Friday, August 11, 2006

Gaming cliches...of which there are many

This site is pretty funny. It's the "RPG Cliche List", wherein you find detailed the various cliches that pop up in some form in nearly all RPGs. Here are some that I can relate to from previous gaming experience:
  • Anarchy Law. No matter how many people they kill or beat the s@$# out of, player characters are rarely if ever arrested or brought to trial for their actions.

So true. Thinking upon my past character's actions in various games, I should have had my characters executed probably a half dozen times. And I've always been one of the more restrained players of our group.

  • Auckerman Mode. When a gamemaster allows a player to bitch his character's way out of certain destruction.
I'm not naming names, but I have an associate who excels at this.
  • Deal With The Devil Law. Player characters cutting deals with demons, evil sorcerors, evil dragons, and other villainous beings will always get ripped off in the end, even in cases where it will predictably inspire the players to hunt the little backstabber down and kick their ass.
That only happened a couple of times, and it ended badly for all involved.
  • Grudge Monster. Non-planned monster/adversary a gamemaster secretly puts into the adventure after the players piss him off. The alarming tendency of gamemasters to use these could also be called the Primoscene Law. See also the Assamite Law.
This happens in almost every game, because in almost every game the players, whoever they are, manage to piss the GM off, whoever he/she is.


  • Honest John's Law. Anything the player characters obtain that seems too good to be true IS too good to be true - it can never just be simply what it appeared or was advertised to be, with no hidden drawbacks.
I experienced this one first hand. Let's just say you shouldn't stick your eyeball up against all things made for the purpose of looking through, however bored you might be.


  • Kull Effect / Kullism. When gamers in medieval fantasy games play heavy metal or alternative music during the game. (So named for Kull The Conqueror and its not-entirely-appropriate metal soundtrack.)
I plead the 5th.

  • Mode: Foot Bullet. Any period where the gamemaster has presented a not-entirely-logical puzzle and lets the frustrated players stumble around for hours without being even close to the solution. Most of these involve finding some kind of secret door, and are colored by increasingly bizarre and/or stupid actions as the players become more and more desperate.

Hours? Try days. This happened one legendary time, an event which nearly resulted in the death of the GM.

  • Monkey's Paw Rule. When players get wishes, the gamemaster will make every attempt to pervert the wording of the wish into something harmful (usually by interpreting the wish as literally as possible). Legendarily true in D&D games. This often leads to players taking several minutes (and multiple breaths) to recite a once-simple wish, in order to close every possible loophole that could screw them. (Example: "I wish for a Girdle Of Storm Giant Strength that doesn't have a storm giant or anything else already in it and that doesn't already belong to someone else and that isn't cursed and that I will receive immediately and that will remain in my possession and not just vanish or disintegrate or whatever [inhale] and that..." ad nauseum.)

Deadly, deadly true. The opposite is also true, where a GM say, requires you to wish for something in a certain rhyme, and only two other words in the English language rhyme with a crucial word of that rhyme, one of them being the word "fire" and the other being "mire." You can imagine how that went.

  • Railroading. Any time the gamemaster will not allow players to deviate from the adventure's one set path or even make their own decisions. Campaigns with heavy railroading offer few draws over CRPGs or (for that matter) the multitudes of solo game books that proliferated during the 80's.

SO true. See my post on GM Hell for how to deal with this.

And lastly:

  • TSR Apostate Rule. Gamers who swear that TSR's games were the worst games imaginable will nevertheless reminisce about them anyway.

I don't even understand this. TSR games ("Top Secret" anyone?) were awesome!

2 comments:

Nat-Wu said...

They have a life! It's called gaming! Jeez, get a clue, girl.

Xanthippas said...

It's a fake life, but a life nonetheless.