View Full Version : Gamer Drama Never been so happy to see the end of a game: letting off steam

2016-05-22, 07:13 PM
Hi all.

Some of you may remember that several months ago, I sadly said goodbye to my main D&D group. 3 years of very fun 3.5 campaigns (during which time I was both a player and a DM) ended when the group decided to upgrade to 5th. They brought in a new DM, who decided to play a very text heavy preset, despite being known for his original and interesting stories. Crossed wires, some mismanaged decisions, a poor party comp and an incharacter argument that ended up out of character led to me choosing not to play any more. I wanted to stay friends and for me, the game was becoming toxic and frankly not enjoyable. I parted on good terms. Apparently problems persisted after I left and several more people left, on not quite such good terms, and the group has collapsed to half its size, playing ad hoc one offs in 5th or 3.5 whenever they feel like it.

Luckily for me, my house mate was starting up a game around the same time. He had played 5th before and wanted to run 5th. I would have preferred 3.5, but at that point I would take what I could get. Thats when things started to go down hill. So my friend, the DM, has one game under his belt. Fine, I didnt have many more when I DMed for the first time. The game he had was fast and loose with the rules. Uh... ok? Sure. Why not? Rule of Cool would be the defining feature of the campaign. Wait... what? Oh, and everyone else is a first time player and the party comp is 5 warlocks, a fighter (really a warlock), a rogue (actually a warlock), a cleric (no, really, actually a cleric!) with no healing (huh?) and a wizard (well, ok I guess) who is really a Rob, a made up class based on the player himself (WTF?!). And the game will be combat heavy. !!!!

Ok, we need a damage dealer and high AC/high HP char. Some sort of tank (I know you dont tank in D&D but you get my drift). Druid. Wild shape circle. Right? Wrong. I could be a druid, but I wont have seen any large animals. Ever. So no wildshaping into a bear until 4th level.

Fine. if thats how it is, and rule of cool is on the table, how about I play awakened mystic? Order of the Immortal? Done. Sorted. Fantastic. So I got for stoic OotI, reach weapon, bludgeoning secondary, half orc, medium armor, nicely balanced stats (wish I could have bought, but 3 16s, 2 12s and a 9 is fine by me).

First session, combat, was totally right in picking that class. Even with self healing, potions, the ability to buff my AC and some big weapons, I very nearly die. The rest of the party either runs away half way through the engagement, or gets knocked to 0 HP. But somehow I manage to fight off what is a CR3 encounter for a CR 1 party single handedly. And I have fun. Great. DM is new, Im sure things will balance out with difficulty. We level up, I get a new set of abilities, some of the party members become useful combatants, everything is good.

Second session. I have to miss it. Almost TPK. DM fiat saves them. DM says he will scale back difficulty, but stick with a combat focused campaign.

Start 10 sessions of poorly planned, poorly orchestrated, poorly handled, poorly played social situations. I basically cant play at all, which is fine, I knew shoehorning myself into a tiny box of hitting stuff could lead to this, but no one else is building their chars around social situations. Then a combat encounter comes out of nowhere. Apparently we wernt making the right social calls and should have been asking so and so about such and such but we didnt so we get ambushed. 3 of us vs 3 of them, but I am there. No problem right? Close fight, but likely just a scuffle, I get knocked to low HP, 'locks blast them to bits, everybody loots the bodies and goes home. WRONG. Somehow we had pissed off the DM so he punished us by setting us up against 3 level 7s when we are level 4. Somehow we escape. Somehow. Which pisses off the DM some more.

A few weeks pass and no one can play, so the DM arranges with each of us what our chars will do for a week of in game time. I take the chance to double check he is ok with me using UA, and state that I am happy to retire the char and play a more appropriate one if he wants. Nope, he likes my char, hates all the others. Fine. My guy goes and drinks tea for a week and seeks enlightenment. You know. Mystic stuff.

Meanwhile, one player destroys half a city in obtaining a magical item. The DM set this up with him. The DM suggested the magical explosion. The DM gave him the item afterwards (a high level staff with some sort of magical lock on it that inhibits its abilities). The DM decided the explosion should kill 400 people and not the player. The DM then gets pissed when the player uses the magic item in combat, then attempts to research how to remove the lock to unlock its abilities. Im sorry, but what is he supposed to do with a magical death stick if not use it? But fine, maybe the DM got caught up in the moment and wants to back track. I bet every DM here is thinking the same thing. Just have some high level NPC rogue nick it while the character sleeps. Nope, commence 5 session long grudge that comes to a head tonight.

Meanwhile the rest of the party scatter throughout the city. They are all able to contact me (I said where I was going to be, and how to find me) but no one thought to check where everyone else was. So split party that is now lost. As the main plot line happens and the city falls to a corrupt underworld. Half the party piss off the military, the other half dont know anything has even happened, people start walking into combat designed to be appropriate for a party of 3 of 4 people on their own, no one understands whats happening, and because the party is split, sessions take FOREVER. It isnt even that 4 combat encounters happened at once in different places. That would be OK, you just run through initiative. No. Combat encounters happened in once place while time critical social interactions happened in another, while comedy was occurring in a third place. My character, unaware of any of this because no one is informing anyone of whats going on, just sits and drinks tea for several sessions. I try and think of ways to help everyone. But short of wandering through the city hoping I run into someone, its a no go. And the DM takes me aside when I voice that perhaps my char could see some action to tell me that word of how good a fighter my char is has spread and no one will attack him. Ever.

Welp, you never know, maybe I will meet up with the party and get the story back on track, take the offensive, force some combat on our terms.

Real life stuff happens. Exams, dissertations, etc. Time passes. And tonight we kick things back on. For me, its going to be my last session as I move away this week. It isnt a fun one. The party is still split, my char still has no idea where anyone is, and the DM wants to kill the char with the magic item. Players A and B are off trying to stop the take over, I start actively looking for people, and magic item guy wanders off to the north of the city... alone... where he gets ambushed by 2 revenant/undead mage hybrids. We are level 5. Somehow we manage to metagame reasons for our characters to travel north and get there just after combat finishes. Not much left of our companion. Revenants are gone. Ok, well at least 3 of us are together. And I have some money saved up (not much, we arnt getting paid, literally we have had no loot or money since the second session at level 2) but I can pay for some sort of revival if I sell all my stuff and my party chips in, or we could take out a loan from the bank, or... hey! Where did everyone go? Because my party members have decided to leave my character picking up pieces of our friend and head back into the city. One failed perception check later and the party is once again scattered. And my character did literally nothing. I didnt even get to roll that perception check, the DM wanted to roll it for me. Not once dice the entire night. I barely spoke, my character spent the first 2 hours of real time wandering the city being refused rolls to ask people where my party was because I am too intimidating, I didnt fight, I couldnt pay for a revive on my own, nothing.

Buried the body. Set my character walking east. Said goodnight. Left the game.

I miss my old group.

I miss 3.5.

I miss a DM who isnt on a power trip and wont kill your character if they screw up.

I miss party cohesion.

I miss being able to ask this forum questions.

I miss being invested in a story.

I miss having fun.

2016-05-22, 09:42 PM
Damn. My condolences man.

2016-05-22, 11:32 PM

I feel bad for you. You could try PbPing. It doesn't always last very long, but you get a really good group every once and a while, and then it pays off.