member, 757 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Mon 2 Nov 2020
at 18:09
How gentle should a DM be?
Just curious, I have had several occasions where players quit as soon as anything seems challenging, or even new and different. One campaign lost players because I used home brewed monsters that unsettled people. Another fell apart because the players, as a result of their own actions, ended up trapped in a city for awhile. Heck, years ago I had a player flip out because he could intimidate store keepers into giving him stuff for free.

Do other DM's have this issue? How much coddling do people expect or need?
 member, 8 posts
Mon 2 Nov 2020
at 18:44
How gentle should a DM be?
I think it depends on the player, honestly. When joining a game, I always figured there was a sort of agreement between player and DM, the player was at the DM's mercy while the DM wouldn't throw anything at the player they couldn't handle, even if it took a bit.

I've seen players take whatever was thrown their way and play it out. Had a player jump into a storyline to play the hero when it was set up for another character. Had another threaten the town, then got all upset when the GM threw something her way basically saying "Is this what you intend?".

I think in the end, sometimes you find a good match, and other times, not so much.
 member, 798 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Mon 2 Nov 2020
at 19:16
How gentle should a DM be?
In reply to Piestar (msg # 1):

Pretty loaded question there. Hard to know if you're really looking for answers or just expressing an opinion.

People can enjoy just about anything if they're bought in, but not everyone is up for everything all the time. I like horror, but not all the time, and I'm not sure I'd go for a movie that went from light comedy to horror or vice versa. Most RPG players have tough situations they'd enjoy, but that doesn't mean they're up for /any/ tough situation.

There's also more to a situation than just the challenge of it. A game against a tough opponent can be fun, but it's usually less so if that opponent is rubbing their face in it, for instance.

So, it might be the players in this case, but it's not all players and if this keeps happening to a GM they should make sure it's not due to what they themselves are doing.
 member, 182 posts
Mon 2 Nov 2020
at 20:04
How gentle should a DM be?
I haven't had (m)any issues with players expecting or needing coddling. I suspect issues similar to those the OP described were due to differing expectations about the rules, tone, and/or style of game, i.e., the GM and player were operating under different assumptions. A GM can mitigate a lot of these misunderstandings by being very clear about any house rules, etc. they will be using and/or the style/tone of the game in question. This is commonly referred to Session 0 and/or Social Contract.

Some players want to know that creatures will behave exactly as described and won't mechanically deviate from rules as written. Some players don't respond well to player agency being taken away, even if it is a result of their own actions. People play RPGs or different reasons and find different things fun.

All that said, there are times when you are just going to have clashing personalities or playstyle differences that won't surface until the game is underway. In those cases, it's best for all sides to part ways rather than labor on in the misguided hopes you are going to change someone else's idea of what is and what is not "fun".

FWIW...I've only had two players flip-out and rage quit a game in the 10 years I have been running games on RPoL, so it's not that common in my experience. It happens, but very rare.

This message was last edited by the user at 20:29, Mon 02 Nov 2020.

 member, 2095 posts
Mon 2 Nov 2020
at 20:23
How gentle should a DM be?
 it depends on the player , and how the game is presented. When folks  RTJ, i have a  'interview' telling them what they can expect from the game, and  what i expect from the players...my games are a bit darker... i have seen games that are silly. i have seen games where the DM/GM is slaved  to  modules, and seen GMs  who  don't try to control the game at all.

 if a Player  says they wish to leave  and it ' its not what i expected"...fine?.. if they bail with out saying a thing, its sorta  rude, so i don't bother  with a  PM followup.

 If.....they want to leave because of  another player, I will hash it out  with them in PMs, then let the chips fall as they may.

 Bottom line..if the players know what they are getting into, and rage quit..ley them go!

 my space game had  one 'rage quit' because he tried to dictate how the  game and story flow was going to go...6 years later  he asked to come back.. I told him to search for another game.