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Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by Imperial_Hammer, Aug 24, 2008.

Moderators: Penguinator, Ramza
  1. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    The CriticsGuild - Who would say what is criticized there? Will the GMs turn towards there critics (as Sinre originally meant it, I think) or will some self-proclaimed critics and experts just pick someone and start talking about him? I think only the first one makes sense.
    Second alternative . . . it could probably work if only award winning GMs would be allowed there, but I think the people eager to go there are exactly not them ;).
  2. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 6
    Critics Guild: I say, get three critics: A really positive one, a really negative one, and one that acts all gangsta'. Then they review the GMs' games and if they like them, the GMs proceed to a sort of second round where...

    Wait. Where have I seen this before...:p
  3. Hammurabi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2007
    star 4
    I never saw it as patronizing back when we had the award. Rather, it was an opportunity to get some recognition for a player who has less experience and less of a reputation and thus, would be less likely to receive recognition otherwise. It's not patronizing, it's logical.

    And Most Improved should be Most Improved RPer, not Most Improved Newb. Don't know how it was written above.

    Also, what about a Game Masters Guild and a Roleplayer's Guild? They make much more sense to me than any sort of Critics Guild.
  4. blubeast1237 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2007
    star 5
    What do you mean only Award Winning GMs?:confused:

    It is a horrible idea, forget it ever existed. The RPG Discussion thread is perfectly fine and there is always Hammer's operating table.

    -B-
  5. Reynar_Tedros Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 3, 2006
    star 6
    There is not one person on this forum that possesses sufficient merit to publicly criticize other users' RPGs. Dedicating an entire thread to it is ridiculous.
  6. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    Personally I find 'Most Eager Newbie' to be far more patronising. It sounds like we're saying 'well, at least this guy's enthusiastic'.

    Also, I reckon we should drop 'Longest Posts in Every RPG'. Firstly, I'm not sure how the winner is supposed to feel about it. Is it meant to be good or bad? Secondly, I think people just vote for whoever without really thinking about it. Case in point- myself. I won it a while back at a time when the only game I was active in was my own, Lea Monde (in which posts rarely go beyond a few brief paragraphs). It was rather confusing. I just think it's a bit pointless.
  7. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    I thought they were dropped at the AIM-chat?! But if not I SECOND THAT! . I really think GDG and CDG cover only 10% percent of RPing and they seem to have made their jobs really fine. Because there are very few really bad designed games and characters.

    Again I want to say, that GMing is a completely different thing! And there is NO forum to discuss the subtle process of leading a bunch of players.



    The longer I think about it, the more I agree. It won´t work. It isn´t needed.


  8. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    There's been talk of a Game Master's Guild and a Role Player's Guild for ages now, but nobody ever seems to want to lead it. So hey, if you're volunteering... ;)
  9. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    I would volunteer on the leadership of the RPers Guild. I think I have done this for 15 years now, I wouldn´t feel completely unqualified. Would be my honor, actually.

    But the GM guild? I haven´t ever GMed. Not even Co-GMed. *sighs* I am afraid I would be a terrible moderator . . . with everybody having a better grip on the subject than me.
  10. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    I disagree, strongly. Quite clearly, analysis can be given by experienced GM's. Look at 200 BBY. It died simply because I put 1/2 of my cast in a position to talk to each other before meeting with Yoda. Yoda was meeting with someone else. That someone else vanished. Cast sitting waiting left. The remaining four players in the game had great fun, no doubts, but I killed off four other players because I made the foolish mistake of starting with a talking shop.

    It's never happened again - every character starts in the middle of something in my games. It might involve talking, but not just that alone. If someone had said that to me, I would have taken it aboard.

    It's not a Critics Thread. It's a Review Thread. Sirak was simply suggesting that the only people qualified to do so are those who win the Best GM awards, Blu. Which makes sense, as you'd need to be a good GM to review GMing...

    If your peers consider you good enough, why shouldn't you be?
  11. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    If the review thread only concerns itself with the RPers and GMs that put themselves up for crit, I don't see what the problem is. (I don't think, though that only Best GM award winners should be allowed to review games. That's like saying only award-winning movie directors should review movies, which is also ridiculous. Anyone can tell you what they like or don't like about a particular game, even if they might not be able to tell you what to do about it.)
  12. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    I think we have to decide on the nature of the thread.

    Has anybody of you ever read PMs about GMs who made unpopular decisions? They aren´t very mature. And most of the time nothing but personal. They are actually complaints from the certain point of view. Do we give those players a forum, calling it the CriticsGuild? Or call it noboland. Or jokertown. Or whatever. It will be the Complaining Guild in NO TIME . . .

    Actually I think there are players who would like that idea. Consider me NOT one of them.

    The last time I saw a GM leave, I saw A LOT OF PEOPLE being hard about his absence and NOBODY talking about the people who made him leave. And I talk about someone who took all the awards of the season.

    Therefore, if something like this shall work, we need to make sure all points of critic are from professional points of views and we need people who are on the same height. Not those who dislike certain GMs and make their games bad. How do we do it? Only having the award-winners was my attempt to achieve that. If we make no attempt to achieve it, I can surely not support this idea.

    And I say ALL THAT fully aware that I have never GMed in my life and haven´t won any award for it. Therefore I won´t be in it, myself!

  13. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Mm. But that's why I said the review thread should concern itself with people who put themselves up for review. If I'm the one saying "Okay, I'm the GM of this game, how am I doing?" or "I'm playing such-and-such in this game, what do you people think?" it's because I want opinions from everyone, not the eight or so Best GM/RPers in the past year. And I realise I'd be opening myself up to attack by people who don't like me - but that's what we have anti-flaming rules for and two mods to enforce them.

    I do know what you mean about complainey PMs. I've lost count of the number of IM conversations I've had with friends ranting about this GM, or that RPer - that's life, and that's human nature. That said, call me optimistic if you like, but I believe we're mature enough here to be able to provide constructive criticism, to people who request it, without it getting personal.


    If, on the other hand, by Critic's Guild you mean a select panel of Best GM/RPers who go through games and dissect them, regardless of whether the target wants it, then ... I actually don't think that's a good idea. I think, as I said, such a guild needs to limit itself to the people who want such opinions.
  14. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    You got a point there, Xan. If people open themselves to the critics (which would be necessary, you´re right) they would probably be up to it. But don´t we have these "Game-threads" for these?

    Nevertheless, you are right that someone must willingly submit to the Review-Guild. Wouldn´t work any other way. And probably I haven´t taken this into account enough. [face_thinking]



    Then again, does it do the game any good? There will be a lot of praise and some criticism from players. It is a player´s opinion guild. As Sinre said, you must need to understand GMing to criticize it. But I guess to make this point valid we actually need someone, who is a GM. Which I am not.

    Nevertheless, if you want to learn how to direct movies you can talk with a thousand critics. Only other directors can teach it. Isn´t it the same for GMs?

    And it doesn´t have to be award-winners. Take every person who has GMed for more than six month. Or everybody who has GMed at least three games. Simply keep out people like . . . me! o_O Just to keep it from becoming a float of opinions coloured by the facts how well your Char is doing IU.
  15. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Comments from those not playing tend to be discouraged in game threads, I think. Well: I've never seen anyone randomly drop into a thread to cheer on a player, or to complain that they think the GM is being unfair to someone, but I can't remember if that's because there's an actual rule against it or because it's just something nobody does...? I know we have a rule that people can ban OOGs before the game starts, but I dunno about after.


    It is true that you don't really know how to GM until you do it. When I tried to run a game, I made a string of newbie mistakes and realised what I'd done after I made them. :p Starting a faction in a conference room scene, for example, or approving the first reasonably literate twelve sheets I got, or insisting on 'faction balance' ... GMing theory is different from practice. Very different. But I do think there's some value in people telling you what they like or don't like about a game, just because now you've got somewhere to start from.
  16. Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2004
    star 5
    OK then!

    Wow, what a flurry of ideas. I echo Saint's idea that its very nice to see.

    *Cracks knuckles*

    Lets see what I can do here...

    RPF All-Star Awards: Ultimately this is probably the easiest fix. Though I agree with Saint that if we add some, we should remove some. No awards inflation here. I agree with the crowd that Longest Posts and Enthusiastic New User are probably the easiest ones to ax. Next awards, we'll probably make these changes.

    NSWRPF Flagship: Currently I've swapped my position on this. I used to be apart of the "build-it-and-they-will-come" camp, but not currently. My two reasons are this. 1.) I think the natural formation argument has some merits. And perhaps more convincingly, 2.) Our efforts to grow the NSWRPF are working! Reference the activity thread. A forum performing at 2/3 capacity of the SWRPF is enough for me to feel comfortable letting the market take its course there. In short, I think the *need* for it has lessened.

    Again though, if you guys want to, I'd be happy to see it.


    Now for the big hitter:

    RPR

    The Guilds: So as the grandpappy of the idea of guilds here, my thoughts.

    I think its important to remember how and why we arrived at this point. Guilds were created for places of discussion and activity. When RPR was created, it was a library thread more than anything else. The guides were there, and that was it. So I made the GDG to give people a dynamic place to actually do stuff. A future oriented place to make people better. Rayson followed with the CDG in the same sort of vein, and they worked for a while.

    I've been thinking about this for few months (seriously) so bear with me here. I think its time to move post-guilds. Or at least, to redefine the idea of guilds as I originally made them in 06. Lightwarden and the CDG has done some of this, but they've suffered their own problems. I think there are unique lessons that can be learned from both guilds that can be used for future development here.

    Lessons from the GDG: The GDG is a big time commitment and I think it either needs new leadership or a streamlining. Fact of the matter is, I just don't have time anymore to do all that stuff I used to do... contests, examinations, communal building and the like. And I think its just a lot for any one person to do. *HOWEVER* when I did have time to do it, it was very successful. Although launched at roughly the same time, GDG is x2 as big as CDG (which has traditionally done less contests). GDG is also really imposing. I've heard from others they are a little overwhelmed when looking at it. A good trimming of what the GDG offers and does can solve this, as well as maybe a GDG v2. GDG, in absence of a strong and active guildmaster, becomes a hollow shell of what it was. People talk about games and all there, but its not the active creative community it once was.

    Lessons from the CDG: CDG suffers from different problems. CDG, save for maybe at its very beginning, never was as busy or as dynamic as the GDG. I personally believe its because its focus was smaller from the beginning. Character design just seems more narrow an area of discussion that game design. CDG also has had problems keeping and holding active guild-masters. Its on its third, and currently suffers the same as the GDG, an absence. This is not to Lightwarden's lack of trying; there just isn't much friction here for whatever reason. Some things that probably should be adopted from the CDG is its lack of formality and open-ness (membership is easier and generally more open to the public). Some things that should try to be avoided from the CDG is its oftentimes acidic tone, which drives people away from it just as much as the GDG's hulkingness.

    I have a hunch the only reason we are talking about these new guilds is because our current ones are in a less-than-pristine state.

    So.... observing the state of these two organizations, we can learn things...

    Guilds, new and redesigned, should...
    - Be open and informal (CDG)
    - Be active (GDG)

    Guilds, n/>
  17. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    On the idea of a Game Master's Guild - we don't need it. The GDG handles nearly every aspect of game creation and management very well; it's an open forum for ideas and I think that's the most popular feature it has.

    On a NSW Flagship game - Do we need it? Nope! We've got plenty of solid games out there for people to try out, and even if they're not big, they're small, and that is where their strengths lie.

    On the intros/discussion threads - reboot them. Tweak a few things, start with a blank slate, and I think we'd all be surprised at how they'll work out.
  18. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2002
    star 6
    D U N E was intended as a NSW flagship - fig up the old planning thread here in this forum; some good thinking went into it - but as it turns out there just aren't enough people in the middle of the "Dune Fan/RPFer" venn diagram.

    It's still a great game, though not quite (yet) epic.
  19. The Great No One Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2005
    star 8
    actually, i've never noticed any GM running game type stuff EVER been discussed in the GDG. which is why there was and is a feeling of need for it.

    :snoopy
  20. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    Probably I am wrong, or the only person looking for something like that . . . I thought we would need a Game Master Guild but probably I was simply mistaken. Probably I need one. But nobody else.

    But . . .


    I skipped through the last few pages of the GDG and I cannot disagree more. Actually GMing isn´t discussed there at all. If htis is an option, it is an unused option. They post opening-posts there. Which is important and a good thing to talk about. Sometimes they talk about future problems. But that´s it. I haven´t found a single entry on how to manage groups, plots, player-involvment and so on after the first post. Not to talk about things like climax building, ending or even sub-plots.


    My last attempt to explain what I am missing. After that, I promise, I will no longer bother you with this.


    My subjective view: Sinrebirth (sorry I took you as an example), the GM I have by far played most with. His opening-posts aren´t very special. They are good. But not really what makes his games special.
    But his games are great. Brilliant. With the meta-plot and all the sub-plots. With twists and turns. How even those elements you raise your eye-brow when first introduced suddenly become part of brilliant scenes. His treatment of canonicity. And especially his own commitment to his own canon. How he weaves EU into his plot. How he treats stories from the point of view of various factions without putting players against players all the time. His build up of final confrontations. His ability to introduce elements from Co-GMs into his world as if they had always belonged there . . .

    So, I would be interested in a place to discuss this. Where I can ask about such stuff.

    I can write opening posts. But I am afraid I can´t manage a game. But I would try to learn.

    People said here beginning your game with a meeting of characters is a mistake. A beginner mistake. I am a beginner. That was a mistake I wanted to make in my first post.

    So, isn´t it an idea to have a thread or modify the GDG to a place where I can discuss such matters with people who already know how to GM? I am sure I am not the only one who has questions like that.

    If I actually am the only person, I am sorry I pressed this matter so long. Relative new to all this, I have probably misunderstood a few things. Anyway, I didn´t debate for the sake of debating.
  21. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Calm, Sirak, you're doing fine - and I don't mind you using me as an example. I'd like to know how to improve my opening posts, actually - I do consider them a weak point. Meta-plots and sub-plots are my specialty, though. Someone so inclined could work out what's going on in the Second Clone Wars, at very least what's currently happening, for example.
  22. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    Sirak, I agree that game management and techniques of being a good GM need discussion on the boards, I just don't think we need to devote an entire Guild to it, as (in my opinion) it's just another aspect of game design.

  23. The Great No One Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2005
    star 8
    actually... no, it's really not peng. DESIGNING a game is what happens before you actually start GMing it. that is actually not one of the things that the GDG was setup to really cover very well. i actually asked about that once upon a time, and was told the same. that is also why there has been an actual desire for one. it is a completely different aspect of GMing than designing the game, which the GDG is extremely good at. it's like character design is not the same as actually playing said character, hence why it is a good idea to have an actual RPing guild as well. they are simply things that the two current guilds just are not currently setup to handle, and nor do i think they should be. mainly because the two different aspects of the two things may compliment each other, but they also do not really go hand in hand during a discussion. it would clash, were you to try and combine them i think.

    :snoopy
  24. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    From my personal point of view, guys, I tend to agree with Trimaj. Hearkening back to the metaphor I used in the Game Master's FAQ, there's as much difference between designing a good game and running that game as between designing a good car and maintaining and running that vehicle.

    I see Peng's point -- well made -- as being, metaphorically, that if you design and build a car right, it lessens the need to perform maintenance on it in future, because if you took the time to build it well, you won't have to fix bits falling off it as often -- thanks to your design features of durability, flexibility, and outright solid steel construction.

    But Sirak's point is also well-made: Sinrebirth seems to take a Mini, over the course of the vehicle's life, sticks a 357 Chevy engine in it, lowers the suspension, puts mag wheels on it, puts a big subwoofer in the rear, and runs it down Route 66 blasting B.B. King out the back. Which makes for a mighty fine ride, too.

    We have to be aware there will always be some overlap between the two, I admit -- as BobaMatt puts it, a Venn diagram of game design and game mastering will probably have a big section common to both circles -- but ... there is a difference. An important difference. A Ferrari looks, handles, and feels utterly fantastic when it's first out of the showroom, but ultimately if you don't run it right, you're going to kill it, and fast. (This isn't just a generalisation, either: from what I hear, Ferrari actually arranges compulsory classes on how to drive their cars for new owners, because it's so different from a regular road vehicle and has to be driven differently.)

    In short, I think we do need some sort of forum on game mastering, no matter how hard we have to work to define it. Without it I think there will remain a tendency for good-looking games to be designed, polished up, launched ... and then abandoned shortly thereafter. Personally I think the GDG's biggest gift to the RPF has been the fact it's encouraged a better standard of game design. Imagine the results if you could encourage a better standard of GMing overall in the RPF by similar means.

    As to the Hammer's manifesto, I only see one issue with anything that's been said: governance. Mod overwatch helps to some extent, but if the redesigned Guilds are going to be much more community-run, there needs to be a very clear understanding from the time they're set up, and understood by a good chunk of the community here, what their purpose is, and what can and can't be done there. This is simply because forum members will come and go, and if the community is going to run this thing, it is mostly the community unofficially policing those guild boundaries and initiating discussions and points of interest that will keep them alive.

    This is because, simply, if Hammer and Light are having trouble keeping two guilds active, it is going to be impossible for Hammer and I to watch over and keep jumpin' a total of four guilds on our own. It means we need 'keepers of the flame' in those guilds -- people who are prepared to be proactive at least from time to time so the guilds don't just float to the bottom of the list. Visibility of, and activity in, a thread draws people; we all know this. It means we need more people like beast who're willing to invest something of themselves into the community, even if it's only mending the odd fence here and there.

    That's it. Soapbox now goes to the next poster, while I use a piece of wire to retrieve my $0.02 from the machine.... :)
  25. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2002
    star 6
    Well we have a "how to play our games" thread...why not a "Tips and advice on running games" thread. Maybe every week another "Best GM" winner writes something up to post there for discussion, until we're all caught up, and then make making such a post the consequence of winning "Best GM."
Moderators: Penguinator, Ramza