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My Upcoming Campaign Is Starting to Terrify Me

Jared Rascher

Explorer
Okay, maybe terrify is a bit extreme.

I've got an upcoming DC Adventures campaign starting up, and I was thrilled to finally get the chance to run this. I'm a huge DC geek, and I'm really looking forward to hamming it up using established DC characters.

The closer I get, though, the more I worry about how this is going to go. Its not entirely about the game system (which is why I'm not really posting this as a DCA/MM3e thread).

I've got one player that is moderately interested in comics and just wants to play in an RPG campaign, and he's a good, balanced player between mechanics and story. I've got another player that's a pretty big comic geek, and a pretty laid back roleplayer. Those two don't scare me so much.

One of the people I've got in the group now is our big enigma. He plays in tons of games at the FLGS, including my Pathfinder Game, and my friend's Pathfinder game. He, honest to goodness, never talks during game sessions, except to very briefly explain what his character does. He resists every attempt to provide any kind of character background. When presented with roleplaying situations, he basically says he's got no real personality for his character and begs off to move on to the next player.

For some reason, I can deal with this a little easier in the Pathfinder games, but I also had him in a Star Wars Saga game, where I was trying to get a bit more investment in roleplaying from him, and he was playing a noble to boot. Not interested in anything detail wise, he just wanted to roll dice and report numbers and move on.

I suspect that he doesn't worry me as much in my Pathfinder games because we've got six people per table and more than half of them are strong roleplayers. In smaller groups, and groups that don't have quite as many roleplayers, his lack of RP just seems to suck all of the momentum out of the game.

Finally, I've got someone that is very into roleplaying, much more so than mechanical aspects of games, and she was in an older 3.5 game of mine. She paid me a very nice compliment about how great a GM I was in that game and how invested she was in her character, and wanted to play in anything I had room in.

So between only having four people in the game, and having one person with no interest in contributing anything roleplaying wise to the game, and another person that's kind of expecting amazing things and deep character investment, I'm just really starting to worry that this campaign is going to fly like a lead balloon.

I miss the days when I was just practicing my Solomon Grundy voice.
 

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Haltherrion

First Post
I'd suggest not worrying about the players' reactions and concentrate on understanding the setting and preparing some good initial material. If you get fired up about what you have planned, all else will follow.

Regardless of how sandbox-ish versus plotty you want to run the game, make sure you have the material prepared to see you off to a couple good sessions. This might be a collection of characters and situations for the more sandboxish side to the full story with some identified places where the players can influence events on the other side. Pick things that surprise and engage. One useful trick is to imagine a situation, think of the first thing that comes to mind regarding that situation and then figure out how to make the situation work in a way that does not fit your initial thought, sort of turning cliche's on their head.

As for the RP-lite player, I've always found that you don't need a full slate of roleplaying players. In fact, too many can bog things down. He doesn't sound at all disruptive and seems fully engaged so I'd put him in the quiet-but-useful-addition-to-the-group category. Often those quiet players are extremely dependable.

Good luck :)
 




Jared Rascher

Explorer
Heh. Honestly, its less about my "quiet" player and more about only having four people, and one being "quiet" and another being "this is going to be the absolutely best campaign ever!"

I think I'm almost more intimidated by the player that thinks I'm going to present the greatest campaign ever.
 

fba827

Adventurer
I think I'm almost more intimidated by the player that thinks I'm going to present the greatest campaign ever.

Hmm. a simple retraining on your part might help.

She doesn't want/need/expect you to produce the greatest campaign ever. What the player actually wants/needs/expects is the greatest campaign that she has ever played in/experienced herself.

It's a subtle difference, but a big one. You don't have the sum total of all games, ever, to compete with, just her experiences.

In any case, have your story and encounters prepared well enough and I think you'll be able to gauge the 'table vibe' during play to see what sort of stuff you should roleplay out and what you should handwave.

You'll be fine. Stop worrying. Bottom line, everyone is (theoretically) there to play a game and have some fun.
 
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pawsplay

Banned
Banned
Heh. Honestly, its less about my "quiet" player and more about only having four people, and one being "quiet" and another being "this is going to be the absolutely best campaign ever!"

I think I'm almost more intimidated by the player that thinks I'm going to present the greatest campaign ever.

If you can simply avoid squashing their enthusiasm, they probably will have the greatest campaign ever. Ever.
 

Diamond Cross

Banned
Banned
I wouldn't use established characters. Because, all fan boys have their expectations of how an established character should act, and if the DM doesn't act properly, meaning according to their definition, then for them it'll ruin the game.

The best thing to do is to create entirely original characters for them to go up against.

Or you can cheat. just give a different character the same abilities but give him a completely different identity and persona.
 

Jared Rascher

Explorer
I wouldn't use established characters. Because, all fan boys have their expectations of how an established character should act, and if the DM doesn't act properly, meaning according to their definition, then for them it'll ruin the game.

The best thing to do is to create entirely original characters for them to go up against.

Or you can cheat. just give a different character the same abilities but give him a completely different identity and persona.


Honestly, the thing I am the least worried about is the setting. If I'm not using DC villains and NPCs, then I might as well have started up a M&M3e game instead of calling it a DCA game.

Part of the fun of this campaign, for me, is that I will get to act like Lex Luthor, Joker, Bizarro, and Gorilla Grodd. Its what's drawing me to using the setting.

I'm more worried, in general, about the actual flow of the campaign, roleplaying time versus tactical combat time, and everyone feeling like they got the type of fun they wanted by the end of the night.

But really? The GMs got to have fun too, and I really want to do my best Joker voice at some time during the campaign. ;)
 

Jared Rascher

Explorer
Pawsplay and fba, I think I am just trying to overthink this before it even gets going. For all I know, I'll have a bunch more people that haven't contacted me in the group, and I'll have a different mix of people than I thought, or things will just flow naturally with everyone once they make up their characters.
 

The Shaman

First Post
If the Quiet Man is enjoying himself, participates consistently, and isn't cockblocking anyone else's fun, don't worry about him.

High Expectations Girl sounds like someone who actually makes her own fun, a self-motivated player who engages the game-world and the characters therein - my ideal sort of player, actually - so as long as you give her the tools to do so, I'm sure she'll be singing your praises again.
 

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