better gaming through chemistry - Page 8
  1. #71
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    being clearer

    while i have my own bias about event-based gaming and munchkins, each would get their fair attention is a work of this caliber.

    the point is to promote COMPROMISE and COMMON GROUND

    something few if any game books have ever addressed

    and i think its crucial for people that DO want to get better, for DMs that want fewer arguments disrupting their game, for players that want cohesion at the table, and for generally elevating the quality of games.

    the book will certainly contrast storytelling vs. munchkin gaming, but if your DM isn't a fan of the min-max power concept, chances are he's not going to be too happy with half-ogre barbarian chain warrior IV

    and if your DM is like 90% of americans, he's passive agressive about his hints and nudges to not make another stat crusher. and if subtlty doesn't work, what avenue does he have left?

    anyway... that last paragraph wasn't productive.

    patrick kapera and i worked for AEG for many years. having had many discussions about gaming. this conversation came up a lot. its certainly no one's place to PREACH to others and say... here... game better... but if robin laws can write a book on RUNNING better, certainly someone (ahem, me) ... can sit down and write a book about PLAYING better.

    fun is certainly a goal.... but your fun is as important as the fun of person X, Y, and Z sitting at the table with you... and wouldn't be cool if everyone promoted each other's fun, instead of just their own?

    or am i being a bit too much of a socialist about a non-competitive, social endeavor that's consuming 6 hours of our week (more if your the DM)?

    a lot of people have written some really smart things on here, btw

    i'd really like to recruit you to help on this book, if you'd be so inclined

    OR

    perhaps just brainstorm off the list sometime about what elements you'd like to see

    (i'm already working on an outline)

    alright

    thanks for everyone's insight

    - jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Shaman
    A player who cheats is a bad player.

    A player who is disruptive, in or out of game, is a bad player.

    A player who is selfish is a bad player.
    this is awesome

    YOUR fun is not okay if it detracts from my fun... and if you think its okay, i'm coming to your house and kicking your cat and saying... "Hey. This IS fun!"

    i think big picture thinking is the enemy of short-sighted ' immediate gratification ' gaming... which i think is supported by the small challenge mentality of video games

    (there was an article in psychology today about how video games hurt people's abilities to set goals, because video games fail to have long term challenges.)

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    What I'd like to see is a way for common character types to work together. THis can be a problem when you have 6 players all make fine characters but when brought together they just don't gell as a group and it is more a problem with the character concepts then the players themselves. And then someone has to compromise and then the problem becomes a player one. But it would be nice for people to see how a lone wolf character can fit into a group and make it fun. How the necromancer when played right can work with a good group and be okay.

  4. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran
    I think the major problem you'll find is that defining "good player" wil be a bit more slippery than defining "good GM".

    The GM's role in the game is highly service-oriented. The GM's job is to provide something for the players, and one canmeasure his or her success by how much the players like the offerings.

    The player's role, traditionally, is not quite so service-oriented. While playing is a cooperative endeavor, the player's role is a bit more centered upon themselves, and that makes grading their performance a bit more difficult.
    That attitude is the problem right there. If a player is self-centered, then they should seek a form of entertainment that best suits selfish play, such as MMO gaming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LostSoul
    I think that's partly the DM's fault, and partly the players.

    The players should come up with characters who have a reason to adventure. Or else what's the point? Why does your guy want to do anything then? Make up a guy with a reason to pick up sword and shield or go home.

    The DM should give the players interesting choices where even doing nothing creates consequences. If the players can do nothing and stay alive, why would they want to go spelunking through rat-infested sewers? Doing nothing must be a choice, just like any other.
    There's a common theme in the "against a book like this" I'm seeing. It seems that some folks are taking things too literally. In my example, of a DM presenting 3 plot hooks, if the player's don't bite, the game is boring. Maybe the DM should have made better hooks, but if there aren't any more, you'll be stuck. In that situation, a GOOD player will detect the situation, and work to get the story moving so the DM can get back in the groove. That's not sacrificing your fun, that's helping the DM out of a sticking point.

    The example about rules of improv acting apply here. The DM is basically saying, "I see you got a new hat". Blocking it won't make the game any better.

    As a player, you can't make the DM a better one DURING the game. So you've got to have skills to make the session BETTER than it is. This isn't sacrificing your fun (well, maybe a little), it's trying to make the best of the situation. A bad player will work against this process, making it harder for the DM, and harder for the other players.

    Since D&D is a group effort, the following should be true:
    a player should act to keep the game moving
    a player should avoid hurting the campaign

    This doesn't mean the player can't munchkin out his PC, kill lots of stuff, be dramatic. It simply means the player is aware of other factors besides their own goals and works to accomplish those goals WITH the group so more people are having fun.

    There are plenty of other avenues for anti-social folks to get their kicks than at the gaming table hurting other players and the DM. This forum is full of stories about crappy players.

    Another fallacy among players seems to be the desire to be able to wander around a game setting, seeing everything and thinking the DM has a plot and background for every NPC. Got news for you. Most DMs are NOT capable of multitasking that many complex plots and NPCs. They come up with a general storyline and 1 or more hooks to get you in the story. While it is great that you or your DM is capable of ad-libbing an complex adventure based on anything the players do, most DMs are not. So realizing that, isn't it in a player's best interest to figure out how to coexist their gameplay desires with the DM's prepared material? Remember, all the "I wish the DM would do X" ain't worth squat, because you can't change him, but you can control how you play the game.

    Janx

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Shaman
    A player who cheats is a bad player.

    A player who is disruptive, in or out of game, is a bad player.

    A player who is selfish is a bad player.

    All of those things may contribute to a player's enjoyment, but they have no place at the gaming table.
    While it's easy to focus on antisocial behaviour as something we don't want to see in players, I think that's a bit too easy. What I want to see from a book on How to Play isn't "don't be a total creep" guide to avoiding negative behaviour, but rather a guide to positive player behaviour. Assuming you're not a selfish git, but are instead a normal person who wants to have a fun game with people, what can you do to work with the DM and the other players to improve the session from the player's seat?

    It's easy enough to just kick the bad players out. What we should be asking for is a guide for the already-okay players that will help them improve their style. That will be more difficult, more subtle, and more valuable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim pinto
    <SNIP>
    in all this time, i've never seen a book for PLAYERS that gave advice on how to be a better PLAYER
    <SNIP>
    Back in the 80's Gary Gygax wrote a book called Roleplaying Mastery that discussed how to be a better player. It's pretty good, and you can find it on ebay (that's where I got my copy). His followup, Mastery of the Game (which focused on how to be a better gamemaster) was also full of good advice.

    [EDIT: bubbalin beat me to it- I didn't see his post initially].

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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnydwarf
    Back in the 80's Gary Gygax wrote a book called Roleplaying Mastery that discussed how to be a better player. It's pretty good, and you can find it on ebay (that's where I got my copy). His followup, Mastery of the Game (which focused on how to be a better gamemaster) was also full of good advice.

    [EDIT: bubbalin beat me to it- I didn't see his post initially].
    i've actually read these, believe it or not

    but gary didn't like actors or story... he saw no place for it in roleplaying.

    this book needs to be a guide for everyone... a tool for every style, and level of play

    with essays and excerpts and discussions about what works for what kind of DM and so on

    it can't be totally inclusive, because that's impossible, but we can get close

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    Quote Originally Posted by DreadPirateMurphy
    While D&D generally supports a variety of play styles
    Uh. Not really.

    You can play D&D in a variety of styles, but being able to play in a variety of styles same thing as supporting a variety of styles.

    I think that's one of the reasons 3e is such a good game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janx
    There's a common theme in the "against a book like this" I'm seeing. It seems that some folks are taking things too literally. In my example, of a DM presenting 3 plot hooks, if the player's don't bite, the game is boring.
    I'm against putting bad advice in the book.

    If the DM presents 3 plot hooks and the players think they are boring - guess what, the DM messed up. He came up with 3 boring plot hooks. Maybe the game will get more exciting if the players follow those plot hooks, but maybe not. Telling players to slavishly follow any plot hook (or boring plot, as it unfolds) that the DM comes up with is bad advice, in my opinion, because you're just going to reinforce bad play.

    Now the players have messed up if they haven't told the DM what they want those plot hooks to be.

    And the game has messed up if the player's desires aren't clearly stated on the character sheet.

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