Am I doing something wrong?

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Forgive me for being new to tabletop RPGs, but is it considered bad etiquette to come up with new characters before your current one dies? I really enjoy coming up with new character ideas and discussing them with my gaming group, but it ticks off my DM whenever I talk about it. The main reason I even do it, though, is I'm bored out of my mind of my current PC (he's my first ever PC and after playing him 8 months I want to play something more creative) but my DM insists I stick with him for a few more months. He keeps reminding me I need DM approval for any character ideas (as if that isn't a given) and says he doesn't want to be bombarded with questions of "Can I play this?" Even though I've asked to play something else exactly once, the same conversation that led to him telling me to stick with my boring human fighter. Am I out of line?
This is one of those things that varies from person to person, group to group.  I personally think your DM is being a little too tight-assed about it, but it's possible he has something in mind specifically for your character and would rather you stick around to see it to fruition.

It's possible that he's had bad experiences in the past with players who want to change up their characters every other game session, which can be very irritating, and is being a trifle overzealous in heading that off at the pass, so to speak.

Considering that this is your first ever PC, and you're growing bored of him, I think he should certainly let you do a switch if it's at all feasible based on location and the story at present.  However, it's not really my call to make.
You're actually really on-target there. He did indeed have such problems in the past and he did indeed have plans for my character. Thing is, being that almost everyone in my game is a first time player, he has plans to eventually scrap the story we've been playing an start us all over from scratch. The character ideas I've been coming up with aren't replacements for my current character, but rather characters for the next campaign.

The first time I described a future character idea, he told me I wouldn't be able to play it because the race I chose wouldn't mesh with the story. Fair enough I figured. I redesigned that character into a more conventional race, and went on to make two other characters so that in case they also don't work, I have more ideas up my sleeve. I was honestly surprised it went so badly, because all I felt I was doing was tossing out ideas to see what my group (mostly comprised of good friends) thought of them. The DM seems to feel like I'm undermining his authority or something, when I'm just excited to try out new ideas as soon as he decides to free me of this boring character I'm playing.

Anyway, I'd also appreciate any tips on how I can talk about my ideas without making the DM feel like I'm trying to override whatever story he has in mind.
Honestly, it sounds like you can't ... wait to talk about your ideas with him when he gets to the reboot, since then you can also talk about them with the other players and bounce ideas off each other.
What type of character are you playing that has you bored?
Is it the personality or the mechanics?

I always have at least 4 or 5 character ideas on the back burner, just waiting to be tried out. (This is why I can't understand people saying that 4e doesn't give them enough options for building a character).

Only just got started on my Vryloka Warlord based on Emperor Palpatine (until it got hijacked by Mr Burns--c'mon, Palpatine has about a dozen lines, and Mr Burns has over 20 seasons. Plus with the Fey Liege theme, I can summon Smyters, and tell the paladin, Omar, what to do).
Would love to play my Dragonborn Brutal Rogue (everytime I try, that game gets killed off or cancelled).
Penk the Pixie Illusionist should be awesome. Attention span of a kindergardener, with enough zap to be dangerous.
Unselee Agent rogue has potential.

And there are more.
Really, it is hard to make a non-functional/not fun character if you have a good idea where you want to go with it.
The "good idea where you want to go with it" part. As my first character, I chose to make someone who just swings swords and whose personality is just an exaggerated version of my own. He's also not really built with a specific fighting style in mind because I spent the first few levels trying to be everything at once. That's why it's so appealing to me to try out a new character with a distinct personality and clear direction in tactics. The guy I play right now is just so plain that it doesn't give me any inspiration.
It is very unfair of the DM to disallow a change in characters. It most definitely comes from him creating "stories." While it's nice and I'm sure fun to have stories built around your characters, this is one of the drawbacks of that approach. PCs rarely die and can't be swapped because then you'll be "ruining" the DM's story. He and probably to some extent the other players have an investment they want to protect, even at the expense of your own fun.

To give you some perspective (especially in case you decide to DM yourself someday), there's probably a reason it's called Dungeons & Dragons. Location-based adventuring is right in the title. When you create locations or situations and play them, the story is created during actual play. It is an artifact of play, something that comes as a result of playing, not created beforehand for players to experience. This DM is putting the cart before the horse. Now, locations can be more than just a dungeon; however, it's a useful example to illustrate that if the DM simply creates locations and no story, it's not only less work, it allows your players more freedom to explore new characters among other things.

Now, your DM isn't doing anything wrong per se. He (and you) are simply a victim of his own approach to running the game. It's also a very common approach that comes with a number of predictable, sometimes problematic, outcomes that you're seeing now. Unfortunately, getting your DM to change his DMing style is likely not going to happen and would probably be an uncomfortable discussion that results in an argument. Even strangers on an internet forum attack each other when it's suggested, even when it's very clear they have a problem, even when they come here to admit they have a problem themselves!

So, wait it out, I guess. Hopefully you'll be able to get a new character in when the story changes up at some point. Good luck.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
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If you aren't allowed to change your character completely, can you gradually change his personality? What sort of person do you want to play? What event could trigger a change that would let you become that personality?


I'm currently playing in a game as a power hungry monk, and we recently went through a portal to another world. I decided I wanted to take it up a notch, and going through the portal affected my sanity, and I started believing that I was a God meant to rule this new world. It made for some excellent roleplaying with the group and some funny conversations as I try and convince people I meet to worship me, when I'm the least powerful member of the party!

"Encouraging your players to be cautious and risk-averse prevents unexpected epic events and-well-progress at a decent pace in general."-Detoxifier

"HOT SINGLES IN YOUR AREA NOT REGENERATING DUE TO FIRE" -iserith 

"If snapping a dragon's neck with your bare hands is playind D&D wrong, then I don't want to play D&D right." -Lord_Ventnor

You do know you can retrain powers when you level up, right? Only one at a time.
And the next time you get stunned, or dazed, or conked on the head, you can change to whatever personality type you want with that as an excuse.

Fighting Style is a little more nebulous. Some combinations work better than others. Not sure which edition you are playing, but 4e has specific builds (2-handed weapon, weapon&shield, weapon and open hand, 2 weapon), and each build has power options specifically for it (though sometimes it is fun to borrow from one of the others).
And where you want to take your character can change significantly over the career.
There's always the extreme solution. Just manage to get the current fighter killed (it's actually harder than it sounds) and suddenly the DM either has to kick you from the group or else let you play something new. Maybe make some kind of last stand, saving the party, get the heroic way out.
Yeah, I just may take the extreme route. Just spent the majority of last session as a one-armed man because I rolled a critical fail on an attack roll right at the beginning of the session, which apparently caused my character to cut off his own hand. He eventually got it back at the end of the session (healed in the middle of the night by some mysterious entity) because I was suggesting that my character should just retire or throw himself on his sword at this point.
The "extreme" solution recommended is an in-game solution for an out-of-game problem. Campaigns and friendships have ended over this approach. The forums are full of examples.

I would strongly advise making this an out-of-game discussion with the DM, armed with some of the otherwise good advice you've received in this thread. There is nothing that two mature adults can't resolve with a simple discussion. Or at least reach a point where incompatible differences of opinion are illuminated and an amicable severance can take place.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Yeah, I just may take the extreme route. Just spent the majority of last session as a one-armed man



I would strongly advise making this an out-of-game discussion with the DM, armed with some of the otherwise good advice you've received in this thread. There is nothing that two mature adults can't resolve with a simple discussion. Or at least reach a point where incompatible differences of opinion are illuminated and an amicable severance can take place.

Too soon.

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

I can always count on you to get my jokes.

The out-of-game discussion vs. in-game "extreme" solution is definitely no joke though.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Yeah, I just may take the extreme route. Just spent the majority of last session as a one-armed man because I rolled a critical fail on an attack roll right at the beginning of the session, which apparently caused my character to cut off his own hand. He eventually got it back at the end of the session (healed in the middle of the night by some mysterious entity) because I was suggesting that my character should just retire or throw himself on his sword at this point.



Self-crippling critical fumbles?

MAJOR red flag.  Terrible house rule.
The out-of-game discussion vs. in-game "extreme" solution is definitely no joke though.



I'll avoid taking that route, then. I've had several discussions with him about it out of game and while I've had him ease up on the idea of me making other characters (he told me if I'm going to create any other characters before the reset I'll have to come up with a name for my hometown, ten prominent figures from their hometown, several paragraphs of history of that town, etc.) he's still resistant to me switching characters without my current one dying. So that "extreme" route admittedly looks kind of tempting. I'll resist, though.



Self-crippling critical fumbles?

MAJOR red flag.  Terrible house rule.



He house rules all over the place, which he says is because if he stuck to any real rules we'd all wipe in a session because we're all new to this. That's why I didn't know how to respond to the person who asked what edition we're playing. It's mostly a mix of D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder with a good share of house rules. After the reset he plans on doing a Pathfinder campaign and says that's when "the gloves will come off." That's also one of my motivations to have several characters designed ahead of time, I've got a feeling a lot of TPKs are in our future.

As for the critical fail, he said once I rolled a 1, he rolled a 1 to see how bad it would be, and he also rolled a 1. He said the dice gods were telling me "F*** you."
As for the critical fail, he said once I rolled a 1, he rolled a 1 to see how bad it would be, and he also rolled a 1. He said the dice gods were telling me "F*** you."

Which does not itself dictate what it is that happens to your character. If he'd asked you what that outcome meant, what would you have offered?

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

As for the critical fail, he said once I rolled a 1, he rolled a 1 to see how bad it would be, and he also rolled a 1. He said the dice gods were telling me "F*** you."

Which does not itself dictate what it is that happens to your character. If he'd asked you what that outcome meant, what would you have offered?


I myself would have rather have stabbed myself in the foot, had my sword snap in two, anything that wouldn't have taken me from jumping in the heat of a giant 100-man battle and killing exactly one orc to suddenly being a cripple on my second attack, forcing me to watch the rest of my party finish the battle without their fighter.
As for the critical fail, he said once I rolled a 1, he rolled a 1 to see how bad it would be, and he also rolled a 1. He said the dice gods were telling me "F*** you."

Which does not itself dictate what it is that happens to your character. If he'd asked you what that outcome meant, what would you have offered?

I myself would have rather have stabbed myself in the foot, had my sword snap in two, anything that wouldn't have taken me from jumping in the heat of a giant 100-man battle and killing exactly one orc to suddenly being a cripple on my second attack, forcing me to watch the rest of my party finish the battle without their fighter.

Hey, DMs? This is an example of frustrating failure. There are plenty of other problems this character could have had that the player would have found interesting, but the DM chose a very frustrating one. Nothing in the rules required this, it was the DM's choice entirely.

A player in this situation has problems. No matter how nicely the player suggests other possible outcomes, the DM can and likely will suspect the player of trying to get out of the failure. One option for the player is to embrace any other failures they can stomach. No complaints, no debate, no trying to get out of them, so that when the DM really does do something thoughtless the player can say "Hey, I don't mind failure, but how about this failure instead?"

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

Like many "What's a Player to Do?" issues, the problems you are reporting stem almost entirely from your DM's approach to the game. (I give the rest of the blame to the game system as you seem to be pretty accomodating based on your input so far.) Getting him to change that approach is not likely. I'm pretty patient when it comes to trying to give the DM the benefit of the doubt, but from what you're saying I'd be looking for another group. I'm picking up on railroads, power trips, "old school evil DM" mentality, and more. All red flags, as LolaBonne says.

Your problems in this game will not end with his proposed "reset." 

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Ok, here's my thoughts on things.

I would jump at the chance for that "extreme" route that you mentioned.  This really gives you a chance to develop a backstory and lots of interesting details for your character.  You can really make your character interesting this way, and based on what your DMs play style seems to be, it gives him a lot of things to work with to incorporate into his overall plans.  It could really make your character, and your overall experience with that character fun and interesting.

As far as the critical failure result I just think that's poor on the DMs part.  As an example, in the campaign that I'm currently a player in, we played just this last Saturday.  During combat my Paladin rolled a 1 on his first attack against our enemy.  I then had to roll again in order to confirm if it was indeed a critical failure (this is how our group plays it and is not necessarily right for every group).  I rolled another 1 on my confirmation.  The DM determined that as I swung my sword it hit my opponents shield hard and I lost my grip, sending my sword flying across the room.

So what did I do....I commenced shield bashing the @#(* out of my opponent.  I really made things interesting in the encounter.

Now while I don't agree with the call your DM made, cutting off your arm and all, could you have possible just gone with the flow there?  You do have another arm after all.  I would've thought that you could've picked up your weapon with your other arm and continued attacking.  Maybe with like a penalty for it being your off-hand (-2 maybe).  Now if your DM didn't allow you to do that then that's another story.  That would definitely be a bad call in my opinion, and would make me question whether or not he should be running games, because it would sound to me more like he's power tripping and doing the whole DM vs. the players thing.

It should really be about the whole group having fun so if he's doing things and/or making rules/decisions that make it not fun to play, then "someone" should talk to him about it.  Heck, direct him to these boards so he can get some tips on being a better DM so that everyone can enjoy the game.

anyway, that's my 2 cents.
A player in this situation has problems. No matter how nicely the player suggests other possible outcomes, the DM can and likely will suspect the player of trying to get out of the failure. One option for the player is to embrace any other failures they can stomach. No complaints, no debate, no trying to get out of them, so that when the DM really does do something thoughtless the player can say "Hey, I don't mind failure, but how about this failure instead?"


Read my mind right there. Outside of initially thinking he was kidding, then asking a couple of times, "Wait, you're serious?" "For real?" I didn't protest, because I didn't want to look like I was trying to whine my way out of a critical fail. Wasn't sure if there was a polite way to say "Well this has completely spoiled any fun I was planning on having tonight."

Like many "What's a Player to Do?" issues, the problems you are reporting stem almost entirely from your DM's approach to the game. (I give the rest of the blame to the game system as you seem to be pretty accomodating based on your input so far.) Getting him to change that approach is not likely. I'm pretty patient when it comes to trying to give the DM the benefit of the doubt, but from what you're saying I'd be looking for another group. I'm picking up on railroads, power trips, "old school evil DM" mentality, and more. All red flags, as LolaBonne says.

Your problems in this game will not end with his proposed "reset." 


Considering how difficult it was for me to find enough friends interested in gaming to begin with, I can only say I hope this isn't the case. I do try to subtly hint now and then that this game is first and foremost about everyone having fun. Hopefully it'll sink in.
Now while I don't agree with the call your DM made, cutting off your arm and all, could you have possible just gone with the flow there?  You do have another arm after all.  I would've thought that you could've picked up your weapon with your other arm and continued attacking.  Maybe with like a penalty for it being your off-hand (-2 maybe).  Now if your DM didn't allow you to do that then that's another story.  That would definitely be a bad call in my opinion, and would make me question whether or not he should be running games, because it would sound to me more like he's power tripping and doing the whole DM vs. the players thing.



My character was bleeding out and the healer in our group was up to her ears in orcs. He told me the wound was causing (the exact numbers are fuzzy) something like 6 points of damage per turn, and moving would give me another 8, and this was just the damage I had done to myself, not counting the two orcs who were flanking me. I had no choice but to sit things out to avoid completely bleeding out before I could get the stump healed, which was done after the battle finished.

If you are having difficulty finding a group in your area there are many ways to find people to play with.  Meetup.com for one.  Local game stores.  Other websites, etc.  Doing this could help your make some new friends as well.

I can understand wanting to play with your friends but what iserith wrote really makes a good point.  If the DM is being the "old school evil DM" all that's going to happen is he's going to quite likely ruin D&D for all of these new players in your group.  You should ask your other friends how they feel about the rules/decisions that your DM is implementing and if that is causing them to not enjoy the game as much.

If it's only a problem for you then try finding another group.  If it's a problem for more than just you, then you might have some company with you when you look for a new group.

You could also read up on the rules yourself, and use some of the advice from these forums and run your own game.  Leading by example as it were.  If you run a game and can do things in a way that is more fun to everyone, your current DM may learn a thing or two, especially if everyone is saying...."we want to play your game" instead of his.
Hehehe, you ninja'd me.

You know since you're wanting your character to die so you can play a new one I think you just missed a golden opportunity.  You could've decided to just run around and try to attack and let the bloodloss and other damage you were taking finish you off.  If your DM then "miraculously" brought you back to life that would be yet another sign of DM power tripping.  He would be showing you that all he really cares about is "HIS" story and not if anyone is having any fun.

I would at this point be looking for another group, or as I mentioned before, running my own game and leading by example.  Perhaps even both.
Oh believe me, the thought occurred. I just didn't want to seem like I was trying to sabotage the game.
Oh believe me, the thought occurred. I just didn't want to seem like I was trying to sabotage the game.



No worries.  He's sabotaging himself already.
Considering how difficult it was for me to find enough friends interested in gaming to begin with, I can only say I hope this isn't the case. I do try to subtly hint now and then that this game is first and foremost about everyone having fun. Hopefully it'll sink in.



You got the deadly combination of "Weak DM" and "Too Nice For Your Own Good"!

I play only online these days. While I do miss some of that camaraderie, I do get to be a lot pickier as to both players and DMs and the gaming experience is much better. I recommend you check out that option.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

There is a compromise solution...

As a DM, I always allow new players to tweak their characters up to five or six sessions into a campaign.  I will even go so far as to make suggestions if they want to hear my opinion.  An example of this is, I am running a 3.5e campaign where the player decided to choose the PHB2 replacement feature of bardic knack over bardic knowlede (basically knack allows the character to try to do something he would not normally be able because "she saw it done once.")  As the campaign progressed, it turned out bardic knowledge would have been the better option.  I allowed the player to switch her bardic knack to bardic knowledge no harm no foul.

Maybe your DM could allow you to tweak your existing character to be more in line with the character you want to play.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
I have two players who love coming up with character ideas.

There is nothing wrong with promoting such a thing.

As a DM I will say a player who wants to keep changing their chracter every two or three sessions can be difficult to manage but that doesn't seem to be the issue here.

As for the house rules they sound like a joke to me.

If a player wants a game to screw over players on a regular basis there are a few out there.  You are not playing one of those games. 

Players want to have fun you are clearly not having fun.  Having a ton of house rules is a red flag for a DM who isn't taking the time to know the rules of the game they are running nor the focus that the game is for players enjoyment.

The only real house rule I have is that the players are the stars.  An example would be if inatitive comes up and a player ties with anything that is not a player its wins that inatitive.

LolaBonne is correct your DM treats you like a punching bag and you are allowing the DM to do so.

I suggest you read up on the rules, if the other players have issue with this DM then find another group perhaps run yourself and take the majority of players with you.

[Good to be direct and accurate Lolabonne since I can't PM you...Cry]
There's always the extreme solution. Just manage to get the current fighter killed (it's actually harder than it sounds) and suddenly the DM either has to kick you from the group or else let you play something new. Maybe make some kind of last stand, saving the party, get the heroic way out.

It is harder than it sounds. I was playing a monk who was getting his tail handed to him at every turn (When I created him, the DM told me he wanted to get away from hack and slash because all the players of his regular group were min/maxers and optimizers)...

I was fine when I realized I'd been bamboozled... every NPC I was pretty much forced to fight (although I was really going for the pacifist scholarly monk, due to the DM's suggestion) had above maximum stats and was I'd guess at least 5 levels higher than me and often surrounded by 30-40 minions on top of that.

But when roleplaying also bred miserable FAILs at every turn (and ended in the loss of BOTH my character's arms, it was time to take matters into my own hands (arms or no arms)... I jumped into a river, armless! The bad news (?) is that the DM forced me to make a swim check. THAT WAS THE FIRST SKILL CHECK MY CHARACTER SUCCEEDED AT. Which of course actually means he failed to off himself. So I tried death by village... attacking everyone, beginning with my allies. And killed them all.... So much for the pacifist. Town guards. BOOM. The evil baddies 30 minions. X30 CRITICAL BOOM.

FINALLY......... Excited to see that I was making some progress, I decided to simply hack and slash (with my feet) on the major NPC bad guy monk. Who finally killed my miserable monk with minimum damage on his first attack after hitting me on a roll of 2.

While the DM resolved the rest of his attacks (not sure of the logic on that one)... I made my next character for this 'world of high roleplaying the esoteric aspects of the orient'.

HALF ORC BARBARIAN WITH MAX STRENGTH and MAX CONSTITUTION WIELDING GREAT SWORD!
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
You have terrible luck, Sir Joseph. Or is that good luck?

I bet if the OP tried to kill his character in-game, I mean really tried, he wouldn't be able to do it either. He's part of the plot and for the DM to kill his character, he has to kill the plot in some way, too. Since the DM is clearly invested in that story he's made up for the players to experience, it probably doesn't matter what the character does - he's invincible! Otherwise, the DM would have let this poor guy change characters by now.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals | Full-Contact Futbol  |  Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs | Re-Imagining Phandelver | Three Pillars of Immersion | Seahorse Run

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

It's true. I essentially am unkillable. The reason behind my DM not letting me retire my character has been becoming apparent lately, as there is some kind of a demonic entity living on him, and it's becoming a plot device lately. Until he's done with that story, my character will be invincible.

 I've pointed out to my DM that with my fighter currently making 4 attack rolls per turn (soon to be 5) the statistical odds of my character rolling a 1 are rising dramatically, and it's going to be insanely frustrating if my character is putting his sword up his backside every four or five turns. I'm hoping that causes him to ease up on the critical failures.
I think you are probably better off looking for a new game.  Critical fumbles generally penlise pcs more than the mosnters.  It sounds like the dm probably doesn't have made up tables he rolls on for his fumbles which leaves dm fiat for the consequences and that is a recipe for trouble.  You could try sticking it out for another game before abandoning ship.

As for changing characters, I would rather the players enjoy the game rather than feel trapped by their character.  As long as the player isn't eating up game time making up new characters who cares.  If the player is bringing in characters every other game that may be a sign the dm isn't making an interesting game.  Seeing as the op has stuck with the character for eight months I don't see anything wrong with a new character. 
Yeah I'd never use game session time on that sort of thing. I discuss it with my group on Facebook during the week. The other players love it. One even decided to design a future character to be the sister of one of my potential characters. The DM said he doesn't like it because I have tend to choose non-core races like half-elementals and he hasn't decided if those races even exist in his game world. I'm not jumping ship just yet. I at least want to hang in until that reset he's planning, since the players are good friends of mine and after the reset he'll be using actual rules instead of pulling everything out of his backside, which may force him to be more reasonable. I'm not ignoring the advice, however. I'm trying to politely point out that the game is a bit too punishing. I am learning the rules and doing the math on a some recent encounters we've done and found most of them to be one or two CR points above that of the party, (six players at lvl 6 taking on a CR 9 encounter, for instance.) while being told by him we should be able to handle this easily. He keeps insisting we're doing so poorly because we're new and don't know how to play properly, but with what we're being given it seems pretty normal that we would struggle.
For what it's worth - Unless it's been improved since I last played 3.5, CR was never an exact science. Even if you were dead on where you needed to be, it was rarely representative of the actual challenge.

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Well to be honest he's the one who keeps mentioning it, though in not so man words. He keeps telling us "according to the rules this should be incredibly simple for you guys" and yet time after time we're walking away from each battle with a third of the party unconscious and the rest at low health. Even when he sent us into a dungeon for the first time we had to leave, drag the unconscious players back to town, heal players, and come back to the dungeon between every encounter. On the third fight one character died. He keeps telling us we're awful at the game but I can't help but feel that it's coming less from bad decisions and more from intense difficulty. Again, I could be wrong, and I've never made a fuss about these things in the actual sessions. I mostly came here to see how "normal" it is for players to experience this kind of stuff, so I'd know if I'm out of line for butting heads with my DM.
He keeps insisting we're doing so poorly because we're new and don't know how to play properly.



This statement would frighten me away from every playing with this DM.  The mere thought that "you're doing it wrong" is a big red flag.  There is no such thing as playing poorly.  


There is such a thing as a crap DM though.  And it sure sounds like he has 2 major problems. First, he thinks the game is DM against players. It's not. The DM is there to present problems for the players to solve, give them incentive to solve them and present challenges and obstacles along the way. There is no winning side or losing side.  When I DM, I want my players to succeed, but I also want them to feel like they had to work hard for it, and that is was all worth it.  But working hard does not mean punishing them, its more of an illusion.  The trick is maintaining the illusion.  Your DM is arrogant and shoving it in your faces that he is winning and you are really crappy and easy to beat.  He's got the whole wrong idea about what his job is and what the game is about. (Probably because of some crappy DM's before him, they should all be hung up by their short hairs) Second, he is telling his story, not letting you tell yours.  The game should be a collaboration.  Sure, he came up with interesting stuff, but did anyone ask you if it would be fun for your character to be possessed and get super attack power.  You're obviously not enjoying it.  We it a consequence of your actions or is it just part of his story?  My guess is the latter.  Again more arrogance, thinking the players are there to be part of his story. 


Feelings may get hurt, but you and your friends deserve a better game.  Because it is a game.  Remember, its better not to play than to waste your time playing a game that is not fun. 


TjD

There is no such thing as playing poorly.

Really? So every problem in a game is the DM's fault? Nice, that means I can dick around in games as much as I like and take no responsibility! Laughing

"Encouraging your players to be cautious and risk-averse prevents unexpected epic events and-well-progress at a decent pace in general."-Detoxifier

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"If snapping a dragon's neck with your bare hands is playind D&D wrong, then I don't want to play D&D right." -Lord_Ventnor

There is no such thing as playing poorly.

Really? So every problem in a game is the DM's fault? Nice, that means I can dick around in games as much as I like and take no responsibility! 

Being deliberately annoying is not the same as "playing poorly." But, yeah, others bear a lot of responsibility for bringing up their out-of-game concerns with they people they play with.

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

Second, he is telling his story, not letting you tell yours.  The game should be a collaboration.  Sure, he came up with interesting stuff, but did anyone ask you if it would be fun for your character to be possessed and get super attack power.  You're obviously not enjoying it.  We it a consequence of your actions or is it just part of his story?  My guess is the latter.  Again more arrogance, thinking the players are there to be part of his story.


It was something that happened on its own. My character had a dream of opening a pot and this black demonic goo which came from a meteor jumping on my character's face, and when he woke up it was still on him, and been living on him ever since. I hadn't been told about it beforehand, and two days before that happened is when I talked to him about retiring my character. (Come to think of it, it hits me just as I write this that when I went to his place to have this talk he had been playing Spider-Man: Web of Shadows.) Anyway no I had no choice in any of this, though I wasn't annoyed by it because at least being a host to a demonic black goo gave the character an interesting slant, and it gave him the "Vampiric touch" ability, which is fun to use.

I don't want to sound like everything in the game is horrible. It's a lot of fun most of the time. Especially since we're mostly close friends and don't get too hung up on our characters failing (or else with the rate we fail, is neccessary). And I'm making great effort to learn the best strategies for combat and even take opportunities to teach those methods to my fellow players as we go. Even if my DM really is an evil DM, there's a part of me that wants to believe if we show we're putting in an effort to do our best, he may loosen up on us.

If I make these sessions sound horrible it's only because I'm new and thus trying to figure out exactly what's killing the fun when we're chugging along having a lot of fun and them we're smacked with some situation that kills all the fun in the room. When we spend 20 minutes exploring a house the part is going to be staying in for a while, we're having fun. When we spend 10 minutes discussing the combination to unlock the front door so we can leave (including a player asking if she can just take 20 and assume we try it until we figure it out and being told no, just to eventually find out it was the second combination we tried and he mistakenly said it was wrong) I start to wonder if every group goes through this. There's no need for me to dicuss all the times we're enjoying ourselves because I know that's going well. It's the bad points I want to figure out.