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It’s Your Game Too You Know

One of the channels that keeps popping up in my YouTube feed is Puffin Forrest. It’s a guy who animates stories from RPGs he has played or run. For the most part I get a laugh out of these or shake my head at the shenanigans he has had to put up with on both sides of the screen, and then I move on. But recently I came across a video that I just had to write something about. Take a look here and hopefully you will see exactly why I’m calling this out as badwrongfun:

I’ll sum up if you can’t slash don’t want to watch it: Narrator was sick of his DnD character (the healer) and wanted to play something else. He brought it up with the game master and other players and they told him he couldn’t because “It wouldn’t make sense in the story”. Cue shenanigans with the narrator trying to suicide his character in combat, finally succeeding, only to have the game master fiat him getting a free rez from his goddess. In the end the narrator concludes that “I shouldn’t have tried to force his (the GM’s) hand by being suicidal. I still want to play with the group and it’s not my game. It’s their game. It’s not my place to try and sabotage it.”

To that I say: BULL. SHIT. Absolute BULLSHIT.

your character is yours and you should be happy with it

Yes, gaming is a collaborative effort. Yes, that game belongs to the other players at the table and to the game master. But it also belongs to you just as much as any other player at the table. Yes, not every second of every session has to be something you’re absolutely nuts about, but something as fundamental as your character is yours and you should be happy with it.

First, the excuse that the narrator changing characters a year into the game “wouldn’t make sense in the story” is a bullshit excuse.

So then what do you do if you are in the narrator’s shoes: You want to change your character and the group has collectively vetoed it?

If you’re the game master in this situation, same deal. No amount of “important to the story” is something that can’t be worked around for a player to have a character they can enjoy. You may have to weave in a subplot, you might have to scale back encounter difficulty for a while till you get a hold on the way a new character clicks with the group, but those are things you’re doing anyway. Don’t be a big jerk.

7 Comments (Open | Close)

7 Comments To "It’s Your Game Too You Know"

#1 Comment By Lugh On March 7, 2018 @ 7:24 am

I agree with all of your points.

But I do also want to say that trying to arrange an “accidental” suicide is a terrible passive-aggressive display. So he is right in saying that he shouldn’t have done that. The GM and other players were straight-up wrong in what they did. But two wrongs don’t make a right.

#2 Comment By Matthew J. Neagley On March 7, 2018 @ 7:29 am

Agree. It could have been handled better all around.

#3 Comment By griffon8 On March 7, 2018 @ 2:58 pm

The only time I have had a problem with a player wanting a new character was when I discovered that he wanted to play a different character every time we played.

He’s the same guy I tried to help design a MTG deck and he wanted to play all five colors (this was before Legends came out).

#4 Comment By Matthew J. Neagley On March 8, 2018 @ 5:09 am

Indecisive eh? I’ve been there. Set him up with a bard I guess. :p

#5 Comment By griffon8 On March 10, 2018 @ 1:48 pm

No, his style of playing *any* game (board, card, or role-playing) became so frustrating that I finally declared openly what some others later told me they thought privately: “I will never play another game with you.” It was that bad.

#6 Comment By Matthew J. Neagley On March 10, 2018 @ 7:04 pm

I feel you. I’ve played briefly with the “I’m going to wander away from the group and make trouble” guy and the “No matter what the rest of the characters are, I have to be someone that directly opposes them.” guy, as well as a few other choice special snowflakes. Definitely give people the benefit of the doubt but after a while, if the way they play is actively detracting from your fun hopefully you can find someone else to play with.

#7 Comment By LIack On April 2, 2018 @ 7:03 pm

A thing coming to mind from a GM side is having a whole campaign based on a character…main baddies from their background, main npc teammates from his order, being the current thing stopping the whole murder hobos murderhoboing…I haven’t watched the video series at all but imagine when the mortar on the wall decides it wants to be just another brick. I’m not saying you should play something you don’t want. Just discussing it at length with others: why you want to change, why they want you to stay the same, whats planned ahead?

In the end, everyone should have some fun, and communication is key!!