Once a week we invite everyone over into our home to play D&D. Everyone just walks right on in, takes their shoes off and we sit down together for a good friendly game – hell my players don’t even knock. My gaming group has remained the same for some time now; my wife, my best friend, his fiance, his dad and his fiance’s dad whom both have been playing since their teenage years. More often than not on game night we provide food and beverages for everyone, and most of the time someone brings beer or something else to drink or eat, it’s communal and no one keeps tabs or anything and there’s never been a problem.
Everyone really gets along swimmingly and the party plays well together – they always manage to find a less than obvious way around things and I’m never prepared however good times always ensue. I prepare our campaign with heart and soul each week, I have no co-dm and I painstakingly set up our game to be as fun as efficient as possible, and I’m always looking for ways to bring the experience to a new level. I attempt to cater to my players needs and wants to achieve maximum fun for all.
I wish all of the above said was true, which actually it is mostly with the exception of one of those players. They are downright rude there’s no other way to put it, at first their demeanor was a minor snag in the flow of our game sessions. I can put up with a few comments here and there or shrug off the inappropriate mentions of my wifes breasts. Or even when comments are made about our parenting, or when my wife is told how she should speak to me based on the opinion of an otherwise near total stranger. Granted I have little patience for my kids at times and yeah if anyone has the right to get frustrated with them it’s my wife or I – not this person and they’re downright shitty to my son at times and only have to see him 4 times a month! They are generally loud(which I don’t mind, except after my daughter finally falls asleep), opinionated, and manage to argue to the death about moot points or anything in regards to negative effects on their character. To top it all off they make for a piss poor house guest and always leave wrappers and empty bottles laying all around after the game.
It has come to a point after our last session that my wife no longer wants to play the game (with him) because she can’t enjoy it. Between multitasking a teething 13 month old, a rambunctious 3 year old and putting up with this shit on a weekly basis it’s the straw that’s breaking the camels back. On a day that’s supposed to be a stress reliever and a break from the norm, throw this in and it’s just another frustrating day. I try to remain neutral as possible being a GM in situations like this, especially when coming up in game but this last session I was so upset my hands were shaking behind the DM screen I almost broke my dungeonmasters code of neutrality to explode on him – but I didn’t, my wife beat me to it. I’m nearly positive everyone else feels the tension he brings to the table, however due to social implications no one is really going to say anything about it for fear of hurt feelings or the group breaking up (we all NEED our D&D fix).
So what is one to do when faced with a blatantly disrupting, rude, loud and generally inappropriate person at the game table? This particular player of mine happens be related to another, so just sayin “hey buddy don’t come back” isn’t exactly an option in this situation. It’s a very delicate matter at hand here and I’d hate to have any friendships strained in the process, however something has to happen. I don’t think there is any lighthearted way to go about saying something’s gotta give but I won’t enjoy myself knowing all the tension exists on top of the thought of losing my number 1 gaming partner if she were to sit out on game night. What’s a DM to do?
Coming up later this week: Playing cowardly – what to do when your players always take ‘the safe route’, and a review of Steve Jacksons Zombie Dice