If you’ve gamed for a while, you have met that rogue. You know… that rogue.

I have a real sore spot when it comes to players belittling others at the table or backseat role-playing.

If you ask me to define my idea of backseat gaming, I have a tough time, as there is a fine line between steady, friendly advice and being an asshole. It’s easy enough to ask for advice or make a group decision but there are some folks who just cannot accept it when their opinion is not considered the end all be all. I think we all know someone like that and they tend to be everywhere, in every past time, not just gaming. I knew a guy who was that guy in his softball league and ultimately was asked to leave when he pissed off too many of his teammates. He doesn’t play softball anymore and I feel bad for him. He loved the game but his passion and need to do things his way overstepped common decency. He yelled at people and his constant criticism eventually sucked all of the fun out of the experience for everyone.

I do not tolerate such behavior in large doses, regardless of my role in the situation, be it player or GM. It’s not a zero-to-sixty thing and I do not flip tables but I have lowered the boom (verbally) on some folks in the past and/or shown them the door. I think a lot of it stems from my belief that this is supposed to be a fun, stress-relieving past time. I know that is a common sense statement but I take it to heart.

Life is just too damn short to sit at a table and play games with people you do not want to game with.