Ok here are my examples: we are playing "Undermountain of the mad mage".

My first character seemed really underpowered even though i don't think she was. Whenever I create a character I like to use every tool at my disposal to try to overcome problems. However, we weren't even allowed to have any equipment at all, and we were very limited on money despite starting at 5th level. So when we did come across a shop we weren't able to purchase equipment, because even though we were dungeon delving we weren't been able to find any treasure. So when the chance came to do something reckless for treasure I felt that I had to take chance on it. Even though it should have been a more fair gamble. We were passing a Drow elf and a Chimera, all the party was walking past I was bringing up the rear and decided to cast darkness on my sword the elf considered that an attack and that started combat. While my party was engaged I decided to drop the sword. It still had darkness cast on it, so I could start to act as a buffer between me, the enemies and the treasure. It took two rounds for me to do this mysteriously.

Then when my party ran from the enemies the elf was able to magically find my sword in the darkness and cover it up and attack me all in 1 round. I was killed.

So I rolled up a new character and this time I went for power gaming. Eighth level Drow Elf Thief Assassin (3), Ranger Gloom Stalker (5). I never have been able to use my Umbral Sight feature because for some reason it's never dark during a fight. Lately it's even been sunny in the Undermountain (keep in mind I'm a Drow!).

Also it seems every Drow that's an Npc can magically see through magical darkness. No matter what I roll on initiative ( mind you I can add my wisdom modifier to my rolls due to the Dread Ambusher feature) my DM always seems to roll higher, making the Assassinate feature completely useless.

I've been targeted with ridiculous rolls which always beat my AC ( I've only have not been hit twice) which I wouldn't mind but there are literally people in the group that never seem to get hit with AC's around 14-16. However I always choose to lead the party so I accept to be targeted more.

My biggest issue was our last encounter: my Passive Perception is 25 my active Perception is 12, I have Darkvision ( even though it's useless due to the fact it's never dark, ) out to 150 feet, and I have Blind-fighting out to 10 feet. Surprise round: one of our party is surprised by a Cloaker that wraps around his head. Next round I attack it without Assassinate, attacking 3 times and wasting two attacks hitting illusions. The last attack does pitiful damage (9pts) however I tell the DM I actively search around everywhere to make sure it's just 1 Cloaker. On the very next round still before I can get my turn another cave opening (that wasn't shown on the map originally) appears and a Cloaker wraps around my head and attacks. Am I just overthinking it or is my DM being unfair!?

  • \$\begingroup\$ While it may be that your GM is a novice or that their dice rolls are wildly inconsistent, it looks like they're targeting you for some reason. Do the other players notice this pattern? Have you tried talking to them out-of-game? Because happening to kill or inconvenience a PC because of dice rolls or bad choices is one thing, but doing so voluntarily requires to inquire about it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Snakehelm
    Jun 3, 2021 at 0:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "It took two rounds for me to do this mysteriously." Are you saying that the act of dropping your sword and moving away from it took 2 turns? How did the DM justify this? Knowing what kind of reasons they're giving for situations like this would help us decide if they're new, incompetent or simply hostile to you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve
    Jun 3, 2021 at 1:33
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you edit your question title so it reflects the nature of the problem please? The links from MikeQ are a good place to look to first in case it answers your query - but if not please amend the title. "Am I just overthinking it or is my DM being unfair?" is a yes/no answer. Maybe an open-question will give you the answers you want. On a personal note, I went through a similar experience, and I had to leave the group because the DM took on the role of a sociopathic god. \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Jun 10, 2021 at 9:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ "It took two rounds for me to do this mysteriously." Are you saying that the act of dropping your sword and moving away from it took 2 turns? How did the DM justify this? Knowing what kind of reasons they're giving for situations like this would help us decide if they're new, incompetent or simply hostile to you. No dropping the sword, ( free action, ) running, ( not dashing, ) to the treasure, less than 30 ft away, was my full turn I could not pick the treasure up! Next turn I was able to do this now I’m being attacked by the the Drow and the Chimera! How the Drow could find the sword tho? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 15, 2021 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


“Is this fair” is the wrong question. Ask yourself “am I having fun?”

From what it sounds like, your DM is invested in a “DM vs. Players” style of running the game. This sort of style can work when the players have bought in beforehand. Generally speaking, D&D is intended to be a cooperative effort between the players and the DM. This is spelled out clearly in the Dungeon Master’s Guide:

The D&D rules help you and the other players have a good time, but the rules aren’t in charge. You’re the DM, and you are in charge of the game. That said, your goal isn’t to slaughter the adventurers but to create a campaign world that revolves around their actions and decisions, and to keep your players coming back for more! If you’re lucky, the events of your campaign will echo in the memories of your players long after the final game session is concluded.


The success of a D&D game hinges on your ability to entertain the other players at the game table. Whereas their role is to create characters (the protagonists of the campaign), breathe life into them, and help steer the campaign through their characters’ actions, your role is to keep the players (and yourself) interested and immersed in the world you’ve created, and to let their characters do awesome things.

Knowing what your players enjoy most about the D&D game helps you create and run adventures that they will enjoy and remember. Once you know which of the following activities each player in your group enjoys the most, you can tailor adventures that satisfy your players’ preferences as much as possible, thus keeping them engaged.

It sounds like your DM is more into the “slaughter adventurers” style, and as I mentioned previously, this can work when the players and DM have communicated about this and agreed upon this play style.

If you aren’t having fun, you need to have an out of game conversation with your DM. Approach them humbly and politely, explaining how you have perceived the way the game is being played, and that you are not enjoying this experience. This is not a “your DM style sucks” conversation. This is a “I’m not having fun, how can we work together to increase the fun for everyone at the table”.

And if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out, and you may have to find another table. In my experience, successful D&D games are the ones where the players and the DM are in constant communication about how things are going, what works and what doesn’t, and how the experience can be improved for everyone.


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