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The RPG Trauma Unit

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10 hours ago, Nolgroth said:

It is the underhanded, one player trying to ruin the experience for another that pisses me off.

Unfortunately this kind of player, as well as the "let's just try to break the game because I'm an a$$hat" type player seem to be too well represented amoung players these days. 


If you agree to a campaign as player or GM, then play in that campaign.  If the campaign is not something you will enjoy, then don't play in it. 


I have never understood how that is such a difficult concept.

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Nolgroth's story about adversarial players reminded me of a D&D game I was involved in for a fairly short time (maybe a few months).  Even though it was D&D, the DM allowed each player to have *one* unique ability or powerful item, and such abilities or items didn't have to be fantasy related.  One character, for example, had the ability to create a Bic lighter-size flame anywhere (including inside somebody else).  Another guy had an assault rifle with attached grenade launcher (and an unlimited supply of bullets and grenades).  My character could "summon" any relatively mundane item from the modern world - flashlight, tent, pistol, etc. though not things like military-grade weapons. 


This was a large group - I think there were 15-20 players total (though not everybody made it to every game session, so in practice it was like 12-15 at a time).  And of course, there were cliques and factions within the group.  It didn't take me long to realized that two of the players (we'll call them Phil and George) would go out of their way to argue and generally make each other's life difficult.  Things often escalated to the characters attacking each other, with most of the other players taking sides.  It got to the point that the DM was getting obviously irritated with the ongoing a**hattery.  Phil was the guy with the Bic flame power; I don't remember what George had initially.  Anyway, in one session George's character got killed (along with several other PCs), so the DM told them to write up new characters with new special abilities / items, and he would introduce them to the group when they were done. 


Skip forward about an hour, and they all have new characters ready.  The DM quickly looks them over and approves them, and then lays out the "introduce the new PCs" scenario.  Very simple - we see this trio of what look to be fellow adventurers approaching us on the road, one of whom (George's PC) appears to have a large metallic backpack with a hose leading to something held in his hand.  We're all thinking, "ah, a flamethrower" and that's when d***-head Phil gets the bright idea to ignite his flame inside the "backpack" while the trio of newcomers are still like 50 yards away. The DM asked him to reconsider, pointing out that there had been absolutely no provocation or reason to prompt such hostile action, but Phil was not to be deterred. 


Finally, the DM said, "Okay, fine.  The flame appears inside a key component of George's FGMP (fusion gun, man portable), causing it to overload.  This results in a nuclear explosion large enough to kill everybody in a half-mile radius.  George dies.  Phil dies.  Everybody dies.  The end."


Given the group dynamics, I'm not sure how the DM could have better resolved the ongoing animosity between the players, apart from kicking both of them out of the game, as well as a few others who were fairly fanatically loyal to either Phil or George.  The DM did restart the game a few weeks later, but I had gotten so sick of Phil's and George's infighting that I declined to rejoin the game. 



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