Monday, 28 February 2011

My "Friendly" Local Gaming Store (FLGS)

I dropped by my local store this evening with hopes of getting involved in a game of D&D, this would be my first time attempting to do so at this particular store. Read on for my experience, but I imagine you'll have an idea from this image...

 I knew the store was involved with the D&D Encounters program in the past after stopping by to pick up some dice and having a chat with the owner a little while ago. Role-play nights at the store being Mondays & Saturdays (and being in the UK, and therefore likely to be a little behind on such a program,) I reckoned I had a fair chance of getting a game. Unfortunately this wasn't the case, the Monday game was now full, but if one of the players was getting a call back on a job interview in the next week or so, I might get a place then. The Saturday game was now a Living Forgotten Realms event and played elsewhere, truthfully I don't think I'll be giving up my Saturday night, they seemed like a decent sort but I don't think we would be on the same wave length when it comes to D&D. The number of Yu-Gi-Oh players kind of gives me the impression this isn't my type of store at all, I may have even dodged a bullet. Still I was a little disappointed not to be able to play, especially since tomorrow I'll be starting my new campaign and wanted to get in the player shoes for a change. But this disappointment was nothing compared to the awkwardness of the wait for the D&D players to arrive.

Blanked by the Yu-Gi-Oh crew, not that I cared I had a flick through a few of the newer D&D books. Then the epic level lurker struck. Straight out of Royston Vasey; balding with missing teeth and a lazy eye. The kind that stares at you psychopathically after he recites one of his pre-memorized speeches on how Alien revitalized the horror genre, waiting for the impressed look on your face. I tried politely to break the conversation several times he wasn't having it, he went on to describe the attack mechanics of Travellers Strontium Dog. Then he actually asked me a question regarding what games I play, I told him I'd be running a 4E D&D game tomorrow, I expected him to make some snide remark but surprisingly he asked me a little more about who I'd be running for. I said a bunch of first time role-players, a couple of whom are interested in MMORPGs so I thought 4E would work well. He then picked up a book pointed at a stat block and preceded to tell me the exact same thing in his own words... When he told me his last two characters died because of mistakes printed in the adventure modules I was in two minds; either his DM is a really smart guy, or this guy is just plain ignorant. At that point the D&D players showed up, saved by the bell, although I didn't get the game I wanted, it was a very, very, welcome escape.

I know this hobby does attract some, how can I put this politely, eccentric individuals. But this is a social game, where everyone is meant work together to have fun, these overly competitive, socially inept types who get there kicks from lording themselves over other people drive me crazy. Although the people who go to these clubs/ gaming stores week after week to feed their egos are just as bad in my books. I certainly won’t be going back.

I wonder how many people have problems finding compatible gaming groups outside of their normal circle of friends and how welcoming most Local Gaming Stores really are?