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[ERROR] No.49116649 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

Out with it ,GMs. Get it off your chest.

>> No.49116818

Don't know rules that don't apply to your character? Meh. Don't know how every single one of your abilities work? IRRATIONALLY IRRITATED.

I think it stems from players wanting to be casters and having no idea how the magic system works. And then spending 15 minutes mid-combat in session 4 or 5 figuring out the setting-equivalent of 'Detect Magic'

>> No.49116826

I steal dungeon maps from google images and tell my players that i drew them myself.

>> No.49116892

I tend to fudge rolls the drunker I get. Everyone else is drunk too so they don't notice and we all have a blast, but I can't help feel hollow and ashamed of myself.

>> No.49116935

My players have no chance of death and they don't know it, I like their characters too much.

Encounters have as many HP as they need to bring the party down to where I want them for the next area, or until an opportunity to end it in an awesome way works.

>> No.49116969

>My players have no chance of death and they don't know it, I like their characters too much.

You like your players? Fucking weirdo.

>> No.49116990

I fudge rolls and turn enemy HP counts into a roller coaster based on how close to death I want the PCs to be at the end

>> No.49116993


I have used the exact same dirty, DM trick in every single long term campaign I have ever run and my players never once caught on to what I was doing.

There's a reason why I insist that my players leave their character sheets with me between sessions. I say that it's so we can NPC them if the player can't make it that day, but the real reason is far more nefarious.

It's called "The Mirror."

When the PCs have manged to make themselves a sufficient nuisance to the BBEG, I make copies of everyone's character sheet, add a few levels/stat buffs/skill points what have you, and send this elite crew of power-houses after my players. Suddenly, every single power-combo they come up with is turned against them. Every single flaw they took thinking 'there's no way the GM will use this' is used against them. Their significant others/children are kidnapped and held hostage by this evil mirror team.

All I have to do is swap the genders, races and distinguishing features around and my players never catch on.

Listen Up You Primitive Screwheads should be required reading for all GMs.

>> No.49117002

Every idea I ever had for a game sounds so much better on paper because I'm bad at actually realising them. So I never actually create material the way I want to, ending up with reskinning and tweaking existing adventures and other people' ideas and trying to mash them together until they make sense.

Plus my new campaign should've started two weeks ago and I still can't bring myself to do it because I just hate everything I prepared for it so far, even though players are usually satisfied / sometimes have a blast.

>> No.49117033

The shittier I think my session/campaign is, the more my players usually seem to enjoy it.

>> No.49117051

I haven't GMed in years. I desperately want to, but I've since developed a crippling fear of any and all potential failure in basically any task I do.

>> No.49117057

You material probably is shit. Because you haven't play-tested it. Even the best written stuff will have a glaring flaw when run. I've run the same scenes and dungeons in different contexts for a dozen groups, trying to figure out ways to make them more interesting.

You could also have other GM friends (or people on /tg/ or a board of choice) give you opinions. Even the ones you disagree with will give you some insights.

>> No.49117101

I lie about all my dice rolls. I'm running LMoP for a party of mostly people who have never played.

They are stupid idiots and at least 3/5 of them should be dead.

>> No.49117114

Mostly this. The worst part is when I roll straight, or go directly from the book, and they accuse me of railroading.

>> No.49117126


I impose weird experimental DMing ideas on my guinea pig play group, and often "warn" them about it in ways that I don't think they'll quite realize what they're getting into.

>> No.49117268

I irrationally hate magic and magic-users on impulse in settings because I think it's lazy to just have a spell that solves a problem.
Ironic, since I'm a scrawny computer scientist.
If I had my way, magic-users would all be NPCs. All of them.
If your setting's magicians are doing their jobs, they should be in universities or towers researching the intricacies of transmutation instead of collecting 40 bear asses.
Magic or miracles are inherently the exception and not the norm, so it drives me up the wall that you can suddenly become magical by studying hard enough, without divine or infernal assistance.

>> No.49117393

>Their significant others/children are kidnapped Worst cliché. There are far better ways to get the players' attention without resorting to low-hanging fruit like kidnapping their families.

>> No.49117504

I wish I knew how to get my players thinking creatively.

>> No.49117510


I'm just curious, given the sorts of games I tend to run, why is magic in your conception this implicitly utopian all powerful thing?

Why not have worlds where magic is weak and very often less useful than just a mundane solution to the problem, where the magic user is a specialist of some sort, perhaps only hired to do a specific job related to his particular area of expertise in magic?

>> No.49117542


I tell them i run a hardcore game, i.e. you can and will die if you don't think, and this is mostly true but there are circumstances wherein i cannot bring myself to kill them, though they richly deserve it. Point in case one of my players elected to essentially commit suicide in the pregame character introduction session a week or so ago, not even the first session, the pregame session that lead into the first session, and i could not bring myself to kill him. Worst part is he figured it out, obviously, knew i let him off. I feel like a failure.

>> No.49117570

>Their significant others/children are kidnapped and held hostage by this evil mirror team

Fuck this shit. GM's who always do this are the ones responsible for the flood of murderhobos interested in killing things and taking their shit.

>> No.49117612

I really don't like killing my players' characters, not even because I feel sorry for them or because I'm soft, but because I don't want to waste time on player making a new character and having to somehow implement him into the ongoing story.

>> No.49117623

As long as they remain unaware of it and don't get bored, you're a fantastic GM.

>> No.49117725

I'd love to, I really would, but it's really, really rare in popular systems to have mechanics match the ideal.
I've had a history of bad experiences with powergamers that tend to more often than not use magical or mystic methods to boost their power with.
It's always that one fucker who wants to play a Jedi and pump his Force Lightning damage out the ass, or a minionmancer or a save or die master.

>> No.49117770

Entrap players in complex situations that has no "single correct" solution
For easy solutions (such as torturing an NPC who refuses to help them out or murdering anybody who stands in their path) give the players genuine consequences and make sure they understand that the effect is due to their cause. Reinforce that an eye for an eye will NOT end their problems.
Reward players for creative solutions.
Make impromptu play have better odds of working, for instance in a bar fight, picking up a bottle and clubbing and opponent with it should do more damage than regular punching.

>> No.49117820

I don't stat out any encounters. My encounter notes look like '3 Golems - 200 HP, Fort save or knockdown. 2d10 slam, 2d10 beam. 3 Control guys. 20 hp. One warrior, one rogue, one mage.'

Then we play the encounter out. I have no AC's for the party to roll against until dice hit the table. I make up the enemy's saves on the spot. I don't hold to the HP totals in the notes. if someone has an awesome crit and leaves the Golem at 189 HP, I just kill it. If they scratch damage it until it has 201 damage, it sticks around until someone gets a good hit on it. If a player asked me what feats the enemy was using, I wouldn't be able to say anything but 'it's a custom ability.'

I let one of my players see behind the curtain once, when she wanted to learn how to GM. Completely blew her mind. She showed up with all these extensive notes and monster stats on index cards and long, NPC descriptions and setting notes. And I had to tell her 'I make pretty much everything up as we go. I think up an idea for a fun plot thread to follow or encounter to have during the week, and that's all the planning I do.' Pic is the look she gave me.

>> No.49118090

I round HP and fudge damage all the time.

>Your attack does 13 piercing plus 3 fire damage?
>okay, so it was at 105 health, and resists nonmagical damage, so that's... whatever, it's at 95 now

>debuff wanker: did you remember to make him take my 1 poison damage at the end of his turn?
>yeah, of course
>don't change his HP at all

>skeleton is attacking player
>can't find my d8
>roll a couple random dice, peer at them
>"you take 5 damage"

>boss has like 40 HP left
>players have been beating on him and think he's nearly dead
>someone rolls like 7 damage
>wow! exactly how much health he had left! good job buddy he's dead

it's usually in their favor more often than not. I just feel bad that they try to maximize every little point of damage they can do and I just sort of estimate what the enemies do, because I made up these encounters anyway, what's the difference between fudging a couple rolls or fudging a couple more/less enemies

>> No.49118245


>> No.49118313

i dm'd to give my dm a break, and all the players did was dick around and give me shit for the campain not being good/up to snuff
i refused to dm from then on, and let them all know it was entirely their fault, rather than constructive criticism, or just criticism itself, they just made fun of it constantly

i dm'd for a different group later that year, it went great, the players had fun, and we kept doing it for a few months, nearly a year. and my first group (which i eventually left, they were irl friends is the only reason i stayed) never knew

>> No.49118330 [DELETED] 



>> No.49118393

I allow my players to use any homebrew they find on Dnd Wiki 3.5 edition.

>> No.49118493

why did you assholes climb a 1,000ft cliff instead of going through the castle front door?

They threw me completely off my game. I didn't have the back half of Castle Ravenloft well remembered.

88 plus rooms in that fucker!

>> No.49118509

Not them, but do you really think even Strahd would expect such batshit insanity?

>> No.49118543

they found Strahd's empty coffin,"defiled" it, and then threw it out the only window in the crypt and down 1000ft cliff

>> No.49118554

Holy fuck.
...Did they dead?

>> No.49118588

>shit on a gods bed
kek how many are dead

>> No.49118600

they had the holy symbol of Ravenkind and my dice are cursed.

>> No.49118611

Teach me your ways, Wise One!

>> No.49118614

I enjoy being the GM because it gives me the only power and control I'll have in my life. It's also easier than being a PC

>> No.49118658

Remind me, it's been a while since I had Strahd (or any Vampire to that matter) in a campaign, but:
Isn't it so that
a) The lords of Ravenloft are only immortal by merit of being too fucking badass to be killed,
and b) isn't a one of a Vampire's weaknesses that they die if they don't sleep in soil from their home for an extended period of time?

Did the party just manage to slay Strahd by tossing his furniture out a window? And then if the rules are as I remember them, scatter the dirt from inside the coffin in a nearby river or something?

>> No.49118721

It was a 5e conversion of I6 (Curse of Strahd wasn't even announced when I started) so strahd was just a tough vampire who just can't tell when a girl is just not into him

>> No.49118770

Wait, this isn't how everyone GM's? I've been doing basically this exact thing for decades now. Even in Shadowrun.

>> No.49118811

I mean I could bitch how Strahd deserves more gravitas, but right now I'm imagining Strahd as a vampiric Johnny Bravo, and I'm too busy trying to figure out how I can include in my current campaign without it being overly silly.

>> No.49118815

This is what I do. Dice rolls are mostly to keep things in perspective. Mechanics are to keep things under control. Neither should ever interfere with the tone and pace of a session.

>> No.49118864


I hate GMing, and wish I could stop.

But everyone else at my table is absolutely awful at it, fucking terrible, and I hate that even worse. So I keep GMing every game, except for the rare time when I let someone else try, which inevitably dissolves within 3 sessions.

>> No.49118867

I love to collect and read tabletop RPG books, and I even love to try out GMing new games, but for some reason I keep coming back to Risus and tooling it for the games of my choice.

>> No.49118983

It's one way to GM, and technically the easiest way, so long as you can think on your feet a little bit.

But there are also obsessive planners and GM's that take disturbing pride in statting absolutely everything out.

>> No.49119024

Yeah, those GM's are the easiest to fluster. I pride myself on being able to crash a train right off the tracks if the GM can't improv even a little.

>> No.49119059

Naw, if you REALLY want your player's attention, have an NPC steal something from them.

You will inspire such homicidal fury, that your players will storm the gates of Hell itself to get back whatever was taken, and kill the thief in the most painful way possible.

>> No.49119070

This is the same reason I GM. Everyone else is so bad I'd rather just not play D&D at all than play under them

>> No.49119080

>I pride myself on crashing a game
My style is improv, myself, but come on, man. It's hard enough to pretend that you know what you're doing before someone decides to break your plans in half for shits and giggles.
I know how grating it is to play a railroad, but maybe you should DM if you don't like not being able to direct the plot. It's what I did.

>> No.49119107

That does happen to some vampires depending on setting. But remember that Strahd is immune to most things that are inconvenient for normal vamps.

>> No.49119244

If it fits your group, and you guys are having fun, go ham.

But I'm pretty sure I'd get bored with your game. I am 100% for making GMing simpler, I plan very little ahead, but that planning includes AT LEAST some generic stats I can use in a pinch that have a bit more consistency than your approach.

> Even in Shadowrun.
To be fair, I think its shadowrun that works best with such a technique. Such an autistic-oriented clusterfuck of rules.

I shoot, at medium range, a short burst of flechette rounds, medium spread. There's heavy rain, strong wind and it's a moonless night. I've got racial infravision and built-in smartgun system. I have a Strength of 4 (so 2 Recoil compensation), my gun has RC 1, and I've shot two rounds beforehand. I have 6 hit box of stun filled and 4 of physical, but I have toughness.

What's my attack roll modifier? Which of those modifiers apply to the defense roll? What is my opponent's modifier due to the spread / burst?

I'd be amazed if players can keep up with themselves, let alone scrutinize your things.

>> No.49119272

Oh, I forgot, both me and the defender run, and there's a bit of cover due to trash cans.

>> No.49119410

> I know how grating it is to play a railroad, but maybe you should DM if you don't like not being able to direct the plot. It's what I did.
Liked, upvoted, shared and subscribed

>> No.49119446


I drop games that involve lesbians. I drop them like a hot rock.

Completely cold. No warning.

I have zero tolerance for that cringey shit.

>> No.49119461

What if the actual player is a lesbian

>> No.49119467

I am running an online game that has everything it needs to be successful and legendary. I have excellent players who love everything I'm putting into it. I've managed to instill a great deal of detail into every aspect of the narrative without overwhelming myself. The players care about the world. I have a program that allows me to stat enemies relatively quickly. I am even able to create maps.

But at the end of the day, it's the maps that kill me. They are so fucking tedious to make and manage and edit, even if they're not honestly that hard. It just consumes my time and tires me out. It's been like this every single time I've tried to do maps in a game. Making maps makes me want to not GM. Because of maps, the game has been on hiatus for a couple weeks.

I would like to run a non-map using system, but the players have already put so much time and effort into their characters and frankly speaking I just plain like them a whole bunch and I like the direction this game is going in, maps disregarded. I would hate to disappoint these players, considering how wildly high quality they are.

Why is GMing like this?

>> No.49119481


>female players

If the actual player is a lesbian, I'd imagine that things would be more organic instead of the usual forced yurifaggotry type shit I'm used to.

>> No.49119510


Not that anon, but no one would probably give a shit about that, it's just that it's a dude playing the lesbian about 9 times out of 10 is the stark reality of the situation.

>> No.49119749

Gross, yet fun

>> No.49120075

> tell players about a paladin who went missing when he went to defend against a "god".
They find a man in armor and weilding a greatsword standing in a large room. It's in the temple where the god is. 3 of the 4 players spend the first two rounds trying to snap him out of mind control. I didn't even say it was the paladin. Gave him wight stats mixed around and +5 to hit greatsword attack. The warlocke proceeds to get fucked while they try to grapple him and convince him to snap out of it for bis mom. I set the DC at 30 for persuasion. The get him to have disadvantage on attacks and then to drop his weapon and use his fists before they finally decide to knock him out. It was the paladin. I expected them to just knock him out and then heal him. But they just let the warlock get fucked. It was pretty funny. The point was that I gave him around 40 health but then let him use cure wounds and second wind because I wanted to see them stop trying to break his mind control. He was probably 2x harder than the god because of them trying to talk to him.

>> No.49120157

My first campaign has been a mess. I've made so many mistakes.
>Railroaded PC's into signing a magical contract in order to further what I wanted to do with the game (which they signed offscreen and only found out about it at the end of a hangover-session)
>allowed one of my players to use a pants-on-head retarded homebrew race he found on the internet (skeleton race from somewhere), and had to adjust his race bonuses a couple of times
>gave my players an inn as property after the first session, despite having no clue how to work property/businesses into the game yet.
>had an antagonist show up to interrogate them on some shit they had done the previous session, but didn't really let their rolls affect the outcome of their interactions because i wanted them to actually think through the situation, and i wanted him to be super-intimidating
>barely roleplay NPC's

i mean there's positive stuff i did too. i think they really enjoy the combat encounters i throw at them, and they were really into the NPC's i introduced. starting fresh on a new campaign soon with some newer players joining up as well. starting my prep with asking them what they want out of a campaign, how they want to play, and more descriptive backstories i can use to engage their characters more in the story. here's hoping it goes better this time

>> No.49120173


I include my flat mate in my group because he's just there.

I told him it's because he's a good player.

>> No.49120225

I do GM. Almost exclusively. And I always improv it. It's why when I *do* get to play I have a zero tolerance policy for heavy handed railroading.

I'm a cooperative player, but when it's obvious the GM has only one absolute intended direction for the game with zero deviation? Fuck that. We're going off the rails.

>> No.49120253

-4 (-6 since you're both running).

I usually only apply the largest bonus and the largest penalty when shit gets that ridiculous.

>> No.49120504

Be less of a little bitch and talk to the DM.

Or just quit, if you don't like it. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean you should ruin it for everyone else.

>Inbe4 but all the other players love it!

>> No.49120647

I'm not talking about being intentionally disruptive for no reason, you fucking idiot.

I'm talking about shit DMs with no imagination who insist on "their way or the highway" type of railroading. Fuck people who do that. They deserve to have their games ruined.

>> No.49120707

No, you want to be disruptive because YOU dislike something, you petulant little cunt.

Other people can have fun with it, but because you dislike it it means time to throw a bitchfit and waste EVERYONE'S time rather then being an adult and walking away.

Fuck YOU, That Guy.

>> No.49120708


>> No.49120710

> -4 (-6 since you're both running)
So I am spending 3 Flechette Rounds for absolutely nothing?

There's options' cost for a lot of those modifiers, like the Dwarf's "C" metatype to ignore the darkness' penalty, or the Essence cost of a smartgun system in your eye or the karma cost of the Toughness Quality.

If you're going to ignore them, might as well focus solely on Initiative passes, high skill, high stats, and high accuracy weapons as the worst I'll have is a -6.

This is the kind of thing that push players to instantly reroll into murderhobos.

That should be: (Lighting/Visibility/Wind and Range: two at -3, step up at) -6, -7 from non-compensated recoil, -2 from wounds, -2 from running.

So -19 to the attack roll.

Likewise, my opponent got -2 from the Burst Fire, -3 from the medium spread, probably -6 from the light/visibility and +2 for Light Cover, and +2 for running himself.

That's a -7.

Those greatly increase one's chance to glitch, and thus affect one's ability to get away. Besides, waving off these effects remove player agency.

>> No.49120872

Take some time and write out your shit, then split it up and whip up a thread.
Let us in, we care about you and your game.
You don't have to keep drinking to be hap... wait, that's something from my own time.

Just, let us help, you cunt. >>49117002

>> No.49120936

House-rules nigga.
Write up the rules you want to run by and tell them to stick that in their books.

>> No.49120945

I've known about this for a long time, but Spoony was the first to put this into words.

>> No.49121111

Arcane Casters in Dungeons and Dragons 3.5
Enough said

>> No.49121157

I'm not actually a GM, though I wish to be one. My main problem is maps, I can't find good maps for ANYTHING ANYWHERE
That and the only thing I could use to DM is Roll20, because I have no IRL friends

>> No.49121183

You must be so fun to have at the table.

>> No.49121210


I'll bet you put on lip gloss before you crawl under the table and suck the GM's cock.

>> No.49121211

I think a balance of these two styles is the best way to gm.

I only fully plan out major events fully. We are talking about just the big hooks, twists and reveals.
Beyond that the setting is in place and the different regions and settlements are fleshed out to a decent degree. The players may do whatever they wish in my little homebrew sandbox. Eventually I will steer them into the important events... And if I did it correctly they wont even notice that I "corrected" their direction.

>> No.49121278

>But I'm pretty sure I'd get bored with your game

But the whole point is that players don't see behind the curtain. To them the GM is juggling all the stats and has them all. They can't see it, but they expect it. That it's all smoke and mirrors is not something they realize. You have to be pretty attached to stats and have an encyclopedic knowledge of foes to know something's up, and it can all be deflected by 'custom class.' 'Not using the Monstrous Manual, so you guys can be surprised' etc.

Beyond that, how would you get bored? I mean, sure, if every encounter was 100% off the cuff, sure - it'd just be a disjointed jumble of encounters with no overarching story. That'd be the worst form of 'no-plan-GMing.' But that's not what I do. There is an overarching story, I just have no idea how precisely it will advance beyond a week out.

>> No.49121573

> and it can all be deflected by 'custom class.' 'Not using the Monstrous Manual, so you guys can be surprised' etc.

You see, this basically means there's no consistency. If something would give us the victory "too easily", there'll be a bullshit excuse for it not to work. If you feel we've been outmatched, suddenly the monster was weak enough to be slain by a 7 damage attack.

I am a DM most of the time (66%+), part of the fun is to try and figure out how you DM, how you design your NPCs and encounters. It's something that get sniffed out easily by someone with experiences.

Look. The DM can't cheat. And your players seem to enjoy it, hence the "If it works with your group, and you all enjoy it, full speed ahead". Call me an autistic fuck, but I have fun when the game is fair, when variables could technically become knowable, when there's a universe to be known and bested.

Your style would cause the verisimilitude to shatter, and me to leave politely between sessions.

>> No.49121645

> vampiric Johnny Bravo being overly silly
That sounds fucking amazing, go for it.
Swing for the cheap seats.
I believe in you, you cunt.

>> No.49121768

Really, he kind of his. He's an selfish douchebag without self awareness. He just has serious stern face going for him...Strahd, even played straight, is a pathetic fool.

>> No.49121853

My first campaign was a nightmare.
>I hardly wrote anything ahead of time
>Situations only had one or two solutions
>Railroad attempts were obvious
>I let someone play as a gunslinger
>He was so overpowered at level 3
>I gave everyone all these bullshit magic item so they could catch up
>The damage got so high it turned into a game of who gets the first hit
>The main story ended up changing about 3 times

We had no rulebooks at the time and we were all new. The game was 2.5 but some people were playing 3.5 classes.

>> No.49121915

This is pretty much what I need to confess. Nobody knows. It is kind of hard for me because I don't like keeping secrets/etc - it makes it impossible for me to talk to anyone about the game.

But, yeah, all that shit is made up. Even when I write stuff down (monster stats) prior to the game - making them up, forget the monster manual - the battle goes the way I think it should go.

>> No.49121938

Im hacking together an amalgamation of abominable add ons for Saga because FFG and Wedge Star Wars makes my cunt dry.

>> No.49121960

Happened to me recently. To be fair, though, in Ars Magica that's pretty much expected because the magic system is batshit nuts.

>> No.49121992

I make up every number on the spot. Hit points, difficulty checks, armor classes, everything.

I figured my players knew this, but they talk sometimes like they don't.

>> No.49122013

> My first campaign was a nightmare.
All first campaigns are. You learn from your mistakes and you keep going.

> I hardly wrote anything ahead of time
> Railroad attempts were obvious
Nice combo there, railroading into uncharted lands. Thing is, you're very close to the sweet spot where PCs get to set their own objectives!

>I let someone play as a gunslinger
>He was so overpowered at level 3
There's definitely something you were doing wrong. All that is required to make a ranged character OP are basically denied to the Gunslinger.

>I gave everyone all these bullshit magic item so they could catch up
>The damage got so high it turned into a game of who gets the first hit
Not that bad, next time calculate every CR as being 1 or 2 lower, should balance out. Of course, you might need bullshit DEFENSIVE magic items.

>The main story ended up changing about 3 times
That's actually not a negative. Main stories change, sometimes part of the old plot rear its face. It's all good.

I am sure in the next attempt or the one after that, you'll have a legendary campaign that will be talked about for years.

>> No.49122026

>flood of murderhobos interested in killing things and taking their shit.
Weird. I thought reading lots of sword and sorcery was responsible for my interest in roleplaying characters who kill things and take their shit.

>> No.49122047

See >>49121573

Great that you've got a group that matches your playstyle. But if you have to recruit, try to find casuals or new players. Because players like me will leave within the 4 first sessions.

>> No.49122070

What don't you like about FFG star wars?
Genuinely curious because I used to GM a saga game for about two years and im currently playing in FFG and I like it so far.

>> No.49122078

That means you aren't drinking enough. Sounds like you're letting everyone else get too drunk to notice your numbers when you have to make sure YOU are too drunk to see the numbers and then slur whatever you wished you'd rolled instead.

>> No.49122114

Your players are my heroes.

>> No.49122118

> This paladin's a family man. He leaves home and fight threats to the region because someone has to do it, and nobody else would be able to do it.
> Evil cleric raising undeads.
> Within' the three first quest, have to fight a monstrosity made of wife and two sons.

There is so much more that could be brought into a campaign, and all the DM does with it, with no buildup whatsoever, is destroy it for a cheap hook.

Yup, murderhobo factory right there.

>> No.49122147

I mean, I don't disagree with you that that's idiotic. I'm just saying that I like playing murderhobos because Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are my two favorite fantasy characters.

>> No.49122223

I have no idea who those are. Nor whatever appeal a novel about a murderhobo would have.

What I do know is that there's a comic out there mocking murderhobos. Called "Goblins". Frequently ridiculed for the "Saaaad factor". Well, their Murderhobo, MinMax the unstopable fighter, actually does have character development.

Is it the case with "Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser"?

>> No.49122269

Beautiful! Bravo!

>> No.49122358

Ive used my bosses named as the last 4 BEG and had my players kill them all in terrible ways. I dont feel bad

>> No.49122449

In my metaphor for DMing, the DM is the director of a TV series. The players are the actors, and the PCs are the in-game characters.

As in a real TV series, the 'director' makes or breaks the series as a whole. He sets the scene, he puts down the props, he makes the 'actors' look good and gives them opportunities to shine by playing to their strengths and putting up compelling situations for them to play their characters. He designs the non-leads (NPCs and any villain) to act as foils and complements to the main characters and introduce the plot. If the DM sucks, the players can only work with what they're given with and usually end up acting like a parody of their characters because it's the best way to cope while playing.

However, the whole point of all of this isn't that the director looks good- because the leads are the show. All of the trappings of the background and the NPCs are there so that the players can pick up the ball and run with it. If the players don't do anything interesting or never develop their characters, the whole 'show' is flat and unsatisfying because no matter how good the backgrounds look or the non-leads act, there's no tension and no reason to play.

A DM always has the final word, because that's his job, but the whole point of his veto power is to get the players to accept a situation that looks awful for the full payout later. It's like asking an actor to get 'shot' on-screen and leave for a whole season for a dramatic reveal down the road that makes the show grow the beard and him wind up nominated for an award. If your players don't trust you, it's going to suck when you ask them to grit and bear it, but you have to give them a reason to believe in your skill.


>> No.49122467

Nah, they're just some of the characters who inspired the original D&D. They actually do have feelings, fall in love, etc., but most of the stories are about them going on wild-ass adventurers that have little to do with anyone but the two of them.

For example, my favorite of their adventurers starts with them deciding they like a house-on-stilts in some nobleman's yard so they hire a bunch of guys to carry it to a lot in another part of the city, then get them thoroughly drunk and lost so they can't find them again.

Unfortunately the lot is where their girlfriends were murdered in a much earlier story and the ghosts start to haunt them. They each independently make a deal with a separate wizard to either resurrect their girlfriend or make them forget them, if they brink the wizard Death's mask. They head off to the land of the dead, meeting their girlfriends one last time along the way. When they arrive, the nobleman, who was also obsessed with death, shows up too, and tries to kill death because of his own fear of dying. He fails and is slain, but not before he splits Death's mask in half. Fafhrd and the Mouser each return with half of the mask and are yelled at for failing. Their girlfriends are not resurrected, nor do they forget them, but the haunting stops. The story ends by revealing that, unbeknownst to the two of them, their girlfriends no longer have to live in fear of Death now that his mask has been taken from him.

It's very fucking touching.

>> No.49122482

*bring back

>> No.49122541

I don't play my setting seriously in any way whatsoever.

>> No.49122545

>Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser

I fucking love these guys.

Old school fantasy fans represent.

>> No.49122568

The campaign after, which is still going, is much better. I wrote out the whole first questline before starting.

Currently they don't have a real quest. They are in a new land where they can just explore and fuck around.

>> No.49122703

Like actors, there are going to be players who demand certain roles and expect particular things from your story. They want loot, they want the spotlight, they want to be spooked, they want tear-jerking scenes or battles that put their favorite films to shame. As a DM, you have to keep them satisfied or it's gonna suck because nobody wants to play in a game they don't enjoy. And, yes, there will be a prima donna or jerkass player from time to time, and you need to decide how to deal with them.

Improvisation, as stated earlier, is also key. Some soap operas do multiple shoots of a murder scene to prevent anyone, even the actors, from guessing who dun it until the final reveal comes out. Sometimes when time needs to pass for the plot to develop further, or as a break from high-tension scenes, you have filler. Sometimes you have to ask someone if they’re sure, like calling for the tape to stop and asking them if they really want to put that on film, but ultimately, even though you can tell the players ‘no’, it’s not always reasonable or fun to do so.

Ultimately, the DM does get a particular benefit no producer does- his audience is made up of his actors. Instead of having to answer to a network, he gets to fudge scripts or let the player run with an improvisation while pretending everything is going as planned. He doesn't have to appeal to any other demographic but the one in front of him. He doesn't have to write the scripts ahead of time to show the show has potential and deserves air time. This gives him incredible flexibility limited only by what he and his players are willing and interested in doing.

When you ask people to sit down at your table, you're asking them to sign a contract, and as such, you have to tell them what the conceits of the story and game are so that they buy into it and are willing to act so you can put on the show they star in. You've got to give them a 'job description'.

That's just my fifty or so cents.

>> No.49122794

Did you throw anything at them like swarms of vampire bats, demonic billy goats, wyvern skeletons, people above emptying chamberpots, or even the ever fun suspiciously cozy cavern with seemingly non-rapey hermit living inside?

>> No.49122798

I write down a few notes for every NPC for both stats and personality. Stats are a few bonuses and what they are tied to (with maybe AC and HP if relevant), the rest is all just writing and notes. I have NEVER used a full statblock.

I pull everything out of my ass. If I forget the mechanics, I just generalize based on the core mechanic of the game.

If I'm playing a mystery game, I will simply choose to make the third hypothesis the party comes up with correct. The first two are always false (I guess unless it's really good).

I use the same cast of 30 characters for every game I run, but change the names. I'm not original enough to come up with new personalities and shit.

>> No.49122867


a deck of many things

>> No.49122899

>players don't see behind the curtain. To them the GM is juggling all the stats and has them all. They can't see it, but they expect it. That it's all smoke and mirrors is not something they realize. You have to be pretty attached to stats and have an encyclopedic knowledge of foes to know something's up, and it can all be deflected by 'custom class.' 'Not using the Monstrous Manual, so you guys can be surprised' etc.
As that player who wound up seeing through the farce in a game years ago, I was *pissed*. Like I was basically incapable of enjoying anything that DM ever did afterward.

I think that Alexander Macris described it best in an old article here here(http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/tabletop/checkfortraps/7485-Judging-the-Game)
>But a never-ending string of perfect, dramatically appropriate, fun outcomes that defies probability eventually leads even the dimmest players to realize they don't have real choice at all. A roller coaster may be a wild ride, but it's still a railroad. And when the railroading gets revealed, the sense of agency dies, and with it dies the sense of fun.

>> No.49122902

I don't know, the dude's dice were cursed. This would probably turn out super awesome for the players.

>> No.49122933


I enjoy making my players feel small and ugly. I also enjoy romance, so I usually set up love interests to jerk them away from the players. They usually end up picking another man, or confessing that they see the PC as a friend, or that it just won't work out.

>> No.49122938

"Suddenly the wall of the cliff falls inward. Oh look, it turns out there is some kind of story rail that slides your characters down into the depths of the castle. It's too slippery to climb back up and anyway the cliff face has closed gain."

>> No.49122959

I sort of get your thrust, but encounter design is pretty much encapsulated by 'I think of an interesting encounter during the week, and then bullshit all the stats come game night'

Obviously, as this is a 'confess your GM sins' thread I wasn't talking about the strengths of my encounter design, which overall is 'no straight combats.' If they're not running into bandits or headlong into pitched battles, I try to avoid 'kill X critters to win, where X is the number of critters I throw at you.' but more 'There are multiple ways to end this fight early, via tactics, environmental tricks, or the right diplomacy lever.'

The Golem/Controller combat up there had super durable golems that were controlled by some low-level dudes with special staves. The party could fight everything until it died, or kill the controllers (who would have died in one hit from half of the party) and the golems would go inert.

>You see, this basically means there's no consistency.
I think you're reading in a lot of things that aren't in either of my posts, chief. I mean, look at the first post - those golems had an HP total. Yeah, I'm not going to hold fast to it, but neither am I going to suddenly hack off a hundred HP from their total just because you decide to go hard-mode and not engage the controllers. Which is what my party ended up doing in that scenario. They ground out hundreds of damage to kill each golem before hitting the mook who would die in one hit.

I'm just not going to let the big flashy encounter with a dragon or something end because he stepped on a caltrop to knock off his last HP. There's not zero-consistency, it's just not as solid as running everything via the manuals and rules. It's gelatin, rather than hardtack - but gelatin isn't water.

>I have fun when the game is fair, when variables could technically become knowable, when there's a universe to be known and bested
But fair enough. This pretty much ends the idea that it'd be fun for you.

>> No.49123033

I'm terrible at getting players motivated to do stuff. I tried putting them in an adventurer's guild with contracts and the like, but forget that some events I have planned fall outside the specifics of said document; most of the time I have to have NPCs offer them bonus cash/items in advance.

That said, it will probably get a LOT easier once the BBEG is introduced, which should happen in the next month. The party is starting to pick up on hints and clues that someone is behind the fuckery they're experiencing, and are chomping at the bit to figure it out.

>> No.49123036

I want to play something like how I imagine 1e Warhammer was like, where I'm the DM and just throw random fucking shit at the players and their armies because the world is a cruel place that's trying to crush them while their people suffer.
Like Dark Souls meets This War Of Mine.

Why? Because I'm fucking sick of being the good DM with simple casual games.

Also, fuck psionics. Unless its Pokemon or superheroes, leave your psychic shit at home.

>> No.49123050

I pretty much spitball attacks, hp and ac. Then for saves or ability scores, I just make them up on the fly.
I don't try to do the whole "tell a dramatic story" thing but I'll pretty much be like "golems are tough motherfuckers, so like his strength is a +6" and I don't have that stat till it's needed.

I think a lot of gm's end up running things like that eventually.

>> No.49123056

Find obscure video game maps on gamefaqs and use them

>> No.49123060

I absolutely hate GMing, but I still do it because I love telling stories and get caught up in the world I build in my head. I would be much happier just lying back and rolling with what someone else makes and being a forever PC, but it's the only way I can share the worlds I make in my head, so I keep GMing.

>> No.49123187

the fighter wanted 4 cards

first was "get one answer on anything"
the second gave him EXP and jumped him up five levels
the 3rd card sucked his soul out

one had to fight off an avatar of death

that was pretty much all the shenanigans from it

>> No.49123244

I thrown my players at three different major cults, Big City skulldiggery, small town creepiness, a Desert Turned jungle, and the crazed inhabitants of a massive obsidian claw that reaches into the sky. They have defeated mimics, dragons, Owlbears and Minotaur. I've even had them on a starship fighting off Xenomorphs. They think it's all just been adlibbed.

It's all been planned.

>> No.49123464

>>But a never-ending string of perfect, dramatically appropriate, fun outcomes that defies probability eventually leads even the dimmest players to realize they don't have real choice at all.

This is super easy to avoid though. You don't make the string unending. Have particular plot arcs. If the players decide not to engage in one plot arc, let them move onto the next without forcing the issue. They can fail at or only partially complete an arc without ending the whole adventure.

Hell, if the party knows the Macguffin is in the citadel or on the mountaintop, and decide to pick one at random to chase after without making any kind of research or information gathering check to try and narrow it down, I'm more liable to have the thing be at the other location.

Macris has a point in that choice has to matter, but making encounter locations fluid doesn't mean that you've removed choice and they're actually on rails that they cannot disengage from. If you have a plot hook dangling and your players don't even see it, you can still reuse that hook in another location. If you dangle a plot hook and they reject it, that's choice. Give them a new one. Choices as to what they do and say all matter in how NPC's react, events unfold and how the narrative you construct is shaped.

>> No.49123606

Fighter; "Okay, for my one question I want to know how to get my soul back."


>> No.49123770

>Consult the oracle at [location] if you wish to restore your soul

>> No.49123799

Kind of a copout answer if it just wants you to go somewhere else to ask someone else.

>> No.49123800

the time your character played russian roullette? I fudged a die roll to stack the odds on him because he was a stupid, unlikable character and deserved to die.

>> No.49123820

The idea is to stall for time so the GM can think up a quest between sessions or during a break

>> No.49124029

I'm using DMing to fill a hole that a number of friends left in my life. They're all great people and we all love the game, but I've got an unhealthy desire to keep it going forever.

>> No.49124096

This is Ravenloft. Pretty sure in that setting souls are lies because everyone literally has a spoopy skeleton living inside them and when they die the meat falls off so it can do what it always wanted to do, which is find the first big titty Necromancer and/or Vampire Mistress it can find and sign up.

Unliving the dream.

>> No.49124427

"Pssh... nothing personnel, GM."

>> No.49124526

Because you're not using my patented no map system, anon

>> No.49125109

How strong is your unhealthy desire though?

With some dedication I bet you could get it down to a session every day for the next three years, you just need a bigger basement.

>> No.49125939


I sat my group down to play a game based off the Into The Odd system (I liked how it handled damage) and got to the first combat before I realised I'd forgotten to write mechanics for to-hit rolls. I made one up on the spot and it actually fit pretty well.

>> No.49126007

>Cuck fetish DM
fffffffuuuuuuuuuck you

>> No.49126205

Same game.

One of my players fell for a horrifyingly obvious trap and walked off into the night holding hands with a doppelganger monster. I had to fudge the monster's stats on the fly because I wasn't expecting the players to fight one at arm's length so soon.

The boss monster of the current arc also moves too fast for the PCs to react to, so I had an NPC land a lucky shot on it offscreen so it'll be vulnerable.

I also make meaningless rolls occasionally so the sight of me picking up dice doesn't give them a meta hint that there's a trap about.

>> No.49126466

>literally everything about GMing is stupid easy except the fucking tedious as all hell maps

are you me?

>> No.49126571

I fudge rolls against players depending on how dramatic I want the battle to be vs. how the dice are actually falling.

However I also tend to fudge rolls in favor of the players if a non-boss encounter ends up being tougher than anticipated.

>> No.49126820

Yeah I do that too. I think we've all done it occasionally.

I don't like things too easy, or too hard. If I think a roll will produce a superior story effect. It's no fun, to me anyway, purposefully screwing players over unless the fights become too easy for whatever reason (though normally I just bump up the enemy HP). It's not something I find wise to get too comfortable with since it's a kind of railroading the story.

I don't really see it as cheating. I view my job as GM to make sure the story is worthwhile and people are having fun. if they aren't then why are we even playing? I don't believe in the no-win scenario. If players get into trouble too deep I try to at least give them a chance to fight back and get out of things, so faking rolls or changing stats like HP on the fly is just one tool in my workshed as a storyteller.

>> No.49126897


I used to fudge, then I played a system where, mechanically, seeing dice results simultaneously was pretty important. It made fudging difficult, so I stopped. The campaign was a blast, and I don't fudge any more (even in systems where rolling behind a GM screen is expected).

>> No.49127183

I hate it so fucking much when players don't stay in character. Little breaks OOC are ok, but when I have to constantly remind someone to stay in character it's fucking annoying. Why the fuck are you even into this hobby if you can't grasp one of the most basic elements of it.

end rant i guess

>> No.49127294

Depends on what you want out of your games. I play very whimsical campaigns I write myself with a very informal group, Once the laughter starts things tend to take on a life of their own. Everyone has fun so it's all good. No complaints.

Well, I have a slight complaint. This has left me stuck as perma GM, but I have fun too. I can see if you're running a far more serious campaign this would be a problem. I suppose I don't put too much stock in acting out as characters, at least on some levels. I don't force people to use voices and don't use voices myself. I consider myself the narrator, not the NPCs, so there's no reason to stress my throat.

>> No.49127666

The fact that you're assuming a macguffin already depresses me. Lord help me people suck at writing, and the games don't provide any real tools for doing better

>> No.49127725

you're a half assed bitch. I send crews of exact replicas of my players after my players at random points. They freak out like something significant is going on. They've created elaborate theories about their clones and how the clones are as strong as they are. They have turned into paranoid recluses each of which suspects some other party member of selling them out.They even killed the cleric after i didn't send clones to hurt him.

>> No.49127765

This is true. The only reason my character is trying to save the world is that the BBEG shafted my character on a few dozen gold pieces.

Otherwise my character would be completely oblivious

>> No.49127784

And, pray tell, why would I make my character with a family if I can make him an orphan and spare myself the shitty drama that would ensue if you killed my character's family off-screen some time while he is off adventuring?

>> No.49127832


the fuck? No way you seriously believe that... being a GM is much tougher than being a player

>> No.49127863

>rocks fall
>everyone dies
>"This is easy!"

Hm. I wonder if this anon has shown up in any "That GM" threads.

>> No.49127922

When our DM kidnapped our significant others we slaughtered them.

We then killed all the hill giants that had taken them with a book of infinite ages cloudkill and a stoneshape (And it was two dozen stone giants, instead of the two dozing hill giants the module called for because the DM was hella drunk.)

>> No.49127937

I make stats up on the fly, and generally avoid mass combats. I also have the "BBEG" be something that strikes me like lightning. Until that strike, bet your ass I'll just make shit up. If I get bored, the campaign starts a downward spiral into the finale. Had a campaign to "ODST" style, where the group was playing solo sessions and one of the PCs was basically finding proof of the session. They loved it, and while I am not particularly proud of it, they enjoyed it.

They are eager to rob banks in space, same setting and everything, so I'll be super fucking excited to run the game.

>> No.49127951

Force your wizard to use strength, affect normal fires, glitterdust, magic missile, and rope trick for a week in a gnarly death trap hell hole.

If you have a good one, and they get sorted out, natural competition should drive the rest of the party upward.

>> No.49127957

Wow that was not the smug anime girl I thought it was my bad

>> No.49127996

You. I like your style.

GM for me?
jk, you're probably full already

>> No.49128019

If you put it that way, yes... it is easy. I guess I didn't think about the possibility of the guy actually being a shit GM

>> No.49128043

I have been FOREVER GM so long that I can no longer enjoy being a player.

A friend of mine, who I'd never played with, invited me to play in a campaign he was running. Everyone else seemed to be enjoying it, but I kept seeing every place where he could have improved, and it was nearly impossible for me to tell myself to quit judging him.

>His "big, bad" enemies were just HP sponges.
>Every NPC we ran in to was just a roadblock for the plot or events.
>He took every Natural 20 or 1 as a chance for "LOL RANDUMB ANTICS"
>His storyline was essentially ripped from something like Dragon Age/The Elder Scrolls
>Instead of sitting back and examining his players and working off of their queues, he would take every thought or hint that they had as a reason to completely change the flow of the game. (Someone would say, "Oh, I wonder what might be in that building. We should explore it later." and he'd start describing us exploring the building then and there.)

I didn't want to ruin everyone else's time, so I backed out at the next session.

>> No.49128054

Sounds sort've lame, to be honest.

>> No.49128057

Without failing, the players either completely miss, willingly avoid or destroy the plot halfway in the campaign. I just improvise afterwards

>> No.49128062

Nigga, reread the comment chain.

Then take a chill pill.

>> No.49128076

This is pretty much how I always run my games as well. I can't fathom having character sheets for everything in the game or writing paragraphs of description beforehand.

>> No.49128104

"Wow that was it?"
I usually answer with "AND THEN A ___" where the blank is something that'll make the players to "oh shit." Unless, y'know, there's no reason to. I've dropped XCOM ambushes on them, introduced them to living tectonic shelves, Hell I even stole the Vex one game. If I had not been a fuckwit about it, the players could've enjoyed the Vex game.

>> No.49128135

Literally the easiest way to avoid a ton of problems is put all your cards on the table before game proper beings, maybe have an introductory/character creation session first. Lay it down clearly by saying "hey guys, this is going to be a story long X lines, so make sure your characters would actually do well in a story revolving around X". From my experience skipping this can lead to disastrous results depending on what you're playing. For example, having characters who are combat-centric end up in courtier situations in L5R when they're simply not geared towards social and political backstabbing.

>> No.49128151

When I GMd, I introduced a few important NPCs, but I never had anything more than their personality traits and a few short backstory sentences written down. No character sheets or stats for any of them.

And it went smoothly nonetheless -sorta.

Like other anons before me, I have a problem with maps and I just can't into maps for the life of me...

>> No.49128158

I read the posts, but I still wouldn't make a character with family in anon's game. Because he would just kill them off/get them kidnapped.

>> No.49128167

Problem a lot players have with maps is they think it has to be insane production values or something. It can work online as well with basic software, but the easiest solution is to just grab a piece of paper and draw your shit on it. Just think of it as level building in an SRPG.

>> No.49128229

You should know how your spells work, it's really annoying that I have to look up your spells for you (or even spells I know but then have to recount) just so that it can be adjudicated properly on the tabletop.

Just flank the enemy, I know know why you make it harder for yourself, this isn't even in character sorts of things, if you moved over 5 feet you'd be flanking them like they do to you. You can get a sneak attack if you just used your head for a second, rogues are good you're just dumb

Can someone else please also know the rules? I get that I'm the GM but the game bogs down so hard when people are asking every turn "I move here," "Well okay, you'll take an attack of opportunity though," "Oh, what?" "If you move around like this you won't though" I'm tempted to tell you to fuck off but I'm not here to be an enemy dm.

Holy fuck, go fuck yourself for calling a group of two potions a "boss fountain" and a fucking magical barrier a "boss door" you pretentious little fuck, you're not fucking clever and the worst part is both were neither of those things, all you did was trivialize the atmosphere for everyone else.

Holy fuck, I finally give you a fucking adventure that's based around your character and will hint at the dangers this campaign will have and you can't fucking make it to 5 sessions in a row, and now that you're there you are as disinterested as you could ever be and only care about the mechanics, fuck you.

You can't find the fucking stats for this monster online because I fucking made it myself/added npc levels to a race, fuck you for metagaming you piece of shit.

I take every opportunity to make your character look like a clumsy idiot because you're a fucking idiot with dumb jokes. Oh your bear is called "diamond bear" and you want to build a FOB because you played metal gear, fuck you

>> No.49128249

I always set my players up to fail right when the adventure is over. Once all the work is done and they should start getting the rewards I kill them all. This is because I fucking hate DMing and if they are going to make me DM I wont give them the satisfaction of winning.

>> No.49128259

You sound mad.

>I'm not here to be an enemy dm.
Sure about that?

>> No.49128273

That's what makes it work. YOU do think it's real. Only the gm knows that it's all a thin veneer of respectability over a mound of bullshit. And while you may complain that this makes things too easy for the gm, remember that the gm lives every moment of his life knowing that behind every convenient coincidence and happy accident there is something up there, behind the screen of the universe, patronizing him because there's no way in hell he can be trusted to participate in a good story.

>> No.49128322

not him but
>ranting on an anonymous board makes you an enemy gm

>> No.49128326

Nigga, read.
He already agreed with you. He was off the topic. You're beating a dead horse after the other guy helped you killed it. He was talking about the Gray Mouser and shit. You're the only one still talking about dead families.

>> No.49128473

Also, it's him doing things for the PCs, and then getting upset when he gets shit on in return. I'd be mad too.

>> No.49128508

The article posits a macguffin in the very paragraph that >>49122899 quotes and he responds to, numbnuts.

>> No.49128531

I love running deeply martial campaigns.

But for fucking fuck fucker fuck fucking fuckfuck sake, I'm tired of people two weapon fighting. God fucking fuck damnit just fucking stop this fucking shit. Two weapon fighting is not cool, for fuck's fucking sake fuck.

>> No.49128565

I also enjoy a deep appreciation for martial campaigns.

How do you feel about gladiator style dual-wielding though? Net and trident, cestus and sickle, or just pretty much small weapons being used for utility instead of damage?

>> No.49128592

You and me both, anon. I just want to be a sword and shield user... it's so difficult to find a game that lets you be a martial and wreck shit though...

>> No.49128593

I pray no one ever rolls Dragon clan samurai in my L5R games. Someone always does because they have dual wielding.

>> No.49128597

That is fine, but I truly have never seen it played.

"I want to dual wield daggers. I want to dual wield short swords. I want to dual wield katanas" etc. etc.

>> No.49128637

I noticed that my table was slowly but surely descending into an soap opera, but I chose to NOT talk with all friends about the fact that they were all in love with each other's girlfriends because I REALLY wanted my campaign to end first.

>> No.49128655

I get bored of my own campaigns incredibly fast and quickly grow a burning hatred for my own players

>> No.49128682

The more you dummies complain the more I realize I would be an awesome GM. If I wasn't already designing an infinitely superior RPG that will solve all your shitty problems (since DnD has garbage systems) I would show y'all how it's done.

>> No.49128842

>Dual Wielding
I mean the way most people do it, yeah, it's ridiculous, but like most things in RPGs, it's about how you do it.
Nothing like an experienced fighter or paladin delivering a powerful Shield + Sword combo.
Especially if the DM lets you put some weapon enhancements on your shield.

>> No.49128863

I fudge a lot of things during sessions, never outright, little things like lowering the AC if the party just isn't hitting them, or giving a monster more hp if they didn't get to do too much, I also don't plan a lot of scenarios and just make it up as I go, I am terrified that they'll realize this and feel like they don't have agency in the game

>> No.49128877

Kinda fucked up man, if you don't want to GM just don't do it.

>> No.49128878

>That GM detected.

>> No.49128881

There's a difference in what I define "Dual Wielding" and what is "Two Weapon Fighting".

Goddamnit that sounded like tumblr speech, I am sorry.

>> No.49128893

Well, game finder and me are ready to roll

>> No.49128899

I let my players make their own plans but u need with them by always saying "are you really sure you want to do that? I mean it's your character so you tell me what you're doing" in a very condescending tone. This always messes with their heads so that they spend two or three times as long making plans. I do this so I can get extra time to make something up for the encounter they are trying to make easier.

>> No.49128928

Another confession.

I find it cool for NPCs (especially Divine beings) to be of undiscernible gender, both in phisique and in behaviour (like Archangel Michael in pic related), yet since tumblr is a thing I am afraid to do so.

And Angels especially are not your Goody lackeys. They are fucking terrifying manifestations of virtue. The first thing an angel says when it appears to a mortal is "Don't be afraid" for fuck's sake.

I think I'll be venting off a lot in these threads, 11 years of alwaysGMing are hard.

>> No.49128929

Maybe I haven't been keeping up with the times proper, but I'm fairly certain that at least back in 3.5 Shield Bash used to count as an off-hand weapon attack, and as such was affected by Two-Weapon Fighting feats and such.

But yeah, I get what you mean.
Only once ever included an NPC who used two proper weapons, and that too was just to narratively knock the wind out of the sail of the resident martial character who's personality dictated that he think no one can be a better fighter than him. So I sent him up against a guy literally blessed by the gods to have herculean fighting prowess.

Generally if a player comes to me with two weapon fighting where the off-hand weapon isn't like a punching dagger or something of the like, I give them the eldritch look of "are you sure about that?"

>> No.49128954

I am sorry, had to work, just came back.

> consistency.
> golems had an HP total.
> I'm not going to hold fast to it.
That's pretty much exactly what I read.

> I try to avoid 'kill X critters to win, where X is the number of critters I throw at you.
Alleludjah! I like the following:

> limited number of critters targeting NPCs.
> infinite critters or one REALLY bad critter, must reach exit.
> infinite critters, must hold X number of rounds.

> I'm just not going to let the big flashy encounter with a dragon or something end because he stepped on a caltrop to knock off his last HP.
I am pretty sure the dragon's DR makes it immune to the caltrop, or that caltrop will bring a monster to 0 hp, Staggered but allowed one more strike to end it all before falling unconscious, but I get that. Doesn't make much sense either.

> But fair enough. This pretty much ends the idea that it'd be fun for you.
And I reiterate once more: Not saying the game would be bad, just not for me. You'd also gain from recruiting new players / casuals instead of veterans if you've got spots to fill.

>> No.49128961

I've added Power Attack damage retroactively to attacks that swung considerably past a player's AC.

>> No.49129004

You're not alone here, anon
I dislike it when people alter rules or ignore them especially when it tosses shit I paid for either in creation points/priorities, or thought in "I remembered to bring NVG/this-item" out the window. I dunno why people play systems and then decide to ignore a bunch of the rules without saying so beforehand.

Actually part of why I don't like playing theater of mind in systems not built for it, which is basically most of them. Played theater of the mind in Shadowrun once and suddenly my high agility giving me high speed becomes less relevant because movement is vaguely just what the GM feels, etc.

But this isn't quite on topic of GM confessions, so, whatever.

>> No.49129035

> I'm terrible at getting players motivated to do stuff. I tried putting them in an adventurer's guild with contracts and the like, but forget that some events I have planned fall outside the specifics of said document; most of the time I have to have NPCs offer them bonus cash/items in advance.

I like you. That would be so easy to pin on your players, but you do take responsibility.

One trick I've got for you is to create a looming, but distant threat, and a distant objective, if possible separated in sub-objectives.

Best example:
> BBEG kidnap Maidens
> BBEG takes control of overpowered MacGuffin.
> BBEG creates alternate dimension
> BBEG traps maidens in crystals, hidden in 8 separate dungeons, guarded by 8 powerful beasts
> Maiden have power to temporarily pierce MacGuffin's power.
> BBEG siege real-world cities. Armies of darkness need to be disrupted from time to time.
> Players set their pace with occasional emergency.
> Each Maiden-Crystal has a unique power that greatly helps the party.
> PCs have a hint of what each will do.
> PCs get to choose which to get and when to get it.
> PCs don't know you have 8 generic boss you reflavor to fit with the dungeon's theme.

Bam! Player agency yet easy to plan ahead. 80% shamelessly stolen from A Link to the Past.

>> No.49129084

It is the best Zelda, after all.

>> No.49129103

> But this isn't quite on topic of GM confessions, so, whatever.
The point isn't improvement?

I guess I've commented enough, time to put mine out there:
> My campaign of Star Wars Saga in the K.O.T.O.R. universe is mostly DnD in space.
> Even though I dislike Jedis.
> Like, the class "Jedi" was clearly too powerful, so I divided it into Guardian, Sentinel and Consular.
> And I buffed a lot of non-Jedi talents.
> Ran two groups at once. 9 players. 1 non-jedi.
> I do a lot of looming and foreshadowing so I get players hinting on what could be just a few sessions ahead and use their brainstorming ideas.
> I often set DCs a bit too low for tasks that are Out of Combat
> I let PCs create side-quests for themselves at such a pace I have to force NPCs into the Battle for Malachor V alone, without PC support, to make the point.

>> No.49129142

There's railroad hate, but another type of game I really hate is "stuck on an endless featureless plain" where's there's no hook, no looming threat to work against. Nothing.

I guess the ideal campaign is a huge set of roads along with "loosely important" destinations to reach. You can choose which to go to, in which order you go to, at what pace you go to, but you have some clear objective.

That's a good game.

>> No.49129149

I based a 4E campaign around the Touhou Project games. Nobody was the wiser.

>> No.49129198

For more details. The remaining group's awesome. They basically made planetfall on Adumar by jettisoning themselves in an heavily modified Space-Dodge-Caravan (tech specialist, quite a bit of money in parts/plating) and with the creative use of the "Fold Space" jedi power.

All but the wookie guardian ended up with persistent condition track damage, to represent concussions. Tech specialist fell unconscious. But they did manage to avoid fighting very well trained pilots in very powerful superiority fighters.

>> No.49129212

Fuck people that do this. You are the worst of the worst.

>> No.49129213

You fucking monster.

>> No.49129294

>Their significant others/children are kidnapped and held hostage by this evil mirror team.
This is a reason players stop caring about NPCs and go murderhobo. Knock it off.

>> No.49129304

the first time in our group when i enabled the PC death rule, the party was in a desert town.
with houses made out of wood.
and a horde of ghouls rushing in through a hole in the city wall.
the archer set everything ablaze with fire arrows, and everyone else moved into the Inn's wine storage for protection.

on a chemistry test i had a week before , i read how entering an un-aired wine cellar lets you suffocate through CO2.

i told the party how they started to feel as if they were not able to breath, so they went for the ladder to the exit.
the really bad part is, i rolled a d20 for the height of the ladder.
18m. needless to say , the firery building crashed onto them before the made it.

>"okay , we learned our lesson. can we try again?"

>> No.49129344

What an asshole.

>> No.49129366

I once stole everything one of my pcs owned 3 times in the same campaign. The first time they didn't expect it and were pissed. The second time they knew the thief was going to thief, but got out thiefed. The 3rd time involved illusions and a pregnancy scare.

And just to clarify by everything they owned, I am including their underwear and horse.

>> No.49129368

>The point isn't improvement?
Nah I meant the complaining about vagueness of theater of the mind and stuff. Not really me confessing anything as a GM there, is it?

Why do you set DCs 'a bit too low' for out of combat stuff? Is it something like you'd rather the PCs achieve what they want there more often, so stuff will happen and move forward?

>> No.49129465

>sort've lame
>sort have lame

I hope you die

>> No.49129477

I sortive hope you die

>> No.49129523

Funny, maps are one of the reasons i love GMing

>> No.49129583

Is your party full of hardcore woman-hating MRAs or something? Or are you worried it might be percieved as "magical realm" stuff?

>> No.49129614

Have you tried the donjon map generator?

>> No.49129661


Lesbian Murderers on Patrol?

>> No.49129732

I would guess Lost Mines of Phandelver: a level 1-5 adventure for DnD 5e.

>> No.49129743

About a year into DMing, I had a group of friends who I didn't think were interested in /tg/ games, but got really pumped when I mentioned the possibility of making a campaign for them.

They all worked really hard on their characters and I worked with them extensively to explain everything, and help them figure out how their characters work and what have you.

I made a cool first game that I was proud of, and they were all having fun and couldn't wait to play again.

However, I kind of over designed the game and expected too much from them and would have killed them all about thrice over had I not nerfed their actual damage.

I was afraid if I killed them all in the first game that they wouldn't want to play again...

>> No.49129771 [SPOILER] 

The second, it is quite a fear of mine to introduce Magical Realms in my campaigns.

I am already getting away with monsters like pic related, which is not a "fetish" but I love huge abominations like that.

>> No.49129772

My whole group loves to play almost exclusively 3.5, and I'm fine with it. The system is terribly broken, but I know pretty much everything about it. I also allow them to take things from all official sources, as in published by WotC.
But I absolutely hate how my players powergame so fucking hard. It's no secret that you can get super-powerful characters in 3.5 and deal thousands of damages in a single round and be immune to everything and whatnot, but there's no need to try and do all that at once. I never set them against encounters so hard they couldn't beat, I never took away things precious to them, I never gave them any reason to need to exploit every single flaw in the system to be super powerful overgods.
Yet they insist in pulling every single crap the system can offer on top of me, leading to a party that can probably take down things from the Epic Level Handbook at ECL 13 - I never sickened those things at them, but I did the math and I know matter of factly that they can.

And I hate that so much. So very much. I adore my players and they're all some of my best friends, we've know each other since highschool and I'm almost done with my college major nowadays. But I honestly hate how super high overpower the game is nowadays. DMing has become painful because if I don't spend hours of time I don't have to design a single encounter, they can absolutely curbstomp it in a single round. And because I had to go all-out just to make something that can survive against them, combat gets super long and tiring and it'll take almost a whole session to defeat it.
They seem to have fun, they like the story and everything, but I'm barely having fun anymore, I don't know what to do.

We played a Call of Cthulhu one shot these days, and it was honestly the best thing ever, my players also loved how the story went and how they had to dig out the mystery, and it felt a joy to DM. I wish we would play that more.

>> No.49129836

Oh shit, how do you introduce and use giant monsters? Are you playing deity-level games?

I think the angels thing can work (and especially avoid magical realm claims) if you just remove all sense of humanity and human concepts from them. I mean they're not human anyways, right? They're not even really creatures, they sound more like anthro'd concepts or ideals.
There's no reason to assume they should act in any way 'normal' whatsoever, nor look any particular way - in fact androgynous appearance to a human makes sense because if they looked male they're following the evolution (in sexual dimorphism) of humanity, which they are not part of.

Of course you can look at all of the above and go "yeah but you're just justifying your fetish" but what can you do at that point.

Making a bunch of random NPCs androgynous in physique and behavior though would start to get weird, I think. I understand it isn't necessarily a fetish, but why? Mystery?

>> No.49129899

For giants monsters (sometimes smaller than that) it is usually a la Shadow of the Colossus. There is no way you can damage it normally, but specific things (quite intuitive) to be done to be able to stop it.

>> No.49129981

I like it thematically, but dislike it mechanically; so many dice to roll and attacks to count.
As a GM I don't use dualwielding enemies, maybe a boss once in a blue moon.

>> No.49130087

You can have them always have been there, and either function off geographic time or have been sleeping. They're a great way for a big bad to awaken something that isn't a demon.
As for how to fight them. I prefer the multiple objectives ala a siege/mass battle style. You've got to do X number of things, each which does a thing to the biggie. So you're trying to cripple that mother fucker in a multitude of ways.

The more ways you cripple it the easier the vaguely environmental fight to the death becomes. If every single crippling works out as best it can there probably will be less of a final fight and more of a giant throat slitting. If only a few, or none of the crippling work, well probably best to run assuming you didn't die mid process. Maybe move to the other side of the continent until things settle down.

>> No.49130099

I have GM'd a lot of games and as a result I now hate being a player. I hate settings that I don't have creative control over, even if they are practically the same as my own, I hate not being able to decide the course of the story, and I internally cringe whenever somebody writes something differently from how I would have.
A friend of mine runs a weekly game which I play in and I have long since lost interest and actually hate playing in it, even though it's not too dissimilar from the first campaign I ran. I get internally angry with certain decisions he makes and plot-points he raises even if I've made the exact same decisions in the past or would have used the same plot points. The sheer fact that it's not me making the decisions makes me irrationally angry.
I have not voiced my dislike to any of my friends, as I don't wish to appear to be a dickhead, but I have come to loathe Wednesdays, because I don't want to sit down and listen to what he's come up with this time, because I'll just be sitting there for 4 hours, bored, and thinking "that's not how I would have done it", "I'd have never made that decision", "it's different in my setting".

>> No.49130128

That fuckin' blows, anon.

You play any games with give more narrative control to the players? Stuff like Fate and ..whatever else? Maybe you'll feel more comfortable there but eh.

>> No.49130346

Oh, they know.
Players eventually figure that shit out. Maybe not all of them, maybe not from the start, but you can't really deceive them for very long.

They're probably having fun anyway, or else they'd have left. Just don't fool yourself. Everyone at the table knows what's going on there.

>> No.49130417

I respect that you enjoy a different playstyle.

>> No.49130554

I come up with cool mysteries, sometimes on the spot, other times way in advanced, with no real solution. I drop some random hints which sound interesting/plausible then listen to the players discussions and hope they come up with an explanation as awesome as the mystery.
Makes them feel smart as fuck when it works out right and they often suprise me.

>> No.49130674

>But I absolutely hate how my players powergame so fucking hard. It's no secret that you can get super-powerful characters in 3.5 and deal thousands of damages in a single round and be immune to everything and whatnot, but there's no need to try and do all that at once.
But that's literally the point of playing 3.PF. Otherwise, why fucking bother?

>> No.49130766

Too stupid/stubborn to learn any other system I imagine, like most people who still stick to it since nothing short of an intervention or a divine apparition is going to get them out of their fucking comfort zone.

>> No.49130795

Two words. Fifth Edition. If they are set on playing dungeons and dragons, make them try fifth edition. It's easy as cake to pick up and the martial-caster balance is better (though not perfect) than any other edition.
Most classes that were garbage in previous editions get boosts and special abilities.

>> No.49130950

>literally Shaak-Ti
Do you know nothing about Star Wars?

>> No.49131036

Ignore this post. I just realized how autistic I am.

>> No.49131149

DM anon here. Yes, this is the reason.

I did honestly have hopes of converting them to 5e, but before I could even get a chance to read the books, they did and very upfront told me that it was "garbage, as bad as 4e".

But thanks for the suggestion nonetheless, I'll read it myself and try to force the change. That or I'll just tell someone else to DM if they want to continue at 3.5.

>> No.49131168

>they did and very upfront told me that it was "garbage, as bad as 4e".
Wow, huh. What'd they dislike about it? 5e is very obviously a lot of 3.5/older-DnD.

>> No.49131173

>better than any other edition
OD&D's martial/caster balance is better.

>> No.49131272

Suck on MY dick, and lick on MY balls. BITCH.

>> No.49131293

When my players talk about a backup character that sounds more interesting to me than their current PC, I have to fight the powerful impulse to just contrive a method to kill their current character.

>> No.49131294

No idea, I remember they saying that it was still too similar to 4e and something along the lines of "the class skills being odd", it was a while ago so my memory fails me, but they didn't dwell too much on the subject.

To be honest, I think that they prolly just skimmed through some sections of the books rather than having a good look at the system, and because it wasn't 3.5 they lost interest and didn't read any further.
They sound like terrible people when I put it like this, but they're actually pretty chill, I don't know what has got them so powerfully entranced by 3.5. It's to the point that they don't like even Pathfinder.
My guess is that because they're so invested in the 3.5 and have dug through all sorts of books, they aren't willing to do that again for another system.

>> No.49131365

You ever give in and do it?
You think you ever let it influence your actions anyways? Maybe the enemy mage unleashes his biggest spell centered on the current character?

>> No.49131383

I usually have nothing prepared for a session except the notes from the last session, alongside names of NPCs the party already met. This was because whenever I prepared something in advance, the players just ignored everything and went on doing their own things.
Ever since i stopped preparing anything whatsoever, players have been praising my sessions.
>tfw I'll never be able to use most complex dungeons for which I make maps by hand

>> No.49131443

That's a good one anon

>> No.49131512

Why not run a one off in 5e for the group? If they hate it get another player to run the 3.5 game.

>> No.49131582

I cannot fucking stand it when players act like their characters personalities and traits are wholly immutable, but everything in the world around them is. They spout the desire to role play and interact with the world, but want it tailored to their exact fucking desires to be this goddamn special snowflake who is handed success just for being there, then get shitty when being a chaotic neutral jack ass has fucking consequences and most of their potential allies think they're complete jack offs.

This is coupled with this constant need to try and get me to trip up and reveal information about things that they in no way could know, then get shitty when I have them make a roll to try and persuade or in some way coerce an NPC who does know what they wanna know in to revealing their knowledge.

>> No.49131673

This is why I hate 3.PF. Brain damage and sunk cost fallacies out the ass.

>> No.49131737

Ok. Here goes...

>I never plan anything ahead of time, behind my screen the notebook I'm reading is blank and covered in doodles.
>When rolling to hit I give my monsters a -2 to hit so my players don't die as quick.

>> No.49131917

I... I pretend to roll in tables only to choose whatever I like the most.

>> No.49131991

Hear hear.
>Why would anyone want to learn a new system when it too sooooooooooooo long to learn. I mean we already learned the golden standard that founded the hobby why would we want to put in that much effort to learn something else?

>> No.49132223

When the last campaign ended and the DM stepped down, I was one of the people who raised their hand to volunteer as new DM. I think I did it because I want to firmly establish myself within this group since I was the newbie. but truth be told I didn't want to do it and regretted it almost immediately. I've been running "Out of the Abyss" and done it in a half-heartedly way. But everyone seems to be having a good time. I'm not.

>> No.49132290

I've had unbelievable luck with critical rolls. It's like my d20has two sides. Fails and successes. To the point of having to decide whether to fudge rolls or rolling in the open so they believe me.

>> No.49132316

>I take every opportunity to make your character look like a clumsy idiot because you're a fucking idiot with dumb jokes.


>> No.49132387

In what way is it not? Casters wreck shit but at early levels they can't do it often and even at later levels they need fighters to protect them because they ALWAYS go last if they cast, and if they get hit, they waste the spell without any effect, with NO SAVE.

If anything, martials are BETTER in old school D&D.

>> No.49132497

Mostly because D&D takes forever to learn, but other systems aren't nearly as bad. Its...madding. Learn, nigga, learn!

And yes, I realize you know this, just. Uaraghahah

>> No.49132676


>This fucking guy

I like this fucking guy

>> No.49132780

I will have player characters executed in Dark Heresy if they do something particularly damning. Blab the wrong secret, kill the wrong person, read the wrong corrupt item? Blam incoming from the Inquisitor.

My players accept it though, and it has made them much more cautious in a good way.

>> No.49132964


That sounds lame. The bizzarro party idea has been done to death and back, and dead again.

>> No.49133298

I think maps are amazing and useful, but I am like you where I fucking hate making or setting them up.
If we're in a city why do I have to have a map for every district if you're only going there to buy one thing?
Why waste my fucking time?

>> No.49133332


Someone in my group dropped out of a one-shot of Ryuutama before it started because he "didn't want to learn an entire new system."

Ryuutama. Seriously.

>> No.49133383

What the fuck sort of wine cellar is 18 m deep?

>> No.49133596

>Why do you set DCs 'a bit too low' for out of combat stuff?
It's the one thing I "bullshit" through, and not being effective at providing challenge.

>> No.49133672

I hurt, physically from that. You have hurt my soul this day, Anon.

>> No.49133711

Fucking what.
Does he need to be handed a pregen for 5th edition?

>> No.49133712


> the golden standard

Please. D&D may have instigated a lot of shit but it's hardly what I'd call "the gold standard". Plenty of systems do what it attempts to do and better.

>> No.49133782

We're talking about what a 3.PF retard would say. This is the level of brain damage you are dealing with here, mate.

>> No.49133793

I found out that my GM is like this and it's come to bother me so fucking much now. There as a battle where a Graveknight got a x3 crit on my dude and the DM decided for it to just do normal damage as a non-crit. It's hard for me to feel any tension during combat since I know there's no genuine risk of death for my character.

>> No.49133899

Honestly, at this point I only play pathfinder to play Path of War characters.

>> No.49133905

Its shitty I know, I have only done it for 1 encounter because the party was new to tabletop, the next encounters they started working together but they noticed the difficulty spike.

And next time I gm one of the characters is no doubt going to die. But fuck her, she is there because of her boyfriend alone and has the roleplaying skill of a grass bug.

Shit will get intense next time they are nearing one of the bbge first incarnations and the campaign can really end there for them.

>> No.49133911

Let's see, where even to begin...
>My campaign notes are, at MOST, some highschool levels metal inspired doodles with a few "sufficiently fantasy" names sprinkled about the page.
>I regularly "steal" ideas from players. Any theory that's better than whatever nonsense I had planned usually becomes cannon, makes the players feel smart for making connections, when in actuality there was none.
>My encounters are NEVER balanced. I have a bad habit of monster of the week. I browse the monster section, and anything I like the looks of goes in, rarely with any tweaking. Though my players are aware discretion is often the better part of valor.
>My antagonist NPCs are often just an excuse for me to roleplay/act like an arrogant prick.
>If the players make me describe in detail, or flesh out random NPCs I always make them as unpleasant as possible. Terrible and odious habits, some annoying voice I do, bad grammar, some little irksome detail I will continue to bring up. Shame this usually leads to the players liking my NPCs...
>...I have favorite NPCs. I don't fudge dice, but if I have an NPC I really like, I fight like hell to keep them alive. Though i never DMPC.
>I don't know the rules as well as some of my players. Most of the time when I dismissively tell a player to look something up if they ask me a question, it is because I genuinely don't know. We're all pretty new to this system, and it is way too dense for me to have it all memorized.
>I love handing out rare and special items, but not generic crap. I hate the "+1 sword". I love the "Orwends' Slathering Straight Razor of Lizard Husbandry +2", the more specific and seemingly useless the better.
>If someone gets into character, and roleplays well, especially if they make me laugh, smile, or get alittle emotional, they will absolutely receive some behind the screen benefit. I never tell them, but I love rewarding them for making the game all that much better.
>All my major antagonists get hand painted minis.

>> No.49133919


>> No.49133999

It's a sad, unhappy thing. Thankfully, the system is at last properly dying. If you look on roll20, for example, 5e alone has more games then PF and 3.5 put together.

>> No.49134064

I do the same, but I don't even lie about it.

>> No.49134195

>I regularly "steal" ideas from players. Any theory that's better than whatever nonsense I had planned usually becomes cannon, makes the players feel smart for making connections, when in actuality there was none.
Ha, I always like doing this when I can, but usually when someone makes a guess I already have the culprit pinned down and can 'prove' it. However, when I do THAT, it's usually a breadcrumb trail or the conclusion to a lot of gumshoeing/connecting the dots.
In intrigue games, I like dropping hints between players who aren't sure they can trust each other that, once added up, reveal a common enemy who's either been playing them against each other, or at least used the distrust to their benefit. By the end of the campaign, the players should be able to tell who the traitor/enemy is- if they communicate, which is difficult, as it gives an unknown enemy a chance to use their discussion for their own ends.
Better yet is suggesting one of the players is a traitor or saboteur out of character to break them out of the habit of assuming other PCs aren't traitors, even when the traitor is an NPC- or vice versa.

>> No.49134739

GMing is a great life lesson.

As a kid you always thought your parents are in control, that the adults know what they are doing. But they really don't, they might be knowledgeable in a thing or two but they mostly just wing it.
So when you DM all those players that never DMed before are going to look up to you as a god, someone who knows their shit, someone who keeps track of stats, encounters, knows how the story is going to go, knows how the sidequests will play out and has hidden treasures and puzzles planned absolutely everywhere.
But as a DM you know it's all bullshit. 80% of what you say is made up, 10% is a variation of something you planned but doesn't work anymore because the PCs decided to completely fuck up whatever plans you had for them and the other 10% are technically still content you prepared that resemble the shit you came up with.
And when you need to stall them and roll that fucking dice for a random bullshit encounter that you pulled out of your ass you know that it doesn't even fucking matter what the dice is going to show, you are going to have the monster gain whatever fucking stats it needs to have in order to do what you want it to do.

DMing taught me the world is a cruel place and it only makes sense if you force it to. When a player asks you a question and you answer as a NPC with great detail on your motivations, dreams and wishes they will think that it's amazing how much thought you put into minor characters that they've just met.
They don't see the fucking sandstorm in your head that browses through fantasy tropes, random movies, short-stories or whatever fucking bullshit you can come up with that can be used to make sense of the situation so the character or scenario works.

And at the end of the day when the players leave and someone says "Can't wait for the next session, I have no idea how this story is going to end" you just nod and smile because you don't know either.

>> No.49134773

>You ever give in and do it?

Not yet.

>You think you ever let it influence your actions anyways? Maybe the enemy mage unleashes his biggest spell centered on the current character?

I don't think so, but I've been sorely tempted. There was one exception where a PC wanted their character killed, but they behaved IC in a way that made it so they would've been a priority target, anyway.

>> No.49134865

Honest question, do you guys have anxiety before a session as a DM? Was there ever a case where you fucked up and the players really noticed?

>> No.49135142


There is wisdom in your words, after your post ends on 9 the Hermit.

But isnt it also what makes tabletop amazing? The collaborative effort?
With good players your skeleton of a story becomes always greater than what you thought, thats why I dont give a damn about ultra descriptive npcs, I make facial characteristics and mannerisms on the fly for npcs, most of the times random loot with no value that players always find value for it, and a general area for them to explore.

My last town was supposed to be an afterthought but becasue of a single player became a titanic struggle against a necromancer and shapeshifting abyssal monsters.

>> No.49135143

That's pretty much how I GM. I like fluffing out NPC backstories that never become relevant, I carefully pick what character/background art I use for online games, I practice silly voices, but I could care less about anything having to do with the mechanics.

I don't care about the Bandit Captain's weapons and abilities, I want to do a gruff voice and have him offhandedly comment about his wife leaving him.

>> No.49135294

This is bait right?

The whole meme about caster supremacy comes from OD&D. Wizards start out unplayable and then quickly escalate to a god-level of power.

Just because martials starts out stronger doesn't mean it's okay for them to become useless.

>> No.49135296

would be funny if we eventually figure out that we are in a computer simulation and our "god" is just a bunch of computer nerds that had no fucking idea what they were doing and accidentally created intelligent sentient life in their indie-space rock simulator. In fact I think our existence would suddenly be much more interesting if we know that it's all just smoke and mirrors and bullshit that someone made up on the fly. Every god/creator is basically the equivalent of a college student who noticed that he had to hand in a paper the next day and fumbled together some random crap, hoping the prof wouldn't notice. And he still got an A because the prof winged his rating.

>> No.49135323

Praise be! To actually playtesting your game...

>> No.49135749

>Accurate representation of anon's player group.

>> No.49135855

Well, they did playtest it.


This may be just a story I heard, but.

Pretty much every wizard played? Blaster. So no one really calibrated the stronger shit.

Clerics? Healbots to a one. To the point where people felt they were too weak.

Monks were thought to be strong because of all the options they had.

You can see where this lead. Don't just playtest. Stresstest that shit, too. Go for the unconventional. Go for the weird. TRY and break the game.

>> No.49136794

I'll be more thorough in my notes, but I do all this. Just because dnd 5e is so nebulous with CRs and shit. First turn is usually enough for me to realize what what I need to switch around.

I will sometimes plan out dungeons thoroughly in advance though, because because I like to. Last session the party met an important npc and it was basically 3 1/2 hours of me talking, and a lot of it was bullshit. Everyone liked it though.

>> No.49137158

I run a 2-3 hour game every fortnight but spend a good hour every day prepping content , huge amounts more reading forums and advice and also devote entire weekends to writing prep as well.

Yet what I have still feels threadbare and awful and I'm utterly anxious and depressed over preparing for the game and making it good most days. I have no idea what to do to relax about it. If I stop prepping I feel it will be awful but if I keep going I'm going to burn out. All this and we have technically only had session zero.

>> No.49137298

You can run mystery scenarios in 3.5. You can even use similar techniques like the gumshoe system or the three clue rule. Funnily enough my entire DnD campaign is Love craft inspired but with aboleths and involves them slowly uncovering the horrifying truth and plots of these creatures.

So yeah stop throwing combats at them and throw mystery, intrigue, clues, investigation, noble parties, spying, clandestine murders , and so on . Things that force them to engage and where their overpowered characters aren't effective.

This is with the caveat that you pretty much ignore a lot of bluff and diplomacy rules by raw or at least stomp down if they try to abuse that shit. Force them to work it out and role play as their characters.

>> No.49137336


One in a desert. It's hot there anon.

>> No.49137492

Or you could use a system actually built for it, you brain-damaged sack of shit.

>> No.49137763

A level one fighter can 1v1 a level five or six magic-user assuming the MU doesn't think to just hit the fighter a few times with his staff (given the HP disparity due to levels). The magic-user will never even get a spell off.

>> No.49137803

Anon, my man.
Why don't you tell them of your 3.5 woes and request more of another system? Them having been fine with CoC is good news; at least they're open to other systems, and seem to even be able to enjoy them.
Plus they're your friends and surely they'll understand the burden they've put on you. Hopefully

>> No.49137834

They thing they're playing a game with rules, meanwhile I just let them declare what they want to do and roll their dice, and decide what happens based on that. I've been doing this for a year, and it still warms my heart to see them discuss tactics and plans.

>> No.49137863

worst thing I've read in my life

>> No.49137905

You're a shitty DM.

>> No.49138033

I normally improv my games as the GM, but I actually took the time to plan out shit. Absolutely no difference really apparently, so I keep to improv.

My way is basically learn the system so much that I can do math to figure out what to do for a challenge, generating the statistics in my head before a challenge emerges. I tend to have a scale of power for the players: Mooks, Challenging, and Boss.
Mooks are to show the players are powerful and skilled
Challenging is something that should take time and effort, while leaving them wounded.
Boss fights should leave them laying broken and beaten, but victorious.
To show progress, I take a challenging encounter from when they're weaker and make it a mook one later on.

It's pretty damn basic, uses a lot of math and system mastery, and I can't teach it to people really, but it works wonders for me and my players.

>> No.49138078

No shit sherlock. The original commentator said his group was reluctant to not play 3.5 so I suggested playing different scenarios within 3.5

>> No.49138126

I make the encounters a bunch of meatgrinders or boss hueg stronk smash because I can't balance them properly

>> No.49138167

Try reading the actual post before responding

>> No.49138202

If you're playing Dungeon World you're running the game correctly by RAW so don't sweat it.

>> No.49138248

>Players think I have everything calculated down, enemy HP, damage, their agility, what they have in their pockets.
>I'm actually just doodling on the paper behind the screen and making everything up.

>> No.49138256


GM'ing is like most of life's hardest activities: failure is part of the process. It helps you learn from your mistakes.

And if you have the right group, they should look past your mistakes and appreciate the effort you put into it

>> No.49138268

kill her boyfriend's character. he'll still be involved with her character, and she might feel more involved into the game once it's actually on her.

Then kill her character after the campaign victory just to spite them both.

>> No.49138301

then kill them both IRL to show them an deverybody else who is boss, both in and out of game.

>> No.49138323

Most common DM 'secret'...With how many times this is said on /tg/, I can't really believe a wide number of players still believe in carefully crafted campaigns. I mean, I think they just play along for the fantasy.

>> No.49138335

Oh. All right then. It does take the impact out of it, but I suppose that's to be expected.

>> No.49138352

There are carefully crafted campaigns, but they don't generally happen online which is where most of /tg/ gets their 'experiences'.

>> No.49138397

Those sorts of games are also super easy to derail. If I had every thing planned out to the letter, and then the players decided to say fuck it and become pirates, the game would fall apart. Also would be super fucking pissed that I spent 200 hours making this shit for it to just fall apart.

>> No.49138504

That's another problem with /tg/: finding and playing with people who actually want to participate in what you're running. Worrying about 'derailment' and expecting players to jump on an opportunity to make all your work useless is a symptom of it. At this point shit's pretty toxic.

>> No.49138579

Nah. Fuck that. And fuck you for encouraging it.

>> No.49138658

Tell them to fuck off
If they aren't following the adventure, then they don't understand the point of your game.

>> No.49138870

>your game
It's everyone's game you fucking moron. Players don't exist only to cater to whatever the DM wants.

>> No.49139026

All I do is pre plan encounters a list of potential encounters, the next plot point, and maybe a potential gm-npc (Incase mine dies). I have the vaguest of ideas how the story will actually unfold.

I haven't planned a session in a year.

>> No.49139561

I read the whole post. A group of four level one fighters can take down a level fifteen wizard who hasn't prepared. A party of four fighters will wreck a party of four equivalent-level wizards at almost any level.

>> No.49140053

I usually use a module for the first session or two, savage tides is fun and usually spawns more than one recurring villian for the party.

After the first arch finishes I stop using it and let the players go because they usually have independent goals. I stop prepping for the game at this point. I have a DM screen with only the rules on it and a stack of papers which they think is the game plan, but use it to keep notes and names/personalities consistent.

I don't plan encounters, more often than not make up shit on the fly. Last time it was a fort they wanted to take so I draw up one easy peasy and wrote down how many orcs I thought would need to hold it. They rolled real well and with some creativity took it easily enough so I through a necromancer in a cave at the back. Told them he was using zombies to mine for gems and shit.

A lot of the time I use dwarf fortress to come up with names and cities.

Been going on for months, no one suspects a thing.

>> No.49141036

I never fudge rolls.
I will let a player die, but I really hope they don't.
Almost killed 2 players, each on a different occasion. I was so scared I was gonna crit them.

>> No.49142300 [DELETED] 

Sorry completely new guy to OSR here.
I heard there are games that handle hp with things like dismemberment tables and such.

What are some good games that do this?

>> No.49142449

There's an OSR General thread.

>> No.49142479

holy shit I posted in the wrong thread. I feel incredibly retarded right now

>> No.49142794

As someone who GMs like most of you here (on the fly, little to no planning), I fucking cringe when I play with someone who isn't like that. ESPECIALLY in combat. I'm in a campaign currently where the story is wonderful, but god damn is the GM a fucking hard ass on rules and following the notes he's prepared.

One time we were fighting in an area affected by Primal Magic, when the majority of the party were spellcasters. At first we thought it would be a fun change of pace... nope. The results we were getting on that event table bogged down combat so fucking much, we were healing our bulky enemies and ourselves every other round. Everyone was miserable. And what did the guy do to remedy this? Told us "stop casting spells if you don't want this to happen!" Commence 2.5 hours long combat.

Fuck you dude. When you see everyone isn't having a good time, it's your responsibility to fix it. Bending rules or going against your precious game notes isn't gonna kill you. Hands down worst session I've ever had. He's at least gotten a little better since then.

>> No.49143634

But that map sucks, anon

>> No.49143993

I bet you wrote that with a good hearted smile because you knew he was right, and just wanted to be funny

>> No.49144119

I've never heard a better argument for why D&D is fundamentally shit. God damn what a pathetic game if the only way to have fun is to ignore all the rules.

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