Friday, October 19, 2012

Discussion: Distractions

There are lots of distractions at the gaming table. Even more when someone who isn't part of the game - or worse, several people - are in the area. Today, just as more of a list thing, I want to know what kind of distractions you regularly face, and if you have a method, how you handle them.

For my own groups distractions are fairly sparse. Generally everyone in the house we play in is involved in the game. There are distractions on occasion though. One of my house mates isn't in any of the games, so if he comes home during game there is usually a small pause as peopel greet/converse with him. This isn't a problem, but it can sometimes crop up at bad times. Usually he's good about keeping quiet and simply observing which is good.

Still, I know there are worse things out there. From people playing video games, to parties starting, to just constant phone calls and text messages coming in. So, what common distractions do you deal with and how do you handle them?


  1. Gaming in a pub brings a whole heap of distractions. Luckily it's a quiet real-ale pub and we generally have it to ourselves on a Tuesday night. This is good as there about fifty of us. we still get a few gawkers and drunken questions, but they're surprisingly easy to deal with.

    First, answer every question they ask. if you try to be evasive they will pester you for more information. second, answer the questions in as much detail as it is possible to. This has two advantages. Firstly it can let people know about the hobby (never a bad thing) and secondly, most people get bored and wander off when you start to get into the nitty gritty of different die types and probability engines, not to mention the social structures of fantasy medieval cities.

    Most importantly, don't make light on the subject. if someone thinks they have an 'in' to take the piss, they will. instead, answer everything as straight faced and matter-of-factly as you can.

  2. The biggest thing I would say are distracting mechanics discussions. It is general not a rules lawyer type things, since most of the people I play with know the rules well - Its more mathematical or munchkin talk.

    Generally, though just letting people know I would prefer to save that stuff for after the session. Unfortunately, I have had mixed success with it. Most the gaming groups I have joined/started typically have OOC talk at the table. It is just not comfortable for me to try to push the issue either as a GM or player.