I DM for a few different groups in a simultaneous fashion.

DM'ing is a breeze for most of those groups. We always have a blast, we have a lot of fun, and we always end our day looking forward to the next session.

For one group in specific, however, the situation is quite different.

A few weeks ago, I began to DM for a group of three people. I don't know them very well in any manner - we met over a boardgame/RPG meeting on my town, and set up to play Pathfinder 1e.

I'm usually pretty chill about most themes. I can run social adventures, combat fests, investigative dramas, romance stories, you name it. Most of the themes are fine by me, and I'm usually happy to adapt to whatever my players want to play.

Now, note that I said "most".

This group is trying to push content in the game in a manner that is making me really uncomfortable. While I usually don't mind to let any content show up in the game if everyone is okay with it, this subject is specially sensitive for me and the group insists in tackling it even after I said I wasn't having fun with the topic at hand.

I decided to leave the game.

However, ending a face-to-face game like this is somewhat new to me. I was never put in the position where I am the person that doesn't fit in the group, and I'm having serious issues trying to express myself regarding my wishes to leave their group.

So, I ask the titular question: How I politely say to my players that I don't want to DM to them anymore?


2 Answers 2


"I'm sorry, but I'm not able to run this game for you anymore."

That's all you have to say. It is short, direct, and polite. They may ask why, and you can choose how to respond, if at all.

If you tell them you're not thrilled with how they tackled certain subject matter, they may argue.

If you instead insist "I just can't run your game", it doesn't open up a path for them to argue, but they may be upset that you aren't willing to explain yourself. You aren't obligated to explain yourself if you don't want to.

You know these players better than us, and you know which method would be better.

In the end, remember that you're at the table to have fun. You are not obligated to play this game with people who do not respect your sensitivities, who upset you, and who make you not have fun.

If after quitting the group these players harbor resentment towards you and try dragging you into an argument or drama that you do not want, walk away and cut off contact. I never see a positive outcome from arguing in situations like this, and immaturity and anger cannot be reasoned with.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You might want to explicitly point out that neither DM or players have a continuous obligation to continue playing and can withdraw from the game for any reason (it’s implicitly there, and I think most people sort-of realise this, but I think sometimes it helps people if you spell it out). \$\endgroup\$
    – Cubic
    Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 17:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cubic I added a sentence to the end to address that. Think its sufficient? \$\endgroup\$
    – JRodge01
    Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 17:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 — it is hard when DM says he can't be there for you anymore, but "I'm not having fun, it is too much work for me" is perfectly legitimate reason. If players want to know to avoid similar situations in the future, by all means, do tell them. But preferably only after they will accept the fact you're leaving. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented Mar 7, 2020 at 11:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Most importantly, stick to the true reasons in the things you choose to say, as one can usually sense when false reasons are given. Also, feel free to hold back any information you are not confortable sharing. \$\endgroup\$
    – EricL07
    Commented Mar 7, 2020 at 14:45

The way you've expressed your concerns here is already very reasonable.

You could just tell them that you're dissatisfied with the game. They want to play a certain style of game, but you don't want to GM that type of game, so there's a clear mismatch. This does not need to involve any deception or proof or explanation. You are allowed to dislike things.

If you do this via text (e.g. Discord, email, telegram) ensure that your writing is polite, with no finger pointing or blame. Given that you don't know these people very well, a digital approach may be preferable to an in-person approach, as there is less potential for upset reactions or hurt feelings.

Unless you're somehow legally bound to GM games for these players, you are free to leave, and they cannot force you to play tabletop RPGs with them.


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