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Rat13

New DM is throwing up too many red flags!

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My wife and I have been interested in playing in an actual campaign for some time now, we enjoy Adventure League but we want more. We'd like to roleplay more and not be switching between characters all the time.

 

My wife played with a group for a little while and they are getting ready to start a new campaign and asked if we would be interested. We talked about it and decided to join the group.

 

Our first session is on the second of the year, so there has been a lot of back and forth between the players and the DM already. During the initial talks my wife put us both down to play barbarians with myself playing a dwarf specifically. I even built it early so it would be done and ready.

 

That was fine for a few days but then the DM "requested" we play anything other than ordinary Player's Handbook races and he's really pushing us to play monster races. So I went along with this and remade my character. Then the DM "requested" that if we played barbarians we shouldn't pick totem or besereker, the PH options. Okay, so I rebuild again.

 

Now the "request" is that we advance to level five and pick some magical items. He wants us to have an uncommon and a rare with the stipulation that the rare item should be our defining item (like excalibur for King Arthur). This is all in addition to the usual of coming up with a backstory, which you need to do for any game anyway.

 

At this point I've made my character three times and frankly now I don't even want to play him. I'll admit I play dwarves a lot and the same can be said for totem barbarians. I roll poorly so being able to recklessly attack helps a lot, and the damage reductions for bear totem barbarians are nice too.

 

So I started out excited to play and had an idea for a fun character. Now I don't want to play what I've built, especially for a long campaign and at this point I'm a little leary of the DM. If this is how character creation has been I'm fairly sure I don't want to play in this game.

 

Should I back out now and hope they find a replacement? Should I go and potentially end up backing out after a few sessions?

 

I don't want to waste anyone's time or screw over my fellow players or DM. I just can't help feeling that this DM won't be my cup of tea.

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I think a game should be fun.

If you are reluctant to play from the start because of this, I think you shouldn't go through with it.

 

 

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Ugh.  I played with a group like that for a while.  GM wanted us to roll new chrs or level up every few weeks.  Like we started at 1st level and then two weeks later said to take it to 7th level (without earning the xp in game) and then wanted to run with all new chrs at 10th level.  And they would sit and argue rules for an hour when I just wanted to play. He and his friends were really into the darker grittier side of things which I wasn't comfortable with either. A couple people at the table were downright rude and unpleasant.  Anyway, right about the time I was getting ready to come up with an excuse for quitting the GM said he felt we weren't a good mesh with his group and kicked us out (at least he was polite about it).  

 

So, I'd say if it's making you uncomfortable and it doesn't feel right, go ahead and back out.  You ought to be able to play a chr you're happy with, without the GM controlling every aspect of it.  Because I have a feeling it's only going to continue. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Inarah said:

So, I'd say if it's making you uncomfortable and it doesn't feel right, go ahead and back out.  You ought to be able to play a chr you're happy with, without the GM controlling every aspect of it.  Because I have a feeling it's only going to continue. 

That's exactly what I think; it'll only get worse. Three builds before I've even at the table and questioning every decision I've made?

 

I admit I could be wrong, this may just be a case of problems getting the campaign started. The DM might be great but it's hard to get excited about playing a character you didn't really get to create.

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I've played with DMs like this before.

It's not always a BAD thing, but it can be ... quirky. "Ah. So you want to play a campaign where we're essentially Ewoks living on Endor, but the humans never showed up. Okay. A concept." And this isn't necessarily bad.

But when the DM tells me what kind of character he wants me to play... what kind of character build to use... what weapons to equip... and continues to micromanage... this eventually leads to the point of "All right, the monster is here, boss, do I attack, negotiate, or run away? Do I get a dialogue tree?" This is one step away from the infamous Campaign On Rails.

This is not an RPG. This is a story where you're using live people as pawns. Most people do not enjoy that sort of game. I know I don't. And I'd make a point of trying to address this in a peaceful nonaggressive nonconfrontational kind of way, but I'd make sure to center it on "If I'm not making my own decisions, and I'm not enjoying myself, why am I playing, again?"

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I would quit, but I would also let the DM know why I was quitting; re, he can't improve unless he know improvement is necessary.

When I dropped out of a campaign years ago, I gave the DM one of my caricatures. It was a DM who looked surprising like the offending DM  leering over his screen.

The caption said: "As a DM, I know how important it is to listen to my PCs ideas & suggestions. I don't do it, but I understand."

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Yah as much as I'd like to have a hometown group again (since 2000....sigh) I'd be weary as well. If anything I'd ask questions. From the sounds of, it appears he doesn't like the PH other basic rules for one thing. 

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13 hours ago, Rat13 said:

At this point I've made my character three times and frankly now I don't even want to play him. I'll admit I play dwarves a lot and the same can be said for totem barbarians. I roll poorly so being able to recklessly attack helps a lot, and the damage reductions for bear totem barbarians are nice too.

 

So I started out excited to play and had an idea for a fun character. Now I don't want to play what I've built, especially for a long campaign...


I would politely let the DM know these general thoughts along with a question along the line of "What can you tell me about your campaign concept to get me excited again?" and see what his response is.  It could be he just isn't being very good about getting you excited about his campaign concept. 

But chances are you will be walking away, and it's probably for the best. It's not good for you OR the campaign if you and/or the DM are unhappy. 

I'm a DM who can be picky about what PCs I allow.  I try to explain my restrictions and the reasons for them, and as a result, I see three types of players. Those who get excited about my campaign with restrictions and all. Those who who don't get excited, and we part ways amicably.   And finally, those who play in the campaign, but constantly whine and complain the entire time, sucking the fun out of the campaign for everyone.    The first two types I'm happy to play with and I'll invite back for future campaigns. 

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What's weird to me aren't the restrictions, but the constant changes this DM makes. It's not like he did talk about a beast race campaign from the start.

My fear as a player would be that this flip flopping continues. You might start out in one part of the world, next session he decides another part is more interesting and transfers you there, the session after he feels like tier 1 play is boring and asks you to level up to 5, ...

I don't see the consistency for a long term campaign if the concept already changed 3 times.

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11 hours ago, malefactus said:

I would quit, but I would also let the DM know why I was quitting; re, he can't improve unless he know improvement is necessary.

When I dropped out of a campaign years ago, I gave the DM one of my caricatures. It was a DM who looked surprising like the offending DM  leering over his screen.

The caption said: "As a DM, I know how important it is to listen to my PCs ideas & suggestions. I don't do it, but I understand."

That's hilarious. I hope he got the message. 

 

But yes, I would walk away and let him know why. My DM will bend over backwards to help me make a character I like and want to play, because a) it's more fun, and b) I won't be inclined to let them die. At most I feel like the DM should let you know some guidelines, if he has a specific setting in mind (Doc's ewoks), so you can make a character that you like, but will fit in. 

 

 

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Woke up this morning to my wife telling me we're not supposed to have an uncommon and rare item. So apparently I spent two hours last night going through the DMG looking for my "excalibur" for no reason.

 

Double update in one morning. We now have no idea if we're supposed to have an uncommon and a rare, one or the other, or what. The confusion comes from the DM not understanding what uncommon and rare items are.

 

How do you not know that? It's not like the words are misleading or anything, you can look them up in the dictionary to find their definitions. I may be more understanding if item rarity had a bunch of made up words to indicate their availability but they don't, they are literally regular words.

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I'll start by stating I don't play 3.x or Pathfinder.  I find those rules systems, by the desire to have rules for everything, to be too clunky for me to have fun.

 

My own game has various restrictions.  For example, the game focused on a fae-realm requires that everyone play humans, because fae are considerably different from humans, and that difference is discovered through play. 

 

I might start the characters a 2nd or 3rd level, especially new players, because I would rather the players get the experience of gaming rather than a quick death.

 

But by choosing to start at a mid-level, the DM takes away a significant portion of making stories for the campaign.  One-off's, it makes sense, as do convention games. 

 

It sounds like the DM has a story he wants to tell.  That always raises flags for me, because I much prefer sand-box style games.  But, apparent poor communication (coupled with potential poor rules knowledge) lead me to believe I wouldn't last long in this game.  I might still begin play, but I probably wouldn't invest in redoing a character again:  You've made the character, and if there are restrictions later, so be it.  But don't spend a lot of time jumping through hoops.

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2 hours ago, Doug's Workshop said:

It sounds like the DM has a story he wants to tell.  That always raises flags for me, because I much prefer sand-box style games.  But, apparent poor communication (coupled with potential poor rules knowledge) lead me to believe I wouldn't last long in this game.  I might still begin play, but I probably wouldn't invest in redoing a character again:  You've made the character, and if there are restrictions later, so be it.  But don't spend a lot of time jumping through hoops.

That's the feeling I'm getting too. He has his own campaign idea, and PCs will be shoehorned in the story, essentially cameos in the grand scheme of things.

 

It may work, but PCs are notorious for "not following the plan", especially the DM's plan.

Edited by Cranky Dog
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Actually, what it sounds like to me is that the DM has an idea, but that he hasn't fully fleshed it out.  Or more likely, he has several ideas and is trying to mash them together and having trouble making them all work together in a traditional 1-xx level game.

 

It would be cool if people had these cool magic items that help define their characters, like an ancestral item or something, so I'll just have everyone start with one.  Oh, but if the Paladin starts with a Holy Avenger, he'll be unbalanced at first level. Hmmm, I know, we'll just skip the low levels and start at like 5th!" 

 

"Oh, and it would be cool if people would just mix up their races and classes.  Let mod that"

 

And since the DM doesn't have everything for the campaign fleshed out and set in stone, as new ideas come to him/her (or other players go "hey, you know what could be cool") changes keep happening.

 

While there are warning signs, if the DM has had an OK track record in previous games, I'd still give it a chance.  If things don't work out for your style of play, then feel free to drop the game.  This seems like a game that would really benefit from a Session 0, where the DM can lay out his/her vision and the players can let it be know what they are looking forward to getting out of the game.

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Makes me think about a guy I knew, back in the day, who was wild about the Thieves World books... and then went out and bought the old Thieves World boxed set. And he decided that the Rebellion would overthrow the Rankan Empire, with Prince Kadakithis leading the rebels, and the whole thing would start in Sanctuary, supported by the main characters of the books, who would in turn be supported by the PCs.

It did not end well. Entire sessions consisted of little more than exposition. At least he understood why the players lost interest, though...

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