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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    If you took Power Word Kill, raised the threshold to 200 hp and give it an AOE, would it still be PWK?

    If you take Misty Step and triple the range on it, it's not Misty Step anymore, it's homebrew.
    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    Yeah, I think the only way it makes sense is if you picture Yeenoghu spreading his taint over every gnoll.

    Go ahead and imagine that.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by War_lord View Post
    If you took Power Word Kill, raised the threshold to 200 hp and give it an AOE, would it still be PWK?

    If you take Misty Step and triple the range on it, it's not Misty Step anymore, it's homebrew.
    The best part of this is at the end of it all, the DM in question has not apologized and does not think he is responsible for any misconduct.
    EDIT: meaning his odds of repeating this behavior are very likely hurray!
    Last edited by TheUser; 2017-12-07 at 06:57 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Then I suppose contacting the admin who made the ruling for clarification is needed.
    Edited due to getting schooled logically by Unoriginal.
    Last edited by Mikal; 2017-12-08 at 10:58 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Aaah new problem, the players are being given the choice to annul the session if they wish but I don't think they know that keeping the session and its rewards voids the legitimacy of their AL character in other campaigns/tables (this is an assertion on my part; I assume benefitting from an encounter with a homebrewed monster that has been assigned a custom experience reward would seem counter intuitive to the spirit of AL)
    "What most people tend to forget is that statistically speaking, 50% of people out there have below average intelligence."

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  5. - Top - End - #95
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    Aaah new problem, the players are being given the choice to annul the session if they wish but I don't think they know that keeping the session and its rewards voids the legitimacy of their AL character in other campaigns/tables (this is an assertion on my part; I assume benefitting from an encounter with a homebrewed monster that has been assigned a custom experience reward would seem counter intuitive to the spirit of AL)
    Might want to pick different terms, there.

    I'm guessing the benefits sort of outweigh the negatives in this case?
    Argue in good faith.

    And try to remember that these are people.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    I'm going to forgive your ignorance on this topic, which is not an insult but a conjectural conclusion informed by having played DnD since before the internet was a thing.

    For your information, our DM is the kind of guy who spends a good 12 hours or so a week of his own time so that you can have 4 or 5 hours of fun. To support this he will invite you into his home, offer you his delicious barbecued delicacies and allow you to interact with his children and family like you are a part of it among other things. He will provide the beer. Out of respect for this fact we, as adults, make sure that we give our friend every benefit of the doubt so that, even though he sometimes has to tell us "no" or "the bugbear's blade shears through your armor like so much wool as you fall screaming into darkness... you're dead, I'll need you to wait in the kitchen" he is still feels included and has fun.

    When someone acts disruptively then he, and the rest of our group reacts accordingly.
    While that's great, it's also why I tend to dislike the GM being the one hosting. It's power dynamics, the more the GM does the less ability the players have to respond to bad GMing. Which rolling up Traveller characters to see them die for two hours certainly is (fun fact, did you know even in the original version of Traveller you could chose to stop rolling at the end of any term? You should be able to get 3-4 term characters in most Careers after a couple of characters, maybe some more if going for the Scouts).

    Now, again, you should make allowances for the GM. I wouldn't be happy about an instant death in combat, but as an assassination of my PC it's fine (only really annoying because I've got to make a new character and wait to be introduced).


    FWIW, I'm iffy about whether or not, in a home game, I'd count the situation in the OP as bad GMing. Certainly not most of the homebrew, or the 'grab and teleport' tactics, but maybe the 'exact number of hits to down' tactics for an INT 2 creature (and likely for INT 10 creatures for different reasons). INT 2 means that either you stop hitting once the character isn't moving, or you use all your attacks for the round on it, at least to me, even though the latter situation isn't really realistic either, INT 10 means that once somebody goes down, unless there's somebody who can easily make them stand again (not in most of my games, players seem to dislike whack-a-mole gameplay in my experience, if somebody's down the cleric is likely tapped). However this is not a home game, this is AL, which if I understand it correctly has a number of rules the GM must follow, one of which is 'no homebrew', and a lowered expectation of PC death because it can take months to level.

    I also believe that AL is generally supposed to be closer to Combat as Sport than Combat as War, because it should be relatively consistent among most groups and it's easier to do with CaS (and also easier to write). I highly suspect this dragon did not use dragon tactics (stay in the air and use breath weapons and spells to take down the spellcasters before you even consider getting into melee), which likely would have lead to a TPK very quickly with that overCRing, this T-Rex was using tactics that, in reality, it probably would (grab prey, teleport away) which is likely the main thing that made the fight annoying. Going into a Combat as War encounter expecting Combat as Sport is the surest way to get killed, look at Tucker's kobolds (although it's arguable that they were only so deadly due to favouritism), because you're going against probably prepared enemies without doing any preperation yourself, and throwing such an encounter at people after a string of Combat as Sport can be a case of bad GMing.
    I prefer science fiction to fantasy, and generally play in the former genre. Due to this, I generally expect the laws of physics to apply to games, and work from that perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    Aaah new problem, the players are being given the choice to annul the session if they wish but I don't think they know that keeping the session and its rewards voids the legitimacy of their AL character in other campaigns/tables (this is an assertion on my part; I assume benefitting from an encounter with a homebrewed monster that has been assigned a custom experience reward would seem counter intuitive to the spirit of AL)
    I think that's something you and the other players need to seek clarification on immediately.

    Logically, though, if an AL-legal character receives benefits from a non-AL session, that character would stop being AL-legal. Otherwise, what's the obstacle to sticking that character in non-AL adventures for some extra money, experience and gear before you head to an AL table?

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuickLyRaiNbow View Post
    I think that's something you and the other players need to seek clarification on immediately.

    Logically, though, if an AL-legal character receives benefits from a non-AL session, that character would stop being AL-legal. Otherwise, what's the obstacle to sticking that character in non-AL adventures for some extra money, experience and gear before you head to an AL table?
    That brings up an interesting question, if before the session/adventure I transfer my character to a new sheet for record purposes, and the session later turns out to not be AL-legal, is the 'backup' character considered AL-legal, or would it be counted as the same sheet as the one that participated?

    I'm mainly asking because I'm considering to see if AL is a thing over here because I can't get a group of friends together right now, and I'd potentially be interested in keeping hold of a sheet from the end of the last adventure just in case something comes up that would render them invalid. The only thing that would mess it up would be adventure rewards, as it would be relatively easy to 'delevel' a character with a bit more stuff than they should have.
    I prefer science fiction to fantasy, and generally play in the former genre. Due to this, I generally expect the laws of physics to apply to games, and work from that perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Imp

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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikal View Post
    Player to admin: *explains exact situation and asks if this is legal*

    Admin: *says that the situation isn't legal*

    Unoriginal: "we must ask for clarification!"

    Seriously... what explanation is needed
    I'm not saying the Admin's ruling is unclear, I'm saying that, as it was pointed out, it's not clear how it works when interacting with the existing AL rules.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    I'm not saying the Admin's ruling is unclear, I'm saying that, as it was pointed out, it's not clear how it works when interacting with the existing AL rules.
    Admin says you can't make custom monsters in regard to the custom monster situation explained to him. I think that the custom monster situation is pretty clearly explained with interaction.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikal View Post
    Admin says you can't make custom monsters in regard to the custom monster situation explained to him. I think that the custom monster situation is pretty clearly explained with interaction.
    So we agree that adjusting a monster's HPs is legal by AL, right?

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    So we agree that adjusting a monster's HPs is legal by AL, right?
    ... I see where you're trapping me. Apologies. You're right, when in relation to other types of modifications. I'll edit my original post.

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    So we agree that adjusting a monster's HPs is legal by AL, right?
    Does altering it from the average to the maximum possible HP from hit dice count as altering it's HP? Technically speaking it's HP is a range and maximizing it still falls within this range.
    "What most people tend to forget is that statistically speaking, 50% of people out there have below average intelligence."

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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    Does altering it from the average to the maximum possible HP from hit dice count as altering it's HP? Technically speaking it's HP is a range and maximizing it still falls within this range.
    That doesn't seem egregious to me. That said, we'd all agree that a feat that gave a character maximum HP for all current and future hit dice would be so strong as to be overpowered compared to other feats, right? And adding a single feat to a single creature in an encounter is given as close to the upper bound of acceptable modification.

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    So my DM in AL last week murdered two PC's using the "King of Feathers" during our AL session (from Tomb of Annihilation)

    He gave the creature legendary actions, extra hitpoints, higher AC and extended the distance of the creature's innate misty step to 80ft as well as making it usable with its legendary actions. Just to be clear, the king of feathers can misty step at will but it still can be done using only a bonus action on its own turn and it doesn't have access to legendary actions.

    Not only that, after grappling a player with it's bite attack it would use aforementioned misty step to pull the unconscious PC away from the party and crit said player to death with as many (legendary) actions as necessary and then immediately turn to attack another player. This resulted in the deaths of two players and of his own admission afterwards created a creature with a CR 16 stat block (250 hp 17 AC). He was like "I don't know why they gave this creature these abilities, it pretty much makes it a CR 16 creature."

    Something seemed fishy; the developers of modules wouldn't throw a CR 16 creature at a tier 2 level 5 and 6 party so I looked up what the creature was actually and found out he added a whole **** load to the creature as well as meta gamed it into a murderhouse.

    I'm all for a challenge but how does a Tyrannosaurus rex tell the difference between an unconscious PC and a dead PC? Why would it teleport away the rest of the group to prevent a rez when it has an intelligence score of 2! It also wouldn't be able to teleport with a person grappled in its mouth and bring said creature with it.

    All in all this DM seemed out for blood and he got it. He killed two people during the death curse and they are now forced to use surrogates.

    What should I do?
    That was complete BS. When people join AL games they have a right to expect they will be played by AL rules. That includes the DM not just arbitrarily tripling the distance of Misty Step, adding Legendary Actions, etc.

    1. Speak to the area coordinator. Have him read this post.

    2. Never join a game with that DM again.

    3. Feel free to delete that game from your log sheet as if it never occurred. Obviously, that would include any loot or XP you may have got from the game.

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by mgshamster View Post

    So who do I believe? A Facebook post by an admin saying you can't, or an official document by WotC and AL saying you can?


    Given that the post was issued with the #admin hashtag, and posts with the #admin hashtag are official rulings, you should believe the post. Even if the article in question was official policy at one point (and I'm not at all certain that that line didn't just slip through the cracks) it's trumped by the more recent ruling.

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelic View Post
    Given that the post was issued with the #admin hashtag, and posts with the #admin hashtag are official rulings, you should believe the post. Even if the article in question was official policy at one point (and I'm not at all certain that that line didn't just slip through the cracks) it's trumped by the more recent ruling.
    Does this mean that I cannot trust any article published by Adventurers League without first diving through every Facebook post, Google+ post, and Twitter post looking for #AL_Admin tags to ensure that they haven't been randomly countermanded?

  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by mgshamster View Post
    Does this mean that I cannot trust any article published by Adventurers League without first diving through every Facebook post, Google+ post, and Twitter post looking for #AL_Admin tags to ensure that they haven't been randomly countermanded?
    The answer from the FAQ is, basically, suck it up and we'll release periodic updates to the FAQ when we get around to it.

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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuickLyRaiNbow View Post
    The answer from the FAQ is, basically, suck it up and we'll release periodic updates to the FAQ when we get around to it.
    Although that said, I've seen a few folks directly say to the admins "because you're ruling on Facebook, and FB search sucks, I'm just going to follow what's in the FAQ" (in effect ignoring their FB rulings until they're published in the FAQ, which many never are). I haven't yet seen an admin push back on that. So it's of questionable AL legality, but seems to be an acceptable de facto way of doing things. I mean, it kinda has to be, as not everyone that plays AL is on FB.

  20. - Top - End - #110
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Well, yeah, Zene; also, the fact that WotC has essentially removed all AL oversight means that there's no real mechanism for censuring or punishing DMs who ignore AL rules.

  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by mgshamster View Post
    Does this mean that I cannot trust any article published by Adventurers League without first diving through every Facebook post, Google+ post, and Twitter post looking for #AL_Admin tags to ensure that they haven't been randomly countermanded?

    Unfortunately, it kinda does, yes. There are a lot of official articles and documents which can still be accessed, but are now out of date. The number of official rulings which have come out through Facebook posts is a sore spot for a lot of AL players and DMs.

  22. - Top - End - #112
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelic View Post
    Unfortunately, it kinda does, yes. There are a lot of official articles and documents which can still be accessed, but are now out of date. The number of official rulings which have come out through Facebook posts is a sore spot for a lot of AL players and DMs.
    WotC's use of technology has often lagged behind what I would expect from a professional organization.

    There are simpler and more reliable ways to keep a body of rules both publicly accessible and also easily modifiable, and whereby modifications are easily tracked by anyone interested in when a ruling occurred or a rule changed.

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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelic View Post
    Well, yeah, Zene; also, the fact that WotC has essentially removed all AL oversight means that there's no real mechanism for censuring or punishing DMs who ignore AL rules.
    Ok sure, but you can't really call it ignoring an AL rule if someone's not aware of it. Or even if they're aware it might exist, but can't find it.

    I mean, I have a friend who screenshots, saves and indexes every admin tagged ruling he sees. He's still pretty sure he doesn't have all of them.

    I've also seen folks at a con comparing screengrabs on their phone of the most ludicrous AL Admin rulings -- some that are even now directly counter to published rules. If someone whips that out at a game, how the heck are you to know if it's been superceded? Heh, does that admin himself even remember he made that ruling from two years ago?

    Without an official index, the rulings might as well not exist. Pretty sure this is why the admins have said the key rulings will eventually end up in the FAQ.
    Last edited by Zene; 2017-12-10 at 12:44 AM.

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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Iíve had an AL DM pull a ďIím a RAI DM not a RAW DMĒ line in the past so as to explain why he did not have to follow the rules I pointed out to him.

    I did the best thing I could, survived the night by hook or crook and never gamed with him again. Didnít help that he was an unrepentant murderer of PCs in game.
    Last edited by prototype00; Yesterday at 06:40 PM.

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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zene View Post
    Ok sure, but you can't really call it ignoring an AL rule if someone's not aware of it. Or even if they're aware it might exist, but can't find it.

    Oh, absolutely, and sometimes, it is genuinely a case of being unaware of the ruling. But I also know of DMs who use that as plausible deniability to ignore rulings they actively dislike. After all, how is anyone going to prove they've seen the ruling?

  26. - Top - End - #116
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    We have (had...) two AL tables at the FLGS. One DM said to another player at the table I was playing at (the DM in question was playing in a session and not DMing that week for some reason or another) that the player's monk couldn't use Stunning Strike on Huge sized creatures or larger when they played at his table the following week.

    I had asked the monk if Stunning Strike had a size limit as I had forgotten and my character's Shield Master feat had a size limit. He looked it up and, of course, Stunning Strike doesn't have a size limit. My response was "That's cool!". The DM's response was "Not at my table".

    The next week, guess who wasn't playing at that DM's table? Guess who's table fell apart because people didn't want to play with a DM who didn't feel like following obvious rules? I had quit that DM's table a few years earlier because he incorrectly said my Rogue could only sneak attack once a round instead of once a turn as I had tried to use my sneak attack on a reaction. Also because he ruled that you had to attack (and not just take the Attack action) before using the shield push of the Shield Master feat. This, even after clarification from Crawford (it's my tweet he replied to on the question).

    In other words, there's no reason to sit at an AL table with a DM who refuses to follow rules because he has a God complex.

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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by guachi View Post
    has a God complex.
    Heh. That describes a good chunk of the AL DMs I know IRL. And seemingly like 90% of the AL DMs that post here and in the FB AL DM groupóthough maybe theyíre just overrepresented among vocal posters.

    Iím with ya, though. People remember bad DMing, and gravitate away from bad experiences.

    Itís kind of a neat ecosystem to watch, as players over time learn about the DMs, and certain DMsí tables always fill up, while other DMsí tables end up dwindling over time.
    Last edited by Zene; 2017-12-10 at 10:49 PM.

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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    I played an extra squishy bard last night in an encounter with zombie beholders. This was also an AL game. I cast Greater Invisibility to protect myself because they can't target you with rays if they can't see you. The DM said "Detect Life" and had one shoot me and I remained paralyzed the rest of the encounter, got a disintegrate ray; lucky not to get more because I auto-failed dex saves. I had played the module with the author as DM the day before (different char) without these shenanigans and had a great time. I read the module and there was no such sense added to the zombie beholder stat block. He just made it up on the fly.

    Didn't die but the entire game was full of everything being altered in bizarre ways to dis-empower us--terrain, traps, how traps were disarmed because another bard and I were exceptional at perception, investigation, arcana (for magic traps). He actually added an acrobatics check to one trap after the other bard with my assistance had blown away the investigation check (I'm +10, she was +14) and the arcana check (same bonuses) which was all the module required to disarm. DM said we could reroute some energy in the trap but had to do it really fast; hence the acrobatics (not Sleight of Hand... or thieve's tools... for some reason? I'm assuming because he feared we would be good at those too.).
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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalebert View Post
    I played an extra squishy bard last night in an encounter with zombie beholders. This was also an AL game. I cast Greater Invisibility to protect myself because they can't target you with rays if they can't see you. The DM said "Detect Life" and had one shoot me and I remained paralyzed the rest of the encounter, got a disintegrate ray; lucky not to get more because I auto-failed dex saves. I had played the module with the author as DM the day before (different char) without these shenanigans and had a great time. I read the module and there was no such sense added to the zombie beholder stat block. He just made it up on the fly.

    Didn't die but the entire game was full of everything being altered in bizarre ways to dis-empower us--terrain, traps, how traps were disarmed because another bard and I were exceptional at perception, investigation, arcana (for magic traps). He actually added an acrobatics check to one trap after the other bard with my assistance had blown away the investigation check (I'm +10, she was +14) and the arcana check (same bonuses) which was all the module required to disarm. DM said we could reroute some energy in the trap but had to do it really fast; hence the acrobatics (not Sleight of Hand... or thieve's tools... for some reason? I'm assuming because he feared we would be good at those too.).
    I seriously don't understand this at all....

    If a player specializes in disarming traps why wouldn't you relish the opportunity for them to be rewarded for their choices?
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: AL DM altered the stats on a monster and killed two PC's during death curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    I seriously don't understand this at all....

    If a player specializes in disarming traps why wouldn't you relish the opportunity for them to be rewarded for their choices?
    I once made an illusionist in 3.5 who banned Evocation and either Conjuration or Enchantment. The only session (because of various reasons) sent us against undead and a construct as the boss. My spells were almost universally illusions with a single abjuration (mage armour, it allowed my cat to survive the boss's attacks), we were second level so I had four total including my specialist slot. We would have fought some enemies who were vulnerable to illusions, if we had followed the very precise trail the GM had planned.

    So yes, I once got thrown into a situation where all my abilities were useless due to us not doing exactly what the GM intended. Mainly because I was a Gnome Wizard with a +10 bonus to Craft (Alchemy) checks. We also had a Rogue (sneak attack disabled), a Ranger (who had not specialised in undead), and a Knight/Paladin (who could use his abilities! but wasn't equipped for undead). A really sucky session all around, compared to the GM I had later who would look at our sheets, see a bunch of social skills, and throw a lot of social encounters and some combat encounters our way (except for the time he ran a combat heavy campaign for three investigation builds and a tank, but he had warned us it would be high combat before we created our characters).
    I prefer science fiction to fantasy, and generally play in the former genre. Due to this, I generally expect the laws of physics to apply to games, and work from that perspective.

    Spoiler: playground quotes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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