Content of the article: "Am I a victim of a bad DM?"
This will be a long story but I want to try to give as many details as possible and I hope that I can find some help here. These past few days have been extremely stressful because of this.
A few months ago, I got into DND for the first time in my life at age twenty-nine. However, I'm no stranger to roleplaying. I have been doing text-based roleplay over forums, messaging apps and emails for as long as I can remember. It has been a huge part of my life and something I have always taken seriously, maybe a little too serious at times. I figured that DND would be fun for me because I love roleplaying so much and I've tried a few one-shots with some friends at conventions before.
My knowledge of E5 is very limited and something I'm still learning. I met a new friend who was very much into DND. We started talking about it and how I'd always wanted to get into it. She offered to make a campaign for me and one of my buddies and invited some of her friends to join in.
Here's where the problems begin. I'm sick of my character. He just has that "My first DND character" vibe and I hate everything about him. I feel no attachment to him whatsoever and I just want him out of my life. I've mentioned to my group for a while that I've been thinking about swapping him because I know I can do much better and put a lot more details into my character, but being a newbie, I figured I'd give my character a fair chance. My feelings for him only got worse over time and he has now turned into this edge lord character that I hate.
So when I mentioned that I want to swap, my DM freaked out. She knew that I'd mentioned before that I'd like to try out necromancer. I mused about some ideas in our Discord server and that same evening, I got a message from the DM's boyfriend (who's also in the group) that he knew the DM didn't want a necromancer because of another bad player in another game that they were in. I tried to explain to him that I'm not that player and that this game isn't that other game, but okay, fine. I ensured them that I wouldn't be making a necromancer then. This guy also explained to me that it was within the DM's rights to set limits which I fully respect, but please keep this in mind because it becomes important later.
A few days go by and I get a message from the DM explaining how it's fine that I want to make a new character but that she does not want any more spellcasters.
I found this to be utter bullshit. Why? Because my current character is a Warlock, aka a spellcaster. If I stuck with him, there would still be a spellcaster in the group. If I made a new spellcaster, he would just be replaced by another. I know it wasn't what the DM said, but by saying "I don't want any more spellcasters" I felt like she was indirectly saying that she didn't want me. Long story short, the DM's "limits" were making me feel unwanted and insecure about myself so while I respect that it is her right to set limits, are those rights really fair when they make a player feel like this?
The thing about my DM is that she's extremely dyslexic. It's so bad that the only thing she knows how to read is her own name. The few times I have communicated with her over text, it has been through speech-to-text. It's not a problem for me to understand her, but the issue comes with her gathering information about E5. She only really knows about races and classes that she has played in other games because she has been taught to understand those and everything else, she has been taught by her boyfriend, who is very much into DND lore and all that.
This is all fair and dandy, but I talked to the DM over the phone today and she tried to explain to me that the reason why she didn't want spellcasters was that she felt like I was struggling with my warlock and because she wanted me to play something simple so she could help me out when I was struggling. (In other words, "I don't want any more spellcasters" meant "I don't want you to play a spellcaster") I tried to communicate with her and explain that I would struggle just as much with any class or race regardless because DND is extremely new to me still but the fact that I don't care for my character and don't feel any attachment toward him, doesn't help the fact that I don't really want to put effort into something I'm not enjoying. I DO want to understand the game and I DO want to prove to her that I get it. It just felt very much like her telling me, "Either you stick to this character that you hate or you play what I want you to play."
Eventually, the DM seemed to understand that it's not so much a matter of the class or race that I play but rather that DND is new to me so she told me to think about two characters and she would then tell me if any of those were feasible. Fair enough. I did mention to her that I'd thought about making a race outside the base E5 book but she wanted to ask her boyfriend about it and we should ask the group if they would be okay with going outside the base book. Her boyfriend plays an alchemist and when he picked this class, he went around and asked the group if we were okay with that since it was a class outside the base E5 book and we were. A few hours later, after having talked to him, she calls me again and tells me that this race is completely out of the question so once again, I am without an idea for a character. She also asked me if I'd thought about anything within the few hours that we hadn't spoken and me, having worked all day, did not have the brains to even open the E5 book so I told her that it wasn't fair of her to expect me to come up with something, let alone two things, within such a short time. This DM kept going on about how I'd been struggling with my warlock and how she'd prefer I play something simple because she thought that I was stressed out by getting into something complex, which I know is not the case and I know it's a matter of me still learning the game, but she doesn't seem to or even want to understand this.
The kicker here is that she ended up telling me that I needed to come up with a new character to test run but that if none of my ideas worked, I would have to consider if DND was really for me. Basically telling me, "make it work or we kick you out." I know DND is for me, but to begin with, I find medieval fantasy extremely boring. It's not that I hate it, it's just not my favourite setting. I feel like I've done what I can to like what I have to work with despite my dislike for the setting.
I'm very much unsure if my feelings toward this whole things are justified, but most of all, I'm unsure if I'm a victim of a bad DM? I know this is also the first time that this girl is a DM but she is far from new to DND. However, I've talked to some of my buddies who are much more experienced with DND than me and who don't know this group of people. They've all told me to leave the group because of this. Personally, part of me wants to make a badass character, own the fuck out of it and make this DM eat her words about DND not being for me, but I'm more inclined to just leave it. I can't help but feel like this whole thing has tainted my enjoyment for this group. These guys have been my friends over the months that we have played, so it's hard for me to know how I should feel about it all.
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