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TOPIC: What to do about bad DMs?

Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #49

Someone mentioned something in one thread about incorporating your chance at receiving the treasure into the story. I think this is a good idea. That way it's not like "Hey you ate the wrong mushroom so you don't get any treasure" it's more like "Across the way you see what appears to be a rat carrying something shiny and valuable but only appears to be accessible if you are the right size." And when you fail the puzzle: "As you take a bite of the mushroom, you see the rat scurry away into a small hole taking with it the shiny bauble. You also feel woozy and take 5 points of damage".

Creativity isn't exactly my strong point but you get the idea :)

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Last edit: by mattnaik.

Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #50

Sounds to me like one change would make for happier players this next year.

Who thought special rules intended to limit easy treasure for veterans should be applied to new players? Seriously, big fail there, guys.

On Normal or Non-Lethal modes, don't worry about # of tries. Grant the treasure if the puzzle is solved, regardless of method or damage taken doing it. The Normal (and Non-Lethal) mode are already not in line to get the special Hard and Nightmare token and pin, what is the point in restricting them from one or more treasure pulls because they didn't have a veteran's experience?

Even if they have a vet on the team who got limited to Normal but outfitted a number of people with equipment for their first game, at least a couple treasure token draws is apt consolation at the end for not being on Hard or NM status, even if he just walks across the lava himself. As long as the group SOLVES the puzzle on the easier modes should be the criteria, not # of tries, not limiting to mental dexterity.

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Last edit: by Cinnibar.

Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #51

I played a few times this year and last year and this year there were quite a few DMs who moved through combat so slowly that we ran out of time for the rooms. There were also a couple of math errors that resulted in dead characters which only added more time to combat. I realize people make mistakes and get tired but it's a $52 event, so get it together.

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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #52

I played a few times this year and last year and this year there were quite a few DMs who moved through combat so slowly that we ran out of time for the rooms. There were also a couple of math errors that resulted in dead characters which only added more time to combat.


I encountered this on a 'normal' pickup run. It was a run with 6 or 7 first time players. The DM was just flustered, and we barely got through two rounds of combat. He kept looking up stuff in a packet of paper, and flipping pages while we all just sat there. When the horn sounded, he told us all that we won the combat - but folks looked a little confused as to how, as the creature had just attacked us.

Credit to him for not penalizing folks, but overall he just seemed overwhelmed.
I used to be an industry professional responsible for making sure Japan was able to buy some of the best toy soldiers ever made.

Now I'm just an old gamer :)

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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #53

Yeah, we were in one puzzle room where the DM was eating pizza and cake rather than explaining what was going on. Fortunately we solved the puzzle without much guidance while he stuffed his face full of food.

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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #54

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I am not one to pile on because I know how much 99% of the DM's rock. I try to thank them as I leave the room and sometimes with a handshake if I remember.

But our encounter with the DM in the bug room on Friday night Sable Combat was just so bad. I was with 3 brand new people that I met at Gen Con and offered 3 extra tickets I had to. I also had a friend that I learned during the long walk over the walnut shells has an issue with bugs.

So I hang back in the room with the my bug hating friend to let him know we are going to burn off the bugs.

I am attempting to get the DM's attention so we can get the bugs off my friend ASAP. But he is having none of it and wants to do his part. (No fault there he doesn't know Ron is not having a good time).

So I grab a torch to get ready once he is done. He tells us not to remove the torches off the walls or he will kill us because he is a DM and he can do that. (Okay we should touch the props, but not the best way to tell us).

The first time bard starts singing to help the party as he learned to do and the DM tells him "Shut up, I don't need to hear you singing."

At that point I have had enough and ask him to get an AC on the radio. He ask me what. I say again I would like you to call an AC into the room. He wants to know why. I say because I don't like his attitude and this is not the representation of TD that first time players should be experiencing.

He says he will fix that. He then proceeds to be 'nice' to everyone. After we finish the room, he attempts to explain to me that he was role-playing a DM that doesn't care. I thank him and leave the room.

I don't care if you are role-playing or how tired you are or because they are annoying you. You should NEVER tell a player to Shut Up. There are other ways to handle it. His refusal to get the the AC when I asked for one also did not make me happy.

I did not get the chance to talk to the AC after the run, but I meant to the next day because I know the AC's.
You either discover a star or you don't. You arrogant punk.

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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #55

Having read through this thread, Let me Apologize first for the Frustrations. I was one of the AC's for Sable Gauntlet (Everything after 4pm), and as such the responsibility for poorly trained DM's is largely mine.

We spent a great deal of time looking hard at room 6, and 3 because we got many reports that they were frustratingly hard, and as such may have not looked hard enough at some of the remaining rooms to ensure they ran smoothly, correctly, and were enjoyable to the adventurers. I know room 4 was a complicated solve, because of the design. Magic and spells of any kind Should not have worked on the creatures. The Spiders poison was intended to be an interesting effect for the next combat. (and is listed as Psychic) It was a complicated set up to encourage the players to do some Lateral thinking, and possibly some unusual sliding, rather than the frustration it created.

We try very hard to create a set of rooms that can challenge both the Token heavy groups, and the token light groups, and I can tell you for a fact, it's Amazingly hard given the variety of tokens out in play now that limit damages of various types. I'm not offering that as an Excuse, but rather an explanation of some of the challenge of providing everyone with a good Dungeon each year.

Clearly we need to address how our DM's interface with the customers. Several of the stories here are as frustrating to me as an AC, as they may be to you the player. I Offer my heartfelt promise that this will get brought up at next years training. Telling players to Shut Up, or goading them if they are uncomfortable is uncalled for. As others have mentioned, ask the DM to radio for an AC. if they won't... ask the Next DM to radio for an AC, or bring it up in the Epilogue room. We take such things very seriously.

On the subject of Feedback, PLEASE, Please say something to us while you're there. We do keep tabs on the DM's that get positive feedback, and those that don't. but that requires Feedback. with 14 DM's 3 NPC's and 2 Bluehands on the Sable side, it's tricky for us to see everything, so we ask you the Customer to alert us if you had an exceptional experience (either good, or bad)

Again I'm sorry for those who had negative experiences, and I thank you for bringing it to our attention.
-Master Li Lou Bahn, Terror of the East, Master of Shadows, Pillager of the province of Ch'in, Mandarin of the Emporer Shou Wei, Ambassador to the foreign devils of the West, and the most dangerous ninja in all of Greyhawk."cause I'm the only ninja in all of Gwehawk!!!"

2015 Adventure Coordinator for Sable Gauntlet

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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #56

Seems like a few years ago, when tokens were still wooden, you got treasure pulls if you "survived" a room and met the exit condition before time ran out. I don't remember any distinction between solving puzzles and bypassing puzzles. With far fewer tokens in circulation, with far fewer effects, there were also fewer cases of using tokens to get around obstacles in unintended ways.

I remember playing the Barbarian in the Battle Below, with the chessboard puzzle. We'd figured out the first couple steps, but hadn't completely solved the puzzle. So, I just took a random step and got blasted. I realized that if I took the same amount of damage for each additional step, I'd make it across with just a couple of hit points left. But I WOULD make it. So, I just walked the rest of the way across. Pure brute force (and after one person got across, they could send an orb back across, and everyone else was fine). If a puzzle can be brute-forced, expect it to be brute-forced.

Should you still get treasure? I think it should be very clear whether or not you will, and there should be some in-game explanation for why you get it or don't. Like, in the lava room: you see treasure on a precarious ledge at the far end of the lava pool. One misstep shakes the cavern violently. You realize that another misstep will collapse the ledge and drop the treasure in the lava pool. I think that would be a lot more satisfying than the pure meta-game explanation, "You all made it across unharmed, thanks to your lava-walking boots, but you didn't solve the puzzle, so you don't find any treasure. Neener neener."

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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #57

Barry Welling wrote: Having read through this thread, Let me Apologize first for the Frustrations. I was one of the AC's for Sable Gauntlet (Everything after 4pm), and as such the responsibility for poorly trained DM's is largely mine.

We spent a great deal of time looking hard at room 6, and 3 because we got many reports that they were frustratingly hard, and as such may have not looked hard enough at some of the remaining rooms to ensure they ran smoothly, correctly, and were enjoyable to the adventurers. I know room 4 was a complicated solve, because of the design. Magic and spells of any kind Should not have worked on the creatures. The Spiders poison was intended to be an interesting effect for the next combat. (and is listed as Psychic) It was a complicated set up to encourage the players to do some Lateral thinking, and possibly some unusual sliding, rather than the frustration it created.

We try very hard to create a set of rooms that can challenge both the Token heavy groups, and the token light groups, and I can tell you for a fact, it's Amazingly hard given the variety of tokens out in play now that limit damages of various types. I'm not offering that as an Excuse, but rather an explanation of some of the challenge of providing everyone with a good Dungeon each year.

Clearly we need to address how our DM's interface with the customers. Several of the stories here are as frustrating to me as an AC, as they may be to you the player. I Offer my heartfelt promise that this will get brought up at next years training. Telling players to Shut Up, or goading them if they are uncomfortable is uncalled for. As others have mentioned, ask the DM to radio for an AC. if they won't... ask the Next DM to radio for an AC, or bring it up in the Epilogue room. We take such things very seriously.

On the subject of Feedback, PLEASE, Please say something to us while you're there. We do keep tabs on the DM's that get positive feedback, and those that don't. but that requires Feedback. with 14 DM's 3 NPC's and 2 Bluehands on the Sable side, it's tricky for us to see everything, so we ask you the Customer to alert us if you had an exceptional experience (either good, or bad)

Again I'm sorry for those who had negative experiences, and I thank you for bringing it to our attention.


Barry,

Asking us to radio for an AC when there is a problem is great but I'll be honest, as a third year player this was the first time I knew this was even an option. Not to mention players who have high anxiety or want to avoid confrontation (or both) - they absolutely will not go this route. We need another system to provide feedback. Comment cards or something in the epilogue room would be great (provided they are collected and acted upon swiftly during each shift).

I don't want to pile on the volunteers, 99% of them are great, it's just the few bad DMs that tend to stick out in our minds. It's disheartening when I try to tell my gaming friends about TD and they respond with "Oh yeah, I tried that once and here is why it was awful, I'm never going to do that again."

Right now there isn't enough accountability. All a bad DM has to worry about is a particularly well-informed veteran who won't stand for poor service. No one else will complain because they don't know what avenues are available to them.

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Last edit: by Joshua Baessler.

Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #58

Incognito wrote: I don't know. It kind of reminds me of plenty of RPG computer/video games where taking a shortcut/bypass means you don't spend the time to explore an area that may contain monster. Or skipping a monster fight means you don't get the treasure the monster is carrying.


Icongnito, problem is that what you suggest is not what happened. By walking across the lava an area was not skipped nor a monster not fought. You are actually making my point for me. You are trying to create a connection between the story and the puzzle to explain why there was no treasure. You are trying to Fill in in the blanks. I am saying just don't leave blanks!

The players have to cross the lava. They can do it anyway they want but if they cross by solving the puzzle a secret chest will appear with treasure. Just add that to the room story and everything makes sense. Have it on a sign like most rooms do. (Why did this one not?) Then the party understands why they need to solve the puzzle. As it was, I see no reason why a player would not just try and cross anyway they could.

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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #59

cass_christopher wrote: Wow I'm glad it wasn't just my group, I had the same argument with that Dm. He told me that because I tried one without knowing the exact answer first I "brute forced" it and so I couldn't get a stamp.


We were told the same thing in a different way. In the puzzle room with the spider web on Sable Gauntlet dungeon and have to solve the puzzle and pick the demon, we used the bard troubadour ability to get the treasure stamp.

We solved the puzzle and the DM asked why we picked the demon on the wall. I stated “It’s the only demon I recognized, a succubus.” She came back with “They are all demons and if you can’t tell me why you picked it you don’t get the stamp.” I repeated myself. She again said “you don’t get the stamp if you don’t tell me why you picked that demon, if you don’t get all the clues in the room right you don’t get the stamp.” When did getting all the clues right is part of solving the puzzle? The sad part of this we had four new players in the room, they were not happy with the attitude of the GM. Oh I didn’t get her name but she did have a grey shirt on. I’m not sure when and if TD changed the ruling that you have to explain your solution and have to have the solution based on TD room. Always thought it was if you figured it out you get the treasure, regardless if you guessed.

On the way out of the room she stated "You are lucky you had the find treasure spell, you wouldn't have gotten the treasure stamp." I did talk with Barry about the attitude.
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Last edit: by Kaledor.

Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #60

Kaledor wrote:

cass_christopher wrote: Wow I'm glad it wasn't just my group, I had the same argument with that Dm. He told me that because I tried one without knowing the exact answer first I "brute forced" it and so I couldn't get a stamp.


We were told the same thing in a different way. In the puzzle room with the spider web on Sable Gauntlet dungeon and have to solve the puzzle and pick the demon, we used the bard troubadour ability to get the treasure stamp.

We solved the puzzle and the DM asked why we picked the demon on the wall. I stated “It’s the only demon I recognized, a succubus.” She came back with “They are all demons and if you can’t tell me why you picked it you don’t get the stamp.” I repeated myself. She again said “you don’t get the stamp if you don’t tell me why you picked that demon, if you don’t get all the clues in the room right you don’t get the stamp.” When did getting all the clues right is part of solving the puzzle? The sad part of this we had four new players in the room, they were not happy with the attitude of the GM. Oh I didn’t get her name but she did have a grey shirt on. I’m not sure when and if TD changed the ruling that you have to explain your solution and have to have the solution based on TD room. Always thought it was if you figured it out you get the treasure, regardless if you guessed.

On the way out of the room she stated "You are lucky you had the find treasure spell, you wouldn't have gotten the treasure stamp." I did talk with Barry about the attitude.


You must show your work! What is this? Fourth grade?

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