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D&D 3E
So after last night it became way too clear.... Our DM wants to win… 
12th-Apr-2004 01:56 pm
Bill by Binkette
So after last night it became way too clear....

Our DM wants to win on both sides...the DM side and the PC side

He has made a half-orc goon (barb-fighter) who uses a greatsword. He said he "wants to have a voice in the game" ....but he's the fucking DM!!! Anyway, all the encounters we go through which seem to be easy turn out to be really hard and then we manage to get through because of help from his goon. So after "winning" as a DM he "wins" as a player. It annoys the other players, I've been developing a deafness to his references to how much damage his character does. We don't know what he's doing and don't want/need to know the damage he does.

Oh....whenever he kills something he makes noises to show what he's done and usually tosses the miniatures off the map, but when the paladin a buddy is playing crits something and does 45 damage the DM simply says "ok he's dead" or something much calmer.

I've mentioned that he is forgetting things on both sides because he's dm'ing and playing...but he just dismisses that. His half-orc does not hate orcs but he spent a game and a half thinking that he did...only later did he read his character sheet and realize it. Then last night he missed a bunch of items that the NPCs would have had on them and since they never had them in the fight he decided that they were "misplaced or stolen" I think the part that annoys the other players (and myself) is that he stops and has to read the adventure (Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil...or whatever the correct title is named) but he can go on how he's been looking over feats and shit for his goon.

Ugh...ranting too much...must go out and do something.
12th-Apr-2004 09:27 am (UTC)
This is perhaps the single most persuasive error that novice GMs make.

Your GM doesn't want to GM, he wants to play. Tell him to pick one, and don't let him do both. It NEVER works.
12th-Apr-2004 10:24 am (UTC)
he's not a rookie GM...been doing for ages. He's better DM than player.
12th-Apr-2004 09:29 am (UTC)
Find a new DM. Let the current guy concentrate on playing. Everyone will be much happier, I'm sure.
12th-Apr-2004 09:29 am (UTC)
This is a fairly common problem. It's actually rather a newbie problem too. If the goon's just an NPC... why can't the PCs conspire to sneak out of the inn/tavern/campsite early and leave him behind. Come up with some IC reason for this - and it sounds like the goon is a bit mentally unstable, I think the PCs would be forgiven for considering him a risk. This is a good psychological point to make to.
12th-Apr-2004 09:42 am (UTC)
this is a pretty common problem - Dm's trying to "win", and wanting to play AND DM. He should pick one or the other - you can't do both.
12th-Apr-2004 10:38 am (UTC)
Kill the goon. Unless there's a valid reason why the goon is with the party, either part ways with him or kill him. Maybe that will finally make the gm realise how fed up everyone is. When I run NPC's, they're usually so far in the background they don't play any part in battles if any.
(Deleted comment)
12th-Apr-2004 10:57 am (UTC)
That's what we do as well. It works nicely, though I can't say much since I'm neither of the DMs.
12th-Apr-2004 10:54 am (UTC)
whenever I DMed a game, I always had a character that acted as a guide, more or less dropped the random hint if my newbie players got really lost ("what should we do now?" "Why don't we go this way?" "Yay!") that was pretty much an npc or whatever y'know?

I say...kill the goon in a lovely and major way and if the guy whines about it, get another DM.
12th-Apr-2004 11:00 am (UTC)
This is something I'll have to keep in mind, I think. I'm working on a campaign to lead one day and with it are two different well developed NPCs. I've been planning on them not being with the party, but peeking in once in a while. Seeing/hearing this, I'll be sure to be careful that they remain NPCs and don't be tempted to leave them with the party.
12th-Apr-2004 11:45 am (UTC)
I frequently have low-player-count games, so either I drop an NPC in the round the party out or they invariably wind up hiring some guys to take the heat off. I try to keep the NPC as an afterthought though, and rarely will they run a roleplay encounter or even do particularly well in combat.
12th-Apr-2004 11:51 am (UTC)
we have too many players already....
12th-Apr-2004 03:47 pm (UTC)
Don't play games, I say. If it's getting unbearable, just leave. Perhaps he'll get the hint, or maybe not. What's to gain in pissing him off first. And you KNOW he's gonna get pissed off.
12th-Apr-2004 04:01 pm (UTC)
ah but with some guys like that, half the fun IS pissing them off...
12th-Apr-2004 04:07 pm (UTC)
True, but I'd have a new DM lined up if that's the route you wanna take.
12th-Apr-2004 04:13 pm (UTC)
with a prat like that, gettin' rid of him could be a benifit. That's why you always have backups with DMs, cars, and jobs. Because you never know when the stuffs gonna hit the fan...
12th-Apr-2004 11:45 am (UTC) - Reading the adventure
I think the part that annoys the other players (and myself) is that he stops and has to read the adventure (Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil...

Keep in mind that RttToEE is mind-bogglingly long. I ran it for my group and ended up bringing in an NPC party to "take care of the problems" off-camera and just let the PC party tackle bits and pieces of it.

I tried to prepare for each game session by reading and re-reading the relevant sections and making notes and bookmarking important NPCs and stuff, but there's just so much there that it's easy to get lost and have to stop and read chunks of it again.
12th-Apr-2004 12:52 pm (UTC)
I have seen this far too often. The DM has an ego the size of the goodyear blimp. Get rid of him. If you try to kill off his character it won't work and your character will likely die horribly in the attempt. If you try to lose him, he'll just find you like a nerdy hanger-on.

There's only one solution and that is to permanently make the guy a player. At least until he can show he's mature enough to focus on the game instead of on himself.
12th-Apr-2004 03:49 pm (UTC)
As for killing his goon, DMs will sometimes sacrafice a single player for their favorite character. Collude with the party and have the whole group kill him off. That way, the DM has to choose between alienating one player, or all of them. Plus, it should send a pretty clear message that you would like to be the star of your own adventures.
12th-Apr-2004 04:03 pm (UTC)
I've seen this too. In fact your dm sounds like my old dm's twin.

Brian revived an old campaign (not his own) and we all revived our old characters. Keith, though dming, wanted to play his own character too and essentially play as he dmed, with his character, Blackwood, taking an equal share in EP.

Problem was, Blackwood kept jumping into the front of every battle and hence hogged all the EP. Of course, Blackwood was always rather a grandstander as characters go, even in the original campaign.

As annoying as that was, our main beef with Brian was that he would stop to look up stuff like your dm would. But what Brian was looking up were things that no one could remember unless they had a photographic memory. The name of a minor npc clerk behind the counter of a tavern in the in Baldur's Gate, for instance. "Make something up and let's go," we'd shout. But no, he'd spend 45 minutes looking in Volo Guide after Volo Guide, trying to find the guy's name. And the npc wasn't even important to the plot.

Brian had a pacing problem to say the least.

It got to the point where our fire mage attacked an army of orcs we were meant to go around, just so something would happen in the game.

Brian didn't forget much, but he lived and breathed his campaign to such an extent that you hated to be around the guy outside of the game. "Are you intrigued? Have you noticed the hints and subplots I've laid out. Did you pick up on the nuances I've added to my character's personality?" All well and good, unless that's all the guy can talk about.

He ended up quiting us before we had a chance to quit him. I think he realized we were getting disgruntled, and he just wasn't getting the same level of love and commitment that he wanted from his players.
12th-Apr-2004 04:08 pm (UTC)
christ...tell your ex-dm to come and take his twin...or something :)
13th-Apr-2004 07:46 am (UTC)
You're kinda screwed any way you go it sounds to me. I guess it depends in part on the DM's temperment but if you try and rid yourself of the goon (regardless of how) he may take it badly and then take it out on the party. A unified front is a definite requirement. The whole group needs to be behind the push to get rid of the goon for best results. If the DM sees that everyone is unhappy with things then he may see the error of his ways and the campaign can continue happier and goon-less. If not, then I'd say either quit or get all the players to agree to go out in a blaze of glory by killing the goon and the survivors charging into the heart of the dungeon, attacking anything that moves until all are dead. If that doesn't get the message across, nothing will.
14th-Apr-2004 02:05 pm (UTC) - off-topic...
but is that a Bothan image in your icon?
15th-Apr-2004 07:07 am (UTC) - Re: off-topic...
Your powers of observation serve you well. It is indeed.
15th-Apr-2004 07:10 am (UTC) - Re: off-topic...
is that from a graphic novel or something? I don't think I've seen bothan artwork in color; of course my only frame of reference is RPG books
15th-Apr-2004 08:24 am (UTC) - Re: off-topic...
I found it on the web. The original is a bit bigger. I had to carefully trim it down to get it to fit within LJ's limits without screwing the image up.
15th-Apr-2004 08:42 am (UTC) - Re: off-topic...
nice job
14th-Apr-2004 09:20 am (UTC) - Kill the Character and talk to the DM.
First, I would talk to the DM. Tell him that you think the additional character stinks. Does he limit your experience points because there is an additional character to split the total with?

I have been DM'ing for over 20 years. I don't put NPC's in the scenario unless they are necessary (shop keepers, locals, royalty). There has been only one or two times that I ran an NPC in a party (mostly as an evil character who is trying to sabotage the party.) The usually figure it out and kill him -- which is what they are supposed to do.

As a DM, if I want the party to know something, I tell them straight out! If I want them to find out something, I incorporate clues in the game that will allow them to figure it out. If I think that they are doing something wrong, I let them play it out, and afterwords I'll say: "It would have been better if you did X."

The DM you got is not playing up to snuff. Tell him I said so. ACTUALLY, just print this and give it to him.

-Sheldon Smith.
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