I am a better DM than a player (THREAD-O-MANCY)

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I just am.

I don't think I am a bad player - but I think I grow impatient with a character and often have to fight with myself to stay in-character.

I think I am less patient with other players when I am a player.

I think I am more easily distracted when I am a player.

I find it easier to juggle a dozen plot elements and NPC motivations than to develop one character over time.

I find it easier to do several different NPC "voices" than have a consistant character voice.

I find it easier to keep notes about what is going on in the campaign as DM, than as player.

As a player, I sometimes forget my books, my dice or even my character sheet - but as DM I hardly ever forget any important books, notes, maps or minis.

Why the discrepency? I am not sure.

However, I have found the qualities that make me a decent player were cultivated from years of DMing, i.e. - not second-guessing the DM at the table, being on time, being quiet when it another player's turn to be in the spotlight, listening carefully to descriptions so the DM doesn't have to repeat himself, etc. . .

So, how do others compare their player vs. DMing skills/abiltiies?
 
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Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
Me too, but for different reasons.

Some of the stuff that you find difficult (like a consistent voice) I don't have trouble with. But I'm so used to answering DM questions that I immediately tend to make rules judgments, even when I have no business doing so. It's an awfully hard habit to break.

In a pick-up game I played in yesterday (over at nopantsyet's house), I also found out that I can have severe twink tendencies. :D We were told to bring in 15th lvl rogue-y characters, standard gear. My shadowdancer was criticalling a few times a round with his keen brilliant energy rapier, especially with an improved crit feat that brought my range to 12-20. Add that to a few potions of haste and a ring of blinking, and I was doing close to 100 points of damage a round! I had no real idea it would be that effective, and I felt guilty even as I skewered bad guy after bad guy. Moral of story: deep inside me, I indulged my munchkin tendencies, and I'm never letting one of those into my own campaign. *grin*
 


Forrester

First Post
Piratecat said:
Me too, but for different reasons.

Some of the stuff that you find difficult (like a consistent voice) I don't have trouble with. But I'm so used to answering DM questions that I immediately tend to make rules judgments, even when I have no business doing so. It's an awfully hard habit to break.

In a pick-up game I played in yesterday (over at nopantsyet's house), I also found out that I can have severe twink tendencies. :D We were told to bring in 15th lvl rogue-y characters, standard gear. My shadowdancer was criticalling a few times a round with his keen brilliant energy rapier, especially with an improved crit feat that brought my range to 12-20. Add that to a few potions of haste and a ring of blinking, and I was doing close to 100 points of damage a round! I had no real idea it would be that effective, and I felt guilty even as I skewered bad guy after bad guy. Moral of story: deep inside me, I indulged my munchkin tendencies, and I'm never letting one of those into my own campaign. *grin*

I'll second that -- on both counts (the rules lawyer problem and the twink problem).

A friend of mine decided to run a one-shot module -- Bastion of Broken Souls.

My 18th level cleric of Flahrnahghahn can get his AC up to 59 (core rules only, mind you), can cast Miracle up to 7 times a day if necessary (love those Candles of Invocation), is pretty much immune to targeted spells, INCLUDING Greater Dispelling and Slow (as he's always holding onto his Rod of Absorption), can easily deal out 100pts+ damage a round against the toughest of opponents (as he can cast Holy Sword -- the 4th level Paladin spell -- from an Ioun Stone, put there using Miracle, of course.)

I mean, how exactly DO you kill an 18th level cleric that's been polymorphed into a stone giant, has a 59 AC, can't be effectively targeted by individual non-touch spells, and who can cast Mass Heal once a round before engaging in his brutal full-round attack? I'll note I have Mind Blank up, and a Contingency up that gives me SR34 if I'm targeted by a melee touch spell. (I may just change it to a Heal).

I have to point out at this point the whole "Gating in a Solar" thing doesn't suck much either . . . my DM is currently working on a way to nerf it, as it's just a *little* broken.

The first real combat we had was almost a TPK (we teleported to the Marilith/Kyton's lair). Guess who survived?

Yeah, I gotta twink problem. Lord knows I'd never allow a character like that into *my* campaign, either. I'm such a hypocrite :).
 

Sniktch

First Post
Ditto with Piratecat and Forrester. I've been DMing too long and I'll jump in with rules adjudications when its not my place to do so.

Although my latest character is a bit of a munchkin (16th level sorcerer/archmage w/ 28 Cha, spell focus and imp spell focus, spellcasting prodigy, etc. The DC to save against one of my 1st level evocations is 27), he's the exception and not the norm. I usually have no problem staying in character and am much more likely to play something cool and off-beat than overpowered.

Now if I could only let the DM make his own rules decisions :eek:
 

buzz

Adventurer
Re: I am a better DM than a player

nemmerle said:
So, how do others compare their player vs. DMing skills/abiltiies?

I'm playing a cleric in my current group (I posted a request for character advice on ENWorld, so you know where this is going). The last time I was a player in any game was 1991, and the last time I played a cleric was, most likely, 1986.

So, yeah, I kind of stink as a player. :) I'm clueless about what the good cleric spells are, I can't seem to figure out who my character is, and I tend to balk at engaging in IC speech.

Essentially, I have little practice bieng a player. I'm finding that it is genuinely a different mindset.

The main thing I realized is that being a good player can (and indeally, should) involve almost as much prep work as being a DM. I assumed that I could just show up each session, but now I'm realizing that, to be an effective player, I need to do some prep work. Studying my spell list, planning my character's advancement, boning up on the rules, and even creating a character sheet that I find aesthetically pleasing.

I also find that sometimes I get frustrated not being in the DM's chair. E.g., our last session involved almost nothing but heading back to town and taking care of a lot of mundane business. Some of this was of interest to me, but most of it wasn't. The DM and the other players were RP'ing a lot of situations that I would have just described in a few sentences (it took more than 30 minutes for a few of them to get some magic items identified, as they were playing it all out... I think I came close to falling asleep).

I would never have played it this way, but that's my style, not my DM's. It's taking a little getting used to.
 

As a player I tend to not pay attention, randomly scream, and minmax my characters to hell and beyond.

I playing a mounted combat paladin at level 4, and as my first big action I do a smite evil charge attack at attack +10, 3d8+27 damage.

You can just here the mouths hitting the table in shock, most of the people had never read the rule books, much less seen or created a min-max or even optimized character before. Of course on the flip side most of them thought that playing a Simese Twin Pimp in roman Alexandria was a valid option.
 

MadScientist

First Post
Yeah, I'm generally the DM of our group as well, but because I've been to busy lately(Grad School sucks up alot of time) I've been on the players side.

-I have a very hard time RPing a single complex character. I mean I always found it pretty easy to play a bunck of two dimensional cleches.... but one multi-dimensional character has been difficult.

-I've also released my inner twink! Maybe it's just because I know the rules so well and the twinkish combos are just so obvious.... I don't know. I do know that my dwarven Barbarian/Fighter dishes out far more hurt than any one else in the party, and of course he has a 6 Cha (I should be so ashamed) [As a side note I never realized how twink dwarves were until I played one... +2 save versus magic, +4 AC vs Giants, etc., etc. sheesh!]

-Rules judgements, yup me 2.

-I also have a hard time keeping my mouth shut when my fellow players use less than optimal tactics. (Well if you had 5 ft stepped here you could have done X. No cast the fear spell on the mook so I can AoO him and then cleave into the big bad guy!)

I have to say thay being a DM has made be a better player in some respects though. I always try hard to pay attention, write down clues, keep careful track of my missile weapon ammo (Many players never seem to run out of x-bow bolts!)

Although probably the best thing about playing is seeing weak points in you DM that you suddenly realize you have as well.:)
 
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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
As Dm I can't stand when some "know it all" questions my rulings - and while I will sometimes allow some questioning/discussion - when I say "let's move on" - then my players know - end of debate - we are moving on.

I try to show my DMs the same courtesy.
 

kengar

First Post
However, I have found the qualities that make me a decent player were cultivated from years of DMing, i.e. - not second-guessing the DM at the table, being on time, being quiet when it another player's turn to be in the spotlight, listening carefully to descriptions so the DM doesn't have to repeat himself, etc. . .


Dude, compared to some I play with, the above alone makes you an AWESOME player. :D
 

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