players are sore losers

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Sooooo tonight, we got done playing our big battle of the campaign end.   the monsters and bosses consisted of a pit fiend, fallen trumpet archon, half red dragon half duegar and a couple of big cat like beasts.   

the party started out with a trap being set off, which caused the wizard to change alignments and obey the pit fiend.  

needless to say the wizard party wiped everyone save for 2 characters.  

what pisses me off is that the players are HIGHLY pouty and are sore losers and cant take the hint that its only a game, and ANYTHING goes.

i mean these players are really sore losers, tonight i have seen papers and dice fly across the table and being thrown at the wall. and yelling and disagreeing with the DM.

basically it was playing with a bunch of 4 yr olds when they are literally 34yrs and older. and me being 27. lol

eventually we got all the party rez'd back up and everything went well after that.  but its like when they fight and things arent going their way, they are sore losers.  

sooooo what are your opinions on the matter of dealing with such a "different" group? 

and what can i do to help change around these situations? 


EDIT: after 7 pages of argueing i posted this 

i'm not an alias.  i'm considering not even posting the DM threads anymore.  cuz what ever i say will just come out in a stupid unexperienced way of dealing with things. 

in my own defence, I DID NOT plan for a TPK.   the wizard that had his alignment turned to LE was affected by a symbol of persuasion casted by the pit fiend and i was going by the MODULE that was provided (lord of the iron fortress).   Also in my own defence, i knew that the party was going to be wiped and i even fudged the duration of the spell affected on the wizard. and turned the tables on the pit fiend that casted the spell.  

as an end result the party was glad that they could continue the rest of the campaign, mind you the cleric and fighter that was killed by the wizard wasnt too happy (in game).   

my point being was that i just find it kinda funny that my group of players were acting childish and couldnt handle the matter of the fact that this is a game that anything can happen.  

THEY KNEW from the start of playing from 1st level that i would be playing the monsters to their full extent and they would have to play their characters the same way, in terms of tactics, RPing, battles. 

If i knew that in some way the battle was turning ill in some sort of way, sure i'll fudge spell durations and dice to play more advantagous to the party. 

I feel noobish when it comes to DMing, sure all of you are experienced DMs and that you have 10+yrs in DMing, but someone like me who has only DMed 2yrs and a lil bit shouldnt be treated less than a more experienced DM.   

i dont appreciate the flame wars being pressed upon me.   Everyone makes mistakes.....everyone started out as a noob.   please treat everyone as equals!  

If this was your campaign finale, it'd be the last night I'd be playing at your table and I'd be glad to be gone.
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Sounds like there is more to this than just the players getting mad when things don't go there way.  I've found that most people don't get that upset unless they feel like they were screwed over by something.  I wouldn't be too shocked that they got upset since they have invested quite a lot of time into the game.

Just remember you are there to provide them a good story and a good challenge but in the end you are there to "lose".  Sometimes DM's should take a step back from it and remember that you aren't competing against the players.  You win when everyone, including yourself, have had a good time.  

D&D isn't a competitive sport. 
the party started out with a trap being set off, which caused the wizard to change alignments and obey the pit fiend.  

needless to say the wizard party wiped everyone save for 2 characters.  



That's probably the problem right there. No such effect exists in ANY edition that I'm aware of. And I've played 2nd, 3.5 and 4E. Making something up specifically to screw one player just so you can screw the rest of them is just about the worst idea I can think of. Dominating effects are clearly defined. Effects that change your alignment are also clearly defined. A change in allignment in NO WAY causes domination. A TPK because you felt like having one is not a good way to end a campaign. Sure some of the campaigns I've played in have ended in TPK's and almost TPK's but at least those DM's didn't just force one for their own giggles. We actually had a chance to win. You gave your players none.

Like Pluisjen I'd probably walk for that. Granted you did say they got rez'd and things went "well" after that. Depends on how it went. If they came back and got to free the Wiz and actually had an encounter that was possible that'd be OK.

As for the advice you asked for:
Players do not ALWAYS have to win, if they feel they do that's a problem with them. But they do ALWAYS have to have the chance to win, if they don't that's a problem with the DM.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is a nice little self created divide here. Shame there can't be more acceptance instead. I feel that is where the future of the game should be.

All this vitriol, pushing away, retroactive retaliation, and preemptive striking needs to stop.

I keep trying but some won't let things go. Will you?

 

Because you like something, it does not mean it is good. Because you dislike something, it does not mean it is bad. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it everyone's opinion. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it truth. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it the general consensus. Whatever side you want to take, at least remember these things.

snipped for legibility 

First off, capitalization. Learn it.

Second, which edition was this? There are things that can change character alignments in earlier editions (cursed hat of opposite alignment for one), but not in 4th. This is for good reason. Still if it's something the players (note, not characters, but players) can roleplay properly and find fun, there's nothing against an effect like that being a trap. But changing alignments shouldn't cause any character to automagically obey the pit fiend though. Even if they suddenly turned Chaotic Evil or Lawful Evil, it would be much more interesting for the character to first kill the Pit Fiend and the rest of the bosses and then reap the rewards (in case of CE, kill the party; in case of LE, use the newfound reputation to build an evil empire). Both cases, the character will still fight with the party. You handled that badly as a DM.

Third, the only and definite trigger for the party to lose in this case was the trap. If you spring something like that, you might as well hang up a sign next to a button and say '50% chance your party dies, 50% chance they win. Press here.' The party should have at all times a chance and recourse during battle. Any alignment change or domination should be reversible. This is why your party is such a bunch of '4 year olds'. You didn't give them a chance to win.

All said, I think you handled your awesome campaign finale badly and it's no wonder your players threw a fit. You don't have a "different" group at all.
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the party started out with a trap being set off, which caused the wizard to change alignments and obey the pit fiend.

you mean a dominate person/monster trap?

Did he get a save against that?

what pisses me off is that the players are HIGHLY pouty and are sore losers and cant take the hint that its only a game, and ANYTHING goes.

In DnD the GM has the final word, and anything says goes. However, he has to remember that if he antagonises too much, the players go too.

i mean these players are really sore losers, tonight i have seen papers and dice fly across the table and being thrown at the wall. and yelling and disagreeing with the DM.

that indeed is unsportsmanlike behaviour.

and what can i do to help change around these situations?

talk with the group. At end of sessions ask feedback. Things they liked, things they didn't. Addapt to that.



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If this was your campaign finale, it'd be the last night I'd be playing at your table and I'd be glad to be gone.



Yeah, definitely this.
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This is a wind-up, isn't it?   I mean ...  So you're 27, they're 34+, and you run the adventure like that and they throw dice ... and then you post it, written in that way, here ...

I'm having trouble believing this was a real game.
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From the your description of the events, which I am assuming are slanted to make you look better but not factoring into my analysis, it reads like you are a spiteful DM.


For any edition, a pitfiend, fallen archon, a duegar red dragon, and a couple of cat beasts sounds like a very hard fight. Multiple powerful foes, and a bunch of less powerful foes people have to keep an eye on.


You decided to up the ante, and have some sort of mind control trap that causes alignment **** and control. Regardless of the edition that sounds like a house ruled invention. Players hate it when you house rule/custom make something that only hurts them. It comes off like you are cheating to win.


Lastly, keep in mind in DND no one loses. If you told the players "You lost get over it", it comes off as gloating. You should be mourning. Your story ended with a TPK, which means as a DM you failed.  Your goal is not to kill the players, but to provide an interesting fun story.

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If this was your campaign finale, it'd be the last night I'd be playing at your table and I'd be glad to be gone.

Same here.

But I've read your past descriptions of your DMing style, and I probably would not have been there for the final session anyway. For me, your DMing style is too antagonistic, with an emphasis on "DM victory". By itself, this would not be a huge problem. But you tend to take control of the PCs one way or another, and in my book, that is off limits.
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Sounds like a 2e or 3.X game since alignment has a big weight placed upon it. I'm not sure I understand how changing alignment takes away free will though. That's probably where things went wrong in your players' minds. If you want players to make certain choices, the best way is to incentivize those choices with mechanical or story benefits. Though I don't use alignment because of the many pointless hours and words wasted over who's right about its interpretation, if I were to do something like this, I would have made the pivotal moment of someone's alignment radically shifting a big story element with a skill challenge attached to it that everyone could participate in (while the combat is raging, naturally).

I'm reminded of a 2e Planescape adventure I converted to 3e way back when I first started playing 3e. It had something in it that switched a PC's alignment. In this case, it was Thokk Crug, a chaotic neutral half-orc barbarian and Xaositect. After he touched the crystal globe and failed his save, he became Dr. Thokk Crug, a lawful neutral member of the Fraternity of Order. He would spend his off-time giving pointless and incoherent lectures at symposiums, referring to himself as "Dr. Thokk Crug, Your Beloved Better." The trick is, his alignment changed, not his Intelligence score. And I didn't force him to do any of that. The player chose to because I gave him an opportunity and he took it.

Granted, nowadays, I would consider use of alignment to be antiquated and pointless. Now that your campaign is over, invite one of your players to run the game. It helps to sit on the other side of the table to gain perspective.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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...the monsters and bosses consisted of a pit fiend, fallen trumpet archon, half red dragon half duegar and a couple of big cat like beasts.   

the party started out with a trap being set off, which caused the wizard to change alignments and obey the pit fiend.  

needless to say the wizard party wiped everyone save for 2 characters.  







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what pisses me off is that the players are HIGHLY pouty and are sore losers and cant take the hint that its only a game, and ANYTHING goes.




And if enough goes, eventually so do your players.  Hopefully eventually you'll figure that out.
I think the important thing to remember is that there IS such a thing as losing at D&D.  When you play a game with a DM who thinks that killing the players is a victory, everyone loses, including the DM, who then looks for solace on a board full of DMs who don't think antagonizing players is the right way to go.  I would suggest looking for comfort elsewhere.
 You should be mourning. Your story ended with a TPK, which means as a DM you failed.  Your goal is not to kill the players, but to provide an interesting fun story.




?? 

Not following how a TPK = failing as a DM.

Because you can have imensely interesting games that end like that.

I do agree that not providing an interesting game = failure though.
A TPK can show that something is wrong, but it can be both the player and the DM's fault. 

Usually, I have seen TPKs as evidence of an overpowered encounter, where even with decent rolls, the players really have no way of winning without some level of attrition (be it from powers, people, or even the whole party). 

I have also played with DMs who think that their purpose is to compete against the players for dominance.  Although as a DM, I relish a good combat and want my game to be competitive, I am not out to "kill the players" or seek subconscious revenge for throwing my plot line out of whack.  I just roll with the flow of what my players are doing, while keeping track of the bigger picture to see if it returns to bite them in the ass.

I am not saying that every encounter must require that the players' survive and that every encounter must be a success, as I love how a decent failure can make a game seem natural.  BUT stupidity can kill a group (and thus is the fault of the players). 

I definitely think that if an over competitive DM can TPK a group and a game faster than crappy die rolls any day though...
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Not following how a TPK = failing as a DM.

Because you can have imensely interesting games that end like that.

I do agree that not providing an interesting game = failure though.



A TPK means all of your party has died, and the campaign ends. You either have to rewind, and redo some encounters (Which your players will feel like you are now softballing/easy moding it for them. This would ruin a game for me as a PC) or you end your game on "And then you all die". 


If a game ends with "And then you all die, and fail at your mission" I would much rather the DM say "Rocks fall you die" 15 min after character generation so I don't waste my time. I want to accomplish something, and I want it to be interesting, even if its not what we set out to do.


A DMs job is to provide the framework for an interesting story. That framework should always enable the players to win, while making them feel like you aren't. If they actually lose, then so do you. Evil runs rampant through the land, portals to hell are opened, etc.



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I have a few thoughts to share on TPKs in a campaign's final fight.

First of all I should say that although I don't think DMs should write encounters specifically to TPK a party, and a TPK should not be the planned ending to a campaign, there is nothing wrong with that happening.

The final encounter of a campaign should be incredibly tough no matter what level the PCs are.  Anything less will feel like a let down to everyone involved.  With such an encounter it is certainly possible for the dice to fall in such a way where a TPK is the result.

So what's a DM to do?  Easy.  Let the players fail.  The way I would handle it is to immediately begin planning a new campaign where one of the plot twists is that the BBEG from the previous campaign won.  Maybe he rules the world.  Maybe the PCs have to start as slaves/food in a world overrun by Far Realms monstrosities.  Whatever it is though, I guarantee it will be very, very interesting and there will be ample opportunity for the PCs to be heroes of epic proportions.

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Concerning Player Rules Bias
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Concerning "Default" Rules
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The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.


Not following how a TPK = failing as a DM.

Because you can have imensely interesting games that end like that.

I do agree that not providing an interesting game = failure though.

A TPK means all of your party has died, and the campaign ends. You either have to rewind, and redo some encounters (Which your players will feel like you are now softballing/easy moding it for them. This would ruin a game for me as a PC) or you end your game on "And then you all die". 


If a game ends with "And then you all die, and fail at your mission" I would much rather the DM say "Rocks fall you die" 15 min after character generation so I don't waste my time. I want to accomplish something, and I want it to be interesting, even if its not what we set out to do.


A DMs job is to provide the framework for an interesting story. That framework should always enable the players to win, while making them feel like you aren't. If they actually lose, then so do you. Evil runs rampant through the land, portals to hell are opened, etc.


I really, really hate to agree with CCS, but he's got a point.  There are times when a TPK is an acceptable result; everyone here, for instance, has probably had a night where your dice were just on fire--or, worse, you were rolling average numbers but the PCs couldn't battle their way out of a wet paper bag.  I'm not claiming there's no way out of those tricky situations the PCs occasionally put you in.  But in order for success to have any meaning, the threat of failure has to exist.  That means, sometimes, that you let the PCs fail.  

And it also doesn't have to mean the end of the campaign.  The PCs have contacts, friends, and family who might want to investigate and avenge their deaths; alternatively, the world will develop more heroes in time.  There's no reason not to let the players adventure in a world shaped, for better or worse, by their previous "failure": perhaps they were killed trying to stop a goblin invasion, so later on a human warlord mobilized a militia to push the goblins out.  Now, instead of a campaign against goblins, the PCs are rebels against the tyranny of the warlord-turned-Baron.  The world is different, but the game is no less interesting, and the players can continue. 


You set the PCs up for success, but you allow for the possibility of failure. If failure happens (and, to be clear, failure on the scale of a TPK should be extraordinarily rare), it's not a campaign-ending catastrophe but instead an opportunity to demonstrate to the players that PC actions have powerful and lasting effects.


...none of which should be interpreted to mean that "rocks fall, you die"-style DMing is acceptable.  The OP, for instance, is a good demonstration of how not to do failure at the table.


EDIT: Or, I guess, what Kalex said while I was typing. Ninjas are everywhere...

I have a few thoughts to share on TPKs in a campaign's final fight.

First of all I should say that although I don't think DMs should write encounters specifically to TPK a party, and a TPK should not be the planned ending to a campaign, there is nothing wrong with that happening.

The final encounter of a campaign should be incredibly tough no matter what level the PCs are.  Anything less will feel like a let down to everyone involved.  With such an encounter it is certainly possible for the dice to fall in such a way where a TPK is the result.

So what's a DM to do?  Easy.  Let the players fail.  The way I would handle it is to immediately begin planning a new campaign where one of the plot twists is that the BBEG from the previous campaign won.  Maybe he rules the world.  Maybe the PCs have to start as slaves/food in a world overrun by Far Realms monstrosities.  Whatever it is though, I guarantee it will be very, very interesting and there will be ample opportunity for the PCs to be heroes of epic proportions.



+1 to this.

If as players and DM, you don't ever want a TPK, then go ahead and play "easy", but personally I find that boring gameplay, even if it is interesting RP along the way. I want to work a little to win, and I accept that means a game where I have a chance of losing. I also don't see much point in 2 hour combat encounters where the difficulty is set to "always win" - I have better ways to spend my time.

Of course a "TPK" in some middling encounter doesn't have to an actual game over, or even the absolute end of the PCs involved. It can easily be scripted as a major setback or plot twist, giving the players the results of a loss without the need to end a game. All you need is for the monsters to have some motivation other than "kill all the heroes and loot their bodies", and that is surprisingly easy to engineer, even if you didn't think about it beforehand.

If you don't want a TPK, playing "easy" isn't the only way to avoid it. I can think of situations in which killing the party is not the goal of the monsters, in which if the party is destroyed it's because they chose to push themselves to obtain success at the cost of their lives. If the only alternative to "winning" one can come up with is "TPK" then one isn't thinking hard enough.

That said, the only reason I have anything against TPKs is because they generally aren't prepared for. DMs are always posting here, saying that they got lucky with the dice and the players were unlucky and now what are they supposed to do? As long as a table is fine with a TPK occurring, and the DM has plans for how the game continues afterwards, I'm fine with it. I would greatly enjoy a game in which we were defeated and killed and the force we were trying to defeat swept over the land - the land in which our new PCs are struggling to survive. In fact, I'd prefer that any day of the week to my PC being captured.

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All you need is for the monsters to have some motivation other than "kill all the heroes and loot their bodies", and that is surprisingly easy to engineer, even if you didn't think about it beforehand.



Exactly!  What if the BBEG wants to gloat over the heroes and monologue a little?  He might even heal/raise them to do so, and now the PCs have another whack at defeating him.

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Concerning Player Rules Bias
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Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

All you need is for the monsters to have some motivation other than "kill all the heroes and loot their bodies", and that is surprisingly easy to engineer, even if you didn't think about it beforehand.

Exactly!  What if the BBEG wants to gloat over the heroes and monologue a little?  He might even heal/raise them to do so, and now the PCs have another whack at defeating him.

Oops, I missed where slobo said that. I agree.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

I'm in agreement with Centauri. Failure and setbacks are interesting story elements. However, death, permanent or otherwise, is the least interesting of all failures in a storytelling game. Rarely does a great story include all of the main characters dying off. If my game is about attrition - and that's a perfectly valid style if everyone at the table likes it - then fine, but most D&D games aren't about that.

Combat is a reward in D&D. Few admit that, but it's the truth. A TPK is like saying, "Here's your candy guys - oh by the way, did I mention I put razor blades in your Snickers bars?" So I say, make combat more interesting, not necessarily harder by the numbers in pursuit of that oh-so-ephemeral "challenging encounter." It's hard to make a difficult encounter where death lurks just around the corner because 4e has so many variables that are outside of the DM's control. On the flip side, it's very easy to concoct a number of scenarios where killing everything on the map is one way of overcoming a threat, but not the only way and not the most fun way, while still maintaining a level of difficulty to keep players engaged.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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TPK's are bad when they are the inevitable outcome of DMs who are playing to "win" the game.

I was invited to join a couple games by DMs who bragged about what "killer dungeons" they'd built, about how many TPK's they'd racked up, and how how nobody has been able to "beat them" yet because they are "too good at this game".  The first time it happened, I hoped the guy was trying to sell the game in-character as his own BBEG, but I got warned by his previous players that the guy "really didn't get what the game is about... like my Level 1 party walking in the door and getting eaten by a full-grown dragon, spending more time rolling up new characters than actually doing anything fun, getting lectured at by pet villains and DMPCs that couldn't be killed, and that sort of thing."  The other one, I had a couple of former new players walk away from D&D forever after playing with a Killer DM the first time, saying "this game sucks - it's where some guy just sits around and makes fun of you and kills you a lot because he can do anything he wants..."; that didn't really surprise me.

A DM carries a tremendous amount of power in a game like D&D by the very nature of the game - he creates or chooses the monsters and adventures, writes the house-rules, controls the information the PCs use to make decisions with, and so on. 

If a DM wants to keep the players, have a good time as a group, and make sure the game keeps going, then that power should come with an equally tremendous amount of responsiblilty and restraint.

A DM can do a lot of stuff, including Total-Party-Killing everyone, dropping a group of over-powered monsters on a party's heads, taking control of PCs, houseruling until it's impossible for PCs to win or players to have fun, or just screaming "rocks fall everyone dies" at random moments, instantly "winning" the game.  But, just because a DM can do something, doesn't make it a good idea.
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
TPK's are bad when they are the inevitable outcome of DMs who are playing to "win" the game.

I was invited to join a couple games by DMs who bragged about what "killer dungeons" they'd built, about how many TPK's they'd racked up, and how how nobody has been able to "beat them" yet because they are "too good at this game".  The first time it happened, I hoped the guy was trying to sell the game in-character as his own BBEG, but I got warned by his previous players that the guy "really didn't get what the game is about... like my Level 1 party walking in the door and getting eaten by a full-grown dragon, spending more time rolling up new characters than actually doing anything fun, getting lectured at by pet villains and DMPCs that couldn't be killed, and that sort of thing."  The other one, I had a couple of former new players walk away from D&D forever after playing with a Killer DM the first time, saying "this game sucks - it's where some guy just sits around and makes fun of you and kills you a lot because he can do anything he wants..."; that didn't really surprise me.

A DM carries a tremendous amount of power in a game like D&D by the very nature of the game - he creates or chooses the monsters and adventures, writes the house-rules, controls the information the PCs use to make decisions with, and so on. 

If a DM wants to keep the players, have a good time as a group, and make sure the game keeps going, then that power should come with an equally tremendous amount of responsiblilty and restraint.

A DM can do a lot of stuff, including Total-Party-Killing everyone, dropping a group of over-powered monsters on a party's heads, taking control of PCs, houseruling until it's impossible for PCs to win or players to have fun, or just screaming "rocks fall everyone dies" at random moments, instantly "winning" the game.  But, just because a DM can do something, doesn't make it a good idea.



So he bragged about how many players he'd killed? I can do that too, let me just throw a couple copies of Lolth in the next encounter and let them kill everyone... hahaha... so much fun. (Sarcasm)
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
So he bragged about how many players he'd killed? I can do that too, let me just throw a couple copies of Lolth in the next encounter and let them kill everyone... hahaha... so much fun. (Sarcasm)



Exactly - a DM can easily TPK even the highest-level parties, but it doesn't make him "good at the game". 

In fact, I would argue that the ability to TPK a group is one of the easiest (and least-useful) skills a DM can master. 

It's kind of equivalent to bragging about one's skill at building a house, by bragging about the number of windows you've broken by throwing bricks in the general direction of the construction site, and beating everything in sight with a hammer - "Hire me to build your home, because I can beat  random stuff to bits with a big hammer like a champ!"
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
So he bragged about how many players he'd killed? I can do that too, let me just throw a couple copies of Lolth in the next encounter and let them kill everyone... hahaha... so much fun. (Sarcasm)



Exactly - a DM can easily TPK even the highest-level parties, but it doesn't make him "good at the game". 

In fact, I would argue that the ability to TPK a group is one of the easiest (and least-useful) skills a DM can master. 

It's kind of equivalent to bragging about one's skill at building a house, by bragging about the number of windows you've broken by throwing bricks in the general direction of the construction site, and beating everything in sight with a hammer - "Hire me to build your home, because I can beat  random stuff to bits with a big hammer like a champ!"



TPKing a party is a skill?  
I am Blue/Black "The Red Dragon is pulverizing your friends..." -Me "Okay so I'm up here?" -Shrui "Yeah..." -Me "Okay I want to triple backflip down from the ceiling while holding my family's katana and drive it through the Dragon's head." -Shrui "Yeah you'll take a -15 because he's moving his head." -Me "Don't care, I try it anyway." -Shrui (Acrobatics Roll Succeeds) (Attack Roll Succeeds) "How much extra damage do I get for this attack?" -Shrui "It dies, you don't need to do an attack roll." -Me Evil Dungeon Master says, And now young adventurer... you die.
So he bragged about how many players he'd killed? I can do that too, let me just throw a couple copies of Lolth in the next encounter and let them kill everyone... hahaha... so much fun. (Sarcasm)



Exactly - a DM can easily TPK even the highest-level parties, but it doesn't make him "good at the game". 

In fact, I would argue that the ability to TPK a group is one of the easiest (and least-useful) skills a DM can master. 

It's kind of equivalent to bragging about one's skill at building a house, by bragging about the number of windows you've broken by throwing bricks in the general direction of the construction site, and beating everything in sight with a hammer - "Hire me to build your home, because I can beat  random stuff to bits with a big hammer like a champ!"



TPKing a party is a skill?  



To the extent that beating random stuff to bits with a hammer is a skill - doesn't make it a particularly difficult skill to learn, or a particularly useful skill for building anything anyone wants to remember fondly, but it's a skill nonetheless Laughing
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri

Not following how a TPK = failing as a DM.

Because you can have imensely interesting games that end like that.

I do agree that not providing an interesting game = failure though.



A TPK means all of your party has died, and the campaign ends. You either have to rewind, and redo some encounters (Which your players will feel like you are now softballing/easy moding it for them. This would ruin a game for me as a PC) or you end your game on "And then you all die". 


If a game ends with "And then you all die, and fail at your mission" I would much rather the DM say "Rocks fall you die" 15 min after character generation so I don't waste my time. I want to accomplish something, and I want it to be interesting, even if its not what we set out to do.


A DMs job is to provide the framework for an interesting story. That framework should always enable the players to win, while making them feel like you aren't. If they actually lose, then so do you. Evil runs rampant through the land, portals to hell are opened, etc.






Hmm, when I have had TPKs, the storyline always continued...but I agree.   
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wow, this forum has fallen so low into a bunch of high post posters doing nothing more than putting everyone else down without putting themselves in the OP position.  Shut up [expletive deleted]!



Wow, who urinated in your Count Chocula?

I don't see "high-level posters putting everyone down" - most of them certainly have strong opinions on this subject and have not hesitated to express those opinions, but they have at the same time offered advice and suggestions along with their opinions. 

As for these posters putting themselves in someone else's position, I'm willing to bet the strong opinions are in place exactly because most of us have actually been in the players' position, and a few of us have even been in the OP's position and learned the hard way that the OP's methods and reactions get bad results.  Strong opinions rarely appear from out of a detached vacuum, and I think it's a safe bet most of us can tell some real horror stories from both sides of the OP's equation.

For my part, I know I've learned the advice I gave the hard way:  just because you can do something, doesn't make it a good idea... understand that successfully using the power of a DM's position requires responsibility and restraint - otherwise, the game falls apart, tempers flare, you lose players, and you have nobody to blame but yourself.  It ain't fair, it ain't fun, but that's life, and the easiest way to live with life is to accept it for what it is.
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
As for these posters putting themselves in someone else's position, I'm willing to bet the strong opinions are in place exactly because most of us have actually been in the players' position, and a few of us have even been in the OP's position and learned the hard way that the OP's methods and reactions get bad results.

We have a winner!

Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.

There is a reason I defined my terms. 


A TPK means all of your party has died, and the campaign ends. You either have to rewind, and redo some encounters (Which your players will feel like you are now softballing/easy moding it for them. This would ruin a game for me as a PC) or you end your game on "And then you all die".


I can't think of a non-lame way to continue a campaign, but there probably are a few. 


The issue is when you say "Actually, you don't die [elminster] jumps in and pulls you guys out. Try again." or "NPC shows up and saves you" or suddenly monsters start missing on 17s. or you say "Ok guys, lets rewind to begining of session, I will reduce monster effectivness". 


Or everyone simply dies and thats the end. 


Note - Everyone roll up new PCs to go save your old ones, or take up where they failed is a decent save, but it doesn't negate the failure.


Note2- Failure isn't bad. It means you didn't succeed. It also gives you some valuable insight for the future, and is a great learning experience. 

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"


There is a reason I defined my terms. 


A TPK means all of your party has died, and the campaign ends. You either have to rewind, and redo some encounters (Which your players will feel like you are now softballing/easy moding it for them. This would ruin a game for me as a PC) or you end your game on "And then you all die".


I can't think of a non-lame way to continue a campaign, but there probably are a few. 


The issue is when you say "Actually, you don't die [elminster] jumps in and pulls you guys out. Try again." or "NPC shows up and saves you" or suddenly monsters start missing on 17s. or you say "Ok guys, lets rewind to begining of session, I will reduce monster effectivness". 


Or everyone simply dies and thats the end. 


Note - Everyone roll up new PCs to go save your old ones, or take up where they failed is a decent save, but it doesn't negate the failure.


Note2- Failure isn't bad. It means you didn't succeed. It also gives you some valuable insight for the future, and is a great learning experience. 



Something has been forgotten though and this thread has drifted from its original point. That is that you Krusk are a "good" DM. You challenge your players and death is just another challenge to be overcome. Whereas timmy seems to be in my opinion a "bad" DM because he killed his players and came here to get advice because his players started "complaining" in stead of just making up new characters for him to kill. I say this because he has not come back to clarify what happened to justify the TPK. He created a trap that changed a characters alignment, and put that character under full DM control. No save no nothing. Then he manufactured a TPK. He callled his players "sore losers" remember. That may be a bit harsh of me though.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is a nice little self created divide here. Shame there can't be more acceptance instead. I feel that is where the future of the game should be.

All this vitriol, pushing away, retroactive retaliation, and preemptive striking needs to stop.

I keep trying but some won't let things go. Will you?

 

Because you like something, it does not mean it is good. Because you dislike something, it does not mean it is bad. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it everyone's opinion. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it truth. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it the general consensus. Whatever side you want to take, at least remember these things.

As a new DM and low post count user I'd like to chime in... I may not know the history of previous editions but in 4th edition domination is not that powerful. It's scary and can seem wicked, but not so totally man handling to the players.

It does appear to me that the OP totally planned to wipe the party without regard to their feelings, and then seemed shocked when they turned on him. Yes death can occur but the DMs job is to provide challenge and allow players to rise to it. Not to stack the deck and rob them blind.
I can't think of a non-lame way to continue a campaign



I bet you can.  You're just not trying hard enough.  I highly recommend reading Chris Perkins' The Dungeon Master Experience articles.  They are full of great insight on how to handle situations like this without being lame.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

OSR Fan? Our Big Announcement™ is here!

Please join our forums!

Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

I can't think of a non-lame way to continue a campaign




I bet you can.  You're just not trying hard enough.  I highly recommend reading Chris Perkins' The Dungeon Master Experience articles.  They are full of great insight on how to handle situations like this without being lame.



Underlined text being important. I can think or lots of ways to do it, they just all always come off forced and underwhelming. I've been in lots of groups where it happens. Its always underwhelming. No one wants to hear "My hero wasn't good enough, and needed help". 


As for Perkins, I saw his DM sessions with robot chicken guys. I don't know that he is someone I would point out as a good DM. I attribute the success of those web-series soley to the robot chicken guys, assuming they are just that good natured and fun. Also on camera.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"

I can't think of a non-lame way to continue a campaign

I bet you can.  You're just not trying hard enough.  I highly recommend reading Chris Perkins' The Dungeon Master Experience articles.  They are full of great insight on how to handle situations like this without being lame.

Underlined text being important. I can think or lots of ways to do it, they just all always come off forced and underwhelming. I've been in lots of groups where it happens. Its always underwhelming. No one wants to hear "My hero wasn't good enough, and needed help".

"Continue a campaign" doesn't need to mean "continue with the same characters."

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

I can't think of a non-lame way to continue a campaign




I bet you can.  You're just not trying hard enough.  I highly recommend reading Chris Perkins' The Dungeon Master Experience articles.  They are full of great insight on how to handle situations like this without being lame.



Underlined text being important. I can think or lots of ways to do it, they just all always come off forced and underwhelming. I've been in lots of groups where it happens. Its always underwhelming. No one wants to hear "My hero wasn't good enough, and needed help". 


As for Perkins, I saw his DM sessions with robot chicken guys. I don't know that he is someone I would point out as a good DM. I attribute the success of those web-series soley to the robot chicken guys, assuming they are just that good natured and fun. Also on camera.




I still say you aren't trying hard enough.  It is possible to come up with non-lame ideas for this.  I think your problem is in thinking that any way out is lame.  That's your problem, not the idea's problem.  I don't care what Chris Perkins is like at the table, or as a person.  His articles are fantastic and insightful.  Read them before you judge them.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

OSR Fan? Our Big Announcement™ is here!

Please join our forums!

Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.