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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    And sometimes (mostly my group for some reason), the players really LIKE an NPC the DM has made, and so asks them to tag along and be with the party as party members. Really, I've had players drag NPCs along and force me to flesh them out into full characters who chill with the party and be party members. Strange, but true.
    Happened to me for one actually. For a nameless guard of all things.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    I don't get why everyone hates DMPCs. Is there some specific criteria I'm missing, or is this all characters played by DMs?

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Masaioh View Post
    I don't get why everyone hates DMPCs. Is there some specific criteria I'm missing, or is this all characters played by DMs?
    DMPCs are PCs played by the DM that act like or often even outshine the real PCs. Like I said, NPCs are fine.
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    DMPCs aren't that bad, so long as they have a purpose... Mostly as "Superman Gone Bad" badguys... That overleveled, overequipped DMPC leads the charge through the Alhoon's inverted tower, handles most of the heavy work, is incredibly overbearing the entire time, and at the end of the session... Psychically Dominated as he turns on the PCs...

    You'd be suprised how much they'll enjoy a terrible night as soon as they get to cut the smug bastard to pieces...
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  5. - Top - End - #35
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Masaioh View Post
    I don't get why everyone hates DMPCs. Is there some specific criteria I'm missing, or is this all characters played by DMs?
    You know that character that the GM controls, and seems to love as his very own character? You can tell he's trying not to be blatantly biased but somehow the monsters (that he rolls) don't seem to hit him quite as much. The character seems to always know the way the plot is supposed to go, even when the actual character the GM was playing wouldn't. And generally, when he talks you know you essentially have to listen, since for all intents and purposes the character has a direct link to God. He knows how to win every social encounter because he directly knows how every other NPC will react to everything.

    That's a GMPC. And may they all be burned in the fiery pits for eternity.

    Now, take that with a party NPC. Since I can only comment on my experiences I'll talk about Nolan (the nameless guard I mentioned a post or two up). Nolan has a set personality, and occasionally feels like a fish out of water. He's a guard, and a loyal one. And he gets incredibly uncomfortable when the PCs make their dealings with the other higher ranking NPCS as such he tries to stay in the background, unless it goes against his set personality. He makes obvious mistakes, but he contributes so the players don't rely on him. In combat, he is helpful. He'll put himself in some position so that the party rogue can flank. He'll defend the wizard so that he can cast his spells with ease. Essentially in combat he does what the party requires him to do. And his rolls, like every other player his life is determined by the d20 and his luck, not the GMs desire to play through him.

    That is, to me, the major differences.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Telling the players no evil characters, then letting one of them take levels in assassin.

    Insisting that all the players form a group and stick together. (The new pc shows up, you are forced to accept them and move on even if the character is a complete and utter buffoon and no one else would voluntarily associate with them)

    Insisting they have a great plot and ignoring the fact that the players don't care about it a all and want to do something else (railroad)

    Letting players sit for hours while someone has to go into great detail about something that is basically irrelevant to the game. (Actually had someone decide they wanted to marry some random princess they never met, out of the blue. We played 6 hours combined over 2 game sessions, and he spent a good 3 1/2 hours straight on it, half the other players went with him during the second session to try to keep him out of trouble, the rest of us sat and basically did nothing because someone had tol wait to meet someone relevant to the plot.)

    Favoritism

    Screwing over players for no reason other than the DM is sadistic.

    DMPC (In general I hate having npcs follow the party around with the only real purpose to annoy the party or show them up, especially when there are twice as many players as probably should be in the game)

    Games where people have to play a super secret race and class, so you don't have any idea what type of casters you have, if at all, until after the game has started.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    Blatant railroading.

    No plot at all and the players have no clue what to do

    Not giving the players the ability to play their character

    Letting the players have their character be overbearing on everyone elses

    impossible opponents

    boringly easy opponents

    not enough description

    vividly Tolkienesque descriptions about everything and their shoes

    immemorial npcs

    annoyingly memorable npcs

    GM pcs

    lack of time for each character (especially when the group is divided for an extended period of time)

    encounters that are painfully set up so only 1 or 2 characters can shine

    f**king tier 1 characters in a group of tier 4-5s

    f**king tier 4-5 characters in a group of tier 1s (note for this and the last one, only really a problem if one group or the other blatantly dominates the game so the other can't do anything)

    Being a stickler for rules

    Being too loose with the rules

    GMing is a balancing act. When I started out I annoyingly asked everyone at the group what they liked and didn't like and begged them to be as candid and harsh as possible. Now I'm regarded as the only competent GM of the group.
    This is actually a pretty damn good list. Not comprehensive, of course, and it depends on the group. Railroading can be the absolute worst of all, though. Or, depending on the group, not giving them enough plot rail ro guide them.
    "Once upon a time, a story was never finished..."

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hadrian_Emrys View Post
    DMPCs aren't always a bad idea. If the players all want to play meleers, having a skillbot/healer DMPC following them around and being useful is a grand idea.
    All DMPCs are NPCs, but not all NPCs are DMPCs.

    I cannot stress this point enough. A support character that you (as the DM) have no stake in their lives and are not living vicariously through is an NPC. A character that is your avatar in the party/game is a DMPC.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Not getting anywhere, or spending an overly long amount of time dealing with consequences of PC actions that were forced on the party.

    There was this time in a Hunter: The Reckoning game where we were talking to some Drug dealers or something and on our way out we were jumped by some Ghouls. It got lethal really fast and we spent the next three sessions running from the cops and trying to throw them off our trail. It was annoying because it wasn't like we were on the Hunt at the time, and went out of our way to kill them. The ST just had them pop up and draw down on us. Dealing with it was a waste of time.

    Obvious GM timestalling also grinds my gears. Sometimes a GM doesn't know what he wants to happen next, so will facilitate arguments between PCs or players, or will prompt the PCs to roleplay amongst each other during a long car ride scene, without letting the scene end and the game move on. "Looking something up" also becomes common, and lasts several minutes as they look at the page in silence.

    Also *twitch* roleplaying scenes of the characters eating. Double points if the food items are described in vivid or exhausting detail.

    Oh, I guess this is more of a list of things I hate, not people in general.
    Last edited by Jerthanis; 2009-10-16 at 12:33 AM.
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  10. - Top - End - #40
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by deuxhero View Post
    No elfs, dwarfs orcs ect? Good job.
    No humans? Good job.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Masaioh View Post
    I don't get why everyone hates DMPCs. Is there some specific criteria I'm missing, or is this all characters played by DMs?
    It's generally recurring characters played by the DM that tend to be with your party for encounters.

    If it's a one time disposable mook...nobody cares. If it's just a guy you see in town that frequently offers missions...that's not a DMPC either.

    The DMPC is like gandalf in LOTR. Overpowers the rest of the party combined, does whatever the hell he wants, is never in any actual danger, and ends up telling the party what to do. Basically, the Dms playing with himself.

    They should be avoided like the plague, because they invariably do ruin games. I suggest that if you think your party has some massive need for an NPC, you give it to one or more players to control. It's vastly safer.
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  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    It's generally recurring characters played by the DM that tend to be with your party for encounters.

    If it's a one time disposable mook...nobody cares. If it's just a guy you see in town that frequently offers missions...that's not a DMPC either.

    The DMPC is like gandalf in LOTR. Overpowers the rest of the party combined, does whatever the hell he wants, is never in any actual danger, and ends up telling the party what to do. Basically, the Dms playing with himself.

    They should be avoided like the plague, because they invariably do ruin games. I suggest that if you think your party has some massive need for an NPC, you give it to one or more players to control. It's vastly safer.

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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    What I hate...

    First, it'd be; Being covered in fish.

    Second; DM Favorism
    Boats are like nuts, the outside is hard but the inside is usually good to eat.


    And remember, things can always get worse.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    It's generally recurring characters played by the DM that tend to be with your party for encounters.

    If it's a one time disposable mook...nobody cares. If it's just a guy you see in town that frequently offers missions...that's not a DMPC either.

    The DMPC is like gandalf in LOTR. Overpowers the rest of the party combined, does whatever the hell he wants, is never in any actual danger, and ends up telling the party what to do. Basically, the Dms playing with himself.

    They should be avoided like the plague, because they invariably do ruin games. I suggest that if you think your party has some massive need for an NPC, you give it to one or more players to control. It's vastly safer.
    DMPCs can also be great big baby sitters that are there too keep the party on the plot rails. Anyone seen the second Gamer's movie? Check it out on Youtube as Sir Osric is a prime example to the point where the DM makes alignment-based justifications for his railroads. That's a PLAYERS line!

    What I hate is fetch quests that are simply that. If I want to do a straight forward fetch quest I'll play a computer game.
    Last edited by Katana_Geldar; 2009-10-16 at 11:44 PM.
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  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    It's funny, everyone's complaining about DMPCs outshining the party - the one that travels with my party, despite being our only real caster has a way of also being the first one unconscious in a given fight, and often the only one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Ring of Evasion means never playing a monk with monk levels again. There is just no reason to dip that stuff. I know we're all about using every part of the buffalo here, but can we just admit that it's inedible?

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    He's not a DMPC then if that happens. If he was one he'd have uber hit dice.
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  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Katana_Geldar View Post
    He's not a DMPC then if that happens. If he was one he'd have uber hit dice.
    If you only saw his Con score.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Ring of Evasion means never playing a monk with monk levels again. There is just no reason to dip that stuff. I know we're all about using every part of the buffalo here, but can we just admit that it's inedible?

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Keep the pacing up. It's not necessary to have everything planned and memorized ahead of time, of course, but a measure of preparedness goes a long way.

    For example, if you know a certain fight is going to happen, jot down important combat statistics (AC, hp, saves, attacks, special abilities) for all the monsters you know are going to be involved on a easy-to-reference sheet and keep it handy. That way you don't have to spend a lot of time in the middle of a fight scene flipping back and forth in the monster manual or the module's character pages looking up what they can do and whether or not they're hit by that arrow. If you go a step further and become familiar with the tactics the combatants you control would employ ahead of time, so you can react to your PCs quickly as they act in combat, even better.

    Also, there's some rolls you can make ahead of time. Initiatives, for example - roll them and jot them down on a separate piece of paper for each fight, and then all you have to do is slide the PCs in wherever they roll. Your players have to trust that you're not rigging things, though.

    It's not like players expect things to click along at a fast pace all the time - and they'll certainly take their own sweet time on their turns sometimes - but it becomes obvious to both the players and to you if the mood and excitement from a fight drains out because things moved too slow.

  19. - Top - End - #49
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    So I have this cleric in a campain, lvl 12. His (my) favorite tactic, shatter every important door we come across. My DM responds by making every door "magical" and every adjacent wall "magical" so I can't do that. He says "Oh you're being too loud, etc". My response "We have a clunky clecic, pally, and really clunky warhorse. I can make noise to shatter freakin' doors."

    Pisses me off...
    I guess that would count as railroading, right?
    Or maybe just nerfing spells...

    And I cant shape stone a hole in the wall either. :-(
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  20. - Top - End - #50
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    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    No humans? Good job.
    Of course an orc with a funny hat isn't much more than a simple orc. :)

  21. - Top - End - #51
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by magellan View Post
    Of course an orc with a funny hat isn't much more than a simple orc. :)
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  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Lots of random thoughts here... Maybe you can use some

    Quote Originally Posted by root9125 View Post
    Yeah, like this, but is it railroading to have the "etc etc etc" *actually happen*, or is it necessary to have my NPCs (their new "allies") *enforce* the terms of the bargain?
    Let me answer that question with another question:
    What would be the most realistic? To have the NPCs do their best to get the PCs to fulfill their end of the bargain, or for them to just shrug and say "yeah, we did threaten with that, but you're okay, so I guess we'll let it slide."

    Do NOT "actually make it happen". Give the PCs the opportunity for it to happen, maybe more than one chance. If they turn it down... then just look to your NPCs' goals and wishes, and take it from there.


    A signature on this forum (don't remember who's, sorry) contain the following clever words:
    Railroading is not saying "There is a wall here".
    Railroading is saying "There is a wall everywhere BUT here".


    Actually, a generally good rule of thumb is: Never say 'no'. Instead, say 'yes, but...'
    "Yes, you can fireball the merchant, but remember you just saw an entire cityguard outside."
    "Yes, you can do this weird and cool battlemaneuvre, but you're looking at a pretty high DC."
    "Yes, you can shoot Gollum, but do you even have a good reason for doing it?"
    "etc."

    "Are you sure?" is always a great question

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    stuff about GM assuming that every PC is completely and utterly retarded
    That just sucks. The very least the GM could do (if it's something obvious) is ask.
    I always do that - at the very least, it eases my conscience when I screw the PCs over afterwards! Sure, their prisoner escapes in the middle of night... but maybe you should have tied him up, or put up a guard... like I specifically asked if you did. Not my problem that he returns and kills you all

    Generally, I think this problem is either because:
    a) GM is stupid, or
    b) GM is plain railroading (on a small scale)

    Reminds me of another story I read in here.
    *big fight against BBEG - party is winning*
    *BBEG slips out through window*
    PCs: Wait, there's a window!
    GM: Yep.
    PCs: Why didn't you tell us???
    GM: If I had, you would've just prevented his escape.
    PCs: ...


    What I personally hate the most?
    GMs taking over my character! I've thankfully never had a GM trying to determine my build, but when the GM say "No, your characters feel this and that, not that and this!", I seriously start considering to screw their game over... That character is the only thing I control, and I. Want to. Control. It!

    Also; OP, have a look at this thread. It's full of really, really good advice for a new GM
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  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    One of my big personal beefs is when a DM starts conveniently sparing PCs who otherwise should by all logic be dead. This has happened to me more than once.
    I've had situations where a DM has thrown an incredible challenge at us (the party), and when the PCs start to drop like lemmings, the DM starts avoiding attacking helpless or weakened characters, or asking things like 'how much hp do you have?' before telling you how much damage you're about to take.

    Dammit, if you're going to TPK us, DO IT! Don't realize suddenly that you've made an unbalanced, terrible encounter. See it through. If you start putting the kiddy gloves back on after you've taken them off, then the suspense starts to fade. Death should have real consequences, and the PCs should have a reason to be afraid. Otherwise, you can just do whatever you want in an encounter, confident that you'll survive regardless of what happens.

    I suppose this is similar to railroading, but it just makes me even more angry than normal railroading. I can understand the railroading impulse; it can be hard to make a plot, and you want to see it through. But reducing the danger of an encounter during the fight always cheeses me off.

    "Whoops, that's a x4 critical hit with a scythe from a raging ogre barbarian. How much hp do you have? Uh... wow, he rolls all 1's... and um... you're at -1 hp..."

    Bull. If you're going to give your raging ogre barbarian a scythe, be prepared for obscene crits, and don't tell me my level 3 wizard survived. The x4 power attack damage alone should have cleaved my head clean off!

  24. - Top - End - #54
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    I hate spectating.

    I hate standing around and watching NPCs fight other NPCs. I hate when my abilities fail for no reason. I hate when my abilities 'fail' for thinly justified and entirely arbitrary reasons. I hate getting knocked unconscious in the first round of a battle. I hate Dominate, I hate Confusion, I hate the Panicked condition. I hate nearly every spell with the [Mind Affecting] tag. I hate being punished for trying something different. I hate getting ignored or interrupted when I want to say something. I hate when I don't get a chance to re-interrupt the NPC who just interrupted me. I hate long chunks of text and time without any opportunity for me to act or contribute.

    I hate being prevented from making a decision, and I hate when my decisions become irrelevant. Pretty much everything else is gravy.
    Last edited by Fishy; 2009-10-17 at 01:27 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishy View Post
    I hate Dominate, I hate Confusion, I hate the Panicked condition. I hate nearly every spell with the [Mind Affecting] tag.
    Nothing makes me happier as a DM when a character bans enchantment. It's a double-edged sword; having NPCs that took hours to make suddenly becoming mind slaves is really frustrating.

    I personally think enchantment and telepathy are more evil than necromancy, both morally and from a mechanics perspective.

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    What do I think makes incredibly poor experiences?

    The GM vs the Players syndrome

    This can go both ways, actually. If the players act like they're trying to win or the GM is trying to beat the players. It's meta-gaming at it's worst. The concept of role-playing is for the GM to set up the world and the situation and let the players react to it in a fashion that makes sense. As I said, both players and GMs are guilty of meta-gaming and it's really annoying for me to both run a game where players are doing it and to play in a game where anyone else is actively doing it and not trying to avoid it.

    Railroading

    The act of forcing your players to do your plot. It's only ugly if the players know it's happening and feel like it's not a choice. Realistically all campaigns that aren't purely sandbox games are railroads. You have an objective. You try to lead the players to it. If you do it in a way that's fun and seems to the players to be fluid and reactionary to what they're doing it won't feel like railroading.

    As an example, I had players once kill the BEBG while he was part of the adventuring party... he was supposed to stumble into an artifact that corrupted him and gave him some funky powers. Did I say he wasn't killed? Nope. I just had them go on a tangent for a few sessions until it made sense to the storyline that there was another BEBG who, as it happened, was doing the exact same horrible stuff that the first one was going to do.

    DMPCs

    I hate them. They're for when the GM wants to play a godly character that no one would have possibly allowed in another game. Leave that kind of thinking at the door. Regular NPCs can be part of the group, but their job is to help out when the PCs get stumped by something... and even then they don't really do a lot other than provide sounding posts for the PCs.

    My NPCs are there to provide reactionary entities for making my players role-play a little more, have a sub-plot that can be either investigated or ignored at the players' choice, or add a little to round out the group's abilities. They are never to take the spotlight in anything but a transitory way.
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  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    What I hate most are players who aren't honest with you.
    Not a single one of the campaigns I've ever been in has gone past their fifth session. By that time there are always people who suddenly decide to stop playing yet aren't willing to say what's wrong and just make up excuses as to why they can't make the next session until the DM just gives up and stops asking. I've seen this happen again and again as both a player and a DM.

    As for railroading... worst DM I ever had tried to force the plot of Looking For Group on us, word for word and action by action. His notes were literally a transcript of the first ten comics or so.
    The lack of originality was absolutely staggering. Needless to say, that campaign died rather quick.
    Last edited by Freshmeat; 2009-10-17 at 01:40 PM.
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by CockroachTeaParty View Post
    One of my big personal beefs is when a DM starts conveniently sparing PCs who otherwise should by all logic be dead.
    Yes, this bugs me too. But it winds up in the larger railroading bin.

    I once played a character who encountered an divine aberration when he was some distance away from the party while scouting. He started leading it in the other direction to give my party time to escape. When it announced that it could tell my PC was leading it away from the party it attacked. I fully knew this was going to happen. Instead of giving my character a death fitting a hero the DM decided to have some deus ex machina happen and he survived. I have been gaming for over 20 years and I have never felt so cheated in a game.
    Game systems played: D&D Basic (and other rainbow coloured boxes), AD&D, D&D 2, D&D 3 & 3.5, Champions, GURPS, Warhammer, Cyberpunk, Rifts... and more I can't remember.

    Current Campaign(s): Savage Worlds post apoc.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishy View Post
    I hate getting ignored or interrupted when I want to say something.
    This. Even though I'm interrupting the other players all the time, otherwise I can never get a word in. Still, I interrupt to say stupid things too often but I'm working on it.

    I've spent ALL of my rp experience with the dm running a fellow pc in the party and it only bugged me once (the dm's character was way more competently built so it was a lot more powerful and I felt a little superfluous*) but the dm got bored of it and switched back to his old one so it's no issue at all. I don't really recognize any of the complaints against it but I could be lucky and a bit oblivious.

    *Currently playing Shadowrun 4e, dm's magician had 16 dice to resist drain and 20 when using Centering while mine only had 13/15. Thanks to some undeserved karma I'm currently at 14/16.
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  30. - Top - End - #60
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: What do people hate?

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    And sometimes (mostly my group for some reason), the players really LIKE an NPC the DM has made, and so asks them to tag along and be with the party as party members. Really, I've had players drag NPCs along and force me to flesh them out into full characters who chill with the party and be party members. Strange, but true.
    Tell me about it. In my current multiversal campaign, the players got really attached to a particular Imperial Guard sergeant when they were forcibly drafted into the Guard. He didn't have a name, because the squad was supposed to be almost annihilated. But he survived by a miracle of luck, and the players liked him, and he started rolling awesome rolls, and in the end they brought him with them when the world they were fighting in was finally overrun with Orks and they escaped to another dimension. So now the scarily practical sergeant John Russ is a permanent fixture of the party. They even got the man a Device energy crossbow, and I had to upgrade him from PL 6 mook to full-fledged PL9 hero (they're 10, but I like to keep the party npcs a bit below).

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