Opinicus-“So, the setting is a dark, low fantasy game. I’ll be blending Call of Cthulu sanity rules and this is going to be a heavy horror game, with a Conan feel. Got it? Describe your characters.”
New Guy-“I’ll be playing a barbarian. Got some wits about him, and he has ties to the local tribes. He’s wearing a battered breastplate, short cropped black hair, and lots of scars on his face and arms from once working as a blacksmith.”
Opinicus-“Good, good, okay. And you guys?”
AHT-“Well LG and I will be playing twin, white ninjas, going from town to town, swaggering from brothel to brothel. Our names are Chet and Broseph Crashnugget. We have blue fauxhawks and oversized sunglasses and look like ninja douchbags.”
Opinicus-“AHT… I hate you so much right now.”
I’m going to list a bunch of things that have happened while in table-top games, most of which when I was the GM. Help your GM out if you start seeing these things happen. Remember, enjoying a game is a collaborative effort. Everyone has fun, or no one has fun… unless you’re trolling.
The earliest opportunity to piss off your GM is in character creation. Listen to what the setting and feel he is trying to cultivate. Help him out with it, make something that fits. If your GM is trying for a game of knights and ladies, don’t play Macky “The Shiv” McShankton. The game that the GM runs is built on the main characters, you guys. If you cast the wrong person for the lead role, you’re not going to get the genre you intended, well, you might if you intended comedy, but that’s due to comedy often having the element of the absurd. But you’re not going to be doing this, oh no sir.
So now you’re sitting pretty, in a horror game, playing Anita Mann, a disenfranchised Geisha with a five o’clock shadow, a pronounced adam’s apple, and a distracting bulge in his…errr her crotch. What do you do now to piss off the GM even more? The answer is easy, get another character in on it. Have someone else bounce their character off yours. The game now has Anita Mann and Feldspar Blushbeard, her cross-dressing dwarven backup singer that is also her blood brother… err sister, and they now travel together as a lounge singing troupe. This is very aggravating for the GM as you’ve now sucked someone that might’ve played something setting appropriate, and have converted them into something else that’ll dilute the atmosphere.
Now, are you done? Noooo… there is so much more you can do to get that GM blood pressure rising. Now, if you were a decent human being, you’d play the character seriously, and the game could still be salvaged. Who says that a queen and her overly hairy, cross-dressing manicurist can’t be thrust into a terrifying situation and still get the bajezus scared out of them. But no, you’re going to play them less like real people, and more like the larger-than-life caricatures you made them out to be. Every time something scary happens, you go “Uuuuahhh! I mean EEEE!” and jump into the arms of the fighter in the party and ask him to protect you with his muscly arms, disheveled hair… big ol’codpiece. So, you’ve now not only made it that much harder for the GM to set up the right atmosphere, but are now actively thwarting him as well.
Are you done? OH hell no! You’ve not driven the GM to drink yet. So… let’s see what we have, you’ve made an ineffective character in order to play up a gimmick as much as you can. Instead of taking useful skills, like perception, search, interrogate, open lock, knowledge something useful, etc… you’ve spent all your points on preform Can-Can, craft wicker baskets, Knowledge Gnomish heraldry. And since you’ve put so many points into these skills, you’re going to try to use them at every opportunity. The problem is that none of it works (big surprise). So you’re useless, and playing a useless character is boring. Therefor entertain yourself in a way that won’t bother the GM, you know, like start up a side conversation about something unrelated to the game, like how your other D&D group is full of assholes. The more players you can pull into the conversation the better, cause then the GM won’t have to divide his attention among so many players and can really focus on the game at hand, right? Also, walk out of the room without telling anyone why a few times and come back with food, but only enough for you. Another thing that you can do is pull out your laptop and start perusing funny you-tube videos. This is less encouraged as the laptop will take up space on the table, space that is needed for all the liquor the GM has started drinking.
Don’t let up now! It’s time to forget key information or names of important NPCs. For bonus points, make up stuff to fill in the missing bits. The lord of the town was Baron Varcoop III? That’s so hard to remember, just call him Chicken-Coop McMustache face, if that’s too long, just name him Frank or something. It’s pretty much the same thing right? You just thwarted an assassination attempt on the king, suddenly call out “Oh shit! I know what they’re planning! Quick, we gotta go to the Elven Ambassador! They’re going for him too!” The GM will give you a weird look, as he’s not put an Elven Ambassador into the game. If all goes right, the other players would have been paying more attention to what you had to say about last night’s episode of Lost, or the Golden Girls, than on the game, and will believe you. Bonus points if you can pull it off so well that the GM looks back through his notes.
Now, for the cherry on top. At the end of the game, complain about how unfocused everyone was and how the game wasn’t the type that the GM had initially pitched. Also comment on how much the GM had been drinking during the session and tell him that he’s drunk and needs to give you his keys, even if you’re all at his place and he’s not driving. But remember, ultimately you had a pretty decent time. Ask him when he’s going to run the next game.
Opinicus, drunk and angry, signing out.