Content of the article: "How Do You Tell a DM They’re Not Doing a Great Job?"
Forgive me if this is the wrong subreddit, but this is a question I feel there's a hundred different answers to and I felt it was important to ask a bunch of seasoned DMs this question:
How do I tell my DM that they're not making a fun game?
My DM first drew me in as a player back in February to play in their 5e homebrew game, and, being relatively new to DnD in general, I didn't see a lot of red flags– the DM wanted to have ELEVEN players in their campaign, still relatively new to DM-ing themself. They expected us to read up on pages of lore about their gods and whatnot, and ended up having the more seasoned players in our party leave their game permanently. As I grew to research the game myself, I discovered I was really into it, so I joined a few one-shots and other campaigns and even have a few people willing to join a campaign where I'd be the DM myself.
But through my research, I realized that I wasn't having fun in this original campaign. The DM would railroad us relentlessly through OP NPCs and DM PCs alike, completely disregarded any backstory we wanted for our characters, didn't allow any time for our PCs to breathe between fights, and only seemed to care about their worldbuilding and the PC romances. So our group decided to talk to them about it, and, after venting our concerns, we all decided that it was best we start a new game, the DM applying the constructive criticism we gave. I want to stress that we didn't yell or be mean in any way; this conversation was very civil. Granted, some of our players even volunteered to DM themselves if the DM didn't want to, but our DM refused.
Now, I love this DM. They're a sweetheart and I think they're a great person. But my god this new game is even worse than the first. They're making the exact same mistakes, the exact same ways. Third session the DM tried to puppet an absent (chaotic neutral) player's character to stop another player from 'stealing' a notebook for 5gp less than it was worth because 'it was the right thing to do.' Any fights we have progress at the pace of a snail on a treadmill., and we gained three new DM PCs (I'd call them NPCS if the DM hadn't used that exact verbage) in this past session alone, all three of which were just higher level versions of our characters (a bard, navigator, and healer.) There was a session that touched on some subject matter that made me very uncomfortable for a lot longer than it should have, but when I said as much I was told to either leave the session entirely (we were not even halfway through) or sit through it. Already, four sessions in, a couple other players have expressed their discomforts in private, but I'm pretty sure we're all too iffy about it to actually confront our DM AGAIN.
So my question to you GMs is this: how do I kindly tell this DM that, yes, I love them as a person, but they need to improve a few things and maybe step back for a moment because I, along with a large portion of my party, am not having fun?
I'm curious to see what you more seasoned GMs out there think of this. How would you want your players to confront you if they felt the same way I, and my party, do?
- Ways Around Being the Forever DM
- When should I ‘call the session’ if I feel it’s going bad?
- (UPDATE) How to help get my players in character
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