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Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource Archive' started by Penguinator, Jun 20, 2007.
Getting a cast of players like this in one game is the hard part.
I tend to take a pretty social approach to role playing, so in my opinion, the most enjoyable games to play involve strong communities. By that I mean the game has a group of players who generally get along well and are willing to both keep each other in line & explore new in-game challenges together.
I've had the most fun in games where the players were actually friends who chatted on AIM or MSN as well as on the board.
I also think that in order to have a fun game, you need a fun GM. Someone who is willing to let the players partially drive the game. Someone who is active and can serve as a guiding hand when needed, but doesn't have a problem with letting players develop their own stories.
So the players matter, and the GM matters - how do we get this to be the norm? How do we make every game enjoyable on some level?
Not to brag, but in Cowboy Bebop, I think we have a slew of players like that.
If you really do, I might join, even though I don't know the first thing about Cowboy Bebop.
Is it easy to figure out? Or, failing that, is there a good summary, or a Cowboy Bebop wiki or something?
I didn't say it was impossible.
I guess what I'm saying is get Sith I-5 and DVC to join your game, and you're in good hands in the humor department and therefore the fun department.
If you have a good sense of humor, things just come to you. I always take a step back from teh situation, no matter how serious, and ask myself, What can I do/Say/Think/React with to make this seem less gloomy.
One huge hint, Irony is funny. Some people don't like Monty Python, some don't like Will Ferrel, but everyone likes Irony. It's always funny.
Character interactions are good too. If you can find your "Counter-part" on the Forums, you've got it made. Someone who thinks like you, gets the humor you do, and can take a hint at what they are supposed to do to make the situation funny. Thankfully, I found Sithy. Livi, Peng, BSSL, Raditz, Reynar, etc. all mess well with me and my style of humor, but none compare to Sith-I-5 and I. And the Tag-Team style of comedy is always a hit. Just look at R2 and C3P0, or Laurel and Hardy, or the Three Stooges, or The Blues Brothers, or...well...you get the point.
When you have a group of players, that get each other, find each other funny and can be funny themselves, you're game will last forever.
Not to promote it or anything, but in so far, we do. Elu, Winged, DVC, Reynar, Nick, Lem, MoonlightsAngel, Zedd...and it's a pretty simple concept, as far as plot goes. The franchise, that is. I hope to get some nice arcs in my game...
They're all great. So I'm forced to up my game. Even though one of them has yet to post.
And to take an example from the game, and relate to DVC's point, we have characters that can't be taken seriously, so any interaction with them is going to lighten the mood. We have a bunch of serious bounty hunters that get into arguments with one another, so it's good to have characters that cheer you up with humour.
As per tag-teams of comedy, It's great when you get other posters on the same wavelength as you. When you can set something up, comedic or otherwise, in one post for another to take care of in the next, then your game is golden. Sword_of_Raditz is great at that - in his Last Exile game, he's picked up on things that I thought would work well, and used them. They're not big, but they just add to the overall experience.
Another good thing to have in games is a decent plot. Not the opening post, mind you, but the game's story that you play through. A well-planned story is what gets players hooked, but it shouldn't be so thought-out that you have no freedom.
*Sits in his cage*
Fun games come from fun GMs.
Without that key element, the game will not be fun and last.
I say give me fun or give me death!
But it's not that easy! Fun games come from fun GMs, yes, but what makes them fun GMs?
Fun...? Ner...? Ness?
Funnerness. It's next to the flour and the raisins.
Fun GMs enjoy the time spent writing the Updates and love to see how the RPers twist and turn and enjoy their RPing.
They love coming up with ideas then letting them go in the Role Playing forums and managing the players.
In short, they enjoy almost every part of the GMing process therefore they can give it to the players and the players give it back in their RPing.
Its a circle.
The way Imp runs games, almost like a science or art, is how he enjoys it. Therefore it is easy for him to create fun games because he enjoys how he runs them and so do his players.
LS_A runs games alost as if its like moving through water. Its naturally fun to him, so of course his games are popular.
I see a relation, guys.
Indeed: who is the greater, the creator of an aggressive form (See: Hammer) or the master of the classic form (See: LS_A)?
"Be like water, my friend."
I vote for LS_A of course. Inventor of BoP and IBoP as well as Mod for the roleplaying forums for a time.
You just quoted one of my heroes (who in turn was quoting one of his heroes), thus summing up my outlook on life.
I give you a cookie.
On-topic: no disrespect to Imp (he's a great guy, and his games are always fun), but the way he creates his hits just doesn't sit well with me. I can't make games the way Imp does, nor can I see them the same way he did.
He once told me (and I'm paraphrasing this from memory), the RPF is like an economy, and the RPGs are like a commodity. The gist of this was that RPGs should be created to meet supply and demand - makes sense, but I can't make games that way. It's too impersonal a way to make a game work. I love the organic quality of games; how they're shaped and how they evolve.
So is it a matter of supply and demand? Or is it something else.
Note: in no way, shape, or form does my poor paraphrasing of Imperial_Hammer reflect his own views. This is merely what I got out of our discussion. If you want his thoughts, go talk to him, not me!
Nice use of an Episode III novelization quote.
This might just be me, but I'm not really a big fan of these awards and accolades and all sorts of nonsense that we toss around.
Award-winning? Cult hit? Genius? Revolutionary? Mammoth? Wildly successful? Big talk for such little things. It feels like we're letting ourselves be content and saying "this, this is good. This is the best we can be." And they may just be games, but it seems to ring so hollow. I read through these games and think "this is it?" Maybe I'm just weird, but I usually feel as though I've seen better. Far more human characters, more enjoyable plotlines, less pontificating and preaching about how so-and-so has the one true faction of justice. It's just a game, but I think wouldn't bother me quite so much if people weren't so incessant about describing their games with superlatives.
And another equally bizarre thing I've noticed is that the people who laugh of the label of "Mary Sue" the most are the ones who usually have it applied the most to their characters.
Talk about "I reject your reality and substitute my own!"
Let me also say that not for a moment do I suggest that Hammer's games are any less than great fun! And full points to him for creating -- especially on the Podracer series -- a gaming format that deals pretty well with the logistics of actually roleplaying a podrace and gives a workable system for people winning or losing it.
'Warden, just to go off on a bit of a tangent, I actually think the ailments you identify are player issues rather than game fun-ness or game master issues as such. I think there's only so far as a GM you can push someone who just isn't interested in using their imagination in-game. Does the GM have the right, on receiving a character sheet, to say to the person "No, I don't think this is a very well-thought-out character, I'm not allowing that one in?" For my own personal rules of GMing I don't think so -- at least not expressed that way.
What GMs may like to do to try and make their games more fun is to engage more actively with the player during the character approval process. Let's face it, the main reason we have that 'rule' in RPGs is to keep out godmoded characters. Maybe as GMs part of the process of making games fun is to work with a player actively on creating goals or a life-path for their character, rather than just vetoing the old "My midichlorian count exceeds 9,000" style of character.
In short: RPGs are fun where both the players and the GM are active in their support for the game.
EDIT: *enjoys his cookie*
LightWarden, on the issue of accolades and awards...yeah, they are rather grandiose considering what we actually do here. But that's only natural. We like to think that what we do matters in some way. There are those who sometimes take it too seriously (my hand's in the air, I've been very guilty of this before) but that can happen when people are devoting a lot of time and effort to their RPing. Fun is always the most important thing, but for some people part of the fun is the accolades and the superlatives. I don't see the harm in that. Buy into it if you want to, ignore it if you don't.
I don't think we're letting ourselves be content though. Most players and GMs I know are constantly trying to improve. This is what all the Guilds were founded for in the first place.
Spike quoting Bruce Lee, right? I just reached that episode. Awesome.
Haha... I'm honored by your compliments, both Peng and Saint...
One day I'll write up my economic theory in full...
Heres the bottom line, directly tying into the Society's purpose...
In my opinion, before any discussion of fun can be had, a game needs to have players...
You can design the most awesome game in the world, but if no one plays it, it'll wind up same as an ill-constructed game..... namely locked....
I've seen it too many times. Excited GMs running a game they positively LOVE, and it gets torpedoed after launch. The game just couldn't cut it in the market.
Don't get me wrong, fun is good. But in the end, it has to be subordinate to success. Sometimes vision needs to be sacrificed to get a game that works.
You need to get the ship out of port before you can contemplate running it in a enjoyable nature...
And I think alot of times, fun-advocates forget this. They value fun over workability, and end up with games that flop. Not only is this decidedly not fun, it becomes negatively fun as people get discouraged and unhappy.
And thats what I sorta think. Of course a game needs to be fun. Of course a GM needs to enjoy GMing. But, a proper perspective needs to be maintained IMO.
Of course. If a game doesn't get past page two, it's failed to create very much fun.
Then again, failure is a crucial part of the creative process.
Probably my favourite episode, too. Awesome show.
If a game isn't making it past page one (that's happened to me, really), then there's a severe problem. If by page two you have solid, steady posts coming in, then I think you're set.
As per RPG philosophies, I only have one, and that's make sure you have fun running the game. If you're not, then the game will die, most likely. And if you happen to have players that are steady and enjoy the game, you'll let them down and sully your reputation.
I suppose I could extrapolate another idea out of that and say that a successful game is a combination of demand, reputation, and game quality.
Is this debate really about "fun" versus "processed", or are we really driving at "prepared" versus "spontaneous" RPGs?
Because you are asking for trouble, and a high non-fun-ness factor, if you don't at least put some thought into how your RPG is going to work -- both from startup and as the game progresses on. I reckon you have to think seriously about how you're going to get the RPG up and running, and think how you're going to keep it running after that. Advertising is part of the preparation process, I would've thought...
You don't ensure a high degree of success by just coming up with a concept and thumping it onto the boards, I think. Not anymore, anyway...you have to give it some proper thought. It's important not to confuse solid preparation of the RPG with it somehow not being 'fun'.
How the heck do you sacrifice fun for success? "Here's a game that sucks more than my last one. Please play it." I can understand sacrificing vision for wider acceptability, but if you're sacrificing fun, you're doing something wrong. The game shouldn't be boring for the GM ever.
Also, if you can't solve your problems, you can always walk away. The thread is pretty much the property of the GM (except when trumped by TOS, since the thread is on the board and it's the property of higher powers), and the GM has the final word on everything. A good GM will attempt to make things fun for everyone, but doesn't have to, and it's perfectly legal for the GM to give a player the boot just because the GM doesn't like the player's font color. Likewise, the players have the power to leave the game at any time for any reason (including dislike of font colors). Really superficial reasons are usually the mark of poor players and poor GMs, but it's perfectly legal. You don't have to take anything if you don't want to (but if aren't willing to make concessions, you may run out of people to play with).
There's no rule that says you even have to play a game or a system that everyone (or even anyone) is familiar with. If you're a competent enough GM and really want to run your game, then help new players any way you can by providing information and guidance any time it's needed. A GM can run an entire game system completely under the hood, just as with your typical computer roleplaying game like anything from Bioware/Black Isle. Your player tells you "I want to punch that guy in the face" and you tell your player "congrats, you succeed. He bleeds" or "Sorry, no good" or maybe even "screw that, alien invasion".
I have no particular problem with the GM blocking a character because the character doesn't fit. It's a sign of a good GM if the GM works with the players and provides help and suggestions, and possibly sees if there's anything that can be done on the GM end to make the character fit... but you can't work with it, just toss it.
Thanks for bringing up a point of clarification. Yes, I do mean vision. In my experience, oftentimes the fun of the game is tied into the GM's vision. They see something that they find superfun, and they go full-bore on it, without any nod to acceptabilty or workability. As such, I tend to use the terms synonymously, though in a technical discussion such as this, that might not always be the case.
And I'll be doing an edit on that first post accordingly
Using a personal example, when I love an idea to bits, I try my best to make it into its best form. I try to make my game as good as I can, I don't try to get out there as fast as possible.
I never said that preparation equates zero fun, preparation is needed. A few words here and there, and you have some interest. But the game has to be playable, it has to be fun for all involved. No one here is going to say, "This game sucks, I think I'll stick with it for another three monts." It needs to be fun, and it needs to have some planning behind it.
And if leaving out that one little bit of pure awesomeness you loved is what's required to make the game easy for everyone, then so be it. Including canon characters may seem like the bee's knees, but it's not fun for everyone, much as you'd like to see Harry Potter deal with what you throw at him.
I dunno, I think I'm just rambling from lack of sleep right now, but the game must be fun. Above all else.
A GMs vision and preparation are all contributions to the fun of RPing.
The part of RP that I find most fun is the way I can interpret what the GM has given me.
Preparation should never lead to the game not being playable. If you prepare that much, then the game is more of a FanFic than an RP.