member, 175 posts
Tue 23 Jan 2018
at 13:30
Lying About Experience
I have a thing for weird RPGs. I like reading them, seeing their ideas, and discovering how they think about their particular topics. I don't often get to actually play these games, since there's an average of about eight people actively playing those weird RPGs, and as far as I'm able to tell, they all play as a single group in Calcutta.

Since I don't live within commuting distance of Calcutta, I've started taking some of those games and converting their spirit and setting to a more popular system. This has led to an interesting observation:

I regularly get players who lie about their experience with whatever I'm converting.

Here's an example. I run a game using the setting of The Morrow Project and the d20 Modern system. Since TMP is a relatively obscure game, especially before its 2013 4th edition, I fully expect to have to explain the general ideas of the setting to applicants to that game. However, I always ask my applicants if they have any experience with the setting. I make it clear that prior experience won't affect their chances of getting into the game, but it simply tells me how much I need to explain.

I have regularly had applicants to that game that say something along the lines of "Oh, yeah! I love the Morrow Project." Then immediately reveal their untruth by showing a complete lack of setting knowledge. Then we're back to square-one and off on the wrong foot.

I understand the desire to look well-informed in what generally amounts to a job interview, but this kind of misstep is like applying for a job at Universal Studios, swearing you know all about filmography and screenwriting, then asking where the machine for shrinking people to TV size is.

I'm sure I can't be the only one that's experienced this sort of thing. It seems to only really harm the applicant in question, so why do they do it?

tl;dr: Applicants lie about their setting experience, even when there is no consequence for not knowing it. Why?

Disclaimer: The game mentioned in the example just lost one player who decided the game wasn't a good fit for them, and another just joined up. This is absolutely not some kind of passive-aggressive targeting, and neither of them is guilty of the above situation. I also love all of my other players in that game. You guys are great.

This message was lightly edited by the user at 13:31, Tue 23 Jan 2018.

 member, 523 posts
 Posts Monday-Friday
Tue 23 Jan 2018
at 13:37
Lying About Experience
Maybe they *think* they have experience but not as much as you were expecting?

To give an example. Im a star wars fan. I watched episode 4 over and over again as I child. Ive seen all films except for the last jedi.

I consider myself experienced in Star Wars.

To many die hard fans, however, Im not. I havent read any fan books or played many games. I couldn't give you detailed history of the major characters or tell you the technical schematics of the millenium falcon.
 member, 176 posts
Tue 23 Jan 2018
at 13:44
Lying About Experience
I'm certain that's true in some cases, but in the case of the example above, that's not what's going on. To use a Star Wars analogy, I don't expect an applicant that has said they know the setting to be able to recite a complete timeline of the Galactic Civil War or list the names of every Imperial officer Darth Vader Force-choked over his career, but I do expect you to know what a lightsaber is.
 member, 527 posts
Tue 23 Jan 2018
at 17:51
Re: Lying About Experience
To many die hard fans, however, Im not. I havent read any fan books or played many games. I couldn't give you detailed history of the major characters or tell you the technical schematics of the millenium falcon.

Good point. To many people you "know nothing about the setting."

As for the original question. If they're really lying (and not just judging things differently), I would guess they're lying so that they'll be considered for a spot in the game.
 member, 357 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Tue 23 Jan 2018
at 18:51
Lying About Experience
Ever run into someone who has to know something about everything?  No matter what it is, they'll stick their chest out like they know what they're doing and try to bluff through it.  That is, until they run into someone who really does know, then a lot of back-pedaling and temporizing occurs.

It plays to a basic insecurity, an ego problem.  When something like this occurs, I remember that a lie is a false statement made to intentionally deceive.  A lot of times that is not the person's intent at all, they just want to be more than they are, so they deceive themselves.  Deceiving you is just collateral damage.

We who play RPGs spin yarns and tell tall tales for our own amusement to, as Tom Lehrer put it, "escape for a while our drab and wretched lives".  Sometimes folks cross that line between fiction and deceit a bit too easily.
 member, 347 posts
Tue 23 Jan 2018
at 19:04
Lying About Experience
It probably stems from the reasons people play on rpol.  It has been my experience that there are 3 types of players here.  Those who don't have a gaming group near them, those who don't get enough gaming because life interferes, and those who no one else will game with in rl.  I would guess that the last category are what these people who lie are in.
 member, 252 posts
Tue 23 Jan 2018
at 20:09
Lying About Experience
There's a fourth: those of us who want to gain writing experience.

As to the original question, it's probably no more esoteric than that these players believe that they'll get brownie points with the GM on their RTJ if they claim knowledge/experience.

In my case, I'd probably say that I looked at TMP thirty or forty years ago, it was pretty detailed, and no one seemed to want to take the time to learn all of the rules.
 moderator, 3768 posts
 Keep calm, drink more
Tue 23 Jan 2018
at 20:35
Lying About Experience
Maybe they're just mistaken.

Maybe the system/setting they're thinking of is not the one you mean.

There's also a difference in 'experience' and 'knowledge'.

For instance, someone who works in a small office and writes a check or two technically might have experience in A/P and A/R.  That doesn't mean they know the difference between the two, or can do either job in a bigger company that has detailed processes in both.

Oh, I also remember asking a temp once if they knew how to alphabetize.  (Don't laugh - I've woefully figured out that it's not an elementary skill anymore.)  I took their word for it.

After checking on what they'd done, I found out that they thought 'alphabetizing' meant that anything starting with an 'A' went here, and what the rest of the letters after that first one were .... completely irrelevant.

They weren't lying.  That is what they thought.

What I thought would require me fruiting it out ... but that's another topic.
 member, 1022 posts
Tue 23 Jan 2018
at 21:17
Lying About Experience
Am reminded of this quote; don't know the source:

Don't tell her you're unworthy of her; let it come as a surprise.
 member, 1267 posts
Wed 24 Jan 2018
at 03:33
Lying About Experience
I think some folks may truly over-estimate their knowledge.

For example, I've played quite a bit of pathfinder in several games that took place in the Golarion setting, I might recognize a few names of gods or places, but I don't really know anything about the setting. Take away those names and I wouldn't be able to distinguish between Golarion and Ebberon.

I recognize this lack of familiarity primarily because I create my own settings.

It would not suprise me if players feel like they are familiar with settings, when they are actually just familiar with gameplay.
 member, 678 posts
Thu 25 Jan 2018
at 03:59
Lying About Experience

This message was deleted by the user at 04:22, Thu 25 Jan 2018.