Monday, August 15, 2011

From Behind the Screen

The Pet Peeves:

So today at the store we were talking about the annoying players and the things they bring with them to the table. Normally they only bother me as they happen but quite recently, as within the last few weeks I am noticing them more and more and thinking of them outside of the game.

Do not get me wrong it does not make me dislike the player, the character or the game. It is just one of those little things that adds up over the course of the game that day that eventually there will be a final straw.

  1. Skill Checks: Not the ones I ask for, the ones that players do when others are asked. This is not just in my current games this is from previous campaigns. One person is asked and everyone there wants to just roll the die and add their two cents. Now if it was rolling to help aid in the attempt that would be fine, but usually it is not. Skills that are normally extraordinary are in certain situations players think they can use them for just about everything. Nature Checks for instance, I am not knocking Thorm's player, he is young and in Encounters all the kids at the table roll skill checks for the heck of it to such an extent it upsets the DM (not me).
  2.  Reminding the DM of negatives or positives to AC or To-Hit rolls: When I say 28 vs AC and I am asked if I remembered the Bonus from the Bear for +2 AC or the Negative because of a Mark I kind of want to put my head through the table. It does not happen all the time, but it does happen at least 3 times in a session. A suggestion I got from another DM, do the opposite. If asked if the +2 to AC was factored in make it a -2 to AC etc etc. I laughed. Perhaps.
  3. Me To: This goes in with the Skill Checks. It is like I have a bunch of AOL'er METOers at the table.
    Player 1 "I run off to explore."
    Player 2
    "I go and confront the shady armor dealer about the unfair deal we just did"
    Player 1
    "Me to."

    I used to call it the "Beam Me Up Scotty" effect in that players who were worlds away (like in my Star Wars or Star Trek games would do the "I am there as well" deal after just telling me they went elsewhere. Only happens at certain situations but it does happen.
  4. I want it even though I already have something better: Loot is a such driving factor in games, and the younger the players are the more they want it, to such an extent it eclipses the cool items they already have. I bet I could ask the kid table at encounters who wanted the new +1 magic weapon and see the hands go up when I just gave them all +2 magic items. They want it because its new.
    I must institute the thought that New is not always better.
  5. Knowledge Checks: Have you ever heard the phrase, just because you can move 6 spaces does not mean you should applies here. Just because you have a skill does not mean you have access to infinite knowledge about a particular monster. The fact that the rule in my opinion says it does not take an action to use makes it fair game for abuse.
    House Rule: Monster Knowledge Check: It takes a standard action to preform, if you have never seen this creature before the difficulty is much tougher, and is at my discretion as to whether you would have any idea what its abilities are first hand.
    It does leave a lot to interpretation on my end but who better to decide than the DM on whether a character in his campaign has seen something before or not.
Those are in no particular order, they reflect not just this game but every game I have played in the last 15+ years. Talking about it relaxes me a bit and also lets me think of solutions to the problem like the one about the knowledge check.

If you read this, play in one of my games, and are worried I might be targeting you unfairly talk to me. I am not saying these to pick on people or target them, these are issues I have in my game and I need to address them better in my games, both in store and elsewhere.

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About Me

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I am Regional Coordinator for the Great Lakes Region for D&D Adventurers League. Worked for Best Buy as a Project Team Specialist were I did store remodels, support Vendor displays and set merchandising standards for the stores in the Chicago market. He also enjoys playing games (PC, Console, Board Games, RPGs and Miniature Skirmish Games), reading, watching movies and listening to music.