D&D General Times You've Wanted to Kill Your Players

Asisreo

Patron Badass
You read the title right, friends. This isn't for the squeamish!

This is a place to post your stories where you, no matter the reason, you wanted to kill the person behind the character. Unleash your murderous rage upon the thread!

I'll start, as an example:

For new players, I like to go slow and make sure they completely understand the game. So, I'll walk them through the process of playing until they can finally understand how to play on their own.

Well, in one campaign I started a while ago, I had a certain player roll fairly low on their attack and damage rolls. Now, I have them go step-by-step in the process. "Don't forget to add your proficiency bonus and ability score. That should be a +5." I did this for practically every round of combat for the first 5 sessions we played and during those 5 sessions, he still barely ever hit. I wondered why, eventually he notices the druid, who he sits next to, add her strength modifier to her attack. He goes "Oh my God, we're supposed to add!? That's why I roll so low!"

I EXPLICITLY TOLD YOU THAT EVERY TIME ITS YOUR TURN!!! Ugh, eventually he got it, though. And it's fine because later the dice deities punished him by having him roll a nat1...as a halfling...into another nat1. So lucky the dice gods got to him before I did!

Also, it doesn't have to be confined to them playing D&D. If your son ate your leftovers without asking and you DM for him, you can absolutely vent here as well. Only qualifiers are that they are your players and you felt a rush of bloodlust.
 

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DND_Reborn

Legend
Yeah, I've had some players like that--they just never seem to learn...

I have one player right now who keeps wanting to add his proficiency bonus to damage as well as his attack rolls. I have to keep reminding him not to. Even when I help him fill out his character sheet, he still forgets things or how to do stuff.

It can be very frustrating. Not to the point of wanting to kill him, but still...
 

Greenfield

Adventurer
I ran a superhero campaign once upon a time. Most of the group were part of a team, but one player always ran an outsider, one who wasn't associated with anyone. Each game the GM (usually me) had to come up with some contrived excuse why his character would be drawn in.

Finally I got sick of it and told them we were starting anew. New campaign, new characters. I asked everyone to design two perfectly normal human beings, complete down to the skills they needed to hold a job.

I then ran a "White Event", a cosmic-accident thing that gave everyone there a shot at powers. Both of their character got charged with cosmic-whatever and ended up with powers. They would then get to choose which one was theirs to play, and which they'd turn over to me, as DM, to use as the foundation for a broader super-community. Some would become allies, some would go Villain.

And the first thing Mr. Lone Wolf did with his character was flee the scene so nobody could get to know him, or have any basis for ever working with him. We'd be right back to pretzle-twisting the story so he'd be involved, the one thing I was trying to avoid.

I gave in. Next adventure started and everyone was on board, except him. Nobody knew how to reach his character, nor why they should, and I didn't make any special effort to drag him in. He sat there for the entire session, waiting for the usual dramatic entrance/introduction and his opening curtain never came.

I had privately vented to him about how frustrating it was to deal with his "You have to ask me real nice" approach every adventure, and he kind of hand-waved it. Figured that I had to keep doing it if I wanted him in the game.

But the joke was on him. I didn't want him in the game. We played at the FLGS, and shop rules said I had to accept players who wanted to join, so I couldn't actually throw him off the table. (This came up with the shop owner, after Lone Wolf complained). I said he was welcome to join the game, but that as far as I could tell, "join" wasn't something he was willing to do.

He expanded his antisocial behavior the next week, alienating the shop owner and got himself thrown out. Problem solved.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Last night. My players were exploring a haunted house. They knew they needed to find a family portrait. They spent like 15 minutes going over the rooms they had already seen, trying to figure out where this portrait could be. They had only explored like half the house. I even said, several times, “it could also be in part of the house you haven’t been to yet,” but they seemed thoroughly committed to re-treading the ground they had already covered.
 

Trying to end my first 1E, I was working on an epic finale to my 1E campaign that had gone well beyond reason (average level was 33). I was running various filler while working on it, but I accidentally left my notebook after a session. A few days later, one of my players asks me about Daemons, a monster I'd never used before that featured prominently in my finale. A quick interrogation revealed that the host had found the notebook, and they'd both read all of it in preparation for the adventure.

I had spent probably 15-20 hours working on it, and was very, very proud of myself. Instead, I had to completely start over, since the plot had an important twist these two knuckleheads ruined. The final version was probably better, but it took me a LONG time to forgive them. I should have booted them from the game, but instead I just punished their characters severely (which they accepted).
 




toucanbuzz

No rule is inviolate
I can't...I love my players too much even when they forgot they had an ability that would have prevented another character's death, after I've given my "the game runs smoother if you know your abilities" speech. At 2nd level.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I had two players (no longer game with either of them, for unrelated reasons) who, instead of telling me that they didn't like the genre of game I was going for (horror, Ravenloft), deliberately built goofy characters in an attempt to sabotage it (one went for silly, childish humor, the other was pure jerky Chaotic Neutral). Even though I asked the players on multiple occasions if they were OK with horror, were enjoying the game, or if there was anything that they felt needed to be changed to make it more fun.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I have a player who will regularly agree that Pershing x is the group's best option, spend a session or two doing that & then dig his heels in refusing to do x without plot fellatio and bribery by npc to appeal to him if I'm not prepared to immediately come up with a new adventure. Somewhere along the lk e I gave up and noticed last time I just declared his character does x with everyone else and when he said his cjstscyer didn't like it I just said it was as delicious to him as everyone else before immediately moving on.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
When my table started playing D&D (5e is our first edition), one of my players had a Paladin. He had the Smite spells (branding, thunderous, blinding, etc), and would use them all the time. He had misread them, not realizing that the extra damage from the spells is supposed to only trigger one time. He thought that they were like Hex or Hunter's Mark, dealing extra damage to every single creature he hit for as long as he concentrated on them.

It was over 6 months before I realized why he was taking on monsters several CRs above his level on his own. I had heard that Paladins were powerful, and thought that this is what people meant when they talked about how effective they are.

When we figured out what we were doing wrong, I was pretty frustrated. Might have contemplated wringing his neck once or twice. Ever since then, I've always had to double-check what any spell that he wants to cast says just to make sure he didn't read it wrong again.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
A couple of times, both long ago:

One was when an in-game incident blew up into a very out-of-game argument that, in the same manner a nascent World War drags in more and more countries, eventually dragged in everyone in both groups I was running at the time plus some other random friends as well. That one wasn't fun.

The other was much less stressful: the party knew in-character there was an adventure out there somewhere. They knew it. But could they find the bloody thing? No. Not without me leading them by the nose*, anyway, and this was at a time when I was specifically trying to cut back on a fairly bad lead-'em-by-the-nose tendency I'd developed; and so for about four sessions they wandered aimlessly in the woods before giving up and heading back to town.

* - which would have had to be blatant; I couldn't just have them find and follow tracks as a) they were looking for a planar gate that hadn't been used in ages and b) the gate was on an island in the middle of a small lake. The nearest they ever got was the lakeshore, looking across at the island; but it never once occurred to them they maybe ought to try going there even though between their magic and a conveniently-placed rowboat the water crossing was really no impediment.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
One of the first times I ran a game the entire plot (yes, I had a plot) hinged on the players doing the one thing (yep, it’s coming)…and so of course they did not do the thing. I was so pissed. I had to run the whole rest of the session on the fly. Did I mention the one thing was literally the opening two minutes of the game? They had to do the thing in the first two minutes of the game. Or the whole plot went bye-bye. They didn’t. And I has to improv the rest of the four hour session. I wanted to kill the players. But as soon as I walked away from the table after the session I realized it was my fault. I’m literally never making the “I have a plot” mistake again.
 

A quick interrogation revealed that the host had found the notebook, and they'd both read all of it in preparation for the adventure.
That sucks that all that time and work went to waste. My story is similar but yours seems on another level because you created it personally; my story concerns a pre-written module that I could really care less about.

I had a similar incident occur. I ran a game where another player and I both traded off DM duties. The FR boxed set Lands of Intrigue came out and we sat down to play, and I was running the Castle Spulzeer module. You know that Castle Spulzeer, the one that other DM happened to buy and give to me because he knew I wanted to run it, the same other DM who read it before giving it to me. It didn't take me long to figure out that he read the adventure and I had to do some quick adjustments on the fly. He freely admitted to me after the game that he had read and said to me "you didn't run that adventure anywhere near as it was written", I said "Gee I wonder why"? I got my revenge on him and his character when I ran the Ravenloft sequel adventure The forgotten Terror the following week.
 

Quartz

Hero
I have one player right now who keeps wanting to add his proficiency bonus to damage as well as his attack rolls.

So charge him an invocation and let him (q.v. Agonising Blast). Or make it an alternate class feature (add PB instead of Str / Dex mod - but not both). You know, the old warrior may no longer have the strength he once did but he sure knows how to land a blow!
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
So charge him an invocation and let him (q.v. Agonising Blast).
Because the last thing 5E needs is adding yet more damage to what PCs can do.

Or make it an alternate class feature (add PB instead of Str / Dex mod - but not both). You know, the old warrior may no longer have the strength he once did but he sure knows how to land a blow!
I've thought about this in other situations, but the issue isn't using one or the other, it is doing both. The player already adds STR/DEX as appropriate, but also keeps adding proficiency.
 

I had a player who would treat his wife like absolute garbage. We gamed at his house, and he would snap at her for interrupting the game, yell at her to be quiet if she was making too much noise in another room, and just be visibly irritated if she even entered the room. We couldn't fix his marriage, but we were able to switch houses to give her some peace and quiet.

A different player would prank his cat, and sometimes it drifted into the realm of the cruel. Like throwing cold water on the cat, jump scaring the cat, or squirting hot sauce in its mouth to watch it freak out.
 


Because the last thing 5E needs is adding yet more damage to what PCs can do.


I've thought about this in other situations, but the issue isn't using one or the other, it is doing both. The player already adds STR/DEX as appropriate, but also keeps adding proficiency.
IME some players just dont have the ability to fully understand or remember the rules, but yes its frustrating. Sometimes its just not their fault. But if its a case of them trying to exploit the rules in their favor, refusal to try and learn the rules of their character and actually read parts of the PHB then lay the smack down on them at times.
 

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