Friday, November 12, 2010

I Am A Terrible DM...

It should be cardinal rule numero uno that DMs NOT be allowed to openly guffaw at the table...especially when you are energy draining the shit out of the player characters.

I am a terrible, terrible DM.

Tonight was the final night of our White Plume Mountain game. While the game was ostensibly a "win" for the PCs (three survivors made it out of the dungeon), this was only with a bit of "hand waving" on the part of the DM (at the players' request). The fact of the matter is the game was pretty much a TPK. All hand-waving aside, if we'd given the game another 30 minutes (perhaps even 15) everyone would have been toast; I don't think the players would deny that.

But we were over-time anyway, and I already blew my "fair-and-balanced" cred by laughing like a hyena at the players' misfortunes. It's just my damn many siblings, we have a semi-antagonistic relationship that goes back years, and we BOTH enjoy one-upping each other or making each other squirm (Lord knows, he needles me a lot). The expression on his face was priceless...actually, it wasn't the expression so much as I KNEW what he was thinking/feeling as his character was being taken down.

I couldn't help but laugh. Ugh! Bad DM!

So, letting the players exit without really fighting the "final encounter," let alone conducting a running battle with the vampire Ctenmiir was the very least I could do. Well, if I didn't want them to line up and punch me in the mouth.

As it was, they all want to come back next week (those who are able) and start the "new campaign," which (I hope) will be a fun one.

Hell, even my brother...the last thing he told me tonight was "thanks for being the DM," and that he had a fun time. And that was without any tea-bagging incidents. I'm glad he didn't take my laughter personal. I probably would have punched me in the face if the roles had been reversed. Fortunately, AB has a fairly good sense of humor...

More details later; I promise.
: )


  1. Hey, come on now... the DM should get to have fun too, right? ;)

  2. At one point I felt that
    adversity spilling out of the game -- we were all taking the taunting and mocking a bit too far, I think. I had to tone it down quite a bit.

  3. I've always run a pretty tough game where the dice fall as they may, but I can honestly say I've never laughed at the players (except maybe in character as an evil NPC). In fact I try to keep a poker face at all times - I've found it makes them more nervous about doing things like opening doors and chests, and also makes them laugh harder in response to the occasional dry witticism.

    However, it doesn't sound like your players took it personally, or that you're a "bad DM." I wouldn't worry about it.

  4. I didn't have any "evil DM" problems with the evening. It's good when anybody smiles at the game.

  5. 1: Level drain sucks. :)

    2: That thing missed him about 8 times before it finally connected... it was about time for the uber-monster at the end to start laying waste to the party.

    3: Wow, level drain really sucks.

    I had a good time with everything except the "Room of Extreme and Interminable Indecision", even if you take into account the fact that we were effectively tpk'd.

  6. I did laugh when my daughter, at age 8, playing an Elven fighter, decided to take on a wight. she was lvl 4 when the encounter began. When I hit her for 3 points of damage, she shrugged until I said evilly, "..and you also feel a whole level of experience draining away...."

    She immediately began screaming, "Get it off of me!"

    It's been 6 years and I should torment her with that one.

  7. Obviously you're not a terrible DM. Watching you two interact is fun.

    I'll save my comments about the session until after the actual recap...