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Author Topic: Triumph of the Dungeon Master!  (Read 4919 times)

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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Triumph of the Dungeon Master!
« on: June 01, 2003, 12:38:59 AM »
Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.
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Offline Adel

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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2003, 12:53:38 AM »
Tell me how would one go about doing that fourth one?  ya Know Just incase!!!
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2003, 01:00:08 AM »
Simple.

I had the room under an anti-magic field, with a beholder centering it's special anti-magic eye on the wizard, and the wizard was held down by the imps he summoned from the Inferno on accident.

Another time, I just had creatures that were completely invulnerable to magic.

Those are the only two times I managed to do it.
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Offline Adel

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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2003, 01:05:32 AM »
Very good I applaud you! would there be any way to minipulate them with out the use of stronger magic or using some kind of anti- magic?
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2003, 01:08:36 AM »
Well....
You could have a trap that sprang down from above that caught only the mage, somehow.
Like a net that everyone else jumped out of the way of, and then the room was swarmed with monsters so that they didn't have time to free the wizard.
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Offline sniperspy

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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2003, 01:12:53 AM »
ya, the wizards are too good. I don't DM, but i refuse to be a mage as its cheap. My DM has never been able to get rid of my parties wizard. Well, he did by accident. I was a black knight, and he put me in a trap that I suddenly lost all sense of judgement. Since I hated the wizard, I used that "Lack" of judgement and ran my own teammante through!
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Offline Adel

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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2003, 01:14:06 AM »
Yes but what would keep him from uttering a incantation? I was thinking more along the lines of dropping him some incredibly cold liquid that would freeze immediatly making it impossible to move.
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Offline sniperspy

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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2003, 01:15:10 AM »
then you use my way, someone from his opwn team stabs him in the back. No time to react.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2003, 01:15:25 AM »
Well, in my particular game world, you have to have a special skill to cast spells without hand motions.
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Offline Adel

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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2003, 01:23:41 AM »
Ohh You see I didn't know that!!! oh well if he is frozen then chances are her won't beable to bove his hands any how!!!! (much less his mouth)  Well I an Tired time for me to go to bed Night!!!
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Offline Agar

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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2003, 02:48:39 AM »
GM's Don't "triumph" when they kill off all the PC's, they just piss off their friends. The wizards aren't the problem, the free reign the GM gives them is. Playing games is about having fun, not competion. If you want to compete, Go buy some gamer crack, that would be Magic the gathering, or gamer heroin, that would be Everquest. Role playing isn't about players vrs the game master, nobody "wins", everyone is supposed to be having fun.

If you feel the party wizard is getting all the spot light, find out why the gm is giving him so much leeway and tell him you'd like some action too. Wizards have arcane spells, but jack for health, A posionous mist would take them out first, then the fighters will have to save thier butts. There are a million more ways to curb a wizard's power than just tossing an anti-magic field in front of him. How powerless would a fighter feel if he walked into a room and all his weapons were suddenly made of smoke?

Wizards have restrictions like every other character, if they aren't being followed, see what's being done to bring them down another way, or what's being done to bring your character up to thier level. Mind you, if you pick a specality, like long range posion attacks, you've limited what the GM can do to help you out.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2003, 02:53:47 AM »
Big meanie.
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Offline sniperspy

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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2003, 10:20:17 AM »
we are talking about PC's that get a little big for their boots!
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Offline Agar

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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2003, 03:52:00 PM »
PC's only get as big as the boots you give them. Which makes for an interesting segway into the only time I HAD to kill a PC.

I'd started an Earthdwan campaign with soem friends at college and had been playing for a few months when one of them let this guy tag along to the game. Now this is a guy I'd seen around school, but he just gave me that weird vibe, ya know, that 'He frenches his pet possum' kinda weird guy vibe. That vibe was why I hadn't invited him to come play. But now he was at my house and wanted to get involved, and I didn't want to be rude, so we whipped him up a character.

Every time this guy would open his mouth, something stupid would come out. He would just giggle this dorky cackle and try to steal petty stuff from the party members. Just an annoyance. We tried letting the party sort themselves out, but it didn't work. Finally, he stepped on MY toes, my GM toes, in the middle of a bar fight he'd started. He just says "I pull a rock out of my shoe and throw it at the troll!"

What? Do you NORMALLY walk around with rocks in your shoes? Did you expect one to suddenly appear because you wanted it to? NO! just NO!

Next game session, he ended up trapped inside an underground chapel in a room full of alien eggs and facehuggers. Like the ones from the Aliens movies.A cave in seperated him from the rest of the party, so there was nothing they could do to save him. Sniff, sniff.

Remember, you, as GM, are GOD in every way the PCs are concerned. You can always tell them NO! and they just have to sit there and suck eggs. You control all the power. Don't let them play a character you haven't seen, they're probally trying to get away with something. If they have something that's getting out of hand, take it away from them. Items can be stolen/destroyed/damaged, Spells can produce side effects, abilites can be lost through divine intervention or illness. Or the best revenge of all, Make a copy of the party, The evil twin version of them, and watch as they destroy each other. When they players find themselves on even ground, they tend feel like they're being picked on. It's great.
After a brief retirement while I got married and traveled the country, I'm back. Just getting back into the swing of things for now, but gearing up to hit things up like I used to.

Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2003, 12:29:59 AM »
Well thank you, Agar, I find your ideas enlightening and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

I just don't want to abuse my godly DM power.

You're still a big meanie, ya' big mean-head.
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Offline Agar

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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2003, 03:50:55 AM »
:P
After a brief retirement while I got married and traveled the country, I'm back. Just getting back into the swing of things for now, but gearing up to hit things up like I used to.

Offline Fiokar_Dracolas

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« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2003, 12:55:35 PM »
There's a difference between abusing your godly powers and USING them. It isn't a crime to put forward something that the players can't handle once and a while....just be sure that you either have a sound reason or a possible solution for it.

For exmple, my party recently tried to go upstairs in a haunted mansion before they found a pair of items on the current floor. My solution was to put a full fledged vampire in the way with a small army of undead. It was enough to discourage them from going up just then. I eventually brought a friendly high powered charater in to take it (and most of it's undead army) out without them (they were only level one) they were quite ready to try to scrounge up the proper materials to get rid of it.

I guess the point is that the godly powers of the DM are hard to abuse if they are used intelligently and infrequently. Hmm, definately infrequently. Beside, if the players find a way to get around said problem/situation without your help or the help of a munchkin then there probably isn't much you can do to stop them short of a convention of ancient wyrms.
Anything is possible. Anything at all. However, probability is another matter....

Offline Agar

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« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2003, 02:02:07 PM »
When I run a silly game, it is always in a bar I made up that is just insane. And no, I haven't read Calahan's cross time sallon, or whatever! :evil:

Anyway, The players alway invariably get drunk and try to pick a fight. One guy was a werewolf and told me "I find the biggest guy in the place and say somthin' about his mother." The biggest guy in the place was a dragon out for a night with his buddies. They all dogpiled on the werewolf. The janitor sponged (literally) up the were wolf and threw him out.
After a brief retirement while I got married and traveled the country, I'm back. Just getting back into the swing of things for now, but gearing up to hit things up like I used to.

Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2003, 07:29:29 PM »
Hey! You dirty slassraffs! What'd you say about my intelligence?!

Nevermind.
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Offline Ria Hawk

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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2003, 09:39:41 PM »
You should d**n well read the Callahan books.  They is good.  Heee....
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

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Offline strom

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Triumph of the Dungeon Master!
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2003, 03:00:54 AM »
I have made 2 players cry in my time. The first was a high level mage that found he was unable to cross a moat of mercury using traveling spells. So, being the brilliant mage that he was, he decided to touch the mercury. Needing only a roll of 1 to fail his save, he did so and died. Crying, I gave him a second chance to change his mind, but he touched it again and rolled another 1.

The second occurance came when the characters walked into the lair of a new born dragon. It was hungry and attacked immediately. landing in between them, the dragon began trying to eat them. Most of the players wisely used the columns within the great hall as defense. One of them, though, decided to hold his ground, and, with a devastating roll I meted out enough damage to rip his arm off. Needless to say he wept and shredded his character sheet. Oh yeah, and we also never played with him again (by his choice).
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Offline MoonHunter

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I was going to post
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2003, 03:24:40 AM »
But Agar pretty much posted everything I was going to say. Agar and I are in violent agreement.

###########

I just wrote about 600 words of rant, that I have just pulled off this post.  It was uncomplementry about gamers so focused on winning that they lose sight of a few things, such as fun for everyone.

I have pulled it. I will edit it and try to make it palitable and post it again.
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Offline MoonHunter

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re:Strom
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2003, 03:35:24 AM »
Both of those players failed their wis check.  

The only reason for a character to die is extreme player stupidity (orbviously they want their character to die).  Even then, you can give them a chance.


<rant/>
Introducing new characters into a game can throw every plotline, story arc, and even tactical adventure area (i.e. dungeon).  If the characters are high enough level, they would never bring along a newbie... especially in a dungeon designed for high level characters.

Have you ever been the first level character among the group of 14+ levels?  Not a fun experience.  

What about story lines and clues the character knows? What about groups that were geased. Why would anyone else join them on the insane quest?  There are dozens of complications to casusal character death.  
</rant>

Now in Strom's case, these characters just needed to die... so their players could be penalized for that level of stupidity.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2003, 05:13:17 PM »
What?

No massive speech about how I'm totally wrong and should change my ways?
The way I see it, you are the Game Master, and, thus, it is your job to make sure that the players don't stride through every challenge like it was a merry stroll through a dewey meadow. If doing so includes occasionally showing the players that they are not Unconquerable Unkillable Forces of Heroic-ness and Stuff by killing them, then I'm all for it.
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Offline ephemeralstability

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« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2003, 05:34:39 PM »
I think killing a PC is something which should not be undertaken lightly or frequently. Imagine how it would be if the game were taking place in real life: the fellow characters, who'd been adventuring with the deceased for many years suddenly lose a great friend and adventuring companion. Any new character who takes the place of the dead one is never going to be a perfect replacement. Things will never be the same.

This state of affairs can only be brought about if the characters are really well-developed and have relationships between them forged from many sessions of roleplaying. This necessitates long-lived PCs who aren't killed too often.

Nevertheless it is desirable to let the PCs know they are living a dangerous life as adventurers. If they always survive when they enter places "from which no-one has ever come out alive" they'll get complacent and cease to believe in the game. The occasional character-death helps to dispell this feeling, and would also be productive for character development: the characters would have to react and adapt to the loss of their companion.

The player whose character has been killed will of course be peeved. They will almost certainly want the same sort of character back so that they can play the same person under a different name and they'll expect over the course of the next few sessions to pick up some magical items similar to those owned by the deceased (if not taking all the same ones from the deceased's corpse). This must be discouraged, as it causes disbelief. The character has died, but they don't have to suffer the loss because there's a virtual clone willing to take over.

Try instead to encourage players to develop completely different characters after their original ones die off. This will give the game a feeling of reality as everyone experiences a sense of loss, and it will lead to their characters being more like unique, real people than mass-produced fantasy archetypes.
"Happy is the tomb where no wizard hath lain, and happy the town at night whose wizards are all ashes" - H P Lovecraft, The Festival