I played exactly one pickup tabletop game at a game store, ever

a guy got mad at me for using NSEW directions on a map in a fantasy setting because “they’d have different names for it” so I scribbled some shit and handed him a map that had the directions:

South (pronounced “sooth”)

he gave me the world’s dirtiest look and 5 minutes later when I described something as being “about ten bmiles morth by morthsqueast of here” he left the table and walked out of the shop

I never saw him again

the second session I kind of accidentally caused an IRL breakup at the table by passing a sticky note to the GM oops

i didn’t go back for session three

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@shadow8t4 honestly can’t even blame him, I’d leave if I had to deal with my bullshit too

@kat @shadow8t4 completely justifiable bullshit imo

like, sure, let's say they have a different name for the cardinal directions, but that's part of the language, and you're most likely not speaking this fantasy language while you're playing, so you can just handwave it as "english is the stand-in for the native language"

if someone still wants to insist, then I'm gonna need a language history of a minimum of 4000 years, as the names for the cardinal directions are derived from proto-indo-european which was around 4000 BC, and your fantasy setting is probably ahead of that unless most of you are running around with stone tools and weapons

@ChlorideCull @kat @shadow8t4 Agreed. Except we would've been way worse about it. We would've started pointing to different things and asking the GM what it's called.

(points to tavern) "What's this called in the native language?"
(points to tavern door) "What's this called?"
(points to doorknob) "And this?"

(points to person running through town) "What's that person doing?"

@ChlorideCull @kat @shadow8t4 To be maybe too fair to Angry Guy, I can understand wanting to examine worldbuilding assumptions and ask, would these people instead give directions based whether you're going to-the-sea or to-the-holy-land (or whatever), and can imagine a group that's into that level of immersion.

But you have to negotiate that, not start out mad that someone else didn't assume that re-inventing cartography was the fun part.

@Austin_Dern @kat @shadow8t4 fair, I'd argue also that's maybe something you can do between sessions like most general world building, and then bring characters up to speed at the next session

fun fact: north is possibly derived from the proto-indo-european word for left because north is to the left if you face the rising sun, meaning the idea of north being "up" might be a more recent one - it's completely possible in-universe that "up" on a map is different to north

@ChlorideCull Oh yes, absolutely; it's even a fun discussion to pitch when you're setting up a session. Even if other folks don't go for it, they'll likely enjoy that you're open to asking.

And yeah, that is a fun fact. And it's *extremely* plausible for 'up' to be some direction other than 'north' on maps. Like, any map of Manhattan has 'up' being a bit east of north, so the page aligns with the shape of the island. That logic certainly would extend to other settings.

@kat I’m so fucking confused but also I completely believe this is something that happened

@shadow8t4 party wasn’t doing anything and they were just talking in a tavern for 2 hours and I was playing a thief so I passed a note to the GM like “I wanna steal 500G from this party member and sneak it into this other party member’s bag” and the check succeeded so the GM told them “to you, it seems that 500G was stolen by this party member”

i thought it’d start like a fun character rivalry but the two players were in a relationship and got into a real angry discussion about trust and a week later I went in to buy some dice or smth and the clerk guy was like “hey you know those two broke up right”

i felt horrible about it until I found out the guy from the couple turned out to be a sex offender 2 years later

@kat I would not have felt bad about it. If their relationship was on thin enough ice that something like that caused a breakup, then you were a catalyst, not a cause. There were deeper problems and issue at play, evidently.

@shadow8t4 tbh after thinking on it for a few years I’d actually love a tabletop game where it’s a team of thieves who have to steal all sorts of weird abstract shit to win a bet or break a curse or something

like your mission is “steal this person’s heart” and you can do an elaborate heist to break up their relationship or just hit on them or just literally trick them into getting a heart transplant and intercept the medical waste

you get “steal this person’s identity” and you could just jack their ID, or you could sneak into their therapist’s office, steal the notes, figure out what makes them them, and do some weird psychological stuff

points awarded for how elaborate the heist is and how wild you can interpret the concept

@kat @shadow8t4 shadowrun but your johnson turns out to be one of the fae

@kat did he also complain that swords were called swords what the fuck?????

@kat kat how do i play in your tabletop games

this is fantastic

@00dani i've never GMed one before but i know i'll join another game someday

as sure as the sun rises in the squeast

@kat if it was me i would have spent the entire 5 minutes mentally rehearsing "10 bmiles morth by morthsqueast of here" and still would have fucked it up in the moment if i was in that situation i would have wanted to be able to explain to that person that obviously everything had been translated from the language of Middle Earth into English following the prescriptive example of Tolkien's translation of the great epic of the One Right but I also know that my ability to actually have snappy comebacks in actual person is approximately negative six lol

@InspectorCaracal @Liizerd i straight up keep a marble in my bag in case anyone ever actually asks for a d1

this is who i am as a person

@kat I guess it didn’t bother him using English words for everything else but the cardinal directions were a bridge too far.

@kat The tragedy is, he will never know which way he went.

@kat im laughing so hard i can't breathe

This is brilliant. Thank you for helping to keep game stores hardass-free :newlol:

@kat god this is absolutely incredible
I'm glad I get to know you


i was always under the impression that the common language in fantasy games isnt english and that players understand it for the same reasons they suspend their disbelief that everyone in dubbed anime speaks english, and fantasy words should be saved for high concept things that we dont have english words for. otherwise you end up with the tabletop equivalent of “all according to keikaku (translators note: keikaku means plan)”

I love this! In that world, there's a famous spy thriller, Morth by Morth-Thwest.
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