Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

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ArcticFox
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Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

Postby ArcticFox » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:05 pm

What I really wanted to call this thread was "Butthurt - A Rant" but I wasn't sure if I'd get away with that term as a topic so I softened it.

Grown. Men.

Grown. Freaking. Men.

I surround myself with grown men in the hope of avoiding high school style drama. (No offense to you high schoolers.) I have failed utterly.

We in my gaming club have embarked upon another campaign. Our most recent one, a short campaign published by Games Workshop entitled "Sigmar's Blood," went fairly smoothly so we decided to start another. I wasn't the GM this time so I got to relax and just play for once.

...or so I thought.

The campaign officially started on 1 September. Today's the 5th, and the campaign is probably ending now as the GM gives up. Here's what happened, as best I can determine from the venting I've heard from multiple parties.

The first step in the campaign was for each of us players to select our starting position on the campaign map. I went first, picking a nice capital city with towns and fortifications around it. Then the next player picked, and so on... Each team was supposed to control a capital city.

But one guy, who is a constant magnet for gamer drama, chose to pick his starting spot directly adjacent to where the opposing team would have to set up. (We will call him Power Gamer) This would force early battles and possibly end the campaign outright in victory if he successfully attacked the enemy capital. This was never meant to happen, but the GM didn't consider that possibility when creating the rules for starting deployments. To be fair, Power Gamer did offer to take the move back if people expressed concern over it.

Well, most of the players didn't express a problem with it, and I wasn't too comfortable with it but I wasn't involved so I kept silent on the matter as well. I had hoped that doing so would avoid any drama. Unfortunately, there was drama. I just wasn't involved.

So the two "evil" factions had deployed but neither of them had chosen to deploy at the capital which was being threatened by Power Gamer. The problem was that one of them HAD to, so the GM contacted them both to see which one would take the position. Neither of them wanted to. (Understandably.) So the GM applied some pressure, and one of these two guys ragequit the campaign. (We will call him Ragequit)

And vented to me about it. Now, I understand his frustration with Power Gamer. They'd played before and Power Gamer has a reputation for gaming the rules and using exploits to gain victory. He's not a bad guy, and we've been friends for longer than most of you pups have been alive, but I do know him to be someone who has a hard time distinguishing between sportsmanlike gaming and power gaming. Even this wouldn't be so bad, but I've tried several times to talk with him about this problem and I've just been unable to get through.

Because Power Gamer and Ragequit have had some friction between them during games in the past because of this, Ragequit was annoyed that Power Gamer had deployed in such a way that if Ragequit took that capital, they'd be forced to play each other. A lot. So he started texting me to vent about this, and how he didn't want to be in the campaign anymore as a result.

So the GM was frantically trying to resolve this issue while the rest of the players waited for the next stage of the campaign to begin.

Meanwhile, I get in contact with Power Gamer to see what he thinks, and he's all annoyed that nobody has come to him to talk about the problem. Well, I could understand that except that he's notoriously difficult to talk to about this stuff.

So then the GM E-mails me to vent, saying basically all the stuff I've already heard from Ragequit. And yes, Ragequit dropped out of the campaign. The GM wants to end the campaign, and the shortest campaign in my gaming club history comes to a tragic end.

I'm trying to be light hearted about this, but it isn't easy. People who are full grown adults and ought to have better awareness shouldn't have these problems. I hang out with intelligent, clear thinking people, and yet sometimes you put them together in a room and it devolves into a drama ridden whinefest of epic proportions.
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Re: Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

Postby Sstavix » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:39 pm

Perhaps if they want you to GM again, tell them that this is the game you will run. Once they can start acting like grown men rather than whiny little kids, then you can look into other game systems and find one appropriate for their maturity level at the table.

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Re: Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

Postby ccgr » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:57 pm

Sorry your role as a player was so short lived :\

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Re: Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

Postby ArchAngel » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:35 pm

If you imagine this played out via rp, can you just see the evil generals whining about how their capital is too close to the enemy and one abandoning their post because of it?
"Lord Droknar, deploy your orc legion at the vanguard."
"Serious, dark lord? That's way too close. I'm, like, not really feeling it. Besides, betty and the girls were going to get their mani/pedis this morning, and that'll really just cut in. I have to have me time. Look, darky lord, if you can't love me at my worst, you can't have me at my best, girl. MmmMMMM. I'm leaving."

Sorry, I got a little carried away.
I would think, as an evil faction, I'd only be grateful that they were gracious enough to shorten my pre-slaughter walk. But that's me.
Perhaps if they want you to GM again, tell them that this is the game you will run.
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Re: Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

Postby Sstavix » Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:58 pm

Perhaps if they want you to GM again, tell them that this is the game you will run.
You're a dark, dark man, Brozilla.
Let the punishment fit the crime, I say.

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Re: Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

Postby ArcticFox » Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:38 am

I second Arch's assessment. Very dark indeed... and yet, hilarious at the same time.

Well there was more drama as it looked for a while as if the campaign would continue after all, but that didn't last long. I won't go into the sordid details because I can't think of a way to even try to make it funny.

On the upside, I have a normal, friendly game of Warhammer scheduled for today with one of the guys from the campaign. (Not one of the ones I mentioned in my rant.) I'm trying out a new army I recently acquired. (Tomb Kings. Imagine if the armies of ancient Egypt rose from the grave as a legion of skeletons led by mummified pharaohs and you get the idea of what they're about.) He will probably win because he's good at Warhammer and I haven't quite figured out how to play this army yet. It's all good. I just want to have a nice, friendly, fun time with my friend. You know, the way it's SUPPOSED to be.
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Re: Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

Postby ccgr » Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:51 pm

Hope it goes well and you learn much

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Re: Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

Postby ArcticFox » Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:55 pm

It went great. I got my butt kicked in, but it was a fun game with a good friend and a relaxed time.

The way it's supposed to be.
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

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Re: Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

Postby JOJ650s » Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:09 pm

Glad to hear you had a good and relaxing game!
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Re: Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

Postby storm » Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:13 pm

from what ive seen in my short time on earth (as if any time here is but a thought or a moment)
there are 4 types of grown ups
1) the peps who forget they were ever kids and so cant understand or handle them
2) the ones who do remember and want to go back there and if not then wants to be among the younger peps (this could be anything from fun to weird but ok to eww run he doesn't own a lost puppy)
3) the ones who remember being a kid and so love being with playing and advising ect. and at same time not trying to be young (my favorite ) And
4) the ones who never grew up and often are more childish acting because they have had more years experience at being a spoiled i want to win child (a sad group when found in the gaming world rl or ingame)
I could be wrong but then again only time i was wrong that i remember was once when i thought i was wrong



ok that was a joke
maybe
=]
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Re: Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:01 am

I think #4 on your list applies to this case for sure.

Part of the reason people act that way is that as they've grown into adulthood, they have developed mechanisms for shielding themselves from the consequences of their bad behavior, or at least managed to build up a wall of denial.

For example, if someone always reacts angrily to criticism, the people around them will naturally hesitate to offer criticism, no matter how gently, because the reaction makes it too much of a hassle. Nobody wants to be in an angry argument, so it becomes easier to just tolerate the bad behavior than to go to war unless it's a really huge problem.

Another example at the other end of the spectrum is when people immediately start berating themselves when criticized, so that the person offering the criticism not only feels guilty for saying anything, but now has to offer comfort or maybe even an apology. This one is particularly insidious because you're made to feel guilty because of someone else's bad behavior.

If you pay attention to those kinds of patterns you start seeing them in a LOT of people. Sometimes we might even catch ourselves doing it if we're introspective enough.
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

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Re: Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

Postby selderane » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:44 pm

Man... the problem with role-playing games are the players. So it's only slightly annoying to see the amount of ink dedicated to being a good GM verses a good player is 1000:1.

I've encountered far more truly awful players than I ever have GMs. And to make matters worse most of them think they're amazing.
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Re: Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:05 pm

To that point, I was surprised at the amount of players who actively refuse the call of adventure.
I mean, or I create the most boring adventures.
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Re: Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Well, I tried a new, experimental solution in the forum board for my gaming club. Since I figured things couldn't possibly get any worse, I invited everyone to post their honest thoughts on what went wrong. BUT there was a price. Before you could even share an opinion, you had to start off by admitting at least one of your own failings. Any post that started off without such an admission would be deleted outright.

By forcing people to remember that they aren't perfect, it tends to soften their criticisms of others, and perhaps help them to see why someone else has a problem with them.

It's been up so far only since this morning, and it's going reasonably well. Early indications are good that we can at least communicate better. I don't expect people who are mad at each other to just get over it, but maybe this is the path to better gaming in the future.
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

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Re: Grown. Men. Another ArcticFox rant

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:10 pm

Very interesting technique. I like it.
Have you ever used it on your kids?
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