Well how about that? For once it isn’t Gunslinger having trouble finding a group. Somehow, this fate seems even crueler though. Where our usual looking-for-group poster boy is properly hopeless, the poor phantom featured in today’s comic had the carrot of a regular session dangled before his ectoplasmic nose. It feels bloody awful when that mess gets yanked away.

I’m not 100% on this, but my intuition is that this particular problem is an artifact of digital gaming culture. If you’re in an IRL game, dudes can always call last minute and say, “I’m not feeling it tonight.” And while that’s its own brand of suck, you likely have a solid connection with that person. You’ve met them IRL. You have a phone number. Maybe they’re a schoolmate or a coworker. Probably you frequent the same game store. And that relationship away from the game table means that there’s a little added social pressure to follow through on commitments and show up at gametime. Not so with the LFG culture of virtual tabletops.

When you’re a digital ghost in a remote campaign, it’s all too easy to let those tenuous connections fade away. Didn’t gel with the group? Got busy and couldn’t make it? Want to avoid sticky social situations? Then just cut all contact and forget you ever heard of ’em! I mean, they’ve got no social leverage. They’ve got no idea who you are. Just dip out and let the other guy deal with the fallout. What are they going to do, backtrace you? Pfft.

Needless to say, this isn’t exactly prosocial behavior. So for today’s discussion, why don’t we trade tales of the flaky players in our gaming careers? Have you ever found yourself ghosted out there in the wide Astral Sea of the internet? Or (gods forbid) been that player yourself? Is there ever a good justification for ghosting the party? Tell us all about your own encounters with suddenly-absent partymates down in the comments!


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