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RPR Archive GM Training Game Thought, or Alternate GMing Concept

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource Archive' started by Sinrebirth, Feb 20, 2009.

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  1. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    I've been wondering what would be the best way to give GM's a game which they can practice GMing. It's a very large learning curve, resulting in a great deal of redundant threads that seem the same, and equally, it could be said, of the same quality.

    So, why not create a game where a sock is used to run it, and access is given to those who want to practice. Equally, you could be given the keys to the game for a month, and then the game can be handed to someone else, and people can enjoy the different styles. It's an interesting concept, I reckon.

    Thoughts?
  2. KIRA-SHAY Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2007
    star 4
    That is rather weird as I was wondering about this the other day...:eek:

    Being one of those who'd like to give GMing a try, but with no idea of how to go about it, I'd certainly welcome some form of training. I wondered if there would be a way of an experienced GM working alongside a trainee as a Co-GM of sorts?
  3. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    I think you nailed the best way yet available, Kira. Becoming a Co-GM. We all were those before we were full GM´s. Sinre seems to be pointing at a game that is more about developing such skills. I might think a GM-Adoptionsprogram of sorts might serve that purpose. For all I know about GMing I have learned from SonofZeus. And everything I refine these days I learn from other GMs.
  4. RachelTyrell Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2009
    star 1
    I think that is the way to learn it. For GMs are much more diverse in their styles than players one must develop his own. The best way would be through guidance and careful experience. Perhaps smaller games would be the best way to do this. If a game would be created where many GMs take smaller lines of characters and are overwatched by an Head-GM it could be a playground. My ideas. And actually that is the way we have done it on my old boards.
  5. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    I would be soooo much into a program of any sort. Because I got problems to imagine myself GMing but I would love to.
  6. Sith-I-5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2002
    star 5
    I like this idea. Especially the being given keys for a month bit. I could then ask my GM for my main game if it was okay for me to post sparsely for that time, and then concentrate running the test game.
  7. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    An excellent idea. While most people like it, I think we should discuss the specific "how-to-do-it".

    Two main points:


    I. What kind of game do we need? II. Who do we need for it?


    I. What kind of game?

    We can´t base it on any franchise that is not generally known, so the obvious choice is Star Wars. The game should be placed in an era everybody knows. I think we shouldn´t take risks here and simply put it into the Prequel Era. Why not the classic era? We have a lack of certain elements there like Jedi and Councils that we have in the Prequel era. And one can get ideas and sourcematerial for the Prequel era through simply watching TV or very accesible sites like starwars.com. So everybody can create a game there.
    The game should have most general outline and it should be interesting, which will be difficult with such a generic concept, but not impossible to achieve.


    II. Who do we need for it?

    First of all we need players. And not newbie players. We can´t train them in the same place as the GMs. Every GM knows they are more demanding than the general experienced player. We need at least two different GMs watching the whole thing. People who know how to do things. The usual oldbies and award winners come to mind. They should refine things the GMintraining are doing and give advice. Probably (we must think about it) even prepare tasks which the GMs shall make happen. Trials, so to say.
    Then we need players. Experienced players who can handle their stuff without asking GMs about everything. This may be hard to attract if the game in itself isn´t right. Because it is hard enough to keep a game going without the training aspect.

    Thoughts anyone?
  8. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    *considers*

    The game should be a small-cast affair - capped, - and made up of GM's and non-GM's, and the era picked by the group as a whole. The starter GM hands off control for a month/fortnight/week, and then it continues on to the next player, or if necessary back to the 'teacher GM', who would have been the one who put up the first post, and be in-charge.

    Something easy and painless, perhaps, but at least interesting - a boring game will not attract good GMing.
  9. Teegirloo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    star 6
    This sounds very interesting. Maybe a Training Game with different scenarios. Have one Head GM who is someone that is accomplished, then the Co-GM's who are in training take certain areas of the game to which to GM.


    I just thought of an Idea though it would have to get approval. How about infusing the Adoptions Training game with training new GM's as well. If Ktala doesn't mind of course. Since she is running the Adoptions Game she can over look the training Co-GM's and assign what areas they have. Seems like a perfect fit to me.
  10. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    I think GM training is an excellent idea; there's a lot of stuff you can't learn other than through practice and trial and error, and a lot of that feels like reinventing the wheel sometimes. Stuff like how not to begin a game (it seems like nearly every new GM tries a conference scene), faction balance ...

    But I don't think staffing a game with only experienced players would work. Consider: you are talking about players who can come up with their own fun, don't godmode, give no problems to their GM and so on, and these are the people who are going to have a good time unless the GM gets in their way (and it takes a lot of nasty railroading for the GM to get in their way). That doesn't teach you very much, unless you really know nothing.

    More important IMHO is to have players who are willing to give honest and useful feedback - the ones who can say "I'm not having fun here, I don't like ___," or "This scene is boring because _____," or "That will never work because _____," etc. You can argue that perhaps a non-GM doesn't actually know anything about GMing, but anyone can tell you when they're not having fun and why.


    Speaking of training games though, how about looking at the ones that have run before - Ipsen's Force Academy or something, Prelude to IBOP, and probably more I've forgotten - and seeing how they did things? I think Prelude did mini-scenarios all GMed by LSA, but we could do something like that easily enough with trainee GMs.
  11. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    As I have already said before the "obvious" idea of training everyone in the same place is a mistake in my view. We have to have experienced players for new GMs and Experienced GMs for new players. Putting them all into one game and smarta**ing them to death won´t be fun in any way. And our GMs here won´t be new to this at all. I think most people who want to try are experienced players.

    How could a new-GM train a new player?
  12. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    I don't think we should roll GM training into RP Adoptions, but as I said I really don't think you need all experienced players in this experiment. For one thing, it's impossible to enforce unless you make the games invitation-only - you can't even say only oldbies and award winners count (or even worse, oldbie award winners - good luck finding enough to fill a game), because there are some very good RPers who simply haven't won awards, and on the other hand there are players who have been around for years but are still utterly terrible. Besides, it's not like experienced players are problem-free, you can smack down a newbie easily enough but it's difficult to do the same to the (say) stubborn three-time award winner who simply disagrees with you about whether or not a thermal detonator will penetrate a personal shield, or something.

    For another, it's unrealistic because dealing with newbies and random silliness is part of GMing. If we were all ideal players this wouldn't be a problem in the first place. :p


    Edit - Actually - here's a thought. If you get enough interest in this, Sinre, how about making your GM trainees players too?

    Say you've got 5 players interested in learning to GM. For a month or so, make the first guy GM over the other four, then you have a feedback session where they can go over what was done right/wrong, and then it swaps to the next person and so on. It would be an incredibly contrived sort of situation but it would solve your player problem.
  13. Kev-Mas_Colcha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2002
    star 5
    I just got to thinking - this would be excellent as a faction GM concept for long life games as well.

    Simply have the player who is the head of a certain faction be the GM for that faction, and eventually, once they are replaced by another player in their role as head of faction, they are replaced as GM for that faction as well. And, to make it work better, implement a "faction politics" system for electing or choosing new leaders.

    In fact, I am going to implement this system in the off-board Templar RPG, if you don't mind, Sinre.
  14. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Knock yourself out, Kev. [face_peace]

    That's what I meant, actually, all along. Sorry I wasn't clear.

    A six player game, with each taking turns to be GM, while running their characters. The GM title is handed to a player every month, and they may update as much as they like, or as little. A small cast allows for reserves to join in, if a player drops out, either because they have enough experience in their opinion, or because of DRL. The new GM takes over automatically at the beginning of the month, and an RPR thread discusses the GMing style of the player, so as to not interrupt the game flow... or we can have a week break between GMs, if we wanted.

    Down to plays.

    *looks for a Mod*

    I'd like this to be exempt from the requirement that a poster may only have upto two RPGs running at a time, if possible. Because the GM trainer isn't running the game in the strictest sense - at least, in this example, not for 5/6 of the time. However, I equally reckon that no half decent GM Trainer can run more than one of these at once.

    Overall thoughts?

    Btw, consider me signing up to be a GM Teacher. If this gets approved, I'll request we have our own thread to organise things - the GM Training School, or some such - and get recruiting. We sorely need a GM support network, IMHO.
  15. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Alrighty, then. I understand Mr. Hammer and Mr. Saintheart are discussing this, so for now I'll only ask a few specific questions.

    1. Who is up for doing this?

    I intend to run the game, as 'head GM', and then hand it over every month - if that's acceptable to everyone! I thus need 5 players/Co-GM's to play beside me, who of course will have his own character in the story. :D I would be accepting character sheets, and perhaps 'GM Sheets' - if we get more than 5 players I want to be able to decide who to take on. ;)

    2. What era?

    I ask this question because, as this is the first jaunt into GMing for some of our players (or a tentative return for some!) we don't want to be bogged down in all the canon that is attached to various eras. I would personally consider the Old Sith Wars to be pretty full, and the period from 1010 BBY to 1000 BBY to be equally full, ditto the current period, from 40 BBY to 140 ABY.

    Not only are these area's full (or rapidly filling) in canon, they're also full in the RPF - alot of players like to draw upon their own additions to the Saga, and those can get complex, and GM's often have do decide how far they want to go - the SinreVerse is very closely linked, but not entirely, to the TemplarVerse, for example, which in itself only takes around 80-odd% of SW canon into account. Etc etc etc.

    So, what are your thoughts?

    My personal vote is something set in the future, in 800 ABY, which gives us our own entirely seperate canon to work with, which we can fill up as we go along. It will (probably) be Sith (Insert Empire Here) and Jedi (Insert Democracy Here), yes, but the idea is to start off traditional, and relatively simple, and then make it our own era.

    Opinions?
  16. Hammurabi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2007
    star 4
    I'd be up for it.

    And I would say distant future works well. It's about as malleable as you can get, and ranks right along with the Saga era as far as my favorite time periods for RP go. As long as we can make it our own (because dang it, good vs evil got tired a while ago), it should work.
  17. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Just poking my head in momentarily to mention Hammer's and my own views on the raised subjects:

    (1) Yes, this RPG would not be counted against the limit of either the GM running it or the GM helming it at any present moment; our rationale would be that the game per se doesn't have a GM as such, plus as a point of practicality -- if it works out as envisioned -- it's not like one person continually running one game.

    (2) Having said that, we would like to ensure that there's a solid "manager" who'll be keeping the thing on track. I'm presuming at the moment this would be Sinrebirth, but we do reserve the right to forestall this project going ahead if it doesn't have a solid structure and manager in place before it begins. :)

    Other than those things, hey, it's a good idea!
  18. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Well, consider me willing to be the Manager. :D

    Cast

    - Manager Candidates: Sinre
    - Players: Hammurabi

    Era's

    - 800 ABY/Future: Sinre, Hammurabi
  19. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    I'd be in too. :D

    As for era, I actually prefer not-so-distant past (500BBY or so, say) to the far future; it's a similar era in that it's a fairly blank slate with the standard Republic and Jedi and the Sith in the shadows deal going. I don't mind far future, though, it's just that I know less about it.
  20. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    I´d read through this and it is something that makes sense for GMs. I actually agree with the Era-thing. We express something here that is always the first reason why people don´t get to these boards. EUish thinking. Neither the distant part nor the distant future feels very Star Warsish to the ordinary Fan. Let´s take the Classic Era. Where one can write "A Star Destroyer comes out of Hyperspace" and everybody knows what is meant. Where X-Wings and TIE-Fighters all already exist. Where Vader is around and everything else people love. I guess that is where everybody can feel home. If we get too abstract we will have a first issue with explaining inexperienced players/GMs (who probably don´t know legacy of Kotor exists) how to deal with the era. What is available and what not . . . before explaining GMing. That is a bit contraproductive, I´d say.
  21. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    But the Classic Era is incredibly littered with the EU, which complicates things. It's all well and good to have (say) a Clone Wars story, but then you run into canon problems - a GM who has read for example the Medstar duology would have people using bota to heal, but then has to explain what bota is to those who haven't, and perhaps argue for the existence of the bota supply in the first place because the plant loses its efficacy by the end of the duology, and so on. You could simply state that only the films exist and none of the EU, but a lot of the EU is already entrenched in its fans' minds.

    The point as I saw it was to have a relatively 'clean' section of SW history/future to work with, without having to worry too much about canon or fanon.
  22. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    Well, I think we must assume people will a. Not know EU or b. Be attracted by it.

    We all know our books and things. We can deal with someone putting Thrawn into it. Can new people deal with Thrawn dead for 500 years and no more Skywalkers?
  23. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    I get what you're concerned about, but I'm not entirely sure where it's coming from. So far the signups have all been people who have been around the RPF for a while, not newbies, and I think the roster will probably fill up with similarly experienced folks.

    (Not that I'm saying newbies can't join this GM training game, or that they shouldn't. Simply that the odds of a newbie wandering over to the RPR and into this thread are rather slim.)
  24. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Cast

    - Manager Candidates: Sinre
    - Players: Hammurabi, DarthXan318

    Era's

    - 800 ABY/Future: Sinre, Ham
    - 500 BBY/Past: Xan


    Ah yes, but then Thrawn is played as a God, and then we have GodModding to worry about, in said example. The movie era has a lot of fluff attached, either movie oriented or EU. I can run a game set in either time zone, mind you.

    In the future, I could throw a Star Destroyer in there, or a Skywalker, and what not. I don't need to explain what kind of Star Destroyer it is, until later, or how the Skywalker is related to the others, until much later, if I even choose too./>
  25. Sir_Draco Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2007
    star 4
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