Why Have Your Role-Playing Game Groups Disbanded?

Most gamers have tales of failed game groups. Groups that went from successful to extinct, sometimes overnight.   Finding a good one that is a proper “fit” is incredibly hard. Especially if you recently relocated or have been out of the hobby for a while.  Game group failure can literally kill your hobby for weeks or months as you seek a replacement group. Losing a game group hurts!

My thought is to examine some of the most common reasons for game group death and perhaps come up with some thoughts on how to prevent this tragedy in future.  Post your tales of woe below and perhaps your fellow gamers might suggest some ways to avoid the issue in future.

I will kick things off with my tale of pain. A pretty good game group I belonged too a few years ago died when a new DM entered the mix and turned into a control freak.  His storyline  was so important that any player originality died under the runaway train that was the plot. I once tried to cast a minor detect magic spell to take a closer  look at some goods in a small shop. It was  a trivial spell and I honestly did not expect to see anything, just being thorough.   As soon as I said it, the DM got a strange look on his face. I clearly flustered some element of the plot and suddenly the store had “anti-magic” defenses and I was thrown out on the street.

Ok, I thought, DM makes that call, so I kept playing. After the third time a player came up with something unexpected that dared tread upon the sacred storyline and some utterly ridiculous counter-measure or event stopped them, I gave up. This took all of one evening and I never came back. The group broke up soon after, with many of my complaints cited as the reason the players quit.

Please share your tales in the comments and let us all learn from our collective mistakes.

Trask, The Last Tyromancer



Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.

6 thoughts on “Why Have Your Role-Playing Game Groups Disbanded?

  • May 31, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    The biggest danger to my gaming groups has been the time demands of real life, especially children.

  • May 31, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    For my group is always work-related. Someone gets called in from standby or someone has to do overtime.

  • May 31, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Always getting busy, never drama. Don’t know what the cure would be.

  • June 1, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Losing a game group is probably very hard. It’s also very hard to get one going!

    I’m closing off 2 months trying to get a group together for a weekly Sunday evening game. It’s disheartening to say the least. I sometimes feel like I’m the only one really excited about it: often people will call me the day before or email me the day of to let me know “something has come up” or else they just stop coming all together. After investing so much time and money into gaming, I’m almost ready to throw in the towel. It’s much easier to get people together for a game of euchre and a few beers.

  • June 1, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    My core group consists of 6 guys. And 5 of them have had kids in the past year. The result is that getting all the guys together for a game once a week is nearly impossible. Our solution was to invite a couple more players into our core group. This way even if a couple of the guys can’t play (which is the case most weeks) we still have enough guys to play. On those rare occasions when we actually have everyone in attendance, the DM does something special (usually a really tough combat encounter).

  • June 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    All 5 groups I have had the priveledge to game with broke up due to intrapersonal issue. Drama.

    Usually it was relationship drama, but occasionally it was silly nerd rage drama.

    I stress the importance of having good STABLE people in your group 🙂

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