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RPR Archive Tips/Advice Articles: Etiquette for Creating and Playing RPGs

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource Archive' started by NaboosPrincess, Mar 12, 2006.

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  1. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The Importance of Saying Goodbye

    This one is more common sense and common courtesy than esoteric roleplaying advice. But let's say you've had enough of an RPG that you're playing. You don't like the universe, you don't like your character, you don't like the other people, it's gone stale, whatever. Or let's say Darth Real Life has finally overwhelmed you and you simply can't get enough time to post at all. Or you've decided you want to look for greener fields elsewhere. And you feel a bit guilty about leaving the RPG...so you take the low road and simply don't ever post again.

    Well, that's not nice. Not the leaving part -- the part about just leaving without telling anyone.

    It's not nice because there are other people to think about.
    Like the other players.
    Or the GM.

    I mean, even if your character isn't "doing" much right at that moment, there's still every chance that other players have tagged you to respond to one of their posts, or the GM is holding off posting an update for everyone because he (or she) is waiting on you to respond. Delays of this kind can stretch into weeks, I kid you not; I have seen it happen time and again.

    So what's the solution? Simple. Tell your host you're leaving the party! If they're semi-mature they won't take it personally. They will take it more personally if you just skulk off into the night without an explanation for the departure. And if you do announce that you are leaving, it at least gives the GM the ability to continue with minimal disruption to his other players.

    Here's a couple of suggestions for how to leave with grace:

    (1) Do it by PM to the GM. It's not unknown for one player's well-publicised departure to shake the resolve of other people to stay in the RPG, and that's not fair to the GM. The issue of you leaving is between you and the GM, and he or she will say what's appropriate to the other players about why you left (if the subject comes up at all).

    (2) When you do go, don't be a **** about it. There's no need to flame the GM for having a crappy game or failing to keep you entertained. Be constructive about any criticism you have that's making you leave.

    (3) If you can, try not to leave abruptly, but pick a moment when you're not in an immediate conversation with other players. This is simply so you don't cause a lot of disruption when you depart.

    I'd encourage players to take this on board ... and GMs as well. GMs: if people leave, don't take it personally. It happens. Move on and enjoy your time with the players who are there.
  2. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    The Etiquette of Posting..or as it is better know as:
    When the Dreaded DRL ATTCKS!

    We all know this horrible creature. DRL..also know as Darth Real Life, invades your RPG, posting can become as difficult as a raging wampa. And of course, Real life must always take presidence over whatever games you might be running. The problem becomes even more accute if you are the GM of the RPG, and not just a player.

    But there is a right way, and a wrong way to deal with them in the Role Playing area. But take heart, there are some ways to soften the blow, when Darth RL cames your way. In the previous post, Saintheart brought up the valid point of The Importance of Saying Goodbye. This is a major sticking point. If other people take the time and effort to play in your games, or as a player, you are involving others, the least you can do, is let them know you must go.

    But say you're not leaving. But you know you might be gone for a bit of time, wether it be a convention, a trip, or some other tasks that needs to be taken care of first. First, let the GM know. Then, write a post, that would effectively move your chracter, or release other chracters waiting on your chracter whenever possible. A large post, with much interaction, gives both the GM and other players something to work with during your absense. You will not hold up the game, and you wont have players angry at your chracter on your return. One line posts will NOT do. Neither do 15 OOC's saying you're going to post soon, and then dont actually post. if you can do 15 OOC's...then you can do ONE halfway decient post.

    THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE, IF YOUR THE GM. Try to find someone who you trust to take over your game, if you forsee a lengthy time away from the boards. If not, then try to write your posts in such a way, that you dont leave your players hanging for weeks on end, waiting for a response. A broad post, with multiple options, gives them something to work with, while they wait. This is espeically true if your in the middle of a battle or conflict of some type. Long drags within the storyline are a natural DEATH SENTENCE to a game. If your players have to wait a month, between each action, dont be suprised if when you DO post, you get few responses. You lose the flow of the game, and players become dis-interested.

    Also, dont assume that you can ONLY work on a post, online. Heck, use a text program. Sometimes I write notes in a *gasp* notebook, and then when I get time, input them. Ideas can be done away from the computer, so that when you do get a few moments of prescious time to be online, you can immediately begin to work, instead of trying to do it all in one shot. Do what works best for you. At least that way, you are free from interruptions and other distractions, when writing your posts.

    Most games can get away with posting updates once a week, except when major actions within the game are happening. If you plan a game to be more active or slower, then let your players know what they are getting into. Everyone has DRL looming close by, but if you plan and adjust your posts, then your players wont feel abandonded, and the game your in wont suffer a slow, agonizing death.

    Until the next thought...

  3. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    *Raises the Threadtanic*
  4. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    Some brief advice for newcomers.

    When Joining an RPG

    Read the opening post.

    Then read it again.

    Then PM your sheet (if asked to). And be respectful towards the GM- keep in mind that they have no obligation to accept or even look at your sheet.

    If you're confused in any way, ask rather than trying to struggle on. For example, I have come to the conclusion that some very new players don't PM sheets when told to do so simply because they don't know what a PM is. I'm being serious- I was in a similar situation when I arrived on the boards. And it took me forever to work out what TAG meant and how to use it properly. I also produced many fine examples of god-moding with the most innocent intentions. And then I asked lots of questions to lots of very helpful veterans, and I improved.

    Honestly, I know it all seems very intimidating at first. But remember that no one here will laugh at you for asking questions if you're stuck (and I daresay a few enjoy giving out advice). It's far better to be embarrassed in the pursuit of knowledge than it is to be shunned for your ignorance.
  5. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    This is perhaps an unpopular opinion, but ...


    On Post lengths

    There's a definite tendency for people to think that the longer the post is, the better. To some degree, this is true - everyone hates one-liners because they're 'cheap,' take no time at all to write and are rarely examples of fantastic RPing. Too, it's frustrating to post a five-paragraph post filled with lovely character development and exposition and get just an "Ok!" in response. One-liners are bad.

    But there's a fine line between posts that are long enough to accurately convey what your character is thinking/feeling/experiencing at that point in time and just plain tl;dr. Because while I personally enjoy reading longish well-written posts ... if I have to hit Page Down three or four times before reaching the end of (say) your character's internal monologue, chances are I haven't read it very carefully. Or at all. And I'm probably not the only one, since most people here don't have unlimited free time to spend on the RPFs.

    Neither does "long posts = good" have to mean "short posts = bad." I've seen people post two or three paragraphs and then apologise for the 'short post' - well, if you can say everything you need to say in two or three paragraphs, you don't have to write more.

    There are also times where a long post is entirely warranted, of course. Maybe your two-page post is filled with action/dialogue/other things other characters can respond to; maybe you've cut down the internal monologue as much as you can; maybe you're the GM and you need that much space to convey the setting. But if I can only read the last paragraph of your two-odd-page post and accurately figure out everything your character just did and why, then maybe the first two pages were not entirely necessary.


    tl;dr ( :p) version: please please don't pad your posts with unnecessary prose. It's not that I think long posts are a bad thing - on the contrary, I think they're great, but within reason.
  6. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    So you think you know SITH about Running a Force Users Game?


    Howdy ya'all! :p

    Tis time to pull out my soapbox, and take a stand once more. I have noticed the next flurry of wanna be games, and Im gonna speak about a very annoying habit I have noticed.

    **Dramatic Pause**

    WHY, oh WHY, in the Seven Moons of Ragnarok, is ALMOST EVERY game involving Force Users a Jedi vs Sith game?

    COME ON PEOPLE, there were millions of other folks who could take on the Jedi. This includes NON FORCE USERS. You make it sound like the Sith were stupid bored stiffs, who had nothing better to do, than to find some Jedi to beat up on. How unamagintaive and once sidded you make them.

    On the same token, Jedi most definatelly had more than Sith to deal with. There are OTHER Force users out there too.

    Im not saying that duels and battles between Sith and Jedi arent fun..but that should not be the ONLY focus in a game. Palpatine had YEARS to set up things, to get them in place for just the right moment. SO did the Sith of old. They just didnt go slaughtering on a whim. Now, if they happened to get lucky, suure, why not. But why bother making yourself a target, when its not necessary? The Sith had MINIONS...folks willing to do their dirty work, to keep themselves out of the limelight.

    And on that same note, Why do so many folks play Sith like a bunch of growling, snarling idiots, who would kill because...uh..its Tuesday? That Sith cant work together as a unit, for a common goal, without threating to backstab and kill each other EVERY SECOND OF THE DAY? I know the Sith and other Dark Jedi are competative, but COME ONE. Even the most viscious of creatures can work together, for a limited amount of time. And while we all know that the Darkside is drawn by many things, that DOSENT mean that a Sith walks around in an angry RAGE constantly. He wouldnt last long if they did.

    Look, just because you have Force Users in your game, does not mean that only another Force User can take of them. Plenty of both Sith and Jedi were taken out by Bounter Hunters, and even an angry mob, if given the right set of circumstances.

    YES VIRGINIA, normal folks CAN take down a Force User, if the right set of circumstances follow. And makes for a much more believable, and interesting game. Suddenly Force Users arent the superman that everyone makes them to be. They are not immortal. They can die, just like anyone else, you just have to be a tad bit smarter about it.

    It will also make the Force Users not grow a swelled head, like many do, if they quickly realize that they CAN be taken down in your game, by something other than another Force User.

    **COUGH!**

    So come on Game planners. Dont just give us Generic bad guys who only role in life is to swing a red saber at a Jedi so they can feel good before they die. There are MANY other folks who dont like the Jedi. The Hutts, almost anyone in organized crime, normal folks who simply thinks that Force Users have too much power, with the ability to abuse it. Make your Jedi have to THINK in your game..and not just assume its another Sith pulling the strings.

    And if you DO have Jedi vs Sith...or heck, even just a group of SITH hanging about, dont make every Sith temple be the same old boring group, where every Sith is plotting the death of his fellow Sith, they all walk around looking like the evil bad guy from the old 50's cartoons...(complete with stringy mustaches..) and they walk around with a constant scowl, and sterotype EVIL thoughts. Oh yes, and lets not forget, not ALL SITH come from TRAGIC backgrounds. Be inventive. Be diffrent. Come on, I dare ya!


    **Climbs off soapbox, and dissapears once more...**
  7. Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2004
    star 5
    Time for the annual-ish bump!

    For the knowledge, interest, and opportunity for contribution of this new group of players.

    -I_H
  8. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    The Cosine Theory Of GMing

    Premise: The relationship between game size and ease of GMing follows a cosine curve.

    I can explain this, truly. :p And I promise it doesn't actually have anything to do with trigonometry, other than that the shape of the curve is a good illustration.

    This is the cosine curve.
    [image=http://homepage.mac.com/shelleywalsh/MathArt/cos4.gif]

    Note how it starts off high at 1, gradually drops to -1, and then goes up to 1 again before dropping again to 0.

    Now imagine that that instead of radians, we're talking about number of players per game, and say games can be divided roughly into these categories based on number of players: tiny, medium, large and humungous. (Also note that I'm talking about ease of GMing, not game success. Those can be two very different things.)

    Tiny games hover at around 4-6 players, maybe as high as 8 (but 8 perhaps dips into Medium territory; the line's fuzzy). They're usually the adventure-type games where that small group of players goes through whatever plot the GM's concocted (I don't think anyone's ever tried a 4-man sandbox, but I could be wrong). Player management is largely irrelevant because you've got such a small group, so you stick everyone in the same place and you're off. Even if everyone splits up, it's 4-6 scenes max, and that shouldn't tax the GM overly much. And because you've got such a small group, you can really tailor the story to whatever it is they're doing. (The snag is when people leave, but if you have some facility to replace them, that's fine too.)
    Pros: Player management is a breeze with such a small group.
    Cons: If you pick the wrong players, you have issues (and I don't even mean bad players: if you pick players that are fantastic but for some reason their characters don't mesh, you still have issues). If you have no facility for replacing players, you have issues. If your plot isn't engaging, you have issues. Then again, you get all of these problems with any game no matter the size, really.

    Medium games of around 9-14 players, now, that's when it starts getting hard, and the graph goes into the negatives. Player management starts to get difficult - most GMs split up the player base into a few groups/factions, and then people start dropping off ... and you've now got several really tiny groups, or perhaps even groups that are entirely AWOL. Now you have the problem of trying to figure out what to do with that scene where there's only one guy left, but the rest of the story can't proceed until it does ... GMing gets hard. You have to really manage your players well, because you don't have so many that they can carry the story on their own, but not so few that it's a breeze to handle. It's doable - Ktala's Dark History is firmly in medium-sized territory - but it's hard. (It's also that, as Ramza pointed out, these games are not small enough that you feel obligated, but not big enough to capture your interest.)
    Pros: Easy to set up, easy to get the ball rolling. I'd say a decent GM can pull 9-15 players to their games without too much trouble, and most games can accommodate such a number easily.
    Cons: Player management is difficult. You have too many players to put everyone in one place, and you don't have enough to scatter them across the galaxy either, so you have to hit upon the right player:group ratio. It becomes a juggling act, especially if your plot is complex (and they usually are), or if you try to run a sandbox with this number (because that's not enough).

    Large games of 16-30 players: now this is where it, paradoxically, gets easy again. It's interesting, but if you put 10+ people together in a scene, GMing it gets easier. You don't have to do anything. They come up with their own fun. Crash the plane and watch your players help each other out; dump a load of Munchkin firefighters on them and watch them goggle at the, well, Munchkin firefighters. You let them have at it, and move things along with some choice NPCs if it seem
  9. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Great, Xan. It's just like you to create an entirely logical, clear, and coherent theory of GMing, and then force me to find some way to shoehorn all of it into the FAQ. [face_frustrated]

    :D :D :D
  10. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
  11. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Actually, there is one point out of that I did want to expand on a little for completeness's sake:

    But GMing doesn't simply get harder the more players you have, unless you're running a d20 game which seems to have to stay in Tiny territory due to mechanics alone.

    For those who're wondering what that's talking about, we're referring here generally to running Wizards Of The Coast's RPG tabletop games -- either in the Star Wars universe or its older cousin, Dungeons and Dragons. These sorts of games are collectively referred to as "d20" games because throwing a twenty-sided dice is the core mechanic of these RPGs.

    If you're wondering how it's possible to run a tabletop RPG in this environment, it actually translates rather well, because if a roleplaying game has a mechanism of players taking turns in combat, it generally dovetails nicely with the TAG system we've got here. This is called "post-by-post" RPGing as opposed to "tabletop" RPGing.

    In my personal experience of running a Dungeons and Dragons d20 game on these boards (which is about one continuous year on one RPG), one keeps the player numbers in a d20 RPG down to less than 8 and preferably at 6 for the following two reasons:

    (1) As Xan eloquently pointed out, mechanics -- especially during combat. d20 games tend to require everyone to check in with actions during combat, unlike freeform RPGs when the notion of "rounds" and "turns" and "order of initiative" is very loose, if it exists at all. Sheer practicality and Darth RL means it takes time for 8 or more people to all check in, with the result that a 30-second fight in the game universe can literally takes weeks to complete. Also, in the case of Dungeons and Dragons, most campaigns tend to be aimed at small adventuring parties (since you generally only have 4 or 6 friends to get around a table together.)

    (2) Suspension of disbelief. If you're running a "Mission Impossible" RPG as most d20 games are, invariably your team is able to sneak around inside enemy dungeons and penetrate evil fortresses. This is not so hard on the imagination when the team's made up of four individuals, and bearable for 6 or perhaps 8 in some scenarios. If, however, you start wandering around enemy territory with 10 or more people in train, in-game "realism" suggests that you are much more likely to be noticed with a platoon of warriors armed to the teeth and thus provoke a massive (if not overwhelming) armed response from the enemy.
  12. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    Xan, that was a brilliant piece of yours. Enlightening to read. And very true in most parts. =D==D==D=



    I wonder why not more people use the extremely simple D6 system of old, around here. It is so simple that it is easily converted into a thread game and available for free. [face_thinking]


  13. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    At the risk of biting the hand that feeds me, Sirak, but WEG d6 Star Wars RPGs are usually run over in the Games forum. This is not to say they can't be run on SWPRF -- they can -- but it would require literary content on par with a freeform RPG, not just the OOC dice-rolling content, which is the way they tend to run things over there. And non-Star-Wars tabletop RPGs of any kind -- Cthulhu, Rifts, Shadowrun, Fallout, you name it -- belong in the NSWRPF, because there isn't any other place on these boards for them to be played.
  14. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    I wasn´t aware they are really played over there.

    Then again the open table-top variant isn´t the only way to use RPG-systems.

    Some GMs use character-statistics in the background here. (Guys, please stand-up, I don´t wanna betray you to the big bad mod :p ) It is a good way to avoid god-modding and unbalancing games. But even those I know use d20. While d6 is so much more approachable.

    I would be very interested in a true literal game that uses the simply mechanics of d6. But I wouldn´t migrate to the games, section. And it is always a pleasure to see your usual character from a game translated into RP-stats. At least for me.
  15. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Let me be explicit for those GMs who are needlessly hiding in the closet ;) -- there is nothing to say you can't openly play or use d20 or d6 rules on the SWRPF. You certainly can. All that the Hammer and I generally ask is that the game doesn't just descend into OOCs of dice rolls and "You got him" one-liner posts; that sort of thing is best left for the Games forum. Literary content has always been a component of the RPGs here, and it's more fun, anyway. :)

    Of course, if you want to run d20 rules completely offscreen, without revealing anything of their existence to the public, that's completely fine as well.
  16. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    The guy in the closet . . . that would be ME!

    [face_laugh] Well WE use them offscreen with absolute intention. They are a safeguards against god-mode and very useful to sort out PvP. They also provide unique twists to fights.

    And I love to see the stats, too. :p

    And as much as I am fascinated by Tide of Flame, I still am aiming for something else as a GM. But make good use of the parts of TableTop that make sense to me.

    If there is interest I can write about how we use it.

    *jumps back into his closet*
  17. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4

    First of all, let me say this is an excellent analysis. It really is, Xan. =D=


    So, I read this part of the article very thorough and excited. I have been toying with the idea of "super-tiny" games for quite some time. Limits of players of three players or even two. Short and limited storylines, that have defined acts and don´t last for longer than 200-300 posts. Two years ago some people convinced me it wouldn´t work. But while I listened to them, my opinion has changed, especially because of Lea Monde, of Winged Jedi. My respect for him having the balls to try what I finally gave up.

    I think short games concentrating on a few characters have the advantage of being more "cinematic" as you cover actions that would probably fit into a feature film. I also feel a little lost in "endless-campaigns". I feel with the right players such smaller games could make a different experience. If I am right or wrong, only an experiemnt will show.

    If players drop-out then, you are obviously in some trouble. But that is probably compensated by the short time-frame one plays in.

    I will soon start not one but two of these games as an experiment and hopefully they work out as I have planned. And this article will need to be updated by the "super-tiny" class.
  18. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Haha ... you know, when I posted that, I was half-expecting to have to defend/justify every point to a sceptical audience. Instead I get all these positive responses. :D

    I like tiny games. I suppose it is the difference between a feature film and a TV show with an ensemble cast like Heroes; both are fun but in different ways. And it is harder to tune in to a TV show mid-season.
  19. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    My line of thought.

    And I think there is little to defend. The analysis seems to match with my experiences. And that despite the fact that we have obviously played completely different games. So, I guess it has some true core in it. Which isn´t necessary the case with every analysis around here ;)

    So, I wonder if one could attach a certain player-type to these game forms. I personally don´t like the middle-class too much. While I can give myself totally to a small storyline, I feel the huge ones to give me the freedom to explore my own pathes without ruining anything for others. Things like becoming a temporary Co-GM for a good friend just don´t go well with medium size but don´t even raise attention once the games become huge.

    I also think that it makes a game more difficult if players play different arcs but still feel influence on one another. Then somebody falls behind in speed, vanishes or drops out. You feel the impact, storywise. It is a drawback that´s subtle but it is there. These things turn into a cascade, taking the GMs motivation and from there . . . things go down to this RPF toilet things are used to vanish in.
  20. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    Xan that was a superb analysis, and something I hadn't personally considered before.

    The only thing I would add is that once you reach Large territory, it may indeed get easier again in some respects...but bringing in a co-GM is still a necessity. I think it was LSA who said that beyond 11 players is too much for one GM, and I learned that lesson from my own experience (at its peak, Archangels and Alchemists had a completely unmanageable roster of 30 players).
  21. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The reason, Xan, is simply that you put into words what most of us probably intuited about GMing different numbers of players without being able to articulate it. A thought process is not complete until it is communicated IMHHO, and either way it's a brilliant piece of thinking. Like I said, I'm eyeing off the GM FAQ right now with great unease wondering what I can profitably cut and still get this eloquent guide to player numbers in there, because I really think it deserves to go in. :)
  22. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    I'm on the fence re: the co-GMs for large games issue, actually. On one hand, I am co-GMing a large game. :p On the other, I do believe that Imp could run Oz on his own and my co-GMing is merely making things easier (two of us means we each only have to update half as often as normal), not taking it from 'impossible' down to 'possible'.

    That said, the way we're running isn't the same way IBOP was run, and the main difference is I think the perspective from which updates are written. In IBOP LSA always wrote it as third person limited from the PC's point of view (that is, telling the player what their character is seeing), which means tailoring the update specifically to the players. In Oz we're writing updates from the NPCs' point of view, or third person omniscient (describing the scenario at large) if there are no NPCs in sight.

    It's kind of ... hm. To take an example from Oz, there's a scenario in which we crashed a plane with 10+ PCs on it, and then ran in some firefighters and soldiers later on. I still read all the posts, but I only had to respond to the people who were interacting with the firefighters and soldiers; I didn't have to worry about the people who were clustering around talking to each other, other than to tell them that it started raining (and everyone had to know that anyway). Whether this style of GMing is better or worse is another question entirely, but it takes some of the pressure off.

    Perhaps you mean 11+ scenes? Because I'd agree, that would be pretty impossible for a single GM to handle. Unless you're Sinre. (Although I suppose at 30 players Archangels and Alchemists might have crossed the border to Humongous anyway.)


    Saint - Heh. :D I suppose it's all that time in academia: no matter how good an argument is, always expect critics. :p It's true about the thought process, though, it didn't really become clear until I started writing it down.

    Perhaps a summary ...?

    • Tiny games of 4-8 players are ideal if you're just starting out and are eyeing off a (relatively) simple plot. I like LordTroepfchen's analogy of movies here - you've got a couple of stars (players) and some plot and supporting cast (NPCs) to throw at them. But if your stars disappear, or you cast the wrong ones, you're in trouble.

    • Medium games of 9-15 players are bad; avoid. Doable if you're careful with player management, but they're not small enough that they feel obligated and not large enough to have the galaxy-wide feel.

    • Large games of 16-30 players are easier again because you reach critical mass of players and they entertain each other. The downside is you need to have one fantastic premise to attract that many, and it can be difficult to take care of the quieter ones. Consider taking a co-GM if you realise that's too many to handle alone.

    • Humongous games of 30+ players require co- or sub-GMs and you'll then have several 'tiers' of players to manage. You can pull off some very epic stuff, but avoid unless very experienced.
    (Note: Borders between classes are fuzzy. A game with 8-9 players could be either Tiny or Medium, and so on.)


    ... That does lose something, though. Not very convincing when it's that short. [face_thinking]
  23. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Unless you're Sinre.

    [face_love]

    You, Xan, are beautiful. :D

    My two cents. Co-GM's can be difficult to use. They're very helpful, but you can lose control of your game if the co-GM isn't as experienced as you are. TSG suffered because one co-GM vanished at the start, and the second hardly posts in the RPF. 128 ABY had two co-GM's at the start beside me, and they didn't update often enough or simply drove away players by bad settings. I took personal control from that point, until 128 ABY went flagship and I gladly handed it over to other GMs. It was too big.

    I'd say hold off on picking a Co-GM until you're absolutely sure you need them. I'd suggest that beforehand you give players their own scenes to work out, which Fin, Sirak and LordT did during 128 ABY. The Darth Zorn plotline belonged to them entirely. Nothing to do with me. And it worked wonders. The Battle of Roon was my idea, but they took it and made it into something amazing. I never planned on two Battle of Borosks, let alone one, after all. I had very little to do for those storylines, and it worked wonders.
  24. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Again, I try. :p ... And okay, I suppose co-GMing is in itself a whole 'nother kettle of fish. Another essay! [face_beatup]


    To start with, my personal definition is: sub-GMs are subordinates to the head GM (that is, the thread creator), and co-GMs are partners.

    A sub-GM in my mind is in charge of a smallish facet of the game. It's like the system LSA had in IBOP. He was the Head GM, and each faction was governed by a sub-GM that had more or less complete autonomy w.r.t. their faction, but acted as an ordinary player elsewhere. For example, as Sith sub-GM I could invent NPC Sith Instructors, be nasty to recruits, and send people to Almania (because Almania was part of Sith territory), but if I wanted to run someone to Empire-controlled Coruscant I would tag either LSA or the Imperial GM. Sub-GMs don't know anything special about stuff outside their jurisdiction, and naturally LSA had the ultimate veto power over sub-GMs and would also GM/arbitrate scenarios where sub-GMs went up against one another (which did happen; hello New Republic vs Empire).

    A co-GM is more like what I'm doing in Oz. Imp came up with the setting, the story and the major plot arcs, and when I came on board he told me most of it. (Not all, I bet, he's probably still got sekrits. :p) As a result we switch off on updating the entire game at once, and we fire IMs back and forth every so often to make sure we're both on the same page. (We might swap to taking a group each at some point, but right now this works.)

    The difference is I suppose that with sub-GMing you're concerned with a particular group, but with co-GMing we're both concerned with the overall game.

    Sooo ... the point of all that was ... if you're swamped, you can appoint a sub-GM without very much difficulty. As Sinre said, you can pick a couple of prominent, creative players and let them go and watch, and maybe rein them in if they're going a bit too far. But a co-GM has to understand your overall plan for the game, at least on some macro level, and know enough about your game universe as a whole to help you further it - which means a lot of collaboration, if you want it to work.

    (Admittedly my experience in sub- or co-GMing is not exactly extensive, so I could be wrong about all of this. It could probably work with varying levels of delegation/communication... those are kind of the two extremes, I think.)
  25. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Then sub-GMing would be ideal! [face_laugh]
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