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Shiro
2005-05-23, 01:00 AM
Hi all!

There's always 'praise your DM' threads at most sites, so now here's one for not praising!

Post your horror stories about DM's, games and groups!


I've been in, I think, four groups. My latest is one I'm technically still in, but have been 'kicked out of,' for the duration of the current campaign.

This group is usually good. One player always charges in and somehow manages to avoid death (usually scoring far too much bonus XP for roleplaying and such). Another plays combat beasts, and intentionally gets his non-combat-PC's killed so he can play something else. Another refuses to help out when his PC can get killed, stating arguments like 'I can't get there,' or 'my PC wouldn't get himself killed.' And another whinges when things don't go his way.

But it's a good group, all in all. Lots of fun.

It's the DM I hate.

He's a homebrew champion. He never runs games in Faerun, but in his own worlds, with his own rules. He hates casters with a passion, so outlaws them (unless you're his brother-in-law). He rules things in favour of realism, instead of the actual rules. Usually a good idea, but not always apt.

In all our games, we've reached no higher than level 5. This is because he feels that 'levels above 5 are just silly.' We've never seen a magical item, and usually pay more than triple the price (with half the gold gathered than normal) for most magic or masterwork items.

I need a new group! But it's hard, living in South Australia.

Sir_Banjo
2005-05-23, 02:28 AM
Move up to the Sunny Coast, mate.

Our group has been losing members lately, so some fresh blood would be good.

But seriously, have you tried talking to him about it?

Or maybe even change dm for a campaign? That's what our group does and it works quite well.

Shiro
2005-05-23, 02:33 AM
Move up to the Sunny Coast, mate.

Our group has been losing members lately, so some fresh blood would be good.

But seriously, have you tried talking to him about it?

Or maybe even change dm for a campaign? That's what our group does and it works quite well.

Well, I'm not exactly going to move just for a D&D game. ;)

But we've tried talking about it. He feels that he's justified, and generally tells people to deal.

As it is, he kicked me out of the current campaign in favour for someone that he dislikes DMing for!

Gordon
2005-05-23, 02:42 AM
But we've tried talking about it. He feels that he's justified, and generally tells people to deal.


Then his game is never going to change, so you'll just have to accept that fact. Instead, you get to learn to GM-- and offer a new game, on a night other than the one he runs on. That's the solution I chose when I got fed up with a GM who was cheating us. Feel free to invite him or not as a player, as long as it's clear that you're the GM of your game and your decisions are the ones that are final here. :)

You may find it's a ton of fun running, and that the rest of the group will take turns so you can play again. You may find you need to find new players to help bulk out the group-- but I find it better to have too few than too many. Too few can always be bulked out with hirelings and redshirts. Too many makes it hard to rp, and hard to coordinate a schedule.

Good luck with your choice! :)

ChubsMcGee
2005-05-23, 05:44 AM
So just as an addition to what Gordon said. If you haven't DMed before it may take a little bit of the mystique out of the playing as a PC, because now you know what the "rules" are. Though I've not had that problem, but one or two of my friends have had it. And as I am sure you know, DMing is a lot of fun, but also alot more work. And I have one small suggestion, something that my DM did, and that I do, if you have your characters roll for stats require that one be under 10. At least for me it made me feel like my character wasn't incredible at everything. Kinda forcing a little weakness in the characters. Good Luck!

Back on the real topic of this thread:
I haven't been in too many groups but in the last group I played in there was one player that did get on my nerves a bit. Actually a good player for the most part, but I think I had problems with the kind of characters he would come up with. I guess it was he wanted to be the overpowered character, he wanted to be the drow ranger, or the half celestial, or some specialized spear fighter that gets all sorts of mad bonuses for no real reason.

Kaerou
2005-05-23, 06:25 AM
I'd just leave if you are not having fun.

Sounds like the worst kind of game to me..

Find an online roleplaying group.

or.. get ahold of Neverwinter Nights and expansions and play on an online persistent world.

Nikolai_II
2005-05-23, 07:12 AM
Encourage your DM to use a system geared for his particular play-style instead.

Warhammer Fantasy RolePlayingGame was recently released in a new edition, and it sounds as it should suit your DM like hand in glove. (At least WFRPG was just like that in the first edition, I have only skimmed the second and there is a risk that casters migyht actually be playable now, but they can always be forbidden away without much ado)

Or try to move to Shadowrun/Cyberpunk, Kult or d20 modern. (I haven't played d20 modern, but I added it as a suggestion should your DM complain that he doesn't want to have to learn a lot of new rules - but from what I gather d20 modern has considerably less magic ;))

Or go for something outlandish - there are still fanbois printing Space 1889 and Twilight 2000 as far as I know :P

Allis
2005-05-23, 08:36 AM
Hmmz, most of my DM's read here...

I had one once, that kept describing all area's inside whatever as "little rooms" and ALL creatures as "little creatures"

"you enter another little room, and you see a little creature"

"well, I step on it!"

"the little creature is 10 feet tall, has red, glowing eyes, horns, and isn't pleased you stepped on him..."


Like I wouldn't notice the horns, the eyes and especially the fact that it's 10 feet tall in the first place. As if I can get my halfling foot all the way up to its head!...

Ryver
2005-05-23, 10:41 AM
Meh, I've only had one DM. Let's just say that it wasn't smooth sailing.

I suppose there's something to be said for the fact that it was 2nd Ed., which is a lot more complicated than necessary, but he didn't teach us very well.

Then, of course, when he made a mistake, he killed all our characters off, made us make new ones, and started over. Like it's our fault he let a Wood Elf have a Katana. :|

OH YEAH. Then there was this one time he wasn't quite done making an important NPC, so he stuck me in jail while he did it. Not so bad, right? Under threat of bodily harm to my character, I had to escape. There's a door with a bunch of locks on it. Okay, fine. I acquired the keys (think I killed a guard for them), and set about trying to open the door.

There were far more keys than there were locks, and they were identical and unlabeled. Put the key in the lock, FWOOSH, flame trap. Great.

So I'm barely conscious, lying on the floor for a few days (nobody really knew I was there, I guess), and try it again. I eventually find the right keys (after EXPLODING a few more times), and get about halfway, then screw up. Not only do I explode again, but the lock resets.

All while he's here picking skills for this chick I was supposed to meet, only looking up to say, "Wrong one. Roll a d6 for damage."

Did I mention I was level 1?

Oh well. Now I'm out on my own, learning 3.5Ed. by myself... and setting out to be a better DM than he ever was. ^^

Gerrtt
2005-05-23, 11:30 AM
The worst DM/game experience I ever had was actually one that never happened.

It was supposed to be an enlightening experience where we were going to learn AD&D instead of playing 3.5 and the DM that was supposed to run it always seemed to have something going on that kept him from writing anything...3 months later I gave up on him and left the group...shortly followed by the other members who were waiting for someone to make the first move.

Severus
2005-05-23, 11:51 AM
I had a GM I played some games with for a while, but had to drop. One of the other players was his ex-girlfriend. Ok, a little wierd I thought.

Then I found out he's living with her. Weirder.

Then we play, and it all becomes clear. He is absolutely desparate to get her back, and she seemed to enjoy leading him around by his privates. So if any other player did something that she didn't like, she'd whisper in his ear after the game, and next week he'd come back and announce some kind of change to make it better for her, and to screw us.

So my spouse and I thanked him, told him the game wasn't right for us, and we'd be looking for a new one. He seemed genuinely upset and surprised. Go figure.

LooseCannon
2005-05-23, 01:04 PM
Ohboy. *I get to post one story, and maybe I'll post some more later, since I have had...my fair share.

Actually, this first story didn't happen to me, but I got to hear all about it. *Anyway. *At our school there is a society of RPG players. *There's about 60 people in the society, and the executives encourage the various members to play with different people, so that you get exposed to all sorts of different types of roleplayers and DMs. *We also, since we're in a university environment, encourage that you play responsibly. *That is, no more than twice a week, so that you have time for things like homework and projects.

Now, at the beginning of the year (September, 2003), one of the players who was obsessed with AD&D cornered a group of our beloved "n00bs", as we affectionately call the frosh who join the society. *Normally, one of the executives runs a couple "orientation sessions", during which new players get a chance to become familiar with D&D and the d20 system, as well as to get familiar with role-playing. *It's a bit of a task, considering there's anywhere from 5-15 n00bs per year, and you have to run this with all of them. *But the AD&D DM (as I'll call him) secluded his small group of players from the rest of the group.

The result, after the first term, was that these six people had played with noone but themselves, despite the fact that their games ended periodically. *They ended up playing around four nights a week. *Sure, this sounds not so bad. *Well, here's the player breakdown:

Player 1: Male, the DM considered his character idea inferior, and went out of his way to try and kill the character so many times as to reduce his constitution to 0 from the resurrections. *Total deaths: 25.

Player 2: Female, the DM's girlfriend. *Never died. *Got everything she ever wanted.

Player 3: Female, the girl the DM wanted (and, to this day, is still trying to get into the pants of). *Got pretty much everything she ever wanted. *Someone always married her characters.

Player 4: Male. *No matter what they were playing, this guy always played the odd man out. *If all the party was evil, he was a paladin. *If all the party was good, he was an assassin.

Player 5: Male. *No matter what, he was the comic relief. *His characters were usually (and still usually) geared for role-playing. *Since 99% of the adventures were hack-and-slash, he was always made fun of.


By October, the DM had publically annouced his intention to kill Player 1's character until he could be killed no more. *In December, the group's campaign ended with an epic battle of good vs. evil. *The premise: the gods were destroyed by their infighting, and now the mightiest of the two sides have to decide the victor in a massive battle. *Oh, by now the DM had converted to D&D 3.5.

Wow, what a SNAFU. *Alright. *Most of the PCs were on the side of good. *Meanwhile, Player 1's character had been killed (no duh), but the DM gave the option to raise him as a lich, and to lead the forces of evil. *The Player said yeah, and asked the club's VP to help him build the lich and the lich's mount, a great wyrm red dragon, using "any books you want to."

Obviously, the combination is huge. *So the two armies are assembled. *During the battle, Player 2 (the DM's girlfriend) uses an Orb of Dragon Control on the big ugly red dragon. *The big dragon - obviously - passes the DC 30 will save:

Player 2: That's not fair!
DM: Okay. *There's no save then. *The dragon is under your control.

Anyway, the player immediently ordered the dragon to kill itself, which is against every single mind-control spell that WotC (and I'm pretty sure TSR) has ever come up with. *The dragon's spell is broken, so on its turn it kills 4 titans. *Then the good wizard casts imprisonment on the lich. *So the lich is out, but there's absolutely nothing left for the army of good, and this massive, powergamed dragon is about to ream the hell out of it.

DM: An entity, a being higher than the gods, comes down and declares good the victor.
Club VP, Player 1: But the battle's not over! *We were just about to win!
DM: Yeah, but evil can't win. *That's not allowed.
(I need to note that when this happened, the VP was rolling the dice to attack the girlfriend's character, who looked like she was about to cry.)


Anyway. Player 1 is now upset (understandably). But they continue playing after the Christmas break - and play more often - every day a week for the first month! Player 1's character continues to die. Eventually, he stands up and leaves, after a fairly sad ruling by the DM:

The PCs are fighting 2 beholders. Player 1's PC charges in and is stoned. During the battle every other PC is stoned, killed, or incapacitated except the paladin, who simply cannot fail the saving throws without rolling a 1. Eventually, the last beholder is about to die. Rather than continue to fight, he turns, looks at the array of stone PCs, and uses his disintigration ray to destroy - you guessed it - Player 1's character. That was it. Player 1 up and left.

The two ended up almost in a fistfight. At the end of the year, we had a long talk with the two fellows. Neither have played with the other since, and I am pleased to say that most of the other players have since played with, and been much happier with, other DMs.

But I do have more horror stories from the annals of Imagine X.......

Gerrtt
2005-05-23, 01:22 PM
Wow....just...wow...

I've taken measures to try and kill off a PC before, an action I wasn't totally proud of (but he was driving me nuts with his cheating/rule bending), but killing that PC every session and more? Wow...

LooseCannon
2005-05-23, 01:23 PM
The worst part is that, near the end, these two guys were at each other's throats every day. We usually eat lunch/supper together, and there were just constant arguments. So yes, it is a D&D horror story, of the utmost.

Gerrtt
2005-05-23, 01:31 PM
Yeah, reading that reminded me of another one:

My old group (which I had played 4 other games with no real fighting) decided that my girlfriend was stealing me away and hoarding my soul, and rather than confront me about it decided to post it on the internet in a blog. This of course happened 2 days before our next planned session, and rather than talk about the little spat we were having they wanted to just play DnD despite the fact that I was royally pissed at the way they were treating my girlfriend when we tried to talk about it and solve our problems later...apparently DnD is more important than friendships are to them...and I haven't really talked to any of them since. It's not that I'm unwilling to forgive them, I just feel we have nothing to talk about anymore.

Ancilla
2005-05-23, 01:54 PM
Back in college, I knew a horrific GM, a guy who saw D&D as a battle between the DM and the players. His job, he thought, was to beat the PCs. An example of his tactics. We use ESP on the goblins and all they think is "KILL KILL KILL." They use ESP on our scouting rogue, and learn all of our plans -- even though the rogue didn't know what the plans were.

I played a little then quit, but a friend stayed in his campaign. One night he comes to me, all upset. He had actually managed to get a character up to 7th level... and he died. Between taxes, expenses, raise dead costs, and "dungeon use" fees, the party was deeply in debt. If he didn't come up with 500 gp, fast, his character was history.

"No problemo," I told him. "Get me an invite to your game and I'll get you out of hock."

"You don't understand," he moaned. "Most monsters only have a few silver. We've never even HAD 500 gp." I told him to trust me -- and he got me invited to next Sunday's game.

I roll up a fighter. 1st level, standard starting gear. When we came to the first door I said, "I run up and kick it open."

The DM starts snickering happily. "The door was trapped! Fire sprays out, doing... 20 points of damage to you. You're dead!"

Party strips my corpse. I smile and roll up another fighter. We make it to the second door. "I kick it in."

DM snorts and chuckles. "A rock drops on your head, doing 7 points of damage."

Me: "What's on the other side of the door?"

DM: "Fifteen goblins."

Me: "I charge 'em."

Cleric: "Uh, you've got 2 hp. Want me to heal you?"

Me: "Nah, save your spells."

DM: "Hee hee hee, hahaha! Three arrows slam into you doing... 12 points of damage. You're DEAD!"

Me: "Cool." <starts rolling another fighter>

And so the evening went. The monsters we killed did, as predicted, drop about 50 gp of treasure. But I died 15 times. Giving the party 15 sets of fighter starting gear to hawk. And so, by the end of the night, the PCs were indeed out of debt.

The punch-line? As I left (never to return), the DM looked at me in puzzlement and said, "I don't understand how you died so many times. I'd heard you were a good player...."

Nikolai_II
2005-05-23, 02:09 PM
True or not - damned funny in any case.

(And if true, then it is also kind of sad that he never realized he was handing out free loot through you)

LooseCannon
2005-05-23, 02:10 PM
Teehee, comedy gold. I can think of some DMs I know who would be pleasantly blinded by the pleasure of murdering PCs like that.

Severus
2005-05-23, 02:28 PM
Trust me, Ancilla's story is true. Horribly true. Why people played with that GM I'll never know, but I knew him. He really did think it was the GM's job to "beat the players". It never seemed to dawn on him that since he was the GM beating the players was easy and not the point.

I played with him once or twice and never went back.

Ancilla
2005-05-23, 02:53 PM
(For the record, Severus was not the player with the dead character -- that was a mutual friend. Don't want to besmirch poor Severus' reputation by suggesting that he might have played in that campaign! ;D )

MrNexx
2005-05-23, 02:59 PM
Hi all!
He's a homebrew champion. He never runs games in Faerun, but in his own worlds, with his own rules. He hates casters with a passion, so outlaws them (unless you're his brother-in-law). He rules things in favour of realism, instead of the actual rules. Usually a good idea, but not always apt.


He shouldn't be playing D&D.

Really.

Maybe he should try D20 Modern. *Maybe he should try a completely different system which is more geared towards low-magic, high-combat and skills. *I think he would get a kick out of Palladium, which does very well if played that way. *But he really shouldn't be playing D&D. *The style he likes doesn't seem to mesh with a lot of the assumptions of D&D.

Gordon
2005-05-23, 03:51 PM
He shouldn't be playing D&D.

Really.

Maybe he should try D20 Modern. *Maybe he should try a completely different system which is more geared towards low-magic, high-combat and skills. *I think he would get a kick out of Palladium, which does very well if played that way. *But he really shouldn't be playing D&D. *The style he likes doesn't seem to mesh with a lot of the assumptions of D&D.

There are a few low-magic settings I'd suggest for him: Spellslinger, Trojan War, Skull & Bones for starters.

The part that speaks against his running D&D says to me not so much "avoid D&D" as "avoid DMing," because he sees it as his job to beat the players. Paranoia, actually, would be perfect for him.

Falrin
2005-05-24, 04:14 PM
My Worst DM had 1 problem.
He cheated. A lot. He didn't cheat because he liked it, but to "balance" the game. If you hit your enemy for max damage (including power attack, secondary attack, ... ) he never ever went down. He would get some more hp, or a better AC, or some freaking ability. But this isn't the worst, cause, hey, the bad guy Could have had this DR ability, or that much hp., the real problem was, by changing the bad guy, he changed the CR. Wich lead almost to getting beaten up. But did we die? nope, suddenly he gets easier to hit, does less damage, ...
And when he goes down, jippie, we win, aren't we happy we killed him all by ourselves.

Gerrtt
2005-05-24, 04:30 PM
Well...technically it's not cheating cause he's the DM, it actually talks about doing stuff like that in the first chapter of the DMG, but to only do it sparingly, and you certainly shouldn't ever let your players know.

sktarq
2005-05-25, 03:03 AM
Horror story-MAJOR post: *This one went a long way to ending my friendship with the guy who intraduced me to DND 8 years previously.

This was going to be THE BIG GAME. *it had been theorized about for years where my DM (who will go only by A) was going to get all his friends together for a game. *He told us to roll up characters before we got there, or at least he told one group of his friends and said he told everyone. *I rolled up an elven thief. The DM and I co created a world andthis was to be its big introduction....to compensate for player knowledge I gave him lots of profiecy (2e) in local knowledge. The semi-multual friend who was introduced at the same time i was (and with whom i often played) rolled up a cleric, others a mage. However, the day the event was to be played his (the cleric) family was out of town and would have to be introduced in the next session
(3 others had to miss this opening session..2 of whom were of the older style gaming i shall discuss below)(that second session would never happen). *

Unfortunatly by bringing all his friends he slammed together 2 very differently styled groups:

The older(as in had played with him for years) group were deep rollplayers who stayed in Character and considered the Game an acting exercise and way to explore different points of view as much as anything....
The group he had joined when he went to HS was....munckin...loved to get their hands on any new book that may have new rules that would give them an advantage iiin combat and well.....they were into getting that one extra XP you couldn't get by double leveling up by urinating...preferably in public. (at the time you could never get enough XP to level up more than once from a single encounter remaining only 1 point shy of gaining that second level)


The day of....
I found out that the only characters built were a fighter (whose player had never played but lurked with us for years, was the only female, and based her character on Xena) and a ranger (who was (NG), used the falconer kit, and because the guy had lucky dice- none of his scores were below 16).

Then i found out that the DM would be using psionics for the first time....Now I became slightly concered. The lucky dice gave the above mentioned ranger a pair of wild talents for turning into animals and teleporting.
Then somebody made a bard with the jester kit.
Then somebody make a psionisist (sorta noob)
Then somebody created another thief
Then somebody created a third thief
Then somebody created a psionisist with multiple personalites who had different powers, weapon profiencies, and little NG vs NE personality war.
I became seriously concered at this point with where we might be going.


The Game begins
We appeared in the middle of an open field. We are told the party is a couple of miles from the ocean *(and a small forest that ran along the coast) and three days north of a town. The dm says "You're in camp...what do you do?"...(looks confused then points at me.)
"I break camp" next player: "I start a fire",nest says "I break camp", "I change into a brighter costume" (that was the bard), ... the game went down hill from there....it took us three goes round before everybody chose to pack up and head for the coast where we could at least walk in the shade under the trees instead of in the sun on the plain. *

By the time we got there the fighter had kicked the bard, the bard had tied up ... someone, the dual persoanlity psion had switched personalities and had to stop to don his armour and switch his bolas for a mourning star...and I was seriously annoyed. When we arrived at the coast i told them that due to my knowledge of geography (and they all knew i helped build this world) i recomended we go north where a city was to be found five days away...it would be a farther walk but we would have a better chance of finding work in a small city than a small town. That story was a pack of lies. I knew that to the north there was a nasty forest that we set asside as an area that should be limited to PC's 6th lvl and up which was a dead end (this was an archipelago).

*Of cource the party believed me and except for a few more PC to PC bruises we decided to make camp several miles north (being an elf and a thief i put a hamoc in a tree). I went off to get firewood while the rest set up the kitchen and stuff. When i get back, i find that the good ranger has decided to kill the two giant wild boars that have wandered into the camp because "we can sell their tusks"....struck me as very 2e ranger compatible playing (in 2e rangers were always good and love nature and balence and hated overhunting). I go up my tree and just wait for this idiocy to blow over since the boars are trying to GET AWAY...the fighter nearly dies and i let her up the tree with a rope. The psion with the bolas (he switched personalites again somewhere) got hurt and the ranger shoots the second fleeing boar in the bum. This confirms to me that my plan for the night was the right thing for my character to do.
*
I the middle of the night i wake the fighter (who seems useful to have around) and sneak off south. *

We make good time but somehow the ranger turns into first a monkey, and then an Eagle (both times without a power check) and holds the shape change for the entire day it takes to catch up with us. (which i found agrivating since i had left him for a reason but he and i could mesh stylistically when away from the bard and psychotic psion).

The dual-personality psion and the jester head south at movement rate 15 leaving the other theif and other psion going south at movement rate 12 (something to do with their str and con scores led to them having differnt overland speed)
Finnally the third thief continued north for a day before turning around. *
Now this was more of a mess than i had expected. *The only other player besides myself who could have led this motly bunch was the ranger who i had specifically left behind to do just that.
Group 1 (the fighter, ranger and I) made it to the town mentioned at the start of the session. There we stole 2 fine horses and a charger (exceptional horses with movement and str bonuses) we then ran past an orc raiding post and got hit by one arrow. *The bard/psion pair made it to town day and a half later and stole 1 nag (poor quality horse with str and move penalties) that a couple days later turned into two normal horses overnight (just the first of the space time discontinueities we were to see). *They also attacked the reienforced orc raiding post a few miles outside of town. The psion in his evil version (again with power checks or monitereing duration or Psp's) used psionics to "track" the first party down. *
After getting into a bar fight the Psion/thief pair thought they should buy a horse (which they did from gambling proceeds where they had cheated at cards (i mentioned a bar brawl?))...then proceed to get killed when the orc possition was reenforced again to company strength and they thought they could take them all on because they were PC's and the orcs were not.
The final thief had turned around by this point and picked up a highly magical ring somewhere(it was so magical it STANK of magic) and proceeded to steal a horse and thoughtfully rode by the orc battalion where he was reduced to 1 hp by arrow volley fire....he was seven days behind us when the next series of events went down.
A griffon attacked the rangers falcon (who was scouting) and while the bard/psion pair, who were still 3 days behind us, suddenly came round the corner. While this was hapening the griffon got my horse and the ranger teleported onto the griffon's back where a critical to the neck (while we are 1st lvl still) killed it in one blow. * I disappear into the grass in disgust over the space time discontinuity of the psion/jester pair showing up. The ranger (again with no power checks or Psp's) turns into a vulture and finds me...I say fine draw my sword for the first time point it over their heads and say "Tallyhoe". I was actually thinking that whatever i'll just have to live with a party more twisted than a corckscrew. The psion (back in his evil mood today) used adrenilin control to kill me in one hit...the ranger turns into a giant wolverine and those two kill each other by having the same initive and dealing enough damage to kill lvl 1 characters in one hit. *Right about now a thief stuck full of arrows draped over his horse comes round the corner. Somewhere in this mess the bard/jester got in bad shape too. *About this time the sun starts to set (I had walked into grass about 9am...they found me in 20 minutes....we fought for 20 seconds and now it's evening?) and they hear werewolves howling...I tell the fighter to put on the smelly magic ring and walk away from the injured folk who don't notice that they have walked all over three dead bodies...they head off the other way and since no silver was availible i point out that the werewolves are more likly to hunt 2 injured people that then strong confident one smelling of magic. *
The only survivor in the party is the one who has never played before which i thought was ironic enough to be worth a few laughs.

I found out afterward that he, the DM, had quite a campign planned out for us but it started at lvl 3 and he had no plans for how we were to get to lvl 3

I blame the DM for slamming such disparte groups together whichout checking to see how they might mix first. I blame him for not having an andventure for us to do at first level. I also blame the DM for the space time problems and the never asking of power checks or Psp's running out. I blame the other players for not having the basic sence of playing the game for things like breaking camp...not beating each other up, not acting acording to thier alignment...And i blame myself for overreacting and acting childish about it.

Edit sorry bout the grammer middle of the night post i was really going strait from memory to keys without thinking about actually putting into a sensible fashion.

Crilley
2005-05-25, 06:30 AM
Sorry, but I had trouble reading that. Can you post with better grammar? Im not trying to be a **** or anything but it is pretty hard to read.

Gordon
2005-05-25, 09:23 AM
Horror story-MAJOR post: *This one went a long way to ending my friendship with the guy who intraduced me to DND 8 years previously.

This was going to be THE BIG GAME.


Like a train wreck that you can see coming, but can't do anything to stop.

Ryver
2005-05-25, 12:32 PM
In retrospect, it seems that my DM was pretty mild by some standards. o_o;;


My old group (which I had played 4 other games with no real fighting) decided that my girlfriend was stealing me away and hoarding my soul, and rather than confront me about it decided to post it on the internet in a blog. This of course happened 2 days before our next planned session, and rather than talk about the little spat we were having they wanted to just play DnD despite the fact that I was royally pissed at the way they were treating my girlfriend when we tried to talk about it and solve our problems later...apparently DnD is more important than friendships are to them...and I haven't really talked to any of them since. It's not that I'm unwilling to forgive them, I just feel we have nothing to talk about anymore.
Sad to say I know exactly what you mean. Just because I'd rather spend time with her sometimes means I'm whipped, blah, blah, blah.

Needless to say, this "group of friends" turned out to be pretty lousy friends. Haven't seen or heard from them for a long time, good riddance. Hopefully with this upcoming campaign, I'll have the opportunity to build some better memories of D&D. ^^

Gordon
2005-05-25, 01:23 PM
Sad to say I know exactly what you mean. Just because I'd rather spend time with her sometimes means I'm whipped, blah, blah, blah.


Just laugh and say, "Yep, I sure am. Guess I'll just have to console myself with all that good lovin'. Poor me, huh?" and then smile to yourself.
;)

Gamebird
2005-05-25, 01:24 PM
Real friends are the ones who stick with you and support you even when you do things they disapprove of. That's the difference between friends and acquaintences. A friend will help me out when it's not to their immediate reward. An acquaintence or gaming buddy will show up to game, but without the game they have zero interest in hanging out or helping out.

LadyGlutter
2005-05-25, 01:34 PM
Amen to that. *Also real friends will chip in to feed you when you have no money, will offer to help do the dishes, or will hold the baby during your intense roleplaying experiences. *I so very prefer gaming with real friends, though sometimes you are stuck with acquaintances. *

P.S. Thanks for the sig, Gamebird. I've stayed away from the "what did you think"? thread after I read some spoilers early on in it. I might get to see it Friday night (fingers crossed) but I was really reluctant to spend good money to see it OR read any reviews, for fear of spoilers.

Seros
2005-05-25, 04:46 PM
Unfortunately, for me, my first DM was the worst DM I've ever had, and if I ever kill someone, it will be him. This is an ungodly long rant, so you've been warned =P

So I start college. My friends back home in Houston had always played AD&D, but as lazy highschool kids are, they never got around to playing consistently, so I never really got a chance to play or learn. When I was a sophomore in college, a big redneck fella that I was good friends with (and youd never expect to be a hardcore d&d nerd) invites me to join the darkside. This is when I met, as I would later curse him through this given nickname, "Sigura."

We played Sunless Citadel, and after learning the ropes in that hack n' slash, "Sigura" offered to DM our fledgling group. I foolishly (well maybe not so much in this case) played a 3.0 Sorcerer in all its inferiority.

Sigura has a thing for hombrew, samurai (hence the nickname of Sigura from the japanese caligraphy on his blackbelt from the local YMCA in podunk Mississippi, which he constantly boasted that his training would enable him to kick my ass and everyone elses six ways to sunday) and evil/good?/chaotic/lawful/munchkin/nonsensical bs/spellcasterhating/wacky rules interpretating drow.

I spent the next several months, crawling my way from lvl 1 to lvl 20, with no gear, constantly hounded by his nonsense drow god of unfathomable logic and uber evil wizard of always winning pushing my face to the grindstone of his five hour to eight hour combats sessions. EVERYTHING EXPLODED when it died. Get 95 feet away (youd think you're safe) BOOM YOUR from full to negatives. 3.0 Toad too overpowered? Not when you're fighting against a munchkin DM... that +2 con is a free boost through undebateable rules.

The man's spellcaster hate stems from his astranged older brother and him. Well, I paid for this divided relationship. The Paladin of the group was literally decked out in all the parties loot (and if anyone shouldnt have been playing a paladin, it was that moron). Oh the stories of him begging for food from us one night, and the next bragging about he just spent $120 dollars on a sword. I remember a cloak of charisma popping up in the loot once, and I actually had to trade something I had obtained through my aquaintance to the party thief to the paladin.

The party never really got to spend much gold (we fought enough fighter based builds that the party, except for me was covered for magic items). I remember the party accountant telling us how he'd get aim messages the night before asking how much gold we had. We'd then just happen to die that many times divisible for resses the next day.

Then there was the "entertainment" sessions for the DM. Oh, look, magical kenders are popping up everywhere and stealing from us... but its okay because they don't know better? Hey, why are you casting magic missiles at the horde of kenders trying to steal your quarter staff and rags and 100gp starting gold... ALIGNMENT SHIFT YOU EVIL EVIL MAN (that was at lvl 9).

Oh, but Ive forgot to elaborate on this drow god of nonsense. I imagine he was lvl 50 or so in that campaign, and his whole agenda (beyond pulling every useful prc across the cosmos into his character sheet... he was fully statted to the point Bane and Mystra combined in some unholy pact against him would have failed) was to purge the world of everyone, in the name of good, to get rid of evil. Obviously, my character had a problem with is (as we spent the first 10-12 lvls fighting off the hordes of spell resistantance, higher lvl drow as they ravaged the world... we move to unholy dragon/[insert uber non dragon creature here] hybrids later... oh and psionics all around that werent inhibited by the rules in their handbook), unfortunately, my only other option according to Sigura was to play "Darth Vader" to his uber epic evil wizard of always winning. Oh, my time spent being used by that drow and that uber wizard was grand.

After the greedy paladin got MDJed and I had to spend xp to wish away the damage, and then use another wish or two when the cleric of no god (long story) unleashed hell upon the Earth, I frankly conglomerated the other sane players, and swore a pact against ever letting that nut DM again (by now I had gotten my token rl nickname of the Mad Sorcerer as madness consumed me) I made up the ending that Seros led the Serosites out of the plane to one of his own creation and took to heavy drinking to forget that nightmare... but it wasnt over.

Sigura was as bad a player as he was a DM (thats another story for another time though), although, a year and a half later we all were thinking of playing an epic campaign. The arguments against me were that Sigura had "learned" his lesson, and if anyone could create ridiculous stuff he could.

The Madness began again. Somehow, despites our best efforts, we ended up serving his "not a god" god the nonsensical drow of bs 200 years later in the same campaign world (he now had a super villian base in Limbo!). He was several levels higher now (we still give sigura crap about giving him teflamar shadowlord levels... imagine the scenario of a drow walking up and just joining that organization), and had the paragon template. Somehow I got alignment stated for me after we told Sigura our ingenious plan of how we just created our own plane and took those who would follow Seros the Sane out of that homebrew mess.

Things only got worse when he *forced* epic level combat for 5-8 hours even if thats not what we wanted to do that night (and he had made promises to give us ways to avoid combat if we didnt want it, yet evidentally all the keys to every door were only available by killing monsters). He even patented his own spell, which I have lovingly named "Loot Vaccuum," a spell so powerful that it forces will saves constantly until you roll a 1 or fail that strips you of all the loot on you and teleports you into some sleep inducing cocoon. Then there were the doors immune to all spells except certain epic spells he gave out as items to the fighters (a shot at me of course). The game sort of collapsed after I refused to save a PC he was deliberately *screwing with* for his own amusement.

If only WotC had released a statted Karsus Avatar in PGtF. I could have had my resolution by munchkinning my character up to cast it at lvl 25 (as this is the only known bane again munchkin DMs, and if I've learned anything from sigura, its how to min/max to survive) and turning it against his not-a-god god. Wooh, I feel better.

Glinelen
2005-05-26, 01:48 PM
After reading all of the above I feel blessed. I'm going to bow to my DM because he really deserves it. The horrors of those stories will haunt me for weeks.

Gordon
2005-05-26, 02:11 PM
After reading all of the above I feel blessed. I'm going to bow to my DM because he really deserves it. The horrors of those stories will haunt me for weeks.


That's the best possible response to this thread. I've been feeling pretty grateful myself.

Nemo
2005-05-26, 04:30 PM
Bad DMs...

let me tell you something about a horror story... it's not the DM is not the players... but it's... me having to memorize PCs name and write down their new stats over and over and over and over again.

I mostly DM now... and i DM for 3 groups, and we meet once a week. (all different players) and I play every monday on another group as a PC (which i really enjoy.. check this out.. a level 3 wizard with 20 hit points (Toad 3+tougness3+3d4 (9)+ Con 3X3)

Anyways... let me tell you about the worst party I ever DM for.. but the best thing about them is .. now they are much better players.

6 players. 1 monk, 1 fighter, 1 wizard, 2 rouges and 1 barbarian (NO CLERICS)

I cheated for the first 3 levels, I made a rule that unless a monster hack the PC straight away to -11 they won't die.

Me: "you need a cleric, hire one from the temple or befriend an NPC"
PC: "We don't want to share XP."

Shortly after level 4, I used the standard rule for death and bleeding. They died.... for attacking this NPC who is evil.. (I already strongly HINTED to them at the level of the NPC by his ability to make Cure Critical Wound potions, and the Evil NPC's son reputation for being the top gladiator undefeated for 3 years)

I don't know why... but they enjoyed my DMing and decided to make a new party.

so they resetted... same world, different campaign. different City.. No clerics. Party got wiped out at level 2.

Me: "You see 20 orcs camping, what do you do?"
hint: *sensible choice is to warn the town and call the militia*

PC: CHARGGEEEE

So they think that my safe lil world is evil. We decided to use Faerun after that. No clerics. They died again.

They prefer my world, faerun's random monster encounter table (which i got off my DM friend) is so unfair they complained.

The fourth time.. still no clerics... I just got back from a session now... and still they do not want to hire a cleric mercenary. Which I made so readily available.

AMAZINGLY... they still haven't had a single death since then. (the fighters make heavy uses of TOTAL DEFENSE)

i think the horror for me is... when they will face death.. and.. new characther sheets.. starting again in a different city... reading characther's background, readying plots and stories to explore each characther's... and make it as enjoyable as possible.

My 3 parties are now in the same world at almost the same timeline.

the other party i'm with... gives me penning down nightmares... 1 wizard 1 sorcerer 2 clerics (1 wants to be a war priest, the other the main cleric) 1 druid and 1 ranger.

that party is good.. but then.. I almost die of erasing and rewriting everytime i figure out who's memorize what spells and so and so. and the cleric (a 14 year old girl, would have tears forming everytime someone in that party needs more than 2 doses of cure light wounds), the ranger hides behind the other cleric and shoots at enemies. the wizard ALWAYS .. ALWAYS managed to get to hit below 0 every battle. and to top it off... he stole an NPCs spell book after killing the person (who is a principal at a local magic school) and have so much fun with new spells.. he changes every time he rests...

My only complain is that for every 5 hour session. We spent at least 1.5 hours just reading up rules on spells, arguing on it. and all. the other 2 hours having small talks with NPCs and another 1 hour for the PCs to do something fun together in town. and only .5 hours adventuring.

This two parties would be perfect if they could switch players. I'm plotting on how to do this.

And yeah.. I HATE naming NPCs

Shiyuan
2005-05-27, 05:30 PM
Added some needed revisions to details.

Alright, here's a VERY LONG STORY, and it's going to be broken up in two parts, because it's VERY VERY LONG, and I have to go to work soon. This first part is the Primer, an introduction to the people involved and the set-up for the fiasco that happened.

PART I

I joined this gaming group composed of a twenty-something Japanophile, his extremely repressed wife, and a rather enthuisiastic Aikido practioner. I shoudd've gotten the hint when the Japanophile (the GM) told me they just recently lost some players to group incompatibilities. But no... I decided to give them a try, and dragged two of my friends along with me.

Here's a breakdown to the player personalities of this story, seperated into two distinct groups: THE MERCS (me and my friends) and THE JOB (Mr. Japanophile and company).

THE MERCS:

Stephen Lee (Me): Stubborn as all hell, active role-player, favors older male roles (think Qui-Gon Jinn or Ramirez from Highlander), big wargamer, historian, student of anthropology, martial arts enthuisiast, slightly distrustful of magic, and a gamer who likes to stick to realism.

Michael Shen (Also known to folks here as Anifanatic): Big on mechanics, passive role-player (you have to poke him to make him react sometimes), occassionally at odds (often vehemently) with me over rules interpretations, but we work well together because we tend to be the most sane of the parties we're in, oh and he loves rogues and any character type that are skill-junkies, mainly because they're good at being the universal back-up for the party.

Lucas Serrano ("THE ONE"): Shifty-eyed bas... ::cough:: heh, well Luke is always sorta inscrutable, and doesn't like sharing his ideas with the party, but sure loves to tell us when he thinks our ideas suck. : P However, thankfully, we all don't feel so left out because the last few times he's openly made decisions for our parties, we all somehow get screwed and/or die. He also likes playing character types that give him justification to be aloof and self-absorbed: wizards, monks, psionicists, etc. But we love him nonetheless, because he is "THE ONE". See... our loyal companion has an ungodly ability to roll natural "1's" like it's nobody's business. I mean, UNGODLY... he once rolled SEVEN natural "1's" in a row on a single d20. Just think of the probability of that occuring in statistics, and bow in awe before "THE ONE". Btw, his ability is more tied towards rolling critical failures, as once when testing this ability on a game where the lower number rolled was better, he rolled 20's with equal frequency... ::sigh::

THE JOB:

Alejandro Herrera (Alex, or Lord Grease-Pig): A self-proclaimed "Mexican of Spaniard Descent" (which I found humorous considering the history of Mexico), Alex is the kind of guy who thinks the upmost of even the minorest of his achievements. Pedantic, arrogant and extremely self-absorbed, he treats his wife like an accessory (which angers me to no end) and consistently muses about finding a more attractive female to sleep with, IN FRONT OF HIS WIFE. He tries his best to look and act Japanese, but only succeeds at being fat, greasy and all-the-more unsavory looking with the his failed attempt at a topknot. He is a HUGE Japanophile... which baffles me because half the time, he doesn't know what he's talking about when he goes off on Japanese culture. He once attended a kenjutsu class for about a year, and once thought of himself as a puissant swordsman, which he no longer has the luxury of because he decided to spar with me, to his ever dismay. Oh yes, he also has unhealthy predilection for playing lesbian female PCs and insisting on using playing time to seduce and sleep with whatever female beauty he encounters, EVEN if its an NPC that he, by all logics of society and culture, should NOT be talking to. Oh, and don't get me started on how he'll pressure another player to create a sexy female PC just so his character can have sex with it. Aside from his numerous flaws, he has a huge library of RPG material dating back to the 70s, which I still miss occasionally to this day, but I have not met a man more repulsing than he.

Korrine Herrera (Alex's Wife, or the Lost): I can't say much about her, besides the fact that she lacks anything resembling a personality, well that was her state by the time I left their group. You see, at first, Korrine wasn't a big role-player apparently, and was rather focused on becoming a journalist. That was until she married Alex (only two years before I showed up), and he decided it was his husbandly duty to break her spirit and mold her into a docile tool for his pleasures, both carnal and intellectual. Yes, intellectual, because I have never seen a person more brainwashed into adoring their captor more than Korrine. Alex loves power and control, and from my observation, it is because he has never had any real form of it in his life, and so he uses his wife as a sort of parrot, who doggedly agrees and repeats the words that comes of his mouth, even when one can see she doesn't believe in them. She has been "trained" to become his pet fan, to cheer his in-game accomplishments, and to act in awe of his many half-conceived "insights of the world". Nothing can attribute more to my disgust for Alex than what he did to his wife, a woman he supposedly loved.

Michael Pappero (The Loyal Retainer, or the Aspirant): Mr. Pappero, as we have come to call him, is a young man who has an undying love of martial arts and military history (traits we bonded on rather well), but also shares an undying loyalty - like some tragic samurai bound to his daimyo - to the man who first brought him into the role-playing fold, Alex. At first, he and I were at odds, due to our similar interests and purposes within a party. But eventually, we both realized that we worked better together, usually with me acting a general of sorts and him as my aide-de-camp/lieutenant. I'm only a few years older, but due to my Asian heritage, I look rather youthful compared to Mr. Pappero, which always gave a humorous appearance to our partnership. Occassionally, I got lazy and we'd switch roles, and the party would still benefit from our strategems and tactics. It also helped greatly that he and I were enthuisiastic role-players and quite capable of acting in character, due to my over-active imagination and his experience in theatre arts. So Mr. Pappero would be a person I most definitely miss from that group.

THE SETTING AND SET-UP:

With this set-up we had several campaigns together, where the Mercs slowly began to recognize the many faults in Lord Grease-Pig's character. He hid his idiosyncracies well, but they seeped out more and more each gaming session. Then the idiosyncracies became outright fetishes and irrationalities, mainly, he always had to be right somehow, even if all evidence says otherwise. Eventually, Mike got fed up and just stopped coming, which upset me initially, but I realized his wisdom long afterward.

Alex and me clashed a bit in the past, but it usually came out good-naturedly, but slowly we developed a more and more conflicting relationship, in-game. So it all came to a head one night, when I was running a game in a world that Alex and I built together (mainly Alex getting fanciful ideas and me trying my best to work them into living, breathing cultures and nations). Alex had begged me to run a campaign that would link two parts of our world together.

The original part was the Old West, where Alex had originally set most of his adventures, and the newer portion was the Inscrutable East, where Alex had made me take over all development because he thought I would authenticate his ideas better because I was of Asian descent. Silly idea, but whatever, it was something to do. I made the high elves Chinese, the grey elves Japanese, wood elves into the Koreans, and the orcs into the numerous Mongol and other Central Asiatic nomad tribes. Now let me first get it straight that I dislike elves, so my plan to link the two halves together was definitely not going to be in the form of some Marco Polo expedition or a Silk Road. No, I was opting for a favorite military expedition of mine, the Mongol Incursion into Eastern Europe. So I decided upon the fury that was the Orc Mongols.

Btw, I love barbarian cultures and I love orcs, I think both are seriously underestimated and misused in most fantasy worlds, where they are nothing more than disorganized swarms of XP waiting to be culled by the PCs and "civilized" nations. The orcs of this world are definitely not walking chunks of XP, they were my best adaptation of the Mongol tribes of historical Earth, and are canny strategists (from years of warfare with other tribes and the elves) and possessed superb logistical knowledge. They had long warred with the High Elven Empire of Shien (China) to their southern borders, and had already grasped the principles of siege warfare and gunpowder (blasting powder in this world). Their cultural dependence and adherence to a nomadic hunting lifestyle also contributed greatly to their natural abilities to develop cavalry tactics and strong teamwork. Not to mention, wealth gained from a previous campaign against a Persian-styled human country I had designed to buffer the Old West and the Inscrutable East, would prove not only sufficient to fund a deeper push into the West, but serve unexpectedly as a tool against the greed of their eventual targets. I couldn't think of a better way to introduce the East to the West.

Because I was co-developer of this world, I also double-checked with Alex with what was concrete about the countries of the Old West, namely, his pet nation, the Mayji (yea... it's Meiji) Empire, which was an ungodly cross of the Roman and Japanese cultures. Ungody, because the social values of both cultures wouldn'tve been compatible to a good degree, and because he did such a shoddy job of meshing them properly. In truth, the only reason why I saw that he did this was because he wanted to have Roman Legions composed of Japanese ashigaru and samurai. Big mistake, considering Japanese soldiery fought in a style rather incompatible with Roman legionary tactics. But despite this, I somehow re-organized and revamped their previously confusing military structure in a previous campaign where Alex made me Supreme Commander of the Mayji Imperial Army, to something that was quite formidable. Mind you, while he made me Supreme Commander, it was also in a campaign where I was facing off against several other nations allied against the Mayji for its unwanted expansionism. So while I had some power, I was essentially screwing over the rest of Old West in favor of Alex's pet empire, not something I enjoyed very much considering I did considerable development of most of the allied countries arrayed against the Mayji.

Looking at how I had organized the Mayji mobile-defense system (yes, this is in a world of Roman - Dark Ages technology), an orc scouting foray would in turn deem the Mayji borders unsafe for penentration. My crafty Orc Mongols decide that the Mayji are off-limits for now. So I look at their northern neighbors, and allies, the Yoten (a clever play on the Scandinavian word "Jotun", or Giant, from Norse folk stories), who are essentially Norse, but with a modern twist. Only fifty years ago, a powerful Jarl (Alex's PC's father in this campaign) rose up and began to unite the disparate Reaver Clans (Vikings), and when he finally razed the last Reaver stonghold at Osden (a battle I was forced to command from the Reaver side by Alex, with severe disadvantages piled up against me), he declared the Reaving Way at an end, and would for the next fifty years or so, dismantle the raiding economy and transform the entire Norse peninsula into a powerful sea-based mercantile nation. Think of the Scandinavia of today, sans black and death metal, and you'll get the idea. The Yoten have become a non-violent culture, instead they have developed a rather strong dislike for warfare and the "barbaric" tradition of killing one's enemies. No, they'd much rather buy-out or plot to place the offender into debt and then employ him or her and their family as slaves for "monies due". The Yoten of this generation are affluent, Byzantine and entirely dependent on economic power.

So... let's see, Orc Mongols ride to the Mayji border, find quick and professional response from the patrols, and opt to scout out other possible soft targets. The Orc Mongols have lived all their lives in the frigid climes of Siberian-like wastes, and their tough horses are no strangers to foraging and long, difficult rides, so they head in the direction of a territory and climate they are intimately familiar with. They find the lands of the Yoten. After approaching a Yoten border patrol (NPCed by Alex by request of me, the GM), who's leader, instead of dealing with the intruders in a professional manner, chose to ride up to the orcs without asking for them to put down their weapons and arrogantly made light of their unsusual facial features (btw, the orcs and elves have never been seen in the Old West before, dwarves and hobgoblins are the only demi-humans who have made contact with the Old West humans, the former are entirely mountain-based and subterranean and the latter as slaves procured from an African-like continent to the south), received only a toothy grin and a quick orc withdrawal with no blood being spilled. With several othr scouting forays, the orcs approached other patrols under guises of traders from the East, they found the Yoten easily disarmed by displays of gold and trinkets. The orcs had found their target. Greedy, unexperienced in war and arrogant, the Yoten just painted themselves with blood in shark-infested waters.

So came the Urukhan (my cheesy meshing of "Uruk Hai" and the traditional title of a Mongol chieftain) of the Cold Lands.

TO BE CONTINUED... (I have to go to work, and I'd rather get this down first as a primer to the meat of the story)

Gorbash Kazdar
2005-05-27, 07:18 PM
At this point, all I have to say is that I'm glad none of the people I have DMed for/played with have seen fit to post here - which I take as an encouraging sign ;)

Shiyuan
2005-05-28, 05:38 AM
My VERY LONG STORY

PART II

The Urukhan come riding out from the East in three 10,000 man armies during the dead of winter, and in a lightning campaign, surround and cut off all the border fortresses of the Yoten, skipping a chance for a quick siege in order to better ensure no messengers escape the strongholds. After easily catching and executing each of the messengers sent from the castles in front of their walls, no more men are sent out in an attempt to warn the rest of the country.

After a bloody but brief siege, the under-manned Yoten fortresses fall to Urukhan treachery, as the orcs make to look as if they had given up hope of breaking through and were in withdrawal (a favored Mongol tactic). Once the Yoten let their guard down and opened the gates to send a messenger; quicker than they had left, the orcs rushed back in frightening speed, and hidden war ladders were revealed from under hide blankets buried under the snow (which had been placed their cunningly during the night before the operation ever began), and the siege began again in earnest. The messenger was once again intercepted, by Urukhan light cavalry who had stayed hidden amongst the mountains and hills further in-country. Shocked at the speed of the Urukhan return, and slightly in disarray, the Yoten defenders, already too few due to the modern Yoten cut backs on military spending, fall before the orc assault. The border forts (which numbered three) are all taken within days of each other. The heart of Yoten country lay open to the Urukhan.

As a side note, I had previously argued with Alex before in another campaign that the Yoten were too weak militarily due to his PC's father's efforts to de-militarize his culture, and had actually begged for a remnant of the Reaver Clans loyal to the new King of Yotenheim. Alex had flat-out refused me, and gave me his typical elitist response of how the Yoten were more "civilized" now. When I asked if I could at least re-structure and re-fit their military for their new style of society, he also flat out denied me that. He wanted his Mayji supreme, and had employed me previously to ensure that. So...

The Yoten lands are more or less unguarded, due to the Yoten's erroneous assumption that the only worries they needed to care about were from the South, where all the other Old West countries lay, and who were conveniently buffered by the freezing Sea of Giants, which was dominated by Yoten warships and merchant vessels. I specifically remembered that in the same previous argument I had with Alex on Yoten defense structure, that he explained how the Yoten did not bother to garrison any townships in the interior of their country because of the absolute reliability of the Yoten Navy to repulse possible invaders. I thought this was most idiotic and arrogant, and had told him so, but he refused to budge. And so, like all bad decisions, this would come to bite him in the ass.

Knowing that I had an unfair amount of knowledge of the Yoten lands, I purposely made the orcs blunder a bit once they gained access to the interior. THEY did not know what lay before them, so I had them act as cautiously as the Mongols had acted in their forays into Europe. They quickly sent out several scouting parties, discovering that nothing much lay between them and Osden besides fishing settlements and mountain villages. Even then, I allowed for the Yoten hunters and fishermen to gain awareness of the orc incursion, seeing as they knew their land far better than any invader. I even allowed for several brave fishermen and hunters to break past orcish containment parties and rush to the capital at Osden to warn the King and his daughter (Alex's PC) of the coming attack.

The Urukhan were born hunters, and in a hunt, one goes for the killing blow first if possible, so the orcs, after realizing that there was little to battle on the way, began a headlong rush to the capital of Osden. Due to the heroic efforts of Yoten peasants, the roads became jammed with rock and debris. This slowed the Urukhan advance considerably. Despite the historical knowledge that Mongols could easily bypass such obstacles and could travel up to eighty miles in a day during a Siberian winter, I decided to be even kinder and allow that the Urukhan were making only 27 miles a day, and essentially gave Alex and his PC party a week to prepare.

When I asked him and the party what they planned to do for the first day of that week's time, Alex told me, "Nothing, we shall engage in the usual debauchery at my favorite brothel." (Yes, this is another one of his lesbian sex-fiend PC's). Aghast, I looked around the table, and to my ever dismay, they all agreed with Alex. Then the rolling for "good in bed" checks came, and I shook my head and resolved to teach them all a lesson in the seriousness of war. This continued until there were only two days of that preparation time left.

I asked them again, and THEN, they decided to act. Luke finally got around to casting clairvoyance and clairaudience on the orcs, consdering he was a spellcaster and all. What he saw was Jebei, the orc general in charge of this invasion, and the ten thousand orcs with him. Luke then found one of the shamans attached to this force, and somehow became upset with me when I told him that the shaman could've detected his scrying. So, he gains an idea of the force they're facing, and tells his liege, Princess Brat (can't remember Alex's PC's name), of the disposition and numbers arrayed against them. Luke, true to his nature, casually commented that there might be more than what he saw, considering the rapidity of the fall of the border holds, but did not push the subject further when Alex apparently ignored this fateful observation. The second day ended with Princess Brat assessing the numbers of her own defense force, and debating on how to handle the situation.

I TRIED HELPING THEM. As a Mayji NPC ambassador, I strongly suggested that the Yoten could call upon their Mayji allies and have relief forces come to their aid (I wasn't planning on winning, just hurting them a bit), but to my surprise, the Brat refused their aid, and further complicated things by accsuing the Mayji of an attempt to subvert the Yoten dominion over the sea. Granted, the Mayji would benefit in the short term by finally being able to field their own ships in the Sea of Giants, but the Mayji were not that short-sighted, and I genuinely was offering a practical form of aid. The Mayji were a huge empire, they had numbers to spare, and the shipping lanes of the north, where the Sea of Giants lay, were vital to their trade economy, which are much cheaper to maintain when they are being guarded by Yoten warships instead of clunkier and less cost-efficient Mayji vessels. However, despite all this explaining to Alex, he still refused Mayji support. Their funeral, I thought. So the second day ended with he banishment of the Mayji ambassador back to his homeland for "uncouthness and sedition". ::Sigh::

The last day came, and only then did Alex and the party try to organize a sensible defense. I was completely disgusted with their laziness in this endeavor. An evacuation was planned in case of the city's fall, as Osden was built over a well-guarded fjord that ran out to sea. However, Princess Brat organized it so that the people would remained trapped in the city until she personally was on the ships safely first. Great way to inspire your people... Then came the arming of the peasantry. Seeing that her regular garrison numbered only five hundred men, Princess Brat thought that women and children would make suitable soldiers. If I were planning to use them as a tool of deception, I'd be fine, but Alex was seriously of the mind of having them perform important battlefield actions in his grand scheme to rout "the mindless savages." Alright, this is already looking bad. When Alex's PC's father, the King, mentioned that he thought it might be wiser to retreat from Osden and use the old Reaver island strongholds to fight a guerrilla war, Princess Brat went on a rampage of a tantrum. By this time, Alex, through a succession of previous Yoten PC's, had effectively dismantled the King's authority in the overall Yoten power structure. The King had become a figurehead in his own kingdom, and the merchant clans now held all the power, and Princess Brat was chummy with all of them. In fact, Alex made many hints in the past of his PC thinking about usurping the throne from her father. So another good idea turned down. Wonderful.

So, came the day of reckoning. During the night, I had asked if the Yoten had posted a night patrol aside from the wall's guardsmen. They said no, and that was when I realized, there was nothing else to do, but unleash the true horror of their own incompetency on them. During the evening, when strange noises were heard in the surrounding terrain, Alex effectively forbid any of the PC's from going to investigate, insisting that he knew what I was up to, and kept giving me annoying looks of condescension. You sure know how to get on a GM's good side, buddy.

To give you guys an idea of what will transpire in the next few paragraphs, I will tell you exactly the plan the orcs had executed, and had any of the PC's figured it out and maneuvered to counter it, I would've given them the victory. Btw, I also took into account the natural attrition of Yoten peasant guerrilla tactics and nature itself, halving the remaining orc force size, which is a horrendous loss in any sort of military campaign.

The orcs, reaching sight of the castle-town of Osden by midnight, opted to ride wide and around it, instead of up to its walls. They split their forces into two groups of disparate sizes. The majority of the orcs head around and to the southern side of Osden, near the fjord that runs out to sea, and essentially behind the defenders, while a smaller contigent of a few hundred stayed behind in the woods that ringed the edge of the habitated region around the castle.

Under the cover of night, the larger force split again into two groups. One set up a series of tents, haphazardly and in no particular order. The other group began to assemble the war ladders they had built far earlier in the campaign, and place them under hide blankets, which they buried beneath a relatively thin layer of snow. When the first group finished, they too unpacked their hide blankets and proceeded to burrow themselves into the snow away from the tents and near the war ladders. The members of the ladder group then followed suit. The majority of the horses of the orcs were tethered to numerous poles than ran throughout the ghost camp and a small group of the horses were kept hidden in a nearby copse of trees.

While this was going on, the smaller contigent left in the woods before the castle began their work in earnest, applying great two-man saws into the trees of the wood, randomly and making only a small number of actual war ladders. They wanted to Yoten to believe that the Urukhan had not brought ready siege weapons, and were in the process of making them. Needless to say, the Yoten, and much worse, the PC's, fell for it.

Now, at this point all of this could've been foiled by another use of a clairvoyance spell, and I had my shamans prepared to counterspell it, yet... it never came. I don't know why, but Luke and none of the other PC's deigned to think of using that rather useful tool in their own defense. Odd indeed.

So the morning came, and I waited to see what Alex had planned. What I saw, made me ashamed to have commanded any self-respecting force against them. Princess Brat took one look at the haphazard camp to the south and dismissed it as a decoy, but didn't think more on it, and ordered her unit of frightened women and her personal company of heavy cavalry to sally forth from the castle and rush the woods, which I had previously described took at least ten minutes to reach by horseback. When I gaped at this, Alex made a rather stupid assumption, "Ah... I see I have outsmarted you! I knew you were going to be this predictable, Stephen (btw, he's never managed to beat me in an engagement with the only exception of that horribly lop-sided Reaver battle). I'm truly sorry, but I just can't help it, I think too much... better luck next time!"

All this while I'm just staring blankly at him and shaking my head. So let's see, let me cut the long, painful story short by saying, Alex and the PCs rush the woods, thinking they're going to catch the orcs by surprise and destroy their siege weapons, thus "naturally disheartening the orcs so much that they'll retreat", and instead are met by a somewhat surprised but mainly amused company of orc warriors on horseback. The slaughter began. After the first two arrow volleys of the mounted archers (yes, my orcs were using composite longbows too, combined with their Strength bonus = OUCH!), the all-women unit was in rout, and running back to the castle. Alex gave the order for them to be shot down by the wall's archers as punishment for treason, and then attempted to charge a company of horse archers, can you say, "futile?" He never got close enough to do any lasting damage, and within several rounds, Alex finally realized he was being out-maneuvered and losing more men than he was killing, so he ordered the retreat. As they rode over the cooling corpses of the women, he screamed insults at the orcs who trailed behind, too far to be engaged, and close enough to loose more of their deadly arrows. At this point, I cut down the amount of time it took to reach the castle to five minutes, just to save their asses. And they still complained that this wasn't fair...

At the same moment Princess Brat had engaged the orcs in the woods, the southern orcs burst forth from the snow at the sound of battle horns to the north, and began carrying their war ladders at a headlong run towards the southern wall of Osden. The horses, which I had expected to be at least captured by the Osden force, were remounted by the warriors who weren't carrying the war ladders, and began riding forward to screen the ladders.

The Osden defenders were now in a definite bind, close the gates on their own princess (granted, many would have if she were any one but of royal blood), or possibly allow the orcs entrance to their stronghold. As the king, who finally was free of his daughter's ever-looming presence and hindrance, I ordered the majority of the archers to the southern wall, even at the expense of the northern defense, seeing that the true strike was coming from the south, and ordered that the gate remain open until his daughter made it through. Under the wittling fire of the southern wall archers, the orcs persevered, and approaching line of horse archers returned fire with their composite longbows (which I should remind some people, can be used while horseback), and considering the force that struck at the castle had been at least 10,000, and the southern contigent probably around 9,000 orcs, I figured that to retreat from a fusillade of arrows from around 400 hundred men would be rather cowardly and entirely out of character for these orcs. So the orcs pressed on, and simultaneously, the Princess and her band made into the safety of the gates, which closed, while the war ladders finally reached the wall. I took a scene straight from Musa the Warrior, where warriors running at the very front of the ladder, gripping the two front ends of it, would run up the wall as their compatriots pushed and raised the ladder to the crenellations. If this doesn't make much sense, watch the siege ladder scene from the Helm's Deep battle in The Two Towers, and you'll get something similiar to what I'm talking about.

Now, at this point, Princess Brat had wrested command back from her father, who had his concern for his daughter thrown right back into his face by the ungrateful whelp, who blamed her snafu on his negligence as a commander... right...

So now the southern wall is seeing heavy fighting and more orcs are rushing up the war ladders to join the fray. The remaining forces within Osden rally to the southern wall, by order of Princess Brat, and completely forget about the northern contigent. ::Sigh:: Well, funny enough, the war ladders the northern contigent had made, were going to be put to use, as the orcs there realized that the humans aren't defending the north wall anymore, and wham, here come the northern orcs with their war ladders... Can you say, "cluster f&ck?"

So seven minutes of heavy fighting at the southern wall and here come a few hundred orcs to the north, beginning their climb up the walls unopposed. When arrows suddenly start flying from the northern wall inward on the city's defenders, Princess Brat finally realizes the battle is lost, and begins her frantic rout to the waiting evacuation ships in the hidden entry to the fjord, and oh yes, while simultaneously yelling at her people to hold the city at all costs...

So yes, the battle ends in a blood bath, and the king is slain in a heroic battle against Jebei, the orc general (dammit' this man united a nation, he had to go out like a hero), mainly because he realizes he's lived long past his time and that unlike his daughter, he will not abandon his people to certain death. His epic death also secures the escape of a good many civilians and even soldiers. He is now considered a saint for the Yoten. The orcs, even, were so impressed by his heroism and bravery, spared the surviving warriors they subdued, executed those who surrendered voluntarily, and built a small effigy to the fallen king which Jebei carried around as his new Spirit Totem.

Now this all ends, and the night's session is over, I allowed the PC's to escape, and even had the timely arrival of an old Reaver Clan Chieftain who survived the Unification Wars and set aside his old grudge to save those he still saw as his own people. I was totally of the mind to give the PC's another chance to redeem themselves, and began even talking of the long hidden Reaver Cults, who secretly kept the Old Ways alive and were ready to begin a campaign of terror and revenge against the orc invaders. I thought I had been extremely fair to the PC's and went home with a good conscience.

Then came the next session... which was spent entirely on discussing whether or not I cheated to win. Now, I believe that I did cheat on several points, to HELP to PC's, but never to screw them. They wanted to waste time preparing, they wanted to fight a lop-sided battle, and they desperately wanted to hold the castle despite all logic against it. What made me most angry was Alex, who went on a spree about "facts about Scandinavian terrain that his Navy friend had told him", which were essentially: "Snow is ten feet deep in Scandinavian type winters, peat bogs are EVERYWHERE, and peat damages horses' hooves." All this, he claimed, prooved beyond a doubt that I could not have even traversed the terrain I did, and thus, demanding that I reset the campaign and say the battle never happened. I smelled a hyper-sensitive ego, and lots of bull****. So I went home without making much of fuss besides assuring them that I'd research their complaints more thoroughly. Now, I had previously consulted sources (encyclopedias, climatology books, etc.) on the types of weather conditions in a Scandinavian country, and found that the snow fall was deep, but no deeper than two feet at its worst, and actually not so horrible at the rims of the landmass, where the sea absorbed a good portion of the snow mass, which was where the orcs mainly traveled by. However, slightly shaken by Alex's accusations, I decided that I should double-check. I went to the CIA's website, and several other sources I knew about, and discovered the following facts: first, I was right the first time about the snowfall; secondlly, there are peat deposits and peat bogs, but not so frequent as to make them unavoidable; and lastly, and perhaps most ironic of all, peat is quite good and nourishing for horses' hooves...

So, feeling relieved, I printed out the CIA files and brought my other sources to the next session, and placed them in front of Alex, who to my great irritation, immediately pushed them away and asked me if I was ready to admit my mistakes. I stared at him and felt very confused and insulted. He didn't even LOOK at the information I took the time to find and bring to him. I admit I lost composure and told him that it was rather rude to so casually dismiss my evidence without even perusing it. He responded as if I were the dumbest simpleton in the world, "look, I'm sure you have some interesting material from some internet Mongolian fanboy but-" At this point, I just popped a vein, and walked into his library of books and brought out of his OWN encyclopedias, which he treasured so much, and showed him the same evidence I found. He paused, furrowed his brow and then closed the book and looked at me as if I had done something horrible, and then proceeded to question the tactics I had used in the battle. I knew right then and there that this had nothing to do with accuracy or realism, but with Alex' pride. He didn't want to lose, so he went so far as to try to discredit a legitimate campaign just to assuage his ego. I had enough. What ticked me off was, every one else seemed to have had their egoes bruised too, and joined in on bashing on my handling of the battle. Even Mr. Pappero, who performed admirably in combat, and Luke, who was one of the guys I brought to this gaming table, turned on me. Both claimed that such tactics are simply beyond the comprehension of orcs or the Mongols for that matter... right.. and Mongols conquered the world's largest land empire by mindlessly smashing themselves against enemy positions..

I'd like to point out, at this time, Mike Shen had already left the gaming group, so he did not partake in this travesty of sore-loserism. ::Sigh::

So, I calmly tried to discuss the level of complexity that the Mongols were capable of, and tried to point out that Alex long ago okayed my petition to make the orcs as Mongolian as possible. After a while, I realized it was going no where, and just stood up and left, never to return. I am glad I did, and probably will never look back.

P.S. Luke finally had enough of Alex too, and recently left the group to return to our old group of friends. Thank God for that.

Falrin
2005-05-28, 06:42 AM
Big egos in D&D, the horror. When I'm DMing ppl with some ego have a strange tendency to die or be completely humiliated (just a kobolt? you mean a 15LvL fighter kobolt).
And btw, I like the great campaign/army/tactics aproach to d&d. I think I'll use it in one of my next games, but where can you find soem good info to run it smooth? I have stronghold builder and complete warrior, any other important books?
Sry about your game, it sucks when you put so much time in something and have such an ending.

Gordon
2005-05-28, 04:21 PM
My VERY LONG STORY

Damn... just... damn.

I recognize a lot of these players, too. Not those specific individuals, mind you, but yep.

Yow.

The_ChronoCatfish
2005-05-28, 07:28 PM
To be fair, you were expecting the players to be somewhere near your level of strategy.

The horrible part is that they couldn't put up with it afterwards.

Personally, as a player, I don't mind being utterly routed if there are actual tactics involved. Makes things more interesting.

sktarq
2005-05-28, 07:44 PM
Shiyuan, it seems as if you really shouldn't have been playing the army controling style with this kind of group. Too much disparity in style for this.. therhaps if you werre all stuck in a hole in the ground?

Bloodred
2005-05-29, 01:18 AM
I read the entire Long Story Post, laughing the entire time. Then I read the post above, and im like "Damn Shyiyuan wrote that??". Went back and looked agian, yup, that explains the histocial, and tactical depth.
My worst horror story dosent sound bad, but I assure you it was hell. Two of the PCs in 2Ed argued about how Dispell Magic worked for two hours straight, yelling, pointing to rules, etc., etc.
I was soooooooooooooooooooooooooo bored. . .

Shiyuan
2005-05-29, 02:10 AM
Big egos in D&D, the horror. When I'm DMing ppl with some ego have a strange tendency to die or be completely humiliated (just a kobolt? you mean a 15LvL fighter kobolt).

Hahaha. : )


And btw, I like the great campaign/army/tactics aproach to d&d.

Thank you, it's a specialty of mine. I've kind of spent a great deal of time accumulating info and books to use in my simulations. I'll get to that in the next response.


I think I'll use it in one of my next games, but where can you find soem good info to run it smooth? I have stronghold builder and complete warrior, any other important books?
Sry about your game, it sucks when you put so much time in something and have such an ending.

Ah yes, here's the tedious part. : P Sadly, at this moment, I can't say there's really any guide to easily integrate realistic military campaigns into D&D, but I haven't picked up Heroes of Battle, and I may be wrong. However, I'll tell you the secret to it all, abstraction and storytelling.

The trick to building a truly engrossing military campaign is to run it like you would direct an epic movie. Balance strategy sessions with straight out scripted events the PC's have no control over, it gives them a sense of a real war where they can't be everywhere for everything, scope makes a big deal.

Also, DO NOT throw more than a very few actual battles for them to control directly at them. Mainly, have distant battles be reported in, and use your better judgement to resolve these battles, how many precautions and how effective was the PC's plans, and how disciplined were the troops they sent to that distant battle? Give them a chance to tip the scales, but not ride it like their b1tch, it makes them feel like real generals, not just a weird RP-RTS hybrid.

My best reccommendation is to focus mainly on logistics, strategy, and training when talking to your PC's about their decisions for the war, something real generals focus on, and will give the PC's a very real sense of danger when you ask them if they think their cavalry can make it to a key defense point in time. This will save you ALOT of dice rolling and number crunching (which is going to be the real deal battle where they participate) while still giving the PC's very important tasks to do; not to mention, a rare excuse to have them just role-play. : P

DO NOT trample the PC's plans, unless they absolutely are asking for it, as exampled previously : P. Do your best to think like the NPC general you're playing, and purposely employ faults in your plans and some snafus for your NPC forces, to make things more true to life, as you have the unfair advantage of being the Godly See-All GM. Remember whose eyes your looking through, and it'll help alot.

Then, when you get to the BIG BATTLE (and I reccommend you ONLY have the PC's participate in one or two major engagements personally), give the PC's ranks and positions befitting to their talents, not their merits... I know, it's a bit unrealistic, but making only the PC's who are truly qualified to be officers or special forces members would leave some out, and that never flies well with their self-esteem. Even if the PC hasn't been in a real field battle before, give him a honorary rank, like Brigadier General or something similar. This makes them feel more important, while you try your best to manuever them and your NPC forces to make them feel cool. Also, always try your best to keep the PC's close together or in the same unit. If that is unavoidable split them into two distinct groups, but I reccommend no more. Blue Team and Red Team designations help keep you organized.

Always remember, try to make them feel cool, even if their side is gonna' eat it bad. The players have all watched movies like Braveheart, Spartacus, The Last Samurai and Kingdom of Heaven, so they know that losing a field battle can still look damn sexy (if you're into that bloody-faced battle-scream stuff). Give them epic scenes to participate in during the battle, and avoid rolling for the random details of the battle. When a volley of arrows is launched at ar unit, just have the PC's check their ACs to see if they get hit, and arbitrarily reduce the number of men in the unit without rolling, based on common sense and the circumstances of the attack. This is where the hard part comes in. The FUDGE-O-RAMA.

See, I run battles because I've learned all the previous rules, and because I also have access to a good many sources for my military encounters. If you're going to fudge the details, do so with a background in the actual situation you're dealing with. Make it as realistic as possible, down to the way a unit's armor effects weapon damage. Granted, you'll never worry about this in normal D&D, but when a hail of flight arrows fall upon a band of heavily armored knights, I'd say the number of men to fall would be few, if not none at all. Change those arrows to English bodkin arrows (think Medieval armor-piercing rounds), and take your favorite die/dice that does not exceed the maximum roll of d30, and roll to see how many knights go down. ; ) Now to pull off on-the-spot storytelling and descriptions like this, you'll need good, solid books to draw knowledge and inspiration from.

I recommend the following:

ANY Osprey book. The Campaign Series, the Warrrior Series; all the Osprey lines are useful to a would-be armchair general. Not to mention, generally the art is top-notch and the details very well described. I own only a few Osprey books but I take the time to read them cover to cover in the store whenever I find them.

"How to Make War", any edition, by James F. Dunnigan. DAMN GOOD book, and practically teaches you a method of abstractly assigning strength and effectiveness levels to military units. Wonderful, wonderful book! You'll notice it's a book about modern warfare, but when it's D&D, warfare is pretty much taken to the modern scope of strategy and tactics with the application of magic. Instead of spy satelites we have scrying; instead of radio /comlinks, we have the Ventriloquism spell; instead of precision explosives, we have the useful Stone to Mud spell which can be applied to critical foundations or junctures of a stone structure (just think of physics... and giggle with me); instead of rockets, missiles and artillery, we have casters pumping out fireballs, lightning bolts and storms of vengeance; and instead of chemical and biological weapons, we have the nifty Contagion spell applied to a densely packed formation or camp of soldiers...

Hell, magic grants a few more options that even modern science can't replicate, for instance, you're battling near a lake or river, and a force of heavy cavalry mounted on heavy warhorses are arrayed before you. They've got open ground and there ain't much stopping them from hitting you, but ah-hah! You have access to the Control Water spell and you cast it on that lake or river, and raise its level to the point where the water spills over and into the ground between you and those horsemen. Get at least a rise of 10 feet (2 feet per caster level), and soak that earth real good, make it all soggy and muddy, but likely as not, those knights have probably already begun their charge. Imagine fully armored and weighted men and their horses suddenly sinking their hooves into a thick soupy area of mud... "compound fracture with a side of falling men in plate mail" any one?

So yes, that would be the most I could offer in response to your question, I hope that was useful.


To be fair, you were expecting the players to be somewhere near your level of strategy.

The horrible part is that they couldn't put up with it afterwards.

Personally, as a player, I don't mind being utterly routed if there are actual tactics involved. Makes things more interesting.

True, but Alex had always been talking about how he'd make a brilliant general and how'd he teach me a thing or too about war, so I decided to allow him the opportunity to prove himself. In truth, this was pretty much a grudge match between me and him, but I did not plan on so badly defeating them. Hell, if they had just taken the initial aid from the Mayji, they'd probably have beaten me back and then some. : P


Shiyuan, it seems as if you really shouldn't have been playing the army controling style with this kind of group. Too much disparity in style for this.. therhaps if you werre all stuck in a hole in the ground?

Hahaha... yea, I realized that only after I left. Ironic, that I could be so aware of the details when it comes to war, but not even register the fact that the situation wasn't going to work out in the first place... you got me there. : P


I read the entire Long Story Post, laughing the entire time. Then I read the post above, and im like "Damn Shyiyuan wrote that??". Went back and looked agian, yup, that explains the histocial, and tactical depth.
My worst horror story dosent sound bad, but I assure you it was hell. Two of the PCs in 2Ed argued about how Dispell Magic worked for two hours straight, yelling, pointing to rules, etc., etc.
I was soooooooooooooooooooooooooo bored. . .

Haha, hey there Bloodred, long time no post by me! : P 2nd Edition... oh those were the days... X P I feel ya Bloodred!

Nikolai_II
2005-05-29, 03:20 AM
After the first two arrow volleys of the mounted archers (yes, my orcs were using composite longbows too, combined with their Strength bonus = OUCH!), [...]
horse archers returned fire with their composite longbows (which I should remind some people, can be used while horseback)

Great story (or ok, sad story, but great presentation and background)

I'd have given the orcs/mongols composite shortbows instead. (Actually I did when I similarly plonked down monsters into human cultures to get a bit more "realism" - orcs are such a wonderful fit to mongols, going as far as matching by look the horror stories told about the mongols in their heyday)

But since you seem to have put down more actual research I figured I should ask your opinion, seeing as how we made different conclusions.

I always have labored under the impression that the composite long bow is the assymetric japanese one, and a rather rare find and that the composite short bow is the "normal" nomadic one.
It doesn't change a thing (except for a bit about the range, but horse archers did labor at a disadvantage in range against foot archers.) but I guess I'd just like a comment from you about your decision.

(As an aside I think you did everything right - offering NPC advice, fudging things to their favor far enough to give an opportunity, should they take it and giving fair warnings when they fail to explore for themselves. Once they have failed to act upon all those things you are contractually obliged as a DM to whack some sense into them, hopefully teaching them a lesson about brain usage for the next time. Or allowing you to realize it is time to cut your losses in case it is contagious :P)

Shiyuan
2005-05-29, 03:57 AM
Thanks for the comment, Nikolai. : )

Oh yes, gotta love them European accounts of the "endless hordes of wicked, dog-headed, fire-breathing, Tartar demons..." hahaha. X D

I remember feeling so disappointed in the Hungarians and King Bela in particular when I found out that 1. The Mongols were almost always outnumbered two to one during their battles against the coalition of Eastern Europeans; and 2. Mongols were a rather small-statured people, however extremely hardy. But I cannot forgive the old histories I read because they made the Mongols seem as if they were monstrously huge and imposing, and now I realize that was the Eastern Europeans trying to rationalize their horrendous defeats...

And as for the mistake in counting heads, apparently, they were just so mobile and quick while in field, that they literally gave the Europeans the illusion that there were many more of them than there actually were. Poor King Bela, if he only had a Polaroid camera...

Indeed, the composite longbow is effectively the daikyu (also known as a yumi by some), or the Japanese assymmetrical bow you mentioned. However, the Japanese weren't really inspired to take to horse-archery until after the Yuan Dynasty Mongol Invasions of Japan, where the Mongols (with their trade-mark fighting style) pretty much wiped the floor with the Kamakura bushi of the time and were only pushed back after a disastrous typhoon hit the Mongol fleet. So, seeing the causal chain linking to the Japanese development of the daikyu, I felt sort of justified in giving the orcs the longbow. And also because the shortbow version is much too weak in comparison of the actual description of a Mongol recurve bow.

Btw, oddly enough, if you study up on the Mongol recurve bow, you'll find that not only did it have a comparable if not better range in comparison to the yew longbow of English and Welsh fame, but on average, a stronger pull and more powerful penentration force when fired in a direct line attack. Of course, a longbow loosing an arrow in an arc shot, would definitely become a horror to any unfortunate soul to impede its descent, so I'd say the two of them are balanced.

Vil-hatarn
2005-05-29, 07:21 PM
Another possibility for battles- if anyone in the group plays warhammer or any other mini battle game for that matter, you can run the battle with those rules.

Falrin
2005-05-30, 05:32 AM
Hey Thx Shiyuan, Realy appriciated. Gone try it I think, if my players are into it. Btw you should post somethin at the larg scale assaults and big scale battles post. You'll prob have something usefull to say there on the subject and ppl will apprciate it, I'm sure.

bingo_bob
2005-05-30, 11:27 PM
Shiyuan, you have no idea how much your post makes me want to play a campaign like that. I love military tactics, though my focus is on those of the Zulu Impi. Unfortunately, I don't actually have a DM anymore, my previous one went AWOL from the D&D world :( and I can't find another. If you ran an online campaign like this, you could expect me to join.

Eric_The_Mad
2005-05-31, 11:24 AM
Hmmm.... zulu impis versus mongol hordes...

Both styles of fighting evolved to their geographic settings. But I suspect that the mongols would obliterate the zulus. Simply feather them with arrows and scamper away on their ponies before the impis could get close enough to engage them in melee. A smart khan would simply avoid engaging the zulus at all, and instead burn and loot their kraals behind them. "Cattle? EXCELLANT!" (said in a mongolian version of Mr. Burn's voice.)

Given that orcs don't seem very horse-friendly, I suspect a impi model would work better for horde of organized orcs. But that would imply a orc leader who had the force of personality to enforce his will on his chaotic evil underlings.

That CE aspect is important to keep in mind. Most settings have outnumbered dwarves holding off hordes of orcs. The idea I get is that you have disciplined bands of dwarves in fortifications (think roman legions) fighting off waves of orcs who blindly throw themselves willy-nilly at the dwarves (think guals and celts). I think any orc leader would have definite issues with discipline and command and control. Subtlety would be hard. Their tactics and strategies would resemble a "aim and point" more then involve anything with finesse.

Eric_The_Mad
2005-05-31, 12:04 PM
Errr... I went back and re-thought my post. Ghengis Khan did that pretty much... Took what would have been a Chaotic clan/tribal society and made it Lawful. So no reason why an equally exceptional orc warlord couldn't do the same thing.

And my horror story...

It wasn't even AD&D, it was some SPI abortion whose name I no longer recall, I think it went out of print before most of you were born...

The GM suckered me into killing a assasin, part of some all-powerful assasins guild (ninjas were all that back in the 80's) and then had them torture, castrate and brand my character. Then suckered me into pissing off some elves and tortured again. He lovingly dealt out the details, the least which involved being dragged down a staircase by the feet, then having them drag my character back up because my head missed bouncing off a couple of steps.

*Editorial On*
I think RPGs attract a LOT of people with some serious issues, who all seem to run amuck if they can find some idiot to let them DM. Like online games and Pkillers, they hide behind the "It's not real" cloak, and generally otherwise revel in being allowed to get away with crap they can't in the real world.
*Editorial Off*

Talanic
2005-05-31, 03:53 PM
And also, remember that aim-and-point can be effective. The Celts managed to sack Rome, not at the end of Rome's rule, but close to the beginning, when the legions were at a pretty impressive height. If the enemy outnumbers you by too much, there's not much you can do...

Gorbash Kazdar
2005-05-31, 04:08 PM
Comrade Gorby: *Gives this thread a gentle nudge back on topic, and points discussion of large scale warfare over to this thread. (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=gaming;action=display;num=1100924507 ;start=0) ;)*

Zik_Mage
2005-05-31, 10:30 PM
This was my second time DM-ing so go easy on me k?

I had played only one or two games before this, and DMĎd twice (neither of which went well, but those stories aren't as amusing) and I wanted to get all my friends together and play this delightful game I had begun to enjoy so much *tree hugging smile*. Problem? I had only a basic grasp of the games rules.

First off the players; Let me state that there were six PCís in this game! Not a big deal for seasoned DMís, but I was a huge n00b at the time.

Jess, the most experienced of us, sat off to one side, knowing full well that the session would be a disaster, and also knowing that the best way to learn is through mistakes. (itís true) also, weíve got Tom and Jeff, neither of whom play many rpgs in any form, and barely knew how do play the game (tom spent 2 sessions as a sorcerer, not knowing how to cast spells), also weíve got two girls, one of whom I was dating at the time, and a guy named AJ who had a thing for my girlfriend, so you could see how I would be a little biased against him.

As for the adventuring team; this game started off at Lv. 4 because I figured Lv. 1 was too weak and we were tired of Kobalts.
Jess played a Dwarf Fighter, Jeff a Dwarf Cleric, Robin (1 of the girls) playing an Elf Rogue, Tom as an Elf Sorcerer (still couldnít figure out the spell system), AJ a Human Bard, and Hannah multitasked between a Human fighter and a Human Druid. (not a good idea for someone playing their first game)

The setting; I had spent all week drawing up combat maps, character sheets, and figuring out stats. Too bad I didnít think of making any NPCís for the PCís to interact with. Or a credible storyline. I completely ripped off the plot from a game boy game, Golden Sun (the world is decaying, go relight the 4 elemental temples to save it). I had no concept of things like giving the monsters a reason to fight with the PCís. (ďweíre monsters! Letís fight!Ē is pretty much how it went.) Iím not shure why, but I wanted to incorperate as many cool battles and monsters as I could into one 3 hour gaming session.

The Game; Hereís how the game went

The PCís walk out of a dungeon they just beat for some reason (different, equally bad session 3 of the players weren't there for) and headed south from the little mountain town which consisted of 5 houses. (yea, I was no good at world building). They head south for a mile or so and *pop* a pack of blink dogs appear and attack them. It had not occurred to me that blink dogís are lawful good and had no reason to fight these PCís. The dogís get slaughtered, and the players continue south to the forest I had been too lazy to name. As they are walking through the forest (which they knew held the Bard waiting to join the party) they got pretty nervous as I seemed to be making a lot of rolls on the D20 for no announced reason. 2 minutes later the entire party is being grappled by the Assassin Vines that were very good at hiding, and the 1 bard swung in at just the right moment and somehow managed to save the entire party. (this was my cinematic at work, blind to logic and the rules of the game). The bard joins the party and they head east out of the forest.
The party found a farmhouse near nightfall and were allowed to sleep in the barn. Night comes, and a bunch of zombies attack the farmer and his family. Donít ask why, I wanted to have zombies. The cleric made short work of them, and no one seemed to wonder where these undead came from.
Next morning, the party heads south toward the only other town I had bothered to make. On the way 2 giant fungus and a dire weasel attack them, go figure. They get there, talk to they guys at the temple and head west for the mountain pass, beyond which is a druid clan with some magical item that will allow them passage to the earth temple or some mess like that. So off they go, and two pointless random battles later (a bugbear gang and a Worg pack) they come to the mountains, climb up them through a series of pointless octagonal rooms connected by latters, and fight an unexplained ice troll and a mimic. They get to the summit, and have to cross a five foot wide bridge to get to the druid clan, but itís blocked by an unexplained troll and ten Kobalt Skirmishers. For some reason a giant eagle attacks them to make things more interesting.
So the ever so climactic battle rages, the human fighter gets bull rushed off the edge of the cliff and falls to her death, the Kobaltís vollies of bolts are useless against the dwarfís armor, the sorcerer spend his time shooting at the giant eagle, which is really hampering the bards attempts to charm it over.
This is essentially when the game fell apart. See, there were too many players, and turns in combat were nearly 10 minutes apart, so people werent paying any attention at all. Thru this hole game, I haddent used any texture, so the hole thing was bland and pointless. I was getting sick of having to yell every turn to get peoples attention for what they wanted to do, as their own conversations were drowning me out. The hole while, jess sat off to one side shaking his head and watching me squirm.

Moral? DM groups small enough to be enjoyable. Roleplay often. NPCís are just as important as PCís. World building is more than just plunking down random houses. Random battles should be few and far between. But most of all METAGAMING RUINS EVERYTHING!!! The entire session, I metagamed. Me. The DM.

Seros
2005-05-31, 11:55 PM
And also, remember that aim-and-point can be effective. *The Celts managed to sack Rome, not at the end of Rome's rule, but close to the beginning, when the legions were at a pretty impressive height. *If the enemy outnumbers you by too much, there's not much you can do...

When Brennus (387 BC) sacked Rome, their military was nothing like it was during the Punic Wars or under Marius's reforms (100s BC). Rome really wasnt much during that Celt Raid... but they got those pant wearers back eventually. They didn't even reform to shortswords until after this little Gallic romp.

Now, the example for superior number winning out is the second Punic War when the Romans kept throwing gobs of men at Hannibal for twenty years and came out ahead. Of course, the counter example to this is Marius's fight against the Teutons and the Cimbri where Roman discipline and generalship won out to large muscled Conan types.

Oh, when you get outnumbered, just make sure you do the sacred rituals right, see if some geese will help ya out, and if you still lose, just claim it wasnt in your fortuna. :P

Gorbash Kazdar
2005-06-01, 12:21 AM
Comrade Gorby: *Gives the thread a good, solid shove back on topic.* Folks, I know Shiyuan's discussion of warfare was very interesting, but this thread is about gaming horror stories, not military tactics.

madmed
2005-06-04, 04:27 PM
I was DM'ing about 10 years ago, back in 2ed. My party were a bunch of self-centered munchkins, but they were all I could get. They all played evil characters, and spent most of the time stealing and attacking each other.
One day I had enough, and ambushed them by a group of NPC's 2 levels lower then them, and with 10% of their equipment. But since they worked together, I wiped the floor with their characters.
They were brought before this paladin-type king, and were told that they have to undergo a series of tests to prove they are not all evil, or they will die. I say again, Die.
I can't remeber the actual test, but it was on the lines of "save the helpless peasnt". Needless to say, they all decided to kill the peasnt.
"Why?!" I asked them. "Why?! you knew this was a test to prove you're good! why did you kill them?!"
The inevitable answer was: "Because we're Evil! That's Roll-Playing, that is! we had to do it!"

I killed them all and never played with them again.

Falrin
2005-06-04, 04:35 PM
maybe it was great rollplay, the best ever, but pls tell my non of them had higher than 5 on int.

Leewong
2005-06-04, 05:04 PM
My rather brilliant bad gaming experience involved a DM who decided to test his new gaming system on us. I've mostly buried the details of the system in the depths of my memory, but I do remember that you had to compute logarithmic equations to find your AC (if you wore armor, I'm told). This was too much for me, and I was a college math major at the time. We had a fantastic time going across a desert with minimal information on what we'd encounter, so ended up basically squeaking by at every turn... and this included food. Languages changed with every town and the DM insisted on speaking "Ye Olde Englishe" when playing NPCs, ignoring the concept of trade routes and claiming that it was historically based... Well, any one of these things alone would probably have made the game more interesting and entertaining, but the sheer overwhelming number of weird things that the DM was trying was too much. Most of the players got along well with each other, but the DMs abuse of the fact that he was the only one who knew how to work his system... that killed it, basically. We stopped trying and quit.

-Lee

Leperflesh
2005-06-05, 02:00 AM
My very first game of D&D.

My Dad DMed. We played Basic Dungeons and Dragons... this was some time in the mid 1980s (probably like 1986). Me, my older sister, my younger brother, and my step-mom were the PCs.

Back then, the Basic rules were very easy... but also, really really brutal. We had no idea people played with variants on how to roll up your PC, for example.

So I started with a PC named 'Vimp the Wimp'. A Thief with 2 hit points. (you only got a d4, so that was a pretty normal roll). My sister had an Elf I think (back in Basic, that was a character class. Elf.)

So, we rolled up the characters, and then headed out on our very first adventure, how exciting!

We played 'Keep on the Borderlands'.

Vimp died in the very first room, falling into a pit trap. I don't remember how the rest of the party died, but I don't think they managed to move through more than three rooms, total. It wasn't really my Dad's fault; we had no idea about any of the normal stuff you do when you play D&D (like buy a 10 foot pole to probe every square inch of pavement with, find a town nearby before you go adventuring and hire people to help, especially healers, etc.). Part of it was the horribly ineffective 1st level character... remember, Clerics didn't get ANY spells till 2nd level, and you got what you rolled when you rolled your stats and hit points. Most characters had total stats in the mid 60s, and most characters had just enough hit points to handle being hit once, if they were very lucky on the damage roll.

Aaah. Good times. good times.

-Lep

justin
2005-06-05, 04:38 PM
Hmm...I kind of thought I was the worst DM around but reading some of these makes me think my players should instate a "Justin is a decent DM day" but anyway, I'm going to tell on myself one of the evil yet slightly humorous things ive done to one of my players.

Okay a little back story, this player, sam is one of my best friends and he is a long time loyal gamer. but he just has this air about him that pisses me off sometimes. Well earlier in the day before our gaming session he managed to do just that and i got back at him in the game.

He was playing a human fighter and the party was on a dungeon crawl. Well the party consisted of tanks mainly no healers, and they get to the end of this dungeon and encounter two less than pleasant mummys, Well there characters were in the teen-level range so this should not have been a challenge, however as I mentioned he had pissed me off so I may have Nudged the Fort save for Mummy Rot a wee bit..hehe.

So they make it out of this dungeon in tact but the fighter has Mummy Rot well the only person they can find that is capable of healing this affliction at the moment was an elderly cleric woman who lived in a small cottage just on the edge of town. Well by the time they manage to track down her small house sam was low on con and desperate, so he attempted to kick in her door when she didnt answer this resulted in electricity shooting through him and the other two PC's that were supporting him. Completely shattering the bones in his leg and throwing them all back ten feet. Well suffice it to say they were no better off because the elderly Cleric refused to heal him after this.

So, as the illness progressed and the other Pc's were ready to just leave him to die I felt bad for him and They managed to scare up a paladin willing to put his attack on an elderly cleric aside and heal him.

he looks back and laughs about it now..but man was he angry at the time. Now I'm sure my other players if the see this thread will come up with other evil things that have happened in my campaigns or my friends but until then I think thats all for me.

Zik_Mage
2005-06-05, 05:54 PM
wow you should be careful with that. nothing instills fear in a player's heart like a pissed off DM.

HempRope
2005-06-05, 07:47 PM
Nothing instills resnetment in a player's heart like a DM getting back at a character for something that their player did outside of the gaming group.

Zik_Mage
2005-06-05, 09:23 PM
ah yes, very true. nothing like hardcore metagaming on the part of the DM to ruin a session either.

Abd al-Azrad
2005-06-06, 02:31 AM
Ooo! Do I have stories! Well, not as good as some of the ones already here, but truly worth the effort of a ten minute post.
Okay, I'll admit, we were all newish to gaming, save the one powergamer who consistently and thoroughly wiped the floor with every enemy we encountered. We, as a group, wanted to rotate which one of us acted as DM until we found a setup we liked, keeping the same party but cycling out one PC at a time as that player took over the mantle of DM (this led to fascinating power dynamics, worthy of the discussion of sociologists everywhere, which I may eventually delve into, if I don't get bored). Our first DM, who was intrigued by the "Futuristic" setting poorly outlined in the DMG, sent us to investigate a crashed spaceship filled with bizarre technological encounters. Our first encounted, outside the ship, is a baby black dragon. I am the AC fighter- I tank it. Our resident powergamer is the half-orc barbarian- he kills it. The rest of the party proves less and less useful as the game progresses, including myself.
Inside the spaceship, we encounter a half-celestial paladin weilding a weapon the DM made up himself, and a fully automatic pistol. We learn that this is how the current DM wishes to introduce his character to the campaign world. We are all first level, note, except this ECL 6 paladin. So, whatever. We carve our way through the rest of the ship, ending up outside at the other end, where an evil necromancer threatens the party. This is the "boss fight".
The DM's paladin wins initiative. It charges, power attacking for extra damage and INSTANTLY KILLING the final boss. Realising he made a mistake, but unsure of how to fix it, the DM launches a surprise assault of the dragon's mother on us. If you've read Beowulf, you know the similarities present.
So, a large dragon attacks us. I tank it (and receive an instant house-ruling that each time the dragon misses, it instead Sunders my shield, then armor, without making opposed checks- somewhat reasonable, considering the strength of its blows, but well outside of the rules, and very unfair to my, still, 1st-level fighter). The barbarian's player is away today, so the duty of killing the NEW final boss again falls on the DM's half-celestial, who fires volley after volley of bullets into its hide (instant house rule: bullets are touch attacks).
So, we win. We as a group make a pact never to let that person DM again... a pact which we will frequently break, to our dismay each time, as he fails to improve. In fact, the only thing that changes is the party's level, and thus, in a directly proportional way, the amount of permanent damage this person can do as a DM.
Occasionally, we tried different game systems. He ran Cyberpunk (again, surprisingly, we begin with a crashed space shuttle. No paladin here, but we end up getting killed two sessions later by police helicopters armed with missiles). We ran Call of Cthulhu (frankly, he was best here because, by comparison, EVERYONE ALWAYS DIES ANYWAY).
Finally, one fateful day, we let him run his own, personally converted to 3.0 rules, Tomb of Horrors campaign setting. We did pretty well, until we came to his long stretch of no-save traps. Actually, we managed to stave them off as well, due to the fact that there was always a way to predict their presence. No, the party all died to a Swim check or fall into the Negative Energy Plane, in a dead magic zone, with nothing but 1d6 damage/round for miles. Honestly, I'm not sure what disgusts me most about this situation: 1) We let the guy we swore never to let run a game, run Tomb of Horrors. 2) We let him convert it himself. 3) We all died due to our mutual lack of extremely high Swim skill modifiers.
I think that, as a PC, this guy chased off more of our other players than as a DM, being boorish, arrogant, and always looking for a way to get into direct combat with the other players, typically me. He was just below my level of power in most games, and thus had a severe inferiority complex going, which I sadly admit, I did nothing to help. He and I would constantly vie for control over any situation, and the both of us would jump at any chance we got to kill each other. Some times, they were funny (my favourite: walking in on him and another player, both nearly dead from their own infighting, and seeing 80k worth of loot on their bodies...). Some times, they drove away players. I think I stayed in the good books because I was typically the one to respond to his attacks, and was otherwise a pleasant guy to have around.
Despite all this, we remained good friends outside of D&D, but always insisted on playing together. I don't understand the reasons here, but the gaming group disintegrated and he went away to university, thus solving our various gaming problems. I have a lot of fond memories of that group... But he was the obstacle we fought to overcome every session. All other encounters were paled in comparison. :)

GreyRat
2005-06-07, 10:12 PM
Not a true horror story, but I will mention my very first experience with Dee-an-dee:
When I was in about 5th grade, some kid came in with a red box and asked if anyone wanted to do this game thing. About 10 of us got together, fudged a lot of die rolls, and wrote stuff on grainy character sheet copies.
Eventually the kid in charge shouted for quiet and said, "So, you all see a dragon in front of you- it's gold colored. What do you do?" Knowing full well that the game was about subtlely woven plots and intricate character interactions, we unanimously replied: "Attack!" "Fireball!" "Shoot it!" "Kill the dragon!!"
Wherupon the GM(inor) started pointing to each of us in turn: "Ok, you're evil now. You too, and you're no longer a paladin..."
"What??! Why?"
"You weren't supposed to attack it, dummies, it's a good dragon!"
Ah, youth. We would have been better off 'attacking the darkness'. ;)

Bloodred
2005-06-08, 01:39 AM
Not a true horror story, but I will mention my very first experience with Dee-an-dee:
When I was in about 5th grade, some kid came in with a red box and asked if anyone wanted to do this game thing. *About 10 of us got together, fudged a lot of die rolls, and wrote stuff on grainy character sheet copies.
Eventually the kid in charge shouted for quiet and said, "So, you all see a dragon in front of you- it's gold colored. *What do you do?" *Knowing full well that the game was about subtlely woven plots and intricate character interactions, we unanimously replied: "Attack!" *"Fireball!" *"Shoot it!" *"Kill the dragon!!" *
Wherupon the GM(inor) started pointing to each of us in turn: "Ok, you're evil now. *You too, and you're no longer a paladin..."
"What??! *Why?"
"You weren't supposed to attack it, dummies, it's a good dragon!"
Ah, youth. *We would have been better off 'attacking the darkness'. *;)
Back in 5th grade, if one of my friends did that to me in a DnD game who was my age, I would have kicked his ass.

HempRope
2005-06-08, 08:51 AM
In 5th grade we all played our own little games on paper with no books or rules and made-up combat systems, no dice, no tokens... it was great.

I don't think in 5th grade we could have swallowed the real rules, but we did this instead, and called it DnD before we even knew anything about the real game.

I applaud that little DM's grasp of the Paladin class. :P

GreyRat
2005-06-09, 08:55 AM
I applaud that little DM's grasp of the Paladin class. :P

I was so impressed, I didn't RP again until college. :P
The GM in college was great, but quirky. Once I asked him for 30 more XP so I could level.
GM: "Ok, you can have 28 XP."
Me: "Why you little..."
GM: "Plus your 10% bonus for having high stats."
Sigh. ::)

This was also where my favorite game quote came from:
PC thief to her father: "Oh, this gold, gem encrusted amulet? We, uh, found it. It was- floating. In a river."
<pause>
Thief's father: "Floating in a river?"
PC: "... Yeah."
<longer pause>
Thief's father: "FLOATING in a RIVER?!"
But this doesn't belong in the 'Bad game' thread. :)

(BTW HempRope, nice avatar!)

Seros
2005-06-09, 12:58 PM
My very first game of D&D.

My Dad DMed. We played Basic Dungeons and Dragons... this was some time in the mid 1980s (probably like 1986). Me, my older sister, my younger brother, and my step-mom were the PCs.

Back then, the Basic rules were very easy... but also, really really brutal. We had no idea people played with variants on how to roll up your PC, for example.

So I started with a PC named 'Vimp the Wimp'. A Thief with 2 hit points. (you only got a d4, so that was a pretty normal roll). My sister had an Elf I think (back in Basic, that was a character class. Elf.)

So, we rolled up the characters, and then headed out on our very first adventure, how exciting!

We played 'Keep on the Borderlands'.

Vimp died in the very first room, falling into a pit trap. I don't remember how the rest of the party died, but I don't think they managed to move through more than three rooms, total. It wasn't really my Dad's fault; we had no idea about any of the normal stuff you do when you play D&D (like buy a 10 foot pole to probe every square inch of pavement with, find a town nearby before you go adventuring and hire people to help, especially healers, etc.). Part of it was the horribly ineffective 1st level character... remember, Clerics didn't get ANY spells till 2nd level, and you got what you rolled when you rolled your stats and hit points. Most characters had total stats in the mid 60s, and most characters had just enough hit points to handle being hit once, if they were very lucky on the damage roll.

Aaah. Good times. good times.

-Lep

So THATS what the 10-foot pole was for! I remember my group joking about how you would carry something like that around in a dungeon when we were looking through the 3.0 books. We assumed it must be for pole vaulting or balance checks over a large hole.

sktarq
2005-06-09, 06:16 PM
In 5th grade we all played our own little games on paper with no books or rules and made-up combat systems, no dice, no tokens... it was great.

I don't think in 5th grade we could have swallowed the real rules, but we did this instead, and called it DnD before we even knew anything about the real game.

Yes we did the same...though it was in 5th and 6th grades when we finnaly all used our allowances to buy the various books but until then we did the same. Funny but when I started a Gold dragon was just as Chaotic (what passed for evil then) as the Red, and the Ruby.

Leperflesh
2005-06-09, 08:32 PM
Yeah, the 10 foot pole is a true classic item of D&D. It goes all the way back. There are certain foundational aspects of D&D that will never get thrown out, no matter what they do to the rules.

There will always be a 10' pole... a Bag of Holding... 50 feet of rope.

Of course, there are those adventurers who insist on carrying 11' poles, just for the sole purpose of defeating the dungeon traps/obstacles that were specifically designed so that a 10' pole was not quite enough.

-Lep

Mephistopheles
2005-06-09, 10:42 PM
Usually our gaming group works out fine, though the people in it tend to fight, but one time I joined this campaign at this comic shop we hang out at, with this relatively new kid running it. Worst decision I've ever made.

Firstly, this isn't terrible, it's just annoying. He made us roll level 1 HP. His stat system was weird, but I didn't mind; roll 4d6, add them together, reroll ones, but you can't have more than one 6. So 8-21. Then, he had a character, who had like four stats 18+. Then, he had us roll initiative in town. For some reason that annoyed me to no end. And he ran it as if we were in combat, asking us what we were doing every time. It was like he wasn't running the game, just observing it. My halfling rogue was walking to the castle, and when my turn next came up he asked me what I was doing. He didn't say "So you arrive, and blah blah blah etc", he just asked what I was doing.

He also overused d20s. Apparently he'd decided that it took unnatural skill to do anything. You had to roll a d20 to hit a bell on a shopkeep's front counter, to open a door, to do any number of things.

In addition to all that he really didn't know the rules very well. I mean, he had this mage roll to use a scroll, a level 1 mage, with a level 1 scroll of burning hands. The kid rolled like a 7, so he (the DM) decided that it backfired on him. *Sighs disgustedly*

So I promptly quit.

GreyRat
2005-06-10, 09:16 AM
A couple more GMs I forgot about:

The GM-for-the-summer who knew time was limited so decided not to waste time on any extraneous characterization or plot. His credo seemed to be 'that which does not kill the PCs makes them stronger', and he wanted them to be as strong as possible. If a fight ended without at least two PCs unconscious, he felt it was too easy. He ruled that any spellcaster could recharge completely after 8 hours of rest, so there were times when the cleric was powernapping to get in 3 rounds of healing each 24 hour period. I actually had fun, playing the least intelligent Elven Ranger I've ever seen before or since- but I wouldn't want to play that game again. :-/

Another GM disgusted me during the first session. A fellow PC got tired of an NPC's lip and punched him for about 8 HP.
GM: "Ok, he dies. His friend starts to..."
Me (playing a paladin!): "Wait a minute, he can't be dead; you die at -10."
GM: "Oh, that rule only applies to PCs. Other people die at 0."
Me: "Huh? So basically, we're never going to be able to capture anyone alive because they'll die if we try to knock them out?!"
GM, confused: "Why would you want to capture anyone?"
Same game:
Me: "We climb out of the wrecked stagecoach, collect our gear, and start walking back the way we came. We're walking between the tracks of the wheels so we don't get lost."
GM: "Make a Dex check. Ok, those that fail, fall in the hidden pit and take..."
Me: "Um, I said we were walking between the wheel tracks. How is there a pit there?"
GM: "Well, the wheels straddled it."
Me: "And the four horses pulling the coach detected the trap leapt accross without our noticing?"
GM, obviously peeved: "Well, fine then! <pause> Are you staying between the wheel tracks the whole way?"
:P

Another GM was actually very good, but distractable. I'll never forget the time his cell phone rang just as he told us to roll initiative for a big combat. He rolled for the mooks with his left hand, answering the phone with his right. "Hello? Hi! Oh, nothing, what are you up to?" And then proceeded to have a 20 minute conversation while his players stared in asonishment. Gee, sorry we interrupted your important life, buddy. >:(

sktarq
2005-06-10, 06:27 PM
Another GM was actually very good, but distractable. *I'll never forget the time his cell phone rang just as he told us to roll initiative for a big combat. *He rolled for the mooks with his left hand, answering the phone with his right. *"Hello? *Hi! *Oh, nothing, what are you up to?" *And then proceeded to have a 20 minute conversation while his players stared in asonishment. *Gee, sorry we interrupted your important life, buddy. * >:(
Unfortunatly I've had worse...ones that don't pass the PG rating on this board...and I can't think of any way to tone it down.

Bloodred
2005-06-10, 06:55 PM
The GM I play with now is kinda' perverted, not that its overly bad or annything. He pretty old, and I think its just cause' he dosent get anny so its his vent of frustration. Because im 18 I think he kinda' expects me to be similar, I go along with it just because its funy, but I dont partake the way the rest of the PCs do. Im just really glad no females play in that campagin, not that I dont want them in the game, but just the obvious-out-and-out sexisum they'd be subjected to.
Really though I dont mind this guy's slight perversion, and pictures of topless Anime all over the place. In all honesty, this one guy was way worse.
Infact I'll tell ya' about him, this guy he was about 50. And at the time I was 16, annyways my Dad(45), and my best friend(16) also where playing in this game. This guy was smart, he had good idea's, he let us be heroes. But any "civilized" lands where like a frat house, it was obsurd. There was not a single female, ever, and let me make this clear agian, EVER that was not willing to sleep with annyone. PC, NPC, henchmen, it didnt matter. Infact he assumed that all oure charicters partook in this type of activity, I had to set him straight. Jeeze like a Dwarfish Barbarian would even sleep with an Elfish Girl, yes Girl. Now that I think about it, this guy was a bit of a peta-file, it was pretty freaky.
What was worse then the civilised lands attitude, is just the obviousness he needed to loose his virginity(Hah!!). Whenever we met a female NPC, or saw a female NPC(Happend all the time), they where always doing something, or positioned in a perverted way. And the GM felt the need to discribe it in as much detail as he possibly could, dispite oure best efforts to move on.
Ex: "As you see Lady Guen, she is bending over working on her garden. . .", and he'd go on to discribe figure, roundness, firmness, etc.(Sorry if that pushed the PG rateing, just trying to explain the story!!)
It was just disgusting, sometimes I actually felt like throwing up this guy made me so sick. And then he had his friend Gordy( ::) ) I wont even go into that. . .
Annyways, it was pretty funny, this 16Yr, old asking this 50Yr. old to please grow up and get on with the game.
Hah!!
Although after seeing him, I can sure see why some women dont want to play DnD. Expecialy if they got stuck in a game with him, I'd leave that game so quick. Hell, we only played 3 games with him, I just couldent stand the blatent dis-respect for women.

Abd al-Azrad
2005-06-10, 07:03 PM
I was running a game for one of my friends. It was his first real campaign, and kind of grew out of a one-shot I ran with him and some friends. Anyways, he and his party go to the Capital, they save the Princess from an evil wizard who steals her soul for his own dark purposes, so what does the King give him as a reward? A title (Baron), land (and a keep), and the hand of said princess in marriage.
This guy just hated being married in the game (reaonably so, it slowed everything down, and he felt awkward around his "wife"), so what do I do to alleviate this pain? I make the Princess start summoning up demons to aid her attempts to get her husband to like her. She ends up posessed by a Succubus, which leads to a whole new string of awkwardnwess... let's just say I feel bad about the whole marriage thing. Don't ever arrange your heroes to be married.
...unless they like that sort of thing, of course...

Shiyuan
2005-06-10, 07:44 PM
On the same page as Abd al-Azrad and Bloodred:

Once, with Alex, (the afore-mentioned sleaze-ball GM I battled with in my last really big post here), before I left the table, a question came up about our actual social lives. Alex, as I had previously established, was quite the dating loser (and married to a woman he treated like chattel) and was a Japanophile. At the time, I was going out with my second girlfriend, Kelly, who was a very beautiful and intelligent Japanese-American girl I had attended high school with.

Well, needless to say, one night, everyone was out of ideas, so we took to talking about movies, books and history. Some of the anthropological discussions that led to the infamous campaign I described before also took place that evening. Well, as the evening dragged on, Alex turned to me, and asked, "Stephen, you're a young, intelligent man and I'd have to say, pretty slick with the words and the moves (his awkward way of alluding to the numerous sparring matches he forced me to go through with him and Mr. Pappero), why don't you have a girl friend or something?"

To which I replied: "Uhhh... I do? She's just not very into the whole role-playing business, which I'm cool with."

At this, Alex made a snide comment about how I'm probably more trying to hide my girlfriend from them, insinuating that she was ugly or something horrid. Being extremely loving and passionate with my significant others, I got riled at this indirect insult and told him that he was quite wrong.

After this, I started to get demands from around the table to bring proof. They wanted my girlfiend to come to a game just to sate their immature curiousity. Not believing they were demanding me to ask my girlfriend to come show herself off like some kept woman, I became extremely annoyed and insulted. My silence and stone-cold stares at all of them put a stop to that.

But another night, while we were gaming, I had to grab something from my wallet, and my wallet sleeve for photographs fell out... and I shall rue that moment for the rest of my life. Alex, quick on the uptake that night, seized my photograph sleeve before I could retrieve it, and flipped through until lo and behold, he found Kelly. What got me most riled was that he actually grabbed something that didn't belong to him without asking, and that is one of my biggest peeves. So he flips to her, his eyes bulge, and his mouth gapes open, and then he turns to me and asks, "This is her!?"

He didn't buy my: "no, that's my cousin," excuse; which was expected, considering the picture was of me and her holding each other at a formal dance. So the picture was circulated around the table, and much ado was made about a photograph. Suddenly, Alex's Japanophilism kicked in, and he asked (but sounded more like he was just confirming his suspicion) if she was Japanese, to which I replied, yes, seeing as deception was no longer going to do anything.

Then began the harassment. After finally snatching my photo back, and feeling rather put out with the rest of the table, the jealousy started seeping out of Alex and Mr. Pappero. Mike and Luke both knew who Kelly was, and had hung out with me and her a few occassions, so they really didn't contribute much to the oggling of my gf's photo. But Alex and Mr. Pappero, they started grilling me about her, like she was some celebrity. They also began demanding that I bring her to the table, to which I solidly replied, "No." I was definitely not bringing her to a group of awkwardly perverted men who couldn't handle pretty girls. After which, Alex and Mr. Pappero changed their tack to: "She's not your girlfriend, you're lying!" To which I sighed, and didn't bother to reply. After an hour of repeated jabs (and insinuations) at me really having no girlfriend and that I just had a picture of a girl I didn't even know or was just friends with (right, so why are we at a formal dance, holding each other?), I got fed up, and told them that: "A. She is my girlfriend, and yes she is beautiful, get over it. B. I am not bringing her here just so you can stare at her like she was some sort of exhibit." And oh yes, they continued haranguing me even after Luke (Mike had already left by this point) confirmed that she was real, and she was my gf.

So, after this incident, every game Alex or Mr. Pappero ran, they would specifically have a beautiful female NPC (who somehow suspiciously always was described to resemble my gf), who would be a slut or a lesbian, innately distrust and dislike my characters (which I found infinitely obnoxious and pathetic on their parts), and constantly fawn and become the sex toy of either of their avatar NPCs (in Mr. Pappero's case, a bare-fisted archangel-like fighter, in Alex's, a petulant lesbian princess). However, luckily enough, I found a way to kill them or remove them from the game each time without much trouble. My habit of offing half-clones of my gf in-game seemed to make Alex and Mr. Pappero pleased, but I let them have their petty joys, seeing as they both lacked any actual ability to find any real love in life.


EDIT: Oh yes, the funniest thing for me was, if I had actually told Kelly what was happening, she would've gotten pretty ticked and showed up just to clobber the two of them. And yes, she could have, even Mr. Pappero, the resident Aikido practioner, mainy because she was tenacious as hell when angered (which I loved), and I trained her in boxing, grappling and sword-fighting. I like beauty and capability, so it made sense for me to teach her the stuff I knew.

EDIT EDIT: Oh and the sad thing for me is, Kelly is now training to be an FBI agent, while me... I'm a GM with finals... :P

Abd al-Azrad
2005-06-10, 08:54 PM
Your stories are liquid pain, Shiyuan. I met my current gf through my old powergamer group, and I think the worst part there was that, after a while, she was only attending to hang out with me. She really didn't like the party dynamics (by which I mean, infighting) and she wasn't really interested in making ubercharacters to contest our own. She was the first to leave that group, and thus the wisest of us all. We still game together, but for a while there I thought we had driven her away from D&D in general. Bad times.

Shiyuan
2005-06-10, 09:47 PM
Yes, the PAAAAIN, SO MUCH PAAAAIN...

McMouse
2005-06-10, 09:51 PM
Yes, the PAAAAIN, SO MUCH PAAAAIN...

Whenever I read one of your sad posts, I cry myself to sleep at night.

:P

Kinagi
2005-06-10, 10:46 PM
I love reading your stories, because unlike alot of people on this board, you use great grammar, great structure, the stories are relevant, and you dont go off topic (except when explaining something).

Severus
2005-06-11, 01:34 AM
Dude.

Buy them some porno and tell them to go deal with their issues in private.

Shiyuan
2005-06-11, 03:10 AM
I love reading your stories, because unlike alot of people on this board, you use great grammar, great structure, the stories are relevant, and you dont go off topic (except when explaining something).

Thank you. ;D :-[ (Ya got me all blushin' now) :P

Oh and touche for the little jab at my predilection for paratheses. Hehe.



Dude.

Buy them some porno and tell them to go deal with their issues in private.

Oh, and don't get me started on the night when Alex tried to make us all watch lesbian porno with him...

COMING UP NEXT ON THE TALES FROM THE TABLE: The Duel

Some of you folks who've read my previous posts might remember a few passing mentions at sparring matches I was forced to engage in to bloat Alex's ego. Well, you're finally going to receive a tale of absurdity from those encounters, and the many idiotic things a man will do with a shinai to prove that he has a penis.

HempRope
2005-06-11, 09:42 AM
Hmmm... I'm not sure if I actually want to hear the details, here... :-/

sktarq
2005-06-11, 05:08 PM
Shiyuan, Why did you continue to play with this fool?

Gordon
2005-06-11, 07:51 PM
Yes, I think we've pretty thoroughly established that Alex suffers from the Flaw"Dipstick." Let's move on.

Shiyuan
2005-06-12, 01:16 AM
Oh the thing is, I don't play with him or that group anymore, I'm just recounting the details of that time period. Btw, I've actually mentioned that I no longer play with them anymore in both of my last two stories... :P

Besides, this thread is for Bad DM's.. etc., I think it relevant to post the many horrors of that group as long as this thread continues.

Nerd-o-rama
2005-06-12, 01:38 AM
All I can say is that I'm ashamed to share a hobby (two actually) with this grease-pig fellow. Hell, I'm ashamed of sharing an ethnicity with him.

Abd al-Azrad
2005-06-12, 04:38 AM
We, as gamers and as people in general, cannot allow those who are evil/disgusting/generally unpleasant to be representative of ourselves. Clearly, each individual has good and bad traits, which we must assess without prior predeliction towards a given judgement. This guy Alex has only been described to us from the perspective of a gamer who didn't really like him. This man is still a human being, and we must remember that, as members of the human species, we cannot assume that this man is entirely worth dismissing as "evil" or "wrong" or whatever. The stories of him paint him as a villain. This is fine, these stories create a dramatic context, an obstacle to overcome. The guy does sound like a jerk, but we know only the stories of those people who suffered at his hand, and thus can only know his bad side.
Although, I accept, the bad side is pretty infuriating, if these stories are fully accurate. All I know is, if someone was to only hear the bad stories of my life, they would hate me, too.

Shiyuan
2005-06-12, 04:59 AM
We, as gamers and as people in general, cannot allow those who are evil/disgusting/generally unpleasant to be representative of ourselves. Clearly, each individual has good and bad traits, which we must assess without prior predeliction towards a given judgement. This guy Alex has only been described to us from the perspective of a gamer who didn't really like him. This man is still a human being, and we must remember that, as members of the human species, we cannot assume that this man is entirely worth dismissing as "evil" or "wrong" or whatever. The stories of him paint him as a villain. This is fine, these stories create a dramatic context, an obstacle to overcome. The guy does sound like a jerk, but we know only the stories of those people who suffered at his hand, and thus can only know his bad side.
Although, I accept, the bad side is pretty infuriating, if these stories are fully accurate. All I know is, if someone was to only hear the bad stories of my life, they would hate me, too.

Very true, my fellow board monkey. I would like to state that my opinion and view of Lord Greas-::cough:: Alex, is entirely subjective and open to contest. However, I am merely telling it as I experienced it. While I do like embellishing my writing with choice words and descriptors, I do NOT embellish the context and dilalogue (quoted and paraphrased) described above or in the future; for the sake of an old Writer's Code me and a fellow writer from high school developed. Let's just say it's a matter of honor.

Alex was a definitely a double-edged (but horredously lop-sided) sword for me. His striving for pedantic glory meant that he did occassionally know what he was talking about. In fact, he could be intelligent to a degree where it was genuinely fun to banter with him on certain subjects where I knew he wouldn't shove his foot in his mouth. But his amicability simply could not heft the enormous weight of his psychological problems.

I shall re-iterate that among all his faults, which we all have to some extent, Alex's psychological abuse and practical brain-washing of his wife was what always repulsed me, as it became more apparent the longer I had been playing with him. The botched military campaign was just a big boost to my butt about skidaddling outta there.

On your last comment though, that may be true of some of us, but there is a fine line between tolerance for the sake of fairness and tolerance for the sake of tolerance. I can't say what you're really like based off anything on these boards, and you can say the same about me, but the difference between our bad sides and his, is that we are capable of understanding our faults to the point of admitting to them. Alex simply never developed a capacity to recognize his own, which is a tragic flaw to me.

Hmmm... I had planned to post the Duel that I promised before, but it's late now and I am tired from an entire day's worth of work. I shall post it when daylight next straddles the earth.

GreyRat
2005-06-12, 09:36 AM
Well, while we're waiting for more horror, a little comedy: The adventures of Mr. Casual!

Mr. C joined our group knowing we needed a cleric, so his first character was a cleric. His speciality was not assisting in fights. One of the first fights he was around for took place in a tavern after dinner. As everyone else pitched in, his first action consisted of- finishing his drink. His second action: "Well, if everyone else has left the table, I'll finish their drinks, too." After that, he sidled over to the bar and started helping himself. When we questioned him about it later, he replied, "Well, you looked like you had things under control." After pulling this cute trick a couple times, Mr. C eventually got that character killed off and refused a deity-given chance to come back because he 'didn't like clerics anyway'.

Fine, maybe he resented being forced into that role, we gave him another chance. His second character had a weird backstory about wanting revenge on his first character, and about the same level of connection with the other PCs as #1: "Oh, well it looks like my vengence has been taken care of. I might as well hang out with you." He was a druid with a level of rogue; he hated casting spells and camping outdoors, and each time we reached town, he immediately bathed, and then started drinking, no matter what our plans were. He said he had been forced to serve with the druids a while, but was done with that now, and was going to go all rogue. This seemed like a poor choice on Mr C's part, since the straight rogue PC had already voiced concerns about being overshadowed by the party's monk. Does the phrase 'team player' mean anything to you?

His attitude towards the game was made manifest the day he showed up an hour late because he had been watching a soccer game. He didn't call, he brought beer to a non-drinking group, and forgot his character sheet. So he basically sat there drinking his private six-pack, watching the show. We didn't really notice a difference in gameplay, and he stopped showing up after that.
I'm sure some groups wouldn't have minded, but we prefer players who remember their own character's name, fella.

kewldude
2005-06-12, 12:44 PM
MY DM IS SOOOO ANNOY ING HE WON'T STOP BOTHERING ME ABOUT MY BACK STORY I HATE MY DM !!!!!!!!! >:( >:( >:( >:(

Falrin
2005-06-12, 01:05 PM
So what's wrong with your backstory? :p

sktarq
2005-06-12, 06:36 PM
Oh the thing is, I don't play with him or that group anymore, I'm just recounting the details of that time period. Btw, I've actually mentioned that I no longer play with them anymore in both of my last two stories... *:P


Hence by use of that past tense "did You conintue" instead of "do you continue". *But fair enough we all get attached to various Poor DMs and not always realize it. *The DM from the larger horror story above was actually the chap who intoduced me to the game and i gave him great lee way because of that. *Though my tolerance ran out not long after that fiassco. *

Pop Goes the Weasel
2005-06-12, 06:50 PM
Roleplaying is for %@$*s!
-My DM

*cry*
Why can't I get a good group?! Why?!

Honestly, my group hates roleplaying. Rather than start dialogue, they'd rather kill every NPC they meet. One of them told me that D&D isn't about roleplaying, it was about killing stuff BECAUSE YOU CAN! They don't have characters, they have fighting meatbags!
*sigh*

Furanku_S
2005-06-12, 11:38 PM
This thread has been a harrowing experience for me.

"Hmm...a Bard... Oh no, is it me?
...
No, someone else. Dodged a bullet there."

"Hmm...a Cleric...Oh no, is it..."

Anyway, my group is fairly good. The worst DM we've ever had would have to be...

MYSELF. I am a terrible DM. If the game were a beautiful butterfly swooping in a sunlit meadow, I am a strychnine and uranium-coated butterfly-immolating net with EXTRA SCORPION BARBS. On second thought, that might be a bit of an overexaggeration, but you get the point.

Mind you, I am not talking about the first time I ever DMed. Everyone's first time is always a rollercoaster of mishaps and pointless details. I've DMed off and on for almost a year, and still consistently do a bad job. In addition, this bad DMing would seem to be limited to D&D; I have run many a game of Call of Cthulhu that worked brilliantly.

Anyway, the story...

After some poor homebrewed stuff, I decide to run Keep on the Borderlands (I didn't mention that I run only the old stuff, I think). Alright, I let everyone know that it's basically just a stab-fest. So far, so good. After the party explores the town for a while, they hook up with the Evil Priest (who I'm going to venture a guess is familiar to everyone here). They then promptly run off to the Caves of Chaos, where a pincer attack from an ogre and some hobgoblins sets off a giant melee in which I use the wrong stat line for the Priest. Instead of having 25 HP at AC -1, he has 8 HP at AC 5. Needless to say, he falls down big time, and the party fighter suddenly has a full set of +1 equipment. I did have a trump card, however...

The next target of the party was the Mad Hermit. After a bit of trekking, they tracked him down, and soon after it came to blows again. I allowed the party to simply knock him out (which almost caused the tissue thief to die). They neglected to actually tie him up, reasoning that an old man wouldn't have a mountain lion or anything like that to rescue him. Another combat OBVIOUSLY ensued.

This is the source of my second major fault. I play favorites with my players a lot. Since the thief had 2 max HP, I opted to have anything that would hit the thief hit the fighter instead. THE FIGHTER DIED FOUR TIMES IN THE COURSE OF AN HOUR.

Long story short, the +1 set was lost, the PCs had a house coalesce out of the void for them in the keep, and I forgot how range modifiers work, allowing magic 1/2 mile arrows to destroy an entire bandit camp.

I'm going to go cry and play Nethack now.

Gorbash Kazdar
2005-06-13, 01:50 AM
So what's wrong with your backstory? :p
He probably doesn't have one yet :P

I actually have a bit of a bad player rant. I used to play with a guy named Phil who fancied himself a good roleplayer - never has someone been so far off base in assessing their own abilities since Crassus, who got himself and ~30,000 troops wiped out at Carrhae.

His failings in this area were many. For one, I was never able to tell one of his characters from the others. The classes changed, the races changed, the names changed, but they were all the same character. This wouldn't be so bad, except that this character was quite annoying, and Phil seemed incapable of thinking linearly. In every situation he wold come up with the most ridiculously complicated plans and schemes. Hitting someone with a sword in combat was never good enough - he had to do something fancy. Moreover, his fanciful ideas never made any bloody sense from any logical viewpoint I've ever encountered (and to make sure it wasn't just me, I asked the other players if it made any sense to them). So he would bog the game down for 10-15 minutes at a time trying to get me to allow his wacky little plan and arguing about what effects it would have, even after I had made a ruling.

Outside of his battlefied shennanigans, Phil also tended to play characters that had extreme personalities, and ones that didn't fit well with a group. He caused more interparty conflict for no discernable reason than anyone I've ever seen - and would hide behind the shield of "I'm just playing my character!" (I eventually told him once that his character was an ass, and that from my POV he didn't contribute anything to the party that would make them put up with him for any real length of time.) Worse, he expected me, as the DM, to humor his characters attitudes and tendency to try and go do something on his own - he'd try to hijack the game to be a show about how cool his character was.

As a DM, he was even worse. He had the whole nine yards - uber pet NPC deus ex machina, the tendency to screw players over with his plots (no matter what, we can't keep the BBEG from killing his hostage cause that's how he wants the story to go), the tendency to want to beat the PCs, vindictiveness, railroading, and introduction of wacky elements for his own amusement that both damaged the sense of disbelief and were frankly not funny (though they would send him into giggle fits).

Phil tended to think he knew a lot about history and martial arts (specifically Eastern unarmed combat, but all forms of warfare in general), while in reality he adhered to the erroneous pop-culture views - and would argue these even in the face of overwhelming evidence that he was incorrect on a point. His POV as an individual was also rather frustrating - he was Right, and those who disagreed were Wrong, and if he did something that was arguably wrong, well, he knew best because in the end he was Right. He was also rather misogynistic and intolerant - he tended to be very patronizing of the few female players in the groups, assuming that they couldn't possibly actually understand what was going on. How he didn't have his eyeballs scratched out at some point remains beyond me. That did supply some amusement, though - the girls often managed to make him look like the utter idiot he was, much to the glee of the rest of the table, whilst he remained happily oblivious to the fact (assuming that the guys were laughing because of the "universal" tendency of girls not to understand things, and that any other girls were tittering brainlessly - though, honestly, I would have liked to see his face when it finally penetrated his skull that the all of these women were so much smarter and more mature than he was that their actually taking the time to respond to him was akin to a smashing a fly with a Buick).

In any case, I don't game with Phil anymore.

Nightmarenny
2005-06-13, 02:15 AM
Could you give an example of his lack of knowledge in war? It sounds interesting.

Gorbash Kazdar
2005-06-13, 02:17 AM
No without having a stroke at the moment. Remembering all his faults has caused my blood pressure to rise. Good times.

Though, as a small example, he was one of those folks who attributes to the katana the destructive capabilities of a small nuclear weapon.

Nightmarenny
2005-06-13, 02:21 AM
Yeah... were it may be an awsome weapon its not that awsome.

Gordon
2005-06-13, 02:48 AM
No without having a stroke at the moment. *Remembering all his faults has caused my blood pressure to rise. *Good times.

Though, as a small example, he was one of those folks who attributes to the katana the destructive capabilities of a small nuclear weapon.

Condolences, Gorby-- sounds like a few folks I've known who'll stop a game to argue about how a light saber "really" works. ::)

Shiyuan
2005-06-13, 04:09 AM
Alright... as I had promised, The Duel

One day, as the sun's gaze blinked and drowsied behind scattered clouds and receded further to its abode beyond the lunar dark, Alex was feeling spry and uppity, so he decided to present us with a little "surprise" for the evening. He made much fuss about the secrecy of his plans, and he and Mr. Pappero huddled in Alex's conference room for a short while before they came out with beaming grins and asked us to wait outside for a moment.

Me and Luke (Mike absent due to other business) walked outside and waited, somewhat excited about the occassion, this being very early in our gaming relationship (I seem to have a trend of going backwards in time with the series of stories I've posted here), and we were as of yet unaware of the many problems that would ensue.

Then Alex and Mr. Pappero saunter out of the den, with their hands seemingly clasped behind their backs. My spider sense tingled just then, and I put two and two together.

Alex = Japanophile, talks alot about Japanese swordsmanship

Mr. Pappero = Aikido practioner, and martial arts lover in general.

So... this seemed to me like it going to be a martial arts exhibition, which I was looking forward to... until the "demonstration" began.

It began with Alex and Mr. Pappero making great fanfare about the items hidden behind their backs, which turned out to be two bokken and two shinai.

Any of you familiar with Japanese training weapons, skip this portion. A bokken is essentially a wooden sword, shaped and curved like a katana without a tsubo (or handguard in Japanese). A shinai is a bamboo straight sword often accompanied with a circular tsubo, this weapon is often used in kendo, a ritualized sport version of kenjutsu.

So, Alex begins by detailing his exploits as a young student in a kenjutsu program a few years ago. He tells us of a mountain where the his sensei lived, but never bothered to name the specific mountain (it was supposed to be California), and then proceeded to speak highly of the skill of his sensei, which he never named. He mentioned that he was particularly attached to a kata he "excelled at", and asked Mr. Pappero to participate in his demonstration.

Standing around five feet away from one another, Alex assumed a reverse-grip of his bokken, and held his arm out and forward, facing Mr. Pappero. He spoke of this as a "kata", which confused me. A kata is a series of moves or manuevers one performs to build familiarity with movements and ingrain useful reflexes into its practioner. What he was doing was a kamae, or a stance. However, I could not identify his stance aside from the very obvious reference to the famous Zatoichi character from chanbara fame. I have heard of reverse-grip stances, but none resembled his, so I remained silent, eager to observe a possibly new kamae.

He began by declaring that Mr. Pappero would perform a thrust at him, and then proceeded to raise and open his sword arm to the side, with his blade point down and edge facing his opponent. He easily swept aside the incoming thrust and then with a shuffle and bend of his knees, he lurched forward, swinging his own blade in and under the now parried bokken of Mr. Pappero and perform a draw-cut against Mr. Pappero's belly. He made sure to keep on moving during and after his attack, and performed a series of unneccessary slices (Mr. Pappero would be dead if that first blow was done by a real sword), on Mr. Pappero's back. While this over-kill turned me off some, I was pleased to see that Alex knew at least one of the principles of Japanese swordsmanship, body weight in movement would deal a better blow than pure muscle power.

This continued for some time with minor variations, until i realized that Alex really didn't know many katas, and knew only one kamae. I was well-enough pleased by this demonstation and was eager to go back in for some gaming. However, Alex, flush with the good reaction he received from us, decided to make his exhibition the focus of the evening. He continued to perform essentially the same moves over and over again, only with different angles. Mr. Pappero seemed to be growing tired of the show also. I could also tell that this continual re-enactment of him getting killed over and over again was grating against his pride as a martial artist.

Suddenly, Mr. Pappero stopped playing along. He began to change Alex's directions and started landing blows on our poor host. I grew worried, and started to comment that perhaps it'd be best if we headed in for some good ol' gaming. -__-; No one answered me.

They were all engrossed with the spectacle that the demonstration had become, and Alex was frantically (albeit, to his credit, not too shabbily) defending himself from increasingly more aggressive and quicker false blows (Mr. Pappero still had the sense to pull his strikes, being a gentleman of some sorts). I grew more than worried and outright annoyed by this sorry display of ego on Mr. Pappero's part, and found myself, despite my strong feeling of keeping my background to myself out of courtesy to Alex's moment of glory, peeking over to the shinai laying at the side of grassy yard where the two battled.

Mind you, neither men were wearing any protective gear, and a good bokken can and will break bones when used intentionally to harm. I was not about to watch an accident occur where either men would injure the other. I yelled out for Mr. Pappero to stop, as we had seen enough, and to his credit, he stopped and apologized, and turned to us to do the same. But Alex, his own pride bruised by Mr. Pappero's display of prowess, decided to continue the fight, shouting at Mr. Pappero to "ready yourself!" and proceeded to launch his own offensive, which caught our Aikido-lover off guard.

Mr. Pappero had the grace to make his attacks mainly telling lessons of humility for Alex, but Alex did not seem to share his intent, and seemed more ready to teach Mr. Papppero lessons of pain. Granted, Mr. Pappero may've been a martial artist, but even the great Bruce Lee once admitted that if he had to face a man with a sword, he'd rather be ready with a sword himself, or just run. Unfortunately, while Mr. Pappero had a sword, he was in no position to ready himself in time and spent his energy just trying to attune himself in time with Alex's attacks, so that his defense would be rhythmic enough to allow counter attacks.

I had had enough. I lunged to one of the shinai, and rushed over to the two, lodging my shinai between their blades, then crossed Alex's blade and disarmed him with my non-sword-arm's armpit. Essentially, I crossed Alex's blade after stopping them, and side stepped over to Alex's sword-hand, and clamped down my non-sword arm over his grip and then clinched my arm to my torso, creating a vise with which to wrench the handle from his grasp. The actual disarming motion is merely a sharp turning of one's torso while maintaing the armpit vise. It's an odd move, but it works from my experience, and it lets me keep my opponent's blade indefiinitely away from harming me while I can turn and face another attacker... which I had to do.

This is where things got ugly.

Rather than stop, Mr. Pappero paused, stared hard with surprise at me, and then a strange, disturbing glow came to his face, and a grin appeared. I knew I was in trouble, I had allowed him to see me as competition, and now I knew inevitably where this was going to go. Mr. Pappero lowered his blade and flipped it backwards in his grip, and stood up straight to bow to me. Oh crap.

He looked at me expectantly while bent, waiting for my response. Feeling that Alex was no longer trying to futilely dislodge his bokken from my grip, I released the bokken, and caught it with my left hand (I am right-handed, so the shinai was in my right hand at the moment), and I turned back to Alex, handed him my shinai, and tried giving him an encouraging smile. He returned it with undisguised indignance. I felt bad at this point, and turned to Mr. Pappero, asking him to save this for another night, and he adamantly refused. He continued stay bent down, waiting. I sighed and shrugged, switched grips with my left hand and bowed in return to Mr. Pappero, with my face down in obvious respect, and in hopes that he'll take that as an admittance of my inferiority to his skill. He didn't think that was the matter.

At first, we seemed unsure of the other. I had the benefit of watching him previously, and I had already memorized his habits and movements, but not to the point of reflex or ease. He, on the other hand, saw me as a potentially dangerous foe, which I did not consider myself to be, nor wished to be.

We stood across from each other, eyeing the other warily. True to his form, he assumed Hasso no Kamae, a stance where the fighter grips the sword in two hands and brings it blade point up to his side, like a batting stance. This stance is extremely popular in movies, and has been abused to no end by kenjutsu fans. However, I was no fan, more of a weary practioner of an art that was more a legacy of my father (who left my family when I was a child) than a discipline I loved. I believe in simplicity in art and in function, so I assumed Chudan no Kamae, which is the most basic and elementary of all the Japanese stances, where the sword is held near the center of the body, with the edge down and the tip pointing out towards the enemy at a slight angle upwards. (check this link to see what it looks like if you can't visualize it: http://www.halifaxkendo.org/images/kamae/Chudan.jpg)

I heard Alex scoff at my stance and Mr. Pappero merely nodded grimly at me. I tried another disarming smile to no avail.

With a loud kiai (I shall never understand this habit with some people), Mr. Pappero commenced the fight with a swift feint to my left and a hard downward slash from my right.

I prefer the Chudan no Kamae for its ease of use, and simply because of the naturally defensive position one holds. Parries are no trouble to perform from this stance, as opposed to much riskier stances of Jodan no Kamae, Age-To, Gedan no Kamae, Hasso no Kamae, Katsugi Waza and Waki Gamae, for those who know the basics of kenjutsu.

I have been learning fencing for a year now by that time, and I had a hard-learned respect for distance and calm. After many horrendous defeats at the hands of the older fencers, I learned to tame my aggressive kenjutsu habits and earned a respect for remarkable cool-headedness, to the point where an opponent could thrust their foible (tip of a fencing sword) at my face and I would not blink nor flinch, and I would only move when I absolutely had to, to avoid a touch. Judging distance also became a natural part of my fighting, where I could almost-instantaneously gauge whether an attack would connect with me if I didn't move.

So, Mr. Pappero learned that I was no one to feint at. After a forte shove (where I use the lower third of the blade, near the handle, to guide an attack away with a push), I side-shuffled to my left, turned towards his moving form and riposted with a conventional Japanese two-handed thrust at Mr. Pappero's chest as he tried to run past me.

He easily parried the stab with a backwards wave of his bokken as he ran, and made quick use of the opening created by his parry to launch a one-handed belly-cut, which I stepped away from.

One thing I have to remark about slashes and cuts, they rely too much on proximity for their force to be effective, and have definite reach limits, as opposed to a thrust, which can be followed through with a good lunge, redouble or hop to further propel your tip forward.

I answered his attempted draw-cut with a draw-cut of my own, with my still-outstretched bokken from the previous parried thrust position. As I stepped back from his attack, I performed a backhanded slice at the side of Mr. Papper's exposed shoulder (I could've gone for his head, but I didn't want to make things worse). He met my expectations again by deftly transforming his failed draw-cutting attack into a lateral parry by raising his already moving grip upwards, while lowering his blade downwards into an angled position to cross my incoming blade. When contact is made, he dextrously pushes my blade away with the cross and continues his previous forward steps to circle around me and to swing his grip of the bokken back around his head from his right to his left, to begin what appears would've been a brutally quick flick-cut to the right side of my head.

I found this impending attack to be too close for comfort, and quickly ducked my head down and darted in close and past him from his left side, where his attack would be awkward to carry out, with his right arm already crossing his upper head, and his bicep next to his face. While I moved in this manner, I released my left hand's grip of the bokken and initiated a belly-cut attempt. Stuck with his sword-arm still raised, I wonder now what Mr. Pappero must've been thinking to do next. I don't know if I would've connected, but then something astounding occured.

Alex jumped in to save Mr. Pappero with the shinai...

::Gasp:: Christ that is exhausting to describe. I think I'll make this a two-parter guys, stay tuned for Part II tommorow. :P

Oh, and I hope folks notice the oddity of the last two exchanges me and Mr. Pappero engaged in before I paused the story. I actually performed the same backhanded draw-cut motion, twice in a row, just directed at different areas. I've always found this fact immeasurably quirky of that fight, but hey, I can't say much else besides that the situation contrived for it happen. :P

Gorbash Kazdar
2005-06-13, 04:26 AM
With a loud kiai (I shall never understand this habit with some people), Mr. Pappero commenced the fight with a swift feint to my left and a hard downward slash from my right.
If I'm reading correctly, then Mr. Pappero had some training with kendo (I gather from your post that you have fairly little formal practice with kendo, though are familiar with Japanese swordsmanhsip - two different things), in which there is a concept called zanshin. Its roughly "fighting spirit," but there is a huge amount of subtext that gets lost in translation. Basically, its the rightness and enthusiasm for engaging in combat in a meaningful and correct way. Anywho, in a formal kendo competition, you may not score points for even a telling blow if you don't display enough zanshin. The easiest and most direct way to display zanshin is with a strong kiai shout when you attack. Other martial arts have similar concepts. It gets so ingrained in competitors that they basically do it automatically. There's also the concept that a good kiai shout focuses the fighter and aids his attacks.

Other Japanese fencing forms - particularly the "harder" ones - dismiss this as more or less metaphysical crock. Of course you have to have zanshin, but displaying it in some sort of formalized way, like a shout, is just silly. At least, that's their perspective. ;)

Veera
2005-06-13, 04:28 AM
**Blinks** Wow, that is a lot of description. Kind of fun to read, even if it *does* remind me of the worst blind date I ever had. The guy decided to show me his sword moves, and I just couldn't stop laughing.. He and his partner were spouting lines about 'true power' and 'touching one's inner self' that I thought I was watching a very poorly made 80s ninja flick...

Shiyuan is far more interesting. ^_^

Shiyuan
2005-06-13, 04:33 AM
If I'm reading correctly, then Mr. Pappero had some training with kendo (I gather from your post that you have fairly little formal practice with kendo, though are familiar with Japanese swordsmanhsip - two different things), in which there is a concept called zanshin. Its roughly "fighting spirit," but there is a huge amount of subtext that gets lost in translation. Basically, its the rightness and enthusiasm for engaging in combat in a meaningful and correct way. Anywho, in a formal kendo competition, you may not score points for even a telling blow if you don't display enough zanshin. The easiest and most direct way to display zanshin is with a strong kiai shout when you attack. Other martial arts have similar concepts. It gets so ingrained in competitors that they basically do it automatically. There's also the concept that a good kiai shout focuses the fighter and aids his attacks.

Other Japanese fencing forms - particularly the "harder" ones - dismiss this as more or less metaphysical crock. Of course you have to have zanshin, but displaying it in some sort of formalized way, like a shout, is just silly. At least, that's their perspective. ;)


;D Indeed, I have little experience in kendo, and if I said something to insult, I apologize. I didn't quite understand the spirituality of the sport. My father had a very poor opinion of it, and always spoke to me of it in disgust. But my father was a violent and passionate man who abhorred sport combat, and practically married street fighting while we lived in New York. I do not share his views or feelings, but I guess he still rubbed off on me despite my best efforts. Kenjutsu to me has always been a spiritual thing, and one for my father also. It was his way of exorcising his rage, and my way of focusing my mind away from my fears and problems as a child.

Gorbash Kazdar
2005-06-13, 04:38 AM
;D Indeed, I have little experience in kendo, and if I said something to insult, I apologize. I didn't quite understand the spirituality of the sport. My father had a very poor opinion of it, and always spoke to me of it in disgust. But my father was a violent and passionate man who abhorred sport combat, and practically married street fighting while we lived in New York. I do not share his views or feelings, but I guess he still rubbed off on me despite my best efforts. Kenjutsu to me has always been a spiritual thing, and one for my father also. It was his way of exorcising his rage, and my way of focusing my mind away from my fears and problems as a child.
No offense taken - simply supplying some background ;)

There is something to the whole concept, though - everyone I've talked to who was involved in combat or strong competition spoke of being in the "zone," a mix of calm, focus, and adrenaline spiked with some degree or fear or urgency (emotional state can affect biology, too, so that adds to things). Zanshin kind of covers that, and some of the techniques (including kiai shouts) are designed to bring that state about. I personally am leary, however, of some of the metaphysical stuff attached to it, and the rote adherance to those concepts without actually trying to understand them.

And then, of course, there's simply the intimidation factor of having a screaming person swing a Very Sharp ThingTM at your head ;) If it makes that opponent hesitate... But other other times you just have to get down to business and dispose with the shouting.

Comrade Gorby: :: Pokes himself, and yells at himself to stop taking the thread off topic:: ;D

Shiyuan
2005-06-13, 04:43 AM
No offense taken - simply supplying some background ;)

There is something to the whole concept, though - everyone I've talked to who was involved in combat or strong competition spoke of being in the "zone," a mix of calm, focus, and adrenaline spiked with some degree or fear or urgency (emotional state can affect biology, too, so that adds to things). Zanshin kind of covers that, and some of the techniques (including kiai shouts) are designed to bring that state about. I personally am leary, however, of some of the metaphysical stuff attached to it, and the rote adherance to those concepts without actually trying to understand them.

And then, of course, there's simply the intimidation factor of having a screaming person swing a Very Sharp ThingTM at your head ;) If it makes that opponent hesitate... But other other times you just have to get down to business and dispose with the shouting.

Comrade Gorby: :: Pokes himself, and yells at himself to stop taking the thread off topic:: ;D

Enlightening! Thank you for further clarifying all that. ;D I know what you mean by the "zone", I get it when I engage in any sort of combat, but it mainly takes the form of dead calm for me. When I yell in that state, it tends to come out as a tense yelp or something suitably UN-initimidating. :P


**Blinks** Wow, that is a lot of description. Kind of fun to read, even if it *does* remind me of the worst blind date I ever had. The guy decided to show me his sword moves, and I just couldn't stop laughing.. He and his partner were spouting lines about 'true power' and 'touching one's inner self' that I thought I was watching a very poorly made 80s ninja flick...

Shiyuan is far more interesting. ^_^

W00t! Hehe.

Severus
2005-06-13, 10:24 AM
Too... Much.. Testosterone... Can't... Breathe...

AngelSword
2005-06-14, 12:42 AM
I must say that I am pleased to have never run for anyone like this.

The only bad experience I can say I've had involves when I first started playing. It was the beginning of '03, I had just gotten to my first duty station in the Air Force, and ended up with a bunch of people from my tech school class. Since we're all programmers, various nerd habits came about, to include D&D.

My best friend decided that, since he'd had around 10 years experience in the game, he's the best candidate to run. So he starts putting together a campaign, and asks around to see who'd be interested.

Lo and behold, he had a party of 12 people. Only a few people cared about plot, and the rest were all about their own agendas. It was a disorganized mess. My lack of knowledge didn't help much, either.

However, once he culled the loose ends and I gained a more commanding knowledge of the system, things became much more enjoyable.

Bloodred
2005-06-14, 04:07 AM
* Actually I've had similar experences with sword-play. Now, now its not the same in that we actually faught, let me tell you. Let me start by saying I am not a skilled swordsman, I was running around with plastic swords when I was 3, and have never put sword-like objects down. When I was 12 my Aunt was the first person to give me a live steel weapon(Metal) as part of an SCA-type thing, and it was awsome. Annyways, I have been practiceing forever with swords, however I never attended a dojo. When I mention my sword skills, or someone asks me about them(They see them in my room, or someone says im some exelent swordsman to them) I always have to explain im just a guy whos familar with a weapon, not trained in it, and im sure annyone with sizeable skill could kick my butt. However my friends, and girl-friend for some un-fathomeable reason keep saying im a bad-ass with a blade, agh. Infact once my girl friend wanted me to give her a weapons demonstration, and I really didnt want to. But well, you know how pursuasive women can be(Yes, yes men are suckers). Annyways I felt like such a fool, ugh, im not really good with a sword, and really my moves are pretty much all show. Although my ability focuses around physical flexibility, because pysical power comes to me in the heat of the moment. Annyways, she seemed to think I was an un-beliveible swordsman, complete with a seiries of ooh's, and ahh's.
* *Agian, let me say, im no swordsman, and have never claimed to be one, im just a fan of the Samurai.
* *Annyways, me and swords had been going on forever, and eventually while playing DnD 3.- we started playing OA DnD. After a while of playing a charicter with a high Iajitsu focus score, my best friend decides he's a Ia swords man. Yep he goes on e-bay, buys a 30$ sword, swings it twice and says hes a full-blown swords-man. He goes out and tells people, constantly. His sword blade was so dull, you could see the edge was flat when you looked straight into it. Also his scabbard decorations where stickers, I peeled one off during his boasting in a female crowd, soly for effect.
* An out-rage!!
* My agianst him, my sword skills agianst him.
* I go, "Uhhh, dude, neither of us are swords-men".
* He wanted to fight with swords, or bokkens, annything.
* I refused, we didnt even have protective padding!!
* He thought it was funny, constantly taunted me about being afraid.
* If it got really bad, I was going to just fight him, and instead of useing anny tecnique, simply bash his head in. Like an improvised base-ball bat, because even though he'd be useing his "Ia" skills, he was really, really slow.(And of course, Ia's main focus is speed!!)
* Annyways, it never got to that point. Sometimes I look back and wish it did, but im seriously glad I didnt give into his childish taunts. One of us would have ended up severly injured, and I usually dont even flinch untill someone lands a hit where I fall down and pass out.(Really not important, yet I feel compelled to add that bit)
* *Annyways, we should make a thread to further converse this, without makeing this thread horribly off-topic. However I fear zillions of people will see it, who have absolutely no knoweldge of the sport(Some-what guilty as charged!!) and constantly comment on it.
* I supose in theory I am some-what on-topic, because this all stemmed from OA DnD games. . . Lol, silly people, I swear. . .
* Anny-hoo, peace!!

Shiyuan
2005-06-15, 03:59 AM
Hoy... summer session started... I have had no time these past few days. I promise to finish the horror story on Thursday, when the flurry of classes subside until next week. So stressed... and tired... ::sigh::

SumGuy
2005-06-16, 12:45 AM
The only story I have about a bad player didnt even involve me, but I think it'd be good to tell here nonetheless.

2 of my friends that are in my D&D group attended a D&D club that just started at their school. There were 6 people in the club including them. Everyone there was a nondescript gamer, nothing spectacular one way or another. Then he walked in...

Lets call the new guy D. D proclaimed that he was new to gaming, but already knew the 3.0 rules inside and out. Riiiight.

D's way of displaying this new knowledge was to pull out the 3 core rulebooks, and about 5 other WotC books of varying importance and themes. While the PCs were drawing up their character sheets, D pulled out a "ready made" character for the DM to approve.

Said character's lowest stat was a 12. The second lowest was a 17. And it was a 1st level wizard with a flaming vorpal longsword.

Long story short, D didnt understand the concept of a balanced character, or for that matter a balanced party. He constantly would try to take charge in every action the party took, regardless of character inclinement or ability.

This all would usually be tolerable, if for no other reason that D was a D&D noob, and just a bit wet behind the ears. Sadly, there was a greater problem than that.

D's characters had little or no common sense, regardless of the character's Wisdom score. He would constantly do dangerous things in the game, either because he didnt understand the rules properly, or he just didnt think about the ramifications of his actions. For example, when the party was attempting to assault a dark room with 6 orcs in it, D's wizard cast Light on his hand, and proceeded to wave it around while standing inside the doorway, thus exposing all of his 4 hitpoints and low AC to some very aggrivated orcs.

Again, this annoyance and bad RPing would be tolerable since D was brand new to RPGs. The sad thing is that he never ever learned the basics of the D20 system, and then proceeded to blame his failures on the other members of the D&D club.

The club disbanded after only 5 weekly meetings due to the other members inability to cope with Mr. D. From what I hear from the rumor mill, D has not grown as a player, despite buyin over $1000 of D&D books.

Edited for better readability...I hope

Dryden
2005-06-16, 12:54 AM
Worst PC I EVER had was a kid who showed up to my campaign of noobs one day, thinking he was all the man and whatnot, walks right up to me and asks me if he can be a Half-Celestial, Psionic.

I told him that the game was being DMed for noobie PCs and that I myself didnt completely understand the rules for psionics.

He then whipped out a psionic handbook and motioned for me to take it. I told him that I wasnt going to read a book so that he could power game and ruin the fun for the other PCs.

He ended up playing a wizard and when the party ran into two iron golems he just sat around and threw his club at the ground.

Later i find out that him and some poor, poor pcs are playing D&D at school, and hes DMing. The guy starts talking crap about me and how im not a creative dm and whatnot.

worst kind of PC right there. the crybaby who doesnt get his way, so he makes his own world. what a nub.

P.S. my entire group of gamers then started to shun him, and now I have the title of being the best DM attending my school.....sucker....:P

Shiyuan
2005-06-17, 03:44 AM
Alright! I caught up with my sleep, and now I can finish the story I began on page 7. :P

EDIT: Much Needed Edits for Grammar

PART II

Alex intervened before my attack could land. His shinai interposed itself between my bokken and Mr. Pappero's abdomen, slowing my strike considerably. I still cannot figure whether his shinai would've held my bokken indefinitely as Mr. Pappero, quick on the uptake as ever, brought down his bokken-gripping fist, slamming the butt of his weapon into the flat side of my sword, knocking it away from my grasp (I habitually have a gentle, loose hold on my swords due my fencing training), forcing me to roll forward and away from the now entangled Alex and Mr. Pappero.

Eager to prove himself again, as it seemed, Alex seperated himself from Mr. Pappero and scooped up my bokken. He assumed a dual-wielding stance, which I still largely believe to have been more aesthetic than functional. Wielding shinai and bokken, Alex managed to make himself look somewhat formidable.

However, Mr. Pappero was having none of it. He was quite put out with this interference in what he considered to be an "honorable duel between men", as he expressed and emphasized to Alex. Boy, what an unbelievably idiotic thing to say.

Alex (understandably) took this as a veiled insult to his manhood, shouted for Mr. Pappero to come en garde (which I found ironic because he once went through great trouble to try to convince me that fencing was a useless discipline for real combat) and charged into the fray with glasses shining in brilliant rage. ( :P )

The resulting "fight" resembled something akin to the first Anakin vs. Dooku duel in Episode II, only considerably less exciting, but much more entertaining. Alex was the much artless Anakin and Mr. Pappero resembling a more spry and youthful Dooku.

Glad to be suddenly forgotten in this mire of testorone, I realized nothing was really going to snap these two out of their bloodlust, and made my way into the house in search of a much needed can of Coke. :P

I remember hearing the noisy thrashing of bamboo against cherry wood, the sodden grunts and whuffs of muscle and fat exerting and colliding through their awkward dance. By the time I had made it back out, Alex's bokken had been disarmed, and he fought on doggedly with the shinai. I knew the fight was long over, and that Mr. Pappero was merely setting Alex up for a dramatic finish.

Already, I could see the dark streaks of gestating bruises and the irregular heave and ho of Alex's breathing, like some poor sod packed with a 200 lb bag and told to hop about vigorously. Mr. Pappero, on the other hand, glistened with hale beads of light perspiration, the glowing picture of health and fitness. Even if Mr. Pappero had not the skill, if he had the wisdom to respect caution and patience, he would've defeated Alex out of sheer endurance alone.

I seriously was fed up with their antics and asked them both politely to cease their squabble. Neither bothered to respond, so the match continued.

Then came the break. I mean, literally, a break. While batting away at Mr. Pappero's seemingly unceasing barrage of attacks (more than three-quarters being feints that Alex simply could not gauge), Alex finally swung too hard (he shouldn't have been swinging at all, "setting aside" an opponent's weapon is far more efficient and effective) and SOMEHOW splintered his shinai. I've used the things before, and have seen a shinai take serious abuse and come out less worse for wear. Yet, that evening, I witnessed the first time I'd ever see one just... break.

Then came the pause. Mr. Pappero, himself shocked, stopped himself and stared quite wide-eyed at Alex's weapon. I think for him, he was more conscious of the possible cost of paying for a replacement. Whatever the case, Mr. Pappero stopped and that allowed Alex his chance to regain what he felt he had lost during the course of the night's events.

Alex slashed Mr. Pappero with the broken end of what remained of his shinai.

First came the shocked whuff of Mr. Pappero as he took the blow in the chest, and then came the blood as it seeped through his t-shirt. Staring wide-eyed down at his chest, and then raising his gaze up to Alex, I saw abject surprise transform into murderous outrage.

The bokken dropped, and Mr. Pappero reached out with his bare hands for Alex. I had already started moving.

Alex brought up his broken shinai in an attempt to ward off the very scary looking Mr. Pappero, but found that he was easily disarmed by the Aikido black belt (oh yes, Mr. Pappero did have one of those). I managed to lock up my arms with those of Mr. Pappero before he could close his grip on Alex's throat. That's where things got interesting.

If you've ever seen sticking hands, a sort of exercise that some martial artists do to build reflexes and touch-based intuition, then you'll know what happened. Shoving Alex away, and fortunately, he did not protest this, I placed myself between him and the furious young man intent on throttling him. Our arms still locked in contact, I watched with trepidation as Mr. Pappero's rage-filled eyes fixated on me, and the motions began.

Mr. Pappero loved sticking hands, and one night had made a big ado about demonstrating it to all the gamers of the table. He forced each one of us to "try it out" with him. Essentially, as described by Mr. Pappero (including his sadistic addition of striking), one tries to keep constant contact with your opponent's arms (your right to his left, your left to his right) until you can successfully sweep and lock both of your opponent's arms with one arm, freeing the other to strike at your opponent. With our crash-course lessons, he was fine with slapping. I had pretended to have no experience with sticking hands despite my childhood training in it by my bellicose father. It worked well enough, as I made myself to appear to have learned quickly, but just enough to ward off most of Mr. Pappero's slaps.

Now here we were, standing face to face, and I realized that Mr. Pappero wasn't planning on slapping. Needless to say, I was very nervous about all this. The constant shuffling and replacement of our footing, and the weaving and encirclements our arms sped through forced me to focus completely on nothingness, on pure instinct. Likewise, I realized the same was occuring with Mr. Pappero. As our footwork danced about the grass, and our hands and arms moved faster to counter the other, I observed that Mr. Pappero's rage was subsiding, and giving way to a concentrated form of delight. He was the consumate martial artist, and enjoyed challenges that required his discipline. Well, I was more than happy to force him to use discipline, because in reality, it made him a lot less dangerous to all of us.

Eventually, he calmed down completely, and when I decided it was safe, I created an opening for him as bright as day, and he took it. I thought it through and recognized that Mr. Pappero had suffered great humilation at the hands of Alex, but was less grudgeful than prideful. Any significant victory or triumph would do, rather than solely the punishment of Alex. So I led our fight to a point where I could feel Mr. Pappero's energy building, cresting within the tense bricks of muscle of his forearms. Judging a moment to give him proper release to his enthuisiasm, I opened a glaring hole in my defense, and let him spot it. When he did, he took his time to work towards it and finally he clasped my wrists with his right hand and wrist and whipped out his left hand at me. Despite my cerebral approach to the ending of the fight, I still found myself reflexively wincing when his hand sped forward and... patted me gently on the cheek.

BIG WHEW.

By this time he was beaming, and STILL bleeding... Weirdo. Once everyone calmed down, I coralled them all back in the house for refreshment, and for Mr. Pappero, a clean wipe for his cut and some bandaging. Thankfully, the cut was superficial, and very shallow. We were all pleased with this, and apologies were traded around the room.

After all was kosher again, I was side-blinded by Alex later on that evening with an idle comment on his part. As we were eating dinner and discussing the upcoming game. Alex halted mid-eating and turned to me, and said, "Oh, and Stephen..."

To which I replied, "Yes?"

Alex: "Could you do me a favor?"

Me: "What for?"

Alex: "Well, it's a little something... and you don't have to do it, if you don't want to... even if I had to intervene on your behalf back there and all..."

Me: ::Mouth gaping::

Yes... this man was telling me that he saved my butt... when I had just spent that entire fight protecting his. Alex, you are a piece of work...

THE END

Eric_The_Mad
2005-06-17, 06:44 AM
I think that, based on my own experiences and the tales on this thread, that some archetypes of Bad Gamers have become clear.

1) The Self-Proclaimed Martial Artist Guru
Shiyuan's tales illustrate this sort far too clearly. To elaborate would be pointless. But why do they all seem to be overweight?

2) The Military Genius:
Again, refer to Shiyuan's safa for a example. A common trait is to be obsessed with one or more culture. Usually Japanese or Mongol, but I've met a Guderian wannabee who was also a closet neonazi *shudder* Will wax at length on their superior command of tactics and strategy, and their command of military history.

3) The Pervert
Either guys who can't get laid in real life, or who insist on using the game to live out their fetishes/issues. Like the frustrated transvestite who always played lesbians. *twitch* A related species is the guy who plays women who will sleep with anything.

4) The Frusted Psycho-Killer.
I think the most common one, and lines between them and powergamer tends to blur a lot. Kill. Kill some more. Live and thrives on killing, and making people afraid of them. The sort who, when the group gets a quest or mission, kills the person giving it to them. When lacks normal prey, will turn on other PC's. Like Kurt, who killed off every person in the party who he didn't like, in and out of game, while camping one night.

5) The Tease, aka DM Groupie
Much less common today then it used to be "when I was a boy". Female who comes to games which were all males who tend to lack social skills/contacts. Uses her "wiles" to get preferential treatment from the DM and as many players as she can. Often doesn't care about game, but thrives on feeling of being desired and her power over others. Mistress of "Poor Poor Pityful Me" tactic.

6) The Pedantic.
Knows it all. Doesn't matter what, they know it. Hard to tell from the Military Genius, except the Pedant ranges much farther. Will refer to books they haven't read, and insist on arguing things past the point anybody else really cares. Sadly, this would be my flaw, as recently I bugged a SCA buddy into helping me collect and weigh arrows and slingstones because of a arguement I had with a DM on a NWN Server.

7) Bored Girl/Boyfriend
Again, a role that used to be dominated by females, but with changing times, males have stepped up to the job. Is only there because of a neurotic need to share everything their sweety does. May be a whiner, tends to not know the rules, different ones will manifest a variety of different obnoxious behaviors, even mimicing others, like my friend Nic who tends to morph into Martial Arts Guru or Frustrated Psycho-Killer when I tried to run for his wife Emily.

8) The Narcissist.
Sadly, most of the others I've mentioned tend to also be this. It's all about them. Give them their turn and they will take control of things. Will try to control the party and it's actions. If GMing, they almost always insert a Avatar NPC who can save the entire world on his own, and still kick the party's ass. Face it, we all know this guy.

The others we all know as well. The Rules Lawyer "In the errata for this suppliment we're not even using....", the Power Gamer (Why can't I have a +17 vs Everything Can Opener?", the Cheater *Your 6th natural 20 in a row? Not having a good night tonight, are you?". etc.

Cubey
2005-06-17, 08:34 AM
Here's the worst group I've ever GMed for. The players were neither total newbies nor horrible people in the real life, only their characters were. Basically, each of them had a concept which the player thought to be incredible and complex, but these concepts weren't very compatible with each other... needless to say that we used this characters once.

Ah yes, we played Earthdawn. Sorry if I mess up some of the discipline names, I do not have access to english rulebooks.

1. Human, Horror Stalker, Male: not that bad of an RPer, but the role of a dark loner dedicated to slaying Horrors limited him. And a powergamer. A HORRIBLE powergamer. One would think that it's impossible to powergame with a human in ED, as they are as weak when compared to other races as they were in 2nd edition of AD&D. Yet, he still managed to do it: despite the point-buy system, none of his stats were lower then 13 (stats in Earthdawn are surprisingly DnD-like). He took a human "subrace" of Vorst, who receive the best stat adjustments for Horror Stalkers, in return suffering from some minor weaknesses. At least he didn't choose a Galeb-Klek, who don't receive minuses at all... Surprisingly, I had least problems with this character.

2. Elf, Swordmaster, Male: I can't say much about this one, as the player didn't arrive to play. Good for him. However, he insisted on his character having black skin and white hair. Yes - a Drow. In Barsaive. Too bad that such a skin/hair combination isn't banned by the rulebooks.

Here the really horrible stuff begins.

3. Dwarf, Wizard, Female (in ED, dwarves make surprisingly non-sucky wizards. ah, and the player was male, the char was female): a butt-ugly enchantress with an obsession that every other character, ESPECIALLY the other team members, is going to rape or otherwise abuse her. The player was a typical mischief-maker: if he considered the action too boring, he'd speed it up by doing something incredibly stupid. Like putting a jungle on fire, luring aggresive tigers. Then having issues that a tiger should be able to kill a human (yes, the 1st character) with one strike. Then sulking that the 1st char killed the tiger, roasted some of its pieces and ate them.

4. Windling (pixie-like), Elementalist, Male: aged (and looking old, despite that windlings are supposed to look youthful as long as they're alive), with tribal tattoos and dreadlocks. And a killer instinct. Yes, as you might have guessed, that instinct was directed towards the other party members. Especially number 3 (I had almost nothing against it, as s/he managed to extremely annoy everyone else), because of the windling's hatred of the dwarves. Not a good character trait, especially when 50% of Barsaive's population is dwarven. He made up a story about his village being burnt down, and all villagers except him killed - yes, by dwarves. Soldiers from the kingdom of Throal, to be precise. Of course, the fact that Throal is basically a good-aligned country, as democratic as a kingdom could be, is really minor. What mattered was that the character had a possiblity to try to murder, or at least harass, every dwarf he saw...

Adolfo
2005-06-17, 11:02 AM
Shiyuan, your text is burning my eyes......nice story anyway, that guy's a PAIN.

I got the story of this HYPER high lv campagin, where we are supposed to build a high lv outpost out in an island infested with Balor lords... My DM is somewhat predijuiced, because I'm the eccentric type who doesn't like to be the same as others, and choose to be a sniper. Now elemantalist with Winter Solastices and destroying me. I'm the only guy who NEEDS to make his own weapons and all, while the rest gets free magic gloves etc.

Good news: I'm surviving with my weapon bonding ability to give me a 3d20 bow.

Bad news: The Dm wants a "magic campaign so he can really control us but I'm refusing the die.

We DID have a fighter with some kind of superblade. But he needed a ranged weapon, so he took alchemy. He made firewine. He forcefed firewine.........

Anavia
2005-06-17, 01:05 PM
Never forget that a lot of potentially disastrous situations can be defused by humor. Let me tell you about the game I currently am playing. We really have a lot of fun but it could have been otherwise.

Setting:
We are quite a small group: 4 players and 1 DM. We've all played together before, are friends outside gaming, and the DM is experienced, although it's the first time I play in a game he DMs. I am also the only female player at the table. The game is D&D 2E, in the first edition of the Darksun setting.

I had never played a game in Darksun and our DM (let's call him B) ruled that I would not have access to Darksun rulebooks. He would tell me what my character knew about the world and I would learn the rest as the game would progress. Fair enough, I usually try not to metagame too much anyway. But obviously, I needed his help to create my character since I didn't know anything about the world. I chose to play a human druid and let him provide me with some kind of background to flesh out the character.

So B tells me my character is part of the religious caste of a small tribal village. No problem with that, but then the troubles begin. I had put my two highest stats in WIS and CHA in order to have the 10% XP bonus of 2E, which meant I had CHA = 18 (stat rolls are different in that setting: the world is harsher so the heroes have to be somewhat overpowered). B proceeds to tell me that women of my tribe all have large breasts and an hourglass figure. He then bumps my CHA to 19 through some kind of adventure I had involving a magic plant. Then, obviously, tells me that it would be logical if my character was "involved" with a NPC that he had already introduced as part of my background. But since I pictured my character as single (since she had to be willing to leave the village and go adventure), that meant my character's sex life had just been defined by the DM. So my character is now some kind of drop-dead gorgeous bimbo. The first gaming session kept going in the same direction. It was a little bit out of my zone of comfort, and my boyfriend (another player) was frankly annoyed.

I emailed B about it, telling him I would appreciate if he would calm down, but he didn't take me seriously and kept railroading me into having my character sleep (or nearly sleep) with guys as a plot device.

At that point, all 4 players are more or less annoyed by the situation. So instead of fighting with the DM, we started making fun of the situation. I started by saying that since my character's name was Xara, her last name - if she ever needed one - would be Krauft (a pun on Lara Croft). Then, a guy who was playing a dwarf started doing the following: everytime our characters talked together, his character would have to push aside my character's enormous breasts to be able to see my face. We kept doing that kind of stuff for a few sessions. Need shadow? Let's put a stick under each of Xara's breasts to create enough shadow to shelter a small village. I miss my attack roll? I say that it must be because the twins were hampering me.

After a few sessions of that, B changed his behaviour. We don't have that kind of problems anymore. I reinforced this by informing him that I intented to take a rank in etiquette with an upcoming non-weapon proficiency point (I already had a rank in oratory). That way, my charisma would reflect something else than just beauty. Sometimes, very rarely in fact, he will still refer to my character's looks, but now it's for flavour, and I play along with him. Nobody is uncomfortable that way and I don't get to see my character sleep with NPCs anymore. And like I said in the beginning, I now enjoy that game very much and think B is a pretty good DM after all.

I'm not saying that humor will work in all situations. Some people are just too dense to get that what they are doing is putting the whole game in jeopardy. But sometimes, humor is better than becoming angry and quitting the table.

mapexman115
2005-06-17, 06:04 PM
Bad gamers... *Well, I haven't been actually playing D&D for very long (about six months), but I've already encountered every variety of bad gamer of which I've ever heard.

Eric the Mad broke down the subtypes fairly succinctly and I could name examples of each, but I won't. *Call it respect, I guess. *I've fit into several of those groups from time to time, but I try to avoid it. *

My 1st DM was probably one of the more fair, but (after a girl *gasp* joined the group) became her devoted slave, and not even at her behest, she was enthusiastic and eager about playing the game, but between the DM's pandering and her pouting, bored, attention-whore boyfriend's incessant moping and whining, she didn't get much of a chance to learn the game. *

My 2nd DM had a problem knowing when to shut up (and when to realize and correct his own ignorance, ex. Narcissist). *Also, he piled treasure and power ups on us like it was the end of the world. *5th level characters should not be walking around with two +3 weapons, armor, and medium wonderous items. *It's just overpowered.

The only issue I have with my third DM is that he hasn't been able to come to the game in 4 weeks and won't for 2 more. *Others have filled in, so it's cool, but when he's there, he's awesome.

*5th DM not to be discussed here due to awesomeness*

That leaves me, my 6th DM, you could say. *I've had one session so far on very short notice, but I think it went well. *There're only two players, but more are coming, and I'm looking forward to it. *I'll post on here if I foul up later so that this can be a legitimate gripe. * Peace.

Abd al-Azrad
2005-06-17, 06:35 PM
I had one DM who was both very good and rather bad at once. The same qualities that made him a very skilled storyteller and world-builder, contributed to the slow death of his game. I will explain.
This guy, "A.", loves an elaborate story. As such, he admitted to spending entire weekends before every game session, planning in intricate detail every possible event that could occur, building elaborate NPC villages (full of elaborate NPCs), and essentially micromanaging his entire world.
By the way, the world we were in was the world of Forgotten Realms. As such, there was already such a detailed, intricate framework laid down for us, that there would be no way in a thousand years that our characters could learn all of what was "up" in the world.
Now, we get to the games. DOZENS of new named NPCs every session. By "named", I mean elaborate, involving a full character sheet, key to the overarching plotline NPCs. We learned a few of them, especially the ones we determined to be "key".
The overarching plot: we never learned. So many random, seemingly unconnected things would happen every session, we honestly didn't know whether there even was such a plot, some aspect of the game that A. wanted us to eventually discover and explore. The game was so vast in scope, incorporating every minute detail of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, that we as players ended up feeling... well, useless. Our 14th level party of extremely powerful, versatile characters, capable of fast travel, extraordinary stealth, and withering melee combat capabilities were just so constantly and completely overwhelmed with, like, six different, seemingly unrelated simultaneous plotlines that all demanded our immediate attention, that we truly had no idea what we should do.
Now, I want to say that allowing the players to run wild in a world isn't entirely a bad idea. I've run many a game of "freeform" D&D in my time, and they typically turn out well. However, I believe this is because my skills lie in DMing "on the fly", making up the plotline to suit the PCs actions, creating a story around the players rather than creating a story and hoping, but not helping, the players find it.
Also, once again, our "big bad" would always escape. Granted, he was a VAMPIRE SORCERER/MONK, and therefore extremely good at escaping when the situation called for it. But as a recurring "big bad" guy, he really wasn't all that interesting. With all the time and effort put into every character, this vampire seemed to like being evil just for fun. He was described as insane, but loved creating armies of mid-level vampires to do his bidding. He was a very difficult opponent to defeat, and we never did in fact defeat him (I think I was missing his AC on attack rolls of 37, and beginning to seriously consider taking that one sorcerer level myself for the True Strikes necessary to hit). However, he just wasn't an interesting opponent.
"I am bad. I cannot be killed by the PCs, as I have infinite resources and a higher level than you. I act evil because that is what it says on my character sheet. Can you hit an AC of 44? I did not think so... stupid!"

It was weird. He seemed to be related to everything going wrong in the world, but then, why didn't one of the other high-level wizards so common you CANNOT SWING A CAT BY ITS TAIL AROUND YOUR HEAD WITHOUT HITTING FIVE AND THUS BE INCINERATED BY ANGRY WIZARDS come on out and kill the vampire themselves? He was, actually, destroying cities, and we, the PCs, were all that stood in his way.
If my complaint here seems contradictory to the rest of the story, that is because it was the alternate extreme. At every turn, we would confront high-level characters who would sweep us aside, yet none of these people took interest in our foes, who were actually destroying the world. It was just a weird game.

Shiyuan
2005-06-17, 06:37 PM
Bad gamers... Well, I haven't been actually playing D&D for very long (about six months), but I've already encountered every variety of bad gamer of which I've ever heard.

Eric the Mad broke down the subtypes fairly succinctly and I could name examples of each, but I won't. Call it respect, I guess. I've fit into several of those groups from time to time, but I try to avoid it.

My 1st DM was probably one of the more fair, but (after a girl *gasp* joined the group) became her devoted slave, and not even at her behest, she was enthusiastic and eager about playing the game, but between the DM's pandering and her pouting, bored, attention-whore boyfriend's incessant moping and whining, she didn't get much of a chance to learn the game.

My 2nd DM had a problem knowing when to shut up (and when to realize and correct his own ignorance, ex. Narcissist). Also, he piled treasure and power ups on us like it was the end of the world. 5th level characters should not be walking around with two +3 weapons, armor, and medium wonderous items. It's just overpowered.

The only issue I have with my third DM is that he hasn't been able to come to the game in 4 weeks and won't for 2 more. Others have filled in, so it's cool, but when he's there, he's awesome.

*5th DM not to be discussed here due to awesomeness*

That leaves me, my 6th DM, you could say. I've had one session so far on very short notice, but I think it went well. There're only two players, but more are coming, and I'm looking forward to it. I'll post on here if I foul up later so that this can be a legitimate gripe. Peace.


Hmmm.... I only count 5 DMs. Where's the 4th?

Gordon
2005-06-17, 06:41 PM
Hmmm.... I only count 5 DMs. Where's the 4th?

\waves hand

There is no 4th DM

Nerd-o-rama
2005-06-17, 06:52 PM
Shiyuan, you could make a living on the internet telling these stories. You could have your own site:

"Things my [former] DM and I have argued about."

"The Worst Gamer in the Universe"

"Herrerarunner.com"

Instant cult status!

Shiyuan
2005-06-17, 07:15 PM
\waves hand

There is no 4th DM


The 4th DM is not here.

Hahahaha


Shiyuan, you could make a living on the internet telling these stories. You could have your own site:

"Things my [former] DM and I have argued about."

"The Worst Gamer in the Universe"

"Herrerarunner.com"

Instant cult status!

ROFL...

Herrerarunner.com...

mapexman115
2005-06-18, 11:39 AM
Hmmm.... I only count 5 DMs. Where's the 4th?

crap nuggets.... yeah i can't count. ahem... amend: 5th = 4th, 6th = 5th. sorry.

Xudo
2005-06-20, 09:12 PM
As a DM of many AD&D campaigns, of course I have many stories to tell of some of my less... well capable PC's. Just let me pull them from my memory banks....

Well... first off, i was at camp with some other kids who were recently introduced into dnd. we had some minor issues, but all that is customary to newcoming players and i had no problems whatsoever with them.

except for the fact that one of the characters was trying to RAPE one of the npc's. she had revived him because he had been almost killed by kobalds and the first thing he did was grab her rear end.

Note: This was a lawful good cleric maiden mind you

she was, of course, apalled at the incident and immediately stormed out of the room. I don't recall excactly what spell he used, I think it was entanglement. regardless after she was trapped, he struggled out of the sleeping pad to further molest the innocent woman. Not only was he conducting a lude and vulgar act, I also had a handful of younger kids like 10 years old around. so i couldnt let him rape the nurse, even if i wanted to. wait that didnt sound right. Anyways i managed to counter this act when a cleric came and cast a hold spell on him (he didn't know about saving throws at this point heehee) so he was held in place as the cleric, we'll say *changed* his gender

by the way, if you ever need help coming up with ways to deal with annoying players I'd be glad to help

a diffrent campaign:
another one of the worst pc's were a seperated bunch out to kill eachother. this was a nightmare. the group i was dm-ing consisted of three brothers one a fighter "A" another a fighter thief"B" and another a monk"C". there was also a mage/thief "D" and two other fighters"E and F" that weren't family related.

*sigh* this brings back some sad memories

none of the players really liked the mage/thief in real life so they all, except for one fighter to gang up on him. he wasn't that bad at roleplaying, so that got him through a lot of trouble, using defensive techniques as a thief and shooting a magic missile at their backs while running away to safety. they chased him through swampy forests where they met a small group of goblins the mage/theif, lets call him "Jay" avoided (which means he didn't go charging in weapon first without even the thought of negotiating) as one of the goblins got frightened and started to run away, "A" instead of dropping his greatsword to pull out his bow, he tried to slip it in his belt. This of course sliced the belt and caused his trousers to drop. as his sword fell to the ground anyways three leprachans took his sword. he was the highest level ,(3) and could have lasted a lot longer were it not for him running off by himself (note to anyone interested: four first level characters are a lot stronger than one fourth level).

anyway "A" cared a lot more for his sword than for keeping with the party, so he followed the bobbling piece of steel through the forest to a river which he then sat down and rested. he never returned to his party.

back to the main gaggle. "B" was cought taking more loot than he was supposed to (good, in character) when "E" got mad and slew him. He was ambidextrous and had a short sword and a dagger and a lot of luck. he killed every one in sight. Unfortunately for him, "D" was hiding in the trees and found a druid in the forest and lied to her that this one fighter was slaughtering animals the druid was raging as she ripped E to shreds. "D" didn't think she was doing a fast enough job and was going to backstab the entangled fighter when they both were devoured by lions.

yet another campaign with the three brothers previously mentioned.

two of them one an assasin (with one hp) the other a fighter/thief (he wouldn't play as any other class) got caught in a roman style fighting pit against a couple gnolls and lizard men. the assasin climbed the walls and got away through the crowd, the fighterTHIEF fully capable of climbing walls in his leather armor, would not back down from the unscathed monsters when he had FOUR hit points left. I rolled a natural 20 with a flail. He whined for DAYS after to let him come back

eventually i caved and he had a rematch with a barbarian of equal level with a long chain (10') attached with a ball at the end. he could only attack once every three rounds and the fighter theif had a short sword and a dagger, (you can throw daggers if im not mistaken)

the first thing he did (always did, even if the opponent showed no immediate threat) was charge in with blades flailing once again i rolled a 20 but i allowed him a chance to doge. he rolled a one his head was smashed in and i wasnt going back to reviving him again.

I think im going to finish this later as my fingers are starting to hurt.

Sir_Banjo
2005-06-21, 05:04 AM
This story isn't so much a story of bad players so much as bad characters. I ran an evil campaign one time, allowing the players to be the villans. It was a bit disturbing and showed up who were the more mature players in the group.

The world was standard medieval setting but with cthulu-esque element added in. There were lot's of crazed spellcaster (or at least what spellcasters there were tended to be insane.). Although the characters were supposed to be bad guys, I found two to be particularly distasteful.

One was a necromancer who ate brains as part of some metamagic feat and collected children's fingerbones. He didn't start off like this, but due to the sanity rules, became more and more insane.

Another wasn't too bad, as he was the tank and said maybe 4 words in character the whole game. Then they rescued the queen from an evil duke. This fellow raped the queen on the grounds his character was doing his gods work or some such. This was completely out of the blue, as this fellows normally pretty straight-laced. I didn't know what to do at the time, but in the end, it was this act that did the PCs in and unfoiled their plans.

By this time I was beginning to suspect that most of the PCs were going to be depraved monsters instead of simply scheeming villians. Because we were using insanity, I wasn't totally surprised, but I did not expect the can of worms I'd opened.

I basically let the players do whatever they wanted, we were after all playing an evil campaign. My attempts to curb their activities would probably only have resulted in worse acts. Afterall, when the novelty faded, they'd probably be just as disgusted with the characters as I was.

In the end, we were all glad when the characters got their just desserts. It was an interest experience, but it'll be a long time before I ever dm an evil campaign again.

GreyRat
2005-06-21, 08:20 AM
There were lot's of crazed spellcaster (or at least what spellcasters there were tended to be insane.).
My husband was in a D&D game where the home-brewed rules included sanity loss for spellcasters. It virtually insured complete insanity by about level 10. They could not keep a spellcasting PC longer than a couple months before the player would get frustrated and leave.
And amazingly the GM was genuinely surprized at this high turnover, and wondered why there was so little interest in spellcasting! :P
There were fewer NPC wizards as well, which the GM used to justify a low-magic campaign. Which is fine, except that he didn't adjust encounters accordingly. The players were particularly annoyed when they were attacked by shadows, and realized that with no magical weapons, the only way to do damage was by swinging torches at them (go, d4 damage).

Gordon
2005-06-21, 05:50 PM
My husband was in a D&D game where the home-brewed rules included sanity loss for spellcasters. *It virtually insured complete insanity by about level 10. *They could not keep a spellcasting PC longer than a couple months before the player would get frustrated and leave. *
And amazingly the GM was genuinely surprized at this high turnover, and wondered why there was so little interest in spellcasting! * :P
There were fewer NPC wizards as well, which the GM used to justify a low-magic campaign. *Which is fine, except that he didn't adjust encounters accordingly. *The players were particularly annoyed when they were attacked by shadows, and realized that with no magical weapons, the only way to do damage was by swinging torches at them (go, d4 damage).

Yep. This is the sort of thing addressed in the DMG, which discusses reasons for introducing house rules, and a process intended to help it go well. The step most DMs seem to skip is the one where they consider what the consequences of the rules change will be, and how they intend to re-balance the game.

From my reading in this forum and elsewhere, it seems that not a lot of DMs do that, and instead either they or their players end up writing in, asking how to fix the game they/their players/their DM "broke."
::)

sktarq
2005-06-21, 06:55 PM
From my reading in this forum and elsewhere, it seems that not a lot of DMs do that, and instead either they or their players end up writing in, asking how to fix the game they/their players/their DM "broke."
::)
Actually I think that many DM's do just that...It is just that we hear about the times they don't with much greater frequency. I havn't seen any threads for "House Rules that worked so well we forgot they were house'd in" and the like

Gordon
2005-06-21, 07:22 PM
Actually I think that many DM's do just that...It is just that we hear about the times they don't with much greater frequency. *I havn't seen any threads for "House Rules that worked so well we forgot they were house'd in" and the like


Point taken! :)

Ogh_the_Second
2005-06-22, 06:27 AM
I guess my worst group was my first group.

Me and my older brother were asked by a DM to join his then smallish group, which consisted of two guys - also brothers.

However, in contrast to me and my sibling, these two fellows always argued over every little thing, to the point it became really irritating.

Luckily ( :P), they had a fine solution not to let these constant arguments impede the roleplaying: they purposefully made up characters that would quarrel over eveything as well, stereotypically an elder magic-user (in 1st ed vocabulary) and a magic-hating barbarian. As you can imagine, the adventure never went anywhere.

I was glad to start up my own group half a year later, without these brothers' contribution.

Miroku_Sumeragi
2005-06-22, 04:07 PM
Well, this not so much about bad players as a bad situation. Humorous actually.

There was a comic shop that ran roleplaying sessions for its customers. The shop owner ran a very good game. He was extremely popular, but he was unwilling to delegate, so he ran every game with everyone who wanted to play.

So, one game, he had 15 players.

Combat started. My friend, who told me this story, realized that his turn would come pretty late from the way initiative turned out. He turned to the guy next to him and said, "Let's go to Taco Bell."

So, they left, and had dinner. Came back 45 minutes later.

They came back to the game. It wasn't their turn yet. They had to wait for two more players to go.

Xudo
2005-06-22, 06:09 PM
i just got out of a dnd game and it was the worst game ever. three adventurers got a quest from a mage and when one got knocked out, the others just stole his money and left.

one of the players felt kinda bad so he left a trail of coppers down the dungeon corridor

when the knocked out char. woke back up he followed the trail stating to me privately it was "for revenge" he caught up to them (he was a monk) and one of them got seriously hurt while trying to get across one of the traps. the fighter that was nursing his companion back to health when the monk attacked from the shadows. he went down by the fighter pretty easily (he just woke from unconsusnes) and (the fighter) was about to turn him into a pincusion with his crossbow, when i decided to have pity on him and have a subterranean theif steal his bolts. the fighter immediately ran after the thief as his companion woke up and found a special healing device hidden in the wall. he was trying to get across the floor when he stepped on the wrong tile and killed him.

when the monk regained awakeness, he tried to grapnel his former companion across the deadly traps just to make sure he was dead. he didn't succeed in dragging him over, and while he was attempting that, the fighter returned and killed the monk.(a former party member)

for some reason my pcs dont get along with eachother

Xudo
2005-06-22, 06:15 PM
Me and my older brother were asked by a DM to join his then smallish group, which consisted of two guys - also brothers.

However, in contrast to me and my sibling, these two fellows always argued over every little thing, to the point it became really irritating.

hehe. usually siblings who play dnd often fight. i think its amazing that you guys get along.

/squints eyes

if you are actually telling the truth

Gordon
2005-06-22, 07:11 PM
hehe. *usually siblings who play dnd often fight. *i think its amazing that you guys get along. *

/squints eyes

if you are actually telling the truth

You know, I can think of another set of siblings that does actually play well together in rpgs, and they're in our group: Fnord and his sister. Actually, now that I think of it, Fnord and each of his sisters have gotten on just fine at our gaming table :-) At times, I envy them their good friendship!

I know, uncanny, but true.

MrNexx
2005-06-22, 07:57 PM
hehe. usually siblings who play dnd often fight. i think its amazing that you guys get along.


Actually, my younger brother and I are a great team when we play D&D.

A_petrock
2005-06-22, 08:24 PM
the best gaming ive ever been in was in Arkansas in Delta hall for around 2 years...

Bughunter from Steve jackson games, shadowrun, D&D, legend of the five rings, starwars D6, paranoia, Vampire the masquerade LARP, Killer, Nuke wars(or something like that) most all of them ran by "the evil one" tindell who was infact a nice guy unless you owed him money..

and now.. ive played 4games with two-session in a row game at most before the group broke up..

and of course my years as little guy playing hero quest..

i forgot where i was going with this so ill end it..

Abd al-Azrad
2005-06-23, 12:53 AM
I just remembered one: the vengeful DM. I classify bad DMs by type, and this guy was all the types at once (lazy, vengeful, perverted, inexperienced, etc.) BUT the issue to discuss today is the vengeful part, inspired by the talk of siblings at the table.
So, I'm in a game run by this monster DM named Vitus (honestly, I'm fine revealing this one's name). Tales tell of Vitus hanging around other games, and following each of the DM's sentences with some reference to dildos.
"You walk into a large room. You see the evil King Fraul, and his four Elite Royal Guardsmen, looking calmly at your approach."
"...And a dildo."
"Shut up, Vitus. The King addressess you: 'Greetings, fools! You may have defeated my soldiers and bypassed my cunning traps, but my guards will certainly finish you off here!"
"...With dildos."
"Shut UP, Vitus!"

Etc. This is a game with 10 year olds.
So, me and my sister are playing in one of his games. I'm a cleric, she's a barbarian. She's taken a beating, but has a Ring of Regeneration that will heal all her damage given a few hours. I'm trying to save my spells for further encounters. Nonetheless, she is reduced to tears in an argument with me about whether or not I should offer her any healing. I refuse (thus putting myself on Vitus's "to kill" list). Later that night, as we're waiting for my sister's healing to finish, we're swarmed by Wraiths, all six of which surround my cleric and drain him to half his previous level. Note I was the ONLY cleric in the group, I was NOT fighting, and as a result, my sister never got the healing she wanted anyway (i had no spells left over after all that level drain).
I just felt like complaining. Ranting is soothing. ;)

Eric_The_Mad
2005-06-23, 07:03 AM
As part of my ongoing observations and contemplations of bad players and bad DM's, I find that a constant theme keeps suggesting itself to me. Well, actually two.

It seems like the two traits shared by bad DM's/players are A) a need for control, to be the one in charge, or otherwise exert some sort of influence or control, and B) a need to be paid attention to. Again, I will cite Shiyuan's tales of the Greasy One as a example of somebody who displays both traits. In fact, I submit that all of the archetypes I discussed in a previous post are either displaying control or attention seeking issues. Well, except the Pervert. But I'm willing to bet that it's there as well, but is more a reflection on issues they bring with them out of the game.

You know... I almost think that there might be material for a dissertation in this. Gaming and gamers are a fascinating subgroup psychologically, if you stop and think about it. *Tucks that away for future consideration when the time comes due.*

GreyRat
2005-06-23, 01:17 PM
It seems like the two traits shared by bad DM's/players are A) a need for control, to be the one in charge, or otherwise exert some sort of influence or control, and B) a need to be paid attention to.

I was in a round-robin group with a guy who was nice, and made a cool GM, but when it came to being a player, he needed to be the Center of Attention. He couldn't stand to be ignored, in character or out, so was always hamming things and offering advice or commentary. If we managed to quiet him down, he would get bored and wander away from the table, coming back with a beeping hand-held game, or the cat (!), to keep himself occupied until he could steal the spotlight again. If we hadn't been at his house, he might have been controllable, but as it was, he was a huge distraction.

Ikonick
2005-06-30, 02:12 PM
Incredible... I didn't believe that this much dislike for bad Dm's should exist. I am infavor of killing the stupid ones and allowing the rest of the Species to evolve. Hmm.... sadly gamers unlike females of animal species have little to judge by when they look at a DM. I guess we could have good Dm's start wearing feathers or preform some sort of come play in my game dance or something. However I must say once all good dm's were bad so give your DM a chance if he doesn't get better think about a replacment and funreal cost

Drudwyn
2005-07-02, 06:31 PM
This is pretty much by favorite thread ever, anywhere. Epic Janophile and Kendo antics aside, it's made me go from rule-niggling for HOURS with my dm to giving him a big fuzzy hug before each game session. (At least I'd like to.)

MisterRaziel
2005-07-02, 07:45 PM
DM: "Alright, you're walking through the forest to the next town. Spot and listen checks."
[Players roll]
DM: "You hear something up a nearby tree."
Rogue: "I'm going to fire a warning shot."
DM: "You sure you want to attack them? They might be friendly."
Rogue: "No, I'm going to fire a WARNING SHOT. To let them know that we know that they're up there."
DM: "Fine. Roll to hit." [Player rolls] "Okay, three creatures drop out of the tree."
Monk: "What do they look like?"
[DM Flips through the monster manual for TWENTY FRAGGIN' MINUTES]
DM: "They're werewolves."
Monk: "And they're standing in plain view on the path now?"
DM: "Ayup. Initiatives."
[Players roll, Rogue's first]
Rogue: "Alright. I'm going to shoot the one on the left."
DM: "Okay. You have to take a -4."
Rogue: "Uh... what?"
DM: "Well, they're under cover."
Rogue: "But, you said they're in plain sight in the middle of the road."
DM: "Yeah, the -4 is for when they were up the tree."
Rogue: "But I'm looking RIGHT AT THEM."
DM: "But I forgot to give you the penalty then. So take it now."
Rogue: "Alright. Frig this. I'm out of here."

And we never played again.

Norhg
2005-07-02, 07:57 PM
This Thread has been up for roughly a month and it has gotten 10 pages of replies. That is good, that is nifty, it is great and worth it!

-The worst GMs I have had have killed me. But is that bad? I mean, it is just rolling =/.

Jerthanis
2005-07-02, 09:09 PM
I haven't ever had the misfortune of playing a truly terrible game before, but I have had the misfortune of playing with some bad players.

Person A was a rediculous minmaxer who's favorite character type were Monk/Barbarian grapplers. His characters would die so often that eventually the DM lost interest in introducing his new characters, just saying "You're with them now." and move on. The worst moment any of his characters ever had was when he was trapped in a net by a city guard. He attacked an innocent bystander standing next to him so he could use his cleave attack to hit the net... stupid

Person B was a rediculous minmaxer who's favorite character was a rogue/forsaker (rogue skills only used to steal magic items from the rest of the party to keep his Forsaker abilities) Didn't work with the party at all... but was also insistant that the rest of the party be impressed with his character's powers. He kept bugging people to play cards with his character, to show off his +19 to bluff checks... annoying

Person C was silly. I only had the misfortune of playing with him once in a Mage: The Ascension game. He was a Technocratic agent secreted amongst the ranks of the mages, but before becoming an NPC he for no reason blew away his technocratic boss with a rocket launcher and blamed it on our group of mages... I was playing a former-detective-***-Euthenatos with all kinds of film noir style and class and Person C's second character was... a 1920s detective with all kinds of bad attempts at film noir style and class. His character got transported through time and refused to skip over a single scene of adjusting to modern life, insisting we explain how microwaves and cell phones work in detail... which in itself doesn't make sense considering Mage.

The_Stoney_One
2005-07-21, 10:00 AM
My worst DnD experience?

A DM who persisted that you didn't need dice to play DnD.

Fhaolan
2005-07-21, 01:10 PM
Worst game experience.... Oh that had to be...

Okay, this was a long, long time ago so I may be remembering it wrong. I was in high school, which was twenty-some years ago, so it was 1st edition AD&D. I don't remember quite how, or why, but I was invited to play with this other group. I show up, all bright-eyed and eager to play with a new group of people. The DM goes over the ground rules with me, and tells me to make up an evil high-level character. *blink* Okay. So I make up a high-level evil Illusionist as quick as I can. The DM introduces me to the group and their characters. One guy's playing an evil thief IIRC, another is playing some kind of top-level demon, a third fellow was there but he was new to the game like me and I can't remember what he was playing, there's the DM, and his girlfriend who's playing a lawful good cleric.

*BLINK*

From my point of view the game deteriorated rapidly. I never caught the gist of what was going on, but I was beyond caring. The demon was the door opener and randomly knocked holes in walls to prove he was 'evil', the thief did nothing other than stand behind the demon taunting passers-by, and the cleric meandered around picking flowers, singing bouncy-happy songs, and trying to get the thief and demon to 'recant' and 'confess' when the player remembered to do something other than cuddle the DM.

The two 'newbies' followed along behind. He was trying to figure out how to kill these idiots. Me, I was trying to figure out how to use their souls as spell components. The two of us agreed on two items: These players had no idea what 'evil characters' really meant, and that we were never going to play with this group again. We put together a plan, passed it to the DM in notes, and he called the game session off before we could enact it. I don't remember the plan exactly, but it involved getting ahold of the demon's talsiman and forcing it to obey us and stealing the cleric's and thief's souls.

So that was the first, and last, time I played an evil character in an evil party. I'll DM evil NPCs, and I'll be a guest-player in other games running evil GPCs (I just made up that term.) I'll even run the Belkar-type as the 'contrast' character in a good/neutral group. But never again an evil party.

Renloth
2005-07-22, 12:43 AM
This is a tale of my very first D&D game. (Only a month or two ago, though I know the system well.)(In retrospect, I should probably find a different group.)


Here we go:

The Players:

Player A was a Elven female Bard with 18 Cha, who cared about nothing but gold. Played by a guy.

Player B was a Halfling female Ranger with enough ranks in disguise to make everyone think she was a child, but with a chest big enough to make lots of people have dirty thoughts. Also played by a guy.

Player C was Player A's pet, draconic speaking, Cat Wizard.

Player D is me, the Human NG Cleric, and if I may say, the sanest of the lot.

Last is Player E, a Human Paladin, who was CN at best.

The Story:

My Character meets up with Characters A,B, and C, and they offer me space in their wagon. I accept, and we continue on, picking up the Paladin on the way, headed toward a town called the Four Kings, in reference to four inns that form the heart of the town.

We get into the center of town, and Characters A and B set the cart blocking the south road, offering ale at a silver a mug to anyone within shouting distance, from a large vat in the back of the cart.

Some time around now E walks into the highest class inn , and starts to POKE the innkeeper for no apparent reason. Needless to say, he's thrown out quickly. Next, he enters another inn, goes to the bar, and sits down, staring at the counter. The bartender asks what he'd like to drink, to which he replys "Nothing". The bartender asks him to leave, saying the bar is for paying customers. E gets into a very long argument with the NPC and finally agrees to buy a drink. He sits there and stares at it until he realizes it costs a copper, an all he has is 10 gold, and they can't make change. Now B comes along, and offers to "Make Change", in the end stealing E's money, save 1 gold. Then they both left.

( I don't rightly know if that NPC ever got paid actually.)

Night falls, and everyone but me is either too cheap to go to an inn and sleep in their cart (A,B,C) or have been kicked out of every inn in town. (E) E dicides to sleep in an alley, and foolishly tells te DM he's a light sleeper. He's kept awake all night by noises, before passing out around 5 AM. He is awoken when a bucket full of slime is thrown out the window onto him.

The rest of us are rested, and the morning continues with E being tricked by A to buy a mule for 20 times what its worth. (Please don't ask me where he got the money, I was busy plotting a way to free myself from the group at the time.) We set off on a quest we recived, and got a few uneventfull miles before E dicided to lop the head off his mule. Sigh... Player B was fed up and started to fire arrows at E. So... E dicides to walk towards the cart, staying within arrow range. He gets hit six times. Bringing him down to 25% HP before he stops and yells "Why are you shooting me?". I am angry now, and yell back, "Because your an idiot."

By now, E has done so many things to violate his paladin-ship that the DM dicides a Meteor falls on him to make him rethink his ways.

Fastforward awhile, the rest of the party continues, has a fight, and reaches another town. A while later, who shows up out of the wilderness? Why its our Paladin, but wait, he's a fighter now.

The end of this story goes that E had somehow kept his money pouch INSIDE is pants, and after riding, his pants had ripped right around the crotch.

(This had come about because Player A had declared her intention to steal his money, by slicing open his money pouch.)

And now, there were two bags hanging there.

He got a 50-50 chance, high or low. He guessed high, the roll was low. At least he still had his Gold though.

All the players were Ok and E is one of my best friends, though he can be an idiot at times. Most were just playing off the wall characters, so don't think too poorly of them.

snow_cheetah
2005-07-22, 02:50 AM
hi hi

Be forewarned! *The tale I am about to unfold before you is one of woe and horror. *If ever your DM should happen to pick up the epic rules book and want to use it, use extreme caution...for epic games are haunted!

It all started one uneventful wintery evening when one of my friends stops by my room and says "are you interested in an epic campaign?"

"Sure!" I says to him "that sounds like fun, but I don't know how much time I have." *Little did I know, I had made my first fatal mistake. *Dun dun dun! *It was dead week, so we didn't have any time to play for that week and the week after, but all our time not spent studying was spent creating some truely epic characters, however things quickly got out of hand. *We ended up with the following party:

Me: *Straight 20 levels in rogue, human, detailed character concepts but not very munchy.

A monk, hobgoblin (cause they get lots of bonuses)

A wizard/elemental savant.

Another wizard/elemental savant.

A half orc, warrior/ dragon deciple

A halfelf, bard, mystic wanderer, mystic thurge, witch hunter, quiet contemplative, and something else i cant remember.

A gnome inventor type, there's a prestige class that allows construction of technical gizmos that he took as many ranks as he could in.

An elf ranger/deepwood sniper

An elf druid/uber prestige druid class I forget its name.

A halfling rogue with insane sneak and hide checks.

By now you may notice that something is amiss. *Indeed there were a very large number of people that wanted to join in the game, and why not? *It was epic! *We even figured out a way that the gnome could create a gauss rifle, using our knowledge of physics + the druid's many call lighting spells as a power source + the soon to be learned epic spell (affix or spike to the heavens or something like that) that would rain down metal slugs that would deal several hundred D20 worth of damage, which is why the DM outlawed physics. But then the playing started, and we soon realized that all was not well in the land of make believe. *It started out harmless enough, but as soon as we ran into our first serious combat it all came unglued. *Our DM had enlisted friends to aid him, as it was a large group and people needed to sit back and crunch numbers and keep track of scores, they also helped him come up with the most sinister opponents ever designed. *The first challenge, a rather large looking minotaur. *We all start attacking it thinking we're big and tough enough. *But lo! *As I moved to flank him for my amazing 10d6 sneak attack bonus I found that I could not breech his AC, even with my supposedly amazing +30 to hit bonus. *Then I found that one hit from his axe dealt me over 300 damage, more than my maximum HP total. *I was out for the rest of that fight, and we started to notice that with all those players, two of which were mages that knew timestop, combat took a long time. *A single combat turn (in which all the players acted) took a whole hour at least, and usually more. *And if the paragon minotaur was bad enough, the opponents got steadily more difficult. *One set of opponents used flanking maneuvers, kukiries and every crit range enlarging feat and ability in the books. *More than every other hit was a crit and we found ourselves taking upwards of 600 damage each attack. *Luckily the mages knew timestop, and with my jumping ability and featherfall I could float above the battlefield for some time.

However, the hour long combat phases quickly wore on the enjoyment of the game, and soon the whole experiment came tumbling to a halt when the DM herded the party into attacking a group of good aligned paladins. *Only myself and two other people were wise enough to stay out of the fight, but the rest fell for the ruse and killed the three heroic defenders of justice, bringing the wrath of the law upon us. *Needless to say, nobody was happy and soon the backbiting and recriminations erupted and eventually devolved into a directionless arguefest. *I left early, but upon walking past the door I heard that the fight had gotten so broad that they were arguing theology, law and the bible. *Never again, I tell you! *Consider yourself warned. *::)

Senir
2005-07-22, 06:57 AM
I am usually the Dungeon Master, and I do pretty well. But once in the 3 games or so, a friend of my is dungeon master.

1. He keeps underrating monsters, so almost half the monsters we face flee because they are to powerful (sounds stupid, but well... it is stupid)

2. We once defeated a kobold, and got about a level 6 loot. I really hate getting too much loot, for it really ruins everything.

3. He keeps giving us things that his character can use best. (we always take the DM's character with us)

4. The stories he thinks of suck (we were ninja's, and he sends us to get vampires, because he wanted to become a vampire)

5. The only traps that we ever encounter with him (and there most of the time are a lot!) are wires from doors to walls, ceilings, floors etc.

He sucks at being a DM.

nirha
2005-07-22, 08:29 AM
Some years back I decided to do a sort of meta-game where people would get to play the worst game ever. The inspiration came to me when I read peoples gripes about their real-life experiences.

It was to be run in a convention. I did not wish the people to actually stumble upon this without knowing this was not a standard game, so I prepared the game registration infosheet carefully, with grayed fonts printed the real story (something along the lines: "this will be the worst game ever" "you will be sorry to stick your neck into this" on top of which I wrote with a ballpoint pen the supposedly actual game info, with lots of typoes, infantile language, the works.

I had a friend who would come to the table and play the achetypical cheating munchkin bastard. I, the Dm, of course had forgotten all my books and notes
home but he would have carried em all. I decided I would pick randomly one player to favor and shower with magic items.

The session would have a plot as clichťd as I could make it. Inconsistent with itself. The baddies would know anything the players talked, and use that knowledge against the characters.

I refrained from not showering or shaving previously, and actually put on fresh clothes. There are limits, you know.

I had a second friend who was supposed to call me on a cellphone, and I'd reply to him: "Oh, nothing important, I can talk" and then spend several minutes chatting on the phone.

The session would end when a third friend would come about and ask: "fancy a pint?" to which I'd say yes and just walk away.

People had booked a place in the game but most of them cancelled some hour before the game was supposed to start.

Zorg
2005-07-22, 11:02 AM
There's something very ironic about that ;D

poogen
2005-07-27, 06:02 AM
A tale of my first ad&d. We got a quest that became known as king arthur's quest(for levels 5 and up - we were all level 1). The first thing we saw was Boo, standing in full platemail. The DM's pet npc, who could not be killed by any means, being level 9000 or something. Who would always save our asses, even if it meant bending the rules like calling lightning in a cave. Actually, every friendly npc we met was like level 20 or too close to tell the difference. witch means that we are like the weakest beings on all of the planes. Even a friggin deer could beat us to death, not to mention a farmer. Not to mention the fact that to solve the quest and get off of some god forsaken island, we had to choose one of three buttons without any knowledge of witch one could possibly be the right one. Sure we got a lot of exp quickly, but we couldn't accomplish anything, due to the DM's idea that if we're weak, we couldn't possibly accomplish anything. And of course he played favorites. The female players would always get anyone they tried to get, while the other just failed and made a lot of enemies. And just to screw one of the players, he had some drows steal her dog and eat it. While she was watching. And hwe liked a class called elven bladesinger so much, that they were the only ones, who would be able to do anything correctly. And during every session we had to encounter(and usually fight) another one of his inventions. a fighter, who doesn't use weapons, but can wipe out an entire city in about 3 minutes; a godchild, who summoned a pegasus, flew high over the battlefield enlarged a gold coin and dropped it on an army of trolls; Boo, who had an AC of like -25; a priest of talos, who could obliterate a city with just one spell, just to name a few. This one time the party was sent to clear out a fort filled with orcs, one pc decided to burn down the gate to get in. As it turns out, we failed to notice that the entire thing was build of extremely dry wood (and was the best defencive building on the plane; go figure...) and we ended up owing about 100000 gold to the army of bladesingers. We tried telling him that we'd like a different kind of game and he got out of it by telling us that it was his way of DM'ing and that if we don't like it we could just walk. Well, one session later i did, when he screwed us by putting a thick forest in the way of our mounted party, thus forcing us to just abandon our horses. We also had a wannabe pyromaniac in the party, who thought that a pyromaniac just goes around burning everything down, and tried to make a kit for a pyromancer. fortunately nobody would let him play it, since it included him summoning adult dragons at level 4 and shapeshifting into a dragon at about level 6. Fortunately i don't play with them anymore due to their misunderstanding of my Dming, witch i myself don't really find as the best, but i've been DMing myself ever since and my current players are somewhat better.

Jerthanis
2005-07-27, 10:54 AM
I played this terrible, though thankfully short lived D&D game a while back. It was a custom built setting by the DM and he was really really proud of it. It was essentially this wall, with a river flowing on either side of it. On one side of the wall, the water was an incredible healing substance, and a vial of it was treated as a potion of Heal. On the other side it was poisonous, and all who drank it were horribly hurt, and a vial of that water was treated as a potion of Harm. This river was, of course, the dividing line between a kingdom of level 100+ good aligned druids, and the other side was ruled by hordes of high level evil undead. And we were the group of level one adventurers in this setting. Since we had virtually limitless access to the river, we had more than enough healing to stay at full life forever, so the only way we could be challenged was by monsters way too difficult for us to beat normally... like a pack of three hill giants at level 2. The worst part of that whole game was that the only reason that this group of adventurers (who were statistically impossible when the the kingdom's average level was in the fifties) were even on the quest to save the universe was because all the druids were too high on mushrooms to do it themselves.

Seffbasilisk
2005-07-30, 12:31 AM
Worst game I was ever 'in' was actually very recently. A guy's talking about the AIM based game. I made a char sheet. roll stats, curse bad luck, go on. Make the whole damn character. And when picking feats joke about making a 'broken' character. Seeing as we were level one and I had a limit of 240 gold..... Anyway he decided that I 'wasnt the type of player that he was looking for'. Then blocked me. Switching to a diff SN I kept telling him it was a joke, trying to talk etc, and his standard response was just hitting the block button. Some people got no sense of humor.

mr._Tentacles
2005-08-01, 06:21 PM
The situation:

player 1: half-elf paladin LG, had int 5
player 2: human ranger NG, had a dead wish
player 3: human samurai LG, technicaly brain dead IRL
player 4: gnome sorcerer NE, lazy
player 5 (me): human psion LE, vile evil dominator/destructor with a Tsochar (lords of madness) in his head.

We knew eatchother for a few days and were working for a red dragon (slave rings, book of vile darkness(ultimate railroading)) and we were ordered to track down an elf npc who had been in the party (he had a dagger the dragon wanted). We went to the tavern where he had slept a few days. We asked the barkeeper if the elf was still there, he wasn't. So we left, then I went back (I "forgot" something). I mind-thrusted the barkeeper (there was nobody else in the tavern), baricaded the door and hacked his body to pieces.

By that time they wondered where I was and went back only to find out the door was baricaded. They tried to hack the door to pieces so I prepared for battle and the Tsochar created an energy wall around me. It ended up in me slaughtering the rest of the group, now I'm far above average wealth.

((I'm important to the campain, or actually the Tsochar is.))

Falon
2005-08-02, 05:50 AM
One of mine plays with a different group and has a level 20 cleric in it.
Well, every encounter we had was wayyyyyy more powerful then we could handle and his character would come in and save the day. ><
He made sure everyone payed attention to the battle sceanes with his character and a avatar of evil while we walked off. (Dispite the fact that no one could have seen it)
and in the game that I missed, they had to save the gods.
And then after being forced into a quest where we had to bring the gods back (at level 2) the DM's character became a god. ><
We changed DM today.

Also because of this I now hate the rule "The DM is always Right."
That rule is abused by tooooooo many people, and it only seems to be used when a bad GM made a massive mistake or got caught out fixing the rules in favor of his best friend.
I have never met a good GM who has need to state that rule in RL because when they make mistakes they fix them up.

(Has happened, not to me thank god.)
Team Member: I want to head into the next room.
Bad DM: "When you open the door you get hit by five arrows"
Team Member: "But you said I could see into the next room before, nothing about a door..."
Bad DM: "It dosn't matter, the DM is always right."
Team Member: *Sighs*

Hzurr
2005-08-02, 09:36 AM
Also because of this I now hate the rule "The DM is always Right."
That rule is abused by tooooooo many people, and it only seems to be used when a bad GM made a massive mistake or got caught out fixing the rules in favor of his best friend.
I have never met a good GM who has need to state that rule in RL because when they make mistakes they fix them up.

That's because it isn't a rule. The DM is not always right. The actual rule, is that the DM has final say on any game-related matter. If a DM does something wrong, and the player points it out to him/her, the DM should go back, and decide whether to stick with what he said origionally, or to change it in light of what the player has said. This decision (regardless of which way he chooses) is final, and is the one that the game will adhere to, because the DM has final say.

Now, a good DM will look at the point the player brought up, and try to look at it objectively and make a fair decision (which might often mean going against the origional statement made by the DM). Once the DM has made the decision (in my group, we refer to it as bangind the DM gavel), that's what everyone should stick to (and this is where you run into trouble with Rules Lawyers and Whiners).

Xudo
2005-08-06, 10:41 PM
Ok. Here is my story.

My character (1st. Lv. Elven Rogue), a half-orc barbarian, (1st Level as well), and a 1st level human? bard, were on a mission to find the king's daughter who was kidnapped by some theives. We were to meet at a certain spot in the woods to "make payment" for her secure release. The king didn't want to spend a whole lot of money, so he would have us find and rescue her.

We arrived at the clearing and I climbed silently up a tree to scout out the area. I saw a female elven wizard, and a half orc fighter. (I only guessed at their classes. I still have no idea what the half orc is) So I signaled to my companions that they were there, and the bbn attacked immediately. The bard started singing as he rushed in behind his half orc friend.

I, not really wanting much confrontation, decided to wait until I was needed. ( I had a bow, and was hidden up in the trees) Our bbn power attacked the other half orc, and tripped over him in the process. They both swang and missed again, while the mage started casting magic missile. I immediately shot her, (I felt bad for hitting a woman.) and ruined her spell, as well as sending her into the negatives. The enemy orc, seeing his companion fall, lost morale and ran away. I shot a couple times and missed (our dm didn't let me use my sneak attack bonus, or a bonus from attacking at his back, or anything else, for that matter. I was pretty mad)

He ran off, I climbed down, and the bard stabilized the mage. We were interviewing her, to see where their base was, when the bard was about to slap her across the face when I blocked it. (I was trying to be nice to the lass, but the dm played her as a hermit lesbian who didn't like anybody at all.) My companions made me tie her up (Use rope is so awesome) and we went to the caves. There was a corridor that ended in three doors placed at the end of the tunnel. I checked for traps on the area, and then we opened the right door. (no this wasn't the "right" door, it was the one with the escaped halforc in it)

He was with a ranger, the ranger's wolf companion, and three rogues. As we were obvioulsy outnumbered, I slammed the door, and the bard and bbn held it shut while I opened the middle door (thinking we could get cover behind there) In it was another room. This time occupied by two huge orcs.

I slammed that one while the bbn crossed to the last one and opened it, releasing a trap. (the dm said i didn't check that specific area) Anyways, it was a small, 10x10 room filled with chests. I decided to run, because I was thinking that all the monsters would have overrun the doors, as the bard only had 12 str and the bbn only one hp.

The mage wouldn't budge, so I decided to haul her over my shoulder. I started to dragg behind the group, as the enemies from the right door came after us. I called for help, wanting to keep the mage as to convert her to our party. The bbn decided to take her, and as the wolf was catching up to him, he threw her at the wolf, thus sending her back into the neg.'s.

The wolf wasn't affected in the slightest, and killed the bbn as he ran. The bard stopped to fire ONE round from his crossbow, (I would have thought that he'd have a good head start on me and the bbn by now, but it wasnt so) he hit the wolf, which then died, but leaving the three rogues to throw a dagger each at him. He got hit, not once, not twice, but all three times. 3, 4, and 2 dmg. As the bard only had 6 hp, he got knocked out.

The bbn then caught up with him and slashed at his dying body. I finished him off with my bow, but not before he killed the bard. The three rogues then killed me, and that was the end of our adventure.

Shiyuan
2005-08-06, 11:49 PM
I immediately shot her, (I felt bad for hitting a woman.) and ruined her spell, as well as sending her into the negatives. The enemy orc, seeing his companion fall, lost morale and ran away. I shot a couple times and missed (our dm didn't let me use my sneak attack bonus, or a bonus from attacking at his back, or anything else, for that matter. I was pretty mad)

Are you playing 3.X D&D? Because you DON'T get a bonus to attack rolls for sneak attack in 3.X, you do in 2E, where the ability was called backstab, and it is limited to daggers and short swords. Also, um... shooting at a character's back gives you didley squat for bonus in 3.X unless the target is flat-footed by you, which once combat begins, fat chance of that happening unless you have Flick of the Wrist.

The rest of your story not withstanding, I have little understanding for your anger at your GM for sticking to the core rules.

Xudo
2005-08-06, 11:59 PM
It was 3e, but I am so used to 1e, (because it is better) I'm not necisarily mad at my dm's rule adhesion, (but it is very annoying, because that is all he did. He had very little plot.) But it was the fact that he had two roomfulls of monsters right next to eachother. And our party was only first level >.>

Shiyuan
2005-08-07, 01:15 AM
It was 3e, but I am so used to 1e, (because it is better)

Ah I see...

"Apples and oranges my friend, apples and oranges."

The Glyphstone
2005-08-07, 07:15 AM
Apples and oranges? From what I've heard, I thought it'd be more like Apples and Cement Trucks. :D

Caelestion
2005-08-07, 10:06 AM
Techincally of course, a ruge can sneak attack any time their target is denied their Dex bonus, whether they are flatfooted, flanked or the rogue is invisible.

Cael.

Venatius
2005-08-07, 06:34 PM
I haven't really had as many problems with bad DM's, aside from the chance of becoming one, since I usually DM for groups I'm in. But the worst I think I've had, back in 2nd edition days, was problematic not for the all-too-common complaint of offing PCs left and right, but for being excessively merciful and absolutely paranoid of penalizing or killing characters. The only character he ever allowed to full-out die was a mage who attempted to engage a minotaur in melee. We had one character in the group, a real bad one at team-playership, who was killed by a trap, and inexplicably resurrected as a drow elf. I'm not sure if any of us (besides maybe him) ever understood why. An NPC dwarf cleric even suddenly turned out to be a deity in disguise, tipping his hand in order to break up some PC infighting after the previously mentioned guy killed another party member. But not even that one died. We hucked the body into some lava (love the Underdark), and he was apparently returned to life as some sort of freaky Ghost Rider-esque flaming skeleton thing by some patron god of fire to serve as a champion. We didn't get much out of him since he lost his ability to speak in the process. Heck, some party members even failed their saves against a banshee's wail (normally fatal, not even something we should have been encountering at maybe 4th-ish level) and got out scott free. He was a nice guy and made some very fun dungeons, but as the safety net got more and more obvious, a lot of us got tired of it.

Shiyuan
2005-08-07, 08:05 PM
Techincally of course, a ruge can sneak attack any time their target is denied their Dex bonus, whether they are flatfooted, flanked or the rogue is invisible.

Cael.

Indeed, but barring invisibility because it is not quite so common a solution, you can't exactly flank an opponent with a ranged weapon in 3.X, IIRC.

WhiteMonkey
2005-08-08, 01:00 PM
Not really my worst group, but Iíd like some advice and I didnít feel like starting a whole new thread for a Ďsemi-b!tch festí

I had my big introduction to Roll Master this weekend. The systemís ok except for itís incredibly loose movement system and itís overly complicated combat system. But for the fact that nearly everything you do is basically ĎDMís callí, itís really fairly enjoyable.

What wasnít so overly enjoyable was the DnD bashing from the DM and one or two of the players. Basically, it was the Mac vs. Windows hostility but geared towards DnD vs. Roll Master. And Much like the Mac vs. Windows conflict, it was instantly annoying and totally irrelevant.

After roughly the first 15 minutes of DnD bashing, I kind of figured why they preferred Roll Master. Itís the illusion of greater power. See, while DnD gives smaller #ís for everything, Roll Master gives really big #ís. Now in the end the systems balance out the #ís anyway, but to a munchkining/power-gaming/asshat rolling a to hit AC of 150 while dealing 45 points damage at first level must sound much more appealing than rolling a to hit AC of 16 and dealing 8 points of damage.

But like I said, the systems balance out the #ís. So, it took just as long to drop the group of zombies as it would have in DnD.

I donít know why it bugged me that they kept harping on DnD like that, but it did. Perhaps I took it personally since the majority of my experience is in DnD. Or perhaps what really bugged me was that they kept trying to enlighten me with the superiority of Communism, the incredible technological superiority of the now collapsed Soviet Union, how rich people are evil, the fact that the US never landed on the moon, and who really killed JFK.

So hereís some questions,
1)In your experiences, do group personalities usually calm down a little after the first couple meetings, or should I seek out a new group immediately? These guys are fairly cool when they arenít harping on something. Think theyíll stop?

2)Is Roll Master likely to be a big disappointment or am I right and itís at least as enjoyable as most any other given game system?

3)Am I wrong to not give a poop about the possibility (or even proven fact!!*gasp!) that the US didnít land on the freaking moon, seeing as how little it affects my life one way or the other?

BTW: If the people Iím discussing should happen to read this, itís nothing personal. Itís just that your views are way, WAY out there from my own. Itís kind of like being stuck in a room of religious zealots or worse, hard core atheists.

Hzurr
2005-08-08, 02:59 PM
I donít know why it bugged me that they kept harping on DnD like that, but it did. Perhaps I took it personally since the majority of my experience is in DnD. Or perhaps what really bugged me was that they kept trying to enlighten me with the superiority of Communism, the incredible technological superiority of the now collapsed Soviet Union, how rich people are evil, the fact that the US never landed on the moon, and who really killed JFK.



*sigh* stupid people. *First off, remember that every (and I do mean every) attempt at communism has resulted in the death of millions upon millions (Stalin, Mao Tse, etc.). *Communism looks wonderful on paper, but isn't do-able in the real world. *Those who say otherwise have obviously ignored both History, and human nature. *(a disclamer: If communism did work, it'd be pretty sweet, so I understand why some people cling to it as dearly as they do.)

As for technological superiority, that, my friend, is complete B.S. * The reason that the USSR ended up collapsing, was because they spent all their money in a despirate attempt to keep up with the west technologically, and they starved their people in doing so. *They neither had the money, nor the technology to keep up the space race, and they bankrupted themselves in the attempt. *Militarily, the US/NATO was always superiour, and nearly all computer-related advancements occured in the US.

As for rich people being evil, I'm sure that some are. *I'm sure that some poor people are evil too. *I'm also sure that some rich people are good, and some poor people are good. *The same goes for the middle class most likely. *It's easy to pick on the rich for owning a yacht, or having a mansion, but what the other things? (scholarships, giving money to medical research, sending aid to Africa or to Tsunami victims, etc.) *There are good and bad in every social groups, and it sounds like your current group merely suffers from jealousy.

U.S. never landing on the moon? *Age-old conspiracy theory without any real evidence to back it up. *NASA, on the other hand, has this wonderful thing called physics to explain how they did what they did.

Who really killed JFK? *Who knows. *Maybe it was a conspiracy, maybe not. *What does this have to do with gaming?


------------

Sorry, it just bugs me when people say things like that. *If it was me, I'd leave the group right now, simply because it would drive me crazy. *If you have this many warning flags your first session, I'd take it as a sign to get the heck out of there.

WhiteMonkey
2005-08-08, 03:20 PM
*If you have this many warning flags your first session, I'd take it as a sign to get the heck out of there.

Heh, yeah. Thatís kind of what Iím thinking too, except for like I said, these guys are cool once they stop that stuff and just start gaming. I canít help but hope they might calm down a little once weíve game a bit.

Plus I really miss gaming. Iím getting kind of desperate here.

Premier
2005-08-08, 04:22 PM
3)Am I wrong to not give a poop about the possibility (or even proven fact!!*gasp!) that the US didnít land on the freaking moon, seeing as how little it affects my life one way or the other?

If I were you, I'd just prepare from the topic really, really thoroughly, reading up on the usual conspiracy arguments and having answers - possibly including charts and diagrams - up my sleeve, then crush their silly little delusions next time.
'Course you might not be invited back afterwards, but that's the price to pay for intellectual integrity. ;D

sktarq
2005-08-08, 05:12 PM
As for the Comunism thing- Whole different topic and remember that politics are not allowed on this website. I happen to like this thread and don't want the mods to have to lock it. Most of those things are agueable but don't do it here. Thankyou.

Glinelen
2005-08-09, 07:22 AM
Run , run like the wind from those guys. Hoping that they will change is naive , because from what you said they're just the kind of people who's stupitidy never goes away and you will just end up waisting time, effort and nerves trying to get through to them with logic. It never works. Run while you can or better convince them to move to China.

Hzurr
2005-08-09, 08:58 AM
Also, remember that even if these guys are great role-players, if y'all can't get along in Real Lifetm, you won't have fun. *If everyone is sitting there around a gaming table, and some offhand comment by you triggers a 20 minute debate on the values of communism, than you won't have fun. *People don't play RPGs solely for creating characters and having "adventures," people play it for the interaction with others, and working as a group to tell a story. *If you spend every moment worried that the other people you play with are about to fly into a rant.... well, you get the picture.


Oh, and a side note in regard to the earlier post. *I got a PM pointing out that I had somewhat glossed over many other western powers, specifically the UK. *Let me go ahead and state for the record, the the Cold War would never have been won without the UK and NATO, and they were doing some very spiffy things technology-wise (especially British Intelligence. *They were, and continue to be, the single best intelligence agency in the world. *There's a reason James Bond was British and not American ;) ). *In the earlier post, I was thinking more SpaceRace and computers, which is why I focused more on America. *My apologies to anyone from the UK or Western Europe. *You guys are cool.

Drudwyn
2005-08-09, 04:14 PM
*My apologies to anyone from the UK or Western Europe. *You guys are cool.
Except the Swiss. *


Harry Lime (as played sneeringly by Orson Welles):

"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshedóbut they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." *

P.S.>I hope it's clear this is a joke.

WhiteMonkey
2005-08-09, 05:36 PM
ha ha :) Classic... I got a story about my visit to Switzerland, but that would thoroughly FUBAR this topic.

Ok, thanks for the input everyone! It seems fairly unanimous that both Europe (minus Switzerland) and N. America rule and that this group is a probable waste of my time. Iíll tell them this Saturday not to count on me for future sessions.

_____________

Now gather Ďround kids and Iíll weave you a tale
of a D&D group from the bad side of hell.
A group though quite studied in many a matter
believed too easily in Conspiracy patter.

From the U.S. Space Race to who killed JFK
or Communist saucers in an Alaskan bay.
And heavenís forbid you should try to deny it,
Iím ashamed to admit, I was too scared to try it.

No, instead I just grinned and appeased the madness
checking my watch with unbearable sadness.
First one hour, then two, then three, then four,
then a kick from my wife, Iíd started to snore.

Indeed like this tale, it went on and on,
whilst I counted the seconds until Iíd be gone.
At last I retired from this group which was heinous.
Would I return?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ...Iíd sooner chop off my p3nis .

Caelestion
2005-08-10, 04:55 AM
"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshedóbut they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."
That line was never originally planned. Orson Welles wrote it himself and added it in, completely without the writer expecting it. Ironically, it's probably one of the most memorable things about that film.
(Ironically, and with all seriousness, I can't even remember the film's title!)

Cael.

Premier
2005-08-10, 06:05 AM
"The Third Man", and personally, I really like that movie.

sktarq
2005-08-11, 12:43 AM
Of course he forgot that the reason the swiss had peace was that the were supllying the Italians with the top mercenaries they were using to fight....but details

Charity
2005-08-11, 05:24 AM
OK my worst group ever is

The player roster Ė

me- cannot deny that I cant have helped. The DM on his first outing in third ed by multiclassing so heavilly. Check it out I was a halfling FTR1/RGE1/RGR1/BARB1/CLC1 at the premature end of the game. The poor sod could barely keep up.

Clone me- my friends brother who ended up 1 lvl below and identical to me in class but he was a half orc.

DMís brother- (Ftr/Bard chaotic, not that youíd know it he would insist on formulating a plan on how to open a door for eg) Sibling rivalry taken to whole new vistas, every decision that didnít seem to go his way prompted 15 mins of intense argument . Which when coupled with his increadable slowness and general ineffectiveness lead to games where very little got done.
For example on one occasion to prove a point I timed ďhis turnĒ as he liked to call it he took 8minutes to decide to walk round an opponent and not attack it 8mins for christs sake to do sod all.
Oh and I wont even get started on what he considered a fair treasure split.

Apathy/rage man- (human Rngr)This guy would do almost no role playing whatsoever he said he figured it was stupid, ok so heís into hack and slash your thinking... nope heíd just pretty much sit there and do nothing then fly into a furious rage over something he dosenít like. Even in combat hereís an eg
A/RM ďIíll attack himĒ
DM ďwhich oneĒ
A/RM ďuh that oneĒ points
DM ďok Iíll assume your using your bow thatís Ė4 as your firing into combatĒ
A/RM ď sod that, thatís s**t that is im not ****** gonna do that thatís ****** ridiculas ď
DM ďwell you know the rules we have discussed thisĒ
A/RM ďstill think its ****** stupid, sod it Iíll do nothingĒ
MeĒ why wonít you just spend the points on precise shotĒ Oh I just had to stick my oar inQ twenty minute diatribe about how heís already had to use two feats just so he can fire twice a round like hes supposed to(??) even then he gets minuses blah blah blah ..(he was used to 1st ed) when I pointed out in first ed he wouldnít of had any feats ,.. well it didnít seem to help Ö letís put it that way.

Pointless /annoying man- played a Elf cleric, died first session, played a dwarf sorcerer, got huffy at a practical joke left party, played a half elf ftr, did little of interest except insist on agrivating A/R man and grinding salt in the wounds of DM brother.

Then we come to the DM , who insisted in installing dozens of weird and unbalancing house rules to a game he had never run before. He gave out no magic items at all as far as I ever saw, not one I was 5th level and had only ever drunk healing potions that Iíd bought.
He would insist on taxing our characters for living expenses for time spent between sessions. Oh I should explain, for no good reason at the end of every session we all had to return to town and we would sit there in game time for the entire week before our next session. as game time ran at the same rate as real time?? This was particularly puzzling as the weeks on his world were only 5 days long!
So all we would do is trapse back and forth across country to this dungeon. Then we would spend 6 rounds walking down previosly explored corradors., then weíd open one new door have a small fight (that would take about 2 hours) then we would go home, wait a week and start again.
Also the DM didnít like the fact I was well equiped and was constantly rewriting the encumberance rules so I could carry less, every week for 5 weeks I could carry less than the previous week, oh and thatís just me because I was a halfling.

Man I was desperate for a role playing group in those days.

Hzurr
2005-08-11, 08:37 AM
Man. That sucks. After hearing stories like this (and many of the other ones on the previous pages), it makes me realize that my group really wasn't ever all that bad.

(oh, and side note: Charity - while I could read your story, and I really pity you for suffering through a group like that, keep an eye on punctuation/grammer/spelling. It wasn't illegible, but there were some triple negatives in there ;) )

Charity
2005-08-11, 08:43 AM
Man. *That sucks. *After hearing stories like this (and many of the other ones on the previous pages), it makes me realize that my group really wasn't ever all that bad.

(oh, and side note: Charity - while I could read your story, and I really pity you for suffering through a group like that, keep an eye on punctuation/grammer/spelling. *It wasn't illegible, but there were some triple negatives in there ;) )

Sorry dyslexia and impatience have conspired against me again.
Just wait till i get my hands on them!

Hzurr
2005-08-11, 08:52 AM
hehe, or maybe you won't get your unhands not on un-not them!

:D

Charity
2005-08-11, 09:08 AM
hehe, or maybe you won't get your unhands not on un-not them!

:D
All my posts are in the "stream of concousness" style (if indeed it qualifies as a style), my grammer and punctuation are dreadful. This is a constant cause of conflict with my DM (whom i consider a "grammer nazi") but short of night school (who has the time) I muddle along.

"I have always relied on the kindness of strangers".

Believe it or not i tried quite hard on that post... sad really. :-[

Drudwyn
2005-08-11, 03:49 PM
Perhaps, then, you can tell me about the "rouge" class ... ;D

Adghar
2005-08-11, 04:50 PM
Well he didn't mention any in his group so I'm assuming he doesn't know about it.

Winged One
2005-08-11, 10:31 PM
Perhaps, then, you can tell me about the "rouge" class ... *;D
The Rouge class. (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=gaming;action=display;num=1123787949 )

Teepo
2005-08-12, 02:02 AM
I once played in a group online, with a friend from school. It was my brother and I and the DM, but it didn't get very far, thank goodness. He had the preference of pidgeon-holeing into a situation, and then spending 10 minutes on a character description that would eventaully enslave us to do his bidding. This wouldn't be so bad, exept that any time you would become mind controlled or suggested (with no save) to do what he wanted- just for the progression of the story, he didn't really care abotu the players. He might have well told a crappy story.

Gamebird
2005-08-12, 02:56 PM
I'm late, but what the heck.


1)In your experiences, do group personalities usually calm down a little after the first couple meetings, or should I seek out a new group immediately? These guys are fairly cool when they arenít harping on something. Think theyíll stop?

Yes and no. Yes, they will calm down a little. No, they won't stop. Over the years, the groups I've played with have sometimes contained people who wanted to tell others about their theories of real life - PETA, Greenpeace, Christianity, Mormonism, liberals, conservatives, Bush-is-a-moron, Gore-is-a-moron, Clinton-sucks, Monica-sucks, Hillary-is-a-lesbian, homosexuals are this or that, police are out to get you, police are your friends, capitalism is inherently evil (I believe that one, btw, but it's sadly the best option I've seen), communism is inherently evil, schools are evil, ignorance is evil and on and on and on...

Do they ever quit holding their point of view? No. But sometimes you can convince them to keep their yap shut about it if it offends you. To be honest, the only method I've seen that works to shut someone up long term, if they don't accept the polite way, is to threaten to punch them out. That worked. Repeatedly. No one ever got punched out, but the three+ times I've seen that threat leveled, it was always deadly serious and got the point across quite well.

I tune out the political stuff and keep a good book on hand. Or I go fix dinner. Or I check the phone messages. Or I read up on new spells or feats or whatever. I just ignore them. But that's because I'm not big into physical violence over something like someone having a different opinion of right and wrong than I do.

If it seriously stresses you out though, find a new group.


2)Is Roll Master likely to be a big disappointment or am I right and itís at least as enjoyable as most any other given game system?

I figure it's as good as any other given system. It's the people that really make a game great, not the system.


3)Am I wrong to not give a poop about the possibility (or even proven fact!!*gasp!) that the US didnít land on the freaking moon, seeing as how little it affects my life one way or the other?

You know, I think you're wrong there. Facts are important things. Every person should care about the truth. At the same time, every person should acknowledge that different people have different ideas of the truth and these other ideas might be legitimate. So yes, you should care and you should have your own feelings about it, but after you've expressed those once and are content that your partners in discussion understood you, you're done. You've said your piece. If they choose not to believe you or share your point of view, fine.

I read something yesterday that said, cruelly (but it gets the point across): "Arguing with someone on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you're still a retard." It actually applies to arguing with people anywhere that there isn't a shared interest at risk. I mean, there's a point to arguing about what provokes an attack of opportunity if you're gaming. There isn't a point to arguing about NASA landing on the moon in a gaming group that's playing medieval-style D&D.

WhiteMonkey
2005-08-12, 04:31 PM
stuff

OK... THAT * IS * IT!!

From now on I think I might just ppm Gamebird on everything! Maybe Premier too...

I mean she decisively answered every dang question and provided relevant examples from personal experience to back it up.

I keep forgetting that the WWGBD and P2 (What Would GameBird Do and Premier Too) method is actually fairly reliable.

Although this time around GB beat Premier, but thatís why Premierís more like an afterthought rather than the main guy, but heís often enough on the ball so as youíd better not forget him.

No offence Premier! But being a minor deity subservient only to one major deity isnít really so bad so I figured you wouldnít mind. Especially since you two get along so nicely.

Umael
2005-08-13, 12:21 PM
Assumptions:

1) Gamebird and Premier can give excellent advice.
2) White Monkey is suffering from some kind of gaming situation disfunction, not necessarily his own.

Conclusion: White Monkey should seek out the advice of Gamebird and Premier.

Addendum to Conclusion: White Monkey should privately seek out the advice of Gamebird and Premier to resolve Assumption #2.

Rebuttal to Addendum: If Assumption #1 is correct, such advice would benefit more people than just White Monkey. If Addendum is followed, excellent advice would be distributed to one instead of to many.

Counter-argument?

Premier
2005-08-13, 12:43 PM
Perhaps GB and I should just set up a help desk.

TheFuzzyNerd
2005-09-19, 03:36 PM
This happened to me at summer camp.

It was a year after I had first gotten interested in DnD and bought the 3rd edition core set of books. I asked around at camp and found a guy who said he had 'a lot' of experience with DnD. I got some of my friends together and started a game with him as DM.

WOW.

This guy was insane. Over the course of three one-hour sessions, he put our group of three first-level adventurers against:
-3 zombies
-4 skeletons
-3 cloakers
-1 juvenile black dragon (who died of a heart attack. no joke.)
-1 blackguard
-1 mind flayer (the leader of the evil forces in the spooooky cave the DM sent us into. We got him down to half health and he teleported out.)

We came out of it with
-1 cartful of black dragon skin
-1,000 Sun Blades (I ONLY WISH I WAS JOKING HERE)
-100 masterwork longswords
-4 cloaks of elvenkind
-various other stuff I don't remember.

Through all this, he manipulated every die roll into our favour. Some of his house variants I could accept ('closets of holding', for ex.), but sometime shortly after the start I began to realize that his grasp on the rules was tenuous at best. I had to protest when he had the blackguard we were fighting casting spells with somatic (hand-wavy) components while he was under the influence of a hold person spell.

joe
2005-09-26, 03:00 PM
I've had a few DMs who in particular were awful.

The first one set up a campaign in which he went out of his way to say "I have no problem with you guys playing evil characters." To me this generally means that he's wanting to run a more antiheroic campaign, so I decide to make a fighter/blackguard based similarly to the Chaos Warriors from Warhammer. Well once we start up his campaign we're all in a town, and naturally being my evil character I carefully go about commiting my evil deeds, the first goal being simply to steal enough money to purchase some decent armor. Well after I managed the theft, which was even easier than it should've been considering I wsn't a rogue. a "Protoss Pylon of Justice" (I wish I was kidding) emerged and reclaimed the money, then proceeded to steal my current armor with no save. So my armorless knight of chaos is wandering about, incapable of getting any sort of items without the "Protoss Pylon of Justice" taking away his own. This went on as far as todamage the PCs when they tried to fight an evil NPC organization located in the village (in which they didn't fight back, but rather just taunted the PCs, and proceeded their evil plotting.)
At that point I was ready to end, so I decided to kill off my character and quit. Granted the PPoJ also prevents suicide attempts, sundering your sword upon your skin during your attempted suicide (again, no save.) Fed up with my now useless character I left the town and the radius of the PPoJ and had him commit seppuku with the remnants of his sword. I would've just attacked a commoner and let the PPoJ kill me, but I guess I have too much prode to allow one of my characters to be killed by a Protoss Pylon.

The second one, luckily only ran one session. We started off rolling 2d10 for stats (because it was more interesting) 6 times, and then he would roll a 7th time, as if his rolling was somehow different from anyone elses. Once our stats were made up, he told us "You have to start as Level 1 Commoners... and earn your class through roleplaying." Somehow, he deccided that earning our classes woud be more fun. Granted I'm all about roleplaying, but some of the more passive people in the group aren't, and I don't think that it should be enforced for characters to be worth anything. Secondly, "roleplaying" for your class involved saying your character was going to go to the barracks for an hour and practice swinging a sword. Congratulations, you're a Fighter. So when I ask him how my sorceror with inborn magical powers is supposed to rain for her class, he responds with. "Go to the local library and study in a book for eight hours." Never mind the backstory I wrote up for the first 23 years of my character's life... it requires studying for 8 hours after all that to gain my inborn powers.
So as we continue to the dungeon, in which he lays out the full map, complete with secret doors located for us all to see, and then says "No metagaming" as if that's going to make the locations of all the secret doors disappear from our minds. He couldn't take the 5 extra minutes to redraw the map for us as we traveled down through it. The secret door thing wouldn't have been so bad (I never made any searches for secret doors, simply because I would've felt like I was cheating if I knew where they all were) except that one was actually required to be found to get through the dungeon. As we're going into the dungeon, he also explains that all doors open inward, no matter which way you go through them in his campaign, as though the physics behind pulling objects did not exist in his campaign world.




The third one lasted way too long. Out of lack of a DM otherwise, we let him run for four sessions, which was four sessions longer than we should've. I should add that the person had only been playing D&D for about a month, barely got down the grasp as to how to make a fighter, and was a rather goofy individual anyhow. We already expected the worst.
We made our characters, which consisted of a Cleric, a Gnome Druid who was obsessed with bugs, and myself - a Warforged Hexblade. Apparently he made me the high knight of the king in town 1 (he didn't name his towns)

Session 1: The King sends me on a mission, along with the Cleric and Druid to find a Ancestral sword that was stolen. The sword was apparently stolen by a Thri Kreen Psion and had no real value to it, except that it belonged to the king. The mission consisted of raiding a cave of goblins, who were payed to be a diversion, and kill a Thri Kreen Psion who was easier than the goblins because the DM didn't know a thing about psionics in the first place. We collect the nonmagical sword and return it to the king for our ridiculously large sum of money. I posed the question of the villianous scheme that was involved in stealing a nonmagical sword, but I let it go, as it was after all his first time as a DM. The final peice of note is that the blacksmith built the Druid's centipede +1 Chain Shirt at no cost... complete with 100 holes.

Session 2: The DM notes that his other game (he's putting other people through this mess) got too overpowered because he gave out weapons that do elemental damage like candy. Because of this he's banning elemental weapons in our game, and adds that if any of our characters get to powerful, he plans to "kill them off." the Druid's player is gone... thus the druid is gone, and will never be returning to the remained of the campaign. The Cleric is apparently some aquatic race, so we're on an aquatic adventure because Warforged don't have to breathe. Well throughout the aquatic mission, the DM decides that my character is unable to speak underwater, and as such, I get no roleplaying XP. I made an effort to say the character was never going underwater again, and we went off to town 2 for as an ambassador. Town 2 was attacked by a mob of orcs and we were asked to fight them off... the king 'loaning' me his +5 Adamantine Greatsword of Supreme Cleaving to fight these orcs off. There are 30 orcs which we go through like butter, proceeding to fight their warlord, who had a weapon which the DM was indecisive about, changing it repeatedly from a Greataxe to a Falchion to a Longspear and back again at will. So we managed to defeat the orc with the weapon that did 1d12 and had a crit of 18-20/x3 and reach, and took it prisoner.

Session 3: After the DM's failed attempt to convince me to take Leadership so I can get a Chimera Cohort I don't want, we continue to our next mission. Town 2 has a temple that has been overwhelmed by evil. How no one noticed the evergrowing presence of evil in this temple for the last 30 years is beyond me, but I leave that to go. They inform us that there are skeletons in the temple. So we continue to our quest, and with us is an Elf Wizard/Druid. The DM promptely forgets that elves get an automatic search for secret doors, and immediately complains tha that's an unfair ability and they shouldn't have it. We later enter a room full of skeletons. Our Cleric proceeds to turn them as clerics are meant to do. After he rolsl his turning check, and manages to turn them all, he immediately decides to upgrade them to troll skeletons. I having already charged into battle, have just switched from an easy situation to a sudden fearing for my character's health. As we enter and the skeletons animate, note the door slammed closed behind us. (Part of his elaborate trap... which consisted of ripping off Zelda) The Elf then decided to cast Knock on the door, which angered the DM into the point where he said "If you memorize that spell again I'm going to kill off your character. The spell is broken and shuldn't be aloud. It ruined my clever trap!" At this I had to argue in the elf's behalf, which later made the DM not only change his mind, but grant the Elf some Knock spell at will ability (I don't know why.) The DM also gets upset that the Elf took Disrupt Undead as al his 0 level spells, claiming that it was metagaming, despite the fact that the NPC had told us there were skeletons in the temple. I don't know why we let ourselves get tortured this far.

Session 4: The Finale. The DM gives the Elf Wizard/Druid a "Bong of Wonder" shortly after a speech about how he runs a serious campaign. Meeting us in the temple are a large band of elves, who were sent by the king to assist us. (Several more PCs arrived) So our party consisted of the same three, and a Drow Paladin, an Elf Dracolyte, and an Elf Ranger. We go on into the final room, and battle two Chimeras unleashed upon us by an evil druid who was later said to be our BBEG. The Chimeras were dispatched with little trouble when a Cleric of St Cuthbert came in to wish us a good job. He then reported that the Chimeras had been devastating the vilalge for a long time... information that would've been vital to us prior to the temple. My character calls him on this, and assumes the king set us up (My Hexblade also follows St. Cuthbert, and is a lot more stern about it.) and calls the cleric a fraud. The Dm gets upset and claims that St. Cuthbert will disown me for insulting the cleric, when I intended it less as an insult and more as my honest feelings toward the clown... later he admits to not knowing a thing about the deity despite him being one of the core pantheon in the Player's Handbook. We find a Sword - a weapon of legacy that was wielded by either St. Cuthbert or Bahamut at one time... (the DM changed his mind repeatedly based on the arguement between the Drow and the Dracolyte) We then refuse the cleric's request to have us be janitors to the temple, and sair off to town 3. Town 3 is pretty much Zelda land by what I gathered.
So we go to town 3, and talk with the king, who proceeds to insult the king of town 1. Being from town 1 and Lawfully aligned, I don't accept the insult well and find myself forced to argue back in my king's honor. The king then sends for his guards, and the DM is pissed that I'm talking back to his king in such a way. The conversation follows.

DM: "The King throws you out!!!!" *big angry glare*
Joe: "ok, so there's Attacks of oppurtunity and Grapple checks right?"
DM: *More malicious glare* "They have +100 to their grapple!"
Joe: "I quit..." *hands up, irritable and done with the mockery of a campaign.*
DM: "What?"
Joe: "I'm done... I'm pulling my character out."
DM: "You can't quit, the DM says so."
Joe: "I don't think you understand... slash logoff... I'm done."
DM: "You shouldn't be arguing with my king. Your'e trying to start a war and ruin my campaign"
Joe: "Your king shouldn't be making insults toward mine. And gods don't have +100 to their grapple." *puts away character sheet in folder.*

The DM gave out RP XP and ended it there. I got way more than I should've (2000), which was more suck up XP than RP XP in my opinion. In anycase, I have no intention on playing any campaign he runs ever again.

Edit - One time the second and third DM got in an arguement, basically over who was a better DM. I was tempted to tell them they both suck, though my better judgement prevented me from making such a comment.

Tsunomaru
2005-09-26, 06:36 PM
As for our bad DM #3, there were actually 5 sessions (all the worse; we broke session 4 before the fight with the chimaerae). *Also, he'd been playing at least two and a half months in my game when we started, not that it justifies anything.

And in any case I don't think you adequately represented the ludicrosity of that legacy sword of Cuthbert/Bahamut. *Because you know St. Cuthbert of the Cudgel, always swinging those swords around, as well as the dragon god Bahamut with his favored weapon being a claw -- he can't get his claws off those longswords!

Also, note that in session 2 he gave my Aventi cleric a shocking shortspear which he informed me deals double electricity damage underwater.

In the very session in which he was going on about the "seriousness" of the campaign, he admonished us at the beginning about not talking about a certain lewd subject and then went on to crack a joke about it at the end, on which we promptly threw the BS flag.

That orc leader's weapon was in fact only a +2 longspear: being the party's spear wielder, I wound up receiving the 3 magic spears that were given out over the course of 2 sessions (as well as the +2 mithril full plate that the orc was wearing, since the only other character present at the time was Joe's warforged). *He made a habit out of cheaping up enemies with magic weapons which we'd take anyway after we defeated them.

Not that it has any bearing on the awfulness of his campaign, but DM #3 has a propensity for buying books he doesn't want -- he buys one or two every week just because he got his paycheck. *That's why he's been attempting to include weapons of legacy in his game, although I borrowed the book from him for a week so I could use it in my game and I know how they work better than he does. *I was all for grabbing that legacy sword of Cuthbert/Bahamut and carrying it myself to the bottom of the ocean, depositing it in some trench (and it's doubtful that the party could have stopped me, especially the drow paladin -- WTF, by the way -- who would have had to hit my 31 AC with -5 on his attacks from the brightness of my luminous armor; I never had any chances to actually apply most of the greatness of my character, because the party was too big by the end for me to have to do anything).

As for DMs #2 and #3 as players, I can't say much better. *They, especially #2, are constantly bragging about their great characters. *"My saves are retardedly high.... my armor class is one point higher than yours.... I get to roll all these dice for my damage.... yadayadayada." *Turns out #2 has actually been cheating, tipping his d20 rolls. *That's why it was so satisfying when Joe, who usually doesn't get to play in my game because of work, was guest-starring as the villain and cast Otto's irresistable dance on him.

Joe: I'm casting Otto's irresistable dance on your gnome paladin.
#2: Hah, what's the save?
Joe: There is none! *It's irresistable!
#2: *:o

That was great.

Vil-hatarn
2005-09-26, 07:41 PM
This isn't as bad as some of yours, but I've been getting fed up with the campaign I'm in right now. We've had five or six adventures so far. The party originally consisted of an order-hating druid wearing spiky armor and riding a bear (me), a powergaming psion, a pyromaniac sorcerer, and a psychopathic killer. Who killed two people during the first game. He was arrested, had his equipment confiscated, and died soon thereafter (due to stupidity and the actions of the elf ranger who had just joined the party and didn't like him much). His new character was a half-orc barbarian. With minimum mental scores. Anyway, we go on a bit longer. Psion decides he doesn't like his character (supposedly because it's too powerful). So, he voluntarily fails several saves when the killer's ghost comes after us, and dies. We burn his body and the body of the bad guy we had just killed (who was a cleric of some dead yuan-ti god). During the night, on my watch (and my bears) we heard something. It was the former psion's new ninja character. He was invisible until he tried to jump, rolled a one, and tripped over the bear into the alarm spell radius our sorcerer had set. He said he needed the cleric's ashes, because he had been sent to kill him and bring proof to a cave in the mountains to the east (coincidentally, exactly where we were heading). We guard him during the night. In the morning, he tries to commandeer control of the party from me. He fails. After several days of travel, we're in the mountains, in snow. A remorhaz shows up. The barbarian charges, hits, his +1 vicious axe melts. Then, the remorhaz attempts to bite and eat him. As he pries himself out of it's jaws, the ninja runs up and tries to steal the ashes from him. He doesn't notice, but the ranger and I do, and as soon as the sorcerer finished fireballing the monster, nearly killed him for the second time in a week. Soon thereafter, we reached the destination cave. Where we found out that the ninja had been paid to lead us here. And then we were attacked by three white dragons. Then we ran out of time. The ninja is threatening to run (using invisibility) and let us fend for ourselves (which will probably result in a TPK, as everybody still has minor injuries, the ranger's constitution is dropped from the ghost, and our barbarian can only shoot or go melee with a dagger (1d4+6! woot!).
If the ninja screws with the party anymore, I'm seriously considering quitting. His roleplaying and actions have completely screwed the group up (like, even if he survives the fight, my character will kill him-he doesn't have much of a temper-he has razed entire villages to the ground, and has a certain affinity to lightning storms, due to a legacy ring he has).

RandomNPC
2005-09-27, 12:16 AM
this ones about players, im sure as a DM i can be complained about, but i try to be nice.

Player1: Cleric5/Bard5 uses dwarven battle axe and a composite longbow. The only spells he uses are healing spells, and i allowed bardic music "song" so he could use his hands to hold weapons and whatnot, and still sing to bolster everyone. his only magic item is his axe....
Flaming, shocking, merciful, +2 thats 3d6 plus weapon dammage, all subdual, or weapon + 2d6 normal. with his str. and whatnot added in he does a good chunk of dammage.

Player2: Druid 8 basically a summoner, only casts summon natures ally# and flaming sphere. turns into a bird to get out of enemy reach while casting with the wild shape casting feat, then turns back and uses a bow at max range. however he has slippers of spider climb and a ring of feather fall, cc as a rogue and get some awesome sneak attacks, weve even talked about it, but he keeps up his routine.

all together thats the silliest part of the game. the barbarian, bard/arcane archer, and ranger do pretty good. although we are totally hack and slash, there is nothing normal about this group. the "leader" bard/cleric was talking to the archer about a randomNPC while the barbarian recruited a wizard (new player) in the most civil manner ive ver seen. unfortunately the wzard was slain by a herzou (sp?) the verry same day. its his fault for stabbing it with a spell storing dagger. and that wizard was the salvation of our roleplay.

now, this is a close reproduction of waht i saw, its as close to what i remember as i can get. the following gives you an idea of a half orc barbarian talking to a gnome wizard who just came in on a griffin zombie.

Wiz: you may approach, i mean no harm
Bar: your ride is dead
Wiz: i know, it follows orders better that way
Bar: very well then, i assume you are a wizard of some sort?
Wiz: why yes, a necromancer as it were, may i be of service?
Bar: Well, we have this book, and these scrolls that we need identified, and i cant even read...
Wiz: if you have no wizard to read them i will accompany you so that i may gather future items of this type, however i will require a fee to use my powers on these items you already have.
Bar: Thats no problem, how about this? *hands a gem over*
Wiz: that will do fine, lets see what you have

Salty512
2005-09-27, 02:20 PM
And during every session we had to encounter(and usually fight) another one of his inventions. a fighter, who doesn't use weapons, but can wipe out an entire city in about 3 minutes; a godchild, who summoned a pegasus, flew high over the battlefield enlarged a gold coin and dropped it on an army of trolls; Boo, who had an AC of like -25; a priest of talos, who could obliterate a city with just one spell, just to name a few.

Hmmm... Sounds like your GM spent too much time watching bad anime.

sniffles
2005-09-27, 05:35 PM
This thread (and others like it on other forums) has made me yet again thank my gaming karma for the quality GMs and players I enjoy my gaming fun with.

That said, there are a few items I could complain about... ;)

I regularly play with 3 GMs on a rotating schedule. One GM, who is overall a very original and quality GM, has a fondness for putting players/characters in difficult situations with no obvious solution and watching them squirm. I guess you could call it a sadistic streak. For example:

In one campaign (not D&D) our party was exploring an ancient fortress. One character found what appeared to be a duplicate of himself lying immobile on a plinth. Our of curiosity, he touched his duplicate, which turned out to be his past/future/"it all gives me a headache" self. The mental shock caused him to fall into a comatose state.

The other characters tried everything the players could think of to revive him, without success. We racked our brains for weeks of real time, discussing the issue a great deal outside of the game (which occurred weekly). The GM never gave us any clues, at least as far as we could discern. The player was obliged to run a secondary character for about a month.

Then, by sheer accident, I discovered that my character, who had become the avatar of a god, could awaken the unconscious character with a ritual. Later the GM told me I could have done so merely by saying "wake up". Nice of him to have made it so obvious. I'm not sure why he let the situation go on so long. I think he may have been punishing the player of the comatose PC for something else he did in-game.

In the same campaign, my fiancee was running an outcast dwarf who was leading an army against some evil god-like beings. He had to go to the isolationist dwarves and persuade them to join his cause. My fiancee had not designed his character to be a great orator, and hadn't really wanted to be party leader in the first place. The GM made him roleplay his discussions with the dwarven leaders in detail. While this was going on the other PCs had very little to do, since the dwarves didn't like outsiders. The negotiations took 2 or 3 game sessions to play out, during which the other players were mostly bored and frustrated. My fiancee was especially frustrated since he didn't enjoy roleplaying this type of interaction. I still wonder why the GM wouldn't either hand-wave the negotiations or conduct them via email. My fiancee asked him, but he insisted it was "character building". ???

One of the other GMs I play with has several frustrating qualities. He hates killing characters. There is absolutely no threat of death in any of his campaigns (he runs 4 different games on a rotating schedule). Two of the campaigns are superhero games, so death isn't as much of an issue for that genre, but in his fantasy games he will fudge the rules or dice any way he can to keep a character alive. This takes some of the suspense out of the game, at least for me. It also makes it nearly impossible to bring in a new character. I've been getting a bit disenchanted with my character in his Greyhawk game, but when I broached the idea of changing he reacted pretty unfavorably. :-/

Another player did get to change characters in the Greyhawk game, but it was due to a disagreement with the GM and not because the player really wanted to. The GM had introduced an evil artifact that could cause anyone who had it to turn evil, and could also attract evil creatures to it (basically he stole the concept of the Shikon Jewel shards from the Inu-Yasha anime, for those who are familiar with that). The player's character came into contact with one of the shards and became evil.

He decided to go into the Tattooed Monk prestige class and take the tattoo that hides alignment as a result of this. The next game session after he took that prestige class, the player had to miss the game. The GM had a monster show up and start attacking that character. Technically, the monster killed him; he was at something like -30 HP. The GM ruled that an NPC (the PC's wife, whom the GM had saddled the PC with against the player's will) saved him by running up *in the midst of combat* and administering a healing potion (house rule that you can heal someone by pouring a potion on the wound).

But the monster had in the meantime removed the gem shard from the PC, thus revealing to all the other PCs what had happened to their companion. Thus rendering the new prestige class, that the character had only had for a week, completely useless.

The player decided his character, a monk/sorcerer, would be ashamed of what had happened and would want to go back to the monastery to "center" himself. The GM wanted to just hand-wave that and go on with the game as before, but the player wanted to roleplay it. This GM also does not get into much roleplaying. They argued over it for a couple of weeks. The GM refused to let the player run another PC temporarily while his regular character was at the monastery, even though we had a PC-turned-NPC in the party that he could have run.

Finally the player made a new character. Then the GM refused to allow a feat from a non-core book that was integral to the character concept, even though he'd allowed other non-core feats in the past. So the player had to make yet another character. It sort of left a bad taste in everyone's mouths, especially the player whose character was lost, but we're still playing.

Wow, that was long. I guess I have more to rant about than I thought. ;)

mcc
2005-09-27, 11:04 PM
I got kind of the "worst case scenario" treatment.

By which I mean that my first GM (who really wasn't a bad GM at all, in terms of running the game) basically let me and my girlfriend (now fiance) into the game in hopes that he could get her to sleep with him.

The first few months of the game were uneventful.

The few months after that were uneventful during the game sessions and very eventful outside of them, as he (I mean this next bit literally) wound up claiming to us privately that he was the reincarnation of the Egyptian God Osiris, his wife was the reincarnation of the Egyptian God Isis, my fiance was the reincarnation of the Egyptian God Bast, and because of this plus some other reasons we needed to have sex with him and his wife*. Shortly after this he more or less started engaging in behavior toward my fiance that can only really be described as "stalking", sending her into a state of really intense anxiety that probably ruined her grades that semester. After freaking out at the shock of what was happening, we eventually quietly dropped out of the game and tried to avoid all contact with these people.

Later we found out that he had done this before, had been doing this for years, trying to suck impressionable wiccan freshmen into his D&D game and then using it to try to get them to sleep with him. Apparently he had used the "so it turns out you're actually a reincarnation of an ancient egyptian god" claim on most of them as well. (Sometimes I wonder if he's run out of egyptian gods to assign to people he wants to sleep with yet.) We also found out that this sort of behavior was pretty much the reason why there were openings in his game to begin with, i.e., most of the people in the community were avoiding him. I don't know why nobody told us this beforehand.

My fiance has had trouble getting back into D&D after all of this.

* Perhaps it should be noted here they were kind of creepy people and not all that attractive to begin with.

Jarawara
2005-09-29, 10:03 AM
And here I was going to tell a sad tale of how my DM killed my character... but that just doesn't seem too bad compared to the real 'bad seeds' out there.


* Perhaps it should be noted here they were kind of creepy people and not all that attractive to begin with.


Trust me, by the time I had reached that point in the post, I was already well aware they were creepy, you needn't explain any further...

People like this really p**s me off, not just because of how creepy they are, but because they think they can get away with this crap on those "geeky D&D players", and also because others see this and conclude that they are the normal example of D&D players.

You are not alone in dealing with people like that. I can't post the details, since I don't know who might be reading this, but I know of one or two D&D players* who are just as bad if not worse. Again, I can't tell the tale, but betrayal, rape, forced adultery, and possibly indirect manslaught are the highlights.

And now some of my friends won't ever play D&D again because some jerk ruined it for the rest of them. Damn I get so p**sed at that.

Please give your fiance the assurances of all of us on these boards - the vast majority of D&D players are good, sane people. She need not be afraid of a repeat of the previous unfortunate encounter.


*Now my turn for an asterisk: I should restate that part, phrased not as "D&D players who commit crimes", but as "Criminals who also happen to play D&D."

Gamebird
2005-09-29, 11:28 AM
Weirdo Wiccans. Yeah, I've run into them. We had a couple join our Vampire group. They both made it real clear up front they were Wiccans. We were like, "Yeah, yeah, let's get on with the game." So we did. And they made it real clear that being Wiccan meant they had an open marriage. At this point, we began glancing around the table at each other.

These two were both fairly good looking. I made it equally clear that while they might have an open relationship, I did not. As I was the only female in the group other than the Wiccan's wife, that sort of put they guy off.

His wife though went on with her flirting with the various guys. A couple were silly enough to be flattered by the attention and the promise of free, no-strings attached sex with an attractive woman.

Her husband, though, wasn't getting any extra nookie of his own and my husband is a pretty big, intimidating guy so he didn't feel he could try to press any moves on me anyway. So he started getting mad about how things were progressing, because he wasn't getting any and it looked she was going to (or was, I'm not sure what she worked out with the guys outside of game time). Anyway, he threw a fit and they both quit coming to the game.

Most of us were relieved and glad.

FlashFire
2005-09-30, 08:41 AM
You know... a lot of these terrible situations (not talking about the real-life weirdos, just the people playing their characters terribly), can be avoided if the DM can see them coming. Referring back to a post WAY back there on page eight or nine... you KNOW that the PC is about to try and RAPE an NPC, and you know you don't want this to happen... SO DON'T LET IT. Don't even let it be attempted! When a PC says "I cast entangle on her" in an attempt to hold the innocent maiden down, don't even acknowledge he said the action.

OOT-crazy
2005-09-30, 11:51 AM
this thread makes me laugh and cry

Thornwood413
2005-09-30, 01:02 PM
You know, I was going to post something about a Star Wars game I played in, but I don't think I can even come close to the creepy sex crazed people stories...

sniffles
2005-09-30, 01:37 PM
Okay, just to bring the tone back toward something a little lighter...

Years ago, in a Warhammer FRPG campaign, the GM brought in a buddy of his - I'll call him Joe Bob - as a player. Joe Bob made a drug-related joke at one point in the session and got a lot of blank and rather cold stares from the rest of us. I don't think he played with us again. But he eventually ended up playing in another group that overlapped with our regular group (although it didn't include most of our core players).

A couple of years ago Joe Bob persuaded the GM of that group to allow him to bring in his new girlfriend as a player. At that time one of the core players from my group, who I'll call Dr. Evil, had started playing with the second group. Dr. Evil and Joe Bob's new girlfriend started feeling an attraction toward one another (I still can't figure out what she saw in Joe Bob). To avoid hard feelings they both quit that group. Eventually Dr. Evil invited his new girlfriend to join our games.

They got married last year. :)

SpiderBrigade
2005-09-30, 02:21 PM
fThis is sort of second-hand because I would NEVER game with this guy (more on that later). I know him from work, and he WILL insist on rambling on about his games in the most ego-boosting way possible. Apparently he's started running a Mage: the Whatever it is Now game at one of our FLGS. His characters are all randomly at the same coffee shop (modern equivalent to the random tavern I guess). One of them decided to try to get one of the others' attention by levitating a pencil.
"Spot check to make sure no one will notice."
The player does his thing.
"Oops, you failed. 6 people saw you."

Somehow this causes the essence of reality to be destabilized, the shop was destroyed by arcane fire and a gigantic demon appeared for the players to fight.

I don't play Mage myself but that just seems...not how it's supposed to be at all.

This is the same guy who wanted to join one of my games with his 2d ed character. I had him write up a conversion...

8th level fighter, 8th level mage. No ability below 14, and 3 18s. Equipped with a +2 six-shooter and the Serena Moon Blade +8(!). It was supposedly equipped with "Elemental Forces" that each added d10 damage of the appropriate type.

Oh and his 0th-level spells were Magic Missile, Lightning Bolt, and "Circle of Protection: Evil" whatever that is.

I told him to actually read the 3e rules and then roll up a new character. He kinda lost interest after that.

sithninjapirate
2005-09-30, 02:23 PM
OH MY GAWD! I know someone named Joe Bob!

Well, I can't say I've had a bad game, but I had one bad experience...
I was DM-ing and the players were short one character, I let one of them use my Githzerai Monk. So, of course, this person role-played him by castrating himself(???) and other completely out of character. I couldn't kill off the character, because it was mine, and I wanted him to advance farther, so I couldn't dock XP. In short, I wouldn't let him play one of my characters again.

Gordon
2005-09-30, 06:14 PM
Okay, just to bring the tone back toward something a little lighter...

Years ago, in a Warhammer FRPG campaign, the GM brought in a buddy of his - I'll call him Joe Bob - *as a player. Joe Bob made a drug-related joke at one point in the session and got a lot of blank and rather cold stares from the rest of us. I don't think he played with us again. But he eventually ended up playing in another group that overlapped with our regular group (although it didn't include most of our core players).

A couple of years ago Joe Bob persuaded the GM of that group to allow him to bring in his new girlfriend as a player. At that time one of the core players from my group, who I'll call Dr. Evil, had started playing with the second group. Dr. Evil and Joe Bob's new girlfriend started feeling an attraction toward one another (I still can't figure out what she saw in Joe Bob). To avoid hard feelings they both quit that group. Eventually Dr. Evil invited his new girlfriend to join our games.

They got married last year. *:)

Sometimes it all works out!

Jarawara
2005-10-06, 10:46 AM
Well, now that were back to discussing bad DM's and bad groups, instead of utterly criminal ones...

This is a story from my first online group I ever got into. They were an established group, and they actually played face to face long before they went online, and so I was clearly joining a long established group.

It wasn't my cup of tea, but that's not indicative of a bad group. They were just into a much higher level, superpowered game; epic challenges for epic characters. I like my low level games, and that iconic hand to hand battle with Orcs.

We played some games, cut through the orcs like they were butter, and then they went on to kill some dragons and defeat some armies (by themselves - 6 characters take on 6000 troops, and defeat them). Again, no real problem there, just not my cup of tea.

But of course, we started talking on the boards back and forth, about what kind of game we liked, what we didn't like, and exactly what constitutes "epic" play. My contention was that you can have epic play without epic level characters; their contention was why have "epic-lite", when you can have world-shaking characters. Again, no problems, just a difference of opinion.

Enter RD. She is more of my type of player, with similar opinions, but she posts it a bit too confrontational for her own good. She basically states that compared to the power of most low level monsters, we already have epic level characters at 1st level. She contends that alot of the low level monsters should be removed as being too weak to be worth playing with. Based on how easy those Orcs were to kill, I can see how she got that opinion.

The DM disagreed, and through the wonderful medium of the internet posting boards, he got hacked off royally at what RD was saying, and was determined to prove her wrong.

Now understand, I don't mind an occasional, good natured "teach the player the error of her ways", but never in anger, never with fatal consequences, and certainly never deliberate.

So the scene opens...

We come across a walled city. Nobody is outside the town, nobody on the walls, nobody in sight whatsoever. Party decides to investigate. The gates are open, but we first look for alternate entrances.

We come across a sewer drain pipe. It would be crowded, and does not look promising. Rats, even bigs ones, are clearly in the sewers. The Monk, however, decides to go in, the rest of us do not follow. More on the Monk in a moment.

Party goes back to the main entrance, and looks in. There are people here, but also lots of rats. Some rats are attacking a woman in the street, the rogue goes in to save the girl. He asks her what is happening, she says the town has been overrun by rats, and some of them are were-rats!

Rest of the party, including RD, but minus the rogue and the monk, (and me, who stayed back with the caravan), are outside of the main gates. Rogue is inside the town. At that moment, the trap is sprung! The gates suddenly close!

Rogue is now attacked by a wave of rats. He has to defend himself mightly, while the DM-PC climbs over the walls and jumps in to assist. The DM-PC also opens the gates again, rest of the party rushes in to save them. This took a few rounds of play to detail out, so rogue had to fight alone for a few rounds, then with DM-PC at his back, then finally the rest of the party shows up and sets a screen of torches to control the area.

Now, the monk... He meets quite a few rats in the sewers, he shooes them away, then comes up in a building, sort of like a barn. The were-rats are there. Their leader challenges the monk to a duel. Terms: If the monk loses, they eat him. If the monk wins... they eat him anyway. Monk accepts, duel is fought. Monk wins, kills the leader of the were-rats, then bolts for the door. He's down to one hit point, but starts running across the open field, dodging and darting the literal flood of rats in the streets.

Outside the town, a messanger boy runs back to the caravan. The prince, upon hearing that there is a commotion in town, does not order the men forward... instead, he decides to walk up to town and take a look for himself. Alone.

The prince, by the way, is me. I play the prince as a bit of an idiot, so even though I could have commanded a small army to assist, it was much more fun to just wander up and tell them all to quit messing around. But I can't tell them that, because the gates are closed. Irritated at that, I climb the walls. There are rats up there, thousands of them, and when they come at me while I'm on the rope, I get bit and have to let myself fall back to the ground, some 30 feet below. I dust myself off, complain that my shirt is torn, and head back to the caravan to get the cavalry.

Inside, the situation is desperate. The party is surrounded, the torches won't last forever. The monk actually makes it out alive - he ran across the whole town with one hp remaining, climbed the wall, and dropped down to the outside. The rest of the party decides that they have to do the same, but how?

The party fighter, played by my friend RD, decides that it's time to act. She climbs the wall...

...and is mobbed by thousands of rats. She takes 22 points of damage on the first hit. RD takes into account that she's easily the heaviest armored character there, and drops and rolls to use the armor to crush the rats on her. DM doesn't seem to agree that was a good tactic, or just didn't even bother to consider; instead he describes how she takes 32 more points of damage. That drops RD's character to way into the negatives, she's dead, the DM describes how the rats eat out her eyes, tear apart her flesh, and basically make her deader than dead. DM-PC even comments "Too bad. She shouldn't have left the safety of the group."

Party then escapes the town. I don't remember how. Didn't somebody have to climb the wall to get to the cranks that control the gates? However it was, the rest of the party survives.

Hmmmm..... "She shouldn't have left the safety of the group." Let's consider that for a moment.

Rogue went into the town alone, had to fight rats for several rounds alone, without cover of flame or assistance. DM-PC climbed the walls, up and over, exactly in the same spot that RD's character did, didn't even get attacked, and then stood by the rogue for several more rounds. Even I climbed that same exact spot, using the same exact rope, and my prince was armored only in a fine silk shirt. I was barely molested, though I did have to drop away. Heck, the monk went into the rat infested sewers alone, fought the wererat in a wererat infested room, all alone, was reduced to one hit point, escaped the room, ran through the rat flooded city, all alone, with one hit point, climbed the rat infested walls, all alone, with one hit point, and jumped down to safety.

RD's heavily armored, professional warrior, who was played with what I felt was good practical tactics, was killed with two applications of numbers, no dice rolls necessary. Yeah, she shouldn't have left the safety of the group, that was it.

DM then says "See, RD, low level monsters, plain old rats in this case, *can* be deadly." Yeah, when you cheat!!!

*~*~*~*


Epilog: RD and I left the game shortly thereafter, started our own game. We're about to celebrate our 4th year of the campaign, with a storyline and accompanying roleplay good enough that we are considering writing a book on it. We've agreed there shall be no rats.

Rigeld
2005-10-06, 05:28 PM
DM then says "See, RD, low level monsters, plain old rats in this case, *can* be deadly." Yeah, when you cheat!!!

Tho he did it in the wrong way, he is right :p

Gordon
2005-10-06, 07:06 PM
Tho he did it in the wrong way, he is right :p

The individual words are right... the problem is that although those were the sounds that came out of his mouth, what the DM meant was, "Hah! Fork you, Bizznatch! In Yer Face!"

Sounds like RD and her friend are well rid of these twits.

RandomNPC
2005-10-06, 08:40 PM
i think ive already ranted about my worst character, the person who "remembered" the traits of the palemaster he wanted to play, that went poorly. the short versoin of it all is that he powerplayed using party as slaves and the first game he missed one of the other players shot him in the head with a ballista.

my real reason for posting however..... has anyone posted on a message board complaining about someone and gotten in an arguement with the person becaiuse they read the message board? im kinda surprised that hasnt happened on the boards yet.

Jerthanis
2005-10-06, 09:26 PM
...has anyone posted on a message board complaining about someone and gotten in an arguement with the person becaiuse they read the message board? im kinda surprised that hasnt happened on the boards yet.

No, but I've gotten an appology. In the thread "It wasn't me, it was the character" I told the story of two nobles who killed the rest of the party because their stats were so much higher than everyone elses due to lucky rolls in a game I DMed, and one of the two actually appologised after reading that. He was apparently doing that to upset another member of our group, but realized that it kinda got out of hand.

Gordon
2005-10-07, 01:27 AM
y real reason for posting however..... has anyone posted on a message board complaining about someone and gotten in an arguement with the person becaiuse they read the message board? im kinda surprised that hasnt happened on the boards yet.

Can't say so-- while Fnord and I are in the same gaming group, and while we tease each other from time to time (usually in Silly Board Games), about things that have happened in game, we're quite good friends and respect each other greatly. For me, I very much admire his skills as a DM, and he's very much in demand-- the only difficulty is getting him the time in his schedule to run consistently.

GuywithSword#2
2005-10-07, 04:06 AM
Wow, I just read this whole thread. The whole thing. These are some of the most horrifying stories I have ever heard. I was going to complain about my dm and group, but now I am thinking of calling them all up and begging them to never change, even that prick Mike, okay maybe not mike, but I have my reasons1. I was planning on just reading the first and last couple of pages, but the stories were just train wreck after merciless train wreck, and I couldn't tear my eyes away.

Thanks everybody for giving me a new found appreciation for my gaming group. Except Michael2.


1: he's a prick
2: see also note 1

Legend_Of_Greyhawk
2005-10-07, 08:24 AM
My Change Of Dm Horror Story


One day we had a group, of eight good players....well 3 people left the group... and when we hit 9th level our Dm, and another player had to quit, so one of the other players took over the Job of Dming. Two more people joined and one left, putting us to a group of 3 good players, A new player and a bad Dm...well anyways...we were going through a dungeon and had the rougue search for traps, he says he had a bad feeling, he was an NPC so yah.... I told the Dm that didn't make any sence you can't half fail a search if he made the Dc he found a trap, so the Dm said he didn't. I went to open the door and got my hand turned to stone with no save..... I broke my finger punching Iron wood, and overall monks unamred fighting is just getting worse. The warlock however is getting all the glory, hes got a chick got 50pp for selling a regular chain shirt, about 4 magic items and i'm realy starting to wonder should I actually be in a group were one guy get all the treasure, combat is slowing down and the Dm likes it that way, he makes the game go slower and showed up an hour late for our session last weak...

Gordon
2005-10-07, 08:54 AM
My Change Of Dm Horror Story


One day we had a group, of eight good players....well 3 people left the group... and when we hit 9th level our Dm, and another player had to quit, so one of the other players took over the Job of Dming. Two more people joined and one left, putting us to a group of 3 good players, A new player and a bad Dm...well anyways...we were going through a dungeon and had the rougue search for traps, he says he had a bad feeling, he was an NPC so yah.... I told the Dm that didn't make any sence you can't half fail a search if he made the Dc he found a trap, so the Dm said he didn't. I went to open the door and got my hand turned to stone with no save..... I broke my finger punching Iron wood, and overall monks unamred fighting is just getting worse. The warlock however is getting all the glory, hes got a chick got 50pp for selling a regular chain shirt, about 4 magic items and i'm realy starting to wonder should I actually be in a group were one guy get all the treasure, combat is slowing down and the Dm likes it that way, he makes the game go slower and showed up an hour late for our session last weak...

Our Rogues have learned to look twice for traps. If they find one to disable, look twice again after disabling. Yours would learn that if they had to open their own doors. It's like packing your own 'chute, innit? That way, you don't risk someone else's life with your forkup.

At least, that's how it would work in anyone else's game. I'm afraid you've burnt out the surprise-o-meter.

Gamebird
2005-10-07, 12:16 PM
my real reason for posting however..... has anyone posted on a message board complaining about someone and gotten in an arguement with the person becaiuse they read the message board? im kinda surprised that hasnt happened on the boards yet.

Oh yeah, big time. And the jerk-DM I talked about then took it out on our characters in game and blamed me for it. Which didn't do anything to prove he wasn't a huge jerk. The other players eventually talked him out of the "punishment" (wagons stolen when parked, horses butchered when left at the stable, familiars killed, bards sing bad stories about us, NPCs desert us, etc.)

sniffles
2005-10-07, 01:24 PM
I suppose I'm fortunate in that none of my fellow players/GMs are much interested in forums. They're not likely to read my complaints. But I still think my group is great compared to many I've read about, despite my earlier complaints.

;D

Gordon
2005-10-07, 03:37 PM
Oh yeah, big time. *And the jerk-DM I talked about then took it out on our characters in game and blamed me for it. *Which didn't do anything to prove he wasn't a huge jerk. *The other players eventually talked him out of the "punishment" (wagons stolen when parked, horses butchered when left at the stable, familiars killed, bards sing bad stories about us, NPCs desert us, etc.)

omfg, he pulled crap like that and they kept playing with him and didn't administer him a boot to the nards :o ???

Must be an itsy bitsy eentsy weentsy tiney winey gaming community that this guy ever got to run anything again!

Gamebird
2005-10-07, 04:06 PM
omfg, he pulled crap like that and they kept playing with him and didn't administer him a boot to the nards :o ???

Must be an itsy bitsy eentsy weentsy tiney winey gaming community that this guy ever got to run anything again!

You know, I think most of just seemed so insane, that people didn't take it seriously. And most of the fireworks happened between games, when I and one other player were informed of what was going to happen. After getting a lot of resistance (duh) from us, the DM came up with a **** and bull story that it was all revenge from this demon we'd pissed off by killing his minions a couple games before. Of course, none of the dozens of OTHER evil deities and demons whose worshippers we'd offed had ever retaliated like that (to which the DM said, "they should have, but I always thought it was unfair... but since you think a bunch of stuff in my game is unfair anyway, why should I care?" I'm paraphrasing, but that was the gist of it).

He got talked down from it and by the time the rest of the players got to the gaming table, it had been toned down to "and the bards sing nasty tales about you".

Umael
2005-10-08, 04:24 AM
Gamebird, I got to echo Gordon here.

Why are you still playing with this guy?

Hadrian_Emrys
2006-04-05, 07:37 PM
I'm guessing there's a touch of masochism involved. I can't think of any other reason why such tripe would go unopposed.

Sulecrist
2006-04-05, 11:06 PM
Now that this thread's been Raised, I suppose I'd better buff it.

I've got this one guy in the simu-party campaign I'm running, Avermansen. He never plays anything that isn't a caster, and uses exclusively fire magic (generally scorching ray.) Both of his characters have been blasters (though he hides behind roleplay, blasters is what they are). On a sidenote, all of his characters (NPCs and PCs) have the same high-pitched, stereotypical homosexual voice. We have a lot of gay people at our school, and it's kind of insulting to them. Plus, it's very annoying.

Recently, between story arcs, he asked if he could insert a 5-6 adventure long campaign. Being quite chuffed at the opportunity to play (I rarely get a chance, as I'm the only competent DM in my hometown and one of two at my college) I say he can do it.

We're promptly railroaded INTO HELL, then through hell, and into some ethereal arena. There, we fight monsters well over our CR for two back-to-back sessions with no loot and no storyline advancement. There were three major battles. The first was four dwarves; two wizards, a cleric, and a fighter. The wizards cast Scorching Ray and Fireball a lot, and nothing else. The cleric cast Flame strike. All of these characters were equal to or higher than our level. We almost died, and it was all in all a crappy session.

The next game, we fought four humans. Two wizards, a cleric, and a fighter. The wizards cast Scorching Ray and Fireball a lot, and nothing else. The cleric cast Flame strike. All of these characters were equal to or higher than our level. SOMEHOW we managed to stay alive. It was again, a very poor session.

Finally, we (a party of four level 9s) were tossed against four Slaad, two blue and two red. They basically staggered around like sacks of HP while we hit them. They summoned more in. It wasn't challenging, it wasn't interesting, and it took to long.

I'm grabbing my campaign back tomorrow.

Umael
2006-04-06, 12:57 AM
(Forgot about this thread...)

I have one from when I was at Sakura-con two weekends ago.

It started with the convention itself. The game was supposed to start at 0900 and went we got there, the door was still locked and no GM. We contact security, they say someone is on the way, no one shows up. We contact security again, again they say someone is on the way, no one shows up. One of the convention goes gets tired and goes into one of the open adjoining rooms, opens the adjoining door that connects the two rooms, and opens the locked door. Less than five minutes later, security actually shows up to open door.

Okay, great, we have the room now, it's close to 0930, but we have no GM. After much waiting and grumbling, a posse of four (including me) go into the convention planning center (the staff who are actually running the convention itself, not the building) and explain the situation. The staff basically say, we'll try to get a hold of the RPG coordinator - they use a walkie-talkie and ask if anyone has seen Mr. RPG coordinator. No answer. We go back to the room to wait (which is about fifty feet away across the large space under the escalators). Half-an-hour or so later, no GM still, so we go back to the convention people and explain and ask again, this time being more determined to stick around. Same people are there, but there is a new convention person there who has a very unfriendly attitude of "What's your problem? Is that it? Why don't you bother me when you have something important?" She literally told us to just go back and wait (which in itself wasn't too bad) while conveying intense levels of contempt and annoyance our way. (I understand a staff member saying, we can't help, sorry, but this woman was more like, don't you morons get it? Get back and just wait or go away.)

So finally we decide to make our own game, heedless of the fact that we have 1 physical PHB and 1 virtual PHB among the 12 or so. Two people decide to DM a game each, and we split into two groups.

Now at this point, I need to make clear two things. (1) Given the way the convention was going for me, this was literally the best thing for me to be doing at the time - playing an impromptu role-playing game instead of a planned one or doing any one of a number of Anime or Japanese-culture related things that were going on at this convention. (2) I fully realized that because the game was at a convention AND it was an impromptu game, it was going to suck. Hard-core.

Regarding #2... I was not disappointed in my low expectations.

The woman running the game was... not the best. I understand that she had stepped up and volunteered instead of playing a game along with the rest of us, but...

She announced that she would be using a system that was a combination of 3.0/3.5 and 2nd edition. That included things like everyone rolling a d10 for Initiative and subtracting their Initative modifer... people who got less than a "1" ended up with a "1" no matter what. She also had a built in stereotype about half-orcs (my PC for that game) that meant they were all dumb and ugly... never mind the fact that my character actually had Intelligence 11, Charisma 13. To her, a half-orc is a half-orc, big, dumb, clumsy, and ugly. She interpretated our actions for us so that she ended up telling us what we did with our own characters (usually it was done in minor ways, but still annoying). There was next to no combat, most of which was PC-versus-PC because they were bored; in fact, the big reveal of game was done semi-horror film with the DM just basically saying, "okay, this happens, your PC is dead." The plot of the game was to figure out the secret of this labyrinth, which turned out to be a home for some kind of demon child who was being babysat by a half-elf - both of which were obviously old PCs of the DM.

*sigh*

I sat through it and managed to survive and escape the labyrinth in-game. I would have left earlier, but as I said, that was all there was to interest me at the time, and she DID volunteer to run a game when I did not. It comes nowhere -near- some of the stories I have heard told on this thread, but it definitely was not a exciting time. It was just so... meh.

Altair_the_Vexed
2006-04-06, 06:08 AM
I was playing a Druid with a low CON and little fighting ability beyond my +1 attack bonus with my staff. After some heated discussion - great role play from players and NPCs alike - I wandered away from the rest of the party to brood by the fire.

Well, the referee had a wandering encounter of bandits readied just at the moment. I totally failed to notice them until they were rushing down the slope of the bowl-shaped depression we had our fire in, shooting arrows and going in for melee. I took well over enough damage in the surprise round to put me below -10 HP.

Damn! My Druid is dead, thought I. Oh well - if we didn't have the chance of being killed, it wouldn't be exciting. "I collapse to the floor," I announced.

The ref was in the full swing of battle. He just declared the damage I'd taken, and had
gone on to deal with the rest of the party. The bandits were heard by my erstwhile party-mates and a fight of several round ensued. When all the bandits were killed, the ref comes back to me - "What are your hit points now?"

I added it up and told him I was dead-dead-dead. Minus 24 or something like that.

However, the referee had some future plot plan that needed the druid to be alive. So he fudged it... after the fact.

"Er... no, they stopped hitting you when you fell down."

I thought that through - "That would have put me on minus seven..." I rolled for spontaneous stabilisation. Nope. Nope. Nope. -10. Still dead.

"Er... " the referee declared that the party could see I was "about to die" and made it to me just in time to get a healing potion down my neck.

I protested that I was happy to be dead, it was right and proper, but the ref wouldn't go back.

I talked it through with him after the game. He tried to claim that what had happened was the original version of events, like I'd imagined the damage before.

I quit that game. It's got to be fair.

Krimm_Blackleaf
2006-04-06, 06:27 AM
i was once in a group that i couldn't STAND.
It wasn't that any of the people were @$$holes, or even in anyway bad tempered, they were all pleasent folk, but what i hated was that it was a division between a group of experienced players (me and my little clique of nerds) and a very large group of people who were playing for the FIRST time EVER.
we were doing a campaign that my best friends girlfriend had made, it was a venture into a small town surrounded by a bog of black goo and everyone had recently and strangely changed gender.....but we spend more then half the time helping the newbs with their character (i.e. they didn't finish making them so we did in gameplay) and there were slightly more noobs then there were people in my known clique, so everyone but me got thier counterpart to help, i of course having to help three people. And to my dimay, one of the people i made was a basic carbon copy of me (CE elven sorcerer focusing on evocation spell). And the other two were an eccentric boyfriend/girlfriend couple that were too into eachother to be too into the game, so they were two female lesbien human druids who spent more time rping making out then actually playing.

Now all of that was pretty bad, but it was managable, because i'm fairly mature....but here's the worst part there were nearly FIFTEEN people by the time we were really playing (more people having arrived) and i felt like i was going to explode because the noise overcame my own thoughts.

and the real catcher at the end was that me, my friend andy, my friend devin and one of the noobs who hated noise decided this was all too much when we came across a mob that was literally impossible to defeat at our level and tactics. so we just said "ok, screw this" and played DDR for the rest of the party

i know that story was a bit disjointed and possibly confusing, but people have told me that i'm a shining example of a chaotic alignment. thanks for listening to be bitch on about things i don't like about noobs

Thomas
2006-04-06, 06:37 AM
Now all of that was pretty bad, but it was managable, because i'm fairly mature....but here's the worst part there were nearly FIFTEEN people by the time we were really playing (more people having arrived) and i felt like i was going to explode because the noise overcame my own thoughts.

Who on earth tries to play a game with fifteen people? 6-8 is the acknowledged absolute maximum of people at the table, as far as I've noticed. And that still doesn't account for the fact that as the number of people at the table grows, the amount of off-topic chatter and joking and other delays grows exponentially...

Krimm_Blackleaf
2006-04-06, 06:52 AM
Who on earth tries to play a game with fifteen people? 6-8 is the acknowledged absolute maximum of people at the table, as far as I've noticed. And that still doesn't account for the fact that as the number of people at the table grows, the amount of off-topic chatter and joking and other delays grows exponentially...

It was a birthday party of my formentioned best friend's girlfriend's best friend, who is very very very popular, so there were tons of people (more people showed up later on) and yeah, after that session we vowed to have no more then 6 people at the table at one time unless we all wholeheartedly agreed on it

Gamebird
2006-04-06, 11:17 AM
One of the early campaigns I played in started with about a dozen players and quickly exceeded 20. It got up to 26 one night, with a new guy walking up to the end of the table and saying, "Hey, is this that great D&D game I've heard of?"

At the other end of the table, the harassed DM looked up and yelled down at him, "You can't play!"

New guy glances over at DM and then back to the guy next to him. He draws up a chair, "So, is this the D&D game?"

Guy next to him: "Yeah, it is."

New guy: "So how do I make up a character?"

DM: "Hey, YOU! You CAN'T play!!"

The new guy gives the DM a nasty look and goes on talking to the guy next to him about how to make a character.

The DM just shook his head, sighed and went on.

Of course, he also killed upwards of 60 characters in the first four or five games. He made it really clear he was just going to have a ruthless, killer dungeon and keep killing PCs until he'd gotten the group down to a manageable size. Unfortunately his tactic had the opposite effect. Rather than driving off players, people piled into the game and found it a lot of fun. There *was* a chance at survival, enhanced if you could get your enemies at the gaming table to go first (or last). Then there were a few people who just wanted to see if they could go out in a bigger and bigger blaze of glory (kind of hard when you're 1st level, but they tried... oh how they tried).

Eventually the DM wised up and moved the group to a smaller room, invited in only those players he'd liked, and *shut the door*. Anyone who inquired was told it was a closed game.

BelkarsDagger
2006-04-06, 12:09 PM
Wow a 26-player game... harsh.

Anyway the worst DM experience I'v seen was one of my own (embarrassing...).
It's sorta simple but still it was embarrassing. Once I forgot to bring the maps that the PCs could buy in town, so I had to describe the map from memory, while they were like:

"Alright, where is the nearest city? We're low on supplies..."
Me: "Ok just a second... hard to remember this crap."

So eventually they just gave up, dumped the maps in a river, and trudged through the wilderness in one direction for the next week. During which they come across about nothing because I was still mentally wounded from the map incident.

So, I guess that was the worst DM experience I've had...
I know its simple and I know it seems childish but YOU try to describe a map for roleplaying* that you've only seen once and that was when you were drawing it.

Edit:* From MEMORY

Bug-a-Boo
2006-04-06, 12:11 PM
but YOU try to describe a map for roleplaying that you've only seen once and that was when you were drawing it.

Wouldn't you just make up a new one on the spot?

BelkarsDagger
2006-04-06, 12:18 PM
I suppose but it would be dreadfully simple, and I go for detail. And it would most likely su-uck.

Parallax
2006-04-07, 05:18 PM
I suppose but it would be dreadfully simple, and I go for detail. And it would most likely su-uck.
You mean su-uck more than no map at all?
If you really like drawing up maps that much, just make one up (simple) on the spot, keep that piece of paper and come back for the next game with a fully-fleshed map, consistent with the improvised skeleton you pulled out of your donkey. As a player, I'm a big sucker for GM props, especially when some work was clearly put into them. Gives the campaign a big, fuzzy, I-care feeling.

Now my 'horror' stories pale before some of the stuff I've read in this zombie-thread, but here goes one rant:

I once played with a guy who made a point of avoiding plot hooks. So we're in town, looking for a job, and we check the bulletin board at the adventurer's guild. There is one note, for an orc-killing mission.

He doesn't want to do it. Asked why, he replies: "because it's obviously a plot hook." Well, duh. I find the answer unsatisfactory so I ask why he doesn't want to follow plot hooks. "It's obviously what he wants us to do." Well, duh, again!

The discussion goes back and forth for five minutes with the GM watching and it's pretty clear the guy doesn't want to go along with the plot. I'm starting to lose my cool when the GM calmly says: "Look, I'm not forcing anybody. You can go along with what I have prepared and it will be as good as we make it, or you can force me to improvise something and it will likely suck." The guy got up and left, saying he wouldn't be railroaded. The rest of us killed some orcs and had fun.

Gyrfalcon
2006-04-07, 05:28 PM
.... the player doesn't like plot-hooks. Oooookay. While your DM handled it much better then I would have, my answer would have been:

"Well, since you don't want to go on adventures, do mercenary work, or anything else a PC normally does... your character stays home and becomes a commoner. Roll profession checks to see if you make enough money to live day to day."

I'm sorry, but that guy was taking the idea of railroading to an extreme... not to mention having no idea what railroading actually is. Hm... if he plays RPGs, I wonder if he only plays the Elder Scrolls games (like Morrowind) because *gasp* RPGs railroad you with a plot! ;D

JadedDM
2006-04-07, 06:09 PM
the player doesn't like plot-hooks.

That reminds me of something. True Story:

I knew this guy who was in another campaign, and complained about how boring it was. He gave a summary of what happened.

The party was traveling, and they came across a horseless wagon that appeared to be steam-powered (this is FR, so a little odd). They decided to ignore it and press on.

Then they come across some armored horsemen who claim to be searching for some thief in the local area. The party decides not to get involved and press on.

Then the party comes across a group of people in a very heavily weighed wagon. They decide to ignore them and press on.

Then they spotted something very large and blue fly by them up in the sky. They weren't sure what it was. They decided it was best not to stick around.

Uh...geez. No wonder the session was so boring.

This guy briefly played in my campaign, too. He seemed to make a point of ignoring all plot hooks, as well. Then he would complain when nothing interesting happened. ::)

Gyrfalcon
2006-04-07, 06:13 PM
Roughly around then, I'd have attacked them with the thieves driving the car, the blue dragon, the armored riders who decided that the party was the thieves they're looking for, and the people off the wagon just because.

Fine, you want excitement? Try survival. ^_^

BelkarsDagger
2006-04-07, 08:03 PM
Kill him in the mid of the night, and take his stuff ;D

He's gonna leave anyway, why let all his junk go to waste?

Magnus_Samma
2006-04-09, 01:21 AM
I have a player who tries to come up with interesting character quirks, but doesn't manage to quite pull them off. Like the time he created a mute barbarian who communicated through writing in a book. Except that communicating by writing in a book basically turned out to be just like talking, even though in most cases there was no way the other players could see the book. The character got to be so irritating that when I negotiated with the player to kill off the barbarian so he could switch to another character, my other pcs begged to be allowed to kill him. XD

Jothki
2006-04-09, 02:07 AM
I have a player who tries to come up with interesting character quirks, but doesn't manage to quite pull them off. *Like the time he created a mute barbarian who communicated through writing in a book. *Except that communicating by writing in a book basically turned out to be just like talking, even though in most cases there was no way the other players could see the book. *The character got to be so irritating that when I negotiated with the player to kill off the barbarian so he could switch to another character, my other pcs begged to be allowed to kill him. XD

Aren't barbarians illiterate?

Magnus_Samma
2006-04-09, 02:19 AM
Aren't barbarians illiterate?

Exactly.

He spent the skill point to learn how to write, but it still made no sense. A mute barbarian? Sure. A mute barbarian who writes to people? That's when you plan to get the character eaten by the tarrasque...

Ashildr_the_Bard
2007-01-04, 12:37 PM
I was accidentally a bad DM last week. I nearly killed off the whole party because I forgot the "one template per monster" rule. Although the guys did pull it off with the wizard making a lucky crit after he ran out of spells while the rest of the party was unconscious.

One of the worst players I've ever had in a group was one of those "lecherous cretens" varieties. You've seen one of those guys before. Total lack of social skills. Mouth breather. Kinda greasy. I agreed to give him a chance because he was a friend of one of the guys already in my group. He always wanted to play the dark brooding hero guy, which in itself is not bad if you can actually make it there and not fall short into moody stupidity, and always came up with the dumbest ways to get attention. For instance, we were playing d20 modern and he had came into the game late so the rest of the party were already together investigating a crime scene at a lake. So, and I still don't know how he thought this was a good idea, he snuck up on the (heavily armed) other party members underwater and popped up trying to scare them. His character was the shortist lived PC I've ever had in game, lasting just 5 minutes into the game before being shot to bits by the rest of the party.

purple gelatinous cube o' Doom
2007-01-04, 12:44 PM
I was accidentally a bad DM last week. I nearly killed off the whole party because I forgot the "one template per monster" rule. Although the guys did pull it off with the wizard making a lucky crit after he ran out of spells while the rest of the party was unconscious.

Personally, I don't think that's being a bad DM at all. yeah you made a mistake with the template thing. But in tough battles PC's are supposed to go down/die. I was in a game once where a party of 5 faced a red dragon at around 15th or 16th level, and the only character that was still up at the end (and thus killed it) was my druid. Needless to say that battle took roughly 2 hours. It was a homebrew game run by a friend of mine while we were in college. All in all, I'd have to say it was probably the best game I've ever been in.

Ashildr_the_Bard
2007-01-04, 12:53 PM
I kind of overzealously forgot it though. The dire undead wyvern sounded great at the time.

(Which may not be the best thing to admit when I'm trying to get a game up on the forums. :smallredface: )

Nerd-o-rama
2007-01-04, 03:42 PM
Dire's not a template. First, your monster therefore had one template and second, how did you get a Dire Wyvern? There's also, to my knowledge, no limit to the number of templates on a creature. Hell, I think one of my next BBEG's will be a Phrenic Vampire Human. There's also the Half-Dragon Lich that's a statted archvillain in the campaign setting (Eberron), even though that's technically an illegal combination. Lich only applies to Humanoids; she had the Dragon type while living, so she needs to be a Dracolich.

Whether I restat her when the party faces her, however, depends on how mean to them I want to be.

Ashildr_the_Bard
2007-01-04, 05:23 PM
Actually Dire is a template in my game. I made a homebrew template for it because I felt that the choices of dire creatures were rather limited. Plus just because wyverns are big and dragon-like doesn't mean there can't be genetic freaks in their population as well and it's just a good way to juice up a monster if you need a higher challenge-rating. And while it doesn't specifically state in the rules you can't have more than one template, reason should dictate that if you start adding things to a monster, you're eventually going to change the CR. The difference between the CR of a Dire creature and a regular creature of the same type, for instance, is usually significant. And the game I just ran is pretty much proof of the theory where I'm concerned, because the Dire wyvern should have been a peice of cake for them at their level, they really didn't botch more than they usually do and they still ended up nearly toast.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-01-04, 06:10 PM
Ah. Well I guess that's why almost all published templates add some value to the CR of the base creature, which stacks as you stack templates (example: a Vampire is base CR+2, a Phrenic creature is base CR+2; a Phrenic Vampire is base CR+4). Did you forget to account for that when you wrote the encounter?

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-01-04, 10:04 PM
I'm often accused of being a bad DM because I bend the rules very often to the benefit of the players, and if I don't know a rule off the top of my head and no one in the group knows the exact mechanics, I'm just as likely to make it up as I am to actually look for it. I also prefer power gaming the players with high stats, gestalts and free LA. I always have one player that thinks I'm a terrible DM because I play like this and swears up and down he's better at everything and tries to collapse my session outside of the game by starting his own and inviting my group to their's.

To my credit, though, I've never lost any players through my nay-sayers. Turns out their extreme adherance to by-the-book combat mechanics isn't as much fun as superhuman roleplaying.