Archive for pick-up game

Tabletop Thursday – The Pick-up Group, Part 2

Posted in Tabletop Thursday with tags , , , on May 21, 2009 by hergeek

For those of you joining us late, part one of this epic adventure can be found here.)

The GM laid out the map, and handed us our miniatures to use for the game, and gave us the scenario briefing…weary adventurers, walking to the nearest town, rain pouring down, dark, yadda yadda yadda.  We find the town deserted, walk to the center of town, and find two giant mutant bears ridden by little demon things.  Weird, but I’ve seen worse.

Initiative is rolled, and we engage the enemy.  I got the highest initiative, and I do the brave, bold and stupid paladin thing and charge the first bear I can get to.  It’s my job.  Other characters act, and then it comes time for the 13 year old kid.  The DM announces it  is his action.  And the kid sits there, staring at his sheet.

And sits there.  And sits there.  I glance at the DM.  He glances at me and shrugs.  He makes a couple of possible suggestions about what to do.  He still sits there.  His dad is busy complaining about how he doesn’t like his spells, and doesn’t step in.  So finally I walk around the table (we still don’t have a regular table to sit at, we are all still standing around a wargaming table) and show him what he could do.  He still sits there.  So finally I just tell him what to do, I move his miniature for him, and hand him the D20 to roll.  At least he did do that, and roll his damage.

Dad’s turn, he bitches some more about his spells, but at least he moved.  It was kind of a stupid move, but he moved.    Uncle’s turn, he actually is paying attention and gets through his turn with a good move, helps me out a bunch by taking on the second mutant bear with his warden.  Then the little girl goes, and she doesn’t do what I would do, but she delights in rolling the dice.  Then the new guy, who knows absolutely nothing about the game, so the DM pretty much helps him out with his actions, but the whole time is talking about 1st Edition D&D and how this is nothing like that.

Second round?  EXACT same things.  Emo kid does nothing.  Dad bitches.  Uncle does good.  Little girl rolls dice with enthusiasm.  New guy talks about 1st edition.  We work through this encounter, and it takes us FOREVER to even get the first giant mutant bear taken down.  And the players are using their daily abilities up right and left!  On the first encounter of the night!  I exchange many sympathetic glances with the harried DM who is trying to hurry us along.  Eventually he ends the encounter, cause we are getting our butts handed to us and if he didn’t stop it would be a total party wipe.

And the evening progressed pretty much exactly this same way.  Emo kid got sulkier.  Dad complained more when he couldn’t be effective.  1st edition guy talked about 1st edition.  A lot.  And the little girl?  She about halfway through decided that her enjoyment for the evening was to roll her dice as far and as hard as she could, most of them bouncing off the table.  And then she decided she wanted to try and knock over the minis with them, bowling as it were.  Dad and Uncle did nothing to curtail this behavior.  We had to end each encounter early, before we all got our asses handed to us.  I was counting the minutes, waiting for time to run out…

So, I really didn’t have any fun.  I did get a nice Dragonborn Paladin mini out of the deal, so that was sweet.  But it re-affirmed my belief that in most cases, pick up groups suck.  I swore never to do it again.

But now, this Saturday, Worldwide D&D Game Day once again rears its ugly head.  And I find myself preparing to go to not one, but TWO different stores to play.  The first store is going to just run the 1st level Dungeon Delve…you have 45 minutes to go as far as you can.  Kind of an iron man survival thing.  The second store is going to be running the standard adventure for the day, so I’m going to try and do both of them.

Why?  Why in the world would I expose myself to the chance of not one but two really bad sessions?  Cause I love this game.  I just can’t get enough of it.  And I want to play, not just DM.

I think I need an intervention…


Tabletop Thursday – The Pick-up Group

Posted in Tabletop Thursday with tags , , , on May 14, 2009 by hergeek

I’ll be the first to admit, I am somewhat xenophobic when it comes to new gamers.  I think it all stems from having a bad experience with a group in college once.  In general, when I go to cons, I never play in games, only shop, because I just don’t enjoy playing with strangers.

Back in March, I decided to break this long standing rule for myself, and go and particpate in the Worldwide D&D Game Day.  As I had been bitching about back in this post, I’m always the GM, and never a player, and I wanted to try my hand at playing.  So I called up my FLGS and checked to see if they had any openings for any of the sessions.  As luck would have it, they had slots open in the last session of the evening.

So I arrive at the apponted day and time, and check in.  The store owner said to just relax and do some shopping, the rest of the group hadn’t arrived yet and they didn’t have a table open.  I asked if we had a full group, and he said yes, the rest of the party was filled out by a family.

[Cue Trumpets of Doom]

So the family arrives.  A dad, his brother, their @14 year old sulky emo teenage son that didn’t want to be there, and their perky @10 year old daughter.  And then they added another player, that was apparently David Cross.  (OK, not really, but it could have been his twin.)  A table still wasn’t available, but the store owner got us over around a taller wargaming table and we discussed which characters we wanted to run.  I almost got into a tussle about running the Dragonborn Paladin with the 10 year old girl.  Despite the fact that I got there first, and as such had first choice of characters, SHE wanted the dragonborn pally.  Rather than cause a scene, I graciously offered to let her play the Pally, and she was very excited, but then, like all 10 year old girls are, she got distracted by the shininess of running a new type of character and gave the Paladin back to me.  Yay me! 

Soon after that, the DM showed up, and then the game got underway.  And the game exemplified everything about WHY I dislike pickup games. 

(continued next week…)