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D&D 5E As a Player, why do you play in games you haven't bought into?

Zardnaar

Legend
DM's being kind and chucking non-combat stuff at you at 1st level, rather than combat which could kill you. Too bad it didn't work out - some of the more interesting (if frustrating!) sessions I've played in have involved shifting walls and passages...and-or teleporters, and-or miniature gravity wells such that a seemingly-endless flat corridor is in fact the outside of a cylinder that you're going round and round...that sort of thing. :)

Yeah just a style thing. I've run puzzles before but don't usually make them to complex.

If people can't figure them out they just kinda give up and it's what happened here.

Had one combat but he rolled the Orc hit points and they had 17-22 hp.

3 orcs tanked us. Had already taken one short rest by then due to traps etc.

So one person didn't like puzzles, 2 indifferent and I was wrecked do to late night gaming session and if I no showed it's a 2-1 no show.
 

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Hussar

Legend
Where to me, differences in gear and personality is all I need. Hell, it's more than I need; I could live with the gear being the same too.

But try restraining what personalities I can give these guys and you'll have an argument on your hands! :)

Underlying philosophy: differentiating between similar characters (e.g. two female Human 3rd-level Fighters) does not require game-mechanical support.
True, but, mechanical support certainly helps.
 

Hussar

Legend
Not quite, because again, not all of us had finished with our characters. And again, we're all first level...how difficult would it be to change characters over? I do remember posting on the board and in Discord expressing interest. Maybe my voice was drowned out.

Oh, hey, I totally agree. Like I said, this was my mistake, not you guys. I'm hoping people will learn not to do what I did, not holding myself up as a shining example.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
By assigning my questions the attribute "goalposts" you are implying there is a way to score and a way to win in a discussion. I'm not trying to win....I'm trying to help one poster understand the viewpoint of another.

If the players at the table all collaborated to create interesting characters by choosing races classes, backgrounds , etc during a session 0 that is only part of creating a PARTY to begin session 1.

Creating your characters also would imply you establish some of their story for what happened to them up to the point the game begins. Unless you are going for the "everyone meets in a bar and takes a wuest from the mysterious stranger" tired trope, the characters should begin already having some sort of connection.

Similarly if the Game wanted them to have some ties to Saltmarsh, then it would follow that some of the townfolk would recognize them.

Saltmarsh isn't New York City. If the PCs have been in the town any length of time interacting with it then they would be recognized by some of the townfolk.

When, instead , the PCs show up at session 1 as 5 complete strangers to each other then the GM has to run several sessions cramming everyone into a party (which may not be the actual adventure) with the goofy "I have no idea who you are but I'm entrusting my welfare to you in battle" that strain narrative credibility.

If the GM let's the players pass through session 0 without the players having created the backstory and ties necessary to a good session 1 then that is on the GM for failing to communicate things clearly.

When session 1 commences and the players realize the GM is struggling to keep things on track then it's up to EVERYONE at the table to make the changes necessary to right the ship. The GM needs to be clear what they need and the players need to be flexible to accommodate what the GM is requesting.

I'm not saying anything that hadn't been said 40 times in this thread already. People just want to keep arguing and "win with goalposts that don't move" rather than hear and understand each other.


Yes. It was a follow-up to discuss story separate from crunch.

I'm ready to ditch ENWorld discussion because almost every thread ends up with people trying to "win" a discussion rather than just remaining friendly and giving people some benefit of doubt and credibility in their statements.

I've heard "OK. I see your point." and "I've never thought of it that way." more this week having deep political discussions with coworkers IRL than I have seen it said on ENWorld this year. That's a problem.

I'm sorry, but you were definitely not clear that you were making a follow-up to discuss the party's responsibility to be a party. You came across as firing a shot at a counter-claim. Your post would have benefited greatly from making that clear.

Another thing that would have greatly helped is if you were more clear that you wanted to focus on the specific example of Hussar's table instead of either the more generic OP or your own specific example. Because while you can say that Salt Marsh isn't New York, what about a game set to take place in Sigil? You made a very broad and general statement, that at minute 1 of session1 the PCs should be recognized by the Town. You didn't say "In a game about Salt Marsh specifically, since it is a small town, and the PCs are expected to be embedded into the town already, they should be recognized from minute 1 of session 1"

I would have had no problem with the second, but the first as a general statement clearly has the problems we listed.

Also, there is nothing wrong with starting a party who isn't a party. I agree with you it is preferable and makes the game run much smoother. But Lanefan at least in specific seems to prefer that style of meeting up naturally in the first few sessions. And, you are kind of making some judgement calls. I'm not going to disagree with them, yeah, I think that "I met you three seconds ago, let's trust our lives to each other fellow player character" strains credibility. But, some people are just fine rolling that way. And, especially in an online game environment, where you can have players drop and join on a monthly basis, it becomes necessary to keep the game functioning, otherwise you spend most of a new players arrival just being suspicious of them, causing them to leave, and rotating that door.

Finally, I think it is important to remember the timeline, if we want to talk about Hussar's game.

They met up to talk about a new game, Hussar told them not to make characters early, but they were all discussing their character concepts, backstories, races and classes while in the chat.

They showed up to session 0 with characters.

Session 0, where they were meant to make characters. So, no one should have been surprised if they still needed to alter and refine those characters. And yet, Hussar didn't run his bonding mini-game, and both sides seem to agree that he just turned session 0 into session 1.

Why? Well, the most recent post I saw says that he tried, and they players asked "why bother" which... I can answer that question. "Because for this adventure to work properly, I need you guys bond more tightly to each other and to the town. You guys have some good elements here, but I don't think it is going to be enough, so lets shine it up and add some more details."

He could have easily said something like that, given his reasons. Instead, he said that what they had done was fine, and tried to run the game. That seems to be when the problems started, and it sounds like they didn't have to.


Tangent: I find it amusing how this thread is proving the point of myself and some of the other people defending players. Miscommunication, poor communication, easily misconstrued communication. Most of our problems here are caused by those very things, and we can't imagine them occuring at the table? Going back to the thread title and the original thrust of the OP, I have never once had a player who purposefully built a character who could never fit into the setting, or broke the expectations I had set forth. The only person I have ever had, who I felt was a making their character to be a jerk, was a guy who retired his characters constantly, and he once came to me asking to make a Ranger. His reasoning was so that he could build a better ranger than the new to DnD player who was playing a Rogue/Ranger multi-class.

I felt that was scummy, building a character whose entire existence was predicated on showing up another player. I allowed it however, because I knew that the guy who was playing the R/R? He could have cared less. He was having a blast with his character, and nothing he was enjoying about that character could be ruined by this guy's attempt. And, I was right, because he didn't even know about that til I told him years later that that was why that Ranger had existed.

So, yeah, if the OP is only about "why are some rare players Jerks?" I don't know man. Some people just are. But, from my perspective? Those players are few and far between. Maybe your experience is different, but I find it far more common that I am misunderstood than that people are out to ruin my game out of spite.

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Was it? I missed the clarification. Are you certain this is correct (I looked back and didn't find it, but I'm not rereading the whole thread).

Yes.

Roger that, and then what happens? Do you insist that the Pepsi now must be consumed and nothing else could be?

No, but I also don't accuse the player of trying to sabotage the game. We can talk, work it out, and decide on the next course of action. Maybe I leave and run down to the store to buy something else.

I'm not looking for a "perfectly right answer to this problem", I'm looking some understanding that mistakes happen, and sometimes we act without thinking things through, not because we are malicious or ignoring the other side, but simply because we went on auto-pilot and forgot that things changed.

Is that really so hard to acknowledge?

Your last is stretching too far. I'm not interested in leveraging the players' connections unless they put them in play themselves. Instead, if Character A has a strong bond to Character B, it improves play. If the relationship is a mercenary one, it really doesn't. Now, I'll grant that many players establish this weak bond and then do the "but we're PCs, so of course we help each other" thing, so sure. But, that's playing against or orthogonally to the establish relationships rather then with them.

But again, why are you judging the quality of their relationship? Maybe for these characters it does go deeper than just mercenary, maybe not, but if you asked for connections and they gave you a connection, then I feel like you were not clear if you need to immediately turn around and say "no, this connection won't work, you need a meaningful connection"

I guess you like stories where the characters are just hired hands and don't really have any reason to care about each other, huh? See, hyperbole and strawmanning other's arguments doesn't really work very well. I prefer connections to be actual connections rather than mercenary transactions. There's zero reason for the illusionist character to care about his hired guard except that the hired guard guards them. This isn't a character connection, it's a hireling. It's only the "fellow PC" meta-connection that lets this kind of thing function.

In your opinion. And your opinion is not the only one at the table.

I'll point you to Star Wars. What is the connection between Luke and Han? Luke hires Han to fly the ship. It is a purely mercenary relationship. Han and Luke then proceed on multiple occassions to risk their lives to rescue, protect, or help the other.

And this happens time and time and time and time again in literature, film, comics, ect. This is an established trope and narrative arc. Heck, Alfred is only hired help for the Wayne family. So, with only the information we have, we can't judge that this is a bad narrative connection between these two characters. Just because one is paying the other for a service does not mean that they have a weak relationship by default.

Sorry, but did "town guard" come with anything related to the town you were the guard of? Or was it a label, and you didn't know your way around, or the major NPCs in town, or have any relationships to the town or duties or responsibilities to it? "Town Guard" is generic right up until you pick the town you're the guard of, and then it's specific. There's nothing in the presented backstory that makes it unique at all to Saltmarsh. Town guard at least has to pick a town and then gets tied into that -- it's not nearly as generic as you're trying to claim.

And the same applies to the Charlatan character. It is generic, right up until you start adding details. Like the person they fooled who got suspicious. Some of the people who they fooled who didn't get suspicious. The people they helped.

Your critique of the background was that it was too generic, but every background is generic until you start adding the details. So why was this background unacceptable, but my guard not only acceptable but you assume I added in those details?

Yes. Motivations are what drives the character to action. If money is the motivation, then unless the reward is commensurate with the risk and better than what you can do elsewhere, then it's not a motivation to do anything. "Money" only works if you're engaging the meta-motivation of "playing the GM's adventure." You're essentially arguing for employment of meta-motivations instead of character motivations.

Absolutely, and I have hella fun games. Because it's not really demanding that much -- make a character that engages and is engaged by the themes of the game.

You seem to have a problem with established tropes. And hey, that's fine man. I'm also far more interested by more nuanced and detailed backstories and motivations. But sometimes players want to play the classics.

Perhaps they wanted to play out a story similiar to "The Ultimate Gift". Their character starts caring only about money, doing good deeds simply as a cover for their illicit activities and for their own glory, then over time, they come to actually find they enjoy doing good work, or find that good work more rewarding, than their crimes, and has a change of heart. For another example of this, you could look to DC's Booster Gold, where this is literally his arc. He is a conman from the future trying to make himself famous with tech he stole, and ends up actually becoming the hero he pretended to be, even giving up his potential fame.

And sure, maybe a player shouldn't go into a game with a narrative arc planned out, but a lot of us do this. And dismissing the player out of hand because you don't like their motivation and feels it isn't strong enough to convince them to follow through on the adventure.... well that isn't your call, DM. That is the player's call to make.

Sorry, did you think I made that claim? I didn't. Each character in my game already had a backstory when they showed up. This wasn't an argument for not having any player backstory prior to the mini-game to tie players to the themes of the game, but instead suggesting that they not be fully locked in so they can adapt to what happens during the minigame. If the players wanted their backstories integrated into the mini-game, that was up to them in how they framed their scenes or in how they narrated the results. I couldn't care less. My point was that if you did show up with a fully formed character, then you were going to have issues because you couldn't fully control the outcomes of the minigame -- you would end up friendly with one faction and at odds with another and you couldn't predict that. Further, if you had a fully formed character, with the BIFTs all set up, then you'd be out of room to add Bob the Fighter as your best bud because of the cool thing you did with each other raiding a Dustman outpost for burial trinkets because you were hired by a mage to do it. The goal of the minigame wasn't to thwart character building, but to engage the characters deeply in the setting and each other from the start.

So, we seem to be in agreement. The players showed up with characters and backstories, but that doesn't mean that the mini-game could not function.

However, I am a little hesitant to fully agree with you, because you mention not being able to fully control the results of the game... and especially when it comes to organizations, there are somethings that just would not fit. If I pull back down my Town Guard, and I flip a card that says I have a positive relationship with the Thieve's Guild... my character was a Paladin, "corrupt cop" doesn't work. Now, maybe I could figure something out, I have a few thoughts that could have worked. But, I would also feel like something that out of character should be given a potential re-draw, because your game telling me my character's priorities are not what I said they were doesn't fly.

And I have had groups and DMs try to do this to me before, telling me what my character is and is not okay with. And that is not their call to make. I am perfectly willing to bend a little, to go in unexpected directions, but I'm not willing to scuttle my character as a consistent character just because you find it more interesting that way. At the end of the day, it is still my character, not yours.

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Now, I might be misremembering a few details, but, that's pretty much how it went. We never played the mini-game, but, @Chaosmancer, that's why the players making their characters at home precluded running the mini-game. They would have had to eject pretty much their backstories to incorporate the material in the mini-game because, well, none of their backstories included any connections whatsoever to the setting or Saltmarsh.

I hope that clarifies things.

Okay... so it was completely not possible for them to draw those cards, and find ways to either alter their backstory or find elements in those cards that fit with what they had written?

Look, I get you spent hours prepping that game, and tying things together, but it sounds like you could have easily told them that you spent hours prepping these cards so that they could have a more robust adventure in the town, and then asked them to do it anyways. I mean, if they could take any aspect of the card, that is broad enough that I can't imagine a few of them wouldn't have been able to find something in the card that already fit into their characters, or that would have offered them new avenues that they had not considered.

My opinion on this is that you should have run the game anyways, and just told them that this was also meant to tie them into plot hooks in the adventure, making the town more dynamic and engaging for them.

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Oh, hey, I totally agree. Like I said, this was my mistake, not you guys. I'm hoping people will learn not to do what I did, not holding myself up as a shining example.

And that is a laudable goal, even if it is not one that fully came across until this post.
 

It has many good purposes.

Each class being good at what it does and bad at what it doesn't do fosters interdependence among the various characters of different classes and, by extension, teamwork. Other than multi-classers, which are easy enough to curtail or ban, you don't and can't get "I can do everything" characters. (well, not until the level range few if any ever see, anyway)

There are plenty of class systems with some flexibility that still don't produce "I cover the whole ground". That might have been a disease of 3e era D&D to some extent, but its not one of, for example, Pathfinder 2e or Shadow of the Demon Lord, while still providing characters who are not cookie-cutter mechanical structures.

Each class having pre-set more-or-less-locked-in abilities moves focus away from the "build" game to the "play" game; and level-up becomes a breeze. Huge win. Even if there were nothing else, this alone is more than reason enough to take this route.

If people are more interested in the build game than the play game, I'd say that says more about either their tastes or the quality of the game than it does about any flaw in having choices.

Each class having those pre-set abilities gained at known levels (as opposed to at whatever level the player decides to take that ability, if ever) makes the DM's job a tiny bit easier in that she a bit better knows what to plan ahead for.

That one I buy a little more, but by itself it does not seem a sufficient reason.
 

Where to me, differences in gear and personality is all I need. Hell, it's more than I need; I could live with the gear being the same too.

But try restraining what personalities I can give these guys and you'll have an argument on your hands! :)

Underlying philosophy: differentiating between similar characters (e.g. two female Human 3rd-level Fighters) does not require game-mechanical support.

I accept it does not require it. That in no way means I don't think its desirable.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Also, there is nothing wrong with starting a party who isn't a party. I agree with you it is preferable and makes the game run much smoother. But Lanefan at least in specific seems to prefer that style of meeting up naturally in the first few sessions. And, you are kind of making some judgement calls. I'm not going to disagree with them, yeah, I think that "I met you three seconds ago, let's trust our lives to each other fellow player character" strains credibility. But, some people are just fine rolling that way.
I agree as regards the credibility strain, but there's ways to have a party organically form in such a way to make 'it's-what-the-characters-would-do' sense. Anectodal evidence: my current campaign started with two characters (who were rolled up as pre-existing friends; one was a Bard) travelling through the land and at every village announcing "We're going up into those mountains and we're either going to get rich or die trying! Who wants to join us?", and slowly gathering recruits one at a time until by the time they got to the mountains they'd rounded up the whole party (8 PCs - 2 per player as I knew they'd need 'em - plus one adventuring NPC I threw in as a plot distraction).

It's also very easy to come up with situations that kind of throw the party together. The 'shipwrecked' trope is one such - each PC has its own reasons for being on that ship, then it piles up on the rocks and the PCs are among the survivors (or the only survivors, if one doesn't mind that slight credulity stretch); they're now lost on a wild coast somewhere and have to make the best of it.

Edit to add: thinking on it, were I in a situation similar to @Hussar where I'm trying to run a marine campaign and am presented with a bunch of very disparate characters with iffy-at-best local connections, I'd seriously consider flexing into a start like this; with the PCs not being local at all, not necessarily known to each other, and thrown together when their ship goes aground somewhere on the coast near Saltmarsh (note this would mean the first "adventure" would be off-script, consisting of the trek to civilization and introduction or foreshadowing of other plot elements)
And sure, maybe a player shouldn't go into a game with a narrative arc planned out, but a lot of us do this. And dismissing the player out of hand because you don't like their motivation and feels it isn't strong enough to convince them to follow through on the adventure.... well that isn't your call, DM. That is the player's call to make.

And I have had groups and DMs try to do this to me before, telling me what my character is and is not okay with. And that is not their call to make. I am perfectly willing to bend a little, to go in unexpected directions, but I'm not willing to scuttle my character as a consistent character just because you find it more interesting that way. At the end of the day, it is still my character, not yours.
Agreed in principle. The DM sets the setting and its parameters, after which players should feel free to (try to) play anything that fits within those parameters. Clearly-stated DM requests e.g. "as you'll be starting in a Human-centric land please make your first PCs Human; non-Humans can join later once the party travels a bit" are also fine and IMO should be followed.

But telling me what my character is allowed to think or how it is allowed to perceive the world, or its methods of interaction with it; or what personality it's allowed to have? Instant argument.

And - though many seem willing to gloss over this part - arbitrary restrictions such as "No evil PCs" fall squarely into the realm of telling my character what it's OK and not OK with.
 
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And - though many seem willing to gloss over this part - arbitrary restrictions such as "No evil PCs" fall squarely into the realm of telling my character what it's OK and not OK with.

I'll be honest; at a certain point with some of the latter, I don't care. If you've had enough problems with characters who were primed to throw a wrench in the smooth operation of the campaign or to take it into places you have no interest in following, you're going to set those off the board from the start because you either do that right away or you deal with things that will probably end the campaign prematurely later. If that means the player has to limit his range of how his character thinks, so be it.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I'll be honest; at a certain point with some of the latter, I don't care. If you've had enough problems with characters who were primed to throw a wrench in the smooth operation of the campaign or to take it into places you have no interest in following, you're going to set those off the board from the start because you either do that right away or you deal with things that will probably end the campaign prematurely later. If that means the player has to limit his range of how his character thinks, so be it.

Sure, but I tend to limit those to things that fall under Wheaton's law.

No PvP, no stealing from other players, ect. Because we are all a group here to work together and have fun, and one of us constantly attacking the others isn't fun.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Sure, but I tend to limit those to things that fall under Wheaton's law.

No PvP, no stealing from other players, ect. Because we are all a group here to work together and have fun, and one of us constantly attacking the others isn't fun.

I've made that an actual rule as well.

It's a get booted out of the game type offense.
 

Hussar

Legend
My opinion on this is that you should have run the game anyways, and just told them that this was also meant to tie them into plot hooks in the adventure, making the town more dynamic and engaging for them.
Yeah, well, hindsight is 20:20 and it's easy enough to say while armchair DMing.

At the time, I felt that the players displayed pretty much zero interest in the mini-game, since they came with mostly completed characters, and I felt that there was an expectation of, "Quit futzing around, we've got our characters, get the show on the road".

Like I said, multiple times. I'm not the right DM for this group. When faced with outright opposition to an idea, I tend to side with players. If they didn't want to do the mini-game, and it seemed that they didn't, I certainly wasn't going to force the issue. Maybe I should have been more forceful? I dunno. It's water under the bridge and I'm certainly not looking for advice on what I should have done differently. I'm saying what mistakes I made in the hopes that others don't make the same mistake.

Your solution is apparently to force the issue and over rule the players. I don't play like that. So, my solution should have been, at the time, to simply step back and let someone else run a game. Instead, I tried to triage the situation and it just didn't work.
 

MikalC

Explorer
Depending on the available pool of players, it can turn into a self-solving problem where you don't have any players. As I said, resistance to reading things is not uncommon.

(Honestly, the assumption that there's large player pools available everywhere does not seem well supported, and you see it a lot, I suspect from GMs and players who happen to have been fortunate in this regard).
Fine with me. If players can’t even put minimum effort in my game I don’t want to put effort into running it for them. Unless they have a reading disability if they can’t respect my time and effort enough to read?
I’d rather okay a video game or do something else.
 

Sure, but I tend to limit those to things that fall under Wheaton's law.

No PvP, no stealing from other players, ect. Because we are all a group here to work together and have fun, and one of us constantly attacking the others isn't fun.

It can be a fine line. Having a character who, under some circumstances, might attack another PC can be both reasonable and actually bring extra value to a game (even for the other players).

But there are some practical limits beyond which its just a campaign breaker looking for a place to happen, and in practice, if a player isn't willing to accept that there's going to be some behaviors off the table, they aren't willing to take up their part of keeping that campaign going.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
It can be a fine line. Having a character who, under some circumstances, might attack another PC can be both reasonable and actually bring extra value to a game (even for the other players).

But there are some practical limits beyond which its just a campaign breaker looking for a place to happen, and in practice, if a player isn't willing to accept that there's going to be some behaviors off the table, they aren't willing to take up their part of keeping that campaign going.

It's fine if DM has influenced it via mental control eg domination. Otherwise no.
 

Fine with me. If players can’t even put minimum effort in my game I don’t want to put effort into running it for them. Unless they have a reading disability if they can’t respect my time and effort enough to read?
I’d rather okay a video game or do something else.

A perfectly reasonable position, but some people have to deal with the reality that they'd really like to game, and have the player pool they do.
 


MikalC

Explorer
A perfectly reasonable position, but some people have to deal with the reality that they'd really like to game, and have the player pool they do.
If people want to game so badly they’ll let other people half ass it then they probably don’t care if people ignore any effort the dm put into the game anyway so they don’t matter for this discussion...?
I mean if someone’s gonna be that desperate to play they aren’t going to have many limits if any.
 

If people want to game so badly they’ll let other people half ass it then they probably don’t care if people ignore any effort the dm put into the game anyway so they don’t matter for this discussion...?

Naw. They'd probably really prefer people put in more effort, but if they only have people who are half-assed about it (or aren't half-assed per se--they may put a lot of effort into other areas, but just won't spend much time reading material) they'll deal with that rather than not game.

I mean if someone’s gonna be that desperate to play they aren’t going to have many limits if any.

There's a difference between limits and preferences. As far as that goes, some things may bother them more than others. Truth is, while I'm a big preparer of campaign documents, I'd rather have a player who never reads them but is active and involved during the game than one who reads the material and remembers it but is pretty passive during the game.
 

Raunalyn

Adventurer
At the time, I felt that the players displayed pretty much zero interest in the mini-game, since they came with mostly completed characters, and I felt that there was an expectation of, "Quit futzing around, we've got our characters, get the show on the road".
Some of us were interested, including myself. But yeah, I think in that case the "Ayes" were over-ruled by the "Nays."
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Yeah, well, hindsight is 20:20 and it's easy enough to say while armchair DMing.

At the time, I felt that the players displayed pretty much zero interest in the mini-game, since they came with mostly completed characters, and I felt that there was an expectation of, "Quit futzing around, we've got our characters, get the show on the road".

Like I said, multiple times. I'm not the right DM for this group. When faced with outright opposition to an idea, I tend to side with players. If they didn't want to do the mini-game, and it seemed that they didn't, I certainly wasn't going to force the issue. Maybe I should have been more forceful? I dunno. It's water under the bridge and I'm certainly not looking for advice on what I should have done differently. I'm saying what mistakes I made in the hopes that others don't make the same mistake.

Your solution is apparently to force the issue and over rule the players. I don't play like that. So, my solution should have been, at the time, to simply step back and let someone else run a game. Instead, I tried to triage the situation and it just didn't work.

I think you misunderstood me, or maybe I misunderstood you.

It seemed that one of the big reasons you felt the game failed was because you didn't run this mini-game that tied them to the setting. And yeah, I know that being in the moment things would be very different, but looking at this from where I am, if them being connected in the way you imagined was that important to the proper running of the story.. then yes, I would have pushed the issue a little.

But, I also have never run into a group of players who would feel like I was forcing them if I pointed out that this was part of my plan to run a better game. Again, be explicit and don't try and be mysterious and hold back information. "I have a plan to tie you guys into different plot hooks using these cards and the background we tie together, could you please give it a shot and let's try this? I think you'll find it a fun excersise and it will make getting into the adventures easier"

And yeah, if they explicitly tell me after that "No, not interested, we just want to get started" then sure, I'll back off. I'm not going to over rule them. But, I'm also not going to assume that they aren't interested. They need to tell me, because my assumptions are worth about as much as a hay penny.

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Naw. Sometimes its just that another character does something the first finds completely unacceptable. PC Glow doesn't paper over everything.

100,000% agree with you on this. It happened to a PC of mine multiple times. But, that was a specific group and a specific problem.

And I guess no PvP is a bad way to put it. One of my most successful sessions once involved quite a bit of player character conflict, but.. everyone knew and agreed to the stakes? I'm not sure how to phrase it.

It wasn't one player slitting the others throat, or a sudden betrayal, but a conflict where both parties agreed on the meta-level that a fight was likely and that they were both okay with that outcome.

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