I played Savage Worlds at a convention a few years ago. The game was adapted to the World of Flash Gordon. Each player chose a pregenerated character from a selection available. There was Flash, Dale, Barin (me), Zarkov, Vultan, Thun plus many others. Having picked our characters, we waited for our eighth player to arrived.
Within a few minutes, we were all chatting and joking. A lot of the humor revolved around radio shows and Flash Gordon in general. Our last player was so late, we started playing without him. We had a good time, playing and making in-character comments all through out. The guy who had Vultan did a pretty good BRAIN BLESSED impersonation. Zarkov’s player used a styrofoam coffee cup to read like a radio announcer.
It was all fine and well until the eighth player showed up. He made some funny faces at the remaining character sheets and eventually picked Dale Arden. He did not engage in any of the humor at the table, even when our “Flash” threw some cheesy lines from the movie at him. After one particularly funny “Flash ‘n Dale” comment, Dale froze for a second and rounded on “Flash”.
“What the f— is your problem?” he demanded.
The table went quiet. It was a bit before we got back to the serious business of playing the game.
After a while, I spoke to our eighth player. He was sort of shy. He stuck to the basics of who he was and what he did for a living. He knew nothing of Flash Gordon. As I explained the story to him, he actually warmed up and was a decent sort of guy. He and I chatted for the whole game. It turns out he wasn’t able to play a game he wanted and just picked anything at random. He was kind of disappointed.
But this wasn’t why he snapped. Oh, lord no.
When were we done, he apologized briefly to “Flash” and left. I chuckled when he was out of earshot. Everyone wanted details. What was his issue with our “Flash”?
Our eighth player’s real name was Dale. He had picked the character sheet with his name on it.