Poor Attendance: Advice Needed


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Sovereign Court

Good luck, keep us posted.


I sent an email out today to the group.

Quote:
2:30 to 5:30. We'll be playing the ordinary game unless SHENANIGANS. If it's SHENANIGANS, it'll be either the Tavern Game or a board game.

His response:

Quote:
I...am...SHENANIGANS!

I think I'm gonna give him a call.


you gave a weird message and he gave a weird response, tbh.


I don't care about his not giving a reason. I care about his not attending for the seventh week in a row.

I tried to call, but got an answering machine. Shortly after, he told me his phone had 'decomposed'. The talk's getting wicked delayed here.


On a hunch, I just called again using a number I hadn't given him. He answered. When I introduced myself and said, "So, got your phone fixed?" he said, "Yeah, it finally started working."

I called him out on the seven weeks and told him I had the feeling he was avoiding the game. He said, "Yeah, I dunno, I've just been really busy these last few weeks."

I told him he needed him to work harder on scheduling if I was going to run the game and he said he'd try. I wasn't assertive enough to bug him further, so that was the end of the 'talk'.

Sovereign Court

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Ok. What other reasons do you need to boot him. Seriously? Talk to your player that is his friend, explain your situation and I'm sure that he'll agree that the "player" should be booted. If he doesn't he cares more about his friend then you or the game, and maybe you should go without both.


Sounds like he is booting himself. The easiest thing to do is just remove him from future emailings and such. Put the weight on him to contact you. You don't have to boot him, just let him do it himself. If he shows up, great, but work under the assumption he is out of the game. At this point booting him seems more of an ego thing than a practical one. "No I dumped her, she didn't dump me."


He didn't answer his phone. He told you his phone decomposed. This isn't the first time he's given glib, stupid answers because he obviously doesn't respect you or your game.

Just stop putting him in the loop and inviting him and he'll stop showing up. You're seriously starting to sound like the girl that after the first date you call the guy 8 times and when he keeps blowing you off you're like "but we can work it out!"

Let the guy go. And it's not hard for you to tell your friend that you didn't boot PP, he just left the game on his own.


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I'd honestly kill to have four regular players at my table. I never have four. Sometimes, it's three. Often, it's just two. And my only dedicated player is my wife.
Point is: You have four perfectly eager players, one who could go either way and one who you're basically telling "walk all over me because I desperately need you at the table". If you cut out 'at the table', sounds creepy, doesn't it? You probably would never say that, so why does adding 'at the table' make a difference? I'll be blunt and say that this sounds highly dysfunctional.
Sure you've built up a storyline with great characters and acts of heroism. But campaign worlds are not a dinky group of towns. Work those previous adventures into a new storyline, have some familiar NPCs come in. Those who have stuck around will enjoy the nods to their previous escapades and the new ones won't feel too lost in something that reeks of "oh, this is for the oldies in the group". Sometimes, you might have great ideas but, if they are keeping you from progressing, they need to be scrapped and revamped.
As far as your problem player goes, you can still be friends, but you really shouldn't game together and I really doubt he'll be sore over it.

Edit: By missing 7 weeks, that should tell you exactly how he feels about your game.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I don't care about his not giving a reason. I care about his not attending for the seventh week in a row.

I tried to call, but got an answering machine. Shortly after, he told me his phone had 'decomposed'. The talk's getting wicked delayed here.

Dude, 7 weeks? Let this guy go. It really seems like you're the one clinging onto him. 7 straight no-shows should tell you all you need to know.

I've dumped players for missing two straight games with no good excuse. I'd rather have 2 reliable players, than 6 crappy ones. Quality over quantity, and all that.

At this point, you're doing all of this to yourself. If you honestly think there's anything left to talk to this player about, gaming-wise, you're kidding yourself. They showed you how little of a crap they give about your game a long, long time ago.


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Agreed. The threshold is crossed.


He doesn’t want to play. This is what you want. Leave it alone and stop pressuring and badgering him into doing something you don’t even want him to do.

When GMs pressure players to attend, you start to become a stalker, and that’s not good. If people want to play, they will. You can’t force someone to play.

Personally, he wouldn’t be playing in my game or he’d have a drastically reduced role. But it sounds like he’s leaving on his own.

Regarding the new players, if I was introducing new players, I’d do a little Pathfinder Society first, not jump into the long standing campaign. Before PFS, you can talk about the long standing game until they’re comfortable with the storylines. Maybe consider scrapping it altogether if it’s not what they want, you have almost all new players/PCs.


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Hama wrote:
Ok. What other reasons do you need to boot him.

I am waiting for him to drink my milk. Then he's f&~*in' outta here.

In seriousness, my wish to have some proper attendance has just been out of a rather pedantic wish to have original PCs present for the new introductions. It's a waste of time, and I've moved on. Pres man basically summed up the reason I haven't kicked him: it wouldn't actually change anything and would come off as kinda petty.

Oh, and a quick side-note: I only realized he'd missed seven weeks last Saturday upon checking my email logs. Before then, I figured it was just around four weeks, which is still obnoxious but at least not quite as ridiculous.

Thank you all for putting up with my whining long enough to hammer the message into my thick reptilian skull. I'm done with this dude. For now, I'll stop short at kicking him for the reasons I just went over, but I'm definitely not gonna worry about working his character into sessions on the off chance he does show.


I realize this will sound trite, but: good for you!


Well, I'm not sure you have to say anything (if he doesn't attend anyway), but when you do, be calm firm, and matter-of-fact. Good luck.


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KC wrote:
In seriousness, my wish to have some proper attendance has just been out of a rather pedantic wish to have original PCs present for the new introductions. It's a waste of time, and I've moved on. Pres man basically summed up the reason I haven't kicked him: it wouldn't actually change anything and would come off as kinda petty.

Embrace the changing cast, it is one of the finer aspects of RPGs. I relish the moment in a Pathfinder campaign (AP usually) where I realize: "Hey, there's only one (or fewer!) original member left in this party!"

You'd think changing players would make the plot incomprehensible, but in fact it just makes the world seem richer.


Oh, man. I'm sorry you had to put up with that. :/


While I've never seen the show (only heard things), consider it like a Game of Thrones thing where the cast changes in an unexpected way.

I guess this would be like Walking Dead as well..the people who have made it through the adventure are not the ones who were expected to complete it when it started.


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I love it when the party gradually changes over time. One of my favorite campaigns ever was one very long-term one in which we all had like 6 or 8 characters at different levels from different former parties/APs. Eventually, we started making new parties based on geographic proximity of homes, former affiliations, political alliances, and the like.

"What is your background, sir?"
"I used to adventure with Faiella the Thief."
"I am told her party was led out of the Caves of Chaos by a runecaster named Anderl."
"Yes, I've heard that as well, but it was before I met her. How do you know of it?"
"I was with Anderl when he slew the priests of Wastri in the Hylore Marsh."
"Ah! So you're THAT Alodar!"


Kirth Gersen wrote:

I love it when the party gradually changes over time. One of my favorite campaigns ever was one very long-term one in which we all had like 6 or 8 characters at different levels from different former parties/APs. Eventually, we started making new parties based on geographic proximity of homes, former affiliations, political alliances, and the like.

"What is your background, sir?"
"I used to adventure with Faiella the Thief."
"I am told her party was led out of the Caves of Chaos by a runecaster named Anderl."
"Yes, I've heard that as well, but it was before I met her. How do you know of it?"
"I was with Anderl when he slew the priests of Wastri in the Hylore Marsh."
"Ah! So you're THAT Alodar!"

That's what I'm talking about!

I'm jealous.


I haven't read the whole thread, but something I see frequently led me to this this...

"If people failed sense motive checks as often while playing as they did reading forum threads, not a PC or NPC character would be left standing..." it made me chuckle heh


Logged in to see a Skype message.

Friend: (sigh) it… It's… Uggh!!! I got the email from [My Sister], you and me talked on the phone, i was planning to go this week… Surprise trip. I'll try my best to come next time and hopefully, there won't be any annoying trips
Friend: Mmm, i'm actually leaving at 6 am tomorrow… Goodness
Friend: This just gets more… Err… Awful
Friend: Ciao!

I'm more just posting these for posterity at this point. 'Cause, hey, if he's still coming up with excuses a year from now, I'm gonna need proof. ;D

Sovereign Court

Why would you need proof? The dude obviously doesn't want to play in your game. He made lame excuses for EIGHT times. I think it's time to cut him loose.
Here is what I would do. I would talk to his friend and explain the situation to him. If he is a reasonable adult, he will understand. If not, i would boot him too, and get two new players.


Obviously to your "friend", your game is the least important thing in his life. Actually, he's probably trying to avoid you at this point, because you're being a little obsessive about it. I'm surprised he hasn't told you he's ironing his spandex.

If that was a girl you were trying to date, I'd tell you to take the hint and move on. The same thing applies though. Stop being "needy" and move on. When you first wrote this thread, I thought he was the problem but you're both part of the problem, maybe you more than him since he definitely knows what he wants. Let go.


Wowsers, an EIGHTH excuse? At this point he insulting your friendship. It's way past gaming by now.

Well, giving it some more thought, maybe, just maybe, this person is just that dense, to think they wouldn't have consequences for such abysmal attendance. Maybe.

This reminds me of a bassist my band once had; he had horrible attendance. He'd miss 7 or 8 weekly practices, and show up all of a sudden acting like nothing happened. We recorded entire demo CD's in the time he was missing, and acted confused when we'd bring his being absent up.

He was one of those types who simply committed to far too many things at once; the guy was active in at least 4 activities, all of which any one could be a full-time career for someone else, all in addition to having an exhausting social life. The consequence being, that he was stretched too thin and couldn't devote any real time to all of these activities at once. Some activities got neglected. Our band was one of them.

Maybe your friend is the same way; maybe he just tries too hard to be involved in a billion different things and doesn't realize his neglect does more harm than good. Maybe he thinks showing up to 1 out of 10 games is better than none, when in reality, he's better off not showing up at all.


Jason S wrote:
Actually, he's probably trying to avoid you at this point, because you're being a little obsessive about it.

So forgive me if I'm a little offended here. I'm just following what I thought was the group's consensus: Stop expecting him to show up. I didn't even send him any messages this week, besides the weekly one I send to all members. And that email is just a prompt--I send it to members on hiatus, too.

If he wants me to take him off the list, he has to say so. I am not going to just assume by 'hints'. And I'm not cutting him loose because, again, nothing would change and it'd just be petty. Again, I've followed your advice. I don't know what I'm doing wrong now, but I'm sick of being called a stalker for not making a big show of kicking the guy out.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Again, I've followed your advice. I don't know what I'm doing wrong now, but I'm sick of being called a stalker for not making a big show of kicking the guy out.

I think Jason S just doesn't understand the difference of you sending the guy messages and you posting things here.

Sovereign Court

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Why even send him messages? I wpuldn't. He doesn't deserve it. One bit. And it wouldn't be petty.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Jason S wrote:
Actually, he's probably trying to avoid you at this point, because you're being a little obsessive about it.

So forgive me if I'm a little offended here. I'm just following what I thought was the group's consensus: Stop expecting him to show up. I didn't even send him any messages this week, besides the weekly one I send to all members. And that email is just a prompt--I send it to members on hiatus, too.

If he wants me to take him off the list, he has to say so. I am not going to just assume by 'hints'. And I'm not cutting him loose because, again, nothing would change and it'd just be petty. Again, I've followed your advice. I don't know what I'm doing wrong now, but I'm sick of being called a stalker for not making a big show of kicking the guy out.

I'd take him off the mailing. He doesn't have to "say so". At this point I'd say he has to contact you to say he wants to stay on.


I think KC has done all he can and has come a long way since he first posted this problem. I, for one, find the excuses a little humorous, if not completely lame. So, just leave it be. If KC wants to continuing sharing these excuses, by all means let him.

...But if you even think of waffling on the position you've taken, KC, I'm sure many of us a willing to jump in a car and force you to play Call of Cthulhu for 16 hours straight!


I'm posting the messages because I think they're funny--as I said above, I don't really care anymore. I'm not taking him off the mailing list because I see little harm in keeping him on. Taking him off (or dramatically kicking him) will do nothing but cause a stir among the other players.


Just remember: "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!"


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
If he wants me to take him off the list, he has to say so. I am not going to just assume by 'hints'. And I'm not cutting him loose because, again, nothing would change and it'd just be petty. Again, I've followed your advice. I don't know what I'm doing wrong now, but I'm sick of being called a stalker for not making a big show of kicking the guy out.

Sorry, I thought you were still trading emails with him, trying to convince him to play. Sorry about that.

Instead of leaving him on the email list, you can still resolve this. After the next excuse email you could send him an email saying:

“Hey, you’ve missed a lot of sessions. When you feel like joining the group again, send me an email. Until then I’ll just remove you from the email list if that’s OK”.

That way, you’re still leaving the choice up to him, it’s probably what he wants to do, and no one is the bad guy.

If he still wants to be on the email list, then you might as well leave him on since it’s more trouble than it’s worth removing him (without his permission), like you already said.


Alright, that sounds like a decent idea. Thanks. Sorry for snapping at ya. XD

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