Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Song of the week

Eric Clapton.  Need I say more?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

In closing

In case you showed up late, I wrote a series of posts regarding a GM named Drew and his game.  You can find the posts below or just go to the links here, here and here.  I was angry with the man, angry with what he had said to me.  He had called my actions "pure evil", scoffed at my assertion that I was his peer.  But now that I have written my articles, have given myself time to think, to ponder on what he said and what I wrote, I have come to the conclusion that he is right, I am not his peer.

I am his superior.

He mocked me for presuming he was a novice, but with the evidence at hand what other conclusion could I come to?  An adventure that was simplistic in setting but clunky and over complicated in execution, players quitting every few weeks for one reason or another, a web site devoid of information, a GMPC whose function could have easily been handled by a PC, my only logical conclusion was he was a player who had gotten in over his head.  Now granted his game has limped along as he has recruited new players to fill in the holes of the literary dike but he had to scrap his first failed adventure due to departing players (me being among them) and an inability to bring it to a successful conclusion.  Of course he railed against me for the trouble I caused, but a good GM looks as much to his own shortcomings as he does his players.

And this is where I consider myself superior.  Yes, I have had players quit on me in the past, but if you look at my game I have a loyal group of friends who have stuck with me, some for as many as ten years or more.  Even players who have quit for personal reasons have come back.  Jeff and Keith left the game a few months ago, they are returning.  Robin might be coming back after an eighteen month or so absence.  Why do these people return?  Because they like who they play with and I entertain them.  They dig what I am putting down.

I have the greatest group of players on the 'net. I have the Justice League of players:

They are the Avengers of players (and not the Brian Michael Bendis era of Avengers.  I'm talking Steve Englehart level of Avengers here!):

They are The League of Extraordinary Players:

God bless 'em.

I am done with Drew, I am moving on.  Writing these posts has made me feel much better and I will now think on what other articles to write.  Almost every writer wants a following, but at the end of the day a writer should write for themselves.  I should be less concerned about the size of my target audience and more concerned with the joy I may find in writing these articles.  And if even just one aspiring GM finds inspiration in my works, if just one guy or girl enjoys reading what I am laying down, then I should be content.

Good bye, Drew.  This GM has has his revenge.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Captain's log: Detrimental

Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

All right, let us recap Drew's mistakes:

He took the job in the first place.  Drew was not Exeter's original GM, he took over at the request of someone else.  This means he did not get to pick the ship, the players or possibly even the plot.  Putting himself in that situation was courting disaster and I do not recommend anyone doing the same.  If you run a game, make it your own.  Only in rare exceptions does it make sense to take over another game.  My player Rafe, for example, ran a team of Vindicators for about a year but only after he and I discussed it.  We discuss which players/characters he would have on his team, when and how our two games would impact one another, etc.  And Rafe had been my player for some ten years so he was quite familiar with the Vindicators universe and with my GMing style, he knew what we expected from one another.  Finally, Rafe showed tremendous creativity and did some pretty clever things from the unused bits and pieces in my game.

Drew, on the other hand, was stuck with Space Angel, among other things.

He decided to use Nova: The Nova system sucks.  I already noted in my earlier posts why I think so, but another problem is the archive feature.  If you look at a forum based game looking at past events is relatively simple.  Mailing lists are more difficult, although you can do a word search (with varied results).  But apparently where Nova is concerned if a character quits and they did not do a joint post with someone else, all those posts...disappear.  There were two away teams sent down to the planet but since all the players involved in that away team are all those posts are just...gone.  What if something relevant had happened on that mission?  Are those posts available?  Are they only accessible by the GM?

Just because a player quits it does not mean everything they wrote suddenly becomes irrelevant.  Sometimes players quit on less acrimonious terms and their material deserves to be both preserved and made easily accessible to present and future players.  If the Nova system does not allow for this then the Nova system is horribly flawed.

He was lazy: Deneva IV has two rival factions, just like many Star Trek set ups.  I am not even sure if a culture has two such opposing cultures that they would even be allowed in the Federation.  But setting that aside, they aren't even alien; they look human.  It made sense for Star Trek to do that as a television series due to budget constraints, but where PBeMs are concerned a GM can stretch themselves creatively.  Drew did not bother.

And look at the site.  Where is the ship information?  Deck listing?  Images of the vessel or the bridge?  Any GM who does not bother trying to give players a decent database is seriously half assing it.

He did not keep it simple: So you might think Drew was just trying to keep things simple with the two factions, human looking aliens, right?  Only he threw in Section 31 and The Dominion and he had a space station full of space angels floating overhead.  So Drew was going for anything but simple.  In reality creating the two rival planetary super powers seemed more like a way of marginalizing the aliens suffering from the drought so he could instead focus on the much "cooler" aspects he had introduced.

The problem is, there were too many plot elements, especially for an introductory adventure.  An introductory adventure with a new crew should be relatively straightforward, in this manner a GM can tell the strengths and weaknesses of his players, determine their likes and dislikes and most importantly who is going to fit in and who is simply not going to work out.  A straightforward, one-off adventure can also be fun and gives the GM a way to test their literary mettle.  Make it a simple rescue mission (that may in time turn out to be not-so-simple.  Perhaps one of the rescued people is a spy, or becomes a love interest), or a hunt for a pirate who becomes a recurring nemesis (Imagine a half human/half green Orion woman calling herself The Wicked Witch, her ship called The Broomstick. Perhaps she takes a shine to the dashing XO.)  Dropping a team of new players right into a wasp's nest of political intrigue is likely going to frustrate new players and it is difficult to tell how all of them are going to react.

I confess that my first Star Trek game involved a convoluted plot involving time travel and a Dominion plot to wipe out humanity in order to cripple the Federation (the only thing humans seem to be able to do better than any other alien species is shag.  How else can you explain 90% of all Starfleet personnel being humans, and most half breeds being half human in there somewhere?  Sex may be our one super power.).  Honestly?  I lucked out by having a pretty good group of players.  Still, I think the adventure worked out well because of the uniqueness of the setting (Lionheart was being sent back to Earth to be decommissioned, her crew was a mish-mash of people being shipped out for reassignment) and the first adventure right off the bat was an unexpected ambush the gang really enjoyed.  Bam!  Almost immediately the group got tossed into a cinematic action set piece and from the aftermath the story unfolded.

What did Drew do?  Let's beam down to the planet, talk to aliens, get nowhere, learn nothing important (Well, the team I was on learned nothing important.), beam back up, discuss, beam back down, meet Section 31 agent...Which brings me to another point.

His NPCs overshadowed the PCs: There are PCs, NPCs, and GMPCs.  You must be very, very careful not to have an NPC overshadow the PCs, make them look redundant.  In this post, for example, you have the Section 31 operative playing a key role, a role with a little tweaking a PC could have played.  In fact, much of what the Section 31 operative does in the game I imagine could have been handled by the ship's Intelligence officer.  Why have the intelligence officer assigned to the ship in the first place?  Why not have that player running a character who is on a separate assignment to the planet who hooks up with the ship, then gets assigned to the vessel after the first adventure?  Why does every PC have to start off the game assigned to the ship?  When Worf was first introduced on DS9 his first adventure was as a consultant rather than a member of Sisko's staff so there is a precedent for it.

When an NPC begins to overshadow the PCs, then they have become GMPCs.  Every GM should be concerned that their NPCs make the PCs look redundant or irrelevant.  I play important NPCs in my game but they are only there to fill in much needed slots (Much like a Dungeons & Dragons DM might run a cleric NPC for healing because none of the players wanted to).  Drew's pet Section 31 agent crossed over into GMPC territory.

On a side note, one thing I found amusing was how Captain Kerr knew of Section 31's existence.  Heaven forbid Drew role play a character who was ignorant of something cool like that...

He did not choose his setting wisely: Although again, to be fair, he inherited the game.  Another thing to consider is the type of ship the campaign takes place on.  Exeter is a carrier.  Why?  What is served story wise by having a carrier vessel?  Now granted, my first Star Trek game took place on a battered Sabre class and later and Akira, I chose them because I thought they looked cool.  No other reason, I had seen First Contact, saw those ships, and I thought they were utterly bitchin'.  Still, they were generic enough that they fit most adventures (In fact, the first Lionheart hardly factored at all.  She was so battered much of the adventure involved players split into teams off ship.).  So if you are pirate hunting an Oberth probably makes little sense. Same goes for a rescue or diplomatic mission being seen to by a carrier.  True, Drew said Exeter was chosen because she was the only ship available in the quadrant, but that excuse is pretty lame.  It was used in at least three Star Trek movies, and one of those was Star Trek V.

Okay, maybe the carrier thing is a nit.  One way or another the ship class did not seem to impact Drew's game much at all.  Still, it would have been nice if Drew had chosen a ship with some more information behind it.

He did not know his role:  As a GM your job is to push the plot forward, not expect others to do it for you.  In the game Drew had asked me twice to steer a joint post in a way he wanted rather than role playing it out naturally.  He made it the responsibility of the players to control NPCs rather than himself.  This makes me wonder if he was doing the same in every joint post.  Was he asking players at every turn to write the scenes out just so?  If so, then where, exactly, is the fun in that?  In the joint post where he directed me I already knew the outcome.  The second time he asked me again he was telling me in advance how things were going to play out.  A large part of the fun of a game is not knowing what is behind the door, not knowing what the NPC is going to say.  If Drew wanted events to unfold he should have trusted in his players writing well, run NPCs and played the scenes out rather than script everything in advance.  This style of role playing revealed a GM who was either A) inexperienced, B) did not trust his players and/or C) a megalomaniac bent on controlling every single aspect of his game.
Doom is not amused with your use of his image in this blog, lackey!

He ASSumed: Just because a player has willingly gone along with your suggestion to write a scene the way you want, do not assume he is looking to partner up with you to run your game.  From the way Drew spoke to me it sounded like he wanted a collaborator, a co-GM.  I was not looking for anything of the sort nor had he ever discussed such a thing with me.  I don't know, perhaps it was my god-like charisma or my amazing writing, or perhaps he had seen a picture of my perfectly shaped dome and thought "Yeah, that's the bloke I want to run games with!"
I shave my head to show off just how perfectly shaped it is.  Hair loss has nothing to do with it.   Really.

Seriously, if you are looking for collaborators, ask.  Do not assume.  Sometimes you might find a player eager to be a GM.  But that was not the case where I was concerned.  I was already GMing a game, I was in Exeter just to play.  Drew's assumption was...annoying.  It was as if he thought I had let him down, not living up to his well-hidden expectations.

As of this writing Drew's game has six players, which really is not bad.  Problem is I am not sure if anyone is actually writing.  At this point the engineer-my replacement-has yet to post, the last post was from Drew himself on the 16th.  It is entirely possible players are writing joint posts as we speak, but what if that is not the case?  My replacement apparently has not generated an introductory post, others have not posted in a week or more.  If you ask Drew, he might blame me for the "trouble" I caused.  If Drew's game is suffering, he need only look at himself in the mirror for all his troubles.

Tomorrow, an afterword...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Angels and Devils

In every man's heart there is a devil, but we do not know the man as bad until the devil is roused.


So let us discuss Drew’s game, the USS Exeter (This is not the original web site as Drew left his original fleet under a cloud.  Apparently someone was making allegations about him on the forums there or something.  Seems like I am not the only one who has issues with Drew.). I joined it in July of this year as lieutenant Aurora 0408/A, a human clone from a society of clones that I created.  I was inspired by two TNG episodes, Up The Long Ladder and The Masterpiece Society.  The idea was each type of clone had a specific function in that society (i.e. Grubermans were sanitation workers, Auroras were involved in space sciences, Dukes were military and law enforcement, etc.).  Aurora was an outcast because she decided to be an engineer instead and made a home for herself in The Federation.

Everything seemed to be all right at first.  The adventure involved a mission of mercy to a planet which was experiencing a world-wide drought.  We had to determine what was causing it and how to fix it.  I spoke with Drew and suggested one quick, temporary fix might be ice mining local stellar bodies, i.e. comets or the rings of some planets.  He thought it was a great idea and we would factor it into the game somehow.

And somewhere along the way it got lost in the shuffle.  More on that later.

The Exeter reaches the planet and the captain (played by Drew, which is quite normal on just about every single Star Trek game I have seen) forbids anyone from analyzing any of the data collected by the inhabitants.  He wants fresh eyes or something.  I tried to imagine Kirk, Picard, Sisko or even Janeway dismissing hard data out of hand.  Archer?  Yeah, okay, I can see Archer doing that.
Making the dog captain would have made more sense.
That decision made no sense, but hey, let’s roll with it.  We were to send down two away teams to the two rival governments and-

Wait, two rival governments?  You mean like just about every other adversarial set up seen in Star Trek?  No attempt to stretch one’s self, set up multiple factions, even just three?  It’s him and me, black and white.  I can understand that when you have a sixty minute story to tell, but this is a role playing game, try and think outside the box a bit.

Two away teams beam down and now Drew wants someone else to play the aliens dealing with the team led by the XO.  So, Drew doesn’t want to role play the NPCs for half the players.  Why not?  It’s his game, he is the GM, it is his responsibility to role play the NPCs.  So that half of the game turned into a muddled mess due to a lack of direction (Drew's half went very well, apparently).

Later on, we now have a new pair of factors involved in the game, The Dominion and Section 31.  Now I don’t mind either organization when they are written well, but Drew was not up to the task, at least where the latter was concerned.  Because the whole point of Section 31 is, few know they exist.  Members of DS9 know they exist because the shadowy organization wanted to recruit Doctor Bashir and this resulted in him telling others.  An admiral or two were aware they existed because of their security clearance.  But outside of that Section 31 was beyond black ops.

And in Drew’s game everyone acted as if their existence were common knowledge.  I think I was the only person who role played utter ignorance of their existence.  I think Drew mistook Section 31 for Starfleet Intelligence.  Or something.  This is one of those instances where there is player knowledge and character knowledge and it seemed neither Drew or the other players could tell the difference.

So apparently The Dominion might be behind the drought and Section 31 was along because…Drew apparently likes Section 31.  Only the Section 31 guy does not seem to be very good at his job because he is confrontational and not very good at manipulating people and events from behind the scenes the way Section 31 is supposed to be.  Section 31 operatives pose as legitimate officers, conduct their affairs through intermediaries, shun the light.

But hey, let’s roll with it.  The Section 31 agent through some plan manages to help the Captain capture the Dominion scout ship along with its crew.  At this point I begin to role play Aurora as being concerned the Dominion vessel might be booby trapped.  The Dominion is run by shape changers and their foot soldiers, the Jem Hadar, can turn invisible.  Any bunch this sneaky probably has booby traps everywhere (I was role playing Aurora, a character from a highly conformist and all-human culture as being leery of aliens and a little racist.  And really, can you blame her?  It seems like every alien is stronger, smarter, lives longer or has some sort of super power like telepathy or shape changing or invisibility.  You never saw enough racism in Star Trek. Everyone liked everyone else.)!  Drew was okay with it and I engaged in a joint post with the player running lieutenant Rakka, the Nausican chief of security, to discuss sweeping the scout craft for booby traps.
Now this is where Drew’s role playing style began to rankle a bit.  The system he was using, the mechanism to run the game, was the Nova system.  Nova is a means to send e-mails to the players but rather than sending e-mails to a single group address, the player has to choose whom to send it to.  The system encourages joint posting rather than a more open system and this often results in very, very large e-mails sent out at intermittent intervals.  A player has no idea of the game’s health because all sorts of things could be going on with those posts.  I much prefer games using a mailing list or a forum.

Drew contacts me and asks me during my joint post with the player running Rakka to have a jail break, some of the Jem Hadar are supposed to bust loose.  Now, why isn’t Drew running those Jem Hadar?  Why isn’t he role playing the NPCs rather than have us running the characters?  Instead he is here dictating to me what he would like to see happen in the game.  And while I had my misgivings I thought what the heck, I owe the guy for posting a message in the wrong area of the message board because of my ignorance of Nova in general.

The jail break goes down, my character is wounded, I am sent to sickbay and I am thinking that this is great, I get to do a scene with the doctor!  Only…the doctor all but disappears from the game at this point (This is the second doctor, btw.  The first one quit.  People quit a lot in Drew's game.  The current XO used to be chief of security.).  So I am left running a solo post NPCing the medical staff.  Some people love doing solo posts.  I hate ‘em.  I am playing a role playing game to interact with people, not write fan fiction.  And this seems to be exactly what is going on because around the time I post I discover other PCs have been wounded and are in sickbay.  Well, I am thinking, wouldn’t it have been nice to have been able to factor this in to my post, to have these things going on together somehow?  Only the Nova format does not allow this because the joint post system means I have no idea what people are writing while I am writing.  If this were a forum based game everything you could see what is going on as players are role playing it out.  If it were a mailing list based game that discouraged joint posting the same applies.

I do want to address one important thing regarding Drew's tenure as GM and he was not the original guy.  He inherited the game from someone else, which means he also inherited some, well, baggage.  Namely he inherited ensign Ghaliel Arreren tor, space angel.  No, seriously.  Apparently her race is very ancient and has been messing around with primitive cultures for thousands of years, thus giving rise to legends of angelic beings.  You know, like that Star Trek episode Who Mourns For Adonis, where an alien claiming to be the Greek god Apollo states that it was he and his people who brought civilization to Earth?  Or the rubber tree people from the Voyager episode Tattoo.  Or TOS' Preservers, who went around rescuing primitive cultures.  Or if you wanted to go outside of Star Trek for influences you could look up Arthur C. Clark's Childhood's End where aliens bear a striking resemblance to winged devils.  Or if you want to go outside conventional science fiction take a look at DC Comics' Dawnstar:
Best.  Costume.  Ever.  Has nothing to do with the post, just sayin'.

Oh, did I mention she also wears a special, sexier version of the standard issue uniform? So the whole space angel thing?  Yeah, Drew gets a pass on that.  And the space angel's black hair?  Unusual among her species.  So not only did she stand out among humans, she stood out among other angels.  Nice.

But wait, Tom, you may say.  What about your character?  Didn't you rip off Star Trek ideas yourself?  Well yes, you could say I did.  First of all, I did not come up with some lame reason why my character is running around in a spandex catsuit.  Second, my character was not a member of a race of advanced beings who have been running around space manipulating more primitive cultures.  If anything my character was from an inferior, backwards, insular culture.  Third, I did not have super powers (i.e. flight).

Perhaps the player was "inspired" by other sources like I was, but it is what you do with that inspiration that counts.  I tried to come up with something unique in Star Trek, but in Ghaliel's case it was a matter of been there, seen that.

But now there is another aspect of the game: the space angels have a space station orbiting this planet and someone has slaughtered everyone on board!  So let us recap all the irons heating up in the plot forge.  We have a planet wide drought, two rival governments blaming one another for it.  A space station full of space angels orbiting overhead who may or may not be involved and may or may not be helping to fix the problem who get slaughtered wholesale.  We have The Dominion, who may or may not be responsible for the drought as well as Section 31, who is doing a terrible job remaining in the shadows.

Well, my character gets out of sickbay and the captain approaches her to dissect the Dominion vessel.  She agrees and now I am joint posting with the helmsman who will be helping her.  Now I had already role played my character’s concern of booby traps in one post, and because I do not have access to the archived messages I cannot be certain but I believe I role played with Drew my character’s concern about the Dominion craft being unsafe.  So my intention in role playing the scene was to have Aurora have the ship flown into orbit within transporter range so in the event of some mischief the Exeter would be safe.
And that was when Drew IMed me, asking me to have the ship brought into the hangar bay so it could explode.  Drew was not only having scenes scripted-again-but now he wanted me to role play my character as an idiot.

And that was when I lost it.  I was fed up.  I had to sit through almost three months of meandering plot and Drew was asking me to role play my character as some sort of mental deficient, like, like-
Star Wars Episode I in 3D?  Yay!
Yeah, like those guys.

So that was it for me.  I quit.  You can wade through some of this stuff on the Exeter site, each character bio has a list of posts.  Apparently the whole adventure was wrapped up off camera and the crew is off to a new adventure.  This does not surprise me.  During this period Drew lost not only me but about three other players, so by this point taking this lame horse out in the back of the barn and shooting it in the head was probably for the best.

Tomorrow I will break down where I think Drew made his mistakes, among other things.

To be concluded...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The "E" Word

Apathy is the glove in which evil slips its hand.

Just to warn you up front, this post is going to have little if anything to do with the mechanics of running a game, it is almost purely personal drama.  So if that sort of thing does not interest you then you might wish to skip this and come back tomorrow.  I am writing this to hopefully get it out of my system so that I may move on, but then again it may not help a bit?

I have two brothers who are very different in terms of temperament and interests, but one thing they do share is this inability to let things go where their old jobs and co-workers are concerned.  One has not worked for a place for over ten years yet he still goes over the same stories about how terrible it was to work there, of the injustices suffered, of the terrible bosses.  And my other brother is not that much different.  He worked with a guy he could not stand and he still talks about him.  I think both of them should just let it go.  What good does it do to talk about events long in the past or people who no longer have an impact on your life? And yet, here I am feeling, as I imagine, the exact same way they do.  Only instead of co-workers and bosses and jobs, it is gaming.  It is this thing I do that I enjoy doing; running role playing games, participating in them.  It is gaming, or more specifically, a gamer.

This guy, Drew, my old GM, said some disparaging things to me and I really began to wonder about what I was doing here.  “Here” being this blog.  I began this blog for several reasons.  The first is I thought perhaps it might be a nice way to network with people, engage in conversations, exchange ideas.  That did not exactly work out.  I think I have had maybe four responses to all my entries (To be fair, I never really expected responses to things like Song of The Week or Wonder Woman’s new costume).  And I thought it would be a nice way to discuss the mistakes I have made in the past, talk about what has worked for me, suggest ideas for people’s games.  But I have no idea if any of what I have written has been at all helpful to anyone because I never get any feedback.  After a while even some constructive negative feedback might be nice.  Finally, I began the blog because I wanted to write.  I am a writer, at least an aspiring one, and writing articles like this was a way to exercise.  Only after a while the articles felt like work.  I am not being paid to write them and it appears I do not have much of an audience to write them for.  Sure, I have eight followers but two one guys I know from my college and table top days and to my knowledge neither are running any games, and at least another one are my players and I am almost certain he is not running anything.  Are any of my followers fellow GMs?  I don’t know; they don’t talk to me.  I called Drew one of my peers and he dismissed me, used the "E" word in reference to me.  Both stung and they made me take stock of what, exactly I am still doing here.  With Drew’s allegation of wickedness on my part compounded with personal drama (which I will detail below), and on top of that my purpose for writing this blog called into question, Apathy descended, so much so that I could not be bothered to look up a suitable synonym to shake things up.

And now…Now, something else has taken hold and like the affliction my two brothers suffer from, it will simply not let go.  Indifference has gone and has been replaced with anger.  Anger at Drew. Drew called what I did "pure evil", and all I did was express my opinion.  Evil.  That is a pretty strong word.  Had I tried to destroy his reputation or sought to wreck his marriage (if he were, in fact, married.  I have no idea.) like a soap opera villain then yes, I might be considered evil.  But for what I did, private exchanges made, one under the influence of annoyance and grief?  I sought to explain myself and this was the response I earned?

I will elaborate.  A few weeks ago I suspected my cats might be ill.  They are going on sixteen and honestly their age never really impacted me.  For some years now they always seemed to be the same.  Sure, the fat one got a little fatter, but outside of that there was this status quo.  Until I began noticing at least one of them was urinating more.  So I consulted my local pet store owner, who is a cat lover herself (Hers lived to be 23.  If there was any layman’s opinion to consult it was hers) and she suggested it was the first stages of renal failure.  So for the first time in years (and I will get to that in a moment) I took my cats to the vet.  Blood work was done and it turns out the fat one-Babooshka-has first stage renal failure, her kidneys are starting to shut down.  On top of that her teeth were in terrible shape and some were going to have to be pulled.  So not only was I slapped in the face with my cat’s sudden mortality, her quality of life was to be diminished and the latter was entirely my fault because I did not take my girls in for annual check-ups.  I was, am a delinquent parent.

So during this period of grief and self recrimination Drew sends me an instant message.  Drew was my GM and by this point I was coming to dread getting these things from him.  I had botched something terribly in his game and still felt bad about it and I suppose I was always expecting the next IM to be him telling me I screwed up again.  This time Drew was asking me to write a segment in a joint post where my character would do something Very Stupid, and this made me so…angry.  And yes, it is just a game, in the grand scheme of things it is utterly irrelevant but gaming is important to me, and when he asked me to write my character as being Very Stupid when I had up until that point written her in what I feel was a realistic, relatable and above all else smart character, I blew my stack.  All at once these issues I had with Drew’s game came to a head and I quit.  I told him off, told him the problems I had with the system he used to run the game and his GMing style.  Later I e-mailed him with a better explanation.

And that was when he used the "E" word.

Here is the exchange between Drew and myself concerning the falling out, I still have the e-mails should he or anyone else try to refute my comments.  I am not proud of my behavior but at least I did not call  Drew Evil for being a lousy GM.  And if I presumed he was inexperienced I just looked at how his game was being run and I assumed he was new to it.  If Exeter is the result of more than twenty five years of role playing then I shudder to think the sort of game he was running ten years ago.

And so that is part of the reason I am writing this now, I am going to address why I think Drew is a lousy GM.  If Drew wishes to think expressing my opinion in private "pure evil" then I wonder how he would feel if I voiced my opinions publicly?  What the hell, let me embrace the "E" word.  Let the hate swell within me and let me come over to the dark side...

To be continued...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A little apathy settling in...

I quit the Star Trek, Exeter game this week in part due to Drew's GMing style and my utter dislike of the Nova system.  And on of my cats was diagnosed with first stage liver failure, a heart murmur and possible thyroid issues.  She is fifteen years old so none of this should really be a surprise, but it still depresses the heck out of me.  So I was thinking of doing posts regarding world building shortcuts and the pros and cons of the three primary methods of PBeMing (Nova, forums, mailing lists) but honestly I am not much in the mood to write anything too in depth.  The argument between Drew and myself left me a bit depressed.  I was honest with him in how I felt regarding his GMing style, and he called me "evil".  I suppose people simply do not want to hear honest opinions.

So I don't know when the next game-related post will be up at this point.  I think I have sworn off Star Trek games entirely now.  With most of them apparently using Nova and many having Marines serving one board I do not see much there to interest me.