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Average Rating: 5
Number of people who have voted: 4


By the same author as Grand Line 3.5
Comments:

nathan400

nathan400




16th Jul 2018, 12:23 AM

Sound advice. If you, the GM, aren't having fun, it will affect how well you can run the game for the players, and then the players less than enthused attitudes will make it harder for you to run games, and thus the cycle to stress and disaster comes to be.

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Cloy552




16th Jul 2018, 12:49 AM

This reminded me of when I was running a game for some of my friends. They ended up spending half the session planning the Bard's concert instead of any of the plot hooks I came up with. It was interesting and they did a lot of cool stuff, but it made me not really want to continue that campaign cause it felt like they were more interested in the concert than the adventures.

Granted one of the players spent a lot of the game abusing the ritual system for ridiculous shenanigans including setting a small iron ball loose on the town that had an absurdly high strength score and broke down a lot of structures... and another ritual to create ridiculously strong winds to propel his cart like a boat... and then driving that into town... still being followed by tornado force winds.

And then another player tried to slip a super virus into some random guy's drink, got caught, and drank the virus.

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Raxon

Raxon




16th Jul 2018, 3:46 AM

The most important thing is to have fun.

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DeS_Tructive

DeS_Tructive




16th Jul 2018, 7:48 AM

The problem is that different players have different definitions of "fun". The (imo) most important works on GMing are about recognizing what player types you're working with, how to provide them their "RPing-fix", and how to deal with "problematic player types".

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DeadpanSal




16th Jul 2018, 5:17 AM

Maybe it's just me being on a power trip, but I don't see how anyone could ever find DMing less than constant fun. And if you ever get bored, kill somebody!

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Raxon

Raxon




16th Jul 2018, 7:25 AM

Few years ago, during my first time soloing a campaign, the hook was a little girl who was a vampire, but her vampiric curse was nullified, and she was a perpetually ten year old girl while wearing an amulet made of a shard of a dead god of life and healing.

The paladin murdered the little girl, who clearly said she wanted tk be cured. The cleric incinerated the remains so the little girl couldn't be revived. Both argued that their alignments required them to kill the little girl. I told the player with the paladin that her god has forsaken her. She is now a fallen paladin.

Fallen paladin was murdered in her sleep by the rogue. Paladin player had a meltdown, got ejected from the group.

That's how my first time DMing solo went.

We were an hour into the first session, and these two assholes completely wrecked it, even after the rogue explained the situation, they decided that killing the girl right now was the thing to do, not cure her. And why would you want to cure vampires? They're evil, after all.

We puttered around for another hour, but it was clear they had nuked the campaign. It was dead.

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Guest




16th Jul 2018, 8:55 AM

That’s where a good session zero to clarify that you don’t want your LG PCs to be overzealous murderhobos could comr in handy.

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DeadpanSal




16th Jul 2018, 4:25 PM

Definitely with the session zero. I usually have my campaigns start off a little lighter with a somewhat gentle premise to get everyone on the same page and have a side session with each character to figure out how they act, how I need to act for them, and get them into the group dynamic. And the grimdark twist comes a few sessions in, so if someone reacts horribly and changes the story, I'm already a few steps ahead and can twist with it. I've had gigantic plot twists turn my campaigns turned inside out and I wrote around it well enough.

So yeah, session zeroes are great.

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Stephen




16th Jul 2018, 9:53 AM
"Uh..."

Gotta say I somewhat sympathize with the Paladin and the Cleric here. You have a ten year old vampire wearing a shard of a dead god of life and healing. I'm not sure you can present that to a lawful good character and make it seem like she's at the very least neutral and not evil. Plus... curing vampirism? I know you said it was a curse but this is generally considered one of those curses that you're stuck with. Kind of takes all the umph out of a plot if that poor sap who just got turned into a thrall can just go to a cleric behind his master's back and have "remove curse" take it away. Then you're still left with the morality of a ten year old girl not wanting to grow up. I mean, cure the girl who prefers being eternally ten thanks to a balance between a curse and a piece of a dead god of life and healing who was DEFINITELY a good god. Also, why are you making players go down a plotline about an eternal child who doesn't want to grow up? No one wants to play that. It just hits too close to home.

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Sanityfaerie




16th Jul 2018, 11:08 AM

Curing vampirism can be really easy. You just do the step where you kill them, and then you raise them from the dead, rather than burning the body to ashes. If it's more complicated than that, it's because it's been made more complicated than that.

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Guest




16th Jul 2018, 1:50 PM

Really this situation is dependent on a number of factors. It seems that the level of cynicism vs idealism in universe wasn’t properly communicated. If I was running a 40k game I would expect that kid to be dead even before her backstory could be told once her nature was discovered. Unless we were playing Black Crusade, in which case she would be vivisected to figure out her vampirism (because hey, immortality) while the rest of the party fights eachother over who gets to eat the god shard.

As for my generic pathfinder games, it really depends on whether or not she’s done anything overtly evil. Like if we found her ritualistically slaughtering a village to kill her vampirism, yeah she’s getting her ass smited. Or if she was the one who killed the life goddess and screwed over everything in the resulting cosmic imbalance. But unless you’re worshipping a god who explicitly demands all undead be killed on sight, I have trouble believing a good aligned deity wouldn’t take issue with killing someone who is genuinely asking for help just because of what they are. Sure if it’s a Megatron “Ha! I just asked for mercy! That means you can’t attack me without falling loser!” Go ahead and smite them, because Lawful Good does not mean stupid.

Lord Raxon, would you be so kind as to elaborate how this little girl approached the party?

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Raxon

Raxon




16th Jul 2018, 5:35 PM

She was being chased and attacked by other undead who wanted to reclaim their humanity. She wanted a permanent cure, not the restriction of always wearing an amulet, but as you can imagine, surviving with a human child's stats is very, very difficult.

The party began protecting her, because the paladin and cleric both registered her as good.

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Guest




16th Jul 2018, 6:25 PM

Sounds like the players were being Lawful Stupid then.

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Raxon

Raxon




16th Jul 2018, 8:06 PM

The cure would have meant she could age normally, by the way.

The divine power of the dead god contained in the shard, if brought to the temple of Pelor by the girl, would have moved Pelor to birth a new spell. A powerful, holy spell that could cure the undead, a mixture of a cure spell and a spell of resurrection.

And then Pelor would have empowered the entire party with this spell, whether it be through casting or by giving them divinely enchanted weapons. Then the cleric and paladin would have been sent out to spread this gift with other orders.

This was intended to be some incredible, epic stuff.

But it was my first time DMing by myself and I let the paladin have too much leeway.

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Solokov




16th Jul 2018, 8:22 PM

I know lawful stupid isn't an alignment, but good god did that pally make a great case for there needing to be one.

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Raxon

Raxon




16th Jul 2018, 9:54 PM

The paladin murdered the girl while she was being restrained. She was an old, old vampire, but due to the shard's effects, she was barely more powerful than a newly turned vamp, so the fighter was able to restrain her by himself with a strength check of 6.

Paladin shoryukened the little girl to death with her shredder gauntlets, and then when the thief killed the paladin for it, the paladin's player punched the thief's player in the face.

I ejected her from my home and from the group permanently. You do not harm your fellow players. Also, the guy whose nose she broke might have returned the favor. Not that she didn't deserve it, but I didnct want to deal with the legal bullshit. I settled for flinging her bookbag out the door.

Didn't know it had her expensive college books and laptop, and didn't care, either before or after.

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fellow

fellow




16th Jul 2018, 3:27 PM

Since the child wanted to be cured, I don't think this is a case of a child not wanting to grow up. Seems to me like it was just a setup for a quest to go get the cure. I've not had a lot of tabletop but killing and then incernating the remains of a quest giver seems impolite.

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Raxon

Raxon




16th Jul 2018, 5:31 PM

They didn't know it was that, just that it was a very powerful magical artifact. In fact, after studying it, the wizard declared that with the shard, they could create a cure that would effect not only vampires, but many kinds of undead.

The girl was forcibly turned, had never fed on a sapient being, and stole that artifact from Sigil so she could be human again. Even without her holy amulet, she wasn't violent.

The entire session was a nightmare.

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Super_Big_Mac

Super_Big_Mac




17th Jul 2018, 10:46 PM

This reminds me of that campaign where I got to be the DM's Big Bad. I was completely new to D&D, so he set up the character sheet and all with what powers I described my villain as having.

Anyways, my villain was a young, 20-something year old Dhampir whose parents were a Vampire Lord and a Dark Knight (or similar). His parents had become weak due to a Big Good that was in the world's past, and were hiding away in a rundown castle, complaining without doing anything about it.

And so their son, Halcyon "Hades" Desmontar, killed them in their sleep and escaped into the night to become the greatest Big Bad ever.

Then he met a young Druid named Lily whose powers marked her as "Evil" because she caused plants to grow and could heal wounds using Negative Energy (tldr it's like all her spells were Aging Spells, but more precise), and the two of them began working together.

The Heroes ended up coming across the duo's town of choice by accident, but in the process Hades (pretending to be a Priest to Holo) managed to start a slow, sickness-like takeover of the Paladin, so he became a Thrall upon the final meeting during the epic awesome boss fight. Even Enthralled, the Paladin managed to pull a Nat 20 Will Save out, and impale himself and Hades on his Holy Blade.

What I really liked, though, was how I left the PCs feeling guilty as Lily cried over her husband-to-be's corpse, as in the end, his ultimate "evil" spell still succeeded in what it was supposed to do: Create a world where Lily could act as the kind Druid she was without being hunted just because she channeled differently.

He'd of course started out as evil, but by the end his love for Lily had overcome his desire to rule the world as his parents had failed to do, and that entire final battle had been him just trying to buy time so they could flee together.

He was still an asshole, though.

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Poker




19th Jul 2018, 8:54 AM

Seem clearly seem like the setup for a quest, exactly because vampirism is'nt something easy to cure. (if it was, she would have just done it by herself and the player would have never heard of her). She have a shard of a dead god, but as far as they knew, it's not like she killed it herself to get it, i'd even say it's very unlikely since a ten years old can not do much against a god. and he made it clear that she was TRYING to get cured, so she did want to grow up, and the balance between the curse and the magical artifact was just using it because the only way she had to not...y'know be a vampire and suck human blood and all, until she is cured. seem pretty much good to me.

No, Clearly, the thing to do in that case is, find what to do with that amulet to create a cure, heal the girl, and then get the amulet to wathever autorithy is in charge of relic in this setting. that's heroic quest 101.
But the player just said "vampire are evilz. me kill evilz." which is stupid (except if it is specified that vampire in the setting are actually maleficient beings and not just humans who got cursed, and that no good person could end up as one.)

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LadySandry




16th Jul 2018, 9:14 AM

This is a really good point! I occasionally DM for my sister and niece, and it's a trial to find a method that works. My niece really enjoys being ridiculously overpowered and just kind of... steamrolling over everything in her path, while my sister (her mother) loves a challenge. And as a DM, it's no fun to me if everything I set up gets flattened with barely a fight. So we have to find a story, setting, or premise that's interesting enough to my niece that she doesn't mind actually having to WORK for progress, and then spend a little time each session reminding her that it's OK if her fighter misses sometimes or takes damage, because, hello, you have ninety-something HP. She gets more leeway because she's a nine-year-old, but still, it's sometimes really frustrating.

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Stephen




16th Jul 2018, 9:57 AM
"Important to remember."

This is important for a GM to remember. I've had a few games where the GM has described it as "like pulling teeth" in private and I just advised them to quit. More important than the GM remembering is the PLAYERS remembering this. The GM is not there to make you feel like a god. You want that? Hire a prostitute who specializes in submission. Even then, there are limits to what you are allowed to do. You can't go to an amusement park, strip naked and run around, and expect not to get thrown out and arrested just because you payed an admission fee and here you have someone doing it for free.

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Otaku

Otaku




16th Jul 2018, 12:39 PM

Session Zero exists for a reason. The GM needs to enjoy the game, so do the players. Both need to know what each other expects. The GM has the added responsibility of not only crafting and running the scenarios but knowing when to go with player expectations and when to defy them.

I experienced two types of well-meaning but frustrating GMs who tried to skip Session Zero:

1) Mr. Burnout, who would have been our preferred GM excet he kept tiring of his own campaigns. By the time we realized not to sign up for a campaign if he had just gotten a new supplement, he'd realized that himself and mostly stuck to being a player.

2) The GM who was willing to play but often wanted to play things his way. He helped inspire our twist of the old adage:

"The GM is always right... when he's playing with himself." Well, we were snarky teenagers. The more polite version is "The GM is always right when he's gaming by himself." The GM has the final say but if he runs roughshod over his players, he won't have a group for long.

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The Old One




16th Jul 2018, 1:02 PM

I like to think of the GM as the author, and there's a story to tell. This can lead to a great deal of railroading, but if the GM is good enough at improvisation it might not matter over much.

I envy GMs who can create whole campaign worlds on the fly. That is a rare talent, indeed.

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Guest




16th Jul 2018, 2:48 PM

My way of deriving enjoyment out of games is different depending on whether I’m a player or a DM.

As a player I am a consummate power gamer. I just love making my numbers higher than everything else and crushing everything in my path. I also quite enjoy the roleplay sections, and do my best to only derail the plot when it’s pragmatic to do so (someone leaving ominous messages on a character’s door? Spend the night in a tree with a high caliber rifle).

Meanwhile as a DM, I find it more fun to just mess with my players. Admittedly this is at least partially because my power gaming extends to my designing combat encounters (come on guys, it was only *four* lesser daemons, you could have handled them without all those casualties), so I keep those few and far between to keep them from having to reroll too quickly. So instead I mess with them in other ways. Like having them play Space Hulk where the only living things on the ship are a bioluminescent lichen and void jellyfish, both of which are harmless to anyone wearing a void suit. Or have them meet an extremely powerful Necron Cryptek who is incredibly bored and lonely after spending the past few eons with nothing but his pets (each of which could individually also be considered a potential TPK) for company, so he asks if he can bum a ride with the party so he can see the galaxy, all while casually throwing out bits of information that fundamentally change the party’s understanding of the universe. I like watching them squirm in fear because they don’t know if there’s a Carnfex around the next corner, but they know I’m the kind of crazy bastard who would totally throw one at them if I wanted to.

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animalia

animalia




16th Jul 2018, 8:39 PM

This fits Sanji’s newly revealed WCI backstory and how it was foreshadowed by the story proper well. Kudos, Dragontamer.

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Guest




19th Jul 2018, 8:45 AM

first time i GMed i was to run one session, and things where a bit to random, but the others quite enjoyed it and had fun, and i had fun because i like to imagine stuffs. So they asked me to GM again sometimes.
Now i might have some imagination, but i'm not that good with numbers and stuff, so i tend to GM when everyone is in for something more imagination-based than mathematical.

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