Rufio Bad

This guy had a bad experience in a Google+ D&D game and talked about it.

I think having a 7th level PC in a party of 1st levels is a bit lame, since the adventure they were going on was a level 1 type thing. At what point would it have been appropriate to ask the player to roll up something else? If he were a 15th level M-U? A 30th level Bard?

The class doesn’t sound absurd, since it’s basically a no-armor Cleric with a couple special abilities. Maybe its XP advancement sucks and there are other restrictions. Point is, DM let the class in, and some people like playing Incantantrixes and Demihobbits.

And the 7th level Monk bullying people really is not a problem either. This is the beautiful thing about being an adult in an adult social situation: you can refuse to play with that person. Let’s say Rufio’s player joins another Google+ game and the other players recognize him. They tell the player outright that they won’t stand for any bullshit and if he acts like a dick they will quit. Now the DM has a choice: if the guy starts bullying people, the DM can eject the bully or lose all his other players and end the session. It is an easy choice to make.

More leniently, Rufio as a character can be refused by the other players. I’m sure the players of the 1st level characters in that game were happy to have a 7th level Monk along with, because it makes the group more successful. But if Rufio is known as a guy who steals the spotlight all day and takes the loot at night, nobody will want him in their adventuring party. Again, the players can say “no, we don’t want a repeat of the Thug Rufio Experience, have him roll up a L1 or we quit”.

Rufio wouldn’t be much of a problem in a level-appropriate game. If he tried to take the choicest treasure when there were five other L7 PCs standing around, something tells me the duel would have ended very differently. Then again, perhaps the player just always tries to join a game with a character several levels above the highest PC.

Online gaming is nice and convenient, and that also makes it easy to drop the game. If someone is bastarding up your fun like Rufio / Rufio’s player, and you join a game with him again, it’s just a matter of clicking that little X instead of packing up your books and driving all the way home.

While it is admirable that the F3 stood up to Rufio the Mk7, the combat was a foregone conclusion. Rufio had already set himself up to be the winner before the game started, by creating a character that was so much more powerful than the rest of the party combined. If anything, the fight played into Rufio’s hands: he got to emotionally bully people and then when someone stepped up to him he got to show himself physically superior.

I think the interconnected nature of Google+ games is a good security feature too. Maybe someone trustworthy can maintain a blacklist of Google+ accounts and PCs to put the group on Jackass Alert so they can make an informed decision as to whether they want to play with That Guy.

2 Responses to “Rufio Bad”

  1. richardjohnguy Says:

    you go to all the good sensible places and bad places I would hope to avoid in this post – please let’s avoid blacklists, and informal blacklists too, of the kind gossip generates. Maybe what we need collectively is a safe word – a recognised alternative to in-game confrontations that might stop people from playing. We all know there’s a social contract when we sit down to play: one that has nothing to do with what level anyone’s character is or how much mapping they did. Reminding a player of that – “we’re here for everyone to have fun” – should be enough and if it isn’t then a more direct warning and eventual ejection makes sense. But I would hope to steer clear of multi-game consequences unless there’s really good cause.

    Alternatively there could be a fun flailsnaily way to handle this: magic item – box full of dick-seeking balrogs of DMular vengeance. They only spill out of the box to attack PCs who are clearly acting like dicks. They don’t kill the PC (so he can’t be Raised or Resurrected) – they just drag him into the box until he agrees to reform.

  2. 1d30 Says:

    I get that, but the Rufio example is where things go outside the social contract. Dude showed up planning on trolling. What we’ve found in online communities so far is:

    (1) Don’t feed the trolls. Ignore them and don’t participate with them. If you respond in any way they win.
    (2) Identify the trolls. Ban their accounts. Mistrust people with brand-new accounts.

    Basically, if Rufio’s player gets bad enough people will start refusing him. He’ll start a new Google+ account and make a new character at 7th level or whatever. Hopefully he’ll get too little enjoyment from screwing with people compared to the effort of setting up and populating a new account.

    This assumes Rufio’s player is actually intentionally trolling. Maybe he hopelessly misunderstands human interaction. Maybe he was trying to roleplay a CN/NE/CE character or hopelessly misunderstands alignments. So he might learn something and improve himself, which is a noble result for a game.

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