Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Memories of my Worst Players and GMs


I try to be rather relaxed whenever I run role-playing games, like GURPS or D&D, but over the years I've created a laundry list of do's and don'ts (mostly don'ts).  This has caused my campaign descriptions on roll20 to appear somewhat intimidating, but this has worked for the best since it has filtered out a lot of miscreants.  The remaining players who do apply have been an absolute joy to run for.  Of course every now and then some poor lost Pathfinder player will ask if they can use their Sherlock Holmes Pony character in my Vampire the Masquerade game.

But enough about that.  Let's examine the very worst GM I've ever had.  Firstly you have to understand that I've had many bad GMs.  Most people who GM are simply not equipped to run games.  You have to know the rules, you have to be creative, and you have to be organized.  Most GMs lack all three of these prerequisites and it makes for a lot of disjointed and ultimately disappointing games.  Nearly all of these issues could be solved simply by learning the rules, using published campaigns (if you lack the skill to write your own) and allowing player input, but many bad GMs firmly stand on the mistaken belief that the game is entirely theirs and that their word is absolute law.

The lousy GM I wish to discuss was a fellow I discovered after six years of not playing RPGs (which I'll explain later when I get into bad players).  I went to the local game shop and asked the owner if any of his referees had vacancies in their games.  All of his GMs were booked solid (there were six of them and they each had 10+ players each!)  But he mentioned that one of his customers had recently asked him about slating Friday evenings for his Pathfinder game.  I expressed that I was keenly interested (Pathfinder had been out for a while and I was pleased to learn that it was based after D&D 3rd edition, so I wouldn't have to re-learn a whole new system).

I bought the Pathfinder core rule book and met the GM at the appointed time and day.  The other two players who signed up were late, which allowed the GM to tell me more about his campaign.  It was going to be a historic Earth campaign, so no magic users were allowed, and the characters had to have a Viking flavor, since we would be somewhere around Denmark or Sweden (frankly, I doubt he could have pointed out either of those countries on a map).  I was disappointed since I had really been looking forward to playing as a Druid, but I figured a rogue would be a good second choice.  The GM immediately told me that rogues were not allowed, and when asked why, he told me "because thieves weren't tolerated in Nordic culture."

I thought this was rather silly, and to this day I still can't think of a single culture on Earth that tolerated thievery: even thieves don't tolerate each other!  And for me, the most fun about being a thief is that ideally nobody but myself and the party knew I was a thief as it rather defeated the purpose of being one if you went around advertising it.  So I decided to use a fighter, but the GM strongly suggested that I use a barbarian.  I wasn't too keen on him telling me what to do, but I had been looking so long for a group to play in that I decided just to go along with it.  The other two players finally showed up and one immediately said he was going to be a Druid.  I informed him that this was a historic Viking campaign, but the player said "what if I make the Druid female?  Vikings believed women were magical."  The GM brightened up and immediately agreed to this.  I sat there like a goon, scarcely able to comprehend this rather arbitrary ruling, but I shrugged it off.  Then the other player asked if he could be a Bard.  The GM said no, since Bards are magical, and the player said "what if I make it a Skald?  Those are Scandinavian Bards."  The GM happily agreed to this.  So I felt like I had been slapped in the face twice (four times if you count the rogue and fighter being turned down), but I didn't want to complain.  Again, it had been six years since I had played.

The GM, apparently having just seen the movie "How To Train Your Dragon," decided that our Vikings lived in a village up in the snowy mountains (which still had fields and orchards everywhere), and the village was centered around its love of dragons, which it domesticated for combat.  I couldn't believe this: the "historic Viking" campaign was now a fantasy and when the other players and I pointed this out, the GM said "well, they're not magical dragons, they're more like flying dinosaurs.  Those existed!"  He then proceeded to have our characters roll strength checks to "tame" our dragons.  We had to succeed three times in a row or else the dragons killed us.  The Skald had no problem since he was allowed to magic the crap out of the process, but the druid and I each died twice.  The GM told us "well, your character died, but we can say your character's sibling came in after you to make the attempt, and they'll have the same stats as your last characters."  So after renaming our characters a couple of times, we finally got our own 12HD dragons (which only had 14 strength for some reason, and while I'm on it, don't ask why he didn't allow the Druid to charm the dragon as his explanation was mostly inane ramblings about a life cycle of natural forces in opposition and harmonious disharmony, etc. etc.)

After the chieftain bellowed out congratulations to us for what felt like an hour, and in a horrible Scottish accent (because apparently Vikings are Scottish now) we mounted our dragons and sallied forth on our first quest.  And what a quest it was: we were being sent to clear some wolves out of a cave at the base of our mountain, because for some reason wolves living way down there were bothering people who lived way up above the clouds.  We killed all four of them very easily and returned to the chief for 500 gold.  No XP was rewarded, because he simply told us that he would decide when we leveled up (obviously he thought tracking XP was too hard, but that's neither here nor there).  Oh, and I forgot to mention, at the start of the campaign, he had spent about 30 minutes bitching about how all his friends only wanted to play 4th edition D&D and he was so happy to run Pathfinder because of how much he hated 4th edition D&D, and yet he tried to house-rule aspects of Pathfinder to make it more like 4th edition D&D, like saving throws: "oh, you just have to beat a 10 on your saving throws, so you don't have to add your saving throw modifiers to your d20."  And my favorite "All of your level 1 spells are at-will powers, level 2 and 3 are encounter powers, and anything past level 4 is a daily power you can only use only once."

The next quest?  Just like the first: we mounted our dragons (he even described all of this the same way, with the chief jabbering at us in his worst Scotty voice for an hour), flew to another cave where we fought and killed giant spiders (yes, giant spiders) and returned for another 500 gold (I guess because it was easier for him to pay us in installments of 500 each time).  If you thought the giant spiders were historically inaccurate, just wait: during the next session, he sent us to fight... are you ready?  I don't think you are.  He had us fight...big pumpkins.  Now, these pumpkins were not anthropomorphized in any way, they were simply big pumpkins that attacked by rolling into us.  And they had a base movement of 90 feet.  I swear, I can't make this stuff up, and they were mopping the floor with us!  Being the big Barbarian, I decided to grab one that was pummeling our Druid senseless and the GM tried to invent some weird grapple rules on the spot since he didn't know how it worked.  Thankfully the Druid player (who was quite a mad power gamer, but a helpful sort) instantly turned to the page with the grapple rules.  I held up the Pumpkin and kept it from attacking the Druid, but instead it attacked me.  Which made no sense as the GM had described them as "having to roll and gain momentum so as to slam into you".  But whatever, at that time I had 56 HP so it wasn't hurting me too much, and our Druid was down to 3, making it an easy decision.

We defeated the pumpkins, oh those very scary pumpkins, and then a new enemy appeared.  He was essentially a green version of Jack the Pumpkin King, with a big Jack-o-lantern head, and spoke in an outrageous French accent.  He materialized out of a plume of flame that knocked us all prone (it didn't do damage, it was simply for dramatic effect) and assaulted us with his obnoxious voice for what felt to be an eternity.  I had my character fly into a rage and attack him head on, and he knocked me down with 10d6 fire damage, which put me at -2 HP (since I had taken a fair beating from the blasted pumpkins).  The other players briefly discussed whether or not they should drag me out of there and flee combat, but, thank Deus Ex Machina: the GM's noble, benevolent GMPC flew in on... a white horse?  No, not a white horse, a white dragon, which summoned a meteor, and killed the pumpkin man in one hit.  Then, as mysteriously as he arrived, he simply dropped out of the narrative because the GM had forgotten all about him.

My rage ended and I informed the GM that my character was dead.  He didn't understand this (because again, he only seemed to know 4th edition rules where bonus HP is more like padding) and it took at least ten minutes for the other two players to explain that the Barbarian's temporary HP are subtracted after the rage, and since my character was already down in the negatives, it put me way, way below -10.  Because this was not supposed to be a magic campaign, leaving resurrection spells out of the question, the GM house-ruled that my character was just in a "deep coma and would be okay the next morning."  (You know, because people in comas always come out after resting for a couple of hours).

At this point I asked if I could use a Paladin (because I really wanted to use a magic-wielding character, and he banned everything else, not counting the two that the other players used).  After another lengthy and rather circular discussion, I was able to tentatively convince him to let me use a Paladin of Odin, which we called a House Karl of Odin so as to maintain his shaky Viking motif.  He then told us that our village was being attacked by 200 ships, each containing 200 vikings.  And they had a purple worm.  I mean, why not?  Sure, they had overwhelming forces that far outnumbered our flea speck of a village, so naturally they would bring along a fictitious, colossal purple worm for backup.  And it targeted me specifically, ignoring the Druid who was dealing the most damage with summoned creatures and lightning bolts.  I was devoured and killed instantly and the GM said something like "gee, guess you'll have to go back to using the barbarian."  He must have really wanted a barbarian in the party.

As you could expect, the battle wasn't going well.  A battle against thousands of enemy vikings who arrived in boats, which docked "just outside of the village", which he had established at the top of a mountain.  And don't ask how he kept track of us fighting these guys, because it felt like we were playing wack-a-mole and just attacking and taking damage with no end in sight.  The Druid did manage to kill the purple worm with her now small army of elementals, but we were still outnumbered and ready to die.   Then, hallelujah, the GM's white dragon-riding GMPC showed up and summoned more meteorites to finish off the many hundreds of remaining enemies who, conveniently enough, were all clustered together into one spot so nobody in the village was hurt.  Hooray!!!

By this time I had lost my patience with this GM and was really looking for any excuse to get out of the game.  Stupid me, I should have noticed that the mere fact that nobody else joined our little foursome was a clue that everyone else at the game shop was aware of how bad he was as a GM, but hindsight being 20/20, I didn't take the hint and remained in the group for another session.  I guess I was just hoping that a spot would open in one of the other groups, but that gaming shop was drawing in more players every day and all of them wanted to play the new D&D 5th edition.  (Sadly none of them bought anything, because the place went dead broke and is now a memory in the community).

But, thank Bahamut, my chance to leave finally showed up in the following week.

We were sent by our not Scottish, Viking chief to fight another army that was invading.  I'm pretty sure he had seen the teasers for the three Hobbit movies and must have watched the part about swarms of giant bats, because he sent swarms of giant bats after our mountain.  So we took to the skies on our dragons, which I forgot to mention had taken a back seat to everything so far.  Essentially they were our rides and didn't participate in battle, even though the GM told us they were "fiercely loyal to their riders and would willingly die at our sides in combat."  I'm guessing it's because he didn't have the stats for them, but after the Druid player dug out some dragon stats, we were finally able to take them into combat.  Against giant bat swarms: a concept that was really lame in the last Hobbit movie, but even more lame here.  What made it worse, the GM used two colossal wind elementals for their stats.  Because in his mind, a bat swarm uses the same exact abilities as the wind elementals.  I know what you're saying, but when the Druid player pointed out the fallacy of this logic, the GM exclaimed that he was using "different sources."  And somehow that made it okay.

So we couldn't outmaneuver these things to save our lives since wind elementals have perfect aerial maneuverability, and they would absolutely hammer our dragons.  Thankfully the GM gave us "special brimstones" to feed our dragons, effectively allowing them to use their, until recently, suppressed breath weapons.  I know, this is really stupid, but wait: one of the players asked how often we could use them and the GM shrugged and said "um... every round?"  "Do you mean turn?"  "Yes, every turn."  So we popped them in every turn, which we were allowed to do as a free action, making it possible for me to also use my full attack action, since I was literally enveloped in one of the not air elemental bat swarms.  We wasted them in a few rounds, which the GM was not happy about because this was supposed to be a big, epic fight.  So he brought in four more of them.  And we ran out of brimstones.  And they started mopping the floor with us, resulting in the Skald nearly dying, my character was almost spent, my dragon was frightened off for some reason (I think the GM was still mad at me for wanting to use a paladin).  The Druid's dragon was dying, there was no way for us to win...and then the inevitable happened.  The white dragon-riding GMPC arrived and meteored the not air elemental bat swarms into submission.

I honestly don't know why it took so long, maybe because I had been wanting to play an RPG and the other two players just wanted to try out all the neat stuff they found in their stacks of Pathfinder books, but finally there was a blowup between us and the GM.  As soon as the battle was over, the Druid wanted to heal her dying dragon.  The GM said "no, you can't do that."  We asked why and he explained, "because healing magic doesn't work on dragons and animals, only on humanoid characters."  The Druid player was livid and quickly referenced the page talking about healing spells and proved that it worked on any "living being", and that's when the GM slammed his pudgy hand on the table and said "not in my campaign!  I'm house-ruling that they only work on humanoids!"  He then informed us that if we didn't like it, we could leave.  You can guess what we did after that...



Now I will detail my worst players.  Again, I've had lots of these, so I'll narrow it down to four: one individual and a trio (whom I call "The Package Deal").

The individual player was a guy who we named Stanford.  Why?  Because he couldn't decide on a name for his character.  For two hours.  So my friend pulled up a random name generator on his phone and rolled up the name Stanford.  Stanford it was.  But this guy, Stanford, he was a weird guy.  I don't know if he had Asperger's or if his parents just did a really lousy job raising him, but he is still one of the strangest SOBs I've ever met.  At the time he joined, I was running a d20 Modern campaign and one of my friends asked if he could bring his friend along, saying he had never played RPGs before and thought they sounded cool.  I, being the dumb, naive goon I was, said "duh, okay" and they all came over to my house.  (I say I was stupid because I didn't ask any followup questions, like if he worked well in groups or if he wasn't a weirdo, etc.)

After character creation, which took much longer than I had hoped, we started playing... and this is where Stanford gets up and pulls a bag of popcorn out of his jacket.  We all watched as this guy, a guest in a stranger's home, proceeded to go over to the microwave and pop his popcorn.  He didn't ask, just went ahead and made himself at home.  Then he started going through my cupboards, which distracted the group again.  When I asked what he was doing he said he needed a cup.  Thinking he wanted water I told him where we kept them.  He then came back to the table with a little coffee cup and his bag of popcorn, which he proceeded to carefully pour into the coffee cup, but then dumped it all over the table.  All of us were speechless.  I mean, you see stuff like this on televisoin; Saturdaynight Live is full of zany characters in social situations, but to meet one in real life, and they're behaving this way naturally, as opposed to simply acting silly for comedic effect... I tell you, it's like watching the sun rise over a nuclear wasteland.  You want to somehow be able to appreciate it, but it's so terrible that it encapsulates your mind and prevents you from reacting in any way other than just staring.  And keep in mind, I work in a public school's Special Ed program, but our students' behavior is understandable.  Stanford was just a moron.

Everything else past that moment was an endless tapestry of annoyances that culminated in a fiasco: each and every situation the players came across, Stanford would put out a suggestion or would have his character do something that was either not helpful or so strange that it baffled the mind.  And I mean, just common sense stuff that small children would have understood.  Example: the party had to cross from the shore to the middle of a lake, and Stanford suggested they take a motorboat.  My friend asked "where are we going to get a motorboat?" and Stanford said they should find a motorboat.  When we explained that there was none he became angry, and when we explained why there was no way they could have possibly brought one, he accused all of us of being stupid.  Next example was the time they were being attacked on all sides by enemies.  Stanford wanted to hide behind a rock to take cover, which naturally didn't help him against the enemies attacking from the rear.  He asked me why there were enemies attacking from all sides and I reminded him that it was an ambush.  He told me I was stupid and threw his pencil.  Next, and this is my favorite, when the party was talking to a woman about rescuing her boyfriend from an enemy compound out in the woods, Stanford bluntly stepped up and declared that he was going to shoot her in the face.  The party angrily asked him why he would do that and he, in a greater rage, exclaimed that he thought we were in the middle of combat and declared that everyone else was being stupid for not explaining things better.  Stupid, stupid STUPID!

Nobody enjoyed that session and I told the friend who had brought Stanford that I didn't really want him (Stanford) to come back during the next game.  After this I had a rather nasty falling out with that group of friends, which resulted in me not running games for about 6 years.  No, we didn't have a blowup or any kind of disagreement, it was a mutual parting.  You see, XBOX and HALO/Call of Doody were becoming very popular and my friends decided they would rather play video games than tabletop RPGs.  I was in school and working, so I simply didn't have enough time.  But now I'm back and stronger than ever!



My last story, for those of you with the intestinal fortitude to hear it, is my absolute worst bunch of gamers I've ever had.  I still wake up screaming in the night.

It started out innocently enough: I had just finished running an AD&D 2nd Edition campaign, which I thoroughly enjoyed, so naturally I wanted to start up a new campaign.  The other players were out of the question since school had started for most of them (high schoolers), so I needed to find a new batch to run for.  I perused my bookshelf for a system and came upon my d20 Modern books.  Taking into account the Stanford incident mentioned above, I was still a little traumatized about running d20 Modern as I had been left somewhat of a bad taste in my mouth.  But I decided it would be therapeutic to run the game, hopefully creating a situation where I could move past the bitterness of something that I knew shouldn't have upset me as much as I had allowed it to.

So I read through the manuals and, since I was back into watching Star Trek and whatnot, I decided to run a space adventure.  I found my old Milky Way campaign, which I had started writing during my college days, finished fleshing out the worlds and races, created a backdrop story, etc. etc.  (I'll write an article later on how I set up campaigns).  Long story short, I got it ready and it was glorious.  Like an Elder Scrolls set in space (not literally, but it was open-galaxy, sandboxish with lots of room for PCs to grow and build their own little empire).  So I posted it on roll20, made maps, set up character sheets and loaded up terrain and monsters.  It was a labor of love, to be sure, and I was as giddy as an 80s child on the opening night of the original Ninja Turtle movie.

Requests came in scant numbers.  Not a lot of people were interested in d20 Modern and most had never even heard of it.  But I was able to snag two veterans of the game.  I got them all situated with characters and they turned out to be kind of crude and douchebaggy, but were manageable and open-minded enough to respect my rules of conduct (no evil or obnoxious characters, etc.)  But we needed more than two, so I posted the campaign in the Pathfinder games, since Pathfinder was compatible with d20 Modern, making it less of a chore to teach people how to play.

That was when I got the attention of three brooding menaces who were lurking on the fringe of the internet: a trio who, unknown to me at the time, had been kicked out of every campaign they had ever joined.  A trio so obsessive that a GM actually filed restraining orders against them.  But when they applied to the game, they appeared as cheerful and delightful as anyone I had ever seen, if not a tad strange.  I was more than happy to accept them into the campaign.  Silly me.

These three really were a package deal: as I spoke to them over Skype (I use discord now), they described themselves to me rather openly and easily.  Too open and easily.  The first red flag.  Essentially what we had here were a young, unmarried couple, only 19 years old each.  They had moved in together, against the wishes of their respective families, and basically did whatever they wanted.  This included barking at their neighbors' dogs, walking around naked (indoors AND outdoors), composing songs and poems, and really, I mean, REALLY getting into their RPG characters.  Oh, and they had a friend who lived with them.  He was a high school dropout, just a year younger than them, and they "took him in under their wings."  Like a really small, pathetic, but no less scary cult.

They introduced their characters: the weirdo couple were playing twin alien children with psionic powers.  One was a master craftsman and the other was just magical and fancy.  Basically a couple of Mary Sues.  And their creepy third wheel was going to play a 14-foot-tall robot with a blaster canon for an arm.  The two normal players starred as a mercenary and a scout: gritty and believably interesting.

The first problem with the three came when they constantly interrupted the mercenary and the scout so they could go off on long soliloquies about their characters, taking as long as ten minutes at a time just to describe one simple action.  Several times I had to cut them off to allow the two normal players opportunity to speak.  Each time I did this I would get a Skype message (since we managed campaign affairs over Skype), and they would provide a brick of text telling me what they were trying to describe their characters doing.

I brushed this aside, wanting to go on with the first campaign.  The players were investigating stolen merchandise on a large space station.  The two normal players, though possessed of questionable morals, came up with really cool role-play solutions to the situation: the mercenary approached their first target: a guy who looked like he was up to no good.  The PC used his diplomacy to subtly find out what the target was doing there.  While he did this, the scout hid himself on top of a shipping container with his sniper rifle trained on the target and his goons, which he spotted with a roll of natural 20.  The alien twins were off in the party’s apartment “working on a surprise.”  The robot decided to follow the two humans to provide backup. and to be weird.  And by weird I mean he would have his character walk up to walls and punch them.

While observing their target, the scout declared that he was going to ready a shot on one of the goons just in case the mercenary rolled a bad check and things turned ugly.  After saying this, the robot turns to the scout and says “if you ever cross me, I’m going to kill you.”  The two normal players and I stepped back mentally and said “what?”  I then told the robot “firstly, you don’t know where he is because he’s hidden.  Secondly, why would you say that?”  The robot player then said he could see the sniper because he rolled a 20 on his spot check.  We checked the roll20 chat log and didn’t see any such roll.  The mercenary pointed this out and the robot player's answer made no sense.  Something along the lines that he didn’t need to declare it because his character is always checking and can always take a 20 on spot checks.  I pointed out that he could not do that, especially in a combat situation.  At best he could take a 10 outside of combat, but he would still have to confirm it with me first, otherwise anyone could just go around saying “I’m going to take a 20 on all of my combat rolls and all of my critical hit confirmation rolls.”

Robot player then sent me a Skype message, but when I checked, he had deleted it.  I returned to the game, and he sent me a second one.  Again, I checked what he had posted and saw that he had deleted that one too.  Scratching my head and being very annoyed, I turned Skype off, which made the alien twins suddenly wake up from whatever they were doing, and they interrupted one of the two normal players to ask why I had switched Skype off.  I told them I didn’t want to be distracted from the game and that if they had any questions they should ask me in-game.  This suddenly opened the flood gate and they started asking me dozens of questions about rules and which Pathfinder rule books I was allowing (which I had detailed in the campaign description).  That session ended on a cliffhanger with the mercenary still talking to their target and the sniper feeling caught between a potential gunfight and a crazy teammate who had randomly threatened to murder him.

That night, around 2am, I got a Skype call.  It was the three weirdo players and they wanted to talk to me about their characters.  I told them it was really late, but they said it would only take a couple of minutes.  Over the next half hour they sent hand-drawn renderings of their characters, a 50-page backstory that basically made them the center of the universe, and a couple of songs.  Yes, they wrote ballads and songs about their characters.  And I did try to break off the call after thirty minutes, telling them I had work in the morning.  I hung up, but they called back, saying they wanted to go over a couple more things.  When I finally brought the call to a close, they quickly asked if they could “role-play a couple of things out with their characters between sessions.”  Thinking they meant to simply make-believe with each other, I foolishly said this was okay.

One other aspect about this call: this was where they had told me about previous GMs having problems with their role-play styles and they thanked me, almost in a chanting way, for being "open-minded."  Whatever that meant.  But they also mentioned that they had been dropped from games, blocked by previous GMs and were happy to have found roll20 since, as stated before, their local GM had filed a restraining order against them.  I should have blocked them then and there, but back then I really wanted to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially since I myself am on the autism spectrum and had done many things that were off-putting to normal people.

Next session, we finished the encounter and the PCs went back to their apartment.  The three weirdos asked me if I had had a chance to read over all the crap they sent me, to which I said "no" since I was working full-time and didn’t have the luxury to read 50+ pages of scary, obsessive PC background info.  They then took the first hour of the game explaining their characters’ backstories even further: how they were the heirs of the throne to the most powerful empire in the galaxy (surprise, surprise,) but before their parents tragically died, they were sent off into the human star systems with their protective robot, but none of them knew he was their protective robot and wouldn’t know until a special event occurred… in short, they basically expected me to make the whole campaign about them.

The two normal players didn’t like this and said that they had hoped to take on more jobs so that they could eventually buy their own ship.  To this, the three weirdos laughed and informed us that they already had a ship.  They then asked if I remembered the pictures they sent and I vaguely recalled seeing a crudely drawn picture of a death-star ship with fins and huge propulsion engines coming out the back.  They described this ship, how it was the size of a planet and has a canon that can blow up planets.  Of course it could.  I mean, what's the point of having a star ship unless it can blow up planets?

I said “yeah, you can eventually get A ship, within reason, and customize it over the course of play,” but they informed me that they already had it.  I asked what they meant and they went on to explain how, during their role-play between sessions, they had essentially gone up eight levels (I’m not kidding; they leveled themselves up by “completing quests”) and had earned enough currency to “buy” this ship, which was larger than a planet, but was built inside an asteroid to keep it secret.  I was still sitting there, saying “what?” like a dumb goon, but then the robot player put the cherry on top by mentioning that his robot was now 20 feet tall, had 40 damage resistance to all forms of attack, could fly, phase walk, teleport, and had a new X-ray blaster arm that did freaking 8d12 damage and ignored all bonuses to AC from physical armor.

The other two players had reached their limit and told me that this was a load of crap, (which it was), but mistakenly believed that I had given the three weirdos the proverbial moon.  I tried to explain that I didn’t allow any of this, which made the three weirdos ask me what I meant.  I told them that I couldn’t just let them have whatever they wanted when they wanted it, as this was not fair to the other two players.  Their response: “who gives a @#$%?”  The two normal players dropped the game, blocked me, and were never heard from again.  The other three were not at all upset by this.  In fact, they were rather pleased and had the attitude of “good, now that they’re out of the way, we can get to work.”  I explained to them that none of this was acceptable behavior and that they had clearly offended the other two.  Their response was somewhat bone-chilling.

They suddenly went on a tirade about the previous GMs they had told me about, who wouldn’t let them have what they wanted, so they essentially destroyed their GMs' worlds.  They then accused these GMs of “being jealous of them and trying to rape them.”  Yes.  Rape them.  Over roll20.  I dropped out of the game and went to block them on Skype and roll20, but before doing so got one last Skype message from one of them, which asked “U mad?”  Was I mad?  Of course I was mad!  After blocking them I played Fallout 3 for four hours, went to sleep and then went to work the next day.

Fortunately my boss at the time was a veteran who started playing RPGs back in the 70s with the Chainmail/Dungeons and Dragons white books.  He told me that he and his friends had encountered similar people back in the 80s, but told me I was lucky since I never had to cross these people in the street or look them in the eye after this incident.  Of course I wouldn't put it past the thee weirdos to travel away from their apartment, completely nude of course, and kidnap a GM and then force him to run games for them while duct-taped to their water pipes.



I know, these stories aren’t the worst experiences out there and I hope never to have gaming situations half as bad as others I’ve read about.  But if any of you on roll20 happen to take in a trio of Pathfinder players who match the above description, block them immediately.  Seriously, just block them.  You’ll spare yourselves a lot of frustration and paranoid nightmares.

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