I am a constantly angry person. If I seem calm, that’s years of defense mechanisms doing their job to keep me from blowing my top. I don’t take teasing well. I don’t take advice well. I respond immediately and decisively to open declarations of hostility toward me. I am not a person to piss off, if only because I’m so well-practiced.
My webcomic, Rumors of War, is an expression of my frustration with my inability to do two things at the same time: play a good game and enjoy a good story. After years of failing to stay with a gaming group long enough to actually develop our characters, I’d had enough and decided to write a comic instead (after my attempt at a novel).
I’m not a very good game master. I’m not especially patient, kind, easygoing, or gracious. I’m mean, surly, and confrontational when I’m frustrated – which is basically all the time. The reason I tend to prefer game-mastering over playing is simply because we’re more likely to get something done that way. It’s a lesser evil.
After years to think this over, I would rather game-master than write, and I would rather play than game-master. Why do I write? Because game-mastering is a pain in the butt. Why do I game-master? Because playing is even worse. I have such absurdly high standards of play that I’m simply unmanageable. I’m a branded troublemaker.
No one wants me in their game for the extra work I make for them.
This comes around the other side and becomes a positive trait – because I’m willing to do the extra work, I tend to be seen as an above-average game master. Someone who’ll want to make the maps, assign motives to the antagonists, and question the players’ every actions. Someone who’s willing meet players “half way.”
But then, I have this obnoxious tendency to be the impartial judge handing down the nastiness to the players when something bad happens to them. I eliminated “critical failures” from the game for the reason they a kind of double jeopardy – not only do you miss, something worse happens. I have to fight players for this.
Outside of tabletop games, I don’t play a whole lot else. I mean that from a “hardcore gamer” perspective though, ’cause what I actually mean is that I tend to run in very small circles of play. I’m extremely picky because I hate to have my time wasted. I’d rather replay a favorite than be disappointed by a new game.
Maybe this will be my new slogan. “Gaming Against The World.”