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[Roleplaying Games] Thank God I Finally Have A Table For Cannabis Potency.

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Posts

  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Here's the thing.

    Running a laid back beer'n'pretzels game for your group of super easygoing totally chill working bros who just want to relax after a long week and hang out with their bros and roll dice with their bros and crack a brewski with their bros and laugh and joke with their bros and eat pork rinds with their bros and rub fistfuls of Crisco into their neck fat with their bros and abduct a minor with their bros and sell yellowcake to North Korea with their bros and and and

    is no less work than running a fuckin' high-octane drama fiesta where everyone is maximally engaged. In fact, it's often more!

    Because in the space where, in another game, the players might be talking amongst themselves or hashing out their ideas or making a bunch of helpful suggestions for you to fold into the game, you're probably talking instead. Or running monsters. Or bookkeeping. Or gently chivvying them to where the next encounter is. And it's probably happening in a system like D&D that makes no provisions for player-generated content, asks for a lot of management on the backend, and has a ton of weird rules intersections that require moment-to-moment adjudication and a constant stream of judgment calls.

    Like, it would make sense if there were a low-effort easy mode option for GMs, but the closest you can approach that is to either run a module (which still requires an outlay of time, money, memorization, the effort to slot it into an existing game, etc) or to turn over as much of the content-generation chore as possible to algorithms (random encounter tables, random mission tables, dungeon generators, sector-generation rules for space games, etc) but even after rolling on a bunch of tables to create your night's adventure...you've still gotta run that stuff. You're saving yourself work between sessions but not so much at the table. This is all setting aside the time and emotional labor of wrangling the group, managing schedules, hosting, etc, which aren't explicitly the province of the GM but often end up being that way in practice.

    It is absolutely the case that not all or even most tabletop gamers will ever be master thespians. And there's no law that says a player has to engage.

    But I don't think that that is what most GMs want? I think a whole lot of weary, dissatisfied game runners would be thrilled to just...have the players show up now and again, you know? And if it doesn't happen, and keeps not happening, the GM is not being a pissy prima donna to not want to spend a few hours a week being the human number cruncher for their friends. The GM is a player too and they ought to be having fun too, and if they aren't, it really is okay to just go "hey, maybe we should just play Descent."

    I relate to this so hard it kinda hurts.

    I tried so hard with my last group to teach/show/help them to engage with the game in ways that went beyond just playing a video or board game. But more often than not, I would give a short (or sometimes long, when I was trying that out) description of a scene transition / opening, and ask "What do you guys want to do?" and just be met by crickets.

    I would happily run a game for people that have literally any kind of narrative input whatsoever. I would happily run basically any system of RPG. But I've found it super hard to find a group of folks in my social / extended circle that have any interest in actually playing in that kind of game.

    Many people would be perfect for a Gloomhaven or Descent session, and those are fun too. But not many people are best suited by playing a TTRPG, maybe? I don't know. I'm feeling a bit defeated in this aspect of my life at the moment.

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
    NipsitalianranmaMrVyngaard
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Again, I think its a matter of revising your expectations. You are going to pour your heart into devising a story and scene and you get nothing back from your players other than "I roll a 12, does that hit?" that's like 83% of all role playing. But instead of expecting an oscar-worthy reply to your villains monologue and being disappointed when you don't get it, look for the little things.

    One of my new players, on his second session ever, said something like, "Hmm. I don't think my character would like that, so I'm going to try and stop it." and I was over the moon.

    ElvenshaeSleepMatevRhesus Positive
  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Again, I think its a matter of revising your expectations. You are going to pour your heart into devising a story and scene and you get nothing back from your players other than "I roll a 12, does that hit?" that's like 83% of all role playing. But instead of expecting an oscar-worthy reply to your villains monologue and being disappointed when you don't get it, look for the little things.

    One of my new players, on his second session ever, said something like, "Hmm. I don't think my character would like that, so I'm going to try and stop it." and I was over the moon.

    Sadly, I don't think I've gotten even that much from my guys.

    I'm not looking for voices, speeches, over the top role play, or really, anything majorly narrative or creative. I'm just looking for folks that want to ask questions, and push the story forward without me prompting.

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
    italianranmaJacobkoshNipsMatevMrVyngaard
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    Kadoken wrote: »
    I think at this point if you're not willing to dump these people then you need to sit down and basically feed them some serious Real Talk

    like unvarnished, straight up what you've told us

    and let the dominoes fall how they fall. your group may disband after that. either way, you're not doing anyone any favors by continuing to support a group who comes to your game, clocks in for 2-4 hours, and then clocks out to go home. because that's what you've got by the sounds of it and you really don't like it

    (for what it's worth that behavior would literally drive me insane and I have put far more bullets than I can count into games after 1-2 sessions for that very reason, so I feel your pain)

    I’m not calling you out or insinuating I have taken issue, but purely for clarification: the game is fine and fun enough. They mechanically engage. I just believe there is potential for it to be more fun if the guys would let loose and get into character more or at the very least try to interact with the stuff and characters a little more.

    (Not related to your post) I don’t got a detailed zoo problem. I got a not asking the major NPCs about stuff not related strictly to the mission nitpick. I don’t need 100% all the time, just maybe a tiny snippet about what a character is doing or how they are reacting. Not “I feel reluctance to kill this guy because I have deep daddy issues and my psyche can’t handle the projection of taking someone’s dad like mine was taken from me during the cold hive war of M40.998.36 and Amalathian philosophy states family is more important than everything.” I would just like “I take a deep breath, I close my eyes, and squeeze the trigger”.

    no worries, i understand where you’re coming from

    what others and myself are saying is you’re not wrong for wanting more out of your game, and a lot of us think you would be happier finding a new group who is more appreciative and, as jacobkosh said, actually “show up” for you

    my table shows up every week and has for 20 sessions now, and it’s literally one of the best feelings on the planet and has sustained me through what has been probably the shittiest year on record in my life.

    everyone deserves the best time possible and it always makes me sad when someone is putting in a lot of time and effort and only getting small returns, because our hobby is awesome and can be so much more than just something to do on Fridays where everyone shows up out of habit

    ArcanisTheImpotent on
    destroyah87SteelhawkadmanbJacobkoshMatev
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    and if i am being honest if i had the time i would forge a group from you fine folks :(

  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    and if i am being honest if i had the time i would forge a group from you fine folks :(

    Forming a group entirely out of GMs can have its own problems. :lol:

    SleepJacobkoshArcanisTheImpotentElvenshaewebguy20NipsMatevMrVyngaard
  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, poyo and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    my players are looking at my DH blog at the section that states "Players do not read". You wanna know how I know this? No one reads my blog and there are two page views on five of my new parts also they came from google. THE FINKS

    Also some German guy but he's fine.

    Happier news is that the homebrew hot-shot volley gun got 100 views. (I needed an M60 replacement for the not-Punisher)

    Kadoken on
    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
    SleepMatev
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    and if i am being honest if i had the time i would forge a group from you fine folks :(

    Forming a group entirely out of GMs can have its own problems. :lol:

    i have the dubious honor of being a good GM who actually way prefers playing

    italianranmaMatev
  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    and if i am being honest if i had the time i would forge a group from you fine folks :(

    Forming a group entirely out of GMs can have its own problems. :lol:

    i have the dubious honor of being a good GM who actually way prefers playing

    ouch

    it's funny shifting from GM to player (a rare opportunity but one I've got to do twice over the weekend) and going from thinking:

    "could you please all just talk to each other for like... 30 seconds five minutes an hour so I don't have to think of anything to say..."

    to

    "is it my turn to talk can I talk now let me talk I wanna talk I GOT STUFF TO DO AND PEOPLE TO SEE LEMME TALK."

    ArcanisTheImpotentJacobkoshKadokenwebguy20DarkPrimusMatevtzeentchlingRhesus Positivejakobagger
  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, poyo and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    admanb wrote: »
    and if i am being honest if i had the time i would forge a group from you fine folks :(

    Forming a group entirely out of GMs can have its own problems. :lol:

    i have the dubious honor of being a good GM who actually way prefers playing

    I have a slight bent towards playing more too. I was kind of the designated GM for a while (two years). Ain't no one else was going to host a 40k RPG. I do like it, but I like some balance. Sometimes I want to be the rpg boy, I'm the one who wins.

    One of my players, as mentioned earlier, did host a game at my request. He does a decent job as GM. I am also the most energetic out of the players. I am the dude to make big speeches and literally made a planet for sir Chaucer and the other guys are just kind of like "neat". It's not as bad since at least me and the GM are giving it energy.

    Kadoken on
    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    I will say since discovering Mercer and setting a goal for myself I have found a huge wellspring of fun for myself—the big game I’m running now is the most fun I’ve ever had in the GM chair and I think this one is gonna be my first multi year mega game

    crimsoncoyoteSleepAnialosCalica
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    admanb wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    and if i am being honest if i had the time i would forge a group from you fine folks :(

    Forming a group entirely out of GMs can have its own problems. :lol:

    i have the dubious honor of being a good GM who actually way prefers playing

    ouch

    it's funny shifting from GM to player (a rare opportunity but one I've got to do twice over the weekend) and going from thinking:

    "could you please all just talk to each other for like... 30 seconds five minutes an hour so I don't have to think of anything to say..."

    to

    "is it my turn to talk can I talk now let me talk I wanna talk I GOT STUFF TO DO AND PEOPLE TO SEE LEMME TALK."

    Man this is the real raw shit right here

    I just started playing again in the summer of 2017 after years of not and I was absolutely a worse, less attentive player until I got used to living without the stimulation of keeping ten plates spinning at once> I had to consciously learn how to slow down and relax again. Now I both GM and play regularly again and I can switch smoothly from one mode to the other but it was absolutely an adjustment.

    To kind of loop this around to the discussion that started it all, I will say, however, that while there's no cure for actual irreconcilable playstyle differences (nor should there be), I absolutely believe that a few weeks of GMing is one of the best cures around for some of the common gripes about players. I'm sure it's not 100% reliable (nothing is) but I have seen several times now that just being on the other side of the screen for as little as a couple sessions can really do wonders for that person's attentiveness and consideration.

    SleepArcanisTheImpotentSteelhawkadmanbElvenshaeitalianranmaMsAnthropyMatevMrVyngaard
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    agree 100%

    a lot of people without knowing it fall into “baby bird syndrome” where they just show up and are so used to the gamemaster processing all of the content for them and serving it up by essentially spitting it into their mouths pre-chewed (gross image I know)

    bar none the best wakeup call for these folks is to put them in the hot seat

    JacobkoshElvenshaeMatev
  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, poyo and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    Kadoken on
    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    For fun, try starting a campaign at level 1 without a major story of any kind pre supposed. Literally have no campaign pre written. Maybe dev a bad guy or two that are waiting in the wings to do bad guy stuff (essentially just antagonistic characters you get to play), maybe have some solvable problems out there that could be discovered and solved with the right investigation's, but don't make them game/world enders if the party never addresses it, and dont have any super firm campaign rails for the players to get on.

    Start the game and ask your players one specific question "It's Tuesday morning as the sun begins to rise, what's your character doing?"

    Don't give em any prompts just wait for them to come up with stuff for them to do.

    You'll often find the first answers are "I don't know".

    which should be immediately answered with "make something up".

    From there start playing the yes and game individually and reward engagement and invention with further encounters based on what you are being given by the players. Don't be afraid to let them invent the NPCs they are headed to see, or things they want to be headed to deal with. Think of random bullshit challenges they might deal with in totally mundane situations they are headed to. Don't even try to connect these initial challenges to anything in particular. Just let them do whatever they want for a good long while before trying to heard them to anything in particular.

    You'll find the players, absent being told anything is happening will invent stuff to have happen for themselves. They will sometimes strive to be in the party format, or figure out why they are at this same place another party member is just so they can participate.

    Refuse to prompt them into any specific action or situation. Let them build it all out from nothing. Rather than plan the next thing you're gonna throw at them ask them what they are going to do next and figure out something you can throw into that.

    Sleep on
    destroyah87RingoadmanbcrimsoncoyoteToxJacobkoshElvenshaewebguy20DarkPrimusMsAnthropySteelhawkNipsMatevjdarksuntzeentchlingMrVyngaardjakobagger
  • destroyah87destroyah87 Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    Aside from describing it like the GM knows what they’re doing, that’s pretty similar to how I run most sessions when I GM.

    The major problem is that it’s really hard to keep a good feeling of continuity unless I take notes of everything I or the players say during a session. Also makes it real tempting to fudge enemy stats.

    destroyah87 on
    steam_sig.png
  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    and if i am being honest if i had the time i would forge a group from you fine folks :(

    Forming a group entirely out of GMs can have its own problems. :lol:

    i have the dubious honor of being a good GM who actually way prefers playing

    ouch

    it's funny shifting from GM to player (a rare opportunity but one I've got to do twice over the weekend) and going from thinking:

    "could you please all just talk to each other for like... 30 seconds five minutes an hour so I don't have to think of anything to say..."

    to

    "is it my turn to talk can I talk now let me talk I wanna talk I GOT STUFF TO DO AND PEOPLE TO SEE LEMME TALK."

    Man this is the real raw shit right here

    I just started playing again in the summer of 2017 after years of not and I was absolutely a worse, less attentive player until I got used to living without the stimulation of keeping ten plates spinning at once> I had to consciously learn how to slow down and relax again. Now I both GM and play regularly again and I can switch smoothly from one mode to the other but it was absolutely an adjustment.

    It is challenging.

    STORYTIME: one of the games I played this weekend actually ended up being a weird hybrid. My partner, who's an excellent roleplayer but has never GMed before, agreed to run Blades in the Dark for her Cthulhu group as a filler game when they were missing players. She invited me and I readily agreed.

    Now, I realize she's a new GM (with performance anxiety and self-esteem issues) running a game I've run 40+ sessions of and I could very easily end up dominating the experience, so my plan to counteract this was to stay as quiet as possible and only take action when prompted and suggest procedure when asked. Then we showed up and instead of the expected reduced group of four players there were seven. I wouldn't run Blades for seven, but I know my partner isn't going to back out and tbh I know this group is gonna have fun with Blades no matter how much of a mess it is.

    However, with seven players and a GM who I know is going to have a hard time taking the reins and saying, "<x> happens, <PC>: what do you do?" I sort of took responsibility for momentum. When we resolved a scene and had seven PCs kind of milling around in the office I picked three that hadn't had a chance to do much up to that point, took them out to the factory floor, and asked what we found there.

    The very beginning of the scenario was, for reasons that will be obvious, my favorite part: my partner decided to use the default starter situation provided by the Blades rulebook, which has you sitting in the office of Baszo Baz -- a gang leader currently engaged in a three-way war with two other gangs. The GM describes the situation, then Baszo asks, "Well, are you with me or against me?" The obvious answer is "with them", and then the GM can give you a job that suits your crew type. I knew that if we went with a job we'd lose what little momentum we had as she'd have to come up with a mission, then we'd get stuck in all the planning and legwork that people expect to do in RPGs. Blades shines when you cut right to the action, so I went with the less obvious answer: "I want to shoot him in the face."

    Just like GMing Blades: cut to the action, skip the pre-amble, backfill later. I used a flashback to set up the meeting where another gang leader hired us to kill Baszo and everyone immediately got into the spirit of things. We even ended up killing a second gang leader -- which was not my idea -- later in the session.

    destroyah87crimsoncoyoteKadokenJacobkoshSleepElvenshaeMatevRhesus PositivejakobaggerRingoCalica
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Aside from describing it like the GM knows what they’re doing, that’s pretty similar to how I run most sessions when I GM.

    The major problem is that it’s really hard to keep a good feeling of continuity unless I take notes of everything I or the players say during a session. Also makes it real tempting to fudge enemy stats.

    Yo, totally fudge enemy stats.

    The players don't know the difference, and literally nothing in an MM is set in stone. My players know for a fact the monster manual can't be trusted and it's at best a rough idea of what they are facing.

    Makes it a lot easier to come up with things on the fly.

    MatevMrVyngaard
  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    Aside from describing it like the GM knows what they’re doing, that’s pretty similar to how I run most sessions when I GM.

    The major problem is that it’s really hard to keep a good feeling of continuity unless I take notes of everything I or the players say during a session. Also makes it real tempting to fudge enemy stats.

    Yo, totally fudge enemy stats.

    The players don't know the difference, and literally nothing in an MM is set in stone. My players know for a fact the monster manual can't be trusted and it's at best a rough idea of what they are facing.

    Makes it a lot easier to come up with things on the fly.

    bK59BuY.jpg?1
    You can't fudge stats if you never looked up the stats in the first place.

    SleepJacobkoshElvenshaeDarkPrimusitalianranmadesccrimsoncoyoteNipsAnialosMatevjdarksuntzeentchlingRhesus PositiveMrVyngaardjakobaggerRingoCalica
  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, poyo and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    Or they do know the difference and then complain you’re basically “cheating” (quote) by giving the npcs something they really need to be competitive and be a challenge and it’s not your fault that this character keeps getting so tough to the point they have more armour than a space marine that their enemies need extra stuff (this enemy being a mid-high tier daemon). When they should understand that the profiles are subject to change.

    Still just venting

    Also clearly if I wanted to be a dick I could literally just have a squad of eldar ranger pathfinders snipe them from miles away or one vindicare.

    Oh, and furthermore you are using talents from only war because I wanted to be nice and let you be able to use equipment and talents from other FFG 40k books unless they had an equivalent in 2E so how is that any different?

    This argument did not last long but it just stuck out. Same with him complaining about multiple rolls and saying some shit like “so should I just leave with six more rolls already done because this is taking forever.” You’re rolling because you’re trying to save your friend (another PC) from being driven insane by mad visions and forced to have a heart attack by a corrupted sanitarium how about you have some patience?

    Kadoken on
    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Aside from describing it like the GM knows what they’re doing, that’s pretty similar to how I run most sessions when I GM.

    The major problem is that it’s really hard to keep a good feeling of continuity unless I take notes of everything I or the players say during a session. Also makes it real tempting to fudge enemy stats.

    I cheat. I have a steel trap memory. I remember pretty much everything from the beginning of the campaign 5 years ago to now.

    admanbMatevMrVyngaard
  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Kadoken wrote: »
    Or they do know the difference and then complain you’re basically “cheating” (quote) by giving the npcs something they really need to be competitive and be a challenge and it’s not your fault that this character keeps getting so tough to the point they have more armour than a space marine that their enemies need extra stuff (this enemy being a mid-high tier daemon). When they should understand that the profiles are subject to change.

    Still just venting

    Also clearly if I wanted to be a dick I could literally just have a squad of eldar ranger pathfinders snipe them from miles away or one vindicare.

    Most of your group just seems kinda fine-but-not-great but this particular person you're describing is a man I would never choose to play RPGs with.

    destroyah87ElvenshaeMatevRhesus Positive
  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, poyo and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    Like this is the guy I allowed a combat reset then enemy nerf for after a TPK with no fate points burned because I felt that it was unfair to use genestealer stats after the fact for a somewhat new party. The group didn’t even really request it, I just thought it wasn’t right.

    I’m not the problem!

    Which sucks because he’s the most active player and a good friend of mine and is the one who is GMing the DH game I asked for.

    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    Kadoken wrote: »
    Or they do know the difference and then complain you’re basically “cheating” (quote) by giving the npcs something they really need to be competitive and be a challenge and it’s not your fault that this character keeps getting so tough to the point they have more armour than a space marine that their enemies need extra stuff (this enemy being a mid-high tier daemon). When they should understand that the profiles are subject to change.

    Still just venting

    Also clearly if I wanted to be a dick I could literally just have a squad of eldar ranger pathfinders snipe them from miles away or one vindicare.

    Oh that's a complaint every DM has heard, and the answer is that as the DM you can't cheat because you're the final arbiter of all the rules.

    Like you said, there's plenty of unstoppable ways to kill em, if I wanted them dead... they'd be dead.

    I also have the ultimate out in that I'm using my own setting so rampant alterations to existing content is more readily acceptable for most players.

    Like I'll readily admit to being a bit of a tin god DM, but as much as im gonna "break the rules" in my favor, i'm also going to do it in the players favor when that services the scene or story better than following the rules would.

    Sleep on
    MatevMrVyngaard
  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    I play in a couple of groups with another guy (where we basically trade off GMing duties) because our role-playing wants align so well. But sometimes they don't line up. For whatever reason we're just not on the same page about something. It happens. It's weird -- we've been playing together for six years at this point and have played such a wide spectrum of games it's an odd thing for us to disagree on something. But we learn a lot when we do. Having a partner like this does a lot to relieve stress, too, as you can rely on them to ham when the group's sagging or slack back when they're going hard.

    What I can tell you is that there are a lot of different kinds of groups. Some will run off and handle their own story without much prompting from the GM. Others are going to require a lot of hand-holding to get moving anywhere. As someone who will put on an accent, inflection, or "inhabit" a character in some way I can tell you that this will go over in different ways with different groups. It can also be exhausting. Playing with an Australian accent/slang for close to two years was pretty mentally draining, very akin to actually acting.

    Groups begin to pick up a pace or a rhythm as they play together, usually sometime in the second year/second game, as everyone's had time to suss each other out and identify what sorts of activities and what parts of the game they're most interested in. Sometimes they realize they're a bad fit for the group and look to leave, and sometimes the entire group will dissolve because there's too many bad fits.

    There's a lot of fine art to GMing, and, ironically, it's probably best summed up by this clip from Futurama:

    I'll echo the "no game is better than a bad game" sentiment; there's nothing worse for everyone involved than a bad game. It burns you all out and makes you unhappy with role-playing. That's not a good result for anyone.

    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
    Sleepdestroyah87Rhesus Positive
  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    For fun, try starting a campaign at level 1 without a major story of any kind pre supposed. Literally have no campaign pre written. Maybe dev a bad guy or two that are waiting in the wings to do bad guy stuff (essentially just antagonistic characters you get to play), maybe have some solvable problems out there that could be discovered and solved with the right investigation's, but don't make them game/world enders if the party never addresses it, and dont have any super firm campaign rails for the players to get on.

    Start the game and ask your players one specific question "It's Tuesday morning as the sun begins to rise, what's your character doing?"

    Don't give em any prompts just wait for them to come up with stuff for them to do.

    You'll often find the first answers are "I don't know".

    which should be immediately answered with "make something up".

    From there start playing the yes and game individually and reward engagement and invention with further encounters based on what you are being given by the players. Don't be afraid to let them invent the NPCs they are headed to see, or things they want to be headed to deal with. Think of random bullshit challenges they might deal with in totally mundane situations they are headed to. Don't even try to connect these initial challenges to anything in particular. Just let them do whatever they want for a good long while before trying to heard them to anything in particular.

    You'll find the players, absent being told anything is happening will invent stuff to have happen for themselves. They will sometimes strive to be in the party format, or figure out why they are at this same place another party member is just so they can participate.

    Refuse to prompt them into any specific action or situation. Let them build it all out from nothing. Rather than plan the next thing you're gonna throw at them ask them what they are going to do next and figure out something you can throw into that.

    This is almost exactly how my evil campaign started out. See, I got this new book called Eberron for D&D 3.5. I had no campaign planned, just the book and an idea to bounce around the campaign setting checkout all the cool shit within.

    We rolled up characters and one of them, twigged by the fluff around the nation of Karrnath and their, casual, use of the undead rolls up a Necromancer. (I really should have known better consider who the player was :) ) Another one rolls up a warforged barbarian who hates meatbags. Scene one, in Sharn...introduction on a bridge to an NPC from the Wayfarer's Foundation. Intended to be a patron of the characters and to kick them off on this world exploring jaunt.

    What happens? Despite my warnings that necromancers do not have to be evil, and maybe shouldn't be evil to play the game.... during the negotiations regarding compensation they tossed the Foundation representative over the bridge. Cackle about it, and the Necromancer player says, "Damn. Now how can I raise his body as a zombie to carry my luggage?" More guffaws and instead of shutting that shit down I decided... well, I guess we're going this way now. OK, giddy up!

    Every adventure after that, I flat out asked them: What do you guys want to do next? They would tell me some ridiculous over the top thing, sack a village, raze a temple of a good god, kill a remote landowner somewhere and take over his lands using his serfs as fuel for an undead horde.... and I went along with ALL of it. Each and every time, I took their terrible suggestions and crafted a session or multi-session arc out of it. We took that campaign all the way to 20. It was frustrating, annoying, hilarious and amazing. I learned a few things that campaign: 1) If anyone ever comes you with a True Necromancer build and wants to carry around a horde of dozens of Undead... SAY NO! and 2) Evil campaigns are hard, but not as hard as you would think as long as everyone is on the same page 3) It was ridiculous and FUN!

    SleepElvenshaeDarkPrimusRingo
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Why is it that a good evil's campaign is the only one you get to 20?

  • ZomroZomro Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    and if i am being honest if i had the time i would forge a group from you fine folks :(

    Forming a group entirely out of GMs can have its own problems. :lol:

    i have the dubious honor of being a good GM who actually way prefers playing

    I waffle back and forth. If I've been DMing for a while I get the itch to play. But when I'm a player I start missing DMing.

    The grass is always greener on the other side of the DM screen.

    But right now, since I don't have a current game, I don't care what if I DM or just play, but I want to RP real bad. I think I'll try and start an online game with some IRL friends after New Years, since playing over Discord is a little easier than getting everyone to ine place every week.

  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Zomro wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    and if i am being honest if i had the time i would forge a group from you fine folks :(

    Forming a group entirely out of GMs can have its own problems. :lol:

    i have the dubious honor of being a good GM who actually way prefers playing

    I waffle back and forth. If I've been DMing for a while I get the itch to play. But when I'm a player I start missing DMing.

    The grass is always greener on the other side of the DM screen.

    But right now, since I don't have a current game, I don't care what if I DM or just play, but I want to RP real bad. I think I'll try and start an online game with some IRL friends after New Years, since playing over Discord is a little easier than getting everyone to ine place every week.

    I have remote players every week, we currently use google hangouts for video calls. Gonna have to figure out a replacement for that.

  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    Why is it that a good evil's campaign is the only one you get to 20?

    I dunno. But it was the only one that I managed to take from 1 thru 20. I've had good runs, but when the story ends so does the campaign, right? I managed to cobble together a somewhat coherent narrative through it all, but that evil campaign was very much me setting up the pins that my players wanted to kick over and then raise from the dead. :)

    SleepElvenshaediscrider
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Sleep wrote: »
    Why is it that a good evil's campaign is the only one you get to 20?

    I dunno. But it was the only one that I managed to take from 1 thru 20. I've had good runs, but when the story ends so does the campaign, right? I managed to cobble together a somewhat coherent narrative through it all, but that evil campaign was very much me setting up the pins that my players wanted to kick over and then raise from the dead. :)

    Oh same here.

    Only game I got to play level 1 to 20 on was an evils campaign. We kinda didn't realize it was an evils campaign till well into its run, but eventually you gotta realize the guy with a pirate armada probably isn't the best guy.

  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    Just remembered I forgot to share this moment of teamwork from my last session.

    So, the party is fighting its first* dragon, deep in the bowels of an archaeological dig where some cultists are squatting. This dragon is refusing to die, needing to be hit for a certain amount of damage all at once to be finally killed. The party decided that the best way of doing that is by having someone be killed, to power up the dark knight's ultimate attack.

    The party wizard decides to sacrifice himself, throwing himself at the dragon - but he did not expect to have his corpse thrown down the mine shaft just to the right of the dragon. An instant later, the dark knight's black sphere of nothingness vaporizes the dragon, and the floor underneath him, sending him hurtling into the abyss. Fortunately, this knight is cursed - after splattering on the ground at the bottom of the shaft, he revives himself and is able to stabilize the wizard until the healer can make the long trip down to revive him as well.

    For that suicidal play, his affinity with his not-vampirism has increased, granting him spooky new powers and even spookier downsides.

    Coming up tomorrow night: The healer's arboreal armor takes on a life of its own; the man behind the curse is revealed; everybody gets presents**; and more!

    *The party insists that hydras are not dragons, even though I wrote the dang setting and yes they are.
    **Certain presents may not be desired, but they will be delivered. Hee hee hee.

    ElvenshaetzeentchlingMahnmutNipswebguy20Ringo
  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Sleep wrote: »
    Why is it that a good evil's campaign is the only one you get to 20?

    I dunno. But it was the only one that I managed to take from 1 thru 20. I've had good runs, but when the story ends so does the campaign, right? I managed to cobble together a somewhat coherent narrative through it all, but that evil campaign was very much me setting up the pins that my players wanted to kick over and then raise from the dead. :)

    Oh same here.

    Only game I got to play level 1 to 20 on was an evils campaign. We kinda didn't realize it was an evils campaign till well into its run, but eventually you gotta realize the guy with a pirate armada probably isn't the best guy.

    My guess is that the Save the World narrative that most “good” games fall under lends itself to an arc that has a clear endpoint, and unless you specifically plan for it it’s rare that the endpoint will sync up with the level cap. Whereas the “evil” campaigns that the two of you described were sandboxes, which have no clear arc but rather a series of smaller arcs and that makes it so you can set up to tie things off.

    SteelhawkArdentMrVyngaard
  • italianranmaitalianranma Registered User regular
    I have a hard and fast rule for running evil campaigns: they end as soon as one PC betrays the others. To aid this endeavor I try to make ultimate goals for each of the characters that, while not completely exclusive, do tend to foster a little competition.

    I’ve had one game play out fully, which in this case meant level 10 in a 3.5 D&D game. One of my friends played a Red Wizard of Thay, and the other a knight protector and brother to the wizard. A husband and wife couple (dating at the time) played a priestess of Shar (I think that was her name) and former betrothed to the knight while her irl husband played a simple bard who would chronicle the adventure. They were escorting an aspect of Shar on her way to apotheosis, bringing a child of pure heart along for the sacrifice. The wizard player was planning on hijacking the ceremony to steal that power for his own, and the knight was torn between helping his brother and his former lover.

    The player who actually betrayed the others was the bard who was disgusted by the despicable behavior of everyone involved. In a complete surprise move, he stole the sacrifice and hopped through the portal plane shifting far, far away from the cruel machinations of evil wizards and death priestesses.

    My players still talk about this game 14 years later.

    飛べねぇ豚はただの豚だ。
    SleepPolaritieElvenshaeSteelhawkDarkPrimusArdentNipsLindMrVyngaardAnialosjakobaggerRingoCalica
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    .
    I have a hard and fast rule for running evil campaigns: they end as soon as one PC betrays the others. To aid this endeavor I try to make ultimate goals for each of the characters that, while not completely exclusive, do tend to foster a little competition.

    I’ve had one game play out fully, which in this case meant level 10 in a 3.5 D&D game. One of my friends played a Red Wizard of Thay, and the other a knight protector and brother to the wizard. A husband and wife couple (dating at the time) played a priestess of Shar (I think that was her name) and former betrothed to the knight while her irl husband played a simple bard who would chronicle the adventure. They were escorting an aspect of Shar on her way to apotheosis, bringing a child of pure heart along for the sacrifice. The wizard player was planning on hijacking the ceremony to steal that power for his own, and the knight was torn between helping his brother and his former lover.

    The player who actually betrayed the others was the bard who was disgusted by the despicable behavior of everyone involved. In a complete surprise move, he stole the sacrifice and hopped through the portal plane shifting far, far away from the cruel machinations of evil wizards and death priestesses.

    My players still talk about this game 14 years later.
    As soon as I read "a simple bard", I knew he was going to betray all of the others.

    HE'S A BARD.

    :D

    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
    italianranmaXagarElvenshaeMrVyngaardAnialos
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    I have a player that loves being an eldritch thing or a necromancer or a lich or some other form of fantastic war criminal any chance he can get. I find that giving him what he wants and letting it spiral out of control in new and frightening back fires tends to provide fun character points and highlight that evil has it's own prices. (he also plays good folk, or his monster are congenial in some fashion, but this is the de rigeur)

    It also helps that the setting wholly embraces using the powers of darkness, but explicitly makes sure you know just how much of a pain in the ass it is to maintain those powers along with a shred of your soul.

    Also, it's me, I'll be the guy who GMs for ever and ever because it's way too fun to throw situations at people and see what sticks. I'll play on occasion if I like a particular pitch, but most of the time gimme them sweet villains and crazy twists to throw at people.

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
    italianranmaNipsJacobkosh
  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, poyo and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    We have a 1v5 boss fight. One unbound powerful daemonhost vs four PCs and an NPC who’s probably going to not be super useful just because he’s a simple cop with the rest of these guys who are equipped really well and have a lot experience. I went with the splat RAW to make it. The daemonhost is a really powerful sorceror with a very good AOE and has the ability to phase (become incorporeal). The players have an out in that they just have to finish a ritual primed to fail by connecting an inch of blood written symbols with their own in exchange for corruption. So they can destroy the daemonhost the normal way or cause the binding ritual to collapse (and they know this explicitly because they just had a vision showing a betrayed cultist just failing to connect the symbols but did enough to cause the current adventure and told by a warp spirit the daemonhost needs to leave the chamber that this is what they can do). The daemonhost is kind of in semistasis right now where it can’t leave the chamber but can influence the space above it where the players just got through. Also the players could have brought the chamber on the daemonhost’s head by just bombing or exploding the burnt down sanitarium above.

    I think it will be a tense, fun, quick paced fight that will be the first even BossvParty fight I’ve done. I have a big feeling one guy is still going to complain.

    Edit: been rethinking an upcoming combat thing. It’s a mid-sized shop. They’re there and going to find one of their helped NPCs barely balancing on a low stool trying to not be hanged. Vans roll up in this place with two entrances and exits (sandwiched between two buildings with no alleyways). Corrupted stormtroopers pincer them. That’s really ill-thought out right? Why would they give up their range advantage to people they know for a fact excel amazingly in short to close combat? Traitor marines that could no-sell their shit? I totally see them just pincering in a small space firing away. Well-trained but still human vets that could still die to a single hit by one guy’s thunder hammer or a storm bolter in two hits? No. They could be housed half a mile away on some highrise taking focused shots. Don’t want to include fodder to hold them up because that was also one of the reasons I kept having gigantic slogs of combats.

    That traitor librarian/onmyodo character I have does have rubrics (slow dusty space marine boys) given to them by the thousand sons from way back (or if that’s not lore accurate he is the magical maker guy making constructs or daemon possessed weapons and vehicles so he could make something equivalent). Those I see in an equal number to the PCs pulling the combat off while still being tense and fair. The pincer like nature of the ambush plus the split geography of the store could mean they technically only have to fight two then run if it becomes a shitshow. Also instead of vans two separate gates of infinity.

    Or both. Gates for the rubrics on the inside, and the storm troopers occupying buildings facing the two sides making sure to shoot them if they try to escape. I won’t be a complete dick and have the storm troopers autocannon their car, nor will I suddenly just add 10 elite npcs like the original plan right in their element for the crime of stepping outside. Depending on where they try to run, one guy on a volley gun (hot shot machine gun) and two on regular hot-shots or one with a grenade launcher. Their background has not a lot of them join the antagonist group, so downing one (not having to kill) will have them pull back with the injured guy in tow. Rubrics don’t care. Can’t.

    I just need to expand the map.

    Kadoken on
    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
    Elvenshae
  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, poyo and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    edited December 2018
    It was a good fight. One guy downed. Arm blown up. He's had to replace three limbs now and is officially out of fate points. I made my feelings clear for the rest as diplomatically as I could. They were very understanding.

    edit: I am still satisfied by the outcome of the fight, but pretty much when the op guy I've been talking about hit and stunned the daemonhost the fight was pretty much over. He did get attacks off for every character though and the party fought smartly so I'm happy. Also no one complained.

    Edit2: dang it. Every time with the daemons and the stunning comes up I instinctivey look for a resistance and it’s because I never put in the trait, Stuff of Nightmares, that their RAW profiles have into their Roll20 profile that makes them immune to that shit. To be fair, it got shot like 8 times after it was stunned and then hit four more times with like three crits so it would probably still be dead but I always forget key stuff like that.

    Kadoken on
    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
  • italianranmaitalianranma Registered User regular
    I’ve caught the itch to play some D&D again and I came across this Reddit/dnd post talking about how the Roman Empire is the perfect D&D setting, and I have to agree. An empire beset on all sides by Barbarian hordes, struggling under the weight of bureaucracy as corruption whithers it from within. A world on the cusp of industrial revolution but still has “evidence” of the gods work and living heroes of legend among the populus. Where else can you find indoor plumbing and heating in a temple to Neptune? Plus, if I’m a little loose with the 500 years or so of history, I can have a strong Parthian Empire right next door. I’m going to workshop this with my group and see how we want to divide up the world. To this end I’m interested in any recommendations for history books that cover life in this time period.

    I’m also running an L5R game with a different crowd. I picked up Emerald Empire, and while I’ve only skimmed it to far it looks amazing as a campaign setting book goes. Very light on character options if that’s what you’re interested in. To be honest, I feel like I’m rereading “Everyday Life in Traditional Japan” which I had picked up and read in preparation of running L5R.

    飛べねぇ豚はただの豚だ。
    MatevMsAnthropyKadokenjdarksunPolaritiewebguy20ToxDark080matterCalica
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    The Doctor Who RPG is on the Bundle of Holding right now, with proceeds going to Children in Need and I think I'm going to snag it.

    https://bundleofholding.com/presents/DoctorWho

    I have plenty of things to run right now but man I am really tempted by the idea of a campaign where players take turns being different incarnations of the Doctor.

    MrVyngaard
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