Your worst gaming experiences.

So let’s talk about some of the times when gaming was not so good. Maybe you had a vindictive GM screw you over? Maybe you had a GM fall asleep on you?

For me I had a few negative experiences. The most recent was with the group I used to play with. We took turns GMing games and things usually went well. We started to play Conan D20 and were really psyched for that low magic, brutal, blood and gore setting. One of my friends who really loved this setting ran our first few games and it was great. It had all the elements of a good Conan story (from the books). It had corruption, an evil mage, intrigue, and bloody combat.  His game was so good I started to plan out my adventure. I was slated to run 3rd but I could not wait. I had evil nobles, intrigue, double crosses, and fun plot twists. It was going to be great! I was psyched.

Next up running was, let’s call him, “Pete.” He proceeded to turn Conan into a full on D&D dungeon crawl. Wild creatures and magic everywhere. We fought weird and crazy demons at every turn. I would look across the table at other players and we would tilt our heads, confused. Didn’t we just start this game and talk about the whole “low magic” aspect? There were monsters written up in the main rules but many of the more “fantastical” ones were very high level and exceedingly rare. “Pete” had us facing them at level 3 (in a lower powered state of course) and section after section of this underground cave was filled with fantastical creatures. This affected another player so much that he just said “I don’t want to play this anymore.” I tried to tell him I would get us back on track with my game but he wouldn’t have it. We finished out “Pete’s” game then stopped to play something else. It was a huge let down. In fact many of my negative experiences invove “Pete”. I remember during a D20 Modern game he ran he thought it would be good GMing to have the characters make 7 (seven) climb checks to get down a cliff wall because we all know how climb checks and climbing are the pinnacle of role-playing excitement! Sometimes I just ask my GM for one at random even if there is nothing to climb!

There were other times too, some of them involved being railroaded to the point of ridiculousness. Powers all of a sudden having no effect on a door the GM didn’t want us to go through, NPC’s who were all of a sudden immune to mental abilities, things like that (No “Pete was not the culprit in this one).

So what are your experiences? How did you learn from them?


Top Two’s

I have played many a system in multiple campaigns over the years. All were fun but I definitely enjoyed some more than others. Here are my two favorite systems for each category:

My top 2 games systems for campaign style play:

1) The Hero System

Why: The sheer versatility and freedom given by this game is why. I have played many fantasy, super hero, street level, horror, sci-fi, cyberpunk, etc. games all with this system as a base; all contained within one book of rules – optional supplements of course exist but the core rules give all you need. It’s characters use a point based creation system and it is totally customizable to fit whatever campaign you want to run.

2) The D20 system

Why: A close second in its versatility but it does require you to buy a new rule book per genre. Fantasy? You need the “holy trinity” of a PHB, DMG, and MM. Modern or futuristic? D20 Modern. Somewhere in between? Some other book. I like it for its versatility as well, it’s just not as readily available and convenient as Hero, but they have it.

my top 2 one shot systems:

1) Dread

Why: I have played it for a one shot a bunch of times and it’s a great tension builder and it’s the most friendly to new RPG players. The use of the Jenga tower is perfect. Dice can’t scare you anywhere near as badly as you and your shaky hand pulling a block from that wobbly mess of wooden horror can.

2) Don’t Rest Your Head

Why: Things in the Mad City can get pretty freaky. This system does a good job of delviong into a world of reality gone awry. An ingenious little system of dice and tokens simulates your character pulling on inner reserves of sleep deprivation and exhaustion.

More top two’s in future posts! What are your top two’s?

Need a grid? A hexmap? An octagonal axiom?

Here is a grid generator! You can even customize the weight of the lines, spacing, and color.

Oh… my… flaming… christ…

The Sultan


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Just because…

a pale shadow of the real item!

Huge Link List

Here is a list of all the exhibitors that will be at Gencon. Many great links for equipment, clothes, t-shirts, games, kid entertainment, toys, etc.

Chainmail dicebag here I come!

“Suck Insurance”

I have been to a few conventions in my life. Comic, RPG, Sci Fi, and even some LARP ones. My summary of the experiences I had at them are “Bleah.”

I have played in some pretty sub-standard games at cons. The only time I can definitely say I had fun playing a game was when Jason, Matt, Dina, Andrew, and I played in that D&D 3.5 30 minute Dungeon Crawl at Comic Con ’07. It was fun because the group was comprised of… well, my group. We made our regular jokes, had a rip roaring time, and got free dice and dungeon tiles out of it.

Every other time I played an RPG at a con (where I was alone or maybe with just one other person I knew) it was less than ideal. The GM’s sometimes never showed, or they showed without any prep materials (or rulebooks), or they showed and they were just sucky, rude, or downright mean. Even the other players are more often than not the same way, rude and socially asstastic. One time I played, my friend and I were correcting the guy so much on the rules and running the combat (it was a Hero System game) we took over running the damn game and then everyone started to have fun. The actual GM left in a huff.

So I guess my point is con games can suck but if you have friends with you you have “suck insurance” so it can’t suck too badly.

So what are your con horror stories? What are your best con experiences?