Thursday, 12 August 2010

Schoolboy Errors

Yeah, yeah, I know. So much for increasing the posting rate on this blog. Work and personal life are not cooperating, I'm afraid.

Anyway, last weekend, I made a crucial, schoolboy error which I once would never have made, and which proves my gamer skillz are growing rusty. Yes, I did it: I wrote on my character sheet in fucking INK. Now I'm going to have to put up with crossing stuff out, or (even worse) use bloody Tipex. What a moron.

This got me thinking about The Mistakes You Can Make as a player. I'm not talking about in-game stuff like the n00b error of trying to fight a cockatrice blindfolded. I'm talking about the meta-game stuff, like writing with a pen on your character sheet or using crappy dice. The kind of thing that makes everybody else point at you and laugh, or try to run you out of town with pitch forks. Here are some others I can think of; they may be a little subjective:

  • Doing a voice while playing a member of the opposite sex.
  • Forgetting your eraser so you have to keep borrowing one off somebody else.
  • Making a bald statement about something you know nothing about, without realising that somebody else at the table does that thing for a living. (I once started rambling on about putting down a horse, only to discover that one of the other players was actually a vet and was busy laughing up his sleeve at my moronic misconceptions.)
  • Not bringing snacks or drinks. Probably the most egregious error.
  • Having a CD or mp3 player filled up with sound effects and queueing up the wrong one, so instead of a scary ghost sound playing when the scary ghost appears, you instead get the sound of somebody farting or a dog barking or a T-34 engine firing up.
  • Forgetting to keep track of your hit points/gold/whatever so when the DM asks you, you look all flustered and have to shamefacedly admit that you don't know.
  • Rolling 1d100 and mixing up which d10 is the 10s and which is the units, so you look like you're cheating when really you're just an idiot.
  • Persistently forgetting or mispronouncing the names of the other players' characters.
  • Rolling your dice too vigorously so that one of them goes flying off the table and under a conveniently placed cabinet, so you have to bend over or get on your hands and knees and scrabble around for it while you go increasingly red-faced because of all the blood rushing to your head and the other players stare at your ass-cleavage.

Any others spring to mind?


  1. Spilling drinks on the table.

  2. Bragging about how cool it is to run everything from your laptop only to find that you can't boot up, or your flash drive is corrupted.

  3. Rolling your dice so vigorously they fly off the table, shamefacedly picking them up and the table again! Duh!

  4. Rolling a D12 to hit instead of a D20. I ocassionally do it as a DM and I'm pretty sure one of my players used to do it all the time. He never seemed to hit anything.

  5. "Rolling your dice too vigorously so that one of them goes flying off the table..."

    Dude, your dice just went crashing through the miniatures. Do you know how much time Wes spent painting those? Do you not respect Wes' work?

  6. Telling other players what they should do with their characters, especially when in combat. Not cool.

  7. Examining and appreciating the lovingly painted detail on someone else's mini, only to set it on the edge of the table from which it immediately takes the three-foot drop test.

  8. Setting up a mystery only to have the players completely miss all the clues, even the really, really obvious ones.

  9. Riley: Ever see that thing wherein a player tells the DM what another player's PC is doing? Happily the other player usually corrects this misapprehension...

  10. Spilling drinks on the rulebooks

  11. saying to another player "trust me, we've been doing this for years" when that other player (me, in this case!) has also... and then making a big cock-up that said other player has to rescue you from.

    I remember in London, on my first night at a group, spilling 3 pint glasses... I wasn't even drunk, they're just so damn tall and wobbly. Very bad form.

    I've also had the d12 vs. d20 players a lot.

  12. I'm a DM, so these aren't all me...

    Getting upset and throwing dice. Even worse, throwing somebody else's dice.

    Showing up at a session without your character sheet.

    Forgetting everything that happened between EVERY session.

    Not paying any attention to what is happening until your turn.

    Then asking, "what's happening".

  13. Rolling a d10 for damage and when it comes up zero you think you didn't do any damage

  14. Bringing an unrelated rulebook because you think it has a "better system", or references just for your character.
    Doodling on the DM's map is rather crass too.