Player Engagement Outside of Session Time

I have the opposite problem: our GM skips over stuff in game, saying he'll send it later and then almost never does.

We spend a session scrying but he couldn't give us aps because the ones he had included notes h such (caught him off guard, thats totally ok) but two weeks go by with no maps and game day its cell phone picture of a hasty trace from his module

The NPCs who have no name are legion.

But if a new rule book comes out he is all over it, making spreadsheets full of stuff that is more a distraction than part of the game. Do we really need to know how many acres of peas vs acres of oak trees there are on a manor when we don't even have names for a single person who lives on the estate?

Ugh. GMs. Amirite?
 

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aramis erak

Legend
But if a new rule book comes out he is all over it, making spreadsheets full of stuff that is more a distraction than part of the game.
Since about 2003, I've only experienced that in the D&D space; for the first time in 20+, I've a player doing so in a non-D&D, non-playtest, commercially released game that they didn't specifically ask me to run.
Do we really need to know how many acres of peas vs acres of oak trees there are on a manor when we don't even have names for a single person who lives on the estate?
This is why I have name generators. ;)
They're pretty simple to code as a either a pointer array (in C or C-like languages) pointing to individual strings, or as a sliceable list in Python.

My players at times get annoyed that the minion NPCs they're hacking to bits have names...
Moreover, they know those names have meanings...
 

This is why I have name generators. ;)
They're pretty simple to code as a either a pointer array (in C or C-like languages) pointing to individual strings, or as a sliceable list in Python.

My players at times get annoyed that the minion NPCs they're hacking to bits have names...
Moreover, they know those names have meanings...
For fantasy, I use EBON; for modern day (anything in the last 300 years) I use the members of the British, Irish, and French governments.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
I know. This is a perennial issue, but I'm frustrated right now so bear with me. ("Bare with me?" I don't actually know...)

Anyway: I am starting a new Starfinder campaign (YAY) using the Fly Free or Die AP (YAY) and I am desperately trying to get my players to put in 20 minutes to read the Player's Guide for the AP (BOO).

Why is it so damn hard to get players to put in even the tiniest effort outside of the designated hours of the campaign?

This isn't a Starfinder issue. It happens all the time. Sure, you find the occasional player who writes in character journals or does artwork or plans their advancement 20 levels before they need to, but those are the exception that prove the rule.

I'm not askinga lot, am I? Just read the thing so you know the set up, and pick a background so I know how to engage your character with the specified NPCs. Hell, i didn't even ask you to read the rules on trade -- which will be important later.

Ugh. Players. Amirite?
Late to the party, but here’s what I’ve experienced:

Player involvement beyond an individual or two outside of actual game time is rare. I mean almost nonexistent.

I’ve been in the hobby since ‘77-78, and in that time, I’ve been a player or GM in a variety of systems, in 5 cities in 3 different states. And over those decades & miles, I can think of fewer than a dozen times multiple players actually collaborated outside of game night.

Of those times, I was only the GM for 2-3. Of those, only one campaign sustained that level of engagement more than a few sessions.

That one campaign was my best campaign ever, but it was lightning in a bottle. I’ve never even come close to replicating that success.

The magic mix: I had a core campaign idea that nearly everyone in the group was deeply enthusiastic about. And I composed an single-page “newspaper” for the group’s in-campaign organization that I pr8nted and placed on the host’s game room corkboardl. That campaign ran for a couple years,

When I tried running a subsequent campaign based in the same game world, but with different players in a different city and a different RPG system, it cratered in under 10 sessions. There were several factors to this, but the #1 reason was lack of engagement with the game world.
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
Late to the party, but here’s what I’ve experienced:

Player involvement beyond an individual or two outside of actual game time is rare. I mean almost nonexistent.

I’ve been in the hobby since ‘77-78, and in that time, I’ve been a player or GM in a variety of systems, in 5 cities in 3 different states. And over those decades & miles, I can think of fewer than a dozen times multiple players actually collaborated outside of game night.

Of those times, I was only the GM for 2-3. Of those, only one campaign sustained that level of engagement more than a few sessions.

That one campaign was my best campaign ever, but it was lightning in a bottle. I’ve never even come close to replicating that success.

The magic mix: I had a core campaign idea that nearly everyone in the group was deeply enthusiastic about. And I composed an single-page “newspaper” for the group’s in-campaign organization that I pr8nted and placed on the host’s game room corkboardl. That campaign ran for a couple years,

When I tried running a subsequent campaign based in the same game world, but with different players in a different city and a different RPG system, it cratered in under 10 sessions. There were several factors to this, but the #1 reason was lack of engagement with the game world.
I've entirely given up on homebrew because of this. At least with published stuff I didn't do all the work.
 

Player involvement beyond an individual or two outside of actual game time is rare. I mean almost nonexistent.

I’ve been in the hobby since ‘77-78 [...]

I've only been in the hobby since 1982, but I echo what Mr. Alcatraz said. You can expect maybe one player per campaign to be seriously invested. And you should treasure those players!

(That's one of the reasons I (earlier) suggested a more storygame approach in which the players collaborate to build the setting, which does help somewhat, at least for short-term games where people can remember what they made up.)

To some extent: just run the deep, rich game for your own and that one player's amusement. Everyone else is along for the ride and contributes in other ways, like being tactical geniuses, rules gurus / assistant GMs, bringing snacks, or cracking jokes. But that rich story and deep lore? Yeah, only you and that one guy appreciate it.
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
I've only been in the hobby since 1982, but I echo what Mr. Alcatraz said. You can expect maybe one player per campaign to be seriously invested. And you should treasure those players!

(That's one of the reasons I (earlier) suggested a more storygame approach in which the players collaborate to build the setting, which does help somewhat, at least for short-term games where people can remember what they made up.)

To some extent: just run the deep, rich game for your own and that one player's amusement. Everyone else is along for the ride and contributes in other ways, like being tactical geniuses, rules gurus / assistant GMs, bringing snacks, or cracking jokes. But that rich story and deep lore? Yeah, only you and that one guy appreciate it.
I try, but my games keep getting derailed by folks who just want advanced Heroquest. :cry:
 

Tom B1

Explorer
Screw that.
Done that. Had maybe 7 or 8 contributors. I did a lot, but they did a bunch too that was inspirational for me including some NPCs that I would not have thought of and some groups (NGOs) that I would not have come up with.

I think it worked well, but I asked people who were smart, educated, and several had history degrees (focusing on Antiquity and Medieval) and even one that had a Masters in War Studies. They brought a lot of history and what would be interesting to my world.

To each their own, but I found it did not threaten or harm my world and in fact it improved it profoundly in some areas.
 

Tom B1

Explorer
I've only been in the hobby since 1982, but I echo what Mr. Alcatraz said. You can expect maybe one player per campaign to be seriously invested. And you should treasure those players!

(That's one of the reasons I (earlier) suggested a more storygame approach in which the players collaborate to build the setting, which does help somewhat, at least for short-term games where people can remember what they made up.)

To some extent: just run the deep, rich game for your own and that one player's amusement. Everyone else is along for the ride and contributes in other ways, like being tactical geniuses, rules gurus / assistant GMs, bringing snacks, or cracking jokes. But that rich story and deep lore? Yeah, only you and that one guy appreciate it.
I got very lucky. I had the same 6 people for the better part of 19 years in our campaign. We had about another 12 or 15 that came and left over time, but the core folks were invested because once they got a bit up in levels, they started tackling larger scale problems and they started investing in pursuing some key mysteries and some projects to improve the kingdom they lived in.

Not everyone was totally enthusiastic every session, but overall, they all wanted to share each other's company and to have some fun at a table and see where the story was going.
 

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