The Seven Deadly Sins and Gaming (Part One)
This is part one of a two part article. It was either split it up or post over 1600 words; and no one wants to read all that!
You can read part two here.
The Seven Deadly Sins; it’s not just for Catholics anymore! In gaming, it’s easy to correlate the sins to common mistakes that both GMs and players will make. How easy? Keep reading to find out.
Player: I read about a guy who used the X feat from the latest supplement to make his character do some cool stuff. Can I use it?
GM: But we’re not using that supplement.
Player: That’s not fair!
Players – Be happy with your character. Yes, there are a multitude of options available to the average gamer when it comes to character building. And you will, at some point, read something online where a fellow gamer describes certain options they took in the same system you’re playing. And you look at those options and think, “That would be cool if I could do that.” But, before you try to rationalize changing your character completely, think about it. You built your character from scratch. Through extensive play, you’ve molded him/her into the hero of your world. Do you really want to change all that because of something you read on the Internet? I wouldn’t.
GMs – Yes, the latest sci-fi flick on the Sci-Fi Channel was cool. Yes it had mutated lizards, a buxom heroine, and a dashing leading man. No, you don’t need to change the whole campaign to fit a similar scenario into what’s already taken you hours to come up with. Same goes for that new supplement. Granted, if you’re using these to create parts of the campaign you haven’t yet written, that’s one thing. But I’ve seen too many GMs change an entire already-written campaign just to fit in the “latest thing.”
Joe: Did you see the new supplement from [insert big RPG company here] is out?
Bob: Oh yeah. I got it yesterday. I just had to have it.
Joe: Cool. Think you’ll ever use it?
Bob: Probably not.
I have the same advice for both players and GMs alike: If you don’t need the book, don’t buy it! I’ve heard/read about way too many gamers complaining about how posted before about how shocked I am that WotC is putting out so many books in such a short amount of time for 4E but I’ve always caveated it with the fact that I’m all for free enterprise and a company has the right to make money however they wish. As a consumer, I have the right to not buy what they’re selling., for example, are churning out book after book and are “screwing over” gamers by doing it. To be fair, I’ve
If you’re a player and/or GM, you may see a book and think “This is awesome!” and shell out $40+ right then and there. But then you get it home and it sits on your bookshelf, collecting dust, because you never could find the right campaign in which to use it. I’ve definitely been guilty of this. Next time this happens, think hard before you shell out the bucks. Are you going to use it? When do you think you’ll get the opportunity to use it? If you’re the GM, would the players have to have a copy of the book if you use it? If you’re a player, would your GM allow it to be used in the campaign? Lots of stuff to think about.
In the end, if you still can’t decide what to do, I recommend walking out of the store and donating the money you would have spent to your favorite charity. That way, you will definitely know that your money is not being wasted.
GM: You open the door and before you lies an immense treasure beyond your wildest dreams!
Players: *yawn* So what’s in the next room?
Players – Don’t be greedy. If you’re in a campaign and you don’t feel underpowered, don’t tell the GM that “according to the book, I’m supposed to have X gold pieces worth of equipment at my level.” (Yes, this happened in a campaign I ran). Be creative. Come up with new ways to use the equipment you do have to overcome challenges.
GMs – Two words: Monty. Haul. Don’t be that GM. Don’t throw treasure after treasure at the players. After a while, it just gets boring and the campaign has no more spark. On the other hand, don’t give them so little treasure that they have to scrape by and barely survive every encounter. As a GM, you have to find the right balance in what you give the PCs.
A guy sits at the gaming table, listening to the GM describe the scene in the bar they’ve just entered. “What do you do?” the GM asks. “I seduce the barmaid!” the creepy gamer responds.
Players - Don’t be that guy (or girl). Yes, RPGs are a form of escapism, but that doesn’t excuse any boorish behavior on your part. Not every girl is there for you to seduce. Not every guy is there for you to come on to. Not only does it usually make your fellow gamers uncomfortable in the moment, but it can have negative consequences away from the table.
GMs - Don’t let every encounter with an NPC of the opposite gender lead to some sort of sexual situation. In small doses, sex can be used as a plot device. The evil NPC sorcereress needs to get the information from the PCs, so she chooses the weakest willed one to seduce. That can lead to some memorable campaigns. But if every bar scene ends with you pulling out the BOEF, then you’re taking it too far.
That’s all for today. Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion!