We All Know 'That Guy'

Definitely NOT him.
In every gaming group, it's good to have "that guy".  I guess I should be more specific:  Not THAT guy, but *that* guy.  All clear now, right? And just for the record, I'm using "guy" as a generic term, girls are awesome too.

I'll elaborate.  You need that one person who is super confident, has some great creativity, and/or will just do what needs to be done to make the adventure great.
More like him.

In our RPG group that person changes depending on what RPG we're playing, but an excellent example stands out in my mind from our last play test of Splatter-Elf. I'll be honest, I didn't have the time to properly prepare for the adventure. Another player was joining us for the first time ever. Without the third, the "that guy", the GM would have had a tough time getting the mood of the game set.
This one player came in with a custom character built, a background created, and a play style decided upon.  From his first introduction in the tavern he helped us get in to the twisted world of splatter elf.  Splatter-Elf (lots and lots of info on this blog!) happens in a very dark and disturbing world.  This player found the line not to cross, then took 42 steps over it.  His descriptions of his spells violating the other player characters were awful in a great way, and helped encourage the new player in the group to relax and be just as silly and disgusting as the rest of us.

A different situation is a game that I GM'd in a Play by E-Mail situation. A recap of this are here and here.  Unfortunately when we chose to play Battle Star Galactica, the players neglected to mention that most of them had never seen the show and knew next to nothing about the setting.  Luckily for me C.D., who also writes for this blog, jumped in with both feet and hit the ground running.  He (possibly unintentionally) helped me to build the tension and setting of the ship limping along under constant threats from the Cylons.  He guided the other players in to the mindset of lying when necessary to cover your own ass, and keeping secrets.  In the end I think the game went very well, but without C.D. being "that guy," I don't know that it would have been nearly as good.
I didn't have enough witty pictures to go with this post,
so here's a picture of a Catstronaut.
We've all played with an "Alpha Player" who railroads a game and takes the fun away from the others, and it is great to avoid this.  However you still need at least one person to step up to the plate and take on a bit of the story creation to help the GM, or to get way in to the theme and help expand the world, or just to be a total goof and put the other player's at ease.  I hope that at least some of the time, that's me.


  1. You may not be as over-the-top about it as Dave, or such a bastard instigator as me, but I can always rely on you to keep the game going when it bogs down. When stuff gets stuck and circular arguments break out, you push the group SOMEWHERE, for better or for worse, which usually leads to new and unexpected surprises. So bully to you for that.

  2. Keeping you on your toes is my goal. That, and mowing down virgins.


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