Worst player / GM at your table?


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Used to play with a group that included the DM and his little brother.

The DM was sadistic. First, he only liked the fighting classes, if you attempted to play a spellcaster, rogue, etc, your entire gaming experience was a series of being beat up by fighters, barbarians, Caveliers, etc.

Second, he only liked human characters (and dwarves). If you attempted to play an elf, a halfling, etc, you were just in for this miserable time of every barbarian/fighter picking a fight with you.

Adventures (I think I played 3 campaigns with the group before giving up) all seemed to consist of a formula similar to:

You are nobody, first level. You get beat up. You get beat up again. You get beat up and captured. You meet an NPC the DM really seems to think is interesting.....but he's just a real prick, and about 5 levels higher than you, so you can't even talk smack.

Eventually you accomplish some things. However you are beat up and captured again, and all your stuff is taken from you. (Including all spellcasting materials/theives tools if you need those) You are sold to drow (or crazy barbarians, or hungry gnolls) they torture you. They make you fight in a pit for their amusement, etc.

Worst part was when we'd get aggravated about the way the adventure was going, his attitude was we weren't "roleplaying enough". His brother, who would play characters stolen directly from whatever movie they had last watched (Samurai movies, "Leon" the Professional, Die Hard etc), he considered a "brilliant roleplayer". His brother would always know the correct thing to say to the drow slavers so they didn't shave his head and tattoo "Slave" on his head like they did everyone else in the party, etc.

Best gaming decision I ever made was to stop playing with them.


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Merellin wrote:
My first tabletop RPG group ever was for D&D 4e, I had never played before but joined a group of people I know. Unfortunately, I forgot one of them realy loves teasing people, Aspecialy if they get upset. So the moment I joined, He decided it would be very fun if he made it his characters mission to get every last character I made killed. Like running into danger, And using a ability to swap places with me so the falling wall would hit my character instead of his. Or when we found a healing fountain and I was almost dead and he was at full health he pushed me over and drank all the healing liquid. Just because he thought it was funny that I got annoyed at him..

Sounds like you also have a candidate foe worst GM there too.


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Daeryon wrote:


Worst part was when we'd get aggravated about the way the adventure was going, his attitude was we weren't "roleplaying enough". His brother, who would play characters stolen directly from whatever movie they had last watched (Samurai movies, "Leon" the Professional, Die Hard etc), he considered a "brilliant roleplayer". His brother would always know the correct thing to say to the drow slavers so they didn't shave his head and tattoo "Slave" on his head like they did everyone else in the party, etc.

Favoritism is the thing I hate the most in a GM. I have had bad GMs I give a pass to just because they treat everyone at the table equally. One of the other wise best GM I've had I grew to hate playing with because of how blatant is favoritism was to certain players.


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I feel that I've been lucky in the sense that I have a group of friends that love gaming and can play together without much difficulty and we have been able to play a grand assortment of games over the past ten years and have a fantastic time. Anytime I've attempted to expand outside of these groups is when I've had horrendous issues. By far the worst was an attempt to go through the Skulls and Shackles Adventure Path at a local game store with relative strangers, almost everyone being older gamers.

I was playing a Conjuration focused Wizard 5. While I tended to play NG with a mean streak, the rest of the party focused on CN or worse. The biggest problem was the players breaking the cardinal rule (which most of the players mentioned in this thread seemed to break) that you work as hard as possible to work with the party or if nothing else don't actively attack party members, IRL or otherwise. The player who broke that rule constantly was a catfolk ninja who would demand everyone follow her orders or die, sleep on corpses or get in petty arguments at every opportunity, and attempt to intimidate my character in taking needless tactical blunders to satisfy her bloodlust such as boarding an enemy ship or be flogged. As a ranged battlefield control spell-caster.

Needless to say, even at this point, I was frustrated in more ways then one, but hoped that by helping acquire more crew members to appease the captain (barely better then the catfolk ninja) and the vice-captain by helping to obtain crew members that, I don't know, the players wouldn't be such unbearable people and chill? So I investigated, and came back with my findings to ask if it was acceptable to obtain low-level clerics and wizards to make repairs or heal in times of crisis (Keeping in mind, the current party makeup was swashbuckler, shaman, ninja, ninja). Instead the vice captain threatened to kill me if I ever decided to make any decision that was not first cleared by the captain, and rejected it. At this point both the player and the character couldn't be convinced, and after talking about it IRL it didn't get better either. Naturally I did the sensible thing in that situation.

I plotted to kill the entire party.

Since I'm not evil IRL, I went to the DM first to discuss the problems. If it wasn't for the players, I would put this guy pretty high up regarding prep and effort as a DM, he just had a "let the players make the decisions" attitude which didn't always work well as obvious in this case. Regardless, I aired my grievances and outlined that, as I had not been listened to regarding the other players behaviors that the only option that seemed fair was for him to intervene, or I kill the party before I leave the game. He didn't take that very seriously at the time, and at a point basically stated "I mean, can you?"

I outlined my plan; gathering the players to discuss some important matters on the deck of the ship, already having cast Invisibility and Levitation to float above them, casting Mad Monkeys and Summoning Earth Elementals II and III alongside Stinking Cloud and more from scrolls, wands and my own spell list until I killed the party while never breaking invisibility or being seen due to never actually attacking them. With no casters aside from myself and a touch-spell focused shaman, they would die slowly and painfully, before I then took over the ship as Captain and started the game anew.

He talked to the players. They were surprisingly amicable after that.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Having played and DMed since 1974, one tends to see it all. For the most part, 95% of the players and DMs have been fine. A few rough edges sometimes but otherwise fine.

But I have had the occasional 'nugget' to enliven my game sessions. Like the player who was repeatedly told by the other players to stop charging into every combat before the rest of the party acted and allow the spellcasters to soften up the opposition first or who would attack every NPC we met. Despite repeated warnings, my wizard had enough and would fireball the group of enemies this guy would charge into. And if I couldn't finesse the targeting to exclude him, I would include him in the fireball radius. He rage-quit after I had killed him with friendly fire a few times, despite my repeated warnings not to charge into the room first because I will be dropping a fireball into the room on my turn.

Or the DM who was so enamored with the Deck of Many Things that the exit of every dungeon level required us to pull from a Deck of Many Things. Every..Single..Dungeon..Level...

Or the socially inept or anti-social player who would have an issue with the girl at the table, or the visible ethnic minority at the table and then would proceed to in-game or out of game to sexually harass or show racial bias against said individuals. Always grounds for a quick kick to the curb.

Or the rager types, who upon having their character die or if they didn't get their way or had a string of bad luck, would throw their books and dice all over the room or at people in a fit of rage.

Or the individual who wants the game to be all about them and the rest of the players are the 'supporting cast' with that individual the 'star' of the show. And is indignate if the other players don't go along.

Still, the problem children have been a very clear minority in 40+ year of playing for me. Which is a remarkable record when I consider the number of campaigns I have played or DMed over those decades.


Our group tolerated a very unique fellow for at least 5 years. He wasn't a bad guy, he was just a terrible, terrible player who happened to have a high-pitched, squeaky voice.

He would come up with interesting ideas for characters, but that wasn't the problem. It was all his implementation of those characters.

Every single one of his characters, with the exception of one, died. Over 5 years of regular play, there were a lot.

Once, playing 3.5, his character died (of course). He chose to make his dead character into a ghost player character...at level 5. He was incorporeal, had a 50% miss chance on every melee attack, and contributed zero to the group for at least 4 months with this one character alone.

Another time, with his dromite (insectoid) bard, he charged a basilisk at level 8 or so, charging ahead of my paladin who had told the group he would take the lead with his god to protect him (good saves).

Instantly turned to stone. We carried his statue around for a good 2 game sessions. Pieces chipped off, we were deep in a jungle, no one wanted to stone-to-flesh him.

It didn't help that he was a rules lawyer who didn't know the rules very well...


Theacos wrote:
Daeryon wrote:


Worst part was when we'd get aggravated about the way the adventure was going, his attitude was we weren't "roleplaying enough". His brother, who would play characters stolen directly from whatever movie they had last watched (Samurai movies, "Leon" the Professional, Die Hard etc), he considered a "brilliant roleplayer". His brother would always know the correct thing to say to the drow slavers so they didn't shave his head and tattoo "Slave" on his head like they did everyone else in the party, etc.

Favoritism is the thing I hate the most in a GM. I have had bad GMs I give a pass to just because they treat everyone at the table equally. One of the other wise best GM I've had I grew to hate playing with because of how blatant is favoritism was to certain players.

Sadly the favoritism wasn't the worst part by far. It was just the way the DM was malicious with everyone else. I mentioned 3 campaigns, but what I left out is that it was 3 campaigns because the DM would drop the campaign the moment the characters got powerful enough to assert themselves. (right about level 5 or 6).

I remember when the party pulled together and slew a dinosaur the DM expected us to run from the campaign got dropped right there. "that's ridiculous". Next session we were rolling up new characters to start at level 1.

With now years of hindsight it was obviously a control thing. He wanted to control the whole story, including how are characters were built, what they did, and what they thought, the moment he stopped being able to do that in accordance with the rules, he'd either change the situation: "you are captured and they take all your spellbooks, so now you can't cast anything, and they take your cleric's holy symbol" etc. Or he'd drop the campaign and start over.


Icy Turbo wrote:

I feel that I've been lucky in the sense that I have a group of friends that love gaming and can play together without much difficulty and we have been able to play a grand assortment of games over the past ten years and have a fantastic time. Anytime I've attempted to expand outside of these groups is when I've had horrendous issues. By far the worst was an attempt to go through the Skulls and Shackles Adventure Path at a local game store with relative strangers, almost everyone being older gamers.

I was playing a Conjuration focused Wizard 5. While I tended to play NG with a mean streak, the rest of the party focused on CN or worse. The biggest problem was the players breaking the cardinal rule (which most of the players mentioned in this thread seemed to break) that you work as hard as possible to work with the party or if nothing else don't actively attack party members, IRL or otherwise. The player who broke that rule constantly was a catfolk ninja who would demand everyone follow her orders or die, sleep on corpses or get in petty arguments at every opportunity, and attempt to intimidate my character in taking needless tactical blunders to satisfy her bloodlust such as boarding an enemy ship or be flogged. As a ranged battlefield control spell-caster.

Needless to say, even at this point, I was frustrated in more ways then one, but hoped that by helping acquire more crew members to appease the captain (barely better then the catfolk ninja) and the vice-captain by helping to obtain crew members that, I don't know, the players wouldn't be such unbearable people and chill? So I investigated, and came back with my findings to ask if it was acceptable to obtain low-level clerics and wizards to make repairs or heal in times of crisis (Keeping in mind, the current party makeup was swashbuckler, shaman, ninja, ninja). Instead the vice captain threatened to kill me if I ever decided to make any decision that was not first cleared by the captain, and rejected it. At this point both the player and the...

I think this has been my favourite thus far. What was the reaction of the GM and party when you successfully wiped the deck with them?


Decimus Drake wrote:
Icy Turbo wrote:

I feel that I've been lucky in the sense that I have a group of friends that love gaming and can play together without much difficulty and we have been able to play a grand assortment of games over the past ten years and have a fantastic time. Anytime I've attempted to expand outside of these groups is when I've had horrendous issues. By far the worst was an attempt to go through the Skulls and Shackles Adventure Path at a local game store with relative strangers, almost everyone being older gamers.

I was playing a Conjuration focused Wizard 5. While I tended to play NG with a mean streak, the rest of the party focused on CN or worse. The biggest problem was the players breaking the cardinal rule (which most of the players mentioned in this thread seemed to break) that you work as hard as possible to work with the party or if nothing else don't actively attack party members, IRL or otherwise. The player who broke that rule constantly was a catfolk ninja who would demand everyone follow her orders or die, sleep on corpses or get in petty arguments at every opportunity, and attempt to intimidate my character in taking needless tactical blunders to satisfy her bloodlust such as boarding an enemy ship or be flogged. As a ranged battlefield control spell-caster.

Needless to say, even at this point, I was frustrated in more ways then one, but hoped that by helping acquire more crew members to appease the captain (barely better then the catfolk ninja) and the vice-captain by helping to obtain crew members that, I don't know, the players wouldn't be such unbearable people and chill? So I investigated, and came back with my findings to ask if it was acceptable to obtain low-level clerics and wizards to make repairs or heal in times of crisis (Keeping in mind, the current party makeup was swashbuckler, shaman, ninja, ninja). Instead the vice captain threatened to kill me if I ever decided to make any decision that was not first cleared by the captain, and rejected it. At this

...

I never went through with the plan in game. The point of telling the DM of the plan was for him to understand that I wouldn't turn things ugly out of game; I simply had the means and capabilities to do so in game and destroy the campaign as the only real spell-caster.

Luckily the game closed shortly afterward due to the open and somewhat monotonous aspects of Shackles starting to wear away at the DM's sanity. Once he talked to the players and we were able to go further into discussion with an intermediary it turned out okay, and at points it even became somewhat fun again, but it still ended. From what I heard afterwards, and briefly playing another adventure path but with a majority of different group members, a lot of the players chilled out on the interparty conflicts and communicated a lot better from that point forward. I see it as a learning experience, and it certainly helped when I ran a game with players that were somewhat similar.


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Worst I ever had was the stereotypical 'Me v. party' GM that felt if he wasn't trying to kill us all at every encounter, he wasn't doing something right.


Daeryon wrote:
Theacos wrote:
Daeryon wrote:


Worst part was when we'd get aggravated about the way the adventure was going, his attitude was we weren't "roleplaying enough". His brother, who would play characters stolen directly from whatever movie they had last watched (Samurai movies, "Leon" the Professional, Die Hard etc), he considered a "brilliant roleplayer". His brother would always know the correct thing to say to the drow slavers so they didn't shave his head and tattoo "Slave" on his head like they did everyone else in the party, etc.

Favoritism is the thing I hate the most in a GM. I have had bad GMs I give a pass to just because they treat everyone at the table equally. One of the other wise best GM I've had I grew to hate playing with because of how blatant is favoritism was to certain players.

Sadly the favoritism wasn't the worst part by far. It was just the way the DM was malicious with everyone else. I mentioned 3 campaigns, but what I left out is that it was 3 campaigns because the DM would drop the campaign the moment the characters got powerful enough to assert themselves. (right about level 5 or 6).

I remember when the party pulled together and slew a dinosaur the DM expected us to run from the campaign got dropped right there. "that's ridiculous". Next session we were rolling up new characters to start at level 1.

With now years of hindsight it was obviously a control thing. He wanted to control the whole story, including how are characters were built, what they did, and what they thought, the moment he stopped being able to do that in accordance with the rules, he'd either change the situation: "you are captured and they take all your spellbooks, so now you can't cast anything, and they take your cleric's holy symbol" etc. Or he'd drop the campaign and start over.

He sounds almost exactly like a Gm I had a long time ago. ‘Cept he’d let us get to about level 12, but it wouldn’t matter. His npcs were the stars, his villains weren’t allowed to die, alleged allies were abusive etc etc etc. Your description so vividly resembles him, I almost want to ask where you live to see if it’s the same guy.


Alvah wrote:
Worst I ever had was the stereotypical 'Me v. party' GM that felt if he wasn't trying to kill us all at every encounter, he wasn't doing something right.

Even with the best intentions this is by far the easiest thing for GM's to overshoot. The balance between challenging but fair always pops its ugly little head out during games. Granted I assume the GM was less on challenge and more on killing you with broken encounters for your level. Like four Ogres at Level 1.


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I had a young player who loved playing evil. He built a CE rogue and not only fleeced the PCs but also would hang back in combat and then start looting enemies as his other party members dropped them. The other players were frustrated, and told me, but I told them it was an in game problem and they should come to an in game solution.

So one evening they set up camp and the rogue flat out says "I don't feel like taking a watch" leaving the wizard and the fighters to do it. So... everyone went to sleep but the fighter on watch, and after an hour he woke up the other two and said "This guy is useless, let's leave him."

They pulled up stakes and left the rogue in his tent, alone in the woods. I had drawn up an encounter with a feral druid who asked that they pay a toll to travel through her forest. The three tough-looking PCs managed to negotiate and avoided the combat for a pittance. The rogue woke up well after dawn, found everyone had left, ran into the druid and her raptor animal companion, who took every last penny the rogue had fleeced off of his comrades.

The player drew up another character and, though he still roleplays a selfish jerk, now makes sure he is actually helping the party and not harming it.


I had a PFS GM who stopped my paladin cold by asking me-the-player to roleplay a Diplomacy check. "But what do you say?", he asked. Unprepared for that, I was flummoxed and stammered, and blew it because I do not have a 24 Charisma IRL and usually don't know what to say when ambushed Johnny-on-the-spot like that. (My "perfect comeback" always occurs to me after the moment to use it has passed.)

At the end of the scenario, I received only one of the two possible Prestige points, which gummed up the works down the road qualifying for equipment access.

He was not an inexperienced GM, btw; in fact, he was the area Venture-Captain, and that only made it worse. He knew exactly what he was doing, which was power-tripping by shutting down a PC who was, up until then, getting through the mods a little more easily than the average bear.


I had a PFS GM who always got the rules wrong if it hurt the PCs. He rolled behind a screen and the bad guys made every save unless it was irrelevant. When a party decision had to be made he straight up told us that the decision had no effect on boons, and then cheerfully crossed off the boon that we lost for our decision.

Lantern Lodge

I has experienced a player who would go one step above power-gaming... he would POWER-ROLEPLAY.

Whats power-roleplay? Its when a player roleplays in such a way that it traps the GM in logic traps, forcing the GM to rule in a way that benefits that player.

His roleplauing would also often results in other PCs would get into trouble over his actions.... BUT! It was all for some greater plan... that benefits the party in the very end...

So while the party as a whole is doing ok... everyone but him is walking away from the table with a bad taste in their mouth.

He is a very smart person and he clearly enjoys it, but at the other players expense. The GM (who is great, but quite new) finally gave up and ended the campaign when it becomes clear, no one is happy or want to play on.

Lantern Lodge

Slim Jim wrote:

I had a PFS GM who stopped my paladin cold by asking me-the-player to roleplay a Diplomacy check. "But what do you say?", he asked. Unprepared for that, I was flummoxed and stammered, and blew it because I do not have a 24 Charisma IRL and usually don't know what to say when ambushed Johnny-on-the-spot like that. (My "perfect comeback" always occurs to me after the moment to use it has passed.)

At the end of the scenario, I received only one of the two possible Prestige points, which gummed up the works down the road qualifying for equipment access.

He was not an inexperienced GM, btw; in fact, he was the area Venture-Captain, and that only made it worse. He knew exactly what he was doing, which was power-tripping by shutting down a PC who was, up until then, getting through the mods a little more easily than the average bear.

Could your VC be just trying to encourage you to roleplay more?

GMs would often encourage players to take a more active party in games by giving them challengers. I have seen players who started off as very quiet loners, become some of the most outspoken people I know, thanks to roleplaying more. Their experience at talking at the table helps them to improve their speech skills.

Now, if you feel you have been unfairly treated, being intimidated in RL or worse bring bullied by anyone (player or GM) at a PFS game, you can report it or bring it to your VC or paizo's attention.

You can first try by just giving feed back to your VC, let him know you are uncomfortable with with RPing in the first person and maybe discuss how it would be better to get what you want to say across next game. Like using 3rd person to describe your actions.
Let him know how you feel, so both of you can make your games more fun for each other.

If there is a need you can always contact Tonya Woldridge, the Pathfinder Society Organized Play coordinator with your issue.


Saffron Marvelous wrote:


He sounds almost exactly like a Gm I had a long time ago. ‘Cept he’d let us get to about level 12, but it wouldn’t matter. His npcs were the stars, his...

Looked at your descrption and it sounds like we had a real similar experience but it's not the same person. My situation was 20 years ago in New Jersey.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Slim Jim wrote:

I had a PFS GM who stopped my paladin cold by asking me-the-player to roleplay a Diplomacy check. "But what do you say?", he asked. Unprepared for that, I was flummoxed and stammered, and blew it because I do not have a 24 Charisma IRL and usually don't know what to say when ambushed Johnny-on-the-spot like that. (My "perfect comeback" always occurs to me after the moment to use it has passed.)

At the end of the scenario, I received only one of the two possible Prestige points, which gummed up the works down the road qualifying for equipment access.

He was not an inexperienced GM, btw; in fact, he was the area Venture-Captain, and that only made it worse. He knew exactly what he was doing, which was power-tripping by shutting down a PC who was, up until then, getting through the mods a little more easily than the average bear.

I've never done PFS, but as a GM I'll often ask my players what they're saying when they roll a diplomacy check. I'll often adjust the DC based on they say before they roll. Though, unless they say something monumentally stupid (like insulting their mother or sister kind of stupid), I will never raise the DC, only lower it for good roleplay. However, WHAT they say isn't what I'm looking for, but how they say it, the essence of what they're saying and trying to accomplish. I let their diplomacy skill and roll determine how WELL they said it. And I usually only start asking them for what they say after I've played with them for a while and get to know them as a player. I don't always do it, but often when I want to try to push for more roleplay or get someone out of their shell a little. Needless to say, I never base the outcome on what they say exactly (I let the roll do that), but if they say it well in character, I'll give them a small reduction to their DC. But if people aren't comfortable talking, like you were, I wouldn't force them, I'd ask them generally what they're trying to accomplish then let the roll do the talking.


Daeryon wrote:
Saffron Marvelous wrote:


He sounds almost exactly like a Gm I had a long time ago. ‘Cept he’d let us get to about level 12, but it wouldn’t matter. His npcs were the stars, his...

Looked at your descrption and it sounds like we had a real similar experience but it's not the same person. My situation was 20 years ago in New Jersey.

Well it's about the same number of years anyway. Doubt he had a teleporter though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For me, one of the worst GM moments was from a GM who was normally pretty good, but sometimes got a little too worked up about things from time to time. He could be a bit of a jerk at times, but he was really good at telling the story and creating a fun environment.

This one time we were playing a smaller published fantasy RPG, I forget the name of the game. I was playing a paladin, and in that game, written into the paladin's code was that you never flee from battle no matter what, not even if the rest of your party flees. Our GM forgot about this. He set a powerful encounter on the party that we weren't meant to win, we were supposed to flee and come back when we were stronger. I, playing the paladin according to how they were supposed to be played in that system, kept fighting. The monster killed me. I was ticked off, the rest of the players were upset too, because my death was essentially pointless. When I questioned the GM on this, his response was, "You could have run away, but you didn't." I told him I couldn't run, and when he argued that with him, I flipped open the book and showed him the paragraph in the paladin's section stating that running away was against his code and had heavy reproductions. He was like, "Oh! Sorry." He shrugged and asked me if I wanted to roll up a new character. In an admirable jerk move on my part, took my character sheet erased the first name and replaced it making no other changes to the sheet. I said, "I'm his twin brother who's also a paladin of the same level." The GM allowed me to get away with this cheeky move because he DID screw me over. That group didn't play too much longer after that.

As for worst player, I had a player in a homebrewed system I made who used the game as a way to do whatever he wanted because the consequences weren't real. He would do dumb, stupid, or even harmful things just because he could. The party were in a dungeon and his character ate a literal bag of poop just because he could, then proceeded to vomit all over the room they needed to sleep in. The party was, naturally, disgusted and put off (in character and out, as was I) I had a long talk with him after that session and he got a little better from then on, but not by much, just enough to make him tolerable.


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I've seen plenty of irritating players, and a few ridiculous DMs, but my favorite bad for both come from the same campaign. And to get to that, I need to start with another bad player.

I met this first guy, let's call him Dwarf, on a recruitment thread for a roll20 RotR game. Dwarf is the kind of player that wants to be a really smart problem solver, but is more often lazy and possessing a bad understanding of the rules, and he likes to abuse other characters IC.

In that campaign, he played a Dwarf bard who found a third-party spell that depantsed people--he proceeded to use this spell on everyone who even mildly slighted him. This was later upgraded to a spell that hit people in the nuts. We later found out these spells had saving throws he wasn't giving us. He also bought a pack of six hound dogs that the DM let him control effortlessly in combat. Finally, by the end of Burnt Offerings, he paid a ship captain to fire a barrage of cannons at Nualia's hideout, and was fuming mad when the results were not a giant pile of rubble and a level up; he kept swearing we'd go back and force that captain to give us a refund.

Now, shortly after this, the campaign ended due to scheduling, as most do. And I thought that was the end of it. But a month or two later, Dwarf messaged me on Skype about a new game he was getting into--an Exalted game where we would play as Deathlords. At the time, I was between contracts, sitting at home and not doing very much. So I figured, it was time I'd just be wasting anyway, and accepted. This became the routine--Dwarf would invite me to a game, the game would last a few sessions before scheduling or terrible players/DMs would kill it, and then I wouldn't hear from him for another month or so. It was a bit like eating well-prepared pufferfish--no campaign lasted long enough to properly poison me.

This brings me to the GM of the last game I ever played with Dwarf. This final campaign was presented as a Rogue Trader game. I initially drew up my character as an Arch-Militant, but was told I should play a character from Only War instead, so that our trade vessel could also have an army. I questioned this--cursory reading suggested that each 40K book had different starting power levels--but was brushed off. When our crew of Rogue Traders was fully assembled, the DM marveled that no one had made a Space Marine, because of how good they are.

Then the campaign got started, and we were immediately shown why having a Space Marine in the party was a bad idea, because the DM had our Rogue Trader vessel immediately in the escort of a company of Space Wolves, and he added a Doom marine (?) NPC to our main cast. As a result, our navigator was constantly under threat for his life, and the rest of us under constant surveillance for signs of heresy. This was especially jarring because half of us were new to the Warhammer 40K setting, meaning that faux pas were common. We had to tread a social minefield just to get started on any missions we had, and our vessel's armanents were naturally outmatched and outperformed by the Space Wolves in ship combat and by the Doom marine in personal combat.

So it goes, our party members are repeatedly threatened by either Space Wolves or by my character's Commissar, we find a derelict ship full of zombies and purge it, and we have a ship-based skirmish with some orc vessels over a planet we are trying to claim. Basic stuff. Then we are sent down to the surface to assault a compound of Chaos cultists. With the Space Wolves as "backup" of course. And that's when the Worst Player comes in.

If our DM has a hard-on for the setting at the expense of the player's enjoyment, then this Player had a hard-on for his own personal fantasies over everybody else. He came to the campaign with a female, half-Eldar Space Marine of the Blood Raven chapter (specifically so he could take any gear he liked, he made no backstory justifications for anything). The fact that the DM didn't look at his character before letting the Player in is a further mark against the whole affair, because if our Navigator was constantly under threat of death for having a mutation gene, than a half-xeno was obviously not compatible with the game we were running.

The first thing the new Player does upon arriving at the battle field is run up to my Imperial character and try to take control of my entire Imperial Guard. He pulled rank to do so (which the DM allowed), which was the only time in the entire game that his character paid attention to the conventions of the setting. Almost immediately, his character tried stripping down to a lighter armor set with no helmet -- the better to show off her glorious looks, I presume -- only for the DM to remind him that, yes, she was a xeno, and the Space Marines would shoot the ever-loving s#*+ out of her once they found out. This started the first of MANY complaints about the Warhammer 40K setting being too restrictive, as though the Player didn't know what kind of setting he was getting into. His knowledge of setting rules and story later proved this to be incorrect, but it wouldn't stop him from complaining about how Warhammer rules wouldn't let him play an immortal elf space babe with superpowers every fifteen minutes.

So the Half-Eldar drags my Imperial Sergeant's butt over to the rest of the party practically by my ear, ignoring my irritation at being figuratively manhandled by a completely new player, and our group is about ready to move into the last holdout of the cultists. By this point, Dwarf had been killed by artillery fire in a session he wasn't there for (another mark against the DM, and I believe the reason Dwarf hasn't contacted me since--blame by proxy). So this is where the game hits its melting point--the Half-Eldar character meets our Rogue Trader Captain, a sometimes addled player whose confused bumbling was half the fun.

So what does the new Player do, once all the party is gathered up. He immediately tries to take command of the entire group, bossing us around like we are pawns and threatening to shoot anyone who steps out of line. Unsurprisingly, our RTC doesn't appreciate this upset (none of us did, but he was the most vocal IC). So he starts to argue with Half-Eldar about who is in charge. Now, by DM's logic, Eldar has more authority than RTC, obviously, because she is a Space Marine. But New Player also does not give a flying f+~$ about heresy, and has to be frequently reminded that the party is accompanied by a very large and intimidating Doom marine with most of our heavy weapons, plus all the Space Wolves outside. Cue more complaining about New Player not being able to do whatever he wanted. But he relents.

So instead of taking control, he starts very loudly planning out how his character is going to ASSASSSINATE RTC when no one is looking. In response, RTC starts loudly planning his own defenses and counter-assassinations. And New Player is also still trying to find an opportunity to take off his helmet and armor for sexier armor--and the DM keeps reminding him that he's playing a xeno and would be shot the heck up. At some point, we also killed all the cultists, but I'll be damned if I remember when or how.

This three-way bickering and passive-aggressive threatening continued all the way back our Rogue Trader vessel, where New Player's assassination attempts began in earnest, while DM starting really laying on how screwed Half-Eldar was for being a Xeno on a ship surrounded by Space Wolves and how they would definitely smell her out sooner or later. It was the Unstoppable Force meeting the Immovable object. It went on for over an hour. Eventually, the New Player ragequit, and RTC also left the group. The DM took over RTC's character, and gleefully told us about how RTC totally found out half-eldar was a xeno and had her caged up as an exotic pet to show off. We never had a session after that.


Marco Polaris wrote:

I've seen plenty of irritating players, and a few ridiculous DMs, but my favorite bad for both come from the same campaign. And to get to that, I need to start with another bad player.

I met this first guy, let's call him Dwarf, on a recruitment thread for a roll20 RotR game. Dwarf is the kind of player that wants to be a really smart problem solver, but is more often lazy and possessing a bad understanding of the rules, and he likes to abuse other characters IC.

In that campaign, he played a Dwarf bard who found a third-party spell that depantsed people--he proceeded to use this spell on everyone who even mildly slighted him. This was later upgraded to a spell that hit people in the nuts. We later found out these spells had saving throws he wasn't giving us. He also bought a pack of six hound dogs that the DM let him control effortlessly in combat. Finally, by the end of Burnt Offerings, he paid a ship captain to fire a barrage of cannons at Nualia's hideout, and was fuming mad when the results were not a giant pile of rubble and a level up; he kept swearing we'd go back and force that captain to give us a refund.

Now, shortly after this, the campaign ended due to scheduling, as most do. And I thought that was the end of it. But a month or two later, Dwarf messaged me on Skype about a new game he was getting into--an Exalted game where we would play as Deathlords. At the time, I was between contracts, sitting at home and not doing very much. So I figured, it was time I'd just be wasting anyway, and accepted. This became the routine--Dwarf would invite me to a game, the game would last a few sessions before scheduling or terrible players/DMs would kill it, and then I wouldn't hear from him for another month or so. It was a bit like eating well-prepared pufferfish--no campaign lasted long enough to properly poison me.

This brings me to the GM of the last game I ever played with Dwarf. This final campaign was presented as a Rogue Trader game. I initially drew up my character as an Arch-Militant, but...

Not only is this story great, but it reminds me of a scenario I experienced where, as the DM of a Dark Heresy campaign, a player brought to my table a Psyker with a casting stat of 77. Basically pumped everything into Willpower, and began to trivialize everything. Due to the rules of Dark Heresy, he auto-succeeded most psychic checks which included a psychic ability to be untraceable by enemies. It weaned me off Dark Heresy after that, though now with so much time having passed I may try again with some supplements or house-rules.

Grand Lodge

Marco Polaris wrote:

I've seen plenty of irritating players, and a few ridiculous DMs, but my favorite bad for both come from the same campaign. And to get to that, I need to start with another bad player.

I met this first guy, let's call him Dwarf, on a recruitment thread for a roll20 RotR game. Dwarf is the kind of player that wants to be a really smart problem solver, but is more often lazy and possessing a bad understanding of the rules, and he likes to abuse other characters IC.

In that campaign, he played a Dwarf bard who found a third-party spell that depantsed people--he proceeded to use this spell on everyone who even mildly slighted him. This was later upgraded to a spell that hit people in the nuts. We later found out these spells had saving throws he wasn't giving us. He also bought a pack of six hound dogs that the DM let him control effortlessly in combat. Finally, by the end of Burnt Offerings, he paid a ship captain to fire a barrage of cannons at Nualia's hideout, and was fuming mad when the results were not a giant pile of rubble and a level up; he kept swearing we'd go back and force that captain to give us a refund.

Now, shortly after this, the campaign ended due to scheduling, as most do. And I thought that was the end of it. But a month or two later, Dwarf messaged me on Skype about a new game he was getting into--an Exalted game where we would play as Deathlords. At the time, I was between contracts, sitting at home and not doing very much. So I figured, it was time I'd just be wasting anyway, and accepted. This became the routine--Dwarf would invite me to a game, the game would last a few sessions before scheduling or terrible players/DMs would kill it, and then I wouldn't hear from him for another month or so. It was a bit like eating well-prepared pufferfish--no campaign lasted long enough to properly poison me.

This brings me to the GM of the last game I ever played with Dwarf. This final campaign was presented as a Rogue Trader game. I initially drew up my character as an Arch-Militant, but...

Congratulations, you managed to have more heresy than the average campaign of Black Crusade (Chaos RPG).

Thinking about it, my worst experience was test running a printed adventure for Only War (Imperial Guard RPG), I had a player that went a bit too out of the box when it wasn't called for, which lead to pacing issues in an extremely short timeslot. As a result, they didn't even kill the first Tyranid Warrior... wasn't my best day either.


Wait I don't think non-chaos space marines come in half flavors. Like that is kind of the point I thought. I don't think space marines even have reproductive organs so I guess one would have to be genetically altered with the eldar gene added which from what I know of the 40k universe sounds Incredibly unlikely. If he had eldar in him before the atstates part he would never of been selected and probably executed immediately.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This happened about 25 years ago...

When I was in college, I played in my college gaming club. We ran on Friday nights in one of the academic buildings, using several classrooms with conference tables. The club was open to the public, and more than a few townies would join us.

The player in question was a townie, probably in her late 30s/early 40s, and only came to the college gaming club two or three times a month. She had always been more than a little weird, but that night she was hearing voices (and talking back to them), making completely nonsensical conversation, and generally behaving like she was on another planet. None of us had any idea what to do, so we kind of ignored her as best as we could, except when she would shout at us, demanding attention. After two hours or so, she ended up excusing herself to go to the bathroom, and never returned to the table. We assumed that she just went home. Three hours later, another female player told me that the person in question was still in the women's room, chain-smoking and mumbling nonsense to herself. I called campus security, gave a statement, and let them take it from there.

She never came back, and I never saw her or heard from her again.

To this day, I'm not sure if she had taken drugs she shouldn't have, or hadn't taken drugs she should have.


One experience was mercifully brief: a tag-team of players who always did the same thing in every game.

These guys had played a LOT of systems and sessions at our local game shop. And they always created two characters who were soldier/brawler types that absolutely hated each other. No matter what the other PCs were doing or what the story was, they simply cracked jokes about how much their PCs hated each other and spent all their time trying to kill each other, using whatever weapons and resources the system provided. They found the experience hilarious. Everyone else found them infuriating.

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