Monday, August 22, 2011

Preliminary thoughts on psychopaths

So, my game at the Minicon was a total failure. Absolute. The original premise, the reverse dungeon, had potential, but I wanted to try an experiment...I gave the players characters from the old D&D cartoon playing out a finale for the show. I watched all the cartoons a few days prior to the event (and lemme tell you something: what the fuck was I thinking as a kid?) in order to ripoff encounters. Yeah, so, they were supposed to meet some bullywugs, werebear, evil sorceress (no idea if that's remotely correct) and a couple other things, culminating in a final showdown with Venger and Tiamat. Needless to say, within 5 minutes Chris in the role of mild-mannered Presto was committing murder and carving swastikas in foreheads. I had figured something like this might happen, but not so quickly and surely not by Chris. The downward spiral was much faster than I anticipated and within 30 total minutes the game had devolved into an exercise in futility. I really didn't want to even bother completing it, but I tarried on under the guise of amusement. Honestly, I was a little annoyed at such blatant displays of outright antipathy directed at yours truly; I had tried to set the tone with (what I thought) were clever cutout minis, cool character sheets complete with pictures and some mood music. Alas, I failed in all ways possible. Perhaps it's because the players, all of whom I know personally and consider my friends, know I am not a very serious-minded individual. They know I prefer farce and tongue-in-cheek approaches to gaming. Hell, everything. I'll satirize anything. When Chris decided to proceed with an utterly psychopathic action, who was I to intervene? I thought it was funny, but also I thought it was somewhat disruptive. However, as a DM, I'll never ever tell a player they can't do something. Ever. If they want to perform an action, no issues with me, just don't complain about the repercussions. Corollary, I shouldn't complain about the repercussions, either. And I didn't. But I did not like where the game started going and there was no real way to stop it; I don't think stopping it would have mattered, anyway, as it was only a 3 hour session that would have zero long lasting effects on a campaign or whatever. So, I got over it real quick, chalked it up to an abject failure on my part, and moved on. Game was finished with only around 1/4 of the encounters I had planned, mostly because we spent nearly the whole time making jokes. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, I think, but I'll never know as even if they are assholes, my friends are still polite in a lot of ways and probably wouldn't tell me the game sucked even if I asked directly. No matter, I wasn't bothered. Until...during Chris' game, some random dude said he wanted Chris to run the D&D cartoon game. Well, okay, that was certainly a nice statement. If he's reading this: fuck you. You didn't see the devolution from my honest, semi-serious premise into a train wreck. That did bother me some, and I'm not a sensitive gent.

After this fiasco, I'm wondering if I should even bother trying to run something in the future. I like to put a lot of effort into the games I run, but if they're all going to turn out like this I might as well hang it up and just play Wizardry or something. I did appreciate the endless, free supply of Jameson provided by Jason. Booze cures all ills, or so my Irish liver once told me.

Right after posting this, I realized it's probably the most gayass emo crap I could possibly write and considered deleting it, but decided to simply add this disclaimer: I know this is emo as fuck.


  1. That random guy was totally out of bounds, but then I was too. I honestly thought you'd say, "that's some crazy psycho shit, are you sure you want to do that?" I do think you'd have been in your rights just to have said no that's not acceptable.

    The built in culture of the playing group is kinda off the rails at times. That one shot in the HC was both hilarious and somewhat of a similar act of futility for me as a GM too. Sorry for being part of the problem.

    Hope you run the MERP game, promise to be a model citizen.

  2. Sorry all your hard work did not pay off. I wasn't there, but from what I heard of the game I immediately assumed you intended the game to be chaotic.

    Better luck next time. Hope you give it another try.

  3. Just because Chris ruined your game was no reason to take it out on the PLAYERS of his game, though. You were being a total asshat to the party by wandering off on your own, grabbing every piece of treasure you could find, putting the party in peril by randomly flipping trap switches while others were in the room, wasting magic items charges and heal spells, etc. Somehow we all managed to have fun despite you.

    Surprisingly, Josh was the least disruptive player in your game (Chris was really shining as a psycho) yet he's the one you turned into a bullywug. So much misdirected ire, Sir Skullcrusher.

  4. I now realize everyone took this too's like 20% serious. Well, maybe 25%, but no more than that.