Fuck You GM. Fuck you, players.

This post will be nerdy, so Fuck you Sideways with a Rusty Fence Post if you can’t take it.

I was playing Shadowrun with my usual group. It’s fine. We were a pretty strong team, including one Mystic Ninja (he did enhancement spells), one Physical Adept (known for super-speed and extreme toughness, not kung fu), one ex-SAS antiterror commando (good all around combat), one very powerful magician (dual-natured, which means he exists in both physical and magical dimensions). And me, the Tankity Tank.

We were basicaly forced into the Renraku Arcology scenario, only our Gm makes it much, much worse. He usually does; it’s his way of balancing things out high. We’re allowed to have ridiculous powers, but then he starts off throwing hordes of killer drones and insect spirits at us. Unfortunately, he’s terrible at actually balancing opposition, which leads to our usual method o acheiving victory.

The villain starts off with some awesome super-attack, or just one we can’t effectively counter. We get kicked around the curb. Eventual, the villain runs out of juice as we stand around throwing attacks back and forth, and goes down like a little bitch.


Dramatic, it ain’t. Sometimes, as a variant, he stops using attacks on the people it affects most in order to concentrate on those characters who haven’t been hurt yet, for no fucking reason. Thus, we rarely achieve victory by actually overcoming great opposition. Sometimes, he sends us against hordes upon hordes of enemies we can’t really hurt, and then the some NPC army or some shit, who refuses to ever help us out beforehand, comes in to save the day. Usually after we are forced to beg for help against the enemies who outnumber us 100 to 1.

When we do defeat some powerful villain, he kneecaps all the psychological pleasure we could get out of it as thoroughly as possible. He hands out money, gear, and goodies like candy on Halloween, which leads to them being utterly devalued. Most of the time, NPC’s shun us or ignore our successes.

In one campaign *(still ongoing), a character of mine came close to joining the side of Utter Evil because not one NPC in the entire damn game ever once said “Thank You.” After I repeatedly told the GM that was all I really wanted: a polite thanks. They could keep gifts, titles, and all that crap if only somebody thanked me. Fuckers.

The GM got around that by making the evil not so much evil as just a fucking jerkass dick. Who then turned on me and threw my (still living) character into Hell when I offered to give him everything he ever wanted and more. My character is currently pissed, as all the mighty Gods and Demons are basically nuisances with superpowers, or irritating children.

In any case, he generally makes our villains so utterly blank that we get no satisfaction from defeating them. Computers blindly following programming, vast dimensional entities that can hardly perceive us, madmen meaning well as they utterly rape and ravage the world and everything in it: they usually manage to have no personality whatsoever. They would also be completely harmless except that they happen to be utterly immune to reason or logic or sanity. Fuckers.

Back to Shadowrun. Renraku Arcology.

He tossed us a time limit on this one, which forced us to work fast. I’d rather have gone on to deal with one of the other dozen major disasters. His usual method of GM’ing is to throw 600 major crises at once, and no one else bothers to deal with them. Usually, we eventually start to forget some of the terrible troubles which have occurred because we can’t keep track.

So fine, we went in. I got us in a very good, sneaky method which mgiht get us access to the whole bilding via the elevators.

Weeelp, that was too good for the Magician. Player decided to go watch the evil killer robots running around by just turning invisible. Problem? The robots have ultrasound sensors, which ignore invisibility! Yes, the player had been warned. At least twice. Then he turned into a bird in front of them, which apprently triggered the kill-on-sight protocol.

yay. Thank you risking us all to satisfy your pathetic passing curiosity.

But fine, no disaster yet, right? We manage to get away, steal some stuff even, and escape into the next level up. We move across the (very large) building and even get some valuable information. Alright, we can do this.

We sneak our way all the way to the power plant level. Well, one team member gets a loud mouth and fucks everything up by yelling at another player (in-character) that he, the second, should tell the NPC security guard what we were doing. Note: despite being a Tankity Tank, I was was not suspected of anything and even intervened sorta-subtley to give them nmore time. Of course, they completely botch it up and a mass security alert is sounded. They now have us in their cameras and can track us easily.

But OK, fine.

Well, one player (the Ninja) said he couldn’t be there next week.

OK, geez, fine. We came up with a side mission his character can have done.

Then the Magician’s player simply doesn’t show, and the Physical Adept is very late. Leaving me with the Commando.

Ok, FINE! I come up with something for us to do in the meantime.

Five minutes later, at the first sign of trouble, the Commando bails on me. His character escapes in a way I can’t, and leaves me to be blown away by twenty drones each almost as tough as I am and each deadlier than my character is. The Commando didn’t want to fight them, so when I played for time and came up with a way of getting around them, he just ran.


You couldn’t think your way out of a wet paper bag! You were in the fucking Army and have less command of miitary strategy than most teenybopper Pokemon fans! I’ve seen ants display better tactics!

Incidentally, he ran off and looted an abandoned area after leaving me to die, enrichng himself by letting me distract the guards while he made off with stolen goods.

Well, that pretty much left me to talk my way out of it or die, since the Commando had a disproportionate share our firepower. The Physical Adept player showed up, and upon being told his character had wandered off to trigger alarms immediately looked at the GM like he [the GM] was crazy. His statement was basically, “I’m sorry, do I look like I’m a moron with a deathwish?” But there was no way for us to get in contact, because all our cellphone or radio tranmissions were blocked.

In an Arcology.

Which is a mile wide, a mile long, and has well over 50 floors (If you are a Shadowrun player, that is much smaller than the Official Arcology. This is because the official arcology had so few people that you could literally have whole lost tribes on some levels, they would be so empty.)

Ok, fine, I was basically forced to surrender. It was now the optimal path.

My GM apparently decided to be funny about it. I did get to talk to the Security Chief, who was a braindead dumbass blindly doing whatever orders popped up on his computer screen. This was after I had to convince a braindead dumbass security guard to let me talk to someone. These people barely qualified as “bored, stupid bureaucrat.”

I tlked to the head of magic reasearch. Utterly divorced fro reality and quite apathetic about anything outside his department. I talked to the Arcology director’s secretary. I talked to the Assistant Director. He didn’t know or care about any damn thing at all.

The GM made me roleplay every damn miunte of it. I started getting pissed at the stupid. He continued, because he apparently though it was funny.


Finally, I got through with the Arcology Director, whom I knew was not available and was not in communicaiton. I quickly figured out it was a signal from inside the Arcology, which was a ridiculously easy fucking thing to figure out, because the actual man was in Japan and this dude had not nearly enough signal delay, which any non-dumbass should have realized, because they only have conferences with Japan on a DAILY FUCKING BASIS!

Then, I discover it’s an AI, the Arcology Management Program. It’s a smart slave AI, just doing its job.

Apparently, whomever wrote the risk profile module was an idiot, because a possible “complete destruction risk” at some point in the future caused the Arcology to lock itself in now, and turn the Arcology into a military fortress and start psychotropic condition and risk several other disasters.


I don’t care!

Just bribe me and I will walk away. I don’t really care. I offered to bring you evidence and resources on hwo to manage the threat, and that it’
s farily minimal, and to shbow that you’re basically shooting yourself in the foot, but you refused. In fact, you just ignored me and kept talking.

Oh, wait, that’s not good enough. Apparently the Arcology decided it doesn’t want to let one (relatively small) secret out on the off-chance that someone could find a weakness in their nigh-impregnable magic shield within the next four months, when probably noone on the planet even has the capacity to reproduce the effect within that time.

So they did something physically impossible and had about 50 people hack into my cybersystems, get the codes to shutdown all my cyber body parts, and you are now threatening to kill me or lock me inside my own nonfunctioning body until you feel “safe”. Yeah, I just didn’t notice the bandwidth from 50 poeple hacking into my computer simultaneously. Oh, wait, maybe it was the 50 magicians all using spells which they probably don’t have and probably couldn’t use on me at range and probably couldn’t do what you claim anyway.

Yeah, you’ve given me the choice of being locked in a cell, or having my body shut down, or being fitted with a nice “lockdown program” so the Arcology Program can fuck with me whenever it wants to.


Yeah, I started yelling. Because you’re being a dick, and being fundamentally unfair, changing the rules, and then you have the fucking audacity to imply it’s my fault for not using player knowledge the character doesn’t have. And tell me a “Faraday Cage” will keep me safe.


Yeah. An impromptu Faraday Cage will keep me safe. Yeah, because farday Cages are really good at keeping radio signals generated from god-knows how many radio generators from reaching my Death Switch, when even one will do me in.

Just… fuck you.

Fuck you.

FUCK you,

FuuuUUuuuUUUUUuuuUUUUUuUuuuuck… you.

At first I thought you were talking about WoW and wondering why you wanted the NPC to thank you. And then I realized that you are an even bigger nerd them I am.

It’s a game, are you having fun?

Thought this was going to be about General Motors and the UAW. I was wrong.

Sounds like you need a new GM.

I thought it was going to be about the general manager of some sports team. Guess not.

I hav tried GM’ing. I have found that one of the players (The Commando’s player) sets out to destroy every game I try. For certain reasons, I am not allowed to exclude him.

Yeah, tell me about it. Cripes almighty.

Quit. Get out of the game. Anything that causes you this much grief isn’t worth it. Find another game, there are better ones out there.

I am a GM, for multiple games. I’ve been told by many of my players that I’m one of the best GM’s they’ve ever played with. How much experience does your GM have? Because a lot of the plot points you describe make me think he’s new, and he’s just pulling things in he’s heard before but doesn’t really understand.

The thing with the major bad guys starting off strong and then wearing out later (and not running) is an indication that he doesn’t have more than basic knowledge of the system. The thing where NPCs help you when you can’t do anything on your own is a newbie mistake, and shows inexperience. Same with 600 things going wrong at once, giving the players too much power, giving the players too much treasure, and dumping inappropriate challenges on the players.

Altering basic rules of the game at whim is bad, and is the sign of a bad GM as far as I’m concerned. It means they haven’t planned things out enough, haven’t tried to anticipate player actions, and haven’t planned contingencies.

It also sounds like he’s trying to bring his (meager?) understanding of normal science into the game. This is bad in a futuristic game, especially one where you’re dealing with (currently) unrealistic things like arcologies and AIs.

Unless you’re talking good close friends, say your goodbyes and leave. It’s just not worth it. If you are talking about good close friends, then you need to talk to them, one on one. Start with the GM.

That’s the painful thing. He’s a super-experienced GM! he’s been GM’ing for decades. He played Chainmail for pete’s sake.

He simply doesn’t care about most things, though. He’ll hand out trasure (in various forms) like candy, but the value or interest of it gets reduced vastly. Yes, you can have the mighty hrode of treasure or the massive bank balance, but it’s meaningless and not an accomplishment. It turns what was a reward into something else to manage.

And he knows science very well, but that’s part of the problem. Science, he knows. Engineering… not so much. He’s well-versed enough that usually it doesn’t matter, but some of his ideas are frankly implausible, impractical, and grossly deviates from actual physics (like expecting me to make an impromptu Faraday Cage before the Evil AI could respond and for that cage to actually block out anything). He vastly underestimates the time it takes to develop, design, refine, perfect, and then release inventions or turn concepts into practical machines.

Shadowrun is a bit different, so I was prepared to be flexible. It’s not quite a superheroic game, and small armies of bad guys can be exceedingly difficult to manage (attacks start removing your dodging ability and small penalties add up to large ones quickly). Shadowrun can be a pretty harsh game. Nonetheless… the first real fight we had was with a group of insect spirits. They were invididually so tough that my character was incapale of hurting them. They had so much armor and body attribute that Nothing I could do was going to do better than a trivial wound. When we realized there were several hundred of them, well… I called in the military.

Our next big fight involved Bee insect spirits. And these guys weren’t very tough, but they came in huge swarms, used will-based attacks that only one party memeber could really shrug off (and it was not me). Fighting a small group of minor spirits (actually possessed teens) nearly took out our own group. Then we had to fight several hundred, armed with their innate abilities, large amounts of explosive, dozens of attack drones. And being insect spirits, they had no self-preservation. They were quite happy to do suicide attacks on us, which came within a hair’s breadth of killing the Commando. I fact, they nearly got almost all of us at one point or another. So… I called in the military.

The latest mess has us going up against thousansd of drones, each as tough as a light armored vehicle and armed with twin heavy machine guns. So… yeah.

Is it wrong of me to think that this would make a good hentai?

That’s bad. These are pretty newbie mistakes.

Controlling the power level of the players is an important GM skill. This sounds like a typical power spiral, where the players power get too beefy because of too much treasure, and so the GM has bring in tougher bad guys, who normally carry even more treasure, so the players get even more beefy, the bad guys get even tougher, etc etc. This really is something he should have seen.

The big problem here to me is that he’s confusing player and character knowledge. Would your character be able to design, make, and use a Faraday cage on his own? Would he even realize that it’s possible? Tanks generally aren’t known for their brains. How good is he at improv? Sounds like he played your situation off the cuff and railroaded you to a something he had planned out, the revelation of the arcology AI. And even worse, he changed the basic rules of the game to do it.

This is poor planning and design on his part. He’s compensating for the players power level with tough bad guys, and not taking your individual abilities into account.

I played an early version of Shadowrun, and I don’t remember AoE attacks being particularly effective, especially against armored targets. IIRC, we called grenades flea killers.

I thought this was going to be about genetically modified food served to a lady by a cad who was philandering.

No, it’s a bit more complicated. He doesn’t care how poerful your characters get. It doesn’t bother him, and he’s happy to toss in more poewrful enemies. And believe me, you cannot out-power-game him. He knows every trick and probably wrote them in.

It’s the psychological bombshell that hurts. I never feel like I can accomplish anything. He psychologically groin-kicks everything I do, so that I never get any good feeling out of it.

Oh yeah. There’s just no rational reason it would help, or that I could handily do it properly right now. I found it insulting that, when I pointed out that he’d basically cut off my character’s nuts (metaphorically), his response was something that pathetic.

Solution: Find a new GM.

I mean, I just outright quit a Hero System game for the opposite problem you’re having–I’m an engineer type in real life, the GM isn’t. So he won’t let me invent things. My character has many, many points invested in skills like System Operation, Profession: Mechanical Engineer, Robotics, etc, and his Intelligence is (on a scale where human normal max is 18) hovering around 45-47.

Yet building a walkie-talkie that our deaf-mute (sonic-powered, innately-sound-absorbing/camouflaging, has morse code as a known language) commando type can use with her hand silently is apparently beyond me. Oh, and her player quit too, after the fourth time she was snuck up on, by people who were supposedly even opponents for us, despite having what is in shadowrun terms ultrasound hearing with a 500’ detection radius.

I mean, I understand that we both know the Hero system and built powerful specialist characters, and I for one was fully expecting to get trashed occasionally by people who could get around my specialties(like, say, ANY martial artist who could isolate me). I get flamingly pissed at a GM who can’t be arsed to do that and just waltzes all over the players’ areas of skill whenever the whim strikes.

Quit. Find a new GM, and either fix for political reasons the fact you have to invite Captain Disruptagame or neuter him using your old GM’s methods. =P If you’re not having fun, it’s not worth getting your RPG fix in only to resent it.

I’ll nth quit, but add the qualifier that quitting the game doesn’t mean quitting the people. It sounds like you should find other things to do with this group (mini golf, board games, whatever) and decide if you want to bother finding a role playing group that’s more in tune with what you want. I’ll shill for Savage Worlds again - I think there are a few Knoxville players on the forums.

Though a rant, this is a pretty game-specific one, so I think the better forum is The Game Room. I’ll move the thread there.

But character power in role playing games has limits, and a GM breaking the rules to challenge the players doesn’t. As the players and bad guys climb in power chance becomes a much bigger factor, and things like insta-kills and combat ending effects (stun, sleep, confuse, mind control) become more common and harder to resist. In a normal power progression the players would have a normal chance to defend against these things. In an out of control power progression the players abilities vary wildly, and what would bounce off one character can make a lingering red mist of another. All it takes is one bad roll and the only thing Doc Wagon can do is get out a broom and dustpan.

Hmm, this makes me think that while knows a lot about the game mechanics, he doesn’t know much about player/character interaction, or coherent story lines, stuff like that. Given that you’ve said that he’s an experienced GM, this is kind of confusing.

Is it something he says when he gives you stuff, or is it just the way it happens?

In situations where the GM has totally broken the rules like this, try throwing it back in his face. Tell him you’re altering your cyberwear, after all you’re connected to it and nothing can stop you from accessing it much easier than the way he did it, so that it changes the shutdown protocol to only work from inside. Or something else that uses the crap he dished on you. What’s good for the goose…

Oh yeah. Three of us are Very Tough, one is Fairly Tough, and another would keel over if you looked at the character funny. All of us are grossly outnumbered, gunned, and almost out-toughed now.

He doesn’t have story lines. Or really any plots at all. Something bad happens, and for whatever reason no one else will bother to stop it. Evryone else on the planet is too greedy, shortsighted, or generally useless to bother. Or help.

It’s the method. You can usually get things that are, in normal games, rewards. In his games, they are more things you have to work for. And he makes you work for it. It’s… unpleasant. But if you actually do something grand and spectacular to help someone, well, don’t expect gratitude. Most NPC’s consider us vermin. In fact, it’s not uncommon for me to sympathize with the villains solely because we haven’t met them yet.

And he loves the “oddball introverted research scientist”. I usually encounter at least one every two sessions.

Here’s an example. My samurai character, before he was a samurai in a game. Well, I loved being an eta. I was dirty, disgusting, a low-class killer. Oh well. The Gamemaster turned a minor amusing diversion into something much more, handed me the most powerful artifact weapon in the entire game, and made me a Samurai of note and legend on the spot, by order of one of the most powerful leaders in the entire game. I was amused. At first. I mean, it’s kinda exhilirating to just be given all your dreams. But my character didn’t earn it, so I didn’t value it so much. The fun wore off real fast. It’s not particularly interesting anymore; it’s not a story. You can begin a great story with “Something Amazing Happened.” But that’s not interesting in the middle.

PLus, later on, I saved people again and again from threats they barely even recognized until it was almost too late. I battled assassins, copnspirators, evil mages, and saboteurs, and saved even my own personal enemies from great harm. Nobody cared enough to say “Thank you.”

I’d like to, but even I don’t have access to that system. Which is what pisses me off. It’s a inty buried module which my character couldn’t even verify existed, much less locate. I have no access to it barring locating and physically uninstalling it. All it is, is a small off-switch which responds to one radio frequency and one code. God knows how anyone was supposed to be able to figure that out.

Of course, he did just put in the low-level magic ability which instantly lets anyone who has it automatically break all encryption, codes, and understand all languages. :rolleyes: (It’s inevitable: in any game he runs, you may as well put all your points into the most powerful, flexible magic, since nothing else will compare.) I’m thinking about having my character explode in a huge, 360 meter blast from all the explosives I’m carrying.

Meh. I’m on the ‘find a new GM’ bandwagon. That being said, I know very well how hard it can be. I’ve found maybe 3-4 GM’s in my (metaphorical) neighborhood, one who’s downright lousy, one who has given up on GMing. It can get very frustrating, and often turns into “Well, better a bad game than no game at all.”
This being said, it just sounds like you’re not having fun with the game. If these guys are your friends, suggest something else. Suggest someone else GM or that you play a different game. Don’t get stuck playing something you don’t want to play.

Just my two nuyen.

It’s obvious the current GM has been jonesing for a gaming fix himself. However, he generally refuses to play on anybody else’s terms, so it’s unlikely. Also, he has a tendency to destroy games the moment things start going wrong for him. I have, therefore, refused to ever GM for him (or the COmmando’s player, either) ever again.