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The Worst Game I Ever Played In - The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett's Journal
January 4th, 2004
11:23 am

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The Worst Game I Ever Played In

Today, I will have a new player in my Planescape game. We've created a pretty rad character for him, and I think I have a way to slot him in. We're at an interesting point in the game today, and I think adding him into the mix while yanking another old PC out will shake up the game considerably.

It may be even cooler, though; his wife is coming over to watch. She's been burned by bad roleplaying games before, and wants to verify that my game is not some boring pool of tripe before she jumps in. If I pass the audition, I may have another new PC.

That's fair enough. Because I know what it's like to sit at a bad table... For I was witness to The World's Worst Roleplaying Game Ever.

Let me set the scene:

It was my first year at GenCon, and I discovered the bad part about attending the World's Largest Convention; all the games get sold out quick. Yeah, there are several hundred DMs hosting four-hour mini-adventures. Every two hours, you can find about seventy games starting up, many of them exciting... But most of the good adventures get sold out two days after the tickets go on sale.

I did not know this. Jim and Shannon, who had graciously brought me, did. Therefore, their GenCon experience consisted of going off to various games and coming back briefly to tell me what a great time they'd had before zooming off to their next engagement.

Me? I was stuck with The Generic Ticket.

The Generic Ticket is a ticket that can be used to play at any game... If the slots aren't full, or if the assigned players don't show up. This is pure hell, because it's like you're back in grade school, waiting to be picked for the dodgeball team. You know you're not the cool one, and if someone better (i.e., someone who did register in advance) showed up at any moment, you're not going to play.

I was the Negro on the back of the bus, and the players with preregistered tickets were the 1950s whites. And alas, Rosa Parks only plays HeroClix.

My GenCon experience consisted of standing there limply at the table, hanging around like a vulture, clutching that goddamned generic ticket in my hand as one by one the players trickled in. Six seats at this eight-player game filled! Seven! I'd sit down, afraid to make small talk, because at any moment, Player Number Eight could show up and I'd get booted.

I had no rights. They could kick me out at any moment, and most of the other players refused to make eye contact with me once they discovered I was a Generic, afraid to bond with someone so transient.

I waited. Everyone laughed. Eventually, the game started... And I was in! I sat down, laughing, joyous. The DM handed out the character sheets and I was a part of the group, so happy, I would have a game to play for the next six hours instead of aimlessly traipsing around the dealer room for one more time...

He explained the game. I looked at my sheet. What a cool background! I...

No, wait, Player Eight just showed up.

Off the bus, Generic.

This happened two or three times. Every two hours, I'd go stand next to a table with increasing despair, and every time some fucking registered player would show up at the last minute and boot me. Sometimes there would be clusters of us Generics at the good tables, waiting pathetically in the hopes that maybe three registered players wouldn't show up and we could fill that third slot.

But that trick never works, Bullwinkle. Maybe the first Generic might slip in, but me? I was always out.

(As I learned later on, don't even bother with Generics on the first night. Everyone's eager to play, and nobody's dropping out. Generic tickets work better as the weekend goes on and sleep deprivation takes its toll, but you're never going to get into a Thursday or Friday game. Sunday morning at 8:00? You're golden. You may not even need a ticket.)

So when I learned that Game Base 8 was holding a Planescape game, I was thrilled beyond words. I loved Planescape, and still do; it's a highly political game, with several factions warring for control of the city of Sigil. The adventures are weird, unlike normal D&D dungeon crawls, laced with dreamlike adventures and wild, Munchausenesque characters.

So the idea that I could get into a Planescape adventure? Unthinkable. But it was better than sitting in the room.

I went, and sat around... And lo and behold, there were slots available! (This should have been the first sign.) The DM made room for ten of us, since we were so great!

The first sign of error showed when he threw a bunch of sheets onto the table. "Here are your characters," he said. "Choose one."

I looked. They didn't even have names, or equipment - just stats, scrawled in pencil. All first-level characters, and obviously rolled up according to pure randomness; there was a first-level mage there who had one hit point.

"What about names?" I asked.

"Well... Choose one, I guess," he shrugged.

I chose the bariaur thief, though time has erased what cool name I gave him. The guy who got stuck with the one-hp mage, sensing his imminent doom, called his mage "Flapjack."

"Flapjack the mage."

We all giggled.

The adventure started. Now, keep in mind that at this point we're all hanging around with characters who are little more than names and occupations, and with absolutely no connections between each other. I myself am a big fan of developing character - maybe it's because a writer, but as we sat there and the DM prepared, I was thinking up quirks for my bariaur thief. What sort of person was he? He was a centaur, so how did he sneak? What accent did he have? Why was he here?

As it turned out, this was irrelevant. The DM sighed, and in a voice that sounded like a very bored computer, he read the opening portion:

"All right you guys are in a bar and a woman comes up to you and says 'Hey do you guys want a job?'"

We sat there, stunned. All ten of us were standing in a bar, and we didn't think that any of us knew each other, and this woman had just come up to a group of random people and offered a job?

We weren't sure what to do. Dare any of us speak for the group?

Eventually, one bold player spoke up. "Um... Sure?"

"Okay so you follow her down the street to the headquarters of the Faction of Order."

Apparently, there would be no opportunity to negotiate price, or to see if, y'know, everyone else wanted to go. Before we could stop ourselves, we were all standing - still complete strangers - in the Guvners hallway.

We were not players. We were a unit.

It was explained to us that we had to shepherd this high-ranking factor to a specific location, and that we would be paid for the privilege. The roleplayers among us, struggling valiantly, asked the right questions:

"How much gold? Why is this person so important? Why do you think that ten of us, who aren't really great shakes at fighting or anything, are fit to protect this woman when one Fireball spell could take us all out? And why did you choose us at random from a bar to act as bodyguards for this mission?"

"All good questions," said the DM, then went silent. There was an audible pause as we waited for him to answer those questions.

"So are you ready to go?" he asked, not having answered a damn thing.

"Sure!" said one member gamely.

And once again, as if pulled on strings, we all set off with this high-ranking person in tow before anyone could protest.

The roleplayers were beginning to bond with each other, since we were the ones asking questions. We began to discuss these troubling questions among ourselves, but the GM cut us off. It was time for him to develop the finely-tuned characters he had rolled up out of thin air an hour before this session.

"Okay, who's the tiefling?" The tiefling had demon blood in her. She raised her hand. "And who's the assimar?" The aasimar had angel blood.

"You guys hate each other," he said. "Who's the elf? And the dwarf? Yeah, you two are pretty suspicious of each other." He nodded sagely, having Carried Out His Duty as a DM.

We stood in awe at his ability to cut to the heart of our characters. Or maybe it was just gas. Sadly, none of this explained why, with all of this deep suspicion going on, that we had all decided to not only drink together, but to work in such a unit wherein when one member agreed to anything, the rest followed like dominos.

Eventually, we entered an alleyway that had walls festooned with razorvine. He whipped out a sheet of paper and intimated that it was Very Important that we told him where our characters were and how they were positioned. A half-hour argument ensued as all the characters jockeyed for position - which was far too long for a simple tactical decision, but it was better than talking with the GM.

Since I had a bow and good eyesight, I was up front along with another bow-toting character.

"You see a woman coming towards you," said the DM.

"I yell 'Stop'," I said.

"Yeah," agreed the other forward-facing guard.

"She keeps running towards you," said the DM.

We looked at each other. The other forward-facing character squinted and said, "So what's this woman like?"

"Well, she's running towards you."

"We know that!" he said. "What's she wearing? Does she have a weapon out? Does she look dangerous?"

"She has a robe on," the DM volunteered. "And no weapon."

We looked at each other. We knew what we should do - shoot her! - but we were still trapped in the world of good roleplaying, where just shooting women before they could provide an explanation just seemed wrong. We both imagined cops, guarding a politician, who just blew away anyone who got near them. "She was jogging near The President, your honor."

We decided to try diplomacy again. "Stop!" I yelled. "What's your business!"

"She keeps running," said the DM. "Okay, she's within melee distance. Um, lemme roll to see who she hits... Okay, it's you." He pointed at the other guy. "Lemme roll... Yep, okay. You're surprised."

"Surprised?" he yelped. "We've been yelling at her! We saw her running towards us! How could I be surprised?"

"That's the dice, man," said the DM. "Okay, you fall into the razorvine and take... Three damage."

"I'm dead," said the player sourly.

"Okay," I said. "Now that she's done that, I shoot her with my bow."

"She runs past you and vanishes," said the DM.

The rest of the players grumbled, finally brought to action. "We saw this!" they said. "Don't we get actions? Flapjack the mage has a magic missile ready for her, and Ferrett's character has a bow, and don't we get the chance to react? You're telling us that nine trained men are all so stunned by the appearance of a woman that none of us can do anything?"

"She's quick," the GM shrugged, as if that was all the explanation anyone needed. "Okay, roll for initiative."

We rolled. He said, "Okay, um, nine giant rats creep out of the vine here, and here, and here, and here. They go to attack."

He stopped, looking around dazedly, like a stoner looking for his Simpsons tapes. "Um... Does anyone have a copy of the Monster Manual?"

We were stunned.

"I need it for the stats," he said - not apologetically, but as if we just didn't understand why he needed it.

"No," I said curtly. "I kind of assumed that you would, y'know, bring the manual to the event."

He shrugged. We were getting used to that shrug. He left for fifteen minutes to go borrow one from another DM - an act that was made more complicated when it turned out the other Game Base 8 DM didn't have a Monster Manual, either.

I don't know why we stayed. Maybe the hilarity was getting to us.

Anyway, he came back and we got through the combat. Flapjack the Mage died. The big important woman we were shepherding did nothing during combat, but cheerfully raised all the casualties from the dead so that they could keep playing.

"If you could do that," I asked, "Why didn't you help out when the rats attacked?"

"Good question," said the DM.

After that, I decided that I wanted out of this game, so when the next stage involved breaking into someone's fortified apartment for reasons I don't remember, I just decided to play the bariaur thief like a ne-'er-do-well with a suicide complex. Life is short, I reasoned, but it can at least be exciting.

Flapjack the Mage, who was of a similar bent and realized he had nothing to lose because a hummingbird could cack his one-hp character, joined me.

"Okay you're at the entry of the apartment," he said. "There's a door in the front and an alleyway in back."

The other players began to debate tactics. How do we survive this? they asked. What's the best approach? The theories began to surface as they slowly hammered out the perfect plan....

"I kick in the door!" I shouted.

The DM almost awoke from his lethargy, but he had to go with his previous style of playing: The first character to respond acts for the whole group. "Okay the door goes in there are two guys inside and you start to fight..."

"Wait a minute!" said another player. "I'm not just rushing in there!" Everyone else nodded agreement.

"Well, I am!" I cried. "Roll initiative!"

"As am I!" cried Flapjack. "I will not be denied!"

Ironically, this approach seemed to work. We took down the two thieves thanks to a series of lucky rolls and while the other characters crept in our wake, slowly searching the rooms for traps and hidden doors and treasure, we just thundered through.

"Okay you open the door and see a ten-by-ten roo - "

"Screw that! Anyone in here?"

"No..."

"We kick open the next door!"

Despite our best efforts, we actually survived. Flapjack the Mage came through unscathed, mostly because our "beat them before they beat us" tactic seemed to take the DM by surprise.

At the end of this two hours, which felt like four, the DM took a break. Everyone else scattered. I stayed long enough to write on a piece of paper, "THE BARIAUR THIEF IS DEAD!" before finally leaving The Worst Game I Ever Played.

So what was yours?

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(117 shouts of denial | Tell me I'm full of it)

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From:birdofparadox
Date:January 5th, 2004 06:46 am (UTC)
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I love your treefrog-cum-slaadi icon!
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From:jessihiggs
Date:January 4th, 2004 09:22 am (UTC)
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I have never played. I don't know much about RPGs. But, I have watched a few in my lifetime, and they have all been like this. Which is probably why I never played. Like pulling teeth.
From:eythian
Date:January 4th, 2004 11:34 am (UTC)
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In general, watching RPGs is pretty boring. I've been roleplaying for a few years now, and I still prefer to wander aimlessly than sit and watch a game. Playing is totally different, because then you shouldn't be bored, as you are expected to think about things and interact.

Never judge roleplaying games on watching them, only on playing. Even the good ones look tedious (the really good ones are fun to watch, but so often they are few and far between)
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From:weepingjester
Date:January 4th, 2004 09:47 am (UTC)
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My worst session invovled a town of slave traderes, a slave as the sheriff, a hole with a trap "We have to go in, its a hole!-P1 No, no we don't.-Me" and me bighting off my own tounge and swallowing it to choke on and die to get out of it.

I have since found that My GM at the time is banned from every local con that comes by.

My example is short. I wish the game was. I need sleep.
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From:mysticjuicer
Date:January 4th, 2004 09:55 am (UTC)

Re: Bad Roleplays

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If bad sessions serve a purpose, its at least to entertain those who weren't involved. Eventually, though the experience itself was gruelling in the extreme (much like marathan dentistry or competitive bleach-drinking) the cumulative hilarity created by retelling it to friends and friends of friends makes up for it.
Though that was a doozie. *l*
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From:theferrett
Date:January 5th, 2004 08:23 pm (UTC)

Re: Bad Roleplays

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As far as I'm concerned, that's the purpose of every bad experience, not just gaming.

Or, as Gini says: "At least you got a good story out of it..."
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From:hollyqueen
Date:January 4th, 2004 10:11 am (UTC)
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I had a group of friends that played a bunch of different RPGs in college. We would get bored with one and move on to the next. After a couple of years, we started playing a game whose name I can't remember. The big point of the game was that you played yourself as the character - translated your height and weight to hp, your SAT scores to intelligence and so on. It was fun and silly for a while, but we eventually found ourselves planning a way to destroy a group of soldiers by starting an avalance when one of my friends came to the conclusion that she would never just kill a bunch of people she didn't know just because some random king told her they were bad. Bit by bit, we divided up (along gender lines). It almost came to blows and pretty much ended the groups gatherings. Oh well.
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From:djinanna
Date:January 4th, 2004 10:19 am (UTC)

gaming horrors

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Ah, the suicidal kick-the-door-in and charge approach. ::nods sadly:: I, uh, actually had fun with that tactic during a rather cringeworthy game -- it was so different from the usual super-cautious thief I specialized in playing. The other players were a bit traumatized but it made the game end so much faster. And the dice sometimes favor the suicidal.

But the worst game I ever played in was with a bunch of friends in the loosely organized campaign we all were part of. I and one of the other players were the usual DMs. But we were new gamers, back in the day when AD&D was the bright shiny on the RPG block, and we were totally excited to have a Experienced Guest DM come in for the game so we could all play.

We selected our brightest, shiniest characters. Mine was a 1/2 elf cleric/fighter/magic-user who had attained the then-godly level of 3/4/2. The most impressive of the PCs was a 7th level cleric (we had compatible gods so that wasn't a problem). There were 7 or 8 of us altogether, mostly female, and the Experienced Guest DM.

We were really impressed when he asked for information about our characters before the date of the game. We sent information, thinking "ooh, he's gonna tailor the game Just For Us." So he knew we were a bunch of 3rd to 7th level characters, mostly in the Chaotic and/or Neutral end of the spectrum, with one Lawful Good weirdo we let in the gang for laughs.

And he arrived with a pre-written pro-published module, something about The Dark Tower? "for player characters levels 12-16, Lawful Good alignment only suggested".

::gibbers in memory:: Since this was 23 years ago, the details have blessedly faded. Except for the morning our characters all spent in jail being raped by the 0-level jailors -- even the 5th level female fighter with the 18/25 strength. Because the Experienced Guest DM felt that a fantasy game just wasn't the same with out all the uppity female PCs getting raped. Oh, and the liche at the end of the tunnel -- or tower in this case.

When the Experienced Guest DM finally left, we dusted ourselves off, decided that our characters were returned home "neither richer nor poorer" for the experience (no gain in experience or treasure, but no losses either -- even if we'd been killed in play), and never played a pre-made game module again or trusted a strange game master until they'd proved themself. Though my poor little half-elf was never quite the same and the other characters started referring to her as "crazy Blodwen" behind her back.

My gaming days are behind me (various reasons) but I still shudder at thought of the bad game masters out there, traumatizing new generations of shiny bright gamers each year....
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From:theferrett
Date:January 5th, 2004 08:24 pm (UTC)

Re: gaming horrors

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I don't know if you saw the part about stabbing any GM who brings rape upon a PC, but this is the post that inspired that.

I do say that my own campaign has rape in it - the baatezu have foul depredations - but it never takes place on camera, nor to anyone the characters like.
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From:rollick
Date:January 4th, 2004 10:32 am (UTC)
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When cassielsander and I first moved to Chicago, I knew exactly four people here — Cass's parents and two college friends. I was determined to find gamers, so I trolled the net for local LARPs and I put my name into an online gamer database. Eventually, someone contacted me and said he was putting together a local D&D group. He recruited the GM and the players from the database, and brokered the whole thing himself.

(Rabbit trail: It wasn't until I was about to leave for the game that I realized I was a single woman going off to a place I'd never been before to meet a group of men I knew nothing about, and who I'd met on the Internet. That was the only time I've ever carried a weapon for protection. Granted, it was a little katana-shaped decorative knife, but the thought was there.)

I disliked the GM from the moment I first met him. He was a big, pear-shaped, balding chain-smoker with a greasy, leering, superior air. We put my character together. The other guys showed up. Everything felt stiff and awkward, since none of us knew each other. I assumed it would be a little better once we got into character.

The GM set the scene: the other guys' characters, a thief and a fighter, had worked together on a couple of quests. My ranger lived in a small forest village many miles away, which happened to be the fighter's hometown. One day, hill giants destroyed the village, killing almost everyone there. Someone or the other (this was vague) hired me to find the fighter and tell him his parents had been killed. As the game began, the fighter and the thief were drinking in a bar. My character walked in, and delivered her message. The fighter made appropriately horrified and traumatized noises.

And then we were stuck. The fighter asked me for details, which I didn't have. I looked at the GM, who just smiled back. So I made up a bunch of stuff. I asked if he had any messages to send, or if he wanted to make funeral arrangements. He looked at the GM, who just smiled back. So we had this awkward, stilted conversation where invented all the details of this incredibly vague scenario ourselves, with no idea if what we were saying made any sense. The GM just smiled and watched. Eventually, the other characters invited me to have a drink. We sat there and waited. And waited. And waited. While the GM smiled and watched.

Eventually, we left the bar, with no idea what to do. Finally, I offered "Well, I should go deliver your messages. I'm sorry for your loss. Bye."

Suddenly we were approached by an crotchety old man who demanded our help in finding a book he had lost. We were all baffled. Why would the fighter and the thief care about this old man? Why would I stay and help them when they were total strangers to me? We struggled for reasons, and looked at the GM.

He said "Come on, it's obviously an adventure seed."

We gave each other the "Oh. THAT kind of game." look. And we said "Oh. Okay. We go help him."

The guy was snide and abusive and unpleasant and started giving us orders and insulting us as though we were his indentured servants. The GM was clearly enjoying haranging us. But every time one of us reacted negatively to all the obnoxiousness, the GM would remind us, with increasing asperity, that this was clearly the adventure seed and that we had to follow the trail. We gritted our teeth and cooperated. We were taken to a brothel where some people had been killed messily and their belongings searched. Nothing jibed with what the abusive old man had told us. We questioned him and he was vague and abusive. But every time we indicated that we found the whole story fishy and didn't want to cooperate, the GM would tell us we had to, or the story couldn't go forward. We suggested that we'd probably just call the authorities in, since several people had been killed. He said "Oh, you can't do that. They'd probably think you'd done it." We asked why — were any of us on bad terms with the law? His answer: "They just would. You can't do that."

Eventually the session ended. To be continued…
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From:rollick
Date:January 4th, 2004 10:35 am (UTC)

Session 2

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I'm not sure why I went back for the next game. Mostly, I suppose, because I was bored and lonely, and I liked the other players, who seemed as baffled and annoyed as I was. I figured maybe I could at least get to know them better.

At the second session, the abusive old man told us that there was a mythical, probably apocryphal tower in the area and that he thought an evil magician in it had killed the people in the brothel and stolen his book. We asked what the book was, and why this magician would want it, and what, if anything, we'd heard about this tower. The abusive old man wouldn't tell us anything. Again, we asked the GM why we cared, why I would stick with the group, and why we'd believe anything this obnoxious ass said. He said "What kind of adventurers ARE you? Jesus, maybe you should just sit around on your asses all day instead of having adventures, huh?"

We asked around town for details about this tower. No one knew anything. We were given no reason to believe it was out there. We went in search of it anyway. The entire rest of the session was spent on the GM describing the incredibly long and torturous journey as we hiked through the hills, entered a marsh full of poisonous snakes and muck that swallowed up our horses and nearly swallowed us, and fought our way through sticker bushes and clinging vines. Every time someone suggested that maybe we should turn back or find another route, the GM would tell us that this was the only route, and would mock and abuse us for being pansies and weaklings and bad players who didn't know how to have an adventure. The session ended with us all about to drown in quicksand.

I was out of town during the third session, when the GM said that it wasn't working out and we weren't the kind of players he had in mind, and cancelled the game. Fortunately, the guy who had brokered the whole thing had recruited a fourth player, who ended up starting his own D&D game, and through him, I met some of the people who are my best friends now.

I never communicated with the original GM again.
From:toiletduckagd
Date:January 4th, 2004 10:38 am (UTC)

Roleplay newbies

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Any chance you can write a similar post on your best roleplay experience? As someone who's never roleplayed before it'd be interesting - hearing how bad it can be doesn't inspire me to give it a go :)
From:barryr
Date:January 4th, 2004 11:44 am (UTC)

Re: Roleplay newbies

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I put up my best roleplay experience on my own lj.. think I've probably wasted enough of ferrett's comment space ^_^

http://www.livejournal.com/users/barryr/73978.html
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From:force_of_will
Date:January 4th, 2004 10:53 am (UTC)

Hmm, strangely I don't have one...

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Unless it was some time I don't really remember when one of my regular players tried running the game (which I often advocated so I could be a player) and everyone kinda went "It a lot better when Will DM's". This isn't to say I'm the best GM either. Fortunately whenever I have been a player under quite a few different GM's things have always been done pretty well.

I loved this...

"She keeps running," said the DM. "Okay, she's within melee distance. Um, lemme roll to see who she hits... Okay, it's you." He pointed at the other guy. "Lemme roll... Yep, okay. You're surprised."

"Surprised?" he yelped. "We've been yelling at her! We saw her running towards us! How could I be surprised?"

"That's the dice, man," said the DM. "Okay, you fall into the razorvine and take... Three damage."

"I'm dead," said the player sourly.

Yes indeed. That's the dice man...
From:featherspy
Date:January 4th, 2004 10:56 am (UTC)
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The best part of your story is...

I UNDERSTAND IT!!

This isn't about the worst game, because I've only really played D+D once, so worst is best and vice verse...

I've recently started (learning) to play D+D, along with my boyfriend, as he has a friend who plays who invited us to join in after I held a heated debate with him for about an hour on LOTR. We both showed up at the guy's house, blank slates. The only thing I knew about D+D was your entry about two weeks ago, "Lawful Stupid and Chaotic Stupid". I had brought the entry, printed out, to show the group. We began reading it, but decided it would be a better idea to start the game.

My boyfriend, who hadn't been listening to the beginning of the article, decided to be a Paladin. Ever since, he's been referred to in-game as "Lawful Stupid".
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From:theferrett
Date:January 5th, 2004 08:28 pm (UTC)
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My boyfriend, who hadn't been listening to the beginning of the article, decided to be a Paladin. Ever since, he's been referred to in-game as "Lawful Stupid".

Hee!
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From:brujah
Date:January 4th, 2004 11:13 am (UTC)
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This was back in the early 90s or late 80s when AD&D wasn't any edition yet. I played often, having married a gamer. I also surrounded myself with people who gamed. My ex-husband worked nights and I worked evenings. Our games didn't generally begin until around 11pm (just as the ex was off to work, he was very-much-jealous.)

Anyway, I occasionally cheated on my normal D.M. by hitting a game run by a fellow player. Sometimes this was a Good Thing (tm) and sometimes it just out and out sucked ass.

This particular game found me at D's house. Now. D didn't much care for the fact that I could absorb the rules and information from books far better than he could. He made it a point in game after game to challenge whichever character I happened to be playing.

This often was a thorn in the side for watcher1 who's been my primary DM forever and a day. This player, D, would often disrupt our games in pursuit of challenging me to some duel. Naked, hands only, no magic, blindfolded. Whatever. He always had some stipulation that would insure he'd win this time.

I'm still not sure what possessed me to play at D's house, other than the fact I was completely addicted to gaming and was slapping at my vein for a fix. But I play I did.

During one particular combat scene I asked a question, wanting clarification of the setting. He tells me to wait a sec, so I do. I'm patient. He never answers my question, but I decide to leave it alone.

I can't recall exactly what monster we were fighting, but it managed to gain eight attacks on my character. He hated me. It was personal. =)

I wasn't the valedictorian of my class but I'm not idiot either, so I questioned how this particular monster was gaining so many consecutive attacks. He said: "I am SO tired of you questioning my ability to DM. A rock falls out of the sky and lands on you. You're dead."

So, I did what anyone in my position would do. I laughed at his stupid ass, gathered my things, giggled more, then went home. I never made the mistake of playing with him running the game, ever again.

But he still challenged me in game after game and I owned his ass each and every time. It was karmic that he never beat me, I think. Now, ten years later, he can still give the name of the character I played back then. He's mentioned it to mutual friends.

He's scary. =) I'm glad that D's game wasn't my first experience with gaming because it would have really scarred me. And turned me off of gaming, altogether.
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From:theferrett
Date:January 5th, 2004 08:29 pm (UTC)
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I'm still not sure what possessed me to play at D's house, other than the fact I was completely addicted to gaming and was slapping at my vein for a fix. But I play I did.

I know that feeling. Did that for sixteen months, or close to it. It sucks, but it's better than not playing... Except it really isn't.

Guy sounds like a dope. I'm glad you won.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 4th, 2004 11:17 am (UTC)

Worst Roleplay = Last Roleplay

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While there are actually a number of issues and circumstances surrounding my lack of RPG activities to date, the initial reason was because of how bad my last session was a couple of years ago.

We were role-playing in FASA's Battletech/MechWarrior (2nd Edition) system and had rolled up a group of very young PCs, barely teenagers. I'd heard that our GM had done some great campaigns in previous years before I came to town. The GM had come to believe that he could GM off the top of his head without much forethought or notes and came to depend on this "talent" he had. Naturally this made a sucky game for the rest of us.

Much like the examples above, we'd all done character studies and written down life histories and all and then somehow get thrown together in a bar (?) that gets attacked. Woo hoo! Suffice it to say that we wander around this civilized planet (with no internet or cell phone technology?) and a city the size of San Francisco and the only non vague locations in the city is 1 bar and 2 brothels. WTF? We are 3 player characters who are minors! Next thing we knew our three teenagers had defeated a platoon of infantry and stolen their BattleMechs and started our own mercenary unit. What? After that we conveniently got lost in a maze of canyons "the size of Colorado". As soon as we could find excuses or ways of not playing we did. None of us has talked with that GM since.

I read John Fourr's roleplayingtips.com website and long for a fun RPG that I've never experienced.

Alas,
Jon
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From:bashou
Date:January 4th, 2004 01:41 pm (UTC)

Re: Worst Roleplay = Last Roleplay

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>We were role-playing in FASA's Battletech/MechWarrior (2nd Edition) system

You poor, poor fellow.
From:barryr
Date:January 4th, 2004 11:18 am (UTC)
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We have a good-sized Gaming Club at Univ. of RI- one of the time-honored, well, kind-of-traditions we have is that the GM has no say in messing with the players' own free will.
Sure, if everyone wants to follow along with the blatent suggestions of the GM, that's their thing- but they'd damn well better have a reason, or we might just sit around the bar and laugh. It really tests the improv skills of the GM's, myself included this semester as I've been running a Star Wars RPG.. how can we possibly manage sometimes?
Heh. I had the singlemost ridiculously huge battle plan sketched out, a bunker for everyone to infiltrate to gain levels and even a couple jedi to be killed.
Unfortunately, the backstory was off by just enough that the entire fight was about to be a huge misunderstanding. That was the only way it was able to fit in properly..

So what happens? They think ahead about this, shunt aside the fact that they're shooting at them, and instead throw in a couple of the dead enemy bodies left outside the door.

I didn't have the slightest choice in the matter. They'd done the one thing I didn't have any sort of way around. They ended up meeting the leaders of the bunker instead, and convincing the Jedi Master to join their side.

Finally got them into some action now, not to mention they got a bonus level anyways for figuring out a ridiculously peaceful solution. Heh.. I figure if they can manage to do something like that, might as well let them have their fun. ^_^



The only game session that really got me ticked off was a GURPs- Black Ops roleplay session. I could understand perfectly that we had to overcome some sort of insanely difficult mathematical puzzle to find out the pattern to the recent killings in the area. I sure as heck didn't understand the need for the -players- to come up with the answers themselves. It's one thing to roll the dice and see if your character had enough intelligence to pull off figuring something out. It's entirely another for the GM to be forcing the players to use equations only taught in calculus and advanced statistics to solve the puzzle. No, we didn't have to do the actual math itself, but having players, not trained as -real- Black Ops and certainly not with that high of an IQ, have to come up with variables and ideas for the types of equations and stuff? Bullshit.

In the end, myself and a couple friends who were finding this idea as stupid as I was, told the GM that we were sick of it, and had decided to go out hunting for more evidence and stuff ourselves. It was that or bringing out a good book to curl up in the chair with, while I waited for everyone else to have fun using their brains.

Oh well. The rest of the games were good overall, and we managed to really do some cool stuff. Highlight of my fun, was driving a little go-kart around an alien spaceship crash-landed on Earth, and subsequently convincing the spaceship's artificial intelligence to give us full biological data about them, tech readouts of all their technology it had available, and a map of how to find their planet. I did pretty well, all considering ^_^
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From:ironman1231
Date:January 4th, 2004 11:28 am (UTC)

I feel you

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My story also takes place at GenCon. I went when I was 16, drove with a bunch of gamers from Houston. I was pretty much on my own, like you - except I had registered for a bunch of things in advance. One of which was something I was pretty excited about - the Shadowrun game. It was a two parter, you had to register for both parts. My character was a street samurai named RIP, and he was pretty bad ass. The rest of the party was a well rounded Shadowrun group, with one girl playing a Rigger.
Anyway, our mission in the first part was to grab this suit of mechanical armor - something for the Rigger to do. Turns out there are two sets of armor, and in some other booth there's another Shadowrun team playing, and they're grabbing the other set as we arrive. Very innovative I thought, very cool. We grab our suit and run. Running was a big theme. See, because she had something to do, and I was 16, no one listened to me at all. We ran from EVERY single fight. Instead of fighting the other group for the bigger, badder suit of armor, we ran away. When the law chased us, we ran faster. We didn't even fight the common cold. My character ... a killer ... was very unhappy.

So we make it to the second part of the adventure, and it turns out a dragon has hired us to bring the suits of armor to him. In fact, hired both teams for both suits. And now he wants to see the armor fight each other. Our mages have made nice (in the astral plane) and so we have a common enemy - a dragon who may or may not want us dead. We also have these cool mechanized suits of armor with machine guns, etc. So we whisper among our group, and the concensus is that WE FIGHT! We roll up initiative, and holy shit, I got to go first. I unload my FN HAR into the dragon, rolling really well even, and penetrate his defenses, magical and physical, and actually make the dragon bleed! A little bit. (In my mind I was thinking "AW yeah, I'm the man!). Two seconds later, the dragon had killed me and the rest of the group was (you guessed it) RUNNING AWAY. No one else fired a shot. No spells were cast. No one hacked in and ruined the dragon's credit.

Fuckers.
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From:theferrett
Date:January 5th, 2004 08:31 pm (UTC)

Re: I feel you

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If you win initiative, always hold back if you're playing with new people (at a convention) or if you're not sure about the other PCs (in a long-term game).

This is wisdom from someone who has also led inadvertent single-man charges.
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From:purplkat
Date:January 4th, 2004 12:03 pm (UTC)
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Have you tried MUX? It's an online game sort of a thing that's pretty populated by people who have nothing to do BUT hang out on line, for the most part. And the game is ongoing, rather than weekly, so you can make it whenever you get time.

There's a lot of them out there in D&D, WoD, and various freeform types. I've told some of my best stories on MUX.
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