Our bad table habits


Gamer Life General Discussion

Grand Lodge

I have seen threads about what other people do that annoy us or upset us while playing a tabletop game. This thread is to talk about the bad habits we personally have at the table!

I am one of those folks who over-talk when at table. I feel this need to fill the silence if no one else is speaking up. I know this has annoyed more than a few GMs I've had! :)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I get too easily side-tracked on movie/book discussions, which is really bad because I'm usually the DM.

I tend to focus too much attention on players who are visibly excited about the game, potentially leading players who are quieter/more low-key to feel underrepresented.

I tend to drink a lot of beer while DMing (see my avatar). Not enough to inhibit my ability to run the game, but some people are hypersensitive about alcohol and frown on it. I always provide it for the players as well, so those teetotallers among them probably feel doubly annoyed.


As a GM, I too tend to get distracted too easily by non game-related stuff, and then I pull everyone off the track with me. It undermines progress, and I end up ticking myself off.

As a player, whenever there is any sort of rules dispute, I am always looking it up, whether I am involved or not, so as to try to improve my knowledge level, but it frequently distracts me from the game at hand.

Grand Lodge

If someone has a rules question I sometimes blurt out the answer...even cutting off other people sometimes...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have a hard time allowing the opportunity for a snarky comment or joke to pass without capitalizing on it. This often makes if hard for me to stay in character, makes it difficult for others to tell when I am speaking in character or out of character, or (most frequently) leads to all of my charcters have a smart-ass personality whether I want them to or not.


Carl Hanson wrote:
I have a hard time allowing the opportunity for a snarky comment or joke to pass without capitalizing on it. This often makes if hard for me to stay in character, makes it difficult for others to tell when I am speaking in character or out of character, or (most frequently) leads to all of my charcters have a smart-ass personality whether I want them to or not.

Yep, same here. I also get side-tracked too much.

Silver Crusade

I have Hanson's problem. I'm also incredibly paranoid at the table.


I have a good memory and know it, leading me to overload it rather than just taking notes.


As the most-of-the-time gm at my table, I also let the focus drift from the game pretty freely when it does. In the end the hobby is more about getting together and enjoying each other's company than specifically the game itself. The interludes often give me extra time to build the imaginary impromptu forks in the road that are necessary in a simulationist sandbox.

Hmmmm. So technically thats how I turn my bad habit into a good one.

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I don't have any bad table habits to oh look at the kitty.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I have endless ideas as GM, and don't much follow through with them.


I put my elbows on the table.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I like games that focus on traditional fantasy rather then the weird and wacky.

Yeah, some may see that as good, but others probably see it as a fault.


Carl Hanson wrote:
I have a hard time allowing the opportunity for a snarky comment or joke to pass without capitalizing on it. This often makes if hard for me to stay in character, makes it difficult for others to tell when I am speaking in character or out of character, or (most frequently) leads to all of my characters have a smart-ass personality whether I want them to or not.

One dude at my table has that issue. It greatly annoys another player at times.

I have the bad habit of turning misanthropic at the mention of human-centric games.

Another bad habit is eating too much junk food at the table and getting sick. It's especially bad when I am DM.


I tend to rush things along when I'm a player. I keep a brisk pace as DM as well, causing missed RP opportunities


I have been too quick to reject player created material before I have even fully considered whether it would hurt the game or not.

I am also easily distracted by outside media... so don't leave a TV, radio, or video game on even in the next room or soon I will be helplessly drawn to listen to/watch it.

Sovereign Court

I'm easily distracted by mention of current stuff, also I get annoyed whenever someone uses pop culture references in character, or foreign words just for the hell of it.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm a backseat GM.

It's because I'm a GM so much more often than I'm a player. When I sit in the player's seat, I just can't turn it off!


I tend to be a very grumpy person when I'm tired. Which means after 9pm, I tend to be an unpleasant player. (I try to avoid late games, but it seems I'm the only local GM that wants to run stuff in the afternoon...sigh) (I have had to start taking naps before any late-ish games).

Liberty's Edge

Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

I'm a backseat GM.

It's because I'm a GM so much more often than I'm a player. When I sit in the player's seat, I just can't turn it off!

.

I do the same as well sometimes. Only if the dm is having trouble running the game. sometimes a a fellow dm one just needs to do so.


williamoak wrote:
I tend to be a very grumpy person when I'm tired. Which means after 9pm, I tend to be an unpleasant player.
Egil's Saga wrote:
He made a habit of rising early to supervise the work of his laborers and skilled craftsmen, and to look at his cattle and cornfields. From time to time he would sit and talk with people who came to ask for his advice, for he was a shrewd man and never at a loss for the answer to any problem. But every day, as it drew towards evening, he would grow so ill-tempered that no one could speak to him, and it wasn’t long before he would go to bed. There was talk about him being a shape-changer, and people called him Kveld-Ulf (“evening wolf”).

I have more than a touch of that myself.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
williamoak wrote:
I tend to be a very grumpy person when I'm tired. Which means after 9pm, I tend to be an unpleasant player.
Egil's Saga wrote:
He made a habit of rising early to supervise the work of his laborers and skilled craftsmen, and to look at his cattle and cornfields. From time to time he would sit and talk with people who came to ask for his advice, for he was a shrewd man and never at a loss for the answer to any problem. But every day, as it drew towards evening, he would grow so ill-tempered that no one could speak to him, and it wasn’t long before he would go to bed. There was talk about him being a shape-changer, and people called him Kveld-Ulf (“evening wolf”).
I have more than a touch of that myself.

Interesting. Still really wish I could find an afternoon GM.

Anyway, should avoid the derail...

Sovereign Court

Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

I'm a backseat GM.

It's because I'm a GM so much more often than I'm a player. When I sit in the player's seat, I just can't turn it off!

Me too

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I do have to exercise supreme discipline in the players seat, and only offer advice when asked.


Now that I think of it, I have only had one experienced GM as a player, and honestly he seemed to want to disconnect entirely from the GM mindset. I think he was pretty tired of GM-ing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I GM mmore than I play these days, and find that it's hard to turn it off when I'm a player.

When I'm the GM, I'm not forecful enough to bring focus back to the game when we start getting sidetracked. (One of my players is MUCH worse than the rest about getting us sidetracked, but his stories are often fascinating!)

I let combat encounters drag too long sometimes.

I'm not as good as I should be about offering opportunities for all of the PCs to shine.

I sometimes put too many ideas into my adventure design and leave too many unresolved plotlines.


I really enjoy the process of describing events as they happen and imparting to them a vivid reality with language.

When in a game as a player and I feel the GM is doing a fine job of this but maybe I could do it *just slightly better* I can't really restrain the urge to chime in... but I'm so used to stating these descriptions as matters of fact, and sometimes I go overboard with that.

When it comes to rules and rulings, however, I'm quite able to say "well of course it is your call" any time anything comes up. In fact, I might defer a little too much in those cases.


Ooh, spotlight stuff might be a problem for me as well. Basically, the more involved a player is, the more invested I become and the more time they get. That is the case for all my current group save 1 (he wont be coming back next year to the table unfortunately). I will admit I put a lot more emphasis on the other players. Then again, he was the most frequently absent, missing half of all games in the last few months, so I dont feel too guilty.

Dark Archive

I don't realize how loud I sometimes speak.

Sovereign Court

Raymond Lambert wrote:
I don't realize how loud I sometimes speak.

I play with a guy like that. He has hearing problems and sometimes he yells so loud when he gets excited (a shrill voice btw) that our ears begin ringing.


I'm the one who derails games with stories about other things. I'm the GM.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

If we cook for our usual game I have a player who holds her knife like a dagger. That is my biggest pet peeve in the world and I had to teach her how to eat a steak like a civilized person.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I have a really hard time STFU when a GM doesn't know a rule. I have tried, dangit, I really have, but when my party mate moves and attacks with both weapons and the GM says nothing about it...

...dear lord, it's like holding in a fart after eating nothing but cabbage for a month...you know, when your stomach is making that quirgly noise and your insides are about to explode, but you're in a public place, and you KNOW it's gonna be loud, so you try, and you're making a b-line for the restroom, but still, that pain, that insistence...that's what it's like to STFU when I know there's a seriously blatant "uh, no, actually it's..." boiling up inside.

To anyone else with the problem, I've found biting my fingernails like crazy, writing down the situation and the violation, and then presenting it quietly to the GM after the session tends to be Rules-Lawyer's version of Methadone. It ain't the stuff, but it'll get you through the day without going all Trainspotting.


I've got a rules lawyer at my table who, after a battle between the party and a larger than appropriate group of tigers that really went down to the wire (like one or two rolls could have been the deciding factor in a party wipe)...

After the fight was over and the 3 out of 4 party members that were blow 0 but above negative con were back in business, the rules lawyer says to me 'we should have died'... Rules say that when you're in a grapple, you cant make attacks with 2 handed weapons.

I'm like uh... as a person who's very familiar with the actual use of actual 2 handed weapons... I can tell you that's the dumbest rule i've ever heard.

Didnt matter to him much though. He was and probably still is adamant that he'd basically rather have a party wipe and adhere to a rule that nobody else had even heard of than enjoy the fact that the party was a hairs breath away from being wiped by a pack of tigers and narrowly survived. It would be more fun for him if everyone died and rolled up new characters. One tiny rule that makes little sense. Didnt just prefer that his character died from it... Wanted. Preferred. Total party wipe... Rules as written above all. No exceptions.

What can I say. For some folks even the smallest fiat can spoil their day. He's recently admitted that he doesnt like tabletop games anymore though. He's more of a moba guy. He'd rather have player against player in a controlled gladiatorial arena than to have any fight, win or lose against a gm... If the wandering monster was defeated, the gm fiatted your win by making the fight too easy... If the wandering monster wiped the party, then the gm fiatted your loss by allowing a fight that was too hard for the party... Win or lose, the dice mean nothing. All fights boil down to fiat unless its 'same build restrictions, pvp, no escape, last man standing'

I'm like well. There's more to tabletop gaming than that... But he has enjoyed it up to this point purely as a combat simulator and doesnt care much for plots or themes or settings at all... Just waits for his chance to fight stuff. He's become bored with that binary and ultimately fiattish dialogue of 'win a fight, lose a fight, encounter design is more important than any actions my character has', 'the gm can decide at any moment to give me a fight thats easy enough to win or impossible enough to lose and at the end of the day there's nothing I can do about it'... but isn't too interested in letting the game be about something else instead.

Grand Lodge

haruhiko88 wrote:
If we cook for our usual game I have a player who holds her knife like a dagger. That is my biggest pet peeve in the world and I had to teach her how to eat a steak like a civilized person.

Lets try to keep this thread to discuss our own bad habits, not others. There are plenty of other threads for that!


+1 to backseat DMing.

Sovereign Court

Here is a transcript of one of my bad habits:

Player; My character wants to go and talk privately with NPC.
GM; ok then lets do this.
Pan; "sounds good" /stops paying attention organizes character sheets checks tablet, etc.

moments later,
GM; says something interesting....
Pan; /ears perk up. "Wait what? I am going to attempt a skill or do something in reaction....
Player; /glares at pan
pan; oh.... right ....sorry my bad.....


I'm too much of a reactive and improv DM.

When players "give" me a lot to work with, I give them back tenfold and the game is awesome. If players are more the introvert type, of if they are tired that night, or if I start a new game where there is not a lot of character development yet, of if I play with a group that doesn't know my style; the "energy" of the game plummets and the pace grinds almost to halt.


Also, I tend to be very enthusiastic about a specific game, then get bored of it after four or five games and wished I had gone for another style.

My only hope is for the players to remain enthusiastic (see post above). If they do, I'll regain interest and things will go just fine. If they feed off my disinterest, the game crashes (as many did).


I have a nasty habit of joining in evil monologues.

When the GM has a bad guy really get ranting, I've been known to not only sympathize, but join in and sometimes even hijack his evil scheme and take over his operation. More than once, I've had to be reminded both ICly and OOCly that I'm one of the good guys. One time, I even got the entire group in on the act and we had to be reminded of our actual allegiances by the people who hired us while we were trying to blackmail them for the artifact that was key to completing the evil scheme.

The group has since banned me from being a player in Superhero campaigns because of this. I can GM or help the GM, but I can't play.


MagusJanus wrote:

I have a nasty habit of joining in evil monologues.

When the GM has a bad guy really get ranting, I've been known to not only sympathize, but join in and sometimes even hijack his evil scheme and take over his operation. More than once, I've had to be reminded both ICly and OOCly that I'm one of the good guys. One time, I even got the entire group in on the act and we had to be reminded of our actual allegiances by the people who hired us while we were trying to blackmail them for the artifact that was key to completing the evil scheme.

The group has since banned me from being a player in Superhero campaigns because of this. I can GM or help the GM, but I can't play.

Heh, I had a tendency to do something similar. Not quite the same. My former housemate has an amazing talent for voices for his NPCs. I can't match him in terms of sustained conversation, but could usually do a pretty good approximation of whatever voice he was doing for a word or two... which was generally just enough so that I could wait until a suitably dramatic pause in his current monologue and drop in a completely inappropriate continuation of my own. We didn't really take that game too seriously though, so no one really cared.

Scarab Sages

I have a terrible time making up my mind what I'm going to do on my next turn, especially as my characters reach higher levels and the variety of options I can choose from increase. Even if we're in the midst of a long-slog combat and I'm low on the initiative order, I don't seem to have enough time to decide.

I have been known to just tell the GM I'm holding action, not because there isn't something my PC could do, but because I'm in the throes of indecision. I have a dreaful case of analysis paralysis.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I say "I waste him with my crossbow" when the GM begins flavor text.


Righty_ wrote:
I say "I waste him with my crossbow" when the GM begins flavor text.

If I've worked up a villain's monologue by gum the players are gonna hear it!


I knit socks and then I don't interrupt with joke grasping attempts as often. Self correction strategy, knitting with at least four double ended needles.

Sovereign Court

I wasted him at If...what's the experience value for whomever or whatever it was?

Community / Forums / Gamer Life / General Discussion / Our bad table habits All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in General Discussion