October 26, 2009

Question of the Week #6

The Boyfriend told me that my post yesterday made women sound shallow.  That was definitely not my intention, but I can see how my entry could've been construed that way.  If I offended anyone with it, I'm sorry.  Unfortunately, women and men are very similar with the way they act in social situations, so to say women act one way and men act another is quite misleading.  Sure, there are trends in behavior, but you can never use those trends as a guide for the entire male or female population.

With that in mind, the Question of the Week is a little less focused on gender and more focused on the social interactions in the RPG community.

When is it no longer shallow to disallow a person from playing in your RPG group?  Does it take certain actions, behaviors or habits, something more or something less?

Let's get the discussion rolling.


  1. When they keep doing stupid stuff I drop them ASAP. For instance, I had this one player once who was dead set (at level one) to go off and fight a great wyrm red dragon, despite everyone else in the group telling him to knock it off etc. etc. and he persisted. We never gamed with that guy again.

    But I don't think that is what you are asking about. I have never personally told a long time player they had to leave the group, but then again my gaming groups have been pretty much the same since I started. Actually I take that back, there is one guy who I will not play with, and it's because he has never ever played his characters right. He picks samurai, he plays like a barbarian. He picks ninja, he plays like a barbarian. He picks ranger, he plays like a... well, you get the idea. He's never played a freaking barbarian though. The guy was constantly getting us in trouble too. One time he got us in trouble because he was stealing fingers from corpses in a catacomb for trophies, hardly the behavior for a paladin of Pelor.

    Yeah, I don't game with him anymore.

  2. From F'lar Silvermane's big list of rules for adventuring: Anyone with an artifact will eventually be asked to leave the party.

  3. It's always shallow to disallow a person from joining a gaming group, without at least giving them a fair chance. Unless the group meets in someone's home, there is no reason to pre-screen people; i've been pleasantly surprised more than once, and i'm sure everyone has had run-ins with players that seemed like they would be an excellent addition to a group and...well...weren't.

    I've never actually asked someone to leave a group, but i have neglected to invite people to subsequent games--reasons for this include frequent cheating (ie: re-rolling and trying to hide extra rolls) and consistently forgetting to show up, neither of which i would classify as social issues--just personal ones.

  4. There are reasons some people should be excluded.

    Cheating would be one, if a player isn't willing to play fair I don't want to waste my time with them. I'm going to disagree with some of the other comments; IMO there is no good reason to exclude a player on the basis of how they play. So they might be a bad player - they will learn. Maybe they enjoy playing stupid characters - let them have fun. There are times when I intentionally "play stupid" because the winning play is godawful boring - winning isn't everything, and I have more fun this way.

    I would exclude a person based on how they interact with other people. Some people are intentionally annoying and disruptive. Some (very dedicated!) players can be overly controlling. If these people can't learn to behave they shouldn't be there.

    Here is an extreme case: a guy who used to game in my regular group could (and was) fairly described as "weird". He was very amiable, but told creepy stories about himself and his conflicts with authority (especially police), many of which I suspected were lies. I took these tales with a grain of salt, but they made me not want to associate with him. As a player though he was great, and even though no one was really comfortable with him personally, there was no reason to ostracize him for how he played.
    Long story short - It turns out this guy really was a creep. He is in jail now, and problem solved. Every time I think about this guy I wish I had listened to my instincts not to associate with him in the first place. Being a good player is not a sufficient reason to include someone in your group.