Friday, October 25, 2013

When do you call a game off?


Tonight I was set to run a game of Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. It'd been kind of an "off" day as it was. But when I arrived at my FLGS, to my horror I'd taken the folder with both the adventure and the character sheets out of my binder a couple weeks ago, so I wouldn't have to carry everything on a trip I would be taking. 

Only one other player had showed up, and he hadn't slept because of his odd work schedule.

I thought about running something on the fly, but just didn't have it in me, not without the character sheets. So I called the game off.

It turns out this probably was a good thing. As I spread the word of the cancelation, I discovered that a player was still about an hour away, having to fight through at Atlanta traffic, which has been pretty crazy lately. So I saved him the stress of going through that. 

That's the first time I've called a game off in a long, long while. I feel kinda bad about it. But I don't think we where meant to play tonight. 

So when do you call a game off as a GM? 

Or when do you not show up as a player? 


2 comments:

  1. I only GM these days, and I only call game off if I'm not capable of running game due to illness, OR if I have only one player. If I even get two guys plus myself, it's game on. I've run game less than at my best, but generally we play. I feel better having run game, even somewhat poorly, than not having run it.

    I'll schedule days off for work, special events, etc. of course. But generally game is too damn enjoyable to cancel unless I absolutely have to.

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  2. I'm in two games right now - one as a GM for a twice-a-month Pathfinder game that we play on either Saturday or Sunday, and one as a player in a Friday night once-a-month Cthulhu game using Savage Worlds.

    For the one that I GM, we all work out our schedule ahead of time via email and with very few exceptions everybody shows up and we play for about 2.5 to 3 hours out of our scheduled 5 (the other time being taken up with eating, chit-chatting, and sometimes drinking wine or beer. Or all three of those things, usually). I've never not shown up to my own game as a GM, but I have shown up not in the mood to play which does affect how much time we actually spend playing.

    For the Friday night game, we had gotten into a really bad habit of not playing. It's late, at the end of the week, and we're all tired, and we're playing through "Masks of Nyarlothotep" which, while cool, is kind of... "meandering" and it's hard to pay attention to all of the plot points after years and years of playing. Oftentimes one or two players would decide not to show up at the last minute, and a good 50-60% of the time we'd end up not playing at all because someone just wasn't in the mood (usually the GM for the game who is an Assistant District Attorney and many times would have had a bad case load or a trial and couldn't prep accordingly).

    Nowadays we've just gotten into the habit of setting the date and then emailing a few days before with the GM asking "Who's going to show up so I know whether to prep or not?" and it works out pretty well.

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