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Volos
2011-01-29, 10:47 PM
When you hear the words 'power gamer' it usually brings to mind the player that takes five classes, the caster with the strangest combination of spells, and the guy who always asks for the obscure feats from third party sources. But I've discovered a new kind of power gamer... DMs.

It came as a shock to me, long time gamer and dungeon master, to discover that there are DMs who play the game for no other reason than to feel empowered by their position as Rule 0. At first I tried writing it off as the players being too out of control or it was just a certian play style I wasn't familiar with. But after attending enough sessions and watching enough games from the sidelines, I was unable to deny the truth... there are DMs who do this sort of thing to their players.

Here's an example of what happened.

The players came to the game session with their character sheets. There had been two or three sessions with these current characters. The DM takes the sheets, tears them up, and tells everyone to make new characters. The next hour is spent building characters to the new specifications. Once that is done there is an hour and a half of gaming. The session starts with a fort, will, and reflex save. The players are told that they fail the saves, even the players who hit nat 20s, they still fail. Everyone wakes up in an 'unknown' place. Clerics cast divination spells and make knowledge checks that by all rights should give them some clues. Apparently that fails. It's a dungeon, so the character with Knowledge (Dungeoneering) gives it a shot. He beats a 40. Knows nothing. This just goes on until the players are frustrated and decide to move on. Evil undead appear and attack the party. They kill the undead (a wright, and some zombies) and recieve no XP or treasure. The DM decides to change their alignment to Evil because they killed the undead. The paladin looses all his class features, the cleric loses touch with his god, and the druid is suddenly a blighter and her animal companion leaves her. The DM claims that the undead were good and that they shouldn't have killed them. (He actually told the paladin they were evil when he detected evil... so not sure where he got that from.) When players come up with unique ideas or try to use their class features, feats, or spells to do something they are punished by being put into a deeper illusion or by having their stuff taken away. When players pretend to like his game and/or suck up to him they get new shiney items or class levels in made up classes as a reward. He controls the player's actions by making the game unbearable if they don't do as he says, but give them tiny rewards often enough to sucker them into staying at the table. Somehow it works and this sort of insanity continues for a whole hour and a half. Once it was all over, he told the party that the entire thing was an illusion and that none of it ever happened. Apparently this DM runs Call of Cthulhu but instead of a dark god who is going to end everything it's just a game where everything is illusions until you go mad. From what the players and ex-players of his games tell me, he gets off on making everyone miserable in his games and never allows anyone to do what the rules clearly state that they shoudl be able to do. I'm not sure why anyone still plays with him, and I have saved a few from his terrible games by invitiing them to mine. I tried explaining why his game wasn't fun for anyone and what he could do to fix it, but then his behavior just got worse. Now only the most desperate of gamers play with him, though I still don't know why. Perhaps they haven't known anything better...?

I'm just wondering, has anyone else had a DM do something like this? Even on a smaller scale, has your DM used the game as a position of power over the gaming group as a whole? Have you as a DM done this? What do you think of this sort of DM? And have you encountered and successfully corrected this sort of behavior in a DM (yourself or someone else)? I'd like to help this guy realize what he is doing if he doesn't already. And if he knows what he is doing and is just playing that way to be a terrible person it isn't any wonder that only two people play with him now.

DragonOfUndeath
2011-01-29, 10:53 PM
I'm amazed 2 people still play with him. That guy is an as*. I would leave as soon as the Alignments changed. Maybe before that when he tore up sheets.

Savannah
2011-01-29, 11:02 PM
See, that's not a "power gamer". Power gamers are generally nice people. That DM would be what I call a "[word-I-can't-say-on-this-forum]". I've heard of that sort of thing, yes, but never played with one. I have played with a guy who was so fond of his DMPCs that he'd bring them back campaign after campaign. It got to the point that regular players could instantly identify a DMPC and list what he was like....I don't play with that guy anymore.

Czin
2011-01-29, 11:06 PM
That's the sort of person who I'd say has "an anti-imagination" not only is he a total and absolute control freak, but his plot is so horrible that as someone who loves to write and make stories that it's like a physical punch to the gut for me. He doesn't deserve his players at all and should be ashamed for being such a horrible DM on all accounts. He's no power gamer, if he were; he'd simply be making minmaxed/optimized monsters, what we have here, is a straight out arseweasel.

Greenish
2011-01-29, 11:10 PM
Seriously, if you want your players to start locked into a dungeon, you just tell them that that's where they are, instead of the farce with unpassable saving throws.

But still, I wouldn't call that a power gamer, since that usually means people trying to build a really powerful character (or, if DM, really powerful opponents), not someone going power-tripping by tormenting players.

dsmiles
2011-01-29, 11:15 PM
That's insane. He has players left?

DragonOfUndeath
2011-01-29, 11:16 PM
I agree with a bunch of people in this Thread. This guy isn't a Power-Gamer. He is an As*hole. Making stuff up doesn't a power-gamer make.

Lurkmoar
2011-01-29, 11:21 PM
And I thought my first GM who subjected my characters to fates worse then death for mere slights was bad...

Seriously... how have the players not revolted yet? o_O

Does the guy own the building or something? I'd call that person a few choice names, but not a power gamer. Griefer is one. Troll is another.

Vknight
2011-01-29, 11:25 PM
If I had stories about this I would mainly be insulting myself but I do have three good ones from times when I have stepped from behind the screen.

Case 1 (4e)
At a wizards event. I bring in a Level3 Gnoll for the level 1-4groups. The Dm asks if I've done events like this before my response. "No?" he then tells me to make a level 1 character because it only fair. Every one is level 3and 4. They all vote for the high level encounters. I plan to lower my characters level to 1 DM tells me no. Instead tells me to make a new character. I make a Monk. 25minutes in I figured out who the big bad is and try to trick the guards that I work for him with a 'Bluff' Nat20 his response you fail & they beat you. So I walk away 1Surge Latter.
We later come back and I'm pissed at this point after an encounter with Goblins were they got a surprise round and dropped me to 1. I use I daily and devestate them with what should be a surprise round. Dm tells me I can't do that and we got to roll intiative. I still go first.
The guards survive and peg me with there encounter powers and action points. I am now dead not unconsious dead. He tells me that I can make a new character for the next event.

Case 2 (2e)
I am playing this on a different forum. The Dm is constantly changing everything that he has told us earlier. The druids were supposedly 1group noe there 2 one which is at war using gurrelia tactics well the others just yell at the king. They were originally one group my plan get them to take down the king under pretences of a peace settlement. Nope now they are 2different groups. My idea to make Golems can't until level10. We end the campaign at level 10. My characters goal for Lichdom as a good Lich nope, only evil and not until level 10.
The story is currently focusing on the cleric who is a jerk to my character for him doing things logically. These include telling the Fighter who in character she likes to take the lead. She also has wings that give her flight that she never disscussed with the Dm. My guy has multipul personality disorder and the Dm says I'm being unfair playing him like that so he is now evil.
I killed a thief that stole some of our money the Dm says that the people are less trusting of you. This happened in a dungeon.
The Cleric in character does not know this happens but has become even more jerkish and Lawful Stupid.
Does not help that the Dm keeps praising her somehow she is got a great prophecy that is even known amognst the elves.
It has steadly gotten worse.

Case 3 (4e)
Railroading. Good guy also a friend of mine like Case 2. Infact Case 2 played a Lawful stupid Fighter in this that hated my character for killing evil creatures.
At one point we encounter an Arch-Druid calling us worshippers of Tiamat. No reason infact we just killed a lot of Tiamat worshippers about 1-2hours in game time ago. His reasoning, we have a Tiamat symbol and my character is destroying some statues of Tiamat.
I agree to come along so those every other person but he knocks us out and takes us back to the Elf village he is from. The same village I in character am from. Think about that.
We are almost executed. But saved for no reason none we did not get to defend ourselves they just decided they wouldn't. So we take the 2magic items we have and ask for 2items of equal level that could be found in a elven village. They come back with some 'Perfect Shot Bracers' (Something like that) and a 'Lightning Halberd'.
The Halbred sounds good right. Nope are Fighter is a Brawler not Great Weapon.
I say we leave the village and we try but every level we are interrupted by more elves saying things and generally trying to stop us or steal from us.
We finally make it out then the Dm informs us the village is burning behind us.
Both in and out of character I say we leave them. The Fighter he goes back in and the Dm awards him 100role play Xp. Me I take a 50Xp deduction for bad rp. My response they don't like me I respect that I was raised by the villagers but I'm not going to risk my neck for them.
The Shaman agrees with me and takes no Xp penalty because he is unaligned.
The Dm then informs me I am now evil for what I have just done.

Grommen
2011-01-29, 11:31 PM
A power gaming DM would be surprised that someone rolling a "20" would fail the check. He would naturally assume that all the characters are made like his and he would make NPC equal. Most likely encouraging your all to make better characters.

You mileage might vary.

This DM is a power tripping fool. Leave him be, and he will go away.

Vknight
2011-01-29, 11:33 PM
A power gaming DM would be surprised that someone rolling a "20" would fail the check. He would naturally assume that all the characters are made like his and he would make NPC equal. Most likely encouraging your all to make better characters.

You mileage might vary.

This DM is a power tripping fool. Leave him be, and he will go away.

I agree I think we should all post are own stories as I have done

bloodtide
2011-01-29, 11:40 PM
The example DM was not a power gamer. He was a power tripper combined with a god complex. I consider myself a power gamer type DM. My game is status quo and 'unfair' by the modern use of the word. Everything in my game is powerful, power is everywhere.


I've seen plenty of Power Trip God Complex Dms though.....hundreds. A lot of people who are powerless in real life look to role playing as a chance to have real power. The same way lot of people who are ignored in real life see role playing as a chance to be heard and even worshiped. Simply put, in real life, most people are followers. Only a handful of people are leaders, and only a handful of them are even any good at it. Then you take the typical want-to-be DM:they work a boring job(say in the mail room), they have poor social skills(few people even talk to them), they are not good at expressing themselves(no one listens even when they talk) and to top it all off they have physical social handicaps(slow speech, not funny, unattractive). Then you present them with a RPG game where they are in control, and they let it go to their head.

The second, lesser type, is a Dm who attempts to be a Power DM, but can't handle the Power. A Power DM runs fast paced powerful adventures, with lots of Power. But it's a skill, like anything else.....you can't just sit down and do it as you want to. For example, I've done the 'transported to the mysterious dungeon' about a thousand times. Plenty of players love the fast pace 'lost in a dungeon' type feel of such a game. They can be great fun, if done right. When done wrong...well, you see the results.


In either case, it's hard to help such a DM. They simply won't want any help. They will think that they are perfect and can do no wrong. You could talk to them, but it's doubtful they would listen much. You'd need to be skilled in psychology to get around their mental blocks. anything less then that and they will just feel attacked and go all defensive.

In the natural course of things, most power tripping god complex DMs loses their players(no surprise). One thing that does work is to 'steal' the players and offer them a better game. Even just a glimpse of a good game can set them free.

rayne_dragon
2011-01-29, 11:42 PM
The players came to the game session with their character sheets. There had been two or three sessions with these current characters. The DM takes the sheets, tears them up, and tells everyone to make new characters.

This alone would be enough for me to walk out of the game, if not outright tell the DM off. I can't even imagine anyone showing this kind of blatant disrespect at a gaming table.

dsmiles
2011-01-29, 11:44 PM
Even just a glimpse of a good game can set them free.If you build it, they will come.

Vknight
2011-01-29, 11:48 PM
This alone would be enough for me to walk out of the game, if not outright tell the DM off. I can't even imagine anyone showing this kind of blatant disrespect at a gaming table.

I agree, which is why it made me really sad when my players walked into a death trap we had to end the session next week we come back. They decide ok lets go into the death trap even after we had all these warning and 1week to think about it!
They died 10minutes into the session. We never speak about that campaign, it makes the Wizards player cry some nights.

starwoof
2011-01-29, 11:48 PM
I don't think I've ever encountered a DM that was that bad. I have not had a lot of bad DnD experiences, though I did get evicted from my house because of one of my character's actions though.

I had one DM who was pretty very controlling, now that I think about it. He really hates full casters, and when we played a party that consisted mostly of full casters he just tried to kill us and make us play fighters. Stuff like fighting six hill giants at level 5. He never ever gave us any treasure either. Once he actually brought in another adventuring party to kill us. They were all mage hunting dwarf warrior types. He even brought in the players he had make the characters. They stomped us but we decided to ally with them rather than go for MAD, then we killed the BBEG (a blue dragon) who our necromancer and I then raised as a skeleton.

So... I have very mixed feelings about that game.

EDIT: I myself am a power gamer DM, of a sort. I like my monsters to be tough and strong, but I also charge up my players a lot. I have a lot of houserules that increase the power of characters, such as adding their CON score to their hp at level 1.

Vknight
2011-01-29, 11:53 PM
I don't think I've ever encountered a DM that was that bad. I have not had a lot of bad DnD experiences, though I did get evicted from my house because of one of my character's actions though.

I had one DM who was pretty very controlling, now that I think about it. He really hates full casters, and when we played a party that consisted mostly of full casters he just tried to kill us and make us play fighters. Stuff like fighting six hill giants at level 5. He never ever gave us any treasure either. Once he actually brought in another adventuring party to kill us. They were all mage hunting dwarf warrior types. He even brought in the players he had make the characters. They stomped us but we decided to ally with them rather than go for MAD, then we killed the BBEG (a blue dragon) who our necromancer and I then raised as a skeleton.

So... I have very mixed feelings about that game.

That sounds both awesome and sucky. Iwant to met this guy trade notes but also smack him upside the head.

huttj509
2011-01-30, 12:03 AM
Power Gamer is different from Powertripper.

:-)

Vknight
2011-01-30, 12:08 AM
Not by much though

GoodbyeSoberDay
2011-01-30, 12:11 AM
Silver lining: He's not Psycho DM as presented by That Lanky Bugger.

Vknight
2011-01-30, 12:13 AM
Exactly if he was Psycho Dm who knows what else could have happened

DragonOfUndeath
2011-01-30, 12:16 AM
If he was Psycho DM *shudder*
Thank God he ISN'T Psycho DM

starwoof
2011-01-30, 12:19 AM
My last DM actually evicted me from my house.

Greenish
2011-01-30, 12:19 AM
Silver lining: He's not Psycho DM as presented by That Lanky Bugger.I should hope no one will have misfortunes to rival Lanky's.

DragonOfUndeath
2011-01-30, 12:22 AM
Yeah being stabbed AND Psycho DM is NOT something you would wish on someone.

umbrapolaris
2011-01-30, 12:38 AM
I've seen plenty of Power Trip God Complex Dms though.....hundreds. A lot of people who are powerless in real life look to role playing as a chance to have real power.

but they are still powerless, depend of you. when, with my 1.94m, 94kg and pair of army boots, a DM i knew start to abuse his position; i told him with a very calm voice, that he become "annoying" and if he continue in this way he may be "smite" by me. suddenly the game becomes more enjoyable for everyone after that.

Kylarra
2011-01-30, 12:53 AM
but they are still powerless, depend of you. when, with my 1.94m, 94kg and pair of army boots, a DM i knew start to abuse his position; i told him with a very calm voice, that he become "annoying" and if he continue in this way he may be "smite" by me. suddenly the game becomes more enjoyable for everyone after that.I strongly feel that resorting to physical threats is one of the worst possible ways to resolve a problem DM.

umbrapolaris
2011-01-30, 12:58 AM
I strongly feel that resorting to physical threats is one of the worst possible ways to resolve a problem DM.

in most case yes, but some people dont understand by words.

this guy was not at his 1st try, other players complain about his "DMing" many times before, without success.

it takes me 1mn to solve the case, by words, surely more and may aggravate the situation and reinforce the feeling he is "powerful".

luckily my intimidate roll was high enough, i didnt need to "smite" him. ^^

Volos
2011-01-30, 01:12 AM
My last DM actually evicted me from my house.

Since it is in line with the topic of DMs who take their in game power (and try to extend it to out of game power) too seriously, how did this happen? Was the DM the owner of the house or your roommate or what? I was forced to be a DM to a group of people because they took me in for a year. They wanted to play 8 times a week. I am not joking. Some days we played in the morning, took a nap, and woke up to play again in the evening. Our longest session was a straight 35 hours of gaming with no rest. There were bathroom breaks, but only when they allowed it. I was practically a prisoner. So I used the game to break them down mentally, make them paranoid every time we gamed. It was terrible, but I had to fight back in some fashion. I don't do that to my players anymore, heck... I don't even concider those people players.

Vknight
2011-01-30, 01:17 AM
Since it is in line with the topic of DMs who take their in game power (and try to extend it to out of game power) too seriously, how did this happen? Was the DM the owner of the house or your roommate or what? I was forced to be a DM to a group of people because they took me in for a year. They wanted to play 8 times a week. I am not joking. Some days we played in the morning, took a nap, and woke up to play again in the evening. Our longest session was a straight 35 hours of gaming with no rest. There were bathroom breaks, but only when they allowed it. I was practically a prisoner. So I used the game to break them down mentally, make them paranoid every time we gamed. It was terrible, but I had to fight back in some fashion. I don't do that to my players anymore, heck... I don't even concider those people players.

That sucks. That just sucks. My stories are bad. Your stories rival Lanky's they rival his stories.
My pity and sorrow and best wishes go to you friend.

Lurkmoar
2011-01-30, 01:18 AM
One of my first experiences with D&D was when I was played as a solo character (no DMPCs for better or worse) with my good buddy at the time. I was 12.

A foul paling has set over the land ever since dark lord of the night, Baron Vacu the vampire took residence in the abandoned castle of Dougal. The head priest of the Silver Dawn has tasked you to travel Springim and drive the dark lord back into the Abyss that spawned him.

Oh, and your equipment is a broad sword, dagger, chain mail, a water skin, backpack with supplies, bedroll, a grappling hook and sixty feet of rope. You might want to write that down.

And so began my quest... that was doomed to failure.

After a carriage ride that took me to a neighboring hamlet, I got to walk forty miles on foot toward Springim. I had encounters during the day, and I was ambushed twice at night. On the second night I was ambushed by five ghouls and got my butt stomped so bad I had to abandon my camp and everything except my wallet, weapons and armor. I barely made into the village when the head priest turned the ghouls away.

At this point I asked the obvious question why the priest couldn't handle the damn vampire. My friend said he was pushing 80 and had a bad hip.

So I tell the priest that I'm here to stop the vampire. Priest says I'll need holy water to aid me. I say, okay, please give me a vial of holy water. The priest refuses and says I must do some tasks to prove my worth. I inwardly groan. So then I say, well, if you're not serious about helping me free YOUR town, I might as well leave. I get to the front gate and wouldn't you know, there's a freaking army of ghouls outside. Real subtle.

I hunker down and ask the priest what I need to do. So he gives me a bunch of CHORES. Clean up the stables so I can borrow a horse to ride. Sweep the church to prove I'm humble enough to carry forth the water of Saint Cuthbert. And then bring water from the well and heat it up so the priest could take a bath. As I did the last task I thought about drowning the freaking priest. Wish I did considering what happened next...

By the time I finished everything it was already dusk. I ask the priest if I can sleep in the church and head out tomorrow. The priest says no and kicks my ass out. So, my character, still exhausted from the trip to Springham, not fully healed from the earlier encounters was heading off to fight a vampire when night was only an hour away.

When I reached the castle, it was mostly in ruins. Poking around a bit, I found some sort of well or fire place still standing. With nothing else to check out I started climbing down and then had this exchange:

GM:"A massive fireball flies up toward you as venture down the old fireplace!"
Me:"Oh crap! I use the holy water the priest gave me!"
GM:"You were too late in sprinkling the holy water and take 14 points of damage. The holy water vial shatters and darkness begins to cloud your vision. What do you do?"
Me:"Climb out!"
GM:"Too bad, the vampire grabs your ankle and drags you down. Later that evening you're his snack."
Me:"...."

Vknight
2011-01-30, 01:20 AM
We all need new Dm's or Players. I mean we really need them this is both sad, distirubing, and just plain horrible.

starwoof
2011-01-30, 01:43 AM
Since it is in line with the topic of DMs who take their in game power (and try to extend it to out of game power) too seriously, how did this happen? Was the DM the owner of the house or your roommate or what? I was forced to be a DM to a group of people because they took me in for a year. They wanted to play 8 times a week. I am not joking. Some days we played in the morning, took a nap, and woke up to play again in the evening. Our longest session was a straight 35 hours of gaming with no rest. There were bathroom breaks, but only when they allowed it. I was practically a prisoner. So I used the game to break them down mentally, make them paranoid every time we gamed. It was terrible, but I had to fight back in some fashion. I don't do that to my players anymore, heck... I don't even concider those people players.

Uhh, wow, your story is pretty intense. Mine kinda pales in comparison.:smalleek:

He wasn't actually DMing at the time and it wasn't entirely dnd based, but he did own the house I was living in and he did kick me out when I tripped his half orc. The arrangement I had with him was that I would help out with groundskeeping on a large property, and that I would be compensated with housing. I didn't work quite to the level he was hoping for (I worked roughly as often as he did, which was rarely). We also have somewhat conflicting personalities.

He did end a few arguements while DMing with 'I let you live here, so stop arguing with me', but not often enough for me to remember specific times. In the game in which he booted me my CG fighter had subdued a bandit and was interrogating him after combat. The bandit said he was working for [the bad guy]. The problem player was playing a CN (read: CE) orc barbarian and attempted to kill my prisoner. I attempted to trip his orc to stop him and he blew up on everyone, then booted me from the house.

If this hadn't happened during a time he was a player I am almost sure it would have happened while he was DMing. DnD really gets his rage up, and as a full caster my cleric had many rage inducing abilities. So while this anecdote isn't 100% applicable to the 'powertripping DM' thing, its still like... 60%, I'd say.

Kelvara
2011-01-30, 01:44 AM
in most case yes, but some people dont understand by words.

this guy was not at his 1st try, other players complain about his "DMing" many times before, without success.

it takes me 1mn to solve the case, by words, surely more and may aggravate the situation and reinforce the feeling he is "powerful".

luckily my intimidate roll was high enough, i didnt need to "smite" him. ^^

I really hope you're joking, which I doubt since you edited your post to change hurt to smite. That's just incredibly stupid to go around threatening people with violence just because you don't like the way they run the game.

For god's sake, if you don't like someone, don't play with them!

Volos
2011-01-30, 02:16 AM
That sucks. That just sucks. My stories are bad. Your stories rival Lanky's they rival his stories.
My pity and sorrow and best wishes go to you friend.

Thank you, it was a very dark time for me.

Uhh, wow, your story is pretty intense. Mine kinda pales in comparison.:smalleek:

He wasn't actually DMing at the time and it wasn't entirely dnd based, but he did own the house I was living in and he did kick me out when I tripped his half orc. The arrangement I had with him was that I would help out with groundskeeping on a large property, and that I would be compensated with housing. I didn't work quite to the level he was hoping for (I worked roughly as often as he did, which was rarely). We also have somewhat conflicting personalities.

He did end a few arguements while DMing with 'I let you live here, so stop arguing with me', but not often enough for me to remember specific times. In the game in which he booted me my CG fighter had subdued a bandit and was interrogating him after combat. The bandit said he was working for [the bad guy]. The problem player was playing a CN (read: CE) orc barbarian and attempted to kill my prisoner. I attempted to trip his orc to stop him and he blew up on everyone, then booted me from the house.

If this hadn't happened during a time he was a player I am almost sure it would have happened while he was DMing. DnD really gets his rage up, and as a full caster my cleric had many rage inducing abilities. So while this anecdote isn't 100% applicable to the 'powertripping DM' thing, its still like... 60%, I'd say.

I think that guy just had a rage problem in general. There is no rational person who would get that upset over something like "I attempt to trip your character." Ending player VS DM arguments with "I let you live here" isn't acceptable. Even if the player is being disruptive or disrespectful, the DM doesn't have to resort to such tactics.

The thing about my situation was that the people I was staying with lived in the middle of the desert away from any major settlements or roads. I couldn't walk to the next anything, even in the 'winter'. In the summer I was dying of thirst inside of the house because the whole place was falling apart and couldnít keep any cool air inside. DMing allowed me access to water and food and shelter, so I used it to keep myself alive for nearly a year. I had the players argue with me, and I had to be careful how I worded things or I might get booted from the house. With how they were playing, they really didn't need me. I was just convenient and easier than trying to run the game themselves. I had to continually come up with new material and level characters higher and higher. They died often enough that they barely hit epic before I was able to escape move out. I lowed the amount of XP they got from encounters and they never complained cause the didn't know what was going on. Basically I had to become an awesome DM in terrible circumstances to ensure my survival. If I became boring to them, I would be kicked out in the heat of summer in a desert with nowhere to go. I might have made the 30 mile walk to the nearest gas station for water. Some of the neighbors might have taken pity on me, but it was kinda hopeless. I got out because an old friend of mine decided to get me out of there when she had room in her place to do so.

umbrapolaris
2011-01-30, 02:27 AM
I really hope you're joking, which I doubt since you edited your post to change hurt to smite. That's just incredibly stupid to go around threatening people with violence just because you don't like the way they run the game.For god's sake, if you don't like someone, don't play with them!

i was serious, the means justify the end. yes it is stupid, but it is not my habit to threaten people.

i put the context:

the dm is the elder brother of my friend who very casually play with my party but heavily play with his friends an brother.

the brother start to abusing the rest of my friend party. they told him many times he was unfair, but he didnt even try to discuss (of course my friend has no voice), just say if u dont like my way, find another DM. the problem is my friend party cant buy books or are able to DMing by themselves. and they are used to play with this DM.

so my friend ask me to play just one session with them to see if they are right or not.

i saw him try to abuse me,for example: when he saw than my rogue defeated a bit too easily his encounters by hit & hide tactics (i played a rogue for this time, if i played my usual wizard he may have room to validate his abuses). he instantly give super-human senses and true seeing devices to almost every mobs we encounter, disclaiming his BBEG has a massive amount of ressources and over-equipped his army...

Kelvara
2011-01-30, 02:46 AM
That sounds like absolutely no reason to threaten violence. I don't know where you live, but that's illegal in many places. If someone seriously did that to me I'd call the police.

It's an incredible overreaction to a game to threaten to hurt someone. If you don't see that's wrong, well, then there's something wrong with you.

MeeposFire
2011-01-30, 02:57 AM
Yea I would seriously leave your game if I saw you threaten another player with bodily harm even if it was not me even if the threatened player was a complete jerk. I would have a hard time being in a game where I could not trust that I can be safe from harm since somebody threatened another over a game.

I would think that is was a bluff on your part to show you were not happy but your actions could have very big impacts on people that you cannot foresee. For instance would I feel comfortable arguing with you in game (or out of game) when I have seen you threaten another?

I am probably laying it on a little too thick but I do hope you are exagerating the events a bit or something.

umbrapolaris
2011-01-30, 03:13 AM
That sounds like absolutely no reason to threaten violence. I don't know where you live, but that's illegal in many places. If someone seriously did that to me I'd call the police.

hahaha. sorry if this hurt your feelings. but the case was resolved , the dm understood he was wrong, and i never heard any problem anymore. so i did it well. If i punch him without warning, then i am wrong.

where i live are nothing to do with my action. in every country people threaten each other by many ways. your boss/teacher ask you to do your job/homework and if you refuse he will fire/give you a zero. it is a threaten, will you call the police? i dont think so. there is a difference betweeen intimidate and execute the menace.

im mature enough to know the limit i can cross or not. some people are smart , you dont need to threat them, just talk with good arguments. others dont want to listen, then you have few choices.

my friend ask my help , i used the fastest way.

MeeposFire: of course, it was a bluff...

Volos
2011-01-30, 03:45 AM
@umbrapolaris: You're a military guy, right? I'm going to guess military. Cause normal people don't threaten to punch other people. I have had to do so in some dire situations, but not when it came to something as trivial as a game.

umbrapolaris
2011-01-30, 05:46 AM
@umbrapolaris: You're a military guy, right? I'm going to guess military. Cause normal people don't threaten to punch other people. I have had to do so in some dire situations, but not when it came to something as trivial as a game.

not at all, i did my military service like everyone, im am a computer technician actually.

me too, i dont threaten someone except in some specific and rare cases but this guy is making every member of his party a fool in total impunity and even me a newcomer. and i really dont like that kind of disrespect and i dont care in-game or IRL. but im not a psycho, so i just warned him, he should stop.
he was not stupid and reacted accordingly. few weeks later the others thanks me coz since my "threat" he apologize to them for his behavior.

sometimes people who use to be together lost the basic respect they should have to each other until a stranger remind it to them.
like a children who dont listen his parents until his favorite uncle remind him.

Comet
2011-01-30, 06:45 AM
The stories listed in this thread are the exact reason why I play only with people who I am already friends with and who I trust not to be hurt in the head.

Let's face it, roleplaying games are about fantasy. Fantasy attracts geeks and nerds. A good portion of these people are smart, fun people to hang around with. An equal portion, though, are people with no social skills who escape reality into imaginary lands where they can do whatever they want without having to actually look people in the eyes.

The ones who don't get along with the outside world do fine with video games and such. It's their world, with their rules.
But when it comes to tabletop roleplaying, other people step into the picture. Now the non-compatible person goes into a panic of sorts, so they decide to shield themselves with the game at hand, trying to compensate for their lack of sociability with an intense drive for the game. If that person is the GM? Bad times follow.

Power Gamer isn't really the term. Nor is Power Tripper, though that might be applicable in most situations. 'Crazy' might do it, but that's a bit extreme and only applicable in some cases. Whatever the word, these people just don't get along with people, either in general or in this specific environment.

umbrapolaris
2011-01-30, 07:23 AM
absolutly, it is why sometimes a good punch make them leave the matrix ^^ (joking)

stainboy
2011-01-30, 10:23 AM
That DM sounds inexperienced more than anything else. When you give NPCs high-powered magic items to counter low-level abilities, the PCs kill them and take the items. And True Seeing doesn't even do anything to nonmagical stealth.

umbrapolaris
2011-01-30, 10:28 AM
That DM sounds inexperienced more than anything else. When you give NPCs high-powered magic items to counter low-level abilities, the PCs kill them and take the items. And True Seeing doesn't even do anything to nonmagical stealth.

it is what happened ^^ but he instantly said that the item was bonded to the npc...and for true seeing i asked the wizard to cast invisility on me.

Vknight
2011-01-30, 11:42 AM
These stories are all pretty bad.

This is why I Dm with my players because they would cause these stories.

Kelvara
2011-01-30, 01:09 PM
where i live are nothing to do with my action. in every country people threaten each other by many ways. your boss/teacher ask you to do your job/homework and if you refuse he will fire/give you a zero. it is a threaten, will you call the police? i dont think so. there is a difference betweeen intimidate and execute the menace.

There's a difference. Threatening to fire someone is not illegal, threatening to punch someone is illegal.

You can attempt to justify it how you wish, or to claim you're not a violent person, but the fact is you threatened someone with violence over a game, and that's wrong.

Unrest
2011-01-30, 01:16 PM
"Pretty bad"? Nightmare fuel, really. There was a story-article here once that talked of just that, but I can't find it.

I'm wondering whether to say something on the whole 'violence threatening' thing... And honestly, there's just the feeling of powerlessness engulfing me. What I see here: one stance is that of "civilisation" - not ever using direct power, humanistic approach, every unit is to be healed uninvasively (or in that case, by what you imply, simply neglected and ignored); and the other is of... In my mind, I don't call that 'primitivism' - far from that! It's healing through fire. Getting the job DONE. And you know... because I know that No-One would ever bother to really try to talk the guy out of the power issues he has or subject him to any sort of social treatment, and because honestly, no member of the society that knows him will ever give s* about him, I condone of what umbrapolaris decided to do. Because long-term 'social treatment' was not really an option - a failure of the whole Western society soaked with its overindividualism - choosing a short-term solution was what umbrapolaris decided to pursue. And so far, it looks like it remedied the situation.

If this guy - the abusive DM - one day goes Virginia Tech-style, I won't think of umbrapolaris as "this guy that bullied the DM into killing people 10 years later". I do believe that every experience shapes a person and being threatened to be used force against does as well in a wholly negative way. But despite this, my first thought will be of the people who walked out on the guy. Not directly accusing those that propose this solution - it's that sick society's way of functioning, after all. We're all screwed in our heads by that.

tl;dr We're all sick, unloved and unloving, simple as that.

@Kelvara: sounds like you would say that if threatening violence against someone was considered legal, then it would be just as okay as threatening to fire someone. The fact that sacking someone may have an objective, actually work productivity-related reason does not mean that it cannot be as subjective and unfair as kicking someone for the hell of it. More often than not, the consequences are as dire. Screwing someone's living over 6 months is as bad to me as doing the same over 6 minutes.

Kaww
2011-01-30, 01:32 PM
There's a difference. Threatening to fire someone is not illegal, threatening to punch someone is illegal.

Legal and illegal varies. In some cultures cheating your spouse is punishable by death. In others it's a common thing. Narcotics, alcohol - somewhere it's illegal somewhere it's not.

Now, what is necessary violence also varies. There are whole books on the subject. Most of them agree that benign violence is the one that solves problems (you threaten to fire somebody because they sleep on the job), and malign one spawns more problems than it solves (you threaten to fire someone because you don't like them).

Threatening somebody, that can't find another job, that you will fire them is worse than threatening to hit them. If you hit someone once who cares. If you deprive a parent of means to feed his children you did something bad.

That's how I see it. And if you are not doing anything bad you, most likely, will not get in a situation where people threaten you.

Kelvara
2011-01-30, 01:49 PM
Legal and illegal varies. In some cultures cheating your spouse is punishable by death. In others it's a common thing. Narcotics, alcohol - somewhere it's illegal somewhere it's not.

:smallsigh: This is why I said I wasn't sure if it was true where he lived, and he said it was not important where he lived. Did you read what I wrote?



Now, what is necessary violence also varies. There are whole books on the subject. Most of them agree that benign violence is the one that solves problems (you threaten to fire somebody because they sleep on the job), and malign one spawns more problems than it solves (you threaten to fire someone because you don't like them).
Threatening somebody, that can't find another job, that you will fire them is worse than threatening to hit them. If you hit someone once who cares. If you deprive a parent of means to feed his children you did something bad.


This case involved physical violence. And this is why I made a point of noting that he was threatening violence over a game. Seriously, did you bother reading?




That's how I see it. And if you are not doing anything bad you, most likely, will not get in a situation where people threaten you.


That is hardly true, there are plenty of violent psychopaths and sociopaths out there who will threaten or attack people for no real reason, or no reason at all.




@Kelvara: sounds like you would say that if threatening violence against someone was considered legal, then it would be just as okay as threatening to fire someone. The fact that sacking someone may have an objective, actually work productivity-related reason does not mean that it cannot be as subjective and unfair as kicking someone for the hell of it. More often than not, the consequences are as dire. Screwing someone's living over 6 months is as bad to me as doing the same over 6 minutes.

There are situations where violence is both legal and acceptable, such as if your life is in danger. This was very far from one of those situations.

And of course firing someone can be subjective, and firing someone because they're a bad DM would be awfully bad. You're just making some random straw man argument here, simply because it's bad in one case doesn't make it bad in every case.

Edit:Messed up quotes, fixed somewhat.

Kaww
2011-01-30, 02:25 PM
I did read.



where i live are nothing to do with my action. in every country people threaten each other by many ways. your boss/teacher ask you to do your job/homework and if you refuse he will fire/give you a zero. it is a threaten, will you call the police? i dont think so. there is a difference betweeen intimidate and execute the menace.


You were answering to this.^This was the answer:


There's a difference. Threatening to fire someone is not illegal, threatening to punch someone is illegal.

You can attempt to justify it how you wish, or to claim you're not a violent person, but the fact is you threatened someone with violence over a game, and that's wrong.

The underlined part states it like this is applicable everywhere, or at least that's my understanding. Tho I am not a native speaker so I might be wrong.


:smallsigh: This is why I said I wasn't sure if it was true where he lived, and he said it was not important where he lived. Did you read what I wrote?

If you do not claim to have some power over future, you can't seriously say that you answered to what he had written before he had actually written it.


This case involved physical violence. And this is why I made a point of noting that he was threatening violence over a game. Seriously, did you bother reading?


I am pretty sure I would've called his bluff. And from what I understood it was a bluff.

As for a world full of maniacs that wish to hurt me - I'm glad I don't live in one...

Unrest
2011-01-30, 03:00 PM
There are situations where violence is both legal and acceptable, such as if your life is in danger. This was very far from one of those situations.

The context for your statement "There's a difference. Threatening to fire someone is not illegal, threatening to punch someone is illegal." made it sound as if that was the major / only perspective of looking at it, and the only point you were trying to make: that the difference is solely in the arbitrary property of legality.



And of course firing someone can be subjective, and firing someone because they're a bad DM would be awfully bad. You're just making some random straw man argument here, simply because it's bad in one case doesn't make it bad in every case.


Could you restate the argument I was making in your own words? I'm getting the feeling there might have been quite a load of misunderstandings along the way ._.

@Kaww: glad you resolved that time vortex, I couldn't get Kelvara's answer to your points really :smallconfused:

umbrapolaris
2011-01-30, 09:27 PM
ok ok , i feel Kelvara think i live in a barbaric country...

i lived in France, now in vietnam since 2 years and i spent many years in USA when i was child, i went to school there. and i travel a lot.

so i think i am more open about many different cultures thet most of the people.

about my comparison :

if i am a boss of a company, and my worker often show me some disrespect or dont do the job he is supposed to do; i rather prefer to kick his butt once instead of firing him.

1- i kick his butt, he angry with me, feel abused but after some time he calm down and (maybe) recognize he deserve it. change his behavior. story end everybody his happy. but i cant do that coz he may sue me for bad treatment.

2- i fire him, in the worst case, he cant find a job, cant pay the renting of his house, his wife/gf quit him coz he cant feed his children, he become homeless, and by desperation, he suicide... it is legal what i did , but i cause the death of someone.

both cases happened to people i know...

we live in a violent and unfair world, it is not what we expect when we are born, if i knew maybe i will prefer stay a spermatozoid.
violence happen every minute in the world but most of them is ignored by us coz it dont involve in our lives.

yes , i choose the most barbaric approach to resolve the case, i used violence as a tool; and i succeed.
in my hand violence is a tool not a way of life. in some states in USA, you have the right to own a gun all times, show off it to prevent someone to attack you (with all the abuse it generates). it is a threat more aggressive than my threat of punch... in my country it is illegal to own a gun.

BIGMamaSloth
2011-01-31, 12:00 AM
Does anyone have a link to lanky's post? now I'm interested in hearing how awful it was.

umbrapolaris
2011-01-31, 12:04 AM
Does anyone have a link to lanky's post? now I'm interested in hearing how awful it was.

im interested too.

Lurkmoar
2011-01-31, 12:44 AM
im interested too.

Which one? Where he was stabbed by his now ex-girlfriend or where crazy DM threw a rock through his window?

umbrapolaris
2011-01-31, 12:51 AM
Which one? Where he was stabbed by his now ex-girlfriend or where crazy DM threw a rock through his window?

really? coz the game?

Black_Zawisza
2011-01-31, 12:56 AM
Today, I fought in a solo coliseum match, and Iím feeling pretty pissed because of the odds my DM threw at me. Iím a Factotum 9. Iím fairly optimized (I use Font of Inspiration, but without any Cunning Surge nova shenanigans).

In the country weíre in, arcane magic is punishable by burning at the stake. So while in the arena, I canít use any flashy spells, and I can only use spells with subtle effects by making a fairly high Sleight of Hand check (Cunning Knowledge, which allowed me to add my level to the check, allowed me to do that once but no more). So my main strength is gone there. Additionally, I canít really use magic items to help me, because the net worth of everyone in the party is about 6000 each.

My opponent was an Shock Trooper Warblade 10 (if youíre unfamiliar with it, Shock Trooper allows you to subtract from your AC when Power Attacking while charging instead of your BAB). The arena was completely flat, so I couldnít take advantage of difficult terrain, which would prevent him from charging. The funny thing is, the DM messed up NPC creation and gave him the maneuver Iron Heart Endurance, which allows him to regain a number of hit points equal to twice his level. But itís a sixth level maneuver, which can only be first acquired at Warblade 11. When I pointed that out, he rolled with it anyway. ďEh, heís Level 10.5 or something.Ē

As far as I could tell, basically the only way I could beat this guy was if I Charm Personíd and Messageíd him that I had a girlfriend in the audience and asked him if he would let me win without being too obvious about it. But that felt really cheap to me, so I didnít do it and now I feel like I was punished for that decision.

So the question Iím asking is: Is this a Power Gamer, as defined by the OP? Is this situation a...Problem, Playgrounders? *trollface*

GoodbyeSoberDay
2011-01-31, 12:58 AM
really? coz the game?In-game flirting, but yeah.

The Psycho DM. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23784)
Psycho DM, Part TWO!!! (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93633)
The Psycho... ex girlfriend! (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=95189)

I might be missing the story between the second and third links where there's a guy who fakes being Lanky in front of him, and it turns out he'd based a lot of his life off of that lie.

umbrapolaris
2011-01-31, 01:03 AM
When I pointed that out, he rolled with it anyway. ďEh, heís Level 10.5 or something.Ē

exactly the case i had, he deserve a "threat" ^^

MeeposFire
2011-01-31, 01:12 AM
So the question Iím asking is: Is this a Power Gamer, as defined by the OP? Is this situation a...Problem, Playgrounders? *trollface*

No this was not a powergaming problem. This was a problem of the situation and DM design. Whether or not the warblade was optimized or not was not the problem. Too bad you did not have the elusive target feat as that would make his feats worthless.

Kaww
2011-01-31, 02:55 AM
Today, I fought in a solo coliseum match, and Iím feeling pretty pissed because of the odds my DM threw at me. Iím a Factotum 9. Iím fairly optimized (I use Font of Inspiration, but without any Cunning Surge nova shenanigans).

In the country weíre in, arcane magic is punishable by burning at the stake. So while in the arena, I canít use any flashy spells, and I can only use spells with subtle effects by making a fairly high Sleight of Hand check (Cunning Knowledge, which allowed me to add my level to the check, allowed me to do that once but no more). So my main strength is gone there. Additionally, I canít really use magic items to help me, because the net worth of everyone in the party is about 6000 each.

My opponent was an Shock Trooper Warblade 10 (if youíre unfamiliar with it, Shock Trooper allows you to subtract from your AC when Power Attacking while charging instead of your BAB). The arena was completely flat, so I couldnít take advantage of difficult terrain, which would prevent him from charging. The funny thing is, the DM messed up NPC creation and gave him the maneuver Iron Heart Endurance, which allows him to regain a number of hit points equal to twice his level. But itís a sixth level maneuver, which can only be first acquired at Warblade 11. When I pointed that out, he rolled with it anyway. ďEh, heís Level 10.5 or something.Ē

As far as I could tell, basically the only way I could beat this guy was if I Charm Personíd and Messageíd him that I had a girlfriend in the audience and asked him if he would let me win without being too obvious about it. But that felt really cheap to me, so I didnít do it and now I feel like I was punished for that decision.

So the question Iím asking is: Is this a Power Gamer, as defined by the OP? Is this situation a...Problem, Playgrounders? *trollface*

I don't think he is. From what I see you had couple of solutions with "subtle spells".

Command, Suggestion, Unluck, Grease on his weapon, Blindness/Deafness - it's dismissible. There are many more, these were just the ones I could think of while writing this.

As for the warblade flub. If that happened to me I would've corrected myself. Since well, it's just an honest mistake. I definitely wouldn't say he's lvl 10.6(!?) since this leaves room for the players to do the same. Believe me if a DM pulled that on me I would ask for new spells/skills when on a 0.6 of a lvl.

As for WBL - this is an example when VoP is a powerful feat. It is also very common for DMs to stray from the WBL tables (this is not an accident, well usually). Personally I prefer to give about 80% of the table value as "the loot", since I give my players the opportunity to acquire enough resources to have ~ 110-120% of the adequate WBL.


Unrelated, or is it? - Last two sessions I played as a player were played in a city in which spellcasting was punishable by death. Nobody got to cast spells. We have a sorcerer, a cleric, a bard and a rogue in the party. It was still quite fun since we got to solve everything by roleplaying and skill checks. You might think that this pushed the rogue in the spotlight, but it didn't. Everybody got their share. So grateful I have a good DM...