Blog Comments

  1. Legionaire's Avatar
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  2. CondorDM's Avatar
    Hmm i always assumed the person running the game runs how things go, running games takes a person with a real back bone to do it. Even amongst friends there are rules and if the friend doesn't follow the rules then they get to sit out, this is a cruel evil of the dungeon masters position and if he/she doesn't have the back bone to lay the law down then things will go to the dogs you might say.

    I have fun DMing like players have fun playing, taking the game serious to me equals fun, i enjoy a game that is taken serious by the players and the DM, there are a few methods i employ to keep a group focused and moving during the game, i do not mind the odd joke and moment of haha but my friends/players know if they talk to much it kills my focus and i am a go, go and go DM and will bite there heads off if they yap to much. If they do not settle down i either knock them from the session or start chopping bonuses off there characters.

    In reality regardless how people want things to be, we all have our bad sides which is why a DM/GM has to have a back bone to keep players in order, the odd groups that do not focus on this may get lucky, lucky as in gamers who got together without a bunch of bad habits. The majority who get together and the DM doesn't control things, well the game either falls apart or you cannot keep to one full time campaign for to long as people try to jump from one to another trying to find what works and either the DM comes to realize he/she must put there foot down or they walk away from the gaming group.

    I explain to players upfront that come game time i am not there friend, i am there DM and will treat them as players and not friends during the session. I do this cause i don't hope things will be as they should be, i accept reality and run my game based off that. This is just my opinion that has been formed over 19 years of DMing and 16 of those years pretty much doing nothing but DMing.

    I have some tricks and such i use to maintain a groups focus, i DM two table top groups in real life and each one consist of ten + players(only three of them play in both groups), i run them each once a month for ten plus hours each session, i also run a group 3 days a week on openrpg but sessions are 3-5 hours each and find myself using many different tricks and such to counter online group issues.

    So in the end if you do not have a back bone for running groups but should!, either hope you get lucky with the right people or step down from running games, in my opinion this advice is good for those out there hitting a wall when trying to run groups but do not have the nerve to put there foot down to friends/players.
  3. December's Avatar
    I've had it done to me a couple times. Every time, I tell them "That's great. Here's the deal: This is my character. Not yours. Piss off and let me be. " They'll continue, often, and I'll repeat myself again, along with "Look, I get you're trying to help me, even though I know what I'm doing, but I don't want or need the help for creating/rolling -my- character. It's this way for a reason."

    Sometimes, they bugger off after that. It's frustrating, though. It really is. I feel your pain, bud.
  4. BlacktotheFuture's Avatar
    My approach toward RPGs is this: there is no "correct" build. It's a game, not a freakin' algebra test. It's supposed to be fun.
    Yeah, I can dig that. Guess it's just a matter of not lettin' it get to ya.
  5. Count_Dreadstone's Avatar
    It generally depends on the game. As a GM, I focus my creative efforts on detailing the world and playing the NPCs, etc. That's my job as the GM. My job as the GM is not to tell people how to play their characters. Building the character is the player's job. As a player, my job is to play my own character, not to tell the other players how to build and play theirs. So personally, I don't get up in someone's grill about their build unless they ask me for advice.

    In a game that will be less RP and more hack'nslash, you'll sometimes be expected to build your character in a manner thought to be consistent with his role in the game. Adding things that don't seem to support that role so strongly can make your teammates go "erf?" and look at you askance. This attitude seems to have become more prevalent with the popularity of MMOs.

    As far as weak builds go, the AD&D Dungeon Master's guide points out that these so-called "unplayable" characters are often the most fun to play. It takes some creative thinking to overcome the handicaps of what some would consider a "gimped" build. It was mostly talking about crappy ability score rolls, but it seems like a valid point here as well. It's easy to play a character well when you've stacked the numbers in his favor and given him some crazy powerful magic gear. That doesn't make non-optimized characters unplayable.

    My approach toward RPGs is this: there is no "correct" build. It's a game, not a freakin' algebra test. It's supposed to be fun. I'm going to play what I want to play. People who can't accept this approach won't find me gaming with them. Anyone who thinks they can play my characters better than I can is free to roll up their own and have a go at it. They might be better at min/maxing and twinking their characters out... but they aren't looking for the same kind of challenge that I am.

    And who's to say they're having more fun doing it their way than I'm having doing it mine?
    Updated 06-25-2010 at 10:09 AM by Count_Dreadstone
  6. BlacktotheFuture's Avatar
    That's a pretty devious half-and-half compromise you described there. I feel ya though. Probably the best way to do it.
  7. obtusehobbit's Avatar
    For me I think it a balance, and I have seen GMs railroad the story with the players being none the wiser. The trick I think as a DM is to let your players play, and adjust your plans according to their actions, sometimes you can pretty much let them do whatever they want, but sometimes you need to take measures to move them in a particular direction. Either way I prefer when it at least seems that the players have a choice in the matter.

    One of the keys to railroading while making it seem like a choice is to understand your players likes and dislikes, and their PC motives. By using those two things you can create situation where the Players are likely to take the path that you want them to take. Now since a person motives change on a regular bases you need to as a GM talk with your players and get feedback.

    At least that is my opinion on the matter, railroading is sometimes needed, but you have to do it in a smart way or your players will feel slighted.
  8. BlacktotheFuture's Avatar
    Huh, I hadn't thought about it like that. Neat. I think I'll suggest that next time it comes up (if the issue hasn't been resolved by then that is). Though the GM was pretty admant about there being no reason for the older Blue mage to hand over all of his spells for the betterment of the party.
  9. Lowthor's Avatar
    You can always teach something.

    A blue mage to continue with your example could teach another of ways they have learned to better use certain spells, or to mitigate the risks associated with learning new ones.

    I would say that from an OOC perspective sharing makes for a better game, but that you don't have to have it that way IC.
  10. BlacktotheFuture's Avatar
    So you're of the opinion that people should just share and compromise. 's probably the best way. Though I'm not sure if blue magic can actually be tutored in the same way other magic can...or do you mean something else?
  11. Lowthor's Avatar
    The first two examples you gave had me immediately coming up with ways to deal with the situation in character to improve the game.

    1. The "older" blue mage actually mentors the newer one.
    2. The two samurai actually have a real friendly rivalry and often end up sparring each other for the new swords (which a helpful DM would have drop more often since two PCs are using them).
  12. Alexander Tau's Avatar
    I have experienced this a couple of times so I do understand what you mean. As a GM I consider what you are describing to be rather pointless. Unless the Characters all started out pre-Training together they have no way to coordinate their abilities and choices. But beyond that I see this sort of thing as proof the people involved are not Role Playing but rather Roll Playing.

    A Character should be made up of a variety of parts each of importance. No matter what is thrown at someone inside the Game they really should go with it. If you are playing a Monk and someone else shows up with big time hand to hand skills then that should be a good thing. The two of you can work together to show everyone that you do not need Spells or Swords to get things done, just fists and feet. *grins*

    But re-reading your post it seems you are talking about Games that are mostly about combat not RP so I see where you could have a problem with duplication. I don't really have much in the way of advice for that sort of Game sadly. Everything I have ever done has been about Role Playing even the combat.
  13. BlacktotheFuture's Avatar
    Authority = Asskicking.
    Updated 04-19-2010 at 02:23 AM by BlacktotheFuture
  14. Lass's Avatar
    10-12 people!!!! OMG that sounds like a nightmare group! I play in a local group on Sundays (checks her watch to see how long before running off to it) that has 9 people and I get sooooooo frustrated. In between battles someone starts talking about a movie they say, the latest song by blah blah blah, a viral Youtube or whatever and the game turns into a mess. Thing is the group is a tight bunch of friends so we cant start excluding people. I was their first GM with a Shadowrun and then Mutants and Masterminds game as the group grew but Ive now sworn off GMing for them. Ive passed the buck to another GM who now runs a nWoD game and he has less luck than I at herding these cats.

    Luckily Ive been able to cherry pick from this group to create a side game of Star Wars SAGA thats kicking ass!

    How do you guys keep control of the group? Do you have an enforcer player that bangs on the table to bring everyone to order?
  15. Lass's Avatar
    I dunno... Virgil just vanished... saddies.
  16. BlacktotheFuture's Avatar
    Well then this is a perfect way of pre-fixing things that might not be well recieved with your own clone premise Lass. By the way, what happened to that Fires of the Force game we were in? WHERE'D IT GO?!
  17. Lass's Avatar
    W.ell poo... I double posted and cant seem to figure out how to erase the second posting
    Updated 04-16-2010 at 08:17 PM by Lass
  18. Lass's Avatar
    You just got me nervous with your clone story arch bashing!!! One of the big plot hooks in my Star Wars SAGA game involves the Jedi PC being a clone with that was combined with the midi-cholorians of Mace Windu AND that there is a second "brother" clone who is a reaccuring baddy. Thus Im setting up for a gimpse into what a life with the Sith might be like. Its all yet to be revealed and I hope I can pull it off effectively. Luckily for me the players are dedicated RPers and love to sink their improv/RP teeth into stuff like this.

    In this case the clone "brother" is going to be a much different character. The two were seperated upon creation and have lived very different lives - one going Jedi, the other Sith. So hopefully that will prevent the problems you mention in fighting your mirror image. I hope to make the characters similar enough to have the clone temp the PC with a "how great our lives can be as Sith brothers speech" but still have enough of a solid footing that the PC will reject it.

    But at this point its mostly still on the drawing board being fleshed out more and more each week with a slow gradual reveal coming.
  19. Aerthos's Avatar
    I think that it could be possible to have a one-shot clone fight if you could somehow keep the players from knowing exactly what their weaknesses are--which short of not letting them actually look at their character sheets you can't really do. The crux of the matter is that in movies and almost any other medium where a hero(es) fights his/her/their clone(s), the protagonists do not usually know that they have a horrible Will save, or a great grapple check, for example. By the nature of a tabletop RPG, players know their characters backwards and forwards, so they know what their weakness are--and usually the weaknesses of their fellow party members as well. This makes the clone fight difficult to pull off because that is the kind of metagame knowledge that is almost impossible to separate.

    The only way I have found to combat this problem is to separate the party so each party member has to fight their clone by themselves--which adds an element of excitement because they cannot rely on party members for buffs, healing, etc--but oftentime this degrades to whoever happened to roll the highest initiative or get in a (un)lucky roll.

    Personally I have given up on experimenting further with a clone fight, but if you can manage to make it work I applaud you and insist that you share the secret!
  20. Rodgin Kemph's Avatar
    I've heard dissapointment in the clone idea from others. Last batch was an evil mirror that spawned them.

    I'd have to say that using them as a one shot enemy is where it falls flat. While the concept in movies and Anime works well because they can't hit each other, most tabletops works against that as it rarely makes for you to not be able to kick your own ass. So instead of a stalemate, you run for the "who gets the lucky shot" approach to fighting your equal.

    I may have to try it as a long running evil counterpart. Plane of Shadows seems like a good catch for that in a D&D world.
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