Saturday, May 14, 2011

Be a better player. Article three.

GM - “Okay we're already twenty minutes late on starting. Guess we'll have to start without Jim.”

Player 1 - “Yeah that's going to be kind of hard, his character was pretty important in what we got going on.”

GM - “Trust me I know, I've worked on this campaign for weeks for you guys. He had essential information for the story.”

Player 2 - “I just saw him yesterday and he said he was going to be here.”

Player 3 - “I've left four messages on his phone already. Don't know what the deal is.”

GM - “Well I'll just have to wing it or maybe do a little side adventure or something....”

Now this time it's for one of my all time pet peeves as a Game Master. Those who say they will be there and then don't show or even bother to let me know they won't make it. I'll try to keep myself contained and not go into a foaming at the mouth rant... I'll try harder to not name any names.

So here is the deal. The GM puts a lot of work into campaign because most players seem to ask for long term stuff more than anything. Writing up npc's, mapping out the area and important locations and working out all the adventures that all go together into the over all full end product. Now for it all to work out there has to be players who will show up each time, get involved and make it happen.

Most GM's will let you know well ahead of time that they are gearing up for that long term campaign. It's at this moment when you, the player, need to make a decision as to if you will or won't be there for it. Only agree to dive into this if you are, barring unforeseen circumstances, going to be there for every game. If you are on the fence about it then don't say yes.

Now with the mention of unforeseen circumstances lets cover those real fast. Life happens, things come up and sometimes you won't be able to make it. Here is where a lot of players that I've seen drop the ball, when it does happen THEY DON'T TELL ANYBODY. Come on I'm not talking about getting ahold of everyone and giving them a play by play of why you aren't there. But tell somebody something. A text message, an email, a voice mail, just as long as it's along the lines of 'Hey I can't make it for the game tomorrow. Sorry.'. Is this really that hard to do nowdays?

If you don't get ahold of somebody then at least answer your phone when it's game time and people are calling you. Seriously some folks tweet ten times a day and text more than they talk but when they are skipping out they suddenly 'had their phone off'. Yeah, trust me, nobody at the table will believe you.

For those who flake for no reason at least don't lie about it. Usually people figure it out pretty quickly or somebody sees you out and about. I could easily turn this into a GM advice section called 'kick their ass out of the game' but I'll refrain.

Okay that's it for this time around. Plan is to have another one up in two weeks.


  1. OH MY GOLLY GOLLY GOSH YES YES YES!!! Ironically enough, it's the parents with kids who, when late or can't attend, give me the best notice. The ones without kids seem to think I've got nothing better to do on a Friday night.

    1. Speaking as a parent, most of us get a good kick in the pants in the responsibility area pretty quickly. Once that happens we start to actually live up to what we say we are going to do or tell the person if we can't.