I would like to preface this; I am still good friends with the DM of this campaign, he is a regular player in my campaign and a good friend of mine. But this campaign was easily his lowest point as a DM.
I have never quit a campaign before for any reason other than scheduling. I love D&D and happily join in on any of my friends campaigns. But this campaign pissed me and the other players off so much, that over the course of several sessions, almost every player quit.
It was the DM's second campaign, several weeks earlier they had rushed a dissatisfying ending of their previous campaign in order to begin working on their next big idea. We started off at level three; a party with me, a homebrew arcanoloth tiefling wizard, my adopted brother, a tiefling cleric of Trithereon, an estranged monk, a half-orc champion fighter, and a dragonborn zealot barbarian. Oh, and how could I forget, the uber edgy Fighter, Wizard, Warlock multiclass mostrocity that the DM and one of his best friends had been planning for weeks.
We arrived in a port town by ship, got off and headed towards the tavern for lodgings. As we travelled through town as a group, we stumbled upon a scene in the town market. Two elves shouting about dreams and darkness before attacking the civilians near them with magic. We got involved in the fight to save people, but were immediately shocked to find both of these elves where 8th level wizards, with spells like wall of fire that could easily reduce almost all of the party to 0 hp on a failed save, and potentially instantly kill the weaker characters if they rolled above average. It was a brutal fight that ended with all but two of the players unconscious and bleeding out. As a wizard, I did the only logical thing after a fight with wizards, I ran up and looted their spell books. But between them they only had 3 spell pages, all of spell levels that I could learn. That's awefully convenient.
We then immediately got arrested at the scene by a legion of guards that where apparently just far enough away that they couldn't aid us, but there was enough of them to block every road and alleyway. We where taken into holding, where we where questioned about what happened. "We're innocent, the wizards had gone mad. They where spouting about someone giving them gifts and attacked the civilians" I proclaimed in fear. The captain of the guard new exactly what we where talking about, telling us of a madness that seemed to be infecting people, and told us to head southwards to a city populated only by mages, surely they knew the answer.
What followed can only be described as hell. A 24 day journey along a popular main road through the forest. Every day we rolled for a random encounter. More than 50% of the outcomes where fights, and every fight we had where deadly encounters, usually against multiple 7th or 8th level spellcasters. But it was all right, because our DM who was notorious for fudging his dice rolls was kind to us. The start of every fight was brutally hard as they rolled impossibly well on their attacks and damage, but as soon as things became dire they couldn't hit any attacks, and when they did it was ridiculously low. Such as the lightning bolt that hit our unconscious cleric. The attack does 8d6 lightning damage, yet somehow he only rolled 10 damage, just enough not to kill our 11 max hp cleric. I'm no mathematician but even I know that the chance of rolling 6x 1's and 2x 2's on 8d6 is near impossible and super convenient.
After about 8 sessions of this and 2 real months later, we finally arrived at the city of mages with no meaningful plot or roleplay development. Too immediately discover that they had little idea what was going on, and were sent on another errand to a town, about double the distance we had travelled away and through what the DM describes as a more hostile forest. By this time we had set up a private chat without our DM and it was filling with a single repeated message. NOPE in all capitals. I came up with the solution, according to the map at least this was a port town, so why not get a ship there as the destination was on a large river. But despite the towns location on the map, it was a days travel to the small port hamlet that fed this town with supplies, so we walked there. We asked for a ship north, only to be greated told by the DM that ships don't go to that town as the river was too dangerous, and we would have to get a ship to our original town and then walk the rest of the way. We all agreed that while it was annoying and awefully convenient that nomatter what we did, we still had to slog through his endless random encounters, but this way it was only half as many.
But onboard the ship, the DM topped it. One one of the days of travel, I noticed something lurking in the hold of the ship, a shadow that sent a chill down my spine. Curious, I gathered the party and headed down into the hold, where I manouvered light to force a confrontation with the strange clawed shadow creature that was hiding down there. It rose up from the shadows, in common it growled "So hungry, must feed" and ran at us. I tried to subdue it with magic. Rolls a 31 on its Wisdom save. It attacks our edgy fighter multiclass, 33 to hit and not a critical, instantly killing him. It then attacked our barbarian for some 20 something to hit as our DM laughed because he quote "Rolled badly on the attack" and 1 shot our barbarian. Conveniently enough a single damage short of instant killing him, where have I seen that before. So we are fighting our DM's homebrewed monster as level 3 players, with no adequate description to show us we should not be fighting it. It has a +11 wisdom save, at least a +14 to hit on a multi attack that can do 60 damage per hit. We legged it out of the cargo hold, leaving our barbarian to die. The DM had him roll saving throws, and he was stable. We told the crew, who turned out to be a synchronised acrobatics crew of swashbucklers, who flipped and hopped themselves into the hold to find our barbarian stable and our edgy fighter dead.
We took them up top, confused as to why the creature had not fed on the bodies after we left, healed the barbarian and began a ceremony for our dead fighter. Who woke up. Turns out our DM and the player had created a character together. He was playing an immortal who had been alive since the dawn war, who's brother had become Nerull the god of death, and he had been cursed by Tharizdun the Chained to live a life of immortality, unable to die. Now robbed of agency, and the roleplay of losing a companion, our party was pissed. Our grave domain cleric stood there, and proclaimed "You are a grand violation to the natural order and have foul magic sustaining you" and killed him again, before the crew arrested him, likely as punishment for Player vs Player conflict. When he ressurected again, I was told him to part ways or I would find a way to ensure he lived forever, 6 feet under.
Shortly after this I quit, as the DM interupted us in the middle of our first meaningful roleplay with a rogue who tried to kill one of us. The rogue ran for a few minutes before we outsmarted the DM and cut him off, where he conveniently had dimension door prepared to escape. So he was a 7th level spell caster and a 7th level rogue with 4d6 extra sneak attack, potentially a 17th level arcane trickster. Fair and Balanced. When I left, so did our cleric, our fighter, our monk and our barbarian.The player playing his multiclass monstrocity brought in a new character and the campaign went on after the DM found some new players.
But this isn't where it ended, no. I sat in on the discord on occasion when I had little else to do. I watched as he copied a gauntlet type arena straight from my campaign. Even using the same description of transmutation runes that changed the battle each round to suit the monsters i threw at my party. But instead of themed monsters, it was just DMPC characters with much higher class levels than the players that made it impossible for them to win. So it made no sense to have the themed battles. I watched another player quit after the DM continued to rule that fog cloud was a light mist that people could see through, target you through and follow you through. But it all came to head in one scene, when the party finally arrived at the town in the north the wizards had sent us to.
For background, the player who had played the immortal multiclass monstrocity had been DMing his own campaign, and for the last 2 months we had been tasked with protecting an ambassator from a far off kingdom ruled by magic. The twist was that this ambassator was actually a lich who had risen to power in a kingdom that resided outside of morality. Now color me surprised when they arrive in the northern town, only to discover that it was ruled by none other than….. An ambassator lich. Which was especially jarring because, despite having the title of ambassator, he filled the governmential role of a major or lording nobleman, and wasn't an ambassator at all. The campaign ended there after the player took the DM into another chat, told him to stop plagurising everyone elses campaigns, and left the discord. We sat there in dead silence for minutes as he tried to justify it as an original idea, just sessions after I had told him off for stealing content from my campaign.