Campaign Resignation


After four sessions of D&D with a particular gaming group, I decided I would not be continuing with them. There are various reasons and circumstances, but at the heart of it, it became a conflict between player and game master (or DM in this case) instead of a conflict between characters and challenges.

The power struggle between people and personalities seems to rear its ugly head and causes problems more often than any other reason for a dissolution of a gaming group. It is often (but not always) the game master flexing their proverbial muscles to impose their will upon the game when the players are winning or run a direction contrary to the expected script. I try and think back to my previous times at the DM chair and I remember the feelings of annoyance that the characters were able to circumvent or easy defeat a creature or challenge.

So what is the problem? Game masters are humans too, they want to win. How they win is not so well defined in most roleplaying games. I think this leads to lashing out, unfair or arbitrary rules, or focusing their frustrations on a character–or worse–a player. Whereas a board game can be left at the table, a roleplaying game continues, and the problem can compound. I believe it is a rare (and amazing) game master that can take joy with the players and characters in their victory, enjoy the feat of writing and bringing excitement to their table, without feeling loss at not killing off everyone. I try to always refer back to the Dungeon Master Experience for how a game master can increase his or her fun, but not at the expense of someone else at the table.

Ask yourself: What Would Chris Perkins Do (WWCPD)?

But… what do I know…?

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