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Author Topic: Dumbest group you've GMed for  (Read 5223 times)

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Dumbest group you've GMed for
« on: 26 April 2015, 18:48:33 »
RPG players come in many types.  Some like min-maxing, some like randomly generating their stats.  Some like creating elaborate backstories, some like just dropping straight into combat and stabbing everything in sight without worrying about that thing known as "plot."

Some players are geniuses who figure out all the puzzles and formulate elaborate plans during combat.

And some are just plain thick.

It's not that they lose due to bad dice rolls, these lads and lasses seem to have the tactical sensibilities of a suicidal gopher.  They're the ones who try using Bluff on every NPC they encounter dispite having a -7 penalty on the roll.  When it comes to figuring out puzzles, they couldn't (to quote Weird Al Yankovic) pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel.

If you've GMed for any length of time, odds are good that you've had a few of these.  I started this thread as a way to share some of the stories.

Here's one of mine:

Game- Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition

This group had an allergy to reading the rules and a near total inability to use any sort of tactics or even common sense.  I started out by running them through the pre-printed module that was included with the GM's screen.  The basic plot was that the Darkseid/Thanos expy of the setting had set off 4 reality destroying bombs in four alternate realities and they needed to go back in time to before the bombs went off in order to disarm them.

First reality- that old classic: Nazis won WW2.  They arrive to see the usual- ruined city, people in camps with intimidating guards, Nazi flags everywhere, etc.  After a brief fight (which I was very surprised that they readily won), they encountered a member of the Resistance.  Now, no one in the party had actually bothered to put any points in social skills.  And they immediately try to bluff her for information (by claiming that they've been "out of town" even though I'd explicitly described the city as very obviously having been abandoned and left to decay for years or decades).  They tried to keep the bluff up for several turns even though I made it very clear that the person they were talking to didn't believe them at all and was becoming visibly angry and annoyed.  After some less-than-subtle hints, I got them steered back on track to finding the bomb.  Then they had to fight the Nazi supervillains, who included one character who could become intangible, like Kitty Pryde of the X-Men.  The one character in the party who lacked the correct power to damage her took a single swing, and upon seeing that it was ineffective the whole party stopped trying to attack her even after they'd disabled the other villains.  She was on her way to a TPK even after I explicitly stated that "no, that character's punch passed through her without effect, but she might still be vulnerable to (other character's) super-dense metal weapons or (third character's) energy beams."  I ended up needing to pull a blatant Deus Ex Machina (something I hate) in order to save them from simply being wiped out by her.  I did end up letting them be wiped out in the final battle due to them never getting their act together.

So, what have you got?

Our Officer's Club is better than your Officer's Club.

Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

You can kill people with kindness, but PPCs are more reliable.

solmanian

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #1 on: 26 April 2015, 19:26:25 »
Well, I wasn't the GM, but I have a story. So we were acting out a siege battle. Defending a heavily fortified castle against a force ten times our forces, which also had a giant freaking dragon on their side to top things off. We weren't suppose to win. And we didn't. But how badly we lost bares mention. Most of the players thought sitting inside the castle and weathering the siege, wasn't "pro-active" enough. So they took 90% of our forces and sallied forth to engage the enemy. They got creamed, obviously.

On the bright side, guess who got bonus XP for being the maverick who insisted on taking all our archers, and manning the walls?  8)
Making the dark age a little brighter, one explosion at a time.
Have you met the clans? Words like "Naïve" and "misguided" are not enough to describe the notion that a conquest of the IS by the clans would result in a Utopian pacifistic society.

solmanian

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #2 on: 26 April 2015, 19:32:30 »
The one character in the party who lacked the correct power to damage her took a single swing, and upon seeing that it was ineffective the whole party stopped trying to attack her even after they'd disabled the other villains.  She was on her way to a TPK even after I explicitly stated that "no, that character's punch passed through her without effect, but she might still be vulnerable to (other character's) super-dense metal weapons or (third character's) energy beams."  I ended up needing to pull a blatant Deus Ex Machina (something I hate) in order to save them from simply being wiped out by her. 
Wait, if they didn't fight her, despite being attacked and already eliminating the other enemies, than what were they doing?
Making the dark age a little brighter, one explosion at a time.
Have you met the clans? Words like "Naïve" and "misguided" are not enough to describe the notion that a conquest of the IS by the clans would result in a Utopian pacifistic society.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #3 on: 26 April 2015, 19:43:49 »
Everything but trying to attack her.

Our Officer's Club is better than your Officer's Club.

Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

You can kill people with kindness, but PPCs are more reliable.

Caedis Animus

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #4 on: 19 May 2015, 13:04:38 »
I've never DM'd myself, but... There was a person in one D&D group we had that, after successfully rolling to seduce a Succubus, decided he was 'TRAVIS ****ING RENOLDS' (His random character name was Travis Renolds), and rolled to seduce everything. Even castles. EDIT: What's scarier is, almost every time he rolled to seduce something, he rolled a natural 20.

He got his genitals mutilated by a randomly falling greatsword enchanted with lightning in about an hour. Our DM hated it when people did stupid stuff like that.
Stop whining about how hot your cockpit is. You are a Mechwarrior of the Line, not a tanker.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #5 on: 19 May 2015, 13:26:26 »
Oh, one of those.  Never had a player like that while I was GMing, but did have someone pull something like that in a group I was playing in.  Personally, if I'd been the GM I probably would have put a stop to it via having the succubus show up a couple months later sporting a baby-bump, along with her very annoyed Balor father and a shotgun wedding.

Our Officer's Club is better than your Officer's Club.

Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

You can kill people with kindness, but PPCs are more reliable.

noisenerd

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #6 on: 19 May 2015, 14:04:10 »
The dumbest guy I ever had to deal with isn't that interesting of a story, I would describe him as a lump on a log. Just stared off into space, not paying attention. Others of us would say "you don't have to play if you don't want to", to which he always replied "no, I really want to!".

"Well, pay attention then."

This finally did end up with one kinda humorous, kinda irritating exchange, where I said the above phrase about paying attention.

"I AM paying attention!"

"Ok, what are you doing?"

"Wait, how'd I get over there?"

 [metalhealth]

Davout73

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #7 on: 19 May 2015, 20:44:12 »
I wasn't the GM, but I once was part of a group where one of the other players argued that the skeleton we were fighting should have the dexterity and strength they did because they didn't have any muscles/ligaments etc...

I didn't participate that many more sessions after that 40 minute argument.
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Caedis Animus

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #8 on: 21 May 2015, 13:20:09 »
I wasn't the GM, but I once was part of a group where one of the other players argued that the skeleton we were fighting should have the dexterity and strength they did because they didn't have any muscles/ligaments etc...

I didn't participate that many more sessions after that 40 minute argument.
Nobody thought to explain to him the most obvious answer?

A necromancer did it.
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Terminax

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #9 on: 21 May 2015, 18:06:41 »
I've probably shared this before, but back in Grade 9 I was the GM for our group. Deciding to start up a new Champions game, I invited a bunch of new people including a recent immigrant from Iran named Fareed. Nice kid, but not too bright nor well versed in English. So anyways, we had our superhero game going and Fareed played a robot named Jett who basically flew around and was super strong. In our second game together we were battling an evil super and I ask... so Fareed... what does Jett do?.

His answer: I call the police.

And he wouldn't budge from that decision. We all laughed but he was serious. He wouldn't budge. Said that vigilantism couldn't be tolerated... and went on a long spiel about the kind of things that went on in his homeland and basically buzz killed the session. For whatever reason, even after trying to bring him back for other games, he never quite clicked into the roleplaying stuff and eventually he stopped coming.

Much later, we had a younger player (a couple grades behind us) named Joe join us and he played in a VtM game. His character ended up dying after we faced off someone opening a gate to hell. Joe's character named Budd fell literally into hell because he was stupid and instead of running away from opening pit, he jumped in so he could say he'd gone to hell and back. So over the years, we'd laugh about it and have "Budd Updates" where we'd wave our hands in the air screaming as if we were in hell.

Ah good times.

massey

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #10 on: 24 May 2015, 14:24:01 »
I didn't GM the game, but I played in it.  We had this guy, Jerry.  Jerry's total experience with rpgs came from video games.  So in a way, it isn't his fault.

We were playing RIFTS, and our characters had traveled down to Mexico.  Now RIFTS is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi/magic/psychic/monsters type game, with power armor and lasers and dragons.  And all of Mexico is controlled by societies of vampires.  It's basically one big From Dusk til Dawn civilization, only the vampires are tougher than they were in that movie.

So we know this, we've gone down there specifically to hunt vampires.  Jerry knows this, because we've told him.  So we go across the border, and in the border towns there are crosses EVERYWHERE.  Every building has crosses on the roof, they have crosses painted on the walls, they have crosses at every street corner and on every door.  There are churches all over the place.  Then we go a little farther, and we hit a town with no crosses anywhere.  No churches anywhere.  We decide that this is the place.  We start scouting the area, looking for likely hiding places for the vamps.  Jerry decides to go in a bar at 10 in the morning and try to get information.

Jerry walks up to a guy in the bar.  "I talk to him."

GM:  Okay, what do you say?
Jerry:  I talk to him.
GM:  The guy looks at you funny, and tries to go back to drinking his beer.
Jerry:  I ask him if he knows anything.

This went on for a while.  Jerry was waiting for random people in the bar to tell him key information, like he was playing an old 8 bit video game.



So after like 15 minutes of this, the GM decides to actually let something happen.  So Jerry walks up to these two women who are in the bar.  And he sits down to talk to them.  They look at each other, and invite him back to their house.  This is important.  They are saying something out of the ordinary.  This must be a clue.  So Jerry goes home with them.  He doesn't radio anyone in the party where he is going.  He just goes home with these two women he doesn't know.  He follows them into a house that has no windows.  In Vampire Town.  He goes inside.  They lock the door.  Jerry stands there.  The women say something like "The Master will be pleased."  Jerry stands there.  He thinks he's going to get laid.  The GM tells him that he hears an ominous voice coming up the stairs from the basement.  Jerry starts to look worried.  "What?"  The vampire walks up the steps into the main room.  Jerry freaks out and opens fire with his gun -- which does nothing against vampires.  Jerry tries to blast his way out.  The house is reinforced mega-damage -- it isn't hurt by his gun.  Jerry shoots and kills the two women, then starts running around the room shooting randomly at the wall.  The vampire attacks and starts tearing away at Jerry's armor.

Finally the GM reminds Jerry that he might want to use his radio.  He calls the rest of the party.  Of course Jerry doesn't know what street he's on, or how to get to the house, but the GM is nice and lets us somehow figure out where he is.  We bust in the door just as the vampire has ripped Jerry's armor to pieces, and we blast the vamp with holy weapons or something.

solmanian

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #11 on: 24 May 2015, 18:26:10 »
So, what's the moral of the story? Aside from everyone were a noob sometime?

I remember this one pick up party I went to in college, where pretty much everything was a continuous Charlie foxtrot, and I take full responsibility for my part in it.

We started out fresh, a bunch of level one characters, low on ability but big on potential. There was the party leader, who despite nudging from the GM was hell bent on making a cavalier type character, and spend all his skill points on mounted combat, riding lance specialization, and spent all his money on a war horse and the best gear money can buy for a horse. The horse had better armor than him. Since we spent most of the adventure in doors, that meant that for 99% of the time he was almost useless for anything other a human mine-sweeper (which, since we had no rogue, was exactly what we used him for; more on that later).

Being hardly objective, I'll say little on myself. I'll just say that I envisioned my ranger as an elven Jack Bauer, complete with PTSD and fondness for torture "to get the job done, at any cost". In hindsight, labeling my self as neutral "good", was an oversight which created unrealistic expectations with the rest of the party. I did openly laid it out to the party, that my character has a paranoid streak, and is highly suspicious of people he doesn't have a history with.

The starter for the adventure was for me and the leader to be to war buddies, recently retired and looking for work. We came to a village, which for some reason didn't feel like it needed adventurers. It took my character serious pressuring the local sheriff to admit that a small orc tribe has taken residence in an abandoned castle a day's ride away, but it didn't really bother them. It took even more effort to convince him that we should get paid for clearing said castle.

That's brings us to the next member of our party. I never really found out what his backstory was (best guess: he made some dark deal with the GM to let him create a shape shifting half-dragon sorcerer), but he was posing (badly) as a mysterious elf sorcerer. We encountered him on the way to the castle of doom, and he just walked up to us, and said he wants to join us an the quest to kill those orcs. Now, that's pretty generic a way to get the party together, but as a roleplayer I decided that since we just talked to the sheriff and immediately set out toward the castle, and we encountered him coming from the opposite direction from the village, that my character would him knowing about our quest, would be very suspicious to my paranoid character. So I question this guy on the matter. He refuses to answer; in fact he refuses to say anything about his background, except for some cryptic remarks and flimsy details that my skill checks (I mentioned I built my character as a master interrogator?) say are lies: he was an elf that didn't speak elven, and knew less about his supposed homeland than my character. So I tell the party leader that the dude is an obvious liar, and we can't trust strangers in the woods offering to join us and kill some people; the leader (who was buddies with the sorcerer IRL) dismisses my suspicions and allowed him to come along.

For my character it was obvious what happened: my lawful-good knight friend crossed into "lawful-stupid" territory, and allowed himself to naively bring a viper to our midst. My course was clear: for the good of the party, I had to kidnap the deceiver away from friend, and torture him for information.

To my shame what followed was me repeatedly being caught trying to do just that, like Gargamel, and trying to explain what was I doing with that rope. I soon realized the sorcerer had a familiar watching over him while he slept; trying (and failing) to neutralize his pet in a covert manner didn't do my in-party reputation any good.

Luckily, my suffering didn't last long. Upon arriving to the castle, we were dismayed to discover that every single room contained either an extremely deadly trap or ogre-magi. It became very easy for us to sense traps "no ogres? than this must be a trap". It didn't take long for the ogres to take our lvl.1 group out of our misery by the time we finished our first pizza. We never met again. Literally, they even stopped coming to college.

I'd like to think we were all the equally dumb in the matter. Or maybe it was simply the perfect storm of characters who would've been simply "quirky" in another party, but turned deadly when combined together. 
Making the dark age a little brighter, one explosion at a time.
Have you met the clans? Words like "Naïve" and "misguided" are not enough to describe the notion that a conquest of the IS by the clans would result in a Utopian pacifistic society.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #12 on: 24 May 2015, 18:51:15 »
Given that the GM was throwing Ogre Magis at a level 1 party, I'm guessing that he was either completely inexperienced in the game or actively trying to kill the party?

Our Officer's Club is better than your Officer's Club.

Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

You can kill people with kindness, but PPCs are more reliable.

solmanian

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #13 on: 24 May 2015, 19:21:44 »
Given that the GM was throwing Ogre Magis at a level 1 party, I'm guessing that he was either completely inexperienced in the game or actively trying to kill the party?
Maybe it was his version "rock falls, everybody die", dealing with this DOA party? The first one was a challenge, I was sure we stumbled onto the boss fight early; they came in pairs after that. Luckily, the very confined space prevented liberal use of AOEs, but they were still freaking Ogres, and could punt us to death.

As for inexperienced, it reminds me of the first time I GMd as 12 year old, a couple of decades back. I realized having an Ogre-Magi as a boss was a bad idea, when incapacitated the entire party before they got in 30 meters from his tower. Had to use some deus-ex-machine crap to explain why he stayed in his tower, and didn't finish them off while they literally crawled away. IIRC they ended up building a catapult, and taking him out with an artillery barrage. I think my real problem back than that I was overconfident in my party's abilities (who were also beginners). I tended gravitated toward round numbers: kill 100 orcs, 500 ogres, 50 vampires (those were REALLY unpopular). To compensate, I was extremely generous with rewards of money, xp, fame, and of course gear; I'd go through the GM handbook, see all those cool magic items, and just wanted my party to have them.
Making the dark age a little brighter, one explosion at a time.
Have you met the clans? Words like "Naïve" and "misguided" are not enough to describe the notion that a conquest of the IS by the clans would result in a Utopian pacifistic society.

monbvol

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #14 on: 13 June 2015, 16:45:46 »
My group can rotate between various types so sometimes I do hand them enough rope to hang themselves.

Best case I can still remember was I when I ran a heavily modified/AU Clan Invasion Battletech campaign where one of the players was Andrew Steiner.  After a couple sessions I let him get his command company involved in the rescue of Victor Steiner Davion.

The commander of the other forces involved in the rescue told the PC of an approach that was less defended then the one his forces took.  Being a stand up guy he attached his Command Lance to show the way but because his troops were running into trouble he let the PCs know and returned to his troops.  Because the player running Andrew was a power hungry bastard he decided this was a perfect opportunity to lose witnesses and sent everything besides the PCs to go help.

Now because I had planned the defenses to be facing an entire mech company were now facing only 4 mechs I did not reduce the opposing forces any.

So the PCs wound up losing and getting captured.

Campaign continued after that but it fell apart pretty quickly after that because I let myself do some things I shouldn't have because I was starting to grasp for ideas.

iamfanboy

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #15 on: 23 June 2015, 21:37:11 »
Okay, not necessarily a dumb group, but a dumb GM that I took over for:

We've all heard rumors of the classic Monty Haul GM, the one that throws treasure after treasure at a party until they say, "Well, this Scimitar+4 isn't even flaming! Why would I want that? Throw it on the heap with the rest."

So back when I was 15 or 16 (maybe 17?) one of my friends was leaving for a month, he thought I was a pretty good GM, and he asked me to take over his group for the month. I sat in on a session and was in awe of how bad he was at giving rewards - his monsters were dumb too. I took a look at the player's notes of what was in their CASTLE, which was defended by griffons, men-at-arms, and other monsters (some dragon hatchling too, can't remember the color, but I do think it was a metallic), and a thought occurred to me.. an evil thought.

This is, I think, what I read to them that first session: "As you ride towards your home, singing songs of your heroism in slaying the dreaded liche, a horrifying sight cuts you all short - lying across the road, one wing separated from its body, is a griffon. One of YOUR griffons."


One man's home is another man's dungeon-crawl, and their home got crawled HARD. All the guardians they'd amassed? Dead. That treasure they'd saved? Gone. Those extra magical weapons and armors they'd tossed on the pile? Looted. And those Amulets of Non-detection they'd been saving for a rainy day? Well, turns out someone else saw clouds on the horizon.

Still one of my proudest moments as a GM. It turned their whole game around from an unmotivated slaying of monsters, pure monty-haul, to a revenge-quest motivated by role-playing. The look on the wizard's face when I said, "You find your apprentice's corpse outside the door to your laboratory; from the blast marks, you can tell he put up a valiant battle for as long as he could." He was almost in tears over the poor guy's fate.

Apparently they kept it up after I left, too; I gave some advice to Kevin after he came back and the game went on.

Sereglach

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #16 on: 23 June 2015, 22:46:28 »
Ok.  So, been GM'ing for over 20 years, now.  There've been good moments, there've been bad moments, and there've been really horrid moments.  I'm here to share a few of these latter moments with you.

The first is the story of the May the Halfling Barbarian.  Now May's player was new to D&D but in no ways new to TT RPGs.  She even had a good backstory as a sensible, self-taught Halfling whose best friend was her maul, because it'd never betray her or let her down.  I thought there'd be good experiences for this character, especially since the whole group had at least some RPG experience.  Boy . . . was I wrong.

May's first instance of extreme stupidity was their first encounter with "the Black Powder" (I do have some primitive firearms in my personal world setting, but they're rare and relatively expensive, and most peasants go their entire life without seeing any).  Now, the party, discovering a small barrel on a raided merchant's cart, was curious if it was worth anything, or would serve as a clue to finding the owner/raiders.

While everyone knew what it was the moment I described its gritty, black, sandy appearance (well, I thought they did), they set out to properly roleplay discovering this alchemical material.  The Druid, the leader of the group (and the person who even exclaimed "Oh God . . . I know what this is, but I know I need to roleplay it and not kill myself"), decided it would be prudent, seeing that it was some sort of alchemical substance, to take a small sample and start experimenting.  So, he took his sample and began his tests (read: alchemy rolls).

May . . . well . . . May decided she needed to have a look, too, despite warnings from the rest of the group.  It was late in the evening, May was a Halfling, and the barrel was taller than her.  So, while everyone else was securing the area and setting up camp, she was off finding a rock big enough to act as a step-stool.  She then took a lit torch, and went to inspect the barrel.  I did the obligatory "Are you sure?" moment.  Several times.  I then blatantly warned her character of the dangers and had her roll wisdom (common sense) to see if May would realize the dangers; especially after witnessing the alchemical experiments of the Druid and how hazardous they had become.  May succeeded on her wisdom save.  May's player decided that May still needed to inspect the inside of the barrel, with a torch, for any traps . . . or if there was anything buried in all that sand.

So, since the Druid was testing a larger chunk of sample materials to see what this "fiery sparking powder" created, the pop of about an ounce of powder going off startled the whole group.  May fails her balance to hop up and look over the edge of the barrel.  The torch falls in.  May is blasted nearly 30 feet into the air.  I "Hand of God" her, seeing that the player is horrifically distraught and didn't believe that I'd sabotage her existence with a barrel of gunpowder.  Therefore, the player comically flew through the air, covered in charred soot, before landing on the ground.  Her first thought was, "Where's my hammer!?".  With her frantic scrambling for her Maul . . . she looked up just in time to have it knock her out cold . . . acting as a "divine" reminder to use some sense in the future.


After thinking that the lesson has been taught, things continue with the group for quite some time.  Only minor hiccups occur.  Several levels pass, and the characters are getting much stronger.  Well, the group is escorting a carriage across the great wilderness between nations, when they're onset by brigands.  The trap, which everyone failed to notice (the bandits had rolled surprisingly well in setting it, in all honesty), disables the Wagon.  The group dismounts, at the demands of the terrified driver, to defend the carriage and its cargo.

In the first round of combat, while randomly determining who the slew of bowmen are aiming at, May gets hit with two arrows.  The damage rolls are low, and she only takes 3 points of damage.  May's players response (completely out of character) is to mock me and say that I can't kill her with petty bandits.  She even stated that her character was untouchable, and that I was a joke of a GM.  The Druid, sitting next to her, who knew NOT to directly challenge what a GM can and can't do, literally scoots an extra few feet away from her and says, "I'm in no way associated with her beliefs on this matter." Despite them being a "thing".  I ask her, staying calm, "Are you sure you think that?"  To which I was mocked more and called a horrid GM for giving them too many easy-street encounters (despite the party having some rough times and nearly dying, twice).  My response was, "Okay . . . you think this encounter is easy?"  I then turned every ranged combatant onto the barbarian, along with all the melee combatants that could surround her, since she charged right in being "invincible".  She was down in one round.

I didn't fudge the rolls, in fact I rolled them in the open with my designated "player killers" (black dice with red numbers that never fail to get high numbers when I want them to).  She apparently failed to acknowledge the Fighter's count; that there were 20+ archers in the wood-line, near the road, aside from the 10+ melee combatants that were closing on the group.  When I went back to randomly determining arrow destination (simulating a rain of crossfire), and spread out the melee fighters some, it became a modest fight, but not too terrible for the group.  They fended the attackers off, after defeating a significant portion of their forces; and May's carcass was dragged to the next town for attempting resurrection, at the utter horror of the player and under a litany of swears.

May the Halfling Barbarian's player didn't come around much, after that, and when she did, she made sure to stay close to the group leader's heel and not do anything too stupid.  Apparently the Druid and her had a talk, at some point, to reign in the stupidity and tell her that she doesn't run the game and that he can't command her character's safety just because they're a "thing" and he's the GM's best friend.
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Sereglach

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #17 on: 24 June 2015, 00:18:31 »
Another story to bring you . . . the story of the Red Dragon Hatchling and the far too cocky party:

So, completely different party . . . back when I was in the military.  There were 5 of them, all levels 5-7 . . . a Cleric, a Sorcerer, a Wizard, a Ranger, and a Rogue.  They had been through some decent adventures and were at the level band I loved GMing for most in 3.5.  Level 5-10 characters are at just the right amount of power to be dangerous and really stand out in their builds, but aren't reaching the points where the numbers get stupidly high.  It's my favorite time for characters.  I was thrilled.

However, this group, having bested some hefty constructs, overthrew a corrupt Cleric, escaped a cursed island, and defeated slews of other opponents, thought they were ready for the "big time".  They wanted to go dragon hunting, and were pressuring me to set something up out of character.  I told them that really wasn't smart, because I don't play dumb enemies, as they've seen, and dragons are exceptionally dangerous.  They said they could take it, just look at how well they'd handled all my other encounters.  I said, "Alright, I'll give you a test sometime soon, and if you can best it, then I'll set up a real dragon-hunting scenario."

In the next few sessions their group is set to the task of intercepting a transport ship that's carrying supplies to the enemy of their aligned side of a nation, in a civil war.  The battle is a bloody one, but the tides are turned when the Sorcerer falls off the ship onto one of the cannons of their enemy.  Fearing for his life, he casts Fireball on the gunnery crew in front of him, who seek to pull/push him to his death.  Thankfully he made his reflex save (and they only had 4 guns to a side of a big ship . . . like I said, archaic black powder weapons are there in my setting, but rare) and was blasted through the air into the sails of his friendly ship, where he made his tumble check to safety on deck.  The remaining enemies are quickly routed and killed off by the party. Victory is secured, though very costly and taxing for everyone.

The party thinks they just passed their test . . . oh no . . . the fun is just beginning.

See, the Sorcerer's "ingenious" maneuver killed off a large quantity of the crew for their ship, who had boarded the enemy's vessel.  With minimal crew left, they have no choice but to tow in the enemy vessel, instead of just capturing it and sailing both back.  For the flawed victory, the party is left on the crippled vessel to keep it secured and search it while they're being towed into port.  They're left with their rations to eat, whatever they can scavenge from the ship, and a very . . . very long tow cable between vessels.

The party instantly sets out to search through the loot they had secured.  Among the items, they find a magical storage crate with a massive egg inside it, surrounded with enchanted straw that's keeping it as hot as a smith's forge.  For some dunderheaded reason, the group starts talking about how long it's been since they've had omelets.  The wizard makes their arcana roll, identifying the egg as that of a Red Dragon.  Then the group starts talking about the fact that they've never eaten dragon before, and they wonder if it'll be like having an ostrich omelet.  The Wizard utterly ignored the fact that in her arcana roll, she was made aware that dragons understand and learn things while inside their egg, and can even hear the outside world around them.  The player, well he (guy player playing a female character) gets right into the conversation, and starts up a debate about not eating the egg, but selling it on the Black Market, or keeping it for dissection and studies.  The Ranger is the only one thinking that this is all folly and that the egg should be destroyed, while they have the chance.

Too late.

The egg, no longer kept in it's magically contained and preserved state, hatches.  The small hatchling scurrying away into the hull of ship like the chest-burster from the original Alien.  The Wizard screaming like a banshee and the others frantically scrambling for the gear that they had piled in the remains of the ship's captain's quarters.  After signaling to the lead ship and informing her captain what was going on, the tow line was cut, and the party told they were to be left adrift until they had dealt with their problem.  They would not allow anything so dangerous to potentially cross over to their ship and wreak havoc.  The hunt was on.

This is where things go from "What are you thinking?!" to "What the hell is wrong with you idiots?!?"

First off, they split the party.  The Sorcerer starts searching around the remains of the gunnery deck, the Rogue starts going through the crew quarters, while the Wizard stays glued to the Cleric's keister as they search the hold.  The Ranger states he won't allow such a destructive creature to escape, so he decides to remain on the deck and keep watch (someone seems to be getting a hint).  At this point I'm pulling people aside to keep out-of-character knowledge from acting as a game-changer.

The first to go down was the Rogue.  Being isolated, and more suited for being a face/lock picker then any actual combatant, he gets caught in the twists and turns of the large ship bunk-house.  A bunk-house of which he had sealed himself in, thinking that if he traps the hatchling in here with him, by chance, then it won't escape his sneaky backstab (because he just KNOWS he's going to catch the thing off guard . . . isn't that just automatic for rogues?)  The hatchling darts in, maneuvering through all the tiny crevices that the bulky human can't reach, and picking him apart hit after hit . . . the Rogue not even able to get in a single attack.  By the time he's actually screaming for help, he's already at 25% hit points and falling fast.  With a critical hit, the hatchling rips out his throat as the sorcerer (the next closest character) bursts in.  Moving to his dead friend, the hatchling takes the opportunity to escape out the open door.

One Down.

The Sorcerer gives chase . . . not even thinking about calling for help.  He just feels he can take the hatchling out, no problem.  He'll just chase it to his friends, or nuke it first and claim all the glory.  After all, the Rogue was stupid and locked himself into a tight, confined space with the thing.  While the sorcerer does chase it to the galley, he gets an "ingenious" idea.  He had filled the group's cooking pot with black powder that he had taken from the other ship.  He was enamored with it after seeing what it did to the enemy vessel, and wouldn't shut up about the stuff . . . including around the egg.  He decides he'll pull that out and use it to blast the hatchling to kibble.  I ask him if he's sure he wants to start handling something so dangerous around a fire breathing dragon hatchling.  He says, "YES!  Of course!  This will take the dragon out in one shot!"  I ask again if he's sure.  I get the same response.  So he stops in the middle of the galley and starts making alchemy rolls to create a bomb out of the cast iron cooking pot, its respective lid, and several pounds of black powder.  Well, this leaves him completely vulnerable to a surprise attack.  The hatchling, seeing an opportunity, decides to ambush the oblivious Sorcerer with his "paltry" breath weapon (still more potent then Burning Hands).  It's more than enough.  The blast rocks the ship and obliterates the Sorcerer, who utterly failed his reflex saves vs. both the breath weapon, and the resulting explosion.  His corpse (or what's left of it, rather) is blasted out the side of the ship and into the ocean at -20 some hit points.

Two Down.

The Ranger presumes the Sorcerer is doing something stupid, and remains vigilant, as the Sorcerer liked blowing things to pieces.  The others, however, become quite wary down in the hold.  The Wizard is already freaking out, and the Cleric just wants to complete the search and meet up with the others (those others who are dead).  As the Wizard virtually runs for the stairs to check on the explosion, hoping the ordeal is over, the hatching swoops past her, down into the hold, hoping to hide.  The Wizard turns and casts grease, hoping to slip up the hatchling and leave it vulnerable for the Cleric.  The Wizard wasn't paying attention to the fact that the hatchling was flying.  The Cleric slips and falls while blindly chasing the hatchling deeper into the hold, ignoring the spell that was just cast by the Wizard.  The Wizard follows up with Web, hoping to trap the hatchling that she now realizes is flying.  Not only does the hatchling make it's save, and escape, but the Wizard was ignoring the fact that she was casting Web with the Cleric in melee range of the hatchling.  The Cleric fails his save, and is stuck.  The hatchling does a sweeping series of hit-and-run attacks, on the Wizard, doing modest damage, before going for cover entirely.  The Cleric, hoping to get free and be of use, cast a "Still" Bull's Strength on the Wizard and tells her to get him loose (not himself, who even starts with more strength then her, and not Dex, which would make his recurring save easier).  The Wizard moves into the oil-slick, and among the webbing, to attempt to free the Cleric.  The hatchling takes this moment to use it's finally recharged breath weapon on the mass of webbing, the pile of grease, a ship hull of wood, and the two people held within.  Not only do they take massive damage from the initial attack and combusting materials (killing the Wizard outright), but the Cleric's burning to death is only subsided by the lower hull flooding and bringing him to the bottom of the ocean.

The Ranger, seeing the hull sinking, grabs his gear, signals for the other ship, and swims to safety.  The red dragon hatchling is never seen again, and presumed dead, until the ship makes landfall, at which point he actually catches a glimpse of it fleeing the ship, out the anchor port, like a scurrying rat.  When asked what the Ranger wants to do, he says, "I'm acting like I saw absolutely nothing, and I'm looking for a new party."

At least ONE member of the group learned his lesson.
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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #18 on: 24 June 2015, 00:32:47 »
How do you live long enough to get to the 5-7 range and still think that "let's split the party!" is a good idea?

Our Officer's Club is better than your Officer's Club.

Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

You can kill people with kindness, but PPCs are more reliable.

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #19 on: 24 June 2015, 00:41:51 »
How do you live long enough to get to the 5-7 range and still think that "let's split the party!" is a good idea?
I think part of it was that they hadn't been put in any situation quite like the one set before them.  The other part was that they were seriously all suffering from their own sense of power-hungry-greed.  It was almost like the second that I put the egg in front of them, all sense of reason went out the window.

I still laugh my butt off, to this day, whenever I think about that story.  I hope it gave people here at least a little chuckle.

EDIT:  If the stories are actually received well, I'll post some more, but those are two of the most memorable ones, and I figured they were certainly worth a read for people.
« Last Edit: 24 June 2015, 00:54:13 by Sereglach »
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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #20 on: 02 July 2015, 21:42:39 »
Ohhhhhhh
I have to share this story.
So, i decided to run Call of Cthulhu. now, my group is kinda new to RP, and, since i live in the middle of NOWHERE, its only two people. First off, their characters are a Gangster and a Bed and Breakfast owner. I make up something involving Bootlegging, and they are on route to a town. so, they stop to talk to some old woman, and the Bed and Breakfast guy, lets call him Bobert, is being a weird silly guy like he usually is. So Mister Gangster, lets call him Jakben, HITS HIM IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD WITH A GOLF CLUB. He nearly killed the poor guy, and gave him PERMANENT  BRAIN DAMAGE, on account of the guy being out for ~30 minutes. Then, they hear about a Cult from the next guy they see, and they decide to go into the Golden Grain Inn (I was adapting Cult of the Reptile God, an old DND adventure. with any other group it would have been great). they walk up to the bar, and order drinks. At this point they notice a creepy looking guy. So, Jakben DRAGS HIM OUT AROUND BACK, AND STARTS CUTTING FINGERS OFF TO GET INFO ON THE CULT. The poor guy eventually talks, and they go back inside. Jakben walks up to the bartender, and says "So i hear you are in a Cult?" and then looks at me in TOTAL INDIGNANT SHOCK as the whole cultist bar erupts into violence against them. Jakben crits with a handgun to the phone that the bartender was holding, preventing cops from being called, and they run into the hills. Later that night, they see the bartender walking home, BLUDGEON HIM TO DEATH, and bury him in a shallow grave. They ended up getting arrested for murder, attempted murder, torture, and possessing Alcohol in the 20s. Life sentence.
« Last Edit: 02 July 2015, 22:00:36 by Perigrin »
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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #21 on: 02 July 2015, 22:14:51 »
Wow.  I've got to commend you for putting up with that player's shenanigans as long as you did.

Our Officer's Club is better than your Officer's Club.

Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

You can kill people with kindness, but PPCs are more reliable.

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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #22 on: 02 July 2015, 22:31:29 »
Wow.  I've got to commend you for putting up with that player's shenanigans as long as you did.
I took a three month break from GMing, and spent the whole time writing an adventure, with some help from a 4chan story, and i got back at the guy, scared the living REDACTED out of him. We need a thread for Best game Gmed
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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #23 on: 03 July 2015, 02:18:30 »
Wow.  I've got to commend you for putting up with that player's shenanigans as long as you did.
If it all happened over the course of one session, I'd say it's pretty much par-for-the-course on having a player pulling that kind of crap.  If it happened over many sessions at that intensity then I'd say commendations are certainly due.  In this case, I don't know if it's stupidity as much as intentional destructiveness.

One thing that's always boggled my mind is the intensity with which some players strive to destroy the games they get involved in.  Sometimes it really does just feel like this:


I took a three month break from GMing, and spent the whole time writing an adventure, with some help from a 4chan story, and i got back at the guy, scared the living REDACTED out of him. We need a thread for Best game Gmed
Ahhh . . . GM justice.  Gotta love it, right?
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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #24 on: 03 July 2015, 10:06:25 »
THAT was one session. That player is usually the smart one, if a bit immature. Usually the other guy is more homicidal and insane.
Other session. I was running an older adventure from a dragon magazine. First off, they killed the kindly orc selling pies. Then, they got ambushed by a member of the conspiracy they were tracking. So, after knocking him out, they dragged him back to a house, put a shard of glass in his mouth, and punched his mouth until he told them everything. This was the LEAST brutal torture that happened to that guy. They then killed him, and decapitated him. The Druid, Bobert, kept his head, and the 30 odd heads they collected over the adventure, in a burlap sack, which he was clubbing people with. So, they wrap up that adventure fairly quick, so I decide to run a stop gap because I did not expect them to finish it. So, they get hired to deliver a novelty stove across town. First, they see the beggar they saw earlier inside counting a lot of money, as begging could make you a LOT in the middle ages. So, they beat him up, set his house on fire, try to put out the fire, fail because the only spell caster is a druid, and end up poisoning the entire town watch.
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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #25 on: 03 July 2015, 11:43:10 »
THAT was one session. That player is usually the smart one, if a bit immature. Usually the other guy is more homicidal and insane.
Other session. I was running an older adventure from a dragon magazine. First off, they killed the kindly orc selling pies. Then, they got ambushed by a member of the conspiracy they were tracking. So, after knocking him out, they dragged him back to a house, put a shard of glass in his mouth, and punched his mouth until he told them everything. This was the LEAST brutal torture that happened to that guy. They then killed him, and decapitated him. The Druid, Bobert, kept his head, and the 30 odd heads they collected over the adventure, in a burlap sack, which he was clubbing people with. So, they wrap up that adventure fairly quick, so I decide to run a stop gap because I did not expect them to finish it. So, they get hired to deliver a novelty stove across town. First, they see the beggar they saw earlier inside counting a lot of money, as begging could make you a LOT in the middle ages. So, they beat him up, set his house on fire, try to put out the fire, fail because the only spell caster is a druid, and end up poisoning the entire town watch.
Yep . . . par for the course.  Sometimes people really are a "special kind of stupid" when there's no real consequences on the line.  Of course, no real consequences are ever on the line when it's just a game and characters on paper.  So, question:  How do/did you go about keeping these people in line?  Just curious, since every GM has different little techniques.
« Last Edit: 03 July 2015, 11:44:49 by Sereglach »
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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #26 on: 03 July 2015, 11:52:02 »
I didnt until last session, when i scared the living REDACTED out of them. Its a long story, and i am kinda proud of myself. the reason i put up with it until then was that there was no one else to play with.
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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #27 on: 03 July 2015, 13:53:06 »
I didnt until last session, when i scared the living REDACTED out of them. Its a long story, and i am kinda proud of myself. the reason i put up with it until then was that there was no one else to play with.
Yes, but this guys were obviously sociopaths. Sure, there's the troop about adventurers being omnicidal ******, but this guys sound shifty. "Hey, everyone fantasize about decapitating people and carrying around their heads in a sack, right?", no, not really. Roleplaying is an outlet for urges you can't do in today's civilized society, like raiding a castle of "villains", pillaging and looting; I'd be concerned what if this guys would decide to being their torture fantasies tot he real worlds. It's basically the worst stereotypes about D&D players being devil worshippers, using tabletop games as prelude to violent orgies and orgies of violence. >:D

maybe it's time to look into online RPing...
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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #28 on: 04 July 2015, 01:26:45 »
I didnt until last session, when i scared the living REDACTED out of them. Its a long story, and i am kinda proud of myself. the reason i put up with it until then was that there was no one else to play with.
Good.  Glad you finally laid the "Godly GM Smack-Down" upon them.  Even if you have no one else to play with, making sure people aren't just trying to break the game, be nimrods, and/or ruin other people's fun (including yours as a GM) is always important.  That was an important lesson I learned very early on in my GMing "career".  That's another one of those stupid player stories . . . maybe I should type that one up.

For people who complain about that . . . tell them that they get to write the adventure and run things for once; and it better be enjoyable and worthwhile with good storytelling and a great plot and epic loot and solid immersion and all the other things that players always incessantly want and seem to think comes along so easy for a GM to craft . . . but no one else ever wants to do.
. . . . . *pause and a deep breath* . . . . .
Not going to lie, there's a little bit of sarcasm and a little bit of sincerity in that last statement.  Even if you're the kind of GM that only does premade stuff, it still isn't easy.  Every GM that puts up with all the crap that comes with it (let alone those of us who enjoy doing it and are dedicated to it), deserves major kudos.

I give that kudos to you, good sir, particularly since you enacted GM Justice upon them.

Yes, but this guys were obviously sociopaths. Sure, there's the troop about adventurers being omnicidal ******, but this guys sound shifty. "Hey, everyone fantasize about decapitating people and carrying around their heads in a sack, right?", no, not really. Roleplaying is an outlet for urges you can't do in today's civilized society, like raiding a castle of "villains", pillaging and looting; I'd be concerned what if this guys would decide to being their torture fantasies tot he real worlds. It's basically the worst stereotypes about D&D players being devil worshippers, using tabletop games as prelude to violent orgies and orgies of violence. >:D

maybe it's time to look into online RPing...
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I'll just leave this link here . . .
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Re: Dumbest group you've GMed for
« Reply #29 on: 13 November 2015, 17:06:58 »
I GM'ed Paranoia once.

Once.

Half the party did not make it out of the initial briefing room.

As in ran through all of their clones before the briefing was complete.

It was insane.