The Third Sin: Wrath
When something goes seriously awry in your game, resorting to the emotion of Wrath can be one of the most dangerous responses, both on part of the GM and the players. Other problems may arise at the gaming table, but Wrath is by far the most dangerous, both to the game itself and to the friendships involved. When you give way to anger in a game you endanger not only the tenuous fabric of your shared imagination, but also the very real and tangible friendships you have with your fellow gamers. It is very easy to get caught up in the action of the game, and the investment we put into it is not so easily dismissed, but it must be remembered that the essential purpose of gaming (at least for most of us) is to have fun.
When frustration, the harbinger of Wrath, and its lesser sibling, anger, are the main products of a gaming session it might just be time to step away from the table for a while. It is common to get …
frustrated (say with despondent players),
slighted (perhaps by another member of the party),
or heartbroken (it’s not easy to lose a character you’ve been playing for six months),
and anger is a natural response. I’m not sure if there really is a way to completely avoid the cycle of frustration, anger and Wrath in a gaming environment. When we take something as seriously as most of us do our gaming, then it is only natural that we will feel powerful emotions when something goes wrong. The only thing I have really learned from long and sometimes painful experience is that it does sometimes help to try to put it all in perspective, take a deep breath and repeat to yourself, “It’s only a game.”