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Reference The Roleplaying Group

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by DarthXan318, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. DarthXan318

    DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 12, 2002

    The Roleplaying Group

    Welcome to the Roleplaying Group! The purpose of this group is to talk about anything pertaining to roleplaying and designing characters. It will cover every aspect of playing in a game, from CS creation and discussion to pre-planning to advice on the finer points on actually roleplaying or the nebulous philosophies of gaming.

    This group does not have any formal membership provisions. If you want to talk about characters, welcome!

    What we are and what we aren?t

    This isn?t the place to discuss game design, the finer points of game mastering, how to attract players to your game, why people aren?t joining your game, how to deal with having too many players sign up for your game (we know, your life is so hard), etc, etc. Basically, for all that we love games (after all, without them we would have nowhere to play our characters), this isn?t the place to discuss them. For that sort of thing, you want [link=]The Game Designer's Group[/link] or the soon-to-be-created (ahem) Games Group.

    This is the place to discuss roleplaying.

    Do you have a CS you?re working on and want some input? A character whose direction you?re not too sure about? A particularly cool dynamic you loved and want to talk about and maybe discuss replicating elsewhere? Do you want to muse on your individual approach to roleplaying? Or maybe you and a few other people are setting up a family of characters in a game and need some space to iron out details? Maybe you signed up for a game and it?s not quite what you expected, and you?re wondering how to deal with that? This is the place to talk about that. If it?s got anything to do with characters or roleplaying, that?s what we?re here for.

    (Note: There are some cases where character discussion could conceivably overlap with game discussion, for example in ?is this character suited to that game?s setting?-type topics. Such discussions are welcome in this group so long as the focus is predominantly on the character.)

    A Note Of Caution

    We tend to get pretty attached to our characters.

    That?s okay. That?s good. That means we care, and let?s face it, if we didn?t care then we probably wouldn?t be spending precious time talking about them on the internet.

    But that also means we can kind of take it personally if someone knocks our characters. So please keep in mind that not everyone will like your character(s). Just like how game OPs posted in [link=]The Game Designer's Group[/link] will usually receive a flurry of suggestions for improvement, characters posted here might very well be met with ?Yeah, that?s good, but maybe change this ??

    This is not the Characters Mutual Appreciation Society. Don?t be angry if not everyone loves your character or the direction you?re taking your character in, and especially don?t take it as an insult to you personally. IC is not the same as OOC, you are not your character, and we only make suggestions because we care.

    How This Works

    Discussion topics will be tabled queue-style just like the guilds/groups of old. Anyone is free to suggest a new topic - just add it to the queue (you don?t need to ask the thread organiser to do it for you).

    Each topic has the floor for seven (7) days. If you need more time for your topic, you?re welcome to add it back to the end of the queue and we?ll get back to it in a timely fashion. On the other hand, if there are no further topics waiting in the queue, people are of course welcome to continue discussing the current topic until another is suggested.

    If the group falls silent, the thread organiser reserves the right to start random filler discussions, issue challenges, ask questions, etc etc as appropriate.

    Some Guidelines

    (if you read nothing else, read this)
    [ol][li]Use the queue! That?s what it?s there for![/li][li]Keep all criticism constructive. Discus
  2. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 30, 2007
    I have been waiting for this! [face_peace] Great to see it come alive.

    So, I tihnk the first topic is an excellent one. because I think different players tick very, very different.

    What keeps me going into a game? Plot, a unique take or the reputation of the GM (always combined with the former two). I also have a hard time turning down friends. Most important of all is plot, though. OPs only give me a limited idea of what is about to come, although combined with the GM persona that often is enough. So I usually read, chat and study a lot of what GMs say about their games before entering them. Is it a mystery, a horror game? Did I have bad experiences with games before? Did I have great experiences with games of him? Did he deliver? Do I enjoy his GMing style?

    What keeps me engaged? More than anything, plot. If I am not guessing, identifying or in any other way involved with the game itself, I quickly loose it. I consider mself to be a pretty loyal player, but sometimes it just doesn´t work anymore ofr me. Words don´t flow and then I quit.

    Major turn-off? GMs who vanish anyway after page 2. GMs who do it to show off and not to tell a story. Quite recently we had a GM which I consider to be truly quite a "talent-free-zone" who ranted about lack of creativity, before doing two "crossover-games", which I always consider to be the absolute low of all lows of creativity. Then he began posting how he considers himself to be quite a GM and . . . well . . . that is bad. Really bad. I don´t like ego-trips, but I certainly don´t join them.

    Games I jump at . . . hm . . . I think mystery games usually have a better chance to get my attention. I also like to see some franchises come alive, from time to time. I joined desperate attempts at LOST and 24 games, knowing I would probably not see them get far. I did anyway. I usually have a look at games by certain GMs, like Winged and Sinre and LordT and my brother Sir_Draco. And I join anything that Fin does blindfolded, which takes us back to my first point, as he usually involves some degree of mystery and heavy and complex plotting.

    Characters? Oh, I really try to show range. Some characters I reprised. I believe I played Kira Romar in three games. But that felt more like one single story, afterwards, I must say. Generally I think I like it to have the opportunity to push my limits. Doing new things. Like playing a demigod (Superman in this case, with a twist), a very realistic person (Laura) or someone evil (my Sith in sarge´s game).

    I always wanted to play in a survival game, but except the more "wildlife" parts of ManCubs I haven´t seen any around, actually.
  3. Saintheart

    Saintheart Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Dec 16, 2000
    I don't play a hell of a lot, as you guys probably know. But recent gaming opportunities have actually made me do some thinking about what keeps me in games as a player.

    One that does is a bit difficult to pick before joining, but when it happens it sends tingles down my spine: when you realise you've lucked into a game where several, if not many, of the players are willing to talk to each other as much as to the GM and where it looks as though players are going to make the story together as much as rely on the GM. When you're talking to other people via PM about potential character connections before the game starts, that, to me, is a good sign that you're with the right people for a game. Things Have A Good Chance Of Getting Seriously Out Of Hand when this happens. :)

    Another is where I've actually got some investment in sticking around in my character of himself. This can be as simple as having a secret identity that no other players are aware of: Rahm Kota/Karm Ahto, for example. That was a treat to play with.

    Major turnoffs ... well, probably the opposite of point "one" above, where you realise you're playing with a group of people who really are just very objective-oriented or Macguffin-oriented and aren't that interested in delving into their characters as such. Important Note: present company and games excluded, of course. It's a stark difference I've frankly found between GMing ToF here and then trying to run or participate in D&D games on other boards that, in fairness, shall remain nameless. I might be spoiled for cool players or spoiled for female participation in ToF (yeah, yeah, I know, GIRL :D ) but I found that people on other boards just seem much more determined to rocket tag through an adventure, whereas here we (seem?) content to let a nice scene or nice conversation play out for an extra week without too much champing at the bit. Maybe that's good, maybe not, but the difference in willingness to mine the character for good background stuff is, to me anyways, stark.
  4. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 2, 2007
    Actually that is a hard one. I think in the end it comes down to games needing the same all other stories need to sell themselves. USP. The Unique Selling Point. Or in other words, something needs to interest me. Once I joined I am pretty loyal to a game. But I rarely feel truly drawn to a game. ManCubs (interverning, foreshadowed plot and amazing cast), TORR (new take on Jedi and playing a pirate who was described as a "major plotpart", which made me wanna see where this goes), 128 ABY (playing with sirak and returning to gaming, later the epicness of the story), Mass Effect (Alien meets Mass effect? C´mon, why haven´t YOU joined back then :p), Chessboard (unique idea), Depth of Madness (classical story, with a new villian - I felt totally like doing something lcassical back then. still do, actually), Destinies End (playing Padme. Me? Padme? Crazy idea. Had to try it) . . . they all attracted me, because they had something that sold them to me. Other games might be fine, might be a lot better . . . hell, they don´t do it for me. They simply don´t do it for me.

    Once I am in, my interest struggles with the usual factor of frustration. Once frustration get a stable majority, I usually see my motivation fail.
  5. DarthXan318

    DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 12, 2002
    Sirak - yeah, I've actually been angling to post this for some time, but it wasn't until recently that some person *cough cough* :p threw their hands up at my nagging and told me to post it without the Game Group reboot. And I think I know the GM you're talking about ...

    And it's funny you should bring that up Saint - barring ToF, I think it's in my best interests to avoid D&D games for that reason. You see, dice-and-rules-based games turn me into a raging munchkin. :oops: It's my love of videogames, I think ...

    My ideal game would be one where the GM has a fantastic fast-paced plot full of twists and turns, everyone posts two or three times a week, there's lots of character interaction, all those involved are equally dedicated and good writers, nobody drops out ... but that will never happen outside the realm of dreams, of course. :p

    Realistically, I'd say that what keeps me interested in a game is a combination of a few things: speed, other people, the writing and plot, and the character I'm playing.

    Speed: by this I mean both the speed at which the plot advances, and the frequency of posts. I like fast-paced games on both counts. If the plot moves too slowly or if the game goes too long without an update, I lose sight of what's going on ... and it just goes downhill from there.

    Other people: this is one of the most important factors for me, perhaps the most important. By other people I mean both the GM and other players: the GM is naturally very important because they set the tone of the whole game, but in most games I spend more time interacting with the other players than the GM, and so they are equally as important. Getting stuck with people whose styles/personalities/post frequency/tone/general idea of the game/etc conflict with mine is not very fun at all, and is a situation I try to avoid if at all possible. (That time when I was cornered into a quasi-romance storyline was ... memorable.)

    Writing and plot: these go hand in hand because it's a rare person that can have one shine without the other. And not just the GM's writing/plot, but the contributions of the other players, too. To me a game is less about the premise laid out in the OP than it is about the story you craft together, collectively.

    (A tangent - I like action-y games and am a sucker for the Hero Journey trope that crops up so often, and if mystery and plot twists are involved, so much the better! - but what I really love is the prospect of character development. One of the appeals of Man Cubs was the idea that my character would grow and change drastically over several in-game years before the game was through. So very few games offer that, and I feel it's something the more plot-heavy games tend to lose: if the GM is busy taking you on a fantastic journey, there's no space to explore the wilderness.)

    The character I'm playing: I always try to invent a completely new character for every game, unless I feel an old character of mine had a story I never got to tell (and even so, sometimes rewriting the character to fit the tone of the new game changes it drastically). I've played Sith Lords, Jedi Knights, fallen Jedi, one crazy kleptomaniac rogue, teenagers, doctors ... and of course my SotS character Sharon who defies description. (Sharon was an ambitious creation that turned out to be simultaneously the most frustrating and most rewarding character I've ever played... but that's a story for another time.) That said, I imagine all of my characters tend to have some common traits, in the same way all characters played by a single actor tend to have commonalities... and I have never managed to successfully play a character who is very different from me. Every time I try to play a strong-and-sile
  6. Sir_Draco

    Sir_Draco Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 19, 2007
    Oh a players group! I never felt I truly belonged to the GM group.

    And now I need to think about the question. I honestly never analysed it that much. Only thing that comes to my mind immediately is . . . it isn´t plot vs. player-interaction. All really, really good games I´ve been in, used player-interaction to forward their plot. That is what a sneaky and skillful GM does. So, I think it is something I want to expect from a game I join. To interact with players in an interesting way AND knowing that this interaction is part of a story I play in.

    I don´t want to sound arrogant . . . I am more than aware how miserable my own takes on GMing were at times, but I do not understand why people often think the "player heavy approach" and the "plot approach" are two things? Because good stories have no strong characters? And then you are more or less left to have a nice little diologue scene before the GM shoves you to the next plotpoint. Aaaah. I don´t like that! It makes me feel like being in a fanfic, not in a story. But if I feel my character is an organic part of a greater story which his personality and developemnti s actually a PART OF, that is what makes a game addictive.

    Turn-off, totally is when you realize your character doesn´t count or interest anyone anymore. I lately had a GM who did not read my updates anymore. He simply ignored them. But expected me to show up for plotpoint 19 in time, please. With the NPc I just killed in tow . . . outside April 1st that is something that makes me leave a game in no time.

    I would have a connected question to people around here. How do you realize you don´t wanna play anymore?
  7. Penguinator

    Penguinator Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 23, 2005
    Often it's just that sometimes I don't get as excited about my character as I should be, or maybe the plot isn't picking up as quickly as it should. Sometimes it feels like your character's personal plot is a totally tacked-on afterthought, and that's no fun.

    What does get me excited about playing in a game is making a character with some sort of actual personality to latch on to. When I feel like my character isn't just some extension of the setting or plot, then I'm well and truly happy, then I can start doing things that really get me excited and keen to post.

    Saint's been a pretty understanding guy when it comes to all the approaches to writing Ragnar I've tried in A Tide of Flames. :p I do think that sort of trial-and-error approach is the best you can hope for when you're uncertain about things but want to keep going. Sometimes it takes a while to remember why you're in a game, or why you loved the character you put together. I've found that the character I've thought out detail by detail by detail are a lot less interesting as a result; instead of coming alive, the character feels like a dead weight, because I know too much about them, and thus I don't want to deal with any plots that character is involved in.

    So, finally getting to my point: if I have a character that I feel is fun, and that is being genuinely included in plots (as in the GM will take ideas from my writing - say a casual reference to my character's family or habits - and run with it), then I get to do stuff like weave my own little plots and backstories for that character, and suddenly I'm having the time of my life.
  8. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Feb 10, 2009
    If you don't mind, I'd like to join. Help me get to know y'all little better.
    Ohhh hard questions. I think to play with people I know quite well usually influences my decision (I can be shy sometimes).
    That and understanding whats going on. Most of the Star Wars RPGs are EU based, so I find them hard to understand whats happening, and traulling through the wook trying to define all the places/people mentioned is a daunting prospect. So I tend to stay away from the stuff I don't know.
    For the nonrpf, I'd jump to join a game whose universe I'm interested in. I'm not sure there's much point rping something when you don't know anything about it.
    As for characters I love to play, Helinith definatly. She was originally just me in the SW universe working under Darth Vader, but she's become much more than that. As she develops I've realised I didn't want a typical sith, I wanted a slightly cheeky, cheerful human being who is, essentially, on the wrong side. But having being raised as a sith, she sees nothing wrong in what the sith do. I like to think if she had been raised as a jedi, Helinith would have made a very good one, if a little disobedient. Her passionate side would have lead her to follow Revan to fight the Mandolorians, had she been in that time.

    Darth Vader is another character I've enjoyed. I like to think I can characterise him quite well, having studied every single clip of his in ESB and RotJ. The power is intoxicating. That being said, I'm outta practice.
    I'd leap at the chance to do Revan or Bastilla sometime, but I'm not sure I'd do either of them justice. It's more just that I love the characters. If I'm going to play a cannon character, I have to know them; love them.
    Other more minor original characters I enjoy are mainly other species. With different species come different rules, particuarly when it comes to physical attributes such as size and strength and I think these are fun to explore.
  9. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Jul 13, 2008
    I have no idea who you could be referring to here.:p

    As for the topic at hand... I'm still trying to figure it out myself. I think there's just a large amount of luck involved, in that my tastes tend to shift rapidly, and any game I'm in has to be able to weather said shift for me to stay in it. That's not even a comment on the games I'm actually in - there have been some really great games that I just stopped keeping up with for reasons I can't decipher. Couple that with my tendency to need the occasional downtime for tests (Though, fortunately, that's easing up this semester) and my incredibly selfish impulse towards what I've taken to calling "me time" (Characterized by an internal conversation that goes something to the effect of "Well, I could post in _____, but on the other hand I've got a new book that needs reading/new movie that needs watching/really cool math problem...") and I've successfully managed to stay active in ToF and... ... ToF.

    And people keep accepting my CSes. I'm either doing something right or I'm a tremendous jerk who thrives off of other peoples' predilection for second chances. You know what? Don't answer which it is.

    So what can hold my taste? I think it would have to be something in one of the four subjects I never get tired of: westerns, comic books, giant robots, and gangsters (There's a hypothetical game there where superpowered wild west outlaws working for rival mafia families duke it out in battle suits. I'd be the most active poster.) The opportunity to make bad jokes is also appealing, as I'm tremendously fond of my awful sense of humor. It'd be a game that was heavy on plot but light on how my character can acceptably react to said plot.

    Actually, that might be why I have trouble staying in a lot of games. Their tone is very SERIOUS and I have trouble writing SERIOUS characters doing SERIOUS things in a SERIOUS manner. Nor do I think that most folks should aim for games that aren't SERIOUS - lots of folks like SERIOUS plots for their SERIOUS posts, and I'm just this weird exception who likes a universe where, I dunno, James Joyce can show up and start lamenting about how the state of prose in the post he's appearing in is woefully inadequate.

    I think I also need to try doing more joint posts, because my favorite thing to write is dialogue, and that's tough to pull off without cooperation.
  10. LordTroepfchen

    LordTroepfchen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 9, 2007
    So LordTroepfchen is posting in the RPR. Yes, I mean it! Fasten your seatbelts, people! :p

    I actually think a lot of players approach it from the wrong side. Therefore even this discussion is in a way approached from the wrong side. Because there is something here . . . like an elephant in the room . . . that seems to be ignored by many players, but is actually something that is not to be underestimated.

    Why do you/we leave, when the games are actually good? Why is our idea of "our game" so narrow that we (and let´s face it, that´s what happens) miss most good stories and games around here? Not that GMs need to worry about it, do they? As long as you have someone on your side, someone who is actually trying to get in tune with what you are doing, many GMs prefer it, when those who are not in it with their hearts leave and through that stop them from doing updates that lead nobody anywhere. When the GM group ever opens up I am more than willing to discuss how these two kinds of players drag you down and rise you again. For now . . .

    As players . . . the truth is, it is more about how you can get into a game than it is about how a game needs to wrap itself around you. That´s the point. I missed that on many games. But when I GMed I began to get it.

    Of course: Games struggling for audience should not be mixed up with those who actually won´t really recognize your absence. But you will probably read years later, how these games defined players and are still praised. I don´t know how you felt all about it, I always had this gnawing feeling I might not "have got it".

    That is why people prefer OPEN NUMBER GAMES, I believe. I haven´t heard until today, that limited acceptances lead to a single bad game, did they? But they do not allow you to judge the GM as a player, but suddenly make your ability to "get a game" the entrance criteria for a game. Isn´t it amazing how much more patience players show, once they see a good solid replacment mechanism in place? Therefore I always understood how from a "community" point of view flagships were the thing. The same goes for Newbies. Look at TGI´s Torr last year. First timer with these kinda numbers in these kinda days? Great. But for someone who know his game will generate some sort of desire on the market to play . . . limiting numbers do miracles for your player motivation. Which is kinda sad, as you only get something, you might expect from a player anyhow . . . considering how much effort GMs put into games.
  11. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 2, 2007
    [face_laugh] So this is becoming a discussion after all, is it? You could always do this to threads, LordT.

    There is a truth behind it, obviously. Players are not creatures served games by GMs. Although many younger GMs try to get attention and try to make games for the more experienced players, at some point you got your gang and the question arises, who and how many will I accept on top of my usual crew? But that might actually indeed be ideas for a GM group. As players it is probably important to keep in mind, that you can set standards as high or low as you want, you are obviously replacable.

    So the "untold" story of this question above might indeed be: "And what do you think makes you as a player popular/unpopular?"

    Because truth to be told, as we judge GMs (Fin-the-player here [face_peace]) and join and leave games, GMs (Fin-the-GM taking over :cool:) judge players and give up or put effort into them. But as LordT pointed out, the GMs might have a bigger pool to choose from. So you as a player end up not seeing any of the really good, fun games.

    Well. Point taken, LordT.
    That you "care about it" is the minimum requirment for community-based storytelling.
  12. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Jul 13, 2008
    I don't think that line of reasoning is invalid but, on the flip side, there's got to be a reason the players want to put that extra effort in in the first place, no? Sure, to a certain extent we can coast based on reputation here, but we, as RPers, have certain things we're looking for and certain characteristics that will make us more likely to join and become involved in a given game. Do I think the GM should cave into these predilections unwillingly? No (That's a pointlessly pretentious rant I'm saving for the Game Group, which is really honestly coming, promise), but I think it's dangerous, and really, not fair, to take a position that - seems, anyway, based on your post - to occupy an extreme opposite of caving in. Ergo, I believe the topic's directional thrust is not invalid - players have certain expectations that a GM has to meet at least a little bit to keep the player in question. Which is something I think a good GM will want to do; this sort of proposed "players are cogs that can be replaced" view is needlessly cynical in the context of having fun.

    Because ostensibly that would be what we're all here to do.

    And now, because it's 2 AM and tough to judge my tone, and I think that might've been harsh, I here include the traditional depiction of the most accurate summation of my views at all times:

  13. Penguinator

    Penguinator Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 23, 2005
    Just adding something I'm pretty interested in to the queue!

  14. DarthXan318

    DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 12, 2002
    Well... the thing to realize here is there are a billion reasons why a player might leave a game that are unrelated to the quality of the game itself. It ranges from "I got bored and a shiny new hobby that is better" to "I have exams and can't multitask" to "I lost my job and therefore my internet connection". It's understandable that a GM would be unhappy about this because those are factors they have no control over, but hey, GMs abandon games for the same array of bad (to the player) reasons.

    That players put more effort into games when they know they can be replaced is only partially true, IMO. In particular it's only true for players who are in games for prestige/status/some other reason that is unrelated to the game itself (which I think isn't sensible at all, but it happens, so there you go). Because if you're invested in the game and not just the idea of being in the game, it doesn't matter if you can be replaced or not. You are in it because you want to be.

    As players . . . the truth is, it is more about how you can get into a game than it is about how a game needs to wrap itself around you. That´s the point. I missed that on many games. But when I GMed I began to get it.

    Hmm, I don't agree. I think both are equally important. Both players and GMs need to be malleable and able to shift their vision of what Should Happen to accommodate the other. It's frustrating as a player when the GM railroads you horribly, but it is also frustrating as a GM when the player decides they don't give a crap about what you're trying to steer the game towards and just want to be the star of their own personal show. There's give and take in collaborative fiction.

    Though bear in mind that here we're talking about The Ultimate Game From The Perspective Of A Roleplayer. Of course they're going to be needlessly demanding on GMs. :p I imagine GMs can write long essays about the ideal roleplayer in their games, too.
  15. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 2, 2007
    Oh my God, a discussion! [face_laugh]

    Au contraire, I feel this argue is good and sound in a "two person relationship", but falls apart in a multi-player relationship.

    It isn´t only not everybody can be the main-character. It´s even worse. Actually in a good game nobody will be more central than any other. Except they make themselves more meaningful by more effort going into the game. The game cannot wrap around you, because there are ten other guys and girls who need to get attention. Or thirty. And that would be the point, when you cannot wrap a game around anybody anymore.

    Of course, DRL can take you out and that is sad and regrettable. But most player leave your game and keep on updating others.

    So you want attention, cool plots and GM effort? As said above, you will need to demand it by great posts, good character interaction and so on. Or you leave and be forgotten.

    Actually not a very precise rephrasing of my argument and not a very fair way to put it, to be honest.

    And you call your players cogs, I usually call mine friends. ;) :p

    But obviously everybody can be replaced! When did a game ever not replace the first leaving player? It is the greatest strength of this format. It is WE. It is US. It is not you and me. And WE minus one, is still WE. And WE minus 2 is probabably still WE.

    Community. Think about the word. It´s a group of people, doing something. What single individual is unreplacable in a community? And I said you will be replaced, not the GM will replace you. It´s a process. the other players do that more so than any GM. They predict you vanishing and make sure the games goes on for them without you. The second you vanish, you are already replaced. If you don´t kill the game, it goes on without you. Someone else will play and be important to that game and to that GM and to the other players. And instead of having left because you feel it does not serve your idea of a perfect game, you have actually kind of shown you didn´t belong in there. The remaining fictional ten players do. And YES I am aware, that is not the way you wanna see it when you leave. It´s probably the last thing you wanna hear when you are the one leaving, but you are the most replacable guy on earth: You are the one who leaves!

    The only unreplacable guys in a game are those, who do not wanna leave ANYWAY! If those are hit by DRL it is a tragedy, certainly. The others are expected to be gone, before the cool DJ plays.

    It is a non-spoken truth, that we all expect certain people to drop out early. I felt LordT pointed out, that someone might drop out of games, simply because he suffers from the fallout of being that person.

    And for players, that is a devil´s circle really. Because they won´t get anywhere closer to the center of attention by giving GMs that kind of idea about their reliability. The benchmark for being considered "part of the community" gets higher with every drop out and the higher it gets, the easier they drop out.
  16. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 30, 2007
    Well, reading through it, I have three things that come to my mind.

    1. LordT still knows how to spawn a discussion. [face_laugh]

    2. I can´t help it but think you two groups of opinions (I am generalizing here into two factions, fully aware there are subtle differences) seem to think of different games. I feel a bit both opinions are generalisations (which is fine, who wants to read a twenty pages paper on this!), but both start at a different point.

    Everybody is replacable. Obviously true, when games reach a certain size. 128 ABY, SotS, AFAS, ToRR (to use older games as reference). No single player could harm such a game by leaving. So if you wanted to "make it there, because then you could make it anywhere" you needed to have patience, write good stuff and play with other players. And yes, those kinda games do not wrap themselves around you, to use Fins wording. How could they? They don´t have to try to reach you. They have broad appeal. And they could not sacrifice this for any single player. But I think those games were not the ones Peng, Ramza, Xany and I meant.

    What about those five to seven people games, which struggle with every lost player? What makes us stay in those games? What makes us leave them? They aren´t as gifted as those above, right. The rules above do not count anymore. The GM and you enter a more personal relationship to each other. And there isn´t such a big WE, but more "this three of us playing that game". Think of Lea Monda I, II, The Cold Embrace, Depth of Madness, 41 ABY and you get a different picture. Those games are much tightly woven tales and why do you join? Because you expect a more intimate experience. And that experience should be like [enter our opinions from above here, please].

    3. The string of arguments of Fin brought up something else I am interested in. So I wanna add something to the quere, which I think might be something we should discuss at some point. And it fits in here better than in the GM group (although I hope GMs will rise their voice and give an opinion). Not my personal problem (I hope), but something some people I valued struggled with, actually.

  17. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 2, 2007
    Sirak, you got a point there. Although I think LordT´s approach is fair, considering especially big games have leaving players galore. And those often lead to people regretting it later (speaking from my limited personal experience). Also, your argument is obviously right. There are games and games and every rule saying Games can . . . is pretty general, if it does not specify, what kind of game we´re talking about.

    Back to that post.

    Also I am afraid to kill the discussion, I wanna point out that I also think the original approach seemed very fair and sound, the answers of all of us - my own totally included - just ignored that our own position to it might leave more than games as victims, but also ourselves. I like to read LordTs post that way.

    Do our preferences keep us from having fun with games we give up on too soon?

    The idea what expectations a GM should meet and what expectations he should not allow to influence him might be a wonderful topic for . . . that group about these other guys, these non-players . . . GMs, or whatever they call themselves.

    But back to the original topic.

    After thinking about it for a day or two, I suddenly found my answer was terribly incomplete. My answer to the original question, I mean. Because on second thought the whole "join a game or not" comes down for me to two factors.

    Creativity of concepts (had that one above)



    I join a lot of games, because friends of mine did. I like to play with my people and it is in some ways the reason why I play at all. So when a few of my real-life friends and e-friends join a game, I´ll give it a look. And if I need to, I´d sell it to myself. So yeah, no shame in admitting that fellow players mean a lot to the estimation if you get into a game. It might be the most important aspect, actually.
  18. Penguinator

    Penguinator Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 23, 2005
    I'm not even certain this discussion is about roleplaying anymore...I see a lot of GMs in here!:p

    Being almost entirely focused on playing, myself, all I can say on the subject is that sometimes I get bored, sometimes I lose interest, sometimes I wind up disliking the character I created, sometimes I just realize that the game isn't what I thought it would be. At that point, it's tough to remain involved when it feels like you're just punching the clock. If any GM has had any grand designs on a character I've abandoned, I can only apologize for leaving them hanging, but clearly I just wasn't interested in what I was doing in the game.

    As far as regret goes, I think that's often wishful thinking on the part of players. If a player had to leave a game due to time constraints, fine, yes, I can see them being regretful. But if a player left due to lack of interest, or because they got bored, or because they just didn't feel involved, I think they're trying to latch on to something that wasn't there in the first place.

  19. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Jul 13, 2008
    Man, two posts about my pathetic little paragraph? I dunno if I should be flattered or what.:p

    Let's start with the easy parts, I suppose:
    That'd be a misunderstanding on my part, then - the original two posts seemed, to me, to be fairly utilitarian with regards to players, but after reading the elaboration that's clearly not the case. So I'll happily take that accusation back.

    I don't even think it's two factions so much as two general clusters that are spaced out a bit on the same spectrum. Certainly less divided than, say, political parties. Mind you, that's an issue of semantics.

    And now the chunky bits!
    Not untrue, but from the other perspective - why has that player left? As Sirak correctly points out, not every game can afford to lose that player in the first place, to say nothing of the psychological impact on the GM. Honestly, people leaving kind of sucks and, at least on my end, it makes me wonder if I've done something wrong. Of course, the really interesting flip side is that it also kind of sucks for the player who's leaving, because they feel guilty for bailing and they wonder if they're ever going to be accepted into that GM's game again. That might be its own discussion in and of itself, but often I've wondered if a PM back and forth shouldn't be a more standard procedure, and that's generally going to take effort on the GM's part - aforementioned guilty feeling player really, really doesn't want to initiate that conversation. Hell, I should know - I had a massive burnout back in 2009 (Good lord, that was nearly three years ago now! I was a freshman! And now I'm a graduating senior! And a mod! Where does the time go?) and there was absolutely nothing worse than when I had to PM a couple of my GMs asking them to take me back. I felt like a king-sized idiot. And I probably deserved it, but the point is it's difficult, so it'd be nice to just avoid the whole situation, wouldn't it?
  20. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    The Question posted:
    [B]The First Topic: Care and Feeding of a Roleplayer [/B]

    What keeps you going in a game? What sort of stuff keeps you engaged and motivated - or, conversely, what is a major turnoff for you? Are there certain types of games that you jump at the chance to join, or characters you just love to play?

    Sorry, but I cannot cope.

    I can?t cope if my tag goes unanswered for longer than seventy-two hours, or if I am required to wait on the GM and they have vanished for too long.

    My defensive method has become to have npcs and situations that I can solo with and within whilst waiting for players or GMs to update, rather than pressure anyone.

    So GMs that will ?put up? with me, and allow me to flourish, and see a value in what I do; their games I will join in a heartbeat, and they have a loyal player right here who will the best he can to support their vision and play in their worlds.

    As long as the GM is happy with what I am doing, that is all that matters.

    * * *

    Also, like [B]Sirak[/B] said she had played a character in three games, and it seemed like one big story; that is how I play now. There are characters that have coherent timelines from the fanfic that I used to write, into games here, and that is often what keeps me in a game ? I am heavily invested in that character from before I created a character sheet here.

    [B]Imperial Hammer[/B] impressed me with his rules on characters and npcs, and there will be npcs that I have brought up, and raised to more prominent positions.

    Apart from GMs who will put up with me, signs that they care about their projects away from the boards, like external boards for character pictures, star maps that they have done, can really inspire me that this is a place worth hanging about for.

    Knowing that you and your character can make a difference in the game. Those are all reasons to be loyal.>
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  21. LordTroepfchen

    LordTroepfchen Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 9, 2007
    Actually I feel like I am back in the RPR. don´t worry, I just found this one topic to be especially interesting. the player-GM dynamic is a pretty unexplored thing.

    Well, just to spin the discussion into another direction. The above said by me is probably not meant as "anti-player" as it seems to be. The thing is, GMs often aim for prestige and these sort of things as much as players. So the symbiosis between a player and a GM is always something between the two and made difficult by anything not involving the actual game. But the GM also has to balance the "joy-of-one" against "joy-of-all" ideal. And call my cynical, but considering how players usually don´t care for the "joy-of-all" thing, he will have too loose some wood on his way to making a chair (German saying, I know, I know). Now comes the trick. If you put yourself a bit into the service of a game, you´ll end up in it´s center.

    So what makes you join a game? All the answers above come down to a simple:

    What I predict the game will be like.

    GMs and their reputation are actually quite helpful there, I believe. Although misleading very often. having joined 133 ABY and enjoying it, might not make SotS a good game for you, despite both being by Fin. Chessboards and ManCubs were worlds apart, both by Winged. The OPs and Rules tell you something, too. I always look if anything special turns up in the rules. Two posts a day? Daily posts? Every two weeks? Only five players? Limited run? Open for everyone? Your character can die? What, he WILL die? Is there a prose intro setting the scene? What scene? Squad based? Jedi vs. Sith? AU? Sith only? Training game? Franchise? Original? Something new? Horror? And then . . . who did join? My crew? People I lurked on? People I had trouble with? Newbies? Oldbies? Leavers? Stayers? What characters? Exotic ones? Unusual ones? Ordinary with a twist? Just ordinary? Or more classic? Realistic? Powerful? Powerless? Guy-next-door? Most important: Is it a sequel? To what? Did I like part one? Did I play in it? Did I regret or thank God I didn´t?

    Once I am through that list above I have a pretty neat idea what to expect. Sometimes I am miles away from what it becomes. Especially in the NSWRPF these things can be misleading. Then the question if I am in the mood for it comes up. If my expectations meet the mood, I join. If my expectations are not fulfilled early on I dive into the new idea, or I leave. The leaving automatism will not work endlessly, as people do not create games to meet my expectations. If I am not lucky the only way I find good games for me is to jump onto a franchise, give my characters continuity or simply wait. Or actually give up. Not few people do that, too.

    That above is how I do it most of the time. Above is my impression of what people around here usually do and the posts by most people here seem to be in the same line of work.

    But there is one point above, that does not work for me.

    How do I make it my game? If I invest and the GM gets out the whip to reign me in, okay . . . I am gone. Nobrainer. But if I invest and other players do and interaction involves . . . I might actually turn the whole thing into a game the GM and I love to do. Our game. Even if it does not fit the criteria-list above. But seriously, if I leave before my twentieth post I can not hope for that, seriously. I leave the game, before the game found it´s footing, the GM found his tone and the plot it´s angle. I simply haven´t given it a chance and therefore . . . I should not join any game, that isn´t clear-cut my perfet idea of a game. I´ll only let people down.

    Reverse view from the GM, I only accept players who I expect to make this their game! Because they will pay back for my effort with theirs and we have a lot of fun!

    Or to quote Winged-Jedi from his recent interview. It is great to know what to expect from a player. I think the same goes vice-versa for GMs.
  22. DarthXan318

    DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 12, 2002
    Yeah, I definitely agree expectations are very important. If I make a character expecting a sandbox game, and instead I get a railroad where I am literally expected to press a big red button ... that doesn't end well. :p The reverse is also true. If I'm expecting a heavy story-driven game where I'm mostly along for the ride, and instead I get this blank canvas and am told to paint, it doesn't turn out well either.

    It's really interesting to see how we all have different requirements when it comes to a game, but a lot of the basic principles (expectations, communication, respect, feeling like you matter) are important to us all. Then again, those principles are also universally applicable to most of life, so that isn't surprising really.

    Sithy - Haha, I remember your legion of NPCs from the GAW days. 72 hours?? No wonder you had so many, I think you're in a class of your own here when it comes to posting frequency. :eek:

    Aside: I'm glad this topic has spawned so much discussion! Because, yes, this is supposed to be a discussion group and not just a collection of survey topics. Plz talk moar. :D

    Let's keep going with this current topic for the rest of the week, and then we'll rotate to the next one on the queue - roleplaying technique/approaches.
  23. Vehn

    Vehn Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    What keeps you going in a game? What sort of stuff keeps you engaged and motivated - or, conversely, what is a major turnoff for you? Are there certain types of games that you jump at the chance to join, or characters you just love to play?

    What keeps me going in a game depends on two things: Plot and the characters of those I interact with. The story has to have a good selling point, be unique, and not devolve into a god-modding quagmire. I enjoy seeing other writer's perspectives in terms of character creation and interaction and get a kick out of putting a little spin in that department on my own. Also, I find that the flexibility to create a character that can grow and thrive, realistically screw things up, and stumble along the way is a big pull.

    Turn off: I tend to stay away from Jedi/Sith story lines and role play solely from a civilian perspective, non-force user that is. I never role play a force user. Too abused and too used in my opinion. Besides, I feel that force user's can be too restrictive when it comes to the creative juices. Star Wars to me is not full of Jedi and Sith. It is about the average Joe.

    Games I tend to join? Ones that have a unique foundation and a new take on Star Wars.

    Characters I love to play? Blue-collar men and women who fight hard to get their place. They may not have always been dealt all the right cards by those up top but the ones they have been dealt they're going to work hard to use to their advantage.

  24. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    I have done a lot of RPR surfing this lunchtime, so I cannot remember which thread I saw it in, but LordTroepfchen, I would join that Horizon game idea that you introduced, straight away. I loved everything, but an extra special thing was seeing the option of the newly coined "IPC" / Interactive NPC. Amazing.

    So, Xan, you want us to discuss stuff? Okay.

    DarkLordOfTheFins wrote - I join a lot of games, because friends of mine did. I like to play with my people and it is in some ways the reason why I play at all. So when a few of my real-life friends and e-friends join a game, I´ll give it a look. And if I need to, I´d sell it to myself. So yeah, no shame in admitting that fellow players mean a lot to the estimation if you get into a game. It might be the most important aspect, actually.

    As far as I know, I don't. I will be pleased to see CS's from RPers that I have enjoyed playing with, posted in the thread, but by that time, I will have already sent my CS in too.
    I know there have been one or two players that have followed me into a game; and I have allowed friends to persuade me to join games, but generally, I respond to GM invites (or, rarer, requests for assistance), or check out an introductory post if I see one. And that is not counting automatic sign-up if I see a new episode for a game franchise that I have enjoyed.

    SirakRomar wrote - Major turn-off? GMs who vanish anyway after page 2.

    Oh yeah, not a fan of that either. During my early RP years, I would try to step in as a Backup GM, but whatever I did, I seemed to be a thread killer. RL kidnapped two GMs from a game that Dubya Scott and I were in, recently, and between us, we managed to double-team it for what felt like several weeks, in the expectation that at least one would come back...
    I can keep going for quite a while without GM updates, I have found, but at the end of the day, they are the one with the vision and spark of creation that started the game and concept in the first place. Eventually, I will run out of steam. I have probably been the last poster in a lot of threads where the game has died and I'm still trying CPR.

    SirakRomar wrote - "crossover-games", which I always consider to be the absolute low of all lows of creativity.

    I love crossovers. Could never eat a whole one... Maybe it is the fish out of water element, or just seeing how two franchises/universes/character pools compare.

    LordTroepfchen wrote - Why do you/we leave, when the games are actually good? Why is our idea of "our game" so narrow that we (and let´s face it, that´s what happens) miss most good stories and games around here? Not that GMs need to worry about it, do they? As long as you have someone on your side, someone who is actually trying to get in tune with what you are doing, many GMs prefer it, when those who are not in it with their hearts leave and through that stop them from doing updates that lead nobody anywhere. When the GM group ever opens up I am more than willing to discuss how these two kinds of players drag you down and rise you again. For now . . .

    I can think of only two games that I regret leaving. Feeling wronged by a GM can be a reason to leave a game. Being wronged by a player can be overcome, but when the ultimate authority within that game god-modes, auto-hits, or authorises another player to do it, that is my personal Berzerk Button.

    I don't know what the RP rules are on property, but I had a ship that I created in one game - Immobiliser 418 Interdictor - researched, mapped out decks, posted, and allowed other players to use it, and the Games Master authorised a player to explode a shuttle within my ship's hangar bay while I was offline. If I had not been so intertwined in various parts of the game, that would have been enough for me to go.

    Not a deal breaker (new favourite term of mine), but I hate when players ignore security precaut
  25. DarthXan318

    DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 12, 2002
    I think he means that if you expect someone to drop out early, you're going to treat them as if they are going to disappear at any time (by giving them unimportant scenes or something), and then they're going to feel minimized and leave. You have therefore created a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    You should probably not join any of my games, I'll tell you this right now. :p Not because I have anything against you, I still have fond memories of GAW, but I'm very much a "laws of the universe dictate what players can do" kind of person. Does the shuttle exist? Does the player's character legitimately have access to the shuttle? Can the shuttle legitimately explode? If the answers are all "yes", the exploding shuttle situation can and will happen if the player chooses to make it so.

    I don't believe in "permission" for things like this. If a situation should not happen, things should be set up so the situation is not possible, not put arbitrary roadblocks in place. (This is also why AFAS gave me several fits: many things happened because the narrative demanded it, because it was convenient, or just because **** you that's why. Aaaargh.)

    I also think - and not everyone will agree, I am sure - that moments like these are what make a RPG interesting. It's no fun, IMO, if nothing bad can ever happen without everyone's consent.

    This I agree with, though. That's plain godmoding, and should not be tolerated.