Friday, July 29, 2011

Sloppy Game

That's the best way to describe tonight's game. At least from my perspective.

I'm not sure what exactly was "off;" was it an off night? Was everyone wigged out? Did we all want to go see the Captain America movie instead?

Who knows? I don't. I didn't drink all that much tonight (a couple-three beers, some fantastic mead called "Vikings Blood," a couple-three pulls of whisky off Greg's flask in honor of EGG's birthday), but I just didn't feel "on my game" tonight. My refereeing was haphazard. My "rulings" were half-assed or downright soft. I don't know...maybe I made the adventure too hard and didn't play the monsters tough enough because I was afraid to kill PCs. Maybe the adventure was too half-assed in general.

The whole stupid wizard thing sucked. My raison d'etre for the adventure was predicated on assumptions I made regarding the players' reactions to these ideas. They didn't do that at all. This is why I should ignore the fact that my players sometimes read my blog.

There was a new guy (uninvited) at the gaming table tonight. That was actually fine...Andrew turned out to be a decent enough chap, though I don't understand this urge new guys have to play a Big Dumb Lug. They inevitably die and it's often poorly played and not a good example of the player's preferred "gaming style." I was much more interested when he took over the Normal Human retainer as his replacement will be interesting to see which class he chooses next session (since he survived and gained some XP). I hope it's not a fighter (again).

At the same time, my enjoyment of his playing a Normal Human (Andrew played the character more cautious and, to me, more effective) led me to "go easy" on his character when I should have probably just killed him. The same holds true for the thief...a quick magic-missile spell would have done him in, but I ignored him in favor of other targets, having already allowed him a "bonus save" versus poison (a DM ruling regarding a potion of gaseous form, and probably my most biased in the game). What's the point of auto-killing someone you just fudged to save?

Ugh. I've got to get to bed. Hopefully my internet will still work tomorrow!


  1. "I didn't drink all that much tonight (a couple-three beers, some fantastic mead called "Vikings Blood," a couple-three pulls of whisky off Greg's flask in honor of EGG's birthday)"

    Wow. I'm not a lightweight, but I would call that drinking a fair bit. Not BINGING, but still. ;-)

    "I don't understand this urge new guys have to play a Big Dumb Lug."

    If he was new to the system, I'd say it's pretty common because the meat shield/fighter is the easiest class to get a handle on quickly. The playing dumb thing is often an attempt to not be pushy when you're the new guy. e.g. Letting the "veteran" players call most of the shots.

  2. @ Big: I meant, like, charging into combat (even when the rest of the party is hanging back)...over-and-over again. Basically asking to BE a "meat-shield." Claiming "my guy is too dumb to know better," stuff like that.

    I've seen this with more than one "new guy."

  3. In my experience, that kind of play is common. I've done it my self when I joined a new group as a youngster. You charge in with the hope of being immediately successful and cementing your self as a character worthy of being in the group. He'll find his feet.

  4. A lot more gaming could have been had if we had started with "After accepting a quest from Myrtle's master and three days at sea, you arrive at a tower on a quest for a magic lantern." Instead, we played that out and it took 90 dice-free minutes.

    Ruling that friendlies block line of effect/sight for spells severely nerfs magic users in dungeon settings.

  5. Sometimes dem sloppy games can help to rally you and get you in ship shape for next session! No doubt you will be in fine killing form next go-round! ;-)

  6. Perhaps 90 dice free minutes isn't ideal, but at least they weren't booze free!

    I'm curious how most people handle the line of sight for casters. I have no problem with them casting between their peeps. But then I also give them an arcane ray that they can fire every other round so their players aren't down to snoring in the corner after chucking two or three spells a day for the first six months.

  7. I think it was kind of sloppy all around. The weird interpretation of the harpy song kind of got everything off on the wrong foot. I could feel the energy and interest level at the table start to fade right there.

    The save or die thing didn't help either. I know you think the second save opportunity was fuzzy, and most DMs reading the blog would probably agree. The problem was more that there was a save or die situation out of the blue (I mean, really...there was no reason to expect a trap or threat there, in a small area the other guys had already been camping in and was just a DM "gotcha!" moment, which no one in this group really has the patience for anymore). This in a game which gives the players no tools for dealing with that (no slow poison spells or antidotes, and with Neutralize Poison and Raise Dead both well out of reach).

    Sorry, not to turn this into a rant. I'm just one of those people who thinks you shouldn't throw poison and instant-death rolls into the mix until players have some means of dealing with them, even if those means are very costly.