Sometimes knowing when to walk away from a player comes from a hard lesson learned. And today we're going to talk about 'Chuckles the Clown' or the 'Greatest Know Show on Earth'. Now we've all had our share of horror shows of players. But a bout a year or so ago, there came a point a when I released that a game that I sometimes DM for once in a while was a complete mess. It was filled with clown players & the worst was 'Chuckles the Clown'. Chuckles is someone whom I've known for over thirty years or so. There have been mentions of him on social media over the years but today was a show stopper. A couple of months I stopped playing with this group. Why?! Because it was then when I realized that I wasn't DMing for these players but merely entertaining them.
Now Chuckles has started to cause problems for Terry outside of the table top rpg sessions & he called me up to go out for lunch in this post Covid world. Alright that was fine but I had a feeling what was coming. There have been rumblings at the table top of Terry's that there might be a Stormbringer rpg game campaign in the future. There are six complications with Chuckles:
- Chuckles doesn't like the Stormbringer rpg because he believes the Lords of Chaos & Law are 'real'. And he loathes the Call of Cthulhu rpg for the same reason. The Cthulhu mythos is 'real' & 'occult' influences in D&D are 'real' as well. There are mental issues here paging Pat Pulling & the Satanic panic.
- He's a 'Christian' & as such AD&D's Deities & Demi gods shouldn't be used at the table top. Once upon a time he told me that there were too many demons in a D&D game that we were playing.
- Whatever edition is on the table top is 'bad' and only fifth edition is the bestest edition.
- Each & every character he plays has to have a 'thing' that sets it apart. He has a one armed crippled character that does antics that annoys the other players. Steals treasure, etc.
- Chuckles was lying about coming to game sessions when everyone went out of their way to deal with work schedules & to be at the game.
- Playing videos on his phone when other players are playing their turns.
Not everyone is going to get along at the table top but there are several ways of coping with players..
- One use common sense at the table top as a player & dungeon master. You can't fix a bad or problem player or DM.
- Know that groups of players will find their level & its 'ok' to move on.
- Problem behavior is a problem. And you as DM can deal with it or not. Don't be afraid to call out bad behavior in private with a player in a constructive manner.
- Know if your actually playing a game or merely entertaining the players. You'll know the difference by their behavior at the table top level.
- Take a break as needed & don't be afraid to hand off DMing duties. You want to sometimes play.
- Being a forever dungeon master doesn't mean that you shouldn't play once in a while. Take a turn from behind the screen to gain perspective with the players.
- Drama is great in game but not at the table top level. People are there to have fun & play.
- Schedules are very important the older you get & should be respected & understood. Family and work always takes priority over a game session or campaign.
- Its only a game folks not a way of life.
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