Time to Hang It Up? (Gaming Group Struggles Pt 2)

Retreater

Adventurer
A week and a half ago, I messaged my group that we needed to wrap up the current campaign arc in a satisfactory way. They were getting very near the climactic encounter anyway, and I wrote that we would jump ahead to that scene. It was going to be epic. Storylines would come together. They would get closure on 6 months of gaming.

My fiancée (who lives with me) and one other player showed. One player cancelled due to child care issues (understandable). The other two players, I got no response from.

I'm feeling a little bummed. All the work I put into the campaign has been for nothing. The 3D battlescape I created as an awesome fight centerpiece was used by two players. The big plot twist centered on a character whose player couldn't be troubled to show up or even give a common courtesy message.

I think it's safe to say I should fold this group? Maybe I'll take a break and work on other hobbies?
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
My solution to players occasionally missing games is to have more players in the group than seats at the table. Generally I shoot for 8 to 10 players for a 5-player maximum session, with a quorum of four. Then when I announce a game day, everyone signs up, first come, first served. (Though if there are more people who can play, the players usually step aside for someone who hasn't played as much.)

If I ever ran into a situation where I absenteeism became a significant problem for one or more players, I would ask them to be honest about their commitment and request feedback on the game itself (both my content and the group dynamic). Then I would address myself to correcting what was in my control.

I also strongly recommend gaming online, even with local friends. It's much easier for adults to get together if they don't have to physically go to someone's house or other place. It's not quite the same experience as getting together in person, but in many ways it is better in my opinion.
 

Retreater

Adventurer
Start a new game with the people who normally turn up. But do take a break.

This may be a bitter pill but don’t over invest in the game. It’s s thing that adults often just can’t commit the way they could when younger and footloose and fancy free.
It's difficult because I want to be a good GM and give the players a great experience they can look forward to. But it's also demoralizing to have sessions like this one.
I do agree that I need a break to recharge, compile a new group, etc.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
Sorry to hear about your troubles, I am very familiar with them as well. Taking a break is sometimes good if it feels right to do, RPG's will still be here when you get back.
 

cmad1977

Adventurer
Roll20 has worked well for me. I have an extremely regular group that plays every Sunday. Most of us live in the SAME CITY but playing online helps keep everyone able to make most sessions.
 

Nagol

Unimportant
A week and a half ago, I messaged my group that we needed to wrap up the current campaign arc in a satisfactory way. They were getting very near the climactic encounter anyway, and I wrote that we would jump ahead to that scene. It was going to be epic. Storylines would come together. They would get closure on 6 months of gaming.

My fiancée (who lives with me) and one other player showed. One player cancelled due to child care issues (understandable). The other two players, I got no response from.

I'm feeling a little bummed. All the work I put into the campaign has been for nothing. The 3D battlescape I created as an awesome fight centerpiece was used by two players. The big plot twist centered on a character whose player couldn't be troubled to show up or even give a common courtesy message.

I think it's safe to say I should fold this group? Maybe I'll take a break and work on other hobbies?
I did that to a DM once. He has a glorious end planned for his last session of the campaign. 4 days earlier a family emergency hit and although the crisis was over early enough that I could have attended, my relief completely blew any thought that there was something going on out of my mind until 2 days after I was supposed to show up.

Perhaps there is an explanation even if not an excuse?
 

Retreater

Adventurer
I've looked into online games, specifically using Fantasy Grounds. I've GMed a sample session using the software, as well as playing in a handful of games as a player. It just seems so very complicated. I was spending hours planning a single combat.
 

Retreater

Adventurer
I did that to a DM once. He has a glorious end planned for his last session of the campaign. 4 days earlier a family emergency hit and although the crisis was over early enough that I could have attended, my relief completely blew any thought that there was something going on out of my mind until 2 days after I was supposed to show up.

Perhaps there is an explanation even if not an excuse?
I mean, it's possible. Just seems par for the course for these players who have had spotty attendance for the past several months.
 
First of all, why did you run the session as planned anyways? If one guy is "officially" excused, then it would have been IMHo worthwhile to cancel the session for the arrival of the excused guy.
It also would be polite to at least wait a couple of days and then ask the ones without the "excuse" to respond to an e-mail or whatever you folks use for communication. You never know what happens in RL to prevent people from showing up.
So folding since your efforts went bazing? Not something I would recommend at this point. At least try to speak to those folks and get the info for the reason of their missing and talk things through if necessary. Information is everything nowadays.
 

DMMike

Game Masticator
My fiancée (who lives with me) and one other player showed. One player cancelled due to child care issues (understandable). The other two players, I got no response from.

I'm feeling a little bummed. All the work I put into the campaign has been for nothing. The 3D battlescape I created as an awesome fight centerpiece was used by two players. The big plot twist centered on a character whose player couldn't be troubled to show up or even give a common courtesy message.

I think it's safe to say I should fold this group? Maybe I'll take a break and work on other hobbies?
I'm not picky about group size. If there's only one PC, at least you're not talking to yourself! If two players show, you can still have an awesome fight.

Yeah, it's unfortunate when the other players don't share your passion. Keep the ones having fun, ditch the ones who aren't.

I recommend playing Skyrim until your writing hand starts involuntarily scripting another adventure. At that point, you'd better put out an ad for more players.
 

Retreater

Adventurer
First of all, why did you run the session as planned anyways? If one guy is "officially" excused, then it would have been IMHo worthwhile to cancel the session for the arrival of the excused guy.
It also would be polite to at least wait a couple of days and then ask the ones without the "excuse" to respond to an e-mail or whatever you folks use for communication. You never know what happens in RL to prevent people from showing up.
So folding since your efforts went bazing? Not something I would recommend at this point. At least try to speak to those folks and get the info for the reason of their missing and talk things through if necessary. Information is everything nowadays.
The short answer is that I just don't see it getting better, and I'm ready to be done with it. Attendance has been getting worse and worse. I don't want to delay the inevitable.
 

Retreater

Adventurer
I'm not picky about group size. If there's only one PC, at least you're not talking to yourself! If two players show, you can still have an awesome fight.

Yeah, it's unfortunate when the other players don't share your passion. Keep the ones having fun, ditch the ones who aren't.

I recommend playing Skyrim until your writing hand starts involuntarily scripting another adventure. At that point, you'd better put out an ad for more players.
Well, I tried to balance it the best I could with two players. I gave them companions. Still was anti-climactic and ended in a TPK.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
The short answer is that I just don't see it getting better, and I'm ready to be done with it. Attendance has been getting worse and worse. I don't want to delay the inevitable.
Ok, if attendance is down and getting worse, fold the group but keep Taco Thursday. Aka sounds like they your friends but real life is getting in the way. Or the group needs a break. You can start doing one shots or short modules.
 

Larnievc

Explorer
It's difficult because I want to be a good GM and give the players a great experience they can look forward to. But it's also demoralizing to have sessions like this one.
I do agree that I need a break to recharge, compile a new group, etc.
Like any relationship you should put in what is commensurate with what you get out of it. If you’re giving all the time people will only be able to take. 👍
 

Larnievc

Explorer
I've looked into online games, specifically using Fantasy Grounds. I've GMed a sample session using the software, as well as playing in a handful of games as a player. It just seems so very complicated. I was spending hours planning a single combat.
My group uses google hang out. I draw on a hand held white board and hold it up to the camera 👍

There are definitely concessions to be made when playing online but it’s doable if you keep it simple.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I've looked into online games, specifically using Fantasy Grounds. I've GMed a sample session using the software, as well as playing in a handful of games as a player. It just seems so very complicated. I was spending hours planning a single combat.
Fantasy Grounds has a much steeper learning curve in my experience than Roll20. I recommend the latter. FG does not seem very intuitive to me.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
The short answer is that I just don't see it getting better, and I'm ready to be done with it. Attendance has been getting worse and worse. I don't want to delay the inevitable.
Agreed - pull the plug. But I recommend asking for honest feedback from each individual to you (as opposed to in a group setting) as to the game, your content and presentation, the group dynamic, etc. so that you can consider that when putting together a new group. It could well be schedules not lining up, but I've found over the years people miraculously find the time for things they're excited about. To that end, it's worth knowing if there's anything over which you have control that you can change accordingly.
 

S'mon

Legend
I think it's safe to say I should fold this group? Maybe I'll take a break and work on other hobbies?
Yeah, take a recharge break and chill. Later on you can recruit some new players and the ones you like (eg the one you're getting nookie from) :D in your current group.
 

Advertisement

Top