*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
June 29, 2022, 08:22:00 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 84 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Author Topic: Your worst campaign ever?  (Read 19460 times)
Ferry Bazelmans
Member

Posts: 137


WWW
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2002, 11:25:10 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes

If you had wanted to modify CoC so that characters had a chance at developing a story, well, that's just classic Narrativist drift on your part. And since that wasn't discussed or in the contract, the GM was playing exactly as he should have. It was you who had improper expectations of the game as established. Your disapointment at the time was due to this improper expectation.


You took my remark completely wrong. What I meant when I said it was a very traditional game was that there was no room for a player to give any input whatsoever, not even to complain about his character's death.

I was 17 and did not know any better, so I was there with exactly the same reasons as all the other players EXCEPT the two who'd just joined for a lark. We were all playing Cthulhu, they were playing Cthulhu Toon.
THAT is what I found unfair, not the fact that my character got snuffed in that campaign. I would have had no problems at the time if that character had gotten killed in some suitably Cthulhu-esque circumstances. Getting killed by the character of someone who wasn't playing because he was interested in playing, but because he was bored is what ticked me off.

This had nothing to do with GNS, it had to do with resenting the clowning about of those two "joke" players and the death resulting from it. I didn't even make it to the interesting ways to die.

Fer (Crayne)

PS I suspect this post will still not get across what I am trying to say, so perhaps we'd better just leave it here.
Logged

The BlackLight Bar, home of Soap: the game of soap opera mayhem.
Now available as a $2.95 Adobe PDF (Paypal only)
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2002, 06:33:16 AM »

I actually do understand exactly what you're trying to say Ferry.  Its not a question of narrativist drift or who did what to whose character...its a question of committment.

You and your regular players had comittment to the game, the two others did not.   The GM gave just as much weight to their decisions and choices as he did to his committed players, which IMHO is a huge mistake.  I'd occassionally GM for hanger-ons, but if they weren't planning on becoming regulars, I'd never let their decisions take priority.  Hell thats just good politics.  You don't piss off your core constituents just to cater to bandwagon jumpers.

Anyway.  Seems to me the first mistake was letting them in the game without being clear what their role was.
Logged

Ferry Bazelmans
Member

Posts: 137


WWW
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2002, 07:12:15 AM »

Wow. My post actually DID convey what I mean. :)

Anyway, you're right, Valamir. This is exactly what bugged me.

Fer
Logged

The BlackLight Bar, home of Soap: the game of soap opera mayhem.
Now available as a $2.95 Adobe PDF (Paypal only)
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2002, 02:55:31 PM »

I understood what you meant exactly. The problem I had was with your desire to have the "GM do something" about the situation. What should the GM have done? Fudge the roll? Just invalidate the particular player's statement of intent? Arbitratily rule that a particular effect occurred?

It seems to me that these actions were all outside the purview of the GMs understanding of the Social Contract as it exoisted. So he did what he felt he was supposed to. Had the social contract been amended in some way by the introduction of a clause that mentioned that "temporary players may have their characters actions modifiedby the GM" or somesuch (for example agreeing to play in a Narrativist fashion), then he would have been out of bounds. But as I hear it, this is not the case. You expected the GM to modify the social contract on his own and for (from your perspective) the good of the group. When his opinion was obviously that a strict interperetation was important. This does not seem to unreasonable to me.

Did you talk about it? Perhaps with an understanding of these issues he'd have changed his ruling. But without these concepts to discuss the idea, most GMS adhere firmly to the spirit of the rules. In CoC if a character dies, a character dies. Nowhere does it even suggest that the players should have anything like a second chance. I've played in tons of games of CoC where characters were killed by falls from ladders and the like (one player fumbled and blew himself up with dynamite in a non-combat situation). That's basic Simulationism (maybe even a bit gamist).

The urge of a player to have his character survive in a Simulationist game with a particular social contract that states that game mechanic cause and effect is prime seems to me to be a drift from that rules system and contract toward Narrativism. Not that that's bad of itself, but is a perfect example of disatisfaction of a player due to a GNS conflict. So I think I completely understand why you were unsatisfied with the result. You were a Narrativist (few are as Narrativist as you, Ferry) playing in a Sim game. No wonder.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Ferry Bazelmans
Member

Posts: 137


WWW
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2002, 11:33:40 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
I understood what you meant exactly. The problem I had was with your desire to have the "GM do something" about the situation. What should the GM have done? Fudge the roll? Just invalidate the particular player's statement of intent? Arbitratily rule that a particular effect occurred?


Okay, I get your point and it's a good one. I shouldn't want for the GM to do something afterwards, action should have been taken up front, because there was a problem with the social contract.

What I've been trying to get across thouh was that it was 8 years ago, in a time where there wasn't any awareness of the existence of such a thing, not in our group. I'd never heard of GNS, never seen this site, read Ron's essays or even thought about the possibility that there would be conflict in our views of "how to play". You just...played.

So there was no room for action to be taken up front. Which is where the traditional remark comes in again.

And for to clarify: I wished the GM would have corrected the player when he said he was going to hide underneath the sheets, not turn back my death. It was too late then.

This player was just a classic case of the goofball trying to dislodge a campaign by acting like a clown and I feel the GM should have called him on it, instead of allowing him to sit at the table and f**k things up for the rest (he actually caused another death, but that was a bit more related to the actual plot).

Quote
Did you talk about it?


About what? There was no awareness on anyone's part that there was a potential clash of styles or drifts, hence once again the traditional comment. We just put our name on a list and we had a group. We all played the same (in our eyes).

If I had known then what I know now, I would not have been in that group in the first place.

Quote
So I think I completely understand why you were unsatisfied with the result. You were a Narrativist (few are as Narrativist as you, Ferry) playing in a Sim game. No wonder.


?

Why do you distill that few are as narrativist as me? :)

The reason I never chime in on GNS debates is that I have no damn clue what you people are discussing. It all sounds mighty interesting, but it goes right over the top of my head.

So what makes me so narrativist? I'm really curious...

Fer (Crayne)
Logged

The BlackLight Bar, home of Soap: the game of soap opera mayhem.
Now available as a $2.95 Adobe PDF (Paypal only)
wyrdlyng
Member

Posts: 193


WWW
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2002, 12:12:54 PM »

My worst campaign/gaming experience was a World of Darkness campaign which completely turned me off of most White Wolf games.

Quick synopsis: it started as a Mage game with some were-cats living fighting the Technocracy in New Orleans and the surrounding bayou. Eventually, the story progressed, characters came and went, and the characters relocated. I don't recall exactly why but we ended up living in a cave network in the middle of Asia (I truly can't recall what led up to that).

By this point things were somewhat irritating in that no matter what the group did or tried to accomplish it was always (I mean ALWAYS) undone by external powers. The entire world setting itself was actively working to foil us. This was the first bad sign.

Secondly, some of the players had started forming their own clique and going off on their own in the middle of games and working towards their own private agenda. Had this been an in-character thing I owuld have been okay with it. Conflict within the group is good grist for stories. But it wasn't an in-character thing. It was the players doing it.

So, a rift grew and the group found itself split into three groups. Those in this secret clique, those who thought that this clique-thing was a bad idea for the game and those who didn't care either way. It grew worse and worse until the game reached a breaking point.

One of the characters was an old style mummy with some human servants. When we got together for our weekly game we were told that one of the human servants had been killed somehow inbetween game sessions. Most of us were confused as hell and we (the players) tried to figure out what was going on. Nothing had been mentioned at the end of the last game and now suddenly someone's NPC was dead before the game even started.

In game, we hesittantly used every resource we had and determined how the NPC was killed and traced it back to the other players (the secret clique). The game got really heated as players started yelling (with the mummy player needing to be restrained) trying to get answers as to what happened and why. The GM explained that after everyone else had left he and the small clique remained and continued playing with the outcome being that they killed this non-present player's follower.

Suffice to say the group (players) never met again and we never played with the GM  or those secret clique players again. The shame of it was that my wife was good friends with one of the players who joined that clique and they have never spoken since. We boxed up our White Wolf stuff and stopped gaming all together for several months.

To this day I still can't believe that the GM didn't think that letting those players do that wouldn't cause problems. He should've told them that this would be a bad idea and discuss the possible out-of-game ramifications.
Logged

Alex Hunter
Email | Web
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2002, 12:29:17 PM »

Why do I say that you prefer Narrativism? Well, lets look at the evidence.

Exhibit 1: SOAP - despite your efforts to turn this into a Gamist game you just can't do it. You are completely unwiulling to compromise the central quality of the game which is it's commitment to telling a story (If silly soapy stories). You know I love that game. Without it I would not have been able to work on Universalis as I have. And Universalis is still not a tenth as devoted to story as SOAP is.

Exhibit 2: it bugs you when the GM doesn't change his mode of play out of Sim to satisfy your craving for Story by making Narrativist decisions. Apparently you have been Narrativist for at least 8 years. I suspect longer.

Exhibit 3: every time I look at any design notes or any comments you have here on The Forge, your slant is Narrativist. I would hazard a guess that this intuitive Narativism is performed subconciously. That you don't even really understand Gamist motives all that well, and that Simulationist motives would completely baffle you.

FWIW, many here would envy your position. Having had to slog through years of Gamism and Simulationism to only now finally find Narrativism, they would love to have your particular outlook. I would hazzard that your early play experiencees were Narrativist (or possibly horribly mangled Gam or Sim), which is what got you top where you are. Also I would guess that not being an American might have had an effect on the odds of that happening (this relates to European traditions regarding LARPS and other RPG realated activities; Gamism and Simulationism are much rarer in Europe, IME). That could be Exhibit 4.


You are soooo totally right about the whole not having the language to speak about these things at the time. People still did after a fashion, but it was difficult. My point was not that you were at fault, but rather the lack of recognization of the GNS problem early on in a coherent form.

So my point is that, yes, you were dissapointed (so it fits in this thread, which we are threatening to derail), but I don't see fault with the GM or anyone else. Just a lack of understanding.

I'm willing to bet that amongst Forgites that the majority of their "Worst Campaign" experiences have to do with play style incompatibility. Mine do. I could point to the Vampire game that soured me on "Storytelling" because the GM just dragged us through the story as little more than window dressing. But I understand now that this was just a case of us both having different ideas of what "Role-Playing Games" were supposed to be about. The other players apparently loved it.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2002, 02:44:09 PM »

Hey,

Perhaps the, ummm, personal observations might be taken to private email. Mike, you know I'm in solid agreement with your points, in this case, but let's give Ferry a break ... he's been a good sport about it and has now asked twice for us to drop it ... at least go private, huh?

Best,
Ron
Logged
Ben Morgan
Member

Posts: 307


WWW
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2002, 04:21:23 PM »

A qualifying statement: forgive me if I overstep my bounds by making sweeping generalizations and mass asumptions of various circumstances. My intent is not to pick over someone else's post, but to address specific issues that they are raising by posting their story, and see if I can help identify some 'problem spots' along the way. That said:

Quote from: wyrdlyng
My worst campaign/gaming experience was a World of Darkness campaign which completely turned me off of most White Wolf games.

Quick synopsis: it started as a Mage game with some were-cats living fighting the Technocracy in New Orleans and the surrounding bayou. Eventually, the story progressed, characters came and went, and the characters relocated. I don't recall exactly why but we ended up living in a cave network in the middle of Asia (I truly can't recall what led up to that).


Correct me if I'm wrong, but this sounds like crosover stuff. In my experience, crossovers generally fall flat, due in part to the fact that each game in the WoD series, despite the rather gamist ruleset they have in common, has a completely different narrative focus (I won't go so far as to say Premise, even though that's what it should be). The idea that all these games work together is nice in theory, but it should be used as a way of facilitating familiarization for people who've played other games in the series, nothing more. In other words, just because these entities (werewolves, mages, vampires, whatever) all ostensibly exist in the same world, doesn't mean that they belong in each others' stories without certain guiding principles. This may or may no have been the problem, however, so I'm going to drop it in favor of more obvious signs of dysfunction.

Quote
By this point things were somewhat irritating in that no matter what the group did or tried to accomplish it was always (I mean ALWAYS) undone by external powers. The entire world setting itself was actively working to foil us. This was the first bad sign.


Agreed. Having a villain or three routinely foil your plans sets up a good nemesis/es. Howeer, having the best laid plans of mice and men routinely go down the drain because of 'random' circumstances is just lame. In the WW system, this responsibility falls directly on the STs shoulders.

Quote
Secondly, some of the players had started forming their own clique and going off on their own in the middle of games and working towards their own private agenda. Had this been an in-character thing I owuld have been okay with it. Conflict within the group is good grist for stories. But it wasn't an in-character thing. It was the players doing it.

So, a rift grew and the group found itself split into three groups. Those in this secret clique, those who thought that this clique-thing was a bad idea for the game and those who didn't care either way. It grew worse and worse until the game reached a breaking point.


This sounds like a couple of problems, which may be related. First of all, I'm assuming that the group has to be of a certain size for three distinct sects to form within it, so this points to having too many players. The fact that there was disharmony in the group is obvious now (something that may be exacerbated by more players), but it may not have been at the time, but even if it was, the solution to actually sit everyone down and discuss it OOC probably wasn't. I've been in many situations where this was an issue, mainly because our GM was someone who did not take well to criticism, and any attempt to address such issues was seen as a personal attack, and dealt with accordingly.

Quote
One of the characters was an old style mummy with some human servants. When we got together for our weekly game we were told that one of the human servants had been killed somehow inbetween game sessions. Most of us were confused as hell and we (the players) tried to figure out what was going on. Nothing had been mentioned at the end of the last game and now suddenly someone's NPC was dead before the game even started.

In game, we hesittantly used every resource we had and determined how the NPC was killed and traced it back to the other players (the secret clique). The game got really heated as players started yelling (with the mummy player needing to be restrained) trying to get answers as to what happened and why. The GM explained that after everyone else had left he and the small clique remained and continued playing with the outcome being that they killed this non-present player's follower.

Suffice to say the group (players) never met again and we never played with the GM or those secret clique players again. The shame of it was that my wife was good friends with one of the players who joined that clique and they have never spoken since. We boxed up our White Wolf stuff and stopped gaming all together for several months.

To this day I still can't believe that the GM didn't think that letting those players do that wouldn't cause problems. He should've told them that this would be a bad idea and discuss the possible out-of-game ramifications.


I agree that a significant portion of the blame here falls on the ST. Sure, those players shouldn't have gone off and formed their own little clique, but it also behooves the ST to discourage that kind of splintering, at least among the players (not, as you said, if it was simply among their respective characters).

I know that a lot of this thread is 'woulda, coulda, shoulda' stuff, but I believe it's helpful in several ways:"

    1.     It gives everyone an opportunity to sit down and actually think out "Okay, this is what I didn't like about this game or that game, so now I can avoid that in the future."

    2.     It lets everyone know that it's not just them.[/list:u]
Logged

-----[Ben Morgan]-----[ad1066@gmail.com]-----
"I cast a spell! I wanna cast... Magic... Missile!"  -- Galstaff, Sorcerer of Light
Zak Arntson
Member

Posts: 839


WWW
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2002, 06:56:21 PM »

Worst Campaign Ever? I've had two terrible gaming experiences. One I managed to save a little.

The first one was when we would get together and play Robotech/RIFTS crossover. I was in my early teens I think, and we would meet at the hobby shop (clue #1: random group). The GM told us to roll up characters, but without setting anything up other than Setting, "You are in the RIFTS world with Robotech mechs all over." This led to me thinking of a cool character to explore, a Vagabond. Everyone else played super-powered robot/drug-enhanced crazy people. My PC was just a homeless guy. (clue #2: No discussions on expectations).

It's pretty plain vanilla bad game experience. Very Simulationist, the social contract consisted of "you say it, you do it. The GM arbitrates." Not much else to say.

---

The second terrible game was a D&D game at a local store. The other players were pretty new to gaming. It was a bizarre old-school dungeon crawl where each room was chosen randomly from the map. Basically, "Your party kicks the door down, here's what's inside. Deal with it."

It was soooo boring. The other players were having a good time, it seemed. I was playing a samurai, and to spice things up I was playing the "fish-out-of-water" act. Acting about these strange traditions of running into a room and killing the inhabitants without question.

So the next room rolls around and my samurai rushes in and decapitates some werewolf. It then turns back into a little boy. All the players (not their characters) were horrified at me for doing this. I explained (in character) that I was following their lead. My samurai could not reconcile his act within himself and immediately set to committing suicide.

That's when it turned from the worst game ever into the one of those unintentionally hilarious moments. As my samurai tried to recoup his honor, the entire party was trying to keep him alive. Hold Person spells, attacking him, tying him up, and so on. So there was the poor samurai, frozen in place, tormented by his crime, reviled by players, yet the Gamism overrode the horror.

---

Lessons learned? An explicit social contract and working out your expectations before the game starts. I haven't given up on gaming in stores with random groups, but I'll be darn sure to ask more questions beforehand.
Logged

J B Bell
Member

Posts: 267


« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2002, 09:36:43 AM »

Just recently I had my single worst game ever, followed by worst separation experience form a gaming group ever.  After diplomatically informing the GM that I did not care to continue, I made a mistake and responded to his follow-up query asking me why, and asking me to be honest.  The letter below, the GM's reply quoting my letter, sums up what happened pretty decently, I think, and is a major red flag that demonstrates the importance of getting that pre-game interview whether you are the GM or the new player.  I have removed identifying information of the people involved and the game system and setting; the letter is otherwise unedited.

---------------------

Hey JB

> I apologize for being so long in getting back in touch with you.  Since
> you asked me to be honest, I will.  I have taken this long because I've
> struggled a good deal with whether my words will have any useful effect,
> given what I take to be a very striking difference in our perspectives,
> but on the chance that it may be enlightening for one or both of us,
> here's the substance of why I chose not to continue.

No problem, thanks for the honest reply.

> It boils down to two major issues.  First, there is this matter of the
> depiction of rape in your game.  I was worried about that from the start
> from looking at the Pargaddis campaign chronicle, and this is part of
> why I was keen on meeting before doing any actual gaming.  However, with
> the prospect of getting to play for the first time in over a year, I
> rushed ahead anyway.

Yes, I was looking forward to a new player and potentially a GM! :)

> So the first die roll I get to make in the game is to see how my troops
> react to my meting out of justice against the crime of rape.  I don't
> think it's cool to foist such a thing on a player without getting
> consent for it ahead of time.  It's a very heavy, loaded issue.  I have
> more than one friend who has been raped, and nearly every woman I've
> been friends with who I've known well enough to talk about it has dealt
> with some kind of sexual harassment or assault.  I have really strong
> feelings about this, needless to say.  Obviously rape is a real
> phenomenon, and in a game, it is one thing that can be addressed.  But
> at the same time, we play these games for entertainment and we choose
> the forms that entertainment takes.  I don't watch movies about rape,
> and I watch movies that include rape at all only rarely, and advisedly.

Aha!  Well that is your view and that is fine.   As a GM I would be doing a
disservice to the players if I failed to write or show warfare in anything
other than its true light.  Show me a war where there was a lack of plunder,
rape and horrendous deaths and I will prove it a fiction.  For me it is quite
ludicrious for a player to happily spend their time killing people and being
violent in the game yet show squeemishness based on their own limited
cultural perspectives.  It smacks of poor roleplaying and hypocracy.  It is
okay for you to kill another man's son in a game (usually for money), but to
contemplate a game where rape and torture exist, as they do in the real world
is too much for you?  Bizarre.  I gave you a chance to deal with the problem,
I also showed you the _truth_ of a marching army and free company.  If you so
wish I can provide you with an extensive bibliography of historical mercenary
units to reinforce the point.  I find it ridiculous for an educated man to
find that hard to grasp.  

The bottom line here is that _if_ you can't face that reality in a mere game
world, then I surely cannot respect you as a human being because you would be
unable to face that reality in the real world.  It is no wonder you spent so
much of your life on drugs, as plainly you wish to avoid facing reality.  

> Now we have the guy [. . .]; unfortunately his name escapes
> me.  From the beginning of the evening, he spouted some of the most vile
> misogyny it's been my displeasure to hear in person in quite some time.
> I called him on it, weakly, once, jabbing lightly at him for
> complaining about dating "stupid 19-year old models"--"well, you dated
> her, what does that say about you?"  He didn't demonstrate a sense of
> humour about it, so I backed off.  I'd say his crowning zinger was when
> the hapless woman who was there mentioned how her allergies (or a cold
> or whatever) led to stinging eyes recently, and he joked with her
> boyfriend, "ha ha, you shouldn't come on her face."  Ha ha.

[The guy]  is without doubts a pig at times, he does it to push buttons.  
Deliberately.  And, yes he is a misogynist and proud of it.  My view is that
he is over the top and I tell him so.  I won't tell him how to run his life,
nor would I preach to you about how your drug habit supports organised crime
and the damage that causes a lot of innocent people, what is the point?  We
are each going to live our lives according to our needs and desires.  
However, [the guy] would also back me up in any situation, would exhibit extreme
loyalty to me in an hour of need and would never, ever wimp out when a tough
decision was to be made.  For those qualities he is my friend and will always
be so.  Sometimes one has to look below the politically correct, socially
accepted facade to find the real person.  In many cases the PC brigade are
the worst bunch of spineless, back-stabbing losers I've met, but there are
always exceptions.

> I feel I should have said more there, really just stopped everything to
> respond properly, but I was alone among people I did not know well
> socially, literally far from home.  

Hmm, didn't stop you cadging a ride from him did it?  You know, if you had
stood up and left due to your beliefs, I would have respected you as a man of
principle, even if I didn't agree with you.  But as is so typical of your
kind, you speak the words only when it is safe to do so.  If you believe in
what you say so strongly, you would have walked home. Hell I would have given
you a ride myself even though it would be an hour and a half out of my way,
if you had stood by your principles.

>I was ashamed as a man to see thisstereotypical behavior from another man,

Go outside of your little circle and meet reality.  I meet them every day,
and if you think [the guy] is a problem, meet the sickos who peddle child porn,
meet the mafiya men who kill and torture for drug money, meet the people who
abduct children, meet the Springer Show people who have domestic assaults out
their ears etc etc.  You said you came from a place where there were running
gun battles every night, yet you still have the luxury of worrying about
stereotyping?  I think you might want to look at adjusting your sense of
perspective to fit the real world.  Here is a plan, go and get a security
job, spend a few months working in the Surrey core or east end properties and
we'll see how your world view shifts.  At the very least you should try it
just to get an alternate view to what you are used to.  

>ashamed as a person for not
> defending the honor of someone who was being treated very wrongly, and
> particularly ashamed as a gamer that a woman would that night walk away
> having some of our worst stereotypes confirmed.

I felt sorry for her being there in the first place, it would be boring for
anyone not into it.  
 
> It may be that the young woman is entirely used to that kind of exchange
> and considers it all good-natured fun, but it certainly made a horrible
> impression on me.

My goodness, you are easily upset.  

> I don't know any neat way to wrap up this letter.  I've done my best to
> be very concise and that may come off as nastier than I intend, but
> there's little to say that I can think of to soften it at all.  

Your letter is not in the least bit nasty, I asked for your opinion and you
gave it.   I respect your decision and the fact that you wrote back.  

> I would
> only say that I do hope you all continue to enjoy your game and each
> other's company as you certainly seem to have done for a long time, and
> that in spite of having had a bad experience I don't wish anyone ill of it.

And you.  I wish you well in your life, good luck with it all and good gaming!

Regards

[The GM]
Logged

"Have mechanics that focus on what the game is about. Then gloss the rest." --Mike Holmes
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2002, 10:09:59 AM »

Oy.

What interests me the most about this exchange is how completely the GM/respondent took it to the ad hominem level. None of his response concerned the enjoyment or content of the game itself, but rather it was all about criticizing JB's values or life-perspective.

For example, if I'm reading it right, JB was not criticizing the presence of rape in wartime as a setting-issue during a game session, but rather its immediate or unheralded use for his player-character's decision. In other words, not, "Oh how awful, rape, eek, what a bad person the GM must be," but rather, "Geez, I have to deal with this right now, first session, first scene?" Yet the fellow responds strictly in terms of the values-issue, specifically as if he had been attacked and attacking in kind ("... if you can't face that reality in a game-world ..."). JB says, "How about some consent first?" The GM says, "Oh, you can't handle the topic, can you?"

I'm pretty sure that there's no point in dissecting the fellow's various comments about real-world and Politically-Correct this-or-that. At this late date, classic PC and classic Limbaugh outlooks have both reached the point of self-parody. However, I'll focus on one thing: the presence of the female player.

Notice the complete disconnect between JB's point and the GM's response. JB (paraphrase): "This woman probably carried off a sickening impression of male gamers." The GM (quoting): "I felt sorry for her being there in the first place, it would be boring for anyone not into it."

Does anyone else feel down the rabbit hole on this one? In at least three different ways, like I do? Now I'll be first to say that JB's point is questionable and relies on assuming the woman's reaction based on her femaleness, without confirmation. That would be an arguable response to his actual, real point. But the response he got was ... well, cue Twilight Zone theme.

Based only on the exchange that's provided, it seems to me that the GM is skilled in this art: interpreting a statement as criticism, then reacting strongly to that criticism. It's disguising Hawk behavior (bullying) as Retaliator behavior (defending), to use the game-theory jargon.

Well, anyway, no one can play well with people they dislike, at least not for a long time. (On second thought, I admit that real band members do this, but only if they're making money.)

JB, regardless of the details of the values-differences between you and the two group members (GM and misogynist-boy), what matters is that the GM is treating your concerns with utter disrespect and taking the argument to the insult-level immediately (ie he cannot discuss without "defending," which is really disguised hostility). You're well out of there.

Best,
Ron
Logged
joshua neff
Member

Posts: 949


WWW
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2002, 10:43:50 AM »

"Oy."

That was my gut response, also.

Dead right on it being classic bully behavior--making personal attacks, writing in a detached, "reasonable" tone (as a psychological way of trying to sound like his ad hominem attacks are perfectly sound & logical statements). Creepy.

I can see how that would be a bad gaming situation to be in, JB, & if I were you, I'd run far away from them.
Logged

--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
J B Bell
Member

Posts: 267


« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2002, 11:58:53 AM »

Thanks for your responses, folks.  I don't want this to be a pity-party--Ron's response is the kind of thing I was interested in.  (Thanks, though, to those who have PM'ed me sympathetically, I do appreciate it.)  For clarification's sake, it's worth mentioning the woman in question was not playing, but observing the session.

I just deleted a paragraph about "how can I negotiate ahead of time in a way that will avoid this, yet not select me out of groups that reject my 'pc-ness'?"  I think I handled it about as well as was possible in the circumstances, and will just distill it down to this:  whatever concerns you may have, bring them up up-front without being ashamed about it; better to avoid misunderstandings at the outset.  Also, if you have a "bad feeling" about a game, do not ignore it!  People instincts operate for gaming groups as well as any other kind of social encounter; they should be developed and listened to.

--JB
Logged

"Have mechanics that focus on what the game is about. Then gloss the rest." --Mike Holmes
Balbinus
Member

Posts: 290


« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2002, 08:42:59 AM »

I have on occasion wished to include in a game real life elements such as those cited, in the context of armies sacking cities and so on.  Two things are essential in doing so - firstly not dwelling on such things ("your soldiers rampage through the city raping, looting and murdering" is probably ok if you wish to address such issues as they are now clearly present, describing rape scenes as they happen I would see as dwelling for the sake of it usually); secondly and far more importantly, checking your players are cool with this.

That doesn't mean you have always to ask, if you've been playing together for ages and you know they are all hard-core history buffs who want maximum verisimillitude you can probably include it, if some or all players prefer a more heroic world to adventure in it's probably best not to.  Any doubt, any at all, ask.  You rarely go wrong by asking.

If you don't know a player, you have to talk about stuff like this.  Or better yet, don't include it at all until you get a better idea of that player's tastes.  Few games are crippled by not including this kind of stuff.  Even in hyper-realistic games players generally assume these things are happening but not on-stage.

Anyway, these GM replies are bizarre.  Bad luck.  Better luck next time, and don't be ashamed of your PC-ness.  Groups should accept you as you are or not.  Anything else won't really work in the end.
Logged

AKA max
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!