Escaping into a fantasy world, surrounded by like-minded nerds, is just the best thing ever. Except when it isn't, because someone is deciding to be a total Gelatinous Cube. Here are some US reader worst RPG horror stories.
many bells down in response to someone else's story about unwelcome romantic/sexual advances from a fellow player, during and after a game:
This was almost the story I was going to tell, except the guy who was hitting on me was the GM. And my character was a Gangrel and not flirty at all.
It became a ludicrous game where anything my character tried to do was met with success and zero danger (including surviving a nuclear blast for some reason), and my boyfriend's characters were killed off within literal seconds of him making a new one. I can remember one actual conversation being something like this:
Boyfriend: OK, so my (brand new) character is driving along the coast toward [City].
GM: Make a drive check.
Boyfriend: ...for a straight road? OK... shit, botch.
GM: Your car plummets off the cliff into the ocean and you die.
And something like that happened every single time. Meanwhile, I was voted Prince of the city by a NPC band of Nosferatu.
JonnyDeadMan responds to someone else's story about a GM who got carried away with creating elaborate scenarios involving non-player characters and never seemed to care about the actual players:
World of Darkness tended to be like that. I had a GM who liked to smoke major amounts of marijuana during our sessions and he would conjure up these really engaging worlds to play in. Though due to his weird sense of the game, he would often throw insurmountable challenges against us and it was entirely up to our own "common sense" to realise that we were not supposed to actually take them on. Case in point, the brujah vampire hit squad armed with machine guns hidden in a van we took to following, then crashing into, then almost dying from.
It was also a pain to "level up" our arete scores (this stat governs your ability to use magical power, for the laymen reading this). Because he was high most of the time, he wanted us to follow a very specific train of thought when we undertook spirit journies to improve our characters (we had to RP the stat improvement). Needless to say, we were stuck at the same level for a looooong time, because every time we tried to level, we kept "missing out" on what was needed to expand our (mage) minds.
Fun campaign, but frustrating a solid 50% of the time. I've never played with a GM since who smokes the wacky baccy during a game.
When I was 12, I had been playing D&D for a few months. I really got into world-building and wanted to be a DM. I started creating my own world, complete with multiple maps, cultures, cities (each with their own map layouts with locations of dungeons) and multiple maps of dungeons. I had created my own races, each with their own backstory.
My mother was a fundamentalist Christian. When she found out I was playing D&D she got very mad, but I ignored her and still would visit my friends and play, and I continued working on my world, writing probably a few novels worth of backstories.
Then one day I got back after spending a weekend with my friends; I found out my mother, after attending a fundamentalist revival camp earlier, was told by her pastor to take all of my material and throw it out, as it was the work of the devil. Pretty much all of my writings, drawings etc were in the dump, and that was that. I was crushed. I never forgave my mother for that.
A friend and I who love gaming get invited by this guy we know to a Star Wars gaming session. Both of us were game - we like tabletop stuff, we like Star Wars, why not?
So first, the gamemaster sets the rules and setting: this is just a few months or so post-Jedi and Luke is setting up the new Jedi Academy, so neither of us are allowed to have Jedi player characters. My first thought was, "well, where's the fun without a lightsaber?" But heck with it, why not? My friend was a mercenary and I think I was a trader (I tend to pick non-combatant roles for new PCs).
Then the gamemaster dropped the first bombshell. As we were finishing our characters he said, "My character is a Jedi. He survived the purge and Luke sees him as a mentor."
We both paused. "You mean the NPC?" I asked, cautiously. No, we were corrected, this was his player character who would go with us on our adventure. The same adventure he was already god of.
OK, first red flag, but whatever. I previously had turned one of my first PCs into an NPC in a Vampire game I was storytelling. My friend ribbed me for it, but rankled less after his PC was allowed to beat the crap out of my NPC. I figured, let's give this guy the benefit of the doubt.
As the game began, we soon got whisked off to the royal hall where we had a meeting with Queen Leia. She and Han were apparently on the outs, so she was currently single. This is only relevant because the gamemaster's PC and Leia proceed to have a 15-20 minute conversation about how Leia was always secretly in love with him, but how he couldn't commit to her because he was dedicated to the Jedi ways.
We tried to interrupt this marathon of uncomfortable awkwardness as the gamemaster had a romantic conversation with himself, but each time we were shushed aside so the "dialogue" could continue.
After that, my friend and I continued to participate out of politeness until we could find a courteous exit. I think we finally found an excuse to escape sometime after Han told the gamemaster's PC that he'd "always looked up to" him.
There are some trigger warning for extreme arsehole DMs and game designers in this post who believe that rape is a cool game story element, so I apologise if offence is given.
I was playing in a convention game in Melbourne, some time back in the 90s. The character I was given was a Paladin of the goddess of vengeance - and motivated by the fact that she was raped by an NPC earlier. Well at least she wasn't just motivation for one of the male characters.
In the prologue to the game, which was a fully narrated cut scene, my character was again assaulted by the same NPC and then murdered. And then brought back to life by the gods for a mysterious quest. So not a remotely fun start to the game.
4 hours of game play through an apocalyptic hell world later, we come across a group of survivors that include said NPC. He apologises to my character. My character prepares to take her vengeance but is stopped by the DM who says the guy in unarmed, and he's apologised so my vengeance would fail. Yep, the NPC who twice assaulted and then murdered my character was meant to be set free. I handed him a sword and cut his head off.
At the end of the game we were told our ritual had failed because of my character's actions. I took note of the DM and the designers of the convention game and never played anything they ever touched again. I should have just walked out mid game.
Most RPG players have had that magical group. You know the one: you stay up until 6am. You play for 15 hours straight. It's awesome. Notes are flying. Secrets are being revealed. Crits are being rolled (or fumbles). Then, like many good things, it comes to an end. Your pals scatter to the four winds. Some stop playing. One might even become "born-again" and throw all of his D&D books away. You mourn it because life will never be the same. And you are alone. And sad.
Then, it kicks in about 6 months later. "I need to find a group. I miss D&D. I miss role-playing." Nowadays, you can jump on Reddit or other community boards and find locals. But, back in the late 80's and early 90's, you filled out an index card with "Player looking for Group" at the top, jot down a brief description of yourself and your wants as a player, put a phone number at the bottom and hope for the best."
For me, it was like online dating on crack. You have no idea what you're walking into and most of what you do find has bad BO and may or may not be sex offenders. Especially if you are a female gamer.
Try #1: Orc Master
Orc Master can only meet you at one of the library community rooms because he lives at home and his mum "is a bitch who fucks strangers," so he hopes you are ok playing at the library with him. He's the GM. I'm there with two other guys who he had found on other message boards across the city. None of us know one another.
Orc Master tells us all we can be evil. He gives one guy a +10 battle ax of paladin slaying. To another player he gives a giant Puma named Dio that he can ride. To me, he gives a "magical chastity belt with teeth that rip off guys' dicks," then goes, "Haha, just kidding! Here's a ring of protection +4."
When I describe my character, the GM kept asking if she was Asian. "I like Asians," he said. Then he would snicker really loudly. Finally, he came out and said that "Asians have small pussies," and wasn't that so funny?
(no, it was not funny...)
Our first combat was decimating a village and killing every man, woman and child we saw. Every time we offed an innocent, he would cackle. During a pee break, I told them I was going to the bathroom and never went back. Fuck that shit.
There were several other awful attempts, including a guy who thought keeping his PCs at 1-2 hit points was "fucking awesome," and every time we'd try to camp or heal or do anything productive, he'd have a random encounter and laugh maniacally every time we went unconscious. Or, the fairy skank princess who swore she was a model for Larry Elmore (because he told her she was "magically beautiful"). She had a character that was a tinkerbell fairy that could pull anything she wanted from a magical dimensional bag. (Her BF was the GM and had essentially made her invulnerable.) He ran us through the Temple of Elemental Evil and she fought every monster with some awesome relic item or detected all the traps or knew every lore about every being inside. Then, at the end, he said, "Well, she gets 90% of the experience because you all didn't do anything."
The most fucked up story I have is when I joined a D&D "Storytelling" group. The GM didn't roll dice, he just told stories and asked us how we would react. He said, "I FEEL the stories and what your characters want and need and I've never been wrong."
Well, I played a thief. He told me what she looked like "Dark hair, almond eyes, petite and very beautiful." (Again with the Asian fetish?) And he had one of his NPCs totally hit on her. This NPC was some kind of tree-hopping Tarzan barbarian type named Raven who talked in guttural language and could barely put words together. He would send me notes like:
Raven want you come with him. He show something. Come alone.
I went and Raven did some kind of crazy martial arts dance for me (and this GM is actually trying to DO the moves while he's explaining it). Then he says, "Mating dance. You my mate now," and thumped his chest. He grabbed my character and carried her up a tree and gave her a fucking flower then asked if we could "mate for life."
I was like "Yeah, time out, I don't know about this."
And the GM said, "Hey, I can READ people. This is what your character wants. Go with it."
And I didn't go with it. His friends were all looking at me like *I* was the odd one because I wasn't letting Tarzan tree-rape me for a flower. (For life.)
The game ended early. Before I left, the GM asked me to come to his room (in his apartment). "Come on, I want to show you something."
I told him I needed to go. He begged me, said he TRUSTED me and he needed to share something with me. So, I relent and walk to his room and stand in the doorway because no way am I going all the way in with a guy who thinks that I want to roleplay tree-sex with a stupid, half-naked barbarian.
He pulls this box out from under his bed and opens it up. Inside are framed pictures of his family. Mum, dad, and three sisters. And they are all naked. All butt naked. Sometimes posed, sometimes not. He's in there too, naked as can be. (Awkward!)
And he tells me, "My parents are brother and sister and believe in nudity." (uhhh… wut?) "They raised me to be proud of my body and to not be ashamed. Their parents did it too. It's ok. I feel like I can be myself around you."
He started to undress.
And I was out. Gone. Done.
I have not yet had another experience quite like that one.
So, yeah, wherever you are, Raven-barbarian-nudist child-porn guy? What the fuck?
2 players, 1 DM, who lived for the TPK. We start a new campaign, 1st session. I am playing a CG Ranger, my buddy is playing a LG Paladin.
We find some dying man on the road who tells us an evil cult has murdered everyone in the village up the road, blah blah adventure hook. We get to the town, I sneak up a tree to recon, but my buddy just strides right up in his gleaming plate mail and asks to speak to whoever is in charge. Table talk in italics
Evil soldier: Uh yeah, I am in charge. Turn in all weapons, armour and magic items to the magistrate.
DM, to paladin: you sense evil coming from him and his cohorts
Paladin: I turn in all my weapons, armour, and magic items, and tell the Ranger to get down from the tree and do the same
Me: Dude! What the hell are you doing
DM: Seriously? You are overwhelmed with your detect evil
Paladin: Yeah of course, I am playing my alignment. I am LAWFUL. Here are my arms and armour, we will not resist!
Me: WHAT!? You are Lawful GOOD and the dead guy on the road told us these guys did it!
We get slaughtered, TPK in the first 10 minutes. Paladins are the WORST.
And now for a completely different kind of paladin story...
Playing D&D 3.5, the campaign comes to an end early so we need something to do while the DM comes up with something new. I'm convince-able to try my hand. The regular DM wants to play a paladin, trying to see if you can have a party without a healer. The guy has described himself as lawful evil and my idea of paladins is basically The Deed of Paksenarrion, so I'm sceptical, but this is all just an experiment, so ok.
The party chases after a thief who stole a weather artifact. They catch up, and the thief rummages around in a pack trying to retrieve the artifact. The paladin threatens to kill him. I'd rather he not be killed (the party's in a trap and the thief knows the way out, there's an escape hatch but it would be a huge hassle), so the thief's girlfriend interposes herself. The paladin cuts her down, arguing that the thief is evil and protecting the thief makes her evil. This horrifies the cleric in the party, and he argues with the paladin. I point out that the girlfriend and the thief are not, in fact, evil, and the paladin player announces that he can't play in my world because it doesn't make any sense and stomps off.
Paladins get "detect evil" for free, but he never bothered using it.
I was playing a game of Dungeons and Dragons with some new people that I had met through a mutual friend. The group of people had been playing for a while and was starting a new campaign so it was a perfect time to join the group. We were playing with some low level characters so I decided to play as a Lawful Evil wizard. Alignments are not anything that need to be shared with the rest of the group because during the course of role playing they gradually come out in the actions of the character. The only person that knew my alignment was the DM.
After my character was introduced to the group and we began our quest. The party does not even leave the bar that we all met in when the very first thing a player playing a paladin does is cast a detect evil on my character. The paladin proceeds to pull out a sword and try to kill my character that I had just spent about an hour rolling up and outfitting. I then spent an hour listening to this guy about how he was justified and in his actions because he was playing a paladin and my character was evil.
I tried explain to this guy in a very polite way that really good role players can make good and evil characters work together for a common goal. The characters may not like each other but the game can work and it can be a lot more fun than a group of vanilla goodie two shoes characters. This guy was having none of it and basically refused to back down from trying to murder my character every chance he go. He basically ruined the evening for not only me but everyone that was present. I never went back to play with that group of people and in fact it turned me off to RPGs for a long time.
I've often been the worst (or best, depending on your point of view) gaming experience for others in my group. In D&D or Pathfinder, I enjoy playing characters that will annoy the shit out of the rest of the party. Paladin is a sure-fire way to achieve that end, but that's almost too easy.
Probably one of my favourite characters was one I rolled who did not have a single ability score above an 8. And this was with the DM giving us pretty generous rolling rules (4d6 for each score, drop lowest, plus some other gifts as well). So I went with it. Named him Insin Rhedshert, and went in with a goal to get him killed in the most spectacular way possible. Since Insin had a Wisdom score of 5, he would do things like yell to the front of the party "You guys see anything yet?" while everyone was sneaking through a dungeon, which of course drew a horde of monsters. Somehow he survived to level 3 (making some unbelievable saving throws along the way), until the rest of the party tied a rope to him to test the depth of a particular well (swim check: fail).
In 7th grade, playing 1st Edition AD&D: Our party was halfway through White Plume Mountain and we had to pause in game time to camp out, rest, eat, heal, etc. My character fetched a bucket of water from an underground stream and I told the Dungeon Master I would boil the water over the campfire before I drank it, just to be safe. The DM — Pete was his name — said I couldn't do this because, as a medieval barbarian, I couldn't know what germs were; hence, I could not know to boil my water. I was pretty sure he was wrong, so I argued with him that pre-scientific peoples boiled their water for safety, but Pete finally put his foot down and said my character was NOT going to boil his water, and that was that.
In the next melee encounter (with a gang of bugbears) Pete informed me that my character had explosive dysentery.
So, second game running DnD 3.0, I was a senior in high school and I usually DMed because nobody else wanted to. Two new players wanted to join the group, they were a couple and wanted to play a couple in the game too, no problem fine, it being high school and what-not this was a a common occurence. The problem was their relationship was very up and down and it was reflected by their characters actions too! So we'd end part way through a dungeon or something and come back the next week and suddenly the lovey dovey adventurers hated each other and I'd say well, what the hell?
Your characters loved each other one chamber ago and now they're at each other's throats? This goes one for a good two or three months in which I try to ignore the sudden, vicious changes in player character attitudes until finally we come into a game and these two are sitting on opposite ends of the table...uh oh. We get going and the whole time the two players are just glaring at each other, finally we get to a portion where there is a choice...their characters take completely opposite sides on the issue and suddenly the female player says "Why don't you just go fuck Jenny in the arse some more?!" and throws one of my nearby Warhammer models at him.
Blood was spilled, the police were called, DnD night was ruined and I have a new campaign rule now: couples can't play in game couples.
After playing some lunchtime RPG sessions at school, I bought a copy of West End's Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. I spent months creating an intricate scenario for my friends, and was so excited to lead them through a campaign of my own. I had loads of characters, maps, ship designs, even multiple Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style story forks that would give them more freedom to play it their way.
Very first turn, one of my friends (playing a Trandoshan smuggler) rips a monitor out of the wall and kills a passing civilian with it. This sparks a wanton spree of murders, and after a (short) battle with (completely justified) security forces, my friends' characters all lay dead in the same space station corridor they started in.
Then they all went and played outside.
First D&D campaign, I was the only girl, age 15 or 16. I was playing with a couple of friends and a couple of their friends. In spite of allowing me at the game, the DM didn't want me there, so he apparently added to the Wandering Monster table "horde of rapist barbarians", with a strangely high-percentage chance that they would appear. He had my character kidnapped so that everyone else could rescue me, but he took me aside for a very up-close (I was literally cornered) graphic chat about what the barbarians were doing to me and why I couldn't fight back. And yes, it was all narrated in the second-person.
I felt threatened and I was furious, but I kept playing because I didn't want him to 'win' by making me quit. This went on for a few games, until I had my character start castrating every monster we killed. Then the group decided we needed a change.
I'd been playing D&D for a while with a friend — we'll call him Jim — who looked and acted like a stereotypical nerd straight from Central Casting. One day a couple of guys I worked with said they'd been hearing a lot about this D&D game (this was the 1980s) and wanted to play. I said sure and invited them over for a game.
One of the guys — we'll call him Rick — had just lost his younger brother — we'll call him Scott — in a tragic motorcycle accident. It was a small town, so everyone knew everyone and knew of the death.
We played the game for about an hour, and everything was going OK. Then Jim started calling Rick by his dead brother's name. He kept saying, "OK, Scott, it's your turn to roll. Roll, Scott. Why aren't you rolling, Scott? Scott, you have to roll."
The room got very silent, and very chilly. I kicked Jim under the table as hard as I could, but he wouldn't stop calling this poor guy by his brother's name. Rick sat staring steely-eyed at Jim for a long time, and then finally said, "I'm now attacking Jim." He rolled the dice and inflicted a huge number of hit points on Jim's character. Jim, who still had no idea what he'd done, started shrieking, "Scott, what are you doing? You're supposed to kill the Hell Demon, Scott, not me!"
Eventually Rick kept slashing away at Jim's carefully built up character until he was dead, Jim fled the house in tears, and that was the last time I ever played D&D with anyone.
Been with the group for about 3 years, during that time DM ended up getting dumped by his girlfriend and was in a very weird emotional place. Eventually he gets a new girlfriend, which is great, because he seems to be happy again; naturally he wants her to play with us, and she's never played before. There were four of us already, 3 guys 1 girl, and so adding a fifth is going to be kind of awkward, but we're happy to oblige.
We're in the middle of a campaign already, but the DM fiddles with the story and works her in. First problem, the character she made was extremely mary sue; I figured our DM would have at least helped a little bit, and maybe he did, but it didn't show. No real biggie though, right? Most new comers always make that mistake, and you can for the most part fix it as you go along, usually making a really good character.
Except she wasn't having any of that, anytime she was in danger, anytime that she wasn't playing right, anytime something didn't go her way specifically, some new marysue trait would magically appear. I'm talking literally being in a situation where she couldn't escape and she chimes in "but oh my character has wings that she's been hiding all this time, one angelic and one demon, and she flies away" sort of thing, and the DM just rolled with it, each and every time. We tried showing restraint, we tried discussing this problem, and the more we did the worst it seemed to get.
At some point she seems to actively begin to despite the other female player in the group; it was just really weird the way she had gone to instant hate - maybe it was always there and she just couldn't hold back anymore? Anyway, eventually somehow the game turned into "Her Adventure", and the rest of us were relegated as sidekicks, it was definitely the way she wanted to play now, and definitely the adventure she wanted to have (Which btw, was about as generic and goth-centric as her character). This was around the same time she activavely tried to start to commit a PK's on us, starting of course the one that originally met her ire. Each time she tried our DM wouldn't allow it, knowing how pissed we would be, but at somepoint she couldn't take it anymore and actively began to whine followed by full on screaming. At that point the character was killed off, and all he could do was look at us and shrug, and she just looked so happy, began to gloat and look really smug.
Ages ago, I got into a Vampire/ Werewolf/ Mage/ general WoD game with a group of people who liked to call themselves 'the Brotherhood'. That should have been my first red flag but the flags started just flying shortly after the first session began. For one, if you were not a part of the main 'Brotherhood' and/ or not a 'bro', you were ignored or used as a punching bag in-character.
If you managed to survive the first hour or two of three people taking turns wanking all over their min-maxed and cheated-to-hell character sheets without physically beating anyone to death with a bag of dice, you would then be subject to listening to the ST's NPCs conversing amongst themselves through one person; of course, if you interrupted this, your character was tortured, raped and/ or killed for such an intrusion.
Bonus round: Introducing The Guy Who Gets Away With Everything... y'know, the one who was playing a 'reformed, but not really' Black Spiral Dancer who was a pure-blooded White Howler and had Lion as his personal totem, who also subsisted on blood like a Vampire and knew Thaumaturgy, which he then used to kidnap a Mage who somehow taught him Technomancy. My head still aches, remembering this. There's a big reason I can relate to Malkavians.