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better gaming through chemistry

Steverooo

First Post
jim pinto said:
this article was submitted to shadis LONG ago... and it presents an excellent alternative to the event-driven story...

Did you work for Shadis? I wasn't aware that this article had ever made it into print...
 
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nyrickgrant

First Post
Shadis and articles

Yes, Steve, Jim did work there. I remember corresponding with him years ago. Nice to see you here, Jim.

Thank you for dredging my drek back up from the pits. It seems I could string a thought together back in the day.

Great conversation here. The only thing I can add is that I have found that players and GMs are neither good nor bad but that the group makes them so. I have had the worst trouble finding a group to play with these last few years and it pains me greatly. I remember the great games we played in the past. It wasn't just because the adventures were well planned and expertly run or that the characters were all played in high style, but rather because we were all friends. Everyone wanted everyone else to have a great time and we all worked hard to make sure that happened. (Steve: I'm not necessarily referring here to the games my little brother participated in :) )

D&D among friends will always be better than the game played by strangers who believe it can be won or lost. Wishing you all great gaming.

Rick.
 

BlueBlackRed

First Post
To those who think that a book like this won't help anyone, I have to disagree.

I've had a player not too long ago who had a bad case of ADHD. There was no hope for him no matter what we tried. So a book such as this would do nothing for him.

But we've also had several other players in our group over the years who simply needed a push in the right direction and some basic training. For these guys, a help book could be an invaluable time-saver.

When people join our group who have not played D&D 3E, or no D&D at all, we basically help them create their first character.
That character is always a straight up fighter because they are generally easier to learn than other classes.

About 2 years ago we had a guy who was brand new to D&D. He didn't like his fighter after a few weeks of play, so when a new campaign began, he chose not to be a fighter. He decided on a druid/monk for reasons unfathomable by the rest of us.

Week after week went by and there wasn't a single session where he didn't slow down the game, spending minutes to figure out his PC's BAB, spell, or other action. And of course his PC was totally innefectual as anything other than a target during combat.

And when role-playing was being done, he just kind of sat there quietly listening unless I, the DM, prompted him for something. This is understandable to a point, because we all have to start somewhere.

As weeks went by, he learned more and more, but just couldn't get up to speed. And eventually he left for unrelated reasons. Several of our group were glad to see him go.

But a player's help book would have been perfect for this guy to at least set him on a path that would get him more enjoyment out of the game and to help him understand why the other players would get frustrated with him.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I've had a player not too long ago who had a bad case of ADHD. There was no hope for him no matter what we tried. So a book such as this would do nothing for him.

I don't know...we've got an ADHD guy in our group...he's a blast! You just have to help them find PC's that fit their demeanor and play style.

In RIFTS, it was a Juicer (chemically enhanced super-warrior mercenaries with a 5 year life span). His big quote: "Tick-Tock Mother-F****R! You're still here?" whenever somebody talked to his PC too long...

In D&D, he's playing a "legitimate businessman."

But we more experienced players had to steer him into classes that were more action oriented- and so while the book might not help him directly, it might improve the gamers AROUND him to help him game more effectively.

As weeks went by, he learned more and more, but just couldn't get up to speed.

Some never do...

Another game group I was in had 2 players who were constantly a bit off on their attack bonuses, etc. but we just "left the training wheels on" and helped them when they needed it. Why? Because they were fun to be around and (eventually became) pretty good role-players, even if they didn't grasp the mechanics.

A book with helpful hints on how to help people like that (and with other RPG handicaps) manage their PCs couldn't hurt- if nothing else, it will enlighten their fellow players who may then be able to help them.
 

jim pinto

First Post
nyrickgrant said:
Yes, Steve, Jim did work there. I remember corresponding with him years ago. Nice to see you here, Jim.

Thank you for dredging my drek back up from the pits. It seems I could string a thought together back in the day.

D&D among friends will always be better than the game played by strangers who believe it can be won or lost. Wishing you all great gaming.

Rick.

what a great quote... can that go in my book?

anyway, yeah. your article rocked. i was GOING to print it. but shadis tanked with issue 54 or 55... we laid it out, sent it to the printer, and basically prepared it for public viewing when the bosses put the magazine on hiatus... and never brought it back

i still have a copy of your article, actually, because i thought it was pretty good.

and its jim

not Jim

:)

peace
 

jim pinto

First Post
outline

for the record, we're working on an outline now for this (and two other books)

i don't know or care if this makes millions, but i need to give something back to the industry that i left behind.

i want to write these books

i want to impart something beyond another book on necromancy where they sacrifice blood instead of flesh or sanity instead of bone or monkeys instead of rice

game books have the potential to change their structure from the splat-book of the month/week/day to something more useful to DM and player alike.

i know i'm thinking way outside the box, and i have plenty of projects to keep me busy, so starting my own fledgling company as a 24/7 venture isn't in the cards as the moment.

so effectively, i'm just giving away these ideas to whatever eavesdropping companies that want them.

which brings me to part 2 of this saga... (to be posted later)
 

JoeGKushner

First Post
Sounds interesting.

And I think that the 'industry' needs some thinking outside the box.

On one hand we have companies going the way of the dinosaur due to a wide variety of things and on the other companies selling out of their print runs but overall, fewer evergreen titles and less selling by more companies.
 

Joshua Randall

Adventurer
I'm posting to remind myself to dig up a (fairly) recent issue of Dungeon magazine in which Monte Cook describes "the perfect player". Could be useful to compare notes with that article.
 

jim pinto

First Post
Joshua Randall said:
I'm posting to remind myself to dig up a (fairly) recent issue of Dungeon magazine in which Monte Cook describes "the perfect player". Could be useful to compare notes with that article.

hmm

never read it

which issue? is it recent? still on stands?
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I'm posting to remind myself to dig up a (fairly) recent issue of Dungeon magazine in which Monte Cook describes "the perfect player". Could be useful to compare notes with that article.
Eh... really, it was just a paraphrase of an interview with me! ;)
 

DarrenGMiller

First Post
Joshua Randall said:
I'm posting to remind myself to dig up a (fairly) recent issue of Dungeon magazine in which Monte Cook describes "the perfect player". Could be useful to compare notes with that article.

He also had a pretty good one in Dungeon last year on table conventions.

DM
 

Lonely Tylenol

First Post
BlueBlackRed said:
Week after week went by and there wasn't a single session where he didn't slow down the game, spending minutes to figure out his PC's BAB, spell, or other action. And of course his PC was totally innefectual as anything other than a target during combat.

And when role-playing was being done, he just kind of sat there quietly listening unless I, the DM, prompted him for something. This is understandable to a point, because we all have to start somewhere.

As weeks went by, he learned more and more, but just couldn't get up to speed. And eventually he left for unrelated reasons. Several of our group were glad to see him go.

But a player's help book would have been perfect for this guy to at least set him on a path that would get him more enjoyment out of the game and to help him understand why the other players would get frustrated with him.

Hmm...that's interesting. Perhaps an article on "what you're here to do" would be a benefit to people who are new to the game. Step one is learning the ebb and flow of the game dynamic: GM - NPC - PC - Player. What sort of interactions should one expect? Perhaps one of those "what is roleplaying" articles, but not from an abstract point of view. Take it from a "what actually goes on at the table in most groups" point of view. Describe how play shifts from in-character to out-of-character as roleplaying and meta-game language mesh together. Describe the dynamics of a table: dominant vs. submissive personalities and how it affects play; division of labour for tasks like mapping, treasure tallying, notetaking, and snack wrangling; those ineffable standards that people have about roleplaying like bringing one's own dice and the importance of ritual and luck.

Step two is learning the game. Advice consists of: Know the basic rules inside out, backward and forward. Treat it like you're a sports fan learning your team. You want to be an expert at basic play so that things move quickly and you don't slow down the action, because then there will be more action. Know the rules that pertain to your own character, and make copies of things like spells so you don't have to flip through books to find them. Work on organizing yourself to speed up play. A few simple tricks can go a long way toward facilitating the game.

Step three is getting into character. Dialogue, motivation, and characterization. Advice consists of: Keep a few key quotations written down to get you back into the groove when you're not feeling like an elf barbarian. Keep a few sweet phrases written down to drop at opportune moments (like the tick-tock quote above) so that your character will have memorable lines. Lists are great ways to keep track of what your character is likely to say, what he's likely to want, and what he's likely to do. Keep a second list of what your character is unlikely to do, want, or say. Get a gimmick. Some kind of affectation or quirk can really make a character memorable, but take care not to make it the sort of thing that will get on people's nerves after a while. Learn how to act a little, what acting is, and what the difference is between you quoting Hamlet and you playing Hamlet. If you keep that in the back of your mind, it becomes more fun to roleplay. And then your character is better, and it becomes more fun to roleplay, etc.
 

Cinderfall

First Post
I have a couple of thoughts I'd like to share, if I may. I would be interested in such a book as a player AND DM. I think I'm fair at both, but not as good as I could be. What I'm interested in seeing ideas collated in a cohesive manner, something I can logically digest - as opposed to trying to remember an odd collection of ideas I've had over the years. And, more importantly, see what ideas are out there I've never thought of. I KNOW there's a ton of great advice out there that I could benefit from.

With that said, I hope the book isn't a list of "bad player/DM" traits. I get that on these message boards every week. I want ideas on how to make my game better, not how to point fingers and identify "sucky" players/DMs. That's pretty much it. Good luck on your project.
 

BlueBlackRed

First Post
Dr. Awkward said:
Hmm...that's interesting. Perhaps an article on "what you're here to do" would be a benefit to people who are new to the game...
Well even if the player help guide never gets made, I'm still going to do some kind of new-player write up for my group (with their input of course).

So I'm interested in anything that has already been written by others, including that Dragon Mag article.
 

kigmatzomat

First Post
LostSoul said:
If the DM already has the beginning, middle, and end of his story written out, those events are going to happen no matter what choices you make.

Ummmmm, no. Most every pre-gen module has a beginning (the hook), the middle (the chase) and the end (climax). Those are what will happen on either a schedule (monster goes on rampage 3 days after the module starts) or at after an event (monster goes on rampage after his master is detained). If the PCs find the monster before either of those triggers occur, the monster may rampage early or never at all!

I hate being the mouthpiece for someone else's novel-in-waiting but the adventure will have key points set up for beginning/middle/end. The best storyteller-types can always make their "gotta have" moments occur as a <b>result</b> of PC actions rather than <i>in spite</i> of the PCs' actions. I'm not a storyteller DM (when I tried it bombed miserabley) so I don't have "gotta have" scenes. I will change any and every part of the adventure so that it makes sense but I <i>always</i> have scenes in mind before the game starts.
 

kigmatzomat

First Post
LostSoul said:
This is important to understand where I'm coming from. Forever, I've felt like I've been railroading in ever campaign I've been in. I'd write "the plot", and if the PCs did something I didn't expect, I'd roll with it no problem. But I became good enough at it (or my players felt like they had to/wanted to do what I had planned) that what I had written up was exactly what came out in play.

So I'd get frustrated with myself (and, in weaker moments, my players) but I had no idea how to do anything differently. I wanted the players to tell me their stories, but how does that happen?

Did your players have fun? Did they feel a) that you were so good you could predict their every move or b) no matter what they did your story occurred?

If Fun=Yes and !b then !Railroad.

Obviously, you weren't enjoying the situation. That is justification to change, no doubt. But realize that some players are the same as you, just on the other side of the screen. They do not <i>want</i> to tell a story; they want to enjoy one but not drive it.

I think every game should have change-ups where you switch between dungeon-crawl, PC driven, and plot driven adventures. There are too many different kinds of players & DMs in the world for one kind of gaming to be the shiznit for everyone. And, if nothing else, it helps prevent burnout and lets people's preferences change over time without having to change camaigns.
 

Joshua Randall

Adventurer
Monte Cook's "perfect player" article is in the October 2004 issue of Dungeon magazine (#115). You should be able to get back issues from www.paizopublishing.com

To paraphrase, the perfect player...
* pays attention
* is interested in the DM's world
* is familiar with the rules, but lets the DM have the final say
* helps other players but doesn't boss them around
* doesn't try to force his style of play on others
* doesn't hog the limelight
* doesn't bring the game to a standstill by not knowing what his character wants to do
* doesn't wander away from the table mid-game
* doesn't forget stuff at home or have to keep borrowing stuff (books, dice)
* respects the game location (i.e., is a good houseguest)

I bolded the ones that I think are most important.

= = =

Someone mentioned Monte Cook's article about table rules. That is in the December 2004 issue of Dungeon (#117).
 

jim pinto

First Post
Joshua Randall said:
Monte Cook's "perfect player" article is in the October 2004 issue of Dungeon magazine (#115). You should be able to get back issues from www.paizopublishing.com

To paraphrase, the perfect player...
* pays attention
* is interested in the DM's world
* is familiar with the rules, but lets the DM have the final say
* helps other players but doesn't boss them around
* doesn't try to force his style of play on others
* doesn't hog the limelight
* doesn't bring the game to a standstill by not knowing what his character wants to do
* doesn't wander away from the table mid-game
* doesn't forget stuff at home or have to keep borrowing stuff (books, dice)
* respects the game location (i.e., is a good houseguest)

I bolded the ones that I think are most important.

= = =

Someone mentioned Monte Cook's article about table rules. That is in the December 2004 issue of Dungeon (#117).

thanks, joshua

good notes. i may just run with this and branch these concepts further

peace
 

Steverooo

First Post
nyrickgrant said:
Thank you for dredging my drek back up from the pits.

Drek?!? Why I oughta...! :p

nyrickgrant said:
Great conversation here. The only thing I can add is that I have found that players and GMs are neither good nor bad but that the group makes them so. I have had the worst trouble finding a group to play with these last few years and it pains me greatly. I remember the great games we played in the past. It wasn't just because the adventures were well planned and expertly run or that the characters were all played in high style, but rather because we were all friends. Everyone wanted everyone else to have a great time and we all worked hard to make sure that happened. (Steve: I'm not necessarily referring here to the games my little brother participated in :) )

D&D among friends will always be better than the game played by strangers who believe it can be won or lost. Wishing you all great gaming.

Rick.

Words of Wisdom! Playing with friends is the best!
 

Steverooo

First Post
What Is Roleplaying?

Here's what I tell Non-Roleplayers:

Basically, Roleplaying is acting, or a grown-up version of the "Let's Pretend" that we all played as a child. Just as an actor or actress plays a role in a film or play, RPers are portraying a character, which leads us to the next question...

Ever seen some "B" Horror flick where, on a dark and stormy night, when the lights suddenly go out, the protagonist says "I'll go check the fuse box in the basement."? Oh come on, now! We all know that the monster is down there, and that the protagonist's life expectancy is about six seconds!

Ever laughed at the poor sap, and thought how, "If I were him, I'd go get the shotgun and flashlight from the den, first, and when that critter jumped out, I'd blow his fool head clean off!" Ever watched a movie where Arnold missed an obvious clue, and thought how you could shorten the manhunt by 48 minutes? Ever wanted to meet a Dragon, be an Elf, sail across a sea of stars, or visit a world where the impossible is a daily occurrence?

So have we; that's why we're here. Just choose the appropriate role...
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

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