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Author Topic: List of Topics to Cover in Intro Post for any Group Game  (Read 9856 times)

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Offline MoralineTopic starter

Re: List of Topics to Cover in Intro Post for any Group Game
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2013, 11:54:29 AM »
Because this was stickied, I have added a small disclaimer at the top of it to avoid any confusion.

Quote
Disclaimer: These are NOT Elliquiy rules. It is a list of things for a potential GM/group game organizer to think about when creating their initial recruitment threads. It was designed to help you get the types of players that you would like in your game and to aid the players in seeing what your game will be like when they consider joining it.

Offline MoralineTopic starter

Re: List of Topics to Cover in Intro Post for any Group Game
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2013, 05:39:35 PM »
Added a Selectable Code Version of the Summary Checklist to the original post as per a brilliant suggestion by Chrystal.
Code: [Select]
[b]Game:[/b]
[list type=decimal]
[li]Section the Game will be placed in and whether it is a system game or not. [/li]
[li]Who is the RP open to?   [/li]
[li]Short Summary of Player Roles and General Story/Plot.    [/li]
[li]Setting.    [/li]
[li]Plot Outline.        [/li]
[li]Character creation info/guidelines if any.    [/li]
[li]Required Resources (If any) (If a system game - What books(ver.) or links to information needed such as an online guide or wiki?)     [/li]
[li]Game Pacing.     [/li]
[li]How much sexual activity is likely to occur or expected, if any?    [/li]
[li]Whether tagging will be used or not.    [/li]
[li]How NPC's will be handled. (If any)     [/li]
[/list]
[b]Game Master Info / GM(s) Participation Level (If/where applicable)[/b]
[list type=decimal]
[li]Will there be a Co-GM?[/li]
[li]How guided will the play be(sandbox, directed etc)?[/li]
[li]How NPC's will be handled. (If any) - (By GM and/or players, and what expectations)[/li]
[li]How active will the GM be?   [/li]
[li]Will there be an OOC thread? (expectations of thread usage) [/li]
[li]How to contact/approach GM with questions? (use OOC thread, direct PM, etc...)[/li]
[li]How will decisions be resolved?   [/li]
[li]Will PvP be allowed (if applicable)?  [/li]
[/list]
[b]Additional:[/b]
[list type=decimal]
[li]Player Oath "Oath of the Drake" or some other reminder of player responsibilities in a group game.    [/li]
[li]A note to Respect Other players (Offs etc..)    [/li]
[li]Player Participation Expectations. (Posts/week expected. Methods for reporting a possible absence/The method used to remove drop-outs from the game.)    [/li]
[li]Discuss how new players will be brought into the game (if the game is already running.)    [/li]
[li]What Writing style/POV. (Third person, first person, past, present, omniscient, etc...)      [/li]
[/list]

Has anyone used the post yet and if so, have you found any benefit from it?

Online Chrystal

Re: List of Topics to Cover in Intro Post for any Group Game
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2013, 06:10:30 PM »
*Chuckles*

Okay, Moraline, you know I've used it twice, but I'm going to say so here, so that others can see how it worked.

I've tried twice before to run an adventure type group game called "Iron Fist", about a small group of mercenaries who do bad things for the highest bidder. Both times I found that people obviously did not know what to expect, because the moment the action got going everyone stopped posting!

This time, I did two things differently: 1) I started the story a lot closer to the action, and 2) I used Moraline's list to let people know exactly what to expect.

So far (touch wood) the game is going well, with only one player dropping out through lack of time, and he never actually posted. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and I think we may actually get to the mission proper!

I have also used the list as a guide for a new all female group I'm starting. So far so good, but it's early days on that one as yet.

Offline Ebb

Re: List of Topics to Cover in Intro Post for any Group Game
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2013, 10:47:44 AM »
As a player in games run by both Chrystal and Moraline, I will say that I think the intro checklist was very helpful. If nothing else it showed me that these GMs had put thought into how the game was going to run as a game, instead of just coming up with a setting and saying "let's have a game in here". So kudos to both women. (Plus if I compliment them here then my characters will get extra treasure.)

One thing I try to find out soon upon entering a group game is crucial to me but difficult to capture in a simple checklist. That's the question of how much or how little responsibility / power the players have for coming up with facts about the world. It's touched on in the checklist as "How NPC's will be handled" (which, by the way, seems to appear twice in the code block below), but it extends to more than this. I don't know a good way to quickly summarize it, though. I've been in games where it's perfectly legitimate to write that your character kicks down the door of the supply closet, grabs a fire extinguisher from inside, and then runs down the hall to where the flames are spreading. I've been in other games where that's a big no-no; if the GM didn't say beforehand that there was a fire extinguisher in that closet, or if you didn't ask them through the OOC thread or PM, then it's not within your power to make that part of the world.

To me those two approaches make for a very different feel to the game, and ideally I'd like to be able to read a request thread and find out which of the two kinds of game I'm dealing with. I'd suggest something like:

Who is responsible for coming up with details of the world? (GM, PC's or a combination)

Except that's weak and vague enough that virtually everyone would just pick "combination", I think.

Online Chrystal

Re: List of Topics to Cover in Intro Post for any Group Game
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2013, 11:48:45 AM »
I see what you are getting at. Perhaps a better way of putting it would be:

As GM, are you willing to allow players to create minor details in your world, or would you prefer them to be cleared with you first?

That is much more specific.

It is worth pointing out, Ebb, that no GM is ever going to say that the players are solely responsible for adding the detail. It is, after all, the GM's job to come up with the world and any GM worth playing with is going to have a good idea of the level of detail. So, rather than offer the three-way choice, it is easier to simply offer a yes/no choice. Do you want players creating details or not?

I think Moraline can come up with a suitably compact version of the question.

Offline MoralineTopic starter

Re: List of Topics to Cover in Intro Post for any Group Game
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2013, 10:52:26 PM »
As a player in games run by both Chrystal and Moraline, I will say that I think the intro checklist was very helpful. If nothing else it showed me that these GMs had put thought into how the game was going to run as a game, instead of just coming up with a setting and saying "let's have a game in here". So kudos to both women. (Plus if I compliment them here then my characters will get extra treasure.)

One thing I try to find out soon upon entering a group game is crucial to me but difficult to capture in a simple checklist. That's the question of how much or how little responsibility / power the players have for coming up with facts about the world. It's touched on in the checklist as "How NPC's will be handled" (which, by the way, seems to appear twice in the code block below), but it extends to more than this. I don't know a good way to quickly summarize it, though. I've been in games where it's perfectly legitimate to write that your character kicks down the door of the supply closet, grabs a fire extinguisher from inside, and then runs down the hall to where the flames are spreading. I've been in other games where that's a big no-no; if the GM didn't say beforehand that there was a fire extinguisher in that closet, or if you didn't ask them through the OOC thread or PM, then it's not within your power to make that part of the world.

To me those two approaches make for a very different feel to the game, and ideally I'd like to be able to read a request thread and find out which of the two kinds of game I'm dealing with. I'd suggest something like:

Who is responsible for coming up with details of the world? (GM, PC's or a combination)

Except that's weak and vague enough that virtually everyone would just pick "combination", I think.
Thanks for the heads up on my typo. I've got that corrected.

As for the suggested question... I think when I original conceived of the list, I had anticipated that question to be answered by wether or not the world was Sandbox or Directed but I can see how it might not be 100% clear so I added something immediately under the Sandbox or Directed:
  • What extent will players be allowed to create/use environment or setting details?
I'm not really sure how else to phrase that question but I see what you mean by the importance of the detail. 

Some GM's see sandbox as meaning Freeroam but they still want to control the details and expect players to ask "is there a fire extinguisher in the room I can use?" Whereas others just say it's totally open, make up whatever you want. Even a directed playstyle may or may not have a limitation on environmental detail usage.

Of course, sometimes it's just better to ask the questions on a case by case basis...

However, I feel the question was definitely worth adding. So, I added it. Thanks for adding to the conversation. I personally find thinking about these details very useful.

If anyone has a better suggested wording for the new addition, I'm open to suggestions.

Online Chrystal

Re: List of Topics to Cover in Intro Post for any Group Game
« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2013, 06:04:34 AM »
I think you hit the nail on the head, Moraline.

I also think there is a very big difference between three aspects of GMing; Defining the world, defining the story, and defining the details. (I'm typing this up for anyone who might be new to GMing reading this, by the way).

1) Defining the world is a basic requirement for any RP. The players need to know where and when their characters are, what the technology level is, how they are to interact with the environment, etc. In a sandbox RP this needs to be defined in much more detail that in a directed RP, as in a directed game, the GM can reveal aspects of the world as the story unfolds, whereas in a sandbox, the players need the information up front to avoid continuity errors.

2) Defining the story is not generally part of a sandbox RP. While there may be subplots that the GM wishes to initiate, they will generally be used to kick-start the game if it begins to flag, or to allow players to keep their characters involved. In a directed RP, defining the story is essential from the beginning so that players know what they are getting into, and so that the GM has a plan to follow. That doesn't mean all the twists and turns should be laid down and set in concrete, of course: that's no fun for the players. The GM needs to be able to adapt the plot to whatever the players do. But the overall direction the RP is intended to go in should be pre-defined so that people know what they are trying to achieve.

3) Defining the details of the world is a totally separate issue from the above. I'm going to use different examples from the fire extinguisher above, one of which Ebb should recognise.

3a) A team of mercenaries is breaking into a heavily defended building. Do you, as GM, define every last little detail of the alarm systems? Personally, I would rather leave that level of detail to the player who's job it is to crack them! This is an example of a directed RP where defining the details is left to the players. I have, however, specified that once a post is replied to it becomes canon and may not be edited, thus a detail, once defined by a player, is set in concrete, even if this later causes problems!

3b) On the other hand, a group of convicts have been transported to an alien planet, where they are to mine a mineral for the rest of their lives. I have described in great detail the mine, the haulage system, the clothing the prisoners wear, the housing, and even the native life forms. The reason being, I have a very specific world in mind and a very specific dynamic I wish to create, so while this is a sandbox (or should that be "icebox"?) roleplay, I don't want players suddenly inventing details that could totally alter the setting.

I think, to be honest, that minor details like the locations of fire extinguishers are more important in a sandbox RP.

Of course, my experience is relating entirely to freeform. System play would be somewhat different I imagine: The player enters the room, (roll dice) finds a fire extinguisher and grabs it, races to where the awful green things are invading the ship , presses the plunger (roll dice) only to find that it fragments the green blobs... (Roll dice) into six!

(Hmmmm - idea....!)

Offline RainyHigh

Re: List of Topics to Cover in Intro Post for any Group Game
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2014, 12:14:43 PM »
Thank you ladies for this intro post code! First time I've had more than one person interested in a group game I created. To think all I needed was more details (I sound stupid right now don't I)?! Hopefully the ball keeps rolling... :)