While Tabletop Gaming is one of the most social and exhilirating ways to spend a Saturday afternoon, there’s also a darker side to a hobby that often requires absolute strangers and limitless fantasies.The community at reddit’s r/rpghorrorstories board have gathered together to share some all-too-real tales of DnD disasters. Keep in mind that some of these anecdotes get DARK so if you’re sensitive to unpleasant subject matter, you might want to scroll past this and maybe check out some of our less emotionally draining D&D posts instead?
I’ve played with plenty of edgy characters in my time, from people who were doing it on purpose to be funny, to those who thought they had actually made awesome characters. But never in my life have I met such an edgy character as now…
First we go over powers. She elects to take blood powers. Not just any blood powers mind you; no, she pulls blood from her wrists to make weapons. I cringed a little, but I didn’t think it was that bad. (Spoiler: it’s that bad)
We flesh out the rest of her stats and get to choosing skills. There is no set list of skills in the system, you can pick anything as long as it’s a narrow enough field and it makes sense. She picks torture and interrogation. Yeesh. At this point, we still haven’t seen the character leap off the deep end, but now I can tell we’re dealing with an edgelord.
But now the player starts describing her backstory. And by describing, I mean commands the next hour of the game telling us about it. And good lord is it a doozy. To save you the trouble, I shall paraphrase: Her brother is some kind of sadist who kept her locked in a barred room after her parents dies when he was 4 and her character was 2. And apparently her parents were 18 when they died. Her brother also prostituted her, abused her, and sold her into slavery at points. And she had an abusive uncle who sexually abused her. And she was basically starved at the time. And the government knew but wouldn’t help because they were afraid of her powers. And she was experimented on so now she’s infertile.
It was like listening to a concert of nails on a chalkboard. And the real kicker? Apparently, this character is 12. But now we get to personality. Obviously, someone who went through all that would be broken beyond repair. And to the player’s credit, she did play her as a little broken. But only a little. She can still mostly function in normal society, even though she’s never had any psychiatric help. But she’s also obsessed with blood and death, and is optimistically suicidal, but never acts on it. She’s the type of cringey character that smiles and giggles when talking about macabre stuff, you know the type.
You think I’d be done by this point, but there is still yet more that happened. The player must have a real sense of one-up man-ship, because any time anyone tried to bring up something bad that happened to them, she would add something similar but worse to her backstory. Like, my character avoids alcohol because his father was an alcoholic and would beat his mother. Oh yeah? Well her character’s brother straight up forced her to drink so now she’s a 12 year old alcoholic. If nobody was bringing up backstory stuff, the player would just randomly add more things to her awful backstory and tell us about it in character, interrupting whatever we were doing.
But then we get to the absolute worst part of this character: how she openly antagonized our characters and said the dumbest shit. Like, she wanted to go at 11 o’clock at night to speak to the mayor. I said “No, the mayor’s probably in bed.” She proceeds to hit me with a line about how I must be the most useless superhero to ever live. I mostly dismiss it, being that my character is a 35 year old man, and he knows that this is just a 12 year old venting her frustrations. The player, noticing she didn’t get a rise out of me, proceeds to rag on my character with hers for a good 15 minutes of actual game time. At the end of it all, she drops one of those cringeworthy “Are we really even the good guys?” lines. At this point, I’m fed up as a player. But I know the best way to counter is by keeping my composure in character. So I say something along the lines of “Look, I know you think you’re being all deep and profound, but you’re 12. So why don’t you go to bed and stop saying stupid things.” as calmly as possible. The 12 year old then leaves to vent her frustration into the night.
This pattern continued throughout the session. With her trying to piss my character off, and my character being coolly dismissive, since she’s, y’know, 12. The player got upset and eventually stopped since I wouldn’t take her “masterfully crafted” character seriously, but the session mercifully ended there.