We had a party of me and 2 other players and a DM. My understanding of how the campaign was going to go after talking to the DM and the other players before playing was that there could be some silliness thrown in here and there but all in all it was going to be an actual game where you can use your wits and resourcefulness to (with a bit of luck) affect your surroundings to bend a situation in your favor.

This did not hold true whatsoever. It ended up being me running around trying to salvage bad situation after terrible situation over and over again after the other 2 players ran around setting fire to everything and insulting powerful NPCs for no other than reason than "because I can!".

This wouldn't be much of a problem if their characters were punished for their actions so they could make slightly interesting ones when they died and actually play the game. What happened was, every single time, I would get dragged into the clown fiesta and had to work hard and luck out like crazy to get us out of it so that I could do something I actually wanted to - just to have every approach I attempted to do something the maniacs weren't interested in immediately denied no matter how high I rolled etc.

This got a little better bit by bit after I had started droning on about it despite not wanting to because I frankly was not interested in playing that sort of game but neither they nor I have anyone else around to play with so I had decided to endure it to see if things would improve.

Eventually, I had started to care about it again, the other player's characters were still maniacs who acted like they both had an int of -30 (they both actually had high int). There was enough substance and developments to go along with for me to feel like I could be bothered to care and they started spacing out the arson and spamming of "the deck of many things". This lasted until the last time we played.

Current Problem

The last session began with us in the fey wild. One of the other characters had used some homebrewed magical stone to teleport us all there at random with no warning.

In our DM's version of the fey wild, Oberron was the king of the fairies who was also just a crazy dude who wanted to mess with us for the heck of it. The wilds were also covered in a mist that he had such perfect control over that he could change its properties on the fly.

I had seen the other players walk into this mist. Both were randomly teleported to different places. Every time they teleported it was to somewhere really bad. They both ended up "dying" by doing this as they were turned into fairies loyal to the king.

My character had stayed around to speak with the king and got some obvious hints to this when they came back in their new forms and the king teased my character about it.

I tried to gather information by doing things like talking to the fairies in different ways and convincing them to help me get out. This ended with them realizing they don't have the power to do that. I also tried challenging the king to a set of games like "Who can blow away the most mist in a single spell" to see if I could learn how to counter it, as well as some games of dice. When I cast my spells to try and affect the mist, He had the mist deflect them back at me and it was otherwise unaffected. When it was his turn, He changed the properties of the mist so that he could easily blow it away. When playing dice, He would get a 20 on every roll except when I got a 20 in which case he rolled a 21.

This, in my mind, established that he had complete control of my surroundings and could decide the outcome of, for example, where the mist would teleport me. Not wanting to be forced into the mist because of another player's action that I had no way of preventing, I tried talking to him in so many different ways that we ended up spending like 2 hours going around in circles as every single approach I tried I just got a hard "no" without any rolls or anything.

At this point I was just done. I refused to play the game any more and told the DM that this had been a horrible session as there was no way for me to affect the outcome from my point of view and the players of the dead PCs had spent the last 2 hours talking about other things and looking at their phones (not that I blame them). I had gotten several hints that implied that if I walk into the mist then this madman has complete control over where I will end up and no matter what I say or do he won't care enough to consider giving me a way out. Then the DM tells me that I had a chance of finding a way out by walking into the mist and that the fairy king didn't control where I would end up - which I only had very convincing proof against.

Am I the bad guy here?

Is it to be expected that you will randomly be put into a situation where everything seems to point to you having no way out? Do other people find that sort of "gameplay" (cut scenes) fun? Am I supposed to be this harshly punished because of a completely random action by another player with no motive behind it that I had no way of preventing outside of seeing into the future or reading minds IRL?.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to stack exchange. The format this site adopts isn't very well suited to help you with these type of deep dives and opinion biased inquiries. For this particular issue you may find better assistance in a broader forum format. You may be able to get a viable answer from the community if you could condense your question to essential facts and keep it to only 1 or 2 short paragraphs. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 20, 2019 at 15:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Take the tour. There's a lot to unpack here, and multiple communication issues to address. See these related questions: What is a session 0?, My GM is creating situations that I feel are ruining my experience, How do you deal with a DM who says “no” to everything?, How do I get my PCs to not be a bunch of murderous cretins? \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeQ
    Oct 20, 2019 at 15:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi, I did an edit to get the correct punctuation and a few grammar/format things. This is the kind of question that is perfect for a discussion forum, but is unfortunately not a good fit for an SE Q&A site. The tour and help center can explain how this site is different. We do have a curated list of recommended forms; you may want to C&P your question to one of those. As to your situation, all I can say is, best wishes in getting this sorted out with your group. Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ Oct 20, 2019 at 15:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ If the question changes from "Am I the bad guy here?" to something more answerable like "How do I talk to the DM/players about this?" then this question can be reopened. \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeQ
    Oct 20, 2019 at 16:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Minotr nitpick: in D&D, deciding if something's the right thing to do falls under wisdom, not intelligence. You could really have characters with high intelligence who always do the least sensible thing and it would be perfectly fine. One rant less for this question, I guess? \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Oct 20, 2019 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


While there are almost certainly some things that you did wrong, but that you didn't perceive as wrong and so didn't mention, it sounds like the problems are two fold.

First, the tone of this campaign is not what you expected. The other three (two players and dungeon master) all seem to have similar expectations of the campaign's tone and style, including wacky randomness. From your description, they're generally having fun and the campaign is largely successful for them.
That success is a matter of personal taste, so what's good for them isn't necessarily good for you (and vice versa). I'd recommend looking, again, into finding a group that has a tone and style closer to your own.

Second, the DM has imposed a highly randomized problem upon the group, one that can be unsolvable at the whim of a random number generator. That's bad game design in video games, notably rogue-likes which often have such problems, but nearly unforgivably bad for a tabletop game run by a human being.
That's bad adventure design, bad game mastering, and rude to the players at the table. In isolation, it is not grounds to flip the table and quit the campaign, but in combination with other events it may be sufficient cause to walk away in good faith.

For your questions:
No, you're not the bad guy, but that doesn't make you the hero. You spent two hours trying to weasel clues out of an NPC to avoid a situation you didn't like, two hours that your fellow players were expressing their boredom, disinterest, and lack of involvement. That was a bit rude to them. I'd recommend, in a similar future situation, that after the first 15 or 20 minutes you just straight ask the DM out of character if this is solvable and how you're expected to solve it.

No, it is not a typical expectation to be stuck into a seemingly-random situation with no discernible escape. It does happen from time to time and you should have a set of tools to try and deal with it, but it's not common.

Yes, some players do find that kind of game play fun. In my experience it is an uncommon attitude but it can be found.

It's unclear if you were punished at all. Can the stupid choices of other characters doom your own character? Yes, absolutely. Everyone has played with - or been - Leeroy Jenkins and gotten the party wiped because they tried to back up a stupid semi-random choice. That's one of the dangers of adventuring and why picking companions is important.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The reason I was trying to "weasel my way out of a bad situation" was that the dm kept implying that there was a way out and I had a very developed character at this point and knew we had few sessions left. I don't see how I was rude for not reading his mind and knowing that he was lying, especially considering none of the other players made any complaints. In fact, one of my main issues was the fact that when I discussed it with them later, they both agreed that the session had been enjoyable when it clearly had not. So I explained how clear their disinterest was, they had no response. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 15, 2019 at 0:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ImpatientFisherman You weren't rude for a failure of mind reading. You were rude when you spent more than 20 minutes trying to solve the problem while everyone else did nothing. If you're the only player participating in a scene, and that scene has stalled at an impasse, and you keep playing that scene longer than 20 minutes, then you're being rude to the other players, the ones not participating in that scene. That's true even when no one at the table consciously recognizes the rudeness. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    Nov 15, 2019 at 0:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ImpatientFisherman I don't mean to imply that you were the only one being rude. The GM was rude to you when he let you flail at the puzzle for more than 30 minutes. There was probably more sources of rudeness that weren't in your post or were glossed over. That happens at gaming tables. I only mention your own rudeness so that you can be aware of it and choose how to deal with it in the future; I'm not indicting or condemning. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    Nov 15, 2019 at 0:24

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