How Do You Tell a Group: "Maybe This Isn't for Us?"

Online play, for me, is much slower than FTF. Depending upon game, 1.5:1 to 3:1.
I find the exact opposite. Since the group are relative strangers, there's much less BS'ing and horseplay. We all came to game, as it were, and get down to business.

I also have text channels for IC stuff and handout-only, which helps keep things on track.
 

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We don't use a battlemap, so online play is as fast or faster for us. We actually get an extra half hour of play in because no one needs to commute.

It's different when I use a game with a battlemap, though.
I used a VTT for the last 10-12 years of F2F play, and now when online. I find it speeds things up enormously because there's no confusion about who is where, and what things look like. My standard comment is: you see what you see.

To help things along, a place tokens on the map indicating where searching or investigating are likely; some are blinds, of course, but it eliminates 'have we searched over here?'
 

The only thing that negatively effects online play speed for us is the tendency for people to talk across each other, which is much more problematic online that in face to face. We've used a VTT long before we were playing online because the setup in no place we played was setup for a physical battlemap, and we're not good at playing without one (one or another degree of poor spatical imagination and memory for much of both groups).
 

I'm not familiar with The Enemy Within. I did a little reading to get an idea of scope. It seems like the characters need to be really invested in the notion of saving the empire from the forces of chaos. What's the hook in the campaign to make the players feel protective of the empire and the people within it?
 

Retreater

Legend
Online play, for me, is much slower than FTF. Depending upon game, 1.5:1 to 3:1
I'm finding that probably about the first 15 and last 15 minutes are spent catching up, socializing, etc. It's not wasted time exactly, but it isn't active gaming. So our sessions are probably closer to 1.5 hours to 1.75 hours a week. Still, it averages out to more time than when we were playing in person at a very irregular schedule because of the frequency. However, it may give the feeling that we have more sessions where "nothing happens."
So if you have a session where you set up a contact for an interrogation the next week of play, that can feel like you haven't accomplished much.
 

Retreater

Legend
I'm not familiar with The Enemy Within. I did a little reading to get an idea of scope. It seems like the characters need to be really invested in the notion of saving the empire from the forces of chaos. What's the hook in the campaign to make the players feel protective of the empire and the people within it?
I'll put the inciting event in spoiler tags. And also describe how it went wrong for our group.

So the party is likely destitute at the start of the campaign. While heading south to the "big city" they come across a merchant wagon that has been attacked by corrupted bandits. After driving off the bandits the party discovers one of the dead merchants is a spitting image of a member of the party - like, unnaturally so. That deceased traveler is heir to a massive fortune in a nearby city. So it's assumed that the party will a) want the inheritance and go to claim it; or b) be driven to investigate this supernatural resemblance - is it a doppelganger or something?
The party quickly learns, even if they don't go to follow up on the inheritance, that this dead man had enemies. And they're the enemies of the party too because of the mistaken identity. This gets the party embroiled in a conspiracy stretching across the Empire involving the Chaos cults.
So in my group, the player who had the character with the mistaken identity quickly decided his character wasn't "fun" and not optimized for combat. He had the character leave the party so he could bring in a knight with good stats and great armor. Three out of four players switched characters at that moment, so there's only one character in the party who still has any connection with the inciting event.
In our case, there's really no reason to be involved, with the exception of being adventurers - which is sort of not the theme of Warhammer.
 

I'm finding that probably about the first 15 and last 15 minutes are spent catching up, socializing, etc. It's not wasted time exactly, but it isn't active gaming. So our sessions are probably closer to 1.5 hours to 1.75 hours a week. Still, it averages out to more time than when we were playing in person at a very irregular schedule because of the frequency. However, it may give the feeling that we have more sessions where "nothing happens."
So if you have a session where you set up a contact for an interrogation the next week of play, that can feel like you haven't accomplished much.

Man, I couldn't get anything done in that short a time. I know people do, but it always boggles me.
 

aramis erak

Legend
Man, I couldn't get anything done in that short a time. I know people do, but it always boggles me.
In high school, I ran 4 35 minute sessions per week at lunch... we had 45 min for lunch, plus 5m passing periods, and I had a lunchtime meeting once a week... hence 4 days. It's amazing how different a daily session is - so much less recap needed.

I have noticed, and had my experiences validated in various professional journal articles, that there seem to be three regimes of memory - short term (¼ to 4 hours duration), mid term (typically starting at 2 hours post to 4 hours post event, ending between 1 and 3 days, and proper long term. Daily games tend to stick in that mid term, and the reinforcement moves things into long term better.

@Jd Smith1 I've NEVER had a group online that was all strangers, and the occasional strangers in the group have either moved into the friend group, or have been problems.
 

@Jd Smith1 I've NEVER had a group online that was all strangers, and the occasional strangers in the group have either moved into the friend group, or have been problems.

Its a big improvement. 11 out of the 12 people in my groups (two weekly campaigns) were strangers when they joined, and while we have established some element of friendship over the months, there's very little socializing. A round of greetings, and I'm briefing the group on the current in-game situation. Gather to game, and time-use is very efficient.

It is one of the things that has made me so enthused about on-line gaming.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
I'll put the inciting event in spoiler tags. And also describe how it went wrong for our group.

So the party is likely destitute at the start of the campaign. While heading south to the "big city" they come across a merchant wagon that has been attacked by corrupted bandits. After driving off the bandits the party discovers one of the dead merchants is a spitting image of a member of the party - like, unnaturally so. That deceased traveler is heir to a massive fortune in a nearby city. So it's assumed that the party will a) want the inheritance and go to claim it; or b) be driven to investigate this supernatural resemblance - is it a doppelganger or something?
The party quickly learns, even if they don't go to follow up on the inheritance, that this dead man had enemies. And they're the enemies of the party too because of the mistaken identity. This gets the party embroiled in a conspiracy stretching across the Empire involving the Chaos cults.
So in my group, the player who had the character with the mistaken identity quickly decided his character wasn't "fun" and not optimized for combat. He had the character leave the party so he could bring in a knight with good stats and great armor. Three out of four players switched characters at that moment, so there's only one character in the party who still has any connection with the inciting event.
In our case, there's really no reason to be involved, with the exception of being adventurers - which is sort of not the theme of Warhammer.
OK if that happened with my group I would have asked someone to step up and take the role of the Lookalike/Protagonist and if no one wanted to I would ask why? it is the driving force of the investigation.
If they wanted to continue, have them come up with reasons to follow the adventure.
I think that in this case the players are being a bit unfair. If one agrees to a campaign one has to accept the premises of the campaign and in my opinion there is an obligation to play the adventure the DM has prepared or politely tell the DM so and find another game.
You are entitled to some fun also and have no obligation to faff about to discover what they find fun.

They should straight up tell you what they like in a game and you tell them what you are comfortable with and see if you can meet in the middle.
 
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In high school, I ran 4 35 minute sessions per week at lunch... we had 45 min for lunch, plus 5m passing periods, and I had a lunchtime meeting once a week... hence 4 days. It's amazing how different a daily session is - so much less recap needed.

Its not been an issue of recap so much as that short a period would simply not let me get what feels like a reasonable amount of game done at all. Part of it may be that pretty much no game I've ever run could reasonably get through any sort of serious combat scene in that time period, let alone that plus the lead up to it.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
I'll put the inciting event in spoiler tags. And also describe how it went wrong for our group.

So the party is likely destitute at the start of the campaign. While heading south to the "big city" they come across a merchant wagon that has been attacked by corrupted bandits. After driving off the bandits the party discovers one of the dead merchants is a spitting image of a member of the party - like, unnaturally so. That deceased traveler is heir to a massive fortune in a nearby city. So it's assumed that the party will a) want the inheritance and go to claim it; or b) be driven to investigate this supernatural resemblance - is it a doppelganger or something?
The party quickly learns, even if they don't go to follow up on the inheritance, that this dead man had enemies. And they're the enemies of the party too because of the mistaken identity. This gets the party embroiled in a conspiracy stretching across the Empire involving the Chaos cults.
So in my group, the player who had the character with the mistaken identity quickly decided his character wasn't "fun" and not optimized for combat. He had the character leave the party so he could bring in a knight with good stats and great armor. Three out of four players switched characters at that moment, so there's only one character in the party who still has any connection with the inciting event.
In our case, there's really no reason to be involved, with the exception of being adventurers - which is sort of not the theme of Warhammer.

For a game as lethal as Warhammer, I'm truly surprised to see an adventure base so much of its hook on having one character that needs to survive.

It's an understated requirement of modules that much like narrative games, they require the players to have a certain amount of buy-in to the overall concept. If they're the type to veer off from an assumed path because "it doesn't fit my character", then the game needs to be more of a sandbox in design.
 

OK it that happened with my group I would have asked someone to step up and take the role of the Lookalike/Protagonist and if no one wanted to I would ask why? it is the driving force of the investigation.
If they wanted to continue, have them come up with reasons to follow the adventure.
I think that in this case the players are being a bit unfair. If one agrees to a campaign one has to accept the premises of the campaign and in my opinion there is an obligation to play the adventure the DM has prepared or politely tell the DM so and find another game.
You are entitled to some fun also and have no obligation to faff about to discover what they find fun.

They should straight up tell you what they like in a game and you tell them what you are comfortable with and see if you can meet in the middle.

People can be, well, super-weird about this. They can claim they want to play in a particular setting/situation but then want to engage with it on their own terms, even when those terms basically break the whole point in the situation. That's even assuming they're honest to themselves and others about what they really want.
 

For a game as lethal as Warhammer, I'm truly surprised to see an adventure base so much of its hook on having one character that needs to survive.

Single points of failure are something adventure designers are more prone to than one would think they'd be once you start digging into it.

It's an understated requirement of modules that much like narrative games, they require the players to have a certain amount of buy-in to the overall concept. If they're the type to veer off from an assumed path because "it doesn't fit my character", then the game needs to be more of a sandbox in design.

Yet you'll see some of the same people describe more sandbox games as "boring".
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
So in my group, the player who had the character with the mistaken identity quickly decided his character wasn't "fun" and not optimized for combat. He had the character leave the party so he could bring in a knight with good stats and great armor.

OK it that happened with my group I would have asked someone to step up and take the role of the Lookalike/Protagonist and if no one wanted to I would ask why? it is the driving force of the investigation.
If they wanted to continue, have them come up with reasons to follow the adventure.
I think that in this case the players are being a bit unfair. If one agrees to a campaign one has to accept the premises of the campaign and in my opinion there is an obligation to play the adventure the DM has prepared or politely tell the DM so and find another game.
You are entitled to some fun also and have no obligation to faff about to discover what they find fun.

They should straight up tell you what they like in a game and you tell them what you are comfortable with and see if you can meet in the middle.
Yeah, I'm thinking the player of the lookalike found himself in the crosshairs of the plot, freaked out, and decided to duck it. The character being not fun and not optimized for combat may be at least partly true, but I'd be willing to be it's also an excuse to not be the center of the spotlight. If he was comfortable with being the spotlight but also felt unoptimized, I'd have expected him to ask you if he could rebuild the character a little to accommodate that now that he knows he's a focal point.

I also think Ungainly Titan is right. If they're having a problem with the campaign and the central story thread, which I suspect is true given the number of switches, it would be nice if they were up front about it.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
People can be, well, super-weird about this. They can claim they want to play in a particular setting/situation but then want to engage with it on their own terms, even when those terms basically break the whole point in the situation. That's even assuming they're honest to themselves and others about what they really want.
It ok to be weird about it but you cannot engage with the premise of the campaign or cannot be proactive in a game that requires proactivity then they need to step up and say so.
Ok, it is over 30 year since I read "Shadows over Bornhaven" or what ever the first chapter was called and perhaps it would be recast as a police procedural where the PCs go and investigate what ever the DM NPC the Lord High Executioner tells them to. May be that could work or may be it would not fun or too much work for the DM.
 

It ok to be weird about it but you cannot engage with the premise of the campaign or cannot be proactive in a game that requires proactivity then they need to step up and say so.

Well, like I said, people can be unwilling or unable to even acknowledge these things to themselves sometimes. Its super annoying.
 

Retreater

Legend
The unfortunate thing about this group is that it seems no players are proactive enough to take action and make decisions. I think something more "on the rails" would be a better idea - or at least something with more clear cut goals.
It's too bad half the players don't think it's an issue and want to continue exactly what we're doing now.
 


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I can tell that they aren't motivated when we play. If they are going to take an action, I have to be the one to suggest it, otherwise they are just sort of lost or indecisive. They also don't remember key details from session-to-session


Was this the case with prior games with this group as well? It sounds like some players at some of my tables, which I always take care to pair with at least 2 (more seasoned) active players. You might have a somewhat unfortunate mix of players on your hands.
 

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