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Gaming Pet Peeves - Part One - Attendance

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Well I'm not quite sure how to actually organize my thoughts on this, however I've got a few pet peeves about role playing that I find very irritating...caused by both the GM and the other players, or player characters.

First issue is attendance. I find that attendance is good the first few sessions, where you've established your character, found how you're going to play your character, you come across certain life or death situations or the game sessions end up being simply role-playing instead of roll-playing or vice versa, depending on your preference of game style. I try not to miss any sessions, but if there is one person missing, a lot of GM's won't run the game, simply because they don't feel they'd play the character properly or they just refuse to play a player character and GM/DM at the same time. Not running a session means disappointment for the rest of the players.

Too many instances have arisen in my role playing experience that players' schedules have made it difficult for them to make sessions...but what I don't get is WHY people don't inform the GM if they can't make it to a session? It should be common courtesy for the GM and the players involved to give advanced warming or some sort of warning ahead of time to make sure that they are included somehow in the party as played by another player. Or simply try to run with the players that are eager and willing to go.

A game that had yet to start using the Hero System, a user-created world was nipped in the bud before it even started because of lack of interest from every single player except for myself and another player. What started with five players ended up being two, while the others simply weren't willing to try the new style of gaming, or didn't think the style was for them, when we hadn't even [played a session yet.

Either step up and attend the meetings or character creation sessions, or don't bother signing up for the game in the first place. I can understand trying to get people's schedules together is one thing, but if you're not willing to try out a session to see if you like it rather than just quitting before you even give the GM a chance to walk you through it then don't bother joining a game. It really is a waste of the GM's time, as well as the other players getting characters ready and then have nothing to show for it if they like what they've created.

Well that probably made absolutely no sense but...I hope people understand that it's not fair to the GM or the players to miss too many sessions or just to drop out without any warning. Turnovers of players is fine, as long as they have a willingness to learn a completely different system.

I'm always willing to try anything once. Though I must admit there are a few players with whom I have a problem playing...for personal reasons. So even though I might be interested in playing...I wouldn't feel comfortable with that player in the group so I tend to avoid those games.

There...*sigh*...I've said my piece...maybe people will realize to think twice before joining a game. If you're not in it for the long-run, don't bother joining.

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  1. Dwarf44's Avatar
    Very true. Found it annoying when we set up a certain date & time to play, then you have some players who are habitually late, leave early, or are frequently missing it. Even though they said that the date & time worked for them in the beginning...

    Attendance is probably the leading annoyance...
  2. templeorder's Avatar
    I agree... but as a GM and organizer i have learned some tricks and adaptations to encourage the maximum participation. I let people come and go as they will - just not with main plot thread characters. In the back of my mind,m there is always an NPC that can be scrounged for the "fair weather" gamer... I have 3-4 stable players and me as a GM in most of my campaigns. The others i have 2 levels for - those dedicated but not able, and those who have fun but can take it or leave it. The last set gets characters without powers or abilities that make anyone think - no slowing down the game (hey, they are not showing up regularly, they don't get anything exotic that means they have to ask questions and kill the time we do have) and the former are allowed more exotic (magic, psychic, or faith using characters or different races) because they take time outside of the game to learn it all and can dive into it without explanations or slow downs.

    Its just a fact this happens.. i have a standard gaming contract that outlines what i expect. I use Google Calendar and let people respond to the event. I try not to be flexible in how i treat different attendance scenarios... but i also have the advantage of knowing most of these gamers for near 15+ years... so the respect me and the efforts i put in to organize, host, and play (when i can!).
  3. Blydden's Avatar
    Agree, agree, agree. And agree.

    Attendance for my RL game is...bleh. It is pretty much always 1-2 people do not show up, and that is on the better times. Hopefully we will actually start getting everyone to show up, but meh. What can you do?

    I, myself, personally, try to show up for almost every single session, like my life depended on it. (If you know the evil DMs, then your character can die with a flick of the DM's wrist if he is displeased, so your character's life depends on it too.)

    When I can not show up, due to serious illness or serious real life commitments, I always send them a little PM. It's not that hard to send a PM people! Seriously. Just open your "Notifications" on the top right of the site bar...
  4. outrider's Avatar
    agree also. It seems to be more of a internet problem in my experience. Its not hard to say I cant make it, I understand that real life intrudes but it seems that common courtesy has gone by the wayside and thats a sad thing.
  5. Farcaster's Avatar
    Ashene, I've never had much of a problem with players rapidly dropping out of games with no notice. I've had some various issues with players not giving enough notice when they are going to miss a session, but nothing as extreme as what you're describing. I wonder if this is a phenomenon that is far more prevalent in online games.
  6. froglegg's Avatar
    Right on point ash! You go girl : )