Gaming group frustrations (venting)


I can’t subscribe to the it’s just a game philosophy. The amount of time it takes to understand game mechanics and prepare adventures (as well as a world if you’re into homebrews like I am) definitely moves role-playing up to hobby status.

When I work hard on a campaign (as part of my hobby), I want players who are committed to showing up if they can (though I do recognize that can’t always happen due to outside influences such as work).

It is impolite (downright rude really) to tell some DM that, “Hey, I’d love to play” and then decide to do something else last minute. If that is a player’s pattern I’d cut them off.

But I’m a jerk. So don’t listen to me.

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Hjorimir said:
But I’m a jerk. So don’t listen to me.
You're not a jerk. You're an adult, and you expect your players to act like adults. I try to be an accomodating (sp?) DM, but I've booted people for being inconsiderate several times over the years.

Hida Bukkorosu

First Post
the first group i started playing with had a huge problem with this. after about 4 times in a row of games being cancelled that day due to someone not showing up (is it really that hard for 3 players plus the dm to be there every two weeks - and if not can't people cancel in advance) because something came up (usually a chance to "spend time" with girlfriends, if you know what I mean) i had it and put up a new ad in the game store. then as soon as i found a new game i dropped the group and moved to the new group, who played every week, and actually were committed to showing up.


First Post
I know how this goes :( I have been trying to find a group, but between people who are downright rude to a difference in gaming styles I havent been able to find one in nearly a year. Even trying the gamers seeking gamers on this site and the wizards board hasnt helped.. bah.. there has to be a way somehow!


First Post
4 in a group is really wonderfull !!!

Greetings, I hope I never get in your situation, when I was younger I always told my friends that I would play until I am 40, now I am 31 and lets say that I really hope that I will play longer than 40. This is the main reason me and my friends meets since we are 15 years old. We had 6 or 7 members at first but the more time went on, the more we lost players. Now we are 4 total including a new member since about 3 years.

And I can tell you this with most confidence, 4 players, 1 DM and 3 PCs is really the best situation you could hope for. You have the opportunity to tailor adventures around some of the player's character with a good rotation time between characters. You can give the attention to all the players in a session, thus each players could easilly hope for 2 hours of DM attention at worst in each session.

This is one of the greatest opportunity for character development. If your campaing setting is well developped and establishes, the players could easilly start their own plans and have the DM prepare in advance according to what the player wishes to do, with added surprises and side adventures on the part of the DM.

Since you have less players, it gives more latitude for the DM to introduce NPCs in the group and, thus, give the players more opportunities to interact with them....

Anyway, I could go on for some time, but seriously, convince your friends to try it out at 4 players, I am sure that you all enjoy the experience.


Wow man. That really sucks. I've been gaming forever and have been through groups like that. Many times people make long trips to play and then a couple crucial people don't bother to show up. Here's a couple tips for your group:

1. ALWAYS keep an ad up for players wanted at 5-6 local game/comic/book shops. It's a lot easier to keep a group going that's 7 players with two who are questionable than a group of 5. Once you find your regulars, stick with 'em and stop calling the other people.

2. Make your group a DISCUSSION GROUP on YAHOOGROUPs so that everyone is informed of what's going on and when. When people know a couple weeks in advance, there's no excuse.

3. Don't associate with losers and transients. Wow, did I just say such an elitist commment? I sure did and I mean it. FIRE those people and kick them out of your life and your game. It took me until my late 20's to realize this and I look back at all the time THEY wasted of mine. People that move away, people that can't hold a job, people who are irresponsible, negative people, unpleasantrules-lawyers, bigots, low-lifes, etc. are never worth your time. STOP CALLING THESE PEOPLE AND FIND NEW FRIENDS.

4. Survey the other players and survey new players. A lot of people gripe, "I don't want to fill out 'no stinkin' survey, you don't need to know my working hours and I don't want to make any commitments right now..." Tough noogie. If you can't commit, you can't join. No time for losers.

5. Players who can't commit aren't having enough fun with the GROUP, or they're manic-depressive. This seems hard to believe doesn't it? Well, there's something missing. Ever take your gaming group somewhere like a movie, renniasance festival, to the rec-center, to a concert, out-drinking, to the game store, over for a football game, etc? If you don't socialize with these people around your game, why do you hang out with them IN game? Build a stronger bond with these people..they're not just 'gamers.'

6. RESTART your group. Basically what I've done in the past is start a short campaign and then END MY GAME. Then I call 3 of my 5 good players and add about 4 more and start a new short campaign. Usually, you've got about 5-6 players then who will commit and from there you continue the new campaign. Otherwise, a lot of DM's take and put all of their good ideas into a brand new group and then the group falls apart. Then the DM and the remaining players burn out.

7. PLAY when you say you're going to play. Those guys who ditched you are saying right now, "See, they weren't going to play anyway." You need to be able to email them on your DISCUSSION GROUP that you created and say, "Wow, you guys missed a great game!"

If there's one thing that exists in this world it's that there's always more players. Use an "Abundance" mentality and focus on that fact and grow your group and you'll do well.

I wish you luck!

Colorado, USA


Consider playing on weeknights instead ( T, W or Thurs )

Life seems to suck people away on the weekends with some frequency - perhaps you'll be able to get more solid commitments this way. Probably less game time too, but hey...


Emirikol said:
If there's one thing that exists in this world it's that there's always more players. Use an "Abundance" mentality and focus on that fact and grow your group and you'll do well.

I agree with this - I put ads up on a couple of gamestore websites a year ago and now I have more players than I know what to do with. :)
This does cause a bit of a problem - currently I'm not accepting new applicants, so there's a waiting list. However I do want to accommodate players who've moved away previously and returned. Currently I have 7 players coming every week and I don't think I could fit an 8th into my dining room...
So many players means that fights take longer, so we get typically 2 fights/session instead of 4, and XP are gained at about half the usual rate, so advancement rate is slower, about half standard. Not a big problem IMO but it is noticeable.


BigFreekinGoblinoid said:
Consider playing on weeknights instead ( T, W or Thurs )

Life seems to suck people away on the weekends with some frequency - perhaps you'll be able to get more solid commitments this way. Probably less game time too, but hey...
Most likely a lot less game time. Factor in waiting until the kids are asleep and commute times and weekdays simply aren't practical for most gamers in such situations. When I was 25, I wouldn't mind driving to a friends house 45 minutes away, gaming for four hours, driving home and not getting enough sleep. At 35, things are much busier. Get home, have dinner, play with kids, do some house-maintenance, get kids to sleep, and takes me up to 8 PM. Never mind nights when I have to work late.

The weekends are so busy because they're the only time most folks are free for any period of time, and can predictably do so. That's why they pull folks away. The trick is to plan ahead, so there's no problems. It's what considerate players do, and I don't think it's too much to expect.


First Post
Thanks, all, for your advice.

Several of you have suggested running with the smaller group. I agree that a small group gives better RP opportunities, which I would like. If the composition of the group were different, I'd probably push this option more. However, besides myself the group consists of one player whose main motivation is facing challenges (not the same as a combat gumby - he likes to figure out clever ways to resolve encounters that don't always involve drawing blades) and tends to stay in the background in terms of roleplay and interaction. The other player is relatively inexperienced and new to 3rd edition, so she is focused more on learning the system. This would mean I'd likely end up carrying the brunt of the roleplay. While the constant attention would be great, I'd also miss the fun of interacting with other characters and their plotlines, and I might start to feel like I'm dragging the other characters along on my story (the Doc Savage Syndrome). A group of three is great for roleplaying, but only if you've got three strong roleplayers.

I think the problem mentioned about the difficulty of designing adventures for small groups is a factor for why my DM wants a few more people. One of his goals is for the group to reach higher levels (possibly even epic), which I'm not opposed to (the highest level I've played in years was my 11th level druid, who I started this campaign with; before that I couldn't get past 4th). Obviously the most efficient way to earn XP is through combat, and I don't think the DM wants to be in the position of pulling his punches just because our group is small. Personally, I have no problem with this. Fighting orcs is as much part of the game as is the roleplay of the long dinner conversation with the reclusive duke who is your character's love interest, and who is really the evil necromancer that has been plaguing the land, and is also Racer X, Speed's brother.

Fortunately, there may be light at the end of the tunnel. I emailed some friends of mine, and it turns out their own Friday night game has been shaky too. They're willing to try our game out if it means more consistent play. I still have to check in with my DM to make sure they're okay to join, but otherwise we may have filled the gap. I also have another friend who I can check with, though he's less of a sure thing (spouse with chronic health problems).

As far as those inconsistent players - I'm done. There's only one left who hasn't officially quit (the problematic Berserker I mentioned before), and I'm going to strongly press our DM to drop him. His inconsistency in showing up combined with his irritating gaming style when he does show up have pushed me over the limit.

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