All Things DnD's Story Dungeon

D&D Story: Why No DnD Is Better Than Bad DnD

November 20, 2020 All Things DnD
All Things DnD's Story Dungeon
D&D Story: Why No DnD Is Better Than Bad DnD
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All Things DnD's Story Dungeon
D&D Story: Why No DnD Is Better Than Bad DnD
Nov 20, 2020
All Things DnD

I cannot stress how important session zero is for establishing what people can expect from the game and the people

Support the show (https://paypal.me/MurtazaBohari)

Show Notes Transcript

I cannot stress how important session zero is for establishing what people can expect from the game and the people

Support the show (https://paypal.me/MurtazaBohari)

I met a small group at a game store and they offered me a spot at their dnd table. I've never gotten to play as a player before, so I was looking forward to the game. We had been warned a few days before that her campaign was gonna be roleplay heavy. So I pulled a bard I'd been working on for a while out and got ready.
I showed up to the game store about an hour early and worked on putting my character on paper. The DM showed up an hour later and greenlights my character. She warns me that this game is going to be 90's themed, but that it shouldn't affect too much.
 
Three other players show up. One player is playing a lovable mound of flesh known as Gus the Barbarian. I liked this guy. Another player decided on a Noble Druid a little on the shy side. And then the problem player reveals his character. Now, everyone was in the same group chat, we had all known it was going to be a role play heavy game similar to Undertale. So he brings in a min-maxed Barbarian with a +6 STR.
 
I'd actually helped a bit with the backstory on this guy the previous night, but I didn't know it was going to be used here. Nothing wrong with min-maxing, but it needs to be tempered correctly. I could tell the DM was a first timer and I could see this wasn't going to end well.
 
After two more hours of character creation, in which I am mainly helping. The DM just prepped her notes and left to get a drink with the Problem Player. He would later come back and mess around with Magic Cards. But finally the game started. It was 5pm, but I figured I could still play for a few hours.
 
Everyone is teleported from wherever they are to one spot. Druid and the Problem Player know each other. Apparently, the problem player’s character was an Aristocrat and knew the Druid because he was a noble. Gus and I know each other. He was a Folk Hero and I was a Bard, it made sense. We start to describe our characters. No one really pays attention to Gus who was doing some phenomenal roleplaying for a first-timer. The Druid goes next, and then Problem Player immediately grabs them and decides to investigate the forest we spawned in. I sit back refusing to help progress the story until everyone gets a second to introduce themselves. I finally get to describe my character, a Bubblegum Pink Tiefling if anyone was wondering and pass it off to Problem Player who gives a lackluster intro and proceeds to try and press on with the story.
 
I decide I want to shake the druid’s hand. I know, WEIRD.  What a horrible breach of etiquette. After shaking their hand, I turn to offer Problem Player the same gesture. What an offense, right? Naturally, he punches me in the face for daring to shake hands with nobility. The DM has magic items that halve player versus player damage. It was at this point that I am wondering if she realizes that she could have just talked with the players and agreed to not allow pvp.
 
Now, Problem Player just declared that he was going to punch me in the face, and rolled for it, throwing on abilities and such, and calculating the total damage. This is level 1, by the way. The DM does not call him out on rolling without permission, which was a massive red flag for me. Gus tries to say he steps in front of the blow but is ignored and I take about half my total HP in damage. Level 1, I guess it's fair. Bard vs Barbarian, who's going to win that fight?
 
I refuse to leave the clearing until I get an apology. So naturally Gus apologizes to me and we move forward into the forest following some plot line that was a little hard to be invested in when the only person doing the investigating was Problem Player. The rest of us were kind of just along for the ride. He checked out the rotting tree. He surveyed the surrounding area. He checked out the one path forward. About 30 minutes into the game, the Druid and Problem Player stand up for a 15-minute Vape break.
 
It's at this point that I try to gently bring up my opinions to the DM, but she tries to continue while they are gone. We take a short rest, and I spend my hit die to heal for the damage I took. Gus and I do a small bit of exploring in the woods and I find a Bag of Holding. I immediately know how Problem Player is going to react when he sees I have this. And I know he is going to take it from me by force if necessary. But I've been trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. And the DM is ignoring my attempts to say I'm going to hide this from them.
 
So they come back from their Vape break. Pretty rude to up and leave in the middle of a game by the way. The DM immediately asks me to tell them what I found. Now she has reskinned a bunch of items in game. Our swords are nerf swords, other things are 90's themed. So I tell them what it is. A Polly Pocket Bag. And as I pray to god she won't tell them that it is actually a bag of holding, she tells them what it is.
 
Problem Player  immediately asks for it.
 
I say no. If I give him the bag, I won't get it back. Fortunately, I have an In-character reason to not want to play nice with this d-bag. Jubilee has dealt with bullies before, and understands that you shouldn't just give them everything they want. Besides that, He was punched in the face. More than enough reason to not want to share.
 
Problem Player explains why he wants the bag. He wants to cast Detect Magic on it. This is a Half-Orc Barbarian. How does he even have Detect Magic? 
 
"I have a feat that gives me it." 
 
All of the players call BS. But he says that he cleared it with the DM, and that he has it because it fits his backstory. The DM doesn't remember giving permission, but decides to allow it. I shouldn't have to explain this, but just for those who don't know. At level one, the only ones who get a feat are Humans. No other race does. If your backstory seems like it would, most DM's would still need to make sure you aren't metagaming your backstory to get this feat, and would still likely say you could grab it when you hit level four. A barbarian would never have a solid backstory reason to be capable of casting a spell like Detect Magic.
 
I still don't back down, and he finally lets out a sigh and gives a clearly half-hearted apology. I naturally thank him for the apology, and still refuse to give him the bag. He is clearly only saying sorry so he can take the item and be the main character once more.
 
He punches me again.
 
I told you all he mix-maxed his character, right? Yeah, pretty sure I did. He rolls high enough to hit, before the DM can even interject he begins to roll damage. He clearly states he is trying to knock me unconscious here and is using all his skill things to do so. Taking a  minus 5 to his hit roll for +dmg, and all that. He still hits, and Gus steps in front of a blow that would have definitely done me in if I hadn't healed. The Soccer Boppers that the DM was using to half damage would not have been enough. This was 7 damage, already halved. But Gus took the damage, giving me time to react appropriately.
 
I've been playing for about an hour now. I've been in this game shop for four. I've spent a lot of time here, hoping for a good game. I'm mature enough to recognize that my time is valuable, and that it is a waste to spend it here. I ask the DM if I can cast Hideous Laughter on him. She says yes, and I do. He tries to use his Passive Perception to add to the WIS save, but I call him out on it. He fails the save, and his character collapses on the ground laughing.
 
I get up, and begin packing my stuff. I apologize to the DM and to the other players. I don't plan on returning to the game. In a moment of weakness, I tell the DM that I toss the Bag of Holding to Gus before walking off into the forest. On the car drive home, I realize how stupid that decision was. I loved Gus. He was awesome. But Problem Player never cared about me. He certainly never cared about Gus. And his STR was beyond maxed. I should have taken the Bag into the forest with me. I didn't want to ruin Gus's chance at a Magic Item, but I really should have known that he would probably just beat him up for it once I was gone.
 
I was really disappointed. This was supposed to be a roleplay heavy game. I loved my character and being associated with that player made me feel sick. He was very clearly an unrepentant Murderhobo, and I knew sticking around longer would've just led to murdered NPCs, and not having a good time and I felt pretty bad for the DM.
Remember gang, No DnD is way better than Bad DnD.