Friday, August 19, 2011

[RPG] Are We Being Punk'd?!?

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.

At this point, TheDude takes JR outside for a few minutes. I decide to make a different character for a variety of reasons. I make a guide- but not to placate the guy with the demanding attitude, but because the group genuinely needs someone with some road skills. One of the PC's uses party funds to "hire a man" and tada, I'm not a pirate.

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"?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

[40K] Black Templar Questions Again Plus AWESOME Pictures!

So I've recently been checking out other people's lists in an effort to get better as a list designer. Or maybe it's that I'm making crib notes/outright stealing ideas. Either way, I have seen something pretty disturbing that I do not understand.

I am seeing BT lists with EC tricked out with things other than AAC. And for the love of killing Xenos scum (sorry, Leebo), I honestly can't fathom why.

Can anyone help a girl out?

Also on the "Stuff I'm thinking about" list is my StormRaven. Some of you that have been reading a while may remember that TheDude gave it to me for my birthday.  It is finally converted, assembled and primed and I want to show it off! It's only 6 months later so I don't feel even a little bit lazy! (And I truthfully shouldn't as I did none of the work. FunDave did it all, and tried to claim my bird for himself, the turkey.)

So here we have some shots of her all dressed up:

Front view of the lady of death [I cannot tell you how much I am smiling. I just LOVE HER!!!]

And of course,  you have to have a profile shot! You cannot see the tail conversion well in any picture, but I had the tail turned "upside down" because I liked the look much better.

Hurrican bolters for the win, baby! 

Or, a door if you want troops. 

This is how FunDave did it- the cross bar is totally invisible from the outside, but keeps the doors/bolters on perfectly.

So there's my girl... I now need a reason to take her out for a drive/ride/killing spree ...

And as an extra special treat...

I've talked off and on about my Orks from way back when. I know I discussed at length how horrifically ugly and putrid they were- and how I did it on purpose. I gave these guys away, so I didn't have them available to show photographic evidence of how terrible they really are.

You're in luck- the Orks were on loan to a guy who is learning the game and I got some primo pictures to share with you.. bask in their hideous glory.

There's more...

And here's one I was sort of proud of at one time-

and his back ...

Monday, August 15, 2011

[RPG] Where Is Your Safe Place?

This is a rumination borne of several recent posts and (for me) almost-posts.

Do you ever have those? Those situations where you want to post something, but hold off for whatever reason? You know, the "close call"?

I have had a couple in the past few days. I know I'm not the only one- at least one or two of my real life friends have blogs, and I know they have restrained themselves from writing what's "really going on" for fear of hurt feelings or other situations like that.

I'm personally struggling with this sort of situation. I've always intended my blog to be a way to connect with the gaming community, and I work hard to avoid excluding someone because of that. But I also have a strong sense of ownership- it's MY blog, and I'll talk about what *I* want to. If someone doesn't like it, they don't have to read it.

(At least, that's what my 10 year old self argues any time I want to post something that might not go over well.)

That sort of attitude doesn't solve the problem, but it certainly gives you a lot of freedom.

I have to ask myself if I WANT freedom, or if I want the community I am working so hard to build. If my answer is community, then certain things I might post will just not go up. As I said, I'm not the only one with these feelings.

GMs probably experience a little of this- I can imagine it can be hard to dissect a game gone awry online  if any of their players read blogs. It can be tough to talk about preparations, villains, problems or anything "negative" if your players blog or read them frequently.

If you can't say the things that are on your mind because you're worried about upsetting someone, where do you turn? Where do you let off your steam, and let out your frustrations?

What is your safe place?