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Ask Doctor Bubba

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Each issue in "Ask Doctor Bubba" we will, as experienced roleplayers, and compassionate, sensitive human beings, be available to help you with your problems. Our main intention is to help with roleplaying problems, but if you have a problem of a more general nature and are feeling particularly desperate, then hey, drop us a line.

We would particularly appreciate problems of a sexual nature.

We should point out that these letters are sent in to us by email in a pretty anonymous form. We cannot therefore guarantee the validity or truthfulness of any of these letters, especially the ones we faked ourselves.

Our first letter is from G. who is distressed with the increasing level of profanity in her favourite roleplaying comic.

I am a devoted fan of the comic "Knights of the Dinner Table", but recently I've begun to notice an increase in the level of profanity within its pages. When the comic first started, the characters would say things like "Jumpin' hurdy-gurdy, I'm divin' for cover", but now they're uttering profanities such as "we're sc***ed".

I feel that if this continues I will have to let my subscription lapse. What do you think I should do?

G.

Profanity? Sc***ed? This is like a crossword puzzle...

...Got it: Screwed!

Well we can set your mind at rest. "Screwed" isn't profanity.

Shit, fuck, wank, cunt, piss, bollocks, crap, turd, arse, bugger, tit... that's profanity!

Our next letter was from Olly, who'd experienced a sudden realisation:

hey dr bubba!

i was reading through the critical miss back issues (as you do) and suddenly, as if id been struck by lightening, i realised that the bloke that fancied some birds tattoo is actually none other than jonny nexus!the whole story fits in- the tattoo, the trip to paris, the rejection, the sudden melancholy tone of his writing style, everything! PS was the whole thing faked as some pathetically misguided publicity stunt, or did the poor guy actually suffer for this?

ollyXX

Correct. 10 out of 10. That's why she's called Tatoo Girl. It wasn't faked, and yes he did suffer. He also is still owed a few grand, hence the subject of last issue's feedback (about whether New Zealanders repay debts).

Luke has come to the conclusion that "Women Are Evil":

Dear Dr. Bubba-

Luke again. Honestly I was pleasantly surpised to find my previous letter published in issue 6; but then I realized what a cocky (in a phrase; egotistical masturbation) bastard I was being back then when I read it.

I've just gone back to issue 6 and read your letter, and yes, you were a cocky bastard.

The girlfriend mentioned in my previous letter has gone away.

Cool. I don't see why I should be the only one wallowing in misery.

How I got her in the first place I don't understand;

In your previous mail you stated that it involved getting your "asses off of that chair".

I mean, I'm a role-player, right? Do we grasp on to the mindset that someday, we'll be rich and thousands of women will want to shag us for financial security? Maybe. Or maybe dice will become currency due to paper shortages, and only (and finally) roleplayers will be able to afford prostitutes.

I carry rulebooks to school ocassionally and people ask what they are; I hardly know how to explain. If she's female, she's trapped me. I either confuse them with a few simple names and concepts and they leave; or I try to avoid the question and they think I'm being a jerk and they leave. Occasionally a woman will ask what I do in my free-time; I would prefer to say "wrestling" or something gorilla-like and manly.

Of course, I tell them "role-playing". (Though if they believed I was a wrestler by the look of me; they would have mental problems. Don't get me wrong, most of them do, but in different ways.)

Confused, they ask that I elaborate, but I can only dig their intellectual ditch of understanding deeper. They leave. Doesn't a 7th level cleric have feelings too? (Which are mostly sex-starved fantasies involved with vampire prostitutes, but hell, who's aren't?)

Well not mine, to be honest. It's called being normal.

I suppose you'll agree that I've been rambling, and probably will for the rest of this. All I really want to say is, roleplay. Getting a girlfriend for most of us roleplayers is like fishing with hand grenades, but if women outnumber men on this planet,

The only reason women outnumber men is because they live longer. There are actually 106 boys born for every 100 girls, so in your age group there are more boys than girls. Nature designed it this way because boys were more likely to die through accident or illness than girls, but in a modern society this doesn't happen, which means that some of us aren't going to have anyone to dance with. Someone's going to get left sitting by the side, and apparently, it's you.

and there aren't too many lesbians, then someday... someday may we all be able to say to your DM- "Sorry, the Dungeons of Ruvenhollow will have to wait- I'm going to the pub to meet my girlfriend, and then shag her. Yeehaw."

It's good to have a dream.

And then he'll probably say, "Okay. Instead, you take the north trail to Nereid, and enter the pub within..."

Truth hurts.

With regards,

-A girlfriendless but by hell, a GM once again; Luke

P.S. Don't take this as brown-nosing, but rather encouragement- your magazine is bloody great; and inspires me to screw over my friends in new and creative ways. I thank you. Please put more articles about female roleplayers and sex in the e-zine.

Thanks, that's a nice thing to say. Makes me feel a bit guilty about the nasty things I just wrote about you, although admittedly not guilty enough to actually go back and edit them out.

Jeni has a problem which - as she makes clear - has nothing to do with sex. This nearly resulted in us skipping over to the next mail, but we thought, what the hell?

Dear Bubba,

I've got a bit of a problem. Fortunately for me, however, it's not about sex.

A long-term friend of my fiance's, who I like well enough, is GMing a fairly interesting game which we host in our apartment on Friday nights. I'll call him Bob, for the sake of simplicity. My fiance is in the game, but I have so far avoided being dragged into it. The problem? I have off work on Friday, and Bob knows that I game once in a while. To make a long story short, Bob has been pestering me to join the game.

This would not be a problem except for the fact that several current players (who are stuck in the area and bored, on account of the university we all attend not offering summer classes) are complete bastards. I've gamed with them before in a different campaign, with Bob GMing, and I've gamed with them as GMs. I've even observed them in games where all variables were changed except for them, and I have come to the inevitable conclusion that they're just bastards, plain and simple. I have several times had to resist very strong urges to stab them with whatever writing implement was closest to hand. I've never got on with one in particular, who generally made a point of trying to get my character into trouble with Bob when we were both in one of his games. The other is just annoying. I can put up with them being in my house for eight hours on end (the usual length of the gaming sessions), but this is only because I can retreat to another room at any point.

Bob is a great person and a good GM, but he's also got the approximate social sensitivity one might find in a lump of quartz. I've tried every excuse in the book to get around telling him flat out that I hate two of his older friends. Everything I try just gets the "I can work around that" response. My fiance's not much help--he dislikes both of the other players as well, but he loves the campaign and has asked me to play so that I can back his character up. Bob usually asks me to roll up a character in front of everyone else (there are quite a few people playing who Bob introduced me to and I am now friends with), so it's starting to become a bit of a social problem as well.

Is there anything I can say which will, once and for all, get him to stop badgering me?

Jeni

Fuck off?

Franciso sent us the following:

Dear Dr. Bubba,

My girlfriend dumped me and I haven't had sex for almost 72 hours. What should I do?

Yours,

Francisco

Francisco, meet your right hand... Right hand, meet Francisco.

Black Bert is alone:

Dear Dr. Bubba,

What should you do when your entire gaming group abandons you?

Take a hint... figure that perhaps it's you not them?

I know the initial answer would be to find another gaming group, but here is my problem: My former roommate was the primary DM for the group and, when I kicked him out of the house for monetary reasons, the people that I thought were my friends went with him. It has been quite a blow to my gaming life as I was suddenly kicked out of four different campaigns that I had been involved with.

Wow! Are you a serious roleplayer or what? In one fell swoop you've found yourself completely friendless and alone... and you're worried because you're not involved in any games anymore.

I thought we were still on speaking terms, as there were no harsh feelings expressed other than my desire not to support him anymore. I have been trying to figure out what happened, but nobody in the group will tell me anything other than I am not welcome to game with them anymore.

Signed,

Black Bert

Evening classes..? That's supposed to be a good way to meet people.

Deathwishbone wrote from the cold north:

Dear dr. Bubba.

Thank you. Thank you a lot.

No problem. Err... what for?

Thank you somewhat less than a million, but a whole lot more than a thousand times.

You don't have a friggin' clue why I'm thanking you, do you?

That would be correct.

Now, I don't know how you did it, but a few days after I'd written my previous letter to you

Now I remember! You were in love with a girl called Lise, but were worried that you were also attracted to a cartoon character.

(which you published in your SPLENDID Issue no. 6), I met a wonderful girl.

Her name's Unni (which means "Love" in Norse), and we've been an item ever since.

What the fuck happened to Lise? You said she was the most wonderous girl you'd ever met!

Not only that, but she turns out to be a great roleplayer, and an even better GM.

My life has improved vastly since my last letter,

Presumably because this time, you *didn't* read her any of your poetry.

and yet, there is one thing:

Why do I still have a crush on Nemi, the cartoon character? (Actually, I've found that this is quite a common affliction in Norway... But then again, that's understandable... I've included a strip and some pictures... Regrettably, the lines are in Norwegian, but it's the drawings that matter.) Also, should you want to, here's a URL for more of Nemi:

http://www.darkrealm.no/nemi/

I hope you'll be able to answer this in your usual, enlightened way.

What's the problem? I figure that they're only unfaithful thoughts if they're about someone who actually exists. Or are you upset about being a cartooniphile pervert?

And second...

Well, I'm home for the summer. Going back to university come fall... And after a year of gaming with GOOD roleplayers, I realize how truly dysfunctional my old group back here truly is.

Case in point, our current D&D game:

First, the good players:

-One straight-up 9th level human fighter. The only one who bothered to write up a background, and a good gamer as long as the DM doesn't say things like "She's the most beautiful woman you've ever seen." Or "Forget it. You guys haven't got a rat's chance in hell." Then he'll be arguing.

-One 6th level Half-Dragon (silver) druid. Method Roleplayer. Very solid. Unfortunately, he's got a job. He has to get up at 4 AM. Thus, he has no time for gaming. Participation record so far: 1 session.

Sorry... those are the *good* ones?

Over to the bad ones:

- Our resident half-celestial, a multiclass character. 2nd level fighter, Sorcerer and Wizard. Which means that he sucks in melee combat, and has few spells to speak of. The guy can't even cast 2nd level spells! Even with the best stats in the group, and all his half-celestial innate abilites, this guy's arse-fucked himself better than I'd ever be able to (metaphorically speaking, of course. Why settle for arse when I can get the better thing?).

Yeah alright, we already knew you had a girlfriend, no need to fucking rub it in.

He is, without doubt, the world's worst powergamer. He'd like to be the best one, but he simply cannot do it. Not even when knowing the system.

I know the type.

- Our 9th level gnome cleric. The character is okay. The player sucks. He is in the group just to hang with his other mates, and basically provides comic relief. Constantly. Often in an out of game context. He bogs down the game. Badly.

And lastly, worst of them all...

- a 5th level LAWFUL EVIL (or so his character sheet says) Pixie Wizard. We made out a great background for him together. That was the only good thing about it. The character was named "Gandolf" so the player wouldn't look unoriginal, naming his character after the greatest wizard in fantasy. The player, an avid computer gamer, seems to think that our gaming sessions are noting more than a linked "Diablo" game with me as the (again, metaphorically speaking) host machine. Despite being lawful, he acts chaotic, and is constantly whining at the gaming table, never conversing in character, and he has a dreadful temper and an unstabile psyche.

To give you a look at a fairly typical session:

The party is traveling with a caravan from the secluded mountain village to the nation of the Silver Dragon's capital (Home-made setting). They encounter a village. Scouting ahead, it is discovered that said village has been overrun by a plague of undeads and devils. Having encountered devils before, the party knows their weaknesses... And that said devils are usually immune to fire. As the rest of the party is laying out a tactic for taking out the bad guys, the Pixie Gandolf (God, I hate that name) flies up in the air, invisible, and pulls out his favorite magic item: A staff of Fire previously discovered. He then proceeds to fireball the devils' leader, giving away the location of his comrades. battle ensues, and it is only with judicious healing from the cleric and fudging by me that the party lives. Pixie-player then proceeds to blame every other party member for his character actually (gasp!) taking damage, and the combat going horribly. Let it also be known that whilst the party was in the thick of the melee with the aforementioned devils, he fireballed the group, aware that the devils where immune to fire, and damaging the party horribly in the process.

Lawful? My arse!

I beg, dr. Bubba... Give me your advice...

Keep the girlfriend... lose the group.

Yours, Deathwishbone

P.S: The poem's in English. Still not interested?

No. We hate poetry.