Experienced player can't handle Noob Gamemaster. What do???


Advice


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Ok, this is my first time posting anything here but my patience is wearing thin with my Gamemaster. I don't want to be that problem player that gives the GM a hard time, but I've damn near had it with her. I've been playing table top RPGs for just over 10 years and my GM only has a couple years as a player... I'm generally patient and I get that she's new to whole thing but she's been pushing me around as a player and I feel like I've been driven into a corner.

I'm currently playing a fey-blood enchantress (which isn't my standard character type I usually play hot blooded fighters or clever rogues), my party consists of a summoner synergist, a necromancer cleric, and a slayer. We're a motley amalgamation of general anarchy that is difficult to railroad. I try and follow the GM's guide and I play a character that has strong bonds with her companions. My problem is my GM is heavy combat and likes to send us out into the wilderness to fight monsters like giant bugs and things my character can't do anything about when we are currently residing in an urban setting which should be rife with humanoids that I can charm the pants off of. Currently she is trying to railroad us into a fight with a dragon that has been polymorphed into humanoid form for the purposes of spreading mischief and mayhem. But why? Why would my CN fey blooded enchantress want to risk the lives of her party and herself in a fight she can't really help in outside of casting Mage armour?

I feel like a useless argumentative ass...


6 people marked this as a favorite.

The eternal struggle of RPGs is that there are very few people who want to run, and everyone wants to play.

Maybe, instead of living in frustration, it's time to take on the mantle of GM yourself for a while and show her a different manner of gameplay, more akin to what you feel you and the group would prefer. Life is difficult on the other side of the screen, especially if time and obligations prevent you from being able to build in depth plots and stories.

Barring that, at a minimum it's potentially time for a polite conversation where you express that your expectation for the campaign was slightly different, and that character is primarily focused on interactions with humanoids. She may simply not have realized that fact.

Empathy is the answer. Not frustration.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Sounds like you're playing the wrong kind of character for the game your GM wants to run.

Work with her. Retire your character and make a hotheaded fighter who likes to hunt monsters and take trophies.

Play with her instead of against her. That will be easier than trying to get her to design her game around your character's wishes.


8 people marked this as a favorite.

Let me guess ... the GM just said 'everybody make a character' without discussing expectations or the like?

This is why, before anybody even touches a pencil or a die, the group needs to get together to discuss characters, themes, and the like. Session Zero, I've heard it called. Ironically, it happened to my group recently in reverse, the GM cautioned someone against playing a Ranger since the campaign was going to be almost all urban.


Ok, funny story, I actually already GM a game and she is one of my players in it. There is no problems when I GM my party is a solid team and they follow the roads I subtly lay for them. I'm currently playing in her game because she requested me to play to for she was lacking in player's and she thought I'd might like to get away from all the planning and strategy GM-ing requires.

When I joined the group I was under the impression that we'd be going against humanoids because the party was aimed for a big city and then on to start a rebellion against an opressive religious sect of humanoids...

I guess my question here would be "How do I breech the topic of why are we in backwards land where humanoids are mindless giant insects and the veterans are treated as noobs when they're trying to help?"

Shadow Lodge

8 people marked this as a favorite.

"Hey GM, when you mentioned that the party was planning on starting a rebellion against sect X in city Y, I was picturing a game that was heavy on intrigue and social interaction. My enchantress is feeling a little out of place in these monster hunting storylines. Have I misjudged where the campaign is going, and if so can I make a character that's a better fit?"

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hopefully you're half human, or fully human, use the human fcb to increase number of spells you know. Pick up glitterdust (2nd lv spell), summon monster series, haste (3rd lv spell). Those don't bother if foes are immune to mind affecting. Sorcerers have the weakness of having less versatility, but with a little tweaking of spell selection, you can still be fairly versatile.


Zhayne wrote:

Let me guess ... the GM just said 'everybody make a character' without discussing expectations or the like?

This is why, before anybody even touches a pencil or a die, the group needs to get together to discuss characters, themes, and the like. Session Zero, I've heard it called. Ironically, it happened to my group recently in reverse, the GM cautioned someone against playing a Ranger since the campaign was going to be almost all urban.

Even among experienced GMs (years-wise, anyway), I still get weird looks when I try to do this. I get "what do you mean" type responses when I ask to do this or just ask questions about kind of characters. So frustrating... Then, later in the campaign, you run head-long is ad-hoc decisions and can't feel confident for s~#* making decisions about your own character.


This sounds a bit more on the different play styles as opposed to new versus old gamer.

Some people like a game style that I have always heard of as "beer and pretzels" style, that is the adventures focus on kicking down doors, interogating prisoners, killing stuff, gathering loot, then finding newer and bigger doors to kick in,

Other people play intrigue games where you have wither role-playing or roll-playing through a myriad of encounters and events and your blade rarely leaves it's scabbard.

I like both kinds, I can enjoy the simple game and get into developing a character personality in the other kind. So DM's mix both of these together depending on their moods.....

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Just a Mort wrote:
Hopefully you're half human, or fully human, use the human fcb to increase number of spells you know. Pick up glitterdust (2nd lv spell), summon monster series, haste (3rd lv spell). Those don't bother if foes are immune to mind affecting. Sorcerers have the weakness of having less versatility, but with a little tweaking of spell selection, you can still be fairly versatile.

Just in general, every character should always have a backup plan. When I make a character, I try to have a plan for three things:

1. What's my specialty in combat?
2. What's my backup plan for being useful in combat when I can't do my specialty?
3. What's my specialty out of combat?

For instance, in PFS, I have a fey bloodline sorcerer, so obviously that character is very good at enchantments. I made sure to pick up some blasting as a backup plan, starting with Magic Missile at level 1, so I always have something to do, even against mindless foes. And obviously, charisma based casters tend to be good at social skills, so that's my primary out of combat role.

Actually, it's my gnome prankster bard that has a bigger problem with mindless foes, since his whole shtick is insulting people (debuffing enemies through intimidation and the Mock bardic performance, along with enchantment spells). His backup plan to be useful in combat against mindless foes is Inspire Courage, Grease, and a wand of Cure Light Wounds. I've gotten to 5th level with this guy in PFS, and the only direct damage he's ever done to an enemy was hitting a skeleton with that CLW wand.

This is also why my barbarian has a composite longbow - that's the backup plan for when "be a melee monster" isn't a viable option in combat. It always amazes me how often I see melee characters that don't even own a ranged weapon.

But on the original topic, I agree with others who have suggested that having a conversation with the GM about the intended direction of the campaign, and your PC's role in it, would be a good idea.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I woudl say this falls into the. Talk to the GM that your character doesn't fit. Ask to rebuild in someway.
They ask why, you explain that you had a different perception of what the game would be.

Simple as that.

Also for the railroading part... Thats just part of being a new GM. You can't expect a newer GM with limited experience to know how to guide a group of random people without some railroading. Nor fully expect them to be able to put the massive extra time it takes to make a good one like that.
After a while experienced GMs build up enugh experience, and usually enough extra characters/sheets/towns etc that can be reused with tweaks. New GMs have to start from the ground up. and when your used to an experienced one a new gm can feel "bad" which is the impression i get from you (past the character type)


The general feeling I'm getting Is trying to talk to the GM or throw away an interesting and fun character.

I personally, from a player perspective, like railroads but following a path my character wouldn't take makes it difficult for me to try and convince the other players down that path. I was the one who accepted the quest of gathering knowledge on the dragon. My party had no interest in seeking out info on this dragon or the dragon itself and they feel it should be left to "higher authorities" to deal with. The problem I'm having is the campaign always leads us on monster hunts when we're in an urban setting.

As an enchanter I put most things to sleep, daze or fascinate the enemies and then let my more murderous comrades finish the job. When I'm unable to do any of that I cast Mage Armour on my allies but that only takes 2 rounds because our summoner buffs herself. Outside of combat I keep the party together, I've befriended the other pc's and I'm aware of most of their goals.

It's not that I haven't come up with options it's that she tries to lead us into "difficult encounters" ones where my spells do nothing but protect my allies, my summoner's eidolon can't cause enough damage and our cleric is too focused on keeping his undead minions from breaking instead of healing himself. We've tried talking to her to plan adventures more geared to her party's capabilities and city setting as opposed to only giving us options that have us going back and forth from the capital to the wilds and back again. Last week as a request from other players to find bandits or thugs to beat up for a little extra experience before walking into a noble's man-eating tree infested back yard and she gave us the option for "giant centipede extermination" half a day from the city we're residing in. At the rate she ignores our pleas for monsters we can handle 3 out of 4 of us are looking to change characters. The 4th likes the characters we have and doesn't want us all to change them.


I duno. I've had plenty of games with urban settings where we went hunting monsters.. So that part doesn't surprise me.

You're going to have to bring it up and either switch out or alter things.

cause it simply sounds like ya'll didn't properly talk about how the game was going to be and so no one is set up or enjoying things.
Simply put you all have to talk and alter things or let the game end.

Simple as that. Those are really the main choices. Talk or end. There isn't a magic way of altering things
If 3/4ths aren't having fun with their characters in that setting just ask for a rebuild. and tell her directly why.

Maybe she's assuming that playing to your weaknesses makes it more fun difficult in the vein of Dark Souls style of life and death.
So it could be as simple as a misconception of how people are enjoying things.

Simply put. Everyone needs to come to gether in a session X and talk about the game in general. just do not come at it as "everyone agianst her" be sure to take care to avoid that. Because they may get defensive or feel unappriciated for their attempt at trying to put a game on for people. Its a lot of work after all.

Come at it as all friends.


While you should definitely talk to your GM about the disconnect in expectations, you also should accept that your concept for a character sounds like it was bound to run into this at some point. Maybe not as much as you are... But that could just be where the campaign is at the moment. Enchantment is really hit or miss, and honestly if you always got to use it at full power you might end a lot of fights before they even start to the detriment of the game. I play an enchantment wizard in PFS but I have a mix of conjuration and evocation to fall back on against mindless opponents. There are also a few good enchantment buffs you could pick up (tactical acumen, heroism, and the new contagious zeal from Occult Adventures) that would give you enchantment style things to do in combat.


Use a prewritten story - an AP. Then you both know what you are getting into and if well picked can be very satisfying. They allow a lot of tweaking. They are also fantastic for GMs with unreliable preparation times...sometimes you may add a lot of personal things, sometimes it's easier to run it from the book.

Otherwise, formulate a question using Weirdo's words.


The trick to DMing it controlling the players, and letting them think they are in control. A new DM will not have this skill. You should talk with your DM about the game you want.

A good DM will adapt the path the players take based on their characters and their actions. I also privately try to talk to my players about what they enjoy or do not enjoy about my game. I also quiz my players on their character. This allows me to color the railroad track so they do not see it.

As an advanced player you should adapt your character to the setting they are in. There are metamagics that let you use your mind control on normally immune creature types and such. Also expand your spell selection.

Keep in mind your experience do not make you right. Different people enjoy different things and you may not realize you have different things you enjoy.


I just got into an argument with my GM who said that True Seeing negated Hide in Plain Sight...somehow.

Because somehow "hiding" in plain sight is totally different from being "simply hidden" which True Seeing explicitly says it can't see through.

There were other issues, but that was the moment I decided I'd pack up and go to bed. Maybe next time I'll deal with it.


Kaouse wrote:

I just got into an argument with my GM who said that True Seeing negated Hide in Plain Sight...somehow.

Because somehow "hiding" in plain sight is totally different from being "simply hidden" which True Seeing explicitly says it can't see through.

There were other issues, but that was the moment I decided I'd pack up and go to bed. Maybe next time I'll deal with it.

How did you gain HiPS? Rogues and Rangers get it as an extraordinary ability, while Shadowdancers have Supernatural HiPS. I could see an argument that True Seeing counters Shadowdancer HiPS but not ranger HiPS.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

since you have been playing for so long you realize there are a gazillion enemies to enchantment right? if you only have charms you are gonna have a bad time. This is the same as if you made a fire sorc with only fire spells aand you got to fight a fire elemental.

Also this game is obviously not the right for your character, but the dm is not really doing anything wrong here


Thank you for all your input so far! It's given me something to contemplate and when I'm thinking I'm less frustrated. I'm going to talk to the whole group GM and the other players.

I don't want to start a fight about her lack of desire to plan ahead or listen to the desire of her players. I was just hoping for some more neutral ways to handle the situation without the whole party killing her campaign ideas or disappointing our party leader by swapping out or drastically changing my character. Maybe I've been GMing too long I forgot what being a player is like...

On a side note (because our GM doesn't know and I can't find it) to use a wand what is the spell save dc on wands? Do you use your own save for that level of spell or the crafter's? And is there a chart or standard npc modifier to use. It's a fight that we all go through with her because she doesn't tell us anything about the wands or scrolls we receive as loot and everyone in the party has the skill Use Magic Device. I know the dc's to activate the devices but say it's a save for half damage or spell resistance applies to the spell?


FoolNamedFreedom wrote:

On a side note (because our GM doesn't know and I can't find it) to use a wand what is the spell save dc on wands? Do you use your own save for that level of spell or the crafter's? And is there a chart or standard npc modifier to use. It's a fight that we all go through with her because she doesn't tell us anything about the wands or scrolls we receive as loot and everyone in the party has the skill Use Magic Device. I know the dc's to activate the devices but say it's a save for half damage or spell resistance applies to the spell?

DC is 10+spell level+bonus of the minimum attribute needed to cast that spell

So a first level spell is DC11 (10+1+0 - for an ability score of 11).
A 9th level spell is DC23 (10+9+4 - for an ability score of 19)
EDIT: forgot about staves, without another ability to mess it up, staves are the only magic items to break the above rule, they use the wielders ability score to set the DC.


Kudaku wrote:
Kaouse wrote:

I just got into an argument with my GM who said that True Seeing negated Hide in Plain Sight...somehow.

Because somehow "hiding" in plain sight is totally different from being "simply hidden" which True Seeing explicitly says it can't see through.

There were other issues, but that was the moment I decided I'd pack up and go to bed. Maybe next time I'll deal with it.

How did you gain HiPS? Rogues and Rangers get it as an extraordinary ability, while Shadowdancers have Supernatural HiPS. I could see an argument that True Seeing counters Shadowdancer HiPS but not ranger HiPS.

From what I can tell Hide in plain sight is just a super awesome stealth check. The assassin has the same type of HiPS as the shadow dancer without the shadow conjuring so if the shadow is natural I'd count it as the same as a ranger/rogue in favoured terrain but if the shadow is conjured true seeing would counter.


dragonhunterq wrote:
FoolNamedFreedom wrote:

On a side note (because our GM doesn't know and I can't find it) to use a wand what is the spell save dc on wands? Do you use your own save for that level of spell or the crafter's? And is there a chart or standard npc modifier to use. It's a fight that we all go through with her because she doesn't tell us anything about the wands or scrolls we receive as loot and everyone in the party has the skill Use Magic Device. I know the dc's to activate the devices but say it's a save for half damage or spell resistance applies to the spell?

DC is 10+spell level+bonus of the minimum attribute needed to cast that spell

So a first level spell is DC11 (10+1+0 - for an ability score of 11).
A 9th level spell is DC23 (10+9+4 - for an ability score of 19)
EDIT: forgot about staves, without another ability to mess it up, staves are the only magic items to break the above rule, they use the wielders ability score to set the DC.

Assuming they were crafted with the minimum caster level and stat (which is the default assumption), you are correct.

If the crafter is a known, specific character (either a PC or NPC), then you can use the stats and caster level of the character that did the crafting.


Gwen Smith wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:
FoolNamedFreedom wrote:

On a side note (because our GM doesn't know and I can't find it) to use a wand what is the spell save dc on wands? Do you use your own save for that level of spell or the crafter's? And is there a chart or standard npc modifier to use. It's a fight that we all go through with her because she doesn't tell us anything about the wands or scrolls we receive as loot and everyone in the party has the skill Use Magic Device. I know the dc's to activate the devices but say it's a save for half damage or spell resistance applies to the spell?

DC is 10+spell level+bonus of the minimum attribute needed to cast that spell

So a first level spell is DC11 (10+1+0 - for an ability score of 11).
A 9th level spell is DC23 (10+9+4 - for an ability score of 19)
EDIT: forgot about staves, without another ability to mess it up, staves are the only magic items to break the above rule, they use the wielders ability score to set the DC.

Assuming they were crafted with the minimum caster level and stat (which is the default assumption), you are correct.

If the crafter is a known, specific character (either a PC or NPC), then you can use the stats and caster level of the character that did the crafting.

Not so. The DC for magic items is always set using that formula. While a known specific character can alter the caster level, the caster level is not a function used to calculate the save DC. The only way I know of to boost the base item DC is to create it using heighten spell to force the spell level higher.

The only other exceptions I know of are (as mentioned) staves, that use the ability score and level of the wielder, and there is a special ability that allows a wizard to do the same with wands.

Unless there is something I've missed in the item creation rules - wouldn't be the first time :)


It takes feats and class features to use your own stats for magic item DCs and caster level.


To create your own Wands its: 375 gp × the level of the spell × the level of the caster you can choose to make it at your highest caster level or the minimum for the spell required for the spell. The DC to create a magic item is 5 + the caster level for the item. Failing this check means that the item does not function and the materials and time are wasted. Failing this check by 5 or more results in a cursed item hehehe


Without your character sheet, it's hard to tell, but it seems like you glass cannoned your sorcerer a bit in the sense that you do one thing really well and not much else. I'd consider a reskin or retrain, despite the fact that you have valid ownership and enjoyment of the character. Maybe temporarily get called away on "business" only to return later.

As for the DM, one reason she could be offering mindless monster hunts is that they are BY FAR the easiest monsters to run. Man-eating trees and giant beetles do the things they do. There are never motives other than "MOAR foodz!" and there aren't prisoner dilemmas.

It's fully possible that she's picking a from a bag over very easy skyrim type fetch quests because that's what's easiest to her.

I've seen a lot of new DMs run easy to run monsters and scale up the CR of the monsters to make up for their lack of tactical brilliance.


Gevaudan wrote:
As for the DM, one reason she could be offering mindless monster hunts is that they are BY FAR the easiest monsters to run. Man-eating trees and giant beetles do the things they do. There are never motives other than "MOAR foodz!" and there aren't prisoner dilemmas.

As for being a glass cannon yeah I kinda am right now. I started the campaign I was under the impression we were going to a capital city to gather info on an evil cult then on to take out said evil cult. We've only levelled once since I joined and next level I can swap spells to add a more a defensive or offensive edge to combat.

As for her encounters she is just picking easy to use monsters. That's kinda what she does. However a lot of animals like starving/feral wolves or bears use the same tactics and can be dazed or put to sleep while still offering little to no loot.


Hey now, Bear and wolf pelts can be valuable. There's a pretty red bear who's on my "to kill" list in my current campaign, but a very high level druid is protecting it, who is also on my to kill list, due to our druid being pissed about that druid being rude.

Shadow Lodge

It doesnt make sense animals have loot, however the dm should reward apropiately, like you find 199 gp from a dead adventurer's corpse or something, or at some othe place, recounting for all the loot that had not been given yet


Ah, The bodies of adventurers who came before me! Sometimes even reanimated!


I agree that talking to the DM, retraining, or bringing in new chars sounds like good options. Probably in order from best to good.

Another option, if none of those work, is to simply use your char. You are in a city, being asked to go out into the countryside and fight opponents you can't fight? Charm some guards or mercs into helping you fight. That way, you can make use of your current chars strengths to aid you in battles you wouldn't be good at. That's what an enchanter is all about, right? Getting others to fight your battles for you?


Yes animals can have loot if the GM wishes to provide it or the characters have the skills for it. Our hunter skins every beast we slay and the necro who's alternate occupation is chef prepares the remains into meals and party rations.

So as a follow up on those that have offered advice here the GM wasn't targeting me. As much as I feel slightly better about that she admitted to actively targeting one of the other players. Our necro was the one under fire because he created an awesome undead minion after she destroyed his other minions. The new minion, from what I understand was made within the rules and confines of the game using the level and abilties of said necromancer. I don't know much about the raising undead rules I only know that according him it was built by the books. I know he cannot create more than 2 of them as per the hd he can control for level restriction reasons. Our party was caught in the crossfire of our GM's frustration and myself and character suffered for it.


Gevaudan wrote:
Hey now, Bear and wolf pelts can be valuable. There's a pretty red bear who's on my "to kill" list in my current campaign, but a very high level druid is protecting it, who is also on my to kill list, due to our druid being pissed about that druid being rude.

To me it sounds like your GM is good at engaging the whole party into adventures.


Gauthok wrote:

I agree that talking to the DM, retraining, or bringing in new chars sounds like good options. Probably in order from best to good.

Another option, if none of those work, is to simply use your char. You are in a city, being asked to go out into the countryside and fight opponents you can't fight? Charm some guards or mercs into helping you fight. That way, you can make use of your current chars strengths to aid you in battles you wouldn't be good at. That's what an enchanter is all about, right? Getting others to fight your battles for you?

Teehee I've done that and our GM now rules that npc's will just run away at the sight of combat so I can't have nice guards protecting me. Our summoner and necromancer now protect me.


FoolNamedFreedom wrote:
our GM now rules that npc's will just run away at the sight of combat so I can't have nice guards protecting me. Our summoner and necromancer now protect me.

but... that's dumb. They're guards, they literally fight for a living. Like adventurers that don't adventure. Why the hell would they be a guard if they're going to just run away from combat?

Also, go find a merc or something. She may say guards are too cowardly to do their jobs properly, but a guy you paid specifically to murder things for you shouldn't be; hell quietly toss a few enchants on them and you may even be able to convince them you're paying a fair price while saving some coin. ;)

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Experienced player can't handle Noob Gamemaster. What do??? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.