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Author Topic: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions  (Read 56565 times)

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Offline Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #775 on: June 23, 2013, 04:12:17 PM »
Heh we've all been busy.


Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #776 on: June 23, 2013, 09:03:57 PM »
Yup.

Offline Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #777 on: June 25, 2013, 04:29:52 AM »
Okay, I have had an interesting thought. There may already be a thread dedicated to this topic somewhere, but if there isn't it would be worth putting one up. I'm just not sure where it should go.

The topic is Freeform PvP.

See, there are a lot of players on E who are relatively new to RPing, and even those who are experienced may never have become involved in a freeform PvP fight.

I'm limiting this to freeform, because in a system game PvP combat is handled by the system. Dice rolls determine who hits and how much damage is done. But in freeform, it's totally down to the players.

This, of course, leads to the possibility of "twinking" - a form of god-moding whereby every one of your blows lands and none of your opponents blows land. I think a lot of players don't even realise how to do freeform PvP properly - I was taught years ago in Furcadia!

Is there a thread dedicated to this topic? If so where? If not, I think I would like to start one, but again, where? Thing is, this is not just a group game issue. PvP is actually more fun in a one-on-one story where the fight doesn't hold up the action for anyone else.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #778 on: June 25, 2013, 07:36:47 AM »
Freeform combat is a bit of a tricky one. If the players are playing fair, outside of luck, whoever has the best skills should win. I say best skills rather than best fighting skills, because an intelligent fighter may be able to outthink and outmaneuver their opponent.

An amusing example thereof

If the players are more evenly matched, they may be willing to work out amongst themselves who wins and loses, and how the story advances. If so, it's all good.

Alternately, they may simply write the fight, and see how it develops over the course of it. Doing it this way, neither should write blows landing, but instead state the intent of their attack, allowing the other to respond. Of course, that relies on someone being willing to write realistically, and take a few hits.

If neither wants to lose, I guess that might be where the GM has to step in, and decide a winner for them.

Offline Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #779 on: June 25, 2013, 08:20:59 AM »
Hi HH.

Yep. Been there done that bought the tee shirt! lol.

This is why I think that a thread dedicated to the art of Freeform PvP would be a good idea. I've actually taught a couple of people how to do it. As you say, it relies totally on the players playing fair, writing realistically and being willing to take the hits as needed.

I always like to agree who is going to win the fight in advance, and by how much - is it going to be totally one-sided or a close thing? I actually prefer the latter because it's more fun to write. I have no problem with loosing a fight IC so long as it is the right thing for the story. Choreographing every move is usually unnecessary and takes the spontaneity out of writing, but communication between the combatants is essential.

"Okay, my blow is going to miss and you get a hit in that knocks me down, but when you follow through I'm going to land a doozy of a kick"...  OOC conversation via PM means that players leave the correct openings for their opponents.

It also means that posts can be longer, because a pre-agreed sequence of blows can be written up as a single post.

And of course there is the explanation of the misinterpreted move - "No, my left hand is holding your right hand twisted behind your back and my right hand is holding your throat".

If both players want to win that badly, they should be in court, not playing games on the internet!

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #780 on: June 25, 2013, 08:36:06 AM »
Sounds like something that might be worth doing alright, maybe even added in here as a sticky. I'd be happy to lend a hand with it (though I do have to head out for a bit now). I've done martial arts training, and enjoy wu xia movies, so I enjoy writing a good fight as much as any other scene. It's particularly enjoyable in playing things like Exalted, Scion or Feng Shui, where you can really go all out with the stunting :)

Offline Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #781 on: June 25, 2013, 08:48:31 AM »
I did a post in an OOC thread for one of my group games on the subject. It would make a good opener for the thread.

I'll dig it out and copy it  to a new thread in the GM area.

Offline Moraline

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #782 on: June 25, 2013, 02:47:45 PM »
I never allow PvP in my Freeform games accept under the following conditions:
  • Will PvP be allowed (if applicable)?
    This is not a PvP game but if two players wish to fight each other then they may ask for permission in the OOC thread and I will discuss it. If the players don't have a predetermined outcome for the PvP then I will set up a simple random way to determine the winner as I see fit.
    (Players will NOT argue or question the outcome and how it's determined. Be prepared to not like the results. I may or may not decide to weight the battle in favor of one or the other depending on the circumstances and those involved.
    Ex: One player is drunk the other is not; or one has a sword and shield, the other has only a dagger. I will weight the outcome for the sober man or the one with the sword and shield more favorably in most situations.)
In my past experiences, even if you have a dozen really good role players together there will always be a few in the group that don't see things rationally or just refuse to let their characters get hurt/beat under any circumstances. I recently had to let a player go because he refused to even consider the idea that maybe his character would get hurt in PvE battles. Players like that are unbearable in PvP situations.

Conversely, I've also had players that let themselves get beat in every situation, even when it was clear that they should win the fight. This is just as bad.

One on One threads with trusted people are fine. For instance, I know Chrys likes to plan stuff out and I think I would be okay having a throw down with her... but alternatively there are other players on this forum that just have to have the biggest baddest toughest character and even if they lose they want to look good doing it. Nope, I couldn't do PvP with that type. The player has gotta be willing to take their licks.

Are there any really good Freeform Group RP's on the forum here with lots of PvP? If so, I'd love to take a look at them.

Offline AndyZ

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #783 on: June 25, 2013, 03:00:47 PM »
As my personal method, if I expect a quarrel with another PC while I'm playing, the first thing I do is talk to the GM.  Some GMs loathe it and will set things up so it doesn't happen.  That isn't limited to free form but has been a trick to help out in the past. Not sure if it's 100% on topic but I think it's something to encourage. 

Offline Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #784 on: June 25, 2013, 03:36:50 PM »
Moraline, sweetie, are you asking me out? Or should that be "calling me out"?

*giggles*

If you want to rumble with me, I'll be happy to oblige, and I'll even let you win!

If you look at the thread I posted, I have pretty much the same rule. I want to know why the fight is happening, what form it will take, how long it is expected to last and who is going to win. The latter may be waived if the players involved are players I trust, but if I've not met them before I will want to know who the eventual winner will be.

I am currently involved in a PvP in a group game that I'm not the GM of. http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=176772.0 if anyone is interested. The fight is taking place in the "manor and island" thread.

As GM if i saw a PvP situation developing I would PM the players concerned and insist they talk to me about it!

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #785 on: June 25, 2013, 03:44:09 PM »

Are there any really good Freeform Group RP's on the forum here with lots of PvP? If so, I'd love to take a look at them.

Superheroes vs. Villains is primarily PvP-based right now (totally shameless plug), though it goes through cycles of PvE-heavy and PvP-heavy. I think it's good, but then I am admittedly biased.

Offline AndyZ

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #786 on: June 25, 2013, 03:53:37 PM »
I should clarify that I try to go to the GM before combat is unavoidable. Some GMs hate PVP and love the forewarning. Although that's not always an option, often you can tell as a player when bad blood is brewing and the GM will have no idea.

This is true in system games as well because fights usually require everyone working together. Having an angry healer who refuses to help the warrior can easily have the end result of the entire group dying.

GMs who don't want PVP will often move heaven and earth to fix things. The healer might even have a dream vision by her goddess that its for the greater good or whatever. However, that requires player and GM working together and the assumption that you don't want PVP

That goes back to knowing what everyone wants, though, both players and GM.  I personally don't like to PVP but situations can occur which would force it without GM intervention. Nothing against it if that's what everyone wants

Offline Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #787 on: June 25, 2013, 04:23:11 PM »
I should clarify that I try to go to the GM before combat is unavoidable. Some GMs hate PVP and love the forewarning. Although that's not always an option, often you can tell as a player when bad blood is brewing and the GM will have no idea.

This is true in system games as well because fights usually require everyone working together. Having an angry healer who refuses to help the warrior can easily have the end result of the entire group dying.

GMs who don't want PVP will often move heaven and earth to fix things. The healer might even have a dream vision by her goddess that its for the greater good or whatever. However, that requires player and GM working together and the assumption that you don't want PVP

That goes back to knowing what everyone wants, though, both players and GM.  I personally don't like to PVP but situations can occur which would force it without GM intervention. Nothing against it if that's what everyone wants

Andy, I'm not sure if we are talking about the same thing...

You seem to be referring to a situation where a player gets mad at another player? I could be wrong, of course, in which case, I apologise for misreading.

It is a rule that  IC problems should be fixed IC and OOC problems should be fixed OOC. Two players getting mad at each other needs to be fixed OOC.

Two characters getting mad at each other is an IC problem, but as long as the players are still perfectly good friends, there is no problem here. This is why the GM MUST be involved, because (s)he can step in and make sure things don't get out of hand. The idea of an IC fight spilling over into OOC is nothing new, when players take things too seriously. Or when a player doesn't "play fair" and starts being a twink!

But if the players are amicable and have agreed the outcome of the fight, there should be no reason whatever for it to end the RP. In fact, the warrior getting wounded could be the catalyst to heal the rift between her and the healer and get the two of them back in the sack together... ;)

However, I do know that some GMs do not like PvP.Some players do not like it either. I believe it needs to be carefully monitored and controlled by the GM in order to keep it fair, I also believe that it is inappropriate in many group games.

Offline AndyZ

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #788 on: June 25, 2013, 04:42:41 PM »
Apologies.  I probably shouldn't try to post at length from my phone, but I'm home now.

I actually meant situations where it's all IC and the player is torn between needing to act out her character and the desire not to PVP.  Let's say that the healer and fighter are actually really good friends, just that the fighter used the goddess' holy fount as a washbasin by accident or something.

The last time I really remember getting into a PVP situation was years ago, when I unknowingly made a character who was the Capulet to another character's Montague, but I didn't even know it until afterwards.  The GM knew but didn't make mention of how it would inevitably turn out and I couldn't go to him to handle it.  OOCly I got along great with the other guy, although he got pretty mad at some of the tricks that my character used against his.  (Nothing meta but definitely not a fair fight)

Some time previous, I've had a paladin where the rogue was outright stealing right in front of my paladin, and when her repeated warnings and such bore no fruit, she eventually attacked him.  The DM responded by saying that she lost all her powers, as if it's an evil act to stop a thief.

I think my point is more, since it's inappropriate in many group games, it's best to let the GM know ASAP.  If the healer thinks that her character is going to stop healing the warrior, the best thing to do is speak up even if it hasn't come to that point yet.  Then again, my characters tend to have a life of their own anyway, which infuriates people who want me to do X when it doesn't fit.

Offline meikle

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #789 on: July 13, 2013, 02:29:10 AM »
Quote
It is a rule that  IC problems should be fixed IC and OOC problems should be fixed OOC. Two players getting mad at each other needs to be fixed OOC.

This is really at the crux of any disagreement at the table.  You never want to get to the point where you've got two players working against one another; any RPG should be a cooperative game, even the ones where the characters on the board are working at odds (unless, I guess, it's an explicitly player-versus-player game from the outset, but that is not the default assumption of any RPG I am familiar with, save maybe Paranoia, which is more of a humor game than a serious RPG.)

"That's what my character would do!" is never an excuse (and it's usually a good way to detect and excise a problem player.)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2013, 02:31:23 AM by meikle »

Offline Daveth

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #790 on: July 17, 2013, 09:29:17 PM »
Hey everyone!

Just thought'd I'd get a quick opinion on something from you guys.

I've been planning a group game for near a year or so, world building, developing crucial NPCs etc and am now preparing to post up.

Thing is that the world created is massive and more to the point the characters wouldn't know most of the background, setting etc from the outset.

So, do I reveal it all and tell players to ignore it or give tailored info packs to each player?

I'd prefer the later but my only concern was that players would then be put off by lack of massive setting in my request thread.

Thanks for any help you could give me ;D

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #791 on: July 17, 2013, 10:06:54 PM »
Hello there!

Its great to hear you are starting up such a big project for you. :)

I have a question for you before I can give a proper reply.  What do you mean they wouldn't know the setting or background?

How would players create characters for a game when they don't know the setting or what sort of background their characters would have had from birth and up?


Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #792 on: July 18, 2013, 01:48:23 AM »
I'd prefer the later but my only concern was that players would then be put off by lack of massive setting in my request thread.

My take: never ever think people would be put of by lack of massive setting in your request thread. Reading stuff is work. Aside from those of us who love reading stuff, most of whom become GMs, your players do not want to read any more than the most minimal possible amount of stuff required to get them competently into the setting. I would go out on a limb to predict that the less text you put in your request thread, the more players you will have.

(To contextualize this a bit: in my tabletop days I used to be one of those GMs who would provide players with the maximum possible amount of information. They invariably resented it, because they only needed a small slice of that info to play their characters and would totally ignore anything they thought was extraneous. Expect your players to ignore, I guess that's my message.)
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 01:52:57 AM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Daveth

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #793 on: July 18, 2013, 04:31:26 AM »
Hello there!

Its great to hear you are starting up such a big project for you. :)

I have a question for you before I can give a proper reply.  What do you mean they wouldn't know the setting or background?

How would players create characters for a game when they don't know the setting or what sort of background their characters would have had from birth and up?



Sorry, I should have elaborated. The characters wouldn't know all of the background and setting. It's a sci-fi police state kind of setting so information is highly regulated, so though I have written a massive amount about the world, the characters themselves would only know a fraction of it.

My take: never ever think people would be put of by lack of massive setting in your request thread. Reading stuff is work. Aside from those of us who love reading stuff, most of whom become GMs, your players do not want to read any more than the most minimal possible amount of stuff required to get them competently into the setting. I would go out on a limb to predict that the less text you put in your request thread, the more players you will have.

(To contextualize this a bit: in my tabletop days I used to be one of those GMs who would provide players with the maximum possible amount of information. They invariably resented it, because they only needed a small slice of that info to play their characters and would totally ignore anything they thought was extraneous. Expect your players to ignore, I guess that's my message.)

Cheers man. I think I'm going to do a 'more background on request' type thing.

Other thing, are maps a necessity? This is going to be an action based group game so I think people would need to know where things are, but, even just the pocket of the setting the game will take place in is huge, there would be dozens of maps to sort it all out.

Offline alxnjshTopic starter

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #794 on: July 18, 2013, 09:19:46 AM »
I think that people who take the time to learn the background of a complex setting/story are more likely to stick with the game. After you've invested so much time researching and reading you want to put it to good use. That being said, I'm not sure there are that many people that would be willing to do that.

Offline Ebb

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #795 on: July 18, 2013, 09:48:45 AM »
Hey everyone!

Just thought'd I'd get a quick opinion on something from you guys.

I've been planning a group game for near a year or so, world building, developing crucial NPCs etc and am now preparing to post up.

Thing is that the world created is massive and more to the point the characters wouldn't know most of the background, setting etc from the outset.

So, do I reveal it all and tell players to ignore it or give tailored info packs to each player?

I'd prefer the later but my only concern was that players would then be put off by lack of massive setting in my request thread.

Thanks for any help you could give me ;D

Hello Daveth, and welcome to the site. It looks like you just joined E, and it's great to see enthusiastic new members.

That having been said, I'd like to offer a little advice about your game. It sounds like you've put an awful lot of work into preparing your game, and I'd hate to see you disappointed. Hugely detailed worlds are great to play in, and when the game works you can really end up with something incredible. But the sad reality is that most group games don't go the distance for a variety of reasons. You might not want to start off aiming for the whole enchilada here.

It's easier to attract players for a group game, especially one that requires a lot of investment, if people know you from having played with you in other games. It's not a formal 'reputation' system or anything, but people are just more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt if they've seen entertaining posts from you before. The flipside is also good: you get to meet people who you think would really "get" your world and the invite them personally to participate.

So my advice to you would be:
- Hang out and play in some games before you try to run your full campaign.
- If you do want to GM right off the bat, pick a narrow slice of your setting and run it as a small laser-focused game. For example, instead of your whole sci-fi police state, run a game where you have four prisoners who were all on a crashed prison transport flyer. Then just run a scenario where they're trying to get to the Free Zone. (I don't know your setting, so this is entirely out of thin air, but I hope you get the idea.)
- If the small game goes well, you may be able to carry over some enthusiastic players to do the big campaign, and they might draw in some friends. Also, running a small game will get you used to the culture around here, how the forum works, etc.

I think you can be justifiably proud of the work you've done over the last year to build this world. Now you just have to figure out the best way to leverage that work and turn it into fun. Remember that games on a forum operate at a g-l-a-c-i-a-l pace compared to what you might be used to from a tabletop game. A single D&D type module that you might be able to run through in two or three Friday evenings with your friends around a table might take months to play through in a Play-by-post system. So keep that in mind when you set your goals.

Good luck, and remember to have fun!


Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #796 on: July 18, 2013, 01:48:05 PM »
This is going to be an action based group game so I think people would need to know where things are, but, even just the pocket of the setting the game will take place in is huge, there would be dozens of maps to sort it all out.

You may want to start with maps of just the crucial areas to begin with. I personally find it useful, especially if geography is going to be important in play, to have at least a rough idea of were things are and how far they are from each other.

Another option: you could post limited background in your game thread and post fuller background, for those who might be interested in it, in a thread in the World-Building sub-forum.

(I'm quite intrigued to see all of this now, BTW.)

Offline Chrystal

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #797 on: July 18, 2013, 01:56:15 PM »
All good advice so far.

Here's my 2p worth.

If you are worried about players being put off by the lack of background information, then tell them that there is a wealth of background information, give them teasers, and snippets under "spoiler tags" to whet their appetites, then explain why they aren't allowed to have access to more information than that - make the teasers small, unimportant details that they might know anyway, but that hint at bigger darker secrets.

That way, you will attract the kind of player you want - the kind that is interested in discovering the facts!

Check out this very useful guide to creating a recruitment post, by the lovely Moraline, too. It is full of great advice.

Online Thufir Hawat

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #798 on: July 20, 2013, 02:59:19 AM »
I think that people who take the time to learn the background of a complex setting/story are more likely to stick with the game. After you've invested so much time researching and reading you want to put it to good use. That being said, I'm not sure there are that many people that would be willing to do that.
Alas, agreed on both counts.

Offline Moraline

Re: GM Lounge - Bartenders Answer All Your Questions
« Reply #799 on: July 20, 2013, 02:57:35 PM »
...
Check out this very useful guide to creating a recruitment post, by the lovely Moraline, too. It is full of great advice.
Aww, I never even seen this. *hugs* You're far too sweet to me.

PS: You totally played a big part in it too!