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Your Worst Gaming Experience

Curtis Cook

Registered User
Validated User
#1
I was pretty sure I'd seen a thread with this title somewhere on the forum, but now I can't find it (nor any search function, which seems odd to me). In consequence, I am starting one of my own. I'll kick it off with the example from the "So, playing a character when the player doesn't show" thread, then give another example for those of you who don't like reruns.
***
One of my least enjoyable RPG experiences came in a Runequest campaign back in college.

I was practically brand new to the game (having only one practice scenario under my belt), and I tagged along as one of a party of sixteen characters — all more experienced than I was. We were on some sort of assignment (I forget what), and the rest of the group got it into their heads that it would be a really great idea to kill the dream dragon sleeping over in the next valley. The player with the most experience (the guy who had introduced everyone else to the game) explained how this was a BAD IDEA and told us the story of the Dragonkill Wars. ('Kill' is what the dragons did during the wars, not what was done to them.) Undeterred, the other fourteen decided to give it a shot, even when the very experienced player (who had the most powerful character) announced that he was going to watch the horses. Being no dummy (or so I thought), I stayed with him.

The gamemaster had the two of us move to another room, and the V.E.P. gave me strategy tips while we waited to hear the gory details. After a depressingly short time the GM stuck his head in the door and told the V.E.P. that his girlfriend was screaming for help. He sighed, picked up his character sheets and headed back into the main room. I said, "What, are you you crazy? You're gonna die!" He just shrugged and replied, "When your girlfriend calls for help, you've gotta go, even if it kills you. Fight the good fight; I'll see you when we make up new characters." Within a minute the GM was back to announce that all sounds of combat from the valley had ceased. What was my move?

I said I'd wait three days to see if anyone survived, and if the dragon made an appearance I'd defend the camp, but under no circumstances was I going into the dragon's valley — not even to sneak in and see what had happened. The GM replied that I passed the three days unmolested, so I packed up the camp, rounded the animals into a coffle and returned two town (two weks travel away), certain that at any moment I would be beset by raiders and killed.

Surprisingly, I made it back to town in one piece, but the moment I set foot inside one of the townsfolk recognized some of the animals as not belonging to me. Without being given a chance to explain, I was seized and hanged. End of character.

To my utter astonishment, they then expected me to calmly create a new character and start a new party along with everyone else. I told them that after being killed for making the intelligent choice, I wanted nothing more to do with their group. As I went out the door a couple of them replied that if I wasn't willing to die for the group, they didn't want me around, anyway. I never saw them again.
***
My second least favorite RPG experience came at a tournament, and was in a way remarkably similar.

The objective was to enter a castle, find an object and escape from the castle. In spite of the fact that all of the players in my group (none of whom I knew) supposedly had years of gaming experience, they were hopeless. They had no concept of how to keep a low profile. They wouldn't move silently, listen at doors, search for hidden passages, search for traps, post look-outs… nothing.

Eventually, after much blundering about and unneccessary fighting (which never seemed to alert any of the other denizens), I managed to locate the object. At that moment an ominous gong began tolling, and we heard the 'clank, clank, clank' of the 20th level anti-paladin who owned the castle coming to get us. I (an eighth level Dwarven fighter) handed the object to the nominal party leader (who had accomplished nothing) and said, "Run for it; I'll hold him off."

I then charged down the corridor, swinging my axe and bellowing, "I'm a berserker Dwarf! I'm a berserker Dwarf! I'll grind your bones to make my bread!" (Okay, not very original, but I was pressed for time.) Well, the fight went better than you might have expected. The DM rolled badly, and I rolled well, and I lasted at least twice as long as I legitimately should have. By the time I went down the anti-paladin was only one good hit away from dying himself.

And our party? They followed me down the corridor to watch the fight. Each round when it was my turn to swing I'd yell, "Run you fools, run! I'm holding him off to give you time to get out," and each round they just stood there and watched (occasionally contributing useful comments like, "Stop messing around with this guy; we've got to get out of here."). When I died they actually continued to stand there, debating whether or not to drag my body off with them, while the anti-paladin summoned his guards. They all died. And they blamed me.

The one consolation I (thought I) had was that I'd get my reward when the prizes were given out. I'd done the only intelligent things that had been done in the entire party, found the object when everyone else was clueless, and sacrifised myself to save the rest of the party (even though they'd refused to be saved).

To no one's surprise, our group got the lowest group score. (We were the only ones not to escape with the object.) To my very great surprise, I got the lowest individual score, which satisfied the other members of the party. (The highest score went to the party leader, who received credit for the object, since it was in his possession.)

When I cornered the DM afterwards and asked how I could possibly have earned the lowest score, his response was that if he could've given me a negative score, he would have. He had never seen such an ugly display of role playing, and he was glad I wasn't a member of his regular group (which, as it turns out, ALL of the other members of my party were). I was constantly complaining, always trying to tell the others what to do, and to put the cherry on it, I had managed to get my entire party killed, which he hadn't believed was even possible.

The only person who was at all sympathetic was the party leader, who encouragingly informed me that he thought I could be a pretty good player some day… after I gained some more experience and got over making those rookie mistakes. In the meantime, though, I should just go away.
***
And what was YOUR worst gaming experience?
 

DM Fitzgerald

Registered User
Validated User
#2
I was at Gen Con I believe in 1999. We were in the Coc run. We spend most of the adventure poking around in a house and eventually ended up in the basement. My character was the furthest from the well the monster came out of...when the tenticles started appearing the GM said, "Your character died...."

No roll...no strategy...no chance of getting out of the room. The other characters, deeper in the room "survived." All of the other characters moved to the next round, they were the GM's friends.

Now I don't play "convention runs" anymore.

David
 

DM Fitzgerald

Registered User
Validated User
#3
Ok another one.

I was a mere "lad of a gamer." A "semi-famous" GM/game developer was runnning his world, this was my second venture on his world.

Everyone was a 3d level and the GM's girlfriend/wife was with us. She had a stack of magic cards almost an inch thick.

First we were drenched with a downpour of rain, most of us elected to huddle together in our wet clothes sharing body warmth. The GM's girlfriend declaired that was pretty stupid since the water in our clothes would make us colder. She them preceeded to strip naked and prance around in the gale saying that this way she was "warmer" than us with the waterlogged clothing. The GM (known for his realism in his world) shook his head and told us that we were fools and should so as she did, some of us declined the offer and were given various illnesses because of the weather.

later on the GM's girlfriend began to have side bar conversations with various members of the the party, paying them to side with her agains the other party members if need be. After several combats in the dungeon we were envolved in an epic battle, fighting several monsters at one time in a confined space. When we tried to move away from the monsters we were told that the space was "too tight" we had to face the monsters we had.

The monsters began to get the better of us but those of us at the end found a clear door, we pried it open, then the GM's girlfriend announced that she was running out the door (despite the face she was on the other end of the combat.)

The GM smiled and said "Well she got out.....but the rest of you are trapped." We were lucky despite being trapped we killed the rest of the monsters and got out.
The GM's girlfriend joined us and demanded her part of the treasure....

it went down hill from there as we squabbled over the loot, she took several pieces of good treasure, all of it good, the rest of the treasure was cursed and killed several party members.

Yes I'm STILL bitter and it happened YEARS ago......and I still flinch when people rave about this GM on various boards....Bleaaaaaah

Okay...I'm done.


D
 

DM Fitzgerald

Registered User
Validated User
#5
Strangly the other players voted me the winner of the game (secrect ballot) best roleplayer, the Gm informed us that I couldn't win since I had won a game two years earlier. I got up and said, "yeah fine...whatever." I found out that after I had left they had a second ballot and I had won again. The prize was a minature from his table. I picked up the piece and he breated me for chooseing the "most expensive" one....it was a 5.00 minature.

Not pertinent to the thread, but when I came out with my own rule book (a year later) he shoplifted a copy of my system, from my stall. Later some of my rules cropped up in his next book. If that happened now I would know what to do, but then I was a new guy with a small print run photocopied game and he was a "big shot author."

But thank you for letting me vent this...I feel much better.

Everytime I read about him being a "Grand Old Man" of gaming I roll my eyes and bit my tounge


D
 

Peter Svensson

Reads Too Many Comics
Validated User
#6
I was pretty sure I'd seen a thread with this title somewhere on the forum, but now I can't find it (nor any search function, which seems odd to me).
The forum is too large for our software to search without major malfunctions. You can use Google to search though, by appending what you're searching for with site:forum.rpg.net

The thread you wanted to find is here.
 

Sylvre Phire

Custodian of the Flame
Validated User
#7
Not pertinent to the thread, but when I came out with my own rule book (a year later) he shoplifted a copy of my system, from my stall. Later some of my rules cropped up in his next book. If that happened now I would know what to do, but then I was a new guy with a small print run photocopied game and he was a "big shot author."

...Everytime I read about him being a "Grand Old Man" of gaming I roll my eyes and bit my tongue

Ouch. That sucks, especially the shameless thievery of your product and work.

My worst gaming experience(s) were with the same group and involved two different players. The first one involved a guy I'll call X, since he's not worthy of a cool nickname.

X was running a D&D 2nd ed. game set in his own version of the Forgotten Realms' future. Magic had disappeared and was usurped by technology. The adventuring part was sent out to investigate what happened and found themselves in some abandoned installation. We encountered firetoads and later a large, uranium-powered golem.

At any rate, we defeated the golem and found a nearby room that contained "pounds and pounds" of uranium. Enough material, in fact, that one of our members who had military experience commented that it was more than enough for the uranium to reach critical mass. An arguement ensued as to whether the concept of critical mass was valid, with X declaring himself the final victor. Needless to say, I was glad to never be in a game run by him.

Unfortunately, that later expanded to include never again running a game in which he was a player, as well. X had a Jedi character in a D6 Star Wars campaign I was running and managed to temporarily sidetrack one adventure with one of his little tantrums. The basic situation was that his character was going to do something that the rest of the party wasn't sure about and so the party bounty hunter stunned him. The stun damage was enough that I ruled it kept him out of action for quite a while. Unfortunately, X was under the mistaken impression that I was running the game based on the rules established by a fellow GM and friend of mine.

The resultant squawking lasted a good 15 minutes before we got it through his thick head that his character was not dead due to excessive stun damage, just out cold for a longer amount of time.

Of course, that was the minor tantrum. The major tantrum came a week later when he showed me two weapon concepts based on lightsaber technology (light claws and a light-glaive, like the glaive in the movie "Krull"). I vetoed them as I felt they were in the spirit of the Star Wars universe and was then subjected to a tirade on how he felt he should just give up because I was ruining his character concept.

I should have just kicked him out then, but the group had the unfortunate habit of repeating history by inviting him back in whenever he showed up on the host's doorstep again after an all-too-short absence. At any rate, he left our group and is afflicting North Dakota with his own putrid brand of philosophical and sociological pestilence.

The other player in this set of sordid tales, was Y, who was host for my Star Wars campaign before it fizzled out, and a player in another member's D&D 3.5 campaign. Y was a powergamer who got his kicks by using and abusing the rules. He also had a nasty habit of talking about subjects - including and especially people - he didn't know that well as if he were an expert.

Y had the unfortunate habit of playing characters belonging to high-power races. The DM allowed it because the rest of the group was into playing monster races, something I didn't really get into. At any rate, Y's characters were usually pixies. During one particular adventure, he began to creatively interpret the rules for some of his character's abilities, causing havoc for the party as an evil twin of his character attacked us in a room full of mirrors. Meanwhile, the real pixie was in a cage behind one of the mirrors.

Now, our group had several Herald-level RPGA DMs, all of whom were well-versed with the rules. All of them, including the DM running the game, agreed that Y's interpretation of the rules was incorrect and preceded to apply their consensus ruling of the rules. Y had a fit, pouted, and declared, "Boy, it's sure nice that we have three DMs in this game!" The rest of us shrugged it off and continued making jokes about the fact he was playing a fairy.

The worst incident occurred when I introduced a friend and fellow gamer from work to the mix. While my friend got along great with most of the group and had good-natured debates about the interpretation of the rules, Y got bent out of shape when my friend and the rest of the group called him on another creative interpretation regarding his character's abilities. After the game, my friend left as he had to get some sleep before work (we both worked the graveyard shift at a residential treatment facility). I was left in the presence of the game's host and Y.

Y immediately began trash talking my friend, calling him a "rules fascist" and other vulgarities. It was the only time I ever had to bite my tongue and force myself to keep from enacting violence on another group member.

Since then I moved away from that place and am feeling much better. :D

Pax et bonum,

Dale
 
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#8
I went to a HeroClix tourney at a comics store about 60 miles from home, right after the game had just been released. It was a long, strange day, full of weird and loutish behavior from the local freaks there (The manager of store was kind and decent, especially considering the fools he had to suffer).

But the low point was the actual game itself... we went into small, closet-sized rooms in the back of the shop to play. Tiny, closet-sized rooms... and my first match was against a 400-pound, almost certainly mentally ill man who had not bathed in, I'm guessing, months. No exageration. He literally smelled like a corpse. You know that smell that you get when a cat dies under the porch, and nobody figures out where kitty went until he gets nice and ripe? Imagine a living human being smelling like that. After a few turns I could feel vomit at the back of my throat and I conceded the game. I quite literally almost vomited all over the game map. He was accompanied by his almost feral junior-high age son, who kept trying to steal figures from my box every time I turned my head for a second. In retrospect I should have just let the poor, poor kid just take them. That comics store soon went out of business, and I never again saw that guy or his kid at comics stores or game events in that city... maybe he was blacklisted for his smell.

After the game it was discovered by the judge that my force of figures was 20 points over the limit (never having played the game before, I stupidly added up the figure's collector's numbers rather than the point costs - a really bone-headed mistake, it's a wonder that I was only off by twenty). Even though I had lost, this fucked up their ultra-complex scoring system, put everyone under a suspicion that I was cheating, put the asshole judge in a vile mood, made me feel like an idiot, and generally made me into the Bad Guy of the day -the out-of-towner who showed up and tried to pull a fast one.

I have had other gaming experiences that were sadder or involved more personal wounds (such as finding out one player's "Little sister" that he was always crazy about was not his sister, but an underage girl he was molesting), but that experience still wins for "Most shit in one day".
 
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Particle_Man

White Knight
Validated User
#9
Strangly the other players voted me the winner of the game (secrect ballot) best roleplayer, the Gm informed us that I couldn't win since I had won a game two years earlier. I got up and said, "yeah fine...whatever." I found out that after I had left they had a second ballot and I had won again. The prize was a minature from his table. I picked up the piece and he breated me for chooseing the "most expensive" one....it was a 5.00 minature.

Not pertinent to the thread, but when I came out with my own rule book (a year later) he shoplifted a copy of my system, from my stall. Later some of my rules cropped up in his next book. If that happened now I would know what to do, but then I was a new guy with a small print run photocopied game and he was a "big shot author."

But thank you for letting me vent this...I feel much better.

Everytime I read about him being a "Grand Old Man" of gaming I roll my eyes and bit my tounge


D
Could you PM me with the name of the "grand old man" in question?
 
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