Sunday, December 28, 2014

'Everyone should make everyone else have fun. Otherwise what is the point?'

Spoiler for the first game of thrones book - what's the point of Ned dying? Isn't reading books about having fun? Shouldn't he break out of prison and right wrongs? That's fun, right? What's the point of not having that fun?

It's because no, it's not about having fun. Stories started so as to give us warnings abount the real world. Story tellers added fun to the warnings so as to make people listen who might not otherwise.

If you only want to have fun, it's actually you stepping away from what stories are about, not the OP.

The whole "It's all about being entertained/having fun" thing going through gamer culture at the moment is poisonous. Don't get me wrong, I remember the era when it was all about self centered DM's doing things their way and only their way. That was poisonous - and the over reaction to that of making it 'all about the fun' is simply poison from the other end of the spectrum.

Originally posted by me, here

Saturday, December 27, 2014



Just when you're ready to chow down on some more internet bile, someone will go and slug you in the gut with a sneak attack of appreciation! Then you fall to the floor curled up around the blow to the guts, not knowing what happened.

Edit: On the same day. Weird.

More than one type of fun

There's more than one type of fun.

Essentially the benefit of rules is that they stop certain types of fun from happening - so as to enable another type of fun to happen! Maybe not everyone likes that kind of fun (Eg, I'm not a big fan of monopoly, but lots of people have fun with it). But if they stop other types of fun to enable fun type X to happen...and you don't like fun type X at all...then you should probably stop playing that RPG (and look for another RPG that more suits you).

Just giving up on rules arbitrarily (instead of adhering to all/some consistantly) means the book neither delivers it's type of fun, but at the same time you are all putting in effort to follow its rules - for no real reason since it wont deliver it's fun. That's why a lot of people start looking for rules lite games - because they ignored so many rules they find rules useless to follow, so they think the solution is to play an RPG with less of them.

Granted, sometimes the designer just designed the rules badly - the designer maybe had fun X playing, but following his rules doesn't lead to the fun he had because he designed them badly. But again, this is really a sign to move on from the game (though hell, I GM Rifts - and I haven't moved on from it's hodgepodge of thrown together rules, so can I talk about moving on?).

Anyway, essentially the benefit of rules is that they are a buzz kill - of a certain type of buzz. And that enables other buzzes to be experienced instead.

First posted by me, here

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Players Poor at talking with NPC's : a handling method

If you're going to have a right way to approach them, then I'd suggest something simple: After they try to talk to the NPC but get nowhere (or after about thirty seconds of all the players sitting frozen, not sure what to say and being frozen in analysis paralysis), say they get a roll (on chr or wiz or even int, as you see fit or even as the player might like, vs DC 15), but each roll loses Y amount of XP they'd have gained from the encounter. After three failed rolls all the XP is gone but they figure the right way to talk to the NPC (assuming there is a right way)

Originally posted by me, here.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Looter Players

The looting is their story.

Granted it wont be a complicated story if they have no moral boundaries in regards too looting.

Your problem as GM is thinking the only story there is is the story you wrote before the game (or the module you bought)

No, the players are making a story.

They aren't interested in your story because they are interested in the story they are making by their characters actions.

Which I think is a way people instinctively play (when new to roleplay) and by that measure, the right way to play.

A more complicated story from their actions would come if they have various scruples, moral principles, NPC's they care about, etc. Sometimes the looter PC has these, you just don't see it. Sometimes the player can add these to the PC after play has started, if you talk about it.

The players are not like book readers and you a book author - you are not a book author trying to get your book reading audience to care about the story. The players are authors of the story themselves - every time they have their PC's act, they write some story.

The question is, how do they get YOU to care about their story?

I'm guessing hard rejection of this premise - because you only asked about how to make them care about your story. That's all that matters to you. So they wont be getting you to care about their story any time soon, I guess?

Originally posted by me, here

Friday, December 12, 2014

No ambition, no participation players? Maybe it's your pre written story, GM?

I posted this here, originally.

Generally I find players have no ambition or spontaniously participate because they have been trained not to do so, because about 90% of the time any ambition or spontanious participation gets in the way of the GM's pre written story. The GM frowns on them when they do these things. Then the GM latter wonders why he has to basically push every PC along through his plot or otherwise they stay still and the players start quoting monty python.

So for pre written story GM's, it is the GM. You can't keep scolding players for going off story without also scolding them for being ambitious and spontanious.

One reply was : "This is so true. I'm playing in a campaign on the side (for now) and this kills my player enthusiasm so much."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

'The plot'/'The story' is itself a boardgame?

You get a lot of comments about certain RPG gaming as 'that's just boardgaming' in gamer culture.

But what if the urge to prep a sessions 'plot' that goes from A to B to C is just as much a desire to do a boardgame? You want a fixed progression to occur.

Of course a lot of GM's seem to fool themselves at this point "But my player could look in the wardrobe and find a gold coin at B, thus making B2 option exist - see, I don't have a linear path! Plenty of options! Of course then they go to C after that..."

But if we ignore the relatively minor detours on the way to C, the whole thing has a boardgame structure, really.