I tend to use one or two specialized characters who just happen to be set up in the right way. A few my players speak of:
A babazau demon in darkness attacking a 5ft wide bridge by swooping. (Give flyby attack and improved bullrush)
A raging barbarian and her two crossbow snipers hiding to each side in thick bush.
There is one from the Carnival of Tears (boss battle) that is insanely fun and my players loved it.
Putting a fight in interesting terrain makes the battle so much more interesting.
I put a bunch of pit traps on a ground fight, or a moving spike wall during a fight.
I try to think of fights that add a sense of peril or danger to the fight. Such as a fire, flood, natural disaster, falling building (great one in Second Darkness 2) or something against hit and run flying creatures.
A good set-piece makes a video game or movie great, same with RPG.
Evil Lincoln wrote:
Well in the other game I've played with this DM, he's pretty well known for basically not caring enough and just letting things go. The newcomers aren't in any games that I run and I won't let them be, but he lets them in his. So what happens is, if I make a mistake, I get belittled and told I'm wrong, but when they are wrong, they won't admit it and the DM simply won't get involved, so it makes for a difficult game. However, they're having fun and most of them are still my friends and I would like to enjoy the game as well. So like I said, I'm not trying to outdo them as much as join in on the fun that I apparently am missing.
I'm sure it sounds like more headache than it's worth, but I'm going to at least attempt it. So here is the build I have made completely cheesy.
Half-Celestial Half-Dragon Aasimar Young Advanced
Young: Rebuild Rules: Size decrease by one category; AC reduce natural armor by –2 (minimum +0); Attacks decrease damage dice by 1 step; Ability Scores –4 Strength, –4 Con, +4 size bonus to Dex.
AC (+6 Natral/size) + (20 dex/wisdom)
With 1 level of Paladin/Monk
Damage will be fairly weak with the low die, but a flurry of blows that will almost constantly hit, an impossibly high AC and strength damage going into the attacks should make me formidable. Smite and flurry of blows should balance me vs. Evil and when I get divine grace, I'll be even more ridiculous.
Actually, everyone remade characters except for me. I'm the only one NOT playing a Drow Noble, and only one of them decided not to take Advanced Template.
So yeah, I talked to him, and he offered my an extra level (2 levels) technically out of it. Which is why I've decided to make a new character, because a human druid/magus quite simply isn't able to catch up even with an extra level ahead of them. So I'll probably go with both suggestions.
I'll try to work with the show-boating PC's, or simply wait for a moment to strike against them. If it gets any worse, I'll simply remake using the extra level(s) provided for me and we can try it as an arms race in which at the end I think we can all simply agree we're here to have fun. But if not...I've got other stuff to do.
Thanks for the advice. More advice will always be helpful though.
Honestly...I really should.
Last time this happened I spent about a week breaking a 3.5 character when the GM selectively gave people the Paragon Template from 3.5 (With a +11 LA of course). It resulted in everyone pissed off when I couldn't die because I'd basically spent every waking hour (not something I should be saying lol) to do it.
This will probably just escalate into a "I can break the game better than you" contest.
The DM still says I'm wrong which is the part that bothers me the most. It's very obvious the Drow Nobles should have LA.
But...with the Drow effectively having a CR equal to class levels, they feel that is their ECL, they don't realize that CR= ECL-1 so they would have a "blank" level there. BUT that being said, it shouldn't be hard for me to drop the LA on both Half-Dragon and Half-Celestial.
If I still feel like fighting their B.S. Rules. He says the developers don't know what they're talking about (which doesn't help at how often I personally have called out the developers). So unless it's written and spelled out clearer in the beastiary or other rules...I'm just not going to get this argument settled.
Technically I should be able to gestalt the penalty, but he didn't allow them to do it with the advanced creature template. Though that's a bit different. I'll have to create the character and see what he says. And then surprise him when I sneak attack and critical hit his constructs.
That's pretty awesome, but the majority of his enemies are constructs. he loves constructs.
But, I may go with it just for the awesome implications. And while he SHOULDN'T apply it, he probably will. It's just so poorly written for Drow Noble, they got away with it.
Also a very good suggestion. But they don't "need" my character in any way. My damage output doesn't do enough on its own to make them worry about not having me around. My healing doesn't bother them as they have an Oracle/Cleric heal battery sitting around...they find traps, etc. It's a party of 6 as it is. My character can't really put them into a situation like that, and is more likely to end up in that situation himself.
And the off-hand of leading them to their deaths is probably not likely either. But then-again, once a bad guy has been fully introduced, I'm sure I'll be given a chance to do something.
I don't really want to build a counter-character, but I am curious to see what builds are up here in case I do. I have a higher HD advantage and a much higher gold advantage. But NOTHING is preventing them from taking it from me.
I want to play a Monk/Paladin, but my stats aren't as high as theres and they're anti-human, which is my preferred race.
Also, I am a Magus/Druid right now, but got rules lawyered into not being able to cast more than one spell at a time. So how would a flurry of Touch Spells work? They argued when I was using Shocking grasp twice a round....which I could actually be wrong about. It made sense when they said it.
This is a TL'DR thread, and I apologize. I'm attempting to get all the details out of what I'm requesting.
Ok, so this is not a "hate on the DM" or any sort of arms race type thread. This is a difficult situation thread that is making the game difficult and not fun to play. Instead of simply quitting the game, I instead of have chosen to try one more strategy to keep myself in the game and having fun.
As a bored game that was meant to be between three people, we started a Gestalt game. Our GM is experienced and just wants us to have fun, even adding in extra boons that normal characters shouldn't get, giving us all 18's and allow Flaws for extra feats and even gives us traits. That's awesome, right? Right.
Well everyone who didn't show up that day decided they wanted in, so he let them in. However, they didn't just decide to join the game, they also exploited Pathfinder's poorly written rules on Drow Nobles, and my DM's general apathy.
They also decided to go ahead and take it further and added the advanced creature's template. I explained for a while they were wrong, but couldn't back it up fully. Finally I did research, proved it wrong with a ton of sources, and the DM still refused to make them change it.
Ok...so now I'm stuck with my puny Magus who got rules lawyered into the point he's useless. I'm being out performed in every aspect by creatures of the same "level" with ridiculous stats and bonuses and always being near death. Not only that, the party goes around proclaiming my character as a human slave and will almost kill my character just to prove they can.
They assure me it's part of the game, blah blah blah. The DM simply states the game isn't for me if I can't play in that type of setting and enjoy the game.
Oh, the kicker is that the DM states this isn't Golarian so the drow aren't hunted or hated.
So now the question:
This isn't to be a dick or prove I'm better. It's simply because this is a power-gaming encouraged game, and I currently am not doing so. I've used the argument the developers have stated the Drow Noble should have a sort of LA, but they don't care. So if that's the case, I'd like to play on their rules. I'm just not devious or rulesbreaking enough to do that.
This is for fun, so if you want to lecture me, please just don't post. I'm curious to see what people come up with.
Estimated level should be around 4 with Gestalt (best of two classes) build.
Optimized build looks better, but 7 int is pretty dangerous. Though I don't have to rp 7 int as completely stupid...either way this is what I have so far:
I took monk of the four winds archetype so I could really use advantage of the ki points. Qingong monk will provide a good amount of abilities (though some levels I sacrifice some abilities for Monk of the Four winds)
Playing a silent character is something I want to play as I'm always the party "voice", so it'll be fun. I took the extra save feats so that I am guaranteed to pass saves (will take improved later)
Honestly, never built a monk before, so I'm seeing some problems here >.>
Makes sense though. I just trade the Step up tree for tripping.
Weapon choice is difficult now though:
Polearm master makes me better at tripping and attacking if they get too close, but two handed fighter doubles str. on a single attack.
So with +4 STR, that's a net of a base of 4-5 damage I could be losing out on. On low levels, that's alot. But the chance to crit more often can make up for it.
Alright, I guess I do want to hear feat suggestions.
A trip build would be more viable than a movement based build? I didn't realize Step-up made it have to be adjacent.
I like the flavor behind the Ripsaw Glaive, but I suppose I could swap it out for a different weapon or one that doesn't require exotic weapon.
I went with Two-handed over polearm master because I like the double strength modifier for extra damage over the ability to attack adjacent, but I can look into it. I'm a little scared to go into a trip build, mainly because my GM has been around for a while, and remembers chain trippers. If I start doing something cheesy, he will too.
Ok, so I had a character in a 28pt buy game that ended up dying horribly. (Apparently at level 3, 17 level 2 fighter/rogues can still kill you. note to self: Don't play a 7 int character who thinks he's bigger than he is, the extra points aren't worth it)
Anyways. So our party of Undine Inquisitor, Gnome Summoner, and human rogue need a melee fighter. So my current build looks like this:
Weapon: Ripsaw Glaive
Archetype: Two handed fighter
Now, I don't really want suggestions on new weapons or feats, I think this looks about good, (but maybe build order for feats would be good). I want to have a pole-arm fighter that utilizes the 2 handed archetype, can be mobile, do good damage and always keep the upper hand as far as range goes. When it comes to melee, my goal is to keep the squishier characters safe, the monsters where I want them, and to keep up.
So now the big question comes...where do I put the points? We can drop stats below 10 to get what we want, but I don't know what to put the points into. Obviously I want my highest stat to be strength, my dex has to be high to utilize combat reflexes, and certainly con will be important. Neglecting INT probably won't be a good idea in this case, but maybe cha could be a dump stat. Opinions?
My guess would be Paladin/Cleric.
Paladins have ridiculous amounts of damage output, plus they can heal themselves as a swift action.
PVP though is a difficult thing to run if the DM isn't prepared right. For example, if a rogue starts 5 ft from a barbarian, it's game over. Same rogue 30 feet away may stand a better chance. Or if there is places for the rogue to distract the bard and hide, etc. For a true PVP event to work, there needs to be some sort of random "spice" to the mix. IMO
But if you're going for the most likely to win builds, my guess would be some sort of beefed up Paladin/Cleric.
Vic...I had a long drawn out response, but instead I'll keep it short.
I'm flattered you took the time to respond to me, and apparently thought enough of my insults to believe I was targeting the company as a whole. Now, you aren't all glorified copy pasters as Golarian is a very rich setting in whole, and there is alot of creativity involved.
However, to deny the fact that you copied, pasted the SRD and changed things would be just trying to fool yourself. If I took (and I am currently for a fan based re-write) the SRD and rewrote it for my Extreme Excursions (something I like to call it) and tried to deny that I didn't just basically copy and paste the rules and change how many of them worked, I would be delusional as well.
Doesn't mean I don't appreciate what has been done to the system and that it gives me a better alternative to 4th ed. I am a huge fan of Pathfinder, just not of some of the attitudes of those employed.
My goal was not to stir up anger, but to at least give you something to think about. Do I know that I am also being judged? Yes, do I care? No. I fully understand that what I say doesn't make me popular, but I don't see the harm in me saying it. Everyone else can kiss ass if they want to, that is their right, and until you take an action like banning me, it is my right as well.
You (amongst others) have brought up my attitude as disqualifying me from receiving work from Paizo. I understand that, but also am not bothered by it. Some consider Paizo the "big time". It might be, but as I've stated, not my cup of tea.
Does that mean I won't participate in the contest? Unless I'm officially barred from it, I probably will just because. But regardless, I'm not even thinking on that at this particular moment.
Honestly, I think everyone (especially the rest of Paizo) can learn from Neil. Because he has demonstrated the most restraint (second to Clark, who surprised me and caused me to second guess what I said) but Vic apparently cannot do so. It honestly wouldn't surprise me if the next higher up came out to chew me out with "you'll never make it blah blah blah". If you're ok with opinions as long as their positive, then fine simply state that. I had a differing opinion, believed I was shown wrong by Clark/Neil, and made an apology. You still took offense.
Trolls seldom bring up valid points, but I believed I did. And in fact some of the other users have already brought up things I also agree with in response to this. So whatever happens from here on isn't because I wanted to continue this, but because YOU (Vic) did. I was done responding, but always there has to be someone else.
If I'm supposed to have "thick" skin to criticism, shouldn't you guys as well?
I had a similiar problem in a 3.5 game I ran, the barbarian was ridiculous.
You know what's funny? Displacement, Mirror Image, and all the other illusion based spells that make the caster look like there's a hundred of him.
I don't think Pathfinder has this, but 3.5 had this nasty thing called a Retributive Amulet. So you throw something at him with literally double his hitpoints, and when he drops it in one round, he drops himself and learns a valuable lesson. Especially as the amulet is swiped by another enemy npc before someone else gets it.
(Retributive Amulet made the attacker take half the damage, no save)
I really hate how this keeps coming back to my item.
This really isn't about why or why I didn't get rejected. I do understand that with no chance to clarify (which there are things that just don't need clarification, but whatever) that these misunderstandings happen. Not that this is simply a misunderstanding.
But again, I'm tired of this conversation. There's only so much talk can bring out, and with the help of a very helpful forum goer I have an entire list of other avenues that may suit me better, and for that I'm grateful.
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (1, 5) + 6 = 12
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (4, 4) + 6 = 14
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (3, 4) + 6 = 13
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (4, 4) + 6 = 14
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (2, 1) + 6 = 9
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (6, 1) + 6 = 13
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (3, 2) + 6 = 11
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (1, 2) + 6 = 9
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (2, 2) + 6 = 10
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (5, 4) + 6 = 15
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (5, 1) + 6 = 12
2d6 + 6 ⇒ (3, 6) + 6 = 15
Holy crap those rolls suck lol
It doesn't matter how clearly I post my point, it seems it will be missed over and over again.
Thank you Jason for your rant at how hard work it is and how stupid and incapable of reading someone must be to not be an rpg superstar.
That isn't what I'm saying. I spent hours (literally 5-6 hours) pouring through old contest forums, entries, judges feedback, etc. It's not a guaranteed solution to winning the contest, and there isn't a magical formula involved. I was wanting to be done with this discussion, but then you had to say what you did.
Basically you spent a few paragraphs ranting how hard your job is and how it isn't for "babies" who have to have their hands held. Nobody is saying that, so you can ease off the delusions. However, if Paizo sent a free lance assignment out with ambiguities and the phrase "If S.K.R. doesn't think it's like what he'd write, we'll not accept it" then what's the point of working for Paizo?
Do you understand my point a little more clearly now?
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I wasn't calling you out. I was speaking of what you say on these forums to other people, not just myself. I'm fairly certain you enjoy being how you are as you are self titled as "opinionated", but I think you should realize that you are representing yourself and your company to your audience, the people that buy your stuff. I see your name on the cover of a book, and I make the decision to buy it or not. Most people who create something for others listens to their customers; you choose to not do so and in fact tell them they are wrong, waaaaah. That is where my opinion of you originates.
As for you Clark, I suppose that perhaps my memory of the situation was a little bit more clouded than I realized and after re-reading the posts I believe that I probably took it a bit harder than I realized. I disagree with some of the points still, and perhaps my beef is more with the nature of the contest itself and how it is presented (I still feel like the method is less effective than you might realize)than with the actual criticism.
I understand it is hard for you to see this as anything other than a "you're picking on me" post, and that my attempts to assure you otherwise are simply not being heard. But I will continue to say that is the case. Criticism of my work is acceptable, I ask for it regularly and have recently published several pieces of fiction work for my academic career, and that is not what I'm questioning here.
Regardless, this has probably gone on long enough and it seems at least one of the people I have spoken out against is either not as bad as I thought, or perhaps my attitude/mindset has changed since that event. Not that I'm so arrogant to think it matters.
Perhaps I'm just unsure of what exactly is being looked for. What is "good" what isn't good. Obvious things are not the problem for most serious competitors, it's the personal preferences and the small things that seem to be the hangup. Even following the examples in the books is not a good way to figure out what should and shouldn't be in an entry. The panel gives some more information on it; but there is no standard as it is all opinion.
I know I've rambled, but I guess the one thing I have left to say is: Why not change the format of this years contest? I understand I'm one person, don't fix what you don't think is broken, etc. But I also think that a single entry of a magic item (wondrous at that) limits creativity and only sets one way of entry into the contest. Some people may have an extraordinary knack for creating archetypes, but simply have no mind for magic items. You may say that a good freelancer can do everything; I agree with that to a point. I simply don't see how any sort of a decision can be made with only a paragraph. It may be the best of the best in your minds, but the ones entering the contest aren't the only ones losing out. Paizo loses out as well, since this is their method of "talent" search so to speak.
Long, I know. I'll spoiler tag it.
Again, I can say that I do respect your opinions and the way you've conveyed it. Will I enter the contest? Possibly. The votes of others probably won't come, but I'm not speaking my mind in the efforts of winning a popularity contest. I'm also not going to kiss up to everyone involved either. I call it as I see it.
My ultimate point is quite simply that there isn't much in the way of leading by example. Possibly working for Paizo could be considered big time, I could see that. But I also think it has limiting results as well. Am I even going to want the prize, that is to work for the same people that validate the works of Sean and Clark? Possibly, but only because they also validate the works of those with actual talent.
Do I think that a company that only offers the opportunity based off of one type of criteria (ie; magic item building) and on the opinions of only a handful of people is a great way of "giving" people a chance? No, I do not. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't work for some people.
This may be seen as being written with a "butthurt" attitude, but that isn't the case. My experience has been somewhat bitter, yes, but only because that is how the contest was designed to be. Apparently, someone can win this contest by making an item from a cartoon and moving their way up the ranks. I wasn't aware that was the kind of designers Paizo wanted, but apparently it is.
The other sources are something I've been working towards for the past few years, and will come about when I'm ready for them to be. Working for Paizo as a freelancer is still slightly limiting compared to what I'm aiming for.
Regardless, I believe there was another post in there that you are missing. But regardless, doesn't seem like my opinion matters at this point.
All I'm saying is that trying to impress a bunch of judges who want you to write like they do isn't the only path into writing or publishing material. I think if you want superstars, you should give "superstar" material. As I've said during the contest, lead by example. The material we have to work with isn't nearly as good as many of the things that were submitted. Many were cliche items, but they fit your particular niche', so they were voted for.
Especially in the case of Sean K. Reynolds. (Course, I'm also referring to his incredibly BAD defenses of the bad decisions in certain Ultimate Magic books lying around that he so viciously defended, which was ironic, because he specifically said Pathfinder isn't about defending bad decisions.)
I'm kind of in the same mindset though. I don't think I'd let two rogues in my game. It disrupts party balance and makes the game harder. Goblin Witch or Alch is a good idea imo.
Any room for my human fighter idea yet? I know it's basic, but I've got alot of unique ideas to put into it. Combat control fighter :D
I appreciate your response, but I think if these people you're defending truly deserved it, they'd be able to demonstrate that for themselves.
Clark demonstrated nothing but braggart confidence and ridicule, despite what you may think. You responded to his post and said the same things he did, in a far more respectful manner.
But I digress, this won't get me anywhere. I don't believe RPG superstar is the best way to get into publishing at this point, and have thus turned my attentions elsewhere.
But again, thanks.
Neil Spicer wrote:
I respectfully disagree and say that you are the one you described. I tend to think you are the better of the judges, but that's not relevant.
I also tend to dislike Sean K. Reynolds, not only in a judging capacity but as a developer in general, along with his general attitude. I think as a professional in any industry, not only should you be supportive of others seeking to get into the industry, but open to criticism as well.
Clark's particular response to my queries was not supportive, instead was mocking, insulting, degrading, and from a "better than you haha" stand point. You're welcome to review said post and explain to me (if you care to, I don't care either way) and inform me how he was aiming to be supportive and not just a giant, over-glorified troll.
I understand how many will disagree with me, but as representatives of not only this industry (but in Clark's case as a Judge) I believe there should be a higher standard in how things are dealt with.
I also don't believe Sean should be listing things that he absolutely is against, and then voting for over half of the top 32 list to include those things. It's misleading to publish a list of things you don't want to see, then endorse them.
Now nothing I said so far has been inflammatory, but I will go ahead and add this:
Judging from Clark's inflammatory responses on mine and several others requests on the previous contests, I don't look forward to the next contest knowing he is a judge.
Title seems a bit...misleading.
Also, gunsmith doesn't mean you shoot the weapons, you just make them. Simple to me.
I'm not going to roll stats or anything like that until I know I'm in, I will post my character concept though.
I'd like to say I was in a few pbp that I wound up losing internet and unable to complete, so it looked like I just up and vanished, but I didn't. I'm in no such danger, so I should be free to post without any problems.
I jsut wanted to say that I played my character the other day and murdered.
That spell in combination with spell combat and spellstrike causes me to deal a ridiculous amount of damage in one combat. You burn alot of spells doing it, but you also can deal obsecene damage. We just got our first real loot, and I'm going to be buying a wand of Shillelah.
(I also took Arcane Strike)
Spell combat in my heal, spellstrike in shocking grasp and I'm still good.
Pathfinder is really bad about making you wait for cool stuff that would be more effective at lower levels. The special effect Critical chain would be so fun, but requires so LONG to get to it that by the time you do, saves are high, immunities to crits are common, it's kind of a downer.
But, I understand what you're saying as well. It sounds like he's just being negative, which is a common mindset amongst people these days. I'd just explain to him that Pathfinder offers alot of really cook low level options and that building up to the options you want makes the game have a better since of progression.
Guarding Jesus wouldn't be considered offensive in my eyes, mainly because you're absolutely right: He has the protection of God.
God works in ways that we don't understand, perhaps if the PCs helped to protect Mary and Joseph or protected Jesus, it was in God's plan for them to do so. Just because they're guarding him, doesn't mean they need him to.
Besides the birth of Christ, the bible offers a wealth of great campaign ideas. It's true they can offend some players, or some players will mess with the story just to be jerks, but there are some lesser known settings and stories you can use. I've tried to find a PDF of Testament, but couldn't find one.
Anyways, I think your plot is a bit too...well it's too simple for the glorious opportunity you have. It's effectively a treasure hunt for stuff that is probably easily obtained. Which, I'm not trying to be insulting, but you have a pretty solid background for potentially amazing stories.
In the bible, there are tales of murder, redemption, mystery, violence, vengeance, liberation, forgiveness, and discovery. If you've ever read Milton's Paradise Lost, it gives you a pretty interesting tale from the side of Lucifer.
Angels, in the old testament, are not exactly beacons of hope. They show up when they're ready to pass judgement from God onto a city. They also give people a chance to right wrongs, escape the wrath, or provide other important story purposes. A group of people trying to make it in a harsh world who's technology is quite low are suddenly faced with the realization that there is a powerful god out there, and his agents are affecting the world as they know it. They could be tempted to walk the path of evil, or given a chance to redeem a town from the wrath of god.
Or, if you want to go New Testament, they could unknowingly protect Mary and Joseph as they travel during her pregnancy, or other such things. I'm not saying your story is bad, I'm just saying there is so much more you could do with this story to REALLY give your player a good time.
Easy, I don't cast spells and attack at the same time. I either cast buffing spells on myself and two-weapon attack (using two weapon fighting as my human bonus feat) or I'll put one weapon away and cast while using the black blade.
This is a level 1 build, so honestly I'm not sure how it'll work out. When we get to level 10, we'll see.
GM's showing favoritism usually isn't how people call a Gm a cheater.
It's usually when the player says "That's BS I hit him, I win!!" And the GM (for plot or whatever reason) has the badguy narrowly escape is when people call them cheaters.
I however am a fan of Mutant's and Mastermind's bribery system. The Villain needs to get away, everyone gets a hero point. I'm ok with rewarding players bonus xp or re-rolls or special powers if I have a plot I want to see played out. It's really hard to keep a good villain who plagues the pcs constantly alive. But it's really rewarding to see the final confrontation.
Modules aren't mandatory, and my players have fun in both. You don't run the modules black and white if you don't want to, but if something important for the story is supposed to happen, it will happen.
It's the DM's world, and if they have a story to tell the characters will play their part. I've played in a game where we literally had no part in it. We couldn't do anything, we couldn't even die and stay dead if we wanted to. It was the most terrible thing in the world, and none of us liked the story. That is quite frankly a game I won't play in.
But a game where the DM entirely reacts to the PCs is fine too, if you have a dm who doesn't mind it. If the DM wants something to happen in the story, it's his right as the one running the game. If he wants to lay down a map of Golarion and say "point to where you want to go" fine. If he wants to point to Numeria and say "You're here." then he can. Players get disrespectful of the DM and don't realize how much time can go into the game.
A dm can fudge rolls for a player's favor or to make a challenge harder. That's the role of the DUNGEON MASTER. In earlier editions and other systems, they were called the Storyteller for a reason. Yes the entire story is co-operative, but the DM is the arbiter of that story. He dictates the results of the Pcs, he dictates how the game goes. If something I want to happen to an NPC is supposed to happen to give the characters motivation, then it will happen.
I've also played a game (3.5, pre-kingmaker) that was exactly like kingmaker at around 12th level. Save there was nothing but a giant sandbox. There was no motivation but what we brought, and we spent five sessions basically doing nothing because we couldn't find anything to do, and we tried. Putting it entirely into the player's hands is a bad idea.
It sounds to me like you have some control issues you need to address and learn that balance is the key here. The bottom line is: Not everyone will DM like you, even your friend who you're "teaching" to DM. He may prefer a different style. You are not right, and you are not wrong. If you want to play the "whaaah sympathy game" then go ahead and do it, but this game is about fun and enjoyment which means compromise. Get over it if the DM made you fail at something you wanted to succeed at.
I'd just be happy he wasn't like some of the DMs I've played with. If he wanted it to happen, he wouldn't have fudged the roll, he'd have sent someone much higher level to do it, and if I kept trying to stop it, he'd just have the guy attack me. Which is what happens to people who try to do things above their level. They die.