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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    So I just got out of a new contender for "worst game I've played, but failed to bail out of." I won't bore you with the details. But I'm kicking myself for not bailing out sooner. There were warning signs, but I kept hoping it would get better.

    So I ask you, what's your breaking point? How low does a game have to go before you walk out? Assume it's a game with friends as opposed to something with strangers. It's easier to walk out of a game with no investment or social repercussions.

    - edit -

    Just to clarify, I'm not just interested in how bad it has to be for you to walk out mid session. How bad would it have to be for you to stop showing up? Walk out mid session? Throw a mutiny? Murder your GM and leave him in a ditch in eastern Pennsylvania? The important part is that I want to identify the point at which a game is so bad that you stop playing even though the game still goes on, not the manner in which you make your grand or subtle exit.
    Last edited by valadil; 2011-08-25 at 01:40 PM. Reason: clarification
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    with friends? Usually when someone falls asleep at the table, or the DM has to keep taking calls and going for "Smoke breaks" to the point that players have busted open laptops and are raiding in some mmo or other.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    I've never walked out of a game, but I've pulled no shows before.

    For example, it was the third session, we never got any XP (literally), had only fought in a simulator, the DM made me change my character several times (things like my name or character manerisms that he didn't like), and any skill roll under 30 was a failure.

    The other time was with a game I just wasn't interested in.


    Although one time, I showed up to my friends house, noticed who was DMing, and decided to sit it out.
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    I've "been called to help a friend with something" several times back in my old group, pre-college. We all took a turn or two DMing, and a few of them could not handle the power that came with it.

    The real problem with that group, however, wasn't boring/terrible games; we just weren't able to continue a game after one or two sessions before moving on.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    In terms of gameplay, I wouldn't know, I've only had three groups and none of them were walk-out worthy. We've had games that we canceled but it's never been on my behalf.
    I've never even had a player/DM that made me want to stop. There are times when I'm annoyed that the other players aren't putting much effort and making the game much longer than it should be, but nothing serious.

    And since I provide the location almost all the time, if I "leave" everyone has to find a new place. Thus, if I ever had somebody be excessively messy, I would stop hosting whenever they were in the group. This has never happened.

    Now if the GM or players are supremely belligerent (I'm talking very very belligerent here- Bickering and shouting matches are tolerable, but actual violent tension...) I'll probably leave. If somebody had a problem with me personally and everybody else wanted him to stay I might leave. Anything I feel that is a personal threat to me or the property I host on is out. My DM is my best friend and he'd back me up on all of these. He's fiercely protective of me and very lawful. Sadly, he's also leaving probably before summer next year.
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    When I spend more than one session being sarcastically critical of the DM.

    I'm usually pretty careful about being a Problem Player, so if I notice myself doing that more than once I know that the game is intolerable for me. I make sure to get out before I make the game intolerable for others.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    When I spend more than one session being sarcastically critical of the DM.
    In or out of game? Some of the other players and I ranted at each other after each game session (and again when I ran games for a separate group), but we kept quiet during the game. The GM was the sarcastic type, so it was never worth picking fights with him.
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    Oracle_Hunter's Avatar

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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    Quote Originally Posted by valadil View Post
    In or out of game? Some of the other players and I ranted at each other after each game session (and again when I ran games for a separate group), but we kept quiet during the game. The GM was the sarcastic type, so it was never worth picking fights with him.
    During the session, naturally. That is the sort of behavior I try to avoid the most (it is rude and disruptive) so if I'm doing it then there is a serious problem.
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ekul View Post
    Now if the GM or players are supremely belligerent (I'm talking very very belligerent here- Bickering and shouting matches are tolerable, but actual violent tension...) I'll probably leave. If somebody had a problem with me personally and everybody else wanted him to stay I might leave. Anything I feel that is a personal threat to me or the property I host on is out.
    This basically sums it up for me. Also, smoking indoors or any environmental hazard that triggers an asthma attack. I'd rather not end up in the emergency room over a game.

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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    If I'm consistently not having fun, I'm out. That said, if I'm gaming with friends I'll be consistently having fun.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    If I'm consistently not having fun, I'm out. That said, if I'm gaming with friends I'll be consistently having fun.
    Does this mean that if you suddenly aren't having fun then your friendship stops.

    I'm pretty sure that's what happening to me. Guess I'll find out tonight.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Totally Guy View Post
    Does this mean that if you suddenly aren't having fun then your friendship stops.
    No. It means that the games I play with friends are the ones I consistently enjoy. If not, bowing out of something is really not viewed as a big deal, and it certainly doesn't harm friendships.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    No. It means that the games I play with friends are the ones I consistently enjoy. If not, bowing out of something is really not viewed as a big deal, and it certainly doesn't harm friendships.
    Same, same. I have a friend I absolutely will not play with. I've tried several times, and while it ends in disaster FASTER if he DMs, it's pretty much doomed regardless if he's in the group.

    Still an aright dude to go drinking with, though.

    I've gotten a *lot* faster at bowing out over the years. I'll happily ditch in session one if it's truly terrible, now.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    I'll happily ditch in session one if it's truly terrible, now.
    Ditto, though I'll ditch a high-op group faster than a low-op group.

    For me, it's: Better NO gaming than BAD gaming.
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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BardGirl

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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    I have walked out on a session with my friends when I knew nothing productive was going to happen but other than that i've only started to walk away from a game once. In that situation we had been playing for about two years and one of our friends had been dominating the group for about 3 months with side quests for his character that ended up only benifiting him... And after all was said and done he left because "we weren't getting anywhere with the main storyline", needless to say the rest of the group was glad to see him go. No one likes to feel like a henchman to another PC.
    Last edited by Elyssian; 2011-08-25 at 07:25 AM. Reason: My spelling sucks...

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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    When the game mostely revolves around the GM being entertained by seeing the players getting frustrated, it's time to leave.
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    When the game mostely revolves around the GM being entertained by seeing the players getting frustrated, it's time to leave.
    But FUN is mandatory, citizen! Please report to the nearest termination booth. Have a nice day.

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  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    Taken directly from other thread, this is as far as I will go if with trusted, liked friends.

    "4 - When the same player wanted to DM again, some years later, he was going very well in his adventure, and I was playing well developed gish archivist / master of shrouds was well loved by the party as the buffer / knowledge master / secondary fighter.

    We begin with the DM banning an option I was going to take. He knew from level 1 I was going into the divine metamagic persist route (no stacking nightsticks), to persist Lore of the Gods and some party buffs. The build would come to itself when I had the mass lesser vigor, and could (BEHOLD) persist it on like, two party members (I didn't had giant CL), and last session I just leveled to the level I could cast this mass lesser vigor. The DM, who knew all about this, then says something around "no, that's to overpower! I don't mind persist, but free healing, you dm to us, you KNOW it is TOO MUCH! I won't allow this" and I said something on the line of "I spent like 3/4 of my resources on this very specific thing for the last six levels! NOW you're going to tell me you won't allow it?"

    But these things happens. Lack of communication!

    However, he died in a double fireball blast from the wizard (his build was something that made all his spells Good spells then using a ton of things that gave CL boosts for good spells, and using metamagic reducers (including that from phb2) to make Twin Spell a +1 metamagic only, and then blasting everything away -instead of just using SoD, because blasting isn't so efficient but much more fun-, while trying to, in vain, save our fighter with an Energy Aegis.

    Okay, death happens.

    The party keeps the session going, and I REALLY speed up a backup concept I had (I keep those ready, and the explanation of pseudo-background already explained to the dm just for these reasons), because the chars were on a dungeon crawl (it was a city-based, social based campaign) and they might need me. So I make this kalashtar psychic warrior and... well.. I wait. I finish in 30 minutes and wait like, three hours and a half until I can play, and while no one in the party ever used charge attacks (and this char was charge-based), the mini-boss we fight is impossible to attack with charges because of like, three or four counter-measures.

    Okay, that happens! I would defend myself against charges if I were a monster.

    And we keep on, my char being mostly ignored because it was a social campaign and the chars were close to each other and were mourning the death of the priest; until we find the evil wizard / crazy guy leader of the cult. My kalashtar attacks (as he surely would against that kind of manipulator of masses) and everyone gives me cold looks, until I explain "hey, he's NOT the priest!". The wizard throws some smoke that no one can defende against, I jump in the middle and none of my attacks hit.

    Okay, wizards are full of counter measures! It happens!!!

    He retreats, and while everyone fights the black tentacles I jump after him only to find he's a spell sovereign and was the guy behind the living spell menace, and have to fight him and two living spells.

    I got dissolved. It happens. Death happens.

    They beat him, and I sped up another backup sheet, of a treasure hunter trophy hunter shifter. We still had two hours, and I did send three backups to my dm after all! I finish the character sheet and after a long long wait I get to make one or two scenes with him, and when the party mostly ignores him, the DM says "Oh Diego, you know, this isn't the kind of character for this campaign. Something more like Cassius (Note: the priest) would be better".

    ...yeah... it happens.

    In the end for next session I made an artificer master of making woundrous items and with LOTS of sneaking abilities, that was supposed to be a member of the inteligence of the nation. The char was funny (not to be confused with fun), made lots of items to the party, and his sneaking around spying was my excuse to leave the table and cook, play videogame, reading hqs because after this session the whole campaign died for me (and I'm the official DM and host of the game)."

    As you can see OP, I will go somewhat far. And I will still stay, even if as a wallflower, if it means being with my trusted, liked friends.
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    If the game is with friends that makes it easier. I've left games that involved friends and they've carried on without me and invited me back for the next game. Sometimes you just don't like the background or the set-up and there's no point in just turning up. I always politely inform the G.M. I'm leaving and, if possible, have a talk about why my character will be leaving and what happens to him.
    My leaving-point ? Two sessions in a row where I spend more time looking at the clock and hoping for the game to end than playing it.

    I'd never walk out in the middle of a session though. I'd always wait until the end then have a quiet word with the G.M.
    Last edited by comicshorse; 2011-08-25 at 08:00 AM.
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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    When the game mostely revolves around the GM being entertained by seeing the players getting frustrated, it's time to leave.
    When the game mostly revolves around the players being entertained by seeing the GM being frustrated, it's also time to leave.
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    I've never walked out on a game before but it would be hard to do with friends. Heck, my last campaign with friends started going horribly when one player got out of hand and we couldn't give up on it until the very bitter end when an arguement broke out :(

    That said, it all depends on circumstances. What the problem is, how persistant is the problem (ie: All the time, once every week or so?) so it's hard to quantify in a post.

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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    Generally, it would take something that makes me not want to be friends with someone at the table in order for me to walk out. Even if a game is really bad I'd rather finish it and then just never play with that set of people again.
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    Imp

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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    One of my friends was running for the day and his (as we later found out) schizophrenic girlfriend was sitting next to him talking with him about their plans and relationship while we played. I packed up and walked out.
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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    I haven't so much "walked out" on a game as "just never had the time to go back", but basically: when the game becomes more chore than entertainment.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    That said, if I'm gaming with friends I'll be consistently having fun.
    I too made that assumption. Then this game happened. The assumption no longer holds true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    I've gotten a *lot* faster at bowing out over the years. I'll happily ditch in session one if it's truly terrible, now.
    How do you go about doing it? I'm prone to giving it just one more session to see if things get better, and then repeating that one more session attitude till the game is over.

    Quote Originally Posted by dsmiles View Post
    For me, it's: Better NO gaming than BAD gaming.
    Absolutely. Although for me it's really just a question of which gaming. I have three distinct groups that expect to have a portion of my free time. I can't placate all of them so I try to take turns. But when I miss out on a good game group A ran while group B is wasting my time, I get irritated.

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    If the game is with friends that makes it easier.
    I disagree. If it's with friends, they'll see me later and want to know why I abandoned their game.

    So another factor that makes it difficult is that this group has been playing together on the same night for about 6 years. Some people have come and gone, but it's always the same group and we take turns GMing. The point is, the game won't suddenly fail to fit into my schedule. The group dynamics won't change either. So if I play and enjoy Albert's, Bianca's, and Charlie's games, what was wrong with Darnel's that I made me leave? It's really easy to take something like that personally when the group setting is so static.
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    Quote Originally Posted by valadil View Post
    How do you go about doing it? I'm prone to giving it just one more session to see if things get better, and then repeating that one more session attitude till the game is over.
    Last time, by sending an email to everyone in the game explaining that as the DM clearly had gotten every single rule in the game system wrong, evidently hadn't bothered to read the books, and had us slapped on a railroad plot consisting entirely of fiat...that he'd basically cribbed from B rated movies....I would no longer be playing with them.

    I believe everyone involved tried to get me to go back, but I was quite clear about it, and made no efforts to pretty anything up.

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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    I've never walked out of a game until now. I try to respect other people's fun and having somebody leave mid-session is a fun-killer. If something about the game doesn't suit me I'll just endure the rest of the session and then notify the DM I won't be coming back. It would take something like a personal insult for me to just pack up and leave.

    So far I've had 2 games I've declined to return to:

    -this DM was a total jerk (I didn't know that when I joined). He loved to see the players 'crawl in the mud': he banned many high-powered options but used them freely on his monsters, he used to throw vastly overpowered encounters at the party (my Barb 1/fighter 2 got a dire bear for a solo encounter for example) and when they managed to win, rub it in their faces that they won because he didn't play the monsters at full power. Took me 2 sessions to realize this.

    -this guy is a very good friend but he sucks at DMing. He makes awesome stories, but he can't deal with improvisation. If you're doing something unexpected, you'll be met with some unstoppable force that throws you back on the rails. The drop that filled the glass(SW:Saga game) was a poison gas trap set up by some primitive humanoids that didn't breathe.

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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    I wrote this message to my group last week.

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    Although I find this game fun while itís happening I find it unsatisfying between sessions. Every week I consider quitting. But I come along and see if this week will all make up for it. And every week I am convinced to stay by enjoying the session.

    The reasons that I am not satisfied with this game are as follows:
    1) Breadcumbs. The premise of the game prep you guys do is to create an illusion of complex mystery that the players should reliably succeed at. I am too self aware of this quirk. A lot of games have something similar and Iím done with them.
    2) We all donít understand the rules. Success and failure mean nothing. I can get a critical success and get squat like finding the fire pit. I can fail and get what I want like knowing of the existence of the male cat. That sucks!
    3) System failure. Weíre rolling for stuff and if we succeed then the game continues and if we fail the game stops. We end up collaborating a way to narrate the failure into a success so that we can start playing again. Can we play a game that allows for meaningful failures without halting the game?
    4) Interrogating NPCs. This is the least enjoyable part of the game. I donít know who to interrogate.
    5) Reactive gaming. We react to problems all the time. I donít take the opportunity to be proactive because it never seems to be appropriate. Iím not invested in gaining anything or saving anyone.
    6) My characters are very two dimensional because I canít think of a way to care on the characterís personal level about the things that are happening in the session. I feel that itís attached to the premise of the game. If we did have a personal stake in events weíd be the least suitable agents for the job.

    The reasons I have difficulty explaining this:
    1) Personal attacks Ė You believe that quality of the players is more conducive to a pleasant gaming experience that the game is. If I am not having a good time and that assumption holds then it follows that my problem is with the other players. I feel that I cannot criticise anything without it being a personal attack. I mean it felt that way when I criticised SR and I felt it too when you criticised AW.
    2) I know that you did not like any of the games that I suggested because they do weird and wonderful things. I have lost hope of playing any games that work off different assumptions. Itís like going out with a girl who says she doesnít want kids or marriage.
    3) Insisting that I get my way makes me a bad fanboy of the things I like. I donít want to be that jerk that ruins everything by insisting that I get my way. I donít do want to do ultimatums.
    4) My own uncertainty. Iíve just said a whole lot of stuff so in my head I struggle to cross check all that stuff doesnít contradict itself. And I try to weigh all be thoughts against each other before I open my mouth to say them. I know Iíve contradicted myself with advice and preferences that Iíve told you guys about in the past.

    I honestly thought I could make it work. But I donít think we can.


    I've been invited along by one player how say he didn't understand this message above... I've not heard anything from the other player.

    So I'm trying to think how tonight might go...

    Spoiler
    Show
    What is going to happen tonight?

    L will suggest a new game.
    Itíll be something Iíve not heard of. Itíll be more of the same ďGM preps a plot which either the players walk and enjoy or donít and the games sucksĒ.
    I donít like this but thisíll take me some number of weeks to spot it.
    I donít have the trust any more. Either Iíve got to call it or Iíll have weeks of uncertainty before finding that the dissatisfaction comes back and we start this whole cycle around it. But by then weíll so far in that itíll be totally rude when I point out all the things I hate about it.
    Solution: I need to suggest a game that supports dynamic action and legitimate choices within the frame of the game. But I donít know any that are acceptable.

    This will probably be misunderstood as wanting a game where the player can tell the GM that thereís a vase there.

    I donít know if he has anything that does dynamic and choices. I certainly do but he hated on all of them when I brought them over.
    Solution: Just leave. I canít be bothered any more. Iíve got to call it when I think something is up.

    Heíll suggest Shadowrun again.
    I donít particularly want to play it again. The metaplot makes our actions futile.




    S will suggest that heíll run Dungeons and Dragons.
    Heís already got a big project chart of what adventure paths weíll take at which levels.
    This does not interest me.
    If thereís a big chart that shows what weíll be doing at level 12 then why does what we do at level 5 even matter? Itíll be a grind.
    Solution: Just tell him. Heíll not understand but heíll nod and smile.


    So it'll go something like that. I'm so anxious about it.
    Mannerism RPG An RPG in which your descriptions resolve your actions and sculpts your growth.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Somerville, MA
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    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    Quote Originally Posted by LordBlades View Post
    I've never walked out of a game until now. I try to respect other people's fun and having somebody leave mid-session is a fun-killer. If something about the game doesn't suit me I'll just endure the rest of the session and then notify the DM I won't be coming back. It would take something like a personal insult for me to just pack up and leave.
    Me too. Oh wait, there was a personal insult. I regret not walking out on the spot.

    I'm used to bad games disintegrating. GMs can usually tell when a game isn't going well. They lose interest and miss sessions. Players no-show, but don't explicitly bail out. The game falls apart. I like it when games fall apart because it means I don't have to be a jerk to escape the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Last time, by sending an email to everyone in the game explaining that as the DM clearly had gotten every single rule in the game system wrong, evidently hadn't bothered to read the books, and had us slapped on a railroad plot consisting entirely of fiat...that he'd basically cribbed from B rated movies....I would no longer be playing with them.
    On the other hand, I think I'd be better off sending an email like this. It's not how I usually conduct myself, but when a GM asks me to choose between being a jerk and a doormat, I'd probably be happier being a jerk. (No offense intended to Tyndmyr, who I do not consider to be a jerk, but rather someone who is able to choose to use jerkish behavior to his advantage when necessary. This is a skill I clearly need to learn.)
    If you like what I have to say, please check out my GMing Blog where I discuss writing and roleplaying in greater depth.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    bokodasu's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: How bad does a game have to be before you walk out?

    I'm trying to parse this; you've put "bad game" and "with friends" in the same scenario; this is not something I've ever run across. Then again, the friends I game with are friends I've gamed with for 15 years, if one of them was going to pull out something I hated, it would have happened a long time ago.

    So I'm trying to think. I kind of know some people who play SRS BZNSS games full of melodrama and dark brooding darkbroodiness, which is really not my thing; if they asked me to play, I guess... well, no, they'd probably kick me out after the first session for not roleplaying the way they want. But on the off chance they didn't, I can't imagine not just saying, "yeah, this game really isn't my cup of tea, I'll see you at the next happy hour". (Pointing out that you like spending time with THEM, just not playing THAT GAME is always good.)

    You don't really have to go into a long explanation. If the problems are things they wanted to change, they'd change them; if they're things they don't see as problems then no amount of explanation is going to make them see it your way.

    (If they really press you on WHY, get your list of points written out as clearly and concisely as possible. Write a rough draft, then cut cut cut every word that isn't directly related to the problem at hand. Wait a day, and try to organize all your points together. Cut some more. Wait another day, then email it. It probably still won't change anything, but at least maybe they'll stop bugging you about it.)
    6-Cha Druid avatar by Savannah!

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