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(Topless Robot)   Eight things that ruin Dungeons and Dragons, which is fantasy football for the geek crowd   (toplessrobot.com) divider line 174
    More: Silly, dragons, Dungeons & Dragons, Serious Business, geeks  
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8939 clicks; posted to Geek » on 01 Oct 2012 at 9:27 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-01 09:00:44 AM
Eight things that ruin the internet:

One through eight: Lists.
 
2012-10-01 09:07:12 AM
Actually have managed to avoid those problems in my group.
 
2012-10-01 09:34:07 AM
I played in a Forgotten Realms campaign about 8 years ago. It was going well until World of Warcraft was released, then everybody started playing that instead.
 
2012-10-01 09:39:10 AM

SilentStrider: Actually have managed to avoid those problems in my group.


Even #1, Getting Older?
 
2012-10-01 09:39:24 AM
www.jokeoverflow.com
 
2012-10-01 09:39:26 AM
Good list. I would add:
9. Using dice as caltrops.
 
2012-10-01 09:39:40 AM
You know how to avoid all of those problems?

Get a group of people you know, tell everyone to bring their own beer, play in a large room on a large table with the entire pirated bookset, and have a single rule saying if you're a dick you're out.

Challenge accepted and solved.
 
2012-10-01 09:43:45 AM
When you and most of your friends are lawyers, it's kind of hard to avoid "rules lawyering" during games.
Our DM has a gavel.
 
2012-10-01 09:44:51 AM

Sargun: You know how to avoid all of those problems?


I do! Don't play D&D at all.
 
2012-10-01 09:44:52 AM
#2 is about the biggest.

Also lazy players who are one step about zynga Facebook app players. Not every encounter or move should be a simple no-brained. The fun is in being creative and actually being challenged. I think Spoony's tale about the Leaping Wizards was a good lesson on bad playing and campaign crafting.
 
2012-10-01 09:47:23 AM
My experiences playing D & D with other people was the reason Pool of Radiance was such a godsend when it came out. Let alone the subsequent generation of games. Whatever is lost by playing in a world defined by the program is more than compensated for by not having to deal with gaming jerks.
 
2012-10-01 09:50:16 AM

Mrbogey: Not every encounter or move should be a simple no-brained.


I agree, but not every encounter should be the riddle of the farking Sphinx either.
 
2012-10-01 09:52:08 AM
People who thing D&D players spend too much money haven't played Warhammer. Or Magic: The Gathering.

As for bad groups/getting older/bad DMs and all that... Play by Post games are huge on several websites. I play on one myself - www.myth-weavers.com. Which hosts more than just D&D games, you can find just about ever game imaginable... GURPS, White Wolfe games, All Flesh Must Be Eaten...
 
2012-10-01 09:52:24 AM

JasonOfOrillia: Good list. I would add:
9. Using dice as caltrops.


THIS!

My Dad has a few if the original box set D4s - the ones with the non rounded tops. Earned myself 3 stiches on those sumbiatches.

Number 10: the Mary Sue effect. The DM's girlfriend joins the group. She has not a clue as to any facet of the game, and the the DM gives her 99% of all swag, luck, and attention.

/Never be a problem with me.
//Made my save vs feminine companionship.
///Charisma is my dump stat.
 
2012-10-01 09:54:53 AM

DammitIForgotMyLogin: [www.jokeoverflow.com image 500x500]


This joke always annoyed me. Is it supposed to shame the Fantasy Football players into thinking they're just like the nerds?

/I play Fantasy Football
//I also play D&D
///They're nothing alike
 
2012-10-01 09:55:48 AM
Had many a game ruined by Rule 2. Crappy DM's make the baby Jesus cry.
 
2012-10-01 10:04:35 AM
For some reason I read that in this guys voice.
www.beertripper.com
 
2012-10-01 10:11:26 AM

Mrbogey: #2 is about the biggest.

It also comes from a false notion that to much of the RPG community refuses to realize hurts the game and needs to be removed.
#2 starts out "Dungeon Masters are god" which only serves as an ego boost, and as a justificaiton for bad DMing. It is a game of coperative story telling, not 1 guy making up a story, and the others taging along for the ride, Everyone at the table is helping make the story, the Dm makes the plot, and the players make the dialog and most of the action.
There are just to many things that need to be colaborative group efforts that get mandated and ruined by an over empowered DM. (eg: house rules)
 
2012-10-01 10:12:38 AM
Mother: "What's the point of this game, anyway?"

Child: "It's like life. Nobody ever really wins or loses. You just keep on playing."

- from ET: The ExtraTerrestrial


/quotes may not be 100% accurate
//your mileage may vary 
 
2012-10-01 10:14:22 AM

give me doughnuts: When you and most of your friends are lawyers, it's kind of hard to avoid "rules lawyering" during games.
Our DM has a gavel.


I had people playing in a game under me like this. I basically just said, we no longer operate under the rules. they're all mine, and I make them up as I go. don't be stupid, because the (fictional) world will react.

/ was one of the best campaigns ever. I did have rules, and for the most part followed the core... until someone contested, then I just said, I'm going to do something different, and made something up on the spot. people learned quickly not to contest the core, because my rules tended towards arbitrary and capricious.
 
2012-10-01 10:15:41 AM
You dont stop playing because you get old;

You get old when you stop playing.
 
2012-10-01 10:17:38 AM
Cats are actually quite beneficial to D&D games:

www.starwarsepics.com
 
2012-10-01 10:22:08 AM

sjmcc13: the story, the Dm makes the plot, and the players make the dialog and most of the action.
There are just to many things that need to be colaborative group efforts that get mandated and ruined by an over empowered DM. (eg: house rules)


some DMs can be a nuisance. it depends on the story telling style.

one DM i had would just offer nothing. here's a world, do whatever you want. we pretty much had to completely create any desire to do anything. very regularly resulted in death as we just became bandits or tried to take over the world, unsuccessfully. pretty boring DMing in my opinion.

other DM wanted to control everything. that was worse.

my program was usually to create a world, and populate it with many different developed characters with many different motivations (I would make a few dozen characters as if they were PCs, character sheets and all)

then, before ever starting the game, I would talk to each PC for a while, figuring out what they had in mind for their character, what goals it had. then, I tried to make it so that the party had some binding reason to stick together. this was always the biggest and most unnatural contrivance of the game.

but, once the group was glued together, then I just revealed the possibility of some object that held the player's interest and let the game unfold as the players played it. usually, they developed the plot, thinking I had planned it all out. I just let things grow, and then, like Lost, made up the justifying backstory as it went on and opened the doors of the story as they came to me. ultimately, there would be no plot without the players, but they weren't left completely alone to fend for themselves.

/ unlike lost, I remained internally consistent, probably because I had created decent characters and a decent world.
 
2012-10-01 10:27:33 AM
And don't even get me started on Rolemaster. All of the problems of D & D, interspersed between 8 hours to fight off a single kolbold.

/Open ended roll: the kobold kills you with the wooden kitchen spoon.
 
2012-10-01 10:28:21 AM
People deciding their chaotic neutral character wants to go on a rampage against their allies in the middle of a big boss fight. WTF thanks Steve, thanks for ruining an entire set-up and killing off all the characters we had JUST created. That group didn't wanna come over to our house anymore after that. I wish I could find a good D&D crowd.
 
2012-10-01 10:30:29 AM
moobs.
 
2012-10-01 10:30:35 AM

wyltoknow: People deciding their chaotic neutral character wants to go on a rampage against their allies in the middle of a big boss fight. WTF thanks Steve, thanks for ruining an entire set-up and killing off all the characters we had JUST created. That group didn't wanna come over to our house anymore after that. I wish I could find a good D&D crowd.


Or the two guys that show up after you've stabilized a good core group over about a month. Gee. So you're playing chaotic evil drow in disguise, and your plan is to kill all of us in our sleep, and we're expected to play along because our characters don't know? Yeah, thanks guys, I got plans next week.
 
2012-10-01 10:40:04 AM

wyltoknow: People deciding their chaotic neutral character wants to go on a rampage against their allies in the middle of a big boss fight. WTF thanks Steve, thanks for ruining an entire set-up and killing off all the characters we had JUST created. That group didn't wanna come over to our house anymore after that. I wish I could find a good D&D crowd.


Ah...the chaotic neutral guy...i always played the Paladin type so i was often the counterpoint of Mr. Freewill.

In the middle of looting some cults tower before we headed down to the demons in the basement (they were busy with a ritual) our chaotic neutral thief sleight of hand pocketed a necklace of fireballs. We head downstairs, hear chanting on the other side of a door and get ready to bust some heads.

We kick open the door, our rogue rolls a 20 and goes first! He throws the amulet and....a natural 1...the chain catches his fingers as he throws it and it sails straight down into the stone below...letting out about 50 fireballs into the room. The party, the monsters, everyone was instantly incinerated. TPK - GAME.

There was a moment of silence...then we laughed our asses off, went outside and burned our character sheers ceremonially.

/good times drinking bad beer with great people
 
2012-10-01 10:42:40 AM
www.alansfactoryoutlet.com

Unkillable gazeboes that wipe the entire party.
 
2012-10-01 10:47:35 AM

born_yesterday: And don't even get me started on Rolemaster. All of the problems of D & D, interspersed between 8 hours to fight off a single kolbold.

/Open ended roll: the kobold kills you with the wooden kitchen spoon.


"Critical hit! Internal organs reduced to jelly, they eject from all orifices, leaving a husk of a corpse to topple over."
 
2012-10-01 10:50:39 AM

Expolaris: We kick open the door, our rogue rolls a 20 and goes first! He throws the amulet and....a natural 1...the chain catches his fingers as he throws it and it sails straight down into the stone below...letting out about 50 fireballs into the room. The party, the monsters, everyone was instantly incinerated. TPK - GAME.


Hahaha farking awesome. The rogue better have bought the beer.
 
2012-10-01 10:51:25 AM
I can attest to the "getting older", I haven't been able to play a good game of D&D in forever. :( I'm never going to get past level 8!

Also having flaky members of the group or people with ADD who constantly re-roll characters can kill it.

Most of the "DM Master Classes" are about dealing with problem players.
 
2012-10-01 11:00:29 AM
#8 is actually the one I've had the most trouble with. It was made particularly problematic because of one of the folks I played with. He had an uncanny knack for synergy, so when you gave him an expanded rule set he would just flat-out break it. It was all 100% within the rules; he would just combine things in novel and devastating ways. He could single-handedly massacre an encounter intended for the whole group.
 
2012-10-01 11:00:29 AM

wyltoknow: Expolaris: We kick open the door, our rogue rolls a 20 and goes first! He throws the amulet and....a natural 1...the chain catches his fingers as he throws it and it sails straight down into the stone below...letting out about 50 fireballs into the room. The party, the monsters, everyone was instantly incinerated. TPK - GAME.

Hahaha farking awesome. The rogue better have bought the beer.


This is one of my main complains with 4th, at least at first? I *like* that they balanced the classes out a bit (nothing sucked more than being a fighter in a high level party, and feeling UTTERLY SUPERFLUOUS), but... they didn't, at least at first, have any huge list of wonderous items. And the wonderous items were where you got some of the really, really fun gameplay stuff from!
 
2012-10-01 11:02:10 AM
#1 is what's killed our group. We got older, I got married and had kids. My friends got actual jobs. There's just no time to play anymore. When we do get together, it's for something a little less involved like Settlers of Catan, Munchkin, or if we have a little more time Heroclix.

Once or twice a year, we'll get together for a big session of Diplomacy.

But, I am working on solving that problem. I'm teaching my kids and their cousins to play. So we can have a built in group of the next generation to start playing. That way, the 100 or so RPG manuals from various systems will actually get used.

Starting them out on Marvel Superheroic Roleplaying, the latest edition. Simple enough for them to actually roleplay pretty well, mechanically light enough I don't have to spend all day showing them how to do the rolls.
 
2012-10-01 11:02:29 AM
Not a bad list. I agree on no. 8 in 3rd edition through 4th edition getting away from the core rule books is a mistake the supplements give the players god like abilities and makes DMing a nightmare. That was one of the reason I switched back to 2nd edition on my most recent campaign.

What the writer said about getting older is somewhat true, most of the people I play with are in their late twenties and after college it's a lot harder to find time to dedicate for playing but we have managed to maintain a good every other week schedule for the last year or so after playing every weekend for 6 months. If you take breaks every now and then between adventures it's not too hard to keep playing I think the trick is to dedicate time away from the game as well as dedicating time towards the game.
 
2012-10-01 11:04:25 AM
Scheduling: having people bail at the last minute, resulting in a lack of quorum, which means the two players that did manage to show up wasted their time getting there (been guilty of this a time or two myself due to jealous clingy psychotic girlfriends)

Inattention: I know it's boring as hell watching five other people agonise over their turn, but could you put the farking Gameboy* down and at least pretend to pay attention? Maybe think about what you might want to do on your turn so we don't have to wait for you to get caught up and *then* work out your battle strategy. Also, if you're going to play a spellcaster and also have a cohort who's a spellcaster, know what spells you have and what they do. Don't pore through every single spell list every farking turn (my turns tend to take about three minutes: roll dice, determine hits, add up damage, done).

Boundaries: Don't tell me what to do. You play your character, and I'll play mine. If you want my help, ask for it. It's supposed to be a cooperative game, and if you want me to cooperate with you, you need to respect me (thankfully this has rarely happened to me).

On the whole the people I've gamed with have been cool and easy to get along with. I tend to run into the troublemakers at large open events rather than private campaigns, and even then they're few and far between.

* - I know Gameboys have been extinct for decades, I'm just so far behind the times that I have no idea what handhelds the kids are using today
 
2012-10-01 11:05:08 AM
if getting into fights over strict adherence to the rules is your thing, you should really just become a lawyer, because you are ruining for everyone.

skepticon.org
/and it should be "you are ruining it for everyone," or at least have some subject in there.
 
2012-10-01 11:05:27 AM
#9: Playing anything more than 1st edition rules.
 
2012-10-01 11:07:38 AM

Theaetetus: if getting into fights over strict adherence to the rules is your thing, you should really just become a lawyer, because you are ruining for everyone.

[skepticon.org image 325x265]
/and it should be "you are ruining it for everyone," or at least have some subject in there.


I'm the lawyer in our group, and I am the one trying to drag us away from arguing over pointless minutae like a bunch of autistics.

Maybe because I am uniquely aware of the pitfalls inherent in that type of thinking.
 
2012-10-01 11:10:15 AM
<b><a href="http://www.fark.com/comments/7357121/79725192#c79725192" target="_blank">Parthenogenetic</a>:</b> <i>SilentStrider: Actually have managed to avoid those problems in my group.

Even #1, Getting Older?</i>

Not like its been a problem, getting older. Up until recently, we had, in our group, a member who was in his early 70's. i'm actually the second youngest member of the group at 35.
 
2012-10-01 11:14:03 AM
I'd love to run an epic, long lasting campaign, taking characters from 1st level on up to high level retirement, with recurring (and likewise leveling) villains, but I can't find any players that I'd actually want to spend that much time with. Most of the gamers you meet via Meetup, Craigslist, or at the local gaming store tend to be... smelly, to put it politely.
 
2012-10-01 11:15:51 AM
For me it just took one bad experience to sour D&D. Well, one DM over a period of time.

This guy was railroading gameplay personified. Keep in mind, I've never been really good at stuff like D&D. I'm not a fan of being the center of attention and my improv skills are awkward at best. But my friends at the time really enjoyed it so I went along because I'll try any geeky thing once. So I go through the motions and roll up a healer because that's simple enough to play.

It might have just been me but it felt like this DM had it out for me. Asks me for a ton of random information about my character background. I'm just stumbling for answers and trying to feebly make up shiat on the spot. Keeps grilling me for about 15 minutes all the while taking notes, yelling at me when I give contradictory information. I just wanted to be the pocket healer of the group but alas it was not to be.

We start playing and suddenly his plan springs into action. All those notes? He is using for what he calls "plot hooks". Every family member I mentioned is either now killed or kidnapped by the token bad guys. Any authority figure I even talked to has been skinned alive. I now have to go save them or take exp penalities. Keep in mind, I've just started playing this character, I could barely give two shiates about the lame backstory npcs I created.

Well obviously there was conflict and I ended up just bowing out and letting them continue on. I'm sure the game can be fun with the right DM but I certainly didn't find one.
 
2012-10-01 11:16:52 AM

wyltoknow: Expolaris: We kick open the door, our rogue rolls a 20 and goes first! He throws the amulet and....a natural 1...the chain catches his fingers as he throws it and it sails straight down into the stone below...letting out about 50 fireballs into the room. The party, the monsters, everyone was instantly incinerated. TPK - GAME.

Hahaha farking awesome. The rogue better have bought the beer.


He did actually offer to go get us a case to keep the night going. I miss the old gang.

Felgraf: wyltoknow: Expolaris: We kick open the door, our rogue rolls a 20 and goes first! He throws the amulet and....a natural 1...the chain catches his fingers as he throws it and it sails straight down into the stone below...letting out about 50 fireballs into the room. The party, the monsters, everyone was instantly incinerated. TPK - GAME.

Hahaha farking awesome. The rogue better have bought the beer.

This is one of my main complains with 4th, at least at first? I *like* that they balanced the classes out a bit (nothing sucked more than being a fighter in a high level party, and feeling UTTERLY SUPERFLUOUS), but... they didn't, at least at first, have any huge list of wonderous items. And the wonderous items were where you got some of the really, really fun gameplay stuff from!


Most DMs forget about the whole "Legendary Sword" idea for fighters, they need to be given their one super weapon at some point in the campaign or collect a series of interesting and rare weaponry to keep up with the mages new spells. Rewarding players with cool toys for me as a DM was just setting them up to do something soul crushing like kill one of their loved ones soon after - you know give them a reason to use their shiny new thing.
 
2012-10-01 11:21:20 AM

pute kisses like a man:
but, once the group was glued together, then I just revealed the possibility of some object that held the player's interest and let the game unfold as the players played it. usually, they developed the plot, thinking I had planned it all out. I just let things grow, and then, like Lost, made up the justifying backstory as it went on and opened the doors of the story as they came to me. ultimately, there would be no plot without the players, but they weren't left completely alone to fend for themselves.

/ unlike lost, I remained internally consistent, probably because I had created decent characters and a decent world.


This is pretty much the approach I take as well.

I create a world, fill it with some interesting places and characters/monsters and some loose plot points. They tend to follow the path I have set, but the side quests are the most interesting.

I had created this one quest on the side, an city of seeming perfection that was actually run by an evil undead overlord. After they got imprissoned and the underground helped them escape, instead of spending a few week, just they just left. Figured it was not their problem.

Now I could have cajoled or forced them into staying, but out of game, the were not interested. So I had some hours of prep down the drain, but on the upside, we still had a campaign everybody was happy exploring.

So now, I just keep in my mind and notes the basics of what should happen and then make it up as we go along. Its fun for everyone, and well, thats the point.
 
2012-10-01 11:26:57 AM
I've played w/2 groups over the last 5 years. The first group was 3 married couples (including my husband & me) and the other 4 were huge gamers. Luckily, the DM was REALLY good at keeping everyone on-task (even deducting XP if we went on a tangent mid-game) and we had zero outside distractions. None of us had kids, we all lived relatively close to each other, and we played on the DM's huge dining room table (bought specifically for gaming parties). One of the couples got divorced last year, so that broke up the whole group.

Current group is the exact opposite. 9 people (6 of whom are couples), and 2 of which have toddlers--one belongs to the DM where we play & another couple brings theirs. The other couple w/the toddler doesn't own any books, doesn't bother to read up on anything online to make up for the lack of books, still hasn't bought dice, and knows next to nothing about the game except for when they played first edition in HS. We played for 3 months before the wife finally figured out how many pluses her 3rd level ranger got on a twin-shot. The game constantly falls apart whenever one of the kids acts up, comes to a complete halt as we explain again how a particular character's powers work, or gets waylaid because we've got an Unaligned character who vacillates between being overly altruistic to outright psychopathic. And the DM's dining room table is small with only 4 regular chairs & a bunch of metal folding ones. It's a brutal 5 hours of disorganization, discomfort, and too many arguments.

Thankfully, this past game we decided to lay down a bunch of house rules (some of the 4th ed. rules are either too vague or just impossible to find) and that's helped immensely. And yesterday the DM broke down & paid for a WotC subscription so he could print out cards for everyone's powers. That should save a LOT of time, esp. for the 2 morons who don't have books.
 
2012-10-01 11:37:56 AM
When I DM my main goal is for everyone to have a good time. If that means changing some things on the fly or letting something slide that's fine. My motto was always "It's not like TSR is going to send someone to make sure we do it right."

#8: Sometimes I think "This really isn't how TSR would have run things." Then I remember TSR lost all their money and went out of business. If your customers buy three books and stop you're kind of screwed.

I like 4th edition.
 
2012-10-01 11:38:21 AM

Insanefrog5000: It might have just been me but it felt like this DM had it out for me.


My current DM isn't as bad as the one you describe but, yeah, when they have it out for you it can really suck the fun out of a game. I've played w/this DM before on a Vampire:The Masquerade campaign and got the same treatment--no matter what my character did, he challenged it and would single me out for extreme punishment by the villain du juor. I know from that game that the guy thinks I'm constantly trying to get one over on everyone and exploit any and all loopholes that will advance my character. He as much admitted he doesn't trust me and has to watch my playing like a hawk.

Fast-forward 6 years and now I'm playing a druid w/a wolf companion in this guy's campaign. My druid is painfully shy, overly protective of her companion, and, although the wolf's practically a freakin' tank at level 6, my character will still hold him back and out of the way of fights. The DM, who confuses my role-playing with some covert master plan, CONSTANTLY has my wolf fall into traps, get abducted, or take the brunt of incurable damage (last game, he got bitten by the 1 rabid were-rat in the entire encounter). I'm exhausted by the end of every game, trying to keep both my character and my companion out of trouble, all because this guy's got it in for me.
 
2012-10-01 11:40:51 AM

Yotto: This joke always annoyed me. Is it supposed to shame the Fantasy Football players into thinking they're just like the nerds?

/I play Fantasy Football
//I also play D&D
///They're nothing alike


This. Running backs don't have +2 Fortitude. If you don't understand sports, just don't try to make jokes about them. You'll sound about as "clever" as that football player who made fun of you for rolling dice during lunch.
 
2012-10-01 11:43:27 AM
What killed D&D for me was moving. Constantly. My twenties were turbulent. I had debts to pay off, I got laid off, I went on an overseas assignment for two years. I was working long hours in stressful jobs. Finally got my head above the water, and now. . . I'm married, as are most of my friends. I don't resent my life (frankly it's scary how much easier it got once I got everything in order), but D&D is one of my lamentations.

I didn't leave D&D, nor did D&D leave me. I just fell in love with the wrong hobby. If I loved dirt biking I'd probably have wound up on an offshore oil platform.
 
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