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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    Since this was seconded here, I'll just go ahead and open the thread.

    Often, DMs try to whet players' appetites for their games by telling them how awesome they will be, and, just as often, don't deliver the goods. Many DMs don't even notice that what they think is good DMing is actually rather lousy. They genuinely believe that their games have some unique, amazing style, when they are just boring and pretentious. So, post the things you heard DMs pitch their games with, and what that really turned out to mean.

    I'll start with some of my own experiences:
    DM said: "player empowerment"
    DM meant: "I'm too lazy to think of a plot, you come up with one"

    DM said: "gritty realism"
    DM meant: "your characters get beat up all the time"

    DM said: "everyone can die, your life-and-death decisions really matter"
    DM meant: "I love TPK, decide however you want, you're all dead anyway"

    DM said: "historically accurate setting"
    DM meant: "boring history lesson that lets me get away with all sorts of politically incorrect stuff"

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    Finally a code breaker to DM jargon!

    ok how about-
    DM said: "Horror/suspense game"
    DM meant: "I just bought Heroes of horror and will throw it at you"

    DM said: "Homebrew setting"
    DM meant:"Opinionated 'edgy' setting where elves are red and humans have 3 arms"
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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    DM said: "Use any books you want":
    DM meant: Either "I am far better at optimising than you and the monsters you face will show it" or "I have no idea what I'm letting myself in for"
    Last edited by Heliomance; 2010-10-04 at 05:28 AM.
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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    DM said: "I have a few houserules."
    DM meant: "I have a binder full of inconsistent and poorly written houserules, and draw resources from 5 different 3rd party supplements."

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    "Plot driven" - I've decided what's happening. Your choices are moot.

    "Roleplay driven" - I have no plot. Talk amongst yourselves for 4 hours.

    "Gritty" - Deadly

    "Very heroic" - Makes carebears look un-fluffy. Risk = zero.

    "Centred on X culture/race" - Which I'm an enormous fanboy of. I'll constantly tell you that you wouldn't do that, and insist that you pointlessly use snippets of the language and painfully roleplay out basic etiquette.

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    DM says: "I have my own unique setting"
    DM means: "I've made a rip-off clone of something I read / something I watched"

    DM says: anything at all
    DM means: "My campaign plans will disintegrate within a few sessions of the players getting their grubby mits all over it."
    Last edited by Altair_the_Vexed; 2010-10-04 at 05:37 AM.
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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    DM says: "Low Magic setting..."
    DM Means: "...for the PC's"

    DM says: "Detailed backstory required!"
    DM Means: "Tell me what you love so i can brake it!!
    Last edited by Kaun; 2010-10-04 at 05:51 AM.
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    DM Says: "Welcome to the group everyone, it looks like we got a good number of players."

    DM Means: "Welcome to Hell, I will water the crops with your character's blood and till the fields with their bones till only the strongest remain. That should make the group more manageable."
    Last edited by Wings of Peace; 2010-10-04 at 05:48 AM.
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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    Honestly, all of these are good. Being a DM is an ungreateful, hard task so I don't really say anything to the DM, because I know that not a single person in the group would take over the duty.

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkEternal View Post
    Honestly, all of these are good. Being a DM is an ungreateful, hard task so I don't really say anything to the DM, because I know that not a single person in the group would take over the duty.
    I think it is an ever so tongue in cheek thread.

    I wouldn't take it all to seriously, hey as a long time DM i have droped a few of these before.
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    From personal experience
    DM says: "Dark fantasy"
    DM means: "I want some WoD in my D&D"
    Last edited by Fearan; 2010-10-04 at 06:04 AM.

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    DM says: I think you guys will like the next encounter.
    DM means: Just bring new character sheets to the next session.
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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    DM says: "I'm running a steampunk-ish campaign."
    DM means: "I just started playing Warmachine, and I can't afford to buy any other minis right now."
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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair_the_Vexed View Post
    DM says: "I have my own unique setting"
    DM means: "I've made a rip-off clone of something I read / something I watched"

    To be fair though it is terribly hard to come up with something entirely new, as a dm I rip off stuff all the time and combine bits and pieces of rip-offs ^^

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair_the_Vexed View Post
    DM says: anything at all
    DM means: "My campaign plans will disintegrate within a few sessions of the players getting their grubby mits all over it."
    So far, this is the only part I agree with. Therefore, I stopped making plans. My adventures (as I have never managed to keep a single group long enough at once to play a campaign) tend to be the tabletop version of Mad-Libs.
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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    Lovely examples so far.

    The thread is neither intended to be fair, nor is it meant to disparage DMs. As a DM of many years myself, I know how difficult the job can be, and that someone has to do it. But I also think DMs should strive for excellence in their games, because it will be more fun for everyone involved, themselves included. So I think this might be an occasion for DMs to check their record and consider what they've been telling players, and then been doing in their games.

    Besides, a DM who can't stand some good-natured teasing is in for a tough time anyway...

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    Quote Originally Posted by Halaster View Post
    So I think this might be an occasion for DMs to check their record and consider what they've been telling players, and then been doing in their games.
    In my case, I say nothing. They're lucky if I even tell them we're playing a game. For all they know, they might sit there for four hours listening to me pretentiously talking about philosophy.

    One of the few things I've learned is to keep expectations low. That way, it is easier to be better than they expected.
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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    DM says: "I'm running a published campaign module".
    DM means: "Got your tickets, everybody? All aboard, cause this railroad ain't stopping no matter what you do."
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliomance View Post
    DM said: "Use any books you want":
    DM meant: "I am far better at optimising than you and the monsters you face will show it"
    guilty -.-
    but it works out well so far
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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    DM says: "I want to try a different type of adventure"
    DM means: "Please PLEASE dont blow it up again!"
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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    DM: The door is locked.
    - I have a plot idea in there, and DC 55 to open is perfectly fair for a second level party. No lookee.

    DM: Brendan, you're hogging the popcorn. hand it over.
    - lies. disregard this comment. Also, take another handful.

    DM: You need to stop blowing everything up. By the way, you find a wand of fireball in the loot. But really, you've already destroyed three plot centric locations.
    - DESTROY EVERYTHING!!1!
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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    DM says: "I've tweaked the setting a little"
    DM means: "Forget that you know all the books backwards - none of it works"

    DM says: "I've tweaked the monsters a little"
    DM means: "You see that vampire? Don't bother trying stakes / sunlight / silver / garlic etc. etc. etc."

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    For me:

    I allow the players to die if they make stupid choices or play Stupid Evil or Chaotic Stupid heroes.

    I like historical accuracy but don't impose too much information. Anyway i play PbP so people who sign up for a historical game have that same interest anyway.

    Any 3.5 book allowed is always accompanied by "no gamebreaking cheese".

    Realism means that common sense applies to what the rules don't specifically define.

    Homebrew means very interesting NPCs and interactions that are not stereotypes and full of bad tropes.

    Low magic setting defines who can cast and who can't. A DM who throws well built casters at "i hit him" characters is a moron who needs an ego boost. However it's your fault for not seeing him for who he is before you spend two days making a character.

    You guys seem to either have been molested by twisted sick DMs for years, or like exaggerating for fun's sake. Or you are a teenager and play with other teenagers who want to kick ass and do cool stuff.
    Last edited by Myth; 2010-10-04 at 07:19 AM.

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    Some more come to mind

    DM says: "In one foul swing the ogre beheads the DMPC you have all grown to love"
    DM means:You are not meant to fight this guy.. RUN!!!

    DM says: "Puzzle dungeon"
    DM means: "Ive just finished watching re runs of the crystal maze" (My DM in that one even included the harmonica )
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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    DM says: "We like to have a light-hearted campaign."

    DM means: "We're going to sit and joke around for several hours and never make any actual progress."
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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    Quote Originally Posted by Myth View Post
    You guys seem to either have been molested by twisted sick DMs for years, or like exaggerating for fun's sake.
    In a less-than serious campaign run by a friend of mine, he came up with a race of monsters - the B***ards. There were several 'flavours'.
    Complete: These could alter their AC from round to round.
    Utter: These could alter their HP from round to round.
    Total: These could alter their BAB from round to round.

    Any particular B***ard could be one or more of these variants.

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    Quote Originally Posted by panaikhan View Post
    DM says: "I've tweaked the setting a little"
    DM means: "Forget that you know all the books backwards - none of it works"

    DM says: "I've tweaked the monsters a little"
    DM means: "You see that vampire? Don't bother trying stakes / sunlight / silver / garlic etc. etc. etc."
    Sometimes that's necessary for players who've read the Monster Manual several times. xD
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    Not again...

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    Quote Originally Posted by Myth View Post
    For me:

    I allow the players to die if they make stupid choices or play Stupid Evil or Chaotic Stupid heroes.

    I like historical accuracy but don't impose too much information. Anyway i play PbP so people who sign up for a historical game have that same interest anyway.

    Any 3.5 book allowed is always accompanied by "no gamebreaking cheese".

    Realism means that common sense applies to what the rules don't specifically define.

    Homebrew means very interesting NPCs and interactions that are not stereotypes and full of bad tropes.

    Low magic setting defines who can cast and who can't. A DM who throws well built casters at "i hit him" characters is a moron who needs an ego boost. However it's your fault for not seeing him for who he is before you spend two days making a character.

    You guys seem to either have been molested by twisted sick DMs for years, or like exaggerating for fun's sake. Or you are a teenager and play with other teenagers who want to kick ass and do cool stuff.
    Um - hello? I only ever DM* - yes, I really mean it when I say "Low Magic", or "Unique homebrew setting", and I'm sure lots of other DMs are just as careful about describing things.
    But we've also all probably met with a certain amount of amusing discrepency between what the DM says, and what she delivers.
    Similarly, there are loads of player characters out there who are totally not as described by the players:
    Player says: "I'm a suave sophisticated womaniser, with a rapier wit and lust for life!"
    Player means: "I'm a tongue-tied stuttering social retard, with a coulpe of lame jokes and a cowardly streak a mile wide."

    I'm taking these jabs at the DMs of the world as lighthearted fun, not considered critique.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Rose Dragon View Post
    So far, this is the only part I agree with. Therefore, I stopped making plans. My adventures (as I have never managed to keep a single group long enough at once to play a campaign) tend to be the tabletop version of Mad-Libs.
    There's a really good article about doing away with plots over here.

    *I'm exaggerating to make the point, just like this thread. I actually play in one game every couple of weeks (just started), and run two games, more often than that (been running for years).
    Last edited by Altair_the_Vexed; 2010-10-04 at 07:30 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    It is overly convoluted. It adds complexity without clarity. Its effects are not clearly understood. It is intended to solve a problem that is not well defined.
    Gygax would have loved it
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrStabby View Post
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    4) Repeat.

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    DM said: Please don't break my campaign setting into tiny pieces
    DM meant: I'm about this far away from a nervous breakdown.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    The only person in the past two pages who has known what (s)he has been talking about is Heliomance.
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    I just don't want to have long romantic conversations or any sort of drama with my computer, okay? It knows what kind of porn I watch. I don't want to mess that up by allowing it to judge any of my choices in romance.

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    Default Re: What DMs say about their games, and what it really means

    DM says: If you really want to play that race you can.
    DM means: You can't.
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