Tuesday, January 25, 2011

(RPG-related) Hate List!!

1. When someone is playing D&D for the very first time and they play anything but a Fighter. Learn how to walk before trying to run buddy, you're really going to be chafing playing a 2 hp magic-user after using your magic missile in the first encounter with two rats...

2. When someone from the group's girlfriend/boyfriend/partner is playing D&D for the very first time and they play a Chaotic Neutral Thief that tries shoplifting torches from the general store in the home base town, and running off to explore in the middle of combat, and you can't regulate or decapitate their character due to "diplomatic concerns."

3. Someone who has never played D&D and "Just wants to watch a game"; It is the worst fucking thing ever as they have always been completely incapable of not continuously disrupting the game, never shutting up with their interjections or exclamations of, for example, "I just don't understand what's going on!" ad infinitum. My rule #1: If you're not playing...you can't be in the room" Oddly/counterintuitively enough, playing in public in a coffee shop has completely hassle/interruption free in my experience. If you're going to be asking a million questions...you might as well be playing.

4. Players wasting time hunting for their misplaced die instead of grabbing one of the many suitable polyhedrals belonging to other players within reach and getting the roll out of the way. This is especially egregious when someone can't find their D20...IT SHOULD BE "FAST DRAW READY" ALL THE TIME!

5. Players that do math out loud: Player: "I rolled a 16", DM: "You hit", "Player "With a +2 bonus for strength that's 17," DM: "You still hit...", Player: "And with +1 for my magic sword that's 18", DM: "YOU MISS!! ROCKS FALL..YOU DIE!!"

6. Players that cast a spell before being familiar with or reading the spell description, Player: "I cast Enlarge on myself and than pick up the castle!", DM: "You are 40% larger...you now are 7 feet tall", Player: "So do I pick up the castle?"  RTFSD: Read The Fucking Spell Description

7. Player that never quit whining about wanting to use something from a splatbook in a core-only game, or something that has been houseruled out of the game; "Without a fullblade my character is useless!" ... "Without a spiked chain my character is useless!"..."If I can't play a Psion my character is useless!". This is especially awful when the player is new to D&D and they have a "Grima Wormtongue" munchkin cheese powergamer telling them what kind of character to play.

8. When a player tries something that would never, ever work in the real world* and get huffy when it doesn't work the in the game. Player: "I tie one end of the 100 foot rope to the bridge, the other end to my ankle, jump off the bridge, and attack the plesiosaur in the gorge 100 feet below with my sword!" DM: "Are you sure you want to do that? It will take more than one round to get your rope out and tie it to the bridge and yourself...", Player "WHAT! Jesus christ...that's so unfair...I already had the rope out!"[a couple of rounds later] DM "You plunge off the bridge 100' feet, and than with a horrendous jerk you take 16 points of damage as your leg dislocates from its socket before the rope snaps plunging you into the rapids with the plesiosaur", Player 'WHAT! THAT'S BULLSHIT!!"

9. When Players "ADD Teleport" while in town. Player #1 "I go to the brothel and spend all night with the classiest doxy," Player #2 "I go to the alchemist's" DM "Character #1 is charged 200 go for the night, Character #2 is offered some potions of healing..." Player #1 "I BUY ALL OF THE POTIONS OF HEALING!!!"

* Yeah, I know it's a fantasy game about dragons and magic...but I've got my limits dude... EDIT: And the above example would have a decent chance of succeeding if I was Journey-Mastering an Encounter Critical game!


  1. Variation of #4 ;
    players who dont roll attack and damage dice together . . .

    "OK, I role a 17, I have +5 to hit because of skill, strength and magic . . .
    that is a hit,
    now how much damage does a trident do?"

  2. Number 7. My personal favorite, my personal hate.

  3. The only problem that I ever had with some frequency was a player bringing his girlfriend to the game. She played, but wasn't into it. She just wanted to be with her boyfriend. And the boyfriend divided his attention between the game and the girl.


    Fortunately, we're all long-married now, the rosy illusions have faded, and nobody brings girls anymore.

    And if it's a choice between D&D or a girlfriend, choose D&D every time. Over the last 30 years, I've gotten much more joy out of D&D than out of girlfriends. Girlfriends are more expensive, too.

  4. 1. First-timers should always get the best character (ie the Elf), so that way they will come back. Just ask the crack dealers, they know. Otherwise you will only ever end up with the really hardcore weirdos like the guy whose first game was you DMing and his character died and his second game was me DMing and his character died.

    2. If neither you nor your group member has explained to the significant other what is supposed to happen in this game, it is your fault. It's even worse, though, when the girlfriend sits in and all she wants to do is kick her fella's ass and doesn't care about the game."Diplomatic concerns" must then lead to "diplomatic sanctions."

    3. In old-school D&D? Bullshit, you play, no watching. If it's a game where it takes ten years to make a character, then maybe you can watch. I don't think I've ever met anybody who just wanted to watch, though.

    4. No!!!! YOU FOOL WHAT ARE YOU THINKING??!!?!?!?! If you roll another die right away you will forget about the first die and it will be lost forever!!!! Like spells!!!!!

    5.Oh please. The only type of person who thinks the exact total die score a player gets is less important than whether the character hits or not is a DM. Players all realize that higher numbers are a visible sign that you are a better person.

    6. That's hilarious. You should have let him pick up the castle!

    7. Oh please. Everyone knows characters are always useless without splatbooks. Plural.

    8. 16 points of damage? That's a bit harsh. I'd say 1d6 or 1d8, and then 50/50 the rope or leg breaks and the character falls the rest of the way down. Comedy gold either way, really.

    9. That's obviously a euphemism and you should treat it as such.

  5. I have an almost identical post all ready to roll, except it's titled "Things I Endure with Amused Tolerance Because I Like Girls More Than D&D".

    It also ends with vintage hardcore, oddly enough.

  6. I'd say that virutally all of this applies to me and my 4e experience except for the 1st one. Actually, the opposite is true. Play a fighter if you know how to tank and only if you know how to tank... just like a certain video game I know. All other classes that deal damage are acceptable for first timers, but Fighters need to be pros.

  7. Great / Hilarious list!

    Nice job with the Despise You track too. Great song/band. One of my favorites. Good to see some other gamers with West Coast Power Violence records in their collections.

  8. Some of those I get... but I'm guilty of a few. I'm always putting my dice back in the bucket and having to dig them out again. The guy I sit by is OCD and I know better than to just grab his dice (he'd have to wash them).

  9. I think I have all sat through at least 1/2 of these... but the one that really gets my goat is the ADD Teleport (which is a perfect name for it). The offender is usually the loudmouth attention hog who wants to be everywhere at once... when I DMd a group with such a one in middle school, I must confess that I was often putting the DM whammy on him... so if player 2, 3 or 4 looked under the table and found a chest, player 1 (loudmouth) would scream, "I open the chest and grab whats inside! What did I get!?!" as the other exasperated players rolled their eyes because a moment earlier he had said he was looting bodies down the hall. I'd look down at my secret DM notes that would say the chest was full of gold or boots of shitkicking or vorpral Galive Guisarmes and lie through my teeth. "The chest is empty," I would say, "but as you open it and grab inside you hear a loud click and a spring loaded sword blade comes out of the chest, slashing from left to right (roll dice), oooh! It chops off your right hand! It was smeared with poison, better roll your save..." Yeah, I was a dick. But loudmouth was a dick first. And the other players usually loved it.

  10. Number 3 is exacerbated if it's a player's boy/girlfriend.

    That's probably the one I've (sadly) dealt with the most.

  11. It's number 2 - that one sucks big time. We had a dungeon master who brought his girlfriends to the games quite regularly (and he switched those girls more often then his adventures) and it was unbearable. They allways got away with the best magic items, the least damage taken, the most heroic thing done.

    Hell... starting to vormit right now just thinking about those days...

  12. This is a great post for me to read because I know exactly who you're talking about for most of these points.

    I think "He Who Shall Not Be Named" scored a couple strikes.

    I feel mercifully left out of this shit list, although my Klingon character getting his feet severed when he tried to lift the big microscope in the Halloween Encounter Critical session would almost count for point #8. Except I found it quite funny and rolled up a Frankenstein character right away.

  13. The two I've encountered most often:

    10. Players that spend the majority of the game telling the other players what their characters should do. Often uses unwitting lemming-like players as meat shields and canaries.

    11. Players that pause the game to argue about mechanics. Just roll the dice and move on buddy...

    Another that I've gamed with a few times at least.

    12. Players that do NOTHING!!! WTF?!?!!! Why are you here even? Seriously?!?! I mean, at least stab something. Hell, set the town on fire, at least that'd be something! What? fine... you play another round of darts at the tavern. roll a d20... fuck....

    I have encountered quite a few players that started out with chronic cases of #s 4, 5 & 6. A good solution I picked up is to skip them and move on to the next player, going back to them once they have their shit ready. So long as you're not a dick or demeaning to the player when you skip them for taking too long it's all good.

  14. I regularly encounter 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 9. They fill me with WARGLBARGLRAEG (...moreso than normal).

    A couple more:

    #13. 'The Thousand Mighty Arms of Adventuring Vishnu'.
    Obviously all adventurers are either octopi or Hindu divinities, because they seem to have manipulative appendages as the plot requires...

    "Ok, so you're carrying a lantern, a sword, your bow and arrow, a sack of swag and you want to grab at another character with you *other* other other hand? Behold the power of Mecha-Shiva!"

    #14. Attention Deficit-san.
    Q: "What do I need to hit him?"
    A: "Exactly the same as you did the last round, and the round before that. Either you remember the two digit number I tell you, or we say you need a 20..."

    #15. Mr Just-Doesn't-Bother.
    "Look, I've given you a one page handout explaining the mechanics of combat, skill use, class abilities and resource expenditure - all the things you need to know to play the game. So don't ask me "How do I...?" again."

    #16. My turn! My turn now!
    Initiative order applies to special and unique snowflakes too.

  15. LOL@Geoffrey.

    Girls are so ICKY, aren't they?

  16. Ooooo! Number 2 is my most hated!

  17. In addition, people with unimaginative/against the setting/"cute" character names. There is always one player who waffles and lames up their character's name. For some reason that always sticks in my craw. Because in time, I will call your character what I want to. Following that, I will start calling you what I want to.

  18. Haha, awesome feedback & stories guys!

    I especially love #13 as presented by Chris of the Vaults of Naogh,, I've come to use the term "hand economy" while DMing, "Goddammit, you guys have to get your hand economy in order!"

  19. You need to bring props to the game and make players hold what their characters are holding. Then you can roll all the dice, too!

  20. @ Redboxvancouver: That sounds awesome! That way I can make them SHOW me how they climb up a rope while holding a sword and shield with a torch held between their teeth...

    ...I'm also considering taking the players to the zoo with a golf bag of machetes and sledgehammers in order to resolve random wilderness encounters as well...

  21. I like your golf bag idea Blair.

    While musing over this post(& our text exchange) at work today I felt pretty lucky that we've weeded out the worst that the hobby can offer from our group.

    The occurrences are thankfully low except for #s 4 & 9, which I can accept.

    Yay for the Saucers & Sorcerers Society!

  22. Also, switching back to 1st edition really helped too.

    Rulings instead of rules!


  23. You are apparently blessed with groups that aren't 75%+ new players...

  24. I have some things to add but I can't be arsed to read everyone's comments beforehand, so I will just add the comment I know has not been made yet:

  25. @ Scrounger: He Who Is Not To Be Named just may be the subject of a future post...

    @ Huth: We usually have one new player going on, and I strive to be fair, kind, but also firm in their "conditioning" :)