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Author Topic: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions  (Read 56570 times)

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Offline SatanKlaus

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #475 on: July 04, 2012, 11:28:00 AM »
I was thinking about running a group game but I am still gathering ideas. I will just post some thoughts (about the 'technical' things, not the plot) and maybe one of you guys who has already done it can chip in a little.

To face the player On/Offs problem I want to make an 'official' list of kinks that anyone who plays has to consent to. So, for example, D/s (or anal, gags, whatever) could be announced to be 'canon' in the roleplay, so it is not necessary for everyone to check with their partners first. If it is on the list, you are free to go. Exceptions could be allowed (people who don't like everything on the list), but they would have to specifically mention it. Conversely, a player intending to do anything outside the list would have to check in with their prospective 'victim' first.
In my game, I was thinking that sexual dominance and submisison would depend on rank and personal success during play. Therefore, as success can not be guaranteed, all players would have to be okay with the possibility of being on the bottom. It is possible to play for failure, though, so submissives might be acceptable but pure doms would be not. In the same way, by public announcement, I hope to deal with the player gender/character gender problem. Everyone will know that they will have to be fine with mixing it up, or they shouldn't come in the first place.

I like what AndyZ said about entries&exits. It is always a good idea to work with what is going to happen anyway instead of trying to avoid it at all costs. I'm not sure if this is applicable to a smaller group game, though.

To find reliable players, my idea was to do a kind of introduction. A 'boot camp', 'mission 0' or whatever of limited length. People coming and going in this phase would be no big deal. And only those who play reasonably well and reliable would be invited to join the game proper.

I'm unsure about the system. Freeform works well enough for me, but I also like the sense of accomplishment and the randomness a system game brings. Players can try and see if they succeed in a system game and be rewarded for success in a more palpable way than in a freeform. On the other hand, I really don't like the bookkeeping and delay a full blown system (even a relatively simple one like D&D or WoD) brings to a game once the combat starts. So I was thinking to use a very, very simple system that can deal with a small combat in just 2 posts or so while still having a random outcome that does not seem arbitrary or unfair to the players.


SatanKlaus

Offline Aiden

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #476 on: July 04, 2012, 11:31:34 AM »
Are all the GMs on vacation these days?  ::)

Looks like we had another group game get promoted to a sub-board. Congrats  :-)

Haha I wish! Not really, Been having a blast with my two main games. One is struggling along, enough I might need to speak with my Co Gm's about rebooting and starting fresh.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #477 on: July 04, 2012, 07:26:23 PM »
To face the player On/Offs problem I want to make an 'official' list of kinks that anyone who plays has to consent to.

Personally I'd be a bit wary of something like this. I know a lot depends on the game and the players, but forcing people to play a certain way ... it's not something I'd be comfortable with.

Offline SatanKlaus

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #478 on: July 05, 2012, 04:15:33 AM »
Personally I'd be a bit wary of something like this. I know a lot depends on the game and the players, but forcing people to play a certain way ... it's not something I'd be comfortable with.

I think its like calling for a maid game and one player shows up with a ballerina character (as a previous poster said). It causes all kinds of problems later. Better to have things out in the open up front. That way everyone can decide if they want to join or not, knowing what they can expect. Like I said, there can be exceptions, but I think it is good to find a 'common ground' that everyone in the play can agree on.

SatanKlaus

Offline alxnjshTopic starter

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #479 on: July 05, 2012, 04:22:37 PM »
It sounds like you are developing some kind of system game - the way there is rank and people can move up and down. Will you be developing yours from scratch or do you know of a system that you might be able to adapt to meet your needs?

Offline Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #480 on: July 05, 2012, 04:43:33 PM »
I think its like calling for a maid game and one player shows up with a ballerina character (as a previous poster said). It causes all kinds of problems later. Better to have things out in the open up front. That way everyone can decide if they want to join or not, knowing what they can expect. Like I said, there can be exceptions, but I think it is good to find a 'common ground' that everyone in the play can agree on.

SatanKlaus

The idea, as I understand it, is that you are going to say "If you want to play in this game you must be up for the following:"

I don't think this is particularly uncommon. The problem with it is that you automatically restrict the number of players you are going to get. The broader the spectrum of things the players MUST consent to, the fewer players are going to have all those things in their ons.

And, to give a very specific example, if you put the wrong thing in your player base drops to a handful - as with my attempt to run a game called "On Golden Pond - Watersports Training centre" some months ago. Three players do not a group game make, and if you are aiming at a specific market, you need to be sure that the players in that market see your ad!

So, yes, I agree, it is like saying "This is a game about felines" and being able to stop a player turning up with a canine character, but you have to be aware that a game about furries in general is going to get more players than one about felines... (for example)

My 2p worth.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #481 on: July 12, 2012, 06:43:42 AM »
A question for fellow Exalted GMs ... any of you seen, or better yet used, Shards of the Exalted Dream?

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/103359/Shards-of-the-Exalted-Dream

The idea of a modern setting Exalted game is quite appealing.

Offline alxnjshTopic starter

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #482 on: July 12, 2012, 06:16:59 PM »
I really need to learn more about the system games. It seems like there's a whole world I know nothing about.  :o

Offline AndyZ

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #483 on: July 12, 2012, 06:21:09 PM »
Oh dear, where to begin...

System games are any game which uses a ruleset more complex than just freeforming it up and going from there.  Most often, they use dice, as dice are exceptional random number generators.

Characters usually get stats, which are listings as to the various things which they are good and not good at.  in D&D, the stats are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution (how healthy and tough you are), Intelligence, Wisdom (perception, faith and willpower), and Charisma.

There's a system for pretty much anything and everything out there, and if there isn't, one can usually be designed.

System games work best for things like combat where you want to be able to freeform it better than arbitrarily deciding who wins.  They also provide a better sense of balance, where characters are made to be able to match off against each other fairly comparatively.

Offline alxnjshTopic starter

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #484 on: July 12, 2012, 06:42:20 PM »
Oh yes, sorry, I should have been more specific. I understand the nature of the games - the idea of the rules and such - I just have never played any or know the specifics. I find it very interesting and very different from free form. I should explore one of the - do you have any recommendations?

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #485 on: July 12, 2012, 06:47:24 PM »
Depends on how deep into the pool you want to jump. :)

A rules-lite, narrative-heavy system like FATE or FUDGE can be good for people just dipping their toes into system gaming. A bonus here is that FATE can be found legally for free online.

Burning Wheel and New World of Darkness are rules-heavy while still emphasizing narrative and story, for wading practice.

Diving head-first into the deep end includes options like GURPS and D&D...the deep end is the most difficult to swim in, but it's also the most crowded, so you'll find lots of people willing to help teach you to swim here.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 06:48:38 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline AndyZ

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #486 on: July 12, 2012, 06:50:49 PM »
Let's see...your O/O says you like Fantasy, Horror, Romance and Sci-Fi, but you have Never listed for D&D worlds.

Most games out there aren't free, and require a book to go over the rules in detail as well as make characters.  You can pick up the PDFs of the book legally at http://www.drivethrurpg.com if you don't want to pay for the full printed books.

The really rough part is finding a group who's interested in playing the game that you're wanting to play, as well as finding someone to run it.  You always need a GM.  The Group Request Thread has a bunch of different system options and games listed.

To be honest, I don't know a great deal about the free ones like FATE and FUDGE.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #487 on: July 12, 2012, 06:54:17 PM »
Oh yes, sorry, I should have been more specific. I understand the nature of the games - the idea of the rules and such - I just have never played any or know the specifics. I find it very interesting and very different from free form. I should explore one of the - do you have any recommendations?
Yes, I've totally got a recommendation. Well, it's more of a way to pick for yourself ;D!
See, there are different kinds of systems. Explaining it all would be confusing at best. Problem is, what works for one of us, sometimes turns another player down.
However, you can read a couple free and short ones, and you'll be better able to decide what kind of systems you like. For example, I'd recommend something like WoD microlite, Lady Blackbird, and the testdrive rules of Savage Worlds. I'll send you the links, and you could post them if you wish.
From there, you could tell me which one has caught your fancy, and I'd expland the recommendations with similar things you'd be more likely to enjoy >:)!
At least, this is the best recommendation I could give you, based on quite a few years playing and discussing systems ;).
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 06:56:43 PM by Thufir Hawat »

Offline SatanKlaus

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #488 on: July 13, 2012, 03:49:33 AM »
The type of system you use will also strongly influence game flow. The players will quickly learn how the system works and play accordingly.

For example, in D&D (a heroic fantasy game), players can take damage according to their level. So after a few play sessions, they can take ten times as much damage as a regular human before they die. It quickly becomes impossible for a regular guard or soldier to kill them, even on a critical hit. Accordingly, they will treat minor enemies (or even citizens) with disdain.

In GURPS, player hit points don't rise very much. And even then, there are critical hits that can kill even very tough characters if they are very unlucky. GURPS includes the possibility to play from the stone age to the future. And in modern settings, with automatic guns around, you will find that your players are very very keen not to get shot. In GURPS, a single pistol shot might kill you and will probably incapacitate you in some way. A machine gun burst WILL kill you (unless you are wearing very heavy, bullet proof armor, and even then you will probably lose an arm or a leg). Expect players to negotiate, seek cover, run from combat or shoot first. This gives the game a very different feel from what you get in D&D.


A problem I see with system games on a forum is the complexity they bring. Combat, especially, will probably drag out far longer than you would like. Some systems also place a lot of emphasis on equipment. In my examples, D&D has a lot of magic items and spells that can stack 'bonuses' for the characters. A good combination of spells and items wins combats. Keeping track of all of them can be a pain. In modern GURPS, it is obvious that the guy with the gun has the edge, but small things like the ammo type and make of the gun lose a bit of importance. Even though GURPS combat is far more complex than D&D combat, the sheer deadlyness of combat forces the players to look into nonviolent (story) solutions. Other systems simplify equipment to reduce its importance. But, as a rule of thumb, if your game is violent and centered around combat, expect your players to seek every edge they can get in equipment.

SatanKlaus

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #489 on: July 13, 2012, 07:40:07 AM »
Tell us what genre you like, and we can give suggestions of suitable systems.

Offline alxnjshTopic starter

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #490 on: July 13, 2012, 04:12:36 PM »
Tell us what genre you like, and we can give suggestions of suitable systems.

Epic fantasy
Contemporary Sci-Fi
Historical

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #491 on: July 13, 2012, 04:34:36 PM »
Epic fantasy
FATE.

Quote
Contemporary Sci-Fi
Eclipse Phase.

Quote
Historical
Depends on what sub-genre of historical you want, but I'm quite fond of Zenobia.

Oh wait, they're all free games, unless you decide to pay? Well, maybe you're just lucky:D!
Or maybe I prefer using examples people can check without difficulty and see whether they like them ;).

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #492 on: July 13, 2012, 04:48:25 PM »
Epic fantasy

Exalted, if you like manga influences.
Fate could probably do it.
I'd also toss in a historical setting Scion game. I saw a game like that run once, set in the Roman era. I was very tempted to join just to create Obelix the Gaul  >:)
Qin might work, but it's on the low end of the Epic scale, as a wuxia game.
I've seen one coming called Yggdrasil, by the same people who did Qin. I don't know what it's like, but I'm guessing it will do for mythic Norse what Qin did for mythic China.

Contemporary Sci-Fi

Hmm. Eclipse Phase is sort of contempory, but I can't really think of anything else that'd come close. Contemporary tends more towards the Urban Fantasy and Horror genres than sci fi.

Historical

7th Sea, if you like Swashbuckling
The Riddle of Steel if you prefer more grim and gritty
I'd also offer Legend of the Five Rings and Qin, for sort of Asian settings, though they're going a lot more into the Fantasy side of things than historical.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #493 on: July 13, 2012, 09:07:11 PM »
Exalted, if you like manga influences.
I'd also toss in a historical setting Scion game. I saw a game like that run once, set in the Roman era. I was very tempted to join just to create Obelix the Gaul  >:)
I'd rather avoid either of those two, although Scion is by far the worse one.

OTOH, Exalted with heroic mortals can work well enough for a historical game ;).

Offline AribethAmkiir

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #494 on: July 14, 2012, 02:42:16 AM »
Hoping I could get some help.

I'm currently running a superhero/villain game that is highly slanted toward the silly and inane.  I think I made the mistake of allowing players to make both hero and villain characters, and I began the game by replying to every single character post.  Probably a bit overambitious on my part.  Well, now my players expect this to continue and I really can't keep up with the game by doing it this way.  I'm attempting to shepherd them into forming teams or groups, but I still have a few that just do their own thing.  I also have a few players who don't quite want to mesh fluidly into the setting, and still others who do a bit of godmodding.  I'm not exactly sure if I'm not expressing myself accurately enough and if the communication problem is completely on me, or if my players are just a bit thickheaded.

I think everyone is having fun in the game and when I ask the interest is supposedly still high, so I don't want to cancel it or reboot it.  I would like some strategies on how to possibly redirect my players, shift my GM style from what I began with to something a bit less demanding, and solidify the setting in a way that players understand what it is their characters are expected to mesh into.

I appreciate all attempts to help and thank you in advance for the replies.

-Ari

Online Caitlin

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #495 on: July 14, 2012, 04:12:35 AM »
Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
Hoping I could get some help.

I'm currently running a superhero/villain game that is highly slanted toward the silly and inane.  I think I made the mistake of allowing players to make both hero and villain characters, and I began the game by replying to every single character post.  Probably a bit overambitious on my part.  Well, now my players expect this to continue and I really can't keep up with the game by doing it this way.  I'm attempting to shepherd them into forming teams or groups, but I still have a few that just do their own thing.  I also have a few players who don't quite want to mesh fluidly into the setting, and still others who do a bit of godmodding.  I'm not exactly sure if I'm not expressing myself accurately enough and if the communication problem is completely on me, or if my players are just a bit thickheaded.

I think everyone is having fun in the game and when I ask the interest is supposedly still high, so I don't want to cancel it or reboot it.  I would like some strategies on how to possibly redirect my players, shift my GM style from what I began with to something a bit less demanding, and solidify the setting in a way that players understand what it is their characters are expected to mesh into.

I appreciate all attempts to help and thank you in advance for the replies.

-Ari
It might help if you bring up your concerns in the OOC thread Ari. :)

I don't think any of the members have any issues with forming two teams and that's sort of already been taking place OOCly, since there is a nice synergy between the villain powers and some of the super heroes. The biggest problem currently is probably that the game only just started and people haven't really had a chance to do something together yet. The characters are barely introduced so far and people are still busy setting themselves up.

I for one don't expect you to reply to every person though and I don't think any of the others do so either.

An idea that might help currently is to force some kind of cooperation between the heroes on one side and the villains on the other side. The system I generally use for this is to introduce a third party. In our case an alien invasion might work just fine, where the villains will try hard to get the aliens to do their bidding and the heroes do everything they can to fight them. It's not something that people could defeat with a single post. You could give the aliens powers that effectively counter the super powers and force cooperation through that. I think you're making it specifically difficult on yourself by introducing many minor challenges across the city, they take a lot of time for you to set up and while they're not extremely hard to defeat either.

In any case I would recommend introducing a common threat and tell people OOCly that they'll need to cooperate to beat those threats (or in the villains case, have them work the threat in their favour, which is equally challenging).

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #496 on: July 14, 2012, 07:04:02 AM »
I'd rather avoid either of those two, although Scion is by far the worse one.

Personal preferences :) I happen to like both of those, others won't.

OTOH, Exalted with heroic mortals can work well enough for a historical game ;).

Not without changing the world setting, and Exalted has too much magic bound into the background.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #497 on: July 14, 2012, 08:03:58 AM »
Personal preferences :) I happen to like both of those, others won't.
Actually, I like the setting of Exalted myself, just not with the system.
However, I find the systems have too many quirks to be recommended to new players or GMs. I mean, following Scion's rules as written in the book, leads to weird moments like "it's more efficient to throw a gun at somebody than to shoot him with the same gun".
So yeah, I'd still advise alxnjsh to avoid them.

Quote
Not without changing the world setting, and Exalted has too much magic bound into the background.
Of course you'd change the setting and just use the rules! But it still has combat that's quite lethal, possibility to die from bloodloss, and other gritty stuff generally associated with historical games.

Hoping I could get some help.

I'm currently running a superhero/villain game that is highly slanted toward the silly and inane.  I think I made the mistake of allowing players to make both hero and villain characters, and I began the game by replying to every single character post.  Probably a bit overambitious on my part.  Well, now my players expect this to continue and I really can't keep up with the game by doing it this way.  I'm attempting to shepherd them into forming teams or groups, but I still have a few that just do their own thing.  I also have a few players who don't quite want to mesh fluidly into the setting, and still others who do a bit of godmodding.  I'm not exactly sure if I'm not expressing myself accurately enough and if the communication problem is completely on me, or if my players are just a bit thickheaded.

I think everyone is having fun in the game and when I ask the interest is supposedly still high, so I don't want to cancel it or reboot it.  I would like some strategies on how to possibly redirect my players, shift my GM style from what I began with to something a bit less demanding, and solidify the setting in a way that players understand what it is their characters are expected to mesh into.

I appreciate all attempts to help and thank you in advance for the replies.

-Ari
Maybe it's a stupid question, but have you talked to them OOC about getting into groups? Most people would show quite a bit of understanding for lack of time.
Also, you could study the characters' interests and throw some things at them that should draw a strong reaction, whether positive or negative ;).

Online Caitlin

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #498 on: July 14, 2012, 08:18:23 AM »
Also, you could study the characters' interests and throw some things at them that should draw a strong reaction, whether positive or negative ;).
:o I already had 1 airplane nearly crashing in my hidden base, lol! I think the shock of that was enough to last me for the rest of the week. ;D

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #499 on: July 14, 2012, 08:21:24 AM »
Actually, I like the setting of Exalted myself, just not with the system.
However, I find the systems have too many quirks to be recommended to new players or GMs. I mean, following Scion's rules as written in the book, leads to weird moments like "it's more efficient to throw a gun at somebody than to shoot him with the same gun".
So yeah, I'd still advise alxnjsh to avoid them.

That's a good point. I was just thinking about the actual genre and setting, and not the complexity of them.