5E What do you do when your players are gunshy? - Page 8
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  1. #71
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    Magsman (Lvl 14)

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    Pretty much the only thing I can add is what others have echoed - there's a disconnect between what players _say_ they want and what the DM _says_ he provides.

    It _sounds_ like the players want short-term just-for-fun games that they can pick up and put down at their whim, like a video game; the DM wants to create long-term epic campaigns that just fizzle out due to lack of long-term interest from the players.

    Myabe the players don't get just how much work goes into being a DM. Maybe if one of those players becomes a DM, they might understand some more.

    I guess we'll never know now.

    Happy trails, @GMforPowergamers ... hope you find some peace-of-mind.
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  2. #72
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    Gallant (Lvl 3)



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    Well that was a less than happy ending. From the Op post, I figured it wouldn't be ideal, but I thought it'd be the group breaking up. I hope you have more fun with that time.

    My only advice would have been that the players themselves seemed to have incompatible goals as a party, and on the triggering incident there seemed to be a disconnect between the information that the DM was trying to give them and what they were picking up. The fact that it's a recurring issue hints that maybe there's a bigger issue, which is impossible for us as strangers to tell. It could be all sorts of stuff that I guess is a moot point now.

  3. #73
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    A "Drizzit" Type-Thing (Lvl 28)



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    @GMforPowergamers,

    This too shall pass. First and foremost, do things with your free time because they are fun. If they aren't fun, they aren't worth doing.

    And every gaming group ends badly. Otherwise, it wouldn't end.

    It sounds like you have a lot of fun creating worlds. Maybe after you've taken a good rest, you should try playing for a while and see if that recharges your love for the game a little. Good luck, and I hope you're not gone from the boards for too long.

  4. #74
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    Enchanter (Lvl 12)



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    I'm not saying I have brilliant insight into this situation or that I'm even correct. But, to me at least, the OP comes across as looking for permission to acknowledge his burnout and for an excuse to act on it. But maybe that's just me. <shrug>
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  5. #75
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    Titan (Lvl 27)



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    For what it's worth, @GMforPowergamers, I hope you don't leave the hobby or enworld. Take a break, maybe have some lonely fun making scenarios, plot, adventure locations and whatnot - stuff you didn't have space for in your regular game. Create it for the sake of doing it, perhaps putting together some one-shot games on Roll20 or the like with some new players and little commitment to a regular thing. You may find your interest rejuvenated for something more long-term in short order and potentially have an entirely new group of players who are more interested in gobbling up the stuff you can dish out.

    Good luck.

  6. #76
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    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)



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    My thoughts from reading this.

    There is a massive difference in knowledge between the players and the DM. The DM can easily forget that the players are always reading the tea-leaves provided by the DM and what might have seemed like an easy objective to the DM (finding the artifact) actually felt like a hard-earned victory to the players. And to have a victory snatched away would feel like a low blow. The DM has to be sensitive to the fun the players are having. If the encounters leading up the scene were hard give them a victory. Don't be a slave to your script and ruin the players fun. What you thought was a fun twist in the plot - "ha ha it's a trap!" became a source of misery and frustration.

    The DM is not there to have the players run through their maze. (Even if that's what the players said they asked for, it's probably not what they meant.)

    And I, too, hope you come back after a hard-earned break!
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  7. #77
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    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)



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    Hiya!

    Quote Originally Posted by GMforPowergamers View Post

    right now from my wiki-

    When Gnomes ruled the world- --SNIP--
    Dark Sun Caravan- --SNIP--
    Jedi/Marshal/Samari of throwns- --SNIP--
    The Rock- --SNIP--
    Saving the souls --SNIP--
    I haven't read through the rest of these posts, but...here's a couple thoughts.

    I see a distinct pattern, which I sort of hinted at in my first post. You are coming up with a "story", and then your players have to play it. I think that is (was?) why they rebelled and seem "annoyed" with stuff now. Maybe for the next campaign, go all out sandbox, 1e-style, Old Skool Hard-Core campaign. Tell them to "Make 1st level PC's" (1st level because IME, players get attached to characters and have a better 'feel' for them when they start them out as 1st level nobodys; like raising a cat from a kitten, versus getting a 7 year old cat right from the get go).

    Right. Now that they have 1st level characters, give them four or five starting areas; (1) The town of Bell's Crossing is a small town at the fork of the River Shale and the Silver River. Quiet and rural in nature. A stop off for those daring to venture down the River Shale...beware the Slavemaster, Sped! (2) In the country of Westing, a civil war is brewing. The rightful King met an unfortunate hunting accident, and now all his heirs are claiming the thrown. The Seneshal is barely keeping it together, but rumors are spreading about many dark and dangerous things... (3)...etc...(4)...etc... (5) ...etc...

    The point is...no "story". No "plot". No preconceived conceptions about what the PC's are "supposed to do". They have total control over what their PC's do and what they become. The difference is that in what you have on your Wiki, is that on there, you are laying out "the story"...so there is no real choice about it. Oh, sure, there may be different paths to take to follow, but they are still "following a path to a pre-determined likely end".

    Anyway, I figured I'd just toss out that last 2.

    ^_^

    Paul L. Ming

  8. #78
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    Spellbinder (Lvl 16)



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    To be honest, @pming I really don't think your "tough love" is helping. At all. The OP is feeling extremely frustrated, burnt out, hurt, and annoyed--feeling that his group is unpleasable, that they get mad about him giving them exactly what (he thinks) they asked for, etc.

    As for my own advice, @GMforPowergamers :

    Try not to let it get to you. First, take a break. Plenty of people have suggested perfectly cromulent ideas on how to do that--board games, one-shots, etc.

    It could be a very good idea to let one of the other people DM for a little while. It sounds like you've been the only one to shoulder that burden for years and years without a break. If the other people in your group are so dissatisfied with how things are going, give them an opportunity to have TOTAL control--to make EVERYTHING up themselves, from the bottom to top. They've been players for a long enough time that they should have an idea or two of how the back-end system works--now they just need to know how difficult it is to keep that going for 20-30 levels. Perhaps they will be more appreciative.

    Also, if you do decide to retake the DM's chair at some point, have a nice, long sit-down, with each of your players individually, and with the whole group together. Tell them how frustrated YOU feel...and listen, no matter how difficult it might seem, to how frustrated THEY feel. It sounds like *both* sides are not getting what they want out of this, and that's a recipe for hurt feelings all around. Communicate. Be as totally, completely clear as you can possibly be--even if it means being extremely pedantic and nit-picky about every little detail. And give your players the same opportunity. Perhaps, if you're not unlucky, a compromise can be reached.
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  9. #79
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    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)



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    Hiya!

    Ok, @EzekielRaiden, I can see your point of view on the matter.

    However, I don't think the whole "they just don't know" contention you have is the problem. I believe the OP's players have the experience, as you do, but I also believe they know how much 'work' goes into a good campaign. A 'bad' campaign is easy; a bunch of people get together, roll dice, and each game session is like a mish-mash of various TV shows with no central thematic element, no ongoing stories, and generally no lasting point. They can be fun...that's a given...but also almost totally unmemorable.

    Anyway, I don't think the OP 'explaining' how much work goes into a campaign is going to matter. He should "humble" himself before them in an attempt to let them be more honest and open; if they see he has "realized his mistake" (even if he didn't make one), and wants to make amends so that it doesn't happen again, then his players may adopt a more "nurturing, suggestive tone". As soon as someone who has 'hurt' others (re: the players) tries to justify his actions, the 'victims' (re: players) will feel even more attacked. The DM (re: GMforPowerGamers) needs to take a demure posture and give them (re: players) the 'upper hand' in the conversation. As long as GMfPG is able to keep his cool and just accept their position at face value...the group will have a chance.

    I once had an almost similar situation. I was DM'ing a pretty hard-core 1e campaign...a Temple of Elemental Evil campaign. PC's were dropping like flies...everyone had at least a few dead PC's before even hitting 4th level (not too surprising, as it was 1e). But, after almost a year of playing it, each player had a half-dozen or more dead PC's, easy. It was brutal. One day, after a few PC's died at once, the players "revolted" and refused to make new PC's for it because "what's the point, we're going to die anyway...". We had a short talk, and I put myself in the "submissive" posture in the conversation, allowing them to control where it was going so they could really get off their chest what they were unhappy about (other than simple PC death). Turns out they felt it was kinda pointless because none of the PC's were there at the beginning, so there was no real continuity. Their PC's had no real connection to the other PC's, and they all felt like individuals adventuring alone, in stead of friends/comrades adventuring with an Adventuring Party. I believe if I had taken the "you guys just don't understand" stance, things would have turned out quite a bit different.

    Anyway...I see your point, @EzekielRaiden, but your suggestion to "try and explain why" isn't the way to go. If a serious, adult conversation is going to go on, I'd suggest the opposite. Take the "I'm but a child, please help me get better" approach so that the players are the "adults with knowledge and wisdom to impart". This will let them lower their mental defenses and give them 'permission' to be honest and critical. Everyone likes to help others...nobody likes to lectured on why their feelings of betrayal (re: the whole "rug pulled out from under us" thing the one player who posted here mentioned, IIRC) are "wrong" and why the lecturer was "right" (re: "I'm the DM, it's hard, and here's why I think what I did was right/good").

    In short, to the OP, if you feel a serious sit-down is required: ...don't explain...listen.

    ^_^

    Paul L. Ming
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  10. #80
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    Magsman (Lvl 14)



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    This reminds me a lot of the advice in the classic How to Win Friends and Influence People book, which is a truly excellent book if you want to, well, win friends and influence people.

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