8 hours ago
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
When I was younger I used to get pretty miffed when people would commit to a game I was running, and then at the last moment bail. Sometimes it was cause to cancel, and sometimes it wasn't. But it was always disruptive in some way, shape or form.
We've all run games where we're NPCing a PC. It's no fun. Not for the DM (extra work), and not for the players (missing a comrade who might pull their bacon out of the fire). Either way, it's always better having the entire compliment of gamers at the table. Plus, heck, it's just a lot more fun having the whole gang there. After all, it is a social game, right?
As I grew older it became more and more difficult to schedule a game. People end up having commitments....that's reality. I get it. But there was an interim period there where people were approaching the game in a "sophomoric" manner while engaged in a more grown-up schedule. In other words, they'd often "forget" to call, or just plain old not show up. In high-school and college this was, while not commonplace, understandable. But as time moved ever onward, and we all had lives outside of gaming, it became a hassle.
Fast forward to today. Here we are, many of us are "grown up" with lives of our own. Some have families. Many have jobs and responsibilities. Those days of just not calling or showing up late (or not at all) w/out a word of warning, are plain ol not acceptable. Scheduling games is just not an easy thing anymore. But if you leave a whole gaggle of adults out to dry w/out any excuse or advanced warning, you're not making any friends.
How many chances should a person get before this becomes a hassle that is left by the wayside of life? My initial response is two. I would say, that if a person completely messes up twice and inconveniences a group of people to the extent that they're sitting around for hours twiddling their thumbs (and making calls to a turned-off cell phone), something needs to change.
If you haven't guessed yet, our DM bailed on us last night. This has NEVER happened to me. I know, odd. But seriously, in 30+ years of gaming, I've never had a DM just not show up w/ no word of warning. So we sat around last night chatting for about an hour and a half, then gathered up our things, walked outside to our cars, and drove away into the night.
With a simple phone call we all would have been mollified.