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  1. #91
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    ° Ignore WayneLigon
    Quote Originally Posted by Teflon Billy
    ...say something about play style other than "Every play style is of equal value" or "It's all good as long as everyone is having fun"

    I never dreamed in my life I'd get as tired as I have of the concept of fun in a game
    Amen. Because I have realized in many instances that if Player X is having fun it means I'm not.

 

  • #92
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    ° Ignore LostSoul
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Awkward
    Now, assuming that we send the DM off to read some DM advice books, what are we going to tell the players while he's off doing that? To sit around and depend on him to make a good game for them? Or to themselves assist the DM in making a good game? And how should they go about doing that? That's what the book will be about.
    Right. I'm just saying that you shouldn't tell players to follow plot hooks. If they are interested in them, they'll go after it without any need to push them, no problem. If they aren't interested in it, telling them to follow that plot just reinforces unrewarding play.

    So: "Follow the DM's plot hooks" should not go in the book, in my opinion.
    "If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."
    -- Ernest Hemingway, "A Farewell to Arms"
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  • #93
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    ° Ignore LostSoul
    Quote Originally Posted by ThoughtBubble
    Two different questions. The first seems to ask: "If a DM can be bad, why should we entertain the possibility of a good player?"
    I'm not sure I understand you. Interested, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThoughtBubble
    In your second question, is 'the other guy' referring to another player, the DM, the rest of the group or a bum down the street?
    I was talking about the DM, but you could apply the same logic to any relationship.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThoughtBubble
    And, in terms of character background, I've run into this weird phenomina. No one in my group tells me about their backgrounds.
    That brings up another good piece of advice: Communicate your desires to the other players and the DM. edit: Which is what you were saying.
    "If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."
    -- Ernest Hemingway, "A Farewell to Arms"
    Burning Empires: Boldaq
    Keep on the Shadowfell

  • #94
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    ° Ignore jdrakeh
    Quote Originally Posted by LostSoul
    RPGs generally give a lot more power to the DM. (In a social game, I think that's a mistake.)
    Actually, quite the inverse is true - many games, by implelmenting numerous mechanical checks and balances, actually give the players more power by defining the structure within which a GM can work. There are games are games that don't do this, but everybody (including the players) knows this when they sit down to play one of those games, and trust the GM not to abuse this power. If somebody agrees to play with a rule set that gives the GM more power, they shouldn't bitch about it unless...

    A lot of DMs use this power irresponsibly.
    If the GM abuses this power, then sure - players should be upset. They should also tell the GM that they're upset - something that, in my ten years of gaming, I've rarely seen upset players do. Instead, such players seem to keep their mouth shut and so the GM, unaware that a problem exists, doesn't change anything and a miserable game continues to be miserable, while unhappiness festers.

    In this regard players usually have as much responsibility for a crappy game as the GM does, if not more, as they had the chance to point out a problem that the GM might not be aware of and chose not to do so. When this happens, players have no right to complain - after all, they're contributing to the problem by not addressing it (and, thus, allowing it to continue) just as much the GM did by initially creating it.

    This comes back to cooperation between all players. A social contract takes care of a lot of this before play ever begins by addressing specific tenets of play according to the wishes of all players involved in the game, and I've found that most players welcome such structure. The only players that I've seen vehemently oppose social contracts and other cooperative efforts in games are those socially short-changed players who would benfit from a book such as that proposed by Jim.

    [Edit: If you need contributors, Jim, I'd gladly write a piece about social contracts and playing to expectations.]
    Last edited by jdrakeh; Thursday, 3rd November, 2005 at 08:06 AM.
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  • #95
    Quote Originally Posted by jim pinto
    its about compromise... on all sides of the table... and both sides of the screen
    its time to put the onus back on the PCs... make them responsible for something
    Okay, this I must admit I like. The questions of what exactly are a playerĺs responsibilities. I mean really, where is the list of things I am expected to do? (Not including basic social skills.)

    However with power comes responsibility, and giving responsibility usually means granting power . . .
    What are my corresponding powers as a player? What decisions as a player do I get to make about the game?

    But what about the GM, what decisions does he get to make about the game, and which are he not allowed to make?

    And a random theory from a nobody:
    Do different styles disagree on these? ( ĹCause I suspect they do, but I would love to be wrong.)

  • #96
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    ° Ignore jim pinto

    good stuff

    the process here is NOT to say one way is better than another

    i've said this four times now, but people are still missing it

    the book is about
    a) making sure EVERYONE has fun
    b) the DMs work doesn't go to waste
    c) the DMs time isn't devalued and disrespected by gamers who think, "they got fun coming to them."
    d) making sure EVERYONE has an equal vote, equal time playing, and equal investment in the game
    e) making sure the styles of play mesh (if the DM is a munchkin and the player's a munchkins... they don't need this book)
    f) if all these conditions are met, can we elevate the quality of our game?
    g) okay. i'm not 14 anymore... what sort of characters, campaigns, challenges can i create/be involved in?

    and so on.

    does this make sense?

    the book is about putting some responsibility into the hands of the players for a change.

    DMs can't and shouldn't be held at gunpoint to run a great game/story/adventure/combat fest week after week after week unless they are being paid OR they have the option of saying NO... you can't have 14 sneak attack feats that stack together into the perfect death touch attack.

    and player's need to know why that's not okay, without crying foul that the DM is out to get him or her.
    Last edited by jim pinto; Thursday, 3rd November, 2005 at 08:01 AM.
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  • #97
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    ° Ignore Janx
    Quote Originally Posted by LostSoul
    If I'm not interested in a plot, I'm not interested. Telling me that I should be is just going to mess me up. And drive me away from the game, after I've kicked myself too many times for not enjoying the DM's plots. "I guess I just can't play RPGs."
    So WTF do you expect to be doing for that session? The DM (say a new one running for 1st level PCs) has only got 1 plot, goto sewer, kill rats. This isn't much different than any CRPG. You can kill the rats (satisfying the combat folks) or you can roleplay prepping for the mission (satisfying the drama folks), or you can sit on your arse and whine that there's nothing to do in the city.

    Our point is, you're absolutely RIGHT that the DM should be making multiple plots that are relevant to the players interests. BUT since you don't own or control the DM, how do you make the best of the situation at hand?

    That's the point of suggesting follow the plots you're given. If you make the bets of what you have, you'll have more fun and the DM will have the opportunity to get better than if you stall the game out and nobody has any fun.

    There's another misconception on PC backgrounds. You're making a 1st level PC. You only need a 1 paragraph background. You shouldn't be making up detailed histories and complex enemies to go hunt down and fight. a 21 year old 1st level fighter may not be likely to be married, let alone witness his wife killed by and Ogre Magi AND be prepared to hunt it down. Assuming that was a reasonable backstory, the PC should be interested in pursuing the sewer mission because it gets his funds for his hunt and XP so he won't be a 1st level PC when he meets the Ogre Magi.

    Another way to look at adventures is this: The DM's job is to START the story, provide a few hooks to an interesting adventure. The PCs job is to FINISH the story, solve the problem in their unique way. Once the DM has started the story and the PCs have entered it, his job is to simply resolve the PCs actions against the story he setup. This is the difference between railroading and having a plot.

    Somewhere over the years, the some players and DMs have forgotten this little arrangement. The players expect the DM to be a full universe simulator, and the DMs come up with weak plots or railroads to hell.

    The point Jim's book idea is trying to make, is that you are a PLAYER. What can YOU do to make the best of the gaming situation you are in NOW.

    Janx

  • #98
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    ° Ignore JoeGKushner
    Quote Originally Posted by LostSoul
    So anyway, what are the player's responsibilities?

    - Play nice with other people. ie. Don't be a jackass. If you can't do that, go back to kindergarden.
    - When you make your character, make sure he has a reason to adventure in whatever world/setting/system you agreed to play. If all the characters that you want to play don't fit in or have a reason to adventure in a certain setting or system, don't play. Don't spoil everyone else's fun by saying "My guy wouldn't do that." Pick up the dice or go home.
    - Make sure that you make it clear to your DM what kind of plot hooks you're going to bite on. Don't have him waste his energy by making up stuff you're not going to want to play.
    What about knowledge of the rules? Players should understand the rules of the game. There should be progessive knowledge increase as players continue to play. You should not be wondering how power attack works six weeks into the game.

    How about having a character sheet tha's clean and easy to read? Having all appropriate bonuses totalled up? Having variants precalculated for Power Attack or other commonly used modifiers?

    How about being timely and helping the host out? Some might be surprised that there are still people who show up rotuinely late. Those whole subject could be it's own book in terms of common manners, etc...

    Listen to the GM. If everyone agrees up front that the game is going to involve a lot of fighting undead and the players decide to make rogues and rangers that don't take undead as favorite enemies, is the GM supposed to scrap the campaign that everyone agreed to in the first place?

    Then outside of table rules, you have "meta" rules. For example, does the party steal for each other? If you have a rogue in the group, there woudl be no reason why the rogue shouldn't occassionally dip into something that they found uniquely. It happens in fiction and the movies all the time. It makes for bad game play usually as most groups are going to want to kil lthe rogue if they ever find out.

  • #99
    Quote Originally Posted by Janx
    There's another misconception on PC backgrounds. You're making a 1st level PC. You only need a 1 paragraph background. You shouldn't be making up detailed histories and complex enemies to go hunt down and fight.
    This is a point that IS a peeve of mine, along with players who won't even go so far as the one paragraph. If you are playing low-level characters (1st through 3rd), their background is going to be very short, by necessity. Extensive backgrounds detailing lots of travel, deeds, and vendettas is not plausible for a person who's just reached age of majority; it's possible, let's say they've been conscripted in a war, they travelled on a ship, were present for many deeds but didn't participate in them), but that experience is rare. A more detailed background is appropriate for a higher-level starting PC, but "held off 15 orcs that invaded his home" at 1st level is not, as is "celebrated for mediating a truce in his home land" or "fought with the 81st lancers, private regiment of the King."
    WAAAAAGHUST!

  • #100
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    ° Ignore LostSoul
    Quote Originally Posted by Janx
    So WTF do you expect to be doing for that session? The DM (say a new one running for 1st level PCs) has only got 1 plot, goto sewer, kill rats.
    Wondering why the DM ignored my character, and hoping it'll get better next time. At the end of the game, tell him what I thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Janx
    BUT since you don't own or control the DM, how do you make the best of the situation at hand?

    That's the point of suggesting follow the plots you're given. If you make the bets of what you have, you'll have more fun and the DM will have the opportunity to get better than if you stall the game out and nobody has any fun.
    I see your point. But you need to tell the player that he doesn't always have to follow the DM's plots if he's not interested in them. There's a limit to that sort of thing. Give the DM some slack to see where it's going, sure. Always following his plots, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by Janx
    There's another misconception on PC backgrounds. You're making a 1st level PC. You only need a 1 paragraph background. You shouldn't be making up detailed histories and complex enemies to go hunt down and fight.
    How about this: "I was a farmer. Today I went home and saw my wife being taken by orcs!"

    DM: "Okay, you're going to hunt rats in the sewers."

    Player: "That's lame, but if I don't follow his plot like this book says, I'll be doing something wrong."

    Quote Originally Posted by Janx
    Another way to look at adventures is this: The DM's job is to START the story, provide a few hooks to an interesting adventure.
    I'd say that it's the player's job to start the story. That's what his background is for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Janx
    The point Jim's book idea is trying to make, is that you are a PLAYER. What can YOU do to make the best of the gaming situation you are in NOW.
    And sometimes the best advice is "Quit".
    "If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."
    -- Ernest Hemingway, "A Farewell to Arms"
    Burning Empires: Boldaq
    Keep on the Shadowfell

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