The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed - Coming in December and available for pre-order now
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2017

    Default New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    Was playing with a new DM who would always look at your dice roll not your result. He would see your rolled a 10 and start to describe how you failed a check. Then I'd interject "my result was an 18", but he was already set on his decision.

    Got a little old after a while. I started rolling where he couldn't see, but other players could and then just telling him the total. Worked out much better for me.


    Also:
    Anything over 20 was considered a massive success despite many DCs that should have been 25+

    What rookie DM mistakes have you guys seen? Any you've been guilty of?
    Last edited by Drache64; 2019-09-19 at 09:34 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Imbalance's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2018

    Default Re: New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    Looking at the wrong monster stats in the heat of combat.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Cleveland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Imbalance View Post
    Looking at the wrong monster stats in the heat of combat.
    Crap! I've done that and I've been DMing for 30 years.

    The big one I see is trying to pigeonhole PCs into actions that fit their story rather than let the story grow organically.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    May 2018

    Default Re: New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    On looking at the roll:

    When I DM, I like knowing the roll on top of knowing the result. Since against a diplomacy DC 10, a success with 3+8 on the dice would be the character just repeating the standard protocols while a success with a 11+0 would be the character improvising and finding the good words.

    On rookie mistakes:

    I totally did "looking at the wrong stat block in the monster manual". The worst time I did it was when I did it while preparing the encounter, reading the wrong CR of a demon from the manual, and having to nerf on-the-fly the creature the PC fought because it was 5 CR too high.

    My first D&D experience was with the V4, I was the DM (all of us D&D beginners, though we already played another RPG before) and we played during 3 hours an uninteresting first battle against a group of goblins. The rookie mistake was to think that just because the monsters were boring and simple, they would be easy and quick to kill and thus would make a good tutorial.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2017

    Default Re: New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoiMagnus View Post
    On looking at the roll:

    When I DM, I like knowing the roll on top of knowing the result. Since against a diplomacy DC 10, a success with 3+8 on the dice would be the character just repeating the standard protocols while a success with a 11+0 would be the character improvising and finding the good words.
    The difference is calling 3+8 a failure vs 11+0 a success.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    This is why you decide on a DC and say what it is before dice are rolled.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
     
    False God's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Wyoming
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drache64 View Post
    The difference is calling 3+8 a failure vs 11+0 a success.
    Honestly I still think the failure here is describing for the player how their character succeeded. They succeeded, let them describe it. If they don't want to or can't and defer to the DM, then fine.

    But it's the player's success, let them have control over how it goes.

    If you want to guide them on the degree of success they achieved, IE: DC 15 and they got a 16 and you describe it as they "just barely made it", or DC 15 and they got a 35 and you describe it as "passed with flying colors", fine.

    But I still think it's a miss to control the details of success.

    My mistake: Thinking that CR was a good guideline and grabbing a monster (or multiples) from the book and going "my party can take these guys! Only to TPK them with something silly like a handful of CR 1/3 orcs or a pack of CR 1/4 wolves. Oops.
    Last edited by False God; 2019-09-20 at 04:18 PM.
    Knowledge brings the sting of disillusionment, but the pain teaches perspective.
    It looks like freedom but it smells like death, it's closing time.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Imagination Land
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    I don't really consider my self a "rookie" DM anymore, but one of my biggest mistakes is giving NPCs (or monsters with class levels) too many abilities and/or quirky items, and then forgetting to use them all when it comes to the game day.

    I write all my own adventures, and they usually feature a classed NPCs and monsters that I've improved by adding levels to, so this unfortunately comes up more often than I'd like.
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

    "What you must learn is that these rules are no different than the rules of a computer system. Some of them can be bent. Others can be broken." - Morpheus, The Matrix

    Quote Originally Posted by Krellen View Post
    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    Putting all your effort into props like NPC trackers or a setting map instead of things which actually matter during sessions

    Forgetting to write a reason for the players to explore the dungeon you prepared

    Letting anything kill a PC in session one. It's basically the death-knell of any campaign, as morale will drop like a stone

    Not knowing when to timeskip / repeatedly prompting for player-actions when there's nothing left for them to do

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Jay R's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    The two biggest DM mistakes I've seen:

    1. Believing that the DM's job is to kill the PCs.
    2. Believing that the DM's job is to keep the PCs alive.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Draconi Redfir's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Gobbotopia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    i'm guilty of this one.

    i gave a Thin Man a Ring with several charges of Obscuring mist, and sent it against the party as an intended "Slenderman" encounter. the idea was he'd stalk them from the fog, and re-summon it if the players managed to disperse it.

    however i somehow got it in my head that he was completely 100% invisible in the fog, and that even using a light spell on a Tree (which they did) and trying to find his shadow between the Tree and the players didn't work. i think i also missed the fact that he stops being stealthy when he makes an attack. i'm sure there were other rules i was reading wrong too.

    all in all it was a horrible encounter. the entire party hated it after two or three rounds of it hitting them, without them being able to see or hurt it, and eventually i dropped the whole thing and just had the Thin-man leave.

    it wasn't what ended that particular game, but it's definitely something i don't remember fondly
    Avy by Thormag
    Spoiler
    Show


  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kurald Galain's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drache64 View Post
    Was playing with a new DM who would always look at your dice roll not your result. He would see your rolled a 10 and start to describe how you failed a check. Then I'd interject "my result was an 18", but he was already set on his decision.
    I've found that in certain RPGs it's actually true that any roll of 15-20 will hit, and any roll of 1-6 will miss, and you only need to check the actual result if it's 7-14. It's not written in the rules as such, but the bonuses and modifiers are aligned so that that's how it works in practice.

    And, of course, in certain other RPGs, it's easily possible that a character will succeed on a 2 (specialist character on a routine task), or fail on an 18 (rookie character on a complex task).

    So a DM who started with the former kind of system and moved to the latter has some unlearning to do.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

    "I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums. I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that." -- ChubbyRain
    Crystal Shard Studios - Freeware games designed by Kurald and others!

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    Not D&D, but Shadowrun 3e: Allowing a rounded party the first time around.

    Let me explain: The mage, the combat guy, the vehicles guy and the computer guy all used vastly different rules to the point that they may as well have been playing different systems altogether. And some of these rules are... poorly explained in the core book. As new GM, it was like learning and running 4 completely different new systems all at once.

    It did not end well.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    The NPCs hyping up the PCs as great heroes who saved the town, even though said PCs are level 1 and nearly every named NPC in said town is level 2-6. Eventually you have to wonder why none of these people are the center of attention when they're all better at everything than the PCs.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateGirl

    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Default Re: New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    1) As others have said, every new DM I have encountered struggles a lot to grasp the CR concept.

    They usually reason like this:

    "Okay, the party is LV 1 so monsters CR 1 should be easy. I'll drop them 5 monsters CR 1 to begin with, then in the next dungeon I'll put two monsters CR 2 and finally the boss battle will be CR 3".

    Maybe due to what videogames has taught to them, they tend to believe that a CR equal to the party level is cannon fodder.


    2) Another common mistake related with the last I mentioned, is treating cannon fodder as boring. As they know they are no threat to the party, the describe the battle as boring as possible, limiting themselves to call out numbers and simple outcomes, forgetting that in movies and TV. cannon fodder is always treated as something exciting, regardless of the real threat.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: New DMs who look at the roll not the result, and other rookie mistakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by HeraldOfExius View Post
    The NPCs hyping up the PCs as great heroes who saved the town, even though said PCs are level 1 and nearly every named NPC in said town is level 2-6. Eventually you have to wonder why none of these people are the center of attention when they're all better at everything than the PCs.
    Same reason level 5 sports champions don't fight crime as super heroes/vigilantes: they don't want to. It is dangerous and doesn't pay as well as their day jobs.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Vibranium: If it was on the periodic table, its chemical symbol would be "Bs".

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •