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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> General Forum --> Gaming surveys --> worst DM/GM blunders
Parent thread: So who was your first?
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    Messages in worst DM/GM blunders
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Veteran Visitor
Karma: 13/2
120 Posts

worst DM/GM blunders

well this is my second new thread (first being my intro) during my intro i made constant reminders of one thing im new to all of this...
so what was the worst DM/GM mistake you have experienced

the theory behind this thread is to learn from all your mistakes so i can make some new ones ^_^

i found an error i missed the word Worst

Posted on 2011-12-16 at 13:32:52.
Edited on 2011-12-16 at 14:28:51 by mortsonne

Karma: 138/3
1049 Posts


Ooooh, this is a good topic!

Can't say that I can think of any specific blunders, but being a relatively 'new' GM, I can give you a whole series of tips and things I've learned over the last year!

((For instance: Make sure you define dice rolls as far as what is acceptable and what isn't. e.g. if it lands on the battle mat, it's fine, if it bounces off a book its fine, but if it's wedged against something or lands on the floor, it's not an acceptable roll. We bickered about it for a long time before I finally put the GM foot down. This -may- be only after I made everyone use an encumbersome box lid ))

Posted on 2011-12-16 at 13:36:50.
Edited on 2011-12-16 at 13:42:06 by Celeste

Gerald Defay
Occasional Visitor
Karma: 7/1
32 Posts


this is one that happened told me to roll up what ever i i did, have yet to get a response from him even though i showed it to him...

Posted on 2011-12-16 at 13:42:47.

Veteran Visitor
Karma: 13/2
120 Posts


wow thanks guys i cant believe no one thought of it before me really im amazed im learning lol such an information hound

also wish to thankyou for the compliment i love compliments almost as much as flattery

Posted on 2011-12-16 at 14:31:24.
Edited on 2011-12-16 at 15:52:12 by mortsonne

5 Headed Dracohydra
Karma: 80/23
1117 Posts

Be careful what you dish out...... treasure.

I once gave a magic item i came up with for a different campaign in a totally different campaign. Number one: the item was moon dependent and the new world had no moons.

Number Two: the item was close to epic in power and, if not an artifact, it was close. Allowed the party to Teleport Without Error.

Number three: I ignored the moon dependency and the item allowed the party to circumvent many of the challenges I had planned out for them (almost 60% of them) and avoid Random encounters during land travel.

This was back in 2001 when I was a relatively new player and had just begun DMing. I've since then learned two lessons: Be careful not to give out anything in treasure that you don't want the players to use (or abuse the use of, cause players will do just that). That and taking said items away can and most likely lead to players' resentment of the DM.

Oh yeah, when in doubt, just give out coins and gems.

Posted on 2011-12-16 at 20:35:30.

Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts

That was ...

..... some Good Advice from Tiamat

Posted on 2011-12-16 at 21:19:35.

RDI Fixture
Karma: 25/34
607 Posts

heres some more

If a player argues with you, shut them up I should know

Done it a few times!!!!........*whispers* I was the player

Right TM

Posted on 2011-12-16 at 21:59:07.
Edited on 2011-12-16 at 21:59:58 by Takley

Veteran Visitor
Karma: 13/2
120 Posts

all so helpfull

just a quick message to say thankyou for advice and to say

im keeping up im not one to start a fire and leave it unattended and thankyou in advanve anyone else that posts

Posted on 2011-12-17 at 03:38:31.

Occasional Visitor
Karma: 8/0
33 Posts

Haven't DMed in a while, but ...

I recall one adventure that absolutely flopped, and it was entirely my fault. I'd worked up a number of settings of which I was quite proud, and got so obsessed during the game, with making sure that the settings themselves were properly described, visualized, etc., that I completely blew the rhythm of play. A good session has an element of music to it, and my playing on that one was ham-fisted in the extreme.

Posted on 2011-12-17 at 04:53:57.
Edited on 2011-12-17 at 04:57:05 by Gallirian

Sibelius Eos Owm
A Midsummer Knight
Karma: 59/5
1376 Posts

Hehe, this one's not that big of a blunder, depending on your PoV

No matter how cool the idea of a setting with the background of witch-paranoia and absolute kingdom-wide ban on magic is, it can cause your spellcasting characters to get annoyed quickly if they weren't expecting it--even if most major battles took place away from people who would turn you in for such.

Posted on 2011-12-17 at 07:03:05.

The Tired
RDI Staff
Karma: 291/33
6340 Posts

last session

In the last session I played with my tabletop group, the party was attacked by 6 hellspawn creatures. However during the combat, I accidentally only put 4 down on my combat sheet. So after the 8th round, one of them says well there are 3 left.

Me: No, only 1.

Player: Ummm no there would be three.

Me. No there were four, and now there is the one.

Other player: You said there was six.

Me (checking notes): oh... Hurm. Okay. You thought there were 6 but there were only four. That happens with hellspawns. They're tricky that way.

Posted on 2011-12-17 at 13:12:04.

Veteran Visitor
Karma: 13/2
120 Posts

keep it steady...

.. make sure you know how many monsters you said notes are pointeless if you tell people something thats not in them

oh and as for the treasure thing i was thinking of giving everyone in my party a scroll that conjures something to aid them as its a scroll its one shot thing and it will only be a single encounter each scroll (i'll randomly choose from weapons to high level creature summons depending on the class)so abuse of it isn't possible (that i can foresee)

wow i do like all this and not only is it helping me but any other new people to gaming that come here i feel like were performing a public service the world over it feels good

Posted on 2011-12-17 at 14:19:11.

RDI Staff
Karma: 177/13
3127 Posts


Well I've tried a few games over the years, usually as a player, but one as a DM (which did not work out very well). I'm not good at thinking on my feet and adjusting for the silly stunts players throw at you. Ohh... and a small word of advice, if you want to play an NPC with an accent... try and keep the accent steady the whole time or just give up and have them speak like you do. I had this little female Dwarf named Clementine that ran the local tavern... and she went from being Southern, to Cockney, to some strange accents no one recognized in the same sentence. Needless to say my players though Clementine was hilarious.

Another bit of advice I'd have is to say 'yes'. When a player comes up with a crazy idea let them try it. We've had DM's that simply put down a nutty idea the second it comes up instead of letting it play out. If the idea is REALLY nuts have it fail, maybe even an epic fail, but let it happen. For one those ideas often become the golden moments that making gaming fun. And if players feel that the DM is simply going to shut down all of their ideas they will stop putting effort into play and will simply go 'I swing my sword at that guy...' during combat and everyone looses interest.

That's all for now!


Posted on 2011-12-17 at 20:30:25.

TRSG 2.0
Karma: 113/94
1606 Posts


You could say that only a bad player complains about his/her DM/GM... but I do have some general advise.

1) DON'T GIVE SPOLIERS, perticularly if they could lead to metagaming.

2) DON'T LET METAGAMING SLIDE, if someone metagames or breaks charcter without reasonable IC justification punish them.

3) DON'T LET THE PARTY GET UBER RICH, and then don't let them buy cool stuff that lets them pawn everything.

Also: remember the names your significant NPCs. Having three "Mr. Plot"s or "Mrs. Plot"s is not good, and neither is having to as your players for their names...

Posted on 2011-12-18 at 02:07:21.
Edited on 2011-12-18 at 02:20:26 by Loki

Khash Munee
Karma: 47/0
707 Posts

...resource restriction

at times it is very important to realize that a game may need moderation. essentially expanding on Gerald's note above, given free time and a range of books some players can make some extremely overpowered (due to clever optimization).

not only do you have to listen to them gloat over their particular strength (if they are the type to) whenever it is applicable, but the players who didn't delve through a score of books looking to create a 'mortal god' feel useless in almost every situation.

however it is double sided. if you ban them from using particular resources do not dig into them yourselves; not only is it unfair, but it leaves a lot of bitterness.

stick to what feels comfortable.

Posted on 2011-12-18 at 05:28:13.

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