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Author Topic: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...  (Read 5626 times)

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Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« on: October 30, 2012, 11:57:15 AM »
(Feel free to comment and/or add your own to the list)

...the GM puts the spotlight on his or her NPCs rather than the PCs?

...you're at a character creation get together for an upcoming game and there's only one book to go around (meaning only one person can make a character at a time)?

...the GM is obviously biased in favor of a best friend or an SO?  (One GM in a game I was in let his best friend play a level 20 PC loaded to the gills with magic items in a game where everyone else was level 5 with little to no magic items.  When I confronted the GM about it, he shrugged and said that "every group has to have a Gandalf".)

...one player claims to have rolled -really- well for his stats but he says "you know I don't cheat"?  (Like rolling four 18s for attributes in a D&D game)

...a player blatantly cheats in some way (usually involving dice)?  (Like rolling twice when he thinks no one is looking, rolling the die and snatching it up before anyone can see the result, or claiming to have "rolled beforehand to save time")

...a player plays a "lone wolf" character in a game based around a party working together?

...a player deliberately makes a character so useless that in game, the party has no justifiable reason to let them continue to adventure with them?

...the player with the useless character claims that playing a useless character makes them a better role-player than anyone else at the table?

...you get accused of powergaming or being a munchkin for making an effective character?  (There's a difference between min/maxing or optimizing and making a character who is good at what he or she is supposed to do for the party)

...no one wants to actually role-play?

...a player asks you, the GM if they can play something esoteric and obscure that will require loads of modifications to your adventure and generally end up being a pain in the butt or a severe imbalance... and then they argue with you when you say no?

...a fellow player grabs one of your dice to roll without asking?

I'm sure I'll have more to add to the list later, but that's a good start I think.

Offline Kathadon

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 12:43:45 PM »
Oh I love this topic.

... You spend a couple days thinking up a scenario and are psychiced to play it and the rest of your group show up with the latest RPG find from the store and want to play that instead. Or just cancel at the last minute.

... Someone insists on playing a race that is known to be evil/unpopular in the setting. And then complain when the NPC's treat them as such. (I hate whiny drow players btw. No you are not Drit'z D'whateverhis nameis. The poor peasants don't know you from Adam, so yes they think you are one of the bandits).

... A player wants to be a archtypical good guy/bad guy class and then plays them the opposite. (No, no, no, I am a DARK jedi.... Not a sith.)

... That one guy, every group has, who never has money to chip in for the pizza and beer. Yet he has EVERY book for X system including the one that just came out yesterday... >:(

Just a few off the top of my head. :-)
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 12:46:20 PM by Kathadon »

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 12:47:48 PM »
... That one guy, every group has, who never has money to chip in for the pizza and beer. Yet he has EVERY book for X system including the one that just came out yesterday... >:(

Oh I hate that!  But that guy is always happy to take his share (or more) of the pizza and soda.  I mean, I understand that folks can't chip in everytime, but this guy -never- chips in, nor is he willing to give up gas money (even if it's just a buck or two) to those who give him rides to and from game. 

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 12:55:14 PM »
-You try to run a game with a plot and the players whine about being railroaded, so you write a sandbox game instead and they sit around doing nothing and whine about not having any plot to follow?

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2012, 01:06:03 PM »
... when you try to emulate something shown in the setting, and you're constantly expected to be held to a standard of 'canon'. Cthulhutech is a prime example. PCs are expected to be by the rules, follow a strict set of of canon rules in what you can, or can't be, while the NPCs of the setting constantly flouts these rules (I tend to follow heavily by the rule of PCs being special; if anyone gets to be the Good Guy Drow, or That One Guy who was the Abyssal who came back and cleansed his Solar Shard? It should be the players, not a background NPC with heavy handed 'no PCs should ever do something this cool' warnings).

... when a game advertises itself as doing x, but really, it does it rather poorly or doesn't do it at all. (Iron Heroes advertises itself as a Conan-esque game of 'jumping on demons and tearing out their eyeballs and being an all-around badarse', but in the core book, unarmed combat is pretty much impossible, and unlike Conan, you end up playing hugely specialized characters; the Punchy Guy who's skills revolve around Punching, Punching and Punching. Or 7th Sea, which is based around swashbuckling action, and while being a good game, demands such high level characters to do standard swashbuckling moves, you'll always play conservatively and never use your special Cool Points (as they're also XP)).


...a player deliberately makes a character so useless that in game, the party has no justifiable reason to let them continue to adventure with them?

...the player with the useless character claims that playing a useless character makes them a better role-player than anyone else at the table?

...you get accused of powergaming or being a munchkin for making an effective character?  (There's a difference between min/maxing or optimizing and making a character who is good at what he or she is supposed to do for the party)

A hundred times this. I despise Stormwind Fallacy; I'm a huge advocate that 'min-maxing' is not a bad thing, as it isn't. Have you ever seen players complain about the Wizard having high Intelligence or Fighter having high Strength and high Constitution? No. It's min-maxing. But apparently, making a character based on charging, who's good at charging, using charging based prestige classes suddenly becomes min-maxing, and that's Bad(tm). Max-minning is a huge problem in some of the games I've played ('Well, I'm playing a Fighter with low Strength who can't do his job. This is so hugely unlikely and silly, it makes me a good roleplayer!').

Offline Aiden

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2012, 01:12:36 PM »
...a player deliberately makes a character so useless that in game, the party has no justifiable reason to let them continue to adventure with them?

I had a friend who could not lock pick for shit, when he failed three times in a row even when out of combat (hence no duress) he kept failing. I (the barbarian) asked the GM if I could make the rogue (my friend) a battering ram and what my strength check would be to knock the door down.

Well the rogue was prone, knelt down trying to pick. I passed his grapple check and swung him into the door, killing him and opening the door.

Hence the name of Kargoth the short tempered barbarian became legend that day.
(Friend rerolled a twin brother rogue and put the proper skills in lockpicking  XD )

Offline Oniya

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Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2012, 01:16:52 PM »
How about

...the GM decides that his/her sole goal in the campaign is to kill off as many characters as possible - in a non-Lovecraft-based game?

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2012, 01:21:49 PM »
...a player deliberately makes a character so useless that in game, the party has no justifiable reason to let them continue to adventure with them?

I had a friend who could not lock pick for shit, when he failed three times in a row even when out of combat (hence no duress) he kept failing. I (the barbarian) asked the GM if I could make the rogue (my friend) a battering ram and what my strength check would be to knock the door down.

Well the rogue was prone, knelt down trying to pick. I passed his grapple check and swung him into the door, killing him and opening the door.

Hence the name of Kargoth the short tempered barbarian became legend that day.
(Friend rerolled a twin brother rogue and put the proper skills in lockpicking  XD )

Well that honestly stems from the fact that at level one, a Rogue in D&D 3.X tends to have greater than a 50% chance of failing a given check, whether it be opening a lock or disarming a trap.  That's the fault of the system.  What it does though is make the Rogue, who already feels like he's not as useful as say, a Wizard look like an incompetent idiot who sucks at his role in the party.  It got to the point where I refused to play a Rogue (or a Cleric) due to how the system was set up.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2012, 01:26:44 PM »
Rogues are just the poor man's Barbarian anyways. Sneak attack < two-handed weapon with high strength, lockpicking < high strength on break checks, adamantine weapon optional, d8 hit die < d12 hit die. If you want to be a social rogue, play a Bard and get actual magic in addition to skills.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2012, 01:27:54 PM »
How about

...the GM decides that his/her sole goal in the campaign is to kill off as many characters as possible - in a non-Lovecraft-based game?

Even Lovecraft's stories never really had mass murder of the people investigating the Mythos. Paranoia, on the other hand, where you're actively rewarded for needlessly killing and tricking your party members... :3 Silly Commie Mutants!

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2012, 01:29:43 PM »
... when you're GMing & the dice hate you for half the evening, letting the PCs run roughshod over the opposition, then turn around & hate the players so much they get TPK'd.

That's happened to me twice. Twice.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2012, 01:32:24 PM »
Even Lovecraft's stories never really had mass murder of the people investigating the Mythos. Paranoia, on the other hand, where you're actively rewarded for needlessly killing and tricking your party members... :3 Silly Commie Mutants!

Much better example - and with Paranoia, you know what you're getting into! :D

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2012, 02:20:35 PM »
Much better example - and with Paranoia, you know what you're getting into! :D

Though if you get a GM who confuses Paranoia with CoC and thinks the point of the game is for him to murder the players six times each in an assembly-line efficiency fashion, it can be just as bad.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2012, 02:27:28 PM »
Though if you get a GM who confuses Paranoia with CoC and thinks the point of the game is for him to murder the players six times each in an assembly-line efficiency fashion, it can be just as bad.

I blame Gygax holdovers; for the grandfather of tabletop roleplaying, the guy had a terrible ideas on running a game and roleplaying.

Offline LunarSageTopic starter

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2012, 02:35:29 PM »
Oh Gygax was an awful GM.  No question.  GMs who try and emulate his style in the modern age will quickly find themselves without players.

Offline Moraline

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2012, 04:16:30 PM »
Interesting, I never knew this about Gygax. I thought he was just all about creating the dungeon crawl. (Which I don't' really like either.)

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2012, 04:36:32 PM »
Gygax wasn't really a murderous DM. People think he was because of things like the Tomb of Horrors, but they forget that was a Tournament module. It was designed to be excessively deadly, in order to be finished within a certain time limit of play. It's the people who try to emulate 'Gygaxian style gaming' who give him a bad name retroactively, because they're doing it wrong.

For evidence that he wasn't a Killer DM in his personal table games, just look at the Player's Handbook. Mordekainen's Magnificent Mansion. Otiluke's Resilient Sphere.  Bigby's Crushing Hand. Mordekainen, Bigby, and Otiluke were PCs in some of the first campaigns he ran, wizards who got sufficiently high enough level to retire and were permanently enshrined in the game's metalore. That wouldn't have been possible if he was a butcher-DM.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 04:38:06 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2012, 05:48:59 PM »
Interesting, I never knew this about Gygax. I thought he was just all about creating the dungeon crawl. (Which I don't' really like either.)

I've heard some of the stories from people who've played from him. His advice in the games is also suspect, too; the only way I can describe some of the rules in some of the 2e AD&D rules I've read is 'passive-aggressive'.

Gygax wasn't really a murderous DM. People think he was because of things like the Tomb of Horrors, but they forget that was a Tournament module. It was designed to be excessively deadly, in order to be finished within a certain time limit of play. It's the people who try to emulate 'Gygaxian style gaming' who give him a bad name retroactively, because they're doing it wrong.

For evidence that he wasn't a Killer DM in his personal table games, just look at the Player's Handbook. Mordekainen's Magnificent Mansion. Otiluke's Resilient Sphere.  Bigby's Crushing Hand. Mordekainen, Bigby, and Otiluke were PCs in some of the first campaigns he ran, wizards who got sufficiently high enough level to retire and were permanently enshrined in the game's metalore. That wouldn't have been possible if he was a butcher-DM.

Because they're NPCs. ;D For me, it wasn't that Tomb of Horrors was deadly. It's that Tomb of Horrors was -dickish-. An entire thing set up to dick you over with unresistable death in which your character had no control, other than knowing everything in advance.

But yeah, I tend to associate Gygax more with terribly silly plots. Return to Castle Greyhawk is a prime example. I'm not sure if it was Gygax, but it might have been him who wrote the Alice in Wonderland scenarios, too, but Castle Greyhawk stands out in my mind as classic terribad Gygax.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2012, 05:53:07 PM »

Because they're NPCs. ;D For me, it wasn't that Tomb of Horrors was deadly. It's that Tomb of Horrors was -dickish-. An entire thing set up to dick you over with unresistable death in which your character had no control, other than knowing everything in advance.

But yeah, I tend to associate Gygax more with terribly silly plots. Return to Castle Greyhawk is a prime example. I'm not sure if it was Gygax, but it might have been him who wrote the Alice in Wonderland scenarios, too, but Castle Greyhawk stands out in my mind as classic terribad Gygax.

Uhh...I think you misunderstood. Though I used the wrong names, but Melf - as in Melf's Acid Arrow, was a character created by one of his sons. Leomund, as in Leomund's Secure Shelter, was the character of one of the primary playtesters and game designers. They were the literal opposite of NPCs, they were PCs who survived his games and were enshrined in the lore as NPCs once they reached max level and retired. As for adventures...I dunno. He wrote Return To Castle Greyhawk(? I can't find any module by this name), but he also wrote all-time classics like Keep On The Borderlands, the well-rated Giants module series, Expedition to The Barrier Peaks (a very silly module if you actually know what's going on, but I love it).

There was an entire long thread about this on another forum I frequent - lots of interesting stuff there. It doesn't all make Gygax look good, but he was hardly the awful killer player-hating DM people sometimes imagine him as.
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=247033
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 06:00:11 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2012, 06:14:21 PM »
Mmm. Things do tend to get exaggerated, I agree. Most of what I've heard is that he was generally a great guy, with a penchant for his player death. Which ain't a hugely bad thing, but I tend to run my games somewhat care-bear-ish; characters being killed off due to bad luck tends to be more of an annoyance to me than a feature to enchance the story.

Also, my bad; Return to Castle Greyhawk was the 3.5 sequel to the more serious Castle Greyhawk. The one I'm thinking of is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Greyhawk_(module)

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2012, 06:29:29 PM »
There is that - in 30-odd years, the 'typical game' has evolved and changed significantly. Gygax and Gygaxian imitators may have been the type to wantonly kill off players, but it's important (as discussed in depth in that thread) to remember that character death wasn't nearly as much of a hassle then as it is now. In 3.5E, even in 4E, writing up a new character can be an arduous process, half an hour to hours depending on level and sourcebooks available, and whether or not you can use magic. Back in Basic, it was 5 minutes tops for most PCs, and they were designed to be fragile, so the culture at the time, such as it was, put far less emphasis on character survival.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2012, 06:36:20 PM »
For me, it's not a matter of convienience; I can whip up a 3.5 character in about 10mins, if I really want just a character to play with. But even a game like LotW, where making an army-slaying kung fu genius from scratch takes about ten minutes, it's more the fact that it doesn't work well for story purposes. Nothing puts a damper on a long-running storyline than '... and then Roger the Elf randomly got shot in the face by a lucky crit from a goblin. Roll up Markus the Mage, so we can find you in the celler and get you back in the game'. But as you say, that's a large part of the evolution of the RPG; RPGs now, especially D&D now, are a completely different kettle of fish than they were thirty years ago.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2012, 06:51:58 PM »
Yup. People make jokes about 'Derek the Fighter' being 'rolled up' to replace Alex, Bob, and Charlie the Fighter where someone just erased and re-wrote the name and said 'it's my last character's brother/sister/child', but that was part and parcel - it was almost expected that if your character died, your replacement would have some connection to the previous one...relative, friend, hireling, something. Bad luck could kill almost any character at any time, even the toughest fighters, because 'tough' was an extremely relative term. In the earliest versions of the game, you earned XP for collecting treasure, not killing monsters; treasure was usually guarded by monsters, so killing them was one way to do it, but it didn't matter how you got said treasure in the end, and combined with the high lethality rate of combat, it encouraged finding other ways to win or bypass fights.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 06:53:38 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline WindVoyager

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2012, 09:31:17 PM »
....players who whine when they are not allowed to play unproved or disproved classes\races\items\etc

...Players who do things to purposely annoy the DM

....Players who NEVER chip in for anything and leach off every one else

.....The Die Tower Builder, this player never does anything constructive, never pays attention, is bored all the time and uses every one's dice to build towers because they expect table top RPs to be just like video games

...Any player that blatantly cheats in some way, like re-rolling die when they think no one is looking, changing the scores on the character sheets to be higher then they should be and the like

...Power gamers

...Rules Lawyers

.....The player that won't role-play at all

...Any one who grabs my dice with out asking


Offline Chris Brady

Re: Don't You Hate it When in an P&P RPG...
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2012, 10:30:16 PM »
...Players who refuse to do any of the math.

...Players whose sole purpose is to intimidate and kill stuff.

...Players who whine about having to use their...  GASP!  Imagination!

All of which are currently at the table I play at every Tuesday, until 10PM EST.