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hawkeyefan

Legend
There are a small number of hard core player gamers that want to side table DM and run and create the game world. And such player have a grand fun time making a pile of creation.

However, that is not all players. At least half of all players want to put zero work into a game. Wrok, effort, is not fun, as the players would say, so why would they want to do it.

Even most of the players that do want to add stuff to the game, don't really want to create stuff. They just want the power to handwave that it's there. "Wow...I say there are ninja drow dragon riders!". Of course even suggest that the player might write up a history, backstory, lore and game stats for their ninja drow dragon riders...and they will flat out refuse. That would be work and takes effort. Sure, sometimes they might scribble down something like "history-um, a year ago the drow and dragons joined forces. The end." Suggest a player write some 50,000 words and they will refuse to even consider it.

This is not my experience by any means. Most players are at least moderately creative. I don't think RPGs really appeal to folks who don't have at least a bit of creativity in them. The groups I game in are filled with very creative folks. There is not one example I can think of that would fit your description of a lazy player who just wants to sit there and not add to the game.

I also don't think a 50,000 word anything written by GM or players is necessary, or desired. I don't want to have to read all that, nor do I need to. If that is your expectation, then I can see why you're let down. Maybe shoot for realistic expectations, and perhaps your experience will change.
 

This is not my experience by any means. Most players are at least moderately creative. I don't think RPGs really appeal to folks who don't have at least a bit of creativity in them. The groups I game in are filled with very creative folks. There is not one example I can think of that would fit your description of a lazy player who just wants to sit there and not add to the game.

I also don't think a 50,000 word anything written by GM or players is necessary, or desired. I don't want to have to read all that, nor do I need to. If that is your expectation, then I can see why you're let down. Maybe shoot for realistic expectations, and perhaps your experience will change.
PC backstories are usually optional. I've seen the occasional player get carried away but nothing horrific. The groups I'm with usually write setting information down and it's up to the players how much they want to engage with it.
 

pemerton

Legend
Here's an example of a PC with enough backstory to make the sort of play the OP is asking about possible:

Aedhros
Concept = embittered, self-deceiving dark elf
Appearance = dark hair, grim eyes
Lifepaths (4)= Born Etharch, Spouse, Griever, Deceiver
Backstory = after my spouse was slain, I could not confront the truth of the world and retreated into bitter inwardness
140 years old

Beliefs
I will avenge the death of my spouse!
I will never admit I am wrong
Only because Alicia is poor and broken can I endure her company

Instincts
Never use Song of Soothing unless compelled to
Always repay hurt with hurt
When my mind is elsewhere, quietly sing the elven lays

Relationships
Hateful relationship with my father-in-law, the elven ambassador at the port (blame him for spouse's death)

Reputations & Affiliations
+1D rep ill-fated for himself and others
+1D aff with the Elven Etharchs​

The reason I know that it's enough is because on the weekend I played this character in a session of Burning Wheel that was an example of the sort of play the OP is asking about.
 

This is not my experience by any means. Most players are at least moderately creative. I don't think RPGs really appeal to folks who don't have at least a bit of creativity in them. The groups I game in are filled with very creative folks. There is not one example I can think of that would fit your description of a lazy player who just wants to sit there and not add to the game.
I'm sure some groups get together and everyone is an endless fountian of creativity and the game is just a whole bunch of creative things. I find most player just want to "play" the game, and "be creative" as a character in the game.

I also don't think a 50,000 word anything written by GM or players is necessary, or desired. I don't want to have to read all that, nor do I need to. If that is your expectation, then I can see why you're let down. Maybe shoot for realistic expectations, and perhaps your experience will change.
Well, this is just different strokes right?

Some GMs are fine with a player creating things by giving a vague suggestion, and then leave the GM high and dry to to all the work and take effort to create it..

Some GMs are fine with the player creating something like "history-they were formed ten years ago. The end" and then, and then leave the GM high and dry to to all the work that take effort to create it.

Both are perfect examples of what I call the GM/Player split.

When I create something I'm going to at least do a "small sorucebook " worth of information. The history, leaders, goals, game information, all that sort of thing. If your not doing all that hard work......what exactly is being created?

If a player came to me with 50,000 words of suggested background they had written up, I would fake my own death.
But were are not talking about a player making JUST something for their ONE player character, right? We are talking about the player ADDING to the game world.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
But were are not talking about a player making JUST something for their ONE player character, right? We are talking about the player ADDING to the game world.
I work with words for a living. Fifty thousand words is a lot of words.

I would much rather have structured outlines and notes than the deathless prose of Steve, who handles the books for the local Kia dealership. Turning his possibly very good ideas into polished text probably isn't useful to me at the table and is an obstacle to him getting it done and, depending on the quality of those words, to me parsing it.

If I wanted this level of engagement in the setting -- which I'm not generally opposed to -- I would do it in a structured fashion, like is done in Beyond the Wall or Fellowship, both of which mean the group ends up with actionable notes rather than bricks of text that may be difficult to get done.
 

Here's an example of a PC with enough backstory to make the sort of play the OP is asking about possible:

Aedhros
Concept = embittered, self-deceiving dark elf​
Beliefs
Only because Alicia is poor and broken can I endure her company​
As a tangent, once Alicia gets her stuff together who is obligated to make a new character?

Certainly, I can see this as a friction point for drama and motivation. However, it seems to place a time limit on the campaign. Unless your plan is that, depending on what happens with Alicia, Aedhros finds some respect for his fellow adventurer. I suppose that the plan is loose until you come across that bridge.
 

I work with words for a living. Fifty thousand words is a lot of words.
To be clear, I'm also counting the words in a game stat block. A single ninja drow dragon rider, all stated out is a lot of words.
I would much rather have structured outlines and notes than the deathless prose of Steve, who handles the books for the local Kia dealership. Turning his possibly very good ideas into polished text probably isn't useful to me at the table and is an obstacle to him getting it done and, depending on the quality of those words, to me parsing it.
You lost me here.
If I wanted this level of engagement in the setting -- which I'm not generally opposed to -- I would do it in a structured fashion, like is done in Beyond the Wall or Fellowship, both of which mean the group ends up with actionable notes rather than bricks of text that may be difficult to get done.
Well, the question is about getting players to engage in the game by creating stuff for the game. Just like the GM does.

I get that some games are fine with a player like drinking some Mt.Dew and saying "oh, I make a ninja dragon castle, right over there" and then the player just dances out of the room all happy they "created" something. Then the GM, alone, has to take time and effort to create anything needed.

But if the players really want to add to the game, they must do at least as much work as the GM does.

And my point is, very few players are willing to do that.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Well, the question is about getting players to engage in the game by creating stuff for the game. Just like the GM does.

I get that some games are fine with a player like drinking some Mt.Dew and saying "oh, I make a ninja dragon castle, right over there" and then the player just dances out of the room all happy they "created" something. Then the GM, alone, has to take time and effort to create anything needed.

But if the players really want to add to the game, they must do at least as much work as the GM does.

And my point is, very few players are willing to do that.
I think everyone involved should follow the Lazy DM method and only create what's necessary at the moment, which is probably never going to be 50,000 words on any one subject. Until the ninja dragon drow folks enter battle, we don't need their stats, no matter who would be the one writing them up.

Until that point -- and I say this as a person with a now-massive wiki full of campaign notes -- I'd rather have that energy sketching out evocative ideas, rather than meticulous details, which I find emerge in play reasonably well, especially if everyone knows they can be the source for them. Tell me why drow and red dragons are working together, not whether the drow have special attacks keyed off of flyby attack.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
I'm sure some groups get together and everyone is an endless fountian of creativity and the game is just a whole bunch of creative things. I find most player just want to "play" the game, and "be creative" as a character in the game.

Right. Do you want more from them than that? If so, perhaps you should consider some of the things folks have mentioned and may yet mention in this thread instead of just pointing out how it’s all impossible.

Well, this is just different strokes right?

Some GMs are fine with a player creating things by giving a vague suggestion, and then leave the GM high and dry to to all the work and take effort to create it..

You add in a lot of assumptions there. What you’re describing here isn’t what I’m suggesting.

Both are perfect examples of what I call the GM/Player split.

When I create something I'm going to at least do a "small sorucebook " worth of information. The history, leaders, goals, game information, all that sort of thing. If your not doing all that hard work......what exactly is being created?

That seems wasteful. You don’t need that level of detail. Certainly you don’t need to all determined ahead of time.

But if the players really want to add to the game, they must do at least as much work as the GM does.

I think you’re overstating how much work is needed by the GM. Some of that workload can be shared. I expect that a lot of what you create ahead of the game is also not necessary to facilitate play.
 

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