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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 116 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Creating Social Situations & Characters  (Read 3854 times)
DudesInCapes
Member

Posts: 5


« on: August 16, 2011, 09:10:11 PM »

I've been trying to run a game of the Dresden Files RPG for my friends lately, but it seems I'm not the best at variety.  My players always create the same powerhouse characters with little to no way of actually interacting with people.  I can't seem to find new and interesting ways to actually get the to interact or to even think about interacting before they try to blow up the building.  It's possible I'm setting a bad example by not continuing campaigns, but it's mostly because there's only so far a game can go when the only thing you're doing is blowing up enemies that don't stand a chance.  Do any of you have any suggestions on ways I could work social activities into a game?
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Daniel36
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Posts: 63


« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2011, 12:34:03 AM »

I don't know the Dresden Files, but I am guessing it is alternate earth setting?
As such, I take it that after blowing up a building, the characters leave and relax somewhere? Have their characters, while in a pub for example, experience a family member crying his / her lungs out upon hearing of the death of a loved one in the explosion, maybe from watchign the news. Better yet, let them first watch in disbelief at the news and then go all frantic not knowing whether the loved on is alive or not. That'll make them think a little next time they want to blow something up. Or not, but at least it shows them their actions have repercussions without throwing them in jail.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2011, 02:07:15 AM »

Hi,

In your actual play, have you been setting the 'mission objective' for the players characters?

If so, they are simply trying to find the shortest path to completing the objective. Or the one less arduous and more fun.

If you are setting mission objectives and are going to stick with that, why not just make part of the objective require social interaction? "You must convince person X, without intimidation, torture or murder!"
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2011, 07:35:22 AM »

Hello,

I think you are very far down a road which is already the wrong route for what you say you want. Your friends are almost certainly playing for reasons of their own which clearly preclude any fictional social interactions.

You are going to have to address this in terms of real-world personal discussion. Do they, or do they not, want to play characters who interact with NPCs? If not, why not? Part of this discussion will certainly have to expose what you want them to interact with NPCs for. I suggest you review that issue carefully. Perhaps if you articulated it here, we can talk about ways to make that discussion more successful.

Bluntly, trying to "make" them play differently by using in-game techniques, as Daniel proposes, is an exercise in futility. In my 33 years of role-playing (that's role-playing, not my age), I have not ever seen that tactic work. Hundreds of RPG books have suggested it, but it is worthless.

Best, Ron
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Judd
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Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2011, 08:24:21 AM »

What are the characters' aspects?

That is where I'd look for cues.
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Daniel36
Member

Posts: 63


« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2011, 12:44:08 PM »

Bluntly, trying to "make" them play differently by using in-game techniques, as Daniel proposes, is an exercise in futility. In my 33 years of role-playing (that's role-playing, not my age), I have not ever seen that tactic work. Hundreds of RPG books have suggested it, but it is worthless.

In the few days I have been here, I have learned quite a lot already. It's good to have experienced roleplayers around.
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DudesInCapes
Member

Posts: 5


« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2011, 06:10:57 PM »

I suppose I will just have to talk to them and try to convince them that smashing someone is just as fun as talking to them.  Thanks for the help.
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Judd
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2011, 08:51:14 PM »

I suppose I will just have to talk to them and try to convince them that smashing someone is just as fun as talking to them.  Thanks for the help.

Dudes, Mr. Capes, what are the player character's aspects?

Please?
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DudesInCapes
Member

Posts: 5


« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2011, 04:59:20 PM »

The problem with naming their character aspects is that I keep having to start over with new stories and new characters, because they'd rather beat everything up than follow the rest of the plot.  In most cases, their character aspects are usually rather ridiculous and they almost never use them.  It may just be that I'm not very good at actually GMing.
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Erik Weissengruber
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Posts: 601

Designing "In this Sign, Conquer:


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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2011, 05:32:25 PM »

"The problem with naming their character aspects is that I keep having to start over with new stories and new characters, because they'd rather beat everything up than follow the rest of the plot.  In most cases, their character aspects are usually rather ridiculous and they almost never use them.  It may just be that I'm not very good at actually GMing."

The game runs on aspect.  I let some pretty weak aspects get in my DFRPG because I wanted to make nice and get on with the game.  Never ran FATE for this bunch before and I was eager to please.

But if you can't look players in the eye and say "c'mon, you can do better than that!" don't be surprised if the game falls flat.


Oh yeah. Follow the plot?  What does that mean?  You could be throwing events and situations at the aspects to see what reactions you get, compels, etc.  That should generate action and story.  But you can't get emergent story if you have some plot set up beforehand.  The scenario-creation advice puts aspects front and centre.
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DudesInCapes
Member

Posts: 5


« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2011, 05:57:58 PM »

What I mean by follow the plot is following ANY plot.  Every time we play they just want me to set up a bunch of monsters for them to fight.  They don't want the story.  They want the battle.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2011, 10:55:30 AM »

Hello again,

I think you're going to have to decide whether you're posting here for solutions, or posting in order to complain.

What I'm seeing from your posts is that your friends simply don't want to play the same game you want to play. And by "game," I don't mean merely the FATE system, but role-playing as a whole. If they really and truly want to do it one way, and you want to do it another, then you're simply, flatly out of luck, and need to find other people to play with. Nothing can make them change.

If that's the case, and if you're merely complaining, then you're not going to get any replies here merely to pat your shoulder. The people here can definitely talk about how you can bring up the topic to them, or compare situations we've been in. but for anything to be genuinely helpful, then you have to be looking for solutions.

Now, maybe I'm getting the wrong impression. But I'm getting it from the way you're stating the problem in your posts, which looks very straightfoward. They "are" like this, they "want" this, and so on. And in your defense, if they are ignoring their characters Aspects when they're playing FATE of all things, well, yes, it does seem like you're dealing with pretty set views.

I'd like to help with your situation. Are you looking for solutions? And if so, do you have any reason to think that they, or at least one of them, might want to play differently?

Best, Ron
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wholeridge
Member

Posts: 21


« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2011, 06:14:52 AM »

The problem with naming their character aspects is that I keep having to start over with new stories and new characters, because they'd rather beat everything up than follow the rest of the plot.  In most cases, their character aspects are usually rather ridiculous and they almost never use them.  It may just be that I'm not very good at actually GMing.

You are getting a lot of good advice here, but this is a problem which can be addressed on more than one front. In addition to what others have advised, I would suggest that you have a problem with your plots.

If blowing things up works for the players, it's because your plot allows blowing things up to work. Make the bad guys smarter. Have the bad guys anticipate your players' (highly predictable) response. If the bad guy's expect someone to come along blowing things up, they can take countermeasures. Suppose the bad guys use their supernatural powers to hide their headquarters in the local FBI building -- are your players going to blow that up? If they do, you have a whole new campaign to play as national law enforcement hunts down your characters with the help of the White Council.

Have the bad guys use cut-outs and intermediaries, so all the players have to beat up on are small time criminals who know little about the real villains.

Your players may rebel, or the may rise to the occasion. Either way, you've got something new happening.
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Daniel36
Member

Posts: 63


« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2011, 08:10:16 AM »

Yeah, I think you have to start viewing it like the bad guys. If everything they do is thwarted by a group of people blowing things up, you'll be sure they are going to take countermeasures.

Next time, have the bad guys set up a trap. Let them enter a building they will blow up (which, let's face it, never gets old) and have that be the bad guy's plan. When they set us up the bomb (catch the reference) have them get locked up inside. When they wake up from the explosion they will be in a cell. Something like that.

Or have them enter an underwater base. :D
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happysmellyfish
Member

Posts: 49


« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2011, 10:26:08 PM »

I agree with Ron here. You need to actually talk to the players, to outline what everyone wants from roleplaying. There's no point trying to herd them into "correct" play, via in-world obstacles. In my experience, that'll just lead to a bad time for all, and potentially bad blood to boot.
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