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So I just killed my group

Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, I'm not talking about a TPK nor of a multiple homicide, but I effectively ended our gaming group yesterday. It feels a little weird since we've been gaming together for several years now. Still I think the gaming was a long time a-dying.

The major issues were: just one player willing to DM (me), casual players who can't be bothered to learn the rules properly, lukewarm interest in the RP aspect of the game, difficulty to find gaming time with any sort of regularity and that nobody wants to play a full caster (the last part tends to drag the game down at higher levels). The DM burnout may well pass, but those issues aren't going to go away.

My players are nice guys (and may well be reading this *sheepish smile*) and there is plenty of good fun too (otherwise we wouldn't have gone on for so long) but I think I've had enough of the unfun parts.

I don't see me picking up the DM screen again anytime soon with this group and I doubt that any of the other guys will (except one that may be willing to DM Call of Cthulhu). I don't particularly relish the thought of finding a new group, either. I'm far too old and grumpy for that.

I'm both running and playing in a couple of PBPs, which has been a blast for the last two years or so, and I suspect that has spoiled me a bit, having the opportunity to game with some really awesome players (who both possess system mastery, social skills and a generous helping of forbearance).

Not really asking for advice here, just moping and hoping for some sympathy or that someone would like to share their stories from similar situations. Can you satisfy your Pathfinder itch by just PBP-ing? I guess I'm going to find out.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Sad story bro :-(

I might recommend playing some Pathfinder Society in your area. An excellent way to get your gaming fix, make new friends and who knows find a new regular group.

My condoleances. That you were the one to end it typically doesn't make it any easier to deal with. Just remember, a crisis like this passes. Give it a year or so, and you'll find you want to GM again. New groups are not impossible to find.

I too lost my group due to age and old players marriage/engagements (i don't seem to be able to do that, and i'm enough old myself to search for a new group).
In the last years i stopped playing entirely,just bought and read books for passions.
I resumed playing this last year but in a quite inappropriate way: just me and another guy of my old group in the same condition; we are rotating turns as GM and using 3 PCs each (but i have to admit it is quite entertaining all the same).
Am also following some PbP and am pretty happy with it as well.

You have all my sympathy

I know that feel bro.

Sometimes, the game is over.

I've seen a few groups fall apart. Especially caused by powergaming.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Welcome to my world Tom. You'll find that the older you get the harder it is to find a group thats willing to get together on a regular basis. Job/family/etc makes it hard. Usually these same things also make it hard for them to keep up on rules. In my case, my regular group switching from 3.0/3.5 over to Pathfinder.

Time. It does grim grim things. Give it a few years though, you may find a new crew. Ya never know.


I recently joined an online game that uses maptools and skype. I find that it is easier to get together with them as all I have to do is turn on the computer and I am rpging, instead of packing up everything and driving someplace. The members are from three different states and have been doing this for a while (I'm a new member). It might be a way to keep gaming (assuming you want to) without have to find a local group.

I have an idea what you feel like, from my own experience with my former side group (I'll spare you my own sob story). I was conflicted internally for a couple of months, and it took longer than that to figure out that it had something to do with deciding if it was my fault or theirs. It all seems rediculous now.

Anyways, this will pass with time. If you're friends with the other players then you should stay in touch wth them. That should help.

I think I know those players. lol

Black Tom..I feel your pain and I know exactly what your going through. S&*& will either get better or not.. but atleast know your not the only person with the problem..

I haven't been on these damn boards for very long.. but man.. not to be an assclown.. but I am really starting to dislike "casual" players..


CLPARIS.. how did you find that game? I would love to find a game like that.

Blacktom Take care of yourself buddy.

You never know. Once the gaming bug has bitten someone, it usually stays with them in some capacity for life. Case-in-point, my current group is a group of guys (and one gal), two of which I've known since the early 90's. Everyone is married with kids, and have jobs, professions, responsibilities, homes. There's no more "gotta give _____ a ride every week." So it's a treat having mature gamers. The downside? Those lives sometimes get in the way, so we don't have the free time we did back in the 90's.

Sad to hear Black Tom, but your gaming friends might come back around a couple years from now, or a decade from now. Life is funny that way. Remember the good times.

clparis wrote:
I recently joined an online game that uses maptools and skype. I find that it is easier to get together with them as all I have to do is turn on the computer and I am rpging, instead of packing up everything and driving someplace. The members are from three different states and have been doing this for a while (I'm a new member). It might be a way to keep gaming (assuming you want to) without have to find a local group.

How did you find this group? Interested in the same thing myself...

Black Tom wrote:
Not really asking for advice here, just moping and hoping for some sympathy or that someone would like to share their stories from similar situations. Can you satisfy your Pathfinder itch by just PBP-ing? I guess I'm going to find out.

Can you satisfy your Pathfinder itch by just PBP-ing?... I'm not sure for other people, since I don't know alot of PBP-ers IRL, but one thing I can tell you, I get the impression that the lust for awesome PBP is only to fill the void of the Ideal Table Top experience.. For me, nothing compares to sitting around a table with a group of companions, getting away for a few hours, arguing over stupid stuff, putting back MD's, and having a good time.

It's not everyone, but I find it so common that people try to get into 5+ PBP's at once, continually joining them in order to feel like they're getting enough substance from the format. I can say that after now finding 4 regular PBP games, my PBP desires are satiated, but that only because I play once, sometimes twice a week in person. Again, that's me, and I can't speak for anyone else.

As for killing the group, sometimes it's the best thing to do. About two years ago I was in a group with some people that were a lot of fun to begin with, but like any long term relationship, the little things started to get in the way. One of the players (a good player, lots of fun too) wanted to play everyone elses character for them. He thought himself superior and more seasoned than the rest and he thought that gave him free reign to offer his 2 cents on everything that happened. After a while, people started getting pissed off and getting into serious arguments around the table. Red faces, heaving breathing, hurt feelings, you know what I'm talking about. He even started escorting everyone to do everything because he wanted to opportunity to take place in the RP aspect of each encounter. Needless to say, people started making excuses, and eventually "Real Life" got in the way. I still keep in touch with one of the players.

Right now I'm playing in a game with all adults. I'm the youngest (24), and the rest are between 30-40. Because we have so much fun together, we have an unspoken understanding that we do everything possible to make it to the session. If someone can't be there, we understand. When conflicts slowly arise and don't weed themselves out, the conversation happens, because it's just not worth letting the game deteriorate because nobody is willing to say how they feel. It's just as much the responsibility of the players as the DM to bring up points of frustration to the table in an appropriate manner.

If there's one passive trait i've developed over the last few years, it's that I'm always scouting. Every PFS I play in, every campaign I join, I want to know which of the players are there because they have nothing better to do, and which one's are there because they seriously enjoy the hobby of Roll/Role playing. Which one's will drop us at a moments notice, and which ones will find a way to make it work. This way I've always got my options open, a replacement player in my back pocket, and one day I hope to bring together the "Dream Team" of mature gamers.... who knows when that will happen.

I know that some of this comes off as advice, which truthfully it is, but it's not intended to be. It's more like my own thoughts about my experiences and the way gaming aught to be being laid out in text.

Good luck moving forward!

Skype can indeed work for 1 or more players. All you need is patience and a good connection.

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I will commiserate by sharing my own experience, and it has a happy ending.

My original gaming group which lasted from grade-school into my late 20s/early 30s died out for (t)reasons (hehehehehhe) of family, and the lure of real lucre eventually outshining the pyrite hoards we once so cherished.

The greater conspirations of duty and time pulling away from your gaming group can cause the greatest gaming civilizations to fall. I suppose infusions of new blood can help maintain it -- but in my experience people don't tend to do this... we lurch towards bethlehem to die one gaming table at a time, sometimes with a bang... but more often I hear with a whimper.

At the end of my gaming group the last two players of mine FINALLY faced the biggest most epic threat of all time -- something I made up in 8th grade called "The world ship" (I've since heard others use this term in other fiction but to us it was original) -- which was basically the Invasion Craft the Great Old Ones would use to break "The Frontier" of reality and destroy the universe in a kind of cross-genre ragnarok. Since the very beginning of my referencing it's existence or it's eventual coming I never had the sand or the heart to use it as a REAL plot device, as I knew employing it would likely end the world, or AT LEAST render all subsequent objectives/glories insignificant by comparison. But after longer and longer hiatuses but the last of us always reminiscing about "the one that got away" one too many times over drinks... I set to planning the last course to the banquet of our gaming lives.

Every cool race of enemies I could remember from every campaign/setting/video game/movie and franchise for over 2 decades I referenced or directly cameoed in that final, epic and titanic battle. Characters we repeatedly referenced in inside jokes and even many that had been all but forgotten because they were antiquated relics of our more immature gaming tastes reared their heads from the oldest papers I'd saved. All the greatest worthy villainous factions teamed up grudingly with the greatest allies across our sci-fi, fantasy, and modern-style campaigns -- and in every fight old friends showed up to save the day or gave their lives so that the heroes could press forward. The Ur-quan held flanks for the protoss, the grass clan ninjas showed up and revealed they had anticipated the threat all along, The masters of Orion, The heroes of death-trap dungeon, the space marines, the sathar, the Slayers from Krull, the Darloks, Wasteland Rangers, The fallen lords, the Dweenle, the Uhlek, Sariens and Bionic Commandos, Kenju from "death lord", the Trow, Angels, gods, Solamnic Knights and the forces of Takhisis, and dozens of NPCs and races whose names would be pointless to reference (but some may recognize some of the above.) It was the ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny -- all fighting against horrors that I could only barely describe with stat blocks more ad-libbed than concrete. Basically everything was supposed to be impossible, but hero points earned and flowed like water. The real currency was whatever they could remember, were willing to sacrifice, and the best ideas they had.

In the final room -- the "Bridge" of the world-ship, they found the captured heads of some of their favorite characters they themselves had played but had died or been lost or cast aside over the years, employing their spirits or channeling their powers in a final battle with Hastur... In the most epic syncronicity of chance everyone was rolling super high or super low at the tipping-point in the battle, and I had them Triumph -- but only after sustaining injuries they were sure would irretrievably kill them. They would never be sure if it was actually enough to save existence -- but the open endedness of it was appropriate, movie-like. They said their goodbyes to those allies they were sure were still fighting from the bridge, and exhorted the forces of the reality we'd collectively made to fight for it's final defense before they finally left it. There was hope.

And the best and longest-lived characters my best two gaming companions had... took a bow and died. There was nowhere to go from there, but we pretty much knew the score. One of them has four kids now, and we were pretty much playing for closure. And closure is what we got. It was a one-way trip, and we loved it.

We can't all go out like that, but the finality of that game kept me out of gaming for SEVERAL (perhaps better defined as "many") years afterward. Quite outside my own designs after meeting some guys in a new town and agreeing to teach them how to play Arkham Horror, the topic of playing a tabletop RPG came up again. Almost always a GM before, I am now newly a player in my burgeoning second gaming group -- one of them has kids but so far it's not a big problem, though I suppose it may be more so when my wife and I start a family soon enough.

The moral of the story is -- there's life after death for gamers. True gamers don't die, we just re-roll.

Make sure if you get your second wind (however long your break from gaming may be) that you pick your companions more carefully to your specific tastes. Gather to yourself the best role-players if that's what you enjoy -- as a talented and storied GM, *YOU* more than any other gamer have it within you to rise from the ashes, because if you're going to GM again -- players will rally around you if you know where to find them. At some point you may find there are enough "misfit toys" in your social rotation to get a game together... and you will suffer no munchkins to live.

Until we meet again in "You just went up a Lev-Valhalla" -- (Where I imagine true GMs go to die), rest now -- and turn in your mind the best dramas you have wrought for your players. A retiring GM is a sad thing to see, but it is a beautiful thing. Your paintings hang on no walls, but they are plastered all over the very souls of those who've enjoyed your story-telling... even if it often seems some of it was pearls before swine.

Good show, my man -- good show. Well earned rest, and I both pray and suggest that at least for a while... for your next obsession to be your wife. ;D


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Sad story bro :-(

I might recommend playing some Pathfinder Society in your area. An excellent way to get your gaming fix, make new friends and who knows find a new regular group.

I second that. Assuming you really live in Stockholm there are plenty of places near you to go and play. Check them out! In my experience PFS people are typically very welcoming.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks for the sympathy and the thoughtful advice guys. I guess I'll just lick my wounds for a while and then start looking around for a PFS game in Stockholm.


Munoz0926 wrote:
clparis wrote:
I recently joined an online game that uses maptools and skype. I find that it is easier to get together with them as all I have to do is turn on the computer and I am rpging, instead of packing up everything and driving someplace. The members are from three different states and have been doing this for a while (I'm a new member). It might be a way to keep gaming (assuming you want to) without have to find a local group.
How did you find this group? Interested in the same thing myself...

I meet the GM at a convention and play with a couple of the guys once a month at PFS. They suggested me to the GM and that was that. I asked the group how they meet and it was mostly at conventions. I understand that there are several web sites dedicated to getting gamers together both online and in person. I don't know what they are as I am maxed out and am not looking for an other games, but I can ask around. Doesn't Paizo have a board for players looking for a game?

My sympathies. GM burnout from putting in a lot more effort than your players, and perhaps not being appreciated for it, sounds like your issue. It's tough to GM all the time. I'm blessed with a group that has two other GMs other than me, so whenever I or one of the others is feeling tired of it or has schedule problems, we can switch out.

Of course, I'm currently on an involuntary break from my group, as I'm stationed overseas for the next year or so.

As for casual players who don't know the rules, or people who just don't want to roleplay, I'm pretty flexible. We've got enough folks at the table who do know them and are willing to help the others that it isn't an issue, and enough dedicated roleplayers that others can sit in the background and only chip in when combat starts and they get to roll some dice. Actually one of the strengths of roleplaying, in my opinion, is that you don't need to know much of anything to start to play. Just show up, tell me what you want your character to do, and I'll tell you mechanically how to do it. I think the game has, unfortunately, become more rules-intensive over time and some groups are less patient with new players or old players who just don't want to read massive rules tomes than others, but I still think people can have fun with the game without a tremendous amount of systems mastery, just perhaps not at the same table with people for whom systems mastery is of utmost importance. Similar for dedicated and enthusiastic roleplayers versus folks not into that aspect of the game.

Hopefully, you'll be able to recharge your batteries and either start/join a new group or revive your old one, once a little time has passed.

Once again, my sympathies too! Makes me sad now...

And oh, very nice prose, Vicon. Are you are pro writer? And if you are i want to read your books!
And If you're not, start soon!

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It's strange how even among adults, folks' attitude toward the game can be so radically different. In my main gaming group, going on 8 years now, everyone but me has a professional career and children. For a couple of them, a very demanding career at that.

And yet they've all made arrangements to game on Friday nights. Sure, sometimes things come up and we don't play (one of the professionals is occasionally out of the country visiting his company's foreign assets.) But each of them has made a decision that "Friday is game night" and for the most part honors that. Gaming isn't the last resort, it's a set activity that, barring unforeseen circumstances, has top billing on Friday nights.

Then last year, a friend of mine wanted to form another group, composed mostly of folks I've known since high school. We are all adults, and again most of the group had jobs and families, though fewer kids. And yet with this group, for most of them, it seemed like game night was something you did if something better didn't come along. So there were plenty of cancellations due to folks deciding to go do something else instead. Or just not showing up. After a month or two, it fell apart.

Based on these experiences, it's my believe that it has nothing to do with being an adult or not. It's all about whether you're willing to commit to a set schedule and stick to it. It's about making a choice that the game won't be co-opted unless it's unpreventable.

Really sorry to hear about your group, Tom. Next time you give it a go, I hope you find one willing to prioritize the game enough to keep a set schedule. :(

There are two Google groups, and one persistent Skype chat group that run a fair bit of PFS scenarios using Ventrilo and Maptools.!topic/undergroundgm/DmKUeinaxxA!topic/undergroundgm/

We've got two slots open for a Carrion Hill game - read the message in the first link.!topic/pathfinder-society-online-collectiv e/ is the other mailing list for finding PFS games.

Craig Yack and Joshua Blazej also run on TTopRPG and Skype.

If you're doing audio and playing online, do everyone two favors:

1) Use something other than Skype for audio. Skype's audio latency is pretty horrific.
2) Get a headset, please, and use it to make sure that you don't echo or drown out everyone else.

I also recommend for finding groups, either online or local, and is generally a great tool RPG groups. I game with my old group thru skype and it works out pretty well (I moved to the east coast for law school) for over 3 years now.

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