I take the point, yes there are as many different styles of GMing as there are GMs... But there are certain universal truths too, such as the one you mention, or "IC drama needs to be kept IC, and should not be allowed to spill over into the OOC", "Non consent applies to the character NOT the player".
Well, then unless my knowledge of GMing techniques is extremely limited, there are exactly three rules that apply to all styles.
"Manage expectations". Talk to your players about character lethality, genre conventions if you're using any, their expected feedback on the story, your GMing techniques, the social and personality mechanics or the lack thereof, and so on and so forth. If you intend to change elements out of the blue and want that to be a surprise, tell them surprises are possible and nothing is sacrosanct. It doesn't have to be a discussion, in fact it helps to make it clear in the OOC or even the recruitment thread. This is the game I want to run, who's playing?
But to be able to say that, you should make the rules clear first. (And yes, "stick to genre X" is a rule if you're talking about it and sticking to it).
"Don't cross IC and OOC, resolve IC matters IC and OOC matters OOC". The non-consent rule is just a sub-set of this, if you look closely.
"Set up the game so you could stick to your guns and deliver on what you promised in the first step". This includes everything from systems or lack thereof, to setting and NPCs you're introducing, and how much narrative rights the players are allowed.
Not much material for a thread, if you ask me. Unless you're planning to make it a "help, where did I go wrong" thread
Equally there are general rules which can apply to many different types of game although they may not apply to all, such as, perhaps, "Players are only allowed to edit posts so long as no-one has replied", which is great in story based games because it makes players think about their posts, and forces them to accept the consequences of their characters actions.
I can easily think of a set-up for a story-based game where this wouldn't apply because the characters could have powers to edit reality. But, yeah, this one works. Still, most such rules are something to be covered in the "managing expectations" step.
I did not intend to imply that all hints and tips are useful in all circumstances, just that it might be an idea to have such a thread, kind-of like a FAQ of GMing.
And I'm just saying I'm sceptical. You need to make it something like a table, cross-referencing genres and styles of play and sexual content levels and the kinds of players you've got in a four-dimensional structure. It's likely to spiral out of control, or leave lots of spaces uncovered.
If the group wants a specific type of game but doesn't want to work in a particular way, that is something to be brought up in pre-game discussion with the GM... Which is exactly the sort of tip that should be in the FAQ-thread!
It's covered, above: talk about your GMing techniques.
I'm not sure here whether you missed my point entirely, or are actually agreeing with me without realising it. I would offer more specific examples, but without permission of the GMs concerned I hesitate to do so publicly.
Well, either is possible, how would I know whether I was wrong
? To me, it looks like you were advocating starting in media res.
But in essence you are agreeing with me that no matter where the story starts, the long drawn-out period of getting from the start point to the action scene should be skipped in some way?
Yes, but you were talking about getting the characters together to storypoint X, not about "starting the action". I'm currently running a game elsewhere where the PCs don't know each other yet, and it's been a couple months since the start. They've had investigation and action already. Only two of them had a common scene, though, and it's because they had common background so I started them together.
Getting the characters in media res so they'd have the common story milestone X isn't the same as "starting the action". You can have the latter without the former, is my point.
I am simply stating that it becomes easier to skip from the "let's all get on the [mode of transport]" scene to the "OMG WTF is going on?" scene if you don't have the first one at all... Because people get involved in scenes that they don't want to just have ended, they get upset with the GM for imposing a time skip and leave the game.
In my book, I have a simple recommendation about anyone who can't just open a thread or use PMs to resolve the scenes that were cut short, and instead gets angry that the GM is framing the scenes (which is what a GM does, first and foremost). Keep in mind, said people should be doing that while playing in the next scene.Go find a GMless game, you're not a good fit for one I'm running,
is the recommendation
Or they continue their scene regardless and either force everyone else to wait, or create continuity problems in the IC thread(s).
I read that "or they get kicked out", for some reason
I'm not saying that a "meet and greet" scene isn't useful in some situations, I just think that having an action story start there is a bad idea, because it can leave people wondering exactly when the action is going to start.
If people can't wait one scene for the action to start, well, I get suspicious how long they're going to keep up with the game. Maybe it's just me, so I'm not offering it as any kind of advice.
Um... yeah, see, this is exactly my point. Why play out the scene with the players dozing off? It adds nothing and is just padding, and it can result in players getting bored and dropping out. But if you are not playing that scene out, why do you want to play out the scene with them getting into their seats? What value does it add to the story? Why not just cut straight to the chase? After all, everyone has seen everyone else's character sheets, so there's no reason why the characters can't already know each other, so the "meet and greet" bit serves no real purpose.
Because it doesn't add anything to you.
I know GMs and players who hate skipping stuff, and don't like reading other players' character sheet. To them, starting in media res and clearing it later how you got there is confusing.
Furthermore, there are other people who think starting in media res (or just skipping large chunks) means the story isn't developing organically from the characters' actions. After all, if they were playing it out, maybe this story milestone would be avoided, or it'd have to be amended.
To them, this is more important than starting in the thick of the action. As stated before, you're obviously disagreeing, and I suspect you disagree that the players being able to amend the story is of great value.
It doesn't mean either of you is wrong, though. It's just something that should be made clear in the managing expectations phase. Guess which heading this falls under in my list