If you're a big fan of Dungeons and Dragons, you've probably had your fair share of dungeon master horror stories. Bad dungeon masters, one of the worst parts about Dungeons and Dragons, simply are something D&D players learn to deal with. Whether the DM perpetually blows or just went ropey all of a sudden, a lackluster DM can make or break the game faster than poorly rolled dice. If such a DM ever ruined your quest, find some solace with these Reddit Dungeons and Dragons players who shared their stories of the worst dungeon masters. Despite being a position of prestige, the dungeon master role often finds itself filled by someone who would find a way to kill a rock garden.
Even nonregular D&D players see the frustration of investing so much time and energy in a game just to watch the DM jump the shark like a failing sitcom that needs a ratings boost. When these Dungeons and Dragons players describe the worst DMs they've ever seen, you'll see just how much a game can be derailed, railroaded, or just made super effing boring - such as when it took two hours of in-game time to pick a damn lock. You'll feel a whole lot more grateful for your DM next time you play.
The Common Problems
"Common things I've seen DMs do:
Run a 'DMPC' who does everything while the actual players just kind of roll their eyes and wait to go home.
Give preferential treatment to a player they have a crush on.
Go power mad and make everything really hard, then reward you with two copper each."
"So this time 'that DM' chose to lead then people through a harrowing adventure through a small temple, past an encounter far below the party's capabilities.
After more damage was dealt by friendly fire than by the enemies, the party then proceeded to spend an hour slaving over a puzzle 'that DM' had constructed.
The party finally got through and proceeded for the final encounter of the night. 'That DM', hoping to liven the table with a difficulty spike, doubled the enemies without noticing that the encounter was already a challenge for the party.
In the resulting murder of several party members in two rounds, 'that DM' had to use a powerful NPC intended for later to save the PCs from the encounter.
Now just replace 'that DM' with 'spvvvt'. I'm still embarrassed."
The DM Knocked Out A Player Who's Immune To Sleep
"A friend of mine invited me to join his group, so I went with him and made a character. The DM acted pissed off that they had to wait while I made the character and couldn't play, even though I told them to go ahead.
I made an elven fighter/mage, and my first action was to run around the back of the barn where the bad guys were holed up and cover the back window with my bow. The DM handed me a note that said 'You are unconscious, don't say anything,' then proceeded to play with the group for about two hours, resolving everything that went on in the barn.
After the session was over she told me 'Sorry, I had written in my notes that they would try to escape out the back window, so they cast sleep on you and then killed you. There was nothing I could do.'
1) I was an elf so I was immune to sleep; 2) I can't remember the details, but my character level also made me immune to sleep; 3) 'There was nothing I could do' is bullsh*t coming from a DM. I didn't return for a second session."
He's Going To Retcon A Lot Of It
"So this DM is normally pretty mild, but one of the players has told me that recently he does some downright terrible stuff. I'll share my recent encounter.
This DM gave a hostage three actions to break out of his bindings, stand up, grapple me, and make an attack. I had no advantage to attacking him from behind while he's on the ground as a readied action, despite me literally having a dagger to his throat. The dude might as well have been Superman. I'm immediately dropped to near death again. We struggle and break his AC, dropping him again. Remind me not to try to get information from NPCs and murderhobo everything.
Anyway, in a module book I'd already played, we're in the room with one of the most terrifying creatures I've ever encountered, already more than a match for our party. However, the DM decides to not only have that thing kick our ass, but have one of the Bosses from a different section show up to kill us. Oh, and don't forget the newly hatched baby dragons that side with the person they've never met, as opposed to the players trying to feed and offer valuables to them. (Yeah, it might sound like a stupid plan, but then why have us roll persuasion if you're not going to let it work? I rolled anything but terribly.) Also note that my disguise had absolutely zero effect, and I did try everything possible to negotiate.
So cue a party of five level-three characters fighting over triple a deadly counter's experience in one fight. After I bail with another party member, the DM does the whole 'surrender or die' thing to the rest who are getting their asses kicked, obviously in over their head, and currently physically unable to escape. He even looks disappointed with me for bailing on the party, when it's quite obvious me being there would do nothing to help. He cut the session an hour short and is going to retcon a lot of it the next time we show up."