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Author Topic: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions  (Read 56420 times)

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Offline Haibane

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #100 on: January 10, 2012, 04:49:48 AM »
Now that's an interesting comment, I wasn't aware of any stigma associated specifically with system RPGs that isn't associated with all forms of RPG.

What puts me off system RPGs in a forum seting is the time it takes to resolve the die-rolling parts; combats that cover a matter of moments can take weeks to complete.

Offline Senti

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #101 on: January 10, 2012, 04:58:36 AM »
Again only opinion, I tend to use system and character sheets as a guide. Even in table top.. To be honest in my opinion for the most dice rolls are not needed. It’s more just common sense. I think most GM’s modify the system anyway to fit with forum games.

Offline Haibane

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #102 on: January 10, 2012, 05:05:38 AM »
But many system RPGs require the players to make the rolls, so a GM can't "skim resolve" an encounter. Its this die-rolling from each player in a fight that I found slows things to an intolerable crawl.

Offline Senti

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #103 on: January 10, 2012, 05:19:27 AM »
II think that there are rules lawyers out there that make one roll for going to the Lav lav. But then on the other hand there are players that take the pee in a freeform game as to abilities. All ways of playing have both pro’s and con’s.

However again, it’s about adjusting a system for the style of game one is playing. Combat should really not take long. One has ‘walk ons’/mooks and named characters and then heroes or villains, and adjusts accordingly.

Yes some rolls might be needed but again its about common sense as to how much.
At least in my opinion.

The system does not need to be followed by the letter.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #104 on: January 10, 2012, 05:39:56 AM »
No, but if you skip too many letters, what was the point of having a system in the first place? Freeform is fun because it's freeform, playing a system game and throwing away most of the system just ends up annoying everybody - the people who like the system don't get to use it, the people who like freeform have to put up with what's left of the system.

 I'm not sure what 'stigma' you're talking about either. I'm well aware of the stigmas within system-game enthusiasts, usually centered around what qualifies as 'powergaming', but the 'stigma' of simply having rules is a new one.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 06:08:08 AM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline Senti

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #105 on: January 10, 2012, 06:40:11 AM »
As for the stigma I am thinking of the geeky mono toned voiced stereotype. There is no insult meant…I am a geek.

Really I do think that often certain system games need to be adjusted for use on forums, as it for the most is a slower way of gaming than say table top and thus can become frustrating.

Of course at the end of the day it’s about communication between players and GM’s as to what they want and how they want to play a game.

Offline Haibane

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #106 on: January 10, 2012, 07:14:42 AM »
Of course at the end of the day it’s about communication between players and GM’s as to what they want and how they want to play a game.
Though seemingly obvious, this is a very wise comment and could be stated as a common rule for the success or otherwise of most RPGs, whether forum-based or tabletop.

A good few GM/player groups don't seem to grasp it.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #107 on: January 10, 2012, 07:19:30 AM »
I'm pretty sure that's just a 'geek' stereotype in general, and has nothing to do with freeform versus system (though in part because it's a 'real life' stereotype and freeform games are pretty much unheard of in real life). At worst, it's that exclusively freeform players think they're 'writers' instead of 'gamers' and so not subject to said stereotypes.

There's no argument that dice games do need adaptations to be on a forum, but that doesn't necessarily mean altering the rules. The most common thing I see is rolling an attack and that attack's damage at the same time, rather than (as you would at a table) roll the attack, wait to see if it hits, then roll damage dealt. Or pre-emptive actions with qualifiers like 'If X happens before my next turn, I'll do Y). It can also be a style change on the part of the GM - a table will often have groups of mooks accompanying a powerful enemy, but having to manage 10+ monsters plus players is really slow, so forum games tend towards small groups (2-3, maybe) of moderately powerful foes.

TDLR: System games can and should be streamlined to suit a forum environment, but there's plenty of ways to do that before you even touch the rules themselves.
Quote
Though seemingly obvious, this is a very wise comment and could be stated as a common rule for the success or otherwise of most RPGs, whether forum-based or tabletop.

A good few GM/player groups don't seem to grasp it.

true dat.

Offline Phoenixrisen

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #108 on: January 10, 2012, 08:26:42 AM »

I think though cannot be positive, that often people are put off by system games because of the stigma attached to them.


My issue with system games is that the ones I know require dice rolls, and in my opinion play by post should be about the writing. Now if someone wanted to partially use a system, in a situation where PvP would be a distinct possibility especially, just to give an idea of what each character is capable of in concrete terms that everyone understands, that's an entirely different matter. I am still a little wary of anything having to do with dice rolls over the net though, even with dice rollers that record rolls unless I personally know the people involved.

Beyond that for me, the systems that I do know have always been about the gathering together and PnPing it. It just doesn't really feel right to me to do that anonymously. Especially since I don't necessarily know the ins and outs. Every system GM has house rules regardless of if they realize it or not, and they don't always think to tell people what they are, especially if they don't realize they have them, or think of them as such.

That's just my view though, and why I personally shy away from playing is system games in forum. As for GMing one, the one time I tried that PnP it didn't work. I barely knew what I was doing, and my rather experienced players didn't seem to care about that and just ran roughshod right over me. They argued with me about so many things that I finally just let them kill the character that was going to get them into the campaign. The game ended there. I haven't tried GMing with a system again since.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #109 on: January 10, 2012, 03:05:52 PM »
That sounds more like a problem with the players than the rules. My own pen and paper group has tried out plenty of systems, many of them unknown to some, or even all of us, but we've never treated the GM like that.

Offline Phoenixrisen

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #110 on: January 10, 2012, 03:08:57 PM »
I'm well aware it was a problem with the players... It's more of a once bitten twice shy situation. If I'm not up to doing it PnP though, I'm certainly not giving it a shot on a forum where I can see all the potential problems only to clearly.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #111 on: January 10, 2012, 04:02:14 PM »
Problem players will be problem players, whether it be in system games or freeform. I remember running a freeform 40k game years ago where one player in particular caused so many problems we eventually had to ban her from the group. She had a tendancy to blatently ignore canon (she said she was improving on it), Godmod other players characters, and basically try to come out ahead in every situation.

Offline Phoenixrisen

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #112 on: January 10, 2012, 04:08:29 PM »
O.O

That's just not good. I've never actually had quite that issue with a freeform game to date. Then again, that may just be because I don't have a whole lot of experience GMing yet...

Offline alxnjshTopic starter

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #113 on: January 10, 2012, 04:11:19 PM »
I've been a part of a couple of group games that essentially imploded. These games were not in E.

Offline Secretwriter

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #114 on: January 10, 2012, 11:46:58 PM »
I think that the only thing I truly hate about group games is the people who join a game, get their jollies, and then drop without a single word.  Then when we're checking up on them to see if they're intending to return or if we should remove their character information, they don't even bother to reply.  It's insulting; like we're not worth their time.  Sasha gives them a lot longer than I would, honestly. 

Having a great GM team is always the most important thing to me; you have to know who you can trust with your literary baby, and I've had some awesome GM's on E in the past. *pokeys Kendra and smooches her*  Everyone that I've ever GM'ed with has been awesome, but I'm picky about who I chose. You have to be because that person has to be responsible. If they mess up the whole game could fall apart. We're all human, don't get me wrong, but some players in games just have an attitude of uncaring about their fellow players.

Crystal Lake, thankfully, is friendly and all the players get along and can just cut up, more so than I've seen in other games. It's different, a little bit closer, a little bit deeper in some of the friendships. I dunno, kind of rambling.  I love that about group games, you can really make some good friends and writing partners.

Offline Haibane

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #115 on: January 11, 2012, 04:26:13 AM »
I think that the only thing I truly hate about group games is the people who join a game, get their jollies, and then drop without a single word.  Then when we're checking up on them to see if they're intending to return or if we should remove their character information, they don't even bother to reply.  It's insulting; like we're not worth their time.  Sasha gives them a lot longer than I would, honestly.
I fully agree and I suspect most GMs feel the same. Ignoring someone's PMs after you mysteriously leave their game is one of the rudest things you can do. Even if you had a bad experience in the game or fell out with a player or a GM, or some other unpleasant reason, often that other player or GM doesn't realise and simply ignoring PMs is not acceptabhle. At least be decent enough to take 5 minutes to explain why you left. Its a sign of immaturity to fail to communicate in an adult way and all the players who do this to me go on my "never again" list.

I know its not going to happen but the annoyed part of me sometimes wishes there was a public listing of unreliable or rude players, then many other people would avoid them and the practice might almost completely stop.

Offline Senti

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #116 on: January 11, 2012, 05:01:27 AM »
I have to say I play with some lovely people that let me know if they are not going to post for a while. Also if something is not going the way they thought their character would go, then we can discuss it.

Personally I do my best to make apologies, but I am not perfect, well no one is.

I have also found that some people leave a game when they are not the centre of attention.

Sorry back to the point.

Haibane you were speaking of folks falling out with players and GM’s and the like.  I like to think that most people are mature enough to remember IC and OOC. Personally I have played in games elsewhere where I likely would not passed the time of day OOC with a person but play the game.

Sometimes I think that OOC comes far too much into IC and Visa versa. Just an opinion. . I believe growing a very thick skin works. Also I tend to put in a disclaimer if I am playing a rude and horrible character…saying this is not me ooc…

Sometimes personalities do clash it happens on boards and real life, thus I sometimes either want to quote the joker ‘Why so Serious…’ or just remind folks …ITS ONLY a GAME.

Offline Haibane

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #117 on: January 11, 2012, 05:14:22 AM »
I like to think that most people are mature enough to remember IC and OOC. Personally I have played in games elsewhere where I likely would not passed the time of day OOC with a person but play the game.
This doesn't excuse the rudeness of not answering PMs.

Quote
Sometimes I think that OOC comes far too much into IC and Visa versa. Just an opinion.

Sometimes personalities do clash it happens on boards and real life, thus I sometimes either want to quote the joker ‘Why so Serious…’ or just remind folks …ITS ONLY a GAME.
OOC issues are always there, we wouldn't be human if they weren't. I still consider the person who doesn't answer a reasonable PM to be the lowest of the low. If a player would just say why they left a game it would demonstrate some maturity at least.

Offline Senti

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #118 on: January 11, 2012, 05:26:13 AM »
I do agree with you on the PM issue, it is about manners and yes it is rude, and rather naughty, its not like missing an OOC.

I expect I have missed a PM here and there but i have noticed there are how would we put it repeat offenders in this matter.

I still hold by 'its just a game,' but manners are important too. Sometimes people miss PM's due to all sorts of reasons but for the most most should make a small reply, I agree.

Offline Caeli

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #119 on: January 11, 2012, 08:09:41 AM »
I am not and have never been a GM, so I hope that this lounge isn't barred to me because of my lack of experience.

Without going into too much detail, I have an interest in GMing my own game because I don't especially want to see if there is someone who exists who will GM my game, and because I'd like to open myself up to a new experience. The game that I'm thinking about contacting people about and GMing for will be freeform in nature, but the problem is, I've participated very little in group games that actually have a single person at the helm guiding the story and throwing plot points at the players, and as such I really have no idea how to begin.

I don't suppose there's a "Beginner's Guide to GMing" out there that I could read for a brief introduction to the subject and ins and outs of what my responsibilities are?

Offline Senti

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #120 on: January 11, 2012, 08:24:57 AM »
Somewhere I have a handy post taken from Ars Magica which suggests how to be a good storyguide as thay call it, and also how to be a good player. I will see if I can find it.


Offline Josietta

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #121 on: January 11, 2012, 08:27:30 AM »
I'm not sure there is a beginner's guide persay, but I'd be willing to contribute my ideas on what responsibilities a GM has.   I think first and foremost it depends on what kind of game it is and what you are looking for in said game. Some GMs like a game structured to what they want and how they want things to go. Other GMs give a more sandbox feel to their game, letting their players direct the game with only a basic concept given by the GM.

In either case, in my opinion, a GM should be sure the game is fair and equal to all players. There should be set rules given so things don't turn into mass chaos, ie  if you don't want help moderating then say so up front or if you feel someone might know the setting (if its something canon or otherwise) and you wouldn't mind them helping answer questions, it is a good time to state that as well. Also if you want a set posting rate or posting order, those are two key things people need to know before starting a RP.

The setting should be fully laid out to your expectations and I personally think an image helps along with that in a lot of cases. Templates are a players best friend. Especially those who aren't as skilled in basic coding. Said, template is usually for character sheets (which again are up to the GM as to how extensive they need to be) or even posting.

As for character sheets, I think there is such a thing as too much. I don't believe you should list out every single detail for all the players to see on 'paper'.  You would want basics, such as likes, dislikes, appearance, personalities, and histories. Things like favorite foods, ideal mate, etc wouldn't be as necessary i would think. Though again it depends on your game setting as to what is necessary to what you need to make it successful.

There should be at least four starting threads to any group game. An OOC - for obvious reasons, which may later need a separate one for game questions and important matters vs one thread for both IC OOCness and just general chatter. The second most important thread would be a seperate thread for characters and/or game info. Those could be broken up into two threads if needs be, again depending on game size. The third and fourth thread would be IC threads. I fully believe there should always be at least two threads for IC postings at the start. It gives people more choices and doesn't make it so crowded that people get overwhelmed.

Above all else, when GMing, you should never feel as if its a job. You shouldn't dread it. It is supposed to be as much fun for you as everyone who plays with you or under you.

Thats my two cents for what they are worth. I hope it helps in some way. :)

Offline Caeli

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #122 on: January 11, 2012, 08:45:41 AM »
Definitely helpful, Josi. :) In the case of character sheets, templates, and game threads, I think I'm relatively familiar with what is necessary and what isn't - more because I've participated in enough roleplays where I figured out what it was I did  or didn't like about the requirements of each.

I think I'm trying to figure out where on the spectrum of GM I'm trying to fall under. I don't quite want to just let my players run with it - I do, after all, have a plotbunny I'm trying to set loose - but at the same time, I'm not sure what kind of "control" (and I use that term loosely) I should have as GM when it comes to the story and the plot. One thing I don't want to do is step all over my players' ideas, especially if they're good ones. What should I do, for example, if their idea seems to run directly opposite of mine? My first instinct is to let them have their way (I've heard it described that when GMing a game, your players more often than not run in completely the opposite direction that you intended to point them in), but is there ever a situation when I shouldn't do that?


If you can find that post, Senti, I would really appreciate it. If it's being elusive, though, please don't worry about it. :)

Offline Senti

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #123 on: January 11, 2012, 08:52:55 AM »
To be honest I want to find it for myself too, and its worthwhile for everyone to check up on even if its like teaching granny to suck eggs for some people.

I certainly agree about being fair and without bias with all players. (Unless that player is your hubby and then one must be harder on them :P )

Offline Josietta

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #124 on: January 11, 2012, 09:09:04 AM »
As far as letting players run with a game, it all depends on how much leeway you'd like to give. As a tabletop GM in a Dungeons & Dragons setting, its almost imperative to let them go as they will and directly them back to the main course as you can. In a free form setting it could be a little harder to redirect people without it taking up far too much time, which I have found can end up being the death of an RP (the length and time during certain areas of RP or scenes that is).  Sometimes you have to push things forward to get to the next area or else people could just sit and do their own thing for weeks on end and you'd likely not reach your main plot point for months. I'd allow players to PM you their ideas and see just where it fits in with what you need. That's what dis and I are doing with Charmed. We have basic ideas on what we want and where we are going, but if a player has an idea we have it fully open for suggestions and discussion via PM. :) 

In this case, it allows players that creative input and outlet while maintaining our own ideas and storyline. The key there is to not let your players ideas overshadow the main plot or idea of your game. Player ideas or direction is good for adding excitement or flavor to an area where it may run slower, but in the end your own plot should be the star.