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Need some advice

Blue Ghost

SOC-14 5K
I have a friend who's running a fantasy RPG, and I really can't stand it. It's one of those settings where just about everything goes, and there's a premium placed on character interaction, and not the actual game itself.

I've never liked any "traditional" fantasy setting that strayed. I don't like knights who are trained as ninjas, I don't like "thieve's guilds", I don't like creatures cobbled together from other invented creatures, nor half-naked chicks wielding oversized swords, nor guys wearing armor with six inch spikes sticking out all over the place.

The best is we got a guy who's part of the group who's a legitimate basket-case, and loves to direct sexual innuendos at other players. He's never the focus of the joke, it's always somebody else.

I want out of this thing, but I don't want to insult my friend. I really hate this game, but I try to have the best time I can, and therefore make the most of it.

Any advice?
Depends on the friend.

If he/she is a close friend and you have interests together outside of gaming, then have a chat/laugh over it and see if the game style can be changed or if you can leave with grace. Your friend will probably be just as unwilling as you to damage a good friendship for the sake of 'a silly game'.

If he/she shares only gaming with you, it might be a little trickier, but I still think communication is best. Try to pick out just a couple of 'bad' points and sandwich them between 'good' points when you describe the game. Go with an attitude of 'The game's good, but I think it could be improved by...' rather than a long list of 'why this game sucks!'

Changing the game depends not only on you and the GM of course, but on the other players, and if everyone else likes it just as it is, you may just have to move out.

Maybe the best way to move out is to suggest (or run) another game in parallel. If you're the GM, you pick the universe, the rules and the etiquette. Invite the others to your game and gradually spend more time on yours and less on your friend's (who will be one of your players anyway).

Alternatively, you could use the old chestnut of outside commitments as an excuse, or just a simple 'Sorry guys, I'm losing interest in this game' You have the right to choose your own entertainment. And your own friends.

Personally, I would speak up about the bad taste jokes anyway. No-one has to suffer this sort of thing these days - from the sound of it you might not be alone on this one - and either you will get the issue resolved or you will furnish yourself with a very good excuse for leaving, one that is *obviously* nothing to do with your friend's GM style. ;)

As a GM myself, I want players to talk to me. I would rather change my game style, or even start a new game, than lose players. The only caveat being you can't please everyone, and if I *must* lose players, I'll take the path that loses fewest. At the end of the day, it's only a game.

Hope some of that helps, but above all when choosing a response remember my opening four words.

Disclaimer: I accept no liability whatsoever for any repercussions arising from the use or misuse of these suggestions, any or all of which are applied or ignored entirely at the discretion of the reader, etc etc.
You need to have a sit-down with your friend and explain what your deal is. As a friend, he has a right to know why you're quitting the group. Don't hit him with recriminations, just say how you feel. Tell him that you're kind of a reality-based-fantasy guy, (More Harn and less Forgotten Realms) and that you're uncomfortable with the inappropriate guy.

As Icos said above, it's just a game. But taking responsablility for how you feel is very empowering.
Two great responses from Citizens of the Imperium.

You know, it's not even the flavor of the humor from that one guy that gets me, it's the fact that he's unrelenting at times. And he truly does not know when to quit.

I had real trepidations going into this game. I really didn't want any part of it, and tried to hint at the fact that I may be booked every now and then, but I guess the hints flew over his head and now I'm in the position that I'm in....

Great, I need to go to work.

More later.

Thanks guys
I would apprach the problem differently.

Before the next game go out and buy a 3 foot long mace with 6 inch spikes and keep it under your coat. When 'sexual innuendo' man begins to make his comments, let out a bellow of rage and leap on the table, Kick the counters in his face and whirl your mace in large circles, finally bringing it down on innuendo man's character sheet, a few scant millimitres from his trembling hands. Push your contorted face next to his and growl that the next time it will be his nuts on the menu. Finally leap off the table and run off into the darkness cackling maniacally.

I can guarantee that you will not be invited to play another game again and your friend will probably never speak of it.

Originally posted by Blue Ghost:
...I've never liked any "traditional" fantasy setting that strayed. I don't like knights who are trained as ninjas, I don't like "thieve's guilds", I don't like creatures cobbled together from other invented creatures, nor half-naked chicks wielding oversized swords,
I don't see the problem here.
Point out that you are not enjoying the game, and don't want to ruin it for the others. Hand the GM your charactersheet as an NPC, and bow out gracefully.

If the GM is a friend, they will take it well. If they don't, then they probably are not truly a friend, or are having issues in life.

I recently had to do the same thing (though the game was Buffy TVS), and my wife is still playing in that game. The GM, when I pulled back, calmed down, and explained why I was unhappy, understood: not every game, even by a good GM whose style you like, is for every player.
Thanks all.

He's running another campaign that I'm part of
(sci-fi space-combat sim) which I actually enjoy a great deal.

His "friend" has issues, as far as I'm concerned, and truly does bother me. I've never been a big "D&D" fan, though I do appreciate the genre and people who have a healthy enthusiasm for the system. And, I'm not so sure his enthusiasm is a healthy one.

Thanks for the input and responses. I appreciate the grand intellect that is and are the Citizens of the Imperium
So... what exactly does direct sexual innuendo mean? You were a bit vague. His character hits on your character? Or something?
Situation: You repeatedly take part in an unpleasant group activity for fear of otherwise hurting the other group members' feelings.

Primary Issue: You are the proverbial "Square Peg in the Round Hole."
Secondary Issue: You're too accomodating for your own good.

The situation is not so much that THEY are doing things that you don't agree with. It's that YOU keep going back for more.

I advise that you simply resign from the group, and do not let them talk you into returning. Trust me, it really is that simple!

Example: I was in our church choir for 3+ years. Now, while I am no Pavarotti, I do know how to sing. I attended each rehearsal with the full intention of showing up on time, paying attention to the director, and memorizing the words and music correctly. Unfortunately, I seemed to be a minority of one, so I resigned.

In your case, resigning from a gaming group should not carry any great stigma or burden of guilt. It is not as if you would be doing anything immoral or unethical. You will get off easy.

In my case, the entire congregation seemed to be shocked that anyone would resign from such a "holy" office. You'd have thought that I'd turned in my Bible for a copy of "Mein Kampf!" People are still praying for my "redemption" and trying to talk me into returning.

(Now you know why my nick includes the word "Heretic," and why I'm so proud of it.)

Do yourself a great favor and just stop going. Trust me, you will be glad that you did!
stofsk; one of the members in the group has, in my opinion, serious issues with reality and what he sees as human stubborness when it comes to etiquette: Specifically when it comes to matters related to sex that most people deem (or would deem) private. His attitude is that social barriers (those relating to sexual matters) are unhealthy barriers that serve no purpose, and he's going to show people just how "silly" they are with his own ham-fisted attempts at breaching etiquette through humor. Humor which is geared specifically towards individuals for the sake of belittleing them, but, from his perspective, done in a "harmless" manner because "he's right" and the rest of us stuck-up types are just too stiff for our own good.

And it's not simply that he does it, but he's relentless about it. AND his friend has to tell him to STOP fairly often. Why? Because the guy making all the comments truly and honestly doesn't understand (more rather want to understand) that he's insulting and being a nuisance. Other people have commented on it in the past in the other campaign. It's gotten to be too much for me, and I truly do not like the man. There're other issues regarding his personal life and the consequences of that that I will not expound upon here, even anonymously, but will state that it really churns my stomach when I think about it.

Needless to say he has a philosophy that people justify their actions through articulation, so why not just surrender to your inner desires? Hence his humor. 'Nuff said.

From that mindset the comments he generates are really insulting, and not just on a "ewww... that's dusgusting" level, but it goes deeper because of his agenda. And, quite frankly, I'm honestly sick and tired of it, but don't want to back-hand or ruin a friendship with the other guy (the one running the show) in the process.

Heretic; I appreciate the straight talk. I think I may just do that. Truth is I need more hours at work, so that'll provide a good excuse (one that's valid).

Thanks again.
Question, BG....

Is it the campaign or the annoying guy you have the most problem with?

If it's the whole game, then by all means find a new group to play in. You shouldn't have to put up with all the hassles described. But be adult enough to stand up for how you feel.

But if the whole problem really just boils down to the idiot with sexuality issues (it probably means he didn't adjust to puberty well), perhaps the group can prevail on the GM to send him packing. And who knows it might give the dolt a wake-up call..... But probably not.
Flynn; it's kind of the whole thing. I've tried to have fun with the campaign, and have, but it's a combination of this being one of those way out there fantasy milieus and said persona, who happens to be one of the GM's best friends.

Thanks for the input though. The issues come up before with the GM, and he knows about it, so it's time for me to bow out.
Blue Ghost,
I've not been in your situation exactly, but I can empathize with you a wee little bit ;)

What follows is a precise of my own gaming experiences - which I will add, may or may not have anything to do with your situation. Since I'm not fully briefed on your situation, and since sometimes people leave out important little nuggets without meaning too (ie, unaware of the value of said information or they don't realize that it is NOT self-evident...)

1) as a GM, I have come to rely upon ONE major player in my group precisely because he is the "leader" type and is also my best friend. Were he to leave my gaming group for any reason, the gaming sessions would lose a BIG part of its flavor. I don't know if you occupy that role in your friend's life or not - but you may want to think about it further. Do you occupy a specific niche in his campaign *STYLE* that without you, might make the game less enjoyable for him?

2) Social dynamics being what it is - is there perhaps others in your gaming group who have come to appreciate your presense within the group? Oddly enough, if you have G,A,B,C,D & E playing together, and G is happy that you, "A", are playing - the dynamic would be simple enough that without you, the gaming experience is less than it could be. However, lets presume that the G-A relationship is not enough to keep you playing. Suppose B&C are fed up with D's behavior, and are sticking around because they like G and A - and are neutral for E. Pull "A" out of the picture, and suddenly, the entire group becomes destined to fold as others find outside commitments to attend to. Now, look at it from a really convoluted sense <g>...

G is happy with everyone.
A is unhappy with D and wants to leave
B is happy with G & A, but is neutral towards everyone else
C is there because of B
D is there because, well, because <g>
E is there because of B & C.

A leaves. G is unhappy sorta, but the show must go on. B leaves because, without A, it gets WORSE instead of better in his opinion. Besides, without A being around, D gets WORSE. So now A & B are gone. E decides that with B's leaving - he's got no real reason to stick around.

What I'm saying is that the law of unintended consequences result in the destruction of a viable gaming group. One of my rules as a GM and as a host of gaming at my house - all newbies must be vetted (approved of) by the long standing members. If for any reason, he/she gets blacklisted, they are told "sorry, but that's how it goes". Stats on my gaming group? One has been with me since 1980. Another since 1983. A third, since 1986 (and I married HER!). One player until he died of a sudden heart attack, had been with us since 1990. We've had some come and some go - but in general, we've survived stupid stuff <g>.

My suggestion? Talk to your GM buddy and let him know "Hey, I really LIKE being around you and were it not for you, I'd probably not be here. But that dunce of a player without social graces is ruining my enjoyment to the extent that I really can't stick around. I'm letting you know this because if I'm ready to leave, who else might be? All things considered, I've agonized over losing your friendship, and I now realize that regardless of whether I stay or not, you and I will retain our friendship - it is too valuable to not keep it! On the other hand, rather than stick you with an ultimatum to the effect either he goes or I go, I'm going to bow out for a short time. If or when the other player gets his act together, or he's no longer part of the crew, let me know. Also, if I find a game I'm enjoying, I will be sure to ask if you can join too"

Emphasize why you're going, emphasize the value of your friendship, and then emphasize the fact that you're not trying to FORCE him into choosing between you or the other friend of his. MORE importantly, don't let his seeming reluctance to kick the other guy out reflect badly against his value of friendship to you. I've been in the middle of such "politics" myself (I've GM'd since 1980) and it is no fun. Once, I told an entire gaming crew of roughly 9 people "Ok, I've had it, get the HELL out of my house. You all know my views on hospitality and my wife and I have had words over violations of common courtesy - but this takes the cake. There will be NO gaming and unless you are personally invited back, you are no longer welcome within the crew"

The cause of the blow up? First - it should be noted that we EAT dinner together and socialize in addition to gaming. Secondly, players were taking things personally that they had no business taking personally. Thirdly - there was so much unpleasantness on a personal level that it got badly out of hand and one day, I just snapped thinking "I would rather read WAR AND PEACE than GM another game for this crew!". Roughly half of the game crew got weeded out after that fiasco.

Maybe my story isn't all that common, or maybe it IS common. Gaming buddies from college days are still gaming buddies today. My wife got involved in both fencing and gaming to spend time with me - and is now one of the better roleplayers I know. She has NEVER (well, until GURPS MAGIC) read a single game book. She is a ROLEPLAYER instead of roll player. Barracks rules lawyer is as foreign to her as breathing vacuum is to most carbon based lifeforms ;)

So, good luck with your situation, and as ever - my email is always available for private comments if needed. ;)

Is the guy being offensive in or out of character?

If it's in character, then if your character is getting offended (and it being an 'armed society': RAH said "An armed society is a polite society", or some such), then stick his character with your sword. Role played well he should get the message. If the other characters are uncomfortable too then they might join in. Or, you might get your character killed, and then you solve that problem too.

If these issues get resolved 'in game' then your friendship shouldn't be affected.

Just another viewpoint.
Since everything I wanted to say has already been covered by other posters, I'll simply add that (1) spiky-hair-big-sword anime/manga tropes drive me bugshit, too, and (2) I've known a couple of Mr. Innuendos-Covering-For-Inadequacy-Guys over the years, and life is just too short and too precious to suffer these asshats.
Klaus; no, it's just him. Sadly it's who he is. It's not him "playing his character" but him being him.

Black Globe; yeah, the adventure is in kind of darker shade of grey inbetween your anime description and something very traditional (Northern European fantasy and mythos).

I had real qualms about joining, and really didn't want to, but figured it might be fun afterall. It has been fun on occasion, and I've tried to make it fun by adding my own sense of humor as well as being the object of humor, but the other issues have gotten too much to bear.

I guess we all have good and bad gaming experiences. The other campaign the guy runs doesn't have these issues because it's a space-combat sim. It's mostly logistics and the maneuvreing of fleets until one player decides to duke it out with another. The interaction there is more "game" based, and straight forward.

Truth be told I've never been a big fantasy RPG guy. I'm a Traveller RPer, meaning that I see the "character" in the game not as an alternative to myself (someone I can pretend to be), but rather like a chess piece or Monopoly playing piece; that is an extension of myself. That may make for a slightly vanilla flavored RPing experience, but I think if the adventure itself is stimulating (as my Traveller adventures often were), then the RP factor takes the back seat.

That's just me
Originally posted by stofsk:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Blue Ghost:
...I've never liked any "traditional" fantasy setting that strayed. I don't like knights who are trained as ninjas, I don't like "thieve's guilds", I don't like creatures cobbled together from other invented creatures, nor half-naked chicks wielding oversized swords,
I don't see the problem here. </font>[/QUOTE]Me neither... As long as they've got big tits obviously.

Sorry,extracting the urine.

Could you provide us with an example of these breaches of ettiquette?