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Author Topic: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions  (Read 56317 times)

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Offline NileGoddess

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #350 on: March 20, 2012, 06:01:13 PM »
Is it choose your adventure as in you go that way and the other player goes that way and its all supposed to meet at some point?

Or is it about all players democratically choosing an adventure for them all that is supposed to end in a specific way?

It'd be like one of those books where at the bottom, you are given a choice, and then have to flip to a specific page. My idea is to give 2-3 choices at the end of a narrative. The player (or players, a group would do a vote, majority wins), chooses which option to take, and the story advances.

Offline GhothaAyala

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #351 on: March 21, 2012, 10:41:32 AM »
Aaah that type?

Well... It sounds like a fun concept, it could turn into something interesting.

I do think that the open-endness that many RP's allow can be an Achilles tendon as well as an appealing factor. I myself tend to seclude the RP to a location until the players have a good grasp on their surroundings.

This is another way of doing that.

I am wiling to help you on this, it is something I might use myself if you would allow me in the future.

Offline LunarSage

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #352 on: March 21, 2012, 10:46:49 PM »
So I'm thinking about starting a freeform (no dice or stats) or semi freeform (no dice but limited stats) Shadowrun group game here on E.  However, due to the game being so heavily money and equipment based, I'm worried that I'll need to type out 50+ pages of equipment and cyberware for people to "shop" in.  Not to mention the writeups to explain the basics of the setting to those who aren't familiar with it.  I don't want to do a system game as for one thing, I believe there's already one of those in the works and for another, I want to attract the kinds of people who dig freeform stuff more than system games.  This would be a very in depth undertaking but it's something that I think may well be worth it in the end.  I've successfully run one game to big game status with two more very close to it. 

What I want to know from you guys is do you have any advice on how to go about creating a "system" that really isn't a system and won't scare a lot of freeform RPers away?  Also, do you think having all the equipment, magic, etc on a wiki or something is necessary?

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #353 on: March 22, 2012, 09:37:27 AM »
If you want a quick and dirty system, take the FATE one. Each skill, ability or whatever has a rating

+8: Legendary
+7: Epic
+6: Fantastic
+5: Superb
+4: Great
+3: Good
+2: Fair
+1: Average
0: Mediocre
-1: Poor
-2: Terrible

When you roll the dice, you roll 4 d6s.
1-2: -1
3-4: 0
5-6: +1

Giving you a possible -4 to +4 variation. Add that result to the skill / ability rating, and there is your final result for the action.

You also have aspects, which are special triggers that give a +2 bonus. For example, I might have a Street Samurai with an aspect of My Lucky Gun. When I use that particular gun, I get a +2. Alternately I might have an aspect of I Know A Guy ... so when I'm doing rolls for Investigation, or Contacts , I could invoke that to get a bonus. In FATE they're invoked with the use of Fate points, of which you have a limited but refreshable pool.

Thats about as simple as a quick and dirty system as I can think to give you.

Having lists of equipment is handy, but as you've said, it's freeform. Is there really going to be any difference in your freeform AK-97 assault rifle and your freeform HK-223? Put in a wiki for general groups of equipment, maybe toss in some specific examples, and then let the players go with what they want. If you want equipment to matter, give it a quality rating. Poor quality is a -1 (but its lots cheaper), average is 0, good is a +1 (but more expensive).

Work out skill groups perhaps, and let the players put points into those. Specialisation gives me a bonus to a subgroup, but costs another point. I'm Fair with Firearms, Good with the Rifles , and Great with Sniper rifles. With my Custom Sniper Rifle I'm Fantastic. Of course, with all those points in there, I'm probably not so great with many other skills, but that's what happens when you specialise.

Does that give any food for thought?

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #354 on: March 22, 2012, 10:00:27 AM »
Yeah, if you're trying to ease Freeformers into the wonderful world of system games, FATE is a great place to start. Simple, elegant, and encourages blending mechanics with story+RP via Compelling and Tagging Aspects. Your brawling lumberjack with "It's 'Only' A Chainsaw" can get a bonus when trying to cut something or someone with his chainsaw, but someone fighting him could declare "It's 'Only' A Chainsaw" and force a negative penalty of some sort (limited attacks before it runs out of gas, or a penalty on attacks because it's unwieldy).

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #355 on: March 22, 2012, 10:03:58 AM »
I'm not sure how much pleasure you could get out of freeforming shadowrun without knowing it ahead of time. 

Still, Wikipedia can be helpful:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadowrun

Edit:

And don't forget the other wiki: 

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/TabletopGame/Shadowrun?from=Main.Shadowrun
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 10:11:40 AM by Muse »

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #356 on: March 22, 2012, 12:03:15 PM »
My first idea was FATE as well ;D!

However, since you don't want a system, I guess you could just take Eclipse Phase and plunder the equipment lists. It's under Creative Commons, so the PDFs are free, and you can create derivative works or modify the text. Also, the equipment lists might have lots of stuff you need for Shadowrun, and you could replace some tech with the one you've got ;).
IANAL, but just telling people what you used from EP and providing a link to their site would probably keep you in the clear legally.

Of course, I still consider "no system" an impossible to fulfil condition, but I'm pretty sure we've already had this discussion >:)!

Offline Josietta

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #357 on: March 22, 2012, 02:43:07 PM »
I get plenty out of Freeformed Shadowrun. :p  I honestly prefer the setting with detailed creative RP vs RP with tons of stats to look over and roll dice to get something out of it. In tabletop, yes I can see sheets being necessary. But this is forum RP. I personally think that stats and dice rolling gets cumbersome and overruns the actual RP, especially with discrepancies and what not about who shot what and where and how, etc. It takes up a lot of game time that as we all know, already gets long and drawn out during combat even without dice to monitor. A good GM can monitor the RP to a point that the players can write out combat and leave open endings. Those open endings would be filled by the GM who can make it exciting and give the players those suck ass and bad ass moments. Not everyone will always be awesome at what they specialize in. Sometimes the fates are against you, ie the GM. A good GM can bring the setting to life to anyone who has never played. The game, to me, is about the setting. While it can be cool to roll those 15d6 of badassery and blow of a Trolls head with your elephant gun (true story that my little street sam gnome did in a TT game), its not completely necessary. I find that most -- not all female players on E, tend to shy away from system games because, again most -- not all, are on E to write stories, not roleplay games. Some of my current RP partners get confused just by mentioning dice and some get intimidated by even seeing detailed character sheets. There are some fantastic writers out there who have never RP'd with dice in tabletop settings or online and will immediately turn tail and run when they start seeing stats implemented. Its also a TON of work for a GM.  Hell I'm running a Marvel Teen Avengers that isn't even stat based, but still has powers and such implemented into sheets (as it has to be) and running plots for that game can be hellish. Its intense and the amount of work a GM puts into that sort of stuff isn't always given the proper appreciation. Anyway... my point is.. you can write shadowrun without stats, without dice, and with a minimal character profile (I say profile because its a better way of putting it as its not really a 'sheet').  It just takes some creative visionary work by the GM to show the players just what they are seeing and what sort of world they are in. There are enough veteran RPers out there who love shadowrun enough that they'd be willing to help babystep new players into the setting. I know for a fact that Lunar is patient as a GM and is good at detailing settings and making it so that visualization of a scene is easier than expected, so the lack of stats in a shadowrun game he runs would not be amiss as the setting would take precedence. The question to equipment and such -- well I'd give reference pages like thufir suggested and let the players decide what they want to do with a little guidance from the GM as to how much is too much. I think for those writers willing to put in the effort and time to write out detailed histories on how they acquired the "better than average" equipment would help boost people into their character developments moreso than just giving them a set number to "buy" with.

Again this is just -my opinion- and my experiences as a player and GM. No offense meant to any.

Offline GhothaAyala

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #358 on: March 22, 2012, 05:22:51 PM »
I'm looking to start an RP but the setting is a third world country, I wonder what the average roleplayer knows about a third world country.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #359 on: March 22, 2012, 06:24:52 PM »
Josi, I wouldn't want to discuss this in the thread, but could you send me a link for a freeform combat you consider "awesome, with suck ass and badass moments", like you mentioned? Thank you in advance 8-)!

I'm looking to start an RP but the setting is a third world country, I wonder what the average roleplayer knows about a third world country.
Are you going to be playing with the average roleplayer, or with concrete people ;D? Ask them, not us.
We can at most tell you what we think most roleplayers are likely to know about third world countries. And then the specific people might know more or less, so you'd be back to asking them, not us >:)!

Offline GhothaAyala

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #360 on: March 22, 2012, 06:50:56 PM »
Are you going to be playing with the average roleplayer, or with concrete people ;D? Ask them, not us.
We can at most tell you what we think most roleplayers are likely to know about third world countries. And then the specific people might know more or less, so you'd be back to asking them, not us >:)!

Well, lets assume you are one of said specific persons.

Have you ever lived or visited one? What was your experience there? If not what do you know about them as a group?

Have you ever lived in a first world country or visited one? What do you think about those? What do you know about the first world in general?

What are the main differences you perceive between the two worlds?

Offline Josietta

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #361 on: March 22, 2012, 07:14:13 PM »
Josi, I wouldn't want to discuss this in the thread, but could you send me a link for a freeform combat you consider "awesome, with suck ass and badass moments", like you mentioned? Thank you in advance 8-)!


Sent it over.

I'm looking to start an RP but the setting is a third world country, I wonder what the average roleplayer knows about a third world country.

I think the first thing a GM should consider is not everyone will know everything accurately. If you have a setting in mind, lay it out in detail. Use maps, use descriptions, use tables, use anything you can think of to make it as creative or authentic as you want it to be. A good way to look at starting up a group RP is to assume no one knows anything and start from there. Its always better to cover your bases and have all the information accessible than to leave it to question. Thats not to say people still won't question your setting or rather have questions about it, it just helps ease the way. :)


Offline GhothaAyala

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #362 on: March 22, 2012, 07:29:54 PM »

I think the first thing a GM should consider is not everyone will know everything accurately. If you have a setting in mind, lay it out in detail. Use maps, use descriptions, use tables, use anything you can think of to make it as creative or authentic as you want it to be. A good way to look at starting up a group RP is to assume no one knows anything and start from there. Its always better to cover your bases and have all the information accessible than to leave it to question. Thats not to say people still won't question your setting or rather have questions about it, it just helps ease the way. :)

Very true, but I'm just curious about what people know.

Offline Josietta

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #363 on: March 22, 2012, 08:03:08 PM »
Very true, but I'm just curious about what people know.

If you are just basically curious about what others know, I'd make a post up in the off topic? or something like that. Most forumites don't typically come here unless they have questions or seek answers.  You'd be better suited to find the answers you seek in one of those threads that others will be more apt to come across and/or answer in more depth to your specifications. :)

Offline alxnjshTopic starter

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #364 on: March 22, 2012, 08:11:26 PM »
I'm looking to start an RP but the setting is a third world country, I wonder what the average roleplayer knows about a third world country.

If I were going to chose a setting in a third-world country, I would probably model it after a current country or create my own from the ground up. It's the same if I were to use a setting created by popular media (such as Harry Potter or Charmed). I often create an "encyclopedia" thread for my RPs and give links to resources or specifically describe the setting.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #365 on: March 24, 2012, 01:02:02 PM »
Sent it over.
PM received, let's say that your argument doesn't persuade me at all, and leave it at that ;).

Well, lets assume you are one of said specific persons.

Have you ever lived or visited one? What was your experience there? If not what do you know about them as a group?

Have you ever lived in a first world country or visited one? What do you think about those? What do you know about the first world in general?

What are the main differences you perceive between the two worlds?
For a start, you should probably clarify which sense of Third World you're using :P. In short, even if I was to answer that, "third world countries" isn't even an useful way to generalize. Afghanistan is different to Haiti, to give an example. One of your players might be more familiar with one of those than with others.
Yes, I could name you some of the common trends across third world countries. But you'd still have to create a campaign wiki or give links to some resource, even if only to avoid stuff like the GM and the players using different sources of info with clashing conclusions ;D!

Offline alxnjshTopic starter

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #366 on: March 30, 2012, 08:25:58 AM »
I read lots of self-published works by authors that are not in mainstream circulation. Some of these plots are absolutely coolio, but so few people have read the books. Now, I have managed to wrangle 2 RPs out of them by convincing others to read the books. Anyone else have this happen?

Offline lovelylilT

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #367 on: March 31, 2012, 10:13:37 AM »
How many players, is too many, for a first group game?

I want to may be run my first group game, as GM, this summer. But, I don't want too many players. I think I get confused enough, with only a few. Do I plan, for only a few? I hate telling people no, of they want playing in my games. :P

I don't know how I plan one well either. What's a good place, for starting?

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #368 on: March 31, 2012, 10:25:51 AM »
I read lots of self-published works by authors that are not in mainstream circulation. Some of these plots are absolutely coolio, but so few people have read the books. Now, I have managed to wrangle 2 RPs out of them by convincing others to read the books. Anyone else have this happen?
Has happened to me as well. However, sometimes people just want me to run a game in this style for them, instead of reading the books. It's fine with me as well.

How many players, is too many, for a first group game?

I want to may be run my first group game, as GM, this summer. But, I don't want too many players. I think I get confused enough, with only a few. Do I plan, for only a few? I hate telling people no, of they want playing in my games. :P

I don't know how I plan one well either. What's a good place, for starting?
Hi, lovelylilT, I'm afraid the only answer I can give you is "depends on the game". For most games, I'd take everyone, being completely sure at least some people are going to drop off.
Usually, a group that's too big reduces itself to "just right" just by RL happening and making people drop off. It's only natural, although the feeling isn't good.
My best advice would be to plan a start that involves everyone, than lead away the characters if the players happen to drop off.
If you get confused, keep notes on the stuff you might miss. Something like "5 past noon in-game time, character A, in location X, doing action Y, with action Z being the contingency plan, which will take about n minutes". Keep an entry for each character, update after a post, then consult before posting.
It takes some getting used to it, but with some time, you'd even stop needing the notes.
Again, all of this depends on the game, so it depends what game you're playing.

Offline Josietta

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #369 on: March 31, 2012, 10:45:55 AM »
I think with group games you can tailor any setting to suit your number of players. For a new GM I would start small.  When Lunar and I started to GM our first group game we had less than 10 players. If for some reason your numbers dwindle at any point you can always recruit again later for more. I, personally, start with 5-8 players and see how it goes. It also depends on your players postings rates. If you have too few and they don't post frequently enough it can cause interest to wane, but then if you have too many and people post too often than others it can cause those others to feel overwhelmed. All in all, I'd say its a case to case basis sort of thing. I'd put up an interest thread in the Group Games Wanted area. Lay out your game setting, what you're looking for, what you're looking to bring to the game, and what others can expect from you. You should also have a character profile/sheet of some kind and an example of it from one of your PCs or NPCs. I know some people don't like character profiles but I often find those who are willing to put in time to fill them out to completion are more apt to stick around after devoting that time into the game.

I hope that helps and good luck with start it  up! :)

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #370 on: March 31, 2012, 04:41:41 PM »
Playing tabletop, 4-5 players plus a GM is a good number. Online, I'd probably stretch that by one or two.

I have helped run games with more, but I think a lot depends on your players. If each one is waiting for you to post to move the game along, you can handle a lot less than if they're bouncing off each other as they write.

Offline Deva

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #371 on: April 01, 2012, 01:39:41 PM »
Playing tabletop, 4-5 players plus a GM is a good number. Online, I'd probably stretch that by one or two.

I have helped run games with more, but I think a lot depends on your players. If each one is waiting for you to post to move the game along, you can handle a lot less than if they're bouncing off each other as they write.

True story for that: Ran two campaigns, main campaign 6 players, side campaign 2.

Main campaign full of passive and slow players. Side campaign overtook with only 2 and is still going while I try to haste to an end of the main campaign.. it's just not fun if your bard considers good rp to be *pulls out his lute and plays on it for a few hours*
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 01:49:51 PM by Deva »

Offline Haibane

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #372 on: April 02, 2012, 05:42:40 AM »
LOL, inform him a string breaks and he has no spares.

Online Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #373 on: April 02, 2012, 06:24:57 AM »
Or the noise attracts a wandering monster, which attacks him and manages to put a huge foot on the lute!

Wandering monsters were always good fun back in the days when I actually played D&D at school. The four of us would be arguing about what to do next and the GM would start rolling dice.... Always a good way of shutting your players up, that. Especially when the huge grin spreads across the GM's face as he looks up what he's just rolled for, and then he announces, "While you are standing around arguing, you are unexpectedly attacked by a...."

Of course this works less well in Forum RP, but I'm sure there must be an equivalent.

Offline Deva

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #374 on: April 02, 2012, 06:52:12 AM »
Forum campaign. i literally spawned a baby(to not be overpowered lvl 3 bard) rustmonster on him and he managed to ignore it.. *shrugs*

(Granted as baby I didn't make it entirely hostile but.. dunno!)

problem was that it was a transformations/naughty campaign so getting attacked by most monsters just led to you being transformed a bit to be like them. .. perhas I should have thrown something with pinchers or othersiw unable to play an instrument at him, but then he had just complained. .. it had happened before.:

Let's share this fucked up story for your amusement: So there was a wall, entrance guarded. you couldn't climb it as it was protected. players wanted to get in.
So instead of scouting it out from above or a closeby two stores house(or just climbing each others shoulders, it was like 8 ft, finding ground plans, going in it from below, distracting the guards to get in(granted, that may have been hard, remember the bard?),  finding a non touching means to break the wall down or simply playing a round of pole jumping they decided:
'hey, our rogue rolled this awesome teleportation cloak(dimension door 1/D), why not teleport  behind a magical protected wall into unknown terrain with a one shot teleportation!'
I proceeded to ask them if they -really- thought this such a good idea, even if I would allow this teleport to work, wich technically I had to It would be equal to castrating a bull while being high on acid with a nailclipper.
.. granted that may not have been my exact words but .. what can one do with such an.. ambitious group?*shrugs*
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 06:56:49 AM by Deva »