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Yeah, he's an axe murderer, but we need a cleric!
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nerdcav
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:30 am    Post subject: Yeah, he's an axe murderer, but we need a cleric! Reply with quote

I was taking the car for an oil change today when the attendant saw my DMG in the passenger seat. He asked what edition I was playing and then the doors came off and we ended up talking shop for 15 minutes (with about 3 cars waiting in line behind me). I let him know I was running a campaign on Friday nights and we exchanged numbers. I wondering if you guys have any sort of process for vetting new players who are strangers.

I was thinking of meeting with him at a public place and having a friendly chat about the campaign and his experience. If that goes I'll invite him over to a single session - he could run an NPC as a guest visitor. If that goes well and the group likes him, we could invite him to the campaign.

What I'm trying to keep in mind is, despite my excitement for D&D, this is my house and my wife and children are here. I know everyone else in the campaign personally, and have already vetted them, so to speak. Your experiences?

P.S. I doubt seriously that he's an axe murderer. More of the claw hammer type.
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerdcav,

I typically post 'rules' questions, but I can think of none more important than this type...about the safety and security of hearth, health, and home! You are a prudent man to tread carefully when inviting unknown folk to thy sanctum. I am assuming that your other players are well known unto you and your spouse.

To this end, I suggest that, perhaps, you find a Neutral Zone (beware Romulans under cloak) location to hold your next game. Maybe a local gaming store with open tables and space? Or if there is a local college to which you have affiliation (or one of your players), sometimes they have small rooms, typically for studying, but oftentimes gamers use them (this was true of my alma mater's University Center at the University of Montana-Missoula).

Hope that helps,

-Lanthorn, the Cautious
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Though I want to encourage you to invite new players (everyone wants a game to play in), I agree with Lanthorn about finding a spot outside your home for the first few sessions with the new guy. Once you and the other players are comfortable with him, tell them that you're free to bring the campaign back to your home. That way, your wife isn't uncomfortable with you bringing strangers into the home, and we all know her concern will be the biggest factor.

SirXaris
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Argon
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nerdcav,

Axe murder's make for excellent role-players. Laughing

I understand your concern if you don't have a neutral site see if you can game at his house with your friends. This way you get a chance to see where and how this guy lives. The best part if he has a wife and kids, then he's in the same boat as you. You guys can also decide to meet up in a bar have a few drinks and shoot the breeze before a game even comes up.

You have a lot of options available to you. Think outside the box. Is there any comic or game shops by you? Is their any nearby conventions coming up soon? Is he a member on CF? That means he could be reading this. Quick delete all posts! Laughing

You will always have that concern with people you don't know. Funny part, if you were still single it would be a non-issue. We think about our families and their safety. I often meet new players in coffee shops, bars, or comic and game shops. Then I would speak to people who frequent the place to see how well or what they know about a person. Your always taking a chance bringing someone new into your home. Lay some ground work and it will be less intimidating for you.

I hope this helps.

Argon
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DarkHerald
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to think about your first meeting with him .... Did your spider sensors tingle? Did you drive away looking in your mirror to see if he was watching you drive away? Did he say anything that raises a concern? Now to the more serious questions did you try garlic? Did he cast a reflection in your mirror? Was he cold to the touch?

You should at all times have a canister of holy water with spray nossle in your car with a garlic pizza, a silver cross or a pair of your daughter's earings. If you dont normally buy silver earings make sure you buy at least one piece of jewelry per family member.

You should have taken a picture of him with your phone, gotten a blood sample with a hyperdermic needle for testing.

Always remember a bottle of chloroform with one of those super soaking clothes and a tazer. This helps if you want to keep your players over the weekend in the basement and they resisit. Always a good idea to keep the players character sheets at your place and some spare dice and pencils for such an event. Just remember to use egg boxes to sound proof the walls and play music not to loud, otherwise neighbours get a bit busy body.

Of course you could just go back to the fuel station wait till he finishes his shift and follow him till gets home ... then you wait till he leaves and then you can install this micro spy cames tha work off a wireless signal up 30 meters, hook it up to a wireless single booster and BAM! you have him wired for video and sound!

Of course I have never done any of this .... I find all my players at the local library.
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jamesdglick
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:39 am    Post subject: Re: Yeah, he's an axe murderer, but we need a cleric! Reply with quote

DarkHerald wrote:
...I find all my players at the local library.


...and...

nerdcav wrote:
...I wondering if you guys have any sort of process for vetting new players who are strangers....

Your experiences?


-Everywhere I've been or done, it was friends, and friends of friends. So there's always been some vetting. We are trying to re-activate a currently defunct D&D club at my university (more on that). But again, there is vetting, of a sort...

nerdcav wrote:
P.S. I doubt seriously that he's an axe murderer. More of the claw hammer type.


...and...

DarkHerald wrote:
...Always remember a bottle of chloroform with one of those super soaking clothes and a tazer. This helps if you want to keep your players over the weekend in the basement and they resisit. Always a good idea to keep the players character sheets at your place and some spare dice and pencils for such an event. Just remember to use egg boxes to sound proof the walls and play music not to loud, otherwise neighbours get a bit busy body.

Of course you could just go back to the fuel station wait till he finishes his shift and follow him till gets home ... then you wait till he leaves and then you can install this micro spy cames tha work off a wireless signal up 30 meters, hook it up to a wireless single booster and BAM! you have him wired for video and sound!


-Reminds of the old line about they have as much reason to fear you as you have to fear him. Razz

nerdcav wrote:
P.S. I doubt seriously that he's an axe murderer. More of the claw hammer type.


-Successful serial killers rarely come off as serial killers. That is why they are successful. Razz

nerdcav wrote:
...I was thinking of meeting with him at a public place and having a friendly chat about the campaign and his experience...


-Dark Herald was sort of kidding, but he is right about tingling senses. If you get a bad vibe, it could be a subtle indicator. If he's a faker, you can tell when he claims to be a 23rd level Dungeon Master, although I gather you got through that part at the shop. If you don't bring him in, the worst thing that happens is that your PCs will have to go to an NPC for that cleric... Wink

nerdcav wrote:
... If that goes I'll invite him over to a single session - he could run an NPC as a guest visitor...


-I usually bring in new people as NPCs regardless, since there is no guarantee that they'll be able to continue on a regular basis.

nerdcav wrote:
... If that goes I'll invite him over to a single session - he could run an NPC as a guest visitor. If that goes well and the group likes him, we could invite him to the campaign...


-Of course, if he really is a psycho, he might only cause trouble after you reject him... Razz

Lanthorn wrote:
...I typically post 'rules' questions, but I can think of none more important than this type...about the safety and security of hearth, health, and home!


-All the joking aside, this is probably the most serious real-world related thread I've seen.

nerdcav wrote:
...I was thinking of meeting with him at a public place and having a friendly chat about the campaign and his experience...


-Again, I think this would at least weed out a faker who just wants access to your home.

Not to divert the thread too much, but the "friendly chat" part reminds me that I plan on using a questionaire to get a feel for what the players are looking for, and how to fit them into a group.

See new thread.
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jamesdglick
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: Yeah, he's an axe murderer, but we need a cleric! Reply with quote

jamesdglick wrote:
...Of course, if he really is a psycho, he might only cause trouble after you reject him... Razz


...which reminds me of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aN_805NxR4

Happy
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of you have mentioned paying attention to the 'vibes' you get from the guy. I suggest you subtly have your wife (girlfriend, sister, etc.) meet him. Bring her with you to the library when you have the guy meet you for a quick lone-adventure to bring him up to speed with the way you DM. Introduce her and let her chat with him a bit, sit nearby and pretend to read a book while listening to you and the guy talk about D&D. If she tells you later that she got a good feeling from him, everything's cool. If she tells you she got creepy feelings from him, I'd take that as proof-positive that he isn't someone you want in your house. It is my experience that women have a much better sense about such things than men.

SirXaris
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jamesdglick
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SirXaris wrote:
A couple of you have mentioned paying attention to the 'vibes' you get from the guy. I suggest you subtly have your wife (girlfriend, sister, etc.) meet him. Bring her with you to the library when you have the guy meet you for a quick lone-adventure to bring him up to speed with the way you DM. Introduce her and let her chat with him a bit, sit nearby and pretend to read a book while listening to you and the guy talk about D&D. If she tells you later that she got a good feeling from him, everything's cool. If she tells you she got creepy feelings from him, I'd take that as proof-positive that he isn't someone you want in your house. It is my experience that women have a much better sense about such things than men...


-You might be right on many levels, but I can't help think that the guy ends up thinking "This Nerdcav guy seems OK, but everywhere I go, this creepy chick follows him around." Laughing

EDIT:

Also tends to make her the "bad guy" (girl?) if she says no...

Maybe incorporate a woman player into the quick lone-adventure?

Maybe the background check would be easier.

This really is an interesting problem.

Has anyone here ever brought in a complete stranger as a player into their home?
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illustr8or
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have done this with my group. I posted here, some other sites for players and even did a "Meet-Up" (they'll spam you with stuff forever, even after you've taken yours down. Fair warning). We're going to be putting flyers up at gaming shops to get a few new players.

The internet is a great buffer as I certainly didn't want a psycho (or even somebody mildly unpleasant in my house), so I was able to put down ground rules and vet people who responded. Then I agreed to meet everyone out for dessert and drinks to talk over what kind of characters they wanted to play and set up the first game.

Your house, your rules. Period. I've got a cat and a partner who run off to other rooms or outside while we game so I don't have to worry about them until everyone goes home. Laughing

Set a framework or boundaries to work in. Don't be afraid to tell somebody it's not working out. It's really like dating, unfortunately, and people come and go, schedule conflicts, people in the military get called for duty or people aren't that interested in playing when summer rolls around, or they are just flakes... just set the bar low, as everything from that point on is gravy.
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Argon
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was single oh... so many years ago it was less of an issue. Now or I should say previously I would meet up at a neutral site usually bar or coffee shop. If everything was cool then no problem. Besides my wife and kids rely on me to make these decisions. I have been a pretty good judge of character.

However, you'll have to do what you feel comfortable with. In the end its up to you. Though its always good to have your wife meet this person with you.

Later

Argon


Last edited by Argon on Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

illustr8or wrote:

It's really like dating, unfortunately, and people come and go, schedule conflicts, people in the military get called for duty or people aren't that interested in playing when summer rolls around, or they are just flakes... just set the bar low, as everything from that point on is gravy.


I'm just picturing a scenario where poor ol' Nerdcav is gonna have to tell some player, "Listen, man, we gotta talk. Just hear me out. It's not you, it's me..." Cool

-Lanthorn
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Argon
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now we know how Lanthorn does it. Shocked

It's not you, it's me. Evil

Then you have to hear what else can I do give me another chance. Laughing

Later

Argon
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Argon wrote:
Now we know how Lanthorn does it. Shocked

It's not you, it's me. Evil

Then you have to hear what else can I do give me another chance. Laughing

Later

Argon


Laughing !!!!

That made my night. Thanks, Argon. Happy

-Lanthorn, Heart-breaker
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:35 am    Post subject: Axe-murdering cleric Reply with quote

Hey there, NerdCav ...
Just wanted to say that I was reading the chat logs from last night, because I missed a great deal of the chat (even though I realize I haven't been in the chat much lately, and have only been on the boards). But, I happened to have decided last night that I would make the chat, and lo and behold, fate conspires to keep me away from the keyboard ...

At any rate, I read in the logs that you were planning a coffee-meeting on Monday. I hope that everything goes well with the meet-up, and that he turns out to be a nice guy.

While I tend to play in Organized Play leagues (like Living Greyhawk, and now in the Pathfinder Society), I realize that not everyone is accustomed to playing with new people every single time they sit down to a table. (literally)
But, on the occasions that I have invited people to my home, even when it was people in the league in which I play, or when going to someone else's home for the first time in a new game, I always did exactly what you're doing ... meeting them beforehand. If they were friends of someone I knew, or if they were a member of the league in which I play but hadn't met them, I would ask other players for "references" to make sure they were an alright person.

I've actually had players bring me a bottle of wine as a welcoming present when they came to my place for the first time. Someone has always brought (or ordered) dinner, and there's always hand-shaking and smiles. Now, I don't mean this to say that you should expect treats, but, I mean to say that within my experience it has been a mostly positive experience.

So, go shake the fella's hand on Monday, sit down with him, and have a great chat. (What? An IRL chat? Who does that?!! Happy) Let us know how it turns out! Here's to hoping that you find a great new player, and maybe a new friend!
Oh, and if you find that he's got a good sense of humour, you ought to tell him about your "axe murderer, but we need a cleric!" post! It makes for a great anecdote, and maybe he's just as cautious about it as you are! Laughing
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kind of curious how this all turned out in the end.
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jamesdglick
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Icarus wrote:
Kind of curious how this all turned out in the end.


-Me, too...

In the meantime, this:

Lanthorn wrote:
...With all the typical 'bad press' that gaming groups get for a variety of (largely bogus) reasons, particularly Dungeons and Dragons, I am surprised that their school has an official, and school-endorsed, D&D club!


...is from another thread, but it jarred some thinking.

My thoughts on Nerdcav's concerns were primarily that a new player might be a guy feigning interest in D&D in order to weasel his way into his home, or that if Nerdcav rejected him that that it might set him off.

I've previously mentioned that I was planning to help my university re-vitalize its defunct D&D Club. About a year and a half ago, I presented myself to the professor in charge looking to become a player, not a DM; I haven't played since 1992, and although I figured I might be a little busy to DM, I'd have enough time to play. Anyway, he told me that the D&D Club had been out of operation for a while, ever since the previous DM had been arrested, but I had since forgotten what for. Yesterday, I had a face to face with the professor again about being willing to DM, and I asked him remind me what the guy had been busted for.

Child pornography...

Now obviously, it's impractical to live your life on the basis that everyone you (or your children) meet is doing so as part of some nefarious long-term scheme. I guess it goes back to what sort of vibe you get from the guy. Not that that is full proof, but...

Sorry for the downer. I will now return to my usual levity...

Icarus wrote:
Kind of curious how this all turned out in the end.


-Me, too!
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is true that you open yourself to meeting some kind of whack-job, but you could also meet a really cool dude. My advice: meet off-site away from your house for several sessions, get to know him a bit and let your fellow players get a 'vibe' as well. Then decide from there. Or, if you just don't want the hassle or risk whatsoever, explain that you don't have any openings, or need any more players, and leave it at that.

-Lanthorn
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nerdcav
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For now, at least, it's a moot point. I set up to meet Axy McMurder at a local coffee house near my favorite D&D stocked used book store. He ended up canceling at the last minute and I haven't heard from him since. I'm sure he's a nice guy - but the search for a cleric moves on!
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nerdcav wrote:
For now, at least, it's a moot point. I set up to meet Axy McMurder at a local coffee house near my favorite D&D stocked used book store. He ended up canceling at the last minute and I haven't heard from him since. I'm sure he's a nice guy - but the search for a cleric moves on!


Maybe he's 'on the lam' running from the Law! Shocked

Go collect your bounty to buy more 2e books, Nerdcav. Cool

-Lanthorn
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Argon
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe he saw this thread or perhaps his friends told him your the local axe murderer. Now your the bane of the local coffee shops.

The DM axe murdering cleric killer. Evil Grin

Later

Argon
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jamesdglick
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been recruiting on the internet here in Clarksville, and a prospect actually brought this topic up, but from the flip side: going to a stranger's house. I sent this thread. Wink
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jamesdglick
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is worthy of a bump:

Worst gaming sessions ever:



http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?207024-Worst-3-5-session-I-ve-ever-had
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Icarus
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:08 pm    Post subject: hilarity ensues Reply with quote

Holy crap, James. That is absolutely hilarious read!
I mean, poor guys for having to have gone through that, and, wow ... what a psycho.
But, a hilarious read. I hope I never have to have a game like that! Shocked
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jamesdglick
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:31 am    Post subject: Re: hilarity ensues Reply with quote

Icarus wrote:
...I mean, poor guys for having to have gone through that, and, wow ... what a psycho.
But, a hilarious read. I hope I never have to have a game like that! Shocked


-It is funny (I was smiling when I read it), but it is the extreme end of what Nerdcav was worried about. The story actually continues:

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-93633.html

...and in an unrelated development, Lanky got knifed by his girlfriend...

This one has a few creepy, but non violent experiences:

http://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/comments/1wzggv/what_nightmare_made_you_quit_a_group/

A little off topic, this is a completely harmless (and funny) bad adventure tale:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.199359-The-worst-D-D-group-I-ever-heard-of

...where Elminster is hanging out in Greyhawk Castle.

...if you punch in "worst D&D session", you can find HUNDREDS of stories like this.
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