So, I know I have been gone for a good long time. Well, welcome back people! This post is not only my welcome back post, it is my long coming post about how to deal with JERKS, both in game and out. This post is even more important since I just went through a SNAFU with a group full of them. Jerks (or jackasses, but I repeat myself) are always going to be part of your life. They work with us, they game with us and they are even part of our families. That doesn’t mean we have to put up with them. In fact, I encourage you to avoid them and put them in their place!
That being said, my situation with my last group was okay for a while. I gamed with them for about four months or so and it should have been obvious rather quickly that they were jerks. They always make fun of other people, they have the emotional development of a six year old and they refuse to allow anyone to disagree with their assertions. They also demanded that you did not call anyone out when they started something with you. It was taboo. Someone could bully you, push you buttons or just plain be an asshat and you just had to take it in the teeth. Well, that really didn’t go over well with me. I don’t play well with people who bully, push buttons or are jerk-offs. I tend to put those people back into their place when they try that crap with me. I got tired of them deciding that I was stupid because I didn’t think the same way as they did about something (anything for that matter). For example, they spent two hours on a Skype call attempting to make me admit that I was wrong and that Techno was a form of music (which I still will not do). Any time I voiced a different opinion I was told how dumb I was. I was also very outspoken on my views on politics, religion or even movies. I hold my views tight and tend to defend them fiercely. That also did not go over well, as I said they had the emotional development of six year old children. They didn’t have the social or political conciseness that I did. They decided to tell me not to talk about it in a way that was more or less inappropriate. I told them to fuck off. They booted me from their chats, and “banned” me from their games.No big loss, as they were immature dicks anyhow.
The whole point of that story? Well, here goes: DON’T BE A JERK AND YOU WON’T HAVE TO BE PUT IN YOUR PLACE. On the other hand, don’t ever let someone push you around. I don’t care what you are droning on about or how stupid you sound. You are entitled to talk about it, and to hold your own opinions. In gaming, that means understanding that each player is first and foremost a person. They may game with you, but they often have a different view of things than you. You may be a conservative and they a liberal, you make like action movies and they like musicals, ect, ect, ect. They often live lives outside of the game table. They have friends that don’t involve you. Understanding the fact that people are going to disagree goes a long way towards maturing as a person and a gamer. I don’t game the same way as some other people. I tend to describe my PCs actions in third person. Some people like to do it in first person. I don’t hold them in disrepute for this. In fact, I actually attempt to learn from them. There are rules for dealing with players (or people). The first and foremost is don’t be an asshole. Be kind, and generous. Make sure that each other person feels that you understand where they are coming from if an issue does arise. Don’t attempt to control the pace of conversation by degrading someone for holding a different viewpoint on anything. Treat that viewpoint as valid, as if it was just as good as what you think.
Enough of my droning on about this issue. What do you do to control jerks in your game? Do you have a story about jerks in a group? How did the group respond to them?