So. In case no one knew, and most if not all of you wouldn’t, we’ve started a D&D campaign at my place.
That’s right, I’m that nerdy now. Go us. Guess who’s the DM? BOOYA IT’S ME. IT’S CAUSE I’M SO GOOD AT EVERYTHING GRAAAAAARRRR.
So yeah, I’m DMing a campaign and the first three sessions have cause me to think about the boundaries of what is possible, which don’t exist. Specifically on how to abuse those lack of boundaries, and how it makes the DM a sort of god.
Nothing has made me want to put those powers into effect like a couple of my players.
In my campaign, we have 4 Player Character’s and my GM controlled Cleric for when things get really hairy. The first guy is Drew, who’s playing a Psion. He’s a good PC, and RPs and games well based on what people are doing around him.
Stan is our Dragonborn, and doubles as a Dragonborn Fighter/Warrior hybrid. He’s definitely the most ridiculous of the group, and has already almost derailed the campaign more than once through his crazy antics. Happily, those situations never really go awry, at least not to a point where I couldn’t handle it. At the moment, he’s enchanted with a chastity belt that, should he attempt to tear off his pants, will send him flying 10 feet in the air; but how that happened is a story for another time.
Alie is our bard, and she’s learning how to play with the rest of us. She’d be an excellent RPer if only everyone else RPed with her, and because I’m still a beginner DM, I’m having a hard time beginning and keeping up RP. Although the kind of RP she’d do is… still unknown.
And then there’s Mack. Ooooooh, then there is Mack. Mack is our Rogue. He rolled a rogue. He rolled an ELF rogue, and we all know what that usually means: arrogant, entitled, and it’s not necessarily restricted to the game.
Suffice to say, Mack has an “I’m the best” mentality, and we all know that when you have that mentality when you’re playing a game that is controlled by the RNG gods, things can only go from bad to worse.
As an example, the very first encounter we had involved 5 wolves, and the encounter nearly tore the group apart because no one read the godamned combat chapter. Either way, he wasn’t happy that the wolves almost tore him apart (Due to a low AC form not reading the %$#^ing BOOK.)
Next time, the encounters were apparently a lot easier. Why? We read the book, and we discovered that sneak attack procs on any combat advantage. Go figure, with his newfound knowledge, Mack trashed all the things. He had a lot of fun, which was good ’cause there’s something else you need to know about Mack.
Mack gets incredibly sour when he loses. Oh yes, he does.
So as a result of “being the hero,” Mack was very happy to be the center of everything for a bit: he had stabbed more than a few kobolds, killed an Ankheg, and stabbed a big ol’ bitchy kobold crone. Fun was had by all, and the only person who got close to dying was my Cleric.
And then today. Ooooooh, today.
So the characters wake up, and decide to get back to the main quest: a story for another time.
Mack isn’t thinking, and decides not to check for traps when walking through the alleyways (Kobolds are known to set traps up everywhere. Everywhere) so as a result, he gets caught in a net. The group gets ambushed by kobolds who then proceed to almost kill their catch: not surprising. He was caught in their net.
Despite the tough fight they had, they overcome it, but is he happy about it? Let’s answer a question with another question: did he get the killing blow on anything?
Assuming the usual answer of the karma-ful RNG gods, he was already moping about how unfair and shitty this was. When the group went to the sewers, they were assaulted by rat swarms and a couple of styrges. Go figure, the styrges go after the frailer people and the swarms follow them and so attach themselves to our Psion, a clothy. As a result of flailing, our rogue has a hard time hitting them.
Go figure, he misses. A lot. He gets frustrated, throws his dice. Generally acts spoiled, childish. Ruins the mood for everyone, despite another successful encounter.
It’s been awhile, so let’s see what I can manage.
Monsieur le Rogue, do you understand what is D&D? It is a game. It is a game based on team work, and on the ability for a group, emphasis on group, to have fun together by killing imaginary monsters and such. Together, see? Which means that, if the group succeeds, you succeed.
So as a result, those rolls of yours? They only matter if your group loses. If you live, and there’s no way you ^$%#ing CAN with 2 healers, then you’re golden.
Here’s my issue with this: you do realize all this moping ruins the game for the group don’t you? What about all the times your group managed to save your ass, or speared a kobold with magic? What about all the times that Drew managed blow up a monster’s brain? MIND CRUSH. The epic HELICOPTER?!
When you ruin the mood of the gaming night, you ruin my ability to maintain the game’s pace. You ruin my ability to keep people engrossed in the game. More importantly, you ruin the fun of the group because you’re personally not killing the things. Your group is killing the things, you are winning. You have completely forgotten that your character should be happy to be alive, not skulking about how you didn’t die.
So please. For the love of whatever gods your character holds dear…
Do not make me abuse my GM power. I can and WILL summon the wrath of Pelor and shove a gigantic, spikey golden boot up your ass, and cause you to explode.
If that’s what it takes for my group to have fun, then so be it.