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How To Not Organize Your RPG Community
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mr Favorite Edition's store is a place of myth and legend I have only visited once, but if you want the full story I'll give it to you. It's not precisely exciting but I suppose it has it's moments.

Hi, I'm Opening A Game Store!
One day at the big monthly board game club Mr Favorite Edition is there wearing a promotional T-Shirt and pushing his awesome new game store instead of playing games. Which all in all is a positive considering if you ran accross it, the "How games of Twilight Imperium go with Mr Favourite Edition" that I mentioned in some random thread around here about whether breaking deals in games was a good idea or not.

To Summarize Mr Favourite Edition's TI play style

Step 1) For the purposes of "strategy" he will decide to take the seat or position at the board that is next to Phonelobster, and anyone else he can identify as "the weakest player".

Step 2) He will beg and wheedle a "peace treaty" with both his neighbors. If you attempt to suggest ANY terms to the peace treaty. Like say. A border. Or you know, anything. "yeah yeah whatever I'm not even listening". Phonelobster (who is talking about himself in the third person today) will agree because not going to war as much as possible is a key to winning TI, but for some reason he will be skeptical and a bit pissed off. The other neighbor will agree to peace because this is the first time they have played TI, because that's the other type of neighbor this guy targets.

Step 3) He will amass a vast armada on or inside of the area Phonelobster tried to market out as a border or demilitarized zone as the one fundamental requirement of having a peace treaty. Typically the armada is built mostly out of gigantic cost inefficient biggest ships in the game ships that he rushes the tech for without hesitation every game at the expense of EVERYTHING else. If he even fills their carry capacity with fighter chaff as you would if you weren't an ass it's unusual. Instead he just gets MOAR WAR SUNS.

Step 4) When faced with the demand that "stop that obvious bullshit or the treaty is over". He will whine and whine about how there was never any agreement about a border/not placing a vast warfleet within one move of your home system/etc... (even though that is largely because at the start of the game he just yells out "peace treaty!" then sticks his fingers in his ears and goes "lalalalala I can't hear you"). He will accuse you of inciting war by asking him to stop doing that in order to keep the peace.

Step 5) Phonelobster, not being a total ass, has the resources available to build an adequite (and far more cost efficient) early game fleet. Or pull it in from a distributed placement elsewhere. This comes as a vast shock to Mr Favourite eddition who has no fucking clue where the fleet came from because he didn't notice that Phonelobster had say, six or ten ships within move range because they were all spread out in ones or twos, or because he didn't notice that lobster was sitting on a Production strategy card had unused stardocks within move range of his invasion fleet, and the worlds largest pile of cash trade goods.

Step 6) He is utterly surprised when Phonelobster's "mystery" defense fleet of approximately similar or lower cost with more efficient early game ship composition choices and better buffing techs instead of expensive basic tech requirements fights to a (costly, this is TI) victory. "But how can MOAR WAR SUNS (and maybe like two fighters and whatever shit he starts with and cannot unbuy for MOAR WAR SUNS) possibly be beaten? HOW?"

Step 7) Constantly builds MOAR WAR SUNS (or whatever the biggest ship his now shattered economy can build) and throws his shrinking fleets again and again at Phonelobster in an endless war that drags us both down into defeat. Though Phonelobster pretty reliably comes out ahead of Favorite Edition guy in the only things which count (literally) in the form of Victory Points. Though that isn't saying much since Favourite Edition is usually lucky if he has more than ZERO of those.

Step 8) Accuse phonelobster of destroying them both in a senseless war of aggression because phonelobster is just incapable of keeping a peace treaty.

Step 9) Then admit he was trying to invade phonelobster to meet a minor victory condition and he "had to do it" even though... no he didn't, and even if you do the way you do that if you have half a fucking brain in TI is to wait for an opportunity during later game chaos when surprise victory condition fulfillment is more valuable anyway, and simply advancing in a bee line directly towards your neighbours home planet with a fleet of MOAR WAR SUNS flying white flags and yelling "PEACE TREATY!" out the window is arguably the most insanely ineffective and stupid way of doing it possible.

Step 10) Complain that this happens EVERY GAME.

While doing this during what is a fucking LONG and complex board game he will ALSO constantly walk away to talk fucking bullshit to his buds who aren't playing (ideally interrupting OTHER games to do so) constantly leaving the table waiting for his turn and constantly missing really basic shit like "phonelobster just got a giant pile of cash and openly admitted it was largely to build the 'secret surprise' defensive fleet he was about to need whenever Favourite Edition Guy managed to get back to the table and take his fucking turn".

If he even smells a wiff of a game of TI he will turn up and try to muscle his way in, regardless of whether he has time to play it or even any inclination to sit in the chair next to it for more than 30seconds at a time.

And anyway that is why it's good when he doesn't play games so the shop promotion thing was a good thing.

... and... Why It's A Bad Thing
He is aggressively promoting it, and he has managed to get the OTHER local board gaming club. The one who's members are all also members of this board gaming club, but who's organisers have been fueding with the (better) club since they both simultaneously appeared and the guy running the (lesser other) club got really offended that the random board gaming public preferred to meet in the early afternoon in a community hall on a saturday once a month rather than in the shonky walled in veranda of his backwoods house in the sticks after dark on a seemingly randomly selected number and timing of Saturday nights.

Well. I'm only guessing that's why they were feuding, otherwise it can only be something even stupider than that.

Anyway THAT club has gained some success after receiving some charitable assistance from community members (sometimes literally, the Salvation Army has in fact directly had a hand in this).

And THAT club has now decided to become some sort of completely incestuous and corrupt arm of Favorite Edition guy's store. What with Deliverance Banjo House Man and Favorite Edition guy being such good buddies. And now they have a place they can meet that people aren't terrified of (though they should be, see the location section). And they meet there all the time (or so I hear) because Favorite Edition guy want's people in his store all the damn time for obvious reasons.

This, aggressive marketing, the gaming fatigue caused by it, the usual winter lull, a change of lead management at the better club to buddies of Banjo Man and Favourite Edition guys buddies (and resulting failures to open the hall on time, take fees, and you know, basically function reliably) and probably also the economy and gypsy curse is shrinking the better gaming club substantially.

And yet despite all the shrinking numbers Favorite Edition guy will appear at EVERY FUCKING CLUB MEET, he will not play any game. He will instead spend all his time trying to convince anyone he can to come to his store instead, and barring that stands there chatting with his buddy the guy who is mostly seemingly in charge of the now not so better gaming club since he is the one who MIGHT open the hall up and MIGHT take your membership money if you slap him in the face with a wad of cash hard enough.

And that is why this store increasingly seems to be a bad thing for any part of the local gaming community that doesn't want to play in a commercial rather than actual community venue. Which anyone not in the inner city will want to because...

His store is located in a fucking stupid place
The better gaming club holds it's events at a community hall in a suburb with easy access to inner Newcastle, but also central to major roads that give just as easy access to all of the Maitland, Cessnock, Kurri, Outer Newcastle, Lake and Toronto areas, and basically the whole fucking region is like MAYBE 30 minutes drive from this place. It's that god damn well placed.

This store is in the (former) main commercial business district in the deep deep inner city area.

Favorite Edition put his store there because it was the only place he could buy up super cheap on five minutes notice when he suddenly decided overnight to do this.

THE REASON you can buy super cheap (somewhat dilapidated) store space in this region is because as far as a CBD goes IT IS A FUCKING GHOST TOWN.

It is a ghost town for several reasons.
1) Traffic is abysmal.
2) The "old" inner city of Newcastle is highly inaccessible and, with the exception of inner city Newcastle and the suburb the better gaming club's hall is in it is at least an hour from everywhere else in the fucking region.
3) The local council's "Solution" to traffic and parking issues was to introduced some of the most insanely punitive and just plain non-functional parking meters I have ever seen.
4) It (somehow) remains a party district well known for trashy prostitution and roving gangs of puking pissing drunken thugs who beat the fuck out of drunker passers by as a form of late night recreation. I mean violence aside, this is a shopping district where all the clothes stores and bookshops and such (you know, back when it had them) used to have to stick a garden hose on and hose their store fronts and surrounding streets down to get all the puke and piss off before business hours started on any weekend, holiday or random given day of the week.

So yeah. It's in a fucking stupid location. So even if you don't care that it's a private shop run by a sorta sleazy bastard good luck even fucking getting there, and good luck getting back out without ending up in serious parking fine debt, covered in puke and piss or beaten by roves of drunken thugs.

Still I suppose it is conveniently located TO THE FUCKING BROTHEL THE VERY NEXT DOOR DOWN.

Though in all seriousness come to think of it that IS convenient and perhaps I should take advantage of that brothel some day. You know. If I find myself in that store again. Which. Oddly. I find the thought of as somewhat more icky and kinda shameful than just going there straight up for the brothel.

Hell. Frighteningly enough the presence of this store next to the brothel is actually likely to make me less likely to experiment with visiting that brothel.

Is this store going bankrupt?
Oh wow, I hope so.

I mean this guy DID establish it with borrowed money during the greatest economic crisis of our times in a dying ghost town CBD with no access to the greater region, no parking, violent roaming gangs and a brothel next door.

On the other hand it is part of some sort of growing chain franchise that is taking over all surviving gaming store fronts on the east coast of Australia, you know, before the internet finishes them all once and for all, and has cheap and good prices (on most but not all astock), and as Favourite Edition Guy said when I said to him "Aren't you I dunno, worried at all?"...

"No I am not worried, no (franchise) store has ever gone bankrupt or even shut!".

Within less than a week of him saying that the next nearest (franchise) gaming store to our region was broken into, robbed of some magic cards, went bankrupt and shut.

The tiny obstacle of having any assets, theft insurance, customers, or anything other than large debts apparently making a notable but only partial theft of their stock the straw that broke the starving desert mouses back.

Though it DID have a much better location.

On the other hand there are this guys business and management credentials...

So Favourite Edition Guy is a MASSIVE conservative asshole when it comes to politics. Why is this important?

Well because as far as I'm aware he has done basically two things previously in his life. Worked as part of the Liberal Party election campaigning apparatus (he claims personal credit for John Howard's entire career as prime minister, after all he only lost the election when THIS ONE GUY was too busy to campaign, and on that note, I hope this stupid store never closes, oh the sacrifices I make for my country...).

And he has worked directly for the government in some sort of capacity as a welfare officer. Presumably getting that job under the basis of his past as a viciously fanatical political agent during John Howards great project to transform the agency and gather every sneering turd in Australia under the roof of a single government agency so they could all make receiving basic welfare as insanely uncomfortable and difficult as possible for the poor and the disabled.

Then. As a strong believer in conservative self bootstrapping values and so on he retired from being a welfare officer onto welfare for his disability of I dunno, bad lungs and knowing the right people from his former career or something.

Then still a strong believer in conservative "I built that" self bootstrapping he decided to open this store using a government small business loan because "fuck it whatever, I may as well, it's basically free".

Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)

My One Trip To The Store
So. One day in summer, I'm back from delivery to Sydney. I'm bored. My social life is in a slump (well, it so often is, but a slump within the standard slumpyness). I'm sick of the heavy work routine of the busy part of my year (in my nearly totally non-IT related self employed career... which DOES by pure chance still manage to use my fucking actual 'photo-shop' credentials THANK YOU VERY MUCH).

I know a friend of mine is gonna be at this new store like all day. And another is probably going to drop in. So fuck it. I decide to go and see how bad it could possibly be.

I drive a bit more than an hour through the summer heat, leaving rather later than would be convenient in many respects so as to avoid the parking meter period. I find like the only good easy to get a space in and not on a dangerous busy road parking area nearby. Which is under trees which I (in my fully credentialed role as a horticulturalist) know will drop vast amounts of rotting incredibly sticky rubbery moldy gum all of the cars parked beneath them for some fair portion of the year. (Score! One of the best parking spots in the area!).

I wait in my car like ten extra minutes just to get completely past the parking meter period. Why? Because my LAST experience out here with parking meters, I was visiting the terribly located comic shop, not the terribly located brothel, I swear, involved a parking meter that instead of increasing time with the insertion of coins merely produced randomly generated numbers. And when I got back to my car within 8 minutes of the expiration of the largest random number I could make it generate (but WELL within the time I ACTUALLY paid for) I had already been fined for a rather substantial amount of money.

I go to his store. It's reasonably busy, the board games are mostly cheap, the selection of "soft drinks that were priced at the 'buy em or we throw them out no one drinks this shit anyway'" prices at the local super market were over priced, people were playing games.

The store space itself was mildly big. The flooring/carpetting was basically a partially torn up mish mash of incomplete whatever that was left after they tore out the internal partitions of whatever the fuck business starved on the same location however many years ago that this place was last occupied. The furniture, shelves chairs and tables, looked suspiciously like the somewhat random assortment of kinda crappy stuff you would find piled up on the sides of the road if you went for a long drive around a moderately disadvantaged suburb during the lead up to a local council bulk rubbish pick up day and just grabbed, I dunno, whatever may as well it's basically free.

Now I'll leave the beginning to the end and mention the end. I leave the store, relatively earlier than many others and it is still relatively busy with various people I know from the community playing games on tiny tables that appear to have been looted from a 1980's 1st year public primary school class room.

Favourite Edition guy sees me leaving and saying some goodbyes to some friends and brings the WHOLE store (you know, my couple of friends, Banjo guy, everything) to silence to yell loudly out across the store and bring hefty attention onto me saying "THANK YOU ESPECIALLY MUCH FOR COMING IT'S BEEN SO GREAT YOU'VE JUST MADE MY DAY". EVERY fucker in the store turns to me for some god damn reason, I dunno, possibly because I am like the only guy all day ever that he has done this with, and so I'm all like.... what? ", okaaaay... I might drop in some day and buy your cheap settlers sets?". I probably won't. If I need any settlers of Catan sets, or prostitution services, I might try the internet first.

And now to finish big with my entry to the store.

My friend was there I say "So... that place next door, it's like one of the I dunno, three of the more infamous brothels on this street isn't it?"

And he is like "Wanna join this big game of Twilight Imperium we are playing, we are only a turn or two in and that guy there who hasn't played ever before needs to go, you can replace him!"

I carefully and secretly check to note that Favourite Edition guy seems to be safely paying no attention to the game whatever to the TI game, seeing him instead busy chatting completely boring rambling bullshit with possible customers.

I sit down and try to get up to speed with goings on during what appears to be a bit of a lull in game play for some reason.

The fellow loitering around the chair next to me promptly wanders off.

Favourite Edition guy comes over and is all "Okay guys, is it my turn, what did I miss? Where's the first time player I had that peace treaty with gone?"

I look down and see MOAR WAR SUNS amassing on my border.

In the end, after you know, the grinding hours, I beat him by one victory point. Because I had one victory point.

Phonelobster's Self Proclaimed Greatest Hits Collection : (no really, they are awesome)
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)

Last edited by PhoneLobster on Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:11 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Please, keep telling us stories; this shit is hilarious. I sincerely hope that Mr. Favourite Edition somehow cuts a deal with the brothel next door where you get a discount at one store if you frequent the other, so he can market his place as the one-stop shop for both board games and sex.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

On an utterly unrelated note since I'm in story telling mode and the question is bound to come up...

Do you go to brothels a lot Phonelobster.

But you seemed to mention them a lot and know things about them.
I know about tons of crazy things. But I have only ever been in a brothel once, maybe.

Phonelobster Visit's A Brothel Story
So one afternoon back in my university years some asshole I know from my courses in the software engineering department calls and says "I'm forming a team for the university treasure hunt! Want to join?"

"Isn't that some crazy borderline criminal all nighter? When's it on?"

"In approximately less time than it will take you to drive there, the team dress up uniform is DARK CLOTHING because it's lame and easy and the only thing the other guy would agree to".

And so next thing I know I'm driving my insanely crappy dangerous student car around town at illegal speeds with the team, I'm team driver because my car, despite it's inability to stay in gear unless you hold the gear stick while turning corners, is at least the one which HAS all the gears it is supposed to and where the dash board doesn't catch on fire when you try to turn on the non-functional headlights.

(edit THAT car, the auto with the missing gears and the convenient switch activated toxic smoke producing dashboard fire was some other guys car they just made me drive when we all used to go out to never ever get close to picking up girls at the inner city puke covered pubs near the future game store site, and a bunch of brothels. The pubs were populated purely by middle aged ogre like drunk men looking for fights and what appeared to be gangs of unattractive puking 13 year old girls with 45 year old alcohol addictions. The highlight of those nights was the time we basically hid in a (briefly not on fire) car watching a couple of angry drunken mob members beat each other with pieces of a park fence while being yelled and puked at by angry 13 year old girls.)

The university treasure hunt consists of following poorly written clues to various locations some of which may require various forms of breaking and entering or vandalism etc... and taking a photograph to prove you were there and to allow minor university club volunteers to black mail you with if they can manage to even figure out how photo's work (they didn't). Bonus points for nudity.

We spent much of the night luckily hot on the heels of the "girls dressed in pajamas" team. Greater in number and in costume theme than us (and increasingly very drunk) they believed we were NOT the "dark clothing team" as we claimed, possibly because we consisted of me (in dark clothing), the other guy (who refused to even admit he had agreed to any clothing theme no matter how lame and unembarressing), and the team captain who had selected our clothing theme, who was dressed as fucking Darth Maul.

Anyway, they believed we were just lame stalkers following them everywhere for no reason. And Darth Maul.

We finally, and very unfortunately lost the the pajama's girls when they managed to not know there was a fucking huge fountain like one block away and drove all the way back to university for the "Be In A Fountain" photo requirement. It was especially unfortunate because apparently it involved a water fight and THAT photograph was also the one the six or eight girls decided to do all nude for the bonus points.

So we missed the ONE thing that would have made the whole thing, (including the hives, no, wait for it), WELL worth it by just that much.

But wait, the brothel?
OK so one of the stops was a riddle about street names and red lights or something. And next thing we know we are inside what seems to be a pretty regular suburban home in some fairly middle class suburb that happens to have a red light out on the porch.

We managed to put the red light and some parts of the clue that didn't make any sense together and decided this was clearly supposed to be a brothel.

We strongly suspected it was a fake for the treasure hunt.

BUT. In all fairness when we went inside sure enough in what appeared to be a completely normal if poorly furnished living room sitting on the lounge mildly drunk at three in the morning with a couple of, honestly, deeply unattractive women, was a personal friend of mine from an elective course at university.

I'm like "long time no see" since I haven't seen him since Introduction To Politics back when he was being given shit about getting his welfare from the turds John Howard had appointed to do that just because he was forced by circumstance to live out the back of his car (which may or may not have had luxury features like functioning gears, headlights, and internal electrical plastic fires in the dashboard).

And he is all like "Wow man, what the fuck are you doing here?"

And I'm like "I'm here on the treasure hunt".

And he is like "What treasure hunt?"

Anyway, we were in a hurry to get to break into a semi-abandoned clown based theme park too far away to get to at legal speeds in our non-on-fire car, so we aren't hanging around to prove it's a brothel or find out how cheap their unappealing looking services are. But also there is like this suburban church adjoining the brothel. And we've also been like looking for a place to do a Jesus Photograph all night, for like bonus points, and because, well, I used to look like Jesus.

So to get near the big cross on the wall we all climb into the dilapidated highly questionable trash strewn shrubbery. Darth Maul, several unattractive possible prostitutes drunk, tired, drugged or all three, the no costume guy loitering as far away as possible to still be in shot and then me stripped down to my shorts. Now there is some discussion of me going the full nude but I basically don't want to. My friend who lives in his car is looking on and is all "Don't take your pants off in front of these girls man, you'll regret it forever". And this one bush right at crotch height in the wrong bit of shrubbery is really suspicious and oily/spikey looking, and would totally conceal my shorts or lack of them anyway. But the girls are just surprisingly kinda keen on the no shorts thing as car buddy is on the no no shorts advice thing.

And so that's how I ended up stripped to my shorts with Darth Maul jabbing me in imaginary doubting thomas hole with a plastic light up light saber, while ugly possible sex workers kept clawing at my only clothing. At like fuck, I dunno, 3 in the morning outside a church in a largely regular middle class suburb.

Didn't come in costume guy was there, but no one would have known because he was dressed very well for looking like a confused uninvolved passerby like car buddy.

So anyway. After that and the fun park and the other things I eventually get home and slam into bed some time well after dawn.

I wake up at one in the afternoon covered in HUGE fucking itchy hives.

For the next six months plus at random intervals in any given day I would have these huge hives just pop up at random (but symmetrically mirrored on my right and left halfs) pulse points on my arms and/or legs.

After various doctors and such (including Doctor Newman, who had replaced Doctor Oldguard at the specialist practice I was referred to, NO REALLY). It was basically decided I was allergic to SOMETHING (they didn't care what) and maybe it would go away. And after the nearly six months it did.

But in the mean time I was clearly allergic to something, most probably either ugly tired prostitutes, that fucking nasty bush in that church shrubbery, Darth Maul, or just plain University Treasure Hunts.

AND THAT is the story of how Phonelobster accidentally visited a brothel, DIDN'T get to see attractive nude girls playing in a fountain at midnight, and then caught some sort of nasty itchy condition with huge hives outside of a church instead.

Phonelobster's Self Proclaimed Greatest Hits Collection : (no really, they are awesome)
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)

Last edited by PhoneLobster on Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:15 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

This was hilarious, particularly where the trauma seems to cause you to break into extended rants where it takes a moment to properly parse the sentences.


PhoneLobster wrote:

Step 10) Complain that this happens EVERY GAME.

Technically he is correct. I mean, it's his doing, but it totally does happen.
Count Arioch the 28th wrote:
There is NOTHING better than lesbians. Lesbians make everything better.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Let it all out PL, we feel your pain. I like to think this is like some cathartic therapy session.

Plus it's funny as shit.
Simplified Tome Armor. Tome item system and expanded Wish Economy rules.

"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
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