|5 people marked this as a favorite.|
So obviously the first thing to do with any problem between GM's and players is to talk about it in the group and fix it as a group.
That said not every behavior is easily recognizable. So I would suggest that we start categorizing the various types of bad GMs and how to recognize them, as well as suggestions on how to help the GM move off the behavior that is causing the problems.
1) The Counter GM
You get to the game things are going alright and suddenly your major thing no longer works. If you are a fire mage all the enemies are fire-proof, if you are a paladin all the enemies are neutral. If you are ranged there is always fog, wind walls, deeper darkness or some other means that prevents you from attacking at range. Regardless of what you want to do it no longer works. High attack bonus? Everything's AC jumps, high AC? Everything's attack bonus jumps, lots of damage? More HP, SoS/SoD? Nothing fails its saves. So you develop new tactics just to have them closed down too, eventually nothing works because everything is immune to everything.
What to do: Talk to your GM about the problem. It could be he has a weird idea of just how effective things are or he doesn't realize much he's overcompensating for your abilities. Assure your GM you aren't looking to have an easy time, but you would like to be able to do the things you are good at sometimes.
2) The Director
Hey everybody get on the train! You have a part to play and by the gods you are going to play it. This play has a plot and if you side track it everything is going to blow up or just plain not work.
What to do: Talk to the GM about the problem. It could be he's uncomfortable with the system and doesn't understand how to work around various abilities. Maybe he's really only worried about a specific power and he's overcompensating in order to prevent that one type of power from entering the game. Perhaps too much time on the forums has him intimidated about "players taking over my table". Perhaps give him some plot hooks and ideas before the game and early in the planning for future games so he can more directly work in what you would like to see your character develop towards too. Giving him information can help the GM better develop the story to take the actual characters into account instead of having to guess at what everyone is trying to do.
3) The Actor
Oh no! The world needs saved! Fortunately the GM has an NPC for that. Maybe not just one, perhaps he has several. At the end of the day you feel more like you are there to simply witness the NPC's doing everything while you walk around.
What to do: Talk to the GM about the problem. He might miss playing and need someone else to take over so he can get a game or two in from the other side of the table. Maybe he's afraid your PCs can't handle what he is throwing at you so he overcompensates in the other direction. You need to let him know that while it's his world you do want to play in it too. Interact with the NPCs so he gets some acting time in too. If you usually simply say, "We go buy stuff at the store" instead start showing interest in the store and the NPC running it. This allows the GM to get his acting on without having to run all over the PCs to do it.
4) The Tormentor
This GM is a lot like the counter but there is a key exception. All your stuff works, it just takes forever for any fight to end. Literally every fight seems like a three hour slog where whatever you are doing works, but seems to have little to no effect in just ending the fight. Every fight ends with a near TPK, and he swears he's taking it easy on you!
What to do: First consider your party make up. If you are a bunch of intelligence 10 wizards trying to go with a two handed weapon melee build then that might be your problem. However if you have good party balance and your characters are generally well built (your fighter has armor and power attack, your wizard has a good casting stat and so on) then perhaps it really is the GM. He might think that if you don't just barely get by you won't feel like you got your money's worth so to speak. If that's the case assure him that you like a good epic battle every now and then, but not every battle needs to be epic (nor should every battle).
Feel free to add more, and before you get upset realize this is simply to help. Most GMs are alright. I would offer one for GMs with player problems but there are already a lot of things for that out there such as the GMG