log in or register to remove this ad

 

Killing the sense of wonder

Heathen72

Explorer
In a way, I am asking the same question as this thread but inquiring paradoxically - i.e, studying what we do badly in order to do better.

So... What kills the sense of wonder in your games?
The GM? The Players? The ruleset? The lawnmower outside the window?

Some examples of things that have destroyed the sense of wonder in games I have played in:

  • The GM just using a monsters name the players meet, instead of describing it, because he know the players have all read the monster manual
  • The players describing the unsettling way a possessed child has just crawled across the ceiling as "Spiderclimb"
  • The players watching the TV instead of the GM
  • The players munching on popcorn all the way through a description of bloodcurdling horror before saying "What's so scary about that?"
  • Someone killing the moment with a poorly timed joke (guilty, you honour)

What are you examples?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Oryan77

Adventurer
1. Not wearing pants to the game.

2. Dressing up as your character.

3. Putting on an annoying voice (just because you can do a scottish accent doesn't mean dwarves have a scottish accent).

4. Giving a PC or pet a silly name that doesn't really fit with the flavor of the campaign.

5. Looting and then carrying around 15 longswords, 5 sets of full plate armor, & 10 shields only because you're strength score allows it.

6. Bending the rules in your favor and throwing logic/physics out the window (like being medium sized but wielding a gargantuan 2-handed sword due to mixing various feats and abilities).

7. Making an action that doesn't fit with the flavor of the campaign, "I use my wish spell to wish for a colossal size dead tuna to drop on the head of the BBEG!"

8. Having the PC wear clothing or a magic item that doesn't fit with the flavor of the character and would look stupid (like a full plate armored warrior with a tower shield and a closed-faced helmet, with slippers of spider climb on the feet rather than boots).

I could probably rant on and on about this subject, but I'll stop with these. :eek:
 

MortalPlague

Adventurer
When my brother puts on loud music in the room below us. :erm:

And I'll add a second vote to the 'badly-timed joke'. Although my group has been really, really good about not doing that for quite a while!
 

DrunkonDuty

Adventurer
... then taking its stuff.

Not wearing pants... I'm picturing most of my gaming buddies without any pants on. It aint pretty.


1. Bad descriptions.

2. Lame villains.

3. Players who wont buy into the scenario/campaign style.

Edit:mad: The Shaman. H with double magic.
 
Last edited:

nedjer

Adventurer
1. Not wearing pants to the game.

2. Dressing up as your character.

3. Putting on an annoying voice (just because you can do a scottish accent doesn't mean dwarves have a scottish accent).


I've only got a Scottish accent and it's considered advisable to wear kevlar chainmail around Glasgow. On the plus side, I always wear a thong to the game :eek:
 


Mikaze

First Post
3. Players who wont buy into the scenario/campaign style.

I'm wondering if this one may be the most critically important of the bunch. While I agree that just calling out monster names and mailing in the descriptions hurts like hell, players that don't even try to get into the game are going to short circuit any wonder you manage to build up.

But you get a player that buys in, and it feeds itself. The player carries some of the burden for the GM and fans the flames the whole while.

May be a chicken-egg situation though. Is the immersiveness failing because of the player or is the player not buying in because it's not immersive enough?
 
Last edited:

Melkor

Explorer
A couple of things for me and my gaming group:

• Having played D&D for 25+ years and knowing pretty much every aspect of the game thoroughly.

• Interrupting the flow of the game to set up the grid-map/tiles and miniatures.
 


Holy Bovine

First Post
CELL PHONES

I hatehatehatehate cell phones at the gaming table. I don't care if its texts, calls, emails or whatever when those :):):):)ing things go off (always with some lameass ring tone that makes the experience 8 times more annoying) I see red and want to smash them. Turn 'em off or mute them. We only play for 4 freaking hours a week - why is it necessary to be in constant contact with everyone? Would 4 hours without a cell phone really kill you? :rant: :rant: :rant: :rant: :rant: :rant: :rant: :rant: :rant:



Why yes I rather don't care for cell phones.
 
Last edited:

Diamond Cross

First Post
Grinding for loot and xp like in WoW.

No real stories just go in, kill monster, get the treasure.

Everything is about being the biggest baddest tough guy.

The DM constantly taking over and remaking your character to a character he wants you to play.

Being killed so often by the monsters or NPCs that you've run out of character concepts and names.

The DM favoring the significant other over everybody else.

The DM having a pet character that is unstoppable and unkillable.
 


xXxTheBeastxXx

First Post
• Interrupting the flow of the game to set up the grid-map/tiles and miniatures.

I've actually got a fix for this one. At least in my regular group, we've got 2 GMs: myself and a friend. We usually trade off roles as GM and Co-GM. The GM focuses on things like interaction and description, whereas the Co-GM will work on the math, minis, dungeon tiles, etc. It works well for us.

As for what destroys the wonder...big parties. It's hard to round everyone in when someone brings up an out-of-game topic or makes a joke and everyone joins in. Usually, a hard slap on the table will quiet a small group. But big ones don't really react.
 


Dausuul

Legend
I find that "sense of wonder" is impossible to achieve at the gaming table. I don't think I have ever played in a group where I'd have said there was a sense of wonder going on. Wonder is such a fragile, easily shattered thing; even movies and books, with their perfect control of the medium, struggle to achieve it.

I'll settle for immersion, which is quite hard enough.
 

Hussar

Legend
Lots of things can disrupt SOW:

1. Someone's tired.
2. DM had a rough day at work.
3. Cell phones (yeah, it's been mentioned, but, it deserves it twice. I feel your pain)
4. Pizza delivery.
5. Children/spouse/parents/random strangers in the gaming environment.
6. Internet problems when you run online games. (GRRRRRRR)
7. Dropping dice.
8. Getting tongue tied or speaking in Spoonerisms.
9. Cliche's
10. Gas.
11. Players showing up late.

That's enough for now.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Lots of things can disrupt SOW:

1. Someone's tired.
2. DM had a rough day at work.
3. Cell phones (yeah, it's been mentioned, but, it deserves it twice. I feel your pain)
4. Pizza delivery.
5. Children/spouse/parents/random strangers in the gaming environment.
6. Internet problems when you run online games. (GRRRRRRR)
7. Dropping dice.
8. Getting tongue tied or speaking in Spoonerisms.
9. Cliche's
10. Gas.
11. Players showing up late.

That's enough for now.
All quite valid, but let's say you and the group have overcome these obstacles for the night...you've got decent immersion and buy-in from the players, you yourself are on form as DM, things are rockin' right along - in other words, an all-round stellar session.

Why is it still so hard to find that sense of wonder?

To me, the biggest wonder-wrecker is too much knowledge:

== knowledge of rules, of what's "behind the curtain", and of the math involved;
== knowledge of items;
== knowledge of the game world (given a choice I'll play in a homebrew world every time, only because it's new and thus waiting to be discovered);
== knowledge of the rules beyond just how to play, of rules tricks, loopholes, and broken combos;
== knowledge of monsters;
== knowledge of the DM, though some are good enough to reinvent themselves and thus keep it fresh.

With work, a DM can mitigate the first, second, fourth and fifth of these by (in order) shaking up the math, replacing known item lists with unseen homebrew lists, closing loopholes/banning combos, and reskinning monsters; with the proviso that step 2 has to be to make this information harder to come by in game (eample: use 1e item identification rules rather than 4e).

For my current campaign, I tried to rename quite a few of the standard monsters just to shake it up - underneath they were the same monsters, but the players (some of whom are almost 30-year veterans) found themselves to ask what a "Grash" or a Quitch" looked and acted like - even though they are merely Orc and Kobold renamed. Now, 2.5 years in, they all know what's what; but it worked really well for a while. :)

Lan-"a little knowledge is a bad thing; a lot, worse"-efan
 


Doug McCrae

Legend
Talking about the rules.

Rpgs are actually a pretty crappy vehicle for sensawunda. Novels, movies, etc, are better cause you can't see the man behind the curtain.
 

Doug McCrae

Legend
For my current campaign, I tried to rename quite a few of the standard monsters just to shake it up - underneath they were the same monsters, but the players (some of whom are almost 30-year veterans) found themselves to ask what a "Grash" or a Quitch" looked and acted like - even though they are merely Orc and Kobold renamed. Now, 2.5 years in, they all know what's what; but it worked really well for a while. :)
In my current game, I'm calling orcs 'skogra' and bugbears 'gurks'.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top