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Author Topic: Episode 36: Don't Kick People out of your game  (Read 41858 times)
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AfterCrescent
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« Reply #120 on: April 06, 2009, 03:41:23 AM »

So...we're woefully behind in listening, but we finally got the chance to listen to this one.

I liked your discussion on the semantics of the friend/acquaintance/etc. Actually I liked your discussion on the whole. Interesting listening. Bravo.  Clap
Likewise. I just recently caught up on the podcasts. I enjoyed listening to the last two episodes. Very interesting. Smile
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« Reply #121 on: April 13, 2009, 02:28:19 PM »

I finally got some time to catch up on some of the podcasts, and I have to say that I really liked this one.  The content/joke ratio was particularly high, and I thought the discussion was well balanced and thoughtful.

One idea that strikes me particularly hard is "velvet roping".  It's something I've done a lot of over the years, and I'm personally conflicted on the merits of it.

On one side, it's downright rude to actively exclude people from your group.  Almost everyone has good traits that add to the table in some way, and players with limited experience SHOULD be exposed to new types of gaming, even if they seem to cause problems while they learn.  Sure, that guy who always play a Rogue and maintains a single-minded "kill it and take it's shit" mentality can be irritating, but if they've only played DnD in basic DungeonCrawl mode then they deserve a chance to learn something new, and I'm the better person for giving them that chance and not being a dick to them.

On the other side, however, I don't have a lot of free time to game any more.  Between the wife, the house, traveling for work, and anything else I have to do I can barely manage a twice monthly game, and more often than not one shots are the way to go.  If I'm running a game of SotC, or I'm organizing a game of shock:, I'm not sure I feel bad cherry-picking who I invite.  I don't have much time to game, I want to enjoy it when it happens, and if I want to frontload that experience with the best and most creative gamers I know, then by the gods I should do it.  The last time I was forced to spend time with people I didn't like much (without being paid for it) was high school, and that was many blissful years ago.  Why waste my precious gaming time with people I don't really really want to game with?

Obviously, if I'm in a group as a player, I'm not going to make any waves; I'm going to show up and have the best time I can and try to help everyone have the best time they can.  But as GM/facilitator, it's customary to reserve the right to invite only those you want at the table, and I've taken advantage of that many times.  Hell, I've forgone playing with people I love to game with because I'd have to invite their girlfriend/boyfriend, and I find the SO incredibly annoying and game-wrecking.

Does this make me a bad person?  I'm not too sure myself.  Thoughts?
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« Reply #122 on: April 14, 2009, 12:54:39 AM »

I finally got some time to catch up on some of the podcasts, and I have to say that I really liked this one.  The content/joke ratio was particularly high, and I thought the discussion was well balanced and thoughtful.

One idea that strikes me particularly hard is "velvet roping".  It's something I've done a lot of over the years, and I'm personally conflicted on the merits of it.

On one side, it's downright rude to actively exclude people from your group.  Almost everyone has good traits that add to the table in some way, and players with limited experience SHOULD be exposed to new types of gaming, even if they seem to cause problems while they learn.  Sure, that guy who always play a Rogue and maintains a single-minded "kill it and take it's shit" mentality can be irritating, but if they've only played DnD in basic DungeonCrawl mode then they deserve a chance to learn something new, and I'm the better person for giving them that chance and not being a dick to them.

On the other side, however, I don't have a lot of free time to game any more.  Between the wife, the house, traveling for work, and anything else I have to do I can barely manage a twice monthly game, and more often than not one shots are the way to go.  If I'm running a game of SotC, or I'm organizing a game of shock:, I'm not sure I feel bad cherry-picking who I invite.  I don't have much time to game, I want to enjoy it when it happens, and if I want to frontload that experience with the best and most creative gamers I know, then by the gods I should do it.  The last time I was forced to spend time with people I didn't like much (without being paid for it) was high school, and that was many blissful years ago.  Why waste my precious gaming time with people I don't really really want to game with?

Obviously, if I'm in a group as a player, I'm not going to make any waves; I'm going to show up and have the best time I can and try to help everyone have the best time they can.  But as GM/facilitator, it's customary to reserve the right to invite only those you want at the table, and I've taken advantage of that many times.  Hell, I've forgone playing with people I love to game with because I'd have to invite their girlfriend/boyfriend, and I find the SO incredibly annoying and game-wrecking.

Does this make me a bad person?  I'm not too sure myself.  Thoughts?

Let me bring in a more clear example of "velvet roping."  You are out with friends and the subject of gaming comes up.  One of your friends says "gee i would sure like to get into your game."  You have room, but you don't like the guy enough, so you say no and bring the velvet rope up. 

Are you being a jerk?

What if the guy makes messes and steals food, even when you ask him to stop? 
What if he just always plays killer barbarians?

Where is the line?
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« Reply #123 on: April 23, 2009, 10:08:58 PM »

I would have to agree with Josh's contention that labeling someone as an aquientance is just an excuse for you not wanting to deal that person in a real way.

It's no secret that gamers are not exactly the most socially compotent people in the world so some care problems should be expected from the get go.  Setting firm boundaries at the start of the campign makes misunderstandings much easier to manage later on as everyone has a clear understanding of where the line is (and hence when that line is crossed).

I take it many people have either experience with kicking people out or have been kicked. Over what?  I have never been kicked from a game nor seen anyone kicked out so I really don't know what a "problem gamer" but most people I games with are strange and socially awardward in their own way but I do consider everyone of them my friends.

Maybe you guys have a different definition of friends, but my definition is people I have with. I have fun playing make believe with my fellow gamers hence they are my friends. If you disargee with such a simple statement then I would have to say you are playing it wrong.
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« Reply #124 on: July 14, 2009, 03:20:21 AM »

Our Pathfinder game nearly self-destructed because of one player.  The DM gave him the boot.  Now everything is gravy.
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« Reply #125 on: July 14, 2009, 10:24:57 PM »

Our Pathfinder game nearly self-destructed because of one player.  The DM gave him the boot.  Now everything is gravy.
Incorrect.  When you kick someone out you have a 100% failure rate.  (hint: it's the person you kicked out who does not think it's gravy.) 
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« Reply #126 on: July 17, 2009, 11:20:41 PM »

That player was cancer.  We excised the tumor, and the patient has made a full recovery.

I consider that to be a 100% success rate.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2009, 11:22:36 PM by Psychic Robot » Logged
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« Reply #127 on: July 17, 2009, 11:58:24 PM »

You know what, Josh?


You can't please everyone.


Of course, I doubt you've ever played in a game with what we in the biz refer to as a cat piss man.
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« Reply #128 on: July 18, 2009, 01:35:45 AM »

That player was cancer.  We excised the tumor, and the patient has made a full recovery.

I consider that to be a 100% success rate.
you are telling yourself a pretty story and dehumanizing someone to feel better.  It actually means you know you are wrong, it's the construction of a guilty conscience. 

Analogies are ways of telling the truth, they are not the truth.  They are a finger pointing at the moon.

The situation.  You have 5 people.  One you treat like shit and kick out of your group.  You go on to mock and dehamanize them on message boards.  The other 4 have fun.  So even if we discount the guilt and the unsettling feeling that they could be kicked out next.  Number 5 was still treated badly.  Thats something you fully admit.

You know what, Josh?


You can't please everyone.


Of course, I doubt you've ever played in a game with what we in the biz refer to as a cat piss man.
Forget please.  I want to start with people not being a raging shitbag to their supposed friends as the default for having a bad day. 

I assume you mean a person who smells.  Would you kick them out of your BBQ or ice cream social?  Then how is that an in game problem?
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« Reply #129 on: July 18, 2009, 01:52:39 AM »

It isn't a figurative term.

To protect the unwashed, I'm just going to say that he ended up getting banned from the FLGS. 

If you leave... residue... wherever you've sat, it's probably long past the point where you should have showered.
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« Reply #130 on: July 18, 2009, 02:00:52 AM »

I think the point is that you decided to ask him to leave for things external to the game.

EDIT: You can fix game related issues by taking ownership of the issue and resolving it.  Resolution may in fact involve the player leaving - but at least he wasn't kicked out.  But how do you take ownership of the dude's hygiene problems?  Hose him down every week?
« Last Edit: July 18, 2009, 11:27:29 AM by PhoenixInferno » Logged
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« Reply #131 on: July 18, 2009, 07:44:13 AM »

that's why you're my homeboy PI
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« Reply #132 on: July 18, 2009, 08:55:01 AM »

It isn't a figurative term.

To protect the unwashed, I'm just going to say that he ended up getting banned from the FLGS. 

If you leave... residue... wherever you've sat, it's probably long past the point where you should have showered.
What PI said.

This is not an in game problem and thus not what we are talking about.
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« Reply #133 on: July 18, 2009, 10:31:53 AM »

If you would kick someone out of your house during a social gathering of friends, then they may very well deserve to be kicked out of a game.
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« Reply #134 on: July 18, 2009, 01:38:52 PM »


Well, here's an example.  I recently had a friend text me asking if I'm looking for more people for my tabletop game.  I told him yes, but wanted to know who it was he was thinking of inviting along.  When he told me who the two people he'd been talking to were I let him know that I don't think I have the necessary patience to deal with those particular guys as players in a tabletop game.  He responded by telling me he understood and would tell them that the game is full.  I did not stop him from doing this.

The "mistake" is possibly not talking with the offending party about it.  And obfuscating the truth.  Even the response of "I don't think you are a good fit for this group" would be better.  That creates a situation where they might take some self awareness about their issues.  Now some people might lie to save their feelings, I am against this only because lies tend to require bigger lies and if they can be salvaged as players, I would like that.

I generally find that people who I know the problem with, can be managed.  But this is coming up in further episodes.
Turns out I got to revisit this last weekend.  For various real life reasons my game has bounced around from venue to venue and has finally ended up at one of my friend's houses.  This guy is friends with pretty much everybody and they drop by his place unannounced fairly regularly.  So, last weekend, one of the guys I'd mentioned earlier (who had asked one of my players about joining the game and was told there was no room -- which, oddly enough, turned out to be true at that time since I think we had seven players at the next session) happened to drop in when we were playing and asked if he could join in.  I decided to just address the elephant and tell him about my issue with having him as a player.  For his part, he understood immediately and had no problem with it -- but then, he's one of those guys you can say something like that to and it won't faze them.  So it worked out this time, but I suspect that if he'd been anyone else there would have been hurt feelings involved.  Even so, having now done it once and seeing how it worked out I think I'm going to have to agree with Josh that actually talking about it is better.  I don't believe that how someone else chooses to behave is any of my business unless it affects me directly (or is hurting people. but that's a different can of worms entirely and not relevant here) - and of course it will affect me directly if that person starts playing in a game I'm running - and I tried to express that in my "Address to the Elephant."  That seemed to help, so I'm hoping that it will continue to help if/when a situation like this comes up again.
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« Reply #135 on: July 20, 2009, 01:19:24 PM »


Quote
Not a problem. I won't post about my game anymore. Again, my apologies for derailing the thread.
Feel free to post about your game.  Just not in this thread.

I don't really understand this.  Theory is fun and all, but the point of all this advice is to apply it in the real world and so far this is the first real world example I've seen brought into the discussion.  If the conversation isn't grounded in reality at some point then it's just going to continue to devolve into theoretical tail-chasing.

Personally I think one example of a conflict that Josh has mediated successfully in the past would be at LEAST as effective at teaching the lesson the BGs are giving as the pure theory so far posted and listed in the podcast.
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« Reply #136 on: July 20, 2009, 07:28:14 PM »


Quote
Not a problem. I won't post about my game anymore. Again, my apologies for derailing the thread.
Feel free to post about your game.  Just not in this thread.

I don't really understand this.  Theory is fun and all, but the point of all this advice is to apply it in the real world and so far this is the first real world example I've seen brought into the discussion.  If the conversation isn't grounded in reality at some point then it's just going to continue to devolve into theoretical tail-chasing.

Personally I think one example of a conflict that Josh has mediated successfully in the past would be at LEAST as effective at teaching the lesson the BGs are giving as the pure theory so far posted and listed in the podcast.

Perhaps we could start a thread where we go over specific examples?

The only problem is that it's incredibly difficult to deliver all relevant information through text.
Particularly when relevant information also may pertain to being upset.

I'd be willing to give it a shot, but I'm not really an expert.
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« Reply #137 on: July 21, 2009, 12:42:48 AM »


Quote
Not a problem. I won't post about my game anymore. Again, my apologies for derailing the thread.
Feel free to post about your game.  Just not in this thread.

I don't really understand this.  Theory is fun and all, but the point of all this advice is to apply it in the real world and so far this is the first real world example I've seen brought into the discussion.  If the conversation isn't grounded in reality at some point then it's just going to continue to devolve into theoretical tail-chasing.

Personally I think one example of a conflict that Josh has mediated successfully in the past would be at LEAST as effective at teaching the lesson the BGs are giving as the pure theory so far posted and listed in the podcast.

We go over it in the episodes, plus I generally don't need to fix problems because I head them off.  Which is covered in other episodes.

And, this isn't theory btw.  It is technique. 

That being said, if you have a specific question, ask it.
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« Reply #138 on: July 21, 2009, 09:48:21 AM »

Nope. Listened to the whole first podcast, and read the synopsis of the others.  Those weren't related to the 'should/shouldn't,' and so I didn't feel that I needed to listen to them.

My apologies then.  You premised your posts in just responding to other posts, hence why I thought it was off topic.  If it had been slightly reworded it totally would've been on topic and would've had a different reception.

In general, we absolutely want to hear real examples in the threads about the show.  But I guess we assumed they'd be in respond to the show, not in response to what seemed like someone coming in just to back up a buddy who had been problematic to begin with. 

I'm going to clean up this thread- but if anyone has real examples or questions, by all means ask.

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« Reply #139 on: July 22, 2009, 12:09:23 AM »

Ok, so I've now listened to all 4 of the 'don't kick players out' podcasts, and I think I've nailed down the major points of disagreement some of us have with these (If this isn't civil enough, or doesn't make sense, by all means let me know. Please read, I'm not trying to wall-of-text, I'm trying to make my point thoroughly):

Long winded explanation
I'm going to go with the dinner party analogy, because it was a good one (sidenote: If I changed every instance of dinner party in these next two paragraphs to DP, it would be awesome).  A game is a lot like a dinner party in that it takes 4-6 hours and has 5-8 participants.  Now, like a dinner party, a game is often just as much about meeting or getting to know people as it is about hanging out with the people you're already well-acquainted with. Somebody might bring their boyfriend or you might invite your neighbors.  If somebody is rude and boorish at my dinner party, I'm not going to kick them out.  Hell, short of bodily fluids or threats of violence, I think I'd be decently understanding.  I might roll my eyes at the offending guest, and I might be mad that he ruined my party, but, mostly, I'll just be glad I don't have to see him again once the night's over.  

And that's where the analogy gets problematic.  The dinner party is a one evening commitment.  You only have to spend a few hours with that person.  But a campaign (at least those I've played in) can be a years long 1/week endeavor and if you always go into it with a "never say kick out" attitude, that means you continue to be stuck with that person.  In this sense, a campaign is more like a series of dinner parties, in that, if you really really don't want to spend your time with that person, you shouldn't have to invite them back.  Certainly, if you're close to them, or they brought delicious gin to the party (read: something good to the game), you might talk to them about their behavior and ask them why they were so rude.  But, most of the time, if the person contributed nothing good, and was nothing but rude, you aren't asking to them to dinner party 2, and you aren't spending your time wondering why.  I think the 'convince them not to come' is bad advice.  I think that's manipulative and more passive-aggressive than directly removing them, and I know, personally, I'd probably realize I was being handled.

Now, I thought the 4th podcast in this series was really excellent advice for the planning stages of the game.  I'm a relatively experienced DM and I still feel like I learned something to try with my next game.  However,  I don't think 'heading off problems before they start' is particularly realistic.  The truth is that this is a hobby filled with a mishmash of people who often have poor communication skills and talking to them and analyzing them until you're blue in the face isn't necessarily going to let you know who is or isn't going to be a problem or who does or doesn't want things your game can't give.  Heading all of these problems off just isn't realistic because, unlike Josh, the rest of us haven't all had great experiences with "problem players".  The rest of us call them problem players for a reason.  

So, the logical conclusion seems to be to be selective about your players.  Pick people who you know you can play your game with.  But that's also unrealistic.  This is a hobby built on "friend of a friend", "can I bring my girl/boyfriend along?", and gaming clubs.  And you yourselves have said you hate velvet roping your games (If I can paraphrase, cherry picking your players).   As terrible as it sounds, sometimes, in my experience, you're just trying players out to see if they click.  The vast, vast majority of the time (like 95%)they do, and most nonclicking can be gotten rid off by good planning (such as you suggested). But, in reality, you can't always work out the kinks in who will work out in your party and who won't.  I'm not referring to the rogue who steals from the party (for reference, I would never kick a player out for that, and I agree this is over-prescribed), or other well-meaning miscreants, I'm referring to a person who is simply fundamentally rude and has an attitude that conflicts with your party.  For most of us, no amount of planning can completely keep that from happening.

In summary, is it better to velvet rope, or is it better to kick players out? And, if somebody's a jerk at your dinner party, how much attempt at communication are you really obligated to do?  Because, I think, for a lot of us, it's less than you guys seem to think.      
  

 
 
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