Tools (the useful kind) and Tools (the stupid kind)

Today’s blog will be a two-parter.  The first part is quite short, because for once in my life, I don’t have much to say.  Both questions come to us from a couple of our biggest supporters.  And also, please submit more questions!  We are running dangerously low!

Just a general question of what kind of tools you use for DMing. I have heard about Obsidian Portal’s Game Wikis, the WotC game table, (many similar products too), iPhone dice rollers, Gamefiend’s Threshhold system ( or Slyflourish’s monster damage table (
Thank U, B. Lynn (DaddyDM on twitter)

Unfortunately, I can’t say much in response to your question.  When I was playing 3ed and 3.5 I never really consulted the internet, and now that I make extensive use of the internet, I no longer play any actual edition of D&D.  I have my own system (which is still a d20 system), and really isn’t compatible with standard D&D without a lot of converting.  My favorite D&D reference site is definitely The Hypertext d20 SRD.  I also enjoy Pen, Paper, & Pixel.  I like their Monster Filter when I need a very specific enemy, as well as their Encounter Calculator to make sure combat is fairly balanced.  And is a great all-round advice/reference site for DMs.  Hope you find something useful!

Now on to question number two:

What do I do when my players decide to have a “who has a bigger d***” contest?
i.e. “My guy’s [insert power here] would just kill your sorry arse.”
“Well, good luck with that because I have [insert counter ability here].”
It gets really, really old.


A DM who doesn’t care to get into pissing contests.

This is probably one of the most annoying things players can do, and I do have a few potential solutions for the problem.  Unfortunately, whenever you get a bunch of guys in a room together, there’s always at least a couple with something to prove.  To me it’s sadly ironic that people belonging to such a fringe culture would play into the same cultural stereotypes that have probably rejected them.  But such is the nature of things.  Even the Geek cannot escape the pressures and idiocy of society.  I just wish someone would tell them that being a badass in D&D doesn’t mean they win at life.

The first thing you can do is flat out state that it’s not acceptable, and tell them to quit being stupid tools.  Game time is game time.  Unless they’re asking you, the DM, a question, or getting you a beer, they’re roleplaying, and should remain in character.  If their character is the sort to taunt, challenge, and irritate, that’s one thing (one very annoying thing), but they should be playing to their alignment and their character’s personality at all times.  If a player isn’t in character, just penalize their XP.  Taking away XP is the easiest way to get annoying players to shut the hell up.

If you’re not the sort to penalize all willy-nilly, and prefer more peaceful approaches to the situation, just tell them their behavior is distracting to you, disruptive to gameplay, and ruining your enjoyment of being their Dungeon Master.  You are the only reason the campaign exists.  Most players are too damn lazy to even attempt to DM on their own, so just implying that maybe you don’t want to work your ass of for them anymore is usually enough to whip them into shape (unless they’re unappreciative douche bags, which let’s face it, if they’re already a tool, douche bag status isn’t far away).

Another tactic which I actually prefer, is just letting them go at it and suffering the consequences of their actions.  If one of them actually kills the other, oh well, too bad.  And if the duel is out of character for anyone, I will always count it against them when considering an Alignment shift.  Again though, if this is a little too extreme, you can always allow out of game duels with no bearing or consequences on the actual campaign.  Before things get going for the night, and people are still getting settled in and discussing last weeks exploits, allow them to fight it out if they want.

The only real danger of giving in and letting them settle their arguments with combat, is that the sort of tools that like to argue about lame ass crap, usually don’t deal well with losing.  They will mope around for the rest of the night, lay awake in bed strategizing about how best to defeat their fellow player next time, and will inevitably eat up game time with their petty nonsense.  Players sometimes need to be reminded that they are part of team, and if they don’t like the team they’re on, then they can always go find another one.

The bottom line is that boys will sometimes be annoying tools, so really, the best solution is to find more girls to play with.

Love and Pudding,
The Dungeon Master

We need more questions! Please submit if you love us. 

If you wish to submit a question to the Dungeon Master, please e-mail them to, or you can Tweet me a question by hash-tagging me (#askthedm) in your Tweet. And make sure to review the disclaimer.

You can also see me in action in One Die Short.

This entry was posted in DM Advice, Dungeons & Dragons, Geek Culture, General Roleplaying and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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