What do you do when you're just not enjoying it?

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To give some context to the question; my group takes turns in DMing a campaign and there is normally about six of us in the group, so it rotates around quite slowly. The guy who is currently running the show however has just railroaded the whole game to the point where I really don't enjoy taking the time to go over there and have "story time" for 5 hours or so. Two examples:

Our ranger wanted to scout ahead down a path to make sure it was safe for us, he asked the DM if he could scout off the road in the trees so as to be stealthy. The DM said "No. You can't go off the road. There's no point anyway." Then ambushed the ranger with a number of bandits who were hiding in the trees. Clearly the player would have discovered the ambush if the DM had allowed him to do what he wanted to do in the first place and that spoilt the DMs fun so he just flat out denied it.

Even worse than that however was last night; we were supposed to infiltrate some castle in the mountains and this NPC was telling us we had to have a certain marking in order to be allowed inside, however one player refused to have the marking based on his character's principles of defiling his body, and my character refused to have the marking because I didn't believe that the NPC was being truthful and refused to pay the extortionate con-man price that the NPC was trying to charge. When we arrived at the castle, me and the player who didn't have the marking were naturally refused entry. I asked if I could try and make a roleplay/skill check to intimidate my way in. The response was "No. He can't be intimidated." We tried asking to recon the building to attempt to find another way in, perhaps sneaking in through a back way, breaking a window to climb in or something. "No. There is a magical barrier preventing anybody from entering who doesn't have the mark." Okay, well, we are supposed to meet another NPC at this location, so perhaps we can wait outside until the remainder of the group go in and talk to the NPC to clear this all up, and then perhaps that NPC will know a way to get us in. The DM then proceeded to ignore me and the other player for the better part of thirty minutes, leaving us outside with nothing to do while the other players failed to find the NPC who they were supposed to meet (the DM not allowing them to find him until we had done what he wanted us to do). After all that time he finally turned back to us and said "Are you ready to go back down the mountain and buy the mark yet? ... No? ... Fine then." Allowed the rest of the group to fail to find the NPC again; turns back to us; "Ready yet? ... No? ... It couldn't be more obvious what you are supposed to do, why aren't you doing it?"

Maybe it sounds like I am a really awkward player, but at the moment I feel like I might as well leave my dice at home as all the choice element has been taken out of the game. The DM has written a story and refuses to let it be deviated from and I don't find that fun at all. I'm dreading going over to play next week, and I know it could be months before it rotates around to the next DM, and to be honest I don't know if that will be any better.

So, if you have ever found yourself in a situation where you are just not enjoying it anymore, what have you done to overcome that? Maybe your reason is not the same as mine; feel free to share it.
Wow.

Fire the DM, find someone else. Anybody else.

Odds are, if 4-6 people can't figure out an answer you thought was obvious, you screwed up, not them. - JeffGroves
Which is why a DM should present problems to solve, not solutions to find. -FlatFoot
Best defense that I've read in favor of having alignment systems as an option
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If some people are heavily benefiting from the inclusion of alignment, then it would behoove those that AREN'T to listen up and pay attention to how those benefits are being created and enjoyed, no? -YagamiFire
But equally important would be for those who do enjoy those benefits to entertain the possibility that other people do not value those benefits equally or, possibly, do not see them as benefits in the first place. -wrecan (RIP)
That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

When you're not enjoy it anymore, you don't play anymore.  As simple as that.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Is this his first time DM'ing?

Regardless, I would try to speak to him. First in private, and then assembled the group and have a meeting. Make sure that everyone understands from the begining that this is not the time for screaming/blaming, but one for a sharing of constructive opinions, criticisms, and questions from both sides.

He needs to understand that the DM is not a director and the players are not actors with a script. This is a story that is built by the players and problems within that story need to have multiple options and solutions that are aligned with a PC.

If that doesn't work, ask him (With the rest of the group present) to let someone else from the group DM. And if that doesn't work, either ask him to leave the group or leave yourself.

Don't throw in the towl just yet. Good luck.

HTH

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

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Wow.

Fire the DM, find someone else. Anybody else.




This, or ninja-kick him in the neck, twice for good measure.
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sounds like time for an intervention.

Yeah, tyrant not happy unless everyone follows the plot lock-step. Ouch.
Well, he asks a good question: why aren't you doing it?

Not that you don't have good reasons, and not that he doesn't have questionable reasons, but what if you just went along with him? Bought the mark, didn't spoil ambushes, or whatever else? It's possible to find "in-character" reasons for all of these, if you're willing to. The trick, then, is just to be willing to.

This DM is inartful, but you're not going to change him by trying to do things your way. Go along for the game time, and then talk to him about it after the game. He's blocking you, yes, but you're blocking him, each of you trying to get the game to go your way. Now, in the DM forums, I'm firmly on the side of letting the player do their thing, because there's no advice I can give a DM to enable them to change a player. Here, there's nothing I can tell you except to let the DM do their thing (apart from kicking the guy or walking out, which solves the immediate issue, but perhaps not the long-term ones).

The "Yes, and..." approach works on the player side too. So, next time he suggests something to you, and it's "obvious what you should be doing," look for a way to say "Yes," and then do what you can to embrace and enhance the idea, making it in some small way your own, to the point that you can enjoy it and want to see it play out.

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

This is solved much easier and quicker by sharing your feelings with your DM instead of random strangers on a D&D forum.

But it does lead to some good advice: when a session is over, give feedback to your DM about the stuff you enjoyed and didn't enjoy. This will help him improve, which in turn allows for more enjoyable gaming sessions. I know I massively benefitted from feedback in the past, and still do.
Be blunt.

You aren't playing D&D with him. He is playing D&D with a number of NPCs and himself. He's just using you all as a means to save himself the trouble of rolling that many dice by having you do it for your N(PCs) and he does it for the rest.

The behavior will not change. The behavior will not improve. As long as it is not stopped or called out there will be no reason to improve. In fact, if called out on this behavior it will probably cause a total meltdown in the person running so prepare for a tantrum.

Still, it has to be done. Why waste your time not having any sort of fun? Why waste your time engaged in a game about decision-making where your decisions don't matter? You might as well by playing Battleship against a blank board.

Remember, step 1 when not having fun while playing is to STOP PLAYING. Only then can the situation start to be rectified.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Well, he asks a good question: why aren't you doing it?

Not that you don't have good reasons, and not that he doesn't have questionable reasons, but what if you just went along with him? Bought the mark, didn't spoil ambushes, or whatever else? It's possible to find "in-character" reasons for all of these, if you're willing to. The trick, then, is just to be willing to.

This DM is inartful, but you're not going to change him by trying to do things your way. Go along for the game time, and then talk to him about it after the game. He's blocking you, yes, but you're blocking him, each of you trying to get the game to go your way. Now, in the DM forums, I'm firmly on the side of letting the player do their thing, because there's no advice I can give a DM to enable them to change a player. Here, there's nothing I can tell you except to let the DM do their thing (apart from kicking the guy or walking out, which solves the immediate issue, but perhaps not the long-term ones).

The "Yes, and..." approach works on the player side too. So, next time he suggests something to you, and it's "obvious what you should be doing," look for a way to say "Yes," and then do what you can to embrace and enhance the idea, making it in some small way your own, to the point that you can enjoy it and want to see it play out.



Also I'd never agree with this. Do not give into being railroaded. Do not give in to having your ability to CHOOSE taken from you because it's the only thing you actually have when it comes to playing D&D.

There is never an excuse to take away a players right to choose their actions in-game. And "going along" with bad behavior is just reinforcing it.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

If you're not having fun, man up and just tell the DM you're going to bow out, nothing personal.  You can give reasons if you want, but you don't have to.  If you do, be honest and polite when giving them.  If he gets upset, that's his problem.

It really is that simple.

You COULD try to get the DM to change his ways, but that isn't going to happen in time for you to start enjoying this campaign again, so once again, if you're not having fun you need to bow out while being honest and polite.  The DM COULD change, but it won't happen overnight or just because you asked him to.

I was in a similar situation last year where five hours of "story time" all revolved around one particular Wizard PC and the girl the DM was infatuated with.  I wasn't having fun sitting there for hours with nothing to do and being useless so I just told them I'm going to drop out and thanks for the game.  No rationalization, no excuses, no lengthy explanations, no drama.  And everything was fine.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

In this kind of game you have a choice: go along with it until you get to what the DM has in mind, trusting that he has your enjoyment ultimately in mind, then talk to the DM after the game. Or obstinantly refuse everything in-game, just like the DM is doing, and make things awkward for everyone during the session.

Or excuse yourself and leave.

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

Also I'd never agree with this. Do not give into being railroaded. Do not give in to having your ability to CHOOSE taken from you because it's the only thing you actually have when it comes to playing D&D.

There is never an excuse to take away a players right to choose their actions in-game. And "going along" with bad behavior is just reinforcing it.



This.  Your DM isn't just railroading you, he's tied you to the train.  You said yourself that you aren't having fun with story time.  If you're not enjoying it, why continue to play?

As soon as your DM said "are you ready to go back down and buy the mark" I'd have been done.  I'm a stubborn to the point of fault kind of person, and as soon as I /ever/ heard a DM make a comment like that I'd dig my heels in, and reply "No, and I will not under any circumstances what-so-ever."

There are ways that your DM can keep you on the rails while providing you an illusion of choice.  For example, when the ranger leaves the path to scout, the DM makes him roll a stealth check with an insanely high DC.  The ranger naturally fails, and makes noise in the brush, which triggers the ambush.  You guys are still on the rails, but /feel/ like you had a choice in the matter, and that the DM let you do what you want.

As for entering the keep, let you scout for another way in.  Let you fail to find one.  Anything, but the blatant "No, are you ready to do things the way I scripted" that he is giving you now.

TL;DR:  If you aren't having fun, don't play in the game anymore.
It hurts me to agree with YagamiFire, but I do.

Rules details and minor things like that can wait for between-sessions.  Something a completely and egregious railroad-into-train wreck of a game session needs to stop ASAP.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
As for entering the keep, let you scout for another way in.  Let you fail to find one.  Anything, but the blatant "No, are you ready to do things the way I scripted" that he is giving you now.

That was the best part about it. I can respect the fact that he made it clear that there was only one way forward.

TL;DR:  If you aren't having fun, don't play in the game anymore.

Absolutely. But recognize that at least part of the reason you're not having fun is that you're choosing to block what the DM wants to do.

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

I don't believe that for a second.  Following blindly where the DM tells you to go, does not in any way, shape or form guarantee anyone has fun except the DM.
If the DM wants characters who march in lockstep with his desires and don't make decisions of their own, he can write a freakin' novel.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
If the DM wants characters who march in lockstep with his desires and don't make decisions of their own, he can write a freakin' novel.



Fact.

Block what the DM wants to do?!

Seriously where is the picture of Captain Picard to say "WTF is this...?"

The DM is there to facilitate what the PLAYERS want to do. Blaming the situation on the player in this instance is the most counter-productive "it's everyone's fault so it's no ones fault" HORSE CRAP ever.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

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Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.

The DM is there to facilitate what the PLAYERS want to do. Blaming the situation on the player in this instance is the most counter-productive "it's everyone's fault so it's no ones fault" HORSE CRAP ever.



The DM has at least as much right to play the type of game that he/she wants to play as the players do.  Arguably more, given that they typically put in more work than the rest of the group combined.  Everyone at the table shares the responsibility of ensuring that everyone else has fun.

I didn't notice anything in Centauri's post that suggested that he thought it was the player's fault; he was merely offering a constructive and elegant solution to the immediate issue.  The DM is much more likely to be open to modifying his approach if you avoid an adversarial atmosphere at the table.

None of the above is to suggest that the DM doesn't have a problem, but it more than likely stems from a lack of confidence.  I don't think that 4e helps new DMs in this regard either - much of the published material is presented as a chain of set-piece encounters, which doesn't exactly discourage railroading.  Given that there are a number of experienced DMs in the group, surely most of this could be solved with some friendly advice in between sessions. 
+1 to Litmus' post.

All too often people get caught up in the pursuit of their "ideal game" on these forums that they completely ignore, put down or deride the steps that can be taken to get to a good game, or even a different version of the ideal game (since every group is different).

I agree with the advice to just go along with what the DM has planned so he can get his wings a bit and talk to him about things that he can do in order to improve the experience.  DMing is something done on a learning curve so there isn't a reason to treat it like Mount Olympus. 
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Yeah, I've been on both sides of this. I had a player whose favorite phrase was  "My character wouldn't do that" and he often used it to oppose the group's decisions or just to throw a wrench in anything I presented. It finally got to the point where I asked him to make up a new character, one who wanted to be there working with the other PCs. It was an inelegant way of handling things, I know, but I was young and still learning.

I also have derailed games by being an unwilling player when I felt I was being ignored or railroaded. Now I would handle that differently as well, and work with the DM/GM in game and voice concerns out of game.

So while a quick answer of "fire the DM" works, it isn't necessarily the best solution for this situation. But when you are sitting at home commenting on someone else's issues and not facing any of the consequences, it seems ideal.
It is important to remember that Yagamifire's quote, "Improvement today, perfection tomorrow" only apply very selectively. I guess this DM he is talking about that he don't even know can't be improved. Only fired.

But really I think it is only because he like to disagree with Centauri. About anything.
It is important to remember that Yagamifire's quote, "Improvement today, perfection tomorrow" only apply very selectively. I guess this DM he is talking about that he don't even know can't be improved. Only fired.

But really I think it is only because he like to disagree with Centauri. About anything.



One can only attempt improvement when they are faced with the reality that what they're doing ISN'T WORKING. If you go along with what they do and enable the behavior, how can you expect to see improvement?

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EDIT: Calling people trolls is considered harassment, and is against the CoC. company.wizards.com/conduct 

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

(content removed)

"One can only attempt improvement when they are faced with the reality that what they're doing ISN'T WORKING."

This is what Centauri recomends, after trying to give the DM a chance by going along and seeing if you can find some enjoyments. If it doesn't work, you tell him out of game and if that does not work, excuse yourself.

What YOU suggest is immediately stop playing and fix it. And then say that Centauri is wrong for going along with it at all.

EDIT: Calling people trolls is against the CoC. company.wizards.com/conduct 
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"One can only attempt improvement when they are faced with the reality that what they're doing ISN'T WORKING."

This is what Centauri recomends, after trying to give the DM a chance by going along and seeing if you can find some enjoyments. If it doesn't work, you tell him out of game and if that does not work, excuse yourself.

What YOU suggest is immediately stop playing and fix it. And then say that Centauri is wrong for going along with it at all.



He hasn't been having fun. The DM is ALREADY infringing on the most basic rights a player has in the game. The DM has already shown disdain for players not doing what he wants. This is a perfect example of the game NOT WORKING. Period. Full stop. To indulge in this longer is to empower the action and to waste time not enjoying a hobby that is supposed to be fun. The chance has already been given when the person sat down to DM.

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I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

I've removed some of the content in this thread due to personal attacks - keep it civil, and keep it friendly.
YagamiFire is spot on here.  The DM's attitude here is the biggest problem.  When you have a DM make a comment that is essentially "Are you ready to do what I tell you to?" after a half hour of ignoring the players and stonewalling the ones who agree (because /everyone/ didn't agree to do what he was told), you know there isn't going to be any give and take.  The DM is going to give and take precisely what he wants.

There are much better ways to handle the situation and keep things on the rails then the way the OP originally described it.  The DM came off as very adversarial, nobody should be surprised that the OP is saying he isn't having fun.  And when people stop having fun, things need to change, immediately, or the game isn't worth playing.

And, the people who are saying "just do what your DM wants", are full of crap.  The OP has already stated, that being railroaded isn't fun.  Not complaining about the suck, doesn't magically make something not suck.  Not every situation is properly solved by turning the other cheek.  Sometimes, you just have to make a stand.
You are reading what you want to read. Nobody here said to do what DM says always. They say to give a try to going along to see if it works better and there is fun. If it is not fun at that point, say something or leave the game. Some of you are saying: "DM has failed. Leave game NOW." That is drastic.

The OP says nothing in his post about already having a conversation outside the game about game improvements that the DM rejected. As far as we know, nobody has told the DM he needs to improve at all. Maybe that is how he was taught and doesn't know any better? Maybe he don't read the forums every hour of the day? Maybe he don't have blogs he knows about? Centauri and others suggest maybe just give the guy a chance to improve before quitting by showing trust and offering advice. I don't see anything controversial about giving the guy a chance to improve.

Or maybe some of you were just born knowing how to DM. Good job improving and trying to help someone reach perfection, guys.
You are reading what you want to read. Nobody here said to do what DM says always. They say to give a try to going along to see if it works better and there is fun. If it is not fun at that point, say something or leave the game. Some of you are saying: "DM has failed. Leave game NOW." That is drastic.

The OP says nothing in his post about already having a conversation outside the game about game improvements that the DM rejected. As far as we know, nobody has told the DM he needs to improve at all. Maybe that is how he was taught and doesn't know any better? Maybe he don't read the forums every hour of the day? Maybe he don't have blogs he knows about? Centauri and others suggest maybe just give the guy a chance to improve before quitting by showing trust and offering advice. I don't see anything controversial about giving the guy a chance to improve.

Or maybe some of you were just born knowing how to DM. Good job improving and trying to help someone reach perfection, guys.



Not sure when Yokel fell out of Yagami's pocket but since that happened I find myself agreeing more and more.

Nobody is suggesting to just permanently go along with a railroaded plot if people aren't having fun.  Nobody is talking about turning the other cheek.  You aren't being abused when you play a game with someone who isn't very good at DMing.

What is being suggested is to meet the person in the middle.  You tell the person to make a stand but often times what that leads to, especially if it is the first option you choose to take, is the other person completely shutting down.  If you want to kick the person and want to start off being confrontational go ahead, but don't expecte stellar results.  There aren't ORCs to moderate your vitriol IRL.

What is also being suggested is to go along with the game and take note of times where the non-railroading would have been fun and bring it up later.  If, at the end of a session, the DM gets told by the entire party "Hey it would have been really cool to do X instead" then the chances that DM is going to go along with it are much higher than getting to the same situation in game and grinding everything to a halt for a good old fashion show-down.
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The notion that you'll spend an evening not having fun is ridiculous. As is the idea that you can "meet the DM halfway" by going along with whatever they want you to do. That is not D&D...that is not any kind of roleplaying game...it's story-time. It is the equivalent of the player opposite you in a chess game making your moves for you while others say "Just go along with it. it might be fun to play the game this way! Meet him halfway!"...yeah, how is it fun to NOT play a game?

Seriously, this behavior is improper and there is no reason to reinforce it or give into it. Simply point out that this is NOT how the game is played and that you don't want to take part in a game where you don't make decisions especially since "making choices" is the entirety of the important gameplay of D&D.

Meet people halfway...please. People LOVE to meet people halfway around here, don't they? This is precisely what I'm always talking about...when the game supposedly doesn't objectively have a point and when there are no "wrong ways" to do things in D&D, you get situations like this followed by completely silly advice like "Just go along with it! You might cause the DM to shut down completely!". Oh dear god no! Is he going to throw a tantrum too and over-turn the table? Lets meet him halfway on that then and just turn the table on its side. If someone completely shuts down because they get criticized for something in a game they aren't cut out to DM or really to play any game like D&D.

Maturity. It's required on both sides of the screen and a BIG part of maturity is being enough of an adult to be honest and straightforward with someone especially when you're not having gun in a game. B-b-b-but someone's feelings might get hurt! Don't take it personally...get over yourself...those are the only pieces of advice that matter. Grow up or get out.

Also Matyr, did you seriously not catch on to the fact that Yokel has ALWAYS been doing this? He's pretty transparent.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

To be sure I understand, because English is not my primary language... the very second somebody is running a game in a way that is not same as the way you run it or is not particularly fun to you, your answer is to stop everything and demand compliance with your views? No benefit of doubt? No seeing where it goes for a bit and then approach after game to discuss how to improve? Just - "Stop! You aren't cut out to DM!" Were you born in manger and could immediately DM perfectly right out of womb?

Anyway, you are also person who says point of D&D is not fun. So I don't see your point here.
My reading of the op problem is that he had become frustrated over there most recent games.  Meaning that the most recent game wasn't a singular experience.  The dm is absolutely free to dm as he sees fit, but its a cooperative game.  In my experience most players have little patience for heavy handed railroading.  

If its true that the op gave the dm some leeway there is no reason not to approach the dm and other players about the game style.   Either that or dm yourself or find another group.  There should be some balance of give and take but there is no reason to waste ones valuable recreation time
Wow. An awful lot to respond to. I also just wrote out a whole reply to this topic and then lost it, which is pretty frustrating, but I'll take a minute to put down some quick words here anyway.

Wow.

Fire the DM, find someone else. Anybody else.



This suggestion came up a few times, and it's easy to say but please consider that firstly this person is not just the DM of my D&D campaign, but also my friend and I have to take his feelings into consideration. I also don't speak for the entire group with my opinion so it is not my place to fire anybody or kick anybody else out. Nobody else has raised any concerns about this so as it stands at the moment I am the minority.

If it was as easy as just kicking the person out of the group then I could have done that already, which is why I was looking to start up a discussion about how other people might have overcome this or similiar situations.

Is this his first time DM'ing?

Regardless, I would try to speak to him. First in private, and then assembled the group and have a meeting. Make sure that everyone understands from the begining that this is not the time for screaming/blaming, but one for a sharing of constructive opinions, criticisms, and questions from both sides.

He needs to understand that the DM is not a director and the players are not actors with a script. This is a story that is built by the players and problems within that story need to have multiple options and solutions that are aligned with a PC.

If that doesn't work, ask him (With the rest of the group present) to let someone else from the group DM. And if that doesn't work, either ask him to leave the group or leave yourself.

Don't throw in the towl just yet. Good luck.

HTH



Yes, it is his first time DMing.

I have spoken to him privately about this after the first example I gave regarding not allowing the ranger to scout off the road so that he didn't spoil the ambush encounter that had been set up. Throughout the discussion he seemed to agree with everything I said, yet when we came back to play in the next session it had all been forgotten or ignored or disregarded for whatever reason. I could bring it up again but at this point I feel like I'm just being an awkward player or like a kid having a tantrum or something because the game is not going the way I want it to. It's not like that, but I'm very conscious that it probably comes across that way as I type it out here, or try to talk to him about it.


Well, he asks a good question: why aren't you doing it?

Not that you don't have good reasons, and not that he doesn't have questionable reasons, but what if you just went along with him? Bought the mark, didn't spoil ambushes, or whatever else? It's possible to find "in-character" reasons for all of these, if you're willing to. The trick, then, is just to be willing to.

This DM is inartful, but you're not going to change him by trying to do things your way. Go along for the game time, and then talk to him about it after the game. He's blocking you, yes, but you're blocking him, each of you trying to get the game to go your way. Now, in the DM forums, I'm firmly on the side of letting the player do their thing, because there's no advice I can give a DM to enable them to change a player. Here, there's nothing I can tell you except to let the DM do their thing (apart from kicking the guy or walking out, which solves the immediate issue, but perhaps not the long-term ones).

The "Yes, and..." approach works on the player side too. So, next time he suggests something to you, and it's "obvious what you should be doing," look for a way to say "Yes," and then do what you can to embrace and enhance the idea, making it in some small way your own, to the point that you can enjoy it and want to see it play out.



Okay, a lot to say here about the post that spawned the real discussion in this thread. It seems to have kicked up a bit of head-butting over the subject and nothing I can say will put padding between that so I'll try and focus on the salient question:

Why am I not just going along with what he wants?

I guess because I feel like there should be more than one way to approach an encounter and that having such a linear path undermines the game elements of D&D; without which we would be left with only a few people sitting around a table listening to someone tell a story. I gave a few examples in my first post but let me be clear that when I attempted to make those checks, for example to intimidate my way into the castle; the DM did not patronise me by allowing me to roll the check while setting a ridiculously high DC, he just flat out refused to let me even try. "No. He cannot be intimidated." "Can I even roll to try?" "No." "Can I find another way in?" "No." "Anything?" "Go back and do what you're told."

It doesn't just happen in a way that is negative to us either. Let me give you this short dialogue between player and DM:

"Roll a perception check."
"7. That probably doesn't do it."
"Really? 7? Roll again."
"Uh.. Okay. 11 this time."
"You're supposed to pass this. Roll again."
"24."
"Finally. You notice..."

To you does that not completely defeat the purpose of rolling the dice in the first place?

(I should also note, although I'm sure you all got it, everything that I quote here is paraphrased. This is not really word for word, but me briefly trying to get across the point. It might make the DM sound like more of a jerk than he really is.)

You're right that I won't be able to change him and maybe I could just do everything that he wants us to do and just go along with it, but while that may work for some, I feel that if I wanted to only play the combat encounters then I would play a strategy game instead, and if I wanted a linear unchangeable story that I am unable to shape in any way then I would probably just read a book. I hope that answers your question about my motivations at least. I wrote a considerably longer response and then lost it by trying to delete a sentence and backspacing (back) away from the page. Frustrating.

This is solved much easier and quicker by sharing your feelings with your DM instead of random strangers on a D&D forum.



Yep. I did. But I was also curious if others had felt that they were in a similiar situation and wanted to open up a discussion about it. Also, at the time I posted it was immediately after the session and I was irritated by the whole situation, which would have been a bad time to talk to the guy, because we would have just ended up arguing. Arguably it would have been better for me to cathartically vent into a journal or something, but the responses have been quite interesting nonetheless. I get your point though. It is a bit of a "self-help" thread, so sorry about that!

Everyone that said "Stop playing."



You're right, and I probably should. One caveat to the "not enjoying it" part of the question I first raised though. I am not "not enjoying" D&D. I am not enjoying what we are currently doing, which I do not feel has any real game to it. In a few months when it rolls around to the next DM, or I am DMing again myself I am sure I will be having a blast and all the players will be mad at me for my flaws and posting on forums about how big a jerk their DM is. The guy is new and he is my friend and I want to give him a chance and I don't want to hurt his feelings by disappearing for the remainder of his campaign only to return again later (also they would probably immediately replace me as has happened with other players who have tried this move before).

Anyway, thanks for all of the responses so far.
I also have a friend DM whose game I don't always enjoy.  He rarely allow us to build our charactor indept in the game, at least not what players want.  Very stingy with treasures.  Omg he is so stingy it's like he giving up real money.  Gets kinda upset if we don't play according to his idea of 'Smart play'.  When I humbly say something contrary to what he thinks, before discussion starts he gets upset.  i alwYs thought he was a great dm, since he dm living grey hawk In past.  One of reason I stopped RP for about 10 years.  After I joined the forum, I realized two things.  My friend isn't a great dm.  I'm not a great player.  I definitely need improvement Dming myself.  We can all improve to make game better for everyone.

We are back playing, same issues, but this time i make the best of it.  When its my turn to dm I plan to ask my friends individually what they really enjoy and look forward to in a game so I can cater to each ones needs, since that's part of a good dm.  Sly hint to my friend in the process.

Your friend is new.  Probably not sure how to keep players in line with plot when they deviate.  he dont know how to adept which is a sign of a beginner dm.  You CAn either make best of it and play along, hope he gets better or skip his month of Dming.  You can suggest everyone to join this forum.  Best thing I ever did for improving dnd game.



 
You said that you don't speak for the other players' opinions. So you have indeed spoken to him about his style and they disagree with you? Or have you not yet asked thier opinion yet and don't want to jump the gun?

Thats an important distinction. That is why a group meeting and a group consensus is a powerful thing for a game primarily about teamwork both IC and expecially OOC.

As for the feelings, you should voice them if there is no improvement. You said he agreed with you but didn't change. Thats different from (initiate whiny voice) "My character is super underpowered!! Hand me mooooaaarrrr loot!" after getting a +6 holy avenger at the second level. In the end, do you value potential fun or your appearance more?

Th DM will not change if he doesn't know that the group is unsatisfied and willing to offer suggestions. He may not change if he learns that the group is unsatisfied, but he certainly will not to the former. Work with him, and encourage him him to work with you.

HTH

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

I don't believe that for a second.  Following blindly where the DM tells you to go, does not in any way, shape or form guarantee anyone has fun except the DM.

True. Nothing really guarantees fun for anyone. But not going along with something the DM would really like you to do pretty much guarantees that no one will have fun that session. It's awkward even for the people who are going along.

It's about trust. There might really be DMs who want to cause the players misery and make them feel stupid for going along with the DM's ideas, but I think it's generally going to be a safe bet to trust that even if it's being done unartfully that the DM is trying to arrange something fun for the players. Sure, the DM might have a different idea of fun than the players do, but if the players can be a little be flexible, there's probably something in the game to enjoy. In this case, the players got ambushed, and couldn't prevent it. That's a little disheartening, but at least now they get to have some combat, which is easy to have fun with.

My reading of the op problem is that he had become frustrated over there most recent games.  Meaning that the most recent game wasn't a singular experience.  The dm is absolutely free to dm as he sees fit, but its a cooperative game.  In my experience most players have little patience for heavy handed railroading.

Yes, I too would dislike what this DM is being described as doing, but trying to buck it in-game, during the session is not going to help anything and is just going to fray everyone's nerves.

Yes, it is his first time DMing.

I have spoken to him privately about this after the first example I gave regarding not allowing the ranger to scout off the road so that he didn't spoil the ambush encounter that had been set up. Throughout the discussion he seemed to agree with everything I said, yet when we came back to play in the next session it had all been forgotten or ignored or disregarded for whatever reason. I could bring it up again but at this point I feel like I'm just being an awkward player or like a kid having a tantrum or something because the game is not going the way I want it to. It's not like that, but I'm very conscious that it probably comes across that way as I type it out here, or try to talk to him about it.

The ambush example is a good one. The answer to it is not obvious. Even if he wanted to let the ranger scout, he's faced with the possibility that the encounter he planned out will have to happen differently than he thought of, or not at all. At best, that's likely to be a bit disconcerting, and at worst it's going to be frustrating. He probably doesn't see any other way. Even experienced DMs wouldn't know what else to do either, but would be willing to let their ambush not happen.

This DM doesn't like scouting. If you're going to keep playing with him, consider not making characters that are good at scouting. Otherwise, just don't expect such characters to prevent ambushes.

Why am I not just going along with what he wants?

I guess because I feel like there should be more than one way to approach an encounter and that having such a linear path undermines the game elements of D&D; without which we would be left with only a few people sitting around a table listening to someone tell a story. I gave a few examples in my first post but let me be clear that when I attempted to make those checks, for example to intimidate my way into the castle; the DM did not patronise me by allowing me to roll the check while setting a ridiculously high DC, he just flat out refused to let me even try. "No. He cannot be intimidated." "Can I even roll to try?" "No." "Can I find another way in?" "No." "Anything?" "Go back and do what you're told."

Ok, I definitely understand the desire to be allowed to try different things. That's the power of roleplaying games over video games.

But that power isn't generated from nowhere. It takes experience and skill to be able to run a game in which players can do more than one or even a few different things and not utterly dismantle the game that the DM intends to run. This DM simply doesn't see how to deal with what you want to do. It's less that he's not letting you try those other options, and more that those other options don't exist, just as the world off the trail in Fable doesn't exist, even though the only thing between you and it is a rickety fence.

It doesn't just happen in a way that is negative to us either. Let me give you this short dialogue between player and DM:

"Roll a perception check."
"7. That probably doesn't do it."
"Really? 7? Roll again."
"Uh.. Okay. 11 this time."
"You're supposed to pass this. Roll again."
"24."
"Finally. You notice..."

Same thing. He doesn't have a "script" for you failing the roll.

To you does that not completely defeat the purpose of rolling the dice in the first place?

Yes, but he's a new DM. The idea that the dice don't always need to be rolled is not an obvious one. There's even a recent thread in What's a DM to Do? that tries to drive this home, yet again.

I find it interesting that he wouldn't let you roll in the Intimidation example. What if he'd let you roll, but made you keep rolling until you got a 1?

You're right that I won't be able to change him and maybe I could just do everything that he wants us to do and just go along with it, but while that may work for some, I feel that if I wanted to only play the combat encounters then I would play a strategy game instead, and if I wanted a linear unchangeable story that I am unable to shape in any way then I would probably just read a book.

I understand. I'm not sure what you're expecting from this guy from his first time DMing, though. What if he let you do what you wanted and then had to admit that you'd completely circumvented his ideas and he didn't even have challenging combat to offer you?

You seem to know what you want out of a DM. Have you considered taking a turn DMing?

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

He said that they rotate DMs, and he is afraid that his place at the table will be replaced if he doesn't wait it out.
He said that they rotate DMs, and he is afraid that his place at the table will be replaced if he doesn't wait it out.

Ah, yes. Wait it out. Trust the guy a little. Enjoy what is fun about his game, even if it's just combat, and then on your turn show him how you think it should be done.

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

Might I suggest spending a little one-on-one time with him?  DM a solo adventure for him--his way.  And then DM a solo adventure for him--the way you would want to play.  I think people learn best when they get to experience it first-hand.