Friends, I'd like to talk about Storytelling games and playing in games, and how different those two things really are. Just the other day, I was listening to an episode of "25 Years of Vampire the Masquerade (a retrospective podcast)", a show which I really appreciate. The hosts were interviewing a player who has decades of experience with the World of Darkness, as do they, and all of them were talking about sitting down to play at this table or that table, with this game or that one. I like listening to these guys because, like me, they have about 20 years put into this game, and they're more knowledgeable and experienced than I am.
I have noticed, over the years, a sort of problem that has developed in my playing of World of Darkness games. When I sit down at a table as Storyteller, I know all that has happened in my small corner of the world, as well as all the ways that the greater WoD metaplot has affected it (or has not). But when I'm attending someone else's game, I (wrongly and unfairly) sometimes expect them to be the same. And every time that Storyteller gets a rule wrong, references a metaplot angle that has already been resolved differently, or even completely ignores some rule or setting standard that should be obvious, it grates on my nerves.
This is one of those problems that seems easy to fix but is actually hard to catch, and is probably a little more common than we would like to admit. Further, its a problem that you see more in players that often instead fulfill the role of Storyteller. I reckon the reasoning behind such a mental state has something to do with the idea of knowledge and understanding of not only the setting, but the rules of the game. As much as we (and I) like to talk about this game being different from others, being more focused on story and narrative, sometimes the rules get in the way. And sometimes, the story that we've built up in our heads isn't the one presented to us.
My point in mentioning my personal failings in roleplaying is to say that people should always be more mindful and respectful of their Storyteller, in all aspects of what occurs at the table (or wherever they should happen to play). We don't always recognize the (often times massive amounts of) extra work that goes into writing a chronicle, something that is shouldered completely by the Storyteller. Whereas players have the task of building a singular character (really a monumental feat in and of itself), the Storyteller is expected to create distinct personalities, drives, ambitions, and motives for every other person in the world that might impact the story and setting in a way that might be relevant to the chronicle itself; that is, of course, in addition to building a setting, developing a plot, keeping the whole thing interesting, and so much more. If they choose to completely ignore the "official canon," the signature characters, and/or the current events of the World of Darkness for the purposes of their chronicle, let them do so.
Please, my dear young players (and all you old players as well), give your Storytellers a break; give them patience, give them respect, and give them your attention. They're doing the best they can. I'll try and do the same.