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I Just Told Your Gaming Group to Ditch You. Now What?

Most people read my last post about life being too short to game with bad gamers and passively nodded. Some found inspiration and cut the dead weight from their groups. But there are two kinds of people who need further help:

  1. People who want to salvage the bad gamer and make them a good gamer, and
  2. Bad gamers

So, now I make this post, directed specifically at bad gamers. All the Edge-Lord Broodmasters of the world should unfold their swirling cloaks, come down off the rooftop, and listen unto me. If you’re one of the people looking to salvage your own Edge-Lord, then link them here so that I may try to talk them down.

  1. Gaming isn’t about you.

This one’s hard. It’s hard because we love that gaming allows us to be the protagonist of a sweet story. When the spotlight is on your character, it’s a rush, and all your friends have to pay attention. It’s why all of us game, right? To be cooler than we are in real life.

But, and here’s the thing you need to realize: it’s why all of us game.  That means, if your friends directed you to this post, you are the reason they don’t want to game anymore. As soon as you roll Edge-Lord the Chaotic Evil Warrior Lich with the Heart of Gold, you have intentionally built a character that will not play well with the other characters. And you’ve done it so that you can be in the spotlight all the time.

Which means everyone else in your group is in the spotlight… none of the time. Which means they’re having no fun. Which means it’s shape-up-or-ship-out time for you, Edge-Lord.

  1.  Victories are sweeter for their difficulty.

You have honed your min-maxing skills to a perfect blade. You know how to build your character perfectly. You know how to take exactly the right number of levels for the right class to really get every drop of combat performance out of them. And you’ve put in time and effort to do this. It’s not your fault your playmates have flaws in their characters that actually make them less powerful. If they put in half the time you did, they’d be able to catch up, right?

Does that sound familiar?

Then stop it. You have decided to see a character as nothing more than a set of numbers which you will use to win the game. Which, in turn, means you’ve stopped seeing them as a character. A person, with their own strengths and their own weaknesses. Your friends have lovingly crafted artificial people to succeed and fail on their own strength while you’ve got little more than a machine rolling around the dungeon with some weapons bolted to it.

And nobody cares when the machine wins. Everyone cares when a character triumphs over his weaknesses to defeat the Big Bad. Everyone loves the underdog, the one who’s not great but can be. So take a moment to think of who your character is, and stop trying to play him or her optimally just for the fight.

  1.  It’s your job to mesh.

The other players are sick of bending their characters over to blend with you. It’s the responsibility of every player at that table to get their character to largely be in line with the other characters. Disagreements between characters can arise, but there should be a tacit understanding that you will eventually either resolve the difference or agree to disagree long enough to do X, where X is the more important adventure the GM is giving you.  

You don’t get to pick fights with the other PCs. Even mild disagreements are off limits to you for the next three gaming nights. Because you’ve done far too much of it. Way more than your share. And it’s time to calm the hell down.

  1.  If you don’t like it…

Leave. Seriously, if you have this much disdain for your group of players, go find a group that want to all play Edge-Lords. Although, I warn you, when you do, chances are you’re going to sit down at that table, start playing, and realize this hobby isn’t that fun when it’s played with people like you.

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