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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 74 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Gatecrasher  (Read 3040 times)
Lamorak33
Member

Posts: 183


« on: November 22, 2006, 03:28:34 AM »

Hi

Has anyone ever experienced this, its a new one on me.

We were playing last night and a guy come over from a group that also use the same bar as us. I thought that he just wanted to say hi and he started handing out his card saying that his group play all sorts of games and what have you and that they were always looking for new players.

I let it slide at the time, but since I have been thinking that this guy was overstepping the mark. But am I being oversensitive here? Is it the done thing? It feels like one of those times when you should have said something but didn't, but maybe its a common occurrence. Personally I wouldn't have the brass neck to do what that guy did.

Regards
Rob
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Storn
Member

Posts: 228


« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2006, 05:12:47 AM »

We gamers are a touchy lot.

Unless the guy was rude about it, as opposed to simply introducing himself and giving out a card, I think it was very nice of him to make the effort.  Like you said, you wouldn't have.  He wasn't saying, leave your own group.  He was saying, "hey, I've got one over here.... if you want".

seems reasonable to me.

If he started to disrupt play and make folks feel uncomfortable, that is going too far.  But if he was unobtrusive while the gameplay was going on for a bit, he probalby just wanted to see how you guys did things.  Nothing wrong with that... he probably learned a thing or two.  Certainly learned a bit about y'all.

What would you've said if you had felt like saying something?
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Lamorak33
Member

Posts: 183


« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2006, 05:33:42 AM »

Hi


What would you've said if you had felt like saying something?


I really don't know. I was hoping for some pointers.

I guess one thing that bothers me is that I have put a lot of work in putting together this game, and I was hoping that one of the other players would be able to chip in and run something rather than maybe going off to join this other group, thus giving me the chance to play something rather than GM duties all the time.

Regards
Rob
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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2006, 06:12:10 AM »

Maybe you could use this as an opportunity to attend the other group yourself, or alternately, blackmail your own players with the threat of doing so.  My nose would be mildly out of join if the players were given cards but you as GM were not.

I don't think its beyond the pale myself, but admittedly such experiences as I have had that are similar took place in the context of an overt gaming society in the pub, so the issue of players looking for games and vice versa was an open one.  Maybe you could take advantage the situation and swap players with the other group?  Mingle, and so forth.  I found it interesting to play in games that did not arise from my own group.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2006, 06:50:28 AM »

Hi there,

Working only with the information you gave us, I'm more interested in your reaction than in anything he did. People are always cryin' here about how they can't find groups, can't find players, can't get a game going, blah blah. Let's imagine for one second that he's dealing with that by engaging in straightforward social outreach.

I tell you what I've seen in some cases when I've done something similar, or watched others try. Someone approaches a group of role-players with entirely friendly, entirely reasonable social interest in what they're doing, and some react like neurotic musk oxen, circling up and delivering stressed-out, hostile stares - especially the GM.

I suggest you examine this question: are you scared your players will like him better than you, and/or they'll think he's a better GM than you? When he offers to role-play with any of them who's interested, are you responding as if he's poaching others' friendship and approval away from you?

And hey, what if one of your group does play with the guy, and what if he does like him better than you? Or at least enjoys playing with him better than he enjoys playing with you? That sounds to me like a happy, optimal outcome, not a disaster or a transgression or some kind of social infraction. I mean, you don't own your group members, do you? Is it not reasonable for every role-player to shop around and find which groups/games are most fun for him or her?

Best, Ron
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David Artman
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Posts: 570

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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2006, 07:23:37 AM »

I guess one thing that bothers me is that I have put a lot of work in putting together this game, and I was hoping that one of the other players would be able to chip in and run something rather than maybe going off to join this other group, thus giving me the chance to play something rather than GM duties all the time.
Am I missing something obvious... or couldn't you just go play with that group, to get your playing fix?

What about CC's idea of a player swap or something? I've found most RPGs don't fly well with "too many" players, so it's not like he's going to take your whole player base, forever--he'd be overloaded and they'd quickly migrate back, if they even considered playing in an 8- or 10-player game at all.

Or, take it further: offer to co-GM with the guy, perhaps with two "teams" of players engaging in a single campaign, in opposition or at least competition. I have played in some VERY fun convention games run by co-GMs; if nothing else, it enables the "party" to split up without rough scene swapping, each GM can focus on creating content about which they know the most or for which they have the most passion, and in general you get a smoother flowing game with more depth of campaign design.

Or go REALLY all-out and walk yourself over to his table, next week, and make your own introductions and buy a round and propose a merging of player groups. More players means more diverse interests, a broader base for experiments and short-run games, more resiliency against a player not being available one week, more GMs to take you on adventures, opportunity to try different group dynamics, more, more, more. Dude, you engage in a niche-of-a-niche hobby which, worse, is generally misunderstood by the average Joe and, thus, very hard to introduce to strangers. And now you've got a small posse of folks not 100 feet away, who are in "your tribe."

Frankly, I find it rather surprising that this is an issue at all: come hang out in Durham (NC, USA) running weekly game nights for a few months, and you'll realize that it's AWESOME that there's even another group of players within 3 MILES of you, let alone across the room! :-) It reminds me of the RPG group at Hull Uni, back in 1990, where we'd have ten or more groups taking over half the student union every week.... Ah, that's what gaming groups are supposed to be like, not the rare sampling, the thin remains of past glories that I find in central NC.

Count your blessings. One man's "threat" is another man's opportunity;
David
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Lamorak33
Member

Posts: 183


« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2006, 07:33:19 AM »

Hi

Hi there,

Working only with the information you gave us, I'm more interested in your reaction than in anything he did. People are always cryin' here about how they can't find groups, can't find players, can't get a game going, blah blah. Let's imagine for one second that he's dealing with that by engaging in straightforward social outreach.

I tell you what I've seen in some cases when I've done something similar, or watched others try. Someone approaches a group of role-players with entirely friendly, entirely reasonable social interest in what they're doing, and some react like neurotic musk oxen, circling up and delivering stressed-out, hostile stares - especially the GM.

I suggest you examine this question: are you scared your players will like him better than you, and/or they'll think he's a better GM than you? When he offers to role-play with any of them who's interested, are you responding as if he's poaching others' friendship and approval away from you?

And hey, what if one of your group does play with the guy, and what if he does like him better than you? Or at least enjoys playing with him better than he enjoys playing with you? That sounds to me like a happy, optimal outcome, not a disaster or a transgression or some kind of social infraction. I mean, you don't own your group members, do you? Is it not reasonable for every role-player to shop around and find which groups/games are most fun for him or her?

Best, Ron

Fuck it Ron, you hit the nail on the head here. I am feeling the pain from my own insecurities here I guess. Its tough love for me here I guess, but thanks.

I should embrace like David and Contra. I was going down the whole indignant route, but I think I will try it a different way and see how it flies.

Thanks guys,

Regards
Rob
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Glendower
Member

Posts: 182

My name is Jon.


« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2006, 07:45:36 AM »

I mean, you don't own your group members, do you? Is it not reasonable for every role-player to shop around and find which groups/games are most fun for him or her?

I have a related AP for this semi-rhetorical question.

About 5-6 years ago, while attending University, I was getting involved in the local college gaming club.  They were a friendly group of about 50-60 people with their own gaming space, and there were always seats open to try a variety of board, card, and role playing pursuits.   I learned how to play Bridge, Blood Bowl, Net Runner and Amber in one of their "Gaming Weekends" that they held.  Good fun!

When I enthusiastically talked about this this to the gaming group at the time, suggesting that we get involved with them and network, their response was both of shock and hostility.  In their minds, I had betrayed them.  Greg, the GM of that group, labeled me a "gamer whore" for playing with a different group, and derided the "loser club" that I had discovered.  The rest of the group followed Greg's lead, and I was treated pretty poorly for my attempt to get to know other gamers.

Sounds pretty awful, right?  Well, for a few months I bought into it, feeling guilty for daring to play with other people.  I eventually realized how incredibly stupid that was, and enjoyed a great relationship with that gaming club for my time at the University. 

Unfortunately, I did this by keeping my future involvement with the gaming club a secret from the other gaming group, who I still played with.  I had more fun with the gaming club, but the other group had been my friends for years, and there were complicated social ties that went with all that. 

It took an unrelated social event to explode that gaming group (they were dysfunctional away from the table as well) and free me from a really unhealthy set of friends.  Thank God.

The point I'm trying to make is that in some dysfunctional, utterly fucked up gaming groups, there's a sense of ownership over the players.  There's a strong "us vs. them" mindset, and yeah, there's the threat of social punishment for "shopping around" for a good gaming group.  Such as being labeled a gamer whore.  Man, all these years, and that label still make me very angry.

Of course, I understand I'm a pretty damn extreme case.  But I thought it might shed a little little light to see the crazy extreme this kind of thinking can lead to.
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Hi, my name is Jon.
Storn
Member

Posts: 228


« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2006, 07:56:36 AM »

Hi


What would you've said if you had felt like saying something?



I guess one thing that bothers me is that I have put a lot of work in putting together this game, and I was hoping that one of the other players would be able to chip in and run something rather than maybe going off to join this other group, thus giving me the chance to play something rather than GM duties all the time.

Regards
Rob

Oh.  Tell your group that.  Use this event as a springboard to get some honest conversation going.  Just say something like "this guy made me feel... " blah, blah, blah.  I *think* you feel a bit vulnerable and put out.  Tell 'em that.  Not accusing, not deriding this guy with the cards... just gently say it made you feel a bit out of sorts.
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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2006, 08:00:19 AM »

Big hug.

Best, Ron
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Storn
Member

Posts: 228


« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2006, 08:24:08 AM »

I play in two different groups.  I let eveyone know that I'm doing so.  I will probably end up GMing for both groups eventually (I just started Burning Wheel for the Friday nite game).

Granted, I "inherited" the framework, because I hooked up with Paka's gaming circle(s)!  But I had aobut 3 different iterations and spin-offs of the main group of my old local group in Michigan.  There was friction at times... but just beofre I left, it had seemed to settle out a bit.  Where everyone was finding the games/campaigns suitable for them.  Not sticking in games that they weren't suitable for.

However, I LIKE playing in different groups.  I want to play different games.  It isn't meant to be a slight if I turn down a game... and luckily the folks I game with, udnerstand that.  Like, Dogs in the Vineyard has been mentioned in both of my groups.... I just get an "ick" reaction from DitV, because I've got a kneejerk reaction to delving into fanaticism and religiousity.  Seems like a great system, game.... but I'll just sit out those sessions and i won't be annoyed or angry or feeling left out by my fellow gamers.  Its all good.

But it does take a bit of diplomacy.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2006, 08:31:44 AM »

Hi everyone,

This thread has probably served its purpose. I'll finish it with a link to Social Context, which lies at the heart of the issue at hand and is, to date, the most important thing that I at least have ever presented at the Forge. It's part of a larger set of threads which are all listed as The Infamous Five.

I'm abusing the moderator privilege by having the last word, I suppose, but let's close it here.

Best, Ron
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