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Bad prepared Dungeon Masters!!!

Lavinia Teeblatt

First Post
Hi all,

I´d like to hear your opinion to something happened last weekend.
As some of you know a few weeks ago I was DMing my first adventure. I spent a lot of time for preparing the sessions and it was of course a lot of fun. ( preparing and playing )
After finishing the adventure some players attacked my very hard because they couldn´t understand the way I was giving out roleplaying xp.
Now, a few weeks later one of the players attacking me DMed an adventure. He was nearly totally unprepared. For example when someone went to the next room he had to read what was in the room and had to look for enemies in the MM.
From my side of view this is not much fun to play because things are not going on. I think this is much worser than make noise about 50 xp more or less.
But nobody said anything to him.
What´s your opinion on this?

Lavinia
 

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Darklone

Registered User
Uhm, looking up monsters... happens to me now and then. Pretty often actually.

Especially cause my players usually can go wherever they want and do whatever they want. Just two weeks ago they did a 180° turn without warning to the DM, returned to a city where they are outlawed and had a lot of fun. I had to improvise a lot since I didn't have prepared maps for all the houses and floors where they charged in...

Was fun.

With your "DM": ask the others perhaps...
 
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Zappo

Explorer
Roleplaying awards are highly subjective. In other words, there is just about no way to consistantly please everyone there.

Personally, I state out clearly that RP awards will be inaccurate, and that the players should expect to receive slightly unfair and inconsistant rewards. Statistically, they'll even out on the long term to more XP for better roleplaying, but the single session can easily have skewed RP awards. The alternative is eliminating RP rewards altogether.

The firm point is that I try not to be skewed in favor of particular players. Error is expected and minimized on the long run, but partiality is another matter altogether. No excuses for that.

As for being unprepared, that's annoying but not a mortal sin. It seems that this person is an unexperienced DM. Nothing bad there, but I think he should refrain from criticizing the DMing of another, especially in one of the toughest fields (RP awards) which, very likely, he can't handle any better.
 

Hand of Evil

Adventurer
Epic
You did nothing wrong! Players have expectations based on their gaming history, you as the DM plan and build your story, you control the flow. I know DM that keep EXP away from their players, placing it into a pool under their names and the player has to role-play learning a skill, when the EXP are there he gets the skill. I also know DM that only give out 100 points a game, no matter what happened in the game.

You as the DM control your game, just talk to the players, let them know your feelings and continue to play and have fun.
 
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Marimmar

First Post
Considering that the adventure module was a pretty linear Dungeon (tm Magazine) crawl without a lot of options and maybe a total of 5 different monsters, he could have done far better by preparing the game beforehand. What really bugs me are statements like 'When should I have prepared the module?' when everyone knows that he plays Broodwar every night of the week.

It's kind of annoying to have him start reading the module everytime someone enters a new room. Just like in C-64 times when a monster group appeared and the game started loading for several minutes.

It's annoying to get obvious informations like entrances to a building only after wondering why there's no way to get into the building.

It's just plain frustrating when a monster appears and he starts reading the description without knowing what the monster does.

*Bleh* Bad DM!!!





~Marimmar
 

Flyspeck23

First Post
Marimmar said:
Considering that the adventure module was a pretty linear Dungeon (tm Magazine) crawl without a lot of options and maybe a total of 5 different monsters, he could have done far better by preparing the game beforehand. What really bugs me are statements like 'When should I have prepared the module?' when everyone knows that he plays Broodwar every night of the week.

It's kind of annoying to have him start reading the module everytime someone enters a new room. Just like in C-64 times when a monster group appeared and the game started loading for several minutes.

It's annoying to get obvious informations like entrances to a building only after wondering why there's no way to get into the building.

It's just plain frustrating when a monster appears and he starts reading the description without knowing what the monster does.

*Bleh* Bad DM!!!

Sounds like this person was forced into the DM role. My advice: let someone DM who'll actually enjoy it.
This guy can play Brood War or whatever as much as he likes, and he can prepare an adventure as much as he likes - his decision. But it's your decision not to let him DM anymore (or at least not taking part in that particular adventure). If that means being a DM yourself, well... tough luck ;)
 

Imperialus

Explorer
Flyspeck23 said:
Sounds like this person was forced into the DM role. My advice: let someone DM who'll actually enjoy it.
This guy can play Brood War or whatever as much as he likes, and he can prepare an adventure as much as he likes - his decision. But it's your decision not to let him DM anymore (or at least not taking part in that particular adventure). If that means being a DM yourself, well... tough luck ;)

The impression I got was this guy was the one complaining about Lavinia's DMing which is why he ended up DMing the next week.
 

DM Toad

First Post
A way to award roleplaying XP awards.

Good morning,

A new member here but a long time DM. In my 'beginning' years as a DM I also took a lot of flak from gamers on 'subjective' XP awards for roleplaying. Here are a few things that I have learned over the years.

1. Roleplaying awards, in my opinion, are granted for events that pushed a player to a new level in roleplaying.
2. 'Veteran' versus 'Newbie'. Who deserves more XP, the veteran who brings out an 'oscar' performance, complete with British accent, when granted an audience with the king or the newbie who finally got up enough courage to 'barter' down the cost of a new set of leather armor. Both, in my mind, are awardable events.
3. If your party is not playing as a group, someone always seems to get 'ruffled' by the awards.

My solution: I bought a 3 dollar medallion on a leather string at a Ren. Festival a few years ago. If you get to wear the medallion in the game you get an XP bonus (I never tell them how much so I can still keep some subjectivity in it). I keep track of how many times a player is awarded the medallion. The genius part is that I leave it up to the party members to award roleplaying awards. When THEY feel someone in the party performed well they can out-of-character make a motion to award the medallion to that player to wear around their neck. If the motion is upheld by another in the party (as it usually is) the medallion is passed to the new player. Big rule:You can not be awarded the medallion if you are already wearing it.

It solves so much. The medallion is cool and has taken on the aura of being a good luck charm (the amount of 20s that get rolled by those wearing it is uncanny). It almost magically unifies the party as they start paying closer attention to each others play. Even those players with the overriding ego get into it because they cannot get their next award until the medallion has passed to at least one other member.

When you first introduce the method that medallion is passed around every other word, but as long as you don't tell the players how much XP the medallion is worth, you just adjust the amount down a bit to combat the initial flurry of medallion passing.

I like it and it really boosted my party morale and cohesiveness.
Try it and see.

DM Toad.
 


Mista Collins

First Post
I like it and it really boosted my party morale and cohesiveness.
Try it and see.

DM Toad.

I just might have to. That is a very clever way of getting players to actually role-play more. I have a few players that are just the bash em type people, but on the rare occasion they will actually role-play their characters while in town and it is a blast. Maybe by doing something like this it will give him more of a reason to entertain us with his role-playing.
 

Arnwyn

First Post
Lavinia Teeblatt said:
From my side of view this is not much fun to play because things are not going on. I think this is much worser than make noise about 50 xp more or less.
But nobody said anything to him.
What´s your opinion on this?
Without fully knowing your group dynamics, it's very difficult if not impossible to be able to fully form an opinion. (I do vaguely remember your original thread about the rewarding of XP argument.)

Of course, IMO, being unprepared as badly as you say when DMing is far worse than missing out on 50 XP or so. If he's DMing, why isn't he reasonably preparing? Is he too busy with real-life responsibilities/family/etc? Then DMing may not be for him. Is he just lazy? Are the players too demanding?

Why nobody said anything to him is anyones guess. That's where the whole "group dynamics" thing comes in, and nobody will be able to help much with that, since nobody knows exactly how your group works (personalities, current inter-personal relationships, etc.).
 

Zontag

First Post
Well XP awards for RP are a touchy subject.
Some people play the game for role playing and some play it to blow off some steam by smacking some baddies (roll playing) because of this in a mixed group the people who are not into the role playing aspect of the game feel cheated when the role players get extra XP and they don't, in theory this should encourage role playing but some people don't take it well.
I have a mixed group like that and what I do which seems to work out well is that at the end of the module I give out extra XP not only for role playing your character well but also for combat related achievements; things like doing the most damage in one hit, killing the most baddies, making the most incredible shot, taking the most damage and even dying.
This way the folks who RP get rewarded for their RP skills and the folks who just want to apply the smack down get rewarded for doing exceptionally well in that department.
Everyone wins and no whining.
As for the DM you mentioned he sounds like a jerk. Not being prepared for the session is not cool, it wastes peoples time and kills the fun of the session.
 

Emirikol

Adventurer
Zontag said:
As for the DM you mentioned he sounds like a jerk. Not being prepared for the session is not cool, it wastes peoples time and kills the fun of the session.

Argh, I hate when DM's aren't prepared. I've been playing RPGA games for a long time, and there's been several occasions where the DM came to the table and hadn't read the scenario. not only is it a waste of my time, it's cheapening the scenario. Dm's, even really good ones, can only make up so much material. You also end up missing vital clues because the DM forgot to give them to you and then just ends up handing the scenario over to you or just runs out of thought and throws random monsters at you just to pass the time...

As for your x.p. issue, a good rule to follow is that 10% of your total x.p. can be for 'role playing.' ALWAYS HAND IT OUT SECRETLY AND NEVER GIVE THE SAME AMOUNT TO ALL PLAYERS. That way players cant compare as well after a few sessions.

jh
 

MarauderX

First Post
I hate unprepared DMs, but I hate those that can't improvise even more, and those that think they can improvise only to do so very poorly are the worst.

XP is subjective, as I think someone said, so either do it in private (so not everyone else knows) or award everyone the same amount. If you want, have the players vote on who they think should receive an extra 5% XP per session or something similiar so that they think they have at least some power in the awards handed out.
 

KenM

First Post
Lavinia Teeblatt said:
For example when someone went to the next room he had to read what was in the room and had to look for enemies in the MM.

Well, if He was DMing a WOTC module, or something from Dungeon, if the monster is in the MM, it tells you in the module to look up the stats in the monster manual. (IE; this room has 5 goblins in it, see MM pg 133). This saves room to put in more flavor, magic items, ect.. So that might be why He kept loooking in the MM. My DM looks stuff up in the MM all the time.
But He should have read the adventure had had a genreal idea of the layout of the dungeon. Where stuf was, ect.
 

Lavinia Teeblatt

First Post
Thank you all for your replies.

I also like what DM Toad does. Maybe I try to get this into our party.

I think some of you are right to say perhaps he had no time to prepare the adventure. But all of us know ( like Marimmar, also one player in our party, already mentioned ) that he plays Broodwar every night.
So I think it should be no problem to stop this for one or two evenings and start preparing an adventure.
But in the meantime I heard from some other players that they were also not very satisfied with him as a DM.
So next time he wants to DM a session I will try to stop him. :p

Lavinia
 

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