Sunday, April 6, 2008

Really, what was he thinking

So, last night I was spending some time hanging out with my friend, who just so happens to be the owner of the FLGS that I frequent. We were talking about stuff, geeking old games, and just having a good time. There were a couple of games going on in the store (a Legend of the Five Rings game, a 3.5ed D&D game, and some GW miniatures battles). We were having a pretty good time talking about the weapons of mass destruction presented in GURPS Lensmen.

Then this guy walks in the store.

He seemed like a pretty feckless typical gamer, hanging out in a FLGS on a Saturday night, maybe just off a day of campaigning, or maybe after a failed date, or maybe just cooling his jets looking for new gaming product to peruse or purchase. After a couple of rounds through the store, he approaches us up at the counter. Previously, when asked if he was interested in anything, he cooly replied that he was just looking. Typical, so far.

Then he asks if we knew of any RPGs currently going on, and if we knew (further) of any that accept players - he was looking to join one. Honest enough question, and I give him kudos for asking it. Many people are hanging around and looking for game, but don't know to ask for it (or worse, are scared to ask for it). Gamers, and more typically, FLGS denizens, are usually friendly enough if approached openly by other gamers.

Well, the owner and I pondered for a moment or two, thinking of the games that we knew of (I am sadly out of the loop, but I have a LITTLE current game schedule moxie). The owner looks at me, blank faced. We both knew the DM who was running the L5R game very well, as well as all the guys in the game, and knew that they had all gamed together for many years, and also that the game was at critical density. I was thinking of other options when the feckless wandering gamer then spoke up some more.

Now, recall that he had just asked if there were any games that we knew of that were open, and that he could join. He then proceeds to tell us how in the past couple of games that he was involved in, that he was invariably kicked out and asked to not come back by the DMs involved, for power gaming. He began bragging how he had wizard characters who came up with spells that could cause everyone in a kingdom to start growing hair uncontrollably. He talked about his area affect damage spells that were unstoppable and that could handle any encounter.

In short, he bragged about being the worst, nightmarish, nasty sort of gamer that a DM could unwittingly invite into their game. A braggart power gamer.

At which point, I knew what I had to do. I directed him to join the 3.5ed D&D game. You see, the DM of that game - a long time friend of mine - is the very worst ruthless guileless shameless merciless DM that I know of. And he makes it worse by wrapping up the abuse inside of roleplay. Game balance? Fair scenario? Joint Storytelling? Never. This was indeed the game for our new 6th level Braggart.

At this point, before I could boldly point the fellow back to the game room where the attrocities and crimes were being committed (the 3.5 game), one of the long time players in that game came up front to purchase a drink. I asked him - To protect the blood of the innocents, I will only use initials here.

Me - "So, E, do you think that M has room in his game. There is a new guy here who is looking for a game to join."

E - "Sure." (smirk) "You know M always has room for more players. He is open to anyone. Thats the sort of game he runs."

So off we sent the 6th level Braggart, to join the game.

A moment later, I confessed to the FLGS owner, "B, you know I almost feel guilty for setting that up and sending him back there."

FLGS - "What do you mean? Which do you feel sorry for - Braggart, or DM?"

Me - "Well, both, but I hope he doesn't ruin M's game."

FLGS - "Don't worry about it. M knows how to handle players like that. I would be surprised if we hear that he had an adverse effect on M's game. And if he does, then we know that M deserves it. Don't worry about it."

Ahhhh - the wisdom of your FLGS owner. Don't discount it.
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