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TOPIC: What to do about bad DMs?

Re: What to do about bad DMs? 5 years 2 days ago #61

The same thing happened to us in this room.

The druid (me) crossed first with the dragon scale set and the ring of SEC, and took no damage from the heat, fire or lava. After that, the DM emphasized that I was the second to cross after the person we were chasing, then we could see the letter patterns needed to cross. Everyone else crossed on the right letters.

We did not get the treasure stamp because I walked across without solving the puzzle.

That DM was polite but inflexible. She was obviously under direction from above to not grant the treasure stamp to those who do not solve the puzzle before crossing.

No fault to her, but the requirement to get the stamp left no one happy I am sure.

That requirement was a bad idea.
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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 5 years 2 days ago #62

I think we should spin off the "Brute Force" debate.
I think it was a decent idea that was just not executed correctly.
There has been some good feed back and explaining all this during training would have gone a long way to resolve some hard feelings.

Comment cards would be nice because its immediate feed back before you forget.

I'd love to give some nice props out to some of the great DMs I got.

Nothing saying the ACs couldn't review the comment cards at the con so they can correct issues.
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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 5 years 2 days ago #63

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.


I love almost all of the DMs and this type of attitude is good and expected if you are dealing with nightmare equipped vets. However if any new people are involved they should be given a lot of lee way. Napolean liked "lucky marshals" and solving the puzzle even using the "wrong" logic should not be a problem. Raining on Token happy killers is never a bad option

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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 5 years 2 days ago #64

Davoruk wrote:

bpsymington wrote: Bypassing puzzles does not equal solving them.


This statement seems semantic to me. According to the story, the adventurers needed to cross the lava to pursue the Drow. That was the goal.

So walking across the lava solved the problem.


Trust me, as an English professor, those aren't semantics, those are different definitions.
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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 5 years 2 days ago #65

We ran both on Puzzle, Normal difficulty, Saturday afternoon. The experiences couldn't have been more different. Sable was really rewarding, yet still challenging.

Underdark was nigh impossible. We were trying to do everything right and not make any mistakes, because we remembered that any mistake could be fatal. After the end, it felt like we should have just tried a bunch of random attempts and powered through.

The DMs and even the NPCs in Sable were great, providing plenty of feedback - sometimes gentle nudges, yet even the amusing banter made the experience worthwhile. But the combo of a handful of inscrutable/unforgiving puzzles, extremely vague clues from the Rogue box, and a couple silent or apathetic DMs in Underdark made it a pretty 'meh' experience. I hope our TD first-timer (who didn't participate in the Sable run) will come back.

FWIW, this was my third year, and for some in our group the fourth or fifth. And most people in our group seemed to feel the same way.

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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 5 years 2 days ago #66

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I don't think the Underdark mushroom choir clue was vague at all.

The requirement in the lava river crossing was that only one person could fail before losing the chance the to get the stamp.

I observed the Underdark DMs a lot, and I saw them giving helpful nudges/clues when appropriate (not for NM parties, though).
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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 5 years 2 days ago #67

joshua baessler wrote:
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.


We don't advertise that because the DM Should be doing it for us. I agree entirely that this time that wasn't the case.

The largest issue I see with Comment cards, is the separation from the wronged party, and the folks that can fix it. While I respect those not wanting to confront the issue, it leaves the AC with only the info written down on the card, and no sense if it's accurate, or if details are missing. That's very little to go on, as the AC really needs to see the problem in action, or be told directly exactly what was done. On more than one occasion I've talked to frustrated players who were mad at a particular DM not for a mistake the DM made, but other reasons entirely.


Bottom line: If you have a bad experience, Tell us, when it happens. There's very little we can do after the fact to solve a frustration or a problem.
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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 5 years 2 days ago #68

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Barry Welling wrote: Bottom line: If you have a bad experience, Tell us, when it happens. There's very little we can do after the fact to solve a frustration or a problem.


+1
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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 5 years 2 days ago #69

bpsymington wrote: I don't think the Underdark mushroom choir clue was vague at all.

The requirement in the lava river crossing was that only one person could fail before losing the chance the to get the stamp.

I observed the Underdark DMs a lot, and I saw them giving helpful nudges/clues when appropriate (not for NM parties, though).


Apparently on nightmare you could loose the stamp with one mistake while we were running through. We solved it without the clue and one person doing ninth just didn't listen and stepped on n instead of h. I believe this was on Friday. We were told it was 0 on nightmare 1 on hard core and 2 normal.

Edit: number of mistake before loosing treasure
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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 5 years 1 day ago #70

Bottom line: If you have a bad experience, Tell us, when it happens. There's very little we can do after the fact to solve a frustration or a problem.


So, if I take my run in Underdark Puzzle as an example, the DM had a hard time telling yellow from Amber. That made checking our submitted solutions very slow, and we ended up running out of time before we solved the puzzle.

Even just typing this, the idea of interrupting that process to complain to an AC that the DM is too slow because the yellow/amber lights are too close in color is making me cringe. It was frustrating, and I think that the number of comments about yellow/amber or blue/green/teal indicate that there were technical problems with this puzzle. But at 12 minutes a room, I can't ever see myself making a call to interrupt the adventure with a complaint.

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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 5 years 1 day ago #71

Eric Martin wrote:

Bottom line: If you have a bad experience, Tell us, when it happens. There's very little we can do after the fact to solve a frustration or a problem.


So, if I take my run in Underdark Puzzle as an example, the DM had a hard time telling yellow from Amber. That made checking our submitted solutions very slow, and we ended up running out of time before we solved the puzzle.

Even just typing this, the idea of interrupting that process to complain to an AC that the DM is too slow because the yellow/amber lights are too close in color is making me cringe. It was frustrating, and I think that the number of comments about yellow/amber or blue/green/teal indicate that there were technical problems with this puzzle. But at 12 minutes a room, I can't ever see myself making a call to interrupt the adventure with a complaint.


So bring it up in the Epilogue room, or after you exit the Epilogue room into the storyscape.

I get that with a 12 minute timer in each room, any delay is making it worse.

the counter point is that without Talking to the wronged party directly, it's hard to know what happened, and thus hard to be sure we're able to address the issue at hand while it's 1. Relevant, and 2. Able to improve the runs that follow. Plus it affords us the opportunity to insure you the customer feel we've done something, and your concerns were properly addressed. (If not, then by all means, escalate the matter from an AC to a Director)
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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 5 years 1 day ago #72

Spider Web Puzzle:
I think I got the same female room DM several of the others of you got.

I had an ABSOLUTELY 100% NOT KOSHER situation.

I walked into the run with 9 newbies and myself. I had already run and solved the puzzle on a previous run so AS WE ALL DO I stepped aside to let my friends play and approached the DM to give her the standard "I have run this room, I know the answer. If we get near time I will step in and solve the puzzle by {insert puzzle solution} but I want to allow my team to attempt it."

I was told

EVEN THOUGH I GAVE THE CORRECT SOLUTION IF THE TEAM I WAS CURRENTLY WITH DID NOT SOLVE IT ON THEIR OWN SHE WAS DENYING THE PUZZLE STAMP.

How is that even slightly OK, that means that if I want to guarantee the 10 treasure for the run I am hosting I must ruin the puzzle for my team and complete the puzzle for them. Even then I don't know if she would have given me the completion since THEY didn't solve it.

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