Last night was the restart of JR's Hellfrost campaign. Before game, he had emailed all the players and laid out how things were going to start and asked if we had questions. There wasn't any discussion on the list or any indication that the scenario was out of line, so he got things ready on his end and we showed up.
I had no idea what I wanted to play, and had thrown out at least 2 ideas prior to showing up at game session last night. Finally in a fit of desperation and mirth, I looked through the Savage Worlds Deluxe book and decided to alter a template.
I was quite literally JOKING when I decided "hey, a pirate sounds cool" and adapted said character template for play. I asked if boating would be helpful, and JR's reply was pretty ambivalent, so I discarded "boating" as a skill in favor of something else.
AND the scenario involves a long boat ride. Just my luck, heh.
JR's games are known for being just a little "over the top", but with serious themes and interesting plots. We're hacking away at the situation, with ridiculous jokes and laughter, when things went suddenly WEIRD.
The main NPC is hiring the party to travel from X to Y. The trip is a good solid 2 months of road time, and goes through some interesting and possibly not-so-friendly territory. We're negotiating our fee and the NPC is a right cheap bastard- so he's been tough to bargain with. Our group doesn't have a face, but we're doing our best given the situation. A member of the party decides to try to negotiate for a guide to be sent along with the group. The NPC is not interested.
NPC pretty much says "hey, I hired you guys to do this job. How you do it is up to you, but I am not giving you anything other than what we agreed on."
And here's where we get Punk'd.
The member of the party who wanted the guide just stalls. He essentially sits on his idea and won't let it go- no matter what JR or any member of the group says. He also refuses JR's offer of another character- it's all or nothing for this guy. It gets pretty heated- the rest of the group does not understand why he's doing this, and then he breaks out of character and is in essence, trying to bully JR into doing what he wants.
JR is trying to figure this out -on the fly. He genuinely and truly wants EVERYONE in his game to have a good time, and this one holdout is causing major friction on that point. JR had no intention of sending or running an NPC, and certainly doesn't want to reward this player for refusing to compromise in any way. But he also doesn't want to tell a player, "get lost". JR (and the rest of us) are kind of sputtering, trying to figure out what to do. Things come to a dead stop- which is another thing JR hates to have happen.
After a few minutes of "what the heck is going on", two members of our group sort of try to ignore it and move the plot along. I am honestly considering leaving the game because I am just not sure I want to deal with this guy's shenanigans. The other guy at our table is notoriously quiet and is typically not saying a word. JR is trying to herd the holdout back to the plot. And it's really, really awkward.
JR comes back from his pow-wow with TheDude, and we are firmly shoved back to the story.
I'm playing Lannar, a plainspoken, loyal and honorable guide. Lannar is also a male, and well- I am not. I have very obvious lady parts, and there are more than a few misspoken "she" or "her" comments. So I adjust my "name tag" to say "dude" underneath my name. My "boss" adjusts HIS name tag to say "also dude" which adds some desperately needed levity to a very weird situation.
I'm going to stop here and say it. I said it to JR and I said it in front of the offending person. But not this plainly. Here it is, laid out.
I have NEVER seen anyone do that, ever. I have NEVER seen anyone break character and DEMAND something from the GM in such a petulant, disrespectful and juvenile way.
I've seen (or heard about) some serious "dick moves", but this one takes the cake. I started playing RPGs as a bratty 12 year old that wanted to be catered to- but nothing I did even comes CLOSE to this level of insanity. I've heard of people stopping the game to tell the GM, "hey, you suck" and quitting. But I have never seen a guy basically try to bully the GM into doing what he wants like this before.
I am firmly in the camp of "the GM is in charge" camp, so this one really broke my brain. I honestly and sincerely do not understand this guy's point of view or reasoning and it just baffles me as to why he would do this- and feel justified doing it.
There was absolutely no remorse, no backing away from the position, no sense of hey, maybe I am wrong. He just sat there like he was perfectly in the right to expect his requirement to be met and damn the rest of us if we didn't agree.
I'm worried about the party dynamic from here forward given that this guy has shown his hand that he is willing to derail the whole group to get what he wants. I'm hoping that we have a better handle on how to address it from here on, but I don't want to deal with that again. It was truly and honestly unsettling, and a little infuriating.
I want to be clear that JR didn't do anything wrong in the setup, in playing the NPC, in being clear about what was happening. He was fully in charge at all times until the guy just derailed the session.
I don't want to put JR on the spot.
I would like to hear- how would YOU have handled the "derailment"?