I told you guys back here about my father-in-law’s group. They were the old-school gamers who taught me the ropes, putting up with my extreme noobness despite my natural inclination toward being an obnoxious little shit. (My first character was a goblin cabin boy rogue named Terrance Gilliam. I dunno why they kept me around, honestly.) But in an effort to help you avoid similarly obnoxious play, allow me to give you an example of what not to do.

We were just starting out on our first ever Pathfinder game. Because the module was all about some local rite of passage, we decided to roll up teenage characters. And because my father-in-law has had to put up with all manner of IRL teenagers as a substitute teacher, he decided on a more reserved sort of protagonist.

“My cleric is a quiet kid. He’s gangling and shy, with unkempt hair. He has a self-serious expression that—”

“Wait a minute,” says I, smelling the opportunity for obnoxiousness. “What kind of hair exactly?”

“Well I mean, it’s dark brown and straight. He’s tried to part it, but it’s too long and hangs down in his face, so….”

I start cackling. After a few quizzical expressions from around the table and furious googling from yours truly, I turn my laptop around to display this image. What followed was a solid five-minute laugh break while we all took turns draping our hands over our faces like ridiculous bangs, pretending to blow them out of the way. The poor guy hadn’t got through his character description before he was forever branded “Emo Cleric.” You can see Laurel’s sketch over here.

Now my father-in-law happens to be a good sport. We all had a laugh and moved on with the game. But I’ve since found myself on the receiving end of similar shenanigans (“You rolled a natural one? I bet you hit yourself in the nards! You probably vomit and fall over into a puddle of your own sick!”) I can tell you that it’s no fun. You don’t have to be a self-serious cleric to resent your fellow players describing your actions for you. So no matter how good the goof or how amusing your one-liner, I advise you to keep it to yourself. Keeping a clear mental image of your character is difficult enough without the goblin cabin boys of the world sticking their noses in and trying to do it for you.

What about the rest of you guys? Have you ever had a fellow player try to describe your character or their actions for you? Was it harmless fun, or was it actually obnoxious? Tell us your tales down in the comments!


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