What are some of the worst rulings you've had to deal with in games?


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Ferocious Fighter wrote:
Ok that stirge one is actually funny enough for me to believe it wasn't a bad call...

It wasn't just a bad call, it was a hunting, with all the other PCs guided out of the scene. Copy the following from an earlier post of mine:

This is kind of topical. I'll leave it here, with the superscript that both sides can be wrong at once in these questions. And the other guy being wrong doesn't change how wrong you might be.

Mourn the lost mage, Rtilliu
(Hurloff his first name)

Who wanted to be half-ogre
(Just 'big' was not the same)

The GM said, "Your eyes don't glow"
"Your teeth are normal, too"

But Hurloff had his self-image
'The demon-mage Rtilliu'

I recount so you'll be assured
None of these weighed a wit

And all was fair and above board
When Hurloff, while stirge-bit

Did cast his lonely magic spell
And Mage Armor did form

Around Hurloff, and the stirge too!
(Which kept both snuggly warm)

Mourn the lost mage, Rtilliu
(Hurloff his first name)

Who wanted to be half-ogre
(just 'big' was not the same)

Dark Archive

You know I read that as bloody hag lol.


Ferocious Fighter wrote:
Ok that stirge one is actually funny enough for me to believe it wasn't a bad call...

i have to agree

i laughed, and just because it is a bit ridiculous id give it my shield bonus as well :3


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

1) 'dm' changed the room conditions retroactively twice without letting anyone react.

2) assigned stupid DCs for skills such as balance that were as much as 10 over legit, in book modifiers, etc. refusing to let any one reference the books.

3) 200 pound, medium encumbrance Fighter spent 6 rounds trying to swim with constantly changing rules (see 2 above) before a 40 lb, 8 Str Halfling pulled him out with no check.

4) 23 minutes to resolve one character's simple turn, followed by 6 seconds to do the next character's turn, which involved information the twit was holding back on us.

5) PC Wizards have to have components for spells, but npc Wizards never have to. Stripping bodies of better than a dozen yielded exactly ZERO components.

Odd, these all occurred in the same session...


Limp Lash paralyzed you immediately, rather than once the accumulated ability penalties brought a stat to 1, and could be used further away than 20ft.

I was accused of being a rules lawyer for trying to explain how the spell actually worked...

Silver Crusade

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Disciple of Sakura wrote:

First 3.0 campaign I played, I was a fighter with weapon focus: Heavy Crossbow for thematic reasons. I fired at a creature climbing up towards our location along an almost sheer cliff. I asked how far away it was, the DM replied "120 feet" and I fired at it. Rolled pretty high, DM responded that there was "no way" I could hit it because it was "120 feet away. That's too far to hit it." Needless to say, I quit that game after that session.

My first 3.0 experience, I built a gish sorcerer and gave her Martial Weapon Proficiency: Greatsword at first level. The DM refused to allow it, because she didn't know how to wield a longsword, and there was no way someone could learn to use a greatsword without knowing how to use a longsword first.

I actualy got mad reading about the level of stupid you have encountered.


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mswbear wrote:
Disciple of Sakura wrote:

First 3.0 campaign I played, I was a fighter with weapon focus: Heavy Crossbow for thematic reasons. I fired at a creature climbing up towards our location along an almost sheer cliff. I asked how far away it was, the DM replied "120 feet" and I fired at it. Rolled pretty high, DM responded that there was "no way" I could hit it because it was "120 feet away. That's too far to hit it." Needless to say, I quit that game after that session.

My first 3.0 experience, I built a gish sorcerer and gave her Martial Weapon Proficiency: Greatsword at first level. The DM refused to allow it, because she didn't know how to wield a longsword, and there was no way someone could learn to use a greatsword without knowing how to use a longsword first.

I actualy got mad reading about the level of stupid you have encountered.

Quite a few of these are making me wonder where you guys meet these horrible people...

Silver Crusade

Ferocious Fighter wrote:
mswbear wrote:
Disciple of Sakura wrote:

First 3.0 campaign I played, I was a fighter with weapon focus: Heavy Crossbow for thematic reasons. I fired at a creature climbing up towards our location along an almost sheer cliff. I asked how far away it was, the DM replied "120 feet" and I fired at it. Rolled pretty high, DM responded that there was "no way" I could hit it because it was "120 feet away. That's too far to hit it." Needless to say, I quit that game after that session.

My first 3.0 experience, I built a gish sorcerer and gave her Martial Weapon Proficiency: Greatsword at first level. The DM refused to allow it, because she didn't know how to wield a longsword, and there was no way someone could learn to use a greatsword without knowing how to use a longsword first.

I actualy got mad reading about the level of stupid you have encountered.
Quite a few of these are making me wonder where you guys meet these horrible people...

Me too!!

I don't think I have ever encountered anything this bad before...Honestly, I think the worst I encounter is bad rules calls. I've encountered a few weird situation where the GM was attempting something unique and didn't quite pull it off....but the stuff in this thread...bonkers


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MagusJanus wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Here's another one, if you roll too high you do too well and fail. That one drives me a little nuts.

Ugh, that one. It's especially annoying since it usually seems to stem from GMs getting pissy over players doing too well.

Roll too high on Intimidate? The target faints in terror or runs away screaming at the top of his lungs.

Roll too high on Diplomacy to gather information? Instead of getting useful information, you get one useful thing buried in dozens of irrelevant facts.

Roll too well on your attack? You hit the monster so hard your weapon gets stuck in it's hide.

That would get beyond tiring in a hurry. The GM would have to be replaced after doing that enough times.

Actually, "Gone Horribly Right" rulings could be fun if done right. Like that one incident in an Adventure Path where if you successfully used Diplomacy to slip past a city guard, she might pull you aside and ask you out.

But they would have to be more balanced than just auto-failure, though. Like getting your weapon stuck in the enemy is an automatic Max damage roll, but you need to make a Strength test to pull the weapon out.


The DM had a rule were if a player wasn't there another player could play their character in the meantime. Which by itself I guess isn't terrible, except that the dm had the second session of the game the day after the first without my knowing. Not only that, none of the other players knew the rules for my character (gunslinger) or bothered to look them up.

So I come home to the tail end of the session to find my character unconscious 3 hp from death with an exploded gun. Oh, and the alchemist decided to earlier throw a bomb at an enemy next to me because "the character would make the save". She didn't.

No one could understand why this pissed me off. Needless to say I quit after that.


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I had 'fun' in a rifts campaign once trying to play a power armor character.

Things like attempting to camouflage myself with extensive Resources expended and being told hiding in an iron man scale armor was impossible, being unable to maneuver indoors in the same, etc were one type of bad.

Being told I could not wear my armor 'in town' because it was unreasonable was the real kicker. In any other setting, sure. In this one, half the people on the street could vaporize me with a thought because most of them were some sort of monster, cyborg or mage. Power armor was my equivalent of a tazer, but I ended up being the only one in the party required to walk around helpless most of the time (because everyone else was one of the aforementioned monsters).

The character retired after his first badass attempt at an ambush ended with him being given no chance at Stealth against enemies who used Magic (which normally does not function this way) which simply ignored his armor (in this system, it's your Hp) and one rounded him.


FanaticRat wrote:

The DM had a rule were if a player wasn't there another player could play their character in the meantime. Which by itself I guess isn't terrible, except that the dm had the second session of the game the day after the first without my knowing. Not only that, none of the other players knew the rules for my character (gunslinger) or bothered to look them up.

So I come home to the tail end of the session to find my character unconscious 3 hp from death with an exploded gun. Oh, and the alchemist decided to earlier throw a bomb at an enemy next to me because "the character would make the save". She didn't.

No one could understand why this pissed me off. Needless to say I quit after that.

I played a 3.5 vow of poverty monk in a game where the GM had other players run a missing player's character. The monk was a hunter of evil artifacts so he could take them to his order for destruction. We had spent about 10 months (real life time) tracking down pieces of this staff and were about to get the last part.

Unfortunately, I had to miss the next game for a last minute call at work. So the DM told the player that was running my character that he felt compelled to use the powers of the partial staff in the final fight. (Not just any magic item, but the freaking staff of unimaginable evil!)

Naturally, the guy playing playing him for me said that there was no way BigDTBone would use it, so I'm not. DM caveat, he uses the staff.

So not only did I lose the vow of poverty powers, but also had an alignment shift and lost all my monk powers. All I had left was 3/4 BAB and unarmed strike. He even took the monk weapon proficiencies and bonus feats.

That was but one small step on the path of terrible that GM laid out. The entire group wound up revolting and left a few months after that.


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Back in University days our group decided to just flip a coin instead of rolling dice.
Heads you succeed, tails you don't.
Made for a pretty funny evening but I wouldn't recommend it for a campaign.


Reading these posts is crazy! How do GM's who perpetrate this type of insanity keep players in their groups! So thankful for the great GM's I have in my circle of gamers!!


Ferocious Fighter wrote:
Quite a few of these are making me wonder where you guys meet these horrible people...

Me, personally, I've met mine in a variety of places. PFS, School, relatives, friends of friends, work, guys I previously knew for years.

The most terrifying thing is that they could be anyone. Beware. Beware!


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mswbear wrote:
Honestly, I think the worst I encounter is bad rules calls. I've encountered a few weird situation where the GM was attempting something unique and didn't quite pull it off....but the stuff in this thread...bonkers

I've been that GM.

I was trying to run Dragon Mountain as a 4E game. A lot of things converted really really well. Most monsterous encounters had 4E equivalents that were pretty well balanced for the intended character level (11 progressing to 14).

Human NPC encounters not so much, but some of the calls I made worked fairly well. One of the player did have a power that did auto-win fights (200 foot teleport-entire-party 3/day). And with travel times between some of the encounters (this was a 2nd edition, remember) it meant that for a majority of the fights the party was always full on resources. Which was a little difficult to manage.

Some of the monsters were custom for the module or did not have 4E equivalents. Roper trees weren't ported to 4E, but I had a listing of their stats in 2E and a general idea of how they worked, and was able to create 4E variants. The ropers worked really well. The gryphonoids that steal people's magic items: one of the best fights we had (although one player complained that the conversion was probably a little generous to their flight speed; but it did make them work for a complete win without losing items!).

Other fights....not so much. The entire "mountain" third of the adventure went rather poorly. I was constantly trying to figure out how to handle throwing 30-40 2HD kobolds at the party and not:
- take 30 minutes rolling kobold attacks that were little threat
- be a complete non-challenge
- boring

Every week it was a little different and every week I would get feedback and try and make it better for the next, nothing really worked.

We ended up having to run the BBEG fight twice because me and a non-involved mutual friend put together what we figured would be an interesting and reasonably challenging fight for the party only to have the only person capable of forcing enemy movement absent from the session. Which...turned a magic item the BBEG had into complete overpowered cheese.

Basically I was digging around in 3.5's Draconomicon (boss was a dragon; totall-not-a-spoiler) and one of the lesser used Monster Manuals for "magic items dragons would use in their lair." One was a healing platform that (in 3.5) any creature laid upon it received the benefit of a Heal spell. So in 4E what we decided on was that any prone creature on the platform, once a round, received a free healing surge. Platform was only 10'x10' and the players could benefit from it too.

Except first go-round no one could shift her off of it. So she plonked herself down on top of it, took the prone penalties, and played with her food.

One of the BEST reactions I got was actually the encounter just prior. Basically all the boss's kobold minions had constructed a giant, paper mache replica of her head, just at the entrance to her actual lair-room, in what was the old treasure store rooms (now shattered, broken, looted, and full of fog). It'd described as when the player approach the lair, out of the fog looms a giant, 40 foot long, dragon head, which opens its maw and breaths fire. Damage isn't great, but the party went "OH S@&#, GTFO, WE NEED TO REST! WE CAN'T TAKE THE BOSS JUST NOW!"

Thing had 40 hit points.

(And that 40 feet? Yeah, that was actually the size of her head. I'd folded an origami dragon to use as her model in the final fight. It was 18 inches long, nose to tail tip (folded from a 36" square sheet of red paper). According to her listed size, that was HALF her actual body length, plus again for her prodigious tail).


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walter mcwilliams wrote:
Reading these posts is crazy! How do GM's who perpetrate this type of insanity keep players in their groups! So thankful for the great GM's I have in my circle of gamers!!

They don't, I assume. I dropped from a Kingmaker game after session one when it was ruled that one character could not make Survival checks to provide food for the party-we each had to 'take a turn' making those checks because of a lack of 'opportunities' that check 'represented'. Suddenly my low wisdom bard, who I had rolled knowing we had a ridiculous survival specialist in the party, was a gigantic liability who was starving the whole party.

Especially since I was not allowed to opt out and just provide food from gp either...

Scarab Sages

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In all fairness, this happened in a purposefully difficult and gritty campaign. We were okay with the ruling, and able to get it fixed...mostly.

A monk was attacking an enemy knight, and rolled a 1. The DM used a crit fumble chart he found online, The rolled result was "Attacker is disarmed"

Monk: Not bad since I don't have a weapon to drop.

DM: Nah. We'll just disarm you literally. he cuts off both your hands.


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SAMAS wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Here's another one, if you roll too high you do too well and fail. That one drives me a little nuts.

Ugh, that one. It's especially annoying since it usually seems to stem from GMs getting pissy over players doing too well.

Roll too high on Intimidate? The target faints in terror or runs away screaming at the top of his lungs.

Roll too high on Diplomacy to gather information? Instead of getting useful information, you get one useful thing buried in dozens of irrelevant facts.

Roll too well on your attack? You hit the monster so hard your weapon gets stuck in it's hide.

That would get beyond tiring in a hurry. The GM would have to be replaced after doing that enough times.

Actually, "Gone Horribly Right" rulings could be fun if done right. Like that one incident in an Adventure Path where if you successfully used Diplomacy to slip past a city guard, she might pull you aside and ask you out.

But they would have to be more balanced than just auto-failure, though. Like getting your weapon stuck in the enemy is an automatic Max damage roll, but you need to make a Strength test to pull the weapon out.

Yeah, I'll admit that there are times when "you're a bit too successful" can be kind of fun. The problem is, similar to the issue of exotic critical fumble rules, everyone tends to have a different idea of where it stops being fun.

KrispyXIV wrote:
walter mcwilliams wrote:
Reading these posts is crazy! How do GM's who perpetrate this type of insanity keep players in their groups! So thankful for the great GM's I have in my circle of gamers!!
They don't, I assume.

Pretty much, yeah. Most of the bad GMs I know end up bouncing around between groups a lot, and usually resort to a bit of player bribery by way of paying for snacks and drinks. Free pizza and soda/alcohol will make players more willing to overlook a bit of BS.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

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I had a player once try to argue with me for 15 minutes that he was allowed his Sneak Attack dice against an enemy with Improved Uncanny Dodge because "his statblock doesn't list Uncanny Dodge, therefore he loses his
Dex bonus to AC because I'm invisible."

I showed him the statblock because he threw a fit that his hyper specialized damage rogue wasn't allowed to sneak attack.

It was an official Paizo AP. I eventually just flat out said "They have to get Uncanny Dodge before getting Improved Uncanny Dodge, since they are a rogue 14. Obviously Paizo misprinted by omitting Uncanny Dodge in the statblock. If you want to keep arguing about it you are welcome to leave and email me."

He then proceeded to berate the new player at the table (who had never played a TTRPG) for every mistake he made. I called the game shortly after that and haven't invited him back.


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My present campaign I'm in is great, but it does have a number of questionable house rules.

* You can't fire a bow unless you've mentioned earlier that you've strung it. Also, you'd better unstring it after combat or else the string gets weak and imposes penalties.

* Use of the Heal skill to stabilize a character takes one minute, or 10 rounds. Yes, the character is still bleeding out during this time. The group doesn't quite understand this means either you're not helping, or the down character stabilizes after losing 10hp.

Everything else, I've been able to roll with, but these two strike me as particularly unfortunate.

But still, these are minor compared to what I've dealt with over the years.

* Your background must be rolled randomly. I remember how hilarious this was. I explained that I can come up with a beautiful, detailed background without random rolls, he said no. So I rolled and came up with the most improbable set of requirements. It involved factors like my father, magically cursed to spend his life wandering, eventually settled down to become a farmer. Tons of contradictory stuff like that. So I said I'd think about it. The DM emailed me later, realizing just how preposterous this background would have to be, and offered me to reroll. I responded by building a whole narrative describing a clan of seafaring gnomes, my father's eventual prosperity to own a number of plantations on different islands, descriptions of the importance of new experience to gnomes (well before Golarion or the Bleaching) and resulting potential punishments from breaking societal norms. He responded, "Hey, see how great random rolls can be?"

* "We're going to play my homebrew. But part of the story will be that you'll design your characters without knowing the rules. Pick a few names of powers from this list. No, I won't tell you what they do." That game went as well as could be expected. This guy also said that TSR stole a world idea from him that he submitted to them, so...

* Players who came to my game, saying, "Oh, we went adventuring while you were out. We've gained five levels since then, and we all now have auto-initiative, auto-hit, auto-kill weapons." Uh huh, yeah, I learned the joys of messing with people's minds to the point they don't know what to attack anymore. The only way I could maintain some challenge with that sort of crew.


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Wrong John Silver wrote:
* Players who came to my game, saying, "Oh, we went adventuring while you were out. We've gained five levels since then, and we all now have auto-initiative, auto-hit, auto-kill weapons." Uh huh, yeah, I learned the joys of messing with people's minds to the point they don't know what to attack anymore. The only way I could maintain some challenge with that sort of crew.

If you can't join them, drive them insane. ;)


Wrong John Silver wrote:

This guy also said that TSR stole a world idea from him that he submitted to them, so...

He didn't call himself "The Black Unicorn", did he? Because back in the 80s I knew a guy who claimed that Gygax stole his ideas for D&D (the guy would've been about 9 at the time). He also claimed to have been the true creator of the Dyson Sphere concept, FASA paid him thousands to design mechs for them, and all the artwork in the AD&D 1e DMG was his and had been stolen from him by TSR.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Wrong John Silver wrote:

This guy also said that TSR stole a world idea from him that he submitted to them, so...

He didn't call himself "The Black Unicorn", did he? Because back in the 80s I knew a guy who claimed that Gygax stole his ideas for D&D (the guy would've been about 9 at the time). He also claimed to have been the true creator of the Dyson Sphere concept, FASA paid him thousands to design mechs for them, and all the artwork in the AD&D 1e DMG was his and had been stolen from him by TSR.

No, I don't think that was him. The 1e DMG artwork would have been before his time, anyway. But I'm sure "The Black Unicorn" isn't the only person claiming stuff like that.


Wrong John Silver wrote:

My present campaign I'm in is great, but it does have a number of questionable house rules.

* You can't fire a bow unless you've mentioned earlier that you've strung it. Also, you'd better unstring it after combat or else the string gets weak and imposes penalties.

Bows really shouldn't be kept strung all the time. If the PCs are not idiots, however, a more plausible house rule might be that bows are assumed to be unstrung just before a character goes to sleep and strung as soon as they wake up (including for guard duty). Alternatively, a more paranoid PC might leave their bow strung 24/7 and have slightly higher maintenance costs between adventures.

Sovereign Court

I had a DM at Winter Fantasy a few years ago say that zombies attacking from being neck-deep in water at characters in a boat had no penalties to attack the characters but the characters had a -8 to hit the zombies because they were in full cover (I.E. only their heads exposed). After we got over-run and there were zombies on the boat with us he ruled that they would take coup-de-grace actions against downed characters before attacking other characters left standing.

Another one that used to bug me was the wide disparity of rulings for the old "Devoted Defender" prestige class. Some GMs ruled that you had to spend AoO's to protect your charge, others ruled that you could only take melee hits for your charge.


walter mcwilliams wrote:
Reading these posts is crazy! How do GM's who perpetrate this type of insanity keep players in their groups!

It's like being a healer in an MMO. He can be a complete idiot, but you need a healer so what else are you going to do?

If you live in a small city, it may be a choice between a bad GM or no gaming at all. I realized at one point that no gaming at all was better, as I was getting soured on the hobby.

The only solution was to start GMing myself, and I ended up liking it.


mswbear wrote:
Ferocious Fighter wrote:
mswbear wrote:
Disciple of Sakura wrote:

First 3.0 campaign I played, I was a fighter with weapon focus: Heavy Crossbow for thematic reasons. I fired at a creature climbing up towards our location along an almost sheer cliff. I asked how far away it was, the DM replied "120 feet" and I fired at it. Rolled pretty high, DM responded that there was "no way" I could hit it because it was "120 feet away. That's too far to hit it." Needless to say, I quit that game after that session.

My first 3.0 experience, I built a gish sorcerer and gave her Martial Weapon Proficiency: Greatsword at first level. The DM refused to allow it, because she didn't know how to wield a longsword, and there was no way someone could learn to use a greatsword without knowing how to use a longsword first.

I actualy got mad reading about the level of stupid you have encountered.
Quite a few of these are making me wonder where you guys meet these horrible people...

Me too!!

I don't think I have ever encountered anything this bad before...Honestly, I think the worst I encounter is bad rules calls. I've encountered a few weird situation where the GM was attempting something unique and didn't quite pull it off....but the stuff in this thread...bonkers

For myself, the DM who didn't appreciate that 120' was well within range of a heavy crossbow was met at a local gaming shop advertising for players. I was home from college for the summer, so I wasn't going to be playing for long. The first session, I actually had another player suggest that I build a human fighter and take all three of my first level feats as Toughness so I'd have a bunch of extra HP. That group was messed up for a lot of reasons.

The thing with the greatsword was at the Shadowland site for a PBP game one of my friends introduced me to.

Needless to say, both of those DMs and the one game I participated in taught me a lot about how NOT to DM. They were at least educational.


JoeJ wrote:
Wrong John Silver wrote:

My present campaign I'm in is great, but it does have a number of questionable house rules.

* You can't fire a bow unless you've mentioned earlier that you've strung it. Also, you'd better unstring it after combat or else the string gets weak and imposes penalties.

Bows really shouldn't be kept strung all the time. If the PCs are not idiots, however, a more plausible house rule might be that bows are assumed to be unstrung just before a character goes to sleep and strung as soon as they wake up (including for guard duty). Alternatively, a more paranoid PC might leave their bow strung 24/7 and have slightly higher maintenance costs between adventures.

Oh, I agree, for realism's sake, it makes all the sense in the world. But the GM informed me of this rule just as my PC tried to shoot at something running away... and then wondered why nobody was using ranged weapons.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Bandw2 wrote:
Cascade wrote:

I had a GM insist players couldn't talk to each other unless it was their turn because talking is a free action and thus only on your turn.

... but free actions... can be done in anyone's turn, and interrupts actions...

;-; i feel so much empathy for everyone.

Actually, free actions must be taken on your turn, but can be taken during other actions. Talking is an exception to that rule, and can be done even when it isn't your turn (subject to GM limitations).

Sovereign Court

Ravingdork wrote:
Actually, free actions must be taken on your turn, but can be taken during other actions. Talking is an exception to that rule, and can be done even when it isn't your turn (subject to GM limitations).

I've always wondered if it would be a bad or good thing if the GM had a stopwatch to time how much you could "freely" say in a turn.

I would think you should limit casters even more if they are trying to cast spells with verbal components on their turn.


To be honest, i read these threads and think of all the bad mistakes ive made in the past when trying to GM and learn the game at same time. Quite depressing the things ive put my players through back then.
Im glad that i can admit mistakes and that im lucky enough to have a group who stuck with me also learning the game as well.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I once had a GM who instituted a new skill called "Intuition." Essentially, if you were ever lost or confused out of game, you could make an Intuition check to basically have the GM tell you "you need to go left."

Half the party maxed that skill out (not that it mattered, since all the DCs were completely arbitrary) and were CONSTANTLY making intuition checks to substitute real thinking and roleplaying.

The rest of us thought the idea was really dumb, abusable, and killed immersion. Ended up turning the whole game into "storytime on rails."


A lot for me but most of them were in nWoD games, so i will give you my 3.5/PF worst:
Rogues can sneak attack only once during full attack (because otherwise a TWF rogue would be truly gamewrecking) and that nat 1 and nat 20 auto fails and auto succeeds on anything.


I once had a guy who made facing a thing in the game. Everything related those houserules were just awful, imo. Especially for bards. He ruled bards had to be seen to give benefits to people, and if your bard was blocked from view by say... an enemy you were flanking with, or the bard was sitting in back, you wouldn't get any of the benefits of having a bard's performance. Same guy also said they could only use vocal or somatic components, and that they couldn't fight while they used their perform because they were too busy performing. Bards whole thing was apparently to be spoony bards who danced in the background but had to try really hard to be seen to give anyone benefits.

Another time I played with a guy who used fumble rules, but there was only one fumble, and that was that you dropped your weapon on a one, but he never kept track of whether you dropped your weapon so there was no reason to actually care when he said it.


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KrispyXIV wrote:

I had 'fun' in a rifts campaign once trying to play a power armor character.

Things like attempting to camouflage myself with extensive Resources expended and being told hiding in an iron man scale armor was impossible, being unable to maneuver indoors in the same, etc were one type of bad.

To be fair, you are wearing motorized full plate. If your armor wasn't the kind designed for stealth, you usually shouldn't bother. But this and the other depends on your model of armor. If you're packing one of my namesakes, for example, you got a very large thruster pack and great big wings hanging off your back.

Quote:
Being told I could not wear my armor 'in town' because it was unreasonable was the real kicker. In any other setting, sure. In this one, half the people on the street could vaporize me with a thought because most of them were some sort of monster, cyborg or mage. Power armor was my equivalent of a tazer, but I ended up being the only one in the party required to walk around helpless most of the time (because everyone else was one of the aforementioned monsters).

Well, they're half right here. Most towns and cities don't let people walk around with Mega-Damage weapons and armor within their walls. This is explicitly stated in the books. One book even shows why, with a story of a psychotic SAMAS pilot who slaughtered an entire village with just two missiles, a railgun, and his bare hands.

Now the question is: Did he apply that to everybody? Even cyborgs have to have their onboard weaponry deactivated if not removed, and a lot of predominantly Human settlements wouldn't even let monstrous Mega-Damage beings in, at least not without keeping an eye on them. Of course, if that all only applied to you...

Quote:
The character retired after his first badass attempt at an ambush ended with him being given no chance at Stealth against enemies who used Magic (which normally does not function this way) which simply ignored his armor (in this system, it's your Hp) and one rounded him.

There are spells that bypass armor, but those spells, and the mages who use them, are absurdly rare. This is pretty damn inexcusable.


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Ravingdork wrote:

I once had a GM who instituted a new skill called "Intuition." Essentially, if you were ever lost or confused out of game, you could make an Intuition check to basically have the GM tell you "you need to go left."

Half the party maxed that skill out (not that it mattered, since all the DCs were completely arbitrary) and were CONSTANTLY making intuition checks to substitute real thinking and roleplaying.

The rest of us thought the idea was really dumb, abusable, and killed immersion. Ended up turning the whole game into "storytime on rails."

Sounds like a GMPC in a game I played. It was a tiny fairy named Navi. "Hey! Listen!" It got super annoying.

Lantern Lodge

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Hi, my name is Lormyr, and I am a colossal min-maxer.

That said, this is not so much a specific example, so much as few bad experiences/GMs over the years lumped together:

When I join a game, I usually have a build fully stated out before beginning play. I always let the GM know what I am intending, and make them aware of any silly rules interactions I am using.

It drives me nuts when a GM approves a build, and then employs ludicrous fiats, heavy handed railroading, and/or completely made up and nonsensical rulings and mechanics to negate the build.

What drives me nuts about it is that, while I am a min-maxer, I am also a reasonable adult, and the entire fiasco can be avoided with one sentence.
Anything along the lines of "Hey man, I think this is going to be a bit much for the game I am running. Would you mind coming up with something different? I don't want to have to cheese out the game to contend with this thing." would get a reply along the lines of "Ok, I understand that. How about I make x changes, and you look at it again with fresh eyes?"


Lormyr wrote:
It drives me nuts when a GM approves a build, and then employs ludicrous fiats, heavy handed railroading, and/or completely made up and nonsensical rulings and mechanics to negate the build.

You didn't happen to play a character who specialized in sundering charges at my school only to walk into a 100gp town to discover that every wall, floor, and ceiling was coated in a Wall of Force, did you?

(Same game another character who specialized in Bull Rush was met with two monks, of a specific order, that were immune to bull rush).


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Lormyr wrote:

Hi, my name is Lormyr, and I am a colossal min-maxer.

That said, this is not so much a specific example, so much as few bad experiences/GMs over the years lumped together:

When I join a game, I usually have a build fully stated out before beginning play. I always let the GM know what I am intending, and make them aware of any silly rules interactions I am using.

It drives me nuts when a GM approves a build, and then employs ludicrous fiats, heavy handed railroading, and/or completely made up and nonsensical rulings and mechanics to negate the build.

What drives me nuts about it is that, while I am a min-maxer, I am also a reasonable adult, and the entire fiasco can be avoided with one sentence.
Anything along the lines of "Hey man, I think this is going to be a bit much for the game I am running. Would you mind coming up with something different? I don't want to have to cheese out the game to contend with this thing." would get a reply along the lines of "Ok, I understand that. How about I make x changes, and you look at it again with fresh eyes?"

Oh, gosh, I would LOVE that. Usually, the player just tries to sneak a rules exploit by me, making sure that I don't know about it until it's too late. During character build, I'll end up catching it, explaining how the exploit won't work, and give the player a chance to redesign before it becomes an issue.

When players are up front with this sort of thing, we all can win because we end up making a better game for us all--or if we have different play styles and it won't work out, we'll know about it at the start before we end up frustrating each other.


I run stuff by my GM too. Admitted that some of it was kind of cheesy.

Some of it was looked at and said "no" others were looked at and said "yes."

One that specifically was approved was a 3/day 21d6 fireball DC 30. Character is 13th level and if she could cast 9th level spells, the DC on those would be 29.

Scarab Sages

I once has a DM rule all monsters had 95% spell resistance after my wizard killed his pet BBEG (a much higher level wizard).


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walter mcwilliams wrote:
Reading these posts is crazy! How do GM's who perpetrate this type of insanity keep players in their groups! So thankful for the great GM's I have in my circle of gamers!!

The two I had that were really bad didn't keep their groups ;)

SAMAS wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Here's another one, if you roll too high you do too well and fail. That one drives me a little nuts.

Ugh, that one. It's especially annoying since it usually seems to stem from GMs getting pissy over players doing too well.

Roll too high on Intimidate? The target faints in terror or runs away screaming at the top of his lungs.

Roll too high on Diplomacy to gather information? Instead of getting useful information, you get one useful thing buried in dozens of irrelevant facts.

Roll too well on your attack? You hit the monster so hard your weapon gets stuck in it's hide.

That would get beyond tiring in a hurry. The GM would have to be replaced after doing that enough times.

Actually, "Gone Horribly Right" rulings could be fun if done right. Like that one incident in an Adventure Path where if you successfully used Diplomacy to slip past a city guard, she might pull you aside and ask you out.

But they would have to be more balanced than just auto-failure, though. Like getting your weapon stuck in the enemy is an automatic Max damage roll, but you need to make a Strength test to pull the weapon out.

Gone horribly right is a good one, but never as an autofail.

Funny is using diplomacy on a goblin, getting a natural 20, confirming it, and later being awoken by the goblin trying to sing a love ballad outside your window ;)

My players have learned that when I ask them to confirm a natural 20 on a skill check, things are about to get interesting :D


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BigDTBone wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

I once had a GM who instituted a new skill called "Intuition." Essentially, if you were ever lost or confused out of game, you could make an Intuition check to basically have the GM tell you "you need to go left."

Half the party maxed that skill out (not that it mattered, since all the DCs were completely arbitrary) and were CONSTANTLY making intuition checks to substitute real thinking and roleplaying.

The rest of us thought the idea was really dumb, abusable, and killed immersion. Ended up turning the whole game into "storytime on rails."

Sounds like a GMPC in a game I played. It was a tiny fairy named Navi. "Hey! Listen!" It got super annoying.

I actually pulled that when GMing once. Fairy named Navi, the "Hey! Listen!", and pointing out directions for the party to go. Except, the fairy was misleading them... After the second time she led them into an ambush, the party made it a special point to kill her with extreme prejudice.

After that, they asked me to stop playing Zelda games :P


MagusJanus wrote:

I actually pulled that when GMing once. Fairy named Navi, the "Hey! Listen!", and pointing out directions for the party to go. Except, the fairy was misleading them... After the second time she led them into an ambush, the party made it a special point to kill her with extreme prejudice.

After that, they asked me to stop playing Zelda games :P

Oh man, reminds me of some wil-o-wisps in the World's Largest Dungeon.

Everyone knows not to follow wil-o-wisps in a foggy swamp!

Except these actually showed the only safe path...


Fire resistance didn't have you resist fire damage, it made you add your resistance number to your save vs a fire effect. (Fire resist 5 = +5 to save vs fire spell).


SAMAS wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:

I had 'fun' in a rifts campaign once trying to play a power armor character.

Things like attempting to camouflage myself with extensive Resources expended and being told hiding in an iron man scale armor was impossible, being unable to maneuver indoors in the same, etc were one type of bad.

To be fair, you are wearing motorized full plate. If your armor wasn't the kind designed for stealth, you usually shouldn't bother. But this and the other depends on your model of armor. If you're packing one of my namesakes, for example, you got a very large thruster pack and great big wings hanging off your back.

Quote:
Being told I could not wear my armor 'in town' because it was unreasonable was the real kicker. In any other setting, sure. In this one, half the people on the street could vaporize me with a thought because most of them were some sort of monster, cyborg or mage. Power armor was my equivalent of a tazer, but I ended up being the only one in the party required to walk around helpless most of the time (because everyone else was one of the aforementioned monsters).

Well, they're half right here. Most towns and cities don't let people walk around with Mega-Damage weapons and armor within their walls. This is explicitly stated in the books. One book even shows why, with a story of a psychotic SAMAS pilot who slaughtered an entire village with just two missiles, a railgun, and his bare hands.

Now the question is: Did he apply that to everybody? Even cyborgs have to have their onboard weaponry deactivated if not removed, and a lot of predominantly Human settlements wouldn't even let monstrous Mega-Damage beings in, at least not without keeping an eye on them. Of course, if that all only applied to you...

Quote:
The character retired after his first badass attempt at an ambush ended with him being given no chance at Stealth against enemies who used Magic (which normally does not function this way) which simply ignored his armor (in this
...

I passed on the SAMAS for reasons of subtlety. I went with the Flying Titan, which most of the artwork depicted as being effectively human sized.

The town we were based out of had a large population of both MDC creatures and casters and such capable of both MDC offense and defense with no gear at all.


Man, the horror stories on here...

The Exchange

Yeah, sometimes the only good thing to come out of contact with certain GMs is a fund of stories you can use to impress and horrify your fellow gamers.


Lincoln Hills wrote:
Yeah, sometimes the only good thing to come out of contact with certain GMs is a fund of stories you can use to impress and horrify your fellow gamers.

But the mental scars and trauma... *Shivers*

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