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Game Master Sins
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ITT: Confess your DMing sins. I'll start.

Whenever I run a dungeon of my own creation, I never actually plan a way for the players to solve the puzzles or get past obstacles.
Ususally I just have them fuck around until they do something that amuses me enough that I feel like letting them past.
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>>44772145

I havent written a stat block for an monster in 5 months. I just have them hit the monster until i decide it dies.
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I lied to my players and told them I had already given them vital plot information I forgot to tell them before. I convinced them that they just weren't paying enough attention to my masterfully crafted plotlines.
I'm a shitty person.
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>>44772201
I'm getting fairly close to doing this honestly.
Especially in 5e I feel like monsters die way too fast.

>>44772227
If your players are anything like mine, then that's probably not unreasonable
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>>44772145
I intentionally plan adventures/encounters so that the player that annoys me the most can't meaningfully contribute with his character's skillset. He always plays minmaxed fighter/physical skills-type characters, so I always make adventures with lots of negotiation, diplomacy, stealth, and investigation, because fuck that guy.
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I killed one of my player characters a week before the campaign ended because he would be away on a trip and I couldn't be bothered to manage his character in his absence
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>>44772145
I do this as well.
>>44772201
And this.
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>>44772145
I don't plan my sessions.
Like, at all.
I alllike "Ok, you're all in this place and you know you must reach this objective. Now do whatever"

And yet all my players keep doing the exact thing I expect them to do.

They're basically railroading themselves
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I'm not as bad as this guy >>44772201
but I do get lazy and fudge the numbers on monsters a lot, mostly because I forget the rules when I'm drunk.

On the plus side I often add fun stuff to monsters to make them more interesting rather than cut cut-and-paste from the MM.
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>>44772499
My GM just hits me with enemies that Enfeeble or deal strength damage
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as a soon to be first time GM, what advice can you offer?

I'm planing on using Alternity
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>>44772747
We may be making a big deal about it ITT, but there's nothing wrong with making up puzzle solutions/stat blocks/entire plots as you go along, so long as you aren't obvious about it. You can't plan for everything, so just stay flexible. Don't have only one outcome for any scenario.
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>>44772201
>>44772682
One time I had a bugbear that was acting as the muscle for some goblin bandits. The PCs absolutely annihilated him, and pretty quickly got him to zero with the HP that i had rolled for him, so I just kept adjusting his HP up until I got to his full hit dice.

>>44772747
No matter what happens, just roll with it.
The PCs have no way of knowing anything, so unless you admit something, from their perspective you had everything planned from the get go.
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I haven't read half the rules and usually just decide something that sounds reasonable to keep things moving.

I'd rather just fuck around with a freeform system and throw a d20 or d6 to determine more RNG outcomes, but I run 5e games because people won't play anything else. It seriously constrains the sorts of things I can try out (like neat alternative magic systems) but I want to play more than anything.
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>>44772769

This post >>44765743, is pretty much what happends when you only have one outcome for the scenarios.
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Me and two other GM's all running simultaneous games made deals for free experience and custom items in each others campaigns.

We regretted everything about 3 months later. It lead to ridiculous situations and the temporary death of entire campaigns.
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I set up a mystery without deciding on what's really going on. Instead, I listen to the players' speculation and base the truth on my favorite idea of theirs.
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>>44774236
Holy shit I do this all the time, except anything that they say I make sure ISN'T the answer.
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>>44774289
That works too. Also, always modify the idea enough so that the players are tantalized by feeling "so close to the truth."
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I know where I wanna start, I know where I wanna end. Coming up with enough stuff for filling in the middle is never really my strong suit.
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>>44772201
I use them as suggestions. What seems appropriate basically.

When a PC jumped from a building and impaled a slow-falling witch with a greatsword, that's an instant kill in my book.

I also had them fight a water elemental that would disappear and appear randomly into the knee-height water around them, which didn't exist as an ability.
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>>44772727
You can't make it obvious that you're out to get them, just tailor the scenario to exclude them as much as possible and they should get the hint.
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>>44772201
If I bother with a stat block for D&D, I just use three stats: Do Stuff, Resist Stuff, and hit points
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>>44774428
Aww man, I have an almost opposite problem.

I can always create great mid-level content, but how to make the PCs take that first step or how to design a endpoint that feels epic enough (without being overbearing), keeps me up at night.

>>44774507
Should also mention the time I forgot a disguised demon was actually disguised demon, and had it act completely against it's own interest (getting out of a can-of-evil tm).
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>>44772145
when I first started DMing I made my black friend a slave, and made myself the most powerful character in the party
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>>44774597
>and had it act completely against it's own interest
But it was all according to keikaku, and that action was all part of a long reaching plot for some greater evil. Or at least that's how you can play it off.
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>>44772145
It's funny you mention this. I know my DM does the same thing - no plans on ways out, but in a different sense. We approach dungeons with a certain internal consistency (places to use the restroom, places to get food, who lives there, why they would live there, etc,) and the DM just expects us to figure it out. How we progress from room to room, avoid fights, or take on fights, etc...

It's not that we do something he likes and we progress, it's more that we know there is no inherent solution, so we make our own. Sometimes that means we use stoneshape to get around barriers, or have to lure creatures out of very difficult positions (like a stone golem guarding a narrow bridge with no way around) - but I have found using our vast character tool kits and having to think hard to advance has been a lot of fun, and we've been asking our DM to make things a bit harder too.

He's said we're fairly clever players and often times keep him on his toes. Most recently there was a multiclass sorcerer/warlock who we had to deal with, and was 450 in the air invisible pelting us with eldritch blasts and quickened spells with what I assume is the spell sniper feat and an invocation to allow him to just snipe us. No clear solution on how to deal with this guy, eventually we were able to overcome him however. Was a lot of fun.
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>>44774289
I did that until I had a really clever guy in my group that couldn't keep his mouth shut and theorized out loud. If I didn't pick one of his theories, I didn't have a lot left to work with that wasn't pic related levels of QUALITY.
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>>44772201
This, seriously.
>>44772145
Personally, I don't write enough memorable boss fights, I need to make it hard once in a while.
Mostly because I limit myself to the one person one action rule and forget to add minions.
Take note, you poor bastards who may or may not be playing in my party.
It's going to be Tucker's Kobolds led by fucking Creed next time.
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>>44772747
>Players will always find a way to do something you didn't expect or plan for, get used to it
>Favor story over mechanics, don't be afraid to fudge rolls for the sake of a better story
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>think of amazing concept
>only drop very vague hints about it without revealing anything rewarding
>everyone probably thinks the story was shit but I know it was awesome
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>>44774877
I see this advice a lot, and I think it gets pushed a little bit too far. Many of the best stories that I've seen have been results of the system being followed to the letter, and unexpected results coming from that.

I think this particular piece of advice often encourages people to try to railroad their players because of
>muh storee
A balance is best imo
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I fell in love with one of my players. Sadly it didn't work out.
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I do not stat enemies
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>>44774989
A person I knew on this one forum once said the best way to avoid that was to understand the players will do something you won't expect, but just plan anyway. You want less of a railroad and more of a highway with hard shoulders and barriers.
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>never have set hp for enemies, just keep them alive until everyone got in at least one good shot, or till someone crits/rolls high damage

>I know you checked for traps on the last 14 doors in this dungeon. I know there were no traps on any of them. But if you do not check for traps on the 15th, it WILL be trapped.
>though if you never check for traps, Ill probably never set one, as long as the pacing is going along well

>once a player looked for a secret compartment in a place and fashion that I thought was cool and clever, so I had them find a secret compartment. But I panicked, and couldnt think of anything to put in it, so it was empty.
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>>44775163
This

My confession is that I relentlessly hound my players with situations that push their dickass rogues and evil warlocks towards being good people. You want the mcguffin to stop the necromancer? You can only get it by proving your faith and fealty to a god of goodness and light, stuff like that.

To be fair, they like it and it works.
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>>44772499
USE YOUR MOUTH TO TALK TO THE PERSON AS IF HE WAS INDEED A PERSON. That shit is just petty!
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>>44775261
>dickass rogues and evil warlocks
It's always the fucking rogues and warlocks isn't it.

I have one player that was a warlock in the last campaign (he got the entire party killed by a Roc because he's a fucking moron), and this campaign he's a rogue.

He never plays a character, he goes out of his way to avoid whatever it is he thinks I want him to do.
Does anyone have any advice for people like this? He's new, and I'm worried that he might become a That Guy.
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>>44772145
I told my DM that if the opportunity comes up, like someone can't make it for our D&D game, I'd run Mouseguard.

I still have no fucking idea how to properly run Mouseguard.
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>>44775380
While I've had evil warlocks, I've never had one that was too annoying.

Seems to be Rogues, Sorcerers, and Rangers that really attract assholes for some reason.
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>>44775163
yeah jesus just make up a bunch of short bullet points "this is such and such a thing. this is here because of this. this wants to do this (ie a person has motivation a trap wants to protect a treasure etc). And then wing it.
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>>44775380

Just talk to him about it.

Be mindful that not doing what you want him to do is okay, really. It's his character. Some people just have screwy logic and go completely opposite to expected behaviour.

But if he's being disruptive to the group then that's a problem. It's within your rights to enforce cohesion so that people enjoy themselves. The most heavy-handed thing I've had to do along these lines was to ban 'aggressive' actions between party members entirely (any attempt to steal/attack).
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>>44772145
As long as your players have fun... it's all right.
>>44772499
You are a jerk.
>>44774877
Are you one of those jerks that decides that a boss going down in one hit is not a good thing? Because I made my character based around dishing out very much damage, albeit being crappy at actually hitting enemies... and when I hit an enemy and hit him with very lucky high rolls and one shot him... it's the most awesome feeling ever. And you take it away from me.

So, if you do that... fuck you. No, really, fuck you from the bottom of my heart.
/rant
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>>44776572
stay asschapped, kiddo
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>>44776572
>Because I made my character based around dishing out very much damage, albeit being crappy at actually hitting enemies... and when I hit an enemy and hit him with very lucky high rolls and one shot him... it's the most awesome feeling ever. And you take it away from me.

1) You're a fag
2) things only happen because of what the DM wants. If I don't want you one-shotting a boss, it's not happening. Deal w/ it.
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>>44777009
Then why even bother letting people make their own characters? Might as well hand them a character sheet and tell them their back story and have them roll with it.
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>>44776572
This is a DM thread, git out
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>>44772499
Why not just kick him out? The purpose of the GM is to facilitate fun for the group. If a player isn't having fun, you're failing. If a player is having fun, it doesn't matter how edgy, stupid, or 'randumb' it is - you're a good DM.
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>>44777038
Look, you can oneshot a troll or something, I don't give a shit. But if I don't want you to KO a boss in one turn, ruining the game for me and the other players, it's not happening and if you bitch about it you can go fuck yourself. You petulant cunt.
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>>44772145
This is not a bad thing, honestly. If you predetermine how a trap or an obstacle can be dealt with, it's easy to fall into a "No, that's not the correct solution" -mindset when players come up with plans you didn't expect.

As long as you have a good handle on what's feasible and doable, coming up with predetermined solutions isn't all that great. Especially since characters usually have wildly varied, unexpected abilities and tend to be sneaky gits in general.
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>>44777247
Sweet Jesus, no one's forcing you to play with one another. You have different ideas of what constitutes a good game! What matters is that you find the fulfillment individually in your respective groups, not that everyone find it your way.
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>>44777247
Not the guy you were talking to in the first place, it's up to you if you wanna fling insults my way, but from my standpoint bosses are still supposed to be adversaries that can still be defeated. If your boss was capable of being one-shot in the first place wouldn't that just be a lack of preparation on your part?
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>>44777247
>Not having the balls to just reject a minmax damage build that's a poor fit for your campaign.
>Not having the creativity to have the BBEG survive in some in-game fashion.
>Not willing to go with the flow for the sake of MUH STORREE

>Instead, cheat a player out of their character doing what their character does best.

Shit/10. So many better options for dealing with that situation than lying to the group and freeform GMing until you are satisfied.
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>>44777301
Yes, and if you think I'm ruining your fun because you want to pull this shit off, I'm going to give the boss four times as many hit points as you can possibly do, then you can fuck off.

>Are you one of those jerks that decides that a boss going down in one hit is not a good thing?
>it's the most awesome feeling ever. And you take it away from me.
>So, if you do that... fuck you. No, really, fuck you from the bottom of my heart.

Fuckstick.
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>>44777401
>>44777396
Yeah, they can be defeated. I'm just not going to stat up a boss that can be defeated in such a way in the first place, and doing so is not trying to ruin his character. It's just making bosses worthy of the name.

FWIW I'm not going to put a boss with 20 HP out there, then go NUH-UH when he hits it for 40. Either he won't get a chance to hit because the boss is using illusions or something, or the boss will have an AC too high for him to hit, or too many HP to be killed straight up, whatever.
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>>44777055
>The purpose of the GM is to facilitate fun for the group. If a player isn't having fun, you're failing.

This is tangential to your real point, I know, but I have to nitpick it because I absolutely hate this thinking.

The GM is playing, too. He does different shit than the other guys at the table, yeah, but "fun generator" is not part of his job description--at least not any more than it is for everybody else there.

The GM is there to do whatever it is the GM is supposed to do in the game he's running, be that designing encounters, playing a variety of characters, setting up twisty double-crosses or otherwise challenging the guys who aren't the GM. And the players are there to do their player-y thing, and people enjoy it. And if they don't enjoy it, they figure out why and fix it, and that is *everyone's* problem. The GM is given so much mechanical power in-game that I think it causes this weird bleed-over where people expect him to also be the social show-runner, like a tour guide (or sometimes a baby sitter). He's not.

Everyone at the table should be trying to make it a fun place to be. This doesn't just mean that the GM needs to make fair rulings and generate fun encounters, it also means that the players need to make interesting, unexpected decisions that lead to fun situations, try not to just burn everything down indiscriminately, etc. It's a two-way street. If you've got a lazy GM, it'll be a bad game. But what doesn't get as much attention is that if you have lazy players it'll be just as bad.

"Fun" in tabletop is a group effort.
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>>44777465
You're a shit DM, and you should feel shit. Dear god, that's terrible.
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>>44777520
QQ more fukkboi
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>>44777469

I oversimplified, but your correct viewpoint wasn't relevant to the idea of someone purposefully excluding a player within the system. That's just that person being a douche.
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My players think I know what the fuck I'm doing. I have a few NPCs kicking about in my head and I decide after or during an adventure that an NPC should intervene somehow. I describe a generic approach, they hear heavy footsteps (most of the NPCs are Knights, as are the players) and I listen to what the players say.
>Oh no, it's Alexander! He can't want to fight us now, not here
And I nod knowingly, grin slyly and describe how Sir Alexander steps through the door-frame, sword drawn and ready to do battle.

What's he doing here? I don't fucking know. I let the players speculate and I either pick one that makes sense, or I shake my head and say "Close but no cigar" and they shit themselves, what've they missed? I don't fucking know!
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>>44772145
>I improv almost everything
>The players know the rules better than i and thus trust them to solve it between themselves while i learn it in the background
>When players mention something or think i am about to do something i generally do it to spite them or spice things up
>I almost never bother to roll on certain things i just say whether they succeed or not in my opinion

And the worst of them all

>I railroad things when the players aren't advancing the plot in anyway by either dropping big-murders to herd them to smaller murders or by dropping "hints". Thing is i do this sometimes even when they are going to the plot's intended direction and just want them to detour to see something cool i came up with.
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I accidentally made the barbarian too OP, so I had to come up with some bullshit to nerf him down to "Insanely strong for his level" as compared to "lol wtf was I thinking"
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>>44772201
Guilty as well, I've only looked at the Monster Manual one time at one monster and didn't use any of it or even remember it. I haven't done more than glance through the DM guide.

This is for D&D 5e.
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I swarm my players with enemies like kobolds and goblins to make the sessions longer because I know they can never leave combat unfinished. If I didn't do that our sessions would only last 2 hours max.
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>>44772145
I get really invested in the campaign, and try everything to make it better and kind of bug my players
>Hey guys don't forget to make those character relationships I asked you to make, just a sentence and an idea is all.
>>We'll get on it
>Did you guys make the characters?
>>No, what characters?
>Make the characters

That and I contently doubt myself that they're having fun and that I'm a failure at DMing, I try
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>>44775255
Next time that happens, leave a note with a drawing of a middle finger and a taunting note from some "famed treasure hunter". Bam, instant roleplaying opportunity, makes the group laugh, is pretty realistic (party isn't the only ones smart enough to find it), and instant plot hook (i wonder what it was that was so cool! we should go get it!). Leaves you a chance to actually stat the item, and it rewards the player for being creative.
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>>44775380
I am very blessed to have a player who is playing a character that is a NG Rogue that follows Avandra. He has actually stopped the rest of the party multiple times from breaking into places, killing people, etc. Rather hilarious situations when the rogue was talking the rest of them out of stealing something.
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>>44775436
Personally I would start with Redwall, and make it less childlike, maybe merge in some D&D tropes.

Cliche? Fuck yes it is, but its better than getting it seriously wrong and ruining the game for yourselves.
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>>44772145

I often create "twist" adventures, usually messing with the underlying structure of what the players are supposed to achieve, and watch them squirm around like worms trying to figure out what to do, then casually wrecking their hopes.

A while back, I saw one of my players talking about my Heirs to Sisyphus campaign. It's not the only time I've done something like that, although it's probably the best example

(Players were trying to shore up a decaying not-Roman magical empire and hold back the tide of barbarism. There was no way to do this, there was just too much going wrong for them to stop. An unbroken string of worthless successes)
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>>44772145
At this point I rely on my players to keep track of various resources generated by their NPC employer and dozens of lower ranked minions. I don't even know if it's accurate or not anymore, but it seems right and I trust my players, so I go with it.
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