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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    If I enjoyed the social aspects of the game, I can't imagine I would still be gaming; its a lot easier, cheaper, and more rewarding to simply hang out at clubs and whatnot if what you are looking for is social interaction.
    1: it wouldn't be cheaper.
    2: Then leave, this group won't satisfy your needs. You already know this.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Even though the rest of the group are all hack and slash players who are extremely focused on winning?
    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    As I said, the rest of the group gets really upset when they lose, which means that if I don't cover for their mechanical shortcomings, nobody will have a good time.
    OMG, tabletop RPG games are NOT WIN OR LOSE situations. I hate it when newbies ask (and they always do), "But how do you win?" You are not playing with newbies (although the above quotes make me wonder), and if that is what they are bringing to the table that is their problem, not yours. Either sit at this table and play like you normally would, or don't. Those are YOUR choices. If you are going to stress out and not have any FUN, then guess which option is best.

    Thought you had this sorted out, marooned on a ship at sea and all that... It was starting to sound interesting. Maybe you should wait until the actual first session of actual adventuring and see what actually happens. (My money is on a TPK, although there is always hope)
    "Save your tears, my fetid friends, the dead have Wept enough!"
    The Tears of Blood Campaign Setting Updated 15 Dec 2019
    From the Tears of Blood GiTP Forums 2004-09: "20 million dead. Whatcha gonna do with 20 million dead? You can’t bury ‘em, no time or energy to dig the graves. You could chuck ‘em somewhere out of the way. Or you could burn ‘em. But, but what if those things angered someone, or put a bad curse on 'em? Maybe gettin’ rid of ‘em is better. Just a thought. Hey, you could help us!"

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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    RPGs can absolutely have win or lose states. The difference is they're self defined and shifting instead of being a fixed end state by game design. If you as a party say "We're going to kill the Dread Lich Queen of Eastbay" then you win (in the moment) by killing her, and you lose by failing to kill her. And then maybe the game ends, or maybe you define yourselves a new goal to win or lose at.

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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    RPGs can absolutely have win or lose states. The difference is they're self defined and shifting instead of being a fixed end state by game design. If you as a party say "We're going to kill the Dread Lich Queen of Eastbay" then you win (in the moment) by killing her, and you lose by failing to kill her. And then maybe the game ends, or maybe you define yourselves a new goal to win or lose at.
    True, individual conflicts within a campaign can be win or lose, but if you use that as the concept of the whole game you are missing out on a lot. Computer RPGs, sure. Computers make great bean counters. Real people interacting socially, not so much. We'll have to see what he says, but I think Talakeal's comrades keep score on every encounter and tally up the "wins" and "losses" as they go.
    "Save your tears, my fetid friends, the dead have Wept enough!"
    The Tears of Blood Campaign Setting Updated 15 Dec 2019
    From the Tears of Blood GiTP Forums 2004-09: "20 million dead. Whatcha gonna do with 20 million dead? You can’t bury ‘em, no time or energy to dig the graves. You could chuck ‘em somewhere out of the way. Or you could burn ‘em. But, but what if those things angered someone, or put a bad curse on 'em? Maybe gettin’ rid of ‘em is better. Just a thought. Hey, you could help us!"

  5. - Top - End - #215
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    For example, not how the post I was replying to took it as a given that I "focus on making all encounters extremely challenging".
    But, by your and your players' own words, aren't you?

    You make sure your planned encounter day has an estimated 80% resource drain, and claim to be really good at hitting approximately that mark, and respond to others that that's your intended difficulty when they complain that things are too hard.

    You take advice to players to be well rounded, and able to handle various types of encounters, and apply it to your fairytale Ogre.

    The new GM says that he lacks your skill at making sure that the PCs feel powerless.

    I'm struggling to imagine better evidence that that is exactly what you do, whether you realize it or not.

    I imagine that, if the new GM has the skills to create the game he wants / intends, then he will not be feeding the Challenge aesthetic the same way you would.
    Last edited by Quertus; 2019-12-15 at 06:13 AM.

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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of Shadows View Post
    OMG, tabletop RPG games are NOT WIN OR LOSE situations. I hate it when newbies ask (and they always do), "But how do you win?" You are not playing with newbies (although the above quotes make me wonder), and if that is what they are bringing to the table that is their problem, not yours.
    Ok, correction: the players get mad when their character's lose. Better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of Shadows View Post
    Either sit at this table and play like you normally would, or don't. Those are YOUR choices. If you are going to stress out and not have any FUN, then guess which option is best.

    Thought you had this sorted out, marooned on a ship at sea and all that... It was starting to sound interesting. Maybe you should wait until the actual first session of actual adventuring and see what actually happens. (My money is on a TPK, although there is always hope)
    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    Or you could focus on sharing times with your friends and roleplaying. Again, the reasons am being so repetitive here is because you are most likely to find that Brian will not have the same aptitude as you at building encounters right. This due to you being a long time Gm AND designer of the game.

    Again, adjust your expectations, find joy on the social aspects of the game, on the story and lore that Brian has there to show.

    OR, find a group that suits your gaming needs better.
    I am not sure why having mechanical concerns and looking for ways to alleviate them before they become issues means that I should give up on the campaign entirely before it begins or that I have decided I won't have fun.

    I enjoy RPGs. I enjoy RP, I enjoy combat, I enjoy lore, I enjoy exploration, I enjoy story, I enjoy collecting miniatures and rolling dice. The only thing I really don't enjoy is abstract puzzles and mysteries.

    I will have fun with the game, no matter how bad it is.

    The only thing I don't enjoy is constant OOC abuse and criticism. The game overall is still fun, but the constant abuse really wears me down. In my most recent group it involved the players constantly bitching at the DM because, afaict the entire game wasn't focused around their character and their individual desires.

    Thinking back, even in the best game I have ever been a part of, the DM threatened to quit running several times because the players wouldn't stop nagging him over rulings they didn't agree with, and even in the worst game I was ever a part of the game itself was still fun, I just couldn't take the DM constantly criticizing, lying, bragging, and verbally abusing his players and left.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    But, by your and your players' own words, aren't you?

    You make sure your planned encounter day has an estimated 80% resource drain, and claim to be really good at hitting approximately that mark, and respond to others that that's your intended difficulty when they complain that things are too hard.

    You take advice to players to be well rounded, and able to handle various types of encounters, and apply it to your fairytale Ogre.

    The new GM says that he lacks your skill at making sure that the PCs feel powerless.

    I'm struggling to imagine better evidence that that is exactly what you do, whether you realize it or not.

    I imagine that, if the new GM has the skills to create the game he wants / intends, then he will not be feeding the Challenge aesthetic the same way you would.
    As I said, my players A: whine about everything and B: are obsessed with money for money's sake.


    For example, in the last session they encountered a group of standard ghouls that were significantly lower level than them, a true speed bump encounter where the PCs didn't consume any resources and only suffered single digit HP loss. They still spent longer complaining about starting the fight surrounded than they actually spent fighting. They also refused to turn over an artifact to their mentor which was the entire purpose of their quest because of a technicality in the wording of their bargain*, and then got mad at me and said I was acting like a petulant 2 year old for having the NPC refuse to help the PCs again in the future.


    Likewise, they consider it a failure if they don't increase their wealth as a percentage of WBL every mission. So, for example, say average WBL for a 10th level party is 100k gold, and they have 120k gold, they are at 120%. Then, in the next dungeon they level up to level 11, and they find 17k gold while doing so, but expected WBL for a level 11 part is 140k gold and they are now at 115% of WBL, they will consider the mission a failure even thought they had a net increase of 17K and are still 15% ahead of the curve.


    In the specific case of the so called "fairytale ogre" it has nothing to do with advice for players, not sure where you are getting that. It is the idea that a high level boss monster needs a way to deal with flying PCs. Go read any MM review thread, and you will see that listed over and over again as a failure of design, not taking common level appropriate PC abilities into account. Literally this week I was reading a review of the Elder Evils book on RPG.net that was talking about how poorly designed the Atropus adventure was as it had multiple encounters with Famine Spirits which are CR 19 enemies that can do nothing but sit there and stare blankly if the PCs cast a single fly spell before the battle. And really, who is that fun for? If the climactic fight of the adventure boils down to the four players and the DM doing nothing but watching the sorcerer roll damage for half and hour?

    Also, you are cutting off the first half of the quote: He said that he lacks my gift for having the PCs win every battle and yet still feel like abject failures at everything they do. And I don't think he was referring to combat difficulty, but rather his tendency to attack, alienate, or get his allies killed time after time, which is more of an RP thing; see the thing about the mentor and the artifact above.

    *: Basically, in exchange for the NPCs protection, they agreed to journey to a dungeon and bring him what they found there. They cleared the dungeon and got a cursed artifact that they couldn't use, but because the artifact wasn't in the dungeonat the time when the deal was signed and had been moved their later they refused to hand it over.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post

    The only thing I don't enjoy is constant OOC abuse and criticism. The game overall is still fun, but the constant abuse really wears me down. In my most recent group it involved the players constantly bitching at the DM because, afaict the entire game wasn't focused around their character and their individual desires.

    Thinking back, even in the best game I have ever been a part of, the DM threatened to quit running several times because the players wouldn't stop nagging him over rulings they didn't agree with, and even in the worst game I was ever a part of the game itself was still fun, I just couldn't take the DM constantly criticizing, lying, bragging, and verbally abusing his players and left.
    ok.... So constant abuse and criticism isn't the same as friendship. Just so you know. Btw, I believed that you had already gone past these problems, for over a year ago.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    ok.... So constant abuse and criticism isn't the same as friendship. Just so you know.
    You keep assuming I game with friends. I don't. Except for Brian, I wouldn't consider anyone I have gamed with in the last ten years or so to actually be a friend, although Bob has drifted into and out of that category several times.

    Also, it applies to other people as well, not just me. Bitching at the DM until he wants to quit (or occasionally the opposite) seems to be a constant in every group I have been in regardless of how otherwise well adjusted the players were.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    Btw, I believed that you had already gone past these problems, for over a year ago.
    I don't know what this means.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    In the specific case of the so called "fairytale ogre" it has nothing to do with advice for players, not sure where you are getting that. It is the idea that a high level boss monster needs a way to deal with flying PCs. Go read any MM review thread, and you will see that listed over and over again as a failure of design, not taking common level appropriate PC abilities into account. Literally this week I was reading a review of the Elder Evils book on RPG.net that was talking about how poorly designed the Atropus adventure was as it had multiple encounters with Famine Spirits which are CR 19 enemies that can do nothing but sit there and stare blankly if the PCs cast a single fly spell before the battle. And really, who is that fun for? If the climactic fight of the adventure boils down to the four players and the DM doing nothing but watching the sorcerer roll damage for half and hour?

    Also, you are cutting off the first half of the quote: He said that he lacks my gift for having the PCs win every battle and yet still feel like abject failures at everything they do. And I don't think he was referring to combat difficulty, but rather his tendency to attack, alienate, or get his allies killed time after time, which is more of an RP thing; see the thing about the mentor and the artifact above.

    *: Basically, in exchange for the NPCs protection, they agreed to journey to a dungeon and bring him what they found there. They cleared the dungeon and got a cursed artifact that they couldn't use, but because the artifact wasn't in the dungeonat the time when the deal was signed and had been moved their later they refused to hand it over.
    1) apologies for misunderstanding and misrepresenting the "Ogre" - I was only familiar with that advice for PCs, not for monster design. Huh. Well, as I've said, I wouldn't have had a problem with most of your encounters (I love it when a GM develops custom monsters!), but I guess that's one more reason I'll have to question your players'… compatibility with sanity.

    2) you know your friend better than I do. So maybe that is what he meant.

    3) lol. Go rules lawyers!

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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    You keep assuming I game with friends. I don't. Except for Brian, I wouldn't consider anyone I have gamed with in the last ten years or so to actually be a friend, although Bob has drifted into and out of that category several times.

    Also, it applies to other people as well, not just me. Bitching at the DM until he wants to quit (or occasionally the opposite) seems to be a constant in every group I have been in regardless of how otherwise well adjusted the players were.
    I was led to believe that you were friends.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Yes, I am absolutely sure that Quertus meant that I had "failed to play correctly" by continuing to game with my friends rather than throwing them to the curb because we don't have a perfect relationship.
    If they aren't your friends, that's the more reason to leave.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Ok, correction: the players get mad when their character's lose. Better?
    Hmmmm... Ok. Not necessarily better but more understandable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    You keep assuming I game with friends. I don't. Except for Brian, I wouldn't consider anyone I have gamed with in the last ten years or so to actually be a friend, although Bob has drifted into and out of that category several times.

    Also, it applies to other people as well, not just me. Bitching at the DM until he wants to quit (or occasionally the opposite) seems to be a constant in every group I have been in regardless of how otherwise well adjusted the players were.
    In the spirit of the season, here's this:

    (To the tune of The Christmas Song)

    Faeries roasting in an open fire,
    Ogres cut up into bits,
    Necros lost to a fate most dire,
    Hope the Pirate can avoid those crits.

    Everyone knows a Pirate and his crew,
    Help to make the dungeon tough.
    Tiny PCs with their swords all askew
    Will find it hard to survive sure enough.

    And so we offer you this simple phrase
    To PCs level one to ninety-two
    Though it’s been said many times,
    Many ways: "How screwed are you?"
    Last edited by Lord of Shadows; 2019-12-16 at 11:51 AM.
    "Save your tears, my fetid friends, the dead have Wept enough!"
    The Tears of Blood Campaign Setting Updated 15 Dec 2019
    From the Tears of Blood GiTP Forums 2004-09: "20 million dead. Whatcha gonna do with 20 million dead? You can’t bury ‘em, no time or energy to dig the graves. You could chuck ‘em somewhere out of the way. Or you could burn ‘em. But, but what if those things angered someone, or put a bad curse on 'em? Maybe gettin’ rid of ‘em is better. Just a thought. Hey, you could help us!"

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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Also, it applies to other people as well, not just me. Bitching at the DM until he wants to quit (or occasionally the opposite) seems to be a constant in every group I have been in regardless of how otherwise well adjusted the players were.
    I'm going to be honest, this is a pretty big red flag.

    My experience in tabletop groups is that bitching at the DM is quite rare, and when a player does it, they get a reputation for being That Guy pretty fast. I've only once been in a group in which it was fairly constant, and that group was (a) made up mainly of high schoolers and (b) ended after a few months when the dynamic didn't change.

    If your games are routinely having that degree of social abuse, you need to consider two possibilities:

    1. Your groups are so abusive that they've driven away every gamer who isn't willing to put up with that level of abuse. From some comments that you've made in the past about some people not sticking around, I suspect that this is the case.

    2. You've internalized these abuses to the point that you are also driving away gamers who might be better by not trusting them, which would not surprise me.

    I know that you're convinced that it's worth putting up with psychological torture to be part of a gaming group, but you need to find a better group if gaming is this important to you. Look for Discord games. Figure out where people are doing sign-ups in your area. Recruit your actual friends to play a roleplaying game, and give them the trust that your current group doesn't deserve. Break the cycle.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Also, it applies to other people as well, not just me. Bitching at the DM until he wants to quit (or occasionally the opposite) seems to be a constant in every group I have been in regardless of how otherwise well adjusted the players were.
    This comes off as insane, just FYI. Even the worst people I've played with, and I've played with a lot of people, wouldn't fall under this category. Even people I've sworn to never play with again aren't as bad as this.

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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Friv View Post
    I'm going to be honest, this is a pretty big red flag.

    My experience in tabletop groups is that bitching at the DM is quite rare, and when a player does it, they get a reputation for being That Guy pretty fast. I've only once been in a group in which it was fairly constant, and that group was (a) made up mainly of high schoolers and (b) ended after a few months when the dynamic didn't change.

    If your games are routinely having that degree of social abuse, you need to consider two possibilities:

    1. Your groups are so abusive that they've driven away every gamer who isn't willing to put up with that level of abuse. From some comments that you've made in the past about some people not sticking around, I suspect that this is the case.

    2. You've internalized these abuses to the point that you are also driving away gamers who might be better by not trusting them, which would not surprise me.

    I know that you're convinced that it's worth putting up with psychological torture to be part of a gaming group, but you need to find a better group if gaming is this important to you. Look for Discord games. Figure out where people are doing sign-ups in your area. Recruit your actual friends to play a roleplaying game, and give them the trust that your current group doesn't deserve. Break the cycle.
    +1 on all that count. it's astounding that you would consider bitching at the dm to be normal behavior.

    tal, ever since i started reading your stories, you remind me of a friend i had. he had few friends, and one of his friends turned bad and went into drug trafficking, and this guy refused to give up on him and tried to put up with whatever his former "friend" was up to. eventually, he lost all of his real friends, and only had this guy who kept taking advantage of him. he was a good guy, but he gradually became much darker. I lost contact with him some 3 years ago and have no idea what happened to him. last i knew, he seemed to have lost any real connection to people and cared only about money - for the sake of showing off with his coworkers.
    i am concerned that your party is putting you on a similar path.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Out of curiosity, what is this a red-flag for?

    Keep in mind, these are multiple groups with many years and hundreds of miles between them that don’t share any players (except myself obviously), and I am typically not the one either doing ir receiving the bitching.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Out of curiosity, what is this a red-flag for?

    Keep in mind, these are multiple groups with many years and hundreds of miles between them that don’t share any players (except myself obviously), and I am typically not the one either doing ir receiving the bitching.
    Well, it doesn't tell us much we don't know. We know you believe bad gaming is better than no gaming, so you're likely to stick around in groups that behave this terribly--which most posters here wouldn't. We also know that you're a bit of a doormat when it comes to taking this kind of abuse from your players, given the things you've said about Brian and Bob in other threads.

    The new thing we know is that you've evidently been a serial enabler of this kind of behavior, because apparently across multiple groups, you've hung around and played with people who think nothing of verbally harassing the DM. By not leaving, and presumably not confronting people about it either, you've signalled you're OK with that kind of behavior, rather than making jerks pay the rightful price for being jerks--social isolation. Really you should have abandoned every group in which people act like that, in order to reduce the chances that those people get to game with other humans in person, since they clearly aren't equal to the task of behaving decently.

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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Out of curiosity, what is this a red-flag for?
    That you are going from toxic relationship, to toxic relationship in your gaming activities (When gaming should be expected to be a stress reliever) and you seem to think that is to be expected and normal.

    And let me be clear: It's not normal, healthy, brave or intended. You shouldn't be a part of a group where there is constant abuse. The moment those situations present themselves is your duty to yourself to address this situation as something you aren't willing to tolerate, and in case the situation continues, leave the group.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    That you are going from toxic relationship, to toxic relationship in your gaming activities (When gaming should be expected to be a stress reliever) and you seem to think that is to be expected and normal.

    And let me be clear: It's not normal, healthy, brave or intended. You shouldn't be a part of a group where there is constant abuse. The moment those situations present themselves is your duty to yourself to address this situation as something you aren't willing to tolerate, and in case the situation continues, leave the group.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tajerio View Post
    Well, it doesn't tell us much we don't know. We know you believe bad gaming is better than no gaming, so you're likely to stick around in groups that behave this terribly--which most posters here wouldn't. We also know that you're a bit of a doormat when it comes to taking this kind of abuse from your players, given the things you've said about Brian and Bob in other threads.

    The new thing we know is that you've evidently been a serial enabler of this kind of behavior, because apparently across multiple groups, you've hung around and played with people who think nothing of verbally harassing the DM. By not leaving, and presumably not confronting people about it either, you've signaled you're OK with that kind of behavior, rather than making jerks pay the rightful price for being jerks--social isolation. Really you should have abandoned every group in which people act like that, in order to reduce the chances that those people get to game with other humans in person, since they clearly aren't equal to the task of behaving decently.
    Hold on a second here.

    It sounds like you guys are saying that it is not only appropriate, but mandatory, that if I am to be part of a social group, I am to start policing other people's behaviors towards one another? Is that right?
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Hold on a second here.

    It sounds like you guys are saying that it is not only appropriate, but mandatory, that if I am to be part of a social group, I am to start policing other people's behaviors towards one another? Is that right?
    You are free to interpret it that way. However that isn't what I said.

    What I can tell you is this. It is not your duty to tell anyone what to do, or what not, unless those things bother you, specially if you are in a situation where abuse is at stake. In such a situation, being a victim, witness or abuser, then you should make everyone else know that there is a situation of abuse going on. If after this, the situation of abuse were to continue, you should probably leave and offer to lend help to the party that has been abused, in whatever ways you are capable to.

    Is that policing? I leave that to you.
    Last edited by zinycor; 2019-12-16 at 05:00 PM.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    It sounds like you guys are saying that it is not only appropriate, but mandatory, that if I am to be part of a social group, I am to start policing other people's behaviors towards one another? Is that right?
    It's not policing.. it's taking a stand against being bullied and abused. You are the one sitting across the table from these people, not us.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of Shadows View Post
    It's not policing.. it's taking a stand against being bullied and abused. You are the one sitting across the table from these people, not us.
    But in this situation I am not the one being “bullied and abused”, I am joining a preexisting gaming group where one or more of the other players, who aren’t me, frequently bitch at the preexisting GM, who also isn’t me.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    A lot depends on the nature, frequency, and specifics of the "bitching".
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Hold on a second here.

    It sounds like you guys are saying that it is not only appropriate, but mandatory, that if I am to be part of a social group, I am to start policing other people's behaviors towards one another? Is that right?
    As with almost everything in the world, this is not a yes/no. It is, rather, a spectrum, based on the degree of the 'bitching' taking place, the frequency, the severity, whether you are friends with anyone involved, and whether you are physically safe.

    As a rough guideline, If I am in a group, and a member of the group is actively harassing another member of the group, I will absolutely step in. I will, as a rule, do so lightly, unless the harassment is egregious enough to require a harsh response. If it's particularly light, but also consistent, I will probably start by bringing it up gently after a session. If it's particularly harsh, but also hasn't happened before, it will probably draw some variation on "WTF, dude?"

    Preferably, I will find a chance later to talk to the person being harassed alone, to let them know that (a) that stuff is not okay, and that (b) I have their back if they need to talk about it with the person doing it. Doubly so if the harasser seems to think that this kind of abuse is business as usual, because ideally they aren't aware of how it's coming across.

    If that doesn't work, or if the harasser turns their attention to me, I will walk, and I will issue an invitation to anyone present who wasn't the harasser or helping the harasser to join me for a different game later. I probably won't directly say, "leave that game and join my game instead", but I will make it clear that I'd like to play with the people I like.

    In all cases - if a social group gets too aggressive about policing each others' behaviors, it usually dissolves, and if one person in a social group gets too aggressive in policing behaviour they usually wind up getting turfed. But if no one in a social does any policing of each others' behaviors, it gets extremely easy for abusive people to enter the group and start bullying people who can't stand up for themselves, and it also gets very easy for people to not get challenged for bad behaviour, causing that behaviour to worsen. Then, over time, everyone leaves the group except for the abusers and those people who can't stand up to abuse.

    These are both very bad failure states.

    Generally speaking, some basic policing of each others' behaviour towards others is pretty standard. I can't give you specific advice about how far you should step in, but I can say that if you think that the experiences you've been relating to us are anything like common, let alone standard, there's something screwy going on.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of Shadows View Post
    It's not policing.. it's taking a stand against being bullied and abused.
    this distinction can be purely a matter of semantics.
    and yes, we all should be policing the behaviour of people around us, as far as respect and healty relationships go. because there is no one else to.
    we either take care of jerks ourselves, or we give them free rein.
    and because we can't really avoid policing. if we don't do it, we are implicitly saying that everything is fine, that there is nothing wrong. which is equally a stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    But in this situation I am not the one being “bullied and abused”, I am joining a preexisting gaming group where one or more of the other players, who aren’t me, frequently bitch at the preexisting GM, who also isn’t me.
    as a teacher, i've seen a lot of lectures on bullism, and there is one thing they all agreed. standing aside is complicity.
    doesn't matter that it's not happening to you. if you say nothing, do nothing, then the bully understands that he's ok doing that, and the victim understands that he'll get no help from others. next time, when it happens to you, others will stand aside and just look, relieved that this time it's not happening to them.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    A lot depends on the nature, frequency, and specifics of the "bitching".
    Bingo.

    As Talakeal routinely leaves out information and later clarification radically alters the situation, "constantly bitching at the GM" could mean anything on a spectrum of "Every session, the players steal from the GMs wallet if they don't get enough Xp" to "Joe argued for two minutes with the GM over whether or not Shield could be made into a potion or not, then 6 months later this was referenced at a party".

    Talakeal, if at -every- session the players tell the GM he is crap, and bring it up in every social interaction, and the GM -constantly-wants to quit but forces himself to go on, and this has -routinely- occured in everyone one of the five or six different groups you've played with with completely different players, there's something badly wrong with either how you perceive the situation, how you acquire groups, or what you bring to the table that makes every group you are in toxic.

    That's not remotely normal, particularly across multiple groups. You don't have to take my word for it. Look at some of the publicly available play by post games. Listen to Actual Play Podcasts of other people's games being played. Go to a random Adventurer's League or RPGA game at a game store, or go play a one-off game at a convention. Plenty of easily accessible ways to see that routine abuse does not need to be a part of gaming.
    Last edited by Reversefigure4; 2019-12-17 at 12:33 AM.

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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Reversefigure4 View Post
    Bingo.

    As Talakeal routinely leaves out information and later clarification radically alters the situation, "constantly bitching at the GM" could mean anything on a spectrum of "Every session, the players steal from the GMs wallet if they don't get enough Xp" to "Joe argued for two minutes with the GM over whether or not Shield could be made into a potion or not, then 6 months later this was referenced at a party".

    Talakeal, if at -every- session the players tell the GM he is crap, and bring it up in every social interaction, and the GM -constantly-wants to quit but forces himself to go on, and this has -routinely- occured in everyone one of the five or six different groups you've played with with completely different players, there's something badly wrong with either how you perceive the situation, how you acquire groups, or what you bring to the table that makes every group you are in toxic.

    That's not remotely normal, particularly across multiple groups. You don't have to take my word for it. Look at some of the publicly available play by post games. Listen to Actual Play Podcasts of other people's games being played. Go to a random Adventurer's League or RPGA game at a game store, or go play a one-off game at a convention. Plenty of easily accessible ways to see that routine abuse does not need to be a part of gaming.
    My current group is the only one where it is more or less constant.

    But, I have never been part of a group where we didn't have multiple instances, usually several months apart, where one or more players wouldn't stop arguing / complaining to the point where the DM legitimately considered ending the game.

    But, then again, it is a pretty small sample size as I have only been in a handful of long-term groups that weren't formed by me and / or my friends; a couple of school clubs and a couple from flyers in gaming stores.

    APs do seem to be a lot better, but I assumed that was because people are always being on their best behavior because they know they are being watched and recorded. I have never played in an RPGA game, but the horror stories I have heard don't seem to dissuade me of that notion; I have heard lots of stories about people reporting DMs for making rulings or changes they disagreed with, for example the episode of Counter Monkey where he got a warning for swapping out an NPC wizards spell's memorized or the threads on this forum about the guy who gave the T-rex in Tomb of Annihilation ghost step or the guy who ruled that water granted cover.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    The more I think about it, the less reason there is to continue with your group.

    I could understand playing a very flawed game, given that I was friends with the people at the table.

    I could understand playing a game with people I didn't know outside of the game, given that they had the right attitude, and the game was good.

    But a game where there is abuse, where the players don't trust in each other, and whoever is GMing is constantly suffering? I don't get why you stay there.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    The more I think about it, the less reason there is to continue with your group.

    I could understand playing a very flawed game, given that I was friends with the people at the table.

    I could understand playing a game with people I didn't know outside of the game, given that they had the right attitude, and the game was good.

    But a game where there is abuse, where the players don't trust in each other, and whoever is GMing is constantly suffering? I don't get why you stay there.
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    No, I am not forced into taking a flaw; its just that without it I am paying for crafting abilities that I will never use.
    So, the way you phrased this makes me wonder: if you do not take this flaw, are you required to put points into crafting? Are you forced to "[pay] for crafting abilities that I will never use"? Because if it does, then it sounds like the "drawback" of the flaw is actually a positive since it is saving you from having to spend points on something you don't want to have, and then you also get an additional reward out of it
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    Default Re: How to prevent one of Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories: PC Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    So, the way you phrased this makes me wonder: if you do not take this flaw, are you required to put points into crafting? Are you forced to "[pay] for crafting abilities that I will never use"? Because if it does, then it sounds like the "drawback" of the flaw is actually a positive since it is saving you from having to spend points on something you don't want to have, and then you also get an additional reward out of it
    If I parsed it right, the 'abilities' is simply that a higher Wisdom-equivalent stat grants more downtime actions, which are opportunities to craft. Since there is nothing else to do in downtime except craft, Takaleal considers any downtime actions not used to be wasted, even though their character lacks any mechanical ability to craft in the first place.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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