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Bezimus Prime

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  1. H.B.M.C. said: Hmm... I did not expect that. Last night, a good friend of mine and one of the players in our group wrote me a 7200 word essay explaining in great detail how he was washing his hands of all 40K related RPGs and, more to the point, how he blamed me for everything and how the manner in which I was running our campaign was 'utterly catastrophic' (his words). Now, all of us in the group (aside from one long-time D&D vet) are new to RPG's in general, and Dark Heresy is our first RPG, so I am certainly not above reproach. To that end I went and canvassed the rest of my players this morning with a simple question: Are you enjoying the DH campaign? The rest of them replied quite quickly (some within minutes), all with an emphatic "yes". Some even elaborated further, stating how they liked where their characters were going, the way they've developed them from their start, and how they liked having more things to look forward to. Now the player who has left won't be coming back - I know that none of us will be able to convince him and I'm certainly not about to waste my breath trying to make him come back - but I was interested if this has ever happened to any of you guys (40K RPG or otherwise)? And I'm not just talking about someone dropping out of a campaign - as there are many real life issues for doing so - but more about someone who not only drops out, but also burns every bridge on the way through, using his exit as a way of personally attacking the GM and putting every single thing that he didn't like on their shoulders. I've always been about people getting out what the put into an RPG, and that seems to have worked for me the 4 other players, so is this a case of some gross error on my part that all of us (bar him) missed, or is this a case of a person coming into a game with a specific line of thinking on how the game should be played and failing to adapt when it did not meet his own sensibilities? BYE Hello H.B.M.C. and the Dark Heresy forums in general. It is true that not everyone will be a fit for every group or for every campaign or for every game system. I've had players leave games I've been running or co-running for 'non-compatibility' issues in the past, and have had to ask people modify their behaviour or when that failed to no longer attend for the sake of the enjoyment of the rest of the group. It happens; you can’t be everything to everyone. As others have already discussed, getting feedback from your players is good. I especially like the suggestions to use questions that require them to give with more than one word answers. However, there are a couple of points about your situation that are a little unusual from my perspective that I haven’t seen anyone raise, so I thought I might make some comments. Firstly, unless your friend is prone to writing verbose replies to simple situations, writing a 7200 word “I quit” letter does seem to indicate that your friend had some very strong feelings about the whole situation. As you describe him as a good friend, you might need to do some work patching the friendship up. Not to get him to come back to the game, but just to make sure a friendship that existed prior to the game isn’t destroyed by a game. The fact that the situation managed to provoke such a strong response does merit an examination of the situation. Going from what’s you’ve told us so far, a couple of scenarios come to mind. The first thing that I can think of that could cause a problem is the themes and plot of your game may not have sat well with your friend. The fact that you said that he doesn’t want anything to do with 40K RPGs makes me think that this could be a possibility. You may have accidently hit one or more of your friends ‘squick-buttons’ with the content of your games. If you had touched on topics like torture or abuse, you may have inadvertently triggered an unpleasant emotional response in your friend. The whole ‘grim dark’ setting of the 40K universe has some very nasty corners that you need to be careful around. The other possibility, related to your statement that he commented on how you were running the campaign, is that there might be something in the group dynamics, either between you and the player in question, between you and all the players, or between the players. Did your friend feel there was any favouritism going on? Was he not getting along well with any of the other players? Was someone eating all his snacks before he had any (I’ve had that one happen)? Was he being talked over by others at the table? It would be worth looking at that epic essay to see if there are any specific questions that you need to ask your other players to see check that they aren’t also having a problem with, and to see if there is anything that you think could be a useful change to how you run things. But at the end of the day, if everyone else is happy with how things are going, then you’ll just have to chalk it up to a learning experience and move on, hopefully with your friendship still intact.