Air Your Grievances


Gamer Life General Discussion

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Shadow Lodge

My wife and I are celebrating our 21st anniversary this weekend. We got a really super nice hotel room with an in room Jacuzzi and everything. I'm sitting at work due to a last minute video conference requirement while my wife is stuck waiting for me in our hotel room just up the road.

Some times working for the DoD sucks.


Alni wrote:

Hopefully my last post in this thread, probably quitting the game. GM cancelled on us again. Last session -a month and a half ago- he cancelled a day earlier, without rescheduling. This time 20 minutes before the session started. Our understanding is he wanted to go out with friends.

Also, every NPC is amazing(-ly better that you!)

Me: I look around the fair to find a cleric of Calistria for some payed entertainment.
GM: You do.
Me: I make chit chat, then ask how much.
GM: Let me think, she's high priestess so that would be...

...and the village butcher is a 20th lvl samurai

Don't give up on the game, look for a different group if you can. I can handle cancelling a day early, but not 20 minutes. And having a 20th Samurai and all the NPCs being superior to the players would get old, too. Maybe there's a Play by Post game you could get involved with here on the boards.

Scarab Sages

One of my friends who was running a very cool homebrew campaign setting is also a writer. He decided he had to finish an entire 5-book series all at once and get at least the first book published before he can come back to GMing.

I worry that he'll never come back to his campaign. This happened once before over a decade ago, when we were playing the same campaign with a different rule set. We had to take a break when one of the players became seriously ill, and though we played a few times after the player recovered, the GM eventually just stopped scheduling sessions. It was like he'd lost interest in his own creation during the down time.

He still plays in a twice-monthly campaign run by someone else, though, and a weekly wargaming group. Apparently he just doesn't have any imagination left over for running his own game. :-/


Dire Elf wrote:
Apparently he just doesn't have any imagination left over for running his own game. :-/

As the primary GM for my games for 30+ years I understand how he feels, at least to a degree. Sometimes it becomes really hard to think of something new to challenge higher level characters. I wish your GM would get back in business with you and your fellow players.


After too many years storytelling my own stories I've started to run prewritten stuff like modules as I feel my imagination is not what it used to be and I need some help. But I still like to change a lot of stuff to make prewritten stuff feel like my own.


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In my 30+ years of gaming I've run maybe two modules, one from an old old Dragon Magazine and one from a near equally old Dungeon Magazine. I just can't do it. They seem to railroad-ish to me. My group never chooses the options I think they will, and it throws module loving GMs completely off the rails. They prefer a more free form way of playing, which is what I've done as a GM since I started.


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I've always seen modules as being more like guidelines, than hard-and-fast adventures. It's helped me immensely when running CotCT.


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I tried writing my own adventure.

Took me two years and didn't end well.

I find my imagination takes off if I have a story I can add onto.

Now, that's just me, and I'm the only one in my family that doesn't write their own adventures, so.

Now, I've got all sorts of setting ideas, which I have been slowly getting together, you just don't want me to write the adventures there. :-)

Scarab Sages

DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Dire Elf wrote:
Apparently he just doesn't have any imagination left over for running his own game. :-/
As the primary GM for my games for 30+ years I understand how he feels, at least to a degree. Sometimes it becomes really hard to think of something new to challenge higher level characters. I wish your GM would get back in business with you and your fellow players.

I completely understand that writing is consuming him. It's just frustrating when it seems like he can take time away from writing to do other things, just not run his own game. We're not high level - we started over at 1st when we re-started the campaign with new rules. We're only 7th level now.

Not having his game also means we don't get to see him as often, which is another disappointment.

Kileanna wrote:
After too many years storytelling my own stories I've started to run prewritten stuff like modules as I feel my imagination is not what it used to be and I need some help. But I still like to change a lot of stuff to make prewritten stuff feel like my own.

Several of our group's GMs have started doing that. We used to have almost exclusively homebrewed adventures, but everyone is busy with other things now and doesn't have time to work on those, so they've all gone to using Pathfinder Adventure Paths. But they definitely do mix them up to suit themselves. We seldom follow the rails that the AP sets down 100% of the time.


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Alni wrote:


Also, every NPC is amazing(-ly better that you!)

Me: I look around the fair to find a cleric of Calistria for some payed entertainment.
GM: You do.
Me: I make chit chat, then ask how much.
GM: Let me think, she's high priestess so that would be...

...and the village butcher is a 20th lvl samurai

Played by John Belushi!

"Samurai Butcher!"

Grand Lodge

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
My group never chooses the options I think they will, and it throws module loving GMs completely off the rails. They prefer a more free form way of playing

It's been my experience (like you, over 30+ years of being the primary DM), that modules and other published adventures need players to be on-board with a willingness to follow where ever the story might take them.


DrDeth wrote:
Alni wrote:


Also, every NPC is amazing(-ly better that you!)

Me: I look around the fair to find a cleric of Calistria for some payed entertainment.
GM: You do.
Me: I make chit chat, then ask how much.
GM: Let me think, she's high priestess so that would be...

...and the village butcher is a 20th lvl samurai

Played by John Belushi!

"Samurai Butcher!"

I just went to Hulu and watched that. It was "Samurai Delicatessen" and the host that weekend was the legendary Buck Henry.

Shadow Lodge

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Digitalelf wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
My group never chooses the options I think they will, and it throws module loving GMs completely off the rails. They prefer a more free form way of playing
It's been my experience (like you, over 30+ years of being the primary DM), that modules and other published adventures need players to be on-board with a willingness to follow where ever the story might take them.

It also takes a strong understanding of what your players like and how they act/react to the world around them. If a player is pure murder-hobo, don't run them in a political thriller or an empire builder like Crimson Throne or King Maker. If your players really get into political intrigue and mystery, Giant Slayer probably won't be their thing.

It doesn't matter how nice the train is if it isn't going where you want to go. You won't ride that train.


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And after all this time I think I have a handle on them. They like a mix of intrigue, roleplaying, and action, in pretty much equal measures, but always in a different order. I've learned to read the room with them, having played with them for so long, so I can sometimes act even before they do on what I think they're about to do. That way they think they're on track when I'm really just anticipating their moves.

Scarab Sages

One of our campaigns came to an end Saturday night. We knew it was coming - the GM had told us it would be the ultimate episode. But I only joined that campaign recently, so I haven't played in it from beginning to end and I'm sad I won't get to play in it anymore.


I can't seem to get a single BBEG to win initiative against my players. Even his cronies roll badly, so the players get the upper hand right from the start and the bad guys never recover. This has been going on the whole campaign (going on 3 years now). It's getting to be quite frustrating. I had a mythic foe and a mature adult green dragon plus mid level mooks for the game this weekend and while the PCs took plenty of damage the cleric (the 13 year old daughter of one of my players on her first time gaming with us) saved everyone's bacon more than once. I must find a way to get the upper hand before the end of the campaign (about 6 months from now).


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Come and be the GM for one day at my S&S game. My players roll the worse initiative rolls ever! I have a swashbuckler with a +10 modifier and more often than not he acts later than the monsters.


There's some RPGs that I would like to play, but my normal group never wants to play them and it's hard to find a group for them online.

Also, I wish I was better at planning campaigns. I always feel like my stories are crap and that my encounters are terrible. Meanwhile, my friends are way more prepared and have more interesting campaigns.


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Don't worry about it. It doesn't mean your campaigns aren't good, you are probably just being harsh on yourself. This is not some sort of competition about who does the best stories, as long as you and your players enjoy you are doing it right.
I felt like my first stories as a GM were crap too, but I kept trying, stopped worrying and eventually got better at it.


I cannot find anyone local who wants to reliably run a Pathfinder game.

I've been running my own campaign for a few years. It's been fun, but I'd like to actually play in a long-term ongoing campaign too. None of my players are willing to step up and run a game of their own.

One player did run a Star Wars one-shot, which was fun, but not quite what I'm looking for.

I joined a D&D 5E game that ran for a while. The GM was terrible, the plot was railroady and unpleasant, and the game ended acrimoniously due to player revolt.

I joined an online game for a few sessions. The roleplay and worldbuilding was great, but the GM decided that he really didn't like the feel of Pathfinder, and started making sweeping rules changes without warning. Including magic items being unavailable except for rare special treasures, and crafting being banned. When I complained that I signed up to play Pathfinder, not calvinball, he booted me from the game.

Doesn't anyone want to actually run the Pathfinder rules as-is around here? I know, there are several Pathfinder Society games run nearby, but that's not really what I'm looking for either. Those lack the long campaign feel, potential for real character growth, and ability to affect the world that I find important.

Sovereign Court

Finding a goldilocks game isn't always easy. Despite PFS not being what you are looking for, I advise you to give it a shot anyway. Don't worry about the perfect TTRPG experience, go to PFS as a social event and find your goldilocks players. That and give meetup.com a try. Good luck.

Silver Crusade

I was about to say the same thing. Even if PFS isn't your ideal game, it's a great way to meet people. Plenty of PFS players also have campaigns going on the side, so if you make some friends there, you can probably get into a campaign that suits your preferences.


I'll give it a try again. The one time I went (a few years back) the PFS pickup game at the local gaming store was unacceptably crowded, but maybe it's better now.

Silver Crusade

ellindsey wrote:
I'll give it a try again. The one time I went (a few years back) the PFS pickup game at the local gaming store was unacceptably crowded, but maybe it's better now.

It wouldn't surprise me if it's less crowded now. The release of 5e took some players away from Pathfinder. I know the store where I used to play had 3-5 tables of PFS every week when I was there 2 years ago, and now they're only doing 1-2 table per week. On the other hand, my current store has held steady at usually 2-3 tables per week since I moved here.


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I hate that I'm the perpetual GM. It's been 4 years since I have sat on the other side of the screen, and longer than than since I had a character get to play in more than 2 games. The worst part is if I bring it up someone will run something but it won't last long enough to enjoy it before it gets dropped, couple that with the fact it probably won't even be pathfinder and it just sucks.


Talonhawke wrote:
I hate that I'm the perpetual GM. It's been 4 years since I have sat on the other side of the screen, and longer than than since I had a character get to play in more than 2 games. The worst part is if I bring it up someone will run something but it won't last long enough to enjoy it before it gets dropped, couple that with the fact it probably won't even be pathfinder and it just sucks.

While I do get to be a player (about 4 times a year), I feel your pain. The only game I get to play in is a bizarre mashup of Call of Cthulhu d20 and Vampire: The Masquerade. It sounds strange but it's actually a lot of fun. I've been invited to play in a PFS game and I said I would, but I'm hesitant about all the restrictions. But if it gives me a chance to be a player I'll take it.

And if you lived near me you'd get to be a Pathfinder player pretty often. I'm the only GM for it (except the PFS guy) and my guys tell me I run a pretty fun game. For more than 30 years now.


Yeah I'm not even sure how far the nearest PFS game is to down here. @ hours looks like the minimum travel distance.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Roll20 makes for a reasonable substitute, if you can find a crew you are comfortable with. May take some trial and error.


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I'm lucky to have Dalindra. If it wasn't for him I'd be the only GM at my group, but we alternate. The only issue is that I'd like to be a player with him for one time in a game that lasts more than a couple of sessions.

Sovereign Court

I have a friend who loves to GM. The first problem that always comes up is he eventually gets bored/angry with the way the players end up developing. He will say he is "burned out" but its always the players fault for, not being serious, not playing correctly to the "feel" of the campaign, not getting the rules, etc. The second problem is he often leaves information out both mechanically and fluff wise and beats the players mercilessly if they misstep. It's rough because he is full steam ahead and enthusiastic to start, but when his battery runs low he looks to torpedo the campaign and then blame the players. Rinse, Repeat.


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Playing non-PFS games with people of mostly PFS experience.... nightmare.

The concept of a GM actually doing any kind of homebrewing regarding encounters and monsters gives them apoplexy!! LOL

"NO!!...NO!!...it says quite clearly on p.48 of Bestiary 4 that......"


Talonhawke wrote:
Yeah I'm not even sure how far the nearest PFS game is to down here. @ hours looks like the minimum travel distance.

Where do you live?


Monticello, Arkansas we have been over this Cal lol


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Oh yeah, I forget sometimes because I'm old and senile. And I take a lot of meds... lol..

Yeah, Monticello is pretty isolated. I have occasional players from Dumas, Cherokee Village, Marion, and Memphis, all of which are about 2 hours from me. Two of them are coming in this game, and the one from Cherokee Village Skypes in when she can't make it.

Man, I wish you lived closer, I'm not the greatest GM, but we have a good time and that's what's most important.

Grand Lodge

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I'm not the greatest GM, but have a good time and that's what's most important.

Amen to that!

That's what it's all about. :-D

Community & Digital Content Director

Removed a post. It's pretty uncool to advocate hitting another player or GM at the table, even as a joke.


My grievance is because of some emotional/mental issues that have developed in the last decade GMing is getting harder and harder. No one else in the group will GM Pathfinder, and the only guy who has said he would is doing the same thing he does EVERY time he starts to. He runs two or three adventures then quits then moves away. When he does move back, he pulls the same crap.

Also I sometimes have to ask for help in designing challenging NPCs, which I was once able to do with no effort, but now it's a task where I often fail. I recently asked for help designing a villain for this upcoming weekend's game and got some great advice, but I wish I didn't have to turn to others for help so often.

So there's my grievance-whine for the day. Thanks for listening.


Minor thing. Running Strange Aeons. Two or three party members (two of them Inquisitors) deciding to run Damerrich worshippers seemingly solely to annoy me.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:

My grievance is because of some emotional/mental issues that have developed in the last decade GMing is getting harder and harder. No one else in the group will GM Pathfinder, and the only guy who has said he would is doing the same thing he does EVERY time he starts to. He runs two or three adventures then quits then moves away. When he does move back, he pulls the same crap.

Also I sometimes have to ask for help in designing challenging NPCs, which I was once able to do with no effort, but now it's a task where I often fail. I recently asked for help designing a villain for this upcoming weekend's game and got some great advice, but I wish I didn't have to turn to others for help so often.

So there's my grievance-whine for the day. Thanks for listening.

Feel free to PM me anytime you need help with an NPC I'll be glad to help when I can.


PannicAtack wrote:
Minor thing. Running Strange Aeons. Two or three party members (two of them Inquisitors) deciding to run Damerrich worshippers seemingly solely to annoy me.

Explain, please?


Talonhawke wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:

My grievance is because of some emotional/mental issues that have developed in the last decade GMing is getting harder and harder. No one else in the group will GM Pathfinder, and the only guy who has said he would is doing the same thing he does EVERY time he starts to. He runs two or three adventures then quits then moves away. When he does move back, he pulls the same crap.

Also I sometimes have to ask for help in designing challenging NPCs, which I was once able to do with no effort, but now it's a task where I often fail. I recently asked for help designing a villain for this upcoming weekend's game and got some great advice, but I wish I didn't have to turn to others for help so often.

So there's my grievance-whine for the day. Thanks for listening.

Feel free to PM me anytime you need help with an NPC I'll be glad to help when I can.

Thanks, TH. I might be bugging you pretty soon!


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DrDeth wrote:
PannicAtack wrote:
Minor thing. Running Strange Aeons. Two or three party members (two of them Inquisitors) deciding to run Damerrich worshippers seemingly solely to annoy me.
Explain, please?

So, for my online group I'm running Strange Aeons. One person who was interested had been toying around with the idea of a paladin of Damerrich. Couple other folks in the group are all "ooh, what's that?" and they find out and decide they'll make inquisitors. I allow it, of course, tho my dislike of the Empyreal lord is somewhat clear. Guy who was considering paladin changed his mind 'cause it's not fun if erryone does it. Fast forward to rebooting the campaign post-mythweavers crash, and they seem to be sticking with it. In addition to a third person who seems to be considering it 'cause he likes teasing I guess (he's also considering Torag 'cause he seems to be under the impression that I have a similar hang-up).


In my version of Golarion, Aroden has sort of become an Empyreal lord.


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Pathfinder is such a racist game! They keep saying that I am not a person and that Charm Person just proves the point. I don't want to be treated as a Monster just because I am blue!

They also say that I am an "outsider" despite the fact I've born and spent my whole life in here!

I am so mad!!!

Silver Crusade

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Alright so I am going to go on my own little rant here about a PFS character that I had to deal with at a local con this month.

So the basic character idea that I was told is that this guy was an Ifrit Sorcerer who's Master was making him be in the Society despite him not wanting to be there.

So we get to the first combat of the game (Ungrounded but Unbroken), and without even seeing what they were fighting, he walks into the middle of the enemy group and drops Darkness. Bad Guys can see perfectly. 3/4 of PC party have no Darkvision. Never have I been so angered by a player or so tempted to kill him for that.


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That's just someone throwing a tantrum because they didn't want to be in PFS. I'm normally against PvP, but that bastard would've been cut to ribbons in my game.

Silver Crusade

I've... dealt with that type of player before...

Rysky wrote:

Had a guy, every. Single. F+#@ing. Fight.

deeper darkness.

We challenge a group to a fight? deeper darkness.

We get jumped? deeper darkness.

Try to snipe someone? deeper darkness.

Try to sneak past the SLEEPING monster? deeper darkness.

My Cleric just started using AoOs everytime he tried to cast. Which might seem like an overreaction, except he were ALWAYS trying to cast deeper darkness, even if he said he wasn't (thank the various gods and goddesses above and below for spellcraft).

Silver Crusade

That was in 3.5, he tried to do the same in a Pathfinder game with a Fetchling and their racial feats but ended up getting screwed over because the party (most if not all lacking Darkvison) didn't want to travel at night. So Mr. Fetchling had to deal with constant Light Blindness.

Silver Crusade

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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
That's just someone throwing a tantrum because they didn't want to be in PFS. I'm normally against PvP, but that bastard would've been cut to ribbons in my game.

No the player likes PFS. Just the character didn't and that was the pain in the a** part.

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