By Fraser Sockett
Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is one of the earliest pen and paper roleplaying games, created by Gary Gygax in the 1970s.
It consists of one player, the Dungeon Master (DM), creating a story of epic dragon-slaying while saving a kingdom of various fantasy races based on the decisions and interactions of the players who sit around the table. The only limit is the DM and players’ imagination, which is both a curse and blessing.
These are some Dungeon Master horror stories to get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a D&D player stuck with a bad DM.
The Bad Communicator
A player was trying to get back into the game after a 10-year break, browsing Facebook groups that were accepting players new to the fifth edition of D&D. They saw an advertisement for a group lead by “Olaf”. After talking with Olaf, the player was accepted into their first D&D game.
They were excited to meet the group and had a character all ready to go. The player found out after arriving that the group decided to meet earlier and switch over to a different edition of D&D.
It was the equivalent of a high school math teacher suddenly switching to quantum algebra. The rusty player spent the next three hours trying to figure out rules to a game they were not used to while the DM and the other players enjoyed themselves. In a roleplaying game like D&D, it’s crucial as the DM to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
The One With Ego
The same player found another group to join that was taking place in a local comic book shop.
The DM, “Allistor”, always came late to the sessions, and if he arrived on time and someone else was late, that person was reminded of it at least 3-4 times a session.
He was ill-prepared and always borrowed other group members’ dice and minis. He acted like he was doing everyone a favour by being the DM when he was the one who offered. The worst thing Allistor did was not respect other players’ limits.
In-game, he had an Orc violently sexually assault a player’s female elf. The player who was in control of the elf was visibly upset at this.
Allistor was taken aside and spoken to about how inappropriate this was. He justified the move by saying that’s what an Orc would do in that situation if it happened in real life and told the player to leave if they didn’t like it. A few of the players did as he suggested.
The DM sent off a huge rant in the Facebook group about how people need to respect the story he tells, no matter how dark it gets. The player read two sentences of his rant before leaving the group.
Despite these unfavourable DMs, there are always more good times than bad. It’s important to set boundaries with Dungeon Masters and remember that it’s a game meant for a creative and fun time with other players.