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Author Topic: GM Tabletop RPG questions  (Read 483 times)

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Offline MoralineTopic starter

GM Tabletop RPG questions
« on: June 02, 2013, 09:44:49 AM »
Just decided to ask some questions or let others ask...


My first question is:

When you get the group together, how do you open/begin the scene(ario)?
(What do you say and or do? Are there props, etc? -- Your answers may also depend on the table top system you use so please mention that as well.)

Are there any specific reasons why you take this approach? Does it effect your forum RP's as well (system or otherwise)?

Offline MoralineTopic starter

Re: GM Tabletop RPG questions
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2013, 09:56:27 AM »
To answer my own question.. I began most heavily using the Palladium D20 based system. It pretty much dominated all our gaming sessions. We tinkered with many others but Palladium was most prominent. (There were no mini's, no maps, just dice, pencil and character sheets.)

So generally for me after characters are made (usually done first, but not always), we'd begin with a question period to let players clear up last minute details and correct anything on their sheets.

I would give a sort of OOC description of how the group got together or set the stage for why they were about to meet IC.

Then I would let them ask some questions about the physical environment.

Once we'd worked through a lot of the OOC general stuff then I'd begin much the same way as the books "intro" describes setting the stage. I would get into character as the GM and begin a colorful explanation of the weather, day/night, usually I liked to start them in a bar/nightclub/tavern etc... Then I'd move on to describe the action and the general IC motivators as the scene launched. Like narrating a book as the NPC's move through the scene.

After that everyone got a chance to shuffle themselves around by narrating their own characters into the scene and beginning to engage the environment. I never let them go to far though because I wanted to make sure that all the others had a chance to do the same. (I personally found it would influence more detailed actions in the next round.)

As for forum RP, although I do mostly freeform or semi-freeform on E. I noticed that I like to open my group games the same way. It feels right to me, a comfortable learned pattern.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: GM Tabletop RPG questions
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2013, 10:03:33 AM »
I would say that pretty much every game I've run has started differently. If the PCs are gathered in a group, I'll have them describe each other (alternately if they're meeting one by one, descriptions go then). Sometimes they'll have shared backstories, sometimes they won't. In some scenes, everyone gets an equal share of the spotlight, in others they don't, but I'll try and balance those scenes out across an entire story.

Games I've played a lot of with my old group
Legend of the Five Rings (including a 3 year campaign)
7th Sea
Exalted (1st and 2nd ed both)
Scion
A supers campaign using the Smallville rules
Dresden Files
Star Wars (d20 and Saga)

There are probably others, but those are the main ones.

Offline MoralineTopic starter

Re: GM Tabletop RPG questions
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2013, 11:18:19 AM »
It's funny. When we first started gaming our opening scenes varied drastically. However, after a time it sort of became a running gag that every campaign began in some sort of bar/club type place.

We used to begin with the joke, "So my characters walks into a bar...."   GM responds, roll a d6 for damage... Ba-da-bump bump! <-- deadpan drum sound

Offline Riveda

Re: GM Tabletop RPG questions
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2013, 01:12:45 PM »
I frequently begin by following the PCs around on a typical day in their lives, establishing what their routine is before I go breaking it. Have a few minor things go wrong or whatever, but for the most part it's just another day. Let them cherish it; it won't happen often.

This is not a good way to get disconnected PCs together, but if the PCs know each other/work in the same building/whatever, you can generally declare that they run into each other without stretching credibility or making anyone feel railroaded.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: GM Tabletop RPG questions
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2013, 05:34:50 PM »
I only do two things consistently:

1. I avoid they "you all meet in an inn, jail, gladiatorial arena" thing with a passion.
2. Usually the PCs are going to meet some hazard immediately.

My first game I ran basically starts with level 1 PCs having to survive and airship crash.  >:)

Though to be fair it was the warlock's fault. He thought flasks of oil would repel the boarders. 

Offline Muse

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Re: GM Tabletop RPG questions
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2013, 03:31:43 AM »
  I like using In media res, though i have mixed results with it. 

  I usually write out an intro to the game and the opening scene a few hours or days before I run it.  It let's me set the stage.  It helps me keep straight canonical names and places--and ones I created but want to keep consistent. 

  When I ran Exalted for two years, I would start each session with an opening voice over.  It would usually include a recap and a teaser.  Sometimes I did the voice over from a player character's perspective, then gave the player time to rewrite it in their own words before reading it. 

Offline MoralineTopic starter

Re: GM Tabletop RPG questions
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2013, 03:25:05 PM »
...
  When I ran Exalted for two years, I would start each session with an opening voice over.  It would usually include a recap and a teaser.  Sometimes I did the voice over from a player character's perspective, then gave the player time to rewrite it in their own words before reading it.
I kinda like that little recap from the player character perspective thing. HAHA. It sounds like it'd be a great way to get a few chuckles and maybe help people let go of the everyday stresses so they could enjoy the escapism more.


Offline MoralineTopic starter

Re: GM Tabletop RPG questions
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2013, 03:36:28 PM »
TODAY's QUESTION:

Do you make your players speak as if they are their characters?





To answer my own question:  The players always used to speak in normal voice with current lingo unless we were joking around.   We'd present our actions and character dialogue as if casually narrating from each player's perspective. Occasionally explaining with descriptive language our tone and inflection.

We had a player join us for awhile that used to do the "Ye Olde English." He did it as a laugh but he took it serious enough to do it all the time. It was interesting. I actually didn't object to it, I thought it added fun and flavor - he didn't have any expectations of anyone else doing it.

Sometimes we used to go to an after-school games room with a bunch of other people. Some of the other groups were really number based in their role playing. They would talk about projectile speeds, concentrate on how many feet per move(seconds - or attacks per melee etc) their character could travel and if it would put them in range to hit with their bows/guns etc. There never seemed to be a lot of IC dialog, it was mostly action description/or calculations.



Offline PartOfTheNight

Re: GM Tabletop RPG questions
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2013, 11:35:03 PM »
For the second question: We assigned different accents to each race. And each player had to speak in the assigned accent of the race of their character. If was fun to try out different races just to see how well the accents went. And for girl's that played guys or vice versa... THAT was funny.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: GM Tabletop RPG questions
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2013, 07:52:52 AM »
Generally for conversations, my group would speak in character. It's not a matter of making anyone do it, it just feels more immersive I guess.