*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
May 21, 2019, 04:08:16 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: What Kind of a Gamer Am I?  (Read 5696 times)
Chasuk
Member

Posts: 14


« on: October 07, 2005, 11:28:11 AM »

This thread has been transplanted from another forum (RPG Theory).


a) You can post in Actual Play your favorite roleplaying experience, a time when you got exactly what you were after. Say who your fellow players were, what their relationships were to one another, what game rules you were using. You don't need to tell us exactly what happened in character - instead, tell us as best you can exactly what happened in real life. Who said what happened? Who made the decisions? Who interpreted the dice? Stuff like that. (This is what Sydney's asking, as you can see.)

b) Or you can post in Actual Play a recent roleplaying experience that really sucked. Just the same: say who your fellow players were, what their relationships were to one another, what game rules you were using, what happened in real life. Especially, say who made the game go badly, how he or she did it, and what you wish he or she had done instead.

Then ask us for our take on what was really going on and read our replies with an open mind.

I choose option c).

I'm not sure as to the proper protocol or format, but here goes:

Me (a Druid in a generic D20 universe):  "I buy the publican another drink, and ask him if he has seen any strangers in town recently."

The best friend of the GM suddenly suggests that we interrupt the proceedings for another essential Mountain Dew/Cheetos replenishment-run, and, without a vote, the horde departs, ravenously descending on Safeway.

Forty-five minutes pass.  We finally reassemble at the kitchen table.  Mountain Dew is spilled and mopped up.  The game finally resumes nearly an hour after the interruption.

GM:  "Where were we?"

Best-friend-of-GM:  "We were going to go kick some ass in the abandoned mine outside of town."

Everyone (save yours truly) concurs, and we rush off to said abandoned mine.  Several hours of tedium ensue, during which time we kill lots and lots of random monsters, and discover enough fabulous loot that Monty Hall would blush.  Most of the monsters are rats and trolls.  No one is interested in why the Dark Mage hired us as adventurers; mindless pillaging and slaughter are all that concern them.  People chat on their cellphone during game and no one notices.  The Priest in the party fails to heal me on several occasions because he is playing on his PSP.

At the end of the session, I silently swear off rpg's forever, but the next week I find myself, inexplicably, sitting around the same table.  I know it can be fun; sometimes it is, but usually it devolves into what I have just described.

Oh, this woeful experience is frequently preceded by HOURS of creating characters.  This happens especially if the game weas supposed to start at noon, but half of the players haven't shown up until 1:30, so after the character creation orgy we get started by 4:00. I wish I were exaggerating, but I'm not.  :-)
Logged
droog
Member

Posts: 263


« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2005, 11:39:58 AM »

To what degree are you friends with these people? Would it be at all easy to find other people to play with?
Logged

AKA Jeff Zahari
Sydney Freedberg
Member

Posts: 1293


WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2005, 11:43:03 AM »

Wow. Less than fun.

Me (a Druid in a generic D20 universe):  "I buy the publican another drink, and ask him if he has seen any strangers in town recently."

Do any one or more of the following match your (unspoken) reaction to everyone ignoring your input here?
a) "Don't you guys appreciate that I'm being smart here, trying to get more information while you just rush off into a situation you don't know about on orders from someone you don't know about either?"
b) "Don't you guys appreciate that I'm trying to make a choice here, that maybe fighting isn't the right thing to do at all?"
c) "Don't you guys appreciate that there's a whole world to imagine here, that there's more to do besides just cut to the fight scene?"
d) "Don't you guys see I'm bored with combat and want to do some investigation?"
e) "Don't you guys ever listen to me at all?"
Logged

Chasuk
Member

Posts: 14


« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2005, 12:20:21 PM »

To what degree are you friends with these people? Would it be at all easy to find other people to play with?

All friends and family.  I met my wife playing with a group inter-connected with this one, 25+ years ago.
Logged
Chasuk
Member

Posts: 14


« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2005, 12:26:04 PM »


Do any one or more of the following match your (unspoken) reaction to everyone ignoring your input here?
a) "Don't you guys appreciate that I'm being smart here, trying to get more information while you just rush off into a situation you don't know about on orders from someone you don't know about either?"
b) "Don't you guys appreciate that I'm trying to make a choice here, that maybe fighting isn't the right thing to do at all?"
c) "Don't you guys appreciate that there's a whole world to imagine here, that there's more to do besides just cut to the fight scene?"
d) "Don't you guys see I'm bored with combat and want to do some investigation?"
e) "Don't you guys ever listen to me at all?"

Difficult choices, mainly, excepting I would never say a) or e).  Not a) because it if would be taken as criticism, and this is a tetchy lot, not e) because it would be perceived as whining, and this is as tetchy lot.  In descending order: c), d), and b).  Truth be told, the likelihood is fairly equal for all three of those options.
Logged
GreatWolf
Member

Posts: 1155

designer of Dirty Secrets


WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2005, 12:35:10 PM »

Difficult choices, mainly, excepting I would never say a) or e).

Important point.  Sydney didn't ask, "What would you say to your fellow gamers?"  He said, "What's going through your head, even if you wouldn't say it out loud?"

This is very important.  Trust us.  Personally, I know what my reaction would be, but that's me.
Logged

Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Chasuk
Member

Posts: 14


« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2005, 01:17:55 PM »

[Important point.  Sydney didn't ask, "What would you say to your fellow gamers?"  He said, "What's going through your head, even if you wouldn't say it out loud?"

This is very important.  Trust us.  Personally, I know what my reaction would be, but that's me.

I think my thoughts and my spoken words would mirror each other, in this case.

What would your reaction be, if that isn't too much of an aside?
Logged
GreatWolf
Member

Posts: 1155

designer of Dirty Secrets


WWW
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2005, 02:09:28 PM »

My reaction would be, "Do you guys care enough about what we're doing to focus on it?"  All the interruptions that you chronicle would drive me absolutely bonkers.  I tend to be the kind of person who wants the folks in a group activity to focus on the group activity.  That means no playing PSP, no telephone conversations (barring emergencies), and snack breaks at breaks in the action.  Anything else demonstrates a lack of courtesy to the other members of the group.  I don't just apply this standard to RPGs.  When I sit down to play a boardgame, I expect the same quality of focus on the game, even if the game allows for light conversation.  We're doing this thing; that takes first priority.

I don't think this is an aside, either.  When I read your account, these items were what leapt out at me.  I read your account, and I don't get a picture of people who are really doing the same thing together.  This is a fundamental issue that comes before play preferences even.  Investigation vs. Combat, GNS, none of that matters if the group isn't actually functioning as a group.  Bluntly, based on the information that you've given, if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't waste doing roleplaying with these people.  That doesn't mean that I would stop being friends with them.  However, this is a group activity that isn't working.  Instead, I'd suggest something else.

However, maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe the group is actually functional; you're just not enjoying what they're doing.  If that's so, then I have some other thoughts for you.

But first...

Don't jump to the conclusion that the problem is with the game.  Give some serious consideration to what I laid out above.

I'll wait here.

Okay, now to an analogy.  Let me tell you a story.

One day I sat down to play a game of checkers with the son of a friend.  This young boy (Levi) was about four years old at the time.  His brother Colton (age 14 or so) was there to help supervise.

I set up the pieces and made my opening move, pushing one piece forward diagonally.  Levi picked up one of his pieces from the back row and jumped it onto one of my pieces in the middle.  "I capture it!" he crowed.  Colton blinked and started to say, "You can't do that."  I waved him off and made an equally absurd move.  The game morphed into some bizarre Calvinball version of checkers, with pieces sliding onto different color spaces, stacking up, doing all kinds of weird stuff.

It was a lot of fun.  But it was in no ways a game of checkers.

If I had tried to continue to play checkers with Levi, it would have been quite frustrating.  He didn't want to play checkers, nor was he really interested in learning about playing checkers.  He just wanted to push pieces around on the board.  So, instead, I started playing the same game that he was playing.  Maybe it was silly, but we were both doing the same thing.

Maybe it's the same with this group.  Maybe the problem is that you aren't playing the same game as the rest of the group.  Now, that doesn't mean that you will enjoy the game that they are playing.  However, trying to play a different game at the same time is just a recipe for disaster.

You'll find that a large chunk of Forge RPG theory boils down to this dictum:  "Make sure that everyone in the group is actually playing the same game."
Logged

Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Sydney Freedberg
Member

Posts: 1293


WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2005, 06:39:34 PM »

Amen to Seth. You and your group ain't nowhere near the point where determining nuances of GNS preference is going to be much help. (Note to self: Smack self for trying to diagnose GNS preference, genre preference, and Social Contract viability from one question about one anecdote. SMACK! Ron, you've always said this was impossible, I cringe that I tried).

Now, like Seth, like you, I'd find that kind of everyone running off in different directions, dropping in and out, breaking for snacks, etc. etc. to be completely cRaZY-making. But then I can't stand it when I go to the movies and my wife asks me questions about what's going on, either. I can't talk to someone when there's a TV set playing behind them. Not everyone's like that.

And, you know what? The way you describe the group, everybody else seems to be having fun. (If not, correct me!) You're the only guy who's definitely dissatisfied. No, I'm not saying "it's your problem, suck it up." But I am saying you probably can't get this group to change to give you what you want. So, two sets of options:

First set:
1) Give up on rolepaying with these guys because it's just too frustrating
or
2) Give up on roleplaying the way you want to with these guys and go along for the ride (and, y'know, maybe get some Playstation in when everyone else is rolling dice for an hour; that's what they do when they're bored, right?)

Second set:
A) Get together with a totally different group of people to try roleplaying in a different style you'd like better
or
B) Get together with some of these same people to try roleplaying in a different style you'd like better

BIG DEAL POINT: These two sets of options are totally unconnected with each other. You can do 1+A, 2+A, 1+B, 2+B, any combination.

Not that you were thinking of this, but for the record and for the benefit of impressionable young readers, I'd urge you not to let your relationship with this group of people you have known for "25+ years" (!) be altered by whether this one shared activity succeeds or fails. Don't expect them to provide you something they've never cared about before and then resent them for not providing it (no, to repeat, I'm not saying you're doing that; I'm saying I've seen lots of other people post about doing that, though).

Now, maybe you can get the experience you want with some of these people (Option B), but I bet it'll take sounding folks out, saying, "Hey, you want to try this other different thing on some night that doesn't conflict with the usual group?," getting people excited about a different approach, ideally recruiting a few outsiders to mix it up, and ideally hosting it at your place if you can so you have real authority to say "dude, I think that movie was really cool too, but I really want to stop talking about it and focus on this new thing, okay?"

And if you want help figuring out what "this new thing" should be, hey, we'll all enjoy pelting you with suggestions, because there're tons of great games out there (do Mormon vigilante exorcist-gunslingers sound fun?) -- but we'd need to hear a lot more examples of experiences you enjoyed before our suggestions will be any use to you.
Logged

droog
Member

Posts: 263


« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2005, 10:37:12 PM »

[All friends and family.  I met my wife playing with a group inter-connected with this one, 25+ years ago.
That's a toughie. You should read Seth's and Sydney's posts carefully and think about what you really want, then.
Logged

AKA Jeff Zahari
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2005, 04:40:39 AM »

[Important point.  Sydney didn't ask, "What would you say to your fellow gamers?"  He said, "What's going through your head, even if you wouldn't say it out loud?"

This is very important.  Trust us.  Personally, I know what my reaction would be, but that's me.

I think my thoughts and my spoken words would mirror each other, in this case.
Hi,

This is pressing the point a bit and I lack the diplomacy of older forge members but you'd said you wouldn't say A or E because of the tetchy group. Do your thoughts really match what the tetchy group wouldn't like to hear?

I'll tell you what, there are things I keep and have kept tucked away. Because I know that if I brought them out had to outright face complete lack of understanding about these things from the people I hold dear, my friends I've known for years, it'd be absolutely crushing. These are the people I depend on to understand me. But if I bring up something deeply personal/important to me and it just doesn't connect with them...it's like suddenly seeing the people around you are zombies. You thought they were alive in the same way you are, but they just aren't. They live off something else entirely.

It's so shocking a realisation it can affect your relationship with that person. And rather than risk that, it's easier to not think about what you really like and what's really important to you. Because having a better game Vs keeping a relationship as is, is a no brainer. The latter is more important.

Probably in latter years though, I've come to include into the idea of friendship that the distance is inherant. It's a friendship or relationship, because your both working on slowly but surely shortening that gap. Sometimes you'll think you've got the gap reduced quite nicely, but then get a shock and realise you've got a lot more work to do. But that's okay, because your both comited to reducing the gap. And it's okay to think about and say what you really want, even if that suddenly reveals there's a huge gap between you. Because you'll work on it and you all know that.

Man, that's the sapiest thing I've written probably ever! And probably way off. Ah stuff it, I'm self important enough to post it anyway!
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
pells
Member

Posts: 192


« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2005, 05:05:34 AM »

Just a suggestion.
You said you played role playing games for 25 years... but you seem to be a player, not a GM. It might be difficult to bring changes to your group as a player. So, why don't you write a game that suits your needs and play it !!! Maybe your friends will enjoy a game without dungeon and useless combats... Show them the pleasure of resolving intrigues ! And who knows, maybe you'll become the regular GM for your group ?
And I think as a GM, as it is your game, you may set some rules (exemple : no phones or PSP allowed!).
Last things, as rules of thumb :
- ask them to bring their characters before the game. Don't roll them with your players. Anyway, if you plan a narrative game, you don't care about their stats.
- keep some battles, but only the ones where the outcome is not clear. Those are the exciting ones !!
- when you say the game starts at noon, be prepared to begin at 1h30 !!!

Seems to me that the changes must come from your part... So, keep faith and good luck !!!
Logged

Sydney Freedberg
Member

Posts: 1293


WWW
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2005, 06:16:07 AM »

GMing is worth considering, but there's also the famous trap of "I don't want to GM, but I don't get what I want as a player, so I have to, but I hate it," which produces unfunness as well. There are ways to be a leader and help set the agenda besides being "the GM." And of course there are roleplaying games without a GM (e.g. Capes or, probably an easier starting point, Universalis).

But, everybody, I think we're deluging "Chasuk" with advice and need to step back and let the guy think. It's his thread, we've answered his question, so let's wait for him to ask his next question.
Logged

Chasuk
Member

Posts: 14


« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2005, 11:35:54 AM »

I'm sorry to have been less than responsive to a thread that I started, but I've had a few chest pains this weekend, and I'm doing the treadmill thing tomorrow, which leaves me just a tad too stressed to pay as much attention as I'd like to the forums.

You guys have been swell, though, and I very much appreciate your inputs.

Cheers,

Chas

P.S. This message is cross-posted from another forum.  Sorry for the probable breach in protocol, but I wanted to make sure that everyone read it.
Logged
Meguey
Member

Posts: 250

Meguey


WWW
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2005, 12:33:14 PM »

While I understand you (Chas) may not read this right away, it's so exactly what I'm on about lately I must reply. Thanks.

The part that jumps out most vividly to me is the 'gaming with some set of these people for 25+ years' Ok, I'm going to take a stab and guess that means you started gaming together as teens, probably early teens. Correct me if I'm wrong, please.
Gaming as a teen is WAY different from gaming as an adult, but the habits and expectations get heavily cemented. I'd suggest taking a step back and looking at your history of gaming with this group - did it start out with all of you playing the same game and having equal amounts of fun? I'm betting yes. My guess is, the process of growing up over 25 years has shifted what you want in a game, as well as the time you have and the level of inatentiveness and railroading (by other players as well as GM) you are willing to tolerate.

I say more about this here.
Logged
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!