Rat Bastard DM Requirements
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  1. #1
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    Rat Bastard DM Requirements

    What does it take to be a Rat Bastard DM? Are you one?

    How many TPK's have you caused?

    How many dice have been thrown at you?

    How many character sheets have you ripped up?

    How, exactly, have you caused mental anguish to your players?

    Have you ever fudged a die roll to kill a character. For example, you rolled a 3 but told everyone it was a "natural 20."

    What else?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TarionzCousin View Post
    Are you one?
    Hope so.

    Quote Originally Posted by TarionzCousin View Post
    How, exactly, have you caused mental anguish to your players?
    By making my players take actions they KNEW would cause them grief, because they were immersed deeply enough in their characters that they acted against their better (meta-game) judgment.

    IMHO it's all about balancing a fun game, verisimilitude regarding consequences, and painful choices which root the guilt for the PC's suffering firmly in the hands of their players.

    Cheers, -- N

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    Quote Originally Posted by TarionzCousin View Post
    What does it take to be a Rat Bastard DM? Are you one?
    Oh, probably...depends who you ask.
    How many TPK's have you caused?
    None.
    How many dice have been thrown at you?
    Several. One drew blood.
    How many character sheets have you ripped up?
    None, mostly because I insist they be kept for posterity.
    How, exactly, have you caused mental anguish to your players?
    How haven't I?

    I run 1e. My games have all the nasty that later versions have done their best to remove: level drains, save-or-die, equipment breakage including magic gear, and so forth. I've also added wild magic surges, where if an item breaks or a spell goes wrong or gets interrupted random things may happen; and most of those random things are not exactly pleasant. I make casters roll to aim their spells, and they can fumble (ever fumbled with a Fireball? It ain't pretty - particularly when it goes off *inside* your fireproof cloak, as once happened). And I very rarely run adventures that the party can expect to waltz through without casualties...though they try anyway...and this can sometimes lead to a lot of character turnover in a very short time.
    Have you ever fudged a die roll to kill a character. For example, you rolled a 3 but told everyone it was a "natural 20."?
    Nearest I ever came to this was I once had a player who I was 99% sure was fudging combat rolls, so I fought fire with fire - if you're always gonna hit, I'm always gonna hit; only my hits hurt more. A death or two later, the player got the hint and the fudging (both ways) stopped.

    Lan-"but every week they come back for more"-efan

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    I just got a player's PC near death while he was missing a game due to his honeymoon. Does that count?

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    TPKs? Ripped up character sheets? Fudged die rolls to kill characters?

    A rat bastard DM craves not these things.

    A rat bastard DM's strength flows from the game. Beware the Dark Side! Cheap character deaths, taking satisfaction in TPKs - the Dark Side are they...

    (Quite literally, for the DM, there is no 'try'. If you want to kill characters, then characters are dead. Death is EASY for a DM to organise. Level 1 PCs leave tavern, a Great Wyrm red dragon flies overhead on its once-a-century rampage, and bingo, the PCs are dead. You win, right? Nah, big difference between a killer DM and a Rat Bastard DM. A killer DM just kills characters, which is easy, especially if you're willing to fudge die rolls to that end. A rat bastard DM merely makes the characters lives miserable, especially if s/he can orchestrate things so that it's at least in part the consequences of the PCs own decisions that make them miserable, and in doing so makes the *players* love it.)

    (A Rat Bastard DM's) duty is heavy, but (PC) death is lighter than a feather...

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    Q. What does it take to be a Rat Bastard DM? Are you one?
    A. I'm not sure. My players accuse me of being one.

    Q. How many TPK's have you caused?
    A. Three... My fave was the very first game of my 'evil' campaign. The party died on a boat because my monsters scored 14 crits in three rounds with each creature having 8 attacks per round.

    Q. How many dice have been thrown at you?
    A. Two

    Q. How many character sheets have you ripped up?
    A. None, my group uses excel sheets.

    Q. How, exactly, have you caused mental anguish to your players?
    A. I give like no treasure and give out gold coins that have to be melted down to use as it is illegal to use non Imperial coins. So, players have to melt down gold in order to spend it when looting gold. Players love that sort of thing. Then, I tricked one of the dumb PCs -his character was an idiot, but the player is clever- into giving away ALL the party treasure as payment via an NPC.

    Q. Have you ever fudged a die roll to kill a character. For example, you rolled a 3 but told everyone it was a "natural 20."
    A. Ooooooh yeah, There was this one guy... He angered everyone with arrogance and I slaughtered him because it was the only way to shut the guy up about his uber sweet cleric. Yap yap yap...

    Q. What else?
    A. My best friends call me a @@@@@@@ as a GM because I raise the HD on monsters just enough to increase the toughness of the CR without giving them extra xp, give out increasingly low amounts of treasure, and allow only two items out of the MIC because the book is broken as a mirror in a crackhouse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TarionzCousin View Post
    What does it take to be a Rat Bastard DM? Are you one?
    I can be occasionally, but I've had my share of Rat Bastard PCs as well.

    Come to think of it, I've occasionally been a Rat Bastard PC as well.

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    Q. What does it take to be a Rat Bastard DM?
    A. The Rat Bastard DM's Club is a secret organization (sect? cult?) whose origins are shrouded in mystery and flumphs. Nobody knows who they are, or where they come from. The best our sages have been able to discern is that to become a RBDM, you must chase penguins and parlay with swashbuckling felines.

    Q. Are you one?
    A. I've been called one before (and I've been called worse, too.) But as far as belonging to the RBDM club, nope.

    Q. How many TPK's have you caused?
    A. Just one that I can remember. But I turned it into a story arc, and everyone was happy.

    Q. How many dice have been thrown at you?
    A. Just 2d6. The funny thing is, we were playing Monopoly at the time. One of the guys at the table got really frustrated that I wouldn't trade my last railroad for his crappy pale-blue slums, and threw his dice at me in defiance. He was already winning anyway...

    Q. How many character sheets have you ripped up?
    A. I have never destroyed a character sheet that was not my own.

    Q. How, exactly, have you caused mental anguish to your players?
    A. I once led the PCs on a spider-themed adventure into a spider-infested forest, where they did battle with dozens of aberrant monsters that I had modified with my Half-Spider template. The final showdown was a battle with a half-dragon monstrous spider, whose breath weapon was a swarm of twitching, biting black widow spiders. I described everything in great detal and high Gygaxian prose, right down to the squeaking, popping noises the black widow spiders made when squished underfoot during the battle.

    Two of the three players were actual, card-carrying arachnophobes. Not just squeamish, not just the "spiders creep me out" sort. No, these guys had real issues.

    Hey, they asked for it. It was Halloween, and they told me to "come up with something extra-scary" to mark the occasion. I merely complied with their wishes.

    Q. Have you ever fudged a die roll to kill a character. For example, you rolled a 3 but told everyone it was a "natural 20."
    A. I have never fudged a roll in combat. In fact, I make all of my combat rolls outside the screen, in full view of the players. That said, I will fudge any other roll that needs to be rolled behind the screen, such as for Search checks and whatnot. I'm not doing it to be a dick; I am just trying to drive the story forward. If the party really needs to find that secret door to avoid spending the next six hours roaming the halls and fighting random encounters, I'm on it.

    Q. What else?
    A. I kicked one of my players out of the gaming group because I found out she was cheating on my best friend.
    Last edited by CleverNickName; Monday, 31st May, 2010 at 04:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TarionzCousin View Post
    What does it take to be a Rat Bastard DM?
    Players who enjoy gaming with a RBDM. Otherwise, you'll just be a RB.
    Are you one?
    I've thrown the occasional fiendish plot and infuriating twist at my players from time to time, but on the whole, probably not.

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