Carpe Blogiem: What I Look For In Players as a GM, Part II

As I talked about before, I have criteria for picking players. Avoiding bad players can be just as challenging as finding good player. As discussed in my previous post, I have criteria for finding good players. The reverse of that is also true – I flat out avoid those with certain traits.

Spotlight Hog: One of the worst sins a player can commit against his fellow players is to soak up all the GM’s time during a game. Constantly interrupting other players when they try to interact with the GM and/or the campaign world is like a boil – it should be lanced and drained quickly.

Rules Lawyer: I. Do. Not. Like. Rules. Lawyers. Bending the game system to suit your personal needs as a player or to interrupt the game is unconscionable. I have a zero-tolerance policy. If I feel for a second a player is trying to pretzel the rules they are done. I eject them from the game and they won’t ever be invited back. Since I make this highly clear in the social contract I don’t even remotely feel bad about this. Also, I don’t mind someone bringing up a rule I may have missed if it’s fast and they know it. That is not rules lawyering and it’s useful. If your player has system mastery you’d be a fool not to pay attention – but when you swing the GM hammer it’s done. No matter what the rules might say.

Slothful: Players that are just sort of “at the table” are not helping anyone. You want to hang out? Cool – but do something. Try. If you can’t do that you probably don’t have a spot at my table.

Tangeteering: “Hey did you guys hear about the thing that so and so did?” Nope. And I don’t care right now. I’m gaming. This is why I like to have a 15-60 minute “warm up” before each game if I can. Let’s the players chat and socialize and then we get down to brass tacks. Tangeteers don’t really care about gaming so much as having a captive audience.

Picking Over the Bones
Notice again how I didn’t have any notes on lack of rules knowledge? Good. Because I don’t usually care for the most part as long as you don’t have any of these tendencies. And that concludes this two-parter.

What traits do you avoid in a player as a GM? Anything specific? Disagree with anything I’ve said here? If so, why?

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  1. As a player, I think the above issues can be avoided if everyone is on the same page re what the game is about and trusts the other players enough to try to make that aim a reality in their own way.

    I would expect people who are defensive or just don’t feel connected to or able to support the central goal to act out in the above ways.

  2. Pingback: Monster GURPSDay Summary June 22, 2018 – June 28, 2018 - Gaming Ballistic

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