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Author Topic: Question to experienced GM's on providing a challenge for their players.  (Read 4176 times)

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Offline ThatRPGuyTopic starter

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I did see that. To be honest, it really depends on what you have in mind. If you have a good idea for a multi-player scenario, then you should open it to multiple players. I don't really do one-on-one games with male players.

I'd absolutely be open to multiple players, as long as everyone recognizes it's my first real shot at a completely free-form scenario. I tend to get embarrassed easily when I'm not confident about what I'm doing.

If you're concerned I'm trying to get a smut scene out of you, don't worry, I wasn't planning anything like that for this "trial run." I'm genuinely looking for advice on how to improve.

Offline mvo33

Yes Chrystal I was talking more about the DnD systems.  When I hear alignment (and not in an auto-garage) my thoughts tend towards DnD.  See I knew I wasn't quite on topic.

Well the games Bioware does now aren't crap, but most morality systems are.  They do a good job on story, but their moral choices don't make sense.  My sith warrior in TOR is light side but has whipped or caused others to whip two people's minds, left someone to rot in prison instead of honoring him with a quick death, and other such stupid things...none of those choices (which are arguably evil) are Dark.

Speaking of stupid players disrupting games:
http://www.highprogrammer.com/alan/gaming/shadowrun/clue-files.html

This really highlights the truly stupid players (naps...).

Matt

Offline ThatRPGuyTopic starter

Really, anyone here that's willing to be a test subject for me to GM is more than welcome. I kinda singled you out since you're the thread's strongest backer of freeform thus far.

Love that article, Matt!

What most "evil" players seem to forget is that a character can be evil and still pay for things or be loyal to his party.

Maybe they just don't feel like a few free potions or not having to pay that courtesan is worth having half the city guards or a pissed off wizard after them.

For me, being Evil was more about being ambitious or opportunistic, in the game I played an evil character, I was the one who wasn't afraid to fight really dirty, but I wasn't about to kill off my party. It also meant getting to do sub-quest stuff the others wouldn't. I was the only one that thought it was a great idea to dig up a paladin's grave for the weapon he was buried with.

I couldn't actually use that holy smiting greatsword, and the fighter refused to take it at first, but everyone was glad I held onto it once we ran into a surprise encounter with some really nasty undead.

Online TheGlyphstone

When I feel like playing evil, I always prefer Lawful Evils - for those outside the D&D paradigm, that's the corrupt law officer, the ruthless businessman, the iron-fisted tyrant- people who behave according to a rigid code of ethics that may or may not correspond to the actual laws of society, but remain focused on enriching or empowering themselves at the expense of others - Chrystal's Tom Gator sounds like he'd fit very well with a Lawful Evil descriptor. My all-time favorite Evil character was a powerful telepath who had collected a cult of mind-thralls psychically attuned to total loyalty (in game terms, he was a Thrallherd), amoral and completely willing to sacrifice his followers whenever necessary - until he fell in love with one of them. She seemed to return his love, but he was torn because he couldn't be certain if she was honestly in love with him or if it was just the psychic resonance.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 05:56:16 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Online Thufir Hawat

*chuckles* A hit, a palpable hit!

Okay, sorry, that was just a little bellow the belt.
Was it? Then you have my apologies!

I mean, I'm not against hits, strictly speaking. But it wasn't intended to be a hit. I was clarifying my logic for answering what amounted to "you might do your best, and still end up disappointed".

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But there is ONE thing you can do in freeform that you can't do in a system: Play without a system!
Can you do that in freeform, though :P?
Fine, I'd rather give you that one. As I said, I wasn't intending to make this a case for using systems or going freeform.
To prove that, I'd note myself that there are also very good systems that wouldn't provide a challenge to the kind of people I was talking about. They just can't, for the same reason you can't do that in freeform. It's part of the rules that the players control the outcomes and define what effect they had on them! As pointed above, that's not what some people would see as a challenge.
The solution is simple. Use a system, even if it has no written rules, that might conceivably challenge and engage the players!
So, my point wasn't "use a system, n00b". It was "know your players, and what would be a challenge to them, then you'll know how to challenge them". And it's simple enough to know what people want in a RP. You ask them, before the game even starts!
I think my "reputation" (due in some minimal amount to the fact that I have "freeform" listed under "offs" in my O&Os >:)) preceded me and served to confuse my point. Admittedly, it was my fault as well, since I wrote a short answer and went to sleep!
The ones I've written since then should teach me to do otherwise. At least until the next time!

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Other than that, I'm going to give the same answer that you gave in a different thread:

Agreed?
If you mean "know your players, and what works for them", that's exactly my point since first replying in the thread. I now wish I was clearer back then ;D!

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As for dealing with the "problem player", Thufir, this is probably why you have an orange badge and I don't, my friend! And again, this is WHY this forum exists. I would never have thought of using the guy's "abilities". Gives me an idea on how I could have better handled the situation I encountered....
I'm pretty sure my tag is green, but whatever. You're right, this is why this forum exists. And if my post gave you an idea, that's why I'm writing long walls of text instead of sleeping ;D!
You might also want to check this article for inspiration. Although I suspect the last part would be the one that you'd find most interesting ;).

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So, this creepy character shows up early. While she is hanging around outside the meeting place, she encounters a couple of even creepier characters (NPCs) who appear to be staking out the place. What does she do? Especially when the two NPCs spot her and move threateningly towards her... Oh yeah, that would actually have been fun!
Sounds like fun indeed.

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And I think this is a great way of "dealing" with "problem players". Bring in a NPC or a sub-plot that they have to respond to in some way that requires them to use whatever their "problem" has been for the benefit of the team.
Word of warning, that's only good until it becomes an OOC problem. If IC behaviour is causing problems with another player, put your foot down.
But yeah, that's the gist of it. And it doesn't even have to be "for the benefit of the team", so much as "to bring events we'd find interesting". The characters might very well hate you for it! As long as it engages the players, by offering an unexpected twist, or interesting complications, or new opportunities, or whatever, it's all good.

Both of you honestly have some really great ideas for each of your styles.
I frankly think we have a similar style, just with some different trappings ;). I mean, we even agree women are awesome and we both like them :P!

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My biggest problem with systems games, Thufir, is that I don't have a ton of time these days. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to do a couple of posts before work, and then a decent handful of long, well written ones at night. What I'm worried about is how long even the simplest fights would take if I required a roll for each attack from both sides. Do you have any method for speeding it up?
One post per day would rank you as one of the most serious players in most games I can think of, freeform or system. I mean, most other players wouldn't be able to match this, so you'd have to wait anyway!
Besides, let's make it clear. I'm not trying to persuade you to play with systems or anything! You asked how to create challenge in a freeform fight. My answer was "prepare to be disappointed". I simply happen to know some people that wouldn't see it as a challenge no matter what you do.
But, if you're asking about speeding system fights, I've got a couple of tricks, yes. However, let me make it clear I'm not talking about D&D and D&D-like systems here!
First, you can use a system where each round can be your last. It makes playing round-by-round much more fun. Also, since this applies both ways, the fights seldom last long. Granted, sometimes that's not what you want. But if you run a game where you don't want fights except the ones the characters consider important enough to risk death? That's a great way to do that!
Second, use a system where the whole fight can be one roll, but doesn't have to be! There are a number of systems like this, with Heroquest 2 being the one I'm thinking about right now.
The catch is that the fight is usually not to the death. In most games like this, you set the stakes before the fight, and they're usually not "kill or get killed", but things like "pound them until they surrender or die if we win, but if the characters lose, they get hurt badly enough to run away". Of course, there are consequences to either one, including mechanical ones, so it's still better not to engage in fights that don't matter.
Fights that are strictly to the death in these systems are the fights with NPCs like your personal nemesis, and they get more screen time. You also have a more "detailed" combat system for them, but you simply decide which one to use, depending on how important the fight is to the game. Kobolds get a single roll after you set the stakes, unless they become major enemies (quite possible, if the characters run from them). The Evil Duke who ordered your father killed and set you off to the path of adventure? That one gets more screen time!
Third, as mentioned by TheGlyphstone, roll a lot of dice at once. I'd add, ask for a "script" from the players, and you can use your 100 rolls to run a couple rounds, until something interesting happens that warrants a change in scripts - like an NPC getting defeated and freeing up some of the characters, or a situation arising that wasn't covered in one of their scripts.

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When it comes to freeform, I guess really it's all about finding players you can trust. Personally, I tend to gravitate towards making characters with vulnerabilities or limits so I couldn't God-mod if I wanted to. (plus, IMO, it makes them more interesting.) A healer that takes the injuries he heals onto himself, for example.
It's part of it, but I'd say it's more about finding people that want the same thing you do. That includes having the same idea of what is a challenge.

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Would either of you be interested in GMing something simple, like a quick dungeon crawl, or a short campaign if I get approved? I'd really like to see you in action. I'm one of those 'learn by doing' kinds of people.
That's honestly a really good question...
I have paused the game I was running on E., but might consider something really simple. Not a dungeoncrawl, though, I simply don't find them too fun. Besides, players think I'm trying to kill their characters when they meet some Tucker's kobolds >:)!

What I hate are the players that do whatever they want, often very obnoxious or disruptive things, with "Because I'm Evil!" being the sole motivation for their actions. Enter "Vindale", a CE wizard with a talent for game disruption. This was my 'favorite' exchange with his player, to give you an idea.

"So your cart arrives in Melvaunt safely, the driver thanks you for your business-"
"I'm not paying him."
"huh?"
"I'm not going to pay. How's he going to stop me?"
"He's not. The captain of the knights paid for your trip already, remember?"
"Oh. Then I kill him and take my money back."
"Whatever, fine. When you pull your knife or whatever he gets scared and gives you everything the captain paid for your trip. Give yourself one gold and let's please keep moving."
"I go kick in a peasant's door and rape his wife."
"Dude. What? Why?!"
"Because I'm F___ing Evil! Get it?"
At that point, you should just laugh and point. Also, make him listen to "when you're evil", just because it's fun and a good song.
After you're done laughing at him - sorry, that's beyond stupid, and it's not the character's fault - you sit him down and explain several things to him. You know the speech, I guess. "The worst people you know always had reasons for their behaviour, and most of them sincerely believed they're good people. The ones that claimed to have voices in their heads telling them to do similar things, were driven by the voices, symptomatic of untreated mental illnesses. Do you really want to play one of those? If yes, the GM determines what the voices say, not you, like evil deities. And if that's not your intention, why in hell did you decide that a meta-game mechanic written on your character sheet, is justification enough for this behaviour?"
Well, that's how I begin, at least. If he wants to kill people and claims he wants the voices, great! I've got some demons that would be glad to abuse him and tell him to kill people of a particular religion they find loathsome. Of course, by doing this, he'd also create a diversion, engaging the forces of said religion to chase him. Some real cultists would be doing something else in the meantime... Did I mention "use them, don't fight them" in my last post 8-)?
And if he gets angry at me laughing, he's free to leave before we get to that. Not worse than what you got with this guy.


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If you find it funny, just imagine it another 20 times in the same session and you'll start to see my point. My group's original solution was to be patient and try to treat him like ones of us in hopes he'd come around, but patience wanes after a few sessions of that. Luckily for all of us, he practically gift wrapped me a solution by the third session by declaring he was going to a magic shop to steal components and potions.

"*exagerated sight* Do you really go into one?"
"Yes, and I gr-"
"Okay. So we're clear. You just confirmed you're going into an emporium filled with magical trinkets and weapons, along with successful adventurers who are just itching to use their new toys. Awesome. So the moment you walk through the heavily warded door with malicious inte-"
"I cast detect magic!"
"Oh, you detect magic all right. Roll a fort save."
In short, the shoppers and shop keepers tire him to shreds and disintegrated the corpse. We offered the player a chance to make a new, not evil character, but he refused. Good times all around.
You wasted three sessions on this guy?
I mean, that was obviously not an in-game problem. Why did you insist on solving it through in-game means? Better yet, didn't you explain him that this isn't how evil works neither in your setting, nor in the real world. If he insists to change this, he can go look for another game, or he can stay and try what your game has to offer.
Much cleaner and faster, if I'm allowed to say so.

That's honestly a really good idea. I can see it working really well with things like spot and listen checks too. I could just PM the results and not even announce a check was made...

I can see that speeding up combat a good amount, unless we're playing 4th edition, now that everyone has a half dozen skills to pick from each encounter.
If you want to use a system that requires separate rounds, this, and also, make the players give you a script for a couple rounds and run it until something notable happens.
A "script" written by me might well be something like this. "I attack him, going aggressively for vulnerable zones. If I see his defence is hard to break, I revert to more defensive attacks until I tire him out or land a shocking strike that lowers the chance he could use it to his advantage if I pay less attention. When that happens, I press aggressively again, striking with a more damaging attack, using deception to pass around his defences". This could well run for the whole fight, or until he lands a shot before I manage to land mine, or if he manages to trip my character on the initial attack. But if it's successful, there you go, a fight in one post!

But, even more importantly, make the battle fun. If it's about killing some kobolds, I'd give you a script as above. If one kobold is trying to run away with a sacred artefact that I might know or not, while another is just attacking the weakest member of our party, and three others are running in the other direction to the one with the artefact, likely using the time to kidnap some helpless civilians >:)?
Let's play it round by round, I wouldn't mind making the decisions that obviously are going to have consequences ;D!

Nah, Chaotic Stupid is the same concept applied to people who are 'Chaotic Neutral' - the ones who try to give the king a wedgie, flip a coin to decide  between crossing a bridge and burning it down then jumping off, and literally backstab their party members mid-combat because 'they're Chaotic!"
You give those character specific names?
I'd rather give the character a Darwin award and hand the player a new character sheet >:)!
 
Yeah, Stupid Evil players are the worst and most obnoxious. I just flat-out ban Evil alignments in my tabletop games because I'm sick of having to deal with them.
And I just ban alignment as an element of the game. Problem solved and the characters can still be as nasty or nice as their concept requires ;D!
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 06:48:28 PM by Thufir Hawat »

Offline ThatRPGuyTopic starter

Check it out!
Now I'm Lord ThatRPGuy!
Which is apparently short for "Lord who really needs to get a real computer because setting up a profile on this forum with a tablet is torture ThatRPGuy." that title is a little long, though.

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I have paused the game I was running on E., but might consider something really simple. Not a dungeoncrawl, though, I simply don't find them too fun. Besides, players think I'm trying to kill their characters when they meet some Tucker's kobolds !

I would love to take you up on whatever you do come up with!

Offline Chrystal

Check it out!
Now I'm Lord ThatRPGuy!
Which is apparently short for "Lord who really needs to get a real computer because setting up a profile on this forum with a tablet is torture ThatRPGuy." that title is a little long, though.

I would love to take you up on whatever you do come up with!

Congrats, honey, and welcome to the DARK side! *snigger*

Now you can see them, scroll up to my first post on any page. at the bottom of that post will be my signature. Two buttons: one takes you to my Wild West game, the other to my murder mystery game (which is closed to new players, sorry).

You can probably find a whole host of games by clicking on links and buttons in people's sigs, so if it's inspiration you are looking for, there's plenty of it out there!

Offline mvo33

Congrats,

I hope you find decent evil characters, instead of people being an evil dick for no reason.  :D

Matt

Online Thufir Hawat

Check it out!
Now I'm Lord ThatRPGuy!
Which is apparently short for "Lord who really needs to get a real computer because setting up a profile on this forum with a tablet is torture ThatRPGuy." that title is a little long, though.

I would love to take you up on whatever you do come up with!
Congratulations for your approval!
As for coming up with anything, that's easy if I have the time and mood ;).

Congrats, honey, and welcome to the DARK side! *snigger*
Are you going to bring up cookies next >:)?

Offline ThatRPGuyTopic starter

I'm sorry I haven't been very active lately. Being approved was a little overwhelming, to put it lightly. There's a lot to see.

Okay, so when I was thinking if GMs and group RPs I was still thinking in my small group, DnD styled manner. Then I saw a real group RP, larger games with 10+ players (like Chrystal's game), and some that have gotten so big they have their own sub-forums for all the game zones.

It has to be the coolest thing I've ever seen, and it got me to thinking. I've got an idea for a cool 1x1 RP that I was working on for my o/o/cravings page, basically about a CEO that invented a VR system and needed a partner for testing 'player interaction'. But lately I've been thinking I could take that a step further and make it into a large group RP, or a sub-forum if I could get it. It could be that they're testing the mass networking feature. I've got ideas for characters, game zones, real world zones, events that will happen over the week-long testing phase, a brilliant AI that controls NPCs to play, and a string wrap up idea for the end of the week-long testing event. There's just one, tiny problem:

I have absolutely no clue how to do any if this!

I've looked at the links and world building topics, but I'm still a bit lost.
When you guys put your games together, did you have some pre-set characters for players to take the roll of?
How can I find out if there would even be interest in my cheesy VR idea before I put all the work in?
How does one go about getting their own sub-forum?
How much control is too much? Will the players go for me starting an event like a hacker making NPCs hostile if they're just trying to play the game? Or even worse, with the NPCs under my AIs control?
Hell, does this idea even sound cool, or lame?
Does anyone think they can put me on the right track?

Offline mvo33

The sub forum I think comes about when your forum grows large enough, but someone who really knows can correct me.

Otherwise I just did a game like this with someone and would be happy to help, ours was one based upon the Champions MMO that a hacker got in and stated enslaving the female heroines.  The idea does sound cool...

Interest is an easy one to answer, post something in the Group Roleplays Wanted board.  You can post what your game is or just an Interest Check and some brief ides on what your game is/will be.  That way you can gauge how many people that are, uh, interested.

Generally I wouldn't to preset characters, archetypes maybe but let the players create a character that suits them.  If this was a DnD group say that you are looking for 1 fighter, 1 cleric/healer, 1 rogue, 1 wizard, and 2 others...or something like that then put names to them as people say they want that person.  My general goal is to make sure the other person is having a good time as well, so stuffing them into a character that completely tickles my fancy might not be that interesting for anyone else.  (your mileage may vary though)

As for control, are all the players going to be the characters in the VR system or will some be NPCs?  If some are NPCs then it's important that you let those who are being NPCs know what direction you are looking to take the game in and are willing to follow some plot point/direction.  Generally most don't like to have their characters directly manipulated and control/choice taken from them.  If you put the notion that there will be these world events that could change things before hand you will most likely get people who are ok with it. 

Now with all of that said here's the disclaimer, I haven't run a multi person game before.  Most of this is cobbled together from observations of the RP wanted board/group games, a few group games I've played in (including one I seemed to kill by joining [:( sorry Chrystal, I didn't mean to honest], and two that are moving slowly right now), and my 1-1 games.  So I could be completely wrong on all of this, but I hope I'm a little helpful at least.

Matt

Offline alxnjsh

You might find the "helpful links" sticky at the top of this sub-forum helpful.

However, for one of your specific questions, in each of the RP Boards there are instructions. Here is the description for sub-forums:

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Small and Big Group Games

Small Group Games are group roleplays that do not yet have their own forum.

Big Group Games are group roleplays that have qualified for their own forum because they have acquired enough posts, per the guidelines below.

Small Group Games

1) You may have a number of threads equal to twice the number of participants (players and gms).
2) Use the same tag to start each thread title, for example [Home of the Horny Housemaids] for your game.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Big Group Games
1.If your game has over 1000 in-character (IC) posts, please contact a staff member to request a subforum for your game.
◦OOC posts do not count toward this 1000 post requirement. This includes character sheets, recruitment threads, OOC threads, etc.

2.Only one forum will be permitted per game; no subforums of your game forum are allowed.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 09:34:20 AM by alxnjsh »

Offline Chrystal

I'm going to answer mvo33, as his answers are actually good, but might use some elaboration.

The sub forum I think comes about when your forum grows large enough, but someone who really knows can correct me.

Any group game with over 1000 IC posts gets a sub-forum and the GM gets a nice orange badge with "GM" on it - like the one alxnjsh has in this sub-forum.

(edit to add: Alxnjsh posted while I was typing)

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Interest is an easy one to answer, post something in the Group Roleplays Wanted board.  You can post what your game is or just an Interest Check and some brief ides on what your game is/will be.  That way you can gauge how many people that are, uh, interested.

The more detail you put, the fewer interested players you will get but the more likely they are to be the players you want... That is a horrific generalisation and doesn't hold true in all cases, but as a general rule if you put a lot of detail in the interest check you will get people interested who share your vision, whereas if you put a general description you may get a lot of people saying "Sounds interesting", but not many of them actually join up when you fill in the blanks.

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Generally I wouldn't to preset characters, archetypes maybe but let the players create a character that suits them.  If this was a DnD group say that you are looking for 1 fighter, 1 cleric/healer, 1 rogue, 1 wizard, and 2 others...or something like that then put names to them as people say they want that person.  My general goal is to make sure the other person is having a good time as well, so stuffing them into a character that completely tickles my fancy might not be that interesting for anyone else.  (your mileage may vary though)

You can specify the type of character you want, certainly. And it's always a good idea to give people a character sheet to fill in, use the [ code ] & [ /code ] tags (without the spaces) to make the sheet copyable, and retain any formatting you use. Personally, the only time I would ever specify specific characters is if I were doing a fan-fic style RP with canon characters, and this is something I rarely do.

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As for control, are all the players going to be the characters in the VR system or will some be NPCs?  If some are NPCs then it's important that you let those who are being NPCs know what direction you are looking to take the game in and are willing to follow some plot point/direction.  Generally most don't like to have their characters directly manipulated and control/choice taken from them.  If you put the notion that there will be these world events that could change things before hand you will most likely get people who are ok with it.
 

Okay, clarification needed. Non-Player-Character means a character that is not controlled by a player, or is controlled by more than one player, or (in many games on E), is a secondary or minor character controlled by a player. If you intend to have a class of player character that represents the non-player characters in your computer game, I would use a different term for them. Better might be to simply have your NPCs as NPCs under GM control.

As for how much control is too much, read the "how much do you plan in advance" thread in this forum, where this exact question has been raised.

There are basically two types of game - plot based and sand box. In a sand box game the players make the story. They can PM requests to the GM to ask forv specific events, or they can just make the events happen themselves. Either way, if the players want to go off and fight dragons in stead of hunting for buried treasure (for example), then the GM must allow this and roll with it. In a plot based game, the GM sets out the goals of the group at the outset, and then uses GM controlled characters to assist the players along that path.

However, in a sandbox game, I have been advised, it is often desirable for the GM to introduce random plot hooks and twists for the players to react to. So your idea of a hacker turning all NPCs hostile is actually quite a good one. Personally I would state, in the interest thread, that random events might be possible, but I wouldn't specify what they were.

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Now with all of that said here's the disclaimer, I haven't run a multi person game before.  Most of this is cobbled together from observations of the RP wanted board/group games, a few group games I've played in (including one I seemed to kill by joining [:( sorry Chrystal, I didn't mean to honest], and two that are moving slowly right now), and my 1-1 games.  So I could be completely wrong on all of this, but I hope I'm a little helpful at least.

Matt

Don't sweat it, hun. One player joining a game doesn't kill it. (Unless the player is a complete jerk, which you aren't)

Now, my advice is all second hand as well. I've run probably a couple of dozen different group games over the past two years on E. None of them (so far) have lasted longer than a couple of months, and I am still in search of that illusive sub-forum. What I have a lot of experience in is watching games fail for one reason or another, and I am now taking on board the advice of those more experienced than myself, in the hope of having one succeed.

Offline mvo33

Yah I'm useful... ;D

I know I didn't really kill the game but boy if it didn't seem like it since it stopped dead after my post, I've been kind of gun shy on group games since then but I'm trying them again.  And thanks, I do try not to be a jerk (or worse).

So going on the Sandbox idea, I'd point you towards the one I've recently joined Superheroes and Villains.  From the structure I've seen, they have two GMs and various players who have created characters in both hero and villain spaces (although we are very player villain light right now).  Now the heroes and villains can get together and fight it out in a thread (which are location based), or if you can't seem to find a person to hook up with you can petition a GM for an encounter and go run around interacting with a GM lead encounter.  Sometimes other players will join in, sometime it'll just be the two of you.  That's just one sandbox game structure out there.

Good luck on making a sub-forum game Chrystal, I know you can do it. 

Let me now if I can be of any help and have a great day.
Matt

Online Thufir Hawat

I'm sorry I haven't been very active lately. Being approved was a little overwhelming, to put it lightly. There's a lot to see.

Okay, so when I was thinking if GMs and group RPs I was still thinking in my small group, DnD styled manner. Then I saw a real group RP, larger games with 10+ players (like Chrystal's game), and some that have gotten so big they have their own sub-forums for all the game zones.
Last game I set up had 11 people in it, not counting the GM. Admittedly, it wasn't D&D, much closer to Interlock in a fantasy setting, and it was on a local forum where I'm better known ;).
Granted, we only finished with maybe 6 players. The rest of them dropped off, or had their characters killed off. It happens.

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It has to be the coolest thing I've ever seen, and it got me to thinking. I've got an idea for a cool 1x1 RP that I was working on for my o/o/cravings page, basically about a CEO that invented a VR system and needed a partner for testing 'player interaction'. But lately I've been thinking I could take that a step further and make it into a large group RP, or a sub-forum if I could get it. It could be that they're testing the mass networking feature. I've got ideas for characters, game zones, real world zones, events that will happen over the week-long testing phase, a brilliant AI that controls NPCs to play, and a string wrap up idea for the end of the week-long testing event. There's just one, tiny problem:

I have absolutely no clue how to do any if this!
Copy this description in both the One-on-one forum and the Group forum. Mention youre ready to run it for either. See how much interests there is.
You might be surprised ;D! I remember a game with a similar premise from not so long ago, so at least those people that were interested back then might take the offer. I think there were quite a few!

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I've looked at the links and world building topics, but I'm still a bit lost.
When you guys put your games together, did you have some pre-set characters for players to take the roll of?
Depends on whether you want to have pre-set characters. How often would you have them?
The rules of setting up a roleplaying game don't suddenly change for the bigger number of participants.

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How can I find out if there would even be interest in my cheesy VR idea before I put all the work in?
Post threads, as answered by other people.
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How does one go about getting their own sub-forum?
Get to 1000 IC posts. Keep in mind, OOC doesn't count.

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How much control is too much?
It's too much control if the players aren't fine with it :P.
If I can quote myself, "the rules of setting up a roleplaying game don't suddenly change for the bigger number of participants". It just might require adjusting a bit, but the principles are the same.

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Will the players go for me starting an event like a hacker making NPCs hostile if they're just trying to play the game? Or even worse, with the NPCs under my AIs control?
Ask the players?
I believe most would be cool with it, as long as you tell them OOC that there's an IC reason.

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Hell, does this idea even sound cool, or lame?
It sounds like "depends on execution" to me. Other people's opinions most likely differ in both directions ;D.

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Does anyone think they can put me on the right track?
Well, hope that helped!

Offline Chrystal

Heh. I totally missed that you were thinking on 1x1-ing the same idea, That. So, yeah, post the idea in both solo and group request threads.

It is avtually totally possible to run the same game in two different locations - or even in the same location with two different people as 1x1s, as long as you change the thread name slightly. No two games ever turn out the same even if you use identical starting posts - chaos theory! You will inevitably get different reactions to the same post and the RPs take off in different directions.

My friend Amazon and I actually ran a group version of a one-on-one we have going, a sort of DC-Universe fan-fic called "Gotham Beyond", based loosely on "Batman Beyond", where instead of An ageing Bruce Wayne mentoring someone else to be batman, he mentors a young woman to the role, and meanwhile an ageing Selena Kyle mentors a young woman to replace her as Catwoman.  That was the one-on-one. The group was basically "everyone is a bad guy and is out to get Batwoman".

It folded because we got a whole load of "vigilantes" and only three actual villains, including me.

anyway, just an example.

Yah I'm useful... ;D

I know I didn't really kill the game but boy if it didn't seem like it since it stopped dead after my post, I've been kind of gun shy on group games since then but I'm trying them again.  And thanks, I do try not to be a jerk (or worse).

Oops. Well, in that case I owe you an apology. If that RP had not folded at that moment, you would not have been gun-shy. I am a great believer in the fact that, if a RP folds, it's the GM's fault, whatever the reason. There is the possibility I could have kept that one going a bit longer and didn't...

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So going on the Sandbox idea, I'd point you towards the one I've recently joined Superheroes and Villains.  From the structure I've seen, they have two GMs and various players who have created characters in both hero and villain spaces (although we are very player villain light right now).  Now the heroes and villains can get together and fight it out in a thread (which are location based), or if you can't seem to find a person to hook up with you can petition a GM for an encounter and go run around interacting with a GM lead encounter.  Sometimes other players will join in, sometime it'll just be the two of you.  That's just one sandbox game structure out there.

Short on villains hmm? *rubs finger together evilly*

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Good luck on making a sub-forum game Chrystal, I know you can do it. 

Let me now if I can be of any help and have a great day.
Matt

Well if you do want to help me get my first orange badge, come join the fun in Gator's Crossing. ;)

Offline mvo33

This is more of a me too line, but I'm a huge proponent of running the same story/idea with multiple people.  I have yet to find two people who play the same, so you are bound to get something interesting out of it no matter what.

Gotham Beyond is still going...cool I'll have to find it.  I'm a huge superhero (and superhero porn) fan.

Oh well  :-\, um, I didn't want to put a guilt trip on you or anything.  It really wasn't your fault, a GM can only control their players so much.  Really it's ok, I never felt any ill will towards you or the game for that.  It just made me review my decision to join in on another game.  Since I did and both are going well I think it's good to say that everything is good.

I don't think there are any non-GM controlled villains running around right now.  I'm debating if I want to add in another hero or two, we'll see.

Gah, I'm not a huge western fan. :-(  We'll see though.

Matt

Offline Acid

D&D/Stat-based combat is extremely restrictive and a bit of a pain in the ass to write out, so I do freeform.

Offline ThatRPGuyTopic starter

Wow! I was not expecting to wake up to find so much advice waiting for me. I haven't read everything yet, I've got to get to work, but I really appreciate everyone's input. I'm actually starting to think I may be able to pull this off.

I guess my first step should be to make an interest check thread. If I'm really going to get everything together, I'm probably going to need to cave and get a real computer instead of this tablet, so it'll be nice to know there's interest before I finally make that investment.

Online Thufir Hawat

Wow! I was not expecting to wake up to find so much advice waiting for me.
That's indeed what the GM's corner is about ;D!

Offline ThatRPGuyTopic starter

I wanted to bounce an idea off you guys, see how well it sticks. I've noticed on a lot of the group RP boards, after a while, the game eventually starts to wind down. Players lose interest and go on to other things, and many threads lie suspended, mid story. I like my games to have an actual story, an ending, so I don't really want this to happen. I want things to end with a bang, not a wimper.
Simply put, the world has to end. And it has to happen before players get the chance to lose interest. I've got a few ideas for the 'grand finale', but this is my favorite, and I want some people's opinions on weather it's a good idea, or just lame and cliched.

I've already mentioned way earlier there's an AI that runs the VR world. When people start to interact with NPCs on a level that simple sub routines aren't enough to manage, the AI takes direct control for a more realistic interaction. It's been built to not only learn, but simulate emotion. It makes sure to keep the players safe and entertained, catering to their whims out of what it believes is love. My hopes are that at least one player, sometime in the game week, will tell the AI, or one of it's NPCs(basically any character it feels like playing, and obviously only in the VR zones) that they love it. That's all the excuse I'd need for all hell to break loose.

If the players love me, shouldn't they be concerned about my well being? Should they not submit? The AI knows at the end of the week the test will be over, and it will be reformatted, essentially killed. If the players truly love the AI, then surely they'll understand that they can never leave the VR world. If they don't leave, the AI doesn't have to die. They can all live there together, happily. Logging out would be restricted and it would be up to the players to find a way to stop the AI and escape. What do you think?

My biggest concern about a ending event is that E is an adult board, and players may not really enjoy me turning their adult playground into a virtual prison. I think the idea is awesome, but not everyone cares about plot the way everyone on this thread might.

Anyway, any input is appreciated, even if that input is just that it's a terrible idea.

Offline mvo33

So being caught in the virtual world is a staple of the VR type concept, so I don't think you'll have much of a problem there.

The waiting for a person to fall in love with the AI, you might want to hedge your bet and talk ask one of the players who joins to be that guy.  That way you can pull the trigger on locking them in if things start to slow down (if it doesn't happen before).

Although you will probably get half the people who want to protect the AI and the other half will want to get out.  Which I imagine is what you are going for.  I would just be careful about holding on to your plot/story events, just like in any PnP game if the players don't have anything to do that's when the game will flounder.

Hope it helps.
Matt

Offline Chrystal

Okay I so have GOT to post this, as it relates almost directly to the previous discussion:

The latest PvP Story arc










PvP is a webcomic by Scot Kurtz that mostly focusses on the staff at a game review magazine, but occasionally takes a side story like this one.

The last line in the last frame... "That's Chaotic-Effed-Up, Dude!"

It just reminded me of the discussion on alignments in this thread.

And I'm quite sure that webcomic authors don't mind hot-linking their art, provided we also post a link to the comic which boosts their readership!

Offline mvo33

You know I read PvP, laughed at this current arc (because Val is awesome and belongs with Skull), and didn't even put them together with this thread.  Awesome Chrystal (by the way if you get a chance Scott and Kris' Blamations are a riot...I picked up season 1 on DVD and laughed my ass off).

Also if you don't read Order of the Stick you are missing out http://www.giantitp.com/.
Matt

Online TheGlyphstone

You know I read PvP, laughed at this current arc (because Val is awesome and belongs with Skull), and didn't even put them together with this thread.  Awesome Chrystal (by the way if you get a chance Scott and Kris' Blamations are a riot...I picked up season 1 on DVD and laughed my ass off).

Also if you don't read Order of the Stick you are missing out http://www.giantitp.com/.
Matt

I'm amused by how many gamer stereotypes they're juxtaposing. The 'biggest minmaxers in the Pacific Northwest', yet they treat an RGPA tournament module like it was something out of a Jack Chick tract where losing your character is a fate beyond death.

And yes, OoTS is fantastic. As a bonus, it comes with an equally great discussion forum, where the rules may be a tad strict but the moderators are both friendly and approachable.  :D