What's the worst thing that has ever happened at your gaming table?


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

Okay, time for my story:

My parents had the bright idea of moving from Silicon Valley to rural New Mexico when I was right in the middle of high school. Don't get me started on all the other terrible things I could tell you relative to that. The point is that for my final two years of high school, I was stuck with going to the "only-game-in-town" excuse for a school (again, see the sentence before this one), a Hindenburg-like conclusion to an otherwise-pretty-enviable K-12 career. In retrospect, I probably would have been better off home-schooled, but at the time, certainly, my parents would have been more concerned with me having "the benefits of socializing with peers" or whatever, whether I cared about that or not.

While I was there, I gravitated to spending lunch period with the so-called "nerd herd" who would always bunch 2 or 3 tables together and play Magic: The Gathering. For nearly two full school years, that was where I would go, playing Magic and for some reason getting my ass kicked every time. There seemed to be a social dynamic among others that I could never get to go my way. Be aggressive? They'd get vengeful and kill me. Try to be subtle? They'd single me out and kill me. Try to take out a player known for having a deck that became unbeatable (one guy's absurd "Sliver" deck, just for example) early on before his victory became inevitable? They...were scared of him, and wouldn't get onboard.

I asked my parents what I could do about constantly losing, and they suggested I ask the others for tips on how to make better decks. Their response? "*shrug* Make decks that don't suck."

I wasn't sure how they felt about me, but my assumption for the most part was just that they played hardball.

To make a long story short, a couple months before I graduated, I came to the table and found that it was full. I tried to get a spare chair and prompted them to make room. A girl who I don't believe I'd ever seen there before stood up, looked at me, smiled, and said "Why...

Not to be that guy, but once I heard MTG was involved I had a feeling I knew where your story was going. Something about that game brings out the worst in people, in my experience.

Scarab Sages

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
...I forget what more, if anything, there was to it. I turned around, lunch period ended pretty quickly after that, I asked my teacher in the next class period to excuse me for emergency reasons, I went to some sub-office of "the office," waited in an empty conference room, an administrator person came in a couple minutes later and found me quite literally sobbing alone in the dark, and I got to go home early.

Something similar happened to me during my senior year of high school, though it didn't involve gaming. Except the people who dumped me were people I'd been friends with for years - some of them since first grade. Teenagers suck.

Today's uncomfortable moment: When two players, who are long-term close friends, suddenly at the beginning of the session get into an argument over the way one person is playing his character. The game has been decidedly low-key since (yes, it's ongoing right now). Awkward.


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I think I lost my d20 once...

In all seriousness, we had our share of petty drama but compared to these stories, that's about how bad it would sound. I consider myself very lucky now.


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Freehold DM wrote:
Not to be that guy, but once I heard MTG was involved I had a feeling I knew where your story was going. Something about that game brings out the worst in people, in my experience.

While it's not all players, you definitely have a point. CCGs in gejeral have more than their fair share of bastard players. It's part of why I only play MtG on a casual basis these days. Though interestingly the really nasty CCG community where I am is YuGiOh. I've seen grown men screaming at children, calling them retards for making a rules error... then been told that it's actually their kid. They're a really toxic group.

Wargamers are the other group I find gets like this, though it's usually animosity between players of different games rather than within the player base for a single game (certain Games Workshop fan boys tend to get rabid in their hatred for other games by other companies.)

Most frustrating situation I've had while wargaming was during the one league I decided to run for a skirmish game called Relic Knights (I was playing, since the whole reason I'd organised it was so I could have regular games, but I'd made it clear I wasn't eligible for prizes even though I paid my entry fee). A new player joined who was really good, learnt his faction really quickly, stomped all his opponents. Was the only undefeated player other than me... then his match against me came up. I'd seen how well he was doing, figured I'd better bring my A game... out of everyone in the league, he had the faction most able to deal with mine, and he completely failed to use any of their abilities to stop or even slow me down. Ended up being an 8-0 loss for him in record time. He seemed fine afterwards, we chatted a bit about what he could have done differently and so on. Next night I'm hanging out with a friend who was also in the league, when I get a message from the guy telling me he's dropping out of the league and wants a refund, because it's not worth his time playing. I asked if it was because of our game, got a rant in response about how it was ridiculous that I was undefeated in my own league, and that I was clearly just doing it to shark people out of their entry fees (remember, I'd already said I wasn't in the prize pool), and that I shouldn't even be playing and if I did have to play I should be restricted to playing gimped army lists. I reminded him about my not getting prizes even if I won, told him to sort out the details of a refund with the owner of the store I was running the league at (I think he got half his money back since he'd played half the rounds) and then blocked him. Really soured me on the idea of ever running any organised events like that again.

Scarab Sages

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Tinkergoth wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Not to be that guy, but once I heard MTG was involved I had a feeling I knew where your story was going. Something about that game brings out the worst in people, in my experience.
While it's not all players, you definitely have a point. CCGs in gejeral have more than their fair share of bastard players.

What's also upsetting is that the art and the stories and the worlds of Magic are so evocative and awesome - yet it seems to be the epicenter of this Evil mind-plague of contempt for anything beyond mechanics that we've seen corrode the game over the past decade. They coined the term "flavor text" - it didn't bother me then, and in the context of that game, but the way it's taken over actual RPGs, and even progressed to the far worse term "fluff," which James Jacobs himself has gone on record as hating, has been very upsetting, even damaging, for me.

But the art on some of those cards just shine with creativity and the promise of distant other worlds...why does nobody else care???

It's like I love the games so much, but they get ruined by my actually trying to play them with other people!


There's a lot of appreciation for the art and world building amongst my friends and I, but yeah, for most people it's just a game. It really bugged me when they stopped releasing a novel for every set. They occasionally release one, but it used to be one per set without fail, so that you'd end up with (in most cases) a trilogy set within the plane of reality that particular block took place in.

Scarab Sages

Tinkergoth wrote:
There's a lot of appreciation for the art and world building amongst my friends and I, but yeah, for most people it's just a game. It really bugged me when they stopped releasing a novel for every set.

Well, it's a game for us, too, it just isn't "just" a game!

Anyways, how very telling - when did that shift occur? I believe I stopped collecting after a set or two into Mirrodin.


I'm not sure exactly when. I took a break after Lorwyn,they were still doing it then. Came back at the end of Scars of Mirrodin, just before Innistrad, they'd stopped by then, which was seriously frustrating as I would have loved a series of novels set in that horror themed world. Was a great set.

Scarab Sages

A few years later, I did catch a glimpse of what was apparently a Mayan/Aztec-themed setting/set. Looked neat. Which one was that?

Sovereign Court

Yeah, here, where I'm from, Magic and Warhammer players are considered the worst scum of the earth.

Magic players here are what I consider to be wrong with gaming. Completely absorbed with mechanics, not giving a damn about the story behind it or WHY something is happening. All they see in cards are the numbers. Making completely nonsensical decs as long as it gives them the advangate.

Same goes for warhammer players. I've been very active in Serbia's Warhammer 40K community. I've had a TAU army. But other players soured it for me. Completely. There was no rime or reason to their armies. Just the way to maximize numbers. My army was good. Not maximized though, but well thought out, and it made sense by TAU story. And I've won a fair share of my games.

It was the contempt to anything but their game and the way they behaved that they soured these two for me.

I've never played Magic past a tourney where you get a pre-made deck (You can't possibly imagine the amount of whining and weeping that produced) and I haven't played WH40K in years, I even sold my Tau army when I needed the cash.


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At a recent game session, the youngest son of the player that was hosting the game at her house, at the age of 5 years old, was so excited that he had used the potty by himself, that he ran to the dinning room table where we were all camped to tell his mother of his accomplishment, while he was as naked as the day he was born. We all stared intently at our minis on the table and couldn't look at each other for fear of bursting into laughter. His mother quickly shooed him back to his bedroom to get him clothed and we finally gave vent to our laughter. One of our players, who recently had his first baby boy, said he couldn't wait for his son to do "cool stuff like that".

Good times.

Scarab Sages

Interesting. I was afraid of that vis-à-vis Magic, but that it's similarly bad with WARHAMMER kind of surprises me.

WARHAMMER became a fad for a bit when I was in middle school. Chaos and High Elves were already taken (Orcs and Skaven were also represented), so I chose to collect Lizardmen. The problem was that none of us fully understood the rules - "Wounds," for instance. The Skaven players were overly-enamored of their plague-globe bombardier guys since they deal 1 Wound with no save to multiple targets - they missed the part about certain large and powerful units having more than 1 Wound.

I only ever played one game of it, and it was kinda weird because it started out with my Lizardmen fighting alongside the Skaven against everyone else - and I let one of their poison-wind globadiers (whatever they were called) ride on the back of my Stegadon. I didn't intend to turn on them...

...but then the tides shifted somehow, and the other players cajoled me to switch sides, and since I had, by that point, read the Lizardmen rulebook and found out that we hated the Skaven more than just about anyone, I was like, why the hell not? Naturally, the Skaven players immediately retaliated by dropping a poison globe right on top of my Stegadon, but I at least got to crash him/her into a ground regiment of Skaven before he died...which, if only any of us properly understood Wounds, he/she wouldn't have anyways. I wish I remembered any more of what happened than that. We may have had to stop for some reason with the intent to resume and never did, sort of thing.


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
A few years later, I did catch a glimpse of what was apparently a Mayan/Aztec-themed setting/set. Looked neat. Which one was that?

Not sure, most likely wasn't when I was playing. Could have been Zendikar maybe, which all about the end of the world caused by big Lovecraftian beasts waking up. Lots of lost cities and and jungle temples in that set.

Hama wrote:

Same goes for warhammer players. I've been very active in Serbia's Warhammer 40K community. I've had a TAU army. But other players soured it for me. Completely. There was no rime or reason to their armies. Just the way to maximize numbers. My army was good. Not maximized though, but well thought out, and it made sense by TAU story. And I've won a fair share of my games.

It was the contempt to anything but their game and the way they behaved that they soured these two for me.

That's why I stopped playing Warmachine/Hordes. We've got some of the top players in the world here and holy hell does that lead to an ultra competitive meta. They take it way too seriously, building only for optimised lists, which means there's no room for a guy like me building fun experimental shenanigans lists. I stopped playing after I was in a tournament and three opponents in a row looked at my list and asked if I just wanted to forfeit. Then each of them beat me first or second turn from halfway across the board. All of them had lists that were almost identical.

Unfortunately they're all getting into a game called Guild Ball that I started playing, and they're already taking it to extreme levels of obsession. Blog posts full of statistical analysis of every team and ability, explanations of how to use binomial calculators to determine odds of success for any given action and so on. So I've already withdrawn from any organised play. Just casual games with me and my mates now.

Scarab Sages

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Tinkergoth wrote:
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
A few years later, I did catch a glimpse of what was apparently a Mayan/Aztec-themed setting/set. Looked neat. Which one was that?

Not sure, most likely wasn't when I was playing. Could have been Zendikar maybe, which all about the end of the world caused by big Lovecraftian beasts waking up. Lots of lost cities and and jungle temples in that set.

Cool.

Tinkergoth wrote:


Unfortunately they're all getting into a game called Guild Ball that I started playing, and they're already taking it to extreme levels of obsession. Blog posts full of statistical analysis of every team and ability, explanations of how to use binomial calculators to determine odds of success for any given action and so on. So I've already withdrawn from any organised play. Just casual games with me and my mates now.

That's downright disgusting.

I'm kinda hoping this whole "bean-counting uber alles" mentality turns out to just be a fad/bubble when even the super-boosters start realizing that even they're not having fun - or that their "numerolatry" is finally proven to be a crock of s!$~ that only looks good on paper. The good news from what you're saying is that they're already showing signs of repeating history: They're trying to make a predictable, ordered "science" out of battle tactics, just like the Soviet Union started believing in after World War II. With time, the proponents of this new "science" claimed, they would be able to hone it to the same level of precision as the laws of physics, and predict the outcome of battles before they'd even started. This "science" died an ugly death when they went to war in Afghanistan.


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Tinkergoth wrote:


Unfortunately they're all getting into a game called Guild Ball that I started playing, and they're already taking it to extreme levels of obsession. Blog posts full of statistical analysis of every team and ability, explanations of how to use binomial calculators to determine odds of success for any given action and so on. So I've already withdrawn from any organised play. Just casual games with me and my mates now.

That's downright disgusting.

I'm kinda hoping this whole "bean-counting uber alles" mentality turns out to just be a fad/bubble when even the super-boosters start realizing that even they're not having fun - or that their "numerolatry" is finally proven to be a crock of s+~# that only looks good on paper. The good news from what you're saying is that they're already showing signs of repeating history: They're trying to make a predictable, ordered "science" out of battle tactics, just like the Soviet Union started believing in after World War II. With time, the proponents of this new "science" claimed, they would be able to hone it to the same level of precision as the laws of physics, and predict the outcome of battles before they'd even started. This "science" died an ugly death when they went to war in Afghanistan.

Oh they're having fun, and it works for them. During a recent tournament where one of the creators of the game came over from the UK to play, they thrashed him mercilessly. He went on record saying he's pretty sure the first world champion is going to be an Australian after what he saw. One of the local guys has won every tournament bar one that has been held here, he's a world class Warmachine/Hordes player as well, and is very much a fan of mathematical/statistical analysis of the game. The problem is that it's no fun for casual players like me.

Scarab Sages

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Tinkergoth wrote:

Oh they're having fun, and it works for them. During a recent tournament where one of the creators of the game came over from the UK to play, they thrashed him mercilessly. He went on record saying he's pretty sure the first world champion is going to be an Australian after what he saw. One of the local guys has won every tournament bar one that has been held here, he's a world class Warmachine/Hordes player as well, and is very much a fan of mathematical/statistical analysis of the game. The problem is that it's no fun for casual players like me.

It's kinda like, bean-counters are never the first ones to catch on to a game, but they sniff a game out, they barge in, and ruin it for everyone with a broader mind than they. Game gradually turns to s++*, it shrivels up, they stand in the ruins, shrug their shoulders, and decide it was inevitable, because obviously if they couldn't have saved the game, nobody could! It's almost exactly what happened to World of Warcraft, plus the "LCD Welcome!" thing.

What's to be done? When will they yield, rather than the rest of us?

Scarab Sages

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back in my army days me and buddy decided to take some of the windfall of six months of pay sitting in the bank to try it out, he bought a dark elf army, I boutght a wood elven one.

We were a bit competitive in a lot of things, but i was browsing ebay and bought a series of figurines that would look like cool dark elf sorceror witch elf's. Painted them up in my buddy's army colors and then... promptly after a game in which he was being a dick but lost (it was luck) I decided to glue some of the chain bits I had to her neck and "chain" her to my general... you know battle prize captive whatever you wanted to call it.

He was so pissed he didnt speak to me for a week. Looking back on it now we both laugh. But man the look on his face when i did that...


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Tinkergoth wrote:

Oh they're having fun, and it works for them. During a recent tournament where one of the creators of the game came over from the UK to play, they thrashed him mercilessly. He went on record saying he's pretty sure the first world champion is going to be an Australian after what he saw. One of the local guys has won every tournament bar one that has been held here, he's a world class Warmachine/Hordes player as well, and is very much a fan of mathematical/statistical analysis of the game. The problem is that it's no fun for casual players like me.

It's kinda like, bean-counters are never the first ones to catch on to a game, but they sniff a game out, they barge in, and ruin it for everyone with a broader mind than they. Game gradually turns to s#&#, it shrivels up, they stand in the ruins, shrug their shoulders, and decide it was inevitable, because obviously if they couldn't have saved the game, nobody could! It's almost exactly what happened to World of Warcraft, plus the "LCD Welcome!" thing.

What's to be done? When will they yield, rather than the rest of us?

I think this is more of a "different mentality" thing than anything else. You derive fun from something broader; they derive fun from victory & statistical analysis. In the end, people who want to win (and put the effort to do so) will always end up pushing aside those without the same ambition (and this isnt just in games; you can go into any field (business, engineering, politics, etc.) and find similar mindsets). I wouldnt be surprised they have similar attitudes towards "casuals" (like the reaction on the web to "casual" VG players), wondering why "they dont play the game properly" (IE statistically, to win).

The only solution I have found... is avoidance. They want something COMPLETELY different from the game that some do. I'm not competitive myself, and so I avoid these kinds of people. Luckily, I havent met many of them.

Scarab Sages

williamoak wrote:


I think this is more of a "different mentality" thing than anything else. You derive fun from something broader; they derive fun from victory & statistical analysis. In the end, people who want to win (and put the effort to do so) will always end up pushing aside those without the same ambition (and this isnt just in games; you can go into any field (business, engineering, politics, etc.) and find similar mindsets). I wouldnt be surprised they have similar attitudes towards "casuals" (like the reaction on the web to "casual" VG players), wondering why "they dont play the game properly" (IE statistically, to win).

The only solution I have found... is avoidance. They want something COMPLETELY different from the game that some do. I'm not competitive myself, and so I avoid these kinds of people. Luckily, I havent met many of them.

I deny that they're better at winning, however - they just think they are, and don't try to experiment with new ideas once they're comfortable with a handful of "tried-and-true tactics"...which of course just means that outside of a handful of scenarios, they fumble and flounder to hell and gone - but then they say "something is WRONG!(TM)" as though there should only BE a certain small set of circumstances rather than infinite possibilities, and then if they can, they b%~~% and moan to developers or whomever to make those other "wrong" possibilities go away.

Limitations. Impossibilities. Predictability. ORDER. What a nightmarish ideal.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Hama wrote:


Magic players here are what I consider to be wrong with gaming. Completely absorbed with mechanics, not giving a damn about the story behind it or WHY something is happening. All they see in cards are the numbers. Making completely nonsensical decs as long as it gives them the advangate.

Uh, with Magic, that is kind of the point. It's the business model. It is a card game sold in randomized packs - there's no coherence to any story told via that delivery method and there never was. There's just a nod toward control of certain cards via a physical scarcity model that is easily blown aside by deep-pocketed deck builders and the open market.

That said, I'd argue not that the beat-the-game, mechanic-crunching mentality is bad for Magic, but that that Magic's popularity and approach has put more than a few dents in the broader gaming community. For a few years in the mid-90s, you couldn't walk anywhere at Gen Con without tripping over teenage to 20-something boys playing Magic or having one come up to you to try to sell his box of alphas. And prices on anything "collectable" were skyrocketing. Trying to fill in missed books in the D&D collection (or pick up extra Oriental Adventure books for the campaign I was running so my players could have more references) was an exercise in transferring funds through the nasal orifices. Fortunately, that eventually did pass and older materials returned to a level of affordability - but, man, everyone was trying to cash in on that mentality and it sucked.

Scarab Sages

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Bill Dunn wrote:
And prices on anything "collectable" were skyrocketing.

Ha-ha. I do remember that.

Pokémon!
Tamagotchi!
BEEEEAAAAANNNNIIIIEEEE BAAAAAAAABBBIIIIIIEEEEESSSSSS!!!


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Tinkergoth wrote:
Though interestingly the really nasty CCG community where I am is YuGiOh. I've seen grown men screaming at children, calling them retards for making a rules error... then been told that it's actually their kid. They're a really toxic group.

The only rage flip I ever saw was at an FLGS where a bunch of Chinese kids were playing Yu-Gi-Oh. There were all screaming at each other in Chinese and suddenly cards were a-flyin'.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Tinkergoth wrote:
Though interestingly the really nasty CCG community where I am is YuGiOh. I've seen grown men screaming at children, calling them retards for making a rules error... then been told that it's actually their kid. They're a really toxic group.
The only rage flip I ever saw was at an FLGS where a bunch of Chinese kids were playing Yu-Gi-Oh. There were all screaming at each other in Chinese and suddenly cards were a-flyin'.

I find this hilarious.

As for the reliability of the statistical analysis stuff... on average, it is better (from what I've seen). Again, it's not an auto-victory button, but if people do it right they can be monsters.

Now, there are asshats everywhere, that, unfortunately, we can not escape. But my experience with mechanics first people has been that they have only a few more asshats than the average.

Scarab Sages

williamoak wrote:

As for the reliability of the statistical analysis stuff... on average, it is better (from what I've seen). Again, it's not an auto-victory button, but if people do it right they can be monsters.

Needless to say, it's a question of what game is being played - and also needless to say, there's a difference between people who are good at math and people who know nothing else, or have a cult-like faith in its infallible omniscience.

But if you can reduce the game to a predictable formula...why bother? Pack it in, you've killed it. It's stone dead. It's a stiff. It's run down the curtain and joined the Choir Invisible....


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Tinkergoth wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Not to be that guy, but once I heard MTG was involved I had a feeling I knew where your story was going. Something about that game brings out the worst in people, in my experience.

While it's not all players, you definitely have a point. CCGs in gejeral have more than their fair share of bastard players. It's part of why I only play MtG on a casual basis these days. Though interestingly the really nasty CCG community where I am is YuGiOh. I've seen grown men screaming at children, calling them retards for making a rules error... then been told that it's actually their kid. They're a really toxic group.

Wargamers are the other group I find gets like this, though it's usually animosity between players of different games rather than within the player base for a single game (certain Games Workshop fan boys tend to get rabid in their hatred for other games by other companies.)

Most frustrating situation I've had while wargaming was during the one league I decided to run for a skirmish game called Relic Knights (I was playing, since the whole reason I'd organised it was so I could have regular games, but I'd made it clear I wasn't eligible for prizes even though I paid my entry fee). A new player joined who was really good, learnt his faction really quickly, stomped all his opponents. Was the only undefeated player other than me... then his match against me came up. I'd seen how well he was doing, figured I'd better bring my A game... out of everyone in the league, he had the faction most able to deal with mine, and he completely failed to use any of their abilities to stop or even slow me down. Ended up being an 8-0 loss for him in record time. He seemed fine afterwards, we chatted a bit about what he could have done differently and so on. Next night I'm hanging out with a friend who was also in the league, when I get a message from the guy telling me he's dropping out of the league and wants a refund, because it's not worth his time playing. I asked if it was because of our...

Don't get me started on yugioh. I can't even play the video game anymore because of the dumb shut I've seen. Knock down fights. Borderline prostitution. Protection rackets. The game is horrible.

I used to like wh40k. But there are entirely too many wannabe neo nazis who love the space marines for me to ever get into the game. One of my best friends, who loves his German heritage, had to stop playing with people because they were making too many assumptions about the fact that a German guy who lived in the country and spoke fluent German loved the ultramarines. He got way too many invitations to the wrong parties.

Playing for money is something that should only be done at a casino. Elsewhere people are too crazy.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Tinkergoth wrote:
Though interestingly the really nasty CCG community where I am is YuGiOh. I've seen grown men screaming at children, calling them retards for making a rules error... then been told that it's actually their kid. They're a really toxic group.
The only rage flip I ever saw was at an FLGS where a bunch of Chinese kids were playing Yu-Gi-Oh. There were all screaming at each other in Chinese and suddenly cards were a-flyin'.

I've seen far worse.


Freehold DM wrote:
I've seen far worse.

I have no doubt, and after reading some of these posts I sit here in appalled, stunned silence after doing so. I've just been lucky to have a great group for years where the worst was some feeling were hurt but quickly healed.

Scarab Sages

I HAD BEEN thinking of getting into Necrons, myself.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Memories of exceptionally mechanically inclined folks remind me of this nugget...

This one does have a happy ending, of sorts, sorry for the technical details...

Battletech Gunslinger single-elimination tournament at Gen Con, want to say late '90's time-frame (back when it was in Milwaukee).

Individual sits down at my table. Because I was already suffering from concrud, it didn't register to me at first WHY the people at the nearby battle map had retreated to other maps further away.

And then the stench hit me and my concrud leaped by an order of magnitude and I felt like I was going to vomit at the table.

And the guy sitting across to me does this nasty grin and laughs and says "You can always forfeit. It's not like your 'ghetto-tech' (3025 era)Atlas can beat my (3058)Nightstar I've got you ranged and you can't possibly close to me before I chew you up."

Well, heck. Offering someone a forfeit in a tournament like that, even under those appalling conditions, is galling.

So for the next hour we re-enacted the Clan Invasion on a one-on-one scale, and then in escalating frustration the guy gets in close because I'd been using cover very effectively and taking pot-shots with my missile rack (which I'd managed to run out of ammunition in the process)

At toe-to-toe, the Atlas is a much better fighter, aside from weight, because it has a plethora of short-ranged weaponry. One round later, his 'Mech is a smoking ruin and he immediately looks up at the tournament judge.

"HE CHEATED! He didn't use a new 'Mech!"

The judge looked at me, barely concealing a grin, looked at the guy, and shook his head, took a look at the record sheet that I'd gotten from the HQ intently and goes "It's a legal sheet. Let's see yours."

After the judge confirmed that yes, the sheets were legal the guy rage-quits and storms off.

Judge then can't hold back the smile any longer (after we pulled away to a better location so we could actually BREATHE) and said "Oh, thank GOD you beat him, he's been pulling that stench thing for the last TWO years and getting to the finals each time."

Managed to get into the semi-finals using that Atlas, and if I hadn't been suffering from aggravated concrud...


Yu-Gi-Oh is banned at more than one FLGS that I'm familiar with.

Black Diamond Games doesn't even sell the cards anymore last I heard.

At another store, WH40K tourneys are given their own isolated room. They even have their own side-door to use.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


(stank)

Don't event judges have the ability to disqualify people or bar them from competition for bad behavior? I'd say that biological warfare counts as bad behavior.


Unfortunately I've only ever been in one pnp session, so the sample is poor, but it was also in one of the Warhammer fantasy settings. The group disbanded early in the first session!

It must've been around ten years ago, so the details are blurry: soon after gathering together and taking on a contract, our diverse party went to get some info from an NPC. He wanted money in exchange and our two evil characters started arguing with each other whether we should pay or not. Two of the most stubborn people I've seen... In hindsight, my character's siding with one of them didn't help (I wanted to pay the guy in secret) and their argument soon broke the 4th wall and things just went downhill. :(


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Memories of exceptionally mechanically inclined folks remind me of this nugget...

This one does have a happy ending, of sorts, sorry for the technical details...

Battletech Gunslinger single-elimination tournament at Gen Con, want to say late '90's time-frame (back when it was in Milwaukee).

Individual sits down at my table. Because I was already suffering from concrud, it didn't register to me at first WHY the people at the nearby battle map had retreated to other maps further away.

And then the stench hit me and my concrud leaped by an order of magnitude and I felt like I was going to vomit at the table.

And the guy sitting across to me does this nasty grin and laughs and says "You can always forfeit. It's not like your 'ghetto-tech' (3025 era)Atlas can beat my (3058)Nightstar I've got you ranged and you can't possibly close to me before I chew you up."

Well, heck. Offering someone a forfeit in a tournament like that, even under those appalling conditions, is galling.

So for the next hour we re-enacted the Clan Invasion on a one-on-one scale, and then in escalating frustration the guy gets in close because I'd been using cover very effectively and taking pot-shots with my missile rack (which I'd managed to run out of ammunition in the process)

At toe-to-toe, the Atlas is a much better fighter, aside from weight, because it has a plethora of short-ranged weaponry. One round later, his 'Mech is a smoking ruin and he immediately looks up at the tournament judge.

"HE CHEATED! He didn't use a new 'Mech!"

The judge looked at me, barely concealing a grin, looked at the guy, and shook his head, took a look at the record sheet that I'd gotten from the HQ intently and goes "It's a legal sheet. Let's see yours."

After the judge confirmed that yes, the sheets were legal the guy rage-quits and storms off.

Judge then can't hold back the smile any longer (after we pulled away to a better location so we could actually...

I've encountered a few...zealous students of WWII history...who enjoyed mechwarrior, specifically the clans, but not nearly as often as with wh40k. I more often run into problems with people who have problems with me for loving dark ages than anything else. But most of these folks just want to game with me and yak my ear off about how awesome their chosen time period is.


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Where I used to live the running gag was that there were only two or three other people to play Warhammer with, and none of them were on speaking terms.

The other joke was to instead pick up a cocaine habit, it was cheaper in the long run (probably not, but that game isn't exactly cheap to get into).


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

Needless to say, it's a question of what game is being played - and also needless to say, there's a difference between people who are good at math and people who know nothing else, or have a cult-like faith in its infallible omniscience.

But if you can reduce the game to a predictable formula...why bother? Pack it in, you've killed it. It's stone dead. It's a stiff. It's run down the curtain and joined the Choir Invisible....

Well, I dont quite think so. Like I said, it's not auto-win, it's just a higher probability. The random nature removes all possibility of auto-win scenarios. And if someone plays against someone at the same level, it's very impressive. I mean professional sports is basically that; take the "best" possible human players, the best possible strategists/coaches, and pit them against each other. Yes, a pro team will (almost) always beat an amateur one (and it will look quite boring as well), but pro vs pro can be quite interesting.

Cult like faith in it's omniscience is dumb however. This is statistical analysis, not calculus. There is no "solve for victory". You may win 70% of your games, but losing should be expected. Then again, asshats are too common to discount... sigh.


williamoak wrote:


I think this is more of a "different mentality" thing than anything else. You derive fun from something broader; they derive fun from victory & statistical analysis. In the end, people who want to win (and put the effort to do so) will always end up pushing aside those without the same ambition (and this isnt just in games; you can go into any field (business, engineering, politics, etc.) and find similar mindsets). I wouldnt be surprised they have similar attitudes towards "casuals" (like the reaction on the web to "casual" VG players), wondering why "they dont play the game properly" (IE statistically, to win).

The only solution I have found... is avoidance. They want something COMPLETELY different from the game that some do. I'm not competitive myself, and so I avoid these kinds of people. Luckily, I havent met many of them.

That's my attitude towards it. I wouldn't say they're playing the game wrong. It's a perfectly valid way to play, and it works for them. I just don't enjoy it in the slightest, so I choose to play with my friends instead.

It's kind of why I like Relic Knights so much. No dice, and it's really hard to come up with an analytical model for the resolution mechanics due to the card draw mechanics and ability to horde power to pay for abilities. So it lends itself to a more on the fly tactical play, with placement of units and objectives being by far the most important element.

Bill Dunn wrote:
Uh, with Magic, that is kind of the point. It's the business model. It is a card game sold in randomized packs - there's no coherence to any story told via that delivery method and there never was. There's just a nod toward control of certain cards via a physical scarcity model that is easily blown aside by deep-pocketed deck builders and the open market.

I'd mostly agree with you, though if you're playing Standard (Current block + core set if the block is complete, or current block + previous block + core set if the current block is not yet complete), it's far more common to see themed decks, because generally cards of a certain type within a block will work particularly well together. I used to run 3 themed decks during the horror themed Innistrad block, Green-Red Werewolves, Black-Red Vampires, and White Human/Angels. Back in the Time Spiral block I ran a Black-White Rebel Control deck. Doesn't exactly build narrative, but they certainly all gave a good overview of their own part of the world they were set in.

The Duel Decks sets are pretty much the only way I play now, you get two themed decks that are balanced against each other, so there's a bit of narrative to the logic behind the choices at least (two rival planeswalkers, or the forces of Zendikar fighting back against the Eldrazi as they wake up). Lot of fun to be had there.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Christopher Dudley wrote:


Don't event judges have the ability to disqualify people or bar them from competition for bad behavior? I'd say that biological warfare counts as bad behavior.

Event judges typically do *theoretically* have that power.

HOWEVER...

In situations like GenCon, part of an event's success is 'number of tickets sold' and 'fill rate'.

Under such conditions, there's often a 'grit your teeth and hold your breath' attitude because you don't want to drive off customers/players who will inevitably be the ones who go to social media and other means to badmouth your event.

The worst situation GMing I ever encountered at GenCon was Storytelling a two-round Werewolf The Apocalypse tabletop. The club I was running for sold *fourteen* tickets for the one table. Of which ten folks showed up.

Fortunately, I was able to make it work, and the players were patient, but... let's just say there's a Really Good Reason why table limits of 4 and 6 are in place for most settings...

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I'm a little surprised at the "MtG brings out the worst" stuff (I couldn't really comment on Yugioh or the other CCGs). My FLGS hosts more Magic events than any other game, including a kids' league every Saturday that's consistently full of smiles (it's run at the same time as one of their Modern-format events which I play in, so that's how I know). There's also a Pokémon CCG event that's usually wrapping up about the time I get there, full of kids getting along better than a lot of Pathfinder players I've met.

I see Magic players offering polite handshakes and "good luck"s and "sorry you got mana-screwed"s very consistently. I can't even think of the last time I saw somebody do something rude at a Magic event. Meanwhile, what eventually drove me to quit Pathfinder was (primarily) the people.

It does occur to me, though, that my Magic-playing is primarily at organized events, as opposed to the lunchroom setting described in that awful MtG story upthread. It also occurs to me that a similar distinction could be made regarding the people who drove me from Pathfinder and the people who had me staying as long as I did. I wonder if that makes a difference?


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Jiggy wrote:

I'm a little surprised at the "MtG brings out the worst" stuff (I couldn't really comment on Yugioh or the other CCGs). My FLGS hosts more Magic events than any other game, including a kids' league every Saturday that's consistently full of smiles (it's run at the same time as one of their Modern-format events which I play in, so that's how I know). There's also a Pokémon CCG event that's usually wrapping up about the time I get there, full of kids getting along better than a lot of Pathfinder players I've met.

I see Magic players offering polite handshakes and "good luck"s and "sorry you got mana-screwed"s very consistently. I can't even think of the last time I saw somebody do something rude at a Magic event. Meanwhile, what eventually drove me to quit Pathfinder was (primarily) the people.

It does occur to me, though, that my Magic-playing is primarily at organized events, as opposed to the lunchroom setting described in that awful MtG story upthread. It also occurs to me that a similar distinction could be made regarding the people who drove me from Pathfinder and the people who had me staying as long as I did. I wonder if that makes a difference?

It's been many, many, MANY years since I played MtG... but one thing I remember disliking greatly about it was the fact that it was a 'MONEY' game.

If you have the money... you could by your cards by the box... or case and get all the best cards ever. Cards to the point where strategy and theme didn't really matter any more. Whoever had the best cards had the best deck.

Anyone buying their cards a pack or two at a time... didn't stand a chance. Hence the power disparity was quite severe and the richer kids knew it, flaunted it, and gloated about it. As this was High School and early college... Kids as a rule are jerks.

I actually was able to avoid most of this... by NOT buying cards. I had a friend who bought much more then he needed and I occasionally made a few decks from his leftovers... I didn't win often... and I didn't really care. I wasn't dropping the kind of money they were, and I killed 1/2 hour at lunch... Win/Win.

Pathfinder... is less that. I've never played with strangers or Society... but the books are the books and the dice rule the day. Especially with everything online. Those with money can make characters just as competitive as the those without. Their jerkiness would come from different directions or play style... but at least the game itself is accessible.


It really comes down to the group. I think it's CCGs in general, but which game is the problem one can vary from city to city, or even from store to store within an area. YuGiOh players are by far the worst here, but there's one store where I just stopped playing Magic years before I stopped all organised play, because they were all ultra-competitive. The other two stores the general communities aren't bad, but there's still cliques of unpleasant players within them.

Can also depend on level of play. A casual league or even something organised but low level like Friday Night Magic is going to be a much more cheerful and friendly crowd than something like the main event at a Grand Prix or a Pro Tour Qualifier event. When there's serious prizes on the line (last I checked, first place in a Grand Prix main event is $10,000), a lot of people tend to get very serious about a game.


Jiggy wrote:

I'm a little surprised at the "MtG brings out the worst" stuff (I couldn't really comment on Yugioh or the other CCGs). My FLGS hosts more Magic events than any other game, including a kids' league every Saturday that's consistently full of smiles (it's run at the same time as one of their Modern-format events which I play in, so that's how I know). There's also a Pokémon CCG event that's usually wrapping up about the time I get there, full of kids getting along better than a lot of Pathfinder players I've met.

I see Magic players offering polite handshakes and "good luck"s and "sorry you got mana-screwed"s very consistently. I can't even think of the last time I saw somebody do something rude at a Magic event. Meanwhile, what eventually drove me to quit Pathfinder was (primarily) the people.

It does occur to me, though, that my Magic-playing is primarily at organized events, as opposed to the lunchroom setting described in that awful MtG story upthread. It also occurs to me that a similar distinction could be made regarding the people who drove me from Pathfinder and the people who had me staying as long as I did. I wonder if that makes a difference?

even including occasional nonsense on these boards, I have never encountered stupidity with pathfinder that comes even remotely close to what I saw for yugioh. Ever.

The worst tabletop nonsense I saw(aside from the table flipper) was in white wolf games, where the s#!@ flew hot and heavy more often than not. As others on this board have already heard, it was where I saw my first in-game fist fight. I'm not sure who you're playing with, but they sound awful.


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Tinkergoth wrote:

It really comes down to the group. I think it's CCGs in general, but which game is the problem one can vary from city to city, or even from store to store within an area. YuGiOh players are by far the worst here, but there's one store where I just stopped playing Magic years before I stopped all organised play, because they were all ultra-competitive. The other two stores the general communities aren't bad, but there's still cliques of unpleasant players within them.

Can also depend on level of play. A casual league or even something organised but low level like Friday Night Magic is going to be a much more cheerful and friendly crowd than something like the main event at a Grand Prix or a Pro Tour Qualifier event. When there's serious prizes on the line (last I checked, first place in a Grand Prix main event is $10,000), a lot of people tend to get very serious about a game.

once money gets involved, people become awful.

Scarab Sages

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Freehold DM wrote:
once money gets involved, people become awful.

Or rather, that is when the awful people begin to come.


Sadly, when I was 14, I was one of those people over wargames. I lost a good friend before I figured out that it brought out the a~*$$~# in me. It was fun, but I didn't like what it did to me, so I got out.

Dark Archive

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This was not the worst but it is definitely in the top bottom six things.

Way back in 1992 we were very into playing long games of FASA's The Succession Wars board game, a game which makes Axis & Allies look like tic tac toe.

We had LONG sessions, like 18 hour games, we had the games catered with abundant food in some cases, and almost always had liquor as well.

It was a five player game, but we had six, we had an arbiter who was impartial and would referee disputes.

There was a lot of back room dealing (literally we would leave the game table twenty minutes at a time to make back room deals, and paid 10 million in game currency per block of 10 minutes).

On the table included a father and two sons, all three were lawyers, the father and son were also chess grandmasters (ranked in Asia) and the same son is arguably one of the best and most prepared DM I ever had. Another player was a retired Navy Commodore.

Anyways, assume the table had very intelligent and strategically inclined individuals.

I had House Kurita and I was invading and making good inroads into the hated House Davion. During House Davion's turn, he struck back but retook very little and I noticed the Davion player had over extended himself. In attempting to retake his losses from me he left his flank weak, the House Liao player would march through him. I did my best to hide my excitement.

When it was House Liao's turn, he made a weird purchase. Mostly defensive units when he was clearly about to advance into Davion. Hmm something wrong there.

On the attack face, Liao struck.

But not at Davion. Liao carved into House Marrik (OUR ALLY)! Marrik already in locked battle on another front with House Stienner, reeled in disarray. Because Liao was protecting House Marrik's flank, Liao had the distinct advantage and after smashing all its assault units he put down his defensive units and dug in. Now we understood why Davion had extended himself, he was passing notes and money to the Liao player through the arbiter.

Marrik lost several leaders, three capitals and two vital industrial complexes. The whole time the Marrik player (one of the sons) was spewing out every curse word in English and Spanish you could think of to the Liao player (his dad). In the end he grabbed a glass ash tray and hurled it at his father and thankfully missed.

Seeing this he ran over to the food buffet and grabbed a try of sushi and threw that all on the board and the players. Sushi and Wassabi everywhere.

I miss that game so much.


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baron arem heshvaun wrote:

This was not the worst but it is definitely in the top bottom six things.

Way back in 1992 we were very into playing long games of FASA's The Succession Wars board game, a game which makes Axis & Allies look like tic tac toe.

We had LONG sessions, like 18 hour games, we had the games catered with abundant food in some cases, and almost always had liquor as well.

It was a five player game, but we had six, we had an arbiter who was impartial and would referee disputes.

There was a lot of back room dealing (literally we would leave the game table twenty minutes at a time to make back room deals, and paid 10 million in game currency per block of 10 minutes).

On the table included a father and two sons, all three were lawyers, the father and son were also chess grandmasters (ranked in Asia) and the same son is arguably one of the best and most prepared DM I ever had. Another player was a retired Navy Commodore.

Anyways, assume the table had very intelligent and strategically inclined individuals.

I had House Kurita and I was invading and making good inroads into the hated House Davion. During House Davion's turn, he struck back but retook very little and I noticed the Davion player had over extended himself. In attempting to retake his losses from me he left his flank weak, the House Liao player would march through him. I did my best to hide my excitement.

When it was House Liao's turn, he made a weird purchase. Mostly defensive units when he was clearly about to advance into Davion. Hmm something wrong there.

On the attack face, Liao struck.

But not at Davion. Liao carved into House Marrik (OUR ALLY)! Marrik already in locked battle on another front with House Stienner, reeled in disarray. Because Liao was protecting House Marrik's flank, Liao had the distinct advantage and after smashing all its assault units he put down his defensive units and dug in. Now we understood why Davion had...

a VERY liao move!

This is why you can't trust the cappies!

Scarab Sages

Freehold DM and the others who've been saying how especially bad Yu-Gi-Oh! seems to be: Do you have any idea what it would be about that game that makes it such an awful-magnet?

Personally, I've never had reason to be anywhere near that game, but I must confess that from what I've seen of the card art, I like their general aesthetic (of course, I was saying a while ago how rich I found some the Magic art).


I went to a 40K tournament with a buddy once. Played the local "pity" player. you know, the guy they take pity on and don't run off, but his army is sub-par and he doesn't know the rules. His Space Marine army is also painted like the Dallas cowbys (sigh)

anyway, I have a good army, Space marines is a good matchup for me, my dice were rolling great, plus his were rolling horribly.

I proceed to destroy most of his army on turn 2 and wipe the table on turn 3.

He makes some comment along the lines of "How to you have such good dice?"

I make some comment about "I put them in solitary confinement (in the bathtub) when they roll bad, it teaches them a lesson." (I had recently read an article where some guy did that to his dice.

So the guy looks at me askance and asks, "You soak your dice in water?"

I'm like sure, whatever.

He immediately calls for a judge, calamine I'm cheating that I have loaded dice. The judge rolls some of my dice, doesn't even look and proclaims my dice as fine.

So he rage quits and leaves the store. The locals thank me for running him off. We break for lunch and then continue the tournament.

mid afternoon he calls the store we are playing in, and asks if anyone wants to buy his army, that he's getting out of the game.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Okay, after re-reading a few posts, I think I'm starting to understand. It seems some folks regard it as an inherently bad thing to engage a game (even a non-RPG) with a competitive mindset, no matter how much politeness or professional decorum you might conduct yourself with. So (outside of a couple of outliers/horror stories not unlike the ones for RPGs) when I'm seeing people saying that MtG brings out "the worst", they're meaning it brings out "competitiveness, which is bad".

A couple months back, a little 10-year-old girl was the only one to show up for the Magic Kids' League, so one of the Modern players loaned her a multi-hundred-dollar deck so she could play that event instead. Everyone smiled, treated her kindly, patiently explained unfamiliar cards, and encouraged her even while she was losing. It seems that while I would look at the actual behavior and call it good, some in this thread would look at the fact that they were still playing to win and say "Man, Magic players are the worst!"

Explains a lot.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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Jiggy wrote:

Okay, after re-reading a few posts, I think I'm starting to understand. It seems some folks regard it as an inherently bad thing to engage a game (even a non-RPG) with a competitive mindset, no matter how much politeness or professional decorum you might conduct yourself with. So (outside of a couple of outliers/horror stories not unlike the ones for RPGs) when I'm seeing people saying that MtG brings out "the worst", they're meaning it brings out "competitiveness, which is bad".

A couple months back, a little 10-year-old girl was the only one to show up for the Magic Kids' League, so one of the Modern players loaned her a multi-hundred-dollar deck so she could play that event instead. Everyone smiled, treated her kindly, patiently explained unfamiliar cards, and encouraged her even while she was losing. It seems that while I would look at the actual behavior and call it good, some in this thread would look at the fact that they were still playing to win and say "Man, Magic players are the worst!"

Explains a lot.

As an impartial reader to the thread, I would suggest that an alternative explanation is that they've had vastly different and far more negative experiences than you with the game or format, and you shouldn't take it personally.

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