Guys… It’s 2:49 am

Post Gen Con afterparty.

I will get the blog up….


OK! Sorry for the delay. If our pals in The Anti-Party have wound up in Hell, I think I just got back from Gaming Nirvana.

Anywhoodles, there can be little doubt that Assassin turned out to be a poor match for his imminently-former party. It’s not the worst breakup I’ve ever seen though. You already know about that sordid episode. I don’t think I ever told my tale of in-game offenses though.

Is it time for another tale from the table? Does a fetchling assassin brood in in the Shadow Corner?

So no shit, there we were. I was in my early 20s, and the night snow in Cheyenne was coming down like a breath weapon. I should have gone home before the storm hit, but my hosts were kind enough to fix me up a place on the couch. (In retrospect, I suspect that only one of my hosts was kind.)

We decided to game on.

It was already late when the dice started rolling. It was some rules-light homebrew horror system. The shtick was that you play yourselves in your location right now. The minimal role distance is designed to ratchet up the tension, meaning you’ve got the resources you know about IRL to draw upon, and local landmarks in your town might become haunted. I made a number of poor decisions that night, but this was the first. Ahem:

“Hey Cool Gamer, you had a session with a new therapist today, right? The one on base? Cool.”

And so I had my McGuffin. Horrible monsters began to spawn into existence at random. This only happened when Cool Gamer said anything vaguely monster-related. I’d decided that, as an airforce guy, the military had experimented on him in this alternate-reality horror Cheyenne. Something had been unlocked in his mind, and he could conjure damn near anything into reality.

(On the off chance that you’re reading this, buddy: That was a dick move. I still regret using IRL trauma as grist for a horror game, even if I still think the premise was kind of cool.)

“What the hell was that noise?” said Asshole Gamer. His PC self got up to check the door. The snow was thick though. He couldn’t see anything.

“What if it’s zombies?” said Cool Gamer. We’d just been playing Left 4 Dead couch co-op. And as he made the suggestion, his PC-self’s superpowers made it zombies.

There was a combat.

“What if there’s a tank?” said Cool Gamer.

Suddenly there was a tank.

It went on like this for a while. They went to the armory on the local base. Fought waves of the undead. And after several hours of this business, they finally realized what was going on.

“The snow is letting up,” said Asshole Gamer.

The snow did not let up.

“The snow is letting up,” said Cool Gamer.

It did.

“I shoot Cool Gamer in the back of the head,” said Asshole Gamer. They hadn’t investigated the medical records or found the antidote. They just spontaneously decided to PK their roommate and supposed best friend.

I made my second mistake of the evening, describing how Asshole Gamer’s PC self was court-martialed, thrown into prison, and had a grossly-explicit Bad Time there.

(On the off chance that you’re reading this, buddy: That was a dick move on my part. You’re still an Asshole Gamer though.)

The game ended with bad feelings all around.

“The snow’s letting up,” I said.

It wasn’t. But I walked home in the storm anyway.

The lesson is simple: Don’t punish bad behavior in-game. Talk that shit through out of game. Break character long enough to be an adult.

If you’d like to confess any similar sins, feel free to tell your tale in the comments for today’s discussion. Promise to do better, and I shall forgive you your transgressions.


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