Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Shaking my head

My table-top gaming group lost a player today.

When we're not having our monthly sit-down session at someone's place, I try to fill the gaps with an email session. It helps me get tiresome exposition out of the way while practicing my creative writing skills. Some of our email sessions are quite entertaining reading. One day I hope to edit them into a proper story.

I'm not sure how I'll handle the current one.

When I look back at what happened, I can't say I'm sure what went wrong. It was an argument, but I'm still fuzzy on how it got out of control so quickly. It was role-playing. One player has a gruff sort who is the leader. Another is playing an opposite gender character from a very different culture. The dispute started over something fairly small. The leader character was insisting on a promised (indeed, a vow) of silence over a plot twist. Everyone agreed. The outlier player character seemed to have agreed, but the player for the leader character pressed for a specific promise. The player for the outlier character got offended. There were some tense exchanges, seeming to be in-character, then everything sort of settled down.

In all honesty, it wasn't all that unusual of an exchange. In role-playing games, often players get a little "lost" in their characters. Terse and tense exchanges happen. Sometimes there's some seriously hard feelings. I've been on both ends of those kinds of exchanges and this particular situation didn't even seem to merit honorable mention when compared to those.

Clearly I mis-judged.

The player for the outlier character was still quite offended. Part of it was the player's interpretation of the character's view. Part of it was seeming to be a very personal offense taken from what the other player said. I've re-read everything multiple times and I honestly can't see the cause for complaint. But I'm not the one who is offended.

There was another exchange over the long weekend. It concluded today.

And I lost a player.

I'm not sure I could have done anything to fix this. I'm honestly not sure I wanted to. Now I have a very, very small gaming group and I'm wondering if it's got a sustainable future.

Perfect start to a fucking Tuesday.

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