Today being GM’s Day I wanted to tell a story that occurred recently with one of my groups. Where I live it can be difficult to find players. It has taken me about two years to build a nice solid group that meets twice a month to play. We have had three players in the group for quite a while and recently it has expanded to four. I am currently looking for number five.
In order to keep the game running smoothly I have allowed two of the players, at their request, to play two characters each. During a recent session one of these players had one of their two characters die during combat. This is the second death of a PC in a campaign that has lasted about 6 months. Not exactly a high death rate considering the high amount of combat that there is in this particular game.
Now I gave the player the option of creating another character, or if he wanted he could continue with just the one character and we would see how it worked out. His response was angry when he said “I wouldn’t have to if you would find more players!” I know that some players take the death of character harder than other players do, but that statement made me upset.
You see, I am the person who found and recruited all four of our current players. I also schedule, organize, host, prepare, and run the game. And despite the fact that I have made it clear to the group that I would like some help on any one of these matters only one player has stepped up to help. I do all of this to run a fun game for myself and the players, and I do it all on top of my demanding career, my marriage, and the raising of my two kids.
I talked to the player later and made it clear that he too can recruit players for the group, and that he had crossed a line. Not a line having to do with the game, but a personal one. You do not give the people who are working hard in order to entertain you crap especially when they are doing that work for no compensation. This is not a gaming lesson, that is a life lesson. Treat people well. Always.
In the end the game is just a game, and the people at the table always come before the game. Including the GM.