I had bonded with a male colleague over our shared love of Dungeons and Dragons, and when he mentioned he was about to start a new campaign with his friends, I asked if they were looking for another member. . The group was all male and the DM, who hated me, told me early on that he “wasn’t going to slow down the game to stop and explain the rules to me”. I assured him it wasn’t my first campaign, and he let it go. It became very clear during those early sessions that he was particularly hard on my character, and I constantly had to make life-saving throws, which the DM told me “couldn’t do.” The final straw broke in the third game when my character was cornered by a bad guy and the DM tried to get me to roll a d20 dice. If he landed on anything above 10? My character was able to escape and survive. Anything below that, and he said my character would be violated.”

“I think my exact words were, ‘Eat shit; fuck off’ and I walked out of the apartment we were hosting the game in. My colleague tried to apologize to me when I saw it later, but also tried to excuse the DM saying he always tries to play the game “authentically in tune with the times”. When I asked him what he meant, he literally said that in medieval times it was more common and more acceptable for a woman to be violently raped, and so it was appropriate for him to include that. fiction, so it’s not even accurate. There’s elves and tieflings, and you’re telling me you have to do a rape scene because you want to be ‘honest’?

This DM was an asshole, and it would be so easy to say that if he wasn’t part of the geek community, everything would be fine. But the truth is, there were eight other guys sitting at that table listening to him, who didn’t do anything. Nobody said, “Hey DM, maybe you’re going a little too far” or “I don’t like it when you say things like that.” Eight people heard him say it, watched me walk out, and didn’t say anything the whole time. They’re also the same eight people who had seen him being unfairly harsh on my character the whole time we were playing before that last moment. There’s bad behavior, and there’s bad enabling behavior, that’s what keeps him going.

—Anonymous, 32, Arizona