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Old Oct 24th, 2019, 11:32 AM
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The Award For Worst Gaming Experience Goes To...

What is your flat-out, no question, absolute worst gaming experience?

For me, it was about a year and a half ago, in February of 2018. I live in a college town with one small hobby shop, an independent-type without much in the way of flash, but because of the college, there were always plenty of twenty-somethings coming in and out for cards, games, drones, whatever. Among them were any number of prospective tabletop gamers, eager to take to the world of RPGs on a wing and a prayer-- so long as they had an apt guide. As a twenty-something myself, I don't mind being honest-- there's plenty of earnestness and little in the way of commitment.

So I, along with a couple of others, volunteered to begin running introductory games for new players to systems like D&D5e, Pathfinder, and the occasional Shadowrun. Nothing super involved like full adventures, but usually a zero session for character gen followed by a quick one-shot that could be handled in a couple of hours. My first two groups were great, involved and interested, and they took to 5e (my most familiar system) like bronze dragons to water. The third group, though...

We'd run our zero-session the week before, generating complete, if basic, characters: a rogue, a paladin, a fighter, a wizard, and a sorcerer. These more or less seemed to fit them as people as well; Rogue was handsome and charismatic, Fighter said she was a rugby player, Paladin had been chosen his class because he'd been a chaplain in the army (the oldest of our group), and Wizard and Sorcerer were actually a couple, a man pursuing his master's in education and a woman who was pursuing a graphic design degree. All of them went to the local university, all of them had luckily known or shared a few words before our group was put together, and all of them seemed to like each other-- with one notable exception. Sorcerer seemed to HATE Rogue.

At first it seemed they just rubbed each other the wrong way. Rogue was charming and witty with everybody, but gave Sorcerer a wide berth, and Sorcerer returned the sentiment by basically icing him out. As the night went on, it slowly got worse, though; there came a point toward the end of the session when Sorcerer was growing to be almost antagonistic, both in-game and without, pointing out everything Rogue did wrong from mistakes as a player to stereotypes of his character (again, just sort of a basic street-rat rogue). I called an early end to the session at an organic point in the story and resolved to speak with both of them before we continued the next night, but Sorcerer stormed out almost immediately, with a very confused Wizard on her heels, so I caught up with Rogue while he was gathering his things and asked him what the issue was. Rogue said some noncommittal stuff about a falling out in their friend group, told me it was probably his fault and he'd try to talk to her. I asked him if he was willing to continue with her in the group, as I could shuffle him or Wizard and Sorcerer into a different group if needed, but he said he didn't want to put them out and that he only had certain nights free due to work, so he'd rather continue as things were. "We only have one more session left as a group anyway," he reasoned, and I acquiesced. What was the worst that could happen?

The next night, Rogue arrived early with Paladin and stuck to the guy like Sovereign Glue. He almost seemed nervous, chatting with me while I set up, glancing back at the front door every now and then. Paladin told him to relax, that he seemed jumpy, but Rogue waved it off, and Paladin went with me to the register to buy a miniature of his character that he'd taken a shine to. It was then, talking to Paladin and Store Owner, that I heard the front door open; I didn't think much of it until I heard Rogue say, "Now Wizard, just hang on, we can talk about this like adults--"

And as I looked up, Wizard drove his fist into Rogue's jaw, putting the guy on the ground before anybody could do anything. A crying Sorcerer ran in right then, saying something like she hadn't meant for this to happen, it was just a mistake, and Paladin and I ran over to grab Wizard before he could do anymore damage. Rogue got up, rubbed his jaw, and had the grace to walk out with Store Owner; honestly, he didn't even look surprised or necessarily upset. Paladin and I got Wizard into the backroom so he wouldn't disrupt things any more than he already had, while Sorcerer, still sobbing, came with. Between the two of them, the story finally came out: Sorcerer and Wizard had been together for about a year, and for three of those months, Sorcerer had been sleeping with Rogue. Sorcerer had apparently gotten completely blitzed after our session and finally told Wizard the truth, and this had been the outcome. Her anger at Rogue during the session had been because she'd begged him to just join another group or stop coming altogether, but he'd refused saying it wasn't as big a deal as she was making it.

I haven't seen Rogue or Sorcerer since then, but Paladin still comes semi-regularly, and Wizard actually came in the other day to discuss the possibility of his returning so long as he didn't cause any trouble, and Store Owner agreed on a sort of probational basis; Wizard will be joining my next introductory group, and if I have any problems, he'll be banned from the store, but I think he'll be fine.

Tl;dr: I once ran an intro game for a group of new characters, and it resulted in an assault after one player found out his girlfriend, also a player, was cheating on him with another man, who was also a player.
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Last edited by ParzivalFair; Oct 24th, 2019 at 11:48 AM.
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Old Nov 13th, 2019, 05:28 PM
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The lesson here kids is that role playing games are just that, games, and real life drama should not be brought into said games. DM's and players should make clear if there are boundaries that need to be drawn so that both sides can game together in a fair and equal understanding of what is accepted. This way everyone can focus on having fun!
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Old Nov 13th, 2019, 05:44 PM
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Wow, that really went sideways. There are a weird number of layers to the cascading failure of this session, lol. Good story.
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Old Nov 14th, 2019, 07:03 PM
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It definitely had its down points; although to be fair, there were a few thoroughly entertaining moments from that campaign that I would put in my top 20 or so most fun role playing moments.

Ex: Never give your players a box of pot laced Twinkies blessed by Loki God of Tricksters and expect the only thing to happen is for the players to get high as a kite of them. Nope...... ended up chucking that box taped to a fire extinguisher into the mouth of a giant snake servant of Apophis before our gun toting scion of chaos happily quoted. "Smile you son of a b****" and proceeded to blow up the canister. That poor snake died of probably the best overdoes of pot laced twinkies known to god kind.
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Old Nov 15th, 2019, 10:32 AM
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I have so many questions, lol. Can you even overdose on that?
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Old Nov 15th, 2019, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eviltedzies
box of pot laced Twinkies blessed by Loki God of Tricksters
You tell me how potent drugs would be if a god blessed them? How about if that was a god of tricksters?
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Old Nov 21st, 2019, 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ParzivalFair View Post
Tl;dr: I once ran an intro game for a group of new characters, and it resulted in an assault after one player found out his girlfriend, also a player, was cheating on him with another man, who was also a player.
I have a question: did Sorcerer multiclass into Vengeance Paladin?

Unfortunately for me, I've only had the privilege of being in like 3 RL gaming groups and they were all fine. My longest one is a group formed from college where we have one player (female) who gets so distracted by the most inane things, wants to control every single animal in sight (especially those that are out to eat us) and derails the campaign sometimes, but at least it unites the others in driving the train back on the right track.
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Old Nov 29th, 2019, 08:59 PM
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Well, I think Parzival may win. I had a tabletop group dissolve for functionally the same roof cause (female GM in a relationship with another player, cheated on him with another player), but it didn't come to blows. At least, not at game or that I was ever aware of.

I've had to eject players from groups more than once over the years, of course. A couple of serial dice cheaters (the most gratuitous of which just claimed all his d20s were 19+, always). One forum-recruited player doing his job to uphold bad stereotypes about gamer hygiene. And one player I had to ask to leave permanently over sexual harassment. But thankfully, the worst outcome has been sullen resentment, not an attack roll.
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Old Nov 30th, 2019, 08:04 PM
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My second worst experience was with a game in which we let a gentleman introduce his wife to the game. She was pretty awesome outside of D&D, and it was nice to have another female interested. Plus, the group was excited for a new player. Unfortunately, our gaming nights became a way for the couple to carry out their marital spats through passive-agressive encounters based around their non-romantically-linked characters. Eventually it became so awkward that we stopped gaming for a while and, when we got the group back together, we didn't ask them to rejoin.

 


Yes, they're still married. Yes, we're friendly. They actually play Magic: The Gathering, now. I hear they've mellowed.
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Old Dec 4th, 2019, 01:46 AM
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Woah! I think you get the crown for now, Binn. On a side note, I'll say that while I'm not a confrontational guy, I'd probably have either argued on the spot or just straight up left after he barred you from playing the character you wanted based solely on your gender. Them's fightin' words, there!
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Old Jun 26th, 2020, 10:52 PM
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So my most recent ex-best friend and I met in college, and from the start, he was just one of those people that you don't let be the DM. A real "Me Vs the Players" mentality. I could tell all sorts of stories about him, but the absolute clincher was when he decided to play a deity. Oh, and no, we didn't stop being friends because of this game.

Now, backstory, this person carries a grudge, and since up until that point, I was almost always the DM, he was out to torment me from the beginning. I kinda figured on this, though, but it got pretty...out of hand. My character was a sorceress, and I was in a small party with two others. The other players were fairly new-ish at the time, so I was acting leader of the group (not willingly, by the way). In addition, knowing that I was liable to be a pretty big target, I naturally made a relatively durable character and difficult to put down.

In the last mission of that campaign, we were captured and put in a labyrinthine dungeon, which we really didn't have much of an issue getting through.

As it turns out, however, the dungeon was meant to be our prison--we were put there by a god (Zon Kuthon of Pathfinder's Golorion, for anyone who knows the setting). When we escaped, we found ourselves in a demi-plane in which the god could take physical form, and he proceeded to capture us.

We were essentially given the choice of either going quietly to prison or face annihilation.

Of course, being me, I was playing a very strong-willed, very good-aligned sort of character, and she was in no mood to play nice with an evil deity, especially after escaping confinement only to be recaptured.

I managed to break loose from the underling who was holding me captive and had just enough time to obliterate one of the deity's priests who were in tow. And of course, my character was killed without a second thought. Just poof, you're dead; no save, no nada.

When he asked me to make a new character, I politely refused.

As a 'career dungeon master', I understand the need for railroading. I understand the want to play as a deity. And I understand when someone I've played with before wants to give me hell when I play in their game. But personally, I draw the line at using a deity to outright kill a character.
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Old Jul 1st, 2020, 01:13 AM
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A little god modding never helped the game. I for one agree that drawing the line is best left to do refereeing the game a little better than an outright pk.
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Old Sep 8th, 2020, 06:25 PM
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My signature? Oh! That goes back to an in joke we had in a game 30 years ago. There was this shaft into a cavern, and nowhere to tie off. Being the strongest character, i volunteered to stay behind and hold the rope while the others climbed down. So they get the adventure. It was an all night game and having nothing to really do, I fell asleep. Some time later, I woke up. Upon seeing this, the DM asked me, "What are you doing?" I replied, "I'm holding the rope. " we would go on to use the phrase any time someone wasn't paying attention. So despite being initially at my expense, it became one of my fondest memories.
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Old Feb 21st, 2021, 08:31 PM
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My worst ever experience in a game? At 19, I was in a great group and had been playing a single campaign for about a year. Great players, great GM. One day we have a guest player who also is a great player. After the session I got to talking with them and they mentioned another game they were in at another house run by another DM. I mentioned I was looking to expand my gaming experience and if they had room would love to join our game. They agreed it could be fun and we exchanged numbers. My current DM noticed the exchange, took me aside, and suggested I might not want to join that group. He noted he knew the other DM and wasn't impressed with his gaming style. I blew him off, saying I just wanted to try another group to compare our group to others. Remember, I was only nineteen at the time.

I get a call from my new acquaintance. Game day is set up and I'm informed I'll be rolling a new character at the start of the session. Oh, and we'll be using a new supplement that just came out (and that I didn't have access to) for making characters. I agree that sounds cool and confirm date, time and location. I show up on game day, even arriving a bit early (maybe fifteen minutes) with the idea of starting rolling up a character before the others get there. I knock on the door, introduce myself to the guy opening the door. He looks put out, checks the time and points out I'm really early. I learned after the fact that game time was usually thirty minutes *after* announced game start, though my acquaintance hadn't pointed that out to me. I go in the house. Every room except the dining room is trashed. Ammonia reek fills the air. The guy had several cats and cleaned their litter boxes sporadically. I try to ignore the filthy conditions. I sit down, ask the guy if he minds my reading through the supplement book he's using so I can get started on my character. He huffs and agrees grudgingly. I go through the character creation rules and figure, hey he's sitting here with me so I'll just start rolling up my character so I'll be closer to ready before the others arrive. I'm partway through the process when he finally asks what I'm rolling dice for. After hearing I was already making my character he got kind of upset. Informed me in no uncertain terms I needed to wait for the others. And made me discard what I'd done already.

Finally everyone shows up. There's little small talk. Everyone sits down like they're ready to play. I'm told now I can roll up my character. So I crawl through the process as five other players sit there growing more and more restless as I go. Finally I'm done, get approval on the character, and we get started. By now I've got a headache from the stress of having five other people waiting on me to finish and from the ammonia reek filling the house. I'm wishing I'd never come. I'm considering leaving roleplaying forever. The DM gets the party rolling, and we're off. Three of the others are decent roleplayers and within an hour we're engaged in the game and having fun.

We hit our first combat about this time. Four goblins. Shouldn't be a big deal. Except my character doesn't land a blow. Even with one rather high roll. And as the combat is finishing, my character takes a critical hit that kills the character. The party cleric tries to heal the character. No dice "The gods aren't listening today" is what the DM says. We all look at each other. I finally shrug, thank the others for the game, and pack up. The GM immediately gets angry and asks why I'm quitting. I point out my character is dead, I'll need to make a new one and don't want the others to have to wait, so I'm heading out as we only have twenty minutes or so left in the session. He grunts, I leave.

I got a call from my acquaintance later that night letting me know I was blacklisted from the group. I felt shocked. Turns out the GM was convinced I was a rude (for being so early), impatient (for trying to set a character up before the game) quitter and I wasn't welcome in his house again. I called my usual DM and went over what went down. I then learned that the guy whose house I'd gone to was increasingly infamous for that kind of behavior and that the group I'd thought about joining was the only group willing to play with this guy. I decided I didn't need to try another group for a while. Thank goodness for my original group. I might never have roleplayed again without them.
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