Sorry in advance to post this unfocused, content-free rant in public. I just need to exorcise this in a place where people will understand my (temporary) disillusionment.
Played a game of vanilla Labyrinth Lord on Saturday with a couple of my regular group and a few casual gamer mates who'd expressed an interest.
Having an inkling of what I was in for (Saturday night pick-up game? Of course there'll be Monty Python quotes and "I attack the darkness!" antics) I printed some How To Play This Game sheets, shelved the Vaults for the night, and used Amityville Mike Curtis' Stonehell.
Pretty much bulletproof, right? I thought so.
How little I knew.
It was all kinds of not good.
I haven't seen such a car crash of a session since my teens. The level of play was appalling. I mean "Beavis and Butthead play D&D" low. And I wasn't gaming with BIFF from shop class; I was gaming with mature(?) people in their 20s and 30s.
They got through 5 rooms of section 1A of Stonehell in 3+1/2 hours.
One casual appeared to have screaming ADD and an inability to wait their turn. Another decided that a balloon of pikey cider was a perfect accompaniment to the game. One of the serious players was suffering from gamer's bored girlfriend. And the fourth player was just overwhelmed by the horror of what was going on around him and politely left early.
I am disappoint.
"Your performing monkey has had QUITE ENOUGH!"
Did they have fun? If so, you win, Sir!ReplyDelete
If not, then boo. Sometimes games go to hell and end up being parodies or comedies or whatever. I had a character whos only item of equipment was a sack of turnips. He turned the whole game into a comedy through his influence.. I started playing the NPCs likewise and everyone got on board and it was hilarious.
Tragic and not even close to what I had planned... It was all silly voices and "I STAB HIM IN THE FACE" mid conversation... but everyone had a ball.
I wasnt there and I'm not passing any judgements - I've had horror games that werent that fun too - but it just reminded me of that game and how it ended up being excellent.
Sorry to hear your troubles though! It happens - better luck next time =]
Handing a chimp a loaded AK 47 seems like those guys were actually trying to become "Darwin Award Winners."ReplyDelete
I think sometimes people engage in different kinds of passive-aggressive behavior at the table. For some people, it seems to be a temporary thing. Others might just be nonredeemable dicks.
If I show up for game night and everyone else wants to do something I'm not that excited about, I'll be a good sport. But I've been at a few sessions where someone at the table just tries to stick a pin in other people's fun. I think some people lack the inhibitions to say to themselves, "Hey, I'm being an asshole. Maybe I better tone it down a bit." Another guy I used to play with would often behave like an ass whenever he was not the center of attention. Some people sometimes have a bad day; I know I sometimes do.
One casual appeared to have screaming ADD and an inability to wait their turn. Another decided that a balloon of pikey cider was a perfect accompaniment to the game. One of the serious players was suffering from gamer's bored girlfriend. And the fourth player was just overwhelmed by the horror of what was going on around him and politely left early.ReplyDelete
Silly voices were persisted in beyond the bounds of good manners. Rules calls were argued. My GMing ability was called into question by people who don't even know which dice to throw. And then it all went PvP over an out-of-game inter-player argument.
One has to ask - how did it come to go south so quickly?
Man, that sucks, but even good groups have bad days. Still, it is almost certainly always better to vet your players beforehand I have found.ReplyDelete
Its been on my mind a lot how often gamers ignore the social contract. People don't act like this when you play trivial pursuit, but they think its ok when you play RPGs. Unfortunately, the only thing I can think of to combat this is to put your foot down as DM right away, which isn't optimal because its supposed to fun for the DM too.ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear it. I hate when they start questioning you, when their antics are the very thing making things suck.ReplyDelete
I feel for you man. I've totally been there. I've also been the guy who politely ducked out when things weren't going well, so I feel for him too.ReplyDelete
I had a similiar experience (sans Pikey Cider Balloon and bored girlfriend) with my home group when I played Labyrinth Lord and an Old School session of OpenQuest. The 'Lord of Lefty' is now a deity in our games :(ReplyDelete
There seemed to be this group concensus that D&D & Old School games are a bad injoke and that's how they should be played :(
Fortunatly they've soon settled down, and while our recent games of Crypts and Things (my Sword & Wizardry varient) have been bleak Black Comedies (which is cool with me) they have been fun games were the players are playing but not dicking around. I think its partially because they became engaged in the setting and exploring the mechanics of the game and partially because I made it very very clear I wasn't going to put up with the nonsense I had suffered in previous games.
I now have a standard disclaimer for all my Old School games "If you Turn Left I'm going to kill you!"
I have seen a lot of games go badly wrong.ReplyDelete
Sometimes the other guys were to blame.
Sometimes, I am sad to say, I was to blame.
The victory you can take is that this time, you didn't contribute to the ruination. That is a moral victory.
As to the question of how to avoid similar problems in the future - that depends on your social circumstances. Try to communicate as much as possible before committing to game.
I'd love you to take this apart, from the first moment you noticed something was up, how it escalated etc, through to the point where the other player left the game.ReplyDelete