What Was Your Last Straw?


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Scarab Sages

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I was curious what stories people had about why they quit a particular game. I'm not talking about having to quit because of time or distance reasons but something either in the game or about the game that you became fed up with and quit. Not trying to turn this into a b$&@#ing thread... just seeing what amusing stories others might have about why they quit a game.

So, what was your last straw?

I have two last straws that come to mine:

In one game I quit after th DM decided that ranged characters (including spellcasters) got less XP because they were putting themselves at less risk than the up-front fighters. He didn't mention this at the beginning of the game so it was quite a shock to the ranger and I (mage).

The second game I quit was because the DM would drink pretty heavily and by the second half of the game would be so drunk that he would make very stupid DM decisions and you couldn't argue with him about it because he was drunk and it make perfect sense in his head.


I dropped out of one once becasue the DM was being a Monty Hall...
DM: Ok! you guys win! the King in grattitude tells you you can have any item in his treasure!
ME: <joking) Does he have a Belt of Magnificence +8?
DM: Sure! Why not?

Another time I dropped was becasue of a major miscommunication...
We were asked to roll characters for a shadowrun game. In my experience, Shadowrun is usually pretty combat intense, so 3 out of 5 of us made combat characters. Instead, it ended up being a tech/RP game (which was funny becasue he said he didnt want any deckers or technomages) and my drake phys adept and the other 2 combat characters sat round doing nothing for 3 sessions, while the other character (who the DM helped make her character for her) got all the face time. I got better things to do than show up and watch other ppl game...

Sovereign Court

well, I joined a group that played in a going campaign, we had a lot of fun, but I had taken over a DMPC in a game where the DM allowed players to take any option they wanted out of 3.5, I was the green arrow in a game of supermen.

So then we tried to switch to a new campaign and that's when s~$~ hit the fan. I created characters that I was happy with and then when I got to the table, "oh you can't have an evil alignment" well that bones the cohort character (It was bringing back my wifes old character for nostalgia reasons, if I couldn't play her properly then I didn't want to play her). Then when I tried to climb an unconcious giant with my main character so that I could hold my hammer over its face so that it would wake up to see my hammer hovering over its eyes. The DM requested a CMB check. Why a CMB check, I tried to explain that CMB makes no sense as it combines BAB and Strength to oppose, neither of which can be brought to bear when unconcious and because using that rule means that it's litterally impossible (barring a roll of a 20) to succeed on climbing an unconcious giant if you're a gnome who doesn't focus on strength. No dice, he's the DM, go with it. So I do and fail. But in his defense, I pouted the rest of the game which is bad form. Keep in mind, this is the first two sessions of the game and both sessions somethings killed my enjoyment.

Anywho, so we decide instead to go with an entirely new game instead of trying to fit me into existing campaigns. We're rolling up characters and we see that no one picked a primary melee class. So when I roll my height and weight, I roll only 1 away from maximum values, I decide that I'll make my character our primary melee bruiser seeing as his backstory and almost maxed size mean he's gonna be a big strong guy. I'm all excited pick my feats and spells to be a melee bruiser and am all happy to get to play. Well first session the DM includes a DMPC fighter because we needed a melee bruiser. Oh yeah and he's bigger and stronger than my character, aparantly the DM rolled max values for height and weight, so yeah, I get all excited for another character concept and the DM turns another one useless. By the way DMPCs were a theme in this group, when I joined I took over a DMPC, the second game had a DMPC cleric, that my character got in a fight with and didn't like (roleplaying reasons), and in this third game he shoved it in without asking. Aparently rather than have parties adapt to challenges, the DM style of this game is to just shove in a DMPC.


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lastknightleft wrote:
well, I joined a group that played in a going campaign, we had a lot of fun, but I had taken over a DMPC in a game where the DM allowed players to take any option they wanted out of 3.5, I was the green arrow in a game of supermen. So then we tried to switch to a new campaign and that's when s!@! hit the fan. I created characters that I was happy with and then when I got to the table, "oh you can't have an evil alignment" well that bones the cohort character (It was bringing back my wifes old character for nostalgia reasons, if I couldn't play her properly then I didn't want to play her). Then when I tried to climb an unconcious giant with my main character so that I could hold my hammer over its face so that it would wake up to see my hammer hovering over its eyes. The DM requested a CMB check. Why a CMB check, I tried to explain that CMB makes no sense as it combines BAB and Strength to oppose, neither of which can be brought to bear when unconcious and because using that rule means that it's litterally impossible (barring a roll of a 20) to succeed on climbing an unconcious giant if you're a gnome who doesn't focus on strength. No dice, he's the DM go with it. So I do and fail. But in his defense, I pouted the rest of the game which is bad form. Keep in mind, this is the first two sessions of the game and both sessions somethings killed my enjoyment. Anywho, so we decide instead to go with an entirely new game instead of trying to fit me into existing campaigns. We're rolling up characters and we see that no one picked a primary melee class. So when I roll my height and weight, I roll only 1 away from maximum values, I decide that I'll make my character our primary melee bruiser seeing as his backstory and almost maxed size mean he's gonna be a big strong guy. I'm all excited pick my feats and spells to be a melee bruiser and am all happy to get to play. Well first session the DM includes a DMPC fighter because we needed a melee bruiser. Oh yeah and he's bigger and stronger than my character, aparantly the DM...

*shakes WHITE SPACE IS YOUR FRIEND fist*

Sovereign Court

BenignFacist wrote:
*shakes WHITE SPACE IS YOUR FRIEND fist*

In my defense, that's not the largest chunk of text without whitespace I've ever seen. Better?


lastknightleft wrote:
BenignFacist wrote:
*shakes WHITE SPACE IS YOUR FRIEND fist*
In my defense, that's not the largest chunk of text without whitespace I've ever seen. Better?

We, the people are appeased.

*Calls off the BIFTech Engineers*

*shakes welcoming fist of friendly greetings*

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I was playing in a gestalt game, but the DM limited the options of classes pretty significantly....and you had to roll 3d6 in order....so my first was a human bard//cleric that could barely heal (Wis 11 or 12 or something) in a combat heavy game....the other PCs were a fighter//rogue, a swashbuckler//rogue, and a fighter//scout. And in the other campaign we were playing, I was already playing a scout, so I wanted to do something different. Eventually, I got to retire the bard//cleric and made a halfling ranger//fighter that was going to specialize in mounted archery on his wardog. But the DM didn't mention he was going to have every NPC be racist against halflings AND not allow dogs in town AND not have my halfling begin play knowing or at least meeting the other PCs. I was trying to play a happy-go-lucky kender-like character (but not thiefy), and ended up trying to do a lot of paper work and bureaucracy just to enter the town the PCs were in--and who my character hadn't met yet or had a reason to adventure with or whatever. I was pretty miserable, I told the DM out of character I was miserable and clueless and just wanted some guidance so my guy could get to the fun part (interacting with PCs and non-racist-against-halfling-NPCs) and he wouldn't do any handwaving ("You wait in line 3 hours, fill out the proper forms, pay the right taxes, and are allowed in town, where you get a room at an inn and meet 3 interesting strangers...the PCs!") and so I just got up and left...forever. It was pretty sad. The DM actually wanted to role play 3 hours of waiting in line!!!! And the other PCs were sitting there, just watching me and the DM sit there and do nothing!!! It was horrible!

Sovereign Court

DM's often seem to have something against halflings, and especially riding dogs... I've had two DM's refuse to allow me a riding dog and they both practically ignored the small race's existence.

Lets see... I walked out on a game for many, many reasons. Individually they were all bearable and the DM was great with the atmosphere and actual role-play, but too much stuff just ended up pissing me off. In no particular order, here are some of my biggest bugbears.

1. He ran the classic 'low magic' game- i.e. find sod all good equipment but the spellcasters weren't nerfed. Actually thats not true. Clerics, Sorcerors and Druids weren't nerfed as they know all their spells, but my wizard had to start two levels behind the party with only the basic allotment of spells, a single masterwork item and a few copper pieces. He has 5 remaining players and 3 are clerics, no coincidence of course...

^ Note- I wasn't joining the campaign late, I had just decided to retire a character.

2. The game world was Faerun, but clerics had all the advantages. A cleric got reincarnated as a human simply because his god was pleased with him. Both party clerics were given unique powers because they were in favour with their gods. Both received a potion each that gave inherent stat bonuses (at level 4!) while everyone else got nothing.

3. He had some very funny ideas about various things. No riding dogs. As a trained wizard I could only use spellcraft to identify arcane spells, divine are a total mystery to me. Arcane is a completely ystery for divine. He hated familiars. Spellcaster's didnt get one (3.5 so no other option). He would hand-waive things for some players and not others. His grasp of the rules was not strong and he often enforced rules that were to the detriment of the game.

4. We used the 3.5 XP system. Except we didn't. He ignored giving extra XP to those at lower level- so the characters who weren't the main two 'stars' (it did basically feel like both the clerics were the stars of the game and we were a supporting cast, even though they had terrible charisma...) never, ever caught up on XP. They had to try and survive with crappy gear and being two levels below par while the clerics grinned and cast greater magic weapon and magic vestment every day on their shiny full plate. Player deaths were frequent, and new characters were practically put through a meat grinder.

I had more complaints, especially when it came to one particular player who was a friend of the DM and seemed to get special treatment, but these 4 were the main...


SmiloDan wrote:
I was playing in a gestalt game, but the DM limited the options of classes pretty significantly....and you had to roll 3d6 in order....so my first was a human bard//cleric that could barely heal (Wis 11 or 12 or something) in a combat heavy game....the other PCs were a fighter//rogue, a swashbuckler//rogue, and a fighter//scout. And in the other campaign we were playing, I was already playing a scout, so I wanted to do something different. Eventually, I got to retire the bard//cleric and made a halfling ranger//fighter that was going to specialize in mounted archery on his wardog. But the DM didn't mention he was going to have every NPC be racist against halflings AND not allow dogs in town AND not have my halfling begin play knowing or at least meeting the other PCs. I was trying to play a happy-go-lucky kender-like character (but not thiefy), and ended up trying to do a lot of paper work and bureaucracy just to enter the town the PCs were in--and who my character hadn't met yet or had a reason to adventure with or whatever. I was pretty miserable, I told the DM out of character I was miserable and clueless and just wanted some guidance so my guy could get to the fun part (interacting with PCs and non-racist-against-halfling-NPCs) and he wouldn't do any handwaving ("You wait in line 3 hours, fill out the proper forms, pay the right taxes, and are allowed in town, where you get a room at an inn and meet 3 interesting strangers...the PCs!") and so I just got up and left...forever. It was pretty sad. The DM actually wanted to role play 3 hours of waiting in line!!!! And the other PCs were sitting there, just watching me and the DM sit there and do nothing!!! It was horrible!

Oh oh, now your just yanking my chain SmiloDan!1!

-.o Your socks will pay the price..

*shakes fist*

Sovereign Court

BenignFacist wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
I was playing in a gestalt game, but the DM limited the options of classes pretty significantly....and you had to roll 3d6 in order....so my first was a human bard//cleric that could barely heal (Wis 11 or 12 or something) in a combat heavy game....the other PCs were a fighter//rogue, a swashbuckler//rogue, and a fighter//scout. And in the other campaign we were playing, I was already playing a scout, so I wanted to do something different. Eventually, I got to retire the bard//cleric and made a halfling ranger//fighter that was going to specialize in mounted archery on his wardog. But the DM didn't mention he was going to have every NPC be racist against halflings AND not allow dogs in town AND not have my halfling begin play knowing or at least meeting the other PCs. I was trying to play a happy-go-lucky kender-like character (but not thiefy), and ended up trying to do a lot of paper work and bureaucracy just to enter the town the PCs were in--and who my character hadn't met yet or had a reason to adventure with or whatever. I was pretty miserable, I told the DM out of character I was miserable and clueless and just wanted some guidance so my guy could get to the fun part (interacting with PCs and non-racist-against-halfling-NPCs) and he wouldn't do any handwaving ("You wait in line 3 hours, fill out the proper forms, pay the right taxes, and are allowed in town, where you get a room at an inn and meet 3 interesting strangers...the PCs!") and so I just got up and left...forever. It was pretty sad. The DM actually wanted to role play 3 hours of waiting in line!!!! And the other PCs were sitting there, just watching me and the DM sit there and do nothing!!! It was horrible!

Oh oh, now your just yanking my chain SmiloDan!1!

-.o Your socks will pay the price..

*shakes fist*

My post was neatly organised for you, wheres my carrot?


I have been incredibly lucky as a player and a DM. In two decades of play, I have only ever quit one game out of disappointment. And even that case is a pretty straight-forward story.

A friend had invited me to join their year-old game, telling me about this great sounding adventure where the PCs were all heroes answering a mysterious call that came to them in dreams and whispers. It sounded great, and I worked on a fun background to fit into the game.

However, to my surprise, no one else had come up with a background. "We don't really do that sort of thing," the other players explained. As it turns out, in the culture of their adventuring group, they didn't even pick character names! They referred to each other by their real names, had no physical descriptions aside from "I'm an elf", and skipped over all parts of the adventure that weren't essentially combat.

Even then, combat involved going into a cave, discovering that it had corridors and doors and traps for some reason, and fighting the monsters inexplicably found within. We would find a door, listen to it, open it (whether we heard something or not), kill anything inside without question, and move on to the next door. When we ran out of doors, the DM would tell us "You go back to town and rest. Then, on your next adventure, you come across another cave."

I was baffled. I don't understand why they even had backstory to the game when it played like a board game. I think my friend was just making that stuff up on the spot to try to hook me. To this day, I sometimes wonder if I was being punked.

Anyway, I played the first entire session, then told the DM the next day that it wasn't my cup of tea. I wished them well, but bowed out. They understood, which was great. I'm glad they had fun playing like that, but I can't figure out the appeal at all.


Last game I ended up quitting outright...

Never played with the DM before, heard good and bad things about him.

Made a halfling necromancer (yes, I said a halfling necromancer).

Eventually leveled up and started looking through the books for the spells I wanted to gain and he tells me that in his campaign wizards don't automatically gain spells for leveling!

This was NOT on the list of house rules he handed out.

Sorc's were not affected, druids were not affected, nor were clerics.

He refused to budge, stating that wizards had to buy their spells to get anymore. And then he refused to actually provide enough treasure that I could. I think the largest thing of treasure we found was 100 gp.

Screw that AND the horse it rode in on.


Three little items made a certain campaign one of the worst I've ever played:

Our DM developed a metropolis called the Kingdom of Light; to everyone's surprise he only really developed an inn and castle. After our characters (started at level 12+) picked out their appropriate gear, the DM suddenly had us traveling into the northern mountains; no quick urban brawls, no chatting up the locals. The whole thing felt like we started up NWN1 and could only talk to people in the temple.

The second coffin nail involved our characters being suddenly captured after my character (human sor, necro focused) successfully wrecked the four groups of trolls that were intended as ambush encounters. At this time, I'd like to thank Necrotic Skull Bomb for its stellar performance.
Once everyone came to, we realized we were in seperate holding cells. I make a spellcraft check (was around upper 30s), no crazy auras; Detect Magic, no nonsensical dimensional lockdowns. Sounds easy for a lvl 12 sor with Dimensional Door right? Doesn't function. No reason was offered, just doesn't function. Fine, I think, I'll see where this is going. Once our rogue gets us out, we stumble into an arena holding a barely-chained adult white dragon. The DM allowed his friend to play some Stormborn race with cold-resistance (barbarian) so the dragon wasn't the threat it could be. Some mages and a major villain were stationed off to the side on an upper-level walkway. I position myself to dimensionally jump onto the walkway (spellcraft check again, same results) and cast the spell. I was teleported back to the jail cell. No explanations, nothing. My character was jailed while the DM's buddy and his girlfriend enjoy the melee. Then I was denied exp for not participating in the battle.

I should have left then. During the session. I decided to give it another go. Several quests later, we were facing off against an orc army marching down a forest path. I decided to split the forces with a prismatic wall. With half their forces gone and the leftovers routed, we get ready to heal and whatnot while leaving the wall active to discourage any stragglers. A few SECONDS later, the DM decides to land an old red dragon next to my sorcerer. NEXT to him. No spot, listen checks allowed. It felt like a stupid script just activated and now there's a surprise boss-fight. The dragon focused on my character exclusively. Nevermind the giant blueskinned barbarian eating away at Smaug with a frost-enchanted battle-axe.

Needless to say, I never returned to that group.

Edit: corrected spell name


QOShea wrote:

Last game I ended up quitting outright...

Never played with the DM before, heard good and bad things about him.

Made a halfling necromancer (yes, I said a halfling necromancer).

Eventually leveled up and started looking through the books for the spells I wanted to gain and he tells me that in his campaign wizards don't automatically gain spells for leveling!

This was NOT on the list of house rules he handed out.

Sorc's were not affected, druids were not affected, nor were clerics.

He refused to budge, stating that wizards had to buy their spells to get anymore. And then he refused to actually provide enough treasure that I could. I think the largest thing of treasure we found was 100 gp.

Screw that AND the horse it rode in on.

That's strange. Since when do wizards automatically get spells at level up? I thought that was a sorcerer thing.


2 per level. Tale as old as time...


This thread just made my day. :)
I have little time to post my last straws, both as a player and GM, but I would very much like to know if such... antics [expecially Necromancer's] are caused either by inexperienced groups and/or very, very young players.


Freehold DM wrote:


That's strange. Since when do wizards automatically get spells at level up? I thought that was a sorcerer thing.

Since 3.0. Still applies in Pathfinder. And various feats and abilities can improve that number (Collegiate Wizard feat, either from Unearthed Arcana or Complete Arcane, and optional favored class bonuses from the APG come to mind).

Liberty's Edge

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4E. More specifically, hitting 10th level in 4E and realizing that the experience was pretty much the same as 1st level, just that combats took 10x as long. The cool, high-level enemies we thought would be exciting to battle (demons, rotting undead necrotic-bile-spewing dragons, etc) just turned out to be drudgery and grind - most sessions towards the end we got little if any exploration or RP in, because once we hit an encounter that would suck up the rest of the evening (and this was well after we got on board with having power cards prepared for each player).

I tend to play with the same GM I've known for the last 15 years so most of my 'screw you guys, I'm out' stories aren't quite as acrimonious as some here, but that was the first time when we had an all-round player revolt (well, 3 out of 4).

Sucks, cuz I loved the character I was playing... one of a very few paladins of the R*ven Queen (death goddess), guided by spooky visions to combat a growing plague of undead spilling into the world. LG and all like any paladin, but he was... unsettling as all get out to most people, including the rest of the party. Pale as a sheet, humorless as a tax accountant, driven as a nail, talked in total monotone with unnerving frequency about all the time he'd spent up to his eyeballs in corpses, rode a half-celestial nightmare (not sure I want to explore the backstory on that particular conception), and generally was as feared by the people he was protecting as he was by his enemies (til the poop hit the fan, at which point his utter unflappability became an asset). Probably the only paladin I ever had undiluted fun playing and for whom absolute, obsessive LG-ness made sense (you gotta have some kind of code to keep you sane when your daily activities include wading through a chest-high stew of rotting corpse funk and cutting your way out of the belly of a zombie behemoth with a severe case of indigestion).

But the dissolution of that campaign brought me to Pathfinder, so it's all good. Our GM was a little miffed that we all conspired to up and quit rather than approaching him individually, but it worked out in the end. Great GM, but funnily enough he can be kind of a dick player - he was once miffed enough to quit cause his GM in an Amber DRPG game wouldn't let him be from a shadow with dinosaurs where the Jurassic Park theme song played on a continuous loop in the background (everywhere, forever) and got ejected from a Dark Heresy campaign for doodling 'a dragon with D6 penises shooting out of its mouth' on the battle map to represent their enemy while the other GM was trying to set up for an encounter.

Sovereign Court

Morieth wrote:

This thread just made my day. :)

I have little time to post my last straws, both as a player and GM, but I would very much like to know if such... antics [expecially Necromancer's] are caused either by inexperienced groups and/or very, very young players.

Actually my problems were caused by older players with the DM is god line of playing, which they said was the way it was back in 2nd ed etc. When I play, I allow feedback from players and will adjust rules if they say they don't make sense and it'll hurt immersion in the game. Also I will never add a DMPC, if the players in character seek out an NPC ally that's different, but I'll never just add a DMPC because the players chose not to roll up a class or we have less than 4 players. These guys were the exact opposite. When I asked the DM why it would be grapple to climb the unconscious giant, he said, "because I read somewhere that to climb a creature uses grapple." I said, "well that makes sense when they're conscious, but when they're knocked out, they aren't resisting. So how do they get their BAB, which represents their combat prowess, or their strength which means they're physically trying to stop me?" despite that very reasonable question he stuck to his guns because he's the DM and in his games DMs word is final. And I admit that after the day before with the whole no evil characters thing I took it poorly and pouted the rest of the game. Because by his ruling a gnome can't climb an unconscious giant despite have max climb ranks, it's physically impossible.

Then when starting the next game the DM printed up a campaign rules sheet with the rule

  • climbing on creatures is always a grapple check NO EXCEPTIONS.

    Which I just took as an a%#!~$# slap in the face, really instead of just discussing this like adults and saying you didn't appreciate my behavior, you instead decide to shove your ruling in my face.

  • Scarab Sages

    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

    I've learned something from bad games: They never get better, and if they are causing you to complain all the time to someone, just leave.

    Situation 1: The DM didn't allow for any "variance" in the game and punished people if they didn't follow her plot. The last straw was being yelled at for "not thinking right" and having an entire session worth of "planning" being hand waved away with "She just knew".

    Situation 2: I played in the husband of the above DM's game. The game was slow, his wife didn't really play, and games would take forever, but they were friends and I didn't get to be a player that much. The final straw was we had one great dungeoneering session and then the next session was introductions and a wilderness jaunt that took 2 hours. Turns out the DM was interesting, he just needed 4 weeks to make a good adventure (it was a weekly game)

    Situation 3: I was playing in this new DM's game for about a year. Very slow pace (leveled up once in a year), but good guys to game with and I was having fun. There were a bunch of moments where the players over examined everything (including if doors were real) and I wondered why. I later found out it was because the DM excelled at setting undetectable "traps" and punished death very harshly. After losing a character, taking over a mostly useless NPC, I started to complain a lot at home. The straw was broken after too many deus ex machina situations to save us from TPK and a full week long argument about taking the Leadership feat but not allowed to have a cohort or followers. The feat was given to me by the DM and counted as one of my level up feats.


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    It's been a long time since I quit a game, so I'm going all the way back to 2nd Edition for these examples.

    The first was a game I was part of for a couple of months and was finding somewhat boring. The group was very hack'n'slash, which just wasn't my thing. Their characters had no personalities or backstories. They had names, but the players never used them. They just referred to each other by the players' names. Very little happened other than killing things and sorting the loot. We even spent an entire session once just distributing loot. I and one other player were the only ones who actually roleplayed our characters. The final straw came when the DM banned me and that one player from talking in-character. It just wasn't the game for me, so I backed out of it after that session.

    Another time I quit a game was with a DM played completely in the style of DM-versus-player. We weren't allowed to create our own characters because players who create their own characters never create a "balanced party". Instead, we had to choose from several pregenerated parties he had created himself. I ended up with a 4th-level fire elementalist wizard, with very few spells.

    The DM was very stingy with spells and I maybe knew as many spells total as a 3rd edition sorcerer knows (without all the extra castings per day). My staple spell became pyrotechnics. The DM commented once that he was surprised I made such use of the spell as he always considered it a terrible spell. He was very impressed that I found creative ways to use it. Considering it was the only 2nd-level fire spell I knew (I think I knew one other 2nd-level non-fire spell), I really didn't have much choice but to use it. My character eventually reached 5th level and could cast 3rd-level spells, at which point the DM just declared which new spells I knew. If I remember correctly, he gave me two spells. Neither of them was fireball.

    The campaign eventually ended after a near-TPK. My character and all but one of the others died. Several of us legitimately had a reason why we couldn't make it to the game the next two weeks, so the DM decided to cancel the game those two weeks and resume afterwards. However, none of us actually went back. The game ran for a total of 6 or seven weeks. That last week we were there, the DM excitedly announced that this was the longest campaign he had ever run. I feel a bit bad that we never told the DM we weren't coming back. We just decided on our own not to, and that was perhaps a bad decision. I was glad to be out of the game though.


    lastknightleft wrote:
    instead of just discussing this like adults and saying you didn't appreciate my behavior, you instead decide to shove your ruling in my face.

    Aye, that's a sad thing indeed... sometimes, as a DM, I feel slightly irritated by players asking the hows & whys of certain rulings, but only in cases of self-evident situations or, worse, when players come to the table bringing strange preconceptions they picked up in real life or other games. Aside from that, everything should be negotiable. I think most of the times "last straws" come down to a simple misunderstanding: either the GM thinks players are his pawns, or a player think the GM is there to grant him self-esteem.

    Most of my stories would be about an old game of Vampire which quickly degenerated into demon-worshiping, real-world blashpemies and the kind of thing that gave RPGs a reaaaaaally bad reputation. Things best forgotten.

    RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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    One of few games I've left, I left during character creation...

    Basically, in short, a series of emails went like this (we were going to play tabletop but were working out details via email):

    DM: Okay, I want you to write good backgrounds, but you can make any character concept you want. I just want you guys (the players) to decide how you all know each other.

    Player1: Well, I think my character is going to be from the East, but probably knows Bob's player from the North because...

    Player 2: Yeah, and me and player 3 are going to be siblings, and we're going to be from the South... but Bob from the north can meet us by...

    DM: WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT, you all have to start knowing each other from growing up together. You all have to be from the same town.

    Players: Well where is the town going to be, and do you want us to cover any particular concepts?

    DM: No, no, no, you can play WHATEVER YOU WANT. Just you have to have grown up together in this town.

    Players: Well, let's say we're from the North because that way we can work in this one element that Bob wanted to use---

    DM: WAIT WAIT WAIT, the town has to be on the River Foo, so you have to be from the town in the East on the River Foo. But other than that you can play WHATEVER YOU WANT....

    Player 1: Well, good, because then I can still play my animal shaman from the Eastern Forest--

    DM: NO YOU CAN'T! The people in the town of the River Foo don't follow the shamanistic religion so you have to play something else.

    Player 3: But my background had a flaw of being hunted by the Green Dragons so I was still wanting to be rescued---we can still do the rescue scene, right? And that's when we all discovered our powers, like we said before.

    DM: NO NO NO you've only just discovered your powers, and it TOTALLY messes up my idea if you're hunted by the Green Dragons already... BUT you can still play WHATEVER YOU WANT, just as long as (increasingly huge list of exceptions...)

    DeathQuaker: I've got better things to do with my time. See ya.

    Dark Archive

    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

    The only game I ever left was not because of any rulings the DM made, but because the game group was too large.

    The DM of this particular group recruited for new players because he said his group was too small. So, I joined up and rolled up a 1st level Rogue, eager to play.

    I went to his house for the game, and people kept coming in. And coming in. And coming in. When we started, there were 12 PCs and one DM.

    As it turned out, if you weren't sitting next to the DM, he would pretty much ignore you until your initiative came up in combat encounters.

    As the DM sat at the head of a long table rather than in the middle to talk to more players, it didn't take long to realize that the game wasn't going to live up to my expectations.

    Role-playing was pointless, as most folks would be ignored, which led to the inevitable side conversations - making it hard to keep track of what was going on.

    Combat was interesting, as the encounters were suited to a large number of PCs, but if you weren't part of the head of the table, it felt like you were playing a tabletop skirmish game rather than an RPG.

    After the session, I asked him if this number of PCs was normal for him, and he told me that after years of DMing, he excelled at DMing for 10-20 players at a time, and found that DMing for smaller groups wasn't challenging enough for him.

    I pointed out that aside from combat encounters, he ignored 6-8 players who wanted to contribute. His response was: They should have spoke up.

    At that point, I thanked him for his time, and told him I wouldn't be coming back.


    My one and only came about from a slowly growing list of things. We were running Kingmaker, and here's the problems we encountered with our DM.
    1. One of the characters dies, no big deal. Next session, player is back with a new character. Sits around and waits for an hour and a half before the DM allows them to be introduced. Why? Because we weren't allowing ourselves to be rail-roaded to where EXACTLY the DM wanted to introduce her.

    2.Said new character is a Druid who rides her animal companion (gnome on a lion). We had already investigated the area full of bear-traps, and kept a few for security measures. New character stumbles upon our camp, animal companion steps in a trap. No check to see if it can be spotted, no save allowed. Max damage dealt, lion is dead. Not knocked out, dead.

    3.My character, gnome rouge, is exploring a glade. I'm told, "Perception check, DC 25." I pass, easily. But the Trap-door spider still catches me flat-footed. (WHAT????) So now I'm poisoned and dying. Great.

    4.DM decideds where we explore, and what happens in those areas. He decides this on the 3rd session, where-as in the first 2, we had complete contol over our destinations. It was obvious to us that he just wanted us to expierance the "cool" encounters. The ones we still needed about 2 or 3 levels before we could do anything about. So we did a lot of running.

    5.Our cleric gets his robes burned off. Tries to buy new ones, asks for black and silver ones. He figures this will raise the price a little, but is okay with that. He's thinking from 5 to 7 gold, right? No. 50 gold pieces. 50. DM is describing these robes as thread of silver and pure onyx buttons. The cleric is just staring at him, saying NO. I want plain material. But these things are awesome. NO, I'm not paying 50g so you can burn my robes off again. DM refused to lower it beyond 30g.

    None of these things brought me to leave the group, but they all helped influence my decision when I heard my old group was starting back up again.


    Lathiira wrote:
    Freehold DM wrote:


    That's strange. Since when do wizards automatically get spells at level up? I thought that was a sorcerer thing.
    Since 3.0. Still applies in Pathfinder. And various feats and abilities can improve that number (Collegiate Wizard feat, either from Unearthed Arcana or Complete Arcane, and optional favored class bonuses from the APG come to mind).

    Hnn. I've always played it that wizards have to buy their spells or get them off scrolls. How did I miss that? Ah well, few wizard PCs have ever complained...


    Set the wayback machine for the late-80's, and myself and several friends are in a fantasy RPG run by the only female in our group. We're hosted at her house, and there is no flexibility on this (this will come into play later).

    The game is Fantasy HERO, using the old thin-book rules (think 3rd Edition HERO).

    The game world is loosely defined, the maps are slow in coming, but they are there, and we have only one city to choose our origin point from - unless the GM allows us to do otherwise, but to do that, we have to speak to her outside of game... which is impossible unless you work with her or go to her church. Which means only one of us gets to do that. But okay. We can all be from the same city.

    So, Elves are the "Perfect Race" created by God, and are the Successors to Man, and thus are in charge of everything. They're everywhere. So, if you play a Human, you're basically looking at constant bigotry, constant racism, and never being allowed to do certain things in society. Like, say, earn enough money at a job to afford equipment.

    Humans can't take certain perks, like Wealth. Or most knowledge skills. Or learn weapon training.

    But, if you're an Elf, you get all manner of fantastic benefits... except that you don't. Because if you are an Elf and you adventure, you get all those things removed from your character and are considered "fallen" for adventuring.

    Of course, this only applies to the PC's, mind you. NPC adventuring Elves are fantastic people, with riches and prestige, and all manner of benefits heaped upon them by society.

    Character backgrounds? What are those? Why, those are things that the NPC's have, but are irrelevant to the story being told, here. I (and others) would frequently give her our character backgrounds (at one point I typed up a ten page, double-spaced, single-sided document detailing my characters history and adventuring past, as well as his status as an Arctic Druid from a far northern Elven outpost.. beautiful work!) only to have her completely ignore them in favor of whatever was most appropriate to fit into her game, and say such things as "I don't have any such document from you."

    "But it's right there on your table!"

    "No, these are tonight's notes."

    "Then why does it say my character name on it in big bold letters, with my notes from last session scribbled on it?"

    "Why are you looking at my notes? Stop it before I kick you out."

    There were many worse things. The Ubermensch-level Dark Elves with attacks that did not just do Killing-type damage but actually used the old 2nd/3rd Ed HERO effect of DESTROY against the BODY stat (for those who don't know - this permanently removed points from the BODY stat that had to be either repurchased or recovered at an extremely slow rate - worse in every way than a simple Ranged or Melee Killing Attack). Why? Because they were Dark Elves! And Evil!

    Except they weren't. They were noble. And pure. And better than you.

    I won't even go into the recitation of Bible Verses as recognition symbols between the members of the Thieves Guild, or other unflinching Fire and Brimstone Christianity that ran throughout the entire game.

    Overall, the people were the reason I stayed, not the GM, and not the game. After being told that I was a horrible person for calling her out on her hypocrisy and getting upset at the constant rewriting of our characters, the obvious favoritism she showed to the players who started going to her church services to get more XP, and the blatant racism within her game (there were no people within her game who were not Caucasian. Anywhere. EVER), I soon came to realize that it was a good thing that I'd left. I suspect I would have been kicked out, anyway, but, still.

    Just a horrible time, all around.

    RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

    About 20 years ago I was playing 2nd ed and had put some effort into building a two weapon fighter. In our first session I attacked twice and rolled a natural 20 followed by a natural 1. The DM decided that although the first hit was a critical, the natural 1 then chopped off my other hand. There were no tables or charts, he just decided that was a cool thing to happen. For a two weapon wielding 1st level fighter that's a bit of a disadvantage. It also meant I was playing a game with a 5% chance of lopping off a limb every time I swung a sword...

    If we'd been using charts and I'd just got unlucky with the mishap roll then I wouldn't have minded so much, but as it was I felt the DMs judgement might be in question. :-)


    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    Apethae wrote:
    half-celestial nightmare (not sure I want to explore the backstory on that particular conception)

    Sometimes archons are young and need the money.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    The short version of my last straw was a World's Largest Dungeon campaign I played in, and had a disagreement with the DM over the rules(and the overall way the game was run) and I stepped down.

    Several weeks later, I had talked to some of the players, all of whom I was still very close friends with, and decided to come back and give it another try. I figured, this time around, I knew what to expect and built a character that was better suited to the dungeon.

    My first session back went great! My character had a lot to contribute to the group and even helped us avoid a deadly trap that would've surely killed the party's rogue. I felt pretty good about returning.

    I get a phone call the following Tuesday from one of the other players saying they played a session without me(on a different night), and the party had gotten wiped out in a battle, so, we're playing something else.

    I was just a bit disappointed. Even moreso when I found out what we were playing...

    Spoiler:

    The Wheel of Time d20. Or, Cheerleader/Commoner d20 as we called it, after seeing how every adventure revolved around the PC"s sitting on the sidelines while NPC's from the novels did all the cool stuff.


    lastknightleft wrote:

    Actually my problems were caused by older players with the DM is god line of playing

    I run my games like that, too. But gods can be appeased, they sometimes listen to prayer.

    Metaphorically, of course. I don't require the players to kneel and fold their hands in prayer to ask me to do things differently. ;-)

    lastknightleft wrote:


    Also I will never add a DMPC, if the players in character seek out an NPC ally that's different, but I'll never just add a DMPC because the players chose not to roll up a class or we have less than 4 players.

    I usually have a GMPC in the party - but the players don't mind, and there is the fact that we have three players - and about half the time, one of them can't make it to the game. And the GMPC usually takes the role that is left over and I try to do something that is a help in combat and mostly passive OOC (when I don't use the GMPC as my mouthpiece.)


    DeathQuaker wrote:

    One of few games I've left, I left during character creation...

    Basically, in short, a series of emails went like this (we were going to play tabletop but were working out details via email):

    DM: Okay, I want you to write good backgrounds, but you can make any character concept you want. I just want you guys (the players) to decide how you all know each other.

    Player1: Well, I think my character is going to be from the East, but probably knows Bob's player from the North because...

    Player 2: Yeah, and me and player 3 are going to be siblings, and we're going to be from the South... but Bob from the north can meet us by...

    DM: WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT, you all have to start knowing each other from growing up together. You all have to be from the same town.

    Players: Well where is the town going to be, and do you want us to cover any particular concepts?

    DM: No, no, no, you can play WHATEVER YOU WANT. Just you have to have grown up together in this town.

    Players: Well, let's say we're from the North because that way we can work in this one element that Bob wanted to use---

    DM: WAIT WAIT WAIT, the town has to be on the River Foo, so you have to be from the town in the East on the River Foo. But other than that you can play WHATEVER YOU WANT....

    Player 1: Well, good, because then I can still play my animal shaman from the Eastern Forest--

    DM: NO YOU CAN'T! The people in the town of the River Foo don't follow the shamanistic religion so you have to play something else.

    Player 3: But my background had a flaw of being hunted by the Green Dragons so I was still wanting to be rescued---we can still do the rescue scene, right? And that's when we all discovered our powers, like we said before.

    DM: NO NO NO you've only just discovered your powers, and it TOTALLY messes up my idea if you're hunted by the Green Dragons already... BUT you can still play WHATEVER YOU WANT, just as long as (increasingly huge list of exceptions...)

    DeathQuaker: I've got better things to do with my time. See...

    Does anyone else get "Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency...."?

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    Totally got that from the brief skim I did. Reading that DM story made my head hurt.

    This is the only game I can recall walking out of.

    Basically the last straw was him yelling at my wife. Not that I shouldn't have been done way before then, of course.

    Scarab Sages

    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
    KaeYoss wrote:

    lastknightleft wrote:


    Also I will never add a DMPC, if the players in character seek out an NPC ally that's different, but I'll never just add a DMPC because the players chose not to roll up a class or we have less than 4 players.
    I usually have a GMPC in the party - but the players don't mind, and there is the fact that we have three players - and about half the time, one of them can't make it to the game. And the GMPC usually takes the role that is left over and I try to do something that is a help in combat and mostly passive OOC (when I don't use the GMPC as my mouthpiece.)

    It really depends if the GM understands that a GMPC shouldn't be there to take the spotlight away from the PCs and become a Mary Sue. I saw one of my GMs go from someone who always had 1 who was awesome and perfect and the "hero" to learning that was a little annoying and eventually making them smaller, "helper" characters instead who weren't too numerous.

    Though my next game the Wizard/Psion is out, and given what happened when the Cleric was out last time, I may take the reins on his character for a change...


    KaeYoss wrote:


    lastknightleft wrote:


    Also I will never add a DMPC, if the players in character seek out an NPC ally that's different, but I'll never just add a DMPC because the players chose not to roll up a class or we have less than 4 players.
    I usually have a GMPC in the party - but the players don't mind, and there is the fact that we have three players - and about half the time, one of them can't make it to the game. And the GMPC usually takes the role that is left over and I try to do something that is a help in combat and mostly passive OOC (when I don't use the GMPC as my mouthpiece.)

    I run my games pretty similar. In our Ravenloft campaign, the party is made up of entirely spellcasters. We're still early in levels, so this makes it difficult to gauge encounters; of the 5 players, only 2 can really "blast" anything, the others are all utility spell focused, and everyone is very RP focused. So, I asked everyone outside of the game if they'd like some kind of melee/tank to help them in encounters. Knowing the kinds of DMPC's we've seen in the past, I didn't want to force anything on them without asking first. Even then, the players got the option in-game to side with the npc.

    Surprisingly, they were excitedly unanimous in wanting the help! I rolled up a Knight to serve as the party meat-shield, who also happens to have some in-game knowledge of the area they are in. Aside from that, he has no input on RP or group decision-making. I try to be very careful with how I handle npc's who are directly assisting the party; they serve their purpose, nothing more.


    I quite one group because they managed to cancel 10 or so games in a row.

    And by cancel I mean we learned about this at about 16:30 - games started at 16:00.

    I might quit another game (and, with that GM) because that GM has a tendency to become cranky when he doesn't win.


    TriOmegaZero wrote:

    Totally got that from the brief skim I did. Reading that DM story made my head hurt.

    This is the only game I can recall walking out of.

    Basically the last straw was him yelling at my wife. Not that I shouldn't have been done way before then, of course.

    Why is that thread going on so long about wells and water-gathering techinques?

    Other than that, the guy sounds like more than a bit of a jerk. Still, I wouldn't go about taking his books away and burning down his campaign setting the way one guy seemed to suggest.


    Morieth wrote:

    This thread just made my day. :)

    I have little time to post my last straws, both as a player and GM, but I would very much like to know if such... antics [expecially Necromancer's] are caused either by inexperienced groups and/or very, very young players.

    That fiasco took place several years ago. The DM was a 2nd edition (basic, not AD&D) enthusiast; his best friend, his best friend's girlfriend, and I were the only players he could dig up. None of them played 3.5 on a regular basis so this was a learning experience for them (whether the lessons took hold or not, I can't say). I offered to DM the group, but the other guy was psyched about running his own campaign. Despite the enthusiasm, most of his chatter involved complaints about my character design, blessing-the-dice idiocy, his unending hate of LARPers, White Wolf vs DnD comparisons, cigarette prices, and so on. After I left the group, I found out that he and his friend had discussed the campaign extensively before character creation. And by campaign (since it was mostly hack-n-slash) I mean potential encounters.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    Freehold DM wrote:

    Why is that thread going on so long about wells and water-gathering techinques?

    Other than that, the guy sounds like more than a bit of a jerk. Still, I wouldn't go about taking his books away and burning down his campaign setting the way one guy seemed to suggest.

    Just the atmosphere of the place. And discussing the plausibility of the wells was cathartic and informative. :)


    These stories are a hoot.

    Most of the time I simply can't believe they're true.


    Online Gm butting into a roleplaying discussion between me and another player here online whereas the other player and I, knowing each other in RL, were having fun with it; but GM, was a jerk and felt he had to smack me around.


    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    Freehold DM wrote:

    Why is that thread going on so long about wells and water-gathering techinques?

    Other than that, the guy sounds like more than a bit of a jerk. Still, I wouldn't go about taking his books away and burning down his campaign setting the way one guy seemed to suggest.

    Just the atmosphere of the place. And discussing the plausibility of the wells was cathartic and informative. :)

    That's...just WEIRD, dood.

    It reminds me of the game where an entire session got sidetracked over an ancient elven city having flying buttresses(ROTFL!!!!) on their buildings, after half of the players(most of whom were history buffs) decided that was categorically impossible.

    Silver Crusade

    I generally DM but recall a few bad sessions...

    1. Trying to find a gamers in new town, joined a 2nd edition game at the local game store. Made up a halfing rogue with a great history, found out later we're starting as combatants in an arena and we're fighting for our freedom. So much for trap disabling and role-play... aight...first round were aarokcra (bird men), first creatures in the old Monster Manual. When he flipped to the next page of the Manual and announced our next alphabetical enemy, I stood up and left.

    2. Tried another week at the same game store. Game had promise: deliver a message to sheriff in a town a week's travel away. We played for 4 hours, purely random encounters, 3 per day, all announced with "you hear something in the bushes..." Never came back.

    3. Several sessions with a group led to one "walk-out" moment. Exploring a castle laced with pit traps and no real trap detection or disabling in the party. After dropping into my second pit, announced I was staying in the pit, searching it for treasure from all the other poor fools who must have fallen into the pit. Happened to be a secret door in the bottom of the pit (er ok) that I wasn't supposed to find, and got accused of pre-reading the adventure by the DM (odd, because it was a home-brewed contraption of his...)

    4. This isn't mine, but a female gamer friend won't touch sci-fi after a prior DM announced females of the sci-fi universe wore skimpy outfits and were more-or-less slaves to men.

    5. *edit* Recalled another, but it wasn't a bad DM, rather an inexperienced player who we redirected as a group back to what he did best, play, not DM. He insisted on running a campaign, so we agreed, only to be rail-roaded as 1st level characters by an avatar of a war god into going to a cave where we were to receive a quest that we had no intention of doing. If we tried to leave the "path," the avatar proceeded to toss flamestrikes and walls of force to set us to the cave. Eventually, in typical player rebellion, we insulted the avatar until we died to end the agony.


    Arnwyn wrote:

    These stories are a hoot.

    Most of the time I simply can't believe they're true.

    I've got more from the particular game I mentioned.

    Let's see.

    Playing a Paladin (by this time I'd twigged to the games intricacies, and thus, was playing an Elf), who was handed his armor by his order and told "Here is your plate mail, Knight! Go forth and do good things!"

    My Plate Mail? Defense 4.

    NPC Plate Mail? Defense 12.

    I could not, with a 150 point character, with a 15 STR and a 1d6+1 sword (meaning I was doing, let's see... STR min 8 on the sword, one +5 STR increment over the STR min... that raised me to 1 1/2D6 on the sword for an average of 6 points of damage with a maximum of 9), ever, in my life, hope to penetrate that armor. Ever.

    None of the PC's could. We had to literally bludgeon our foes to unconsciousness with Stun damage and hope they didn't recover before we could tie them up and steal their things.

    Which, of course, no one would ever buy from us, because all the merchants capable of paying us for such things had magic spells and holy relics that would warn them if we were dealing in stolen goods...


    Arnwyn wrote:

    These stories are a hoot.

    Most of the time I simply can't believe they're true.

    Some are funny, others tend to make me believe people are unusually thin-skinned or take some type of joy in breaking up a game by leaving(which happened to me at least twice- strange that I was not the DM, though).


    The recurring theme here seems to be lack of respect from the GM to the players: GM's who railroad plots, GM's who over-control, GM's who play favorites.

    The few games I've quit have involved the cases above: I particularly remember one GM who liked to put the players in an impossible situation, and then have deux ex machina save them at the last minute. After a couple of sessions where that happened repeatedly - I walked.

    Another 'walk' involved a GM who decided that my character was more powerful than the other characters, and set up an adventure where, not matter what the outcome, my character was removed from the game. He did not talk to me about playing a different character, nor did he tell me he had any issues with the character. After the fact, he finally looked at the character sheet and admitted that he'd removed the character under wrong assumptions.


    One session (7 hours!) of charachter and backstory creation (we all had a hidden DESTINY)
    I was playing a 1 level fighter and took the lead in exploring the cave outside the village. It hid a pit trap and an owlbear. Half the party , me included,died and the campaign ended.
    The DM said our charachters were too important to the story to continue, and that he was starting a GURPS modern game next saturday...


    pachristian wrote:
    The recurring theme here seems to be lack of respect from the GM to the players: GM's who railroad plots, GM's who over-control, GM's who play favorites.

    I also find it strange that the DM is always the bad guy.


    Well, the topic of the post is 'the last straw' that made one walk out of a game. That usually implies the GM, who after all, does control the game.

    Does anyone have any accounts of other players who were so obnoxious/whatever that you left the game?

    I left one where a 'weak starting character' was an 18th level magic-user (first ed. AD&D game - looonnnnng time ago). But that was because it was a large group, in which only a couple of the players got to play, the rest of us just sat around waiting to be called on.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Freehold DM wrote:
    pachristian wrote:
    The recurring theme here seems to be lack of respect from the GM to the players: GM's who railroad plots, GM's who over-control, GM's who play favorites.
    I also find it strange that the DM is always the bad guy.

    Selection effect. The OP asked about what made you walk away from a game, a phrasing that lends itself to a player talking about the ref. (If an interaction with another player is the issue, the DM gets hit for not controlling the game better.) Anything else gets filtered out because really, who wants to post about how the last straw was when the DM decided to move out of state?

    Given that, there are more than a few of these that boil down to "I wasn't interested in the style of game the DM wanted to run," with no particular axe-grinding involved. Well, except for slagging hack-and-slash gaming, which isn't really on a par with a ref who consistently misinterprets the rules in a way that screws over the player.

    ETA: Or, what pachristian said.

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