My rant on bad DMs


Advice

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Shadow Lodge

So our Paladin fell and got arrested for some idiotically trivial offense, trying to seduce the princess. They decided to keep him in the lowest dungeon of the town. So we find a way to break in and spring him. We find that he has basically been stripped of the ability to move properly, having had all his bones broken and been subject to torture in this LE town.

This prompts my CN Barbarian to snap. In the ensuing chaos, my PC kills the prisoner NPC. The DM says "What do you say to the guards when they come down?" My response: I pull out my Enlarge Person potion and Bull's Strength potion. Full-move to drink both with Drunken Brute. Rage. Superstition activates and hold person fails. I kill the guard's mage. We slaughter the remaining guards. I charge their leader, and naturally critical. He's dead. I continue a cleave and kill his top mook. The following round we slaughter all the guard and burn their corpses after combat.

We make it out and arbitrarily (yay, plot hax) the town guard has found our mercs above ground. The sorcerer goes invisible and a brief dialogue ensues. They demand that we all return and stand trial (yay, guards meta knowledge of their dead comrades below ground...)

Ensuing is another fight, as I rage again and kill a few more guards. The sorcerer breaks stealth and casts an empowered, intensified Fireball on myself and the guards. I take some damage. Guards are mostly dead. The arrogant prince arrives and challenges me to a one-on-one duel to see if we are allowed to go free. We count to three. On two, I turn around and charge him after the mage casts silence on me. I kill the Prince.

His mooks get involved and we slaughter them as well. The DM looks *REALLY* pissed off. He says this is Chaotic Evil. My reaction is "Why?" It is not CE to kill guards that capture and torture my friends. Nor is it CE to cheat at a fight.

He says that even barbarians must recognize legitimate authority... Is this seriously how poorly written the SRD of PF is? Or is this just a bad DM? Why would a Barbarian care if the Law says his friends are guilty?


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shadowlodgemember wrote:
Is this seriously how poorly written the SRD of PF is?

man come on

Scarab Sages

It's a bad DM. The ONLY alignment requirement for a Barbarian is that a Barbarian cannot maintain a lawful alignment and rage.

Shadow Lodge

The way I see it is this:

Why would a Barbarian care what the Law says? He sees his friend's body broken and crushed before him. The Prince is an egotistical douche. Rules of a fight or duel? Oh you are royalty or important with a made-up title? You have a lot of men? Who gives a crap. Barbarians live in the spark of swords clashing in a battle.

Killing is not always evil, especially in a mad rage. If killing always evil, Paizo needs to seriously rewrite this game because a lot of its own modules make NO sense at all.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Bad GMing (assuming the one side we've heard accurately represents all of the facts in question).

Your tirade (and it is one) includes various suggestions of inappropriate knowledge on the part of NPCs, as well as a failure to understand alignment in even it's most basic form.

Rant away, but bear in mind that there could be rational explanations for all of the NPC reactions. Calling cheating in a fight CE, though... yeah, I got nothing to explain that away.


Yeah, this seems like an unpleasant GM.


shadowlodgemember wrote:
He says that even barbarians must recognize legitimate authority... Is this seriously how poorly written the SRD of PF is? Or is this just a bad DM? Why...
Quote:

As Per PRD

Chaos implies freedom, adaptability, and flexibility. On the downside, chaos can include recklessness, resentment toward legitimate authority, arbitrary actions, and irresponsibility. Those who promote chaotic behavior say that only unfettered personal freedom allows people to express themselves fully and lets society benefit from the potential that its individuals have within them.

No, chaotic characters don't care about authority, even if they submitted themselves to it in the past. Neutral characters do care about humanity/preservation of life, so a fall to evil might not necessarily be out of question. Going by your reports, he may still have been acting like a bad GM, though.

Sovereign Court

Um what sort of Barbarian stops to consider the preservation of life after seeing his friend crushed in front of him and flying into a mad rage? Sorry... not saying I see the point in that man :-P


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The prince offering to let you all walk if the blood-soaked half-scorched (and obviously still spoiling for a fight) barbarian can beat him in single combat is also fabulously non-lawful, not to mention a poor life choice.


So I agree with the general premise that your actions were chaotic and quite possibly evil, but why does that matter?

A barbarian has no requirement to respect authority. CE is a perfectly fine alignment for a barbarian. He shouldn't care much if he is either. Now, his paladin friend might, and that might cause a problem. But the barbarian doesn't give a kobold's tail about being chaotic or evil, so long as he isn't lawful he's fine.

Shadow Lodge

Barbarians don't stop and ponder about morality. They certainly would 'murder' guards in the moment of combat. If you threaten someone with a weapon, that isn't really murder. That's called battle or warfare. Arresting a Paladin for trying to seduce the Duke's daughter is one thing. Torture though...

I mean hey let's just say you 'murder' A Lawful Evil character as a Barbarian. I mean come on. There's a difference between CN and CE. It's called motive.

Murder as a concept has zero concept on a battlefield. Certainly not in an underground prison. Certainly not from Lawful Evil characters imposing the illegitimate will of a corrupt monarch. I'm no Paladin or Cleric. I decide my character's alignment. CE kills for fun. CN raging and killing guards is not Evil. If it is, Paizo needs to rewrite this whole crap system.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Seems you are having a lot of trouble with your GM. Solution: quite playing with him/her. You obviously think it is bad GMing as seen by your previous thread Is Killing always evil? It seems you just want ammunition against your GM for some reason. Why? Just leave the game.

Also, where in the campaign setting or rules does it say barbarians don't consider morality? That is the very definition of evil.


taldanrebel2187 wrote:
Um what sort of Barbarian stops to consider the preservation of life after seeing his friend crushed in front of him and flying into a mad rage? Sorry... not saying I see the point in that man :-P

One who holds himself to a higher personal standard than the evil things he's fighting. Even if you only did it for revenge (and maybe especially because it was revenge and not a nobler pursuit), a fall to evil might not be out of the question if a DM thinks the loss of life was significant. A temporary fall, most likely easily fixable with an atonement spell, but a fall to evil nonetheless.

Shadow Lodge

I want to show him that other players also think it's ridiculous, MM. It's absolutely foolish to say Killing = evil = bad = CE

Barbarians never atone, and they certainly need not trust magic (ala Superstition rage power). Killing for revenge is NOT Chaotic Evil. Nor is killing in self-defense of a tortured comrade


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
shadowlodgemember wrote:

The way I see it is this:

Why would a Barbarian care what the Law says? He sees his friend's body broken and crushed before him. The Prince is an egotistical douche. Rules of a fight or duel? Oh you are royalty or important with a made-up title? You have a lot of men? Who gives a crap. Barbarians live in the spark of swords clashing in a battle.

Killing is not always evil, especially in a mad rage. If killing always evil, Paizo needs to seriously rewrite this game because a lot of its own modules make NO sense at all.

Got to weigh in on this, though.

"Killing is not always evil."

Well, maybe. There's another thread nearby where this issue has been discussed, and I like one interpretation: killing is not good. If the balance of the moral outcome is good, then it can be considered a good thing (so if you kill the evil torturer of thousands, you're doing it for the greater good, as well as the individual good of those rescued from his clutches). Killing can also be neutral, such as in self-defence. It can also be evil, if you randomly just decide to kill someone because it falls in your power to do so.

But what you described? Nah, that's at worst CN. Possibly even CG, on the whole. Because your reasons for killing him are not particularly selfish (partly, but not entirely - you're trying to help your friends, too).

A CE character would have at least considered "take them, I don't care, but if you want me, you must fight me".

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What do you gain with the GM admitting it is ridiculous? It seem lose/lose here.


It's a bad DM.

If a DM puts a party in this position, he basically tells the PCs out right to do this, don't know what else he expected. You don't present a problem to the PCs and get mad when they solve it the easy and obvious way.

And btw, I would not consider killing people, who are threatening to kill you, an evil act. Even a paladin should get away with that. (Or maybe not killing, but at least brutally subdue).

Shadow Lodge

Chemlak wrote:
shadowlodgemember wrote:

The way I see it is this:

Why would a Barbarian care what the Law says? He sees his friend's body broken and crushed before him. The Prince is an egotistical douche. Rules of a fight or duel? Oh you are royalty or important with a made-up title? You have a lot of men? Who gives a crap. Barbarians live in the spark of swords clashing in a battle.

Killing is not always evil, especially in a mad rage. If killing always evil, Paizo needs to seriously rewrite this game because a lot of its own modules make NO sense at all.

Got to weigh in on this, though.

"Killing is not always evil."

Well, maybe. There's another thread nearby where this issue has been discussed, and I like one interpretation: killing is not good. If the balance of the moral outcome is good, then it can be considered a good thing (so if you kill the evil torturer of thousands, you're doing it for the greater good, as well as the individual good of those rescued from his clutches). Killing can also be neutral, such as in self-defence. It can also be evil, if you randomly just decide to kill someone because it falls in your power to do so.

But what you described? Nah, that's at worst CN. Possibly even CG, on the whole. Because your reasons for killing him are not particularly selfish (partly, but not entirely - you're trying to help your friends, too).

A CE character would have at least considered "take them, I don't care, but if you want me, you must fight me".

A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and last. He values his own liberty but doesn't strive to protect others' freedom. He avoids authority

A chaotic evil character does what his greed, hatred, and lust for destruction drive him to do. He is vicious, arbitrarily violent, and unpredictable
Per SRD, CE means hatred and an active lust for destruction. Killing the guys that aid a LE town isn't arbitrary. It isn't unpredictable to go against the guys that tortured your friend. It's revenge, and revenge is not arbitrary.

CN avoids authority, he decides to follow his whims. Hey you were torturing my friend? OK fine, I'll go rage and kill your Prince and your guards. No problem here...


Sounds like both the player(s) and the GM were spoiling for a fight, and just disliked how the other went about getting to that point.

As for what a barbarian would or wouldn't do .. well, that's more a personal choice than a archetype-wide declaration.

Paizo Employee Developer

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It sounds like your GM had a particular adventure planned, and the further off the rails the PCs went, the more frustrated he became. It happens, and I don't feel it's particularly blameworthy, especially given how tough it can be to GM encounters on the fly. It sounds like everyone was frustrated by the evening's events in one way or another, so I recommend stepping back for a bit, discussing your concerns with the GM, and being open to hearing his concerns.

shadowlodgemember wrote:
I want to show him that other players also think it's ridiculous, MM.

At that point you're no longer trying to resolve an issue; you're just trying to be right. I also haven't heard the GM's side of the story. Accumulating forum support to use against your GM will simply encourage more antagonism and frustration, which could break apart the gaming group. It's healthier talk to your GM with the understanding that neither of you is completely right, and neither of you is completely wrong.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Is this thread related to this one: Dealing with CN Player characters?

I'm having trouble figuring out the POV here - are you DMing a group of insane players or are you one of the insane players or are these two different games?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

End verdict based on the discussion here and in your other thread:

Bad GM - Railroading and basically telling you how to play your character.

Bad Player - Taking a bad situation and making it worse. You state your desire is to make the GM realize how ridiculous he/she is. That is not the purpose of gaming, it is to have fun.

Solution, just stop gaming with that GM. Or take over GMing yourself. Why do this to yourself?


shadowlodgemember wrote:

So our Paladin fell and got arrested for some idiotically trivial offense, trying to seduce the princess. They decided to keep him in the lowest dungeon of the town. So we find a way to break in and spring him. We find that he has basically been stripped of the ability to move properly, having had all his bones broken and been subject to torture in this LE town.

This prompts my CN Barbarian to snap. In the ensuing chaos, my PC kills the prisoner NPC. The DM says "What do you say to the guards when they come down?" My response: I pull out my Enlarge Person potion and Bull's Strength potion. Full-move to drink both with Drunken Brute. Rage. Superstition activates and hold person fails. I kill the guard's mage. We slaughter the remaining guards. I charge their leader, and naturally critical. He's dead. I continue a cleave and kill his top mook. The following round we slaughter all the guard and burn their corpses after combat.

We make it out and arbitrarily (yay, plot hax) the town guard has found our mercs above ground. The sorcerer goes invisible and a brief dialogue ensues. They demand that we all return and stand trial (yay, guards meta knowledge of their dead comrades below ground...)

Ensuing is another fight, as I rage again and kill a few more guards. The sorcerer breaks stealth and casts an empowered, intensified Fireball on myself and the guards. I take some damage. Guards are mostly dead. The arrogant prince arrives and challenges me to a one-on-one duel to see if we are allowed to go free. We count to three. On two, I turn around and charge him after the mage casts silence on me. I kill the Prince.

His mooks get involved and we slaughter them as well. The DM looks *REALLY* pissed off. He says this is Chaotic Evil. My reaction is "Why?" It is not CE to kill guards that capture and torture my friends. Nor is it CE to cheat at a fight.

He says that even barbarians must recognize legitimate authority... Is this seriously how poorly written the SRD of PF is? Or is this just a bad DM? Why...

Uh huh.

So is no one else seeing what I'm seeing?


shadowlodgemember wrote:


I mean hey let's just say you 'murder' A Lawful Evil character as a Barbarian. I mean come on. There's a difference between CN and CE. It's called motive.

Your stated motive was revenge committed in a blind rage. That's not really one of the nobler motives for murder.

Quote:
Murder as a concept has zero concept on a battlefield. Certainly not in an underground prison. Certainly not from Lawful Evil characters imposing the illegitimate will of a corrupt monarch. I'm no Paladin or Cleric. I decide my character's alignment. CE kills for fun. CN raging and killing guards is not Evil. If it is, Paizo needs to rewrite this whole crap system.

If this isn't a classic fallen hero, rationalizing their misdeads as noble or reasonable within the situation, I don't know what is.


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TarkXT wrote:
Uh huh.

GRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIFFFFFFITHHHSSSSSAH


TarkXT wrote:

Uh huh.

So is no one else seeing what I'm seeing?

Well there was no sorcerers in that scene. But otherwise very similar.

GM is being a t*+~.

OP: It doesn't matter how your GM judges your actions, he is not roleplaying your character and you didn't pick a class with abilities dependent on his idea of morality.
I could have easily see a LG character doing exactly what you did, so the idea that a CN character can't is absurd.


DM having a bad day it sounds like. DMing looks a lot easier than it is. Give the guy a break.

Yeah not really evil from what you have said and for sure Barbs have no innate respect for civilizations law.

Still though,obviously your DM is a little overwhelmed.Try talking to him about it and the choices as you saw them.


In a pseudo-medieval setting, trying to seduce the princess is a pretty serious crime. The rest of this ... sounds like a pretty bad GM. Yes, many a GM gets angry or frustrated with players, but GMs have to learn to roll with the punches.


I would suggest giving the GM a break. They are human and spend a bunch of time and usually money providing a game for you to all play. No GM no game. Assuming your side of the story is totally factual it sounds more like a GM whose story has been derailed trying to force you back to where they intended. Not done gracefully mind you. But sometimes players need to understand that the GM needs you to cut them some slack.

And Paladins suck and always cause this sort of grief.


On the other hand...

Does requesting a certain level of buy-in and willingness from the players to share in the storytelling make for a bad GM? Are players never responsible for completely destroying a built-up work?

-Matt


Mattastrophic wrote:

On the other hand...

Does requesting a certain level of buy-in and willingness from the players to share in the storytelling make for a bad GM? Are players never responsible for completely destroying a built-up work?

Side-rant: A sure sign of a bad player is one who points to his CN alignment as justification for his actions. Just going to throw that out there.

-Matt

Only if the DM says something like"guys I want to DM this adventure and it's all I'm really into at the moment" and then the players buy in.

Otherwise just because the adventure is on the high seas,there is nothing bad/wrong with the party wanting to head inland and find the ancient lost dwarven hold.

That doesn't mean it's not annoying as all get out for the DM though.


Not evil. If you'd been a (non-crippled) paladin you would have been obligated to do pretty much the same thing (substituting smite for rage). Corrupt law is corrupt. I don't see any mention of collateral damage.

And there's a prison scene that isn't character intro (as used in the Wolfenstein or Elder Scrolls franchises). That's a certain sign of a control freak GM.

Inappropriate use of alignment as a bludgeon and imprisoning PCs are two strikes. This isn't baseball. Chuck the GM out and run published campaigns if nobody else in the group is up to homebrewing.


Goldenfrog wrote:

Only if the DM says something like"guys I want to DM this adventure and it's all I'm really into at the moment" and then the players buy in.

Otherwise just because the adventure is on the high seas,there is nothing bad/wrong with the party wanting to head inland and find the ancient lost dwarven hold.

That doesn't mean it's not annoying as all get out for the DM though.

I would not say "Only" there. It's on the players as well to establish and align expectations with each other and with the GM. The social responsibility is on the players' shoulders as well.

You know... if I got to write a GMing chapter for this game, I would probably devote the first section to establishing expectations before the game begins. If expectations were set, and everyone knew what they were, situations like this one would happen a lot less often.

Unfortunately, these sorts of very important skills are not exactly written anywhere, and are very hard to pick up from the community as well.

-Matt has a pet peeve for using "I'm CN!" to duck responsibility to the group. It's a sure sign of a player whose expectations are not in alignment with his.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mattastrophic wrote:
Matt has a pet peeve for using "I'm CN!" to duck responsibility to the group.

As do I. I also have a pet peeve of using LG as a excuse to be disruptive. Alignment should be an aid to roleplaying not an excuse to cause conflict between players and the GM or players and each other.


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This is actually why I try to avoid using alignment at all. The players who are able to treat it as a roleplaying aid don't need the crutch, and the players who are not able to often use it as an excuse to cause social conflict.

Alignment is just more trouble than it's worth.

In fact, let's examine the story that spawned this thread once more, with more objective language and stripping out references to alignment and the poster's character class, which the OP has also cited as justification for his actions...

Unaligned Clone of OP wrote:

So our Paladin fell and got arrested for trying to seduce the princess. They decided to keep him in the lowest dungeon of the town. So we find a way to break in and spring him. We find that he has basically been stripped of the ability to move properly, having had all his bones broken and been subject to torture.

This prompts my PC to snap. In the ensuing chaos, my PC kills the prisoner NPC. The DM says "What do you say to the guards when they come down?" My response: I pull out my Enlarge Person potion and Bull's Strength potion. Hold person fails. I kill the guard's mage. We slaughter the remaining guards. I charge their leader, and naturally critical. He's dead. I continue a cleave and kill his top mook. The following round we slaughter all the guard and burn their corpses after combat.

We make it out the town guard has found our mercs above ground. The sorcerer goes invisible and a brief dialogue ensues. They demand that we all return and stand trial.

Ensuing is another fight, as I kill a few more guards. The sorcerer breaks stealth and casts an empowered, intensified Fireball on myself and the guards. I take some damage. Guards are mostly dead. The arrogant prince arrives and challenges me to a one-on-one duel to see if we are allowed to go free. We count to three. On two, I turn around and charge him after the mage casts silence on me. I kill the Prince.

His mooks get involved and we slaughter them as well. The DM looks *REALLY* pissed off.

There we go. Based on this version of the tale, is the GM worthy of being called a bad GM?

-Matt

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