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Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by Winged_Jedi, Jan 18, 2012.

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  1. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    I used to have them do a minor side-quest to get them into the zone, and then pull them into the main plot, ensuring that their minor quest was supremely plot-relevant at the same time. In a war-based game, that intro can involve them knocking down something, usually, so they can get a feel for their surroundings/crew/situ, and then take that familiarity onwards.
  2. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4

    [IMG]
    Winged's Weekly Rounds

    The Operating Table

    How do you include new players into your game? How do you make them feel welcome? How do you treat that in your narration etc.?
    (SirakRomar)


    The Waiting Room

    1. ...
    2. ...
    3. ...

    GM Of The Week...is Sir_Draco, for getting The Forever War off to such a thrilling start!

    Did You Know...that there are four returning Star Wars games in the new RPF, with a possible fifth to join them.





    Good question, Sirak. I like Sinre's method- start them off with a sidequest that ends up being crucial to the story, then reel them in via that plotline.

    If the setting is familiar enough, you can just chuck them right in at the deep end. I remember BobaMatt seemed to do this very well in As Father And Son. They were a long way into the game when I PMed him my sheet for an Imperial Inquisitor, but almost immediately I was hunting down Leia and shaving the skin off Lando's skull. Made me feel very involved.
  3. Sir_Draco Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2007
    star 4
    I awlays feel it is difficult if you got an ongoing story. Like Castaway does. Players in the game simply know more. therefore I usually enjoyed stories where you can simply "make-up" new storylines whenever you need ´em. Like 128 ABY was, or SotS. The Forever War did not pick up that format by accident. Then you can put some together, push them into their own adventure and merger later on. Like we did in AFAS. Although I dropped out of that one, I felt originally very integrated to it.
  4. Sir_Draco Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2007
    star 4
    Okay, I blame low acitivity. But this is my double post then.

    I had an idea recently. A rather radical idea, I think and I would like to present it next. Let´s call it "The Slow Burn" for now, as a working title. So please put me on the quere.
  5. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    I suspect we've all gone a bit quiet on this subject because it really isn't a subject which comes up that often anymore. We're still a relatively small community, we all know one another and the longrunning games in which a position becomes available are usually ones that we've either lurked or absorbed by osmosis on reputation.

    For my part, seeing as there isn't really capacity in ToF to sidequest as such, I tend to just bring people in and have the rest of the players explain the situation. It's an adventuring party; a rolling membership list is part and parcel of that concept. If you've got the right community, they'll help explain it as you go. :)
  6. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    I think AFAS and ToF were really the only games I ever joined where I wasn't in at something resembling the ground floor. AFAS was a bit funky as I was picking up where Froggy left off with Kyle Katarn, but I think it was well handled - like Winged said, you went into that game and hit the ground running. I think the key there was just how broad the scope was - you sort of grasped the feel in quick, broad strokes, and you didn't need lots and lots of backstory just to make your character. I think it's okay to provide an exposition dump to bring players up to speed, it's when the backstory starts affecting what they can play as that things get dicey. That's more or less how Saint handled it in ToF, and while certain incompatibilities between method of travel and the actual campaign setting have resulted, retroactively, in the manner with which my character was introduced being yet another complete stroke of indecipherability in what is basically an almost four year stint of indecipherability, it worked to get me actually in the game, which is key. Enthusiasm needs to be capitalized on as quickly as possible.
  7. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    Yeah, I think that games might be very different there, with every game having different opportunities to provide starting points. Yet in Castaways I feel my options are limited. Then again I never played a lot with newbies. Truth is, I might need to work on that. I am not very good with them.
  8. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    Experiencing technical difficulties at the moment. Draco, if you want to discuss The Slow Burn, please go ahead.
  9. Sir_Draco Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2007
    star 4
    Well, on my side it´s failing health. I have half an OP, but hell I cannot write anything right now. My damned flu comes in waves right now and I am in a bad one. As soon as I get myself together again, I´ll finish it up and post.
  10. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    Get well soon, Draco! I hope you're through the worst of it. Take your time with the OP, we're ready whenever you are.

    Following on from our last discussion on how to introduce new players, I found an old thread addressing that very concern. It's brief but has some good pointers.

    As usual, anything anyone wants to add to the queue, pop it on the end.


    Winged's Weekly Rounds


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    The Operating Table

    Is it possible to design a game which can run itself indefinitely without the GM?


    The Waiting Room

    1. "The Slow Burn" (Sir_Draco)
    2. ...
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    GM Of The Week...is Saintheart, for successfully juggling four active games in the RPF!

    Did You Know...that we once had a creative group named The Society Of Free-Range Gaming?
  11. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    That's the dream.


    ... Er... I mean, I think it can be done, I'm just not sure how at this point, nor am I sure how much you'll have to stretch the notion of a game for it to work (See, for example, various combat threads. Are they games? If they are, they have succeeded, in a fashion. If they are not, why not?). You'd obviously have to set the thread up such that a CS submission was not required, and created a setting wherein it makes sense for characters to just waltz in on their own.
  12. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    It would probably be possible to make a game where a GM doesn't HAVE to do much...but I don't think a GM-free game is really possible. At least not without it being a scene of complete chaos...
  13. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    There are examples of players doing games by consent alone, without any GM incursion. Tatooine AU never saw the GM updating and lasted several hundred pages (and it had some godmodding problems, I recall), in SotS I allowed the Hamburg group to do their thing rather freely until plot needed me to introduce NPC´s. 128 ABY had several players who did "their thing" if recall correctly. All in all you need a GM for two things.

    1. The Rules
    2. The Story

    For the second you could imagine players doing that one without him, especially if it is a pure player-driven game (five people in a station in Antarctica, no NPCs). NPC´s and such would obviously not be possible.
    For the rules you need to have great trust or you need to find a way to enforce them without a GM (for example by democratic vote, rotating ruleskeeper etc.). So I think it is possible. If it´s a very good game is another matter, but if players wanted to, they could certainly do it. Actually I think all two people games we had were games without any real GM, usually.

    The thing is obviously, GMs usually drive the vision of the game. so an ordinary setting or story-based game might be pretty impossible to do, if the players have not a remarkable similiar vision.
  14. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Not entirely, but mostly, absolutely. Imperial_Hammer used to design his games to do exactly this.
  15. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Thinking about it...the game I play on another website (and might port here), has very little GM involvement. Most of it was in the planning stages (oh, and EVERYONE had a say in the planning stage), and very little afterwards. The GM just played like a regular player...we knew that if we broke the rules we'd have someone to answer to, but otherwise it didn't matter. So it might be possible to play a game where there is TECHNICALLY a GM, but he/she is in the background for the most part (aside from posting in-game).
    Last edited by Skywalker_T-65, Sep 29, 2012
  16. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    The question is, Sky . . . is it an RP? From what you keep on telling about it, it certainly is a game, but I see little RPing aspect in it. Games usually run without gamemasters. But RPs? Different story, I say.Isn´t that what Microscope is around here?

    Then again, I don´t see a problem with a game without a GM. It certainly CAN be done. All you need is to allow unlimited godmodding and come up with a way to balance out people. Oh and a lot of peaceful minds with great trust to each other. Then you can play whatever game you got. So basically you would need a game where the group approves people who wish to enter.Then you need to set certain rules and probably it would be good ot have omse sort of story . . . a creator is needed therefore, even if he is not GM. But the question is why? It´s like those shows who improvise content and do not have a script. It´s fun for an episode, but never makes it to season 2.

    Depsite all GMs declaring their players key to any game that succeeds around here, I strongly believe it is GMs who make them. Their idea (in a good case) guides all players through the entirety of the game. I can take a page from a sinre-game, a Winged-game, a Fin-game and tell them apart with all names blacked out, because they encourage and inspire a certain style, a certain way to do things. They are creating the narration of the game, while the players just tell their bit. Therefore a game might be possible without a GM (in theory, what isn´t?), but if a GM is the alternative, I´d say it is far better of with one.
  17. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    To be fair, there are a million different ways of RPing. Pen, paper and dice is just a way to quantify.
  18. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    I just wanted to point out, that RPing and games have different set of rules. Risk, Axis and Allies and even Chess are amazing games, but they need no GM. They are based on rules AND there are no characters to be played. Only when NPC´s turn up and such you need a GM to simulate the world or the allowance to Godmod, or who else is doing NPCs?
  19. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Yeah, its an RP. We do have characters we play with, and a (character created but still there) story. The difference is that we don't have a MAIN character to play with. The closest to a main character is our nation...then you have all the people running around that you write. So its hardly a traditional RP, but it still has some RP style in it.

    EDIT: Oh, and the version I joined is numero 5...the first couple did it differently in that you RP'ed as the leader of your nation. Then again, it was also 'historical Earth...just VERY AU', unlike the current space-based version.
    Last edited by Skywalker_T-65, Sep 30, 2012
  20. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    Well, I think we got three categories here. The first is a full GM, creator of a world which is inhabited by his NPC´s and serves to allow his players to life a story made up by him and in a world tailored to tell that story o in short - a GM. The third category is a game where players rule supreme, create content as they wish and free of any GM intervention. How do they enforce rules? How do they make sure nobody breaks them? well, by trust and friendship and common consent, or by democratic leadership of all, obviously. Nothing creative will be thrown in but their stuff. Certainly a strange game, but a game I assume. Look at Tatooine AU, that was pretty much what Tatooine AU was.

    And I left out the second, right? Well, if you have GMs just watch and play thmselves, or just enforce rules or just kick off things and then participate in the game through other means . . . you probably got a reduced GM, but still a GM. As I said above, story and rules. If you take only one of those two, you´re still a GM, just not the ordinary one. Reduced GMship is certainly more common than we realize. SotS had a reduced GM, the co-GM. LordT "only" did story, no rules or plotting. Just atmosphere, please. Winged in Chessboards did descriptions, allowing the rules to be rules (surprisingly Sinre and I figured out how to never break them, somehow :p). If you experiment with the format you rahter quickly begin randsforming the classical narrator-role of the GM. I´d say those are still "Gmed" games, though.
  21. Sir_Draco Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2007
    star 4
    Oh, that is an interesting thought. No GM. I think story-driven games cannot be done that way. But character-driven games certainly can. As a matter of fact I have known GMs who have "drowned" characters in their "high concept" ideas, so maybe some games are better of even without a GM. What you would need is rules. Rules to make sure things go well and responsible players to play in accord with them.
  22. TheSithGirly Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2007
    star 3
    Actually the above mentioned Tattoine AU was exactly that kind of game, I´d say. And it showed all the weaknesses and strongpoints of it. Democratic rules watch? Pff. Common senbse (which was good) and occassional godmodding. That was it. And then when two characters met, it was fanboybit***** in it´s worst form. The rest of the time it was nice and very character heavy stuff. It just had limitations you need to overcome through a GM. Had there been a few updates it would have worked very fine, I felt. It could have been a masterpiece of "limited GMing" and instead was one of those "lasts as long as it works" things, that looses players and then fall asleep. Because GMs also keep up the tension.

    that is something about the GM that is important. A good GM is a good storyteller and his story makes people come back. Playing a character usually means "playing a c in a story". Without a story a player lacks context. And the story often drives us to participate. That is why there is such a fuss abozut GMs and to get into their game and so on. RPing is exclusive participation at a community run story under a GMs guidance. The exclusivity of the vision and who shares it is part of the fun.

    My 0,02 cents
  23. Sir_Draco Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2007
    star 4
    And I just saw I got the GM of the week! Thanks for that, but that one goes probably to my players for making it so easy to get into that game. They really made this one a walk in the park for me.

    Anyway, TheVulture asked me to put him up on the list. As soon as he is allowed to present and he is back in Germany he wanted to present his game to get an opinion from people.I am actually running against a wall with my system-based game renamed "The Desert" by now. So I´ll give him a first shot.

    The Waiting Room

    1. THE STARS ARE RIGHT - A Gaslight Horror Adventure (TheVulture or TheGoodImperial)
    2. "The Desert" (Sir_Draco)
    3. ...
  24. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    Funny thing about Tatooine AU was that it all happened by accident. The game was never intended to be run by the players with limited to no GM involvement. Tatooine AU was a case of the GM neglecting the game and disappearing and the players (determined not to see it die) taking over to keep it running. Of course, that didn't work out to be the ideal situation as godmoding and other squabbles did occur, but it made due. The players actually kept it running for quite some time until most of us lost interest due to odd and unbelievable situations from a few players that sucked the fun right out of it.
  25. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    Sorry, would have participated in that discussion, but it's been a tremendously busy week. I think a case study of Tatooine AU might be in order if someone wants to take a look at it. It was a very unique experiment.

    Onwards! No time for a full set of rounds so let's just get straight to the point:

    The Operating Table

    THE STARS ARE RIGHT - A Gaslight Horror Adventure (TheVulture or TheGoodImperial)

    The Waiting Room

    1. "The Desert" (Sir_Draco)
    2. ...
    3. ...
    Last edited by Winged_Jedi, Oct 6, 2012
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