Author Topic: Stories of Terrible Games and Terrible DMs  (Read 3271 times)

Offline hans

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Re: Stories of Terrible Games and Terrible DMs
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2015, 11:15:58 AM »
...Of course, then the ministers told me that I was practicing deviltry, and had to stop...
 

I always wince when I hear such experiences.  I sometimes wish I could've added a disclaimer to their words like "Views and opinions may not represent those of the majority of Christians, their ministers, or this station."   :-[
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 02:25:53 PM by hans »

Offline Milos Gulan

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Re: Stories of Terrible Games and Terrible DMs
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2015, 03:04:18 PM »
Sometimes it can happen, but all things have such things more or less. My group used to play from 3pm sundays till 9pm though in the first years we used to play from probably 4pm till late night. I used to catch last bus (12pm) with a friend then visit bakery for warm fresh bread, i still remember taste of it.

About friends getting angry in Ad&d, yeah it can happen for various reasons :) and unfortuntely sometimes it can be serious over something maybe not so important. I am trying to remember good things and those not so good to just forget and to learn from them.

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Stories of Terrible Games and Terrible DMs
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2015, 05:59:02 PM »
Let the stories continue...

My very first DM (from all the way back in 1983-1984) was a really bad DM.  Really bad.  I often say that if I do the opposite of what he would do, then I'm probably DMing the right way.  Here is a short list of some of the things he did during the time I played with him:

* The biggest gripe I had with him was that we would spend an hour rolling up characters (1st Edition AD&D), get an adventure started, and then we would have to quit because he didn't prepare much.  Then, he would always say: "We'll continue this next time."  And we never did.  Every time we played (which could be several times a week), we rolled new characters because he had a new idea.  Whether it was 1st level characters or level 17 characters, he promised that the next game was definitely going to be longer than a single session.  Nope.  Never happened.  I still have a box that has a stack of characters I created in those days and were only played one time.  I used them later as either NPCs or as quick characters when I got to play in another game.

* During one game, we generated 1st level characters.  I played a paladin.  The game started as we spotted a goblin coming down the road dragging a large sword behind him.  We stopped to question the goblin, who immediately went hostile.  Given no choice but to defend ourselves, we ended up killing the goblin.  I picked up the sword.  It turned out to be an artifact...Excalibur, to be exact, which was a +5 Vorpal Holy Avenger.  Yeah...a goblin was in possession of that.  Of course, I never got to use it, since the game was never continued (see above).

* This DM enjoyed being a "killer DM."  He wanted to see how fast he could kill us.  Given that we didn't continue any games beyond a single session, this didn't bother us much (no attachment to the characters).  We longed for more, but just went with it when we were desperate for a game.  One day, he took a crossword puzzle out of the newspaper and put it on graph paper in a 15x15 block.  Our characters had to make it from one corner of the room to the other.  The white spaces of the crossword puzzle were safe spots, and the black spots were instant death.  We had no way to indicate which was with, since we couldn't see the crossword puzzle he had used and he gave us no clues.  We lasted about four steps.


After about a year under this guy, I took over DMing duties when he got busy.  That started a career of being a DM for me (and me loving it).  Not only was I a better DM, I could run a campaign that would last for years and not attempt to kill characters or require them to be started over each session.  So, much thanks to that guy for showing me how not to act.

I should say, though, that even though I didn't like how he handled himself as a DM, he and I were friends for years (lost contact with him in about 2001).  So, he wasn't a jerk in real life (mostly).
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Offline Uatu

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Re: Stories of Terrible Games and Terrible DMs
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2015, 07:51:21 PM »
ProphetSword - interesting how individual personalities may be quite different from DM-personalities!  (I also wonder why the goblin did not use his awesome vorpal holy avenger +5 against your party?)

Hans - maybe I should qualify my story, too - my church was quite conservative (as is typical for Korean churches); they also did not allow female pastors, for example.  In general, a lot of people were just not very nice there, either!  I went to another church as a kid (a more typical "American" church) - it was about 1000% better, but I don't know what they would have done if I just hung around after services and led AD&D games within...
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Offline Milos Gulan

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Re: Stories of Terrible Games and Terrible DMs
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2015, 03:53:26 AM »
I think church and Ad&d sometimes are not going well together simply because there are 2 sets of books that are very interesting so it is like for example football club with some people started to play some other sport :).

And for those short adventures I remember our first years, we were lucky that we initaly had 3-4 Dungeon magazines that out GM used to throw at us, but by the time he left we already played all those of low level. When I took over I had only 1e PHB, UA and MM2 and I remember that i had to make adventures which actualy is not easy thing to do. One of my first was circle like structure of some pillars (like stonehenge) with each pillar having a puzzle. From my experience puzzles and traps are not so good thing in adventure and often can influence things badly. Anyway after solving the riddles below there was a planetar from MM2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetar_%28Dungeons_%26_Dragons%29 with lots of treasure who was trapped and I don't remember his story :).

Point is if you are making adventures on your own it is much harder to make something good and for more then one sessions. It is much easier with adventure books by your side :)

 
« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 03:56:28 AM by Milos Gulan »

Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: Stories of Terrible Games and Terrible DMs
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2015, 05:36:37 AM »
I also wonder why the goblin did not use his awesome vorpal holy avenger +5 against your party?

He was dragging the sword behind him, so chances are it was too heavy for him to lift while he had to defend himself against a group of attackers who outnumbered him.  ;)

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Stories of Terrible Games and Terrible DMs
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2015, 12:45:53 PM »
The hysteria of D&D being evil is what got me looking at the game in the first place.  I'm a Christian, and I have no issues telling people that, but I'm also open minded.  Even at a young age, I had a hard time believing that a game could be as terrible as some people were saying.  Tales of real spells being cast during gameplay and people falling into cults just seemed kind of dumb.  I had a friend who said he played and he didn't seem like he was in a cult or doing anything evil.

I borrowed the AD&D Player's Handbook from that friend of mine and started reading it.  I realized really quickly that it was a game of make believe.  The spells weren't real and there was nothing in the game that really jumped out as any more evil than playing "cops and robbers" or a board game like Monopoly.  I got intrigued by the idea of the game and the mechanics and wanted to play it.  Didn't take me long to convince my mother that what she'd heard was all rubbish and she shouldn't be concerned (a few years later, I actually got her to play a session...fun fact: she's been a big fan of fantasy novels and movies ever since, including The Lord of the Rings and the Forgotten Realms novels of R.A. Salvatore).

The negativity only rarely rears its ugly head anymore.  I think most people know that D&D isn't evil...especially in an age where games like World of Warcraft owe everything to the legacy that D&D created.

Another fun and slightly related fact:  First time I played "The Lord of the Rings" MMO, some jerk in the world chat said that the game was a ripoff of World of Warcraft.  I let him know that World of Warcraft was an MMORPG (emphasis on the RPG) that owes much of its existence to Dungeons & Dragons, and that Dungeons & Dragons owes most of its existence to The Lord of the Rings.  So, in reality, World of Warcraft was a second generation ripoff of The Lord of the Rings.  He wasn't impressed...  ;D
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Offline Uatu

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Re: Stories of Terrible Games and Terrible DMs
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2015, 07:02:38 AM »
I guess the old OD&D and AD&D books had some art that could be seen in a negative way - but a lot of old European ink drawings looked quite similar.  Since D&D derived a lot from actual mythology of world cultures (plus fantasy novels), they did have some demon-related stuff in the old days (Cacodemon spell, thaumaturgic circles, etc.).  As a result of a lot of the hoo-hah, we lost some of that, and demons and devils all got their new names, which carried over to the later versions of D&D.

But yeah, weirdly, D&D's biggest "influence" in the end may strangely be its influence on the computer gaming world - since noone wants the thankless job of DMing, apparently!  Without D&D, what would we have been playing on our computers, anyway?  (Racing and shooting is only fun to a point - creativity and stories is the way to go!)

Also interesting is the strong influence that D&D had on Japanese CRPGs, especially initially, although this history was sort of "erased" later on.  For example, if you look at the first Final Fantasy game as released in Japan, you can see obvious D&D monsters like the beholder and the mind flayer.  Later, some of these were changed to "new" monsters - probably when they were ready for the international market.

Olivier: Luckless goblin for sure!  I would have expected a small creature to be able to at least handle a vorpal sword with two hands - plus, it's magical!
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Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Stories of Terrible Games and Terrible DMs
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2015, 07:42:10 AM »
I guess I can throw terrible players into the mix with terrible DMs. Like I said, over the years and a lot of different groups, I have a lot of stories:

I once played with a guy named Ricky who thought it would be cool to play a chaotic evil drow elf ranger whose goal was to destroy the forest instead of protect it.  I tried to talk him out of it, but I've never been the kind of DM to restrict what kind of characters a player wants to play.  I let natural selection do that for me.

Immediately after the game began the party ended up in a village on the edge of the woods. The drow's very first act was to go into the forest and set it on fire.  Unfortunately for him, he didn't do so with any kind of stealth.  He did it right out in the open.

Several townsfolk saw him set the fire. They were naturally upset that this drow elf had the nerve to threaten their environment.  They chased him into a building with the intention of arresting him and throwing him in jail.

They didn't need to bother, though.  The building he had chosen as his hiding place was right on the edge of the woods.  It caught fire.  The drow perished in the fire that he set; because he refused to come out and surrender.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party quietly slipped out of town so that they wouldn't be associated with him...

1 hour to roll the character.  5 minutes to kill him.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 07:43:59 AM by ProphetSword »
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