Whether it's an overy horny GM populating his campaigns with seductive NPCs or a shit-kicking edgelord roleplaying his "Chaotic Neutral" barbarian just a little TOO well, every pen-and-paper gamer has run into "THAT player" who made their experiences an utter shitfest. The community at reddit's r/rpghorrorstories board have gathered together to share some all-too-real tales of DnD disasters.

Tales such as these:

1. 

Reddit Users Are Sharing Their Most Cringe-Worthy Tabletop Sessions 

Story by Historyguy1

This was a number of years ago when I was back home from college during summer. The only person I really knew in the group was the DM, and this was only his second session. He barely knew the rules and relied on his more experienced friend to fill in his knowledge gaps. Almost all of his friends were still in high school, and extremely immature with rpgs (think the kind of player who wants to bang every hot elf chick in sight). This particular session was at a Hastings (bookstore in the southern US), so I hoped the immaturity would get toned down. However, the DM's aforementioned friend was out of town, so the players were running the asylum. Up until this session, we had been playing in a standard high fantasy setting, and we seemed to be continuing that route. The DM put us in a maze leading to a magical portal guarded by a demon. Once we reached the demon, the wizard of the party attempted to use polymorph to shrink himself and swim up the demon's urethra like a candiru. Instead of dismissing this idea, the DM halted the session to call his friend and discuss whether such a tactic was possible and feasible. This took around 20 minutes. The infernal urology appointment behind us, we stepped into the portal and the DM engaged in a hammier than usual monologue describing our surroundings, finally ending with, "gentlemen, welcome to Kanto." The DM had turned the campaign into a home brew Pokemon tabletop with no clear rules except "kill everything that moves." If it was not clear by now, the whole group were a pack on minchkins. This was where I left the group permanently and walked out of the bookstore. I heard from my friend later that he had no real plans for the plot, so he threw it out the window in favor of some half cooked home brew Pokemon murder game. Last I heard he was trying to adapt the rules of Fire Emblem into DND somehow.

Now I stick to groups who at least make a pretense of role playing, and with a lower concentration of munchkins.

 


2. 

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Story by Consideredresponse

One of the worst additions was a homebrew starvation/food rule. instead of loot you would find food. you could use this food to stave off hunger or it could be immediately be swapped for an equivalent level item. The biggest issue with this was that 4E used item stats as an assumed part of character advancement and as a way of benchmarking both player and monster power. What would happen though was that one or two characters would get magical items entire tiers of play (8-10 levels) before they should, while everyone else would wander round starving to death, wielding whatever mundane gear they could loot from bandits. The idea was to make the game more 'realistic', in reality it led to a party of five living off a single dried sausage for two weeks while they wandered the desert. Half of them untouchable demi-gods, and the rest glorified extras.




3. 

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Story by BillRoyceJohnson

This happened my first year of DMing back in Middle School.

My buddies and I have been running a campaign for about year by this point using 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons. It's been reasonably popular, and we had only grown in those years up to a party of five with the occasional guest player hopping in for the game. My rules for a guest player were usual either come early, have a character already set-up, or player one of the player characters who couldn't make it during that session.

Thus we went forward, with most guest players being pretty respectful, cool, and adding to the story- even giving out some quotable lines here and there that we started using throughout the campaign.

However one night in particular, we were getting ready to play when my buddy brings one of his- let's call him Tim. Tim, I've only ever met once in my recollection, and that was at my buddy's birthday bash the summer previous. Needless to say, we didn't get along, and it was odd. I guess he didn't like my face or something like that. Any-who, so Tim and my buddy come in. I'm a-bit wary already, but as we sit down ready to play, I ask my buddy if Tim has a character- he doesn't, nor do we have time to make him one, so I take out one of the missing players characters and am like, "Here you go," with the intention of knowing that this session isn't the most difficult, and honestly, it'll be difficult to get anyone killed off without some mishap of a series of unfortunate mistakes.

So after everything is done, we get started. Party is at the gates of a mansion of some cult of Cinder. Goes as normal, investigating the blood fountain, and eventually getting inside. This is when chaos ensues. Tim decides "I split up from the party, and go up-stairs" and gives me that face. My buddy who invited him says, "I'll follow Tim," while the other two just shrug and continue to investigate down-stairs. Splitting the party in this campaign usually hadn't been a big issue before (Nor did I know of the meme) so I was pretty chill as they split, dividing attention to the two fronts as best I could. Moving forward abit during Tim's adventures upstairs, they battle poltergeist and the amount, eventually making it to the bed-room. Inside the bed-room there is a doll that withers away the body if you touch it. My buddy rolls an arcana check, and informs Tim of that curse, Tim states, "I don't care, I touch it," I sigh, tell him to roll a fortitude, he says, "I choose to fail," I'm shocked, and he gives me that face. I keep my cool though, and go with it, and tell him, "Okay, you fail, and start taking something or the other damage," and he smiles, and I roll, and my buddy is panicking, as he says, "I CAN CURE THIS," he's the local religious member, so he has some potions that could help, and as he does so, Tim yells, "I swing my sword towards my buddy, and yells, "Get away from me, I can handle this," as he runs outside the room and tells me, "I begin to cut off my hand."

I informed him no, and he says, "I do it any-ways," and I explain to him how this works, and he gives the smart-ass response, "You said I could do anything? Well, I cut off my hand."

I'm awe-struck. I can't process this. I informed him it's not his character, and he wants to kill it? And that smile, he knew he was poking me, trying to anger me. Add in the constant laughing from from another player, the phone user of the group, and a bad day from before, and I kinda broke. I say, "This isn't working," and I dismissed the session and the campaign.

Was it a rash thing to do? Of-course, and childish as is. And I let Tim get what he wanted, misery from me. However, from the prospective of my young brain, it was necessary.

And at the end, Tim did come up to me, and with that smile on his face, he said, "Well, I had fun, sorry it was too much for you," as he left.

Eventually I got back into DMing, even continued that campaign for a short amount of time before some of the guys got too busy and moved on with life. And it definitely was a lesson learned that I keep on my shoulder. However, still, I regret it, knew I could do some things differently, but wish I didn't have "that guy" to push me off the edge.

TL;DR, "That guy" splits the party, attempts to kill his character, which was another player's character that wasn't there (As the guest of the group for the session) then gives me some sarcastic remarks at the end of the night.

 


4.

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Story by TheFunBurglar

I'd recently picked up a copy of the (then fairly new) Last Unicorn Games version of the Star Trek RPG. My group regularly played Ars Magica and various White Wolf games, but we'd decided to do short adventures of various other things. Several of us had been rewatching Star Trek TNG, and one member of the group (LW) pitched the idea of running a game based on the "Lower Decks" episode. We were all to be relatively junior officers and told the campaign would focus on us doing things like away missions (the idea being that on "normal" ships, you don't beam the captain, first officer, chief engineer, and chief medical officer down to strange planets right away; let some ensigns and lieutenants check that shit out, first).

What should be noted is that LW was, at the time, on this huge "cave man" kick. He was writing his own rules for an RPG where everyone was essentially an early human trying to survive in the stone age. In hind sight, this should have raised questions about why he volunteered to run Star Trek, but I suppose we were all a bit naïve back then.

The group comes back with a set of fairly typical Trek characters, people who know lots of stuff about warp field dynamics and xenobiology and that sort of thing. One person is a fairly typical Andorian security officer, who is essentially the go to combat guy while the rest of us specialize in teching the tech.

First session begins with the ship encountering a fairly typical class M planet and the group beaming down and doing their thing. The planet is similar to paleolithic earth, with various sorts of somewhat dangerous megafauna. The other notable thing is that there's some typically Star Trek energy field that is relatively rapidly draining the power to our phasers, communicators, and tricorders. Not right away, but they only have "a few hours or days" of usable life.

While we are doing this, the ship blows up.

Insert This Is Fine Dog here.

Our intrepid explorers spend the next couple of sessions trying to do what they can to find escape pods and the like - keeping in mind they are on foot on an alien planet and rationing their power usage. Our science officer character and the engineer eventually theorize that the field draining the power is less strong at higher altitudes (we couldn't detect it at all from the ship) and so we organize an expedition to climb a conveniently located mountain and set up a subspace transmitter in the hope of attracting Starfleet (or really, anyone). We are forced to hunt down animals to make sufficiently warm clothing to pull this off and proceed on the harrowing trek up the mountain. Get up there with our transmitter. Turn it on. Battery is dead.

At this point we've been through a few game sessions of this and everyone is pretty frustrated. One player just straight up asks the GM how we are supposed to get off this rock. GM smiles and explains that we aren't supposed to get off, this is all the set up to the fucking cave man game that he actually wanted to run.

Campaign ends.

 

5. 

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Story by VredeJohn

I love Vampire: The Masquerade and my first campaign somehow encapsulated both the worst and best aspects of the game. Up until then I'd only ever played fantasy RPGs and been the DM of most of them so I was the newbie of the group. Aside from me the original group consisted of the ST, Steve, and Asshat. Steve was the only person I've ever met who was literally homophobic. He didn't seem to hate homosexuals and I don't think he gave a damn whether they could get married, but he did seem strangely afraid of them. Asshat's only previous experience with Vampire was a tzimisce game where he and the other players build a bus out of living humans and went on a road trip. The ST's response to that anecdote was a few seconds of thousand-yard staring followed by "This is probably not going to be that kind of game."

I'd decided to play a cool, confident conman but by accident I'd managed to get a Humanity score of 8, which is high enough to give you some benefits. After realizing this and playing out a very powerful scene during our first session I decided to embrace the theme of "fighting your inner beast." I tried to be the nicest vampire in the world and compared to the other characters it was not difficult.

Asshat decided that the best way of making money was to participate in bumfights and then robbing the winners of other bumfights. He also wanted to start a cult but never got past the preparation stage. My character on the other hand was friendly, watched football Steve's ghouls, and generally helped out wherever he could. This was how he learned that one of Steve's (male) ghouls was hopelessly in love with and that Steve (of course) didn't reciprocate those feelings. This becomes important later.

For our third session, two new players joined us. New Girl was entirely new to roleplaying and New Guy was just a Vampire virgin like me. They join us on our outing to an abandoned mine that we needed to investigate. As we got to the bottom of the mine we were jumped by some sort of monsters and everyone rolls a check to avoid getting scared. I'm the only one to fail and my character falls down while everybody else rolls initiative.

This is our first real taste of real action. We've had barely any combat up to this point, and this is the first time we might be in any real danger. So of course Asshat decides to run away. He's going first, and decides to ensure his own escape he shoots my fallen character's knee out.

Not a great start, but we might have made it our alive if New Girl hadn't been next in the initiative. Since she had no other context for what was going on or how powerful our enemies might be, she decided to follow Asshat's lead. Steve and New Guy are now severely outnumbered, and don't think twice about leaving my character to presumably get eaten by monsters.

When the group got out of the mine they just decided to go home and never to talk about how they abandoned the only nice person they knew in a mine and go home. This could have been the end of the story, but my character wasn't eaten. Instead he got mind controlled and let go.

The ST tells me I'm suddenly in love with the Sheriff (I was blood bound) and that I want revenge (mind control), but I'm still playing the nicest vampire in the world. In fact I'm ready to forgive New Guy and New Girl for their respective parts in my demise. I need some time to think about how I'm going to deal with Asshat, but I've already got a plan to teach Steve's character a lesson.

I called his lovesick ghoul and asked him to chain down Steve during the day. The same night I came over and prepared to use my mind control powers to turn Steve's character gay. While I was motivated somewhat by spite, it had more to do with the fact that I liked Steve's NPC ghoul better than Steve, so it seemed like the right thing to do.

However at that point Steve declared that he couldn't/wouldn't play a gay character and that if I went through with it he'd demand a new character. I was ready to reconsider, because despite everything else I was having fun, but the ST decided to call the whole thing off. He said he couldn't think of a way to make our characters function as a group again, and suggested we play something else. In hindsight that was probably the best call.

6.

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Story by TheArmoredDuck

So I was playing a game with some friends, got a new person to join in and it was her first time playing. She decided to roll up a rogue, and decided the way she wanted to be introduced to the party was trying puck their pockets. We suggested this was a terrible idea but she really wanted to be that person.

The group worked it on that inserted of turning her into the authorities she could do some favors for them instead. Seems a relatively reasonable way considering how it could have gone. However she decided her character wanted to steal from professional killers who were actively helping her obtain wealth.

Things got serious when the barbarian caught her. He was played as a savage with strict honor codes built into his society. I actually really enjoyed how he played it, thinking we were all savages because we would do things like smile at strangers as if we were whores and the like. So she steals from him, he catches her and decides that chopping her arm off like his culture does is the best option.

At this point I'm not sure whether I fault the DM for not stepping in, or applaud him for letting things take their course and teaching a valuable lesson. Anyways he allows it and the barbarian rolls a nat 20. Her arm comes off and she is kind of in shock. She fights back, and long story short gets beaten to a bloody pulp WITH HER OWN ARM as the rest of the party watches in horror too stunned to do anything.

The DM decided to end the session there, it was an awkward and abrupt ending, but very necessary. She actually showed up to a few more sessions surprisingly. They were also awkward and tense, then she left and we all had a good laugh about it. The DM even worked it into the story through rumors. We never had a problem with thieves and got oddly good service at taverns whenever the barbarian was around from then on.