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Lord.Sorasen
2012-04-25, 09:29 PM
I need to speak first and say I do not currently have any DM troubles. But, let me tell you all a story.

So the other day for the second time in my life I visited a game store and joined in a game of D&D (4th edition) with a group of strangers. I was familiar only with 3.5 and Pathfinder and had only played with friends with the exception of the first time I went to the game store, so it was all a very foreign experience to me.

Anyway, we begin playing and the DM reveals something that the others, having done the campaign for several weeks now, were aware of but I was not. He reveals critical fumbles. The ranger in our group takes his bow to fire a toppling shot at an orc, rolls a 1, and bam, drops his bow a square to the left. Apparently last session he had gotten his bow stuck in a tree due to a critical fumble. Laughs were had mostly by the younger players (other than the one without a bow). I suddenly realized everything that the playground had told me about critical fumbles were true! It made your group look ridiculous levels of incompetent, it made any strategy at all a risky game, it encouraged less rapid firing...

But even with that horribly sour spot it was a still fun and I can't imagine leaving a game for it. I remember however that a lot of players on the forums stated they would never play a game with someone using a critical fumble chart. I don't mean to insult these players: after all, my personal way of having fun is in no way exactly the same as theirs is. But it did make me curious:

For you, what does it take from a DM to get you to pack your bags and go? Improper understanding of rules, a destructive environment, a railroaded plot... Where is that point that your DM can take you where you can no longer follow?

Silus
2012-04-25, 09:52 PM
For me, it's an overly railroaded plot, unbalanced encounters and zero flexibility on the DM's part that kill games for me. Also if there's no incentive to continue. One DM I played with ran a low-magic (To the point of almost non-existant), low wealth (Kill a full grown dragon, get 300G and a +1 sword. Maybe) and E6 (Those prestige class combos you wanted? Haha, sorry, but no). I don't think anyone enjoyed that game at all.

valadil
2012-04-25, 09:59 PM
My character has to be able to leave his mark on the world. If I could play through the game with a different party and have the same outcome, the game is pointless to me. I want to solve the problems that come up as my character, not as myself the tactician.

I actually can exist in a railroad heavy game, so long as the railroad doesn't extend too far into the future. If the GM writes a side trip to visit my character's home city, even if that plot is forced it's still something that exists because of my character.

I want the game to be the combination of influences of all the characters who are involved. But when my character's presence doesn't change the game, well, the game won't miss my presence at the table.

Hyudra
2012-04-25, 10:36 PM
I play D&D because, unlike a computer game, there are no barriers (implicit or explicit) to the possibilities and where I can go, the kind of character I can be.

If the DM insists on putting those barriers in place, that'll be enough for me to walk away.

Greyfeld85
2012-04-25, 10:41 PM
Two major things:

1. Houserules. I don't mind a few house rules, especially for the sake of balancing certain aspects of the system, or for the sake of flavor for the game. What gets me is when somebody has a list of house rules as long as my freaking arm, and it's obvious that the game should have been played under a different system altogether.

2. Character creation restrictions. Sometimes, DMs restrict books based on what they personally own or what they're familiar with. Other times, they restrict resource material because they're under some delusion that cutting splat books from their game will somehow make it more balanced. The moment I hear a DM say something to that effect, I know the game's going nowhere but downhill.

Knaight
2012-04-26, 01:10 AM
If I'm consistently not having fun, I'm out.

crazyhedgewizrd
2012-04-26, 01:37 AM
1.) when the DM makes fundamental changes to the world setting.
e.g. having a race that are savages, and when your character meets them they are highly advanced technomages that have access to world destroying abilities.

2.) when every non combat npc is a mcguffin, that can kill your character in less than a round.

3.) having to make the DM dislike you, so you can have fun and interesting adventures.

4.) Having a campaign that is inapporpriate for your character level.
e.g. saving the world from a demonic army (thats demons, not evil humans) when you are low level.

5.) when the DM brags how easy it is to run the game, and then brags about not knowing the rules for said game.

DigoDragon
2012-04-26, 07:14 AM
From my experience, what kills the game for me is when the GM sees some interesting or cool character in an Anime and tries to throw it in his world not thinking about the context.

For example, he ran an Oriental Adventures game a while back and saw this priest character from the Anime Hellsing. He threw the character in, but left it completely unchanged. So there we were fighting a couple of ronin warriors when this Italien catholic priest comes in and kills all the badguys for us with knives.

shadow_archmagi
2012-04-26, 07:31 AM
From my experience, what kills the game for me is when the GM sees some interesting or cool character in an Anime and tries to throw it in his world not thinking about the context.


Yeaaaaaaaah, that's definitely a Red Flag.


If I'm consistently not having fun, I'm out.

That's the most important measurement


Two major things:
1. Houserules. I don't mind a few house rules, especially for the sake of balancing certain aspects of the system, or for the sake of flavor for the game. What gets me is when somebody has a list of house rules as long as my freaking arm, and it's obvious that the game should have been played under a different system altogether.

2. Character creation restrictions. Sometimes, DMs restrict books based on what they personally own or what they're familiar with. Other times, they restrict resource material because they're under some delusion that cutting splat books from their game will somehow make it more balanced. The moment I hear a DM say something to that effect, I know the game's going nowhere but downhill.

I only refuse to deal with rules that aren't written down. If the DM has twenty houserules, and he's sitting there counting on his fingers and trying to remember them all, I'm out, because I'll bet potatoes to goldmines that he's going to forget one that's going to be very meaningful to me later on and will in fact ruin my evil plans.

My group recently acquired a new player who thought that ToB was overpowered, and I had fun explaining to him how it wasn't. (Apparently he had heard about it secondhand from a group member who told him that Immortal Fortitude "Made you immune to damage, period." rather than offering a save to avoid falling into negatives and automatically ending after three successful saves.) Of course, using reason and logic only works if your DM is sane and reasonable. Of course, if you DM isn't sane and reasonable, that's another big red flag.

Deepbluediver
2012-04-26, 08:37 AM
My biggest pet peeve is when the game starts to radically differ from what the DM said it was going to be.
I make a point of not joining games "blind", and I try to tailor my character to fit with the scenario, at least to a minor degree. If it's a game with lots of RP and social interaction I'll buy ranks in things like sense motive, even if it's cross-class, and I won't insist on playing a barbarian that shoves his nose into every situation only to screw it up. If the game is your basic dungeon-crash, I won't roll up a diplomancer and try to talk all the monsters out of fighting us.

But if the DM tells us the game is going to be set all in one town, and we're going to be "solving mysteries", then I expect it to be a little deeper than just talking to every NPC until we find the right one who tells us which haunted house to go clear out next.

When the DM can't or won't acurately represent what their game-world is like, I find it very difficult to prepare myself, both mentally and character-wise, and it makes it very difficult for me to have fun.



Edit: And yeah, I agree with the need for writing down Homebrew, particularly if it's something obvious that comes up a lot.

Oracle_Hunter
2012-04-26, 09:45 AM
For you, what does it take from a DM to get you to pack your bags and go? Improper understanding of rules, a destructive environment, a railroaded plot... Where is that point that your DM can take you where you can no longer follow?
I always leave when I realize I'm becoming a Problem Player.

Digression
IMHO, Problem Players are made, not born that way. Yes, there are some people who are going to be jerks regardless of the way a campaign is run but, by and large, if you invite someone to your table you know enough about them to weed out the bad apples. However, even an otherwise model Player can start acting like a Problem Player when they are bored or frustrated with a game and, left unchecked, these kinds of Problem Players can ruin a game for everyone.

There are two ways to fix this problem:
(A) The Problem Player and the DM have a chat about the way the campaign is going and reach a compromise in which the Problem Player's issues are addressed but the DM doesn't have to scrap his campaign.

(B) The Problem Player leaves gracefully or is kicked out.

Situation A is how these sorts of problems should be resolved but, in practice, it is tricky to carry out. DMs are, generally speaking, prickly about unasked for criticism about their campaigns which means it is quite the conversational minefield for a conscientious Problem Player to tread on his own initiative. Additionally, even the best DMs can fail to recognize a Problem Player on the make since he has to pay attention all the other Players at the table, not to mention running the game, which means things can slip through the cracks.

So, when I'm a Player and the DM doesn't seem open to criticism (i.e. he hasn't asked for any feedback from the Players) I will leave a game as soon as I realize I'm exhibiting Problem Player Syndrome and don't feel capable of keeping it in check. As a matter of Best Practices, this means a polite email to the DM bowing out of the game because "it wasn't working for me;" if he asks for more details, I always provide them, and were he willing to work with me on those issues I would be happy to stay in the game. Of course, that never happens, but it is part of my protocol all the same.

The worst game I've ever walked on had the following problems:
- A system I didn't care for (3.5 D&D)

- ...which was extensively modified by the DM to fit his homebrew world, including (but not limited to) forcing all of us to start as NPC Classes and progressively neutering mechanics that gave my character advantages (e.g. Skill Synergies, Knowledge(Local) as a skill).

- He secretly re-mapped the dice for all non-combat d20 rolls so that the number you rolled was not actually the number you got

- ...and, for some reason, my skill monkey character never seemed to pass checks made by the party while one untrained character always did :smallannoyed:

- My character, despite being a noble and cousin to the quest-giver noble ("The Lady"), was publicly chastised by her for demanding the punishment of a fellow (commoner & foreigner) PC who refused to scout an abandoned fortress. I accused the PC of cowardice and insolence towards the aristocratic order; The Lady instead chastised me and did not even reproach the coward PC for being slack on the quest she gave us.

- Due to a botched Diplomacy check with some of The Lady's peasants, a bunch of farmers laid an ambush on us. When The Lady was told that her peons attacked, unprovoked, lawful (and declared!) emissaries acting under Her authority she told us to be nicer to her peons and took no action against the rebels.

- ...during that attack the DM's stupid "triple crit and you're dead" rule took out one of our PCs on the very first attack roll of the game. He retconned it so that it didn't but ostensibly kept the rule in play.

- Our quarry, a pair of kobold sheep-thieves, had somehow set up an elaborate spring-loaded pit trap within an abandoned lead mine that included a solid 10' x 10' steel plate placed beyond a 5' x 5' opening (!), a 10' x 10' x 20' water-filled hole that automatically drowned a PC's dog companion that the DM objected to, and the reset mechanism on the entry-side of the pit!

- ...also, there were no rocks in the abandoned mine to use on the trap.
The final straw was when we returned from our first quest to the princely reward of 100 gp and told that we would have to take a second NPC level because we hadn't had any time to "learn" to be a PC class. But starting with the cowardice incident I found that I was making increasingly sarcastic (and biting) comments about the game and its mechanics and was devoting less and less attention to the play. About the time of the elaborate pit trap when I confronted the DM on how a bunch of sheep-stealing kobolds were able to set up such a large and elaborate trap in a room where it could not have even been set up I realized I was acting like a Problem Player. On reflection, I knew I could not stop acting like one while in this game, so I left before I ruined everyone else's fun.

Cardea
2012-04-26, 01:14 PM
I actually left my Real Life D&D group a few weeks back. I left of my own accord, after losing my temper at a fellow player and the DM. I left because of how the player acted towards others OOC and towards me IC, and how the DM ran the game. Some things:

Player:

Consistently called a b*tch by fellow player OOC and IC.
Consistent attempts to be ditched by fellow player, as he was 'De-facto Leader since no one hated him', as he phrased it.
Despite constant healing and supply of gold from my character to his, suffered consistent degrading remarks from him. I'd understand if it was just his character, but as I said, this was OOC as well.
Constantly making remarks about race and sex, in light of the fact that I'm playing the only female PC, and I'm Asian.
Finally left when he 'threw me under the bus' by laying blame of recent encounter on me, to group I've been trying to learn something from.


DM:

Begin playing as Druid, working for Unseelie Court Faeries. I have been told no world fluff beforehand, and more importantly, no warnings on what might happen if I play this character.
Cover story for my character is that she's an herbalist from the south. Real backstory is that she's been working with druids for most of her life, and had her memories taken before age 14.
Apparently there are witches in the south. Run out of first town because people think I am a witch.
Get told by DM that there aren't any witches in the south, but neither the townspeople nor my Druid would know that.
Constantly told that I'm a witch, and that I'm ruining everything.
During another player's excursion playing a temp. character, he is informed that apparently I've done a lot more bad than the DM lets me know.
Constantly attacked. Not just random encounters. If anyone sees me spellcasting, "WITCH KILL HER".
Blamed for a separate player's mistake (Read: Arson and Murder). Only time fellow player helped me out, as he is behavior is more aggressive against the player who burned a shop and killed the shopkeeper.
Wanted posters for me, even though the only things I've done so far is resist being framed for arson and murder, kill goblins, kill a wyvern and heal people.
Have to go on a separate side quest for any of my new class features. Every. Single. One.
And while all this is going on, I'm being told to keep my spells toned down, not to Power Game since everyone else is new, told not to overshadow everyone, not to one-shot everything. I killed a boss in one hit, and that was on a Critical, with the DM using a Critical Success table, increasing my critical multiplier by three.
And to top it off, makes remarks about race and sex as often as the other player.


I'm one for story and I'm patient, but the player trying to pin blame on me was the last straw. Tore up my character sheet, threw it at the DM, and told them I'm done. Should've left earlier. I'm in a new group with an old group of friends. Going very well. Very happy with them.

navar100
2012-04-26, 02:00 PM
Reasons I have quit campaigns due to the DM:

High PC death rate.

Dismissing my concerns of not having fun as whining.

DM was fellow player in another campaign but hates me personally and takes it out on my character when he gets the DM reigns.

I had quit a campaign once due to the other players and DM not doing anything to address the matter when I discussed my problem, but I lay more fault to the players than the DM not doing anything.

Jay R
2012-04-26, 03:14 PM
The only reason I've ever considered leaving a game, it was because some other players would not do their own work. They would come to the session with the same pieces of paper with which they left the last one, asking us to calculate their new level, to-hit rolls, saving throws, etc.

(I have one friend who has no interest in the rules, who has asked me to keep up his sheet for him, and that's fine. I do it offline on my own schedule, when I do my own. That doesn't bother me at all. I object to people eating up my game session time to do their work for them.)

GRM13
2012-04-26, 03:42 PM
DMPC's and massive railroading/degrading the players (usually done by or in relation to the DMPC)

after joining two groups and just as quickly leaving them by noticing this I went from "I really want to find a group and play", to "you know what, I'll just try my hands at DMing myself".

When a monk the DM controls one shots a mind flayer that he sent up against a lvl 3 group and then have it's father blame the group for it's death (even though we did no damage to it as he had mass stunned everyone except for the monk) I just stood up and left saying I just remembered I had work to do.

Jane_Smith
2012-04-26, 03:42 PM
Lets see... most problematic game i have ever been in that caused me to ditch...

Years ago I was in a game playing a female drow rogue. The game was set in a area that had plenty of drow, and the campaign was about drow and undead, etc. I asked him if this concept was ok, and he approved. He told us we had 6,000 gold to spend on equipment, and i spent every dime of it on a nice crossbow. I specialized my character for crossbow sneak attacks from stealth and using a minor magic item to spider climb 3/day.

Issues I had;

1 - My character was chaotic neutral, and had no intention of fighting with the party or betraying them, as she was on the run from a failed attempt at killing her older sister and needed help. I approached the pc's and was immediately attacked by the paladin, despite me being unarmed at the time. The Dm blamed me for approaching the party that early...

2 - After I subdued the paladin and explained myself, the party decided to help me out when they heard my problem and all i wished was an escort for protection. The paladin woke up a few rounds later and immediately attacked me again, even with his party trying to tell him to stop and even helping me subdue him AGAIN. The player was increasingly rude, cruel, and a general ass in OOC because his character kept getting subdued WHEN HE WAS TRYING TO KILL MINE for no reason. The DM decided to blame me for playing a drow when he approved it and said there would be no issues.

3 - So at this point, im really mad and just wanting to change my race or something before the game gets to far in. But the DM says nope.avi and keeps me as a drow despite the issues i am having with Lawful Stupidin. The paladin berates, harasses, goads and acts like a complete racist ass the entire way. He tries to push me off a bridge at one point and my character finally has enough and attacks him. Not to kill, but to kick his ass for pride's sake. The DM says attacking a paladin makes me evil and forces me to change my alignment to chaotic evil. At this point i am head desking at this mans stupidity.

4 - We finally arrive at our destination, a crypt that apparently has a tunnel leading into the underdark. I decide to scout ahead and use spider climb and a potion of chameleon to sneak along the ceiling, which is apparently very high and about 15 feet off the ground. I use my darkvision and begin to scout for the group, and apparently, the room had several pillars (about 6) along the sides with gargoyles atop them - just in range for them to be able to melee attack me without moving and flank me.... My character instantly dies and I did not even get a perception check or anything to realize they were actually alive or real gargoyles. Despite having a level 6+ cleric in our group, they refuse to waste "Resources" reviving a drow. The DM then tells me to reroll a new character.

I finally snap and tell them to go to hell. -_-

Jane_Smith
2012-04-26, 03:50 PM
Ugh double post, forum is lagging. Delete this.

Jarawara
2012-04-26, 04:48 PM
When I was a kid, just having learned D&D, I would come home from the games telling stories to my parents about the Dragons I had fought, the ferocious Orcs and Ogres I had slain, the wins and the losses and the noble challenges I had faced.

Later, I would come home from the games telling stories about how Ted had hit me over the head again with his staff, how Mike and Ted had picked on Aaron because he's gay, how everyone had picked on Ed because he's slow, how Ted had smoked cigars all day, and thrown the still lit stubb out the window at the gas station(!)...

...and then I realized it was long overdue for me to go.

*~*

My biggest character flaw is that often when I leave a group, I don't tell them why, or for that matter, even tell them that I am leaving at all. I just don't return. And often, it's not a big matter, or sometimes it is, but seriously, they at least should have the right to know why I'm leaving, right?

I left Bill's game because it just wasn't that great of a game. That's a lousy reason to leave, but jeez, I was driving like a baziligillion miles to get there, only to spend a few hours doing nothing much and then leaving. I could point to the time where Dave and I broke from the rest of the party to explore down a hallway, and the DM punished us for "splitting the party" - yet the "party" was in a room tossing copper pieces to packrats, who would then bring back different shinies in return. We got some silvers, some gold, even a few gemstones, but really all we got was to watch the DM roll dice on a chart and compare notes and finally announce what new meaningless treasure we got. The DM should have punished the other players for wasting time, while Dave and I actually tried to get the game rolling forward again!

But really, that wasn't the reason I left. It just wasn't enough. I feel bad about it after all these years, because I didn't even explain myself.

Likewise, when I left Rich's game, it certainly wasn't Rich's fault. Ed had joined the group halfway through the story, immediately assumed there was no story and substituted his own, convinced the entire party to follow him halfway across the world to find something in BigCityVille, only to be informed when we got there that "No, it wouldn't be found there, and you would have known that before you had started, if only you had informed anyone what this big trek was for before you embarked." Ed was disrupted, vindictive, belittling, and now had derailed our game and wasted our time. If he wasn't leaving, I was leaving, and so I did - once again without announcing my reason or even notifying them. I just didn't show back up.

Fate got even with me on that one - Ed left the game the very same session (his reason: "There was no plotline(!)") So if I had stayed one more game, or even if I had simply told them why I was leaving, they could have told me that Ed was gone. I would have rejoined the group in an instant. But since I didn't communicate, they had assumed that Ed and I had left together to form our own group and had no reason to contact me again. Yep, I deserve that one entirely!

I did leave one online game where the DM was railroading the game and had his DMPC overshadowing everything. I was actually ok with that somewhat, but it got to the point where nothing I did mattered and I was pretty much sitting and being dragged along for the ride. Like I have said before, railroading doesn't make a game bad. A bad game makes a game bad.

Oddly enough, I didn't leave for that reason, but for an unrelated cause. I had become increasingly unclear on what direction to take my character. I mean, I just didn't know how my character should react to all these uncontrolled events dragging me around. I got mad about it... and suddenly realized that my character should get mad about it. It totally transformed me, pointing a new direction in my roleplay. The "Angry Prince" character, throwing his weight around at last, not tolerating the circumstances anymore, or the people who had brought him to this point. I saw this as a major character development for him, and something I could roleplay. I knew of course I'd have to clear it with others - so they know it's a roleplay thing and not just me being an ass - but I felt I could work with this.

I sent an email to the DM asking for some time in a chatroom to discuss my new ideas for the character, so he knows what I'm doing and maybe can give me advice. And because, you know, I was simply excited to play my character again.

DM immediately posts an article on his website about how he hates it when players want to *discuss* their characters. Why don't they just *play* their characters. Even accused some players of thinking D&D was a "Poor Man's Actor's League".

Took the wind entirely out of my sails, and I lost interest in playing. I was ready for the new "Angry Prince" to start ordering people around, which would have certainly led to a direct confrontation with Issic the Half Dragon. I wanted to see that visual of my Prince and Issic nose-to-nose in disagreement, even though he'd clearly have to bend over at the waist to reach the same level as 5'7" me. But instead, I simply excused myself at the start of the next session, saying I couldn't game anymore.

When pressed for a reason, I told them it was a scheduling conflict. I told them I had joined a Poor Man's Actor's League, and then promptly signed off. :smallamused:

Knight13
2012-04-26, 05:10 PM
Ugh double post, forum is lagging. Delete this.
You can delete your own posts, you know. Just click Edit and pick the Delete Message button.

Talakeal
2012-04-26, 05:32 PM
From my experience, what kills the game for me is when the GM sees some interesting or cool character in an Anime and tries to throw it in his world not thinking about the context.

For example, he ran an Oriental Adventures game a while back and saw this priest character from the Anime Hellsing. He threw the character in, but left it completely unchanged. So there we were fighting a couple of ronin warriors when this Italien catholic priest comes in and kills all the badguys for us with knives.

That's funny, in my experiance one of the most common killer of campaigns is when a player insists on doing the same thing.

Jay R
2012-04-27, 12:48 AM
I had a DM with a bad DMPC problem. I eventually worked out the solution. I tried to arrange that when good things happened to my character, it also helped the DMPC. And guess what? Good things happened to my character.

A DMPC is a fact of the game, to be exploited like any other.

Crow
2012-04-27, 01:15 AM
There's not much you can do to make me quit a game outside of being a huge jerk IRL. Game-wise though, whatever rules the DM wants are fine with me. It's a game, and I make the most of what particular rules this particular game is offering. Sometimes, it's a lot of fun.

The only thing game-wise that will piss me off is a DM telling my character how to act or outright making them do things or act a certain way.

Paramour Pink
2012-04-27, 01:50 AM
One DM I played with ran a low-magic (To the point of almost non-existant), low wealth (Kill a full grown dragon, get 300G and a +1 sword. Maybe) and E6 (Those prestige class combos you wanted? Haha, sorry, but no). I don't think anyone enjoyed that game at all.

The irony probably is that I read that, and it sounds fun.

I've played in a game with those same factors (well, sans E6) and it was literally the most fun I've ever had in a 3.5 game...ever. Your DM might have been bad. Or it just wasn't a game that fit a high powered play style. But those elements are hardly bad on their own, unless the DM was just trying to stifle options without offering any story and world building.

Sith_Happens
2012-04-27, 02:24 AM
-snip-

I finally snap and tell them to go to hell. -_-

I hope you also pointed out to the DM that the paladin had been knowingly associating with an evil character for a good bit of time by that point.:smallamused:

DropsonExistanc
2012-04-27, 02:27 AM
I quit before I start.

I gamed only with good, experienced friends prior to my employment in the field. Some of the stuff I saw in the store inspired me... the rest began to slowly kill my soul. The inspiring ones began to disappear, sometimes off to home games together, sometimes just gone, alone, for whatever reasons their lives produced.

Yet I was still there.

I've gotten reeeeeally picky about who I game with these days. Luckily, I haven't had a bad DM myself. Things that would make me walk would be:
- inability for my PC to contribute to the plot
- severe non-negotiable character restrictions
- DM being a steaming ferret turd
- bragging constantly about previous campaigns that no one else present had participated in (bonus turd points if closer inspection reveals said campaign to be a complete failure/solo)

Many people have discredited themselves without ever inviting me to a game :smallwink:

hymer
2012-04-27, 04:22 AM
In my life, Iíve only left one GM. I nearly always play with close friends, so most issues can be handled by talking. This one couldnít, and I took a year-long break from playing with this guy.

This was back in 2nd edition days. He had a lot of houserules. Weapons would do slightly different damage; to get the benefits of level 7, you have to train for it, unless youíre a thief; thereís a Perception progression, much like a THAC0 progression; and of course, houseruled critical hits and fumbles. Those were the ones mentioned, and it didnít seem bad at all, and I rather liked his Perception rules. Superfluous in most cases, but hey, everyone had critical hit and fumble tables in those days; I did too.
As we started playing and the sessions went by, things began happening that were rather irksome. It turned out that we werenít supposed to stop and rest. You do the whole dungeon in one sitting, or others will come slipping in and steal the treasure while you sleep. Weird, and he mightíve mentioned it, but okay, it made a certain amount of sense. Some of the more interesting and useful non-combat spells turned out not to work. Know Alignment, Charm Person or Mammal, the saves against these were always made Ė not one time did I or anyone else get anything from these spells. There was a trap which killed my first character outright, no to-hit, no save, he just died of poison. Fourth level thief; apparently my only chance had been to make my Find Traps roll, something like 45% chance of that (I was pretty good for 4th level), and then making my Disarm Traps roll, the same amount. Failing Disarm rolls set traps off, and were rolled behind the screen. And we had to get into the chest, itís why we went into that tower to begin with; obviously someone was gonna die (and raise dead cost you a point of con and quite a bit of cash). We werenít supposed to bypass traps by being practical, no real explanation given. This was where I began feeling annoyed.
And then, one day, he explained his philosophy on gaming: The players had stuck their fingers into a Chinese finger trap (so he called it), from which you canít escape unless you do it exactly like youíre supposed to do. And this was indeed the case, I found on observation: All situations had precisely one entrance and one solution, leading to the next situation. And thatís why things like Charm Person didnít work. I also started noticing how the enemies had about the same hit ratio (about 60%) against any member of the party, regardless of AC. And they did more damage first in the battle, and then progressively less. Being asked how much hp you had left was interesting, as you got a lot luckier the less hp you had left.
He got annoyed at the whole party, and gave us a stern reprimand and XP penalty when the CN gnome illusionist used his new Ring of Shooting Stars on some camped foes after weíd scouted them out and were considering what to do. These were CE spriggans gnomes, if I recall correctly. The ring also destroyed all their treasure. The player quit after the next session.
So one day I sit down to talk to him. Weíve been playing for months, and what fun Iíve been having has been in spite of the game rather than because of it for a while now. And I say ďLook, not everyone is having fun with the way things are.Ē
ďThen they can leave.Ē
The last day, after the above conversation, weíre in camp next to a creek. Suddenly a fireball erupts among us. Thereís no check to notice the wizard sneaking up on us. Most of us roll saves, but are informed thereís no need for that. Since weíre surprised, we donít get one. For those unfamiliar with 2nd edition, thatís just wrong, and it hadnít been the case so far. To add to that, DM decides we caught on fire, since we didnít make our saving throws, which meant we had to use three rounds putting the fire out. Note that in 2nd edition, a round is a full minute. So I decide to jump in the creek, figuring I may be low on hp, but at least Iím not going to spend three minutes doing nothing. This action, however, doesnít change the amount of time I have to spend on putting the fire out. So when the NPC wizard has had his fun and humiliated us, the one true solution presents itself; there was nothing we could have done, he just ups and leaves.
Well, the camelís back was broken already, and I hand him my sheet before heading for home.

So what donít I put up with? GMs who wonít listen to their players saying theyíre not having fun.

Rejusu
2012-04-27, 04:36 AM
Misunderstanding of the rules would be a big one for me. This doesn't mean someone who doesn't know the rules or someone that breaks the rules, but rather someone who thinks they understand the rules but actually don't. Ignorance is fine, very few people know all the rules and frankly it doesn't even matter too much if they don't know much more than the basic rules as long as someone at the table does. Breaking or bending the rules is fine too, as long as they understand the rules they're bending in the first place.

What I have no truck with though is someone who's convinced themselves they have a good system knowledge when they actually don't. This includes banning stuff like ToB and Psionics because of things they've heard/misheard/been misinformed about. Banning psionics because of setting reasons is fair play (as long as there's a good reason why it's not present) but because of a misconception that it's overpowered? That's a red flag for me immediately. Especially since ToB and Psionics are some of the most balanced.

If I ever meet a DM that bans either of them for balance reasons but allows the entire players handbook I think I'll just play a Wizard or CoDzilla so I can show him true unbalance.

Thankfully my current DM isn't like this (though he's a new DM and reasonably new player so his system knowledge is rather patchy) but one of the players is. He DM's his own campaign which thankfully I don't participate in because (spoilered because it's a bit ranty):
According to him:
- You only take reduced TWF penalties if your offhand weapon is a shortsword. Specifically a shortsword. Because apparently it's easier to wield a much larger blade in your off hand like a shortsword than it is a dagger.
- Monks can use DEX on their opposed trip check on the OFFENCE. Now you can use Dex on the defensive roll, but I know of no way to use Dex for the offensive trip check. Certainly nothing that specifically Monks get.
- You can use a whip for AoO's. Despite the bit in their description that states they don't threaten any square into which they can attack.
- Attacks and actions are the same thing and that he could attack with his mainhand and offhand on an AoO.

There's also other things like his character somehow having a 30ft move speed, despite wearing full plate and despite being a semi-homebrewed version of an Azer, which are basically fire dwarfs. Plus he seems to have the dual-strike feat because he commented that his character (a Samurai, which with his terrible knowledge of the game he thinks is super powerful) can attack with both his weapons in a standard action. This despite the fact we were ECL3 at the time and so there's no way he could have had the improved two-weapon fighting feat prerequisite needed for it.

I would never do a game with this player as the DM, he's insufferable enough as a player as it is. He actually rage quit (we're playing online) in the middle of combat in our last session because he was arguing about the shortsword thing (our Rogue/Factotum had asked about TWF) and stated how he was right because he "had to know the rules" for his own campaign.

Frankly I'm not sure he's even read them, let alone understands them.


EDIT: Oh, another big reason would be a DM not listening to the players on what kind of campaign they want to do and insisting they do the campaign THEY want to do. Like insisting everyone starts at level one when no one wants to.

tresson
2012-04-27, 04:14 PM
I actually left my Real Life D&D group a few weeks back. I left of my own accord, after losing my temper at a fellow player and the DM. I left because of how the player acted towards others OOC and towards me IC, and how the DM ran the game. Some things:

snip


I just want to say that if I had been playing in that group I would have joined you when you left. There is no call for sort of treatment of a player. Just out of curiosity how were the other players reacting to the abuse you were receiving? Please tell me at least one spoke out about it.

Anyways it's good to hear that you've gotten a new group that your enjoying.

Amphetryon
2012-04-27, 09:11 PM
1) Rule differently on different players doing the same actions, and I'm probably out.

2)Related to Rule 1: If the DM's significant other is playing a character that gets obvious DM's SO treatment, I'm probably out.

inexorabletruth
2012-04-30, 11:35 PM
I've never quit over DM troubles, though I have come close.

Things that test my patience are:

Railroaded plots
Made up, on-the-fly house-rules that overturn a successful action by RAW
Emotional, or petty DM'ing
DM's who aren't prepared or skip multiple sessions
DM's that hold your hand and make you feel too safe
DM's that go out of their way to kill the PCs.


Still, I can usually work with any or all of these issues. Once we had a DM who represented all of these negative aspects, and then some. We fired him as the DM, assigned a new DM and carried on, business as usual. It turns out I wasn't the only one having a hard time with the DM that time.

I'm okay with critical fumbles as long as the DM doesn't get stupid with it, but it should be discussed with the players before session 1 what the DM means about critical fumbles. For instance, I used a critical fumble house rule that worked like this:

Nat 1 + confirmed miss= Clean miss. Your player is off-balance and therefore flat-footed until his/her next turn.

Nat 20 + confirmed hit = Perfect hit. Your enemy has suffered an after-effect from the damaged (stunned, shaken, prone, or dazed) until his next turn.

I took a vote, and it was unanimously agreed that the rule was fair and intriguing, so we used it.

missmvicious
2012-05-01, 07:35 AM
So as Inexorabletruth and I have had the same DMs my gripes are pretty similar.

-Rail roading poorly. I don't actually mind a little of it in a heavy story campaign. I understand the purposes. What I hate about it is when you are in a fight you can't win but you are still stuck going through the fight. I had a DM once decided he wanted to stop his evil campaign. It wasn't good enough for him to just stop playing, nor was it good enough for our kidnapped evil characters to be dropped off back home, instead the DM said IR "you are all going to die" and then proceeded to send dire dingos and zombies at us till we all called BS and left.

-Emotional DMing- when your DM is mad at you OOC and you are punished IC. I think the worst case of this I ever had was when I confronted a DM about some issues I had with his DMing styles (privately as to not cause ****) and the next session we had my character was conveniently knocked out the whole time. Everyone else was up and awake and I was out cold, for three hours of real time.

-Rules light DMs that make things up as they go IC and will use the excuse "I haven't got anything prepared to ditch D&D. Don't admit that you make everything up as we play and try to get away with that.

-DMs that wont write down and clarify their house rules at the start of the game. Its really hard enough to keep the rules straight in D&D without the DM springing some new rule on you after your last 3 turns lead up to one cool thing that the DM just informed you that you can't do, even if it does apply in RAW.

As an interesting note three of those things were all done by the same DM. That guy made me hate 4e.

Anyways I also am totally frustrated with my current DM for **** blocking. I am super sick of all the paladin personalities so I recently made a barbarian and she is "easy" and after like two one night stands (which were totally not described past we go back to my room) my DM has made it impossible to get laid. I have every intention of talking to my DM today actually about getting me some action.

inexorabletruth
2012-05-01, 11:36 AM
Miss M! :smallmad:

When we play Life together and my blue peg gets married, you pout and talk about how you are going to kill that b*tch, and you want to get some fantasy role-play action? You'd better be in to Razorclaw Shifters, or you'd better get used to sleeping on the couch.

The Glyphstone
2012-05-01, 12:48 PM
Fighting dire dingos actually sounds fun...

Boci
2012-05-01, 01:35 PM
Nat 1 + confirmed miss= Clean miss. Your player is off-balance and therefore flat-footed until his/her next turn.

Problem with this: a barbarian reduces his chance of a clean miss by acrtvating rage and charging.

Knaight
2012-05-01, 01:35 PM
-Rules light DMs that make things up as they go IC and will use the excuse "I haven't got anything prepared to ditch D&D. Don't admit that you make everything up as we play and try to get away with that.

Improvisation is an entirely viable strategy, and an entirely workable one assuming that one has the skills needed to pull it off (which are entirely different skills than the skills needed to be a planned GM). This is about equivalent to:
-Rules heavy GMs who make everything up ahead of time. Don't admit that you've already decided how things are going to go instead of actually playing the game and try to get away with that.

Fatebreaker
2012-05-01, 01:45 PM
Scandal!


Outrage!

Well, this just got way more interesting.

Kettlecorn, anyone?

missmvicious
2012-05-02, 02:21 AM
Miss M! :smallmad:

When we play Life together and my blue peg gets married, you pout and talk about how you are going to kill that b*tch, and you want to get some fantasy role-play action? You'd better be in to Razorclaw Shifters, or you'd better get used to sleeping on the couch.

In the game of life I do marry a homo to act as his beard while having a secret affair with you. You know all my babies are produced from our secret love! And your wife Pink Peggy is a b*tch. I know how she talks down to you and your kids and its just wrong. I don't know how you can even touch her!

And if your razorclaw thinks he can handle my goliath's rough touch then why not make a move? You know that she would be open to the idea.

Man on Fire
2012-05-02, 09:42 AM
DMNPCs, railroading, enforcing gm's views as the only right ones, drastic ingerences into player's characters without their premission, punishing them for not following the plot as he intended it to and rewarding metagaming. I have a quite of a story to tell about one time these things made me quit the Play by Post game I really wanted to join for long time.

It was freeform X-Men RPG, with a really cool GM. He could create a great story with his players and everybody were clearly having fun. It was dark, a little twisted, GM wasn't pulling any punches, players were pretty good at roleplaying and had enough freedom to have sweet character-driven game. It even got sister campaing, lead by other GM, about British mutant team, Excalibur. These two sometimes crossed between each other. Sadly during one of those crossovers X-Men GM dissapeard from the net. Excalibur's GM took his campaing and lead it to satifactionary conclusion.

But then one of X-Men players stepped in. He was playing a female character, who was killed during the last adventure, by Magneto, no less. Then it was revealed she was his daughter, which shocked him so much that he got himself killed by Xavier moments after. And now her player wanted to continue, as new GM. He wanted to have fresh start in the same continuity with new generation of X-Men. And so New X-Men game was born. And I joined in.

For few first stories things were great, our characters have visited Limbo and Asgard and had great adventures there. Things started getting out of hand when we visited Hela's realm. First thing wasn't so bad - my character, and I played former straw Christian seeking redpetion, managed to have Hela give us back a dead person by threatening her with a war agains Christian God, becase dead guy was Christian. That was in character and firmy with my character's beliefs and even through it was full metagame on my part - I know that in Marvel Universe dieties and demons often fights over souls of mortals and that GM is Christian so he may let that slide. That was okay until next adventure, when my character used the same way to have Dormammu back down (I hoped he will laugh and smack me, giving my character lesson of humility. Instead he ran away). When I realized I can weasel myself out of anything by going all "I'm Christian, suck my genitalia!" the game lost a lot of fun for me.

Second, and the most important, something strange happened to Penance, one of NPCs that was accompanying us into Hela's realm, who had turned out into something out of a pretty angsty anime - pink-haired angel with broken wings, wearing a lot of bandages and having names encraved on her skin, who was given name Penny. She was revealed to be GM's old character, who was rebron as an angel. And apparently took on herself sins of Magneto and another character from old game, so they may go to Heaven. Over the course of the game she pretty much took on herself sins of anybody who had something on his conscience, including my character, killing all angles about him seeking redeption I consideed for him (which wasn't as bad as turning other player's character into a woman, but wasn't good either), and NPCs like Magik (which, for those unfamiliar with X-Men, completely misses the point of her character).

Penny quickly made everything revolve around her. Everybody were talking how strong she is or how much she is suffering, even Sinister didn't missed a chance to mention how fascinated by her he is, and she played privotal role in all our adventures. Then we had an adventure in which Xavier, who was sent to prison after killing Magneto, escaped and contacted us, because he decided that Cyclops isn't leading his school properly so he will take Penny and several students he had schoosen and start again. One NPC from the teacher's staff who was present wasn't allowed to object, or rather was, but GM didn't found it appriorate to tell us what she has to say aside that it's a bunch of insults and accusations, while one of NPCS who agreed with Xavier a female precognite, got a large speech about all the bad things Cyclops and his staff did...which were mostly that a) they didn't cared about Penny, b) they didn't do anything to help PCs and NPCs after traumatic things that happened to us (very previous adventure started when Cyclops took us to Doctor Strange so he can help with mystical mumbo-jumbo that damaged us) and c) didn't threw her birthday party while Xavier had send her a postcard from the prison. I decided this won't fly with my character and make him given a piece of his mind why we shouldn't turn their back on people who took us into their house and were helipng us any way they could and threw new, shiny uniform he was given into the fire, to illustrate the point. Not only the uniform didn't burned but Peenny had picked it out from the fire without burning herself and started to sway like unloved child, hugging it. Then GM started to went out of the way to force my character into wearing that uniform, which was quite hialrous, as I clearly wasn't going to play along - even when he had me teleported without the uniform and arrived on new location in it, I just took if off. He finally got pissed, had ordered me through NPC to wear it and had next part of adventure started with me in it, despite that I refised to wer it.

It was then I realized that railroading isn't limited only to this uniform thing - for a long time nothing my character or anybody else did really mattered, we were only spectators and all important things concerned NPCs and it was them who decided about anything. GM wanted us in uniforms because we started crossover with Excalibur (in which, from two GMs, he was the main one) and he wanted us to look cool, it didn't mattered how out of character it was for my character to wear it. So I decided to not get along with all this bs and at first occasion had my character yell at precognite NPC he is tired of being manipulated by her and Xavier, undress and ask Excalibur if they have a spare uniform because he ain't gonna wear one that associates him with people who threat him and everybody else like puppets. GM had all NPCs he could control jump on me and punish me in any way possible - taking away all rewards I get earlier (which, in reptroperspective, were for letting myself being railroaded) and having Xavier to lecture me about Christian values and threaten that if I won't change my behavior Penny may give me back my sin and how terrible will that be. I actually wanted to ask her to give it back, because it robbed my character from any depth or development and foced me into position of flat character attached to her (like many others, only I was PC amon and they were NPCs) but I realized he won't do it as my character's personal choice but as a punishment for misbehavior, so I won't have any of that redemption or character development I wanted, aside from letting Penny take it away again if I'll be good boy. So I quit. More than that. Usually when somebody quit the game, his character gets NPCed. It's player choice but everybody up to that point allowed GMs do that. I didn't. They didn't killed my character but he was attacked by a demon and went into coma.

I was lucky to jump the ship when I could, because following game only got worse - first GM gave everybody an insanely complicated backstory, retconning a lot of things that happened up to this point AND in previous X-Men games to drag them closer to Penny. It featured things like abovementioned precognite NPC lerning spell that grants you precognition, which combined allowed her to...send her mind back in time into a body of Xavier's girlfriend to make her have sex with him and give birth to Legion, who was one of most important adversaries in old game, and then implanting idea of X-men into Xavier's mind with image of Penny, therefore making her the first real X-Man and greatest among them all. It said a lot that Excalibur's characters were more interested in theorizing about if New X-men girs are of age because they would do them.

Later Penny and some other character were kidnapped by Sinister and two teams joined in assult on his base, fighting army of clones he made...until Avengers showed up to steal the spotlight. Which lead to even bigger nonsense once one of Excalibur's players joked in character that they should nuke Sinister's base. NXM GM didn't seen is as a joke and took great offense to it, which was of course reflected by behavior of NPCs, who attacked that PC verbally. Which resulted in NPCs, including entire Avengers roster, arguing with Excalibur - former wanted to just burst into Sinister's base, latter didn't wanted to enter lion's den without any form of recon and hold a position that this isn't a rescure mission anymore, but a mission to stop insane genius who makes living weapons of mass destruction and they have enough connections to call British Prime Minister and Avengers may call US President and ask them to nuke Essex's base. Despite GM's claims he had read every single adventure of all games in that continuity, the fact that Excalibur are a paramilitary unit composed of anti-heroes and doesn't think of themselves as superheroes flew over his head, because his attempts at uniting everybody by Captain America's inspiring speech of heroism only provoked them even more, especially one Excalibur member who happened to be Russian and ex-member of Specnaz. GM really crossed the line when Avengers started talking how Excalibur ever fought any high-ranked opponents but has terrifingly large body count - eleven dead members. When pointed out that Excalibur had fought hig-class villains like Juggernautt or Apocalypse GM said, out of character, that this doesn't count because most of current team mebers weren't there, despite that, by the same logic, they cannot be held responsible for those eleven dead members because they weren't there when those people died either, most of them didn't even knew them as more than names on the graves behind their base. It all turned into large ooc argument that lead to GM of New X-Men announcing that, if he will find replacement for him, he will quit the game, once this adventure is over.

Malachei
2012-05-02, 10:31 AM
If a DM has an attitude of wanting to win against the players. IMO, a good DM knows he'd win any arms race anyway. He(she challenges the players, without being in actual competition with them.

Righteous Doggy
2012-05-02, 10:48 AM
I've had some awful groups, I see alot of people talking about railroading and rules over and over. So lets add some variety to our list of reasons to dislike a dm.

1. Do not hand the group's dming over. If you have to do so, at least do it to someone we can agree on. Not someone who is drastically different, has no idea how the game works, nor is disagreed upon by the group.

2. Do not overemphasize realism to the point it becomes an hour long debate. This is a game. 6 ft men do in fact kill 30 ft tall monsters all the time, just not at level one becuase you felt like we needed to be shown mortality.

3. If I'm gone on a day, do not do anything to my character. Especially do not kill him with no save while I'm gone, and expect me to like you anymore. I was 5 seconds from summoning the Yigg on the other side of the planet of the guy that killed me.

4. Banning me from using a character who doesn't fit is fine. Banning me from using psionics becuase "they're stupid" and ToB becuase it's "overpowered" in a game with undead cyborg aliens and every boss fight so far is a dragon, wizard, or druid is not entirely fair.

5. I bought the pizza and shared. It is not yours, you do not get to keep it without asking. Why would you argue about half of a pepperoni pizza you didn't buy?

6. Do not tell the group you banned me 3 weeks after I told everyone I left for personal reasons, and laugh at me about it. It doesn't help your chances of getting me back when you ask the week after...

So, any of these good reasons? All things a dm has done with a group I've been in. I feel like your in a contract not to be mean to eachother or try to get into an arms race and you all just come to have fun. Some people miss a note. Common sense goes a long way with keeping friends:smallsmile:

inexorabletruth
2012-05-02, 01:02 PM
Problem with this: a barbarian reduces his chance of a clean miss by acrtvating rage and charging.

It wasn't a permanent house-rule. It was something I suggested for a particular campaign with no Barbarians in it, and I haven't used it since. I brought it to the table because they all had upper tier characters, and I wanted to give them an option to add a bit more risk to the combat. Besides, it's a good thing if a character can overcome adversity. Characters, as they level up, should be caught flat-footed less often anyway.

Tyndmyr
2012-05-02, 01:30 PM
For you, what does it take from a DM to get you to pack your bags and go? Improper understanding of rules, a destructive environment, a railroaded plot... Where is that point that your DM can take you where you can no longer follow?

It depends on how much it impacts my fun. I'm currently playing a game in which crit fumbles are being used. It sucks. That said, I opted to play a wizard, and thus, never roll them. So, I basically circumvented all the bad things, which happen to other people instead.

Some things are avoidable, some are not. But when the fun is gone, it's time to go.

Lord Torath
2012-05-02, 01:44 PM
Improvisation is an entirely viable strategy, and an entirely workable one assuming that one has the skills needed to pull it off (which are entirely different skills than the skills needed to be a planned GM). This is about equivalent to:
-Rules heavy GMs who make everything up ahead of time. Don't admit that you've already decided how things are going to go instead of actually playing the game and try to get away with that.
I think the complaint here is that the DM is rules-light, and great at improve, but then cancels a session with the excuse "I don't have anything prepared."

Be honest enough to say "I just don't feel up to DMing this week." Don't lie about the reason you're cancelling the session.

I think a manifesto (Runecarver has one here: http://home.earthlink.net/~duanevp/dnd/manifesto.htm ) can go a long ways to removing problems between DMs and players.

Tavar
2012-05-02, 02:46 PM
It wasn't a permanent house-rule. It was something I suggested for a particular campaign with no Barbarians in it, and I haven't used it since. I brought it to the table because they all had upper tier characters, and I wanted to give them an option to add a bit more risk to the combat. Besides, it's a good thing if a character can overcome adversity. Characters, as they level up, should be caught flat-footed less often anyway.

It does mean that as one goes up, Full attacks become slightly more dangerous to the user. There are times when the Last one or two attacks in a chain don't have a chance of hitting.

killem2
2012-05-02, 02:50 PM
I dunno, the paizo fumble and crit decks work really well, especially when you do confirmations for each.

I really like that spellcasters have fumbles too.

Mordar
2012-05-02, 05:52 PM
If a DM has an attitude of wanting to win against the players. IMO, a good DM knows he'd win any arms race anyway. He(she challenges the players, without being in actual competition with them.


So overwhelmingly and absolutely this...DMs that view the game as a competition against the players. They have to run the "competition", so it can happen organically, and sometimes running the bad guys in such a way as to be challenging can make it seem that the DM views the players as an opponent...but if the situation appears to be the DM trying their best to beat the players for no other purpose than the "win D&D", I'd be most inclined to lose-by-forfeit.

Railroading? If you're good at it, I'm in!

DMPCs? If I still matter, fine. Particularly if they are a contributing member of the party that is as reasonable (or unreasonable) as regular PCs, and do not have "I know everything and everyone" syndrome.

Just make it fun, and play with me, not against me.

- M

Silus
2012-05-02, 06:36 PM
The irony probably is that I read that, and it sounds fun.

I've played in a game with those same factors (well, sans E6) and it was literally the most fun I've ever had in a 3.5 game...ever. Your DM might have been bad. Or it just wasn't a game that fit a high powered play style. But those elements are hardly bad on their own, unless the DM was just trying to stifle options without offering any story and world building.

Well we did wake up on that maze level of the Abyss at lvl 1 as prisoners....

My main issue is that I just don't see any incentive to play. I'll never be an awesome archmage (either via magic or via level) and it's gonna be a pain to earn the money to buy me a castle or an army or anything grand like that. I need something to aspire to as a player.

Talakeal
2012-05-02, 06:57 PM
...drastic ingerences into player's characters without their premission...

I have to ask, what did you mean to say there? ingerences isn't a word, and I think you might have meant inferences, but I am not sure. Could you please explain what you meant? I am genuinly curious.

navar100
2012-05-02, 07:04 PM
I dunno, the paizo fumble and crit decks work really well, especially when you do confirmations for each.

I really like that spellcasters have fumbles too.

I hate them. I remember one where the Cavalier had to roll to hit himself, and if he did he critted himself. That's stupid. As he himself pointed out to the DM that means a 20th level fighter with 10 ST AC 20 will crit himself 95% if the time while a 1st level fighter with 20 only 10%.

The only way a spellcaster gets to critically fumble is if he rolls a one in attacking with a ray spell. Maybe a touch attack spell too. All a spellcaster need do is never, ever cast a spell requiring an attack roll, and he never, ever suffers a critical fumble. Spellcasters have lots of such no attack roll spells to hurt their enemies. A wizard is not going to cry because he's not casting Scorching Ray or Disintegrate anymore.

Unfortunately, the DM put it up to a vote, and I was the only one to vote not to use them. Despite this I still chose to have my sorcerer use Scorching Ray, but if I suffer from critical fumbles enough because of it I'm swapping it out, will not take Disintegrate as I was considering at a future level, and never, ever cast another attack roll spell again.

Knaight
2012-05-02, 10:08 PM
I think the complaint here is that the DM is rules-light, and great at improve, but then cancels a session with the excuse "I don't have anything prepared."

Be honest enough to say "I just don't feel up to DMing this week." Don't lie about the reason you're cancelling the session.

I think a manifesto (Runecarver has one here: http://home.earthlink.net/~duanevp/dnd/manifesto.htm ) can go a long ways to removing problems between DMs and players.

I saw two complaints. One was that the GM deliberately didn't prepare to try and bypass the game system in use, which is rather rude. The other is that improvisation is inherently bad, which I'd strongly disagree with.

Tyndmyr
2012-05-04, 10:21 AM
I saw two complaints. One was that the GM deliberately didn't prepare to try and bypass the game system in use, which is rather rude. The other is that improvisation is inherently bad, which I'd strongly disagree with.

Agreed. I like a good blend of improv and preparedness. I keep enough ideas prepared that if the PCs strike off on some unexpected tangent...I have material. That said, essentially all of my stuff is strict RAW. I've used minor homebrew in...somewhat rare circumstances, but I find that most mechanical things can be done in the existing system.

Improv in the nature of "well, sure, you can do that random thing" tends to be enabling, and positive. Improv of the sort that involves making up stats and powers randomly with no regard for the precedent set by the game is negative.

moritheil
2012-05-06, 09:39 PM
When the DM is incapable of performing as a DM, which I define as:
- Trying to be fair and impartial
- Knowing the rules
- Helping the players have a good time
- Being capable of separating characters from players
- Not being sensitive, touchy, or paranoid about being called out on any of the above.