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TOPIC: What to do about bad DMs?

Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #85

Barry Welling wrote:

Jason Brown wrote: I think it's pretty clear that J and L were meant to be confusing in the web puzzle. It's like the MOON puzzle from a few years back. That was meant to add difficulty, and I don't have a problem with that.


Correct.... that confusion was deliberate


Fair enough. Was not a fan of that particular issue what with visual sensitivity issues but that's a personal gripe

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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #86

  • bpsymington
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I don't mind a boss monster that is really hard to defeat. The mind flayer was really powerful, especially on nightmare and hardcore. Its AC wasn't the issue, it was the psychic blur effect that made it so challenging.
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Last edit: by bpsymington.

Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #87

Chip Bowles wrote:

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


Even if you are dealing with Nightmare runs, when did you have to show every step that you used to figure it out? Never had to before. If something as a Succubus is obvious a demon and you didn't get the clue but the logic you used is "sound" i.e. the only picture to YOU is a demon then that is sound logic. Just as if you picked the wrong one but it looked like a demon to you.

Never in the past 6 years of true dungeon had I have been told, you didn't show your work so you don't get the stamp.
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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #88

Maybe a possible solution to the 'number of tries' mechanic added this year is to give X free guesses, and from that point forward, start the old school Y damage to the party for incorrect guesses. No treasure is frustrating. Not promoting guesses is equally frustrating. Why not split the difference and allow so many, and if it continues, eventually turn on the heat, depending on difficulty, but not denying the chance at trying to figure it out.

I am, however, totally opposed to not allowing brute force answers. I get that some people really want to solve the puzzle, but provided the brute force answer isn't done in the first 8 minutes, and I have that token that perhaps will get use once out of every 2-3 years, then I totally agree that damage needs to be clearly designated as Eldritch or push, or that the tokens we have collected still remain useable. More importantly, the goal is to promote fun - and if a friend has the one item that lets us shine once every 5 years, stamp that bad boy and let it move on.

Nothing is more frustrating to a passive token collector to learn that your MoG can't protect you against 'this' poison.

I know that since TD is so far in and many tokens exist that this is difficult, but it isn't really fair to just nullify an advantage that was duly bought or earned, particularly when they come up so rarely.
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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #89

bpsymington wrote: I don't mind a boss monster that is really hard to defeat. The mind flayer was really powerful, especially on nightmare and hardcore. Its AC wasn't the issue, it was the psychic blur effect that made it so challenging.


TD Database is blocked from work but doesn't the tooth or the ovoid give you immunity to psychic? I can be wrong since I can't look it up.
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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #90

Ioun Stone Amethyst Ovoid: "Immune to Psychic Blast & imbues Psychic Power"

While it pretty consistently protected users from the Mind Flayer's Psychic Blast (I haven't heard of it not working there for anyone), the official party line is that it didn't work on the psychic spiders (though, that ruling may have been applied with less consistency). And it didn't help you at all against any other psychic effects from the Mind Flayer.

I don't think the Tooth does anything at all, on its own.

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Last edit: by Jason Brown.

Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #91

If the Mind Flayer was able to avoid your attacks because he could read your thoughts and know that an attack was coming, it might make sense for a Mind Blank Scroll or a Helm of Clear Thought to somehow protect against that. Though, technically, by the printed description, they wouldn't help with that, and I didn't hear of anyone trying that, either.

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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #92

Barry Welling wrote:

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.


Barry, I'm sorry but that still doesn't sound right. You make valid points about wanting to get the whole story, but relying on the DMs to offer up the chance to speak to an AC doesn't work. I've done 22 runs, 5 grinds over the past 3 years and that option has been offered to me exactly zero times - even in rooms where I did question the DM. I was told in every case that was just how it was, they were correct, etc. If comment cards won't work, how about an Experience/Feedback Coordinator who talks to the party in the Epilogue room while they're waiting for treasure? How was your run, did you have fun, what was your favorite part, etc. A bad DM doesn't always know he or she is bad - but no one wants to offer up the chance to negative feedback. DMs don't offer to contact ACs for that reason. We need something else.

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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #93

joshua baessler wrote: You make valid points about wanting to get the whole story, but relying on the DMs to offer up the chance to speak to an AC doesn't work. I've done 22 runs, 5 grinds over the past 3 years and that option has been offered to me exactly zero times - even in rooms where I did question the DM. I was told in every case that was just how it was, they were correct, etc.

For what it has been worth, that information (offering the chance to speak to a higher-up) has been in the training materials, and in particular, the Combat DM Quiz, for a number of years.

If a player uses a statement such as, "But the DM let me do this last year" or "...in the last room..." or "... when I did the run yesterday..." etc., which two options are the more appropriate style of response?

"I'm sorry for the confusion; however, the previous DM did not apply the rule correctly. Consider yourself lucky last time, but this is the proper rule."

&

"Let me get a director for you if you disagree."

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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #94

Instead of coming up with more intricate ways to let people know when they will and won't get treasure, how about TD just be less stingy with the stamps? I mean we've already paid $50 for a ticket. Surely that extra stamp isn't breaking the bank. If the puzzle is solved, however you do it, you get the stamp. End of discussion. In then end, the goal is to have fun and have people leaving thinking "That was awesome--I had fun". Feeling cheated leads to "That wan't fun--I quit and will tell my friends it's a ripoff." I just don't see the upside of making it hard to get the stamps.
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Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #95

cdsmith wrote:

balthasar wrote: I believe that depending on your difficulty, there was a cut off for attempts on room 6. Three tries on Normal, 2 on Hardcore, and 1 on Nightmare. We had a DM blank us on treasure for one bad choice on HC, but we got our card fixed later.


10 something run Thursday morning. I went in with a group of newbies. Went in naked plus CoA just so I wouldn't overpower the party. Normal marked on the card. The people were absolutely AMAZING. They solved the 'crossing the lava' with only 2 failure yet were denied treasure. Then we were again denied treasure in the mushrooms. I argued a bit about it but left it alone.

Last room DM asks what we thought of TD so far. I pulled him aside, told him it was a group of newbies and that I had NEVER seen such stingy treasure stamping in all my years! I went on to say that I had a charm of avarice and didn't give a damn if I got a stamp or not. then said, did he really want to send a brand new group of future TD players out the door with no treasure? And that is after SOLVING both the mushrooms and the Lava!

He was nice enough to stamp the card twice. The players were very grateful and everyone said they had a good time.

They went from feeling very cheated to at least feeling like they had a good time.

Oh, and aside from all of that, we were getting 12 damage per fail for the mushrooms and lava also. I thought at the time that was a LOT of damage for normal. Now I know that was NM damage.

I'll put it down to the fact that it was an early run.


^I know who this was, actually.

It was the DM that was in the shift before me, and he was twisting things around and was NOT running the room like it should have been in the mushroom room. I was saddened to hear of this and let the AC's know. In all honesty, I'm very sorry that a lot of people had to deal with this and other bad DMs over the weekend. True Dungeon is supposed to be fun, and the DMs are supposed to interact with and assist the party (to an extent).

Also, I was DM'ing room 6 on the Underdark Puzzle side, and I hope that no one was annoyed or frustrated with me during that time. I was trying to interact with the party and give them assistance when I could, as some of the aspects of that room are quite confusing (lights being similar colors, voices not being as easy to hear). I never enjoy hearing that a party has had problems, and if anyone saw me while I was DM'ing and had an issue, just let me know.

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Last edit: by Matthew Wheat.

Re: What to do about bad DMs? 4 years 5 months ago #96

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.


The DM for this room never gave us the treasure stamp, even though we did as the clue suggested and picked the Succubus. We had a couple of people that had run through the dungeon before and had knowledge of the answer, and it was growing close to the end of the time limit, so they attempted to solve it, only for the DM to say "nothing happened" when they tried. Was something changed in between days?

Also, forgive my continuous posting, work has kept me very busy after GenCon (apparently I was missed :P )

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