funny-shaped dice wrote:
Over the past few months, there have been a few threads on the forums about how to handle bad gaming experiences at the table. They've included suggestions on rating GMs/EOs**, personally keeping lists of good/bad experiences so you know who to seek out or avoid, etc.
Regardless of technique applied, at some point you are likely to find yourself in a bad game. So, I come here looking for some guidance/recommendations on how the members of this forum approach leaving a game that is going poorly without being an @[email protected]
+ about it.
My question(s) for all you fine folk:
- As a PLAYER, how have you handled the situation where you are in a game and it has become obvious that the game is not your style / you're not having fun? Do you stick it out anyway? How have you politely removed yourself from the table?
- As a GM, what recommendations do you have to PLAYERs about how to handle this situation?
As a player, it depends on WHY i am having a bad experience.
My first ever Gencon (stateside that is, i am not counting my Gencon UK from 97), one of the players on an ADND game table i was at, was VERY Boisterous, and would consistently try to talk over Everyone else at the table, INCLUDING THE DM. It went on like that for almost 40 minutes, till the WIFE of one of the other players (who was hanging back watching) went up to him and flat out told the douche-bag, either shut the heck up, or SHE would drag him out of the room by his 'you know what' and drop him face first, next to the nearest hall monitor..
Most everyone laughed at it, but HE at least DID quiet down for a while..
Had he not done so, (or had she not spoken up, cause it definitely didn't look like the DM was going to), i am very sure, i'd have said something to the effect of "IF you can't control the table DM, i am not going to stay here".
Where as if it was say, cause the DM seemed very inexperienced/unorganized, i'd stick it out, AS I WAS that way when i first started out DMing myself.. So i can cut a newbie some slack.
However, if that bad experience, was more cause of say, just having a real bad dice day, i am not sure what i would have done.
So my 'handle it', would greately depend on WHY i am not having fun...
Good questions. (OMG warning wall of text coming!!!)
Whew. Wall of text. Here's my suggestions to players, based on laying all this out:
1) Please do not sign up for a game and show up to play if you know you're going to leave early.
2) Please try not to prioritize your partying over a game you signed up to play and started playing. If you want to party, by all means party. Just don't sign up for late night games, please.
4) Talk to the GM
if you're not having fun. I know, I didn't do that in my first story above. But I still think it wouldn't have mattered. I won't lay out the whole story. Anyway, if you talk to a receptive
GM, they can very likely fix whatever it is that isn't working for you.
: make it clear from the start that you are receptive to working with your players. If you are receptive. If you're not...be prepared for people to leave. But recognize that it's a Con, it's a one-off game, and the world won't end if you break a rule, change the vibe, throw out a clue, etc. in order to keep a player satisfied and in the game.
realize you need to be flexible too. Even if the game isn't quite what you were expecting, take a second to ask whether it needs to be what you were expecting, or whether what the game is
is going to be okay.
7) If you need to leave, try to minimize the damage. Players 4,5, and 6 above were great about that. Player 4, about to pass out from exhaustion, sat politely for a couple of minutes while her friend wrapped up an in-game thing, so two other players could keep enjoying the game, and then they left. That was great.
(I'm hating pushing post to see how long this is...)
On #1/2, i am with ya there. I've lost track of the # of game sessions (especially SUNDAY MORNINGS) where either it had to get cancelled cause not enough players showed up, (or worse, the DM didn't, so far only 2 times did that happen out of 15 gencons).
On #4, some times people at cons, (more so than home games from what i personally see), seem LESS likely to do something like that (critique someone to their face) cause maybe they don't feel like public confrontations? Not sure really.
On #5, what exactly do you mean by "Being receptive to working with the players"?? If i am say running a module that has XYZ, but some of the players are not into that, are you saying i should shift to a different module?
ON #7, that also IMO applies to those who show up late.
I have bailed twice from RPGs and both times during a break I feigned a text or call that required my immediate attention, thanked everyone for the game, and made sure the DM got my ticket so they would get credit for my attendance.
My issue with folks doing that, is WE, those who are running it, have NO CLUE, whether someone leaving is really having an issue that needs their attention elsewhere, OR they are leaving cause of something we are doing.. Kind of hard to fix a problem, if you don't KNOW there's a problem..
2) How your departure will affect the game. Can the game even run properly if you leave? Will significant numbers of people have their experience negatively affected by your leaving? Or can we just move ahead without you? (For example, in a game with one secret spy, and you're the secret spy...that may tank the whole game.)
3) How different is it from what you expected? Are you really not going to enjoy it, or are you just a little disappointed? This was a point I made in my Wall of Towering Text above :) I do think the player owes to the others to at least ask that question--am I just a bit disappointed in what the game is? Or am I actually not enjoying it?
4) Are there changes that can be made to make it enjoyable for you?
Some games just aren't going to be your thing. But the way I see it, by starting the game (not necessarily by buying the ticket), I have entered into a temporary social contract. All of our enjoyment depends on all of us :) So I do owe something to those people for a brief period of time. But I don't owe being miserable, being abused, being neglected, etc. But if my negative experience is internal
--"Man, I thought this was a different type of game"--I'm going to ask myself first whether I will enjoy what the game turns out to be.
If not, and if the other players' experience won't be ruined by my leaving, I may still leave. But for me, it really takes a bad
game, not just an unexpected one, for me to leave it.
Point 2 is a great one Brother. In say, a RPG game which is more like a "who dunnit", losing one person may not impact things much. BUT in say one of those games where one of the PLAYERS is part OF the game itself (the goal), losing him (or her), as you say, would tank the premise..
On #3, That is a great question. If say i made a star-wars game where there was lots of 'tactical combat thinking' needed, and wrote the module that way, someone coming in, expecting more of a 'mind games/puzzles/RP heavy' session may not "enjoy it" as much as others. BUT imo that's why players should READ the blurb for the session, to know what they should be getting into..
Several years back, i had just that. A game where i stated in the blurb for the event "combat heavy SW module, experienced SW players only". When game day came, 3 of the 7 players who showed up (5 ticketed, 2 on generics), HAD NEVER even played star-wars, let alone knew the rules...
On #4, i've often wondered, if more folk would just give things a chance that's "Outside their normal comfort zone", they might find out they actually like it..
funny-shaped dice wrote:
This would work as long as I'm willing to confront the GM. If I'm a person who avoids or is bad with confrontation, then what? I'm stuck? That's certainly not right either.
This thread has me thinking...I appreciate the conversation.
Which brings me back to the How does someone know that they need to correct something, if they don't get TOLD "Hey there is a problem".