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Author Topic: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions  (Read 56535 times)

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Online Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1000 on: June 06, 2014, 05:53:31 AM »
In the end, we're all grown-ups.  We can take rejection.

*giggles*

Yeah... Vin, I know you're quite capable of taking a "no" on the chin and bearing no ill will.

But seriously, there are people on E who for some reason take it personally if you tell them "Sorry, I was quite clear in my OP what I was looking for in a player and you don't meet those criteria." How that sort of person would react if you didn't give them a reason, I shudder to think.

*eyeroll*

But really, I think we are all agreed that a GM has the right to state who they want in their game, and the right to refuse a player without stating a reason.

Perhaps a disclaimer in the OP stating that the GM reserves the right to decline any character and/or player without giving a reason might be a good idea?

@Moraline - Hey babe, if you read this, that might be something to add to your checklist?

Actually, @ Zillah, have you seen Moraline's checklist? It's well worth looking at. I use it a lot for group game interest checks. It is really useful because it lets people see exactly what the game is going to be about right at the start, and helps the GM be clear in their own mind exactly what they want.

Offline Ebb

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1001 on: June 06, 2014, 06:59:22 AM »
Running a group game is a huge time and effort commitment. I can't imagine that anyone would consider themselves entitled to that time and effort on your part simply by virtue of the fact that they happened to be logged in when you post your group request and were quick about typing a reply. Actually scratch that; I can certainly imagine people being that entitled, and have in fact seen it. But those people really do need to change their mindset.

System games (Pathfinder, etc.) have the common fig leaf of rejecting a player's application based on their character's mechanical fit with the party, though I'm quite certain that in many cases this is only a socially acceptable excuse. These games also tend to have a cap on the number of characters admitted, again for mechanical reasons, which provides another level of indirection from having to reject a player outright. "I wish I could accept all of you, but I think I'm going to have to go with..." Systemless games, particularly "sandboxy" setups, tend not to have this.

You are certainly well within your rights to accept or reject anyone from a game that you're going to run, and at the risk of cliche I'll say that anyone who complains about that probably isn't someone you want to game with anyway. I think Chrystal has some good ideas about how to phrase this in a way that preserves fragile egos, and it doesn't hurt to stress, as others have mentioned, that the game is not first-come-first-serve in your opening post. I'd go further and frankly state that you plan to be "selective" in admitting people to the game.

Though to be frank, your best chance of coming up with a group that gels well and shares your vision of the game is probably to recruit privately. If this doesn't result in a group of the required size, you can then put up a notice that you're looking for a few people to round out open slots in a game that you're forming. Said request by its very nature implies that you plan to be very selective.

Offline Zillah

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1002 on: June 06, 2014, 07:24:34 AM »
Ebb: Excellent points, thank you. To be honest, my preferred recruiting method is to privately invite players for many of the reasons that you mention - it doesn't guarantee good group chemistry/compatibility, but it stacks the odds better in its favor.

I've been on a somewhat self-imposed hiatus from E for a bit, though, and I've found since coming back that several of my favorite players and friends aren't active here anymore, at least not for the moment. So to turn some of the group games I'd like to run into a reality will most likely involve open recruiting threads.

Chrystal: Yes, I'm familiar with Moraline's checklist - I used it when I recruited for my ill-fated RMS Mystic game. I'm trying to learn from the mistakes I made in that RP, among others.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1003 on: June 06, 2014, 11:19:01 AM »
*giggles*

Yeah... Vin, I know you're quite capable of taking a "no" on the chin and bearing no ill will.

But seriously, there are people on E who for some reason take it personally if you tell them "Sorry, I was quite clear in my OP what I was looking for in a player and you don't meet those criteria." How that sort of person would react if you didn't give them a reason, I shudder to think.

*eyeroll*
Well, it is likely going to be something entertaining. And we do play to entertain ourselves, right >:)?
And you can always report the post or PMs if it becomes necessary.

Offline Blinkin

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1004 on: June 07, 2014, 05:36:32 AM »
You have every right to pick and choose your players based upon any criteria that you feel fits the situation and what kind of game that you want.

I started my first Pathfinder game recently, and I'll admit that I picked the group based upon several considerations. The first being posting reliability... Most group games fall apart because a player, or players, drop without warning after it has begun and that can cripple a game. So, if I see a regular posting routine, that's a plus. Next is if the character fits the game. If you get more than one of the same type, do you need two sorcerers, for example, or does a character fit the concept that you have.

Then, there are players that you just don't want to involve in your game for whatever reason. Fortunately, I didn't have any of these, but I'm not concerned about telling someone that this may not be the game for them, or that their character concept doesn't fit the setting. As someone else said, we are (We must assume) adults and can take rejection. The "not on a first come/first serve" statement helps too. It actually does encourage more players... just put a time limit on it or you'll have people promising to get a character in and wait until the last minute, or you'll be waiting so long that you start to lose players.

Whatever you do, you have the right to hand pick your group.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1005 on: June 07, 2014, 09:43:17 AM »
And it's just an semi-unfortunate aspect of system games that they tend to be 'built' around a specific number of players, and the further you deviate from that expected ratio in either direction, the more extra work that places on the shoulders of the person running it to ensure the game stays functional and fun for the players you do take. So limiting accepted players for systemic games is hardly some sort of fig leaf to exclude people you don't personally like - I play mostly system games, and long ago accepted the chance of rejection as the 'cost of doing business', so to speak.

Freeform games don't have that restriction, but they operate under more social limits, making sure people's characters fit the scenario/setting and can interact with the other players and characters without friction. Some people just don't work well with specific other people, or with others in general, and you have to be on the lookout for that. And even freeforms can deserve a 'cast limit' just to ensure no one gets lost in the background noise.

In either cases, adults will be able to accept that they didn't make the cut this time around. People who can't...add them to the list of 'never again' and move on.

Online Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1006 on: June 09, 2014, 04:49:13 PM »
So, next dumb question from me.

A new friend and I are planning this rather complex game, that actually needs it's own wiki page to hold all the info.

I have a really strange feeling that it's going to get about six players interested, three of whom will drop out before we start without saying anything andthe other three will each post twice and loose interest...

However, that's just me being paranoid.

My worry is that it is too complex.

My partner-in-crime in this (who will be Co-GM, and controlling the "bad guys") has this "system" in mind that would worlk fine on a table-top game, but I'm worried that there are simply too many dice rolls involved.

I've never done a system game on E, other than the TV show one I ran a while back. That one had too many dice rolls. Dice rolls are all very well in a face-to face environment where you roll the dice and the GM sees the roll and instantly gives you the result, but here? It slows things up. This is partly why I only play freeform usually.

What do people, especially those who run system games think? Can you have too many dice roles? Is there a solution?

Obviously, the easiest one is to talk to my co-gm and explain how I feel about the dice bot, point out the possible draw-back of using it so much..., But before I do, I'd value some other opinions?

Offline Ebb

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1007 on: June 09, 2014, 04:58:04 PM »
Yes, you can certainly have too many dice rolls. There are other ways that a system can be too complex to make for a good forum game, such as too many stats to keep track of, too many things to look up, too many back-and-forth exchanges required with the GM in order to come to a resolution, etc.

But the best way to see this is to give it a trial run. Along with your co-GM, come up with a short list of examples of how the system might get put to use. Just guessing here, but an example list might be:

- Two players have a fist-fight
- Somebody is shot and bleeding, and somebody else is trying to heal / help them
- Somebody is trying to hack a computer

Obviously the exact list depends on what your game is about. Anyway, now work through those scenarios with your co-GM. One of you acts as a player, one as the GM. See how many back-and-forth PMs you need to get the job done. Now imagine that there's a pause of maybe 1 day between each of those PMs. Pay careful attention to whether you and your GM have to communicate at all about how the system applies to these situations, or if there are any judgement calls required.

Now ask if its worth it, and if you think it'll work well in actual play when you scale up the number of players. Hopefully this will give you and your co-GM better grounds for practical discussion.

As a separate note, look at how complicated the system is for building characters. This isn't as time-critical, but if it's scary complicated then you're going to dissuade some people from signing up in the first place. This may be either a bug or a feature, depending on your perspective.

Online Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1008 on: June 09, 2014, 05:01:06 PM »
Thanks, Ebb. Good advice

The game in question is the one mentioned as "coming soon" in my sig...

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1009 on: June 09, 2014, 05:50:07 PM »
Dice rolling, unfortunately, does slow games down quite a lot, especially if you have the players in different parts of the world, and you're waiting potentially hours to days to get something resolved.

Online Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1010 on: June 09, 2014, 06:12:29 PM »
So, for the GM controlling the evil entity to roll up to 8 dice for each attack on each player character... In my opinion that is way OTT.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1011 on: June 09, 2014, 07:17:10 PM »
If it's just 8dx, the dicebot can handle that in a single roll, so it's not a lot.

If that means 8 separate rolls per attack....that's too much for an actual pen-and-paper game, let alone one played over a forum.

Offline Moraline

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1012 on: June 09, 2014, 07:32:15 PM »
Not really on topic of the dice rolls but in regards to the complexity of the game:

You may want to set it up the way they do in video games. Ex: You only need to know X + Y to begin play. Then have the beginning part of the game actually be a sort of quick tutorial on how to play and what the rules are. When it's done, they'll know X+Y+Z and the ABC's too.

This requires some planning at first but I've seen it work well before.

I've also found in my past that when players start out with simpler characters then quickly add to them, they get a feeling of accomplishment from it and get a closer sense of ownership over it.

For example, writing a history on a character sheet can be fun.. but when you get the chance to actually play out some of the history and add to it in game... It makes the character feel that much more alive to you.

Basically what I'm saying is start simple and then add layers of complexity. Don't dump too much on them at first or in the initial posting. Just let them know it's going to be a system game from the start and give them the tools needed to begin.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1013 on: June 09, 2014, 07:54:13 PM »
So, for the GM controlling the evil entity to roll up to 8 dice for each attack on each player character... In my opinion that is way OTT.
Ebb covered it already. But I should note that one roll per post doesn't slow anything, as it's rolled and included on the post whenever the player or GM gets to posting.
Those 8 dice, rolled at once, are no different from 1 die, except with greater variance, yes. Basically, you should be wary about using a system with too many steps, not too many dice, as multiple dice often replace calculations and make the system simpler ;).

And since it wouldn't be me if I didn't recommend you anything, you can suggest this to your co-GM :P. (Warning, the link leads to a PDF, but it's a free 1-page file ;D).

Online Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1014 on: June 10, 2014, 07:47:51 AM »
Interesting if just a little bit too "Trek-based" for my tastes.

"Phase pistols"? UGH! I just went for a job interview at a place that makes laser cutting and imaging equipment. A laser powerful enough to cut through metal is five foot long. And if anyone says that technology makes things smaller, my answer to that is, you can't make a photon any smaller, and the length of the laser is actually determined by the wavelength and pulse freaquency (or something like that) and the physical number of lenses required to create a coherent beam of sufficient power! We have lasers that are 3" long that are used as cat toys and pointing devices and measuring tools. Do you think if they could make a hand held laser cutter, they wouldn't have already done so?

UGH

Sorry, I just hate so many aspects of the Trek universe!

That system is actually something that we could incorporate into what we're doing, but it wouldn't fully cover all aspects of the game.

Hmm... Rolling 8d6 once is a lot easier that rolling 1d6 eight times... *facepalm* Sometimes I can be so dense!

Okay, I think this could work...

There are rough edges to knock off still, but we are getting there

Offline Blinkin

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1015 on: June 10, 2014, 10:12:45 AM »
I would just point out, as a bit of history, Star Trek didn't invent the idea of a laser or phase pistol, that was created in the 20's with pulp magazines and Buck Rogers. They all use the same general size, so if you have an issue with it, don't stop at Trek. ;)

I never liked ST for the technology, but the sotries and the characters. I couldn't car less how a warp field interacts with a defector shield at low sub-light speeds in a gravity well and the computer is locked into singing Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Of course, the reason why i don't play ST games is because everyone IS a techie and knows all of that feltercarb. hehehehehe

Online Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1016 on: June 10, 2014, 11:19:46 AM »
Oh, I am fully aware that the concept of the "heat ray" originated in the 1890s with HG Wells. But back then they didn't know any better, because the laser hadn't been invented. The concept of the invisible beam of energy was something Wells dreamt up to give the Martians superior firepower over the single-shot breach-loading rifles and cannon of the day (Machine guns having only just been invented and being very unreliable and repeating firearms being too expensive for most armies to buy in bulk!)

My problem with Star Trek using energy weapons is that Rodenberry should have known better!

But Star Trek is so full of "get-out-of-jail-free cards", because it was created to entertain, not be accurate.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1017 on: June 10, 2014, 11:25:58 AM »
Eh. it's Space Magic. Not for people who like their science fiction with emphasis on the science over the fiction ('Hard' sci-fi in literary nomenclature).

As for Star Trek specifically and get out of jail free cards, Voltaire said it best:

« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 11:27:58 AM by TheGlyphstone »

Online Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1018 on: June 10, 2014, 11:53:44 AM »
Hee hee! That is exactly it!

I love the line about an encounter with the Borg... "This one has a smashing ass and a lovely pair of tits!"


Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1019 on: June 10, 2014, 12:02:32 PM »
And she also got some of the best and most persistent character development/story arcs on the show, for someone who started out as ratings-boosting eye candy.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1020 on: June 10, 2014, 04:00:34 PM »
Interesting if just a little bit too "Trek-based" for my tastes.

"Phase pistols"? UGH! I just went for a job interview at a place that makes laser cutting and imaging equipment. A laser powerful enough to cut through metal is five foot long. And if anyone says that technology makes things smaller, my answer to that is, you can't make a photon any smaller, and the length of the laser is actually determined by the wavelength and pulse freaquency (or something like that) and the physical number of lenses required to create a coherent beam of sufficient power! We have lasers that are 3" long that are used as cat toys and pointing devices and measuring tools. Do you think if they could make a hand held laser cutter, they wouldn't have already done so?

UGH
Sure, but let me put it clearly and succintly.
The game doesn't change if you erase "phase pistols" and write "projectile pistols" instead.

Quote
Sorry, I just hate so many aspects of the Trek universe!
Eh, you don't even have to like the default setting in order to use a system - if you think you can re-purpose it. The simpler it is, the simpler it is to re-purpose. All it takes is writing the fluff, and you know how to do that already >:)!

(As an example of how far re-purposing can go, I've heard of at least one example where a game about demon-summonning sorcerers has been re-purposed to be played with the daimons the Greeks believed in (internal moods) and another where the same game was re-purposed for use with the main characters being cyborgs and the demons being the left behind warships of an extra-terrestrial race that disappeared long ago. Oh yeah, it's not a complicated system).

Quote
Hmm... Rolling 8d6 once is a lot easier that rolling 1d6 eight times... *facepalm* Sometimes I can be so dense!

Okay, I think this could work...

There are rough edges to knock off still, but we are getting there
For some reason, people used to single-die systems sometimes tend to assume you roll one die at a time when they encounter dicepools. It's cleared with one line of dialogue and has never been a problem in my memory, so don't worry about it :P.
Glad your preparations are progressing ;).

Online Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1021 on: June 10, 2014, 04:21:39 PM »
I'm considering doing just that.

It's a simple system and would work well for the players. It's the evil beastie that needs to roll lots of dice...

Offline Zillah

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1022 on: June 10, 2014, 04:42:18 PM »
Question - is this a totally behind-the-scenes system, where the GM just handles everything, and players aren't even aware that a dice roll is needed to determine the success or failure of their actions? Or would the player be informed that they're doing something requiring a dice roll first, before they attempt that action?

(says the girl who rarely plays system games)

Online Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1023 on: June 10, 2014, 04:46:05 PM »
I rarely play system games too...

I'm pretty sure the players will be required to make DRs and then interpret them into text. Something I've not really tried before but it should be fun,

Hi Z, how's things?

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #1024 on: June 10, 2014, 05:03:35 PM »
I'm considering doing just that.

It's a simple system and would work well for the players. It's the evil beastie that needs to roll lots of dice...
You'll have to work it out with the evil beastie yourself, then :P.

Question - is this a totally behind-the-scenes system, where the GM just handles everything, and players aren't even aware that a dice roll is needed to determine the success or failure of their actions? Or would the player be informed that they're doing something requiring a dice roll first, before they attempt that action?

(says the girl who rarely plays system games)

Here is the link to the system for you. As it's literally a one-page PDF, and free, you can just make your own opinion on it, which is usually the most reliable approach!