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Rat13

New DM is throwing up too many red flags!

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We find the day upon us once again. Barring any changes the game is on tonight and I'm going. My wife has told everyone she won't make it because of a cold.

 

Unless I get home really late a full report of tonight's events will be posted before I turn in. Fingers crossed that I can get myself killed tonight. 

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Yeah - a game that I have run umpty ump times, but that was the first time I have had people actually try to bring a mule down that path....

 

The mule balking is supposed to be a warning that it is dangerous - and most times the PCs use a rope....

 

The mule was smarter than the PC. (Mules are actually a bit smarter than either horses or asses, which is kind of weird....)

 

The Auld Grump

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Here is tonight's session two report.

 

This session would be our first one in our permanent location. It's hard to describe the location, think coffee shop and you're pretty close.

 

Since I didn't know exactly where it was I Google mapped it. I noticed Google said the shop closed right when we were supposed to meet. So naturally I called the shop to confirm they were going to be open and knew we were coming.

 

I talked with the owner and she explained that their hours had changed but Google wasn't reflecting that change yet. She told me our DM had talked to her about using the shop but they hadn't nailed down all of the details. I thanked her for her time and said I'd get ahold of the DM so he could call back and iron everything out.

 

So I got ahold of the DM and told him that he needed to call the location because they weren't sure we were coming or that they'd actually reached an agreement. Apparently it was all handled after that, so the game was on.

 

We had a bit of weather and everyone was at least a few minutes late; I was there about a half hour before the first arrivals (I'm understanding about weather but by this point I'm detecting a pattern). We ended up starting a half hour after we were supposed to because we were waiting on one last player.

 

DM told us our bard had pulled out because work was changing and he'd be unreliable at best. Upon coming home tonight I found out through my wife the player was actually just quitting the group because of "too much role playing and feeling railroaded." So it's not just my wife and I at least.

 

We picked up where we had left off. The diplomat had a sword through their chest and were dying. Coincidentally this was the man I was supposed to exchange letters with.

 

Details here are a little pointless, we ended up saving the diplomat and rendering the assassin unconscious. Using a bit of forsight I decided to use slight of hand to get the letter from the diplomat while he was unconscious. I did this just in case the DM was going to steal it if I let the diplomat out of my sight.

 

We then spent an hour and a half doing a pointless investigation. I say this was pointless because it was so obvious that it was. You could see it in the DM's eyes we weren't supposed to be doing any of it, so all the avenues of investigation were dead ends.

 

Now I had stayed pretty silent because I was letting the party waste their time on what I knew was a pointless investigation. I was really just waiting for everyone to shut up so I could tell the DM I wanted to deliver the message to the Emperor.

 

Then at the DM's urging the party looked to me to tell them about my letters. I tried to explain out of character that I didn't really trust them and since this was my assignment I should probably keep quiet and handle it myself. 

 

Seemed like a fair and logical explanation. That's when the DM railroaded me into telling everyone. "They're chosen like you, you trust them." I'm pretty sure I'm allowed to make those decisions as a character. The DM had "written" only one way to advance the story and it was me telling them about my "mission"; DM has no flexibility. 

 

So we went to the Emperor I handed off the letter I got from the diplomat and explained I'd deliver his letter once the diplomat recovered. Long exposition from the DM via the Emperor and we were "asked" to venture into the diplomats land in order to facilitate a prisoner exchange.

 

Session ended with us all meeting at a safehouse. So there goes another three hours of my life not counting travel time.

 

I'm not going back, I've been done with this game since long before the first session. I'm planning on telling the DM simply that he is running a railroad campaign in a world he is too attached to and that I don't like being told what my character does. I'm also going to point out that my wife quit after session one and I was polite enough to try one more session to see if anything changed after all the characters finally got together.

 

My parting thought to him will be that I was only playing and tolerating his antics because my wife wanted to play in a campaign and since she was quitting there was no reason for me to stay.

 

Barring unforseen events this "adventure" is at an end. If anything further develops when I inform the DM that my wife and I will not be back I'll be sure to make another post.

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Yeouch, sounds like quite the painful session of being very brutally railroaded o_O

 

On the bit about hours on Google....  For that place to have their hours changed, they just need to submit an edit request for such as a "regular" contributor, or if they're a local guide just put an edit in, and then have someone else confirm the edit (I'm saying this as a six, almost seven star Local Guide).  Changes will usually go live within 24 hours. ^_^

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4 hours ago, Rat13 said:

We then spent an hour and a half doing a pointless investigation. I say this was pointless because it was so obvious that it was. You could see it in the DM's eyes we weren't supposed to be doing any of it, so all the avenues of investigation were dead ends.

 

You know some gm's can run good investigations. Then you run into these guys. The "there's only one solution and everything else fails" kind. Those basically shouldn't be gm's because they subject their players to too much needless suffering.

3 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:

Ugh, that sounds tedious.

 

I'm surprised he didn't have a DMPC in there, it sounds just that awful.

 

Oh he probably did. He needed the players to see how awesome his dmpc's autokill cutscenedeath was to shock them into knowing that people could die in this world if a single attack got rid of all their hit points. Then they saved the dmpc so he sulked and railroaded them into following the linear plot he'd planned in advance.

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When you deliver your parting message tell him that even if his 'regular' players were used to his custom world, it may not be a good idea to use it with new players, at least not without first considering who the new players are and their age and gender.

Size of genitalia is a stat that doesn't really come into play all that often in normal games, and may actually be considered offensive by some.

 

If he has 'unoffensive' customisation, he should have it printed up and circulated to new players well before they meet for the game.

A general history, maps and local knowledge any PCs should already be familiar with should also be in this documentation.

 

If players 'break out' of his carefully constructed game setting he IS allowed to pause the game for a few minutes to reconsider and think out details. Snack breaks...

 

And most importantly; No Plan Survives Contact with the Enemy!

 

The best generals aren't necessarily those who make the most elaborate plans, but those that can change their tactics as and when new information appears. 

 

In other words, try to help him become if not a great GM, at least a tolerable one for new players.

 

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On 1/12/2018 at 10:31 PM, Sylverthorne said:

All else fails, Rock to Mud on the doorframe, kick the door down, walk out.

 

 .... I actually had a character do that once, just before I walked out of a session with a GM who was pants at GMing /and/ playing. To this day, Mr. Thorne and I call this guy Horse; he was dumb enough to think a horse could be brought into a dungeon and put on an elevator ...  without losing its horsey mind and turning itself into salami-paste. >.<

Mr. Thorne was /not impressed/.

 

We only saw him once again after the Rock to Mud dungeon. I'm /not subtle/ when I think someone is suffering an excess of stupid. Sadly, I'm not sure he learned anything....

Genuine Stupid is very hard to fix.

So hard that it is generally considered an impossibility by those who have attempted to effect a repair or "fix" on somebody displaying a high level of "stupid".

If it's a severe enough case then the Dunnig-Kruger effect will come into play.

GEM

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On 1/13/2018 at 1:31 AM, Sylverthorne said:

All else fails, Rock to Mud on the doorframe, kick the door down, walk out.

 

 .... I actually had a character do that once, just before I walked out of a session with a GM who was pants at GMing /and/ playing. To this day, Mr. Thorne and I call this guy Horse; he was dumb enough to think a horse could be brought into a dungeon and put on an elevator ...  without losing its horsey mind and turning itself into salami-paste. >.<

Mr. Thorne was /not impressed/.

 

We only saw him once again after the Rock to Mud dungeon. I'm /not subtle/ when I think someone is suffering an excess of stupid. Sadly, I'm not sure he learned anything....

 

Ok, so I know nothing about horses, but why can't you bring a horse into a dungeon (assuming there is actual space for it to fit, not dragon-in-a-broom-closet situation) or get it to ride in an elevator?  In either case, even if that's impossible in the real world, couldn't you just hand-wave the impossible things through some combination of character abilities?  e.g. "I rolled a 48 on my Handle Animal check--this horse can now do Trigonometry."  Or,  "My druid/ranger/paladin abilities let me make this animal do things it would never do in the real world."  This just seems like an extension of the tired old "ROLEplay, not ROLLplay" canard.

 

"You can't bring a horse into a dungeon, stupid! My real world experience with horses blah, blah, blah...."

"Yeah, well, my character's Make Animal Do A Thing power is more relevant to the situation at hand than your anecdata, so pass me the d20 and let's move on.  I'm sorry that it offends your sensibilities that I didn't grow up on a farm."  <_<

 

Nobody ever insists that a footrace, arm-wrestling match, or real world attractiveness be relevant to anything characters can do; why is real world horse behavior knowledge held to a higher standard?

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While I hope that this will be an amicable parting, by the way you describe him I believe that he's so socially handicapped that he'll throw a hissy fit about it in the worst way. I don't think he'll have any self-reflection about this, and will instead have a tantrum and blow up at everyone, I'm sorry to say. On the other hand, you and the other players might be able to get together on your own, now that you're excising the source of toxicity.

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it all boils down to making a good story.  And the best way to make a good story is to make it consistent and believeable. 

It's the reason Mary Sue/Gary Stu characters is a cliche. Overpowered/overskilled/knows exactly what to do in any given situation, and how to do it. Probably even got an old Biro, a Swiss army knife and a roll of duct tape in the pockets... 

 

Sure, a dragon can be a raging, mindless animal, or a wily trickster, or possibly a laid back type who drink tea and plays Parcheesi. There's no real frame of reference. But a horse is a horse is a horse....  

The same with magics. 

Did you ever read David Edding's Belgariad and the Malloreon?

 

Notice how the hero always have the right magic as he needs it, but could have saved himself a lot of hassle if he had that magic a little earlier?

And no proper explanation as to why he couldn't do it all before?

 

It's like watching Hawkmen slowly climb a mountain, and when falling off, just fly back to where they were on the mountainside instead of flying to the top. Pretty stupid, really.   

 

D&D, Pathfinder and all the other games systems impose some sort of order and helps keep actions consistent in anything they describe. 

That way we know a spell of so and so type can be cast only in certain situations or so and so often. And if there's a penalty to it. 

But anything NOT explained in the manual must be ASSUMED or agreed upon by the GM and players.   

And then it's a good rule that 'if it exists outside of the game, maybe it should behave the same way in game also'...

 

So while ponies were used in mines, odds are that random heroes wouldn't be able to buy them because they're either too valuable for the mine owners to sell, or they're dead! and even if a mine was closing down, those ponies would be difficult as elf! to move above ground. 

Also, they were mostly ponies, not big chargers or pack horses. Encumbrance is a broccoli... even when it happens to horses...

 

 

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@Gadgetman!  No, I've never read either of those.

 

You're still prioritizing a knowledge about horses and their real world behaviors over what the mechanics in the game system might allow.  I don't know what a horse is going to do in a mine, in an elevator, or on the elemental plane of fire.  All I know is that my character has horse-related powers and abilities, that I would like to leverage them against our enemies in this adventure, and that I don't see any immediate reason why I might not be able to bring my pony along.  If you're going to pull out secret horse rules, based on real-world horse knowledge, that I can't bypass or overcome with my character's abilities; how is that any different from saying that Shy Susan over there doesn't get to put points in diplomacy and play the party face?  Or that she can put the points in, but she doesn't actually get to use those abilities without possessing the smooth social interaction skills that someone nicknamed "Shy Susan" clearly doesn't possess?  Or saying that Wheezy William doesn't get to play the barbarian because he's never run a mile or swung an axe in his life?

 

 

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Because, as said - a horse follows certain behaviors - your character being good with horses should mean that your character knows about these behaviors, not that the horse magically won't have those behaviors.

 

In D&D terms, teaching a horse to handle the closed dark places with uneven floors that is your typical dungeon is something that you, as a skilled character, can train your horse to do.

 

So, I would handle it in two ways - the character takes the time to train the horse, or he blindfolds the horse, and leads it along at half speed - and as a trained character, with pips in the skill, the character would know these things.

.

*EDIT* If the PC has had the horse for a long time, or if he knows that they will be dungeon delving, then I would allow the PC to have already given the horse the training. If it fits the character's background - a dwarf ranger is a lot more likely to have trained his mule to handle a mine than a wood elf druid to have done the same with his reindeer mount.

 

And I would make sure that the player knows that horses do not like mines.

 

A paladin's magic warhorse is another matter - the warhorse is magic.

 

A a druid's or ranger's animal companion is another special case - and again is magic or nearly so, in this case the magic is in the unnatural loyalty the animal displays, rather than being magic itself.

 

The Auld Grump - and if you punch your mule and then drag it down a narrow ice covered path, you really deserve to have your mule land on you....

 

*EDIT* And, yes, the Lone Ranger's horse Silver would count as his animal companion.

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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