[RPG] DM taking away XP from players as a form of punishment


So I got a group of friends in high school and were all nerds but with no way to play together. Not all of us had a computer or console. We found someone who claims to have a lot of experience as a DM, and I have to admit he's pretty good.

Here's the problem though. He believes that since he's played the game for the longest time (most of us are just starting out), he is in absolute charge of the game.

For example, he makes specific rules targeting classes we would like to play, and he forces us to go down paths so he can advance a story plot he's been making when we just want to go kill some bandits (we end up searching for orcs in a forest to being champions of a ancient dragon who gave us "billions of gold" in three 2-hour sessions).

But the main thing I am concerned about is the fact that he thinks as a punishment he can take away XP from the players. The type of game I (and potentially some of the other group members) want to play is sort of laid back, like MUNCHKIN or Paranoia. But he insists that we shouldn't make fun conversations or go off on tangents about jokes. If we do this type of thing at the table, I either get kicked out (by his order) or I lose hundreds of XP.

Is this kind of behaviour from our DM inappropriate?

Best Answer

The GM taking away XP is not really your core problem. Your core problem is the game you want to play as a group is not the game he wants to run. The solution is simple - go find a GM who does want to run that kind of game, or have one of you GM (or take turns GMing) to run that game.

Regardless of how "good" of a GM he is, he's not the GM that's good for you. Whereas, even if one of you is a "bad" GM to start, you're all interested in the same kind of game (same kind of fun) so you can work together to get those skills up with a little practice.

If you do end up looking for new GMs, you can lay out the kind of games you're looking to play and cut out a lot of drama, misunderstanding and miscommunication up front.

At no point during a voluntary activity for fun should people be punishing each other. If everyone is playing with good intent, misunderstandings clear up pretty easy with the most minimal discussion.