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Old 07-17-2016, 02:53 AM   #11
patchwork
 
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Default Re: Gaming disasters

On one of my rare forays into playing, I and a companion joined a campaign in progress as substitutes after a couple of other players moved or went crazy or something. Not necessarily anyone's fault, but it never worked, because those three had known each other for 20 years and their weekly game was also their primary social time; spending half the session talking about their weeks with one another and gossiping about mutual acquaintances. As the new people, there wasn't any real way to include us in that, not that I think they tried that hard. But if I wanted to spend the day hanging out in a kitchen talking only to my companion, we'd use our OWN kitchen, thank you.

Have had one epically bad one-shot that I actually learned a lot from (while squatting in the flaming rubble trying to determine how to never have this happen again). One-shots are substantially different from campaigns in that pacing is everyone's responsibility, not just the GM's. If, after 6 or 8 hours, the game has not reached any sort of satisfactory conclusion, tough, you all still have to go home now and it will not be revisited later. You should all reckon yourselves at about the halfway poijt when the alloted time is actually half gone. Had one player that fundamentally did not get this. Every GM ruling had to be challenged on the basis of undergrad physics (not even game rules books!), every one of his ideas had to be fully explored and addressed by the GM, every tangent followed to exhaustion. When the game inevitably failed, I and the GM sat silently while every other player literally screamed at him for ruining our game. And I'm very certain he did not think he was the bad guy here. The worst part for me was that he actually seemed like someone I'd want in a campaign (although others that know him better tell me I'm mistaken). He just could not or would not accommodate the mandatory structure.

Am having problems right now, actually. I have one player who is essentially a crunchy bit collector: he's a good guy and a team player, but he approaches it much like a wargame and creates very simple characters and then just seeks ever more power and toys for them. Another player who wants epic drama and roleplaying. And I'm not new at this, running games for over 25 years, this synthesis is fundamental to a lot of groups - except that the rp'er can't let it go OR have an open and honest negotiation. He insists on making some passive-aggressive insult every time Crunchybits proactively searches for loot, or seeks a tactical advantage, or just decides that, while alternatives do exist, lethal violence really is the safest, fastest, cheapest solution to this particular problem. Crunchybits isn't stupid, and naturally part of my campaign is designed with him in mind, so he really isn't (imo) being disruptive, and even is being the better fellow in not responding to provocations across the table. But I'm nearing my wit's end because I don't feel I can afford to lose either of them (they have far and away the best attendance, and the two of them are happy to play nearly anything I want to run, so they're the keepers...)
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:20 AM   #12
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My personal disaster, or should I say trainwreck in *very* slow motion (that train wreck took about two years) was, well...

Our usual GM was not particularly stable. And he was a textbook narcissist.

His wife was a manipulative who was on par with him.

We had a mythomaniac who always had crazy stories like when he was asked to guard the house and dog of one of his rich friend, said dog had teeth of gold, and a burglar disguised as a telecoms technician in a white blouse came, he refused to open, the guy forced the door and the dog jumped on him, tore off his arm, and the guy grabbed back his arm and ran away... When he was telling this story to my mom and a friend of hers, they were successfully keeping a straight face by some miracle... And it says a lot that this guy was the most stable of the lot.

The last guy was a real-life example of a character with the Slave Mentality disadvantage.

Highlights includes:

The usual GM getting the guy with Slave Mentality to master a Warhammer game, where he spend the entire adventure taking baths and meals while we were investigating and he had the skills that would have allowed us to uncover the mystery.

Same guy getting the guy with Slave Mentality to GM Scion, then having a meltdown because "he had to roll too many dice" (yes, one pregen character rolls 16 dice every time he shoots with his pistol because he has that large a dice pool, Scion uses the storyteller system where the more you have in a skill, the more dice you roll, but still, he grabbed all the dice he could fit in his hand and violently threw them on the table, scattering half of them on the ground...).

Same guy getting a meltdown and smashing a keyboard on the ground because the computer was lagging.

Same guy running away from the first combat in an urban fantasy game I GM'ed, and then disguising himself as a golfer so he could hide a black market rocket launcher in his golf bag (he never had the opportunity to use it because the campaign ended when I left the group).

Not tabletop related, but same guy inviting the group, my mom and stepdad to a private party he got invites to from his work, telling us to dress well, getting every single one of us to show up at one of his client's house for something job related, and showing at the party dressed like Inspector Gadget if Inspector Gadget had a purple scarf he had stolen from a funeral wreath.

That same guy sending me a strongly worded SMS accusing me of faking sickness and always letting them down (especially jarring since I had spend a full week-end helping him at a convention stand because aside from his work he owned a tabletop RPG company, where I was the only one trying to get talk to people about the game (I had played it) while he was just drinking beer) after I stayed home for his wife's B-day party because I was sick and the last time I went there with a sore throat she was sick for 3 months.

I decided enough was enough and just left. I've been looking for a tabletop crew ever since.
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:20 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by patchwork View Post


A he's a good guy and a team player, but he approaches it much like a wargame and creates very simple characters and then just seeks ever more power and toys for them.

I'll admit I kind of like that too with dnd...not really because I want power but more or less because I am not familiar with the system above level 2 and know 3rd edition has a lot of..dead ends when it comes to options.
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:52 PM   #14
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A few more things I remembered about this gm I talked about in my first post that should have probally tipped me off earlier this guy was ****.

1. We were in a dwarven city and we were tasked on trying to find the thing that was stolen from the king vault. Well my charecter suggested maybe the vault guards them selves did it and the dm basically said I did not say that because my int 11 barbarian that I bothered to buy literacy for "was not smart enough to have that thought."

2. No one was allowed to have a ten foot pole..he basically banned the entire existence of ten foot poles.
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:29 AM   #15
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I had one that was trying to get a friend of mine more invested in the game. Knowing that the idea of harming cats was deeply troubling to her on an ooc level he had the main bad guy swerve to hit a cat in view of the characters. No matter how trivial you think something is if you know that it will deeply bother a player on an ooc level then you shouldn't use it to get them involved in the game.
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:49 PM   #16
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the dm basically said I did not say that because my int 11 barbarian... "was not smart enough to have that thought."
It's actually a compliment. See, since you did have that thought, the GM is telling you that you must be at least INT 12.
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Old 07-21-2016, 05:04 PM   #17
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It's actually a compliment. See, since you did have that thought, the GM is telling you that you must be at least INT 12.
I wish that was the context....
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:08 PM   #18
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Let me tell you about the worst GM I've ever played under:

Dave was part of our gaming group, which usually played GURPS and WoD. Dave's brother Mark was in town for a few weeks and wanted to run a 3-4 session D&D adventure for us. We all made characters and showed up for the first session . . . where Mark announced that "this adventure only works if one of you is an anti-paladin." (Would've been nice to know that earlier.) None of us want to play that, but after some grousing, Ken reluctantly agrees to change his character and we help him make one quickly.

So now we're ready to play, and Mark starts us off . . . by taking Ken into another room. For an hour. Finally, Ken walks out, somewhat upset, and says, "Just remember that this wasn't my idea." Mark then begins calling each of us into the other room for 15-minute one-on-one adventure intros.

I happened to be last. Mark tells me that my character (a chaotic good psi) is walking down the road when some guy jumps out and kills me. Bam, dead. Now I'm in Hell (why?) and a demon tells me that I can burn forever . . . or . . . I can be returned to life if I swear to serve Ken's anti-paladin. I look at Mark and say, "I refuse. Guess I'm being tortured."

Mark is shocked and confused -- why would I make that choice? I ask him to pull up the email I sent him where I summarized my character as, "Firmly opposed to any institution of servitude; slavers are his mortal enemies and he'll even try to bring down shops or houses that use indentured servants."

Mark is upset. He explains that this adventure doesn't work unless I say yes. He whines . . . a lot. Finally I give in, undermining my entire character concept, just to keep things moving. I walk out into the living room, and everyone's look tells me that we're sharing the same pain.

But we push through and begin the adventure. There's some exposition and then a fight with some orcs. As the melee fighters scuffle, Jason (a mage) asks, "Can I hit one of the orcs with a Fireball spell?"

Mark responds, "Of course! Just mark it off." When Jason does so, Mark continues, "Your Fireball explodes, hitting everyone in the combat. Everyone in the melee takes 18 points of damage!"

Everyone turns to Mark, angry, as Jason protests, "Wait! I wouldn't throw an area effect attack. I asked you if I could hit an orc with it."

"Right, you can. And you did. Along with everyone else."

"Then I wouldn't do that."

"Too late. You said you did. No take-backs."

At this point, no one is having fun, but we trudge through regardless. It's about then that Dave shows up (he had to work late). His "Hey guys, how's the game going?" is met with shrugs. He pulls out his character sheet and sits down. (Mark had already done the "one-on-one intro" thing with him.)

So our group encounters a stranger (Dave's PC) on the road. He says he was told to follow Ken's anti-paladin (shocker!) but we're wary since we were attacked from this direction. As the fighters hold him, I use my mind-reading psi on him. "First things first," I demand, "What's your name?"

"Galen Lampoor."

I look at Mark and ask if he's being honest. Mark tells me no, he's lying. So I turn back. "Look, stranger, that was your one free mistake. The next one costs your life. What is your name?"

"Seriously, it's Galen Lampoor. Honest!"

I look at Mark, who says he's still lying to me. So I turn back to Dave, "Dude, why are you messing with us? C'mon, this is wasting time." At which point, David hands me his character sheet, with GALEN LAMPOOR at the very top. I turn to Mark and ask, "What the hell, man?"

Mark's response: "Well you see, Galen Lampoor isn't his True Name. That's just what he goes by, but everyone in this world has a True Name that they may or may not even know."

We all stare at Mark for a long moment. Then I hand David his sheet, set mine down, and calmly gather my things to leave. A few seconds later, everyone else (except Dave, who lived here) does the same. Mark asked, "So, uh, you guys want to break here? That's cool. We can do this again Thursday?" A few of us shake our heads as we all quietly walk out the door and away from that game for good.
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:16 PM   #19
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I wish that was the context....
More like douche-speak for, "that's what actually happened but I don't want my plot ruined, so instead I'll distract everyone with insults."
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:19 PM   #20
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...
We all stare at Mark for a long moment. Then I hand David his sheet, set mine down, and calmly gather my things to leave. A few seconds later, everyone else (except Dave, who lived here) does the same. Mark asked, "So, uh, you guys want to break here? That's cool. We can do this again Thursday?" A few of us shake our heads as we all quietly walk out the door and away from that game for good.
You guys must have gone broke buying all that patience. I can't imagine anyone else staying with such an obnoxious clueless douche anywhere near that long.
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