Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Discouraging Actual Play Recounting

I am so tired of Tim’s Gaming Dungeon! Every Saturday night is Open Gaming Night, where folks can come in and use some of the tables in back to play whatever game they want. I’ve tried to run Nobilis a few times, but it seems like I never quite get there before Tim has all the tables reserved. Maybe next week!

Anyhow, I thought it would be sort of a lark to jump into one of the Dungeons & Dragons games that some of the less-awakened gamers were running. They had pregenerated characters, which I didn’t mind—I do so enjoy a challenge! I made sure to ask a lot of questions about my character’s background, motivation—I don’t think Greg the DM was used to such an outstanding, thoughtful gamer, because after about a half hour, he waved his hand and said, “Dude, your relative introspection level or whatever is whatever you want it to be. Or an 18. Let’s just start gaming”.

So, anyhow, we set off—I was the party’s dwarf fighter, and there was an elven cleric, a human ranger, and a gnome wizard, too, if I recall. Our party’s quest involved retrieving some rubies from a crypt under this large metropolis—lame, huh? I asked why he didn’t just include a big red dragon while he was at it lol! No one else said anything, but I think they were on my side.

We get into the bottom of the crypt, and the GM starts to describe the room we’re in. Once he paused, I started adding details, too, like a large acid pit in the middle of the room and shredded purple curtains on the wall and a large glowing battleaxe stuck in a giant dragon skull. The GM stopped the game and said, “What the hell are you doing, dude?”

I rolled my eyes at the poor schlub. “It’s called shared narrative control, and it helps build better stories!”

“Well stop it,” is all he said.

So after that, a large Ogre burst through the door and starts tearing apart our party. The cleric wanted to try a spell she’d been saving, but I had a better plan. “I take out my alchemy set and mix up a batch of Ogre Poison, put it in a flask, and throw it at him!”

The GM said, “What the hell? A) You’d didn’t take ANY of the skills or equipment to be able to do that, and B) it isn’t your turn!”

Exasperated at this 20-year veteran ignaramus, I said, “Who cares about skills? I’m adding it in to make the story better, or are you not aware of the Professor’s exhaustive papers on the matter? And don’t tell me you’re still using initiative! What are you people, 13?” (As it turns out, one of them was).

Well, that pretty much ended the game right there. Tim came over and suggested that I find a group more ready to receive advanced gaming theory. He suggested The Gamertopia on East 14th Street. I guess I’ll have to check it out.

I bet they didn’t get anywhere without my Ogre Poison.


Anonymous Narshal said...

Joining a game to interfere and impose your gaming style without talking to the group first is rather rude. You should have discussed your gaming style with the group first. Part of shared narrative contive control is to be democratic. You weren't democratic but rather draconian or even you were quite like a little dictator by imposing your style. By discussing with them first and see if they'll accept it, you might have gotten a good response. But if they didn't want to play your style you'd have to accept to play the way the majority wants.

6:03 AM  
Blogger Cornell Richardson said...

narshal: what you don't understand is that I was coming from an elevated, more refined playstyle theory. When the sickly, weak underbrush meets the stout, majestic redwood, it is not the redwood that suffers from lack of illumination. Like it or not, they need to realize fun does not equal worthwhileness.

Like it or not, mainstream gamers, history is on our side. We will bury you...with socially conscious, intensely thematic roleplaying!

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Narshal said...

*yawn* Let's just say that I disagree with you and you'll disagree with me. Your style of play is one you enjoy which is is all fine and all that but you have to realize that not everyone enjoys it. I fully encourage that you play a style you enjoy but encourage that you respect the style that others enjoy.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Cornell Richardson said...

Well, let's just say I'm hoping to make a breakthrough at The Gamertopia. A prophet is rarely honored in his own FLGS...

7:57 AM  
Blogger Alan Kellogg said...

One bit of advice. Hello Kitty charms with your spiked bracers are gauche. Also be sure to get your cock ring correctly sized. Having one fall off because it's a size too large is embarrassing. But one that's a size too small is painful.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Keith Yim said...

i think player should respect the system they choose. if D20 system require a initiative check, then just do it. u can still have great story by choosing different game group or using another module. or u can simply try other game system that fits your theory.
some dnd adventure can be good story and make great funs & experience. i would love some Ravenloft adventure pubulished by TSR. stroys are good and they need GMs make effort to creat horror or sad (or other feelings) atmosphere.
i agree with narshal. if you want fun from your gaming style, you should find gamers having the same interests in what u have.

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Did you provide the other players with any illuminating pamphlets to read before or during play? I imagine that if you or your character presented them with challenging material relating to themes and wieghty suffering during the game, they could learn from you during play about how to approach Correctivitional play.

As long as they didn't roll skill checks to see if they understood said pamphlets.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Cornell Richardson said...

[smacks forehead] PAMPHLETS! Why didn't I think of that? That could have been all the difference in the world right there.

You other two, thanks for trying to help, but I believe I just found my angle...

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Unscrambled Mage said...

Well, it sounds like it didn't go well, but I think you did the right thing by trying to help them enjoy Correct gaming. And while the DM and perhaps some of the players reacted poorly, it was probably a matter of immediate culture-shock. Later that night, they probably regretted lashing out defensively against what you were offering, and you may find that one or more of them approaches you at some point, seeking a more Correct path. I hope so.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Mr Smithers said...

I think there is an important issue to hand here: there were obviously participants in the group who did not appreciated your contributions to the SIS. In a mature, adult gaming environment, perhaps you could maturely ask them to leave in an adult fashion? his would give exciting opportunities to experiment witht he gamut of possibilities inherent in truly solo play! Then they could watch and learn from the techniques employed to create an individual thematic schema within the bounds of your own cognitive reality! Yes yes!

2:19 AM  
Blogger MDK said...

This is all well and good, Cornell; but how much experience did you get?

9:55 AM  
Blogger Cornell Richardson said...

Only the kind that comes from dealing with Philstines, mdk, only the kind that comes from dealing with Philistines.

2:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First time visiting your site.

And the last.

You portray yourself as a gaming snob.

Snob comes from sine nobilitas: Without Class.

Later, loser.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Balbinus said...

What could work well in future, would be to offer to run a DnD game yourself.

Hold fire, I know what you're thinking.

But sometimes baby steps are required for baby gamers. Start off running it as normal, but then when conflicts arise start to introduce correctionist concepts to help the players along.

Before too long, as the see how much more rewarding the correctionist play is they will grow frustrated with the DnD rules and will seek more correctionist systems.

One route could be to have a trap that can only be defeated by the use of limbo dancing, and then use Limbo Fever explaining it as a rules add-on to do that conflict.

Some of them won't get it, you are casting pearls and inevitably will get some swine. But one or two may and you will at least have shown all of them what correctionist play can be.

Oh, the pamphlets are a great idea. Remember to have pictures in them, many of these players may not have such great reading skills after all.

10:40 AM  
Blogger roleplayingjesus said...

Trying to condition badwrong gamers into correctist play is one way of solving the fact that the majority of gamers are brain damaged, but I have an easy way.


Just kill the little brats.

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