How do you coax individualist players out of a self-centered mindset...

Started by mrlost, November 21, 2008, 07:36:23 PM

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Ron Edwards

Hi Philip! I appreciate that, and you're right, a first name isn't going to raise any privacy issues.

I'll look forward to your further thoughts, and please don't feel rushed. Forge threads often bake for a while.

Best, Ron


Quote from: Ron Edwards on December 02, 2008, 02:31:18 PM
Hey guys,


Redfox, thanks for joining in and I definitely have a question for you. Looking back at the games during college, what was one of your best and most enjoyable experiences then? What game was being played, what was your character like, how did people speak and play together, and anything else. That'll help me a lot, so my thoughts here won't fall into the trap of being only relevant to me.

Best, Ron

P.S. It's not required at the Forge, and if you don't want to it's OK, but please consider letting me know your real first names. I'm merely more comfortable talking to people that way.


Well first off my first name is Jim.  No worries about disclosing that.  :)

As to what happened when Phillip went off to college...  well, I wasn't with him at the time.  Our regular group broke apart in Phillip's absence, nobody really taking up GM reigns as it were.  I tried playing in a few games at the local gaming shop (now closed) and was very disatisfied.  They were D&D and World of Warcraft D20 games, and while I have nothing against those systems, I very much had problems with the way the games were run.  There was nothing in those games that was character driven, and they were played with the sort of flavorless "I hit, I did 8 points" workman-like attitude that bored me into a stupor.  I attempted to get what entertainment I could out of the game, and I was more or less pleased with my character (a goblin engineer in WoW) but with nothing interesting to do I eventually just stopped going after the game was put on a haitus.

I attempted to run a few Star Wars games during this time.and had very little success.  One game fell apart at its inception and the other went extremely well for the first session, but nobody showed for the second (this last game was during a local convention, and the game had overflowed past our allotted time, so it was no surprise that nobody showed during the second session...  which was both impromptu and unfortunately placed during another popular event).

As a hobbyist, Phillip's absence for college was a rather dark period of gaming.  I understand he had quite a lot of fun with his group away at college however.  The lucky S.O.B.  :)


I've been thinking about how to coax my players into a more cooperative play style, and I strongly believe that system matters. I run games almost constantly it seems (I get asked to run something like three days out of every week, and sometimes more often) right now I'm enjoying not running because various players are sick, but I'm prepping for SR4 and Star Wars SE, and also playing Nobilis Pbp.

What does this have to do with the OP? Just that since system matters so much to me, I usually run games straight. I don't house rule much at all, unless their is a huge problem that absolutely must be resolved before one or more people are willing to play. I short I realize that the players I usually game with have issues, some of them can be addressed openly and others seem to trigger much ill will when addressed at all. I admit some of the players are dysfunctional.

The point is I've decided that if they will not try cooperative games that I will simply add cooperative elements to every game I run until they get used to the idea. If they simply cannot deal with these modifications to the game, surely they will let me know. But I am sick of coddling adults, in order to play a game.

I've decided to add one of my favorite mechanics from Burning Wheel to just about everything I run starting with Shadowrun 4th edition, i.e. Circles. We will see how it goes, and I'm thinking of adding some of the mechanics I've found in other indie games and some from Levi's website until the games become fun again or blood spurts from my eyes.

Further as I gauge how this exercise goes, I'm going to start running those games I really want to play. Especially stuff that makes the GM into a player, if people don't like it they can vote with their feet. Sharing can be fun dammit! Was I the only one who learned this? I think not. I'm also going to start promoting the players to play the NPCs in scenes that lack their characters, and maybe start giving them NPCs to play in scenes that nobody's PC is in. Maybe it will change how they view ownership of characters and of the story. Or maybe not.