Well. It’s been a long while since I wrote anything. What, with the Kickstarter campaign, pre-production mayhem, and now the endless weekends of filming One Die Short (P.S: the full trailer should be out this week). But as filming winds down, I’d like to start offering my ineffable advice once again, and I really couldn’t pass up this latest question from “Galadriel”. It would be a disservice to the entire RPG community if I ignored it:
Dear Sir, (<—- I prefer your Lordship, but Sir works too I guess)
My dungeon master over-describes situations and forces our group into situations that aren’t very enjoyable. We often have to listen to him roleplaying more than 3 characters at a time, hence we have no chance to join in.
In battles, the NPCs help our characters (there are 3 of us) and this leads to the DM being at least two members of our party, and four or more enemies. This leads to very long fights.
We are frustrated because we seem to be voicing random speech to a massive novel that he’s written. (He also tells us when to speak or role plays out our characters actions in story situations)
Do you have any advice?
Holy crap do I ever have advice for you! But before I get to that, let’s take a closer look at what’s going on here. As I see it (and I see all), there are three distinct possibilities:
1. Your DM is new to this, and/or is totally clueless as to what he’s doing
2. Your DM is a terrible DM and always will be
3. Your DM is a king amongst Doucheloafs
First off, if he’s a new DM, he’s doing everything wrong. Roleplaying IS storytelling, and if he has a great story to tell, that’s awesome! It’ll make for a much more engaging and interesting campaign. However, roleplaying must also be COLLABORATIVE storytelling. Without the DM there is no game, and likewise, without the Players there’s only self-masturbatory nonsense. Or possibly a really good novel, but more than likely it’s this novel:
Literally, EVERYTHING he is doing is bad. It’s not that individually they’re bad techniques. They all have there place at the game table, but when all of them are used all of the time, it’s terrible. As you’ve seen, it frustrates players and makes for really boring gaming. I would argue (as I have before), that the Players are more important than the DM. DMs like to think they’re indispensable, but they’re really not.
I wrote a three-part series a while back on the basics of being a good Dungeon Master. Whether he’s new to the craft or not, he could probably stand to read it. Sneak a link onto his FB page or something. If he’s been DMing for a while, he might be hopeless, or clueless, or a selfish ego-maniacal turd blossom, but you won’t know any of this until you confront him.
So, my advice to you is have a goddamn intervention. And I mean that literally. The three of you need to sit down and forcefully tell this monkey biscuit what’s up, because if you don’t, you’re all just as responsible for the terrible games as he is. Every DM should be able to tell you what each of their Players likes most about roleplaying, and enjoys the least.
Clearly, your DM has no intention of asking these questions, so it’s up to you three to speak up and tell him what you want. Some people might tell you to be nice about it, but whatever. If he puts up a fuss and tells you all that you’re wrong, then here’s what you need to do:
Then go find a goddamn new Dungeon Master!