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Author Topic: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing  (Read 2303 times)

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Offline Star SafyreTopic starter

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Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« on: October 28, 2010, 03:52:40 PM »
Like just about everyone here, I love role-playing.  And like most things you love, I've tried to turn some of my friends on to RPing as well.  A few have become hardcore dice-chuckers and online RPers like myself.  And some others... not so much.

My favorite example is when my husband and I tried to run a D&D game for our matron of honor and best man.  Three incidences that night told me we could never do this again.

1)  She wants to play an elven cleric.  Cool, we say, let's look over some of your character's choices for a deity and decide who your character worships.  Her response after going over all the Good and Neutral Greyhawk gods: "Which one is the most like the real God?"

2)  He decides he wants to play a halfling barbarian.  Cool, we say, what's his name?  "Shorty!"  "Uh, wouldn't he be offended by taller people calling him that?"  "No, that's what his parents named him."

3) Our characters meet (stereotypically) in a tavern where a cloaked man offers us a job killing some goblins outside of the town.  After explaining OOC what the adventure offer entails and how this is pretty much a standard draw for the characters, the best man announces that Shorty kicks the cloaked man in the balls and wants to pick his pockets for money.  He then asks how much XP he got for these actions.

We stuck to playing Apples to Apples for a while after that.



So has anyone tried and failed gloriously to get someone into role-playing?





*And of course, no discussion of other members, please.

Offline Aiden

Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2010, 04:46:04 PM »
I once had a friend who stacked his points in something besides lockpicking as a rogue, not even an even spread.

I was playing an orc barbarian and he kept failing to pick a lock.

This is a transcript of what happened.

Rogue player- *Picks lock*
Me (Orc barbarian)- Hurry up or I am using you as a battering ram.
DM- Pick lock failed
Repeat this scene about three times.

Me OOC- Is he prone?
Gm- Yep
Me- I pick him up and use him as a makeshift ram, smashing his skull into the door, does it work.
Gm- Roll nope and the rogue is dead.
Me- Fuck it, I'll just strength check this bitch.
Gm-pass.
Me- Make a new character that can pick locks.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2010, 05:04:14 PM »
We had one person who actually was a member of our gaming group for quite some time, but required 'special handling'.


Case 1:  In a superhero game, we were trying to get the characters together.  To accomplish this, the GM was having an unusual event draw each character's attention to a crime in progress.  The troublesome one's character completely ignored the signal.  After one full round of action (with everyone else responding to the scene) and a second (failed) attempt to attract her character to the action, we had the encounter proceed without her.

Case 2:  In an Amber game that she attempted to run, it really started to be a 'GM vs. players' situation, with everyone being in danger of dying without any clue as to where we were supposed to go.  Those of us with Pattern Imprint eventually staged a revolt, summoned a monorail, and went to Disney.

She did much better at World of Darkness...

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2010, 05:14:16 PM »
That last one of yours, Star sounds like something that would actually happen all too often in a game.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2010, 07:14:28 PM »
Actually, I should probably mention that the person from my story played a kender in our Dragonlance campaign - and stole from the party frequently.  My thief finally had to show her there was another pickpocket in the party by lifting the ring of strength 18/00 from the kender.  It was funny when she discovered it was missing.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2010, 08:33:51 PM »
I once had a friend who stacked his points in something besides lockpicking as a rogue, not even an even spread.

I have made quite a few rogues without lockpicking.

Offline Archivist

Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2010, 09:39:42 PM »
A friend of mine attempted to play D&D with us some years back... we had gone to assault a fort, and as a means of introducing the new character, we found a fighter trapped in a cell. The scene went something like this:

Me (Wizard) - "Ok, so there's an entire army out there."
Friend (Fighter) - "Let's charge them!"
Me: "Um.. they would probably slaughter us, there's no reason to charge out, I can cast Invisi-"
Friend: "Dude, I'm a fighter. I'll just chop them all up with my sword."
Me: "Um.. k no, I'm going to cast-"
Friend: "I pull out my sword and charge for the door!"
Me (to the GM) - "I still have a Polymorph Other right? Ok, he's a turtle."
GM: "*rolls* Yeah, he's a turtle"
Me: "I pick him up and put him in my backpack."
Friend: Wtf...

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2010, 09:08:01 PM »
I have made quite a few rogues without lockpicking.
That actually sounds like an interesting concept.

Paladin: "Now, being lawful good and all I would never condone breaking into this mansion but evil is a afoot... so if the lock magically opened I wouldn't be against looking."
Rogue: "Sorry can't pick locks."
Paladin: "What do you mean you can't pick locks!"
Rogue: "Listen you chromed Duddly Doright, I can't pick locks. It's really very bigoted of you to think that all rogues can do that kind of thing!"
Paladin: "Sorry man, so what can you do?"
Rogue: "I can blow the lock off with explosive."
Paladin: "Not very stealthy."
Rogue: "There you go again you classist tin can!"

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2010, 10:00:45 PM »
That actually sounds like an interesting concept.

In my last D&D game, one of the new players asked what everyone was playing.

"Sorceror."
"Paladin."

He looked at me and asked what I was playing.

"A squire."
"I didn't know there was a 'squire' class."

Part of the reason I swore off D&D

Offline Muninn

Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2010, 11:01:27 PM »
This thread is greatly amusing. :)

I admit that I am not the best tabletop roleplayer - in fact, I have never done it.  The closest I have ever come to it was a game I played through Skype with some people and as I can be rather shy it felt quite awkward at first.  We played NWoD Changeling: the Lost. There were 5 of us, including the ST and her hubby.  Each of us picked and fleshed out our characters ahead of time, one of the players was this guy who was teaching in the same city as I and he was... really a 'special' case. Dude had issues, as nice and "innocent"-minded as he was he grated on ones nerves. Anyways!

So, we play.  The aforementioned guy is playing a child character of the Winter Court (big surprise) the typical session went like this:

ST: So you enter the party and there are many others, you are approached by so-and-so who is a high-ranked blah-blah.
Me: *politely* Good evening, so-and-so.
Friend: Hey.
Guy: What do I feel?
ST: ...what?
Guy: What do I feel from this guy? Is he threatening? Friendly? What does my wolf do?  What does my wolf feel?
ST: Uhh...

Yeah. And we only had 4 sessions because the ST and her husband got sick of this guy, especially his loner attitude. Being a loner is good and all but it's seriously a bad idea when you are roleplaying as a group! It was like pulling teeth to get him to agree to anything. Horrible.

However, I do miss the game. It had lots of potential, and I really liked my character. :<
« Last Edit: October 29, 2010, 11:02:32 PM by Muninn »

Offline Archivist

Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2010, 05:10:39 PM »
I'll throw out another story.. not so much an incident of teaching fail, but a learning moment for our group's primary GM.

We had a group of players - Sorcerer, Paladin, Fighter and our Assassin, Dren. The GM had us investigating a missing farmer on the borders of a city, and when we get there a massive black dragon explodes out of the ground from underneath the farm. The scene went something like this:

Assassin: "I had an Arrow of Death prepared, so I'd like to use it." (shows the GM his character sheet)
GM: "Mmmm, ok good luck with that."
Assassin: *rolls his attack* "Ok I hit it. He has to make a Fort save of.... 18"
GM: *as he picks up the dice and begins to roll* "You realize this is a black dragon, and the only way he'll fail this is if I roll a natural one."
*Dice fall a natural 1... the group stares in shock*

Assassin: "DREN THE DRAGONSLAYER BITCH!!!"

Offline Hunter

Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2010, 07:15:42 PM »
GM: *as he picks up the dice and begins to roll* "You realize this is a black dragon, and the only way he'll fail this is if I roll a natural one."

That's a good way to get a natural one.   8-)

Offline Archivist

Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2010, 08:00:16 PM »
It wasn't the only time he did that either.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2010, 09:59:56 AM »
Bah. Anyone who spends time with dice knows that saying things like that is just asking for trouble.

Offline Aiden

Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2010, 10:29:54 AM »
I'll throw out another story.. not so much an incident of teaching fail, but a learning moment for our group's primary GM.

We had a group of players - Sorcerer, Paladin, Fighter and our Assassin, Dren. The GM had us investigating a missing farmer on the borders of a city, and when we get there a massive black dragon explodes out of the ground from underneath the farm. The scene went something like this:

Assassin: "I had an Arrow of Death prepared, so I'd like to use it." (shows the GM his character sheet)
GM: "Mmmm, ok good luck with that."
Assassin: *rolls his attack* "Ok I hit it. He has to make a Fort save of.... 18"
GM: *as he picks up the dice and begins to roll* "You realize this is a black dragon, and the only way he'll fail this is if I roll a natural one."
*Dice fall a natural 1... the group stares in shock*

Assassin: "DREN THE DRAGONSLAYER BITCH!!!"

That reminded me when our GM made this hardcore assassin, like 7 levels higher than all of us and he was moving in for a sneak attack that would have killed one of us.

GM-
The assassin appears from out of nowhere behind Kaul (a friend), dagger ready and -rolls die, comes out a 1, rolls the fumble table, rolls low.-
-Grumbles- Falls to the ground dropping his weapon.
Me- I stomp his head in, since he is prone and coup him.
Gm- -eyes twitch-
Me- What was on him?

Offline Revolverman

Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2010, 10:37:17 AM »
That reminded me when our GM made this hardcore assassin, like 7 levels higher than all of us and he was moving in for a sneak attack that would have killed one of us.

GM-
The assassin appears from out of nowhere behind Kaul (a friend), dagger ready and -rolls die, comes out a 1, rolls the fumble table, rolls low.-
-Grumbles- Falls to the ground dropping his weapon.
Me- I stomp his head in, since he is prone and coup him.
Gm- -eyes twitch-
Me- What was on him?

you killed the GMPC? Oh the wrath of the heavens could be coming your way!

Offline Aiden

Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2010, 11:13:58 AM »
This campaign is long over, it was a god slaying campaign and our group ended up taking over most patheons...

It was a long and epic campaign but after you reach those epic levels, the DM just had to make higher and stronger opponents. It was his fault we were so freaking powerful.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2010, 12:11:28 PM »
You want entertaining fumble tables, try the critical hits and misses in the oooooooooooold MERP (I think Rolemaster might use the same tables). I had one PC swing at an orc, fumble, and sever his own leg. Another managed to shoot himself in the eye with his own arrow.

On the flip side, it was possible to get a decapitation result with a sling stone.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2010, 01:09:16 PM »
On the flip side, it was possible to get a decapitation result with a sling stone.

O_o Fear the nasty hobbitses....fear them, precious....

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2010, 01:11:28 PM »
I'm not sure if you could get a decapitation result weilding a hobbit, but I'd be willing to try it and see. Improvised weapons can be tricky though.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2010, 02:15:04 PM »
On the flip side, it was possible to get a decapitation result with a sling stone.

I did that once.  The GM used a d6 damage table with the 'Shadowrun lucky strike' rule.  All weapons were based on d6 (i.e., a heavy crossbow would do 3d6, a dagger would do 1d6, etc.) BUT if you actually rolled a 6, you got to reroll, AND if you rolled a natural 20, you did full base damage and rerolled.  This was to prevent people from saying 'Hm, a heavy crossbow.  I have 20 hit points - I can take it.' and charging in.  (This apparently had happened to him enough times to make this system necessary, and probably falls into the 'Failed Attempts to Teach RolePlaying')

I had a Native American scout-style character on a buffalo hunt, rolled a nat 20 with my sling, and after that, the dice loved me.  We determined the sling stone must have gone in one ear and out the other, carrying the brain with it.  After that, they called me the Apache Helicopter (whop-whop-whop-whop-whop-whop-whop.)

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2010, 02:31:34 PM »
You want entertaining fumble tables, try the critical hits and misses in the oooooooooooold MERP (I think Rolemaster might use the same tables). I had one PC swing at an orc, fumble, and sever his own leg. Another managed to shoot himself in the eye with his own arrow.

On the flip side, it was possible to get a decapitation result with a sling stone.

My favorite was the character throwing a grenade, failing to arm it..BUT killing the critter by smashing it through the bug's face.

Offline Endorphin

Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2010, 05:25:36 AM »
Just taking the thread back to the original purpose...

I've had several failed attempts to induct ordinary mortals into the world of roleplaying. I tried to string several intelligent people with little or no experience in gaming in the same group and throw scenarios at them. No wonder it was a dismal failure. Nobody knew what to do or how to interact in that environment.

Then I realised that if you want them to play the game, you really need to show them the way - guide them through their character creation, immerse them in an existing group of experienced players, aid them to define their role the first time around and let them adopt a similar style of the group.

Since then, I've had a much better success rate and quite a few converts who are worthy to have around as players.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2010, 07:44:04 AM »
I'm not sure that dropping someone into an established group is always going to work though, especially if they're brand new to gaming as a whole. We had a couple of players join my own group (til college and lack of time took them back out of it again). One, the more experienced, was ok, but he had been playing with us for a few months before the second (a friend of the first) joined.

The second guy said and did very little, and mostly acted when prompted. Even when we set up situations where his particular abilities would contribute well to the story, he still needed prompting to act. It seems he was a bit intimidated by the whole thing .. new enviroment, new people, all the rest of it. In that sort of situation it might have been better to run something for just him, or him and his friend, to get him used to the gaming, before bringing him in to the established group.

Offline Endorphin

Re: Failed Attempts to Teach Role-Playing
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2010, 07:57:05 AM »
Nothing wrong with having a new player learn the ropes in the same way that an apprentice learns from a tradesman. They can sit in the background and toss a few dice when their turn comes - just as long as you make sure that things don't get bogged down during their turn. The contribution will be barely noticable (and even a drain on the resources of the group) at first, though it shouldn't take more than a few gaming sessions for them to begin to carve out a niche and start adding value to the group.

If, on the other hand, you find that you're a dozen sessions down the track and the same guy is still making the same mistakes and failing to adapt and grow, I think you have to seriously look at their future in the group and whether they were suited to the whole thing in the first place.

It's nice to have the time and patience to run a solo game for a newbie and explain things in detail, though I'd prefer to run a game for an interactive group and allow a newbie to sit in on it.