D&D 5E What DM flaw has caused you to actually leave a game?

Hussar

Legend
I'm going to nitpick a bit. The DM does the most work, but commitment can be equal from the players. If the DM and two players show up for every game, ready to play and are all invested, they are equally committed.

In my game I have two players who make every game, one who makes 2/3 due to life, and one who makes about 50% due to life and being young. When it comes to which campaigns to play, the players who show up every game are given more weight than the ones who don't show up as often. When it comes to the direction the campaigns go during game play, the ones here every week have more influence since they are present to make the decisions more than the other two.

Things do not have to be equal among all players and the DM in order to be fair.

Now this I agree with.
 

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MPA2000

Explorer
What DM flaw?

How about hubris?

"My game, my rules."

There's nothing like bringing your character to a GM whose "world" resembles very little of the magical world we know: Such as hardly any Sword or Sorcery. 90% of the game are endless discourses with other people or maybe dungeons and caverns with very little magic items, and plenty of traps, tricks and puzzles?

In this aspect, it reminds me of that fan favorite movie about the group that plays their D&D characters in costume. The DM has the next campaign all figured out, and it includes a miniature figure whom he names and paints in detail. After spending hours of a story built around the character, the NPC is killed in mid sentence by a new player who was invited, during the beginning of the campaign.

GM's tend to forget that it isn't about the destination, it is about the journey.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
What DM flaw?

How about hubris?

"My game, my rules."

There's nothing like bringing your character to a GM whose "world" resembles very little of the magical world we know: Such as hardly any Sword or Sorcery. 90% of the game are endless discourses with other people or maybe dungeons and caverns with very little magic items, and plenty of traps, tricks and puzzles?
Nothing inherently wrong with any of those that doesn't boil down to differences in personal taste. That said, the best games are a mix where it swing from one to the other to another of these as the campaign goes on.

In this aspect, it reminds me of that fan favorite movie about the group that plays their D&D characters in costume. The DM has the next campaign all figured out, and it includes a miniature figure whom he names and paints in detail. After spending hours of a story built around the character, the NPC is killed in mid sentence by a new player who was invited, during the beginning of the campaign.
Entirely the DM's fault, this; and I'd have no sympathy. Never base an entire story around something that a PC can take out on first contact, because inevitably that's exactly what'll happen.

Dumb DM.

GM's tend to forget that it isn't about the destination, it is about the journey.
True, though without an appealing destination what would be the point of the journey in the first place?
 

Grainger

Explorer
What DM flaw?
There's nothing like bringing your character to a GM whose "world" resembles very little of the magical world we know: Such as hardly any Sword or Sorcery. 90% of the game are endless discourses with other people or maybe dungeons and caverns with very little magic items, and plenty of traps, tricks and puzzles?

Sounds like a great game! Where do I sign up?
 




MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I missed this. This thread has become a epic discussion on the proper flow of the game that individual stories like this are getting lost.

I agree with Grainger completely and I say this as a reformed DM who no longer uses critical failures. A "1" is just an auto miss/fail. Otherwise you have high level fighters with multiple attacks being more likely to fumble than a first level fighter.


I should presage this by saying that the DM in question was a pretty good one other than my complaint here, and it was his first time DMing. I should also say that he was a really nice guy feeling his way into running his first RPG. His DMing was certainly streets ahead of my first attempts (and most other first-time DMs I've seen). However, here's my moan...

So the DM in question ruled that natural 1s and other natural low rolls (no matter the positive modifiers) were critical failures. I think he saw this kind of thing on a Let's Play series, and perhaps over-applied it, I don't know, I don't watch them. He applied this ruling not just to hit rolls, but all skill checks. The kind of outcome might be the attack killing a friendly NPC, or a failed attempt to throw a grappling hook meaning that the PC drops and loses the entire rope or falls and gets pulled in.

It was funny the first few times it happened, but it soon gave the impression that our party was a bunch of incompetent idiots, as any encounter would lead to at least one or two pratfalls. It actually had a noticeable chilling effect on players trying anything remotely interesting. I recall one player forgoing a chance to attack on his turn because he wouldn't dare traverse a low bench as he might fail the inevitable Acrobatics roll and then end up both taking damage and ending up prone. In my view, players should be encouraged to do heroic things, not be terrified to do the most mundane things. One fellow player quipped to me that he was scared to open a water bottle in case his character fumbled the roll and died of a cut.

Now, I realise that D&D combat isn't realistic, but my parallel experience with real-life sword fighting just rubbed salt in the wound. At this time I was doing historical sword fighting. I was very, very bad at it - embarrassingly so. However, in dozens if not hundreds, of bouts, I never once accidentally dropped my sword or fell over. And in the hundreds of other bouts I saw, I rarely saw an accidental sword drop and never saw a fall (throws and disarms yes, pratfalls no), and I never saw bystanders be hit. And most of us were beginners. D&D combat shouldn't be less cinematic than real-life combat done by rank amateurs.

The DM's style was otherwise pretty good, but this aspect was very annoying, and actually was a significant factor in me leaving (there were other factors which weren't his fault).
 

Satyrn

First Post
I missed this. This thread has become a epic discussion on the proper flow of the game that individual stories like this are getting lost.

I agree with Grainger completely and I say this as a reformed DM who no longer uses critical failures. A "1" is just an auto miss/fail. Otherwise you have high level fighters with multiple attacks being more likely to fumble than a first level fighter.

I did the critical failure thing for one session - well, half a session - using the Pathfinder critical fumble deck, which I picked up with thevCritical hit deck because I figured they'd complement each other. Each card in the decks had different effects based on whether the attack was melee, ranged, magical or something else I can't remember.

Then, right after introducing the decks to the game, the wizard player had at least 3 fumbled spells in one combat. That was bad enough, made far worse because the effects produced by a randomly drawn card were, of course, random and did not relate at all to the wizard's spells. I dropped the idea fast.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Pretty much... especially when the question is left open enough as to be a justification for listing anything a DM does that I personally don't like or agree with.


Well, the intention of my question was to separate pet peeves from game breakers. There have been lots of threads about pet peeves and annoyances, but what DM behavior has actually made you quit a game.

I should have known my audience better. For many, they are the same thing.
 

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