[RPG] do when the GM dislikes the choices in play


I am new to D&D. I just recently started a game where we are using 3.5 books for character creation, but the world is completely homebrew and the rules are heavily house-ruled. Pretty much the DM just makes things up as we go. But he has got a lot of work into this world, and he has been running it for a very long time.

The game is fun, and I like this DM. He was very up front in saying that he doesn't care much for the RAW, as he takes a more narrative approach to the game. I don't really mind this. While I do wish sometimes that the rules were more consistent, I am happy to stay a part of this group and I am enjoying my experience as a whole. However, at our last session, he got upset with the way I used a spell, and I was wondering how I can defuse conflicts like that in the future.

Our party found three magic orbs that began to hover in front of each of us. A voice then echoed throughout the chamber and said, "Choose your fate." As each PC touched an orb, some great blessing was bestowed on them. Some got permanent stat boosts, others got magical weapons, others got gems worth great fortunes. It came to my cleric's turn, and she was a little bit nervous. At this point, since a voice from the sky had just almost gotten her killed literally minutes before, she was not uber-trusting of strange voices from the sky. Plus, she was worried that she might lose her casting by accepting something from a strange god. So she cast augury on the orbs to see if any of them would have bad consequences.

The DM got very upset over this. He said, "No, you know what? I'm gonna roll for you to see what you get." he rolled his dice and then made me roll a will save. He said "you feel very warm," and for the rest of the dungeon, it kept getting worse until she was actually in pain from it. He would not tell me what happened. After the game he said, "If you had just picked one like everybody else, you would have gotten a stat boost or something." I'm not sure if that was the predetermined effect on someone that didn't choose one or if he arbitrarily decided to penalize me.

I still don't know what has happened to my character, and now I am afraid of what it could be and what it will mean for her in the future. I understand that he was trying to give us something good and all. I understand that maybe my actions were a little cheesy since it was supposed to be like a random bonus. I also understand that maybe he felt like I was looking a gift horse in the mouth. But I felt like he overreacted. I tried to be a good sport about it, since I could see why he thought it was cheesy, but I also felt like I had a good roleplaying reason to do it.

Was my usage of augury here in any way out of line? I'm afraid I do not understand the usage of this spell if it is not meant to be used in situations like this. The GM had not told us we couldn't use that spell (though he has already banned all psionics, interplanar travel, and sending, and I don't remember a time he's let a divination spell work). How can I work through it when the GM dislikes how I approach a game decision when it's an honest (from my POV) and game-legal choice?

UPDATE: We had another gaming session last night. I decided to let it play out and see where this went. As it turns out, the curse did end up killing the cleric, but the DM's PC picked her up and carried her to the nearest temple of her god where they resurrected her. Now I think that she has some sort of Celestial Template or something. She is much stronger. I got, by far, the best boosts of anyone in my party. He said he could not remember all of the changes to her but so far she has got +2 Str, +2 Wis, +2 Con, +2 Cha, Flying 20ft-Good, and DR1/-. He also told me that she feels lighter. He told me he will give me the rest later. I think he's still going to make me find out exactly what she is the hard way.

I am very happy with this change, I do wish he had not made me worry for a whole week though. I guess this must have been some sort of "Warning shot." I am thinking he was upset and wanted me to know it, but he is a good enough DM not to ATCUALLY punish me in game without letting me know that he did not appreciate my actions. So he just played it like he was going to punish her and let my mind do the rest. I have since removed all divination spells from my prepared spells list. I do not think that he likes them, so I will just avoid them. I think he feels like they force him to give us answers that he would rather we find on our own. I have also found that he likes to surprise us and to keep us in suspense. I may possibly prepare some scrolls for them if we absolutely need them to advance the story, but other than that I am content not to use them. It is already difficult enough to cut spells from my list and there are other useful spells that I can fill the slots with.

Thank you all for your help!

Oh, and a special thanks to hey I can chan chan for his advice on the phylactery of faithfulness. My DM gave it to me for free! He thought it was a good idea since alignment is really important in his campaigns and since I am new to his world I don't necessarily know all of the nuances.

Best Answer

That's What Augury Is For!

You were totally in line. That's a perfectly valid use of the spell, and an equally reasonable thing for your character to do.

Ditch the Divinations

If you insist on playing with this DM, you're taking the right steps. If the DM hasn't banned yet he hates divination spells, don't prepare them, and, instead, scribe such spells onto scrolls (or buy them, if that's an option), therefore reassuring the DM that they aren't for making the plot disappear but advance. Then stick to your word, whipping out the scroll of commune when everyone at the table--including the DM--understands you're otherwise out of options.

Also, if he doesn't immediately ban it, see if one of your character's magic items can be a phylactery of faithfulness (DMG 264) (1,000 gp; 0 lbs.). It takes a lot of the guesswork out of being a cleric.