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Wandering Damage IV

Posted By Kurt "Telas" Schneider On June 24, 2008 @ 3:09 pm In Crock Pot | 6 Comments

Note from Chef Telas: I apologize for my absence from the Gnome Stew kitchens over the last few weeks. Our first child showed up on June 5th. Not only was she over two weeks early, but the first thing she did was break my wife’s water, probably not the last thing she’s going to break… Everyone’s doing fine, but since then, we’ve been knee-deep in diapers, bottles, breastpumps, books, pamphlets, lactation consultants, doctor visits, relatives, friends, neighbors, paperwork, and various unidentifiable infant accessories. The only thing we don’t have is sleep. I’ll post as time, sleep, and newborn allows.

Random Thoughts on Gaming, Gamers, and Other Things.

Every now and then, I’ll hear or think of something that seems cool, but isn’t worth an entire blog post. When I collect a few of these nuggets o’ wisdom (or dross), I’ll post ‘em here under Wandering Damage, along with something amusing or geeky I overheard at Gen Con.
  • When deciding whether to follow the spirit or the letter of the rules, pick the one that’s going to result in the most fun. Consistency is important, but not nearly as important as fun.
  • It’s okay to tell your friends and fellow gamers that they could use some hygiene. Nobody was born with the knowledge that daily showers are a good thing.
  • The most important element in a game is the GM. A gaming group can ignore or route around bad rules or bad players, but they cannot deal with a bad GM except by finding another.
  • GMing draws on many skill sets: knowledge of the game mechanics, history, philosophy, science, math, popular culture, leadership, communication, listening, managing small groups, scheduling, acting, etc. It’s the perfect hobby, because there is always room for improvement.

Things Overheard at Gen Con:

  • “My email address? Um, I’m between ISPs right now.”
  • “I kill things on the weekend.”
  • (On Saturday, referring to a Friday night get-together) “By the time I got back to the hotel, all my favorite shows were on SciFi, so I just stayed in.”

About  Kurt "Telas" Schneider

Kurt Schneider played D&D in 1979 at summer camp, and was hooked. He lives with his wife, daughters, and dog in Austin TX, where he writes stuff, and tries to stay get fit. Look for his rants under the nom de web Telas or TelasTX. Quote: “A game is only as balanced – or as good – as the GM."

6 Comments (Open | Close)

6 Comments To "Wandering Damage IV"

#1 Comment By Scott Martin On June 24, 2008 @ 4:06 pm

Sometimes you can “fix” a bad GM… depending on what the GM’s flaws are. If they’re running a different style of game than you prefer, you can consciously adapt to the GM’s style, or you can point out the difference in styles to the GM and nudge them toward something that the whole group can enjoy. Sometimes they’ve only heard there’s “a” right way to play- letting them know other styles exist might help shift them in a positive direction.

Despite my contrariness above, I suspect you’re right for the vast majority of cases. If the GM isn’t willing to try to fix what’s wrong, it’s time to look for greener pastures.

#2 Comment By Kurt “Telas” Schneider On June 24, 2008 @ 5:34 pm

Good point, Scott; there’s always hope. Or a behind-the-toolshed attitude adjustment. ;)

The point I was trying to make is that everything else can be ignored, modified, or replaced. But replace the GM, and you’re replacing the game.

#3 Comment By Martin Ralya On June 24, 2008 @ 5:38 pm

“Thanks” for improving our search engine placement for “breastpumps.” Anyone after gnome breastpumps will be in luck!


Seriously, though, congratulations again. :) I’m amazed you’ve found time to sit down, let alone post here.

#4 Comment By DarthKrzysztof On June 25, 2008 @ 5:54 am

Telas has me imagining myself as the guest of honor at a Full Metal Jacket-style towel beating thrown by my players. D-:

#5 Comment By Patrick Benson On June 25, 2008 @ 8:48 am

Telas – Good to see you back and posting! But I must tell you that you won’t get a good night’s sleep again until… You know my youngest is 2 and my oldest is 4 and they still wake me up all the freaking time for various reasons. :)

Yep, the GM is a cornerstone to any game that requires them. If you can improve a bad one great! If not, find another game or GM.

#6 Comment By Sektor On June 27, 2008 @ 5:06 am

Congratulations, Telas!

We’re currently on our way to number two, and I haven’t even recovered yet from the first one ;)

But it’s all worth it when each week you see him or her learn a new skill. They’ll be rolling dice before you know it!

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