What aspect of DMing causes you the most trouble?

Aries

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
4,187
Reaction score
5
Location
Earth
Country
llCanada
Just curious, I must not be the only game runner around here.

What aspect of running your game, is the hardest for you?

Me, it's properly written properly planned game setting details.

You see I have a magnificent imagination :), and I all to often just cop out and adlib it.

But, occasionally, proper planning has it's worth, and that occasionally trips me up.
 

Dr Zaius

Chief Defender of the Faith
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 1, 2001
Messages
8,896
Reaction score
514
Location
The Forbidden Zone
First name
Don
Country
llUnited States
I haven't done any DMing in quite some time, but I still remember some of the things that caused me problems.

I guess I would have to say #1 would be rules lawyering. I knew the rules at that time reasonably well, but the huge volume of new material that kept coming out made it nearly impossible to keep up with. Taken as a whole, the AD&D system with all of its supplements was significantly more complicated than any other game I can think of. All the rulebooks combined would be about 3 times the volume of the ASL rulebook, for example.

Unless a person lives with the rulebook under his/her pillow, there are bound to be elements of the rules that a particular player knows better than the DM. But I don't believe roleplaying ought to be done in the same fashion as other games. To me, the rules are not absolute and the DM always has the final say.

It's one thing to temporarily halt a board game in order to argue over some obscure phrase in the rules, but doing this in an RPG can ruin the entire experience.
 

freightshaker

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
729
Reaction score
19
Location
Out on the road
It's been a long time since I've DM'd also but I think trying to get all the players together at the same time can be quite a challenge. It's hard trying to get everyone's schedules to mesh.
 

Aries

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
4,187
Reaction score
5
Location
Earth
Country
llCanada
freightshaker said:
It's been a long time since I've DM'd also but I think trying to get all the players together at the same time can be quite a challenge. It's hard trying to get everyone's schedules to mesh.
A common complaint among us older types, wife and children, often "small" children.

The key is to play on the turf of the parents of the small kids. That way they go to bed, and you don't have to care about it getting late, they are in bed.

I game with a married couple with two younguns. Game time starts at 8 (which is bed time for the kids).

You can also just bring kids, and have them play with other kids too. I have a son 12, and a married couple came over to watch films tonight. We just had their 5 year old go and watch movies on son's tv or play on son's game system. Son was able to be on computer as usual. Essentially it just means my son had a little brother for the night :)

I think over all, single guys my age likely have more trouble finding time. They might have already mapped out all the hours in the week too fully.
Girlfriends are also more likely to want excusive use of their man's time, whereas a wife can more easily just be another gamer at the table.

Of course, this assumes you picked a SO that has similar interests :)

In all my time, the only real funny barrier, has been a few 30 somethings gaming, and having a young teen in the group, and him remarking he has to ask permission to attend :) That line always got me chuckling.
 

Mordrig

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2006
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Location
Canada
Country
llCanada
My DM Problem

Seems to be character to NPC conversations. I can come up with a world setting, adventures galore and all the fixings, I make time (instead of sleeping) to get everything just right, but the conversatiosn always cause me grief.
 

Palantir

Member #86
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
4,877
Reaction score
1,731
Location
The Heartland
Country
llUnited States
Thats a common problem I think for most DM's and bothers me as well. You try and focus but everyone else isn't. Some ways to help that are:

1. Have a 15 minute bull session before diving into the game to get all the casual "hello" talk out of the way.

2. You announce ahead of time that: "I want to concentrate on "playing" for the next 30 minutes and then "we'll" take a short break so everyone stay focused until then." Or something like that.

3. A new one for me is - "please no phone calls (I hate cell phones!) while we are playing unless it's an emergency." Recently I just stopped a game and stared at a player for doing this- for 5 minutes!!!! UUGHHHH!

I really don't think some players know how much mental effort it takes to get everything together and then play in the "moment" so they can enjoy the experience.
 

Psycho

Elder Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Messages
15,056
Reaction score
914
Location
rectum
Country
llUkraine
I played with a couple of dudes about a decade ago (mostly AD&D but some similar stuff also) that never wanted to start with 1st level characters. Always complained it would take too long to build them up or they might die. I said that if they died we could just roll up another. Nah, too much trouble. Next comment is that the higher our level (and HP) then we would be fighting tougher stuff that could still kill us right? Wrong. Never really was any danger of death so that kinda took some of the fun out of it. They also wanted to have special items to start off with instead of actually going on an adventure and finding stuff and figuring out what they do. Well why don't we just make some 50th level guys then and walk around smashing anything we see? One thing I remember was Dave's 5th level dude had some special ability where he was part Dragon and part Human. :surprise: :hmmm: He was unstoppable so that was plenty of fun for us. :rolleyes:

Finally had a dude start playing with us that got it. He wouldn't let them (or me) get away with screwing around. There were consequences to stuff and sometimes if you found something good then bad things would start to happen. He made it much more interesting to play. :hurray:

Since we took turns running stuff it was soon my turn. The new dude I just mentioned started building a character and guess what? When he is playing he wants to play just like the other guys. We were making 1st level characters (finally) and his guy was some kinda Monk that had some special ability (see below). He fell down into a deep well and had no way out, ever (I was trying to off him so he would have to make a new dude). His solution? He started punching the walls. I asked him what good that was going to do. He said that he was going to force his way out. I said something like "You're hundreds of feet underground in a small well with smooth walls so you can't climb out." He said he could keep punching the walls until he could break out. I said he was just tearing up his hands and/or breaking bones. His special ability was that his body could regenerate! AT 1ST LEVEL! :argh: So he just kept beating on the walls and I don't remember playing with them after that. :bored:
 

Aries

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
4,187
Reaction score
5
Location
Earth
Country
llCanada
Reading your post there Psycho, and it appears you encountered what can only be referred to as a person sufficiently oblivious, that they have trouble with the real world not to mention imaginary ones hehe.

Occasinally you will just encounter people that are for all intents and purposes simply bereft of any functionally useful imagination :)
Not really stupid, there's just no way to tell the difference though hehe.

As for Mordrig's comment, I guess in my case I have TOO much imagination :)
I have so little trouble inventing characters for NPCs complete with all the mannerisms. Maybe in some ways I am a bit too imaginative though. Might not have enough connection with reality.
 

Count_Zero

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2007
Messages
1,328
Reaction score
122
Location
Riga, MI
First name
Josh
Country
llUnited States
I do a lot of Freestyle DM-ing (ad-lib). Mostly because the campaigns I am interested in are driven by the PC's. I tend to gravitate toward player groups that take their own initiative. I get irritated mostly when people feel the need to quote rules to me. I don't look at them much. I use them when necessary, but to me, the story is EVERYTHING. There is a reason the hobby is called "role"-playing instead of "roll"-playing.

- Josh
 
Top