Some People Should Not Be Given This Kind Of Power

, , , , , , | Friendly | October 4, 2020

A long time ago, I play-tested tabletop game systems with a group of friends. This tabletop, which didn’t end up getting popular, was based on an old Japanese cartoon about kids who get pulled into a Digital World and each character gets a companion creature.

The game rules say that the player to your right plays as your companion creature, to aid in role-playing. The game master, a long-time friend, has asked us all to make detailed backstories he can use for side-quests and specifically requires that we only play adult characters.

It’s important to note that I’m an intersex man who likes women only. Because I was born intersex, I have a “child-like” voice despite being an adult man, and I appear more feminine. During character creation, I’m talking to the game master.

Me: “My character is a retired police officer. He retired young. He’d say it was ‘from an injury’ if asked, but it was more that he failed to save someone and got wounded in the process. It messed with his head. I’m hoping to maybe have a side-quest where he gets to save someone as a kind of redemption, maybe?”

Game Master: “Nah. You can’t use that.”

Me: “Why not? Is it too edgy? If so, that’s fair. I can tone it down.” 

Game Master: “No, I mean, that’s fine for a character theme. But you can’t play him because you aren’t an actual guy.”

I try to not be offended, since most people don’t understand what I am.

Me: “So, because I sound like a girl, even though I’m not, I can’t play as a man?”

Game Master: *Oblivious* “Yeah, and that backstory wouldn’t make sense for a female cop so… change it. She could be the person who didn’t get saved, so she got messed up scars and daddy issues from it or something. Yeah, daddy issues.”

I decide I don’t want to make waves and begrudgingly accept this. Then it’s the turn of [Male Player], seated to my right.

Male Player: “My character is from America on vacation. She’s a social-media model type who unironically says stuff like ‘Yolo’ and uses duck face for pictures. She keeps falling for all the wrong guys, all across the world.”

Game Master: “No, you can’t play a girl. And boys don’t get famous as models like that. The closest I’ll allow is your character is a guy who is an unemployed weeaboo who used the last of his money to go to Japan and he lives in an Internet cafe.”

Male Player: *Disappointed but polite* “Oh. Okay. I guess that’s fine.”

Game Master: “So, my character is an internationally-acclaimed super genius who also does bodybuilding…”

The Game Master’s character is a complete Mary Sue, in short. Almost every player is forced to change their character in a major way. During the course of the campaign, my character’s companion pet is, for lack of better wording, a walking, talking gun that I’ll call Gun-Mon, short for gun-monster.

The characters end up finding an anomalous/suspicious place with a Hotel-California-esque vibe. After some debate, the party decides we are willing to risk it, in exchange for comfy beds and a hot shower.

Game Master: “The hotel has four rooms, but there are seven characters.”

Male Player: “So, since there are four girls and three boys, that’s easy. Two rooms for chicks and two rooms for dudes.”

Me: “Yeah, my character is fine going with [Girl #1].”

Game Master: *Balking* “Uh, no. Your character is going with mine.”

The Game Master basically assigns every room to have a male and female character in it, based upon his preferred ships.

Me: “No, that would be out of character. My character wouldn’t want to be in a room alone with some guy she barely knows.”

Game Master: *Frustrated sigh* “Fine, I’ll roll for it. My character will convince yours to go into the same hotel room.”

He makes a big show of rolling the dice but cups it before any of us can see what it says.

Game Master: “I win. Move your character token to Hotel Room One.”

Me: “No. That’s still too out of character, even if she feels safe around him.”

The Game Master rolls eyes and acts like he didn’t hear me.

Game Master: “So, anyway, you are in Hotel Room One. My character undresses to sleep naked.”

Me: “Uh, no. My character wants no part of this and would rather sleep outside. She especially wouldn’t stay in a room with a naked man, since you insisted she’s traumatized by her past.”

Game Master: “Well, Gun-Mon says it’s okay.”

Male Player: “Hey, you can’t control Gun-Mon! I’m to his right, so I play Gun-Mon for roleplaying.”

Game Master: “UGH! FINE!”

Male Player: *As Gun-Mon* “I help my master sneak out of the hotel room, since the Game Master’s character went to sleep.”

Game Master: “I didn’t say I went to sleep. I said I got ready to sleep! And my character won’t let you leave the room because I already rolled for it. I won. You have to stay.”

Male Player: *As Gun-Mon* “I say, ‘You didn’t convince me of anything! Get away from the door and away from my master or I’ll shoot your tail off!’ to the Game Master’s character.”

Understandably, since the Game Master character is human, this sentence causes some giggling. This makes the Game Master super angry.

Game Master: “This is stupid. You’re discriminating against me!”

Me: “How?”

Game Master: “I have [a disease known for causing complications with libido] so it’s bigotted of you to refuse to entertain me!”

Me: “Did… Did you ever think that I’d be interested in you? Did you forget we met through my wife? My wife, you know, who is sitting on my left side and is playing this game with us, right now? With everybody around us? With your own actual bias against gay people?”

Game Master: “Lesbians don’t count. And you’re a woman.”

Male Player: *Gasp* “Dude, what the heck?! Can’t you get the hint and stop?! I thought that interfering to play Gun-Mon might make you snap out of it. Just drop it.”

Me: *Sigh* “Good thing I’m not lesbian or a woman, then. Sorry, [Male Player]. I think I’m gonna call it for the night. You can take my character sheet for now. Just don’t let me get killed if you keep playing tonight.”

My wife and I left as other players started arguing with the Game Master on our behalf. I didn’t go back to play again, but I found out that most of the other players stopped that night, too. It came out that the Game Master was sending inappropriate pictures to the actual lesbian in the group, so the entire game ended. After that, I only got messages from the Game Master when he wanted to talk about his physical “needs,” until I blocked him. Sadly, I haven’t gotten a chance to play since then.

Oh, and if my old group recognizes all this, I hope the Game Master has gotten the help he needs to recognize how wrong his behavior was!

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She Had An Ace In The Hole: Her LIES

, , , , , , | Working | September 28, 2020

My friends and I go to Las Vegas for the weekend. While there, we decide to play some blackjack, so we find a blackjack table.

The dealer deals us our cards. Her up card is an eight. After we all make our decisions, the dealer turns over her down card — a nine — giving her a hard seventeen. At first, since we all have between eighteen and twenty, we think we win, since the table’s rule is that the dealer stands on any seventeen. However, the dealer then draws another card — a four — giving her a twenty-one.

Dealer: “You lose!”

Me: “You cannot draw on seventeen! It says, ‘Dealer stands on seventeen,’ right on the table!”

Dealer: *Snotty tone* “Sorry, I make the rules at this table!”

Friend #1: “Just leave it, [My Name]. Let’s just do another round.”

She deals us another hand. Her up card is an ace this time.

Dealer: “Would anyone like to make an insurance bet?”

We all decide to make the bet.

Dealer: “Nope, no ten-value card. You lose your insurance bet!”

Welp. It was worth a try. We continue regardless and make our decisions. She turns over her down card — a king.

Dealer: *Smug grin* “You lose!”

Friend #3: “You said you didn’t have a ten-value card!”

Dealer: “Well, I lied.”

Friend #2: “You can’t do that! We want our money back!”

Dealer: *Snottily* “My table, my rules. You’re not getting your money back.”

Me: “That’s it. We’re done here.”

We got up and went to management to complain. Upon hearing our complaints, they told us we weren’t the first patrons she had pulled this stunt on. After investigating the security footage to confirm it, they refunded us our money and apologized for the incident, assuring us she would no longer be a problem. We ended up playing poker and roulette for the rest of our time there. At one point, on my way to the restroom, I saw the now-fired dealer being dragged out by security, kicking and screaming. We still go to this casino whenever we go to Vegas, but we no longer play blackjack.

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Their Knowledge Is Very (DS) Lite

, , , , , | Right | September 22, 2020

It is 2013. A customer has come in to trade in a Nintendo DS Lite and several games. I am finishing up his transaction.

Customer: “So, this is a PS3, right?”

Me: “What is, sir?”

Customer: “This thing that I’m trading in. Isn’t it a PS3?”

Me: “No, sir, this is a Nintendo DS.”

Customer: “Oh. The PS3 is the latest version, then.”

Me: “You’re thinking of the 3DS. The PS3 is the large black system over there.”

Customer: “Oh, so, that one that says it comes with The Walking Dead and is $199 is the 3DS?”

Me: “That’s the PlayStation Vita. The 3DS is the one above it.”

Customer: “Oh. What’s the Vita?”

Me: “It’s the handheld gaming system from Sony that—”

Customer: *Cutting me off* “Do you think I should get one?”

Please, if you don’t know what something is, don’t just spend $200 on it.

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A Fantasy Epic For The Ages

, , , , , | Right | September 10, 2020

I used to work for a customer support line for a large fantasy MMORPG (Massively-Multiplayer-Online Role-Playing Game). To date, this one call I received is the craziest, most epic, most unbelievable-but-true customer experience I have ever received.

A man calls in saying he is having “connectivity issues.” I check his account and his character name already indicates he is going to be a character. It is something like LaDyKiLlEr69, with the studly caps and innuendos included.

Caller: “Yeah, so, I can’t find anyone.”

Me: “So you can’t see other people on the server?”

Caller: “No, I can see other players, but I can’t find my friends. Fix it.”

His tone is blunt and demanding but nothing I can’t handle. I check a few more things and see nothing wrong with his connection, and our service is running fine.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t find anything that could be causing your issue. Have you tried resetting the—”

The caller interrupts with a laborious sigh.

Caller: “Listen, dear.”

He does not call me “dear” with endearment.

Me: “Maybe one of your man-agers can handle me from now on. Go fetch one.”

He emphasizes the “man” part of “manager.”

Me: “Sir, I… I am going to login to the game as an admin right now. That way I will see you and your avatar in-game and might better be able to assess the situation.” 

Caller: “Be quick. My friends were talking about doing a raid today and I always carry them through. They can’t win without me.”

I log in and “see” his avatar for the first time. If you’re picturing a frat-boy douchebag named Chad or Brock, well… then you know what he intentionally made his in-game avatar look like. It’s a fantasy world where you can be multiple creatures and genders, with impossible hair and clothing, and he chose to be Chad. 

Not one to dwell too much on preference, I start trying to diagnose his issue. Suddenly, he’s screaming on the phone.

Caller: “There he is! You fixed it! Hey! Come back, f***er!”

Me: “Sir, I—” 

Caller: “I said come back, you r****d!”

I realize he is not talking to me, but to another player’s avatar. I see Chad69 chase down this other player through a part of the game. My omniscient admin-avatar feels compelled to follow.

Caller: “Hey! Why aren’t you talking to me?!”

Me: “Sir, are you talking to me?”

Caller: “Yes, you idiot! I can see my friends but they can’t see or hear me! What did you do to me?! Did you make me invisible, you b****?!”

Me: “Sir, that is not within my power. I think the problem may be—”

Caller: “They’re going into the raid! Oh, f***, they’re all gonna die without me! I have to follow!”

I suspect I finally know what might be happening here. I identify the player that my caller is talking about and check their logs. When players sign up to the game they sign a terms and conditions document that says admins have access to their in-game party chats, so I am allowed to do this.

This other player has been having a conversation with their party in a party-chat. I am a fast reader so I review.

Other Player #1: “Oh, crap. He found me.”

Other Player #2: “I told you we should have all migrated to a different server; he was bound to bump into us.”

Other Player #1: “What do I do? I can’t just keep ignoring him.”

Other Player #3: “Why not? He’ll get the hint soon enough. I know he’s slow but we’ve made it pretty obvious we don’t want him around anymore.”

Other Player #1: “Yeah, but he’s literally chasing me.”

Other Player #2: “Teleport out when you get out of the city.”

I am about to go back to the call to let this guy (who is still shouting at his ex-friends, ignoring me on the phone) know that when it comes to the game, it’s not us, it’s him, but then something is said later in this group chat that catches my attention.

Other Player #3: “That f*** took all my loot in [Raid] and said it was because he carried us through it. Deluded idiot kept getting his a** killed every minute and blaming me for not healing him fast enough! He did not know how to apply buffs to himself; he just runs in and charges!”

Other Player #2: “Well, how about we take him with us this time?”

Other Player #3: “No way in h***.”

Other Player #2: “Listen, let’s bring him along and…”

They start concocting a plan for revenge. The following things happen in quick succession: I end the call with The Chad, explaining that I have helped him find his friends. He grunts and hangs up with all the gratitude of a cat in a bathtub. I then take a quick break and remain logged in, munching the virtual popcorn, knowing what is about to happen. 

The other players welcome The Chad back into their fold and endure his condescending, often misogynistic and racist comments for a while. I witness them start their raid, which involves infiltrating an old castle and defeating some dragons.

True to their earlier description, The Chad is a TERRIBLE player. He plays an attacking type but has zero sense of strategy or defense. He keeps barking demeaning orders to his teammates to heal him and keep him alive while he just hacks and slashes.

The other three players just stand there… doing nothing.

He dies, quickly.

None of them heal him. The three then dispatch the dragon easily and quickly, because they know how to work as a team, even with a man down. Then they approach the fallen body of The Chad, who is hurling insults at them about not healing him and how they failed him.

Then all three characters start dancing; there are many fun downloadable animations in the game. All three start dancing over the fallen Chad, then squatting over his face, then dancing a little more.

They then all simply quit the raid and unfriend him again, leaving him dead on the floor. He eventually signs himself out, surprisingly silent. 

On my last day in that job, I quickly logged into his account to see any updates, only to realize he hadn’t logged in again since that day. I guess even in a fantasy land, you can’t be a racist, misogynistic jerk!

This story is part of our Best Of September 2020 roundup!

Read the next story in the Best Of September 2020 roundup!

Read the Best Of September 2020 roundup!

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Not So Hot On The Hotspot, Part 2

, , , , , , | Friendly | CREDIT: noobisle1 | September 5, 2020

Whist on annual leave during the summer holidays, we take the kids out to the countryside. It is a beautiful day and we decide to stop and have a few drinks and lunch in a pub.

While my seventeen-year-old daughter is very sociable and quite happy to sit in a pub garden enjoying the sunshine, my twelve-year-old son isn’t. He is autistic and actively avoids social situations, even with family, and hates to have his routine disrupted.

However, we have found that as long as he has access to his games through his phone or tablet he will stay relatively happy as he can zone out.

My wife, daughter, and I sit in a picnic-type pub while table my son plonks himself on a bench nearby and proceeds to play his games. We have been sat in the pub garden for an hour or so when a couple of women come into the garden with three children and sit themselves in the shade next to the pub. No biggie, as we are at the top (sunny) end of the garden.

After about twenty minutes, the mother of the three children approaches my son.

Woman: *Demanding tone* “Are you playing online? My son cannot access the pub Wi-Fi.”

The signal is poor in the garden area.

Son: *Nervously* “Yes.”

He holds up the mobile Wi-Fi device he is using.

Woman: “What’s that?”

I respond as my son is now showing signs of elevated anxiety.

Me: “It’s a mobile Wi-Fi device so he can play his games.”

Woman: “How do I connect to it? My son needs to play his games!”

Me: “I’m afraid you can’t. There is limited data on it and it is for my son’s use.”

Woman: “But my son can’t play his games.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but that’s not my problem.”

Woman: “But why should your son be able to play his games and not my son?”

Daughter: “Because we brought a mobile device and you didn’t.”

Gotta love my daughter!

Me: “As I said, it’s for my son’s use and there is limited data on it. End of.”

The woman then stomps back to her table in a huff and we think nothing more of it. 

I have to point out that even if she had asked politely, I would have still said no as the range on the thing is pretty poor which meant her son would have had to sit near my son to use it. This would have only raised my son’s anxiety levels and he would not have been happy.

About ten minutes later, she shouts across the garden in a rather jubilant tone.

Woman: “Ha! I’ve managed to connect to your device!”

Me: “I doubt that, since you haven’t got the password.”

Woman: “I don’t need it; I have put my own in.”

I’m like, “Whatever; there’s no way she connected to it.” We carry on chatting for another hour before getting up to leave. As we pass her table, she demands to know.

Woman: “Why is your service provider charging me for data?”

Me: “They’re not; you were never connected to my device.”

Woman: “Yes, they are… look!”

She thrusts her phone in my face.

Me: “I’m not with [Provider]… but I assume you are?”

I do not stay any longer and am not prepared to “discuss” the situation with her.

Daughter: “She probably selected personal hotspot option, thinking it was our device, from her own device but there was not enough data available. When she entered her password it was to purchase additional data!”

Not So Hot On The Hotspot

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