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I was introduced to D&D three months ago and really delved into the world. I had so much fun creating my character and tried very hard to roleplay him differently from myself.

I did my very best to play him as the stoic man I envisioned. His biggest trait, was his helpfulness to the party. In impossible situations he would save his friends, something I failed to do in my life.

During one quest I had to save my character. The only way out was to sacrifice the NPC servant of another player. (Let's call this player "Bob"). Bob is very racist, especially towards me and this didn't help. He seemed to shrug it off but I still tried to seek recompense. Flash forward a month and it's the final boss battle. I was so pumped I brought chips and soda and cleaned the whole area because I wanted my house to set the stage for an epic night.

We proceeded to fight this ridiculous boss the DM envisioned and it was tough but we finally killed him and he did a great death explosion. We narrowly escaped the castle before it collapsed. In the epilogue, we were about to get knighted when the DM said "You start to feel your lungs filling with water". After giving me one minute to think about it he said "You drown". Then the party laughed and looted my character's body.

Apparently the DM worked with Bob, who was extremely upset with me killing his lacky, and hatched this plan to poison the potions I used in the last battle with something they made based off a real fungus that makes you drown, to a lesser extent.

Is it wrong that I feel confused? One side of me really hates him for metagaming and having his character stab mine in the back after I had tried to make amends with him. The other applauds him for thinking of such a clever and well orchestrated plan to kill my character (The DM made the boss my specialty and Bob encouraged me to use everything I had while continually healing me to make sure I was alive).

After deep thought, I have decided to take this personally. I'm not mad because they killed my character; in truth I was planning for my character to die, albeit heroically. I'm mad because he knew this was my first character. He knew that and took advantage of it. And when I think back to how much they made fun of my character dying and how they apathetically mocked me while I sat in shock, this was clearly meant to stab me. I called these people my friends, drew their characters for them, and had them in my house as guests.

I'm invited to play another campaign with them with Bob now being the DM. This is where I see my chance. He is both DMing and playing a character. Also we have a time limit on this campaign of two months as Bob will be moving. I want vengeance. I want to utterly humiliate him the way he humiliated me. I don't care if I stoop down to his level. I can't kill him right off the bat so I'll wait till he gets attached to his character.

What are some good long term plans I can use under his nose to kill the previous DM and Bob's character in horrifyingly gratifying ways.

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Nasty comments deleted. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Oct 25 '13 at 11:29
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@user9623 It's not clear from your description what extent the DM "worked with" Bob - did the DM actually come up with the plan and force it to work, or was the limit of his participation keeping it a secret from you (as, rightly, your character wouldn't have known) and letting the dice decide whether your character figures it out? –  Random832 Oct 25 '13 at 13:47
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This picture you have painted of both your companions and yourself feels too much like villainous caricatures to take this too seriously. If, however, this is even 50% true, you have chosen the wrong hobby for your maturity level and the wrong people to call friends. Maybe you should collect stamps. –  clweeks Mar 25 at 13:04
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He is both DMing and playing a character recipe for boringness at best, disaster at worst. –  Lohoris Mar 26 at 10:05
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This post is very interesting, but... either this situation is completely absurd (allowing repeatedly in your house someone racist towards you? wtf? the whole party "just laughing" when this sort of thing happens? why did their characters actually enjoy such a thing?), or, more likely I think, there's more than meets the eye. –  Lohoris Mar 26 at 10:23

10 Answers 10

It's pretty reasonable you're annoyed. One of your fellow players secretly plotted to kill your character for revenge (and it worked), the DM - the one guy you pretty much have to be able to trust - was in on it, and your fellow players offered you no emotional support at a point when you clearly needed it and instead made things worse for you.

People have been annoyed over character deaths, but you also have the issue of a betrayal of trust.

Different groups (and different DMs) handle stuff like this in very different ways - some handle it well, some badly. You had a conflict within the party, and a conflict between two people, and some character death and secret plots on your hands. These are often things groups don't talk about beforehand, but should. As the DM, I wouldn't have allowed this secret plot and would've talked to you two outside the game to get this enmity settled at first signs.

(And honestly, if this was real out-of-game racism you were experiencing, I wouldn't have tolerated that either.)

So now the guy who betrayed you is the DM and you want revenge.

Luke Skywalker busy being very angry at the Emperor

Don't do it.

A good plan is to decline the invitation, not play, leave, and find something else to do or another D&D group to play with. This is not advice for how to ruin Bob's day. This is advice for how to avoid having your own next two months ruined, and possibly several weeks or months after that as well, and instead have some degree of peace for yourself.

You're pissed off. But, proverbially:

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
— (Not sure who first said this)

So you're going to have several gaming sessions and two months in which you're busy being pissed off at Bob, stressed out working out how to get revenge, and suffering over the lot of it - and expecting him to suffer for it. Eventually. At some point. Maybe.

That's not working out in your benefit.

Here's how the next two months are going to pan out according to this plan.

  • Bob's the DM. The universe of the game you're considering bends to his whims.
  • He doesn't like you to begin with, resents you for something you did to him, and apparently is subtly vengeful. He might give you a hard time for the next two months. This is going to feed right back into you being even unhappier in general, and unhappy to be in that game. This may even increase the degree of revenge you want, something you might not even get to begin with.
  • You're going to be preoccupied being annoyed at him and not really actually just enjoying a good game of D&D. (Not that this game is going to be a good game of D&D for you necessarily anyway.)
  • Eventually, you might actually find a way to get back at him. But, since he's the absolute controller of the game's universe, he can just say: "Oh. Well, my guy's goddess smiles upon him and heals him. Then she teleports your character into the plane of fire. Alright, whose turn next?"
  • Or you don't get anything out of it and you're just annoyed.
  • Or a month in, before anything even really happens, he or your fellow players ask you to leave because you're not being very fun to play with. You probably won't be. You're here for revenge, not to enjoy a good game.
  • And you're playing with this guy as your DM the whole time, again. That's worth repeating. Why would you want that?

This entire plan is toxic to you and you alone. It's going to be really unpleasant for you, and more likely than not won't get anything out of it - and if you do, it probably won't be very satisfying.

Don't do it.

But I really want revenge!

This is an issue between you and another person, not an issue D&D will help with. Don't try to solve it through D&D, and don't try to solve it by playing with this guy as a DM for a few months.

Deal with it out of the game somehow. Maybe talk to him and get stuff off your chest. Consider walking away and leaving it behind you rather than let this weigh on you. Different things work for different people. I don't know what will work for you, personally. But spend these two months of your life doing something else. Find peace, somehow.

A surprising option is forgiving him - and not for his benefit, but for yours. Forgiveness is just as often so you can stop holding onto the negative emotions you have - the ones which are affecting you much more than anyone else - and let them go and find some inner peace. You might not be prepared to do that, but I advise you try it.

D&D is normally not like this.

(But sometimes it can be.)

There are going to be groups more supportive of first time players. There are going to be groups where you can genuinely be friends with most people, get along with all of them, and reliably trust the DM and your fellow players. This wasn't one of them, clearly. I suggest you find a group that suits you if you want to keep playing D&D.

One thing that normally goes unrecognised is that several D&D players at the same table, playing the same session at the same time, are usually not even playing the same game. They have different expectations of what a good game constitutes, different ideas of what's OK and what's not, different understandings of the rules, and different opinions over how issues like loot and character death should be handled. Usually, they assume that everyone else shares a similar view, without realising that everyone probably thinks very differently - to each other, as well.

An analogy is having several people sitting around to play a game of cards, but one person is playing Poker, another Hearts, and another Go Fish. That wouldn't work very well, but somehow that's how D&D gets played without anyone realising it.

This disconnect is the reason why someone authored the Same Page Tool - which, as its name suggests, exists to get people on the same page. Its author also wrote about The Roots of the Big Problems and A Way Out (from which I drew the card game analogy). All three of these links discuss this issue and the situations that arise from it, and how to deal with them.

This group was not on the same page as you, and were not what you were after. Another group might be.

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+1 For step away; don't give into the dark side, take some time, get some breathing space. –  Rob Oct 25 '13 at 10:29
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One more way to "get revenge" despite walking away from the game: Run a game. Have your main evil scheming villains modeled after Bob and the DM. Enjoy how your gaming group thwarts their every plan, and works on their untimely demise. –  Jonas Oct 25 '13 at 11:25
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@Jonas If that can be done light-heartedly, after the asker has found their peace with what happened, maybe. If the anger is, however, still there, it would be just more holding onto it and, in fact, channelling it and making it even more present, and that would not be constructive. Maybe somewhere in that journey a single, right moment could unlock enlightenment and calmness around the issue. I'm not sure. –  doppelgreener Oct 25 '13 at 11:38
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@JonathanHobbs This is a great answer, especially since you emphasize the price for trying to get back at bob vs. just doing something more rewarding. At the end of the day its just a D&D game, This isn't cloak and dagger politics. –  Joshua Aslan Smith Oct 25 '13 at 12:12

Find better friend(s)

From what you said, Bob is a douche bag. Do not role play with him and ditch him as a friend. Life is too short to waste on this. I get that you want revenge but really it's not worth it. Act like the grown up in the room and go do something fun instead.

As a side note, racism or any other form of abuse should not be tolerated if it is aimed at players. Characters are a different matter though but would require everyone to be okay with it.

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I'd say it wasn't just Bob being a douche bag. In D&D, you normally don't mock and loot dead party members; you have them raised. –  Angew Oct 25 '13 at 16:59

You're Upset, and Making Assumptions

I understand that it sucks to lose a character, especially in this way. You're unhappy, and that's perfectly reasonable. You should take some time to think about it before acting.

Reading this, I get concerned:

Apparently the DM worked with Bob, who was extremely upset with me killing his lacky, and hatched this plan to poison the potions I used in the last battle with something they made based off a real fungus that makes you drown, to a lesser extent.

Here's the thing. Why doesn't Bob have a right to be upset In Character that you killed his lackey? His character probably liked his lackey. What he's done is certainly a dick move In Character, but I don't think it's as unjustified as you claim it is. If his character holds grudges, it may make perfect sense to Bob. I'm not sure you can assume from that experience that Bob is going to treat you unfairly if he's the DM of the next game. Some people just don't carry this type of thing from one game to another or from In Character to Out of Character (while others do).

As for the DM in this game, he had to work with Bob in some way. If Bob hatches a plan to poison your stuff, that can't happen without the DM's adjudication. Do you believe it was done unfairly or against the rules somehow?

I've had characters turn on each other (both as a player and as a DM), and it REALLY sucks for the DM when the game wasn't set up that way from the outset. Even if you're being completely impartial, often players don't feel that way when they come out on the losing end of an emotional situation like this.

Is it wrong that I feel confused? One side of me really hates him for metagaming and having his character stab mine in the back after I had tried to make amends with him.

It's not wrong to feel confused, but how do you know he was metagaming? The way I read it, he was unhappy In Character about what you did In Character, and got revenge In Character. Am I missing something? Because based on that explanation, he didn't metagame. His character may have lied to yours, but that's not metagaming.

Talk To The People

This is not a good situation for you. Before you decide what (if anything) to do, you should talk to the people involved (Bob and the DM) out of character.

Tell them more or less what you told us, and why you're unhappy with how things went. If the three of you can work it out as people, then there's no need to carry a grudge going into Bob's game and you should try to have fun playing it. If you can't work it out, then it's best to follow Jonanthan's great advice and just not play. D&D is not a game that works well when players are out to backstab each other, and spending months playing a game just for a shot at revenge is going to ensure you don't have much fun the entire time.

We're playing to have fun with our friends in the end. If that isn't happening, something is wrong. That problem should be addressed Out of Game with the other players (and DM) rather than In Game by creating new problems.

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+1 Thanks for advocating the other people. –  doppelgreener Oct 25 '13 at 12:36
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I'm fairly certain no edition of D&D was ever design for intraparty conflict. As such its against the grain of the game to do so, even if there is a cultural subset that would say it's integral to D&D. –  Joshua Aslan Smith Oct 25 '13 at 12:37
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If this were a mature group of experienced role players, I would agree 100%. Its at least possible the DM was only doing what he had to and Bob was reacting fully appropriately in character. That said, its still kind of a bad precedent for someone who is new to RP. The next step either way should be to talk to them, and if you can't work it out, consider leaving. –  TimothyAWiseman Oct 25 '13 at 16:33
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-1 for ignoring the part where he said the entire group laughed at his death and looted a corpse. It would take a very naive person to make the assumption they might NOT be be bad players and a bad DM. No one deserves to be mocked and laughed at by an entire group of people. –  Carter81 Oct 26 '13 at 9:48
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-1 as well. My issue here isn't that there was interparty conflict. It's not even that it was interparty conflict that the GM helped facilitate. It's that this interparty conflict was devised behind the player's back. Regardless of sneakiness or subterfuge, players should retain their own agency in interactions with other players. That, I am sorry, includes unknowingly drinking poisons that another PC concocted. –  NotVonKaiser Oct 26 '13 at 19:44

There's an important point that I think every other answer is glossing over: any attempt to react in-game with Bob as the DM is futile!

You're facing one of two possible situations.

The first is that Bob is a good roleplayer, who responded in character to get revenge on a character that wronged his character. (Yes, intentional spamming of the word "character"). If this is the situation, then there's no action needed in-game. Perhaps just explaining that you felt bad when they mocked you for your character dying will be enough to fix the problem (Out of Character).

The second possible situation is that Bob (and perhaps your old DM) is a D-bag who set you up to fail, and meta-gamed to kill your character. In this instance, your attempted revenge is nearly impossible to get: if he's a meta-gaming D-bag, then he will not allow any action against his characters or those of his favoured players.

Also, any attempt to get revenge is meta-gaming. The character that was wronged is dead, so it is YOU, as a player, that will be responding. If he did meta-game to hurt you, you'll be stooping to his level. If he didn't, you'll be the one taking it there. Do you really want that?

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Jonathan also covered this, but I consider this the strongest point against following through with the OP's plan, so +1 for emphasizing it. –  Brilliand Mar 28 at 21:21

Find another group, because these people are not your friends.

So, let's recap:

  • Old DM puts you in a situation where you are forced to sacrifice Bob's NPC to save your character's life.
  • Bob, rather than being annoyed at Old DM for hosing him, decides that it's all your fault.
  • Bob and Old DM arrange to not only kill you, but to do it in a cutscene. And the rest of the group, rather than being shocked are laughing as they loot your character's corpse.

It's the last point I want to focus on - OK, Bob is holding a grudge. OK, the DM goes along with it. But if the rest of the party isn't sitting there in stunned silence as someone gets killed by DM fiat, I would suggest that they were in on it as well. Maybe they didn't help plan, but it seems very likely that either Bob or Old DM gave them a heads-up.

This is not the act of friends. This is what you do to the Butt Monkey. This is someone taking advantage of you. (I see that you were the host of the games, no less - is this new game proposed to be at your house as well?).

Signing up for this game will not help - Bob's the DM, which means that you can't go after his character - he's got Plot Armor. (We've already established that Bob doesn't play fair.) So my advice is find/create a new group. Yes, it's probably hard. But I'll give you hope: you are almost certainly not the first person this group has screwed over for their own jollies. You just need to find where they all went, and join up with them.

Best of luck.

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I have to share this because I was just listening to this specific episode as I read this question:

http://www.feartheboot.com/ftb/index.php/archives/3330

Episode 316 specifically addresses the issue of OOC vs IC relationships, but the concept can be easily extended to cover this question.

If you can brush off the events, get over the death of your character, the betrayal from your DM and the humiliation from the other players, then you should do so and move on - good and bad things happen in-character all the time; forget about it and don't mention it again; or even laugh at yourself in the future, if it helps to relieve any tension that other players may feel.

If you can't get over it (and in this situation, I would fall into this category), you need to talk it through. You should discuss the issue with your DM and perhaps other players outside the game. If you do not talk it through, you will stew.

Taking revenge will run the risk of spoiling the game for the other players and yourself. It's much better to sort these sorts of issues out outside the game.

Having said that, the situation could lead to an excellent back story for your next character: The daughter of your former character, joining an adventurer group to follow in her father's footsteps - discovers one of the party is, in fact, her father's killer... This could be followed through with some great role play. I would recommend that, if you take this option, you do so having completely come to terms with the initial situation (i.e. you go in with an open mind and intent on simply RPing the new character). You should also discuss your plan with the DM first, outside the session.

Try not to let in-game events effect you too much out-of-game. The distinction between IC and OOC actions should be distinct (although that goes for the DM, too - I am not condoning what seems to be a very underhanded action).

Finally, there are lots and lots of roleplaying groups available. In my city (Bristol, UK), there are several regular meets during the week where you can meet new groups and join other games. Even after talking it through with your DM, you might find that you are best to find another group that better suits you.

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Giving this "Bob" character the benefit of the doubt, it's possible there are some misunderstandings from the OP, and perhaps the DM and other players are not aware how the OP took their actions. Always best to talk things through. –  LordScree Oct 25 '13 at 12:26

For the record, I completely agree with everyone else here; you shouldn't pursue this route and should just take your leave of this group. Maybe you can still be friends outside of the game, but clearly you all don't belong at the same table. Jonathan Hobbs' answer is the correct one. Tridus' answer also provides a good alternative perspective on the issue wihch is worth reading and considering.

With that being said, if you're going to go through with it anyway... here's an attempt to answer the question as asked:

  1. Have your character build/obtain/locate a stronghold where your party often meets. Have the party always teleport into the same large room to do your meetings. Always make them very productive. At some point later, when this behavior has been well-established, invite the character there to meet with you. But before doing so, fill the room entire with stone. Laugh as his corpse gets ripped to shreds as his teleport spell tries to shunt him out into occupiable space. Alternatively, fill it with acid or some other, more gratifying substance.
  2. Steal a Githyanki Silver Sword, cast a permanent illusion on it to make it look like something innocuous, and give it to him as a gift. Go to a high point or scry on him and enjoy watching the vengeful hunting party rift in around him.
  3. Find a Mimic. Capture it. Replace the player's loot chest with said Mimic. Sit back and watch the noms.
  4. Put a Sphere of Annihilation into your Bag of Holding. Engineer a situation where the only way the character will "survive" whatever's happening is to jump inside your Bag of Holding as you run away to safety. Laugh as his body is sucked into the black hole and utterly destroyed.
  5. Cast an illusion or polymorph yourself to look exactly like the other character (a Hat of Disguise is cheap and effective for this). Piss off the biggest, meanest thing you can find (which won't be able to immediately see through your illusion). This could be a tribe of creatures, the local Thieves' Guild, a corrupt Magistrate... whatever. Eat your tasty lembas bread as you watch him get torn apart/stabbed to death/publicly executed.
  6. If you really want to do a plot that goes completely under the GM's nose, plot with your fellow players. Pay them off, bribe them, convince them, dominate them... do whatever you have to do to get them to all agree to gang up on said PC and kill him. Prepare a suitably epic revenge quote for when your plan is executed as the last thing the character hears.
  7. Poison is an excellent tool, though I've been purposefully trying to avoid it since that's what they did to you. Still, if you're open to other forms of transmission (food, coating the hilt of his favorite weapon with a contact poison, pumping in fumes into his room, etc. etc.), there are plenty of options here.

Of course, since the guy is the GM, none of these will actually work if he's not being fair. But still, this is what you asked for. Also note that this is doing precisely what you were angry at them for doing; you're metagaming the fact that they screwed you over in a previous game to screw them over in this game. But if you're not going to follow the excellent reasoning in the other posts and you're going to give in to the Dark Side... at least do the Dark Side some justice.

I find your lack of faith... disturbing.

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Muahaha evil laugh... great ideas. Maybe not the right answer for this question, but a nice inspiration for future hijinx. –  Mala Oct 25 '13 at 21:01
    
These are actually great ideas for dealing with Villains that you know well... if they always teleport to their basis, fill it with acid! for example... –  Julix Mar 24 at 23:37

In short, Bob is a big jerk, and don't try and get back at him. There's entire communities of other players that will accept your for who you are, and there's more out there the your "friends." Ditch them and find a local game convention. If you will go to one, remember that Pathfinder, 4.0 and 3.5 are very similar and that you can switch between all 3 of them easily. Most importantly, remember that the game is supposed to be fun, so if you're not feeling it, just get up and leave. Ditching them is revenge enough.

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Just one additional idea I haven't seen mentioned yet in the other - mostly rather good and really helpful - answers. Consider this a possible extension especially for those answers that recommend trying to talk with the DM and Bob to try and get things off your chest.

Consider showing the DM – and possibly Bob – this Question of yours here, and, consequently, all the Answers.

Warning and disclaimer

This here is a risky idea, because some personality types will react badly to seeing themselves brought into a spotlight, even anonymously, and will just resent you more, and you probably don't want that. Heck, maybe you just want them out of your life by now. But with certain people – the kind capable of realizing their mistakes and learning from them – this might help. It might even help reconcile yourself with the others involved. Reading outside, distanced opinions about the situation might help both you and them rethink and reappraise the events. So, consider this carefully before doing it, and only go for it if you see... hope for Bob and the DM.

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That seldom works, because the situation is rarely as clearcut and one-sided as the questioner here depicts. –  mxyzplk Oct 25 '13 at 21:59
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@mxyzplk Yes, you're right, unfortunately - hence my warning, etc. Yet it might (and does) work in a few cases, so it's worth considering. –  OpaCitiZen Oct 26 '13 at 7:06

There's a lot of good advice about moving on, playing with other groups, starting your own group, etc. However, you might not have this option if there aren't any other groups or potential players near you. It might be easier to stay and try to fix this group than find or make a new one. That said, don't stick around if you stop enjoying sessions.

You could join the new session with Bob, and try to simply play how you did last time. If Bob's an idiot again, you can simply leave and rejoin the group after he's moved away in two months. However, if it's a good game simply enjoy it and move on. If Bob is generally unpleasant but you enjoy the campaign overall, due to a good setting, other players, etc. you can try to take revenge later - for example after a hard battle, you can stab Bob and take his stuff. However, I hope you don't simply because then you're being as much of a dick as him. Also, I'm optimistic that if you have a good campaign with him you might move on easier, and if you have a bad campaign you can simply leave after one or two sessions.

Either way, if he's moving away in two months, you can always stay away for that time and then rejoin the group - maybe even as DM, which would mean you can control the tone of the game better and reduce the odds of a recurrence.

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No no no no no. Repeat this mantra, and keep it close to your heart always: "No roleplaying is better than bad roleplaying." These are awful people who are not worth giving additional chances to harass and emotionally abuse. –  SevenSidedDie Oct 25 '13 at 16:18

protected by mxyzplk Oct 25 '13 at 15:44

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