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90sMusic
2016-04-18, 06:39 PM
So... I've been playing a campaign for the past 6 months. The character I made for it I loved and I spent a lot of feats and things to maximize the fluff. It was a really fun roleplaying experience and I looked forward to playing that game every day of the week until it was game day.

Now... My character is dead. And it wasn't even a heroic death or going out in a blaze of glory or anything like that, the whole situation felt very sucky and it's like the DM was just out to murder us today. It had never been like this before. We had gotten into some close scraps before and a couple of characters have died over the past 6 months, but today every one of our characters was killed in the most stupid and senseless way.

We opened up a portal to a kind of alternate dimension where everything was basically the same but everything that used to be good was instead evil. We were put in a battle basically the second we arrived there. Then we managed to sneak around a bit disguised as anti-paladins. Then we had to fight the high cleric of this city who was another mythic boss encounter and we won but just barely. Everyone was out of spells, mythic points, and wounded. We were trying to make plans like where we could hide for the night to rest up and recover, but the DM kept sending enemies to attack us, just while we were standing around talking immediately after a major boss battle. He was putting so much pressure on us and giving us no time to plan or think or do anything except just keep fighting constantly.

We had a theory that if someone died, they would also die in our reality and vice versa. So we toyed with the idea of meeting up with our evil versions to try to get them to help us. They should have come to the same conclusion we did about one of us dying and their counterpart dying. But they didn't think or believe that because the DM said so. My neutral character that was never good in the first place spent her entire life trying to befriend and make allies with basically everything, even demons and undead we happened to encounter I always tried talking to them first before we resorted to fighting them, but my doppleganger? Nope. Just chaotic evil, want to kill everything that moves because DM said so, no interest in diplomacy. All we wanted was to get out of that place so we could get back to our main quest but he left us no clues on how to do that and kept constant pressure on us and when we finally went to our dopplegangers we were already out of spells and nearly dead and we only did it because we literally had no options. The DM straight up said he wasn't going to let us sleep or rest to recover our spells/mythic power/etc. He stacked the deck against us so hard it was ridiculous.

Long story short, The 3 of us who were already worn down from previous battles including a mythic boss had to square off against our FOUR dopplegangers. Yeah thats right, 4 of them, because one of our guys couldn't make the session today but his copy was still there. They had all the same stats, feats, abilities, and mythic powers we did except they outnumbered us and were fully rested.

I mean, how is that anything but a straight up slaughter? Our barbarian died in a duel to the death against his counterpart, the other two of us were captured and then beheaded.

I don't get it. I feel very frustrated and angry about the whole situation. Until today the campaign had been a lot of fun and there had been multiple ways to do anything we needed to do and all that. But today, he just intentionally rigged everything against us. Even after we were captured I tried to escape using some bard songs and some spells. As soon as I tried to use a bard song, my counterpart apparently "readied an action" to countersong it so it did nothing. Then when I cast spells, every one of them was resisted, even against my counterpart which should have been very, VERY hard for her to resist if she had the same will saves I did.

The whole session felt like crap. We all felt completely powerless to do anything. We were herded like cattle by the DM into the slaughterhouse then killed. And he always says "i cant tell you how you could have gotten out of there in case you go back" or "there are reasons why nothing you try works" and my personal favorite is "i didnt let you sleep to keep pressure on you."

Well good job. You stacked the deck against us and gave us absolutely nothing and we died, as if anything else could have happened. All of the players were angry at the outcome and very unhappy. DM basically just shrugs it off and says he was completely justified in everything he did.

I just feel really betrayed by my DM. He killed all of us today for seemingly no reason. Now he wants us all to make new characters and he is changing the rules for character creation and reducing the stats and things we can start with.

I dont know what to do. Part of me wants to keep playing because i'd always loved playing but part of me just wants to leave because if he is just going to have another one of his episodes where he decides to kill everyone just because he wants to nerf our party, I dont really want to play. I'm very upset with him right now, everyone in the party is, and one of our guys is leaving for sure.

Now again, like I said, we have had people die over the time we've been playing, but it was always something that could've been avoided in some way or because they took a big risk they shouldn't have or they just did a noble sacrifice type thing or whatever, and no one was ever bothered by the character deaths before. But for him to kill all of us in such a stupid way that we had absolutely no way to get out of is just ridiculous. It didn't matter what we said or did, he just said "nope, it wont work" to absolutely everything.

I just don't know what I should do. I'd hate to lose my ability to play D&D but at the same time I don't want to get that invested in another character and then get it killed because the DM just felt like killing everyone so he could change all the game rules after the fact.

Roughishguy86
2016-04-18, 06:46 PM
solution make a new character and completely murder hobo every single plothook npc and civilian see. Then when he gets mad that you are ruining his experience ask him how it feels. Then find a new Dm because your's is a jackanape.

Demidos
2016-04-18, 07:11 PM
I see four likely options here:

1) Your DM is clearly still interested in DMing, since he's having you make new characters, so perhaps he felt overwhelmed by the player's characters and felt he needed to nerf them to be able to properly deal with the encounters. Unlikely, given you haven't mentioned anything about trivializing encounters or high op, but a possibility.

2) Your DM had a really rough day. That's it. Maybe he'll regret it later and take it back. Its probably worth asking him if he's okay.

3) He's setting something up that he doesn't want to let the players know about -- in the next session you come back after being dead 1000 years to protect the country. You're having a short interlude session where your new characters find your old characters. Set up poorly, apparently, but possible.

4) Your DM is just a jerk. I find this one unlikely, personally, if you so enjoyed the last 6 months with no warning signs of any kind, but its a possibility. I would give him the benefit of the doubt and maybe talk to him outside the session, personally, but that's a personal decision.

Good luck, hope this helped!

Edit: P.S. I would highly suggest against the course suggested by the poster right above me. OOC arguments tend to turn out poorly if you try to resolve them IC, and that is a good way to mess up your friendship permanently over a single (annoying) incident. Even if he's actually a jerk, don't waste weeks of your time on getting some petty vengeance on him, you have better things to do. Just my two cents.

eru001
2016-04-18, 07:17 PM
I see four likely options here:

1) Your DM is clearly still interested in DMing, since he's having you make new characters, so perhaps he felt overwhelmed by the player's characters and felt he needed to nerf them to be able to properly deal with the encounters. Unlikely, given you haven't mentioned anything about trivializing encounters or high op, but a possibility.

2) Your DM had a really rough day. That's it. Maybe he'll regret it later and take it back. Its probably worth asking him if he's okay.

3) He's setting something up that he doesn't want to let the players know about -- in the next session you come back after being dead 1000 years to protect the country. You're having a short interlude session where your new characters find your old characters. Set up poorly, apparently, but possible.

4) Your DM is just a jerk. I find this one unlikely, personally, if you so enjoyed the last 6 months with no warning signs of any kind, but its a possibility. I would give him the benefit of the doubt and maybe talk to him outside the session, personally, but that's a personal decision.

Good luck, hope this helped!

2 seems most likely to me. it happens to everyone at some point as much as we try to avoid it, but everyone will at some point have a terrible day/week and then do something dumb as a result. Talk it out with the DM and there is a good chance you guys can work out a solution

slaydemons
2016-04-18, 07:17 PM
I wouldn't go straight out of the gate with the Murderhobo, not very adult like I'd suggest talking out of game to him tell him how you feel in its entirety, sometimes people are just tired of the game playing and want something new but make a bad choice. before going to create a character, talk to the other players see if they were feeling the same as you for the last one. if so then all get together and make a group not of the norm and just try to have silly fun with it if he does it again after everyone talks to him about it, then you just leave or switch Gming roles making the gm a player can really take the edge off gming all the time. I have personally been tending more towards skill based characters recently who don't really combat.

90sMusic
2016-04-18, 07:49 PM
I don't think he had a bad day, he wasn't acting very stressed or upset or anything during the whole thing. In fact, he sounded almost happy as he was killing us.

We all sat together talking a bit after the game and everyone basically expressed their dislike for how everything happened and how we all felt completely powerless and without any options to have avoided the stuff that happened. DM actually blamed us for dying and said it was our fault and we made stupid decisions. He won't tell us what we were "supposed" to do, he absolutely refuses. He just says we shouldn't have tried to get help from anyone, and we shouldn't have tried to sleep to recover, and we shouldn't have tried to carry on with our mission in a weakened state, and we shouldn't have tried to go back to our home dimension. Basically any option we could even think of was the wrong choice and he acts as if there was some magical solution staring us in the face that we were just too stupid to see. But he has this horrible habit of trying to keep so many secrets from us that he often thinks we have information that we dont actually have and he acts like since HE knows it as the DM, we should know it too.

It was just really annoying.

One guy is definitely quitting. He is having a stressful time enough trying to find a new job and trying not to lose the place he is living and he just doesn't want to deal with the stress of getting murdered for no reason during his leisure activity that he does to try to relax and have fun. Another guy was also very unhappy but he is going to stay. The other guy, who doesn't even know yet whether he is dead or not because he missed today's session, i dont know what he will do or think. He wasnt there to experience the BS first hand so I dont know how he will react. Course if he starts playing and finds out he is dead without even having played that might make him upset on it's own. Who knows.

Personally, I don't know what I want to do. I was interested in the story and setting of the world but now I have this fear the DM will just massacre us again just because he wants us to have a different composition or to nerf us again or because he doesn't plan and think out the situations he puts us in before hand or something else stupid.

Im just very frustrated right now. :( I was thinking about trying to find someone I could pay to DM some kind of campaign for me just so I don't have to deal with random nerfs and arbitrary changes to the rules and stuff like that. And there's a particular kind of character i'd love to play that I never get the chance to. Would probably cost too much though.

slaydemons
2016-04-18, 08:04 PM
Im just very frustrated right now. :( I was thinking about trying to find someone I could pay to DM some kind of campaign for me just so I don't have to deal with random nerfs and arbitrary changes to the rules and stuff like that. And there's a particular kind of character i'd love to play that I never get the chance to. Would probably cost too much though.

Well this is the only thing I found pretty bad in the thought train. My guess the guy doesn't want to gm but doesn't tell anyone, is this his own homebrew setting or one any of the other players might give a shot?

90sMusic
2016-04-18, 08:15 PM
Well this is the only thing I found pretty bad in the thought train. My guess the guy doesn't want to gm but doesn't tell anyone, is this his own homebrew setting or one any of the other players might give a shot?

It's homebrew stuff and very extensive. It is a big, big world. They have actually played like 3 campaigns in that world already. He doesn't want to quit DMing, I honestly dont know what his problem was today. It seemed so out of the blue and random. But all he would do is blame us for it and took no responsibility for the fact he put us in an impossible situation.

Me and the DM actually played as players in a different campaign, so he got his player fix there. That campaign ended yesterday actually. So I lost both my characters that i'd been playing for months. :(

No one could take over for him because he already planned out so much crap and he refuses to tell anyone anything.

slaydemons
2016-04-18, 08:38 PM
I can tell you one simple thing, either you can accept this happened, move on and play another game. maybe this happens again maybe it doesn't. or you can't and you cut your losses and leave. horribly enough these are the options I see, but I tend to be very narrow sighted. if you want to stay but don't really want to play that setting again because heart break, I know a few systems, they are a tad harder or a tad easier to understand and play.

Thrudd
2016-04-18, 09:00 PM
Sounds like the DM was tired of this "mythic" level game and wants to start over, with something lower powered. There are nicer ways to tell the players that you want to start a new campaign, but there it is. It is a game, after all, and characters are expected to die sometimes, even high level ones. You deal with it and move on. If you like playing, then keep playing. If this bothered you too much and you don't want to risk it happening again, don't play with that DM any more. If you really like the character, keep your character sheet. Maybe you can use it again in a different game, sometime, with another DM.

Kane0
2016-04-19, 01:28 AM
Build your own damn game. With blackjack. And hookers.

If another group isnt an option and youd rather play instead of other options by all means give it another try and see how it plays out, but definitely take a step back and lower your expectations. It helps to have alcohol on hand just to help take it less seriously.

Also talk to him out of game, assuming youre friends. Something might have caused a bit of a snap.

icefractal
2016-04-19, 02:35 AM
That sounds like some pretty lousy behavior on the GM's part. Personally, I'd probably quit, or at least ask for a damn good explanation and promise to reform, but then again I live in an area with multiple games around.

Still, online gaming (real time and PbP) is always there. It might be worth checking out to see if that works for you, even if you do stay in this game - more options are better to have.

And just to be clear, I'm not even talking about his desire to reboot at lower level. But there's a right way to do that:
Good Way: "I'd like to try running something different soon. Let's bring this campaign to an epic finale."
Acceptable Way: "Sorry guys, I just don't want to run this campaign any more. So that's on hold; I can start something new if you still want to play."
Bad Way: Engineers TPK, admits reason afterwards.
Worse Way: Engineers TPK, claims it was because the players are stupid.

EvilestWeevil
2016-04-19, 02:37 AM
Show without a character and confirm there was no retcon or trickery, or what have you. Then tell him this is the character you want to play, and that you were unhappy with the BS that he put you through. If people are so angry and feel betrayed a rational DM will know to how to fix his players unhappiness. If he won't budge, then let him know he is down to 2 players (maybe). Then walk. I had a similar issue, but it was more due to other players. We were running a campaign for 9 months, everything was going great everyone at the table was having fun. My bard was the party leader just by virtue of the characters personality, and a player that only played maybe once every three months showed up and killed my character to gain control of the party. At that point the group gave the DM an ultimatum, either retcon it, or we walk, all five players. It worked, he realized just how much of a problem player the guy was and how he wrecked 9 months of a campaign, just because he could.

jinjitsu
2016-04-19, 02:37 AM
This is pretty poor behavior on the GM's part. If he knows how much you had invested personally in your character and decided to kill you like this, that's just mean. He may blame you for making stupid decisions - and there may be a viewpoint from which the group did, in fact, make some stupid decisions that lead to your deaths - but at the end of the day, it's always the GM's choice to kill a character. Also, from what you've said thus far, he seems to be pretty fond of shutting down your creative solutions to plans because his world "doesn't work like that," but if you don't know how his world works either despite playing characters who are inhabitants of that world, then he's being incredibly unfair.

I'd recommend you talk to him about how important this character was to you, if he doesn't already know. If he doesn't care, just use the tactic that makes me not force my players to kill their characters: build a cleric to retrieve the bodies, then raise your old character. If he decides to have his NPCs destroy the bodies to prevent your old characters from being returned, then he's almost definitely gaming the metagame, in which case he just wanted your old characters dead, in which case he's kind of being a jerk.

Vinyadan
2016-04-19, 04:46 AM
I just hope the character wasn't named Black Leaf...

More seriously, it seems like a really weird behaviour from the DM. Maybe he had not foreseen you to go there? Although, even in this case, he should have at least tried to give you some chance, like "death penalty around here is being cast into a portal to the plane of Really Nasty Things Even For These People's Standard" and having some sort of magic meddling which instead lands the party to a safe place. It could be the start for a new arc, actually. Who was the magical interloper? And how to deal with the evil opposites, who are still at large?

It could be about some new plot he's keeping hidden from you, but this isn't the right way to start it out. It's like the idea some GM had, to have characters silently die and informing them through notes, having them sit there at the table until something happened. The GM should try to make everything fun (or entertainment) for everyone, all the time. Creating extremely distasteful moments is a mistake.

Nobot
2016-04-19, 06:10 AM
Sounds like the DM was tired of this "mythic" level game and wants to start over, with something lower powered. There are nicer ways to tell the players that you want to start a new campaign, but there it is. It is a game, after all, and characters are expected to die sometimes, even high level ones. You deal with it and move on. If you like playing, then keep playing. If this bothered you too much and you don't want to risk it happening again, don't play with that DM any more. If you really like the character, keep your character sheet. Maybe you can use it again in a different game, sometime, with another DM.
I second this. When I was a lot younger and just started DM-ing, I pulled a trick like this once, thinking it was better to just kill everyone before suggesting to start a new campaign. I hope I was less of an a** about it than your GM was, but there you go.

Takewo
2016-04-19, 07:15 AM
Show without a character and confirm there was no retcon or trickery, or what have you. Then tell him this is the character you want to play, and that you were unhappy with the BS that he put you through. If people are so angry and feel betrayed a rational DM will know to how to fix his players unhappiness. If he won't budge, then let him know he is down to 2 players (maybe). Then walk. I had a similar issue, but it was more due to other players. We were running a campaign for 9 months, everything was going great everyone at the table was having fun. My bard was the party leader just by virtue of the characters personality, and a player that only played maybe once every three months showed up and killed my character to gain control of the party. At that point the group gave the DM an ultimatum, either retcon it, or we walk, all five players. It worked, he realized just how much of a problem player the guy was and how he wrecked 9 months of a campaign, just because he could.

This.

I mean, seriously, there is at least three of you who are upset by the TPK, potentially four. Personally, I would suggest that he step back from the game master's chair and let somebody else do it for a while, if he does not want to, hey, one game master and three players is still enough to play a game. You've got options other than keeping him as a game master.

If talking to him doesn't work, I'd definitely choose a new game master. Then, he is free to stay in the group or leave.

Jornophelanthas
2016-04-19, 08:15 AM
My assumption is that the DM was on a very railroady path that day, thinking up one and only one solution in advance, and refusing to back down when none of the players could seem to read his mind. It is possible that he dropped a lot of subtle hints in previous sessions that none of you picked up, so that none of you even realized that there was a puzzle to solve.

Or it could have been as simple (and unsatisfying) as "I disbelieve that this place and these people are real".

---

Here is my advice: Talk to the DM.

Explain that you are very dissatisfied by the way the last session went, that you don't trust him to treat any future players fairly, and that you are seriously considering leaving the game over it. Then give him a fair opportunity to convince you to stay.

Perhaps it was all a dream, or a vision. Perhaps the new characters are meant to be short-term replacements, with no other purpose than to rediscover/rescue/reactivate the old party as a "super-special story twist". Or perhaps the DM is willing to retcon, but that's unlikely.

If he tells you that "it's just the story, you have to deal with that", you can reply that you don't like the story and don't care to continue it, just like the other player who quit.

If the DM gives you no good reason to trust him again, do not play in his new game. Instead, ask the player who left if he is willing to start another group with you, and find other players and a DM. (Possibly even the other players in the current gaming group, including the DM. But he should probably not DM the new campaign.)

If the DM finds himself without players after he "justifiably caused a TPK because the players were stupid enough not to read his mind", he is bound to become more open to your concerns.

I hope this gets resolved in a pleasant way.

Faily
2016-04-19, 09:02 AM
I just have to ask, since I have been on the other side of the GM screen sometimes for this. Or rather, on both sides of the GM screen...



We opened up a portal to a kind of alternate dimension where everything was basically the same but everything that used to be good was instead evil.

Did the GM give any indication that going through the portal would be dangerous, a bad idea, possibly deadly, or anything of the sort? It could be the GM also teaching a lesson that actions have consequences, and not everything is fair... especially not when committing Bad Ideas (tm).

BWR
2016-04-19, 09:11 AM
To play the DM's advocate, this could easily be interpreted as a bunch of players jumping into something they aren't prepared for then whining when things go bad.

It would not surprise me if the situation was the players not thinking things through or assuming that enemies are going to be stupid or kind and give them ridiculous amounts of time to plan and prepare, then getting their arses handed to them. I'm guilty of making similar stupid mistakes as a player and I've done similar things to players when I GM. 'There are things you don't know' is a valid and good excuse in many cases, not just for a jerk covering up a gaffe or deliberate malice. Not giving the PCs time to rest is perfectly OK in some cases. Enemies not interested in talking is perfectly acceptable in many cases. And yes, killing off all PCs in situations they have gotten themselves into is perfectly acceptable.

Before anyone starts getting pissy at this post, I will reiterate we only have one admittedly upset source for this situation, we don't have the full story. The GM may have been a jerk, the players may have only themselves to thank for the TPK; we don't know.

caden_varn
2016-04-19, 09:23 AM
It sounds to me like a break from the game might be in order, at least until a bit of time has passed. It will give some time to clarify your feelings for the game & make it a bit clearer whether you really are prepared to carry on or not.
If you or one of the other players are willing to take a turn running a game, see if you can all play something different for a bit. If all of the players want a bit of a break, which is understandable in the circumstances, doing a fresh game may be what is needed to clear the air a bit.

Otherwise, think about taking a few weeks off, and seeing how you feel after this.

CombatBunny
2016-04-19, 10:09 AM
Before anyone starts getting pissy at this post, I will reiterate we only have one admittedly upset source for this situation, we don't have the full story. The GM may have been a jerk, the players may have only themselves to thank for the TPK; we don't know.

Fair enough, I read your reply, now I’m pissed.

First of all, no matter how much some rpgs resemble strategy or combat games, they are not, they are role playing games. With that said, they have a great deal of subjectivity ingrained in them and thus cannot strive to be fair. Players can only experience the world through the narration of the GM, which can contain a lot of flaws and misunderstandings, beginning with the fact that the GM can subconsciously use a misleading accent or way of storytelling when he does or doesn’t wants some plot element to be uncovered.

If you believe in the fallacy that you can survive with your own wits and strategy in an rpg, I can assure you that me or any GM in this forum can offer you an adventure that you simply can’t survive (without breaking any rules of the manual), no matter how good or intelligent you are. In fact I don’t believe that there is a GM who thinks that killing a character represents any challenge or something that requires good skills.

http://i.imgur.com/bQyFxMI.png

There are no player's stupid decisions. To state that is equivalent to put the GM in the highest egomaniac pedestal in which he is the smartest of all and he can judge who is stupid and who is not, using himself as the highest parameter of intelligence. Whoever thinks like him is smart, whoever doesn’t is stupid.

Engaged players make no stupid decisions because they all have a good reasoning behind them. In my experience I have learned that the only kind of players that make stupid decisions are bored players and they do that as a desperate act to try to inject some excitement to the table. So that falls in great measure in the GM’s hands.

Whenever a GM states that a player has made a stupid decision it actually just means that what the player did wasn’t in accordance to what the GM had in mind. “Stupid decisions” is a sentence used by GMs that have problems adapting to situations, improvising and not having the skills required to drop their preconceived ideas and actually make the PC’s decisions affect the story in ways he couldn’t have foreseen and still keep the pace flowing and the story propelling forward.

IMO, I also suggest you to talk to the GM and state that you didn’t enjoyed that last session and you want your characters back. If he doesn’t accepts, then yes you should just leave him behind, keep playing with the other players and pretend that the last events where just a bad dream or something similar.

Also (but I’m just kidding with this one), I feel tempted to do this:


solution make a new character and completely murder hobo every single plothook npc and civilian see. Then when he gets mad that you are ruining his experience ask him how it feels. Then find a new Dm because your's is a jackanape.

I would browse the internet for premade overpowered character sheets that hacked and exploited the game’s system. My character would be named “Barney the dinosaur” and would have no backstory whatsoever. I would give the GM the most nightmarish session of his life.

I really hope that things get fixed within your table. As you said, we already struggle with a lot of real life problems, as to have to endure more stress for an activity that should be meant to distract us and give us an enjoyable moment.

* Hugs

BWR
2016-04-19, 10:51 AM
First of all, no matter how much some rpgs resemble strategy or combat games, they are not, they are role playing games. With that said, they have a great deal of subjectivity ingrained in them and thus cannot strive to be fair. Players can only experience the world through the narration of the GM, which can contain a lot of flaws and misunderstandings, beginning with the fact that the GM can subconsciously use a misleading accent or way of storytelling when he does or doesn’t wants some plot element to be uncovered.

This is true, I never claimed otherwise.




If you believe in the fallacy that you can survive with your own wits and strategy in an rpg, I can assure you that me or any GM in this forum can offer you an adventure that you simply can’t survive (without breaking any rules of the manual), no matter how good or intelligent you are. In fact I don’t believe that there is a GM who thinks that killing a character represents any challenge or something that requires good skills.

I don't think anyone is disputing this. I certainly am not and have not said anything that supports that.



There are no player's stupid decisions. To state that is equivalent to put the GM in the highest egomaniac pedestal in which he is the smartest of all and he can judge who is stupid and who is not, using himself as the highest parameter of intelligence. Whoever thinks like him is smart, whoever doesn’t is stupid.

Engaged players make no stupid decisions because they all have a good reasoning behind them. In my experience I have learned that the only kind of players that make stupid decisions are bored players and they do that as a desperate act to try to inject some excitement to the table. So that falls in great measure in the GM’s hands.

Whenever a GM states that a player has made a stupid decision it actually just means that what the player did wasn’t in accordance to what the GM had in mind. “Stupid decisions” is a sentence used by GMs that have problems adapting to situations, improvising and not having the skills required to drop their preconceived ideas and actually make the PC’s decisions affect the story in ways he couldn’t have foreseen and still keep the pace flowing and the story propelling forward.

Ah, very, very wrong. The stupidest decisions I've seen made are made by engaged players. Like the time our group decided to charge a demon we knew IC and OOC was way more powerful than we should have any right to succeed against. We did that because we were so engaged and hyped up and in the game that we threw caution to the winds and, predictably, wiped.
IC basis for actions is in no way a guarantee of making smart decisions. Reasoning is fine but if you base it off faulty intel or wrong assumptions it still results in stupid decisions. I'm plenty guilty of this myself but I don't expect GMs to spoonfeed me or make every stupid plan I come up with work to make me feel good. Sometimes I screw up and characters die. Sometimes other people screw up and characters die. Sometimes these screw ups are the result of what can only be described as stupid ideas (like the time I thought tying myself to a 100-ton jumping magic mech sounded like a good idea, or wandering off alone in the dark dungeon with a useless sword arm because I wanted to go left and everyone else wanted to go right, or when waltzing unprepared into a villain's lair and starting to loot the place without making sure he wasn't home; the list goes on and I could add plenty of things I've seen other people do)
PCs and players can fail, and sometimes they get themselves into situations where there is no sensible outcome other than failure. Expecting everything to be altered and twisted to let the PCs win is basically saying you want to play with cheat codes.

The job of the GM is to set the stage and determine how the PCs' actions change the world. I would argue that a good GM has situations that can in some way or another be resolved by the PCs' actions. I would not argue that it is the GM's job to make sure every conceivable situation the PCs can get into can be resolved by the PCs nor to ignore setting and sense and NPC personality just to ensure that the PCs cannot lose.

Takewo
2016-04-19, 11:49 AM
Ah, very, very wrong. The stupidest decisions I've seen made are made by engaged players. Like the time our group decided to charge a demon we knew IC and OOC was way more powerful than we should have any right to succeed against. We did that because we were so engaged and hyped up and in the game that we threw caution to the winds and, predictably, wiped.
IC basis for actions is in no way a guarantee of making smart decisions. Reasoning is fine but if you base it off faulty intel or wrong assumptions it still results in stupid decisions. I'm plenty guilty of this myself but I don't expect GMs to spoonfeed me or make every stupid plan I come up with work to make me feel good. Sometimes I screw up and characters die. Sometimes other people screw up and characters die. Sometimes these screw ups are the result of what can only be described as stupid ideas (like the time I thought tying myself to a 100-ton jumping magic mech sounded like a good idea, or wandering off alone in the dark dungeon with a useless sword arm because I wanted to go left and everyone else wanted to go right, or when waltzing unprepared into a villain's lair and starting to loot the place without making sure he wasn't home; the list goes on and I could add plenty of things I've seen other people do)
PCs and players can fail, and sometimes they get themselves into situations where there is no sensible outcome other than failure. Expecting everything to be altered and twisted to let the PCs win is basically saying you want to play with cheat codes.

The job of the GM is to set the stage and determine how the PCs' actions change the world. I would argue that a good GM has situations that can in some way or another be resolved by the PCs' actions. I would not argue that it is the GM's job to make sure every conceivable situation the PCs can get into can be resolved by the PCs nor to ignore setting and sense and NPC personality just to ensure that the PCs cannot lose.

I think that both you and CombatBunny have good points and that, while it is true that characters can make very poor choices, many times this term is simply abused by game masters who did not know how to respond to the players' actions.

However, going back to the present story, I think it is very unlikely that the characters' death was caused by poor decisions. Unless the game master had explicitly warned them that that dimension was a no-win scenario, they had no way to know it. And even if they were warned, why on earth would you put a no-win scenario? This is simply frustrating. Having challenging scenarios, or scenarios in which in order to win you need to think out of the box is alright. But it seems to me that the game master simply decided to put a no-win scenario, the players tried different stuff, had quite reasonable ideas and attempted to do it the best they could, and it wasn't because they made poor choices that they lost (maybe going to see their counterparts wasn't the best choice ever, but the battle had been lost long ago, probably that was simply a desperate measure), it was simply because the game master kept on throwing enemies at them.

neonagash
2016-04-19, 11:50 AM
There are no player's stupid decisions. To state that is equivalent to put the GM in the highest egomaniac pedestal in which he is the smartest of all and he can judge who is stupid and who is not, using himself as the highest parameter of intelligence. Whoever thinks like him is smart, whoever doesn’t is stupid.

Bull.

Players make incredibly stupid decisions all the time. Usually it seems like because they expect the GM to handhold their little special snowflake characters and make sure nothing bad happens to them. But sometimes because the player in question is just a dunce. Believe it or not some people are just dumb and those people often make poor tactical decisions.

I couldnt even begin to guess how many times as a GM i've had to say "are you sure you want to do that? Because X,Y and Z are all extremely plausible, even probable bad outcomes if you do." Just to have their eyes light up (slightly) and realize something along the lines of; oh yeah, i probably shouldnt mug the mayor or mouth off to the sheriff, charge headlong into an aware enemy entrenched in a prepared defensive position, etc etc.

CombatBunny
2016-04-19, 11:55 AM
like the time I thought tying myself to a 100-ton jumping magic mech sounded like a good idea, or wandering off alone in the dark dungeon with a useless sword arm because I wanted to go left and everyone else wanted to go right, or when waltzing unprepared into a villain's lair and starting to loot the place without making sure he wasn't home; the list goes on and I could add plenty of things I've seen other people do.

Well, none of what the OP said sounds anything like this but even if it was the case, all of that is material for great stories and can make awesome sessions in the hands of an expert GM. It’s funny how easily you constraint your imagination and yourself with such insignificant obstacles.

Now, when you say this:


Like the time our group decided to charge a demon we knew IC and OOC was way more powerful than we should have any right to succeed against.

Why should this be a bad idea? Authors of all kinds often make their protagonist face far superior foes without ever thinking in terms of “Does Frodo has enough level or HPs to face this?” “Will Harry Potter be able to disable that epic trap with his poor saves?”

If you play that way then I have to say that your style is more in touch with videogames than with actually telling a collaborative story.

GMs doesn’t have to spoonfeed you or make all of your attempts successful, but they should try to make every consequence interesting. In this case the OP stated that death wasn’t portrayed in an interesting matter, why then have it happen? It’s clear that the players didn’t enjoyed the session, why then play that way just to attach to a “moral” or “ethic” code or “right way to do things” that no one cares and that it’s clear that no one is enjoying.

If you enjoy having your character killed for your stupid decisions (in your case they are indeed stupid, but just because you are believing that they are), that’s fine, but in this case it’s clear that they didn’t enjoyed that way of playing, why should they adhere to it?

Smart GMs know that death is not the only consequence and they use it just when it's thrilling or when it can propel the story forward. Dull unimaginative GMs treat failure as “nothing happens” and death as plain as “create new characters”. That’s okay for newbies or teenager GMs, but if you think that this is the only solution or way to handle the game, you have a way lot to learn.

I’m not saying that death and failure shouldn’t occur, but it should be remembered that above all, the objective of the game is to have fun.

Faily
2016-04-19, 01:14 PM
Why should this be a bad idea? Authors of all kinds often make their protagonist face far superior foes without ever thinking in terms of “Does Frodo has enough level or HPs to face this?” “Will Harry Potter be able to disable that epic trap with his poor saves?”

If you play that way then I have to say that your style is more in touch with videogames than with actually telling a collaborative story.

GMs doesn’t have to spoonfeed you or make all of your attempts successful, but they should try to make every consequence interesting. In this case the OP stated that death wasn’t portrayed in an interesting matter, why then have it happen? It’s clear that the players didn’t enjoyed the session, why then play that way just to attach to a “moral” or “ethic” code or “right way to do things” that no one cares and that it’s clear that no one is enjoying.

If you enjoy having your character killed for your stupid decisions (in your case they are indeed stupid, but just because you are believing that they are), that’s fine, but in this case it’s clear that they didn’t enjoyed that way of playing, why should they adhere to it?

Smart GMs know that death is not the only consequence and they use it just when it's thrilling or when it can propel the story forward. Dull unimaginative GMs treat failure as “nothing happens” and death as plain as “create new characters”. That’s okay for newbies or teenager GMs, but if you think that this is the only solution or way to handle the game, you have a way lot to learn.

I’m not saying that death and failure shouldn’t occur, but it should be remembered that above all, the objective of the game is to have fun.

Just gonna point out that there are people who like serious consequences for their actions. Even authors.

Just look at A Song of Ice and Fire; the fates of almost all those who die in that book are because of either bad decisions, poor decisions, or life just being cruel.

Fiction has many examples of characters suffering greatly for their actions, sometimes at the cost of their lives or the lives of their loved ones, and maybe even those unfortunate enough to be caught in the crossfire. And A Song of Ice and Fire isn't the only one to do such things... it's just the most well-known I could think of right now.


I agree that an objective of a game is to be entertained and to have fun, but everyone have different ideas of what is fun. I for instance would not be very amused if a GM would always make it so that the PCs pull through, no matter what they choose to do. And I say this as a player who have seen both sides of the spectrum on this; from a GM that fudges everything to keep PCs alive and avoid character death, to GMs who feel a session isn't complete until one PC has died or always goes for the throat with every enemy the PC faces (leading to high PC Death Count).

It's why some of us are asking the OP if the GM gave any indication if this was somehing that this portal could be incredibly dangerous or a bad idea to go through. And was there anything tangible to the theory that someone in the other dimension would die if someone from their dimension died?

If the GM was just out to kill PCs that session, then I agree that it was bad calls on the GMs side and the group should talk it out with eachother. But if he indicated that it was dangerous, doing the famous Gygax "are you sure you want to do that?"-line, or similar, then sorry, I don't blame the GM. I don't agree with a GM having to change things or make things less deadly (like the example with PCs charging a clearly superior demon above), just because the PCs decided to do it.

In one game I ran of L5R, my players encountered a portal to the Shadowlands. I warned them that going through the portal could mean they couldn't pass through the same portal to get back, and they might have to trek through the Shadowlands to get back into the Empire. The players were made aware that the Shadowlands, especially the deeper parts of it, was *incredibly* dangerous, and IC the one with the relevant knowledge told them it was really dangerous and they could die (if they were lucky). They did it anyway. The party died. Because no, once I have given the warnings, the gloves are off and I show them exactly how bad it can be.

BWR
2016-04-19, 01:14 PM
Why should this be a bad idea? Authors of all kinds often make their protagonist face far superior foes without ever thinking in terms of “Does Frodo has enough level or HPs to face this?” “Will Harry Potter be able to disable that epic trap with his poor saves?”



You want to know why it was a stupid idea?
1) the demon was trapped. It was not going anywhere, we had killed off anything in the vicinity that could set it free and we could have called in backup.
2) the DM said straight out that it was only flavor text, and was nothing we were meant to do anything but talk to (and certainly not set it free unless we were stupid)
3) we knew IC and OOC it was beyond us. Had we stopped to think and not been so 'engaged' in the game and high on our previous successes in the dungeon we would never had done it, but excited people make stupid mistakes.

So we wiped for no reason. Nothing was on the line, nothing storywise would have been gained. It was a stupid decision and we suffered the consequences.



If you play that way then I have to say that your style is more in touch with videogames than with actually telling a collaborative story.

Collaborative storytelling does not mean that you have to let everything the PCs come up with succeed, nor does it mean that people don't do stupid things. Videogames have nothing to do with it. I play in a game that's been going for 12 years now and we barely touch the dice. Combat is vanishingly rare. It's collaborative storytelling at a very intense and intimate level and players and PCs still make stupid mistakes. Sometimes there are IC reasons for stupid actions, sometimes players just screw up.
I don't actually enjoy dying or otherwise facing the consequences of stupid actions but I accept them as sensible and part of the game. GMs ignoring such actions or bailing me out is far more insulting and fun-ruining.



GMs doesn’t have to spoonfeed you or make all of your attempts successful, but they should try to make every consequence interesting. In this case the OP stated that death wasn’t portrayed in an interesting matter, why then have it happen? It’s clear that the players didn’t enjoyed the session, why then play that way just to attach to a “moral” or “ethic” code or “right way to do things” that no one cares and that it’s clear that no one is enjoying.

Smart GMs know that death is not the only consequence and they use it just when it's thrilling or when it can propel the story forward. Dull unimaginative GMs treat failure as “nothing happens” and death as plain as “create new characters”. That’s okay for newbies or teenager GMs, but if you think that this is the only solution or way to handle the game, you have a way lot to learn.


Why? Why do consequences have to be interesting? I mean, it's nice if they are but it isn't by any means a necessity. They should be sensible and follow from the cause, and sometimes that means an anticlimactic or boring result. Sometimes death is the most probable and sensible outcome of a situation for a variety of reasons.


I’m not saying that death and failure shouldn’t occur, but it should be remembered that above all, the objective of the game is to have fun.
Yes, but part of the game is also taking the bad with the good. Sometimes the dice are against you, sometimes you screw up, sometimes the DM screws up.

As far as the OP goes, I already said we only have one side of the story and I've seen too many players get huffy over something happening and claiming all sorts of unfairness on the part of the GM to automatically accept any critique of a game. Yes, there are bad GMs out there and I've seen my share but there are also bad players, and no one here seemed willing to entertain that possibility., which is why I brought it up

90sMusic
2016-04-19, 01:57 PM
I just have to ask, since I have been on the other side of the GM screen sometimes for this. Or rather, on both sides of the GM screen...



Did the GM give any indication that going through the portal would be dangerous, a bad idea, possibly deadly, or anything of the sort? It could be the GM also teaching a lesson that actions have consequences, and not everything is fair... especially not when committing Bad Ideas (tm).

He basically led us there and then wouldn't let us leave.

I had obtained this key from a near god-like entity that we had freed from imprisonment (was a big epic saga ending in a huge boss battle). The entity basically said he didn't know where it went but said if we used the portal in a magical archway or something like that, it would open.

So fast forward several sessions, we head back to our primary town where we are reporting back to the organization we work for telling them all the stuff we had done, getting paid for our efforts, etc. Our liaison insisted that we go see the archmage of this town to show her some of the magical items and artifacts we had discovered. When we got there, she inspected all the stuff and was very interested in this key we had and conveniently enough she had some of those archways needed to open the portal in her tower. So we even asked her for a risk assessment and if she thought it was a good idea to open it and she basically said go for it. So as soon as we opened this portal, all of time stopped for everything except our party. Everyone in the tower, including the archmage were like frozen in time. Our world was completely borked at that point and closing the portal had no effect.

We didn't want to be there or do anything with that place after we realized what it was. We wanted to just leave and go back to business as usual but he wouldn't let us. Any solution we came up with to try to restart time or resume our original path or even just to survive in that other world was met with just a flat out "no". It's like from the moment we opened that portal, we were all doomed to die. And it wasn't like it was our "choice" to open it. I mean yeah, we probably could've just said no thanks we won't try to open it and see what is in there, but he led us to that point and all the NPCs were kind of pointing us in that direction like we were supposed to do it.

Now we're all dead.

After the game we did stick around and talk about it a bit. The guy who was leaving and myself were somewhat quiet, and the guy who wants to stay was expressing his distaste for how it happened and saying it felt very unfair and like we were powerless for the entire session and after he got started with that, the guy who is leaving started to get involved more and more with the conversation and finally he was just angrily ranting about not just this situation, but the fact the DM changes so many rules for the game. And just on the fly, like something can be true one day and not true another day, etc.

He always insists that there are "reasons" for everything, but we keep telling him since we don't know those reasons and he gives us no way to figure them out or no clues or anything and he won't tell us, it just isn't fun to keep failing everything we attempt for "unknown reasons". One of the things the guy who is leaving was mad about as well was the fact he summoned creatures from time to time like earth elementals and things like that, and they refused to obey his commands despite being summoned monsters.

We tried to get it across to him that it just straight up isn't fun when he treats us that way, be he acts indifferent. He thinks he is right, we are wrong, and he can do whatever he wants. He acts like there was some obvious solution to the situation we were in.

I know it wasn't an illusion or a dream or anything like that, after the session he said all of our characters that died were erased from history and no one remembers they ever existed.

This wasn't a case of us just leaping into things without thinking or planning ahead, we were being ushered in this direction the past couple of sessions to do this by the DM. He wanted us to go there. We have done stupid things before, but we always knew the risks and if one of us died doing something stupid, no one was upset by it because we always knew that was a risk and could happen. I remember one time I used grease on myself and squeezed between the bars of a magical cage that had an adult black dragon captured inside. It was asleep and my plan was to use charm monster on it and try to get it to tell us some things. I was using sense motive on the thing to confirm it was really asleep and not just faking it, as it had done once before, and it was asleep. So after I snuck in there and decided that I would cast greater invisibility on myself just in case resisting the charm spell woke the dragon, i'd have a chance to get out. But just by casting the greater invis spell, he said because it has verbal components, the dragon heard me and woke up and immediately started to attack me. I felt it was kind of cheap to have that occur without even having the chance to charm it, but I knew it was a very dangerous thing what I was attempting, and if I had died I would've been disappointed but I wouldn't have blamed the DM for it because i knew it was a very risky thing to try.

But this was a completely different situation. He herded us in there like cattle then slaughtered us.


To play the DM's advocate, this could easily be interpreted as a bunch of players jumping into something they aren't prepared for then whining when things go bad.

It would not surprise me if the situation was the players not thinking things through or assuming that enemies are going to be stupid or kind and give them ridiculous amounts of time to plan and prepare, then getting their arses handed to them. I'm guilty of making similar stupid mistakes as a player and I've done similar things to players when I GM. 'There are things you don't know' is a valid and good excuse in many cases, not just for a jerk covering up a gaffe or deliberate malice. Not giving the PCs time to rest is perfectly OK in some cases. Enemies not interested in talking is perfectly acceptable in many cases. And yes, killing off all PCs in situations they have gotten themselves into is perfectly acceptable.

Before anyone starts getting pissy at this post, I will reiterate we only have one admittedly upset source for this situation, we don't have the full story. The GM may have been a jerk, the players may have only themselves to thank for the TPK; we don't know.

We didn't have time to think anything through. Every time we tried to stop and talk about what we should do, he would spawn monsters on us. He kept us in combat constantly and gave us no time to rest or even cover our tracks. He filled the entire city with enemies. And wasn't like he was making it "difficult" for us to rest, or having some cost associated with it. He was making it literally impossible, he straight up told us he wasnt going to let us sleep. At one point in that place earlier we considered going back through the portal to the other side and sleeping over there then coming back the next day. That would've recovered our strength but would've given them an entire extra day to prepare and reinforce everything and would make it harder on us, and at the time we decided it would be best to continue with what we had than to go rest and then have to fight 3-4 times as many enemies the next day. But later he just straight up told us we werent going to be allowed to sleep or rest. I think it's already to have costs associated with things like that or even risks, but to just straight up say "you arent going to be able to sleep" is a **** move I think.

And this isn't the first time he has done something like this, for a while he cursed the whole party and made us undead and we could no longer sleep. We also couldn't recover our class abilities and things each day, instead we had to pray to this god of death and he would give us back 3 spell slots every day. Just 3. Our spell casters were so limited and boned it was ridiculous. The only reason we survived was because we had a really strong barbarian who didn't mind at all being undead because it didn't negatively impact him at all.

Anyway like I said, we'd had people die before and no one was upset because it could've been avoided or it was a gamble or whatever and it didn't pay off. But this time, there was no way out of it.

He said "sometimes life treats you unfairly and you just have to live with it"

Faily
2016-04-19, 02:11 PM
Thank you for adding more details to the situation, 90sMusic. :smallsmile:

It then sounds like it's more of a trouble with conflicting interests between player & GM, different interests of what is fun, or worst case a GM on a power-trip. Best advice I can give is for everyone to talk this out next time you meet. I find that they key importance in most games is to properly communicate what sort of game they want to play.

Takewo
2016-04-19, 02:11 PM
I'll say it again, I would simply talk to the rest of the players and see if they want to start a new game with a different game master. And if your current game master doesn't want to do it, well, no one is forcing him to play, are they?

90sMusic
2016-04-19, 02:28 PM
If I felt like I had a heap of other options or choices, I would definitely leave and go play with someone else.

But I feel like it is really, really hard to find the kind of game I want to play. One that you can work on and play for months at a time and in a really big world with a lot of stuff to do.

I was thinking about trying to hire someone to DM for me to create the "type" of setting I want but most folks who do that always charge too much for it. Up until this session I have always enjoyed the DM and though I didn't agree with some of his rulings which felt kind of arbitrary to me, he always said there were reasons so I just kind of accepted it. But after he murdered us all, and not as part of the plot of the story or anything like that, i'm a little disgusted honestly.

It's like having a hobby group where you spend 6 months working together to build and race little model cars, then one day the leader of the club shows up and just stomps all of our cars into oblivion and tells us we have to start over. I mean it's such a **** move.

And 6 months is a long time to have these characters. If we just charged into every situation without proper planning and prep, do you think we would've survived this long? We have battled tons of mythic bosses in this time and a bunch of other mythic enemies but we aren't just reckless. But he killed ALL OF US yesterday in such a lame way. It wasn't even going out 300 style in a blaze or glory or anything, he just straight up captured and beheaded us.

Almost nobody plays D&D around here locally. And trying to find groups online is really tough because all the DMs have very specific things they want to do. If you want to play a certain kind of character, you have to find a dm who is running a game that will fit the character or even be allowed. Most of them have very specific and arbitrary race/class restrictions and alignment restrictions and all sorts of things. And I like long games that you could be playing for months or a year, not little one-shots or 4 sessions or anything like that.

Then to further complicate matters, I work a lot and don't have a heap of free time, so i'd have to try to find a game that fit my schedule. If it were easy, i'd do it. But it's really hard. I have actually been looking for another campaign to join the past 3 months to play as well as my current one, but I haven't found anything. :/

Thrudd
2016-04-19, 03:02 PM
If I felt like I had a heap of other options or choices, I would definitely leave and go play with someone else.

But I feel like it is really, really hard to find the kind of game I want to play. One that you can work on and play for months at a time and in a really big world with a lot of stuff to do.

I was thinking about trying to hire someone to DM for me to create the "type" of setting I want but most folks who do that always charge too much for it. Up until this session I have always enjoyed the DM and though I didn't agree with some of his rulings which felt kind of arbitrary to me, he always said there were reasons so I just kind of accepted it. But after he murdered us all, and not as part of the plot of the story or anything like that, i'm a little disgusted honestly.

It's like having a hobby group where you spend 6 months working together to build and race little model cars, then one day the leader of the club shows up and just stomps all of our cars into oblivion and tells us we have to start over. I mean it's such a **** move.

And 6 months is a long time to have these characters. If we just charged into every situation without proper planning and prep, do you think we would've survived this long? We have battled tons of mythic bosses in this time and a bunch of other mythic enemies but we aren't just reckless. But he killed ALL OF US yesterday in such a lame way. It wasn't even going out 300 style in a blaze or glory or anything, he just straight up captured and beheaded us.

Almost nobody plays D&D around here locally. And trying to find groups online is really tough because all the DMs have very specific things they want to do. If you want to play a certain kind of character, you have to find a dm who is running a game that will fit the character or even be allowed. Most of them have very specific and arbitrary race/class restrictions and alignment restrictions and all sorts of things. And I like long games that you could be playing for months or a year, not little one-shots or 4 sessions or anything like that.

Then to further complicate matters, I work a lot and don't have a heap of free time, so i'd have to try to find a game that fit my schedule. If it were easy, i'd do it. But it's really hard. I have actually been looking for another campaign to join the past 3 months to play as well as my current one, but I haven't found anything. :/

Equating D&D characters to model cars isn't a good analogy. D&D characters are logical constructs, which have the potential to be killed in-game built into the rules. Yes, it does sound like a **** move, the way the DM ended the campaign. That being established, your character isn't really gone. You still have the character sheet, I presume, and it still exists in your head (the only place it every really existed). Keep it in case you have a chance to use it again. Until then, play the new campaign, if it seems more fun than not playing at all.

Alternatively, start your own game, offer to DM for the group and run the sort of game you want. There is no reason two games can't be going on concurrently, on alternating sessions. Continue the story of the mythic characters, if you and the other players want to, and pretend the last session was a bad dream. Your old character can be an NPC.

Âmesang
2016-04-19, 03:17 PM
Instant plot: The characters find themselves alive again, but unlike the normal (presuming 3rd Edition D&D) rules, they don't know anything about who brought them back. :smalleek: Mystery!

90sMusic
2016-04-19, 04:03 PM
I guess you're right, in D&D there is always some risk you know you're going to die when you get in a confrontation or whatever, so it's not quite the same. But it's just such a shame to work on something you care about for so long and then poof, gone, and you had no control over it.

I like my DM and i've liked everything else he has done up until this point. I wish we could just do it over and maybe get a clue how we could survive or something.

I feel like if we went back and replayed the session, I dont even know what we could've done different to actually survive. It felt so hopeless and like we had no options. I think the only thing we could do is go all the way back to the day we opened that portal and just never open it in the first place. Just chuck that key into an interdimensional space and forget it exists and life could go on.

Was talking to some guys today and it seems the DM is really upset that everyone is so unhappy with how things happened and now he is thinking about just stopping the campaign. That would be a shame because everyone was enjoying the adventure and liked learning the various things about the place.

If only we could rewind time...

CombatBunny
2016-04-19, 04:38 PM
Instant plot: The characters find themselves alive again, but unlike the normal (presuming 3rd Edition D&D) rules, they don't know anything about who brought them back. :smalleek: Mystery!

Totally Yes!


Was talking to some guys today and it seems the DM is really upset that everyone is so unhappy with how things happened and now he is thinking about just stopping the campaign. That would be a shame because everyone was enjoying the adventure and liked learning the various things about the place.

If only we could rewind time...

There you have it, this is your chance to become the DM and run the games of your dreams.

=)

Cheers!

slaydemons
2016-04-19, 04:46 PM
Mmm, the more I gm the easier I find to run worlds where I let the players take the reins and work a story around them, to give an example since the beginning of February, roughly anyways, I have been gming pretty much everyday at least 6-8 hour sessions. its only not been happening this past week because one of our players is having a bad computer issues. I have let them do whatever they want and haven't planned any sort of combat encounters at all, if it does end up happening I know roughly what is a good everything combat related would be.

Edit: forgot the point of this post. my point is a decent dm can work with just about anything.

CombatBunny
2016-04-19, 04:53 PM
Mmm, the more I gm the easier I find to run worlds where I let the players take the reins and work a story around them, to give an example since the beginning of February, roughly anyways, I have been gming pretty much everyday at least 6-8 hour sessions. its only not been happening this past week because one of our players is having a bad computer issues. I have let them do whatever they want and haven't planned any sort of combat encounters at all, if it does end up happening I know roughly what is a good everything combat related would be.

Edit: forgot the point of this post. my point is a decent dm can work with just about anything.

So glad to read this =) I also been practicing to GM with almost 0 prep and rely more in improvisation and imagination.

Well done! But some GMs here get angry when you talk about flowing with the player’s ideas, letting the game shape itself with the GM and players interactions and actually running a story in such a way that not even the GM knows what will happen next.

I must say that it took me many years of learning, session planning, reading and acquiring a great deal of skills before being able to take this step and run wild with improvisation.

EvilestWeevil
2016-04-19, 09:21 PM
It sucks, but if the game is already losing players, and the DM has done unfair things in the past why stay? Boning someone on summons is a great example. Then you should not expect anything else, so even if you stay at this point, this DM has set a precedent for being a prick. Either accept the punishment to play the game or find a new one, you can even play online now. We are not in the 90's, we can rebuild the game. We have the technology. We can make it better than it was. Better, stronger, faster.

goto124
2016-04-20, 08:10 AM
Any solution we came up with to try to restart time or resume our original path or even just to survive in that other world was met with just a flat out "no".

He always insists that there are "reasons" for everything, but he gives us no way to figure them out or no clues or anything

We didn't have time to think anything through. Every time we tried to stop and talk about what we should do, he would spawn monsters on us. He was making it literally impossible, he straight up told us he wasnt going to let us sleep.

Leave. Go on roll20, or the PbP section of GitP. Many good DMs and players abound here. Best of luck.

Nerd-o-rama
2016-04-20, 10:06 AM
We tried to get it across to him that it just straight up isn't fun when he treats us that way, be he acts indifferent. He thinks he is right, we are wrong, and he can do whatever he wants

Bail. This level of egomania and bullying isn't something you should ever put up with just for the sake of roleplaying.

EDIT: or have someone who's not a jerk take over DMing, that works too.

goto124
2016-04-20, 10:11 AM
EDIT: or have someone who's not a jerk take over DMing, that works too.

Nah, such a person wouldn't take well to being a player instead of an all-controlling DM.

You could bail and rejoin with the players, without the DM.

Ikitavi
2016-04-21, 12:47 AM
The ongoing issues with the GM changing the rules suggest that your disaster was largely inevitable. The GM is the source of information about the world. If you are not capable of making a rational decision, it is because the GM is not describing the universe in enough detail or with enough consistency.

The not letting the players rest or even communicate without new monsters popping up is a pathological danger sign.

A Kobayashi Maru scenario is really only tolerable if the lights come on after the simulation, and a snarky Admiral comes by to analyze in detail everything wrong you did. Something the GM in question completely failed to do.

And writing your characters out of history? That is just petty.

The GM goes out of his way to irreversibly shanghai you, doesn't let anything you do work, changes the rules, wipes the party out of existence and history so you can't even have a retrieval mission, and doesn't understand why that was an unsatisfactory gaming experience? That is crazy and you guys are not being paid to be his therapist.

Now, a number of the GM's quirks are more tolerable in a low powered game. If people are not 100% confident how their spells work, that can be fun in a setting where the characters are indeed not that experienced. But when players are high level, they should have a greater idea about how their characters work. And they should also know their own characters well enough to have insight into their duplicates that the GM should respect.

Yllin
2016-04-21, 06:16 AM
Oh, I see what happened here. Players went to a dimension where everything good turned evil, right? And so did the GM! He turned evil and TPKd. That's completely in-metacharacter!

Jokes aside, it doesn't look like the GM is that bad, since you were having fun with him for 6 months. You'll always have your ability to leave. Stay with him for a little longer and see for yourself where the game is going.

goto124
2016-04-21, 07:15 AM
Jokes aside, it doesn't look like the GM is that bad, since you were having fun with him for 6 months. You'll always have your ability to leave. Stay with him for a little longer and see for yourself where the game is going.

Weirdly enough, the OP said (and showed) that staying with the GM for so long proved him to be really horrible, and it's a wonder OP stayed that long.

The game has already ended, because the DM railroaded them into such a situation and didn't let them go back.

There's nowhere to go but out.

yougi
2016-04-21, 11:23 AM
If I felt like I had a heap of other options or choices, I would definitely leave and go play with someone else.

But I feel like it is really, really hard to find the kind of game I want to play. One that you can work on and play for months at a time and in a really big world with a lot of stuff to do.

But is this really the type of game you want to play? The kind which ends like this?


And as for DM's rates, I don't think you quite understand how much work goes on to DM a good game. Also, if the DM is not interested in the exact same thing you are, you don't want them to run your game while disliking it; if they do want the same thing, why pay them?

The Fury
2016-04-21, 02:23 PM
Leave. Go on roll20, or the PbP section of GitP. Many good DMs and players abound here. Best of luck.

Actually, there's a lot more potential help to be had on these forums, especially if you'd like to try DMing a game yourself. After all, you mentioned the other players weren't satisfied with the way things turned out either-- they probably would mind being players for your game.

Want help designing your setting? There's folks that'll help you with that! Want help generating a cool main villain? Hey, I've seen more than a few threads about just that! Want feedback on the starting scenario before presenting it to the players? Yeah, we can help with that too.



I feel like if we went back and replayed the session, I dont even know what we could've done different to actually survive. It felt so hopeless and like we had no options. I think the only thing we could do is go all the way back to the day we opened that portal and just never open it in the first place. Just chuck that key into an interdimensional space and forget it exists and life could go on.


You could, and in hindsight it probably seems like the smart choice. Though, if you were meant to discover and open the portal, only to ignore it and close it, why did the DM put it there in the first place? Maybe there's a context here that I'm missing, (I do that,) but it looks like a pretty clear plot hook to me.


Oh, I see what happened here. Players went to a dimension where everything good turned evil, right? And so did the GM! He turned evil and TPKd. That's completely in-metacharacter!

Jokes aside, it doesn't look like the GM is that bad, since you were having fun with him for 6 months. You'll always have your ability to leave. Stay with him for a little longer and see for yourself where the game is going.

The OP also mentioned that the DM was upset that his players were unsatisfied about the TPK. Players are rarely happy about TPKs, tolerant sure, but rarely happy. If the DM is unable to take a little criticism and remains utterly convinced that he is right, as the OP said he was, he comes off as having a very big ego and a very thin skin. Not traits I would attribute to a good DM.

PrincessCupcake
2016-04-21, 02:49 PM
Was talking to some guys today and it seems the DM is really upset that everyone is so unhappy with how things happened and now he is thinking about just stopping the campaign. That would be a shame because everyone was enjoying the adventure and liked learning the various things about the place.

If only we could rewind time...

personally, I'd say this is for the best. However, if you insist on keeping this game going the best advice I can give you is this.

Show the DM this thread, or better yet, tell him how you feel about that last session and why. The why is super important here. Encourage other players to do the same. Then ask the GM if he would be willing to rewind to the point before the key was used.

90sMusic
2016-04-22, 10:59 PM
So it has been a few days now and everything seems to have settled down, so here is how the situation turned out.

I basically threw out there that I kind of wish we could replay that day altogether and make different choices, but I feel kind of like it was a hopeless situation and we were going to die no matter what. The DM then said "i wouldnt give you a retcon for what happened". Shortly after, he went on a rant talking about how he is going to start being more selfish and how he is removing all the variant rules from the campaign.

We are no longer going to be mythic, and we're down to 15 point attribute buy instead of 20. Which I think is incredibly lame because his original argument for reducing us from 20 to 15 was because mythic was so powerful, blah blah blah, well now we aren't mythic but he is hosing our stats anyway.

A big argument broke out between the DM and his biggest supporter, they went at it back and forth for quite a while. Primary gist of the fight was the DM just kept saying "im changing this. moving on." and the other guy kept saying we should all talk about this as a group instead of him just uprooting and changing everything arbitrarily. DM said he won't be giving out hero points anymore because he "is not a good judge of who deserves them" because someone complained once that they didn't get a hero point for sacrificing their character's life to buy an extra round for us to kill a demigod that was about to murder us all.

Anyway, he basically laid down a list of new rules, changes to the game, and said this is how things are going to be now, end of discussion, make your new characters.

I think what i'm going to do is see how things go on our next session. If the mood and atmosphere has changed and soured over the whole thing, i'll probably just bail just because people are grumpy with each other. If it seems ok... I might just keep playing, idk. My new character is one i've used before and really enjoyed playing. I hate how weak we are now and losing our mythic stuff because it was a blast to play with, but what can I do? My new character is much useful in combat and has less social stuff. My old character was built to be amazing at social encounters, but it just didn't matter. I had like like +32 to bluff and could get 42 on bluff checks on average but it still was apparently too low to convince prettymuch anyone of anything. I also had the glibness spell to increase it by another +20, but every time I tried using it, there was always some excuse for it to not work. I remember one time I was arrested just for casting it on myself because supposedly the paladins who were arresting my friend could tell what spell it was. Another time I went outside, out of line of sight of anyone to cast it on myself (after learning from the situation with the paladins earlier) and then came back in the room to lie to this guy and he didn't believe me 65 bluff check because he detected a transmutation magical aura on me...

So needless to say, social characters are pointless here because they basically autofail everything the DM wants them to. My new character will have decent social skills so I should be able to pass most checks, and the ones he makes literally impossible it doesnt matter because they're made to be impossible lol.

goto124
2016-04-23, 03:03 AM
Shortly after, he went on a rant talking about how he is going to start being more selfish and how he is removing all the variant rules from the campaign.

If it seems ok... I might just keep playing, idk. My new character is one i've used before and really enjoyed playing. I hate how weak we are now and losing our mythic stuff because it was a blast to play with, but what can I do?

Why not go join or even start another game on your own, away from this DM? He managed to take away the exact opposite lesson from what he's supposed to learn.



DnD's social mechanics, as far as I can tell, just do not work well. A +32 to Bluff essentially means mind-controlling other characters. Unless the DM steps in and says "no it doesn't work because X". If you want nice social mechanics, you may have to look at other systems - DnD just isn't built to deal with social situations all that much.

Your DM, however, is really really bad for many other reasons, and I'm so sorry to hear about such an egoistic and controlling DM.

Thrawn4
2016-04-23, 03:46 AM
I have to chime in with the majority here. It does not sound like a ton of fun, and why wouldn't you ask the other players that feel similar to join your campaign? DMing is not that difficult that you actually need your current DM.

Jornophelanthas
2016-04-24, 04:58 PM
The DM seems to be taking for granted that no matter what rules he lays down and what decisions he makes, the players will still be playing in his group. And that is his problem. He treats the campaign, its rules and house rules, and the players' characters as his property. At least he admitted that he is bad at evaluating player actions to reward, but unfortunately he did not draw any fair conclusions.

My impression is that he is not self-critical and not willing to accept criticism. And that all of the players are waiting for someone else to leave first.

My advice is to check with the other players if they still enjoy playing with this DM. If not, see if anyone else is willing to be the DM, and keep the current DM on as a player.

And if this DM's new campaign is not working for you, leave. See if anyone else leaves too, and see if a new group with another DM (perhaps one of the current players) can be formed.

Pex
2016-04-24, 06:45 PM
The DM is on a power trip. The game is his tool to wield his power. Leave. Seriously. Take as many players with you as you possibly can. Even if you don't stay together for a different campaign, the DM becomes powerless when he has no players. No game is better than a bad game. Repeat that to yourself over and over until it sinks in. The DM is irrelevant. You do not need him.

Bronk
2016-04-25, 11:00 AM
I think it's telling that this wacko DM has this giant super duper campaign world, destroys it, TPKs the group, starts a completely different game, and yet somehow is still able to complain that he 'might stop his campaign?'

I've been stuck with bad DMs/GMs before due to lack of choice, but I also vote for you starting your own game... That's your best way out. Grab the guys who are dissatisfied now, maybe pull in a few new friends/players, and then, if you have to, bite the bullet and be the DM yourself. Good luck!

kyoryu
2016-04-25, 11:11 AM
Now... My character is dead. And it wasn't even a heroic death or going out in a blaze of glory or anything like that, the whole situation felt very sucky and it's like the DM was just out to murder us today. It had never been like this before. We had gotten into some close scraps before and a couple of characters have died over the past 6 months, but today every one of our characters was killed in the most stupid and senseless way.

... so one thing it kinda sounds like here is that your GM was frustrated with the minmaxing that was going on, and decided to turn it against you.

Of course, I generally recommend handling out-of-character issues out-of-character, so I think his way of dealing with that is pretty stupid. Might be worth having a conversation with him, or if he refuses to talk (as seems to be the case), I'd really just stop playing with him.