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This will seem like a lot of irrelevant information but it will make sense.

I'm relatively new to tabletop RPGs, but not RPGs in general. A little while ago, I became interested in playing with a group that my older brother participated in that uses the Shard RPG. I Skype-in to play. I learned fast and the character I wanted to play was what they were missing from their party, so they were more than happy to let me join.

In Shard, you play anthropomorphic characters. This group is really - and I mean really - into the furry culture. They have integrated it into the game. I don't care that they are proud furries. Like what you like, you know?

One of the issues is that they talk over me and interrupt me when I talk. So much that I don't see the point in trying to speak up any more. I now get in roughly 2-5 role-play minutes to their 20-45 minutes each. I'm not exaggerating because I record the sessions - they wanted me to write a book for them. It's not truly role-play, either. Instead, it is to get information to get to the next fight. As a result, no one in our party knows each other beyond familiar acquaintances.

The main thing is that they are extremely condescending. They consistently assume that I am the dumbest person in the group and routinely make fun of me. They do not let me defend myself properly, due to the above-mentioned interruptions. My brother lets them. I'm not expecting him to do my fighting but I didn't expect him to just sit back and watch.

The GM is a mess. He makes excuses like, "because I said so" and "that's the way my world works." For instance, I gave him real-world information about speed and he used it for an NPC. Then later, after the session was finished, I mentioned how a certain animal has this speed (because I thought it was cool and wanted to share) and he said, "That's not how mechanics work," in this derisive tone. Everyone laughed. I tried to explain I was just sharing something cool but since I was Skyping in, my brother hung-up right as I was mid sentence.

They, particularly the GM, have done this before. Where I provide information no else seems to know and they use it, but don't let me use that same information. The GM uses it for his NPCs and the other members' characters, but not me.

I have left before and I kind of dread being around them. On the other hand, I don't really have friends (woe is me. Maybe I'm the problem?) and I like the creative aspect of it.

TL;DR

I am playing in a disrespectful group. One of the players is my brother. They talk over me, interrupt me, condescend, and at times are openly aggressive. They spend more time arguing with each other than playing. They have aggressively told me to shut-up when I got confused and asked a question. They make rape jokes even though they know I've been raped, repeatedly. The DM is a mess and makes endless excuses for not planning his story or NPCs well.

I have tried talking it out with them to no avail. It is a five person monologue to rationalize their behavior. Should I just stop making my weekends frustrating and leave the group?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. No answer will encourage you stay with this group! Your goal becomes picking the answer that will let you leave this group the way you want to leave it. Do you care what these people think of you? Do you wish to remain friends with them afterward? Would you like them to learn anything from your departure? Including in your question answers to these questions will help folks give you an appropriate escape from a toxic situation. Thank you for participating, and remember: No gaming is better than bad gaming. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 16 '16 at 21:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. This is hard to remember in action because of my past. I wan't to also thank those who corrected my writing. I was in a rather emotional state when I wrote it. I do appreciate the community making my question clearer. \$\endgroup\$ – WoeIsMe Oct 17 '16 at 1:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ In addition to the answers you'll get here, I would recommend that, if you want to keep playing RPG's but find it hard to gather friends, try online tabletops, like roll20. You are already Skyping anyway, and there is nice people out there that would want to play with you. \$\endgroup\$ – Punkgeon Oct 17 '16 at 11:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are the rest of the players in the same physical location and you're the only remote player? \$\endgroup\$ – CodesInChaos Oct 17 '16 at 13:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CodesInChaos I am the only remote player at the moment. I didn't used to be until I moved back to my home town for summer break. \$\endgroup\$ – WoeIsMe Oct 18 '16 at 1:09
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Yes. You should leave.

These people are not respectful, and are not worth your time. Tell your brother you're not interested, and stop joining the call — he's the only person you have actual contact with, and given the behaviour of the rest of the group you're best cutting ties with them completely. (Who would want friends like that?)

You could expend effort working with them to overcome their talking over you, their negligence of you getting value from the game, and their aggressive and disrespectful behaviour toward you and making you feel uncomfortable — but that's a lot of effort, not likely to succeed with this group, and not really worth it when there's a world of gaming groups out there full of people who are quite ready to treat you and others respectfully like anyone ought to. (The fact they're making rape jokes in front of a rape victim is appalling, and one of several strong signs they're probably not interested in engaging with you constructively on resolving any of this. Indeed, a lot of what you've described reads to me as abuse.)

We have some guidance available on finding other groups that you might find useful, kindly gathered by a resident moderator:

Bad match with a gaming group, how to leave? provides general advice for politely leaving groups, but in this circumstance, you don't need to use it. The group does not need, and won't be receptive to, an exit conversation. (Your brother may be different in this regard, but you'll need to judge that for yourself.) Other people in the future may be receptive.

You mentioned these people were in the furry fandom — I'll advise based on personal experience that this behaviour is completely non-representative of that fandom, and exceptionally awful and heinous bullying by any standard, including theirs. Individuals in the furry subculture may be somewhat more inclined to poorer social mores than many groups, but the subculture is largely made up of harmless, well-intentioned, friendly individuals.

Roleplaying games should always be fun. If you're not having fun, talk and work with your group to resolve the source of un-fun, or leave and find another one. You found this one, you can find another.

(NB: In a previous version of this answer I'd unwittingly given some advice that appeared to suggest this behaviour was normal for people in the furry fandom. It isn't. At all. It's awful, and entirely outside any behavioural standard of the subculture.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you so much for the reply. I am sorry If I implied that anyone who is apart of the furry fandom acts like they do. I know that is not true. Judging the many by the few applies to any group. Again, thank you. \$\endgroup\$ – WoeIsMe Oct 17 '16 at 1:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @WoeIsMe You could make it very brief -- "I'm leaving those games. Didn't enjoy it. That's all, ttfn." -- and if you've got unsubmitted work or content you might be better leaving it that way. Your brother might call you flaky but if it was about being in situations like this, I'd flake too. You've got good reason to leave - the group and he are being abusive - and flakiness has no relation to it. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 17 '16 at 2:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ I will give it a shot. I will have to remember that my mental and emotional health is more important than what one group of people say about me. \$\endgroup\$ – WoeIsMe Oct 17 '16 at 3:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not one group of people. Your mental and emotional health are more important than what ALL groups of people say about you :) \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Oct 17 '16 at 14:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ If your brother can't understand that you don't want to play a game with a bunch of a rude, obnoxious, and cruel bullies, that's HIS problem. \$\endgroup\$ – Doktor J Oct 17 '16 at 14:47
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If you have tried discussing this with the group and the GM and they are not listening to you, then it is in your best interest to leave the group.

Your biggest priority should be that you are enjoying yourself and enjoying the time you spend with your gaming group. If neither of those things are true then you should calmly explain your reasons for leaving and then leave.

Then, you can try to find a more respectful group if you are still interested in gaming either at your local game store or online.

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Preface: I am providing an answer from a different perspective for use by others who may be having similar problems, but less severe. I will add some comments specific to this situation exactly as described, toward the end.

This may be either or both of two problems, and if both they may be reinforcing each other.

  1. As you describe, these players and their GM seem to be jerks. Less judgmentally, they don't seem to be people you are interested in hanging around with, and vice-versa. Speculatively, you may be tolerated more for the mechanical role your character plays than for your company.

  2. You are also on uneven ground in terms of communication and presence, because you are Skype-ing in. I have spent a reasonable amount of time as the only person dialing or Skype-ing in to meetings and I can attest that even when I know absolutely that my presence and input are desired, the lack of physical presence has an effect. I cannot see, or may be a fraction of a second behind, the subtle non-verbal cues that help people order the turn-taking in spontaneous conversation. (It's not my main focus, but I have some academic expertise in that area as well.)

I personally think you have both, from your descriptions.

In an ideal world, the GM would be running interference for you as regards both these issues. Certainly I would not tolerate someone openly disrespected at my table, and I do have enough experience running teleconferences to at least recognize turn-taking problems.

If this were just garden variety jerk-ness and you had not already tried to talk to them about this and been rebuffed, I might suggest one attempt at talking to the GM to get some support.

THAT SAID (here are the specific comments) this group seems to have gone well beyond the bounds of being jerks, and far into the territory of being toxic. No one needs to put up with the sorts of jokes you describe in any circumstances, nor should anyone have to ask more than once to be treated like an equal. Especially not in a recreational game. Games are supposed to be fun.

I'd walk.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you so much. I appreciate your advice and professionalism towards to subject. \$\endgroup\$ – WoeIsMe Oct 17 '16 at 1:56
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These people make rape jokes. That's reason enough to leave the group.

They make rape jokes knowing you're a rape survivor - that's unforgivable abuse and reason not only to leave but to cut them out of your life entirely (and if your brother condones their abuse of you or pretends not to notice it, I'd seriously reconsider whether he's worth keeping in your life too).

The rest of their abusive, condescending, and patronising behaviour are all extra reasons to leave, but you only need one.

There's lot of other groups around, both on-line and in real-life, most aren't abusive jerks and many make a point of stating that they won't tolerate such behaviour.

BTW, one final piece of advice: leave immediately, don't wait until you find another group. And especially don't tell them you're looking for another group - the abuse will escalate, and they'll harass you until you accept that the problem is a) your fault, b) entirely in your imagination, c) they're being generous and kind by putting up with your complaints, and d) nobody else would have you anyway. None of this is true, but it's exactly what abusive & controlling types do when there's a risk that their victim is thinking of escape. I expect you've already heard variants of some or all of these (and more) from them anyway.

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    \$\begingroup\$ For the brother specifically, it might be worth a "call in" to discuss in detail why him letting his friends abuse the OP in that way is cosmically poor judgment, bad enough that if unchanged, the OP will seriously consider cutting him out of their life. But yes, absolutely. \$\endgroup\$ – Greg Martin Oct 19 '16 at 0:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Speaking directly to the OP: rape jokes are never funny. They are always harmful, and that goes 10x as much if they know you've been raped. That is not just gamer culture or "locker room talk"; that's oppressive abuse, pure and simple. Rape is not about sex, it's about exerting power over someone—and these assholes are getting off by exerting power over you (the whole post reads this way). None of this, whatsoever, is your fault! You don't deserve to be treated like this, and you don't even have to do them the favor of explaining why they're assholes if you don't feel like it. \$\endgroup\$ – Greg Martin Oct 19 '16 at 0:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GregMartin as much as I agree with every point you make, please keep the language clean, even in comments. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Oct 19 '16 at 0:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fairly spoken. Since I can't edit, let's mentally replace the offending plural noun by, say, "wastes of DNA"? \$\endgroup\$ – Greg Martin Oct 19 '16 at 0:42
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Leave.

Don't explain yourself or complain to them

It's quite obvious to me that there is not simply some small misunderstanding here, but the situation simply does not work out. Complaining about it (to your brother or them) will not fix it.

Avoid explaining yourself... For example: you say something, people start laughing at you. It's an understandable reflex to then go ahead and try to explain what you meant. Try to avoid that, it's unlikely that it will help.

Love it, change it or leave it

This also counts for all situations in life. Either you love it, or you change it so you can love it, or you leave it.

This is a simple truism that is designed to make decisions easier. You already know that you don't love your current play group. Your decision now only needs to be whether you want to or can change your situation. Frankly, I don't see how. Normally, when you are the underdog in a group, you somehow have to "gain rank". This usually (?) happens through a long process where you somehow keep at it and eventually are accepted. You cannot enforce it; talking about it usually makes it worse. All of this effort for a simple online RP group? I don't think so.

So, leave it.

For your own sake

Get rid of the thought that there is some "fault" in some person because a group did not work out. The fact is that you simply did not fit together well, for whatever reason that may be. This happens all the time, in any human group.

Of course, you can ask yourself if you want to find another RP group, and if so, if you could have done something different, but don't get too hung up about it with respect to this particular group. If it keeps happening in the next group, and the one afterwards, then it's time to start worrying. ;)

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    \$\begingroup\$ I am normally loathe to consider an approach in which one cuts off contact with someone suddenly and without explanation, but I admit that if any situation deserves such treatment, it's this one. There's really nothing to say that they won't already know, judging by their deliberate attempts to ridicule the OP. \$\endgroup\$ – Corrodias Oct 17 '16 at 22:11

protected by mxyzplk Oct 18 '16 at 13:21

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