheet bit) and God would I want to be able to say I took it as well as you...

Kesnit
2015-01-11, 06:38 AM
But. This doesn't even.

Even 3.5e had a tendency to have wizards be controllers! How in the name of hell could she not expect controlling spells?!

Given that she expected the Wizard to throw MM and Fireball, it makes sense that she sees them as "blasters." Not that what she did was right (it wasn't), but I can see where she was coming from.

Sliver
2015-01-11, 07:03 AM
Alright, I'll share a story too! Nothing as horrible as some of the stories here, but still one of the worst DMs I had.

I joined an online Israeli community that connected players and DMs, so we played through chat (MSN) together. I join an existing group with two players, besides myself, who would actually join every game, with a few others who came in at random times, once or twice throughout the campaign.

This is also my second game ever and I have poor grasp of the rules and concepts of the game. I make a sorcerer, but his (very short and quite bland) backstory is that of a wizard. Level 1, no campaign notes and no little experience with the game, so I'm not too hard on past-Sliver. The DM has me teleported to the group and we just walk through a field...

First encounter time! An army of orcs appears from both sides! We run for it, trying to escape the mass as if they are a closing sea on us, when some angel NPC shows up and smites them before leaving. Next game, one of the players doesn't show, so this angel also took him with her.

We reach a city, where for some reason we find a baby. I detect magic and get blinded by the power of this godly baby. We find a bookcase, I detect magic and get blinded by this godly book... Behind the bookcase is some secret underground passage that leads to some fight with undead before we come up in a ruined temple. We fight another group of undead, when we see outside another hostile army marches.

My character closes the door and waits, because at this point... Yup, the angel appears and deals with the army just fine!

Then we get teleported into a giant battlefield, because baby, kill a bunch of mooks while the NPCs are doing their thing. We are thanked for some reason and returned back...

At this point, me and the others are rather bored with the actual game. There is little description and every time we mention it to the DM, he agrees but doesn't try to improve. At a certain point, he says that we're in a cave and leaves for an hour... So we stick around because there aren't any games around that allow the three of us to play together, so we make the best out of it... Until...

The DM has my character Charmed and raped. Part of the rape changes my alignment and makes me a servant of Nerull, and gives me the powers of doing whatever the DM tells me to do. The other PCs notice the change and attack my PCs new mistress, which then teleports both of us away.

Back in my new lair, I'm basically dominated and left with nothing to interact with besides raising undead through the powers of whatever, until the other PCs can come and rescue me.

They show up, another NPC paralyzes me while they deal with the rapist... That battle ends and, tired already, I simply ask that we skip the long-winded ritual (the only things he was describing at any length were how his NPCs did awesome and symbolic things like get married...) so I can actually get to play after two or three sessions...

That was the last session I played with him as my DM. The other two played once more, but that was basically it.

Oh, and why did the DM decide to dominate and twist my character? He decided my character was too boring.

Because becoming an NPC for two/three sessions is so much more interesting!

goto124
2015-01-11, 07:22 AM
Sexual assult? Domination of a PC? Yikes.

Sliver
2015-01-11, 08:27 AM
Well, he did think my character was too boring, so I was basically asking for it... :smallmad:

MesiDoomstalker
2015-01-11, 11:37 AM
The cherry on the cake is her diehard hate for 3.5 for being too open ended and multiclass heavy. That nothing "Feels like a Fighter, just a stack of classes and feats"

Ravian
2015-01-11, 12:33 PM
The cherry on the cake is her diehard hate for 3.5 for being too open ended and multiclass heavy. That nothing "Feels like a Fighter, just a stack of classes and feats"

I can see where she may be coming from. (I do prefer 4e myself, though that's largely because I found it easier to DM) But it's bizarre to say that while simultaneously wanting everything to function as it did in 3.5 on other areas. Maybe she just wanted the warriors to be more interesting? While the clerics and wizards stuck to their prescribed roles of heal-bot and blaster? Still quite annoyingly self-centered, you can only blame yourself if you can't keep up with even a mildly optimized party because you expect everything to function the same as another system.

Necroticplague
2015-01-11, 01:02 PM
To be fair, she doesn't seem to know how wizards worked in previous editions, either. Wizards have always been about utility and control, everything else was a poor use of spell slots.

Arbane
2015-01-11, 03:01 PM
To be fair, she doesn't seem to know how wizards worked in previous editions, either. Wizards have always been about utility and control, everything else was a poor use of spell slots.

I don't think that's always been true - back in AD&D, a well-placed fireball could end a fight in the first round. (Not everything had triple-digit HP back then.)

Necroticplague
2015-01-11, 03:23 PM
I don't think that's always been true - back in AD&D, a well-placed fireball could end a fight in the first round. (Not everything had triple-digit HP back then.)

And you also had a lot less spell slots, so you more wanted to preserve them for doing things the weaponmaster couldn't even be compared to.

MesiDoomstalker
2015-01-11, 05:06 PM
I can see where she may be coming from. (I do prefer 4e myself, though that's largely because I found it easier to DM) But it's bizarre to say that while simultaneously wanting everything to function as it did in 3.5 on other areas. Maybe she just wanted the warriors to be more interesting? While the clerics and wizards stuck to their prescribed roles of heal-bot and blaster? Still quite annoyingly self-centered, you can only blame yourself if you can't keep up with even a mildly optimized party because you expect everything to function the same as another system.

This is basically my beef with her argument. Its hypocritical. I like both systems and they are good for different things. I'll gladly play both just not at the same time!

(Un)Inspired
2015-01-11, 05:16 PM
This is basically my beef with her argument. Its hypocritical. I like both systems and they are good for different things. I'll gladly play both just not at the same time!

I'd even be willing to try both at the same time provided the DM wasn't telling me which powers I HAD to use.

Almarck
2015-01-11, 07:25 PM
While I have nothing to add to this thread, I will say that reading these stories is probably the best thing I could ever do to prevent myself from becoming a bad DM.

I mean, so long as I remember to the mistake others made, I'll make mistakes of my own instead of repeating someone else's right?

Pex
2015-01-11, 07:51 PM
Well there's also the one I just never ended playing with, I had been interested in playing some sort of star wars, and also just making some friends in college. I wanted to play a gungan because they are a pretty cool species. But all the GM could say is "No gungans jarjar is stupid", and basically just ranted about that. I decided that if a GM is going to get that caught up on something like that and unwilling to discuss anything I didn't really want to see how he ran a game.

As a player I can understand your point, but on the other hand, that GM was Absolutely Right In Every Way They Are Worse Than Kender and Gully Dwarves!
:smallyuk:

Honest Tiefling
2015-01-11, 07:54 PM
Uh. I could also imagine getting some weird looks given the Gunguns, Toydarians and the Neimoidians have a very...Questionable origin. He could have been banning them because they tend to be considered pretty racist.

Mr Beer
2015-01-11, 08:41 PM
I don't have a problem with a GM barring certain races because he finds them objectionable.

Diachronos
2015-01-11, 10:31 PM
I don't have a problem with a GM barring certain races because he finds them objectionable.

The problem isn't that he banned Gungans because he found them objectionable. It's that he banned them because he found JarJar objectionable.

It's one thing to ban a race because you dislike the race as a whole.
Banning an entire race because you dislike one specific member of a race that numbers in the thousands, if not millions, is just stupid. It would be like banning halflings because you don't like Pippin, or banning dwarves because you don't like Gimli.

Knaight
2015-01-11, 11:01 PM
The problem isn't that he banned Gungans because he found them objectionable. It's that he banned them because he found JarJar objectionable.

It's one thing to ban a race because you dislike the race as a whole.
Banning an entire race because you dislike one specific member of a race that numbers in the thousands, if not millions, is just stupid. It would be like banning halflings because you don't like Pippin, or banning dwarves because you don't like Gimli.

When it comes to actual characters detailed, there aren't millions. There's Jar Jar, and then there's a handful of bit characters. There's also a population number thrown about, but in the context of an entirely fictional species that doesn't exactly mean much. It would be more like banning halflings because you don't like Frodo, Sam, Pippin, or Merry.

Milodiah
2015-01-12, 12:08 AM
When it comes to actual characters detailed, there aren't millions. There's Jar Jar, and then there's a handful of bit characters. There's also a population number thrown about, but in the context of an entirely fictional species that doesn't exactly mean much. It would be more like banning halflings because you don't like Frodo, Sam, Pippin, or Merry.

...which is somehow better?

goto124
2015-01-12, 12:13 AM
...which is somehow better?

He could be afraid of characters turning out to be Jar Jar. Or Frodo, Sam, etc.

Diachronos
2015-01-12, 12:20 AM
When it comes to actual characters detailed, there aren't millions. There's Jar Jar, and then there's a handful of bit characters. There's also a population number thrown about, but in the context of an entirely fictional species that doesn't exactly mean much. It would be more like banning halflings because you don't like Frodo, Sam, Pippin, or Merry.

The point still stands that the DM was banning an entire race because he disliked a single character of that race.

Mr Beer
2015-01-12, 12:34 AM
The problem isn't that he banned Gungans because he found them objectionable. It's that he banned them because he found JarJar objectionable.

It's one thing to ban a race because you dislike the race as a whole.
Banning an entire race because you dislike one specific member of a race that numbers in the thousands, if not millions, is just stupid. It would be like banning halflings because you don't like Pippin, or banning dwarves because you don't like Gimli.

The only Gungan I personally can recall is Jar Jar, so effectively that's the whole race as far as I'm concerned...not literally of course, but that's my only mental impression of them.

Either way, I don't think it's a huge deal to have a no-no race, although the reasoning isn't the best. I'm sure there are 20 or so other playable races in this game?

Knaight
2015-01-12, 12:47 AM
The point still stands that the DM was banning an entire race because he disliked a single character of that race.

Sure, but it's in the context of a fictional species with one representative. If it were an actual group of people then there would be an issue, but not including a fictional element where every representative is bad is hardly unreasonable.

Sidmen
2015-01-12, 03:15 AM
The only Gungan I personally can recall is Jar Jar, so effectively that's the whole race as far as I'm concerned...not literally of course, but that's my only mental impression of them.

Either way, I don't think it's a huge deal to have a no-no race, although the reasoning isn't the best. I'm sure there are 20 or so other playable races in this game?

There was also that general guy, the one that constantly insulted Jar Jar and was all eye-rolling at his stupidity. You know the one, he stabbed Jar Jar with a spear when they went to bubble city, then watched as Jar Jar led the Gungan army to utter failure.

EnglishKitsune
2015-01-12, 05:40 AM
The point still stands that the DM was banning an entire race because he disliked a single character of that race.

In the SW campaign I played in, the GM would allow a race if justified, Ewok's were generally off the board because the campaign was during the RotE, and therefore nobody had paid real interest to Endor or it's moons yet. Therefore they just weren't there.

Gungans were around however, we did actually have one, exiled from the culture, like JarJar, but for being... well a scoundrel and a criminal, we were never entirely sure if he was officially exiled, or fled execution. Sometime after leaving he'd gotten addicted to Deathsticks, and so we had a chainsmoking, swearing, Gungan as our main muscle/bruiser. Those shocksticks/grenades they used against the droids? Turns out those are pretty nasty against people as well. He ended up taking control of a Swoop Gang at one point.

Fun fact: The character HATED JarJar, to the point of violence whenever the "Gungan Senator" was mentioned.

So yeah, GM's restricting/banning races for deliberate, in universe reasons? Or for mechanical reasons, I'm fine with that, but 1 character, who in-universe was seen as a joke by his own people? Yeah that's not so great.

Lonely Tylenol
2015-01-12, 06:35 AM
I actually used this guy as a personal case study on what not to do as a DM. He's the guy who made me sit back and think, "I can run a game better than this." - Followed by writing up an adventure, convincing the group to play it, and running a better game.

So, I guess I owe him that.

Incidentally, this was how I got into DMing, and have been told repeatedly by everyone I've ever DM'd for (minus one guy - but only after he was removed from the group by a unanimous - 1 vote, whereupon I confronted him about his behaviors and asked him to change them) that I was one of their better DMs (if not best), so you can always draw good from bad.

My worst DM was also my first, and my longest DM (I have almost exclusively DM'd games since, though not by choice - we are the only two DM's on-island who have ever held long-running campaigns. There is a dearth of DMs on this island). Since the game was over a year long, and it's late, I won't go into a long-winded exposition of the entire campaign and its dissolution, or even everything that this DM did wrong, but instead focus on the most damning element of it.

I want to preface this by saying that there were actually elements of this game that were quite fun, and remained so for quite awhile, which is why my involvement in this campaign lasted for over a year. One of the biggest positives that kept me in the game was my total immersion in the detail of the world: the world had an exquisitely detailed, feature-filled overworld map available to all of us, complete with basically every civilization larger than a hamlet or thorpe mapped out. Our village of origin was comprised of about 300 people, and every last one of them had names, genealogies, and noted relationships with at least a few other people in the town - and we even got to help build our own families as part of this town. You see, this campaign was to be set in the same world as previous campaigns run by this DM for other players, so much of the world was already made and quite exquisitely detailed. Not everything would have this level of detail (though the published adventures that made up a lot of our low-level adventuring did have a lot of detail), but things like this had me hyped for the campaign early on, and kept me going for quite awhile.

Everyone was part of the same group of friends, more or less, which allowed me to put up with a lot when things started going south.

Each of us was required to be a Good-aligned human in our late teens, and our initial group consisted of:
A Wizard, played by myself;
A Scout, played by a longtime friend of the DM, who was the party's leader as appointed by the DM;
A Druid, played by the girlfriend of the Scout and also longtime friend of the DM;
A Fighter, who was principally friends with the Scout; and
A Cleric, who was principally friends with the Fighter.
Later, we would be joined by:
A Bardbarian, played by my childhood bully, and at the time my college bully;
A Sorceress, played by my girlfriend; and
A Bard, played by the girlfriend of the Fighter.
Of these players, only the Bardbarian would stick around for long.

Our very first session involved us stumbling out of the woods behind the village, down a hill, and into a clearing, where we see a mysterious cloaked man open a secret door and disappear into it. The secret door was in the side of a mountain which, as the fates would have it, was part of an as-yet-unexplained catastrophe which our village had experienced ten years ago. Inside, we faced a flood of rats trying to escape the new light that had been forged out; to our right, a chest guarded by a triggered trap in a room with two bats; to our left, a statue which, upon closer inspection, has a cursed head that detaches and flies around the room, attacking the party with eye beams; and finally, further ahead, a sarcophagus, presumably belonging to the owner of this tomb, which is missing a crucial item atop the sarcophagus (noted by missing dust lines) and contains an orc's skeleton, which bursts out and begins attacking. The hooded man has already disappeared.

The game started off pretty well, and stayed pretty well for awhile. It was *very* railroady, but I didn't know any better at the time; this was my first game ever (and the same was true for everyone but the Scout and Druid, who had only played with this DM before). For most of us, this campaign was a totally unique experience, and we were super excited to be a part of it.

For most of us.

After awhile, I began to notice a few odd things that kept happening throughout the game. The Scout and Druid would refer to events that hadn't happened yet, sometimes in the past tense. The two of them, in addition to the DM, would talk about something called a "beta campaign" from time to time. Additionally, the DM would get angry and begin introducing fiat solutions to stop cold any progress happening in a direction that wasn't on the rails, which the Scout (who, I must remind you, was the party leader) would hurriedly strongly back up, which would eventually get the group back in line and on the rails.

This culminated, for me, in an event with a startling realization. We were set to clear out an orc hideout that was becoming a problem for the nearby village because reasons. As soon as we cleared out the above-ground enemies and entered the hideout, the Druid player turned to the DM and exclaimed, "is this where we get Thog?!" to which the DM nodded and said yes. This left the Scout and the Druid overjoyed, and the rest of us very puzzled. Regardless, we pressed on. Two rooms and a hallway later down the right path, and we found ourselves surprise attacking a room with a few particular orcs. The pixie, an NPC character friendly to the druid, immediately began firing off sleep arrows while the rest of the group charged in, weapons waving. In the middle of the combat, the pixie fired a sleep arrow at one of the orcs, then said "oops" in-character, and then combat continued without any other mention of it, because we were in combat. After the combat, we found out that the pixie had run out of sleep arrows mid-combat and accidentally fired a memory loss arrow at the orc spellcaster, who was still knocked out regardless. Coincidentally, this orc came to immediately after, wondering who he was and what he was doing here. After a moment, the Druid spoke up: "you're Thog, and you're our friend!"

That was when it hit me:

This is the beta campaign.

Not the exact campaign, mind you. Beta campaign had happened previously: the Scout and the Druid had played this exact campaign, with this exact same set of adventures and mishaps which happened in this exact sequence. In fact, this campaign wasn't being played; it was being replayed, in the same order it had been before, by the players picked by the DM to make sure it happened just so. The only thing that was ever different were in-combat die rolls, but the results were exactly the same, largely because the DM was fudging to keep every member of the party alive.

Later on, this group would come to meet an otherworldly spirit, which was a prophet of things to come. She would be the one to tell us that we [the five in the core group] were the Chosen Ones, and that we would be the only ones capable of wielding the five legendary weapons (two of which we found before I quit) and stopping the ultimate evil from taking over the world. She also gave us two specific prophecies, one of which was that, in one month's time, the queen of our kingdom/country was going to be assassinated. I immediately proclaimed that we need to travel to the capital (which was two weeks' travel to the north) and try to save her!

...Unfortunately, the DM had other ideas, and before we could even finish the conversation, told us (out of character) that it can't happen.

I told him that of course it could, and by the way, we wouldn't know until we try. It was well within our reach, and if we traveled there, alerted the queen well in advance, and combined our (somewhat limited, but heroic) forces with the queen's own guard to create a dedicated watch, we could possibly thwart the assassin.

He told me, once again, that no, it won't happen.

I became sort of annoyed and defeated by this "you simply cannot" approach, so I asked why, to which his response was that another group of players in a campaign run ~1-2 years ago, set in this same world, tried to protect the queen and failed. Therefore, it is canon in our world.

"Oh, well," the Scout (who was both the DM's appointed party leader and beta campaigner), "I guess we should just head to Kingsbridge." (Kingsbridge was two weeks' travel south, in the opposite direction.)

"Why in the Hell would we head south?!" I exclaimed, both in- and out-of-character.

"Well, we have a promissory note from [that guy we rescued months ago] we should probably cash."

I was livid. Between this and the "beta campaign" revelation, I was beginning to feel like I had absolutely no player agency: everything that we were supposed to do was pre-ordained and set in stone by the DM and rigidly enforced by the party's leader, and everything that we weren't explicitly supposed to do was either set in stone by a past campaign, or just fiat rejected or defeated by the DM otherwise.

Outside of these two revelations, other patterns of behavior were starting to crop up with this DM, which I had only now begun to notice (as well as in retrospect) because I had found other friends who played D&D, found these boards, had many discussions on the matter, and even played a few one-offs and short campaigns with other DMs. Some of these were fairly standard "bad DM" pitfalls, such as the unavoidable, unwinnable encounters solved only by the arrival of a Mary Sue/Marty Stu NPC, the throttling of wealth, the complete lack of a sense of balance and the erratic bans and restrictions placed therein, and the much-dreaded line, "that's not what your character would do", all of which became somewhat common occurrences. Other, more alarming behaviors, became apparent, such as his abusive behavior towards the Druid's player, and later, my girlfriend, which led to him (and also the Bardbarian) teasing and even sometimes openly berating them for saying something they didn't agree with or think was smart (my girlfriend would leave the game in tears whilst I argued with the Bardbarian about his behavior one day, never to return). He would also begin yelling and making violent displays (slamming the table, throwing things down, etc) if he did not get his way in attempt to intimidate people, which usually worked, because he weighed more than any two of us combined (he weighed about as much as myself and any two of the women, or the combined weight of the three women) and stood taller than everyone but the Cleric. I would leave the game in the midst of one such display of violence after which I simply refused to back down, which resulted in a shouting match between myself and the DM, in the midst of which even the Bardbarian player, who had literally been my bully for more than half my life at this point, slumped into his chair and dared not speak up. After that, I simply left, and never returned to the table. The group dissolved almost immediately thereafter.

Two years passed. Bad blood had been washed away, and although my perceptions of this DM's style and behavior had not changed, I had only been able to DM past that point, and DM fatigue was setting in extremely hard. I wanted to play again, and I knew that he was the only other DM I could reach out to in order to find a group. As it so happened, I ran into one of that group's members (the Scout) at an event I was volunteering for. We got to talking about D&D, and he caught me up on the last two years--what had happened since I left, what happened with the rest of the group's members, and so on. We got to talking about current games, and he said that they were going to be running their very first session of a new campaign the very next day. He said that I was welcome to show up, and so I did. While I was there, I talked it out with the DM (who was, of course, the same DM as before), and he said that I could roll up a character sheet and join next week while the rest of the group ran their very first session.

Our very first session involved us stumbling out of the woods behind the village, down a hill, and into a clearing, where we see a mysterious cloaked man open a secret door and disappear into it. The secret door was in the side of a mountain which, as the fates would have it, was part of an as-yet-unexplained catastrophe which our village had experienced ten years ago. Inside, we faced a flood of rats trying to escape the new light that had been forged out; to our right, a chest guarded by a triggered trap in a room with two bats; to our left, a statue which, upon closer inspection, has a cursed head that detaches and flies around the room, attacking the party with eye beams; and finally, further ahead, a sarcophagus, presumably belonging to the owner of this tomb, which is missing a crucial item atop the sarcophagus (noted by missing dust lines) and contains an orc's skeleton, which bursts out and begins attacking. The hooded man has already disappeared.

This was their fifth time running this exact campaign.

I left the table at the end of the session and never looked back.

Earthwalker
2015-01-12, 07:55 AM
[The Story of the recurring campaign

OMG I read all that and got to where you left the group thinking, yeah that all seems reason to.
Then you go on to say they are still playing the same campaign again !!

The count is up to 5 and they show no sign of stopping. Thats just insane.

Someone needs to show them a different way of playing see if they want to not just play the same thing over and over again..

Lonely Tylenol
2015-01-12, 08:13 AM
OMG I read all that and got to where you left the group thinking, yeah that all seems reason to.
Then you go on to say they are still playing the same campaign again !!

The count is up to 5 and they show no sign of stopping. Thats just insane.

Someone needs to show them a different way of playing see if they want to not just play the same thing over and over again..

Yeah, it was pretty insane to me to think that they would still be playing this exact same game over and over again. I basically "nope"d out the moment I realized this was the same starting mission, but stayed until the session's end for politeness' sake.

The Scout player and the Druid were the only consistent members of each game, if I recall, though the Bardbarian player was also in the fifth iteration of this game (the Druid and Scout were playing the same classes; he was playing a Marshal). Their Cleric was a member of one of the groups I was DMing, and was new to this group.

I had offered to invite the Scout and Druid player to one of the games I was running if they wanted to try play with a different DM (I was really their only other option for a consistent, long-term 3.5 game, sadly), and both players declined. They were afraid to play in a game not run by this DM, who was the only DM they had before. In their case, Campaign Repeat Limbo is the fate they have chosen for themselves.

MReav
2015-01-12, 09:52 AM
Sure, but it's in the context of a fictional species with one representative. If it were an actual group of people then there would be an issue, but not including a fictional element where every representative is bad is hardly unreasonable.

Yeah, but when the sole representative was banished for being what he was, I can probably assume that he's not an effective representative of the species.

Solaris
2015-01-12, 11:06 AM
I had offered to invite the Scout and Druid player to one of the games I was running if they wanted to try play with a different DM (I was really their only other option for a consistent, long-term 3.5 game, sadly), and both players declined. They were afraid to play in a game not run by this DM, who was the only DM they had before. In their case, Campaign Repeat Limbo is the fate they have chosen for themselves.

That's the part that alarms me. That's the sort of 'afraid of change' that leads to living in Mother's basement until the cockroaches revolt and reclaim the basement for their own.

runeghost
2015-01-12, 12:36 PM
- We were regularly ambushed while camping for no reason. This once featured the question, "is the lookout looking to the north, or to the south?" - it turns out the lookout was looking in the wrong direction, and a group of six Hill Giants snuck up on us hidden by waist-high grass. Human waist, not giant waist.

Sounds like a thoroughly awful GM... Hill giants have Marine Recon? Who could have guessed? :smallbiggrin:

(Given that I'm looking at eventually putting my current group through Against the Giants, the idea of giants who have military capabilities beyond "big and smashes things" is kind of appealing.)

ComaVision
2015-01-12, 01:54 PM
snip

You probably have realised this but I'm pretty sure the beginning of his campaign there is the free adventure A Dark and Stormy Knight.

Inevitability
2015-01-12, 02:21 PM
*Story*

This thread have been going for 16 pages now.
Some of the stories in it amused me, others made me wonder how a DM could be that bad, a few even made me angry.

This story however, terrified me. Another story has yet to do so. :smalleek:

Odin's Eyepatch
2015-01-12, 04:55 PM
This was their fifth time running this exact campaign.



What is impressive is that they haven't got bored of playing the same campaign again and again!

I mean, it would be a cool idea if they could have the campaign "reset", so that they can try again where they failed, armed with the memories of their previous lives (like a video game in a way). The campaign would then change as they take different decisions, changing the course of history as they foil the assassination attempt, ect...

I don't know easy it would be to plan such a campaign, but I would definitely be interested in playing it (maybe once or twice)

Feddlefew
2015-01-12, 04:56 PM
This thread have been going for 16 pages now.
Some of the stories in it amused me, others made me wonder how a DM could be that bad, a few even made me angry.

This story however, terrified me. Another story has yet to do so. :smalleek:

I'm going to second this. It's like something out of The King in Yellow.

Almarck
2015-01-12, 05:03 PM
I'm going to second this. It's like something out of The King in Yellow.

The only situation where something like this could possibly not come off as creepy or sad is if these guys were beta testing and designing their own campaign module to sell. And even then, it's still depressing since they should have already sold off the campaign a long time ago.

(Un)Inspired
2015-01-12, 07:30 PM
This thread have been going for 16 pages now.
Some of the stories in it amused me, others made me wonder how a DM could be that bad, a few even made me angry.

This story however, terrified me. Another story has yet to do so. :smalleek:

I don't know.

It seems almost beautiful the way the party endlessly repeats the same meaningless struggle every time they play. They're having fun knowing that their actions are ultimately meaningless because the universe will reset as soon as they finish the campaign.

It's like they're living as a perfect example of Camus' belief that we must imagine Sisyphus as being happy.

Kalmageddon
2015-01-12, 07:39 PM
This thread have been going for 16 pages now.
Some of the stories in it amused me, others made me wonder how a DM could be that bad, a few even made me angry.

This story however, terrified me. Another story has yet to do so. :smalleek:

It makes me wonder if they actually know what RPGs should be about. Maybe they think this is it, you play one module trying different characters (they at least try different characters, right? :smalleek:).
Otherwise, it's scary, yes. Years of the same campaign, over and over and over. No ending. No way to free yourself from the endless cycle. It is terrifying, agreed.

Ravens_cry
2015-01-12, 07:39 PM
Tell the Gungan banning DM to read Darths and Droids (http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0001.html).
Five words: "Jar Jar, you're a genius!"

YossarianLives
2015-01-12, 07:46 PM
snop
I could see this as a episode of the Twilight Zone. THE CAMPAIGN THAT NEVER ENDED.

Almarck
2015-01-12, 07:52 PM
That might be a good way to look at it. Basically, they're redoing a video game playthrough in D&D form, in a sense, like replaying Dragon Age Origins as every different race and class with different choices.... that actually stops being scary and actually kinda cool.

Ravian
2015-01-12, 07:55 PM
The only situation where something like this could possibly not come off as creepy or sad is if these guys were beta testing and designing their own campaign module to sell. And even then, it's still depressing since they should have already sold off the campaign a long time ago.

Even then, the fact that they would devote themselves to play the same thing over and over again. (To the point where the two core players are afraid to play anything else at all.) it does sound like something beyond an attempted campaign module. (especially given that it started with what appears to be a pre-existing campaign module.)

I concur with this being somewhat disturbing. It's like a director that only directs a single play, over and over again, no variation whatsoever, and a couple of actors willingly playing the same parts, over and over again.

It does sound like something lovecraftian.

goto124
2015-01-12, 08:16 PM
It does sound like something lovecraftian.

Next time someone askes for cosmic horror ideas, we'll quote this...

I would've helped re-rail this thread, but I have nothing to contribute... is that a good thing...

Lonely Tylenol
2015-01-12, 11:01 PM
Wow! This exploded!

I will try and respond to everything directed at me (or stemming from it), but may lump similar quotes together to respond in bulk.


That's the part that alarms me. That's the sort of 'afraid of change' that leads to living in Mother's basement until the cockroaches revolt and reclaim the basement for their own.

The sad fact of the matter is, you are essentially right for all the right reasons. The only difference is that where I live, "basements" don't exist (in fact, due in large part to the past history of hurricanes, tsunamis, and constant flash flooding, residences atop entire sections of the island are on stilts).

In fairness to the three of them, though, this isn't that uncommon an occurrence here, or quite as ostracized, due both the strong value family ties has here, and the prohibitively high cost of living.


You probably have realised this but I'm pretty sure the beginning of his campaign there is the free adventure A Dark and Stormy Knight.

I didn't know this, actually, but I'm not too surprised; a lot of the actual adventures we took part in were campaign modules threaded into the campaign setting. I later discovered, for example, that the module I had stormed out of was Fortress of the Yuan-Ti, and that we had already completed Barrow of the Forgotten King and The Sinister Spire beforehand. (I knew Barrow was a module, but I did not know it was a trilogy.) I'm sure if I cross-referenced my own memory of the campaign with someone else's superior knowledge of modules, I'd discover that most of the adventures we undertook were pregenerated.


This thread have been going for 16 pages now.
Some of the stories in it amused me, others made me wonder how a DM could be that bad, a few even made me angry.

This story however, terrified me. Another story has yet to do so. :smalleek:


I'm going to second this. It's like something out of The King in Yellow.

Could you imagine how I felt living through it? If the fifth start hadn't started in a separate location from the second start (the Scout player's patio as opposed to the DM's living room), I'd have been convinced I was in 2010, even thinking about it today.


The only situation where something like this could possibly not come off as creepy or sad is if these guys were beta testing and designing their own campaign module to sell. And even then, it's still depressing since they should have already sold off the campaign a long time ago.

A good number of the actual adventures were themselves published campaign modules (A Dark and Stormy Knight and the entire Barrow of the Forgotten King trilogy have already been identified in this thread, and I'm sure I could uncover more if I knew much about published game modules), so I doubt this is likely.


What is impressive is that they haven't got bored of playing the same campaign again and again!

I mean, it would be a cool idea if they could have the campaign "reset", so that they can try again where they failed, armed with the memories of their previous lives (like a video game in a way). The campaign would then change as they take different decisions, changing the course of history as they foil the assassination attempt, ect...

I don't know easy it would be to plan such a campaign, but I would definitely be interested in playing it (maybe once or twice)


I don't know.

It seems almost beautiful the way the party endlessly repeats the same meaningless struggle every time they play. They're having fun knowing that their actions are ultimately meaningless because the universe will reset as soon as they finish the campaign.

It's like they're living as a perfect example of Camus' belief that we must imagine Sisyphus as being happy.


It makes me wonder if they actually know what RPGs should be about. Maybe they think this is it, you play one module trying different characters (they at least try different characters, right? :smalleek:).
Otherwise, it's scary, yes. Years of the same campaign, over and over and over. No ending. No way to free yourself from the endless cycle. It is terrifying, agreed.


That might be a good way to look at it. Basically, they're redoing a video game playthrough in D&D form, in a sense, like replaying Dragon Age Origins as every different race and class with different choices.... that actually stops being scary and actually kinda cool.


Even then, the fact that they would devote themselves to play the same thing over and over again. (To the point where the two core players are afraid to play anything else at all.) it does sound like something beyond an attempted campaign module. (especially given that it started with what appears to be a pre-existing campaign module.)

I concur with this being somewhat disturbing. It's like a director that only directs a single play, over and over again, no variation whatsoever, and a couple of actors willingly playing the same parts, over and over again.

It does sound like something lovecraftian.

I don't really know where to start and end with this chain of thought, as so many things come to mind when I read it, so instead of quoting and responding individually, I'll try and tie everything together by answering a few questions:

First (most closely addresses Odin's Eyepatch and Almarck), the core players through this campaign's entire timeline (the Scout, Druid, and the DM) were huge BioWare fans, and absolutely did play through every Mass Effect and Dragon Age game they could get their hands on (and possibly KOTOR as well) to unlock every conceivable ending. Mass Effect 2 came out around the time this campaign started, and each one of them had their minds absolutely blown by how much freedom you had over your character's path of progression through the story. (Which may actually be technically true from a video gamer's perspective, but seems to be missing the point of pen & paper entirely...)

It definitely did strike me as the most video game-y interpretation of D&D I have experienced ever, in all the ways I hate most about playing video games, and I have played for a 3.5/Pathfinder DM who was MMO obsessed and kept referring to in-game mechanics and the like using MMO terms like "DPS" and "tanking". (Actually, that was perhaps my favorite DM; his campaigns usually involved stratospheric number inflation and terrible balancing practices alongside a no-holds-barred optimization allowance, which I was vastly superior at relative to him. The result was that I could build anything using any official 3.5/Pathfinder material and have him geared to the tooth well before WBL. I ended up hamstringing myself with a Venerable-aged Iaijutsu Master and just styling on our enemies. Encounters were usually fairly original, but pretty straightforward and a little basic, and I could have won them in straight combat, but the much more engaging thought experiment turned out to be completely demolishing the encounters with as much lateral thinking and as few rolled checks as possible... Which the DM actually enabled. Some of my best moments, and definitely my most memorable character, come from that campaign, which, sadly, simply ended due to DM fatigue and schedule constraints. But those stories can live on in another thread. His new campaign begins tomorrow, and I am pumped for it!)

Second (this most closely addresses Odin's Eyepatch, Kalmageddon and Almarck), I wish I could say that it was quite that amazing: that the campaign was happening Groundhog Day-style, where they kept making different choices until they got their ideal ending. Based on everything that I now know about the chronology of these five campaigns, I could tell you the following:

- The first campaign ("beta campaign") was the smallest, likely only consisting of the DM, the Scout player, the Druid player, and perhaps one other player. It quite possibly also got further into the campaign than any of the other attempts did (with my campaign being its closest contender). It is quite possible that they actually saw its ending, completing the "beta campaign" in its entirety before a broader release. The Scout player played his Scout, and the Druid player played her druid. They were functionally and aesthetically identical to the characters they played in my game, and made the exact same choices with the exact same results (I knew this because these exact events would happen in my campaign, with the exact same choices being made by these players, and yielding the exact same results).
- The second campaign (my campaign) was the largest, consisting of all the players mentioned above. The Scout and Druid retained their characters' names, races, classes, and alignments from the first game. Of the remaining players in the core group, only the Fighter had played a D&D game before this one (and only one campaign, also run by this DM). Of the peripheral characters, only the Bardbarian had played a D&D game before (the same one as the Fighter). As described, the campaign played out as an exact replica of "beta campaign", except that there were more people (whose decisions didn't matter much in the long run), and more dysfunctions. From what I gathered much later on, the game dissolved almost immediately after I left because the DM had written into his campaign from day one the idea that the five core members of the group were intended to be the Chosen Ones from Village X, and these five people absolutely had to assemble the five holy weapons and slay the ultimate evil. There were no substitutions. My character (who was still alive and fully intact) could not continue as an NPC, and no other person could take his place, even by way of retcon. This obsession with the exactness with which the campaign followed his script was so complete that this year-plus long campaign dissolved completely because the player of one of its five Chosen Ones left.
- The third campaign was significantly less successful. It consisted of the core group, minus myself, plus the Bardbarian. The group tried to fix some of the dysfunctions that carried over from the second group; the Cleric from the second group was basically lied to, being told at the beginning that he could play the warrior infused with divine energy that he always wanted, but being openly mocked any time he wanted to do anything other than be a walking hit point bandage. This time, in a shocking twist, Tome of Battle was allowed, and he was allowed to play a Crusader. Homebrew was brought in to fix the Fighter, whose concept of "Dragoon from Final Fantasy III" was left woefully unfulfilled by the myriad restrictions of second campaign combined with houserules which hamstrung his concept significantly, such as critical fumbles and the like, even though Tiger Claw Warblade fulfilled his concept quite nicely. The Bardbarian played something else, likely Core-only. The Scout and the Druid played the exact same characters, down to name and physical appearance. Unfortunately, the OOC dysfunctions and baggage from the second group carried over to this one, and it ended poorly, with Fighter and Cleric leaving for good, and Bardbarian leaving for fourth. I think the only meaningful conclusion from this campaign that carried over into any future ones was "Tome of Battle is broken, and will never see play at my tables again." (It didn't. I asked.)
- I know the least about the fourth campaign. I know that the Scout and Druid player were in it, and the other players were names I had seen and heard, but never put faces to. It lasted awhile and was uneventful, likely just fizzling out due to lack of motivation or player conflict.
- When I had entered the fifth campaign, I had noticed that the Scout player's Scout, which was functionally the exact same character as in the second campaign and had the same name, backstory, community ties, and general appearance, had aged three years, and had a goatee. Commensurately, Scout player had aged three years, and had a goatee. Druid player's Druid had not aged. Bardbarian returned, but as a Marshal with a different backstory. The fourth player was a coworker of the Scout, and a player in one of my campaigns: a Cleric who was only brought in "because we need a healer" (essentially, the same story as the second campaign's Cleric, but with a different player). This one was more complacent at the table, though: his domains were Sun and Healing, and his two starting feats were something like Augment Healing and some feat that turned Turn Undead uses into fast healing (I can't recall which of the feats it was, though; I am aware of three which do this). I knew better, though; in my game, his Cleric was a greatsword-wielding, chain-cleaving god of war (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0439.html), and he reveled in it. Later on, at my table, he would ask for advice on how to convince his party and DM at the other table to let him actually don armor and use his spells to protect and empower, rather than just heal, without them continuously mocking and berating him for the attempts (which they did, frequently, even complaining to me in secret about him). He would also describe events that were playing out in his campaign, which were exactly the same as they played out in my campaign with them three years prior, with the same outcomes. This effort lasted a few months, and I'm pretty certain it ended with New Cleric's departure.

From this, what I can safely tell you is:
- Some players changed classes and even characters, but the Scout and the Druid played the exact same characters at least four of the five times.
- By contrast, not all players were even present for more than one of these five campaigns; for the most part, there was a revolving door of newer, fresh-faced players around the DM, the Scout, the Druid, and, later, the Bardbarian/Marshal.
- In at least three of the campaigns, events transpired in the exact same sequence with the exact same results, with no meaningful variance and more or less independent of player input.
- As a consequence of the third bullet, things like the queen's assassination being thwarted several timelines in never happened.
- Fifth campaign, as far as I know, started and ended in 2013. For all I know, they are on campaign seven or something at this point.

In fact, I think the likeliest outcome is that the group never actually reached the campaign's finish outside of beta, if at all, because the group would keep imploding due to its various in-character and out-of-character dysfunctions, and that, rather than picking up where they left off, the group keeps resetting completely because they need for the Chosen Ones to start at level 1 in the exact same village (as it is written, and as it is told), and that this same group is trying simply to reach the same prescribed ending promised them from beta at least once. In other words, the entire ordeal is more Dune Messiah than Groundhog Day.

Third (most closely addresses Ravian), you're starting to scare me quite a bit. I have been part of the same weekly production of South Pacific (and in the same role) since I think 2011, and the production itself has been running since 2003 or 2004, under the same director for most of that time. I literally am stuck in the same endless play.

Money's decent, though. (And I have been in a dozen other performances before and after.)

Pex
2015-01-12, 11:46 PM
I was thinking along the same lines. If you disliked every DM you ever had, maybe the problem is you? Just like a father who dislikes every one of his daughter's boyfriends.

The father is just testing his daughter. If the daughter isn't protesting, she doesn't really like the guy. When the daughter fights back, that's when the father knows it's the real thing.

Taken from an episode of Smallville that I though was rather clever. :smallbiggrin:

Mr Beer
2015-01-13, 12:53 AM
Now I'm imagining a player, provoked beyond all endurance by terrible GM-ing, shouting "But this test is STUPID!" and then the GM and other players all applaud him and say "That was the test!" and then they all gamed happily ever after.

Ravian
2015-01-13, 01:11 AM
Third (most closely addresses Ravian), you're starting to scare me quite a bit. I have been part of the same weekly production of South Pacific (and in the same role) since I think 2011, and the production itself has been running since 2003 or 2004, under the same director for most of that time. I literally am stuck in the same endless play.

Money's decent, though. (And I have been in a dozen other performances before and after.)

Heh, sorry... :smallredface:

Probably should have used a better example. I haven't done much professional theatre (only some small stuff for school and community productions) I forgot that most of the bigger productions go on for years at a time with the same actors in the same roles.

Still it does seem a bit similar, the only difference is that in this case there's a clear option to try something different, to go off in some radically new direction and yet in the face of this freedom, they're just sticking to a pre-rehearsed script, over and over again.

That's why I said it felt Love-craftian, that subtle sort of horror. Like going into a village where the villagers reenact the same day over and over again. At first it seems like a classic ground-hog day scenario, but then you realize it's something even more insidious. Time isn't repeating itself, days and seasons go by, the people age, and yet everyone there still acts like its the exact same day, over and over again, saying the exact same things, repeating the exact same events...

And if one of the parts die, well they might just need a replacement...

...

Excuse me a moment, I think I have a new idea for my campaign... :smallamused: My player's are going to hate me so much for this...

Knaight
2015-01-13, 01:20 AM
Yeah, but when the sole representative was banished for being what he was, I can probably assume that he's not an effective representative of the species.

Which would be really relevant in the context of real cultures, but effectively means that the species in question is basically a completely blank slate in this context. Why include them?

Zalphon
2015-01-13, 01:20 AM
Wow! This exploded!

I will try and respond to everything directed at me (or stemming from it), but may lump similar quotes together to respond in bulk.



The sad fact of the matter is, you are essentially right for all the right reasons. The only difference is that where I live, "basements" don't exist (in fact, due in large part to the past history of hurricanes, tsunamis, and constant flash flooding, residences atop entire sections of the island are on stilts).

In fairness to the three of them, though, this isn't that uncommon an occurrence here, or quite as ostracized, due both the strong value family ties has here, and the prohibitively high cost of living.



I didn't know this, actually, but I'm not too surprised; a lot of the actual adventures we took part in were campaign modules threaded into the campaign setting. I later discovered, for example, that the module I had stormed out of was Fortress of the Yuan-Ti, and that we had already completed Barrow of the Forgotten King and The Sinister Spire beforehand. (I knew Barrow was a module, but I did not know it was a trilogy.) I'm sure if I cross-referenced my own memory of the campaign with someone else's superior knowledge of modules, I'd discover that most of the adventures we undertook were pregenerated.





Could you imagine how I felt living through it? If the fifth start hadn't started in a separate location from the second start (the Scout player's patio as opposed to the DM's living room), I'd have been convinced I was in 2010, even thinking about it today.



A good number of the actual adventures were themselves published campaign modules (A Dark and Stormy Knight and the entire Barrow of the Forgotten King trilogy have already been identified in this thread, and I'm sure I could uncover more if I knew much about published game modules), so I doubt this is likely.











I don't really know where to start and end with this chain of thought, as so many things come to mind when I read it, so instead of quoting and responding individually, I'll try and tie everything together by answering a few questions:

First (most closely addresses Odin's Eyepatch and Almarck), the core players through this campaign's entire timeline (the Scout, Druid, and the DM) were huge BioWare fans, and absolutely did play through every Mass Effect and Dragon Age game they could get their hands on (and possibly KOTOR as well) to unlock every conceivable ending. Mass Effect 2 came out around the time this campaign started, and each one of them had their minds absolutely blown by how much freedom you had over your character's path of progression through the story. (Which may actually be technically true from a video gamer's perspective, but seems to be missing the point of pen & paper entirely...)

It definitely did strike me as the most video game-y interpretation of D&D I have experienced ever, in all the ways I hate most about playing video games, and I have played for a 3.5/Pathfinder DM who was MMO obsessed and kept referring to in-game mechanics and the like using MMO terms like "DPS" and "tanking". (Actually, that was perhaps my favorite DM; his campaigns usually involved stratospheric number inflation and terrible balancing practices alongside a no-holds-barred optimization allowance, which I was vastly superior at relative to him. The result was that I could build anything using any official 3.5/Pathfinder material and have him geared to the tooth well before WBL. I ended up hamstringing myself with a Venerable-aged Iaijutsu Master and just styling on our enemies. Encounters were usually fairly original, but pretty straightforward and a little basic, and I could have won them in straight combat, but the much more engaging thought experiment turned out to be completely demolishing the encounters with as much lateral thinking and as few rolled checks as possible... Which the DM actually enabled. Some of my best moments, and definitely my most memorable character, come from that campaign, which, sadly, simply ended due to DM fatigue and schedule constraints. But those stories can live on in another thread. His new campaign begins tomorrow, and I am pumped for it!)

Second (this most closely addresses Odin's Eyepatch, Kalmageddon and Almarck), I wish I could say that it was quite that amazing: that the campaign was happening Groundhog Day-style, where they kept making different choices until they got their ideal ending. Based on everything that I now know about the chronology of these five campaigns, I could tell you the following:

- The first campaign ("beta campaign") was the smallest, likely only consisting of the DM, the Scout player, the Druid player, and perhaps one other player. It quite possibly also got further into the campaign than any of the other attempts did (with my campaign being its closest contender). It is quite possible that they actually saw its ending, completing the "beta campaign" in its entirety before a broader release. The Scout player played his Scout, and the Druid player played her druid. They were functionally and aesthetically identical to the characters they played in my game, and made the exact same choices with the exact same results (I knew this because these exact events would happen in my campaign, with the exact same choices being made by these players, and yielding the exact same results).
- The second campaign (my campaign) was the largest, consisting of all the players mentioned above. The Scout and Druid retained their characters' names, races, classes, and alignments from the first game. Of the remaining players in the core group, only the Fighter had played a D&D game before this one (and only one campaign, also run by this DM). Of the peripheral characters, only the Bardbarian had played a D&D game before (the same one as the Fighter). As described, the campaign played out as an exact replica of "beta campaign", except that there were more people (whose decisions didn't matter much in the long run), and more dysfunctions. From what I gathered much later on, the game dissolved almost immediately after I left because the DM had written into his campaign from day one the idea that the five core members of the group were intended to be the Chosen Ones from Village X, and these five people absolutely had to assemble the five holy weapons and slay the ultimate evil. There were no substitutions. My character (who was still alive and fully intact) could not continue as an NPC, and no other person could take his place, even by way of retcon. This obsession with the exactness with which the campaign followed his script was so complete that this year-plus long campaign dissolved completely because the player of one of its five Chosen Ones left.
- The third campaign was significantly less successful. It consisted of the core group, minus myself, plus the Bardbarian. The group tried to fix some of the dysfunctions that carried over from the second group; the Cleric from the second group was basically lied to, being told at the beginning that he could play the warrior infused with divine energy that he always wanted, but being openly mocked any time he wanted to do anything other than be a walking hit point bandage. This time, in a shocking twist, Tome of Battle was allowed, and he was allowed to play a Crusader. Homebrew was brought in to fix the Fighter, whose concept of "Dragoon from Final Fantasy III" was left woefully unfulfilled by the myriad restrictions of second campaign combined with houserules which hamstrung his concept significantly, such as critical fumbles and the like, even though Tiger Claw Warblade fulfilled his concept quite nicely. The Bardbarian played something else, likely Core-only. The Scout and the Druid played the exact same characters, down to name and physical appearance. Unfortunately, the OOC dysfunctions and baggage from the second group carried over to this one, and it ended poorly, with Fighter and Cleric leaving for good, and Bardbarian leaving for fourth. I think the only meaningful conclusion from this campaign that carried over into any future ones was "Tome of Battle is broken, and will never see play at my tables again." (It didn't. I asked.)
- I know the least about the fourth campaign. I know that the Scout and Druid player were in it, and the other players were names I had seen and heard, but never put faces to. It lasted awhile and was uneventful, likely just fizzling out due to lack of motivation or player conflict.
- When I had entered the fifth campaign, I had noticed that the Scout player's Scout, which was functionally the exact same character as in the second campaign and had the same name, backstory, community ties, and general appearance, had aged three years, and had a goatee. Commensurately, Scout player had aged three years, and had a goatee. Druid player's Druid had not aged. Bardbarian returned, but as a Marshal with a different backstory. The fourth player was a coworker of the Scout, and a player in one of my campaigns: a Cleric who was only brought in "because we need a healer" (essentially, the same story as the second campaign's Cleric, but with a different player). This one was more complacent at the table, though: his domains were Sun and Healing, and his two starting feats were something like Augment Healing and some feat that turned Turn Undead uses into fast healing (I can't recall which of the feats it was, though; I am aware of three which do this). I knew better, though; in my game, his Cleric was a greatsword-wielding, chain-cleaving god of war (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0439.html), and he reveled in it. Later on, at my table, he would ask for advice on how to convince his party and DM at the other table to let him actually don armor and use his spells to protect and empower, rather than just heal, without them continuously mocking and berating him for the attempts (which they did, frequently, even complaining to me in secret about him). He would also describe events that were playing out in his campaign, which were exactly the same as they played out in my campaign with them three years prior, with the same outcomes. This effort lasted a few months, and I'm pretty certain it ended with New Cleric's departure.

From this, what I can safely tell you is:
- Some players changed classes and even characters, but the Scout and the Druid played the exact same characters at least four of the five times.
- By contrast, not all players were even present for more than one of these five campaigns; for the most part, there was a revolving door of newer, fresh-faced players around the DM, the Scout, the Druid, and, later, the Bardbarian/Marshal.
- In at least three of the campaigns, events transpired in the exact same sequence with the exact same results, with no meaningful variance and more or less independent of player input.
- As a consequence of the third bullet, things like the queen's assassination being thwarted several timelines in never happened.
- Fifth campaign, as far as I know, started and ended in 2013. For all I know, they are on campaign seven or something at this point.

In fact, I think the likeliest outcome is that the group never actually reached the campaign's finish outside of beta, if at all, because the group would keep imploding due to its various in-character and out-of-character dysfunctions, and that, rather than picking up where they left off, the group keeps resetting completely because they need for the Chosen Ones to start at level 1 in the exact same village (as it is written, and as it is told), and that this same group is trying simply to reach the same prescribed ending promised them from beta at least once. In other words, the entire ordeal is more Dune Messiah than Groundhog Day.

Third (most closely addresses Ravian), you're starting to scare me quite a bit. I have been part of the same weekly production of South Pacific (and in the same role) since I think 2011, and the production itself has been running since 2003 or 2004, under the same director for most of that time. I literally am stuck in the same endless play.

Money's decent, though. (And I have been in a dozen other performances before and after.)

You sir, have inspired me. This story is truly a display of madness and should be a literary piece--thank you for the inspiration.

Marlowe
2015-01-13, 01:22 AM
Now I'm imagining a player, provoked beyond all endurance by terrible GM-ing, shouting "But this test is STUPID!" and then the GM and other players all applaud him and say "That was the test!" and then they all gamed happily ever after.

No. They all stand up, say "Congratulations" in turn, and then start clapping.:smalleek:

Arbane
2015-01-13, 01:26 AM
You sir, have inspired me. This story is truly a display of madness and should be a literary piece--thank you for the inspiration.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.


No. They all stand up, say "Congratulations" in turn, and then start clapping.:smalleek:

As long as we're making anime references, ever seen Higurashi? It's slightly more relevant...

Marlowe
2015-01-13, 02:27 AM
I'm just trying very hard not to say "We're in an infinite recursion of time."

The Higurashi characters aren't consciously aware of the time-loop enough to make for good sound-bites about it. Also in Higurashi the time-loop is a good thing. It's the mundane reality that's malignant.

Lonely Tylenol
2015-01-13, 02:31 AM
Heh, sorry... :smallredface:

Probably should have used a better example. I haven't done much professional theatre (only some small stuff for school and community productions) I forgot that most of the bigger productions go on for years at a time with the same actors in the same roles.

Still it does seem a bit similar, the only difference is that in this case there's a clear option to try something different, to go off in some radically new direction and yet in the face of this freedom, they're just sticking to a pre-rehearsed script, over and over again.

It's all good. I am (at least partially) joking. :smallsmile:


That's why I said it felt Love-craftian, that subtle sort of horror. Like going into a village where the villagers reenact the same day over and over again. At first it seems like a classic ground-hog day scenario, but then you realize it's something even more insidious. Time isn't repeating itself, days and seasons go by, the people age, and yet everyone there still acts like its the exact same day, over and over again, saying the exact same things, repeating the exact same events...

And if one of the parts die, well they might just need a replacement...

...

Excuse me a moment, I think I have a new idea for my campaign... :smallamused: My player's are going to hate me so much for this...

This is probably not what you want to hear, but I suggest you read Dune and Dune Messiah for inspiration on this particular piece, but in addition to that, I would also recommend you watch 50 First Dates starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, which is basically this twisted premise, but in rom-com form. It even deals with the horrifying thought that your world has revolved around you doing the exact same thing day in and day out, only to wake up to the equally horrifying realization that you have aged ten years without your even knowing it. It's not a movie I'd recommend to everyone for everything (being an Adam Sandler rom-com and all), but I think you could find the perfect slice of inspiration for your horror campaign hidden in there.


You sir, have inspired me. This story is truly a display of madness and should be a literary piece--thank you for the inspiration.

Thanks. I kind of wish this whole situation was actually a piece of performance art and not likely a joke only in the divine sense.

goto124
2015-01-13, 03:10 AM
It even deals with the horrifying thought that your world has revolved around you doing the exact same thing day in and day out, only to wake up to the equally horrifying realization that you have aged ten years without your even knowing it.

What am I doing online...

Nah, I'll keep playing :P

(Un)Inspired
2015-01-13, 11:52 AM
I would also recommend you watch 50 First Dates starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, which is basically this twisted premise, but in rom-com form. It even deals with the horrifying thought that your world has revolved around you doing the exact same thing day in and day out, only to wake up to the equally horrifying realization that you have aged ten years without your even knowing it. It's not a movie I'd recommend to everyone for everything (being an Adam Sandler rom-com and all), but I think you could find the perfect slice of inspiration for your horror campaign hidden in there.

Are you saying the best way to run a horror campaign is to invite your players over for DnD and when they show up force them to watch 50 First Dates?

Honest Tiefling
2015-01-13, 01:42 PM
Are you saying the best way to run a horror campaign is to invite your players over for DnD and when they show up force them to watch 50 First Dates?

I'd be horrified. Or sleeping. One of the two. I personally hate Rom-coms.

Also, whoever thought of that test for their teenage daughter does not understand teenagers. If you prohibit it, they'll do it more. I wouldn't be surprised if nowadays to irritate the crusty old generation she'd spite him by showing up with two boyfriends.

Solaris
2015-01-13, 02:04 PM
Also, whoever thought of that test for their teenage daughter does not understand teenagers. If you prohibit it, they'll do it more. I wouldn't be surprised if nowadays to irritate the crusty old generation she'd spite him by showing up with two boyfriends.

That's just underachieving.
Show up with a boyfriend and a girlfriend.

(Un)Inspired
2015-01-13, 02:43 PM
That's just underachieving.
Show up with a boyfriend and a girlfriend.

Could be worse. She could show up with a boyfriend and a krakken or something.

Solaris
2015-01-13, 03:12 PM
Could be worse. She could show up with a boyfriend and a krakken or something.

... So that's where the half-illithid template comes from.

Inevitability
2015-01-13, 03:39 PM
Also, whoever thought of that test for their teenage daughter does not understand teenagers. If you prohibit it, they'll do it more. I wouldn't be surprised if nowadays to irritate the crusty old generation she'd spite him by showing up with two boyfriends.


That's just underachieving.
Show up with a boyfriend and a girlfriend.


Could be worse. She could show up with a boyfriend and a krakken or something.



Pure genius. Simply pure genius.

Segev
2015-01-13, 03:54 PM
That's just underachieving.
Show up with a boyfriend and a girlfriend.

So... we've gone from "rebel by being gay" to "rebel by being polyamorous?"

LokiRagnarok
2015-01-13, 04:00 PM
And bi/pan.

Eldan
2015-01-13, 04:20 PM
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

As long as we're making anime references, ever seen Higurashi? It's slightly more relevant...

Actually, my first thought was Stein's Gate. Including the point where only one person seems to realize the loop.

Solaris
2015-01-13, 05:52 PM
So... we've gone from "rebel by being gay" to "rebel by being polyamorous?"

I figure if the father is kneejerk dimwit enough to hate a daughter's boyfriend just to 'test' her, he's kneejerk dimwit enough that bringing home a girlfriend to go with the boyfriend would hit pretty much all of his buttons at once.

DontEatRawHagis
2015-01-13, 11:58 PM
I'm always worried I'll find games i dmed on here at some point.

I may have posted this before but it's my deepest regret.

In a Dark Sun campaign I started in College there were 3 players as me as DM. After a couple months a 4th showed up. He had played the edition of DND we were using and I was graduating soon. So he became my pick for new DM.

Worst choice I could make. The creature that was hunting the party down was 2 levels above their characters in 4e and was a solo. I was planning on him to show up later when the players were higher level. The new DM had their first encounter be against this creature.

It killed 2 of the party members and the other guy only survived because of the DM liking him(dm was secretly pissed off at the 2 he killed).

So with out 2/3 of the party he brought up the idea of playing in Forgotten Realms. His personal favorite setting that was better than Dark Sun in every way.

My original players left the group and thus ended my best DnD group.

Honest Tiefling
2015-01-14, 12:08 AM
Well, if everyone else agreed to him becoming the DM, I think the fault can be partially shared.

(Un)Inspired
2015-01-14, 12:34 AM
Ah, well, you know what they say; DMs are like chocolates. Sometimes when you bite into one they're filled with candied cherry.

Frenth Alunril
2015-01-14, 04:25 AM
I too keep looking for myself to show up.

My worst dm was a guy who invited us over to his house. This was supposed to be 2nd ed.

Anyway, his house was worse than a goblin warren. It smelled of cockroaches and horrible filth. He was unclean and the stale scent of deodorant hiding body order was over the top.

His game didn't involve much in the line of characters or dice rolling. It could have been enjoyable if it wasn't a hazmat situation to begin with.

You know the druggies from breaking bad who try to break open an ATM, this house put that house to shame.

Second worst, fortunately I never had to game with him, was a coworker who ran a dnd group opposite mine. The way he talked, his general manner, kinda gave me hints what kind of game he ran. When I learned he was ruining his players through a dungeon of his own design that was the creation of his own gnomish wizard/god/"dungeon Master: dnd the cartoon" I knew for certain this guy was trouble and I never wanted to play for him.

All the worst kind of fiat, to make the story good and players happy, "sure, be a dragon with classes in paladin! But the gnomish wizard has protected the castle, so don't get any ideas! He he he"

(I hated his laugh and did a fantastic impersonation of him. He was a class one tool.)

Later, out of sympathy, I asked him to join our group, 9 months later he forced a tpk, I have no regret. Though a TPK on party of level 11 characters should be rare, it's actually quite easy when playing with people who get under your skin.

Now, am I a terrible person? Yes! Bad DM, quite possibly. But, when a tool is ruining your game and you brought him in on sympathy, there are no answers.

Though, there was a third guy who let someone stun a skeleton...

Segev
2015-01-14, 10:58 AM
But, when a tool is ruining your game and you brought him in on sympathy, there are no answers.

Technically, you always have the OOC option of, "Dude, you're ruining the game. You are dis-invited to participate. Okay, everybody else, we're going to do some meta-discussion and narrate how we get out of this, and I'd like your input on how you think would set up the most interesting tale going forward..."