PDA

View Full Version : How weird it is that this needs to be said. Since most PnP gamers have this as basic common sense.



Carodwen
05-12-2014, 11:08 AM
You have created a thought for a game you want. You have finally found a DM willing to create and run this story you have been wanting. Found a couple players. and it is finally time to game! One player complete no shows without any kinda respect or notification another player puts a half arse effort and is consistently late, to their own game none the less etc ect ect

Pen and Paper gaming is a very old way of playing games and socializing with friends. Or even making new friends. It was a way to give the "Nerd" something they could do with their other friends. (as my father so eloquently puts it.) But there is, or at least USED to be a high amount of respect amongst other players, aside from dying in some horrific accident or Mom wanting you to stay home for the evening, most gamers understood that if they were to no show, at least a notification would suffice. And If they set up the game they would at least see it through.

That obviously doesn't really exist anymore though and, sad as it may be, I feel it will be consistent in the tabletop online community. Shame too.
The other players suffer the most in this. Including any GM that may put enormous amounts of time and effort into the game, even if its not their idea for the game. They are loyal and put forth all effort.

That being said. I was in a group like that. One had no courtesy to even bother saying they was not really interested and the other just felt like doing other things. Mean while the other players, who have chiseled out a bit of time to play this game that was someone elses idea, are left in the wind to fend for themselves in a 4 player minimum campaign and now they are only two. Having to adjust and suffer is not something that is pleasant. And its usually expected anymore. Which is kinda sad to say the least.

There should be a list on this site of people who consistently bail or no show for their groups. The rest of us that actually care for the effort we put in deserve at least that much. Some of us have a real life that is hard to get away from and we do not deserve to have our time wasted./EndRant

jpatterson
05-12-2014, 12:56 PM
Pen and Paper gaming is a very old way of playing games and socializing with friends. Or even making new friends. It was a way to give the "Nerd" something they could do with their other friends. (as my father so eloquently puts it.) But there is, or at least USED to be a high amount of respect amongst other players, aside from dying in some horrific accident or Mom wanting you to stay home for the evening, most gamers understood that if they were to no show, at least a notification would suffice. And If they set up the game they would at least see it through.

That obviously doesn't really exist anymore though and, sad as it may be, I feel it will be consistent in the tabletop online community. Shame too.
The other players suffer the most in this. Including any GM that may put enormous amounts of time and effort into the game, even if its not their idea for the game. They are loyal and put forth all effort.
I feel for you or any player or GM where this happens frequently, and moreso for those who often have no choice - either have a game with some players who are unreliable and inconsistent, or simply lose that number of players, because no others exist in your area at all. Neither is an encouraging, positive option.

I am one of those people who is unable to have regular tabletop games. The broader reason is lack of nearby gamers in a reasonable distance. Second the the number of suitable gamers or games that I'd want to compete in or with (either because of age group, system/setting or whatever). More specific reasons for me personally is that I'm without a vehicle so I'm not able to even go to my friend's 25 miles away like I've been able to do once or twice a month until the end of last year, plus I was limited because of gas money when i was able to get a ride. On top of THAT, my friend now has a more time-consuming job without a consistent schedule, so even if everything else worked out, a regular day and time would be impossible anyway.

For those reasons and a few others, years back, I searched many forums and RPG sites for a sense of community, of like-minded individuals, of people to discuss gaming, maybe try online play here or there just to test the water. That is a large component in a lot of online play, is many people simply have no other outlet and it becomes their "last resort" - I think that category, in some people's minds, makes them place less emphasis in online games they are in, and the people on the other side(s) of the monitor(s)/microphones, etc.

I was fortunate enough in 2011 to have a very enthusiastic PPG member and active player talk me into running a text-only game in the PPG site chat here, and he went out and recruited a good handful of other players. I was untested as a GM here, and knew nobody really, and had never even played the system or setting/campaign I agreed to run, and expected it to be only a short stint, to "get used to it". The first game was in Feb of 2011. It is now May 12, 2014, and my group has met once a week in PPG chat nearly every week for over three years for that same campaign.

Yes I've had a problem with players here or there, some of it was just dumb luck, some was from disinterest, some were really just not socially suitable, etc. But those cases have by far been rare outliers, and though probably a dozen players have come and gone in my game, two players have been consistent: one that was there from the first session, and another that joined only a couple sessions later. They are mature adults, have responsibilities like jobs and families and in both of those duties, have innumerable people that rely on them. My current group of five players, and even 95% of the players no longer in the game, have always been very solid and conscientious and thoughtful of the game itself, so without fail, inform me at the first opportunity, if they'll be unable to make a game, sometimes months in advance! Their loyalty and respect and consideration for their fellow players and me has been an absolute treasure and gift of sincere compliment, and I feel my game and my own GMing, would be a mere shade, a fraction, of what it is, and would never have lasted this long, without players that truly care about the other gamers and the game.

Players that appreciate not just being able to be entertained, but want to entertain others, that want to also see development in other characters (and players!) are the absolute best and to a large extent, ONLY ingredient a game needs, to operate successfully for years - yes, even online. I am constantly awed and grateful for my absolutely excellent players and the trust and cooperation they have shown me and each other, and I aim in every session I run, to return that in the small ways I'm able, with the in-game appreciation and opportunity for them to tell their characters' stories, because a game is nothing without the characters, and the players - no matter the campaign, sandbox or seat-of-the-pants improv, the entire game is to allow the characters to shine, to let the players cut loose with their creativity and personal narrative - to let the players exhibit the GREAT people they know they are, that we ALL are.

So don't give up hope. There are rock-solid players that understand true respect, dedication and sincere fellowship, even online!




That being said. I was in a group like that. One had no courtesy to even bother saying they was not really interested and the other just felt like doing other things. Mean while the other players, who have chiseled out a bit of time to play this game that was someone else's idea, are left in the wind to fend for themselves in a 4 player minimum campaign and now they are only two. Having to adjust and suffer is not something that is pleasant. And its usually expected anymore. Which is kinda sad to say the least.
When bad things happen, especially when people fail to live up to an explicit or assumed goal or duty to fulfill their social contract (as in the case of trying to make a game or making sure people know it won't be possible), I believe it is always advisable to assume the best in people - to take into account what happens in your own life, or in the lives of people you know, that have the capability to absolutely throw someone's whole world into chaos. It might be as simple as emergencies or stress or last-minute family or work obligations, yes, but it can just as often be things that even if the people seem to tacitly acknowledge or display, such as a cold indifference to your hurt and inconvenience, may be things entirely or largely outside of their power, or a surprising number of times, their own perception of doing anything wrong.

This is an extreme example, but I know that a lot of people on the internet tend to have social or various mental or emotional challenges, and from my own observations (which may be incorrect in general, but are borne out in MY own experiences), many people are on medications and are receiving or needing counseling. The anonymity of online interaction has many dangers, and besides the obvious ones that seem to make people act like the worst of humanity, I think we should remember the more subtle dangers, of that lack of being able to constantly see and hear and read body language and really "know" the other online players, and we rarely consider the hurdles they may face daily, or the things going on in their lives they may either not mention from guilt or shame or wanting to simply escape from a situation. Instead we just judge and criticize and resent others when they "wrong" us, often taking it as a personal insult and a character flaw or lack of caring for others. In that way we can sometimes be as bad as the internet trolls and abusive users, because when we make pigeon-hole generalizations and write people off as jerks, in the same way as the people who post horrible threats or ridicule or abuse, we also are not considering the person on the other side of the screen. We feel justified because they hurt us first. But that isn't sufficient and that doesn't make anything better. Sure, we can write people off if they're "more trouble than they're worth" and often we have to do that, but we should always realize there is a lifetime's worth of experiences and influences that have brought that person to the point they're at now, that causes them to make the choices they do, to show the personality they do, and we would be arrogant and ignorant to think we can always (or even usually) know enough to judge such people easily or with even minimal accuracy.



There should be a list on this site of people who consistently bail or no show for their groups. The rest of us that actually care for the effort we put in deserve at least that much. Some of us have a real life that is hard to get away from and we do not deserve to have our time wasted./EndRant
I understand your point here, and I'm torn. One part of me agrees that If such a listing were regularly maintained by people in an ideal situation, this would be efficient and helpful to people serious about gaming and fellowship with other gamers. The other part of me hates the very idea of creating lists of "transgressors", "villains" or "undesirables", in any capacity. A long, dark road built with the bricks of this kind of thinking can easily lead to longer, darker destinations that ultimately promise only ruin for everyone. If a list must be made, I would suggest instead an endorsement list, similar to "Likes" or "thumbs up" on other social media, where you basically endorse other players you've gamed with, as being solid and reliable and having many good qualities that would make them a good choice for others. This allows not only the highlighting of good points, putting everything in a better, more positive light, but would allow "undesirables" to regain their reputation and improve their previous behavior, encouraging them that they can change if they want to, and give them something to strive for - to be recognized specifically as players others enjoy gaming with.

Carodwen
05-12-2014, 01:26 PM
When bad things happen, especially when people fail to live up to an explicit or assumed goal or duty to fulfill their social contract (as in the case of trying to make a game or making sure people know it won't be possible), I believe it is always advisable to assume the best in people - to take into account what happens in your own life, or in the lives of people you know, that have the capability to absolutely throw someone's whole world into chaos. It might be as simple as emergencies or stress or last-minute family or work obligations, yes, but it can just as often be things that even if the people seem to tacitly acknowledge or display, such as a cold indifference to your hurt and inconvenience, may be things entirely or largely outside of their power, or a surprising number of times, their own perception of doing anything wrong.

I promise it was a cold indifference. And I quote " I dont have to I just want to" I don't care if you want out. It's just there are much better and more decent ways to do so." It just wasn't what I expected" Or "It's getting nicer and I find myself just wanting to hang out outside in the light" (lol) I am not so hardcore that I will hunt you down and ruin your life for leaving a game. And for it to be insinuated that some how I'm just casting judgement? Or not caring about the other? I completely ignore my care giving duties for anything I take time to do for myself. and honestly It takes all of 60 seconds to type "I'm not interested anymore" Or "I'm just not able to get away from RL right now" Im not a complete biatch. I have a dying mother and a dad with untreated cancer. I know the ill wills of real life and understand immensely crap happens. But even I can afford 60 seconds to perma cancel any long term plans. And in that smae respect one of our pathfinder memebers found a moment in break to let us know he wasn't going to make it. So in closing. I just feel I, as well as those I deem decent enough to play with, deserve much better than playing a waiting game week after week and then ditched all together. And The list is mean to be a little cold. It sucks I know but there is always a chance you can change but until then everyone else deserves peace of mind. Honestly though that is seriously the only issue I have ever had. My experience here has always been amazing and I have met a few pretty decent people that did not treat me like I was the ever elusive and rare female gamer. They treat me as a gamer no more and no less. And they don't act as if I somehow am in need of a relationship either. Sometimes I get the creeper now and again but block is amazing and I use it :) This is me just being irritated and needed to release some steam. I do hope it was ok.

Sneaksta
05-12-2014, 01:28 PM
I am guilty of this. I have no showed. Real life has a bad habit of getting in the way. When I received a call at 3:30pm to go in to cover a sick person that called in, i went straight in to work.After just getting off from work at another job. In the busied harried-ness , game time slipped down the priority list, and slipped my mind. When I remembered later, I also remembered that I have skype on my phone, and popped on during a short moment of non-craziness, to say hey, sorry, i got called in, and forgot the game.

Life does have it's problems. It sucks, and i really am interested in playing.

Carodwen
05-12-2014, 01:58 PM
Yes but you remembered how to use your skype. All that matters :) Those I speak of did not.

ak47
05-12-2014, 03:22 PM
don't worry carodwen we will find players for our post apoco game it will take time to find players that are quality players maybe longer that chat is dead on site but as long as you want to play i will make adjustments for just two players so you wont die you may lose another body part :p but u survive just fine.

Malruhn
05-12-2014, 07:48 PM
Sneaksta - the questions are - how many TIMES have you no-showed? How did you react the NEXT time you showed up after no-showing??

THAT is the difference. We all know that RL intrudes on prime gaming time. CONSIDERATE players will call or text or e-mail if they can't make it. Rude asses won't.

BUT - their character will be seen the NEXT time they show up. Considerate players that had RL stomp them into the ground (Sneaksta), will be over-apologetic and won't have a habit of no-shows. Rude asses will just sit down and ask, "What did I miss? Did I get any treasure??"

Gaming runs the same as anything else - and actually is a bit better than average. If a gaming club has 10 members, TWO of them will meet for every scheduled event. TWO will be there most of the time, TWO will meet up some of the time - and four will just sit back like shadows and never do a damned thing - UNTIL the group talks about breaking up, then they'll be all, "OMG No, we CAN'T break up! There's so much going for us!!!" All the while, they haven't done a darned thing. The same percentages rule if there are 100 members in the club.

Unfortunately, it's the nature of the beast. Carodwen, you actually CARE about the game. End of story. Those you were with don't share your passion.

Keep playing. It will never get any better - but you can try to see that it never gets any worse.

Carodwen
05-12-2014, 09:15 PM
Meh sneak was never the issue here. Lets get that straight. This is about someone completely different.

Carodwen
05-12-2014, 09:17 PM
But I do thank you immensely for your comment. Besides sneak and AK you were the only one to not make me feel like the bad guy :) And I thank you for that.

jpatterson
05-12-2014, 09:35 PM
To be fair, I'm the only other one that posted in here besides the people you mentioned, which likely makes me "everyone else".

I apologize if I made you "feel like the bad guy", that wasn't my intention at all and I certainly don't think it, which I tried to make clear in my posts. I think my problem is I was/am in a mood to discuss RPG group dynamic theory (which I just did in Facebook), and was using it to try to illustrate a point to you that I had hoped would help alleviate some of your frustration at players no-showing and such. So much of what I wrote was intended as more of a presentation to a "hypothetical you", to just be examples, and to address whoever is reading that might see some of their own selves in some of what I say - I know I'm certainly guilty of all those things, or have been at times.

The part about being arrogant and such was NOT at all intended to address YOU, Carodwen, and I do regret now, in reading it, that I put it in at all, given I think I had drifted from my response to you and was more thinking out loud. In far fewer words, what my POINT was, and I realize and apologize that it really got lost in my own brain, was that *I*, when things like you describe happen, try to look at things in the gentlest way possible, toward even players I feel are being jerks, because it softens not only my own view toward them (because I just don't want to be critical of people, I'm already too much that way), but also softens the impact of their seeming thoughtlessness on me, and I feel much less hurt or frustration. That's truly the ENTIRETY of what I was trying to say, but my brain just sort of trotted off on its own on theories and underlying this and that. I'm sorry, Carodwen. I am at fault and take responsibility for what I posted and while I do believe it, it was posted in my reply to you, inappropriately, which didn't do anyone any good. =(

Carodwen
05-12-2014, 09:54 PM
Well I wasn't entirely sure where your initial post was headed, since, all in all i have played a total of 4 games and 2 of which originated from this site. I usually stick to myself and say nothing. I understand your need to be kind while telling those off. And Trust I believe there are some major jerks that do feel that way. in the sense that they are arrogant and dont take others into account. But I truly believe to have a healthy community, especially when the community already feels like it is, in a sense dying slowly, we need to communicate. We need to call those out that are a constant no show and think all is well. We need to call out those that keep groups on a tense fence afraid to do anything without approval of that one person, we need to call out GMs that dont let story's flow and try and push then to the area or spots they want them too. We need to call out those who make others feel bad because they don't play to their standards. If we don't communicate that search engine for "Pen and Paper Online Communities" will dwindle down. and eventually we will have no where to gather and chat and have a great time. Save the world and play some games. I, more than anything want sites like this to persevere. And in respect. We need to have threads that talk about how much we enjoy the sessions we have found thanks to these forums and give credit and thanks to the DM/GMs that take the time to give us a great adventure. No matter the setting. I love PnP and I love adore the friends I have met here and I look forward to my gaming nights, more than my own birthday. So Lets start over :) I'm sorry as well JP. I'm just trying to help the community survive by communicating the best that I can.

jpatterson
05-13-2014, 12:22 AM
I couldn't agree more with a large bulk of this above. Well, all of it really. Constant no-shows and things like that are a problem and a GM is certainly within his right to remove them from his group, no question there, especially if it is a true no-show as you say, no call, no text, no skype.

I'm less enthusiastic about the second point about GM's pushing stories to an area or spot they want them to go, for two reasons. Firstly, I kinda suck at some aspects of GMing, and usually (and am) using a canned campaign and adventure, and though I like to think I improvise pretty well overall, I have my limits and sometimes have nothing in mind I can use to either realistically keep things in a certain scope, or the ability to think fast on my feet to allow a very dramatic departure from a certain general path. My Solomon Kane campaign is, in some ways, the very definition of railroad, but designed that way (not by me, but I appreciate it still) and there IS a logic and reason to that, that makes it not artificial but a very long heroic quest.

The second reason I'm less steady on calling out GM's on "pushing stories" certain directions is the idea that, well, that IS the GM's job, to moderate a game and present a scenario or storyline, in the case of traditional games anyway. There are two basic GMing approaches: sandbox or structured, with the worst or at least most extreme or archetypal being the railroad. I personally have been awed by a friend of mine's ability to run sandbox games, consistently for weeks and weeks, until a year or more, just spitballing and improvving entire sessions, sometimes with a general idea of a challenge he would introduce, sometimes just letting it be entirely player driven. I do not have such ability and honestly just am completely blank with no pre-existing adventure. It isn't for LACK of wanting to let the players "tell the full story" they want to tell, with their characters, I have no pride or attachment to an adventure as "the way it has to be done" for its own sake, but because I have a limit to how much I'm able to improvise. Too far off the beaten path and I'm simply lost and have no idea what to do.

Also it isn't really clear what you mean, specifically when you say "GMs that dont let story's flow and try and push then to the area or spots they want them". Does my self-example above put me in that category? What should be done with me, hypothetically? =)



We need to call out those who make others feel bad because they don't play to their standards.
Again, I am SO torn on this matter. I understand the intent and can agree on one hand, very firmly and am tempted to add that it seems like some people simply will not learn or try to learn or improve without some drastic steps, even possibly punishment of some kind.

On the other hand, I so much want to try to approach things, like I said, from a fully positive, optimistic view, both for my own sake, so I don't feel as miffed even if its from jerks no-showing, and also for a generally positive outlook on gaming and gamers, and making a more welcoming, inviting appearance. I've listened to the audiobook "Winning Friends and Influencing People" and read "The Power of Positive Thinking" and enjoyed them both, and they both stress the importance of trading out criticism and punishment for failure to comply, and instead relied more on praise and reward and encouragement, as many US and world leaders as well as employers have done, to try to "manipulate" (for lack of a better word) people into behaving more appropriately.

At the end of the day, I guess I am grateful that I at least feel like I'm not qualified to judge someone else's (your) chosen idea or approach to this, because I know I'm not smart enough to make decision for you or your group or situation, or for anyone else, and all I can do is follow my inclination and hope it leads somewhere good.

You certainly don't owe me any apology, so never you mind about that. And I'm gratified that you feel comfortable and happy with tabletop gaming and PPG forums and others like them, I know it wasn't always like that for a lot of people, and I would say women moreso, but really, what hurts one particular subset of us really hurts everyone, so while I wouldn't try to marginalize the problems female gamers have had and still have in some obnoxious gaming circles, I think phrasing it in terms of gender or any other single aspect would be simplistic of me does a disservice to the fine gamers and people that work actively to improve gaming as a whole for everyone.

On the upside, I've seen a lot of posts here and there, over the years, talking about the "dwindling" or dying tabletop RPG hobby, and I would like to assert that while I think we should always do what we can to promote and improve and "pretty up" gaming, I thinking gaming is stronger and more prevalent now than ever. Comic and game conventions, cosplay, anime, video game MMORPGs, now even comics and cartoons and even prime time TV shows, news shows, comedy shows, ALL mention and help promote RPGs nowdays, and in a lot more good ways than used to happen. Almost everybody is familiar with tabletop RPGs nowdays, and that can only lead to more participants! =D Yay!

Carodwen
05-13-2014, 01:29 AM
Firstly I am not really saying its bad they do that I just said sometimes it takes away from the fun of the other people when you are constantly being pushed to make certain choices. I was in a game where we would all do our rp roll initiatives then 15 hordes showed up forcing us to go the other direction which was only allowed to be north east. to which every one of us nearly died. Every choice we made what questioned and doubted (which is fine but in the end we felt like we wasn't even playing the game right because every spoken choice we made was shot down) But on the other hand in my post apocalyptic game we have gone in circles. Twice and it was the funnest circle I have done. Not every day you blow up a gas station while running from a biker gaming from rolling a near crit. I am sure we were not intended to end up back in the warehouse we was in when the game ended 2 sessions ago. But we did. And it was fulfilling because we role played it and we got there by our our freedom of choice. That is the ideal I have for role playing games. Idk, it probably just me but going in linear directions and manuals, for me is console and pc. I kinda like the freedom of choice in role playing. Sometimes stories do run around. and some times it takes awhile to get to the punchline but it should be equally adventurous to both the gm and the party. Just my opinion. If im not having fun anymore I likely will stop trying and pray for death.

Sometimes confrontation with the loud voiced trouble maker is necessary. We can't always ignore people who are visibly doing wrong because we don't want confrontation. I, myself, got no problem telling a bully to step off. It is not ok to be mean, even on the internet. And I will not stand idly by while people I consider friends are being mistreated. To often it is welcomed to have someone be a douche to others, simply because they are an intricate part of the group, or they are too confrontational, or have a Temper. Great thing about the internet is those folks are a dime a dozen and ban does wonders for everyone else suffering.

And with all due respect I wasn't talking about table top itself dying just the sites that are supposed to be gathering grounds for other gamers. Wizards of the coast pretty much washed their hands of their site, roll 20 is.. yeah and this one is one of the last places to go that isn't the filth filled that is Reddit. THAT is what I am talking about. The only chatting community's not the systems themselves.

I'm not actually trying to separate myself from the boys by mentioning that I'm a female what I said was the only ones that seemed to make a big deal about it are the males and pretty much all i said on that is most of them really only did the whole flirt flirt thing and eventually found out i wasn't interested in that. Im a gamer. In this world my gender is immaterial. It does a disservice to gaming to focus on the party member who is a girl.

As for all the rest. We shall agree to disagree.

Goodnight I'm tired :)

jpatterson
05-13-2014, 02:23 AM
I feel kinda bad your thread here went offtopic a bit from its intent and that was mostly if not fully my fault, and now I'm torn between wanting to go into more depth on some of the other things we've discussed about gaming in general, or trying to get back to your main point about player behavior and its impact and how to deal with that and hopefully also curb players from doing that sort of thing.

Wick
07-31-2014, 07:27 AM
Another comment could also go towards proper care and feeding of a good GM. Now that I find it impossible to find players or a good GM, I look back at the great GM's I have had and wished that the group had been better to them, maybe cycled Gming with them so they would not burnout and could continue their awesome campaigns. You find a good GM you had better find out how to keep them happy, so that they have fun on that side of the screen.

-Wick