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Old 08-22-2013, 03:32 AM
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Tabletop gaming: the good, the bad and the ugly

I've only ever gamed IRL with one group. We're a group of friends, primarily; gaming is something we do rather than we're gamers first, friends second. I consider myself lucky. Of course, gaming with people you've chosen because they're friends has its pitfalls...

My gaming group varies in attitude: one lady just wants to smite evildoers (I've never seen her roleplay anything other than LG, even when we tried playing an evil campaign); one guy makes skinny, cowardly wizards and always forgets to give them a name; the other lady is absolutely fine until combat starts, when she still (after 10+ years) has to ask what to do about initiative; another guy plays the more exotic classes and finds them lacklustre (the Favoured Soul was rechristened Flavourless Soulsucker); the other guy makes vivid, distinctive and memorable characters, then optimises the hell out of them and annoys the DM by one-shotting monsters that the rest of the group can't touch.

Me? I try to encourage such virtues as "characters with a personality" and "noticing when it's your turn in combat", but it's hard going sometimes.

And now I'm opening this to the floor. What's your regular group like? What's the worst gaming session you've ever suffered through? The best?
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:54 PM
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Now I have some bad stories. I mean REALLY bad. But the first group I ran was the cream of the crop. It was pretty awesome. they got along great, had interesting characters. They weren't always the smartest players, as they didn't always get my hints, but they thought (most) things through. We always had a blast.
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:00 PM
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After a few years of playing with my group IRL, everyone soon took to expressedly never wearing belts in game even when it could be to their advantage. Lets jsut say our GM's favorite cursed item was the Belt of Gender Swapping...
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:23 PM
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For years, I avoided DnD 3.5 because my first experience with it involved a literally (medically diagnosed) schizophrenic GM that catered to the absolutely absurd before he'd accept anything sensible. It made me afraid to try it again for a whole decade!
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:33 PM
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IRL I play with a great group of guys. We've been playing for about 10 years together now, started out with AD&D, went to 3.5, played some Heroes Unlimited, then went RIFTS and now we have just got back into D&D 3.5 again. We are gearing up for a gaming trip to the mountains for a week in a secluded Evil Deadish style cabin, should be interesting (If you never see me post again here you can assume the worst). We're all adults with families and such so sometimes we may not get together for 4-6-10 weeks but we always have a great time. Never seem to get enough done though cause we spend a lot of time just chatting and drinking while we game, which always throws the DM into a fit, "We're gaming!!!!" Thus the gaming trip.

We also have one group member who drops in for a session maybe once a year. Lol.
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:11 PM
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yup - more really great experiences for me than bad. pretty much the same group (with a few new players cycling in and out here and there) for the last 10-15 years.

i think what has really helped us (taken from the podcast 'fear the boot') is the concept of group template. we ALWAYS develop a tight, cohesive group now, before starting a new game. this often takes a whole session itself, sometimes has some bits of mini rp involved, and often includes lengthy write-ups from players and/or email conversations.

usually what breaks games for us is holidays. or kids. or girlfriends. or players moving out of state.
i think the worst was when we created a campaign in which they all were members of the king's court - the king had to go undercover due to coup/assassination attempts, and travel a great distance while not being discovered. we wanted to rp the shifting dynamics of power when the king suddenly needed his court for protection - also a bit of a prince and the pauper thing. anyway, we were about three sessions into it until the player who was playing the king decided he didn't have time to rp anymore (he was an avid player before, but starting really seriously dating his first girlfriend... *groan*). that pretty much killed the campaign.

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Old 02-06-2014, 01:04 PM
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Fun topic! :]

I've been part of two groups.

The first were all relations and it was fun except my sister in law who couldn't stand combat. She'd zone out entirely or play solitaire on her phone and whined when prompted to take a turn. It made combat just painful for me and our GM at the time loved combat. The only thing she really liked was developing these dark mystries for her character which we were suppose to be all shocked and amazed at when she finally revealed them. When she gave up completely we tried doing a new game without her and with a different GM, but she wouldn't let her husband attend without her. Blech.

The second group was a Encounters group at the local gaming store. They were all really nice. I miss that group.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by HenryLockwood View Post
And now I'm opening this to the floor. What's your regular group like?
I have three regular groups. I play with Group 1 all the time. Groups 2, once or twice a month now, and Group 3 once a month if I'm lucky.

Group 1 is made up of a bloodthirsty seven year-old boy, a gentle but devious nine year-old girl, and an extremely creative fourteen year-old story diva. She requires a great deal of narrative control to keep her interested for long. We play a regular game of Dungeon World and Kung Fu Panda (using M&M3e).

Group 2 is made up of the fourteen year old lady mentioned above and anywhere between two and four of her girlfriends. We play in an ongoing game of Monsterhearts (edited by me to be kid appropriate).

Group 3 is made up of adult friends (musicians all). We have an on-again, off-again game session in which we play a variety of games, mostly detective, Cthulhuesque, horror type stories.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:07 AM
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Cool thread! It's been a good number of years (cough, cough... twenty... cough) since I played a tabletop RPG with a group. I had played D&D, Warhammer FRP, Star Wars RPG, and Shadowrun in the past. Five distinct groups, but one that definitely stands out for all it's goodness, badness, and ugliness!

My next-door neighbor was a total gaming freak. I mean, this cat was seriously into it. I think he had every game Games Workshop ever released, not to mention thousands of miniatures, hundreds of which were very deftly painted by him. Our group had a membership of of six male adults. Our primary game was Warhammer FRP. Neighbor fella was the GM, and in my experience, he was darned good at it.

We played Saturdays every week, from noon-ish until we were collectively spent (often 2-3 a.m. Sunday), and game time always involved beer-drinking as well, so in all honesty, rigor with the rule system waned as each play session progressed, and the roleplay certainly tended to become more vulgar. hehe... ah, good times...

One Saturday, a couple of weeks after our inaugural session, we arrived to find that our host had converted his basement into what was for all intents and purposes a medieval gaming dungeon. He built a large table and six massive chairs (think thrones, with high backs, and arms) out of railroad ties and other scrap wood. Where he found the material, or the time, to put this all together between one Saturday and the next, I will never know - though already none of us were surprised. He was of that rare ilk who seemingly could accomplish more by 9am than the rest of the world did all day. For effect, he even carved runes into the furniture and adorned the chairs with animal furs and bones, including a couple skulls. Again, where he got them I will never know, but it was no surprise, and how seriously COOL is all that?!? Right???

As our level of inebriation climbed, there was an increased tendency to bicker about rule interpretation... (get six guys age 21-30ish together and feed them some fermented beverages and odds are that's what will happen, hehe) I recall one night in particular. One of our characters had managed to earn a third attack. Our GM was pretty vehement in his argument that even exceptional metahumans could not coordinate that much action in a ten-second round. (I'm pretty sure the round duration in that game was 10 seconds)

To settle the matter, we ended up physically acting out some melee combat while one of us counted out ten seconds. It shouldn't have gotten rough, but in our degraded state there was some extra tipping and swaying, and somebody ended up chipping a tooth! No major harm was done, and we determined that ten seconds was MORE than enough time to perform or dodge three melee attacks. Some drunken geek version of the scientific method, I suppose!

I think about those game sessions very often, and very fondly to this day. They are the sort of memories that don't seem to fade, and only grow fonder as time goes by.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:58 PM
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I have a pretty diverse group of close friends, so when we game there's usually a lot of different things happening. One of my friends plays almost exclusively rogue-type characters and dedicates his character's entire life to improving his sneak attacks. He's generally not much for story.

Another of my party members is a serious power gamer. He excels at taking little bits and pieces from multiple sources to build creative and powerful characters, though he's usually taken down a notch by the dm vetoing some design decisions to keep things balanced.

Another friend lives in the evocation school. Most of his characters are wizards, and all of them will stay as far away from danger as is humanly possible. He's also obsessed with wealth, and usually ends up teaming up with the rogue to rob everyone and everything we encounter of their worldly possessions.

We've got our paladin, of course. Rarely plays an alignment other than lawful good, and will go to excruciating lengths to smite any evil we get wind of. Really nice guy in real life, too.

There's a host of others, but those are probably the most colourful and unique personalities amongst us. There's quite a few of us, so our campaigns will usually just host whatever characters are available for a given session and others will duck in and out. It's an interesting experience.
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:32 PM
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I play Pathfinder on a semi-regular basis with a group of guys who I have known for several years now.

SS does a lot of DMing for us. When he's playing he's usually a well-optimized wizard who casts first and controls the battlefield for the duration of the combat. He has a squeaky voice and a gruff voice that he alternates between for different characters.

CT usually plays a druid or an alchemist. He's a top notch optimizer and pretty funny hen he role-plays (which is more and more frequently).

NF is another top notch optimizer who gravitates toward archers and oracles. He appreciates role-play from others, but is a little nervous about doing it himself.

AG is relatively newer to the group, but looks like he will be a solid optimizer himself.

AW is also relatively new to the group. He is not great with mechanics, but is a wonderful role-player and storyteller.

I am a mediocre optimizer, so-so role-player, and lover of story-- whether I am telling it or keeping notes to help us figure out what must be done next.
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Old 07-03-2015, 02:01 PM
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I was once in a group where everyone except me and another girl played as if they were in an anime world. And theres nothing wrong with that, other than when you sit down and try to play a good, old school campaign. Everyone considers themselves the main character, nobody takes any challenge seriously, and then they get upset when something doesn't go their way. Things have calmed down since then, but god was it annoying to hear a CN elf rougue scream japanese at the top of his lungs, only to get smacked down by the giant. Even more annoying when they pout because it didn't work.
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Old 08-02-2015, 05:35 PM
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I've played with a number of different groups, but here are the players I always encounter, for better or worse.

The Half Orc Barbarian - Always plays a combat heavy character, regardless of the setting. While normally not a problem in systems like Pathfinder, a professional boxer/soldier doesn't always get the subtlety of a Call of Cthulhu roleplay. "What do you mean my bullets can't hurt the Dark Young? !"

Leader - Always calls the shots for the party. Talks to the NPCs, makes the final call, etc. Usually good, but this kind of player tends to take center stage and keeps the other characters from developing.

Troll - Just here to dick around. Adds a lot of laughs and makes the game fun. Though it takes away from the roleplay experience.

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Old 09-14-2015, 10:53 PM
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I have played with many groups over the years. Two stand out as my favorites. The group i was in while still in high school, was hands down the best. There were 6 of us and our DM rocked. He was the single most brutal DM I have ever encountered. There were weekends that started Friday night and ended Sunday afternoon (Wow to be able to do that today). The DM ran Greyhawk and it was dang near a perpetual world. If your character died you rolled a new one and he found a way to work you in. I think we played that campaign for the better part of four years.

On one of our marathons was so deadly I played three different characters, and ended up spending more time making them than actually playing.

I think one situation that has always stuck with me had a laughing for hours afterwards. Here we are fleeing from something that was trying to kills us. Clambering over the city walls and attempting to jump on the deck of a moving ship. My buddy's character falls into the river and is attacked by a croc. Now if you took to long to come up with an action during a round the DM would go "Oh well you do nothing" and moved on. So the croc has the character by the hand and the DM says the always fateful phrase..."What do you do?"....My buddy was brain locked trying to figure out how to escape the croc so he could get to the ship....he starts stammering and almost before the DM moved on...he shouts...."I bite its eye!". We all go what! He rolls and dang if he did not get a crit and bite out the croc's eye, causing it to let go, and we hauled him aboard. I can still see the amazed look on the DM's face after he shouted that and told him to roll.

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Old 02-17-2016, 11:51 PM
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I have not had a tabletop group in many years. But the group I was part of during high school/college was fairly dysfunctional. One guy in the group would get drunk every time we played, causing various conflicts and volatile situations. Folks would regularly ditch the group due to his behavior; players came and went very quickly. Another guy was a diagnosed schizophrenic, randomly launching into incoherent OOC speeches, as well as bizarre IC situations that made everybody uncomfortable. I was the shy, introverted guy, sticking to the corner of the room, hoping to avoid any unsavoriness. Eventually the group fell apart, mostly due to the antics of the alcoholic.
I have been gaming for 17 years.
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