The dissolution of a game

The Friday Shadowrun game WO ran was riddled with problems from the beginning. One of our players was very argumentative outside of game and a bit of a rules lawyer in game. He was always on time, though, and his mannerisms eventually grew on me.

The other two players were never on time after the first week and couldn’t be bothered to notify anyone, much less WO-the-GM (game-master), when they were going to be late or not show up. Each of them had problems with money, to the point where one often didn’t have bus fare.

$1.65.

He could have called for a ride.

WO, the regular player, an myself would sit for an hour or so in WO’s apartment, waiting for one of them to arrive so we would have at least three people to play.

Finally, WO moved the game back an hour, to give those two time to arrive without being late. That was cool with me, because I could go home, shower, and play with the cats before game started. At this point, I was complaining almost every week about my Fridays being taken up with a game we barely got to play. I could be home, relaxing, reading, cleaning, writing, or out socializing.

This week, WO and I each got two emails. One was from regular guy, saying he was dropping game for work-related reasons. That alone really spelled the end of game. The second, just yesterday, was from the fellow without bus fare. His money issues drove him to move to another state, and so, needless to say — although it was kind of him to do so, for once — he wouldn’t be in the game anymore.

Leaving me and the other irregular, money-issues man. Meaning, no game.

WO had a really good idea for a campaign, and his execution was good. We were warned before we started the game, though, that people who like Shadowrun tend to rules-lawyer and nitpick on history, because there’s so much back-story in the books. WO and I are big believers in stretching the book-given world to its limits, which has caused us strife in folks’ D & D games. (“Wait, you really mean that when I’m 5th level, I’m in the top 1% of people’s abilities? 5th level? And no one has heard of magic? Really. Fuck the DMG 2. Who wants to play in a cookie-cutter world? This isn’t going to work for me.”)

Unfortunately, just that sort of thing happened. WO was nitpicked on historical details and rules and had to put up with a player who decided to get revenge by “min-maxing leading to invulnerability”, in WO’s words. It was, in many ways, a very rough game. There was never any party cohesion, and the players grew increasingly annoyed with each other. It wasn’t a game where any of us were inclined to kill each other (out of game) — no insults were thrown around or anything — but it stopped being… fun.

So on what is becoming a Friday of Finales, I say goodbye to this f’ing awful job and that slightly disappointing game.

I want to find the good gamers in Charlotte. The cooperative (rather than competitive) ones who want to create something, instead of destroy something.

  • I played a mean hacker once in a friend’s game. As I’m extremely relaxed on rules following it got a little annoying as I had to find waaay too many rules to do something I thought should be simple. And his game scenario wasn’t all that cohesive so we ended up switching to another gaming system all together.

    Anyway, my point being this: You and WO are uber CS grads. so now find a way to allow someone in say Indianapolis and someone in NC to be able to easily play together. Or just implement some sort of decent free VOIP/E-meeting system. It loses some of the niceties of being face-to-face, but it could give you a chance to play with other people.

  • WO

    You didn’t close your first href attribute, and livejournal is panicking.

    I’ve yet to find an online way to play that doesn’t feel like roleplaying with mittens on. Being able to talk, gesture, use visual aides and feelies, and use a map with tokens is what I want, and I can’t get all of those things online in a way that doesn’t make me want to set things on fire.

  • WO: Thanks, got the attribute closed. You and I did fairly well just doing voice-chat after I moved to Charlotte, but that may have had to do with the fact that we were more freeforming than D & D’ing. I think an “e-meeting” sort of thing can work for a sufficiently relaxed game.

    Say, for instance, that you scan and post maps on the internet for the “e-players”, and then have the rest of the folks at the table see a physical map. Hell, you can even use an application like that god-awful presentation app for the tablets that they used at Rose if you need to markup the map post- um, posting.

    Luke’s a pro with a web-cam; he’s probably far more familiar with managing body-language over internet video than either of us are.

    I think the idea has merit, despite its limitations. I wonder if it’s been done before.