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My D&D nemesis

Written by Expy - Published on December 12, 2007

Random thoughts

What’s the plural form of nemesis? Nemesises? Nemesii? Enemies?

My D&D nemesis

Different factors can keep you from living the perfect RPG experience. Here are, in no particular order, my D&D nemeses.

The roommate

The roommate has to be my most fearsome D&D nemesis. It just kills my DMing mojo when someone walks into the room we’re playing in.

Critical hits

I have a tendency to roll 19 or 20 on a d20. And usually I’ll roll a few in a row. Critical hits are great because they add an element of unpredictability and danger, but I wouldn’t mind if the PCs survived a few encounters! Crits are definitely harder to play with at low levels.


Nothing obliterates creativity like stress. And usually it is coupled with fatigue which saps enthusiasm. I really miss college.

Conflicting schedules

Not playing D&D because you’re unable to find find a time slot when all the players are available is painful. Did I say I miss college?

What are your D&D nemeses?

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Written by Expy

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Expy is the mascot for DungeonMastering.com and the real mastermind behind Expy Games. He likes to hoard treasure, terrorize neighbors, burn down villages, and tell white dragon jokes..

No matter how fearful the legends claim dragons are, they always end up being defeated in 5 rounds by adventuring parties they encounter. That’s what dragons are – experience points for the heroes in your Dungeons & Dragon party. And this mascot is no different, hence the name Expy.

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14 Responses to “My D&D nemesis”
  1. Zybron says:

    The plural of nemesis is nemeses. With a long e at the end there.

    Mostly my nemesis is time. There is never enough of it. :)

  2. dave_o says:

    You miss college? Doing college and a full-time job is my ultimate D&D nemesis!

  3. Omnius says:

    You seemed to cover most my nemesis factor.. each one of those are actually big things for me.

    Cell phones. Players who take calls during the game kill me. Nothing interrupts a game more than a fifteen minute break in the middle of a roleplaying encounter so a player can talk to their significant other.

    The shrinking schedule. Often when we do manage to find a time when people are free, it’s a day when one person works late and won’t get there until midnight, and another works early and has to leave at five. This additional restriction always kills me, since it always seems to stack with something else, and something else after that.

  4. Doug says:

    I agree with your list of nemises. I would add another for myself:

    Players who fudge rolls.

    Its like throwing a wrench into the machinery of a dice-mechanic, which is meant to randomize results in a predictable way, not let one person “win”. I still haven’t come up with a good way to deal with this problem in my games.

  5. Yax says:

    College is free – or almost free – in Canada so no need for a full time job. I just partied.

  6. Omnius says:

    You make me love Canada even more. If it wasn’t for the cold, I’d probably already be there.

  7. fabiobeta says:

    – Magazines. The players out of the DM focus destroy their attention level with them.

    – Cute cats. We DMs are not trained to compete with cats.

  8. ScottM says:

    Schedules are deadly, especially this time of year. We’ve lost the last three sessions and look to lose this Friday’s. The next two are twitchy since they’re the beginning of 4 day weekends for some…

  9. dave_o says:


    Don’t remind me! I’ve got hella friends in Montreal and unfortunately it seems like you need at least a Bachelor’s to immigrate.

    Scheduling is my alternative nemesis. I’ve got an awesome, last hurrah orc and goblin game planned but I’m not going to be able to run it until the new year due to horrible schedules.

  10. Ian says:

    Space. We had a great place to play (basement of a comic shop, after hours) until the owner decided to revoke his permission and no longer let us play there. The group is huge and no one had a space big enough for us.

  11. Subtle Knife says:

    I hate speaking ill of them, but babies are the bane of my game. Even my own son, who is the sweetest 10-month-old in the world, who I love more than anything, who I would kill for, becomes a tormenting screamer when people come over for a session. We get together rarely enough (only once every 2-3 months), and having wee ones creating an interminable distraction is hard, because you REALLY CAN’T IGNORE THEM!

    Aside from that, I get very tired of players who don’t know the rules or their characters. Repeatedly explaining the combat scenario and having to suggest they use some of their abilities gets to be draining. As the DM, I should not have to be the one developing the players’ strategies!


  12. Sandrinnad says:

    Time….definitely time…. Scheduling is a nightmare once you’re out of college….

    Finding a DM when you just want to play and not run the dang thing for once.

    Space – always having to host the games because XYZ has kids and ZXY’s SO doesn’t like gaming.

    Roll fudgers.

    Players who use the gaming time to chat and catch up with the other players. Or who read or draw or stare into space until ‘their turn comes’.

    Players who can’t be bothered to learn anything about the system….like how many dice to roll and what kind….but still ‘really want to play’.

  13. Deez says:

    A few drinks is fine. We often have beer at the ready. But when one guy starts doing doing shots by himself, the game takes a terrible turn. For example:
    A friend of mine, who is normally a great role player, decided that for this one session, he was going to drink shots of Jack. After the following encounter, we decided that we would stop for the night.

    The party was trying to find a way to sneak a sword of great power into a city. The guards were on the look-out for it and had been instructed to search all persons entering the city and confiscate any sword.
    The plan was quite ingenious, involving sneaking a fake sword in first and hiding the real one in the woods in a place only known to one character. But there was a bit of a snag…
    We had decided to flag down a passing wagon and get a ride in, tying the fake sword to the underside while he was distracted by the player who had been drinking. I believe his character’s name was Quentin. After we flagged the guy down, the conversation when something like this:

    Driver: Yes, can I help you?
    Quentin: Yes. We were wondering if you could give us a lift
    into the city.
    Driver: No problem at all, climb in.
    Q: We can pay you for the trouble.
    D: Oh, not at all, it’s no trouble.
    Q: Good. And don’t worry about what’s under your cart.
    (Everyone’s jaws drop)
    D: What? (looks back) Uh, okay…
    Q: (Climbing into seat next to driver) No questions!
    D: Right, no questions. I’d rather not know, anyway.
    Q: Just don’t ask any questions and don’t mention what’s
    under your cart and there will be no trouble.
    D: I don’t even know what’s—

    Of course, the guy immediately told the guards what was going on. Fortunately, what was under the cart was actually just a stick. But it would have been a quick capture and party execution had it been real.

    After that session, we imposed a two drink rule for our games.


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