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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Dealing with Unruly DM

    So I'm a member of a campaign where the DM simply doesn't know the rules. We ask him to read the books and such, but he has trouble understanding them and says it's simpler to "Ask you and the others because you guys know". I'm going to be honest, he's not a great campaign setter either, but I'm sticking it through because he's my friend and I really don't want to burn bridges (If I leave his campaign, he, as the healer in another campaign I'm in, may feel compelled to leave that one as he's prone to rage-quitting... and we're in the semi-final part of the campaign). This is probably more a person issue than a DM issue, but I was just wondering if there is anyone who has helpful advice.
    *Because everyone knows that drow are perfectly sane and loving people.*

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    Axinian's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    First, I see what u did thar

    Second, one thing to do would be to explain to him that it's kind of his job as the DM to know the rules so he can properly adjudicate conflicts. Furthermore, tell him it would just make your lives easier if he did. It can be quite tiresome to constantly remind someone of the rules. After a certain amount of time, the players shouldn't have to remind other players (or Dm's) of the rules anymore. The point of telling someone the rules is so they won't ask again later.

    Another angle to go for is that it will make him a better DM. Don't insinuate that he's a bad DM... but tell him that knowing the rules better will open up new ways for him to challenge you guys, and likely just give him more ideas in general.
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    Thanks for the advice, I like the more subtle approach.
    *Because everyone knows that drow are perfectly sane and loving people.*

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    This guy really shouldn't be your DM. That is really the source of your problems; he is just not ready to sit behind the screen. The only solution which makes any sense is to ask him to roll up a PC and get someone else to run the game.
    Last edited by Water_Bear; 2013-03-30 at 08:54 PM. Reason: Bad diction.

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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    This guy really shouldn't be your DM. That is really the source of your problems; he is just not ready to sit behind the screen. The only solution which makes any sense is to ask him to roll up a PC and get someone else to run the game.
    This, really. If he isn't willing to prepare to DM and is asking his players, they're already doing his job. He doesn't seem ready to DM and getting experience on the job when you can't do the job isn't a good way of learning.
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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    Solution to virtually every "My DM is bad" thread: Grab the DMG and start running a game.
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    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    I can feel your pain!
    I have been in the technical fields (Electronics,radar,sonar,communications, aircraft, and optics) for most of my life...And last year my friend wanted to run a battle mech campaign.
    My friend is not technical literate in the slightest. And of all things I was put in a situation where I was playing the mechanic and the DM is details orientated.
    Now that was one of the most painful campaigns I have ever played in.

    <<edit>>
    Some people do learn by doing. It can be painful for the players to tuff it out. But if the DM is honestly trying i would say support their efforts. They might have issues with reading and even if they do not. It can still be alot to take in.

    Besides this is what they make box campaigns for.
    Last edited by scurv; 2013-03-30 at 09:39 PM.
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    Seconding letting someone else DM.
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    Sounds like he's new. Everyone has to start somewhere and most people don't get good at this until they have a few campaigns under their belt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace Nex View Post
    but he has trouble understanding them and says it's simpler to "Ask you and the others because you guys know"
    Okay. Rules aside, this GM is having confidence issues. You all know the system better than he does. He's probably afraid of learning the system, because if he runs it wrong he'll look like an idiot. He'd rather look uninformed than stupid.

    Anyway, if you know this system better than he does, why is he running the game? He should run a different game. Try some other system that nobody has played before. Let this GM be the only one at the table who knows the rules.
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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    Move the game over to Risus? That's about as simple as RPGs get.
    Imagine if all real-world conversations were like internet D&D conversations...
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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    Well, other than switching DM (which seems like something you don't want to do cause of his personality?), suggest and perhaps even help him make some reference cards, especially for the things he most commonly asks about. Just somewhere between a line to a paragraph (depending on the complexity of the rule [and if it's grappling rules... well nothing short of flow-charts will help you there]) to remind him of how it works, along with a book and page number to go to for more information.

    Encourage him to use pre-generated monsters and npc's if he doesn't already, and again, give them a quick once-over and note down any rules he's uncertain off and look them up.

    Ask him to buy some type of notebook (preferably one with a somewhat touch cover) and ask him to bring that to the game. Every time he asks about a rule and has it explained to him, he can make a quick note about how it works, and if you looked it up he can note down book and page number. It also has the added benefit of him being able to flip it over and "start from the back" to note down any house-rules etc. so he can keep up consistency.

    And do stress that it's not because he's a bad DM, but if he has issues keeping it all in his head (which is perfectly understandable with some systems) there's absolutely nothing wrong with having some memory aid, and in the long run it will help with getting the game to run smoother (it might be bumpy in the beginning though). And most importantly, it gives him a chance to actually learn and get a hang of whatever system it is you're playing.

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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    I'm actually against asking him to stop DMing unless it becomes exceedingly clear this situation won't be resolved another way. The best way to become better at something is to keep doing it, after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by valadil
    Okay. Rules aside, this GM is having confidence issues. You all know the system better than he does. He's probably afraid of learning the system, because if he runs it wrong he'll look like an idiot. He'd rather look uninformed than stupid.
    Keep this in mind also. Being new to playing an RPG can be somewhat intimidating on its own. Being new to running an RPG can be downright nerve-wracking.
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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    Why is this guy running a game?

    What do the other players think?

    Edit:

    Yes, every new GM needs to start somewhere. "Somewhere" is reading the rules.
    Last edited by Rhynn; 2013-03-31 at 12:49 AM.

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    PirateWench

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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhynn View Post
    Yes, every new GM needs to start somewhere. "Somewhere" is reading the rules.
    And then read them a second time just for good measure.

    Some people might have trouble reading, or reading rule books but if you want to be a GM you really need to get yourself through it.

    What if you point out to him that you as players are really sneaky and are lying about rules whenever it suits you to make sure your characters succeed?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    Story time!
    My first Exalted game was also my first Exalted game as an ST - the first Storyteller jumped ship so I took over his place. You must imagine how stressful that must have been, and I'm pretty sure I did a crappy job.

    Does that mean another, more experienced player should have taken over, or that I was an idiot for not memorizing the rules perfectly?

    I don't think so. There's such a thing as learning. Everyone seems unruly when they first begin their game mastering. That's because they're a beginner - getting better is something that comes naturally, with time.

    So my advice to the OP? Humor your friend and deal with it. You should try to poke him to memorize rules, especially the more often used ones. But in general, give your friend time and he'll get better. Eventually.

    Or if you really don't like his sessions, vote with your feet. But you already said you'd rather avoid it, so there's that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbane View Post
    Move the game over to Risus? That's about as simple as RPGs get.
    If you want the DM to get better at DMing, babying him by making the game move into a simple system is missing the point.

    Also, just my opinion but Risus sucks as a gaming system anyway.
    Last edited by tensai_oni; 2013-03-31 at 06:48 AM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    Quote Originally Posted by tensai_oni View Post
    Notebooks aren't cheap. Are you seriously suggesting buying one just to play a tabletop game?
    I think they were talking about a notebook with, y'know, paper.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    My bad. Now I'm embarassed.

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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    Quote Originally Posted by tensai_oni View Post
    My bad. Now I'm embarassed.
    No worries, we all have brain-derps at times. But yes I was talking about the one with paper in it. the other kind... well whoever decided "notebook" was a better name than "laptop" needs to be smacked. :p

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dealing with Unruly DM

    Quote Originally Posted by NikitaDarkstar View Post
    No worries, we all have brain-derps at times. But yes I was talking about the one with paper in it. the other kind... well whoever decided "notebook" was a better name than "laptop" needs to be smacked. :p
    I imagine a laptop as a miniature computer that folds open with a 14-19" (if you have a 19" screen you're doing laptops wrong) screen and a keyboard. I conceptualize a Notebook PC as something about the surface area of a small tablet notebook or a hard cover book.

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