Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gamers that ruin it for the rest

I have been pondering for some time now what it is that has turned me away from RPG's. After thinking on it for several weeks I began to ask a few of the other players that have or do play RPG's with us. We came up with a list of annoying things that certain gamers do that have ruined it for us. For the most part this is just one player and we have stopped inviting him to play but it ran deep enough that even that did not save our love for RPG's

The first trait is always wanting to be in the spotlight. A good game and a good plan by the GM should let everyone have there time in the spotlight. Even then that is not good enough for some they want the spotlight in all situations. Even when it does not make sense like being a wizard and trying to show up the warrior in melee. At first as GM's we thought it added humor to the game but after time we grew tired of the antics. This resulted in a particular player either dying or being on the verge for several important battles.

This leads to trait number two - whinner. Nobody likes a whinner especially when you created you own problem by being dumb. They can cure a lot of things but being dumb is not one of them. You want to be a wizard that runs into melee evertime because you have used up your daily spells on the first monster then you deserve to die. The other area that really gets my blood pressure up is when the player comes up with a hair brained idea that has no chance of success and when the idea fails sits and whines that it is not fair. You want to do something that you have no skill in and it requires a roll of a 19 or 20 to succeed yet you try it anyways. I feel no sympathy when you could have crossed the crevice with the rope bridge instead of trying to climb higher up and jumping it. Don't whine at the GM or the other players when they leave your dead carcus on the bottom of the bottomless pit (not sure how that works). Why should the rest of the party have to climb down to drag you out because you are dumb.

Trait number three was hinted at above -- burning all your spell points and then thinking the whole party should stop to sleep so you get your spells back even though we just got up 2 hours ago. We tried to explain spell management but just got the blank stare and the response all I have left is one 1st level spell. Maybe you shouldn't have burned all your spells before you found out that the creature really couldn't hurt the melee guys so it was just a matter of time before they brought it down. Once again another blank stare.

Trait number four - psycho min / maxer. I will be upfront that I have no problem with most min maxers. Why not get the most out of your class / character. Since I am being honest some of my most memorable playing moments were not using skills I was great at but overcoming short comings in my character. Anyways back to the point. A psycho min/maxer is one that will search and search the rules for a loop hole to cheese out his character. Going back to some of the traits above it aids in being the one in the spotlight. You know the ones that use loop holes in the rules to become a charcter that can do anything with no weakness, that is fine, you can play the game by yourself (which by the way they are no doing, I do wonder how that is working out).

Trait number five - the guy who when things are not directly involving him he becomes a distraction. Here I am being the diplomat and getting us passage across a forbidden land. As negotiations are going on and going in my favor, the guy playing the 6 charisma, 8 Int, 10, wisdom fighter dwarf decides that he is bored with the negotiations so he decides it is a good time to let out the most obnoxious fart, followed by a roof rattleing belch, followed by another toxic fart that clears the room for the next 10 minutes. Once we finally get back in the room he starts to tell a story that about something that happened the week before, once we get back on task he brings up a this one time when I was playing an RPG story that took place 10 years earlier. Eventually the GM just grants us access to get things moving again in the right direction. Once again taking the spotlight from another character. Eventually the GM got fed up, had him arrested, thrown in jail, while the rest of us completed the quest. This lead to about 3 hours worth of whining and we sure did take our time get things completed. On top of that the GM kept secret talies of everything we looted and left it up to us to split it with him if we wanted. Even then it was not worth his hastle. Also in the category are those that really don't want to game just want to hang out. Sure that is a lot of the attraction to just hainging out, as we have gotten older we just don't do that anymore. I get that but that does not mean that you get to come in and take away the game from the rest of us, just because you have no interest in it.

Trait number six - the guy that only has one way to do things his way. Most of the time this comes up when we are trying to figure out a good plan of attack and God help us if we don't choose his plan. Even if it does not make any sense or completly goes against my characters morals. No as an 18th level paladin I am not going to dress up as a lady to try and distract the guards while he the multi class warrior that has 2 leveles of rogue tries to sneak by them. Which of course he just couldn't understand why I wouldnt do that and then on top of that his plan wanted me to dress as a muscular girl and try to intimidate them. Once again he didn't understand why as an 18th level paladin I was not maxed out on intimidate but was maxed out on diplomacy. Which by the way, I walked up to the guards and used diplomacy to get us in the castle.

Here are some traits that I like.

Rules Lawyer - yes I like them. As a GM I can't remember every rule and rely on those that have the rules memorized from cover to cover. As a player I like it as well, especially when we switch systems.

The guy who suprises you. I like being suprised by someone that hides a talent until it really is needed, and it leaves you with the "really you can do that, that is sweet". Especially when they respond, yea I got that two levels ago.

I am sure that everyone has there own horror stories and can expand on list. Due to this though I have become burnt out. Why is it that good gamers are hard to find?

Jason James


Geek Gazette said...

Hey JJ,
glad to see you still around. I really haven't had time, term papers and exams are killing me, but you should post some stuff and links for the show.

The Red DM said...

I like rules lawyers too, and for exactly the same reason. Admittedly I can't remember the last time I've had one that wouldn't back down when I decided to rule against the book, so maybe I just like them because I'm lucky.

Something not on your list that has become an issue in my group in recent times is what I can only call "the fun spoiler". He wants to correct everyone's pronunciation, lecture everyone on historical context or on why Lord of the Rings is not XYZ, but then won't listen when the conversation strays into a realm that is outside his professed expertise.