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Thread: TPK rant/advice

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default TPK rant/advice

    Note: This is not at all a poke at the TPK's happen thread.

    This is an explanation of what happened over the last two sessions my group had. My character, if it matters is a straight cleric 18.

    Preface: We are at level 18, we have super items (1 each) that have leveled with us since level 15, but are undergolded to compensate.

    Session 1: We begin the session where we left off after having fought 3 encounters, so we are low on spells/resources. We have an incredibly difficult encounter against 3 undead designed specifically to challenge us (I think an Initiate of the seven fold veil counts as being tough). I end with about 2 spells of over 5th level left after beating them.

    We are about to go through a door when each of us gets a vision telling us to not go through the door. One character doesn't want to go through, and my character, who I've been playing more and more as paranoid agrees. But, sadly, plot (and by plot I mean the DM) demanded that we go through. We enter the room and in 'port 2 Mariliths, 3 or 4 other high CR demons and devils and 2 pit fiends. Walls of force are erected over all the walls and some effect that bars planar travel is activated to prevent us from leaving. The demons and devils are given a surprise round to unload spells on us and then move in for the kill (almost all of them activating antimagic fields to make it so we... can't do anything). We get pwned.

    Now, I have no problem with a character dying: adventuring is dangerous. I have no problem with there being consequences for the actions a character takes. I don't really even have all that much of problem with the DM deciding that all the characters are going to die, though it certainly makes me less attached to my character. My problem is that we were forced to roll the dang encounter out when we were clearly intended to die from the beginning and absolutely nothing we did could have saved us. Instead of roleplaying and developing my character, I just sat there and tallyed damage until my character died. Oh, that was lots of fun.

    The session ends, and what a great ending point it was, might I say? We are given sheets of super characters that are supposed to be the items that have leveled with us that are going to come out and fight the demons and devils that destroyed us so completely.

    Session 2. The characters we were given were so obscenely powerful that only two of them even took damage taking down all the demons and devils. But it took us forever to actually roll everything out (hooray for iterative attacks!). Again, this was clearly, clearly designed to be something where we could not lose, but again we were forced to spend and incredible amount of time playing the whole thing out when the DM could have just said, "These dudes of super-badassery appear and kill all the demons and devils, think about how weak you are in comparison." The super characters (mine actually) resurrect everyone and don't even talk to them before fading back into our items. No roleplaying. No character growth. Nada. I don't care about these characters, I care about the character that I've been playing for almost a year now (if you count the lower level campaign he was in earlier) and for many hours over the two sessions I didn't do anything with him except sit there and watch a scripted battle.

    It gets worse. One of the players plays a non-powergamed soulknife multiclassed all over the place. He's so weak that he can't compare to the main party tank (who is powergamed way beyond the other characters.) He'd been looking to change out characters because his actually ended up casting more spells from wands than my cleric cast at all. Oddly enough, he was the player of the other character that didn't want to enter the room of doom but was forced to. I'd been looking to change to a character that is more fun to play and I can roleplay in combat since we are getting absolutely no out of combat roleplaying. The two of us put a huge amount of work into making these new characters. We even had an amusement park/blink dog preserve in its own demi-plane. The entrance to which the other guy took the time to build using the Deus Ex game engine (with golems, traps, even tables, chairs and pools included.) We worked for about a month on designing all this stuff, pooring over books of awesome creatures that we could stick in the park.

    The DM flat out refused. Apparently the upcoming plot is so railroded into involving our super special items that it can't handle any character changes. Even if those characters have more reason to go adventuring on this crazy quest to kill a freaking god-thing. We ended the session right then and there because the DM didn't know what to do. What a bloody waste of time. Two weeks down the drain (and really late making me behind on sleep nonetheless) for nothing.

    Advice: DM's please don't ever railroad your players into doing something they well and truly don't want to do. D&D is supposed to be cooperative. Its not you playing a song and expecting all the puppets to bounce along to the tune.

    Just had to get that off my shoulders. Thanks for taking the time to read.

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    Kizara's Avatar

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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    How old is your DM?

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    We are about to go through a door when each of us gets a vision telling us to not go through the door.... But, sadly, plot (and by plot I mean the DM) demanded that we go through.
    So the DM is explicitly telling you, in-character, not to go through the door, and then he turns around and tells you, out of character, that you have to? It sounds to me like your DM is a wee bit confused.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    My DM is 20. Her boyfriend also plays. His character is the overpowered tank.

    Yes, the visions were the items telling us that we would face an overwhelming challenge that we could not hope to win if we went through the door. Funny that some of us, you know, wanted to actually listen to them.

    Not only do we have to die, we have to die by being stupid: out of spells and mysterious vision telling me not to enter the room? Forget that, I totally want to see what's in there.
    Last edited by Thrawn183; 2008-03-31 at 08:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrawn183 View Post
    My DM is 20. Her boyfriend also plays. His character is the overpowered tank.

    Yes, the visions were the items telling us that we would face an overwhelming challenge that we could not hope to win if we went through the door. Funny that some of us, you know, wanted to actually listen to them.

    Not only do we have to die, we have to die by being stupid: out of spells and mysterious vision telling me not to enter the room? Forget that, I totally want to see what's in there.
    So pretty much your DM forced you to be too dumb to live?

    Sounds like a couple of DMs I've had. See if you can derail the plot next time they try to do that.

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    Goblin

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    confused Re: TPK rant/advice

    You could always plan ahead of time with the other guy you made a character with, so he knows whats going on and then take a watch while everyone else is asleep and declare you have received a vision from your god which requires you kill that player's character and then commit suicide because of it.

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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    Or you can try to sneak up some Candles of Invocation or whatnot and start the loophole hell. Nothing more disruptive then a buch of free wishes leading to hordes of Epic Monsters totally loyal to you.

    Or, you could try talking to the DM, express your concerns reasonably and try to work a pleasant gaming experience out of dialogue, if you want the boring way.
    Last edited by FinalJustice; 2008-03-31 at 09:18 PM.
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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrawn183 View Post
    Advice: DM's please don't ever railroad your players into doing something they well and truly don't want to do. D&D is supposed to be cooperative. Its not you playing a song and expecting all the puppets to bounce along to the tune.

    Just had to get that off my shoulders. Thanks for taking the time to read.
    I truly hope this was the exception and not the standard you expect from the DM. But if it is the standard, why are you gaming with them instead of with another group? Assuming it's an exception, I'd find a tactful method of letting the DM know it wasn't fun. Hopefully that will be enough to get back to gaming. Good luck!
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    Sounded like the big ending fight in NWN2 up until the antimagic fields. How did they activate those?

    Using AMFs to jump and destroy PCs is too easy - it works on any high level party. Trap them in AMFs, they're dead. The DM can't have been surprised.


    Switch DMs already.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    Fun things to do before you quit:

    Destroy your important magic item. A Disjunction should be fine for this, if you can get your hands on a way to cast it. If you can't destroy it, give it away to a random NPC, or (even better) to a villian. Even better, steal everyone else's important artifacts and destroy them, or Disjunction your entire party (after dropping your plot-essential magic item, so it gets disjuncted, too.) A Rod of Cancellation might work if you lack Disjunction.

    Come up with an excuse, then team up with your friend to kill the DM's boyfriend in his sleep. You could also do this immediately after the above; he'll probably be a lot less awesome immediately after being disjuncted, and the one thing a soulknife can do is keep fighting in that situation (or just have your friend stand out of range of the disjunction, remembering to leave his plot-essential item in range again.)

    Alternatively, you could just try and sell your super-item. If you need an excuse, just say that your character is freaked by the way you died before, and has decided that getting rid of the item and laying low so they don't get ambushed like that again is the best choice. After all, you can say, your character wants to adventure. They didn't sign up for these antimagic ambushes, and you're perfectly willing to give up a powerful magical item if it will keep you from being a target for this sort of thing.

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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    Before killing Cheesy McUber, cast Rage on the Soulknife. Blame the death of the tank on that.
    Beforehand, show as little respect for your super item as possible. Say you got a mace. Use it to break open nuts. A cloak? Tablecloth. Armor? Sharpen stuff on it.
    That oughta annoy the DM up a storm.
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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillion View Post
    Fun things to do before you quit:

    Destroy your important magic item. A Disjunction should be fine for this, if you can get your hands on a way to cast it. If you can't destroy it, give it away to a random NPC, or (even better) to a villian. Even better, steal everyone else's important artifacts and destroy them, or Disjunction your entire party (after dropping your plot-essential magic item, so it gets disjuncted, too.) A Rod of Cancellation might work if you lack Disjunction.

    Come up with an excuse, then team up with your friend to kill the DM's boyfriend in his sleep. You could also do this immediately after the above; he'll probably be a lot less awesome immediately after being disjuncted, and the one thing a soulknife can do is keep fighting in that situation (or just have your friend stand out of range of the disjunction, remembering to leave his plot-essential item in range again.)

    Alternatively, you could just try and sell your super-item. If you need an excuse, just say that your character is freaked by the way you died before, and has decided that getting rid of the item and laying low so they don't get ambushed like that again is the best choice. After all, you can say, your character wants to adventure. They didn't sign up for these antimagic ambushes, and you're perfectly willing to give up a powerful magical item if it will keep you from being a target for this sort of thing.
    Some pretty nice ideas here. I mean, probably not a great idea if you want to continue associating with these people, but if you want to go out with a vhemenent *F U!!* then this is the way to go.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrawn183 View Post
    It gets worse. One of the players plays a non-powergamed soulknife multiclassed all over the place. He's so weak that he can't compare to the main party tank (who is powergamed way beyond the other characters.) He'd been looking to change out characters because his actually ended up casting more spells from wands than my cleric cast at all. Oddly enough, he was the player of the other character that didn't want to enter the room of doom but was forced to. I'd been looking to change to a character that is more fun to play and I can roleplay in combat since we are getting absolutely no out of combat roleplaying. The two of us put a huge amount of work into making these new characters. We even had an amusement park/blink dog preserve in its own demi-plane. The entrance to which the other guy took the time to build using the Deus Ex game engine (with golems, traps, even tables, chairs and pools included.) We worked for about a month on designing all this stuff, pooring over books of awesome creatures that we could stick in the park.

    The DM flat out refused. Apparently the upcoming plot is so railroded into involving our super special items that it can't handle any character changes. Even if those characters have more reason to go adventuring on this crazy quest to kill a freaking god-thing. We ended the session right then and there because the DM didn't know what to do. What a bloody waste of time. Two weeks down the drain (and really late making me behind on sleep nonetheless) for nothing.
    I sympathize completely with the hate against railroading. I think you should talk to your DM about why you didn't enjoy the last session before doing anything drastic, however.

    Also, why didn't you ask your DM about the theme park before investing a huge amount of time into designing it?

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    Just tell the DM are you disinclined to continue playing with them because you aren't having fun and feel like you're just wasting your time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dragon View Post
    Just tell the DM are you disinclined to continue playing with them because you aren't having fun and feel like you're just wasting your time.
    I agree with this. just talk to your DM, if they arnt a bleep they should understand and see about making changes.

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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    Drop the DM already. Find someone who is up for actual DM'ing, as opposed to living out a personal power fantasy with no meaningful interaction from the players. Seriously, you'll be happier when you do.
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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    DM of the Rings, anyone?

    Seriously, if the game isn't interactive, stop playing. If everyone else feels the same way you do, suggest starting a new, less boring game. If not, find a new group, or DM yourself.

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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    So, demons and devils were in the same room and they didnt kill eachother...? Thats not quiet right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadJuJu View Post
    So, demons and devils were in the same room and they didnt kill eachother...? Thats not quiet right.
    If they were summoned, they might *have* to cooperate on whatever they were summoned for. Or they might just decide to knock out the PCs before taking on their rivals.
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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    I would rather develop split personalities and play a campaign by myself than participate in a game run like that.

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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    Seriously, I wanted to write a couple of pages with all of my ideas... but everything comes down to one important piece of advice:


    If you have the self esteem to do it, quit the game and tell the group (and yourself) that you have more important things to be doing.


    I don't care what you end up doing you will have spoken the truth. Unless you enjoy the feeling of hitting the wall with your head, or have significant stocks in your pain medication of choice, you'll be doing everyone a favor and will be happier for it.



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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    If they were summoned, they might *have* to cooperate on whatever they were summoned for. Or they might just decide to knock out the PCs before taking on their rivals.
    Well...the problem with that is: If there were summoned, there's a good chance they'd have blinked out in the AMF that they themselves put up.
    To get around the chance of blinking, maybe there were called. In which case, they have no obligation to help the person who called them in the first place...so, they'd kill each other anyways.

    This is a case of bad DMing and Shenanigans. (Shillelaghed Shenanigans, no less.)
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    Yes, there were Demons AND Devils. I believe they worked together because they were sent by a god. We're trying to fulfill some prophecy (which was stuck on us the moment we began the campaign.) It hasn't exactly been explained why we CAN stop this god because... well its a god for goodness' sake!
    The prophecy itself is completely meaningless until we get to the next point in the plot where someone explains what the next part of it means. We just go where they tell us to and kill anything in our way.
    When the DM wanted an explanation for desiring to change characters and I brought up a lack of roleplaying her response was that she could throw in an occaisional hour in a tavern.

    I'm considering giving her my character sheet and printing off my daily spells prepared list (I track it by computer so that I can change what spells I prepare every game day without destroying the paper I use by erasing so much of it) and quitting. I'm pretty sure she could play my character for me because I already do whatever I'm told to do.

    I'm holding off from doing this right now because I'm feeling a little vindictive at the moment and I'm trying to cool off a little before making a decision. Unfortunately the next session is saturday and it would probably make things easier on her to tell her earlier than the day before.

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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    You should have your character become completely obsessed with the super-item. It tried to save you from death, after all, and when you died anyways, it came and saved you from it being permanent!

    So now your character thinks he hears the item talking to him in his head, and it gets more and more frequent as time goes on. Eventually it devolves into your character sitting in a corner and clutching the item to your chest while rocking back and forth while repeatedly hissing, "Yess, preciouss, those nasty, tricksy demonss, trying to split us apart. But no, I'll not lose the preciouss...I won't put the preciouss in danger again!"
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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    One of my favourite solutions to a DM just not meshing with me has always been to offer myself as DM for another day or a new campaign (i.e. alternate between campaigns, or take a break from the current for a few sessions, etc). I've found that switching up DMs really helps enrich everyone's game experience, plus people who like DM'ing - but not all the time - get a chance at the other end of the table.

    I also find that various DM play-styles tend to rub off on each other, assuming they don't actively dislike each other. This can help improve the group on multiple levels, giving everyone else a different flavour of game (without having to find a new group), and potentially helping your current DM to see a new way to adjust their own style.

    Or, you know, totally destroy the character whose player has the relationship with the DM, and run cackling into the night. It's less 'mature' but, dang, it sure is fun.
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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    If you really wanted to change character, you could simply have been unwilling to be resurrected. The soul has to be willing to come back for the spell to work.

    Of course, if the DM can't handle character changes, that's an issue. I'd try to politely talk it out with the DM, and politely quit the group or drop out for a while to get past it. I would not try to be disruptive in game before leaving - a player leaving will send enough of a message. There's no point trying to ruin the game for anyone who may still be enjoying it if you are going to leave anyway - that will just make you look disruptive and take attention away from where it is due.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrawn183 View Post
    I'm holding off from doing this right now because I'm feeling a little vindictive at the moment and I'm trying to cool off a little before making a decision.
    Good choice.

    About the people suggesting you should wreck the campaign before leaving - why?
    Just leave. Quietly and politely, like a decent person. Just because the DM is lousy doesn't mean you have to be a jerk.

    Personal experience:
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    I had a DM like that once, where I after a couple of sessions told him that I would be staying in the group but waiting to attend sessions until we switched DMs, because I didn't agree with the way the game was run. This story has a happy ending in that he informed me that we probably switched next time.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    Alright, so here's the tentative thing I'm working on now. My DM had put out the possibility of doing a massive rebuild (including massive retcon of my character) into something more fun. My character changed a lot at the end last campaign, and I think I'm going to try and get him back a bit towards what he started out as (personallity and alignment wise.)
    - One of the things I'm gonna see if she'll approve is switching my character from cleric to Favored Soul, because I'm pretty sick and tired of prepared casting.

    I'm also going to politely(!) lay down a few ultimatums about my continued participation in the campaign:
    - People need to be more polite at the table, the last time I tried to cast a spell took a couple of minutes. In the time it took me to say, "I cast a quickened maximized and empowered chain lightning" I was interrupted literally 5 times. I've brought this problem up before, but I really want to hammer it home this time because, obviously, its still a problem.
    - When midnight comes around, I go home. I may be in college, but I have straight 8:30 classes. The last session, I was so tired on the drive home I ran a red light. Staying up really late is just a disaster waiting to happen. (And in this case, I was putting other people in danger in addition to myself). This is another problem I've brought up repeatedly, and it is a problem for more than just me, maybe this time my complaint will stick. I'm willing to make an extra character sheet and just let somebody else play my dude when I'm not there as a compromise.
    - I want to only spend time on things that matter. If a fight has been decided by clear DM fiat, we don't need to waste time on it. Or let us roleplay it (in the case of our decided doom, give us a minute or two to come up with a really cool way of dying so at least it doesn't have such a bitter aftertaste)
    - Everyone needs to bring some kind of dinner that can be eaten quickly. Taking an hour in the middle of the session to cook and eat dinner when we end up running so dang late is unreasonable. Eat a big lunch and just pack an apple and some sandwiches or something.
    - Backstory involvement! I've been running this character for almost a year now and my backstory hasn't come up once.

    Think these are reasonable?

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrawn183 View Post
    [snip]
    Think these are reasonable?
    Yes.filler to make minimum char count

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Denmark
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: TPK rant/advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrawn183 View Post
    Think these are reasonable?
    That sounds reasonable and likely to succeed :)

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