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boulet
01-25-2008, 12:52 PM
Most RPGs and campaigns assume at least a minimum "team spirit" between players. It makes sense, otherwise players tend to appropriate their GMs in private discussions about what their character is doing behind the back of the others. While the GM is busy dealing with one PC at a time, the other players usually end up playing on a console or cards and soon some of them don't pay attention to the game they gathered for in the first place...

My question is : How do other GMs handle this situation ? Is it really an issue for you ? Have you got specific home rules about a PC asking solo time with the GM ?

Drohem
01-25-2008, 12:54 PM
Well, I try to work so that every character has some spotlight time. Sometimes a short solo session is in order.

jade von delioch
01-25-2008, 01:00 PM
My friend would do separate solo sessions on another day and time during the week.

boulet
01-25-2008, 01:07 PM
Solo session is a nice tool, and can be very interesting. The issue with solo sessions is that they're available only when clearly the PC isn't going to interact with other PCs while he's going solo.

But what if every players are in the "solo" mood at the same time ? And I mean they could be that way with a dedication to the campaign, not just out of boredom or rebellion. For one reason or another they all want to split in order to solve the next situation for instance.

Drohem
01-25-2008, 01:22 PM
It's okay for there to be tension between characters because it's conducive to role-playing. However, all the players have to understand that no matter what character tension there is that the character must overcome their issues and work together. Otherwise, there's no point to role-playing as a group. This is especially true of games like D&D where the group working together is necessary to defeat more powerful opponents.

MortonStromgal
01-25-2008, 02:20 PM
I say its ultimately up to the player. The GM can try and guide them but as some point (and coincidently I just took this attitude in the changeling game I'm in) you have to put your character to the side and as a player say its for the good of the group that my character be a part of this so although it may not be what my character would normally do I am going to go down that path for the good of the story.

I was fuming about it for awhile (not in front of the gaming group of course but privately) but now my characters new take on life is actually a more enjoyable character and it fits the story. :D

TAROT
01-25-2008, 02:37 PM
Well, first off, pulling out a video game in the middle of a session is plain rude. Smack them in the head with a (metaphorical, of course ;)) phone book. Players should be able to enjoy themselves when they aren't currently the centre of attention.

Have an expectation of the ability to firewall between player and character knowledge at the table. The occasional "How do you know that?", is generally enough to keep things in check. I'm getting old and curmudgeonly, and can't be bothered with secret notes and private conversations or even trying to remember who I told what any more. Besides, a "secret" is only entertaining to one player. So, I'm fine with only one character having the information, but all of the players have it.

So, if the characters split up, I run a series of cut scenes between them. I prefer to play with 3-4 players, so, about 10-12 minutes between cuts seems to work reasonably well. In a larger group, shorter scenes are in order. (Try to get around the table in 45 minutes or so.) I try to end as many scenes as I can on some kind of cliffhanger (i.e. just before a chase, revelation, or combat), so that when I ask the players "Where were we?", they can tell me.

I'll also give control of minor NPCs in a scene to uninvolved players.

Mulsiphix
01-25-2008, 05:08 PM
Not speaking from personal experience here but I would have no problem doing solo sessions. I would not be interested in doing any kind of solo work while the other group members are there though. Everybody puts aside their time to show up to play the game and that is what they're going to get. If a player wants to come by at another time, assuming I have the time available, then they are welcome to.

rabkala
01-25-2008, 08:58 PM
Solo sessions are okay occasionally, but even they should be limited. I pretty much tell the players that they should play as a group. I have told players how rude it is to try and wander off to fill their own pockets while the rest of the group twiddles their thumbs. When all else fails, a horrific encounter shows up which is nearly certain death if they are alone. :cool:

Mulsiphix
01-25-2008, 09:40 PM
When all else fails, a horrific encounter shows up which is nearly certain death if they are alone. :cool:I love it when you post with murderous intent :p

ffclubhero
01-26-2008, 07:51 PM
If a player does a have a solo session, does he/she bring spoils back to the next group session? Would the rest of the group say, "You didn't have that last week?" Has anyone dealt with another PC suddenly having some kind of uber weapon or massive treasure?

rabkala
01-26-2008, 09:50 PM
Most often, people feel that anything they get when they are alone is rightfully theirs alone. The group usually doesn't take care of such problems, they complain to the DM or start building resentment/bad feelings toward others in the group. It is far less of a problem in groups where everyone started friends, do things together other than gaming, or has a history.

It is easy to stumble into the pitfalls as a DM. The DM has to watch out for everyones enjoyment with some resolve and foresight.

Sometimes you will have players who are natural leaders and great role players who just take the spotlight with shear charisma. The DM is having fun with the charismatic player, the one player is having fun, and the others don't complain enough. The next thing you know somebody stops showing up or starts complaining, "Does it bother to show up, or is boulet going to do everything tonight too?" In cases like this, I try to encourage more role play between the party members or try to enlist the take charge guy into 'helping the others' get into the game.

Sometimes solo sessions seem really unfair to others. I had a couple friends who shared an apartment about 2 miles from me. They would come over frequently with time to kill wanting to get some encounters. I was always game. Soon, others started to complain. Lance and Mike were a level ahead with a lot of loot to spare. The others three players had wives, children, more demanding jobs, lived further away, and had no time to catch up to Lance and Mike.
In this case, I had the other players play a night without the 2 in question. I then told Lance and Mike, if you want solo time it will have to be with separate characters. That worked for everyone.

Mulsiphix
01-26-2008, 09:52 PM
If a player does a have a solo session, does he/she bring spoils back to the next group session? Would the rest of the group say, "You didn't have that last week?" Has anyone dealt with another PC suddenly having some kind of uber weapon or massive treasure?This is one thing that I would make sure did not happen. I think solo adventures should be for the good of the character or even just for fun. But if it enhances the PC in anyway, especially with an "uber" item, I think that would be unfair to the rest of the group. Even worse you may get requests for solo sessions from other players that are clearly hoping to get their hands on some uber items themselves. In my opinion solo should never advance a PC, with the exception of XP for a character who has died and needs to get caught up.

Riftwalker
01-26-2008, 10:27 PM
Eh, sometimes it's ok though. The party doesn't care about the details of the item you're crafting, or the 24 hour ritual you need to perform to attune yourself to a new weapon or whatever. In both of those cases, the PC isn't getting an uber item that they don't pay for, and they're not getting XP. The details of this kind of stuff just aren't on the radar of the rest of the party.

TAROT
01-27-2008, 02:38 AM
If a player does a have a solo session, does he/she bring spoils back to the next group session? Would the rest of the group say, "You didn't have that last week?" Has anyone dealt with another PC suddenly having some kind of uber weapon or massive treasure?

It can happen. So what?

"Uber weapons" usually have histories and other people -- usually powerful, maybe even the rightful owners -- looking for them. They might require some sort of unpleasantness in order to function. Treasures need to be guarded, and the guards have to be watched to make sure that they're loyal. Everything comes with strings attached, and the more powerful the item, the more strings it should have.

I'm not a fan of "game balance." I don't see roleplaying as a competitive activity. There are very few RPGs that you can win. Successes and failures, sure, but win, no. When people say "game balance" it usually ends up translating to mean combat effectiveness. What is important to me, is that every character can make a meaningful contribution to each session. So, for me, niche protection and spotlight time are what is important. You can have a lot of fun playing the sidekick.

Mulsiphix
01-27-2008, 02:56 AM
It can happen. So what?

"Uber weapons" usually have histories and other people -- usually powerful, maybe even the rightful owners -- looking for them. They might require some sort of unpleasantness in order to function. Treasures need to be guarded, and the guards have to be watched to make sure that they're loyal. Everything comes with strings attached, and the more powerful the item, the more strings it should have.

I'm not a fan of "game balance." I don't see roleplaying as a competitive activity. There are very few RPGs that you can win. Successes and failures, sure, but win, no. When people say "game balance" it usually ends up translating to mean combat effectiveness. What is important to me, is that every character can make a meaningful contribution to each session. So, for me, niche protection and spotlight time are what is important. You can have a lot of fun playing the sidekick.I am a big fan of game balance. I would think that most players don't enjoy feeling like sidekicks or dwarfed in other players shadows. If they put themselves in that position, usually through acting foolishly and getting themselves killed (sent a few levels behind the group), then that is different. However, I don't think that "grinding" has a place among group games. If somebody has that much free time on their hand that they want solo sessions, it should be done in another setting, with another character, or in a way that otherwise will not affect the group dynamic; whether that be through weapons, loot, experience, or what have you.

Digital Arcanist
01-27-2008, 11:44 AM
When team is spelled with an "I" its Tim and nobody wants to play with Tim. He doesn't work well with others.......

boulet
01-27-2008, 01:51 PM
"Does it bother to show up, or is boulet going to do everything tonight too?"


Damn ! Now my nickname will be remembered as the one of the powergamer who bribes his GM to get his hands on +42 swords of flaming uberdestruction...

It would almost make me sad, if I wasn't mostly running games anyway :)

TAROT
01-27-2008, 03:30 PM
I am a big fan of game balance. I would think that most players don't enjoy feeling like sidekicks or dwarfed in other players shadows.

This is why niche protection is important. Objective relative ability doesn't matter if the characters have different areas of speciality.

If the characters are a merchant, a soldier and a fortune teller, and the soldier goes home for a visit and is given his great-grandfather's sword of uber-smitiness, no problem. Now, if he goes home and gets his great-grandfather's helm that whispers the future into his ear, there'll likely be some hurt feelings.

In superhero games it's not that uncommon to do teamups like: Batman & Superman; Green Lantern/Green Arrow; The Tick and Arthur. I played some Ars Magica about 15 years ago, I remember the grogs better than the magi.

Of course, D&D is a different animal, as every member of the group has the same basic role, and merely a different style for achieving the result, well then, I'd agree that you need to have some sort of parity. Even more so with the 3.x ruleset which was created with "balance" as a primary design goal, and as a result only seems to function well within a very narrow range.

Mulsiphix
01-27-2008, 03:44 PM
I agree TAROT. In a situation where players can be teamed up to carry out similar goals, then I am all for sidekicks and players being dwarfed. In situations where one player clearly benefits and the others aren't given a chance, especially in the situation where one has more free time than the other and is getting in plenty of solo time, then I think there is a chance of hurt feelings or resentment. As long as the players feelings and roles are kept in check and in consideration of the GM, then I think all is well :)

Drohem
01-28-2008, 01:47 PM
It can happen. So what?

"Uber weapons" usually have histories and other people -- usually powerful, maybe even the rightful owners -- looking for them. They might require some sort of unpleasantness in order to function. Treasures need to be guarded, and the guards have to be watched to make sure that they're loyal. Everything comes with strings attached, and the more powerful the item, the more strings it should have.

I'm not a fan of "game balance." I don't see roleplaying as a competitive activity. There are very few RPGs that you can win. Successes and failures, sure, but win, no. When people say "game balance" it usually ends up translating to mean combat effectiveness. What is important to me, is that every character can make a meaningful contribution to each session. So, for me, niche protection and spotlight time are what is important. You can have a lot of fun playing the sidekick.

Well said, sir!

I agree completely. :)

rabkala
01-28-2008, 08:57 PM
I once had a DM in first edition, who put strings on everything.
My paladin had reached the level that his warhorse should come to him. Of course, 'my' warhorse was currently being used by an evil king who was an anti-paladin over 10 levels greater than I. He also kept the horse guarded at all times.
Upon reaching 8th level, I finally got a magic item, mostly because half the group died in the encounter and I was the only living character devoid of magic. They were the wings of flying. I had them for several hours when we met a monk traveling on the road. The monk, who just happened to be the Master of the WEST Wind, saw my wings and claimed they had been stolen from him. Our beaten party was no match for the monk who dove on my character with a quivering palm before we could even say, "No."

Those are just a few example of the 'Strings Attached' GM...

I am not fond of control freaks who put strings attached to everything! It's a game, the players should have some fun too. If a GM is putting strings on everything, he is trying to maintain his twisted version of game balance. And yes, game balance is far more than combat effectiveness for any good GM. Should it be artificially imposed at every turn by a control freak hack? Should the GM's story which requires a paraplegic mute be more important than the players wishes? "Hey, sorry Tim, you have to be the paraplegic mute sidekick of my friends Super Man-like character. If you are a good role player, you shouldn't mind." My arse...

Mulsiphix
01-28-2008, 09:32 PM
What you speak of is just depressing to read. Who in the hell puts those kinds of strings on things in a game? That is wrong. I envy so many of you for your years of experience and having had the chance to be there at the birth of true pen and paper gaming. What I do not envy is all of the horrible experiences you all seem to collectively share even though your in different parts of the USA, and in some cases the world.

Malruhn
01-28-2008, 11:12 PM
>>>SNIP<<<
Those are just a few example of the 'Strings Attached' GM...
>>>snip<<<
DM's like that are enough to curve your spine, ruin your parent's credit rating, and make the Baby Jesus cry.

And need to be shot in the face with a hammer. :D

Drohem
01-28-2008, 11:27 PM
hehehe...that's a sweet picture! :cool:

tesral
01-29-2008, 12:08 AM
I once had a DM in first edition, who put strings on everything.

No fun, no fun at all. "Slug" DMs who don't want the PCs to ever have anything.

Best thing to do with them is leave them without players.

GBVenkman
01-29-2008, 02:13 AM
Most RPGs and campaigns assume at least a minimum "team spirit" between players. It makes sense, otherwise players tend to appropriate their GMs in private discussions about what their character is doing behind the back of the others. While the GM is busy dealing with one PC at a time, the other players usually end up playing on a console or cards and soon some of them don't pay attention to the game they gathered for in the first place...

My question is : How do other GMs handle this situation ? Is it really an issue for you ? Have you got specific home rules about a PC asking solo time with the GM ?


I have the same problem at club games at the college I go to. So I don't go there at all.

I probably would have more players, but I don't enjoy people who are so in their own little world that they can't even empathize with another human being. I'm sorry, but there are some people that have social ineptitude, and I can't really take it. I find it very disrespectful. But sorry if I believe in a social code and common courtesy :D

Mulsiphix
01-29-2008, 04:11 AM
I probably would have more players, but I don't enjoy people who are so in their own little world that they can't even empathize with another human being. I'm sorry, but there are some people that have social ineptitude, and I can't really take it. I find it very disrespectful. But sorry if I believe in a social code and common courtesy :DThere is no reason to be sorry when wishing for what is truly right in the first place. Some people just don't get it when it comes to manners, gaming morals, and role playing ethics.

TAROT
01-29-2008, 04:22 AM
Those are just a few example of the 'Strings Attached' GM...

Sounds more like general asshattery to me, although I recall some DMs passing through a phase like this shortly after becoming aware of the "Monty Haul" phenomenon. Your description suggests the former to me, though.

Drohem
01-29-2008, 10:57 AM
Yeah, it's one thing to have a couple of powerful magic items tied into the campaign, but every single thing you come across is just lame.

rabkala
01-29-2008, 07:17 PM
Yeah, it's one thing to have a couple of powerful magic items tied into the campaign, but every single thing you come across is just lame.
When you have a powerful artifact that numerous groups are all trying to get their hands on in a campaign, it can be great fun.

Mulsiphix
01-29-2008, 09:13 PM
I don't see the point in dangling greatness in front of the players, especially if you allow them to actually obtain it for a short time, but never letting them truly wield it. Then again I see no point to giving details that aren't directly related to a story or its setting. A good example of useless information would be most video game RPG's. You walk into towns, talk to everybody, and usually only a few NPC's actually have information that is relevant to the story or setting. The rest is useless information like what a NPC thinks of a family members behavior (totally unrelated to the story or PC's) or they lost their dog or they plan to open a business later in life. Absolutely useless and a waste of time as far as I am concerned.

rabkala
01-29-2008, 10:28 PM
I like video games where you can kill the useless little NPC's. You can even kill the important NPC's, but then the game ends as 'unable to complete mission' or whatever. It still is fun after chasing them for 5 minutes just so they can say, "Chickens lay eggs." And I'm like, "What does that have to do with anything! Eat steel!"

Oh wait, rambling...

There isn't much team in video games either. Even the online RPGs where you can group. It is more, "What can they do for me to help me with my goals and missions." Just bad form...

Mulsiphix
01-30-2008, 12:21 AM
There isn't much team in video games either. Even the online RPGs where you can group. It is more, "What can they do for me to help me with my goals and missions." Just bad form...I agree. Its that "for my benefit" attitude that really kills MMORPGs for me. It is why I quit playing them and why I wont ever return. The lack of it is something I will push heavily for in the design of the games I host. Teamwork will always be ever present unless the story or PC needs some alone time for PC development :)

Riftwalker
01-30-2008, 08:42 AM
I disagree. I've seen a lot of teamwork in WoW when it comes to tackling high-end raiding content. While not much of a fan of WoW anymore (for reasons I won't get into here) end-game raiding instances pose challenges that only a team can overcome.

Mulsiphix
01-30-2008, 08:54 AM
I wasn't referring to raiding. I was referring to teamwork in normal sized groups. Raiding requires teamwork or everybody dies. Simple as that. For most players, when their characters life isn't in danger, teamwork is not only optional but often merely a means to accomplish a task as fast as possible. How many times were you in a group and as soon as the player got what they came for they left the instance, leaving the rest of the party to fend for themselves for the rest of the instance. Happened in The Deadmines all the time :rolleyes:

Riftwalker
01-30-2008, 09:47 AM
True, but back when I did play I rarely ran instances or even outdoors group quests with people I didn't know, simply because an unfamiliar player is a total wildcard in terms of skill-level (both playing their character and their ability to play in a team) and also because in a group of strangers, people can bail like you mention.

I think the distinction is that the word "team" can apply to a few different things:
- an end-game raiding guild (my original example)
- 5 strangers (your example)
- 5 players that know each other and play really well together

One particular example sticks out in my mind that shows the 3rd group not only prevails over the 2nd group, but the 2nd group doesn't achieve victory at all. That example was the quest (probably more than a year and a half ago) to complete Undead Stratholme in less than 45 minutes. This was not completable without a well-tuned group that had learned to play really well (and really efficiently) with each other.

Mulsiphix
01-30-2008, 09:52 AM
That example was the quest (probably more than a year and a half ago) to complete Undead Stratholme in less than 45 minutes. This was not completable without a well-tuned group that had learned to play really well (and really efficiently) with each other.I did it with a group of strangers :p. Sure it took me three friggin weeks to accomplish the task but I eventually got it done. Unfortunately all I did was group with strangers. I even ran a 200+ guild but it was more of a recreation thing. I had the hardest time finding people I had quested with before who were available when I was to go questing. I made a few friends along the way but never really did any kind of regular questing with anybody in particular. I think this is the case for most players unfortunately.

Riftwalker
01-30-2008, 10:51 AM
Just curious: did you do it with your PUG during the patch that it came out in, or was it via another patch?

If it was during the patch that came out, then... wow. The more patches that came out after that, the more possible it would be with strangers.

Not to derail this thread any further, but one of the things that I ended up hating about WoW was that challenges always got easier the more patches came out afterwords due to the small ways they boost classes' abilities each time as well as the small ways they make encounters easier.

Anyway, not to say you didn't kick arse at WoW--I'm not trying to deflate your ability or anything.

boulet
01-30-2008, 06:36 PM
A good example of useless information would be most video game RPG's. You walk into towns, talk to everybody, and usually only a few NPC's actually have information that is relevant to the story or setting. The rest is useless information like what a NPC thinks of a family members behavior (totally unrelated to the story or PC's) or they lost their dog or they plan to open a business later in life. Absolutely useless and a waste of time as far as I am concerned.

We're going quite off topic but your reflexion is making me jump ! Maybe you have a different set of opinions for video games and pen and paper games. But if you were to react this way in a game I'm running I would get quite worried.

Of course my NPCs are going to be venting and chatting about irrelevant stuff. That's one of the pleasure of being a GM and the specific type of roleplay as a GM. Plus it's useful to mask important pieces of information amongst garbage chatting when you run an investigation type of game. If roleplaying is about PCs travelling from A to B, meeting a specific NPC who knows where the dragon is, going and slaying the dragon, end of story... Well it's pretty weak and it's actually my complaint about pseudo-RPG in video games (massive multiplayer or not, doesn't change a damn thing).

A campaign is alive because of the capacity of randomness, the talent for improvisation of a GM. Anecdotes like "the goblin who wouldn't die" (in an another thread) are hilarious and remembered by a group of players because it wasn't scripted. I like RPG to have at least a bit of a comic element, even a horror themed game. It's important for the overall fun and it helps focusing on the serious moments when need be. You may call it a loss of time. I believe it's half of the fun and apperance of life of an imaginary world.

Mulsiphix
01-30-2008, 06:55 PM
No worries, I gave up on WOW a long time ago for the lack of a real community feel. I played the game from the day it was released in retail stores (November 26th 2004 I believe) for six months, left it and came back for another six month stint which started towards the end of 2006. In the end I wasn't into grinding which is what most MMO's seem to be about these days :rolleyes:.

Mulsiphix
01-30-2008, 07:06 PM
Entire PostWow. I see your point and I agree to an extent. Have you ever played a Final Fantasy game? We're talking about hitting four towns over a long period of time where nothing really adds to the story. Maybe a hint here and there that you should go to another town but nothing all that engaging. Try doing this during a pen and paper game, nothing really happening with the story for a good ten to twenty hours, and I bet your players would start to get impatient.

Final Fantasy, and many video game RPG's for that matter, are extremes when it comes to useless garbage text. I agree non-plot driven text can really enhance a setting but I just don't see the point in countless hours (over the period of a small campaign) of absolutely useless NPC dialog. I agree the players shouldn't be able to follow a straight path to their objective. I believe they should be sent out of their way, side quest, be given wrong information, and not find what they are looking for in a place where they were certain they would find it. Too much garbage dialog though is just a waste of time as far as I'm considered. I think players would rather spend that time in combat or doing side quests instead of walking around in a town, talking to every person they seek, in an attempt to finally find a tid bit of information that will lead them to the next town of utterly useless NPC's.

boulet
01-30-2008, 07:46 PM
I understand what you say, especially the analogy of wasting time trying to find the "switch" in a lame video game that's going to make the plot go further.

I think you underestimate the virtue of another type of RPG where plots are present but the focus is more on personal issues of characters. I think for instance of World of Darkness where a typical theme is "you're the monster/beast/freak". The plot isn't always the core of the story, it might be an accessory to illustrate the PCs fight with their inner demons. At least it's the ambition of those games which thrive on differentiating from others by calling it "Story Telling".

In the end neither of us are wrong. You're entitled to enjoy your games with a lot of action, sweat and heroism. I'm entitled to look forward to experiment character exploration. Many different ways to enjoy pen and paper games indeed... I only scratched the surface actually.

Mulsiphix
01-30-2008, 07:54 PM
I come from a strong wargaming background and have yet to truly enjoy role playing. I bet with real people it would be quiet different. In a video game going from NPC to NPC, especially those that love to walk behind houses and other places you can't always see, can be quite tedious. In a pnp game I think it would probably be quite different. I consider furthering a characters story, background, personality, etc... to be part of the "story" as I called it. Basically if I sit down to play with you and for two solid hours I'm walking around the entire city, trying to find somebody that has a job for me, a side quest to start, or an NPC that I was told was here but isn't and there is no clue as to where I could find him; I find that tedious and unnecessary.

Drohem
01-30-2008, 09:49 PM
The problem with WOW is the "keeping up with the Jones" mentality. My friends started playing before me so they had powerful characters. I started playing but couldn't devote 60-80 a week playing. So even my friends' backup characters would surpass my primary character. I often found myself playing alone. I dug the quests and storyline. Quests are not the way to powergame WOW, as most people did. Sure, every once in a while I would group with some strangers, but then there all the problems associated with being in a group of strangers.

In the end, my wrist started hurting, my wife was getting peeved, and all my friends were just too advanced to group with me. It's a great game for content. I loved playing WOW with Maryjane. ;)

Luckily, I discovered WOW after I was married because I were single I would be playing 100+ hours a week and have no real life. Consequently, I would've remained single.

Mulsiphix
01-30-2008, 10:14 PM
I think WOW is the governments solution to keeping kids off the streets after school and lowering gang related crime :D

Shadow Dweller
01-30-2008, 11:46 PM
Haven't read the entire thing yet, but gonna anwser this anyway. :-P

I'm not a DM(Yet), but solo sessions are a necessity I think. The gropu that I'm leaving deals with this in 2 ways.

1) Ninja notes during the session. This is more of the set up "Is it ok to..." type question than anything actually being done. This normally leads to:

2) My group has a message board set up and we do a lot of posting there for character devolpment in the downtime between the weekend games. Not to metion the E-Mail's and what not. As an example one of the games a few months back we were playing in an arcane lite world. We found an area where the he could work unhindered by the madness in the outside world. We had recently had to kill a prior party member who had gone insane(Gone TDY) and he turned into ashes when the last blow was struck(Phisical, not magical damage). He decided to do some experimenting on him during the down time between sessions and after some ominious forshadowing by the DM in the pm's on the boards...this was the result of the testing...



Three days after the conclusion of the Barbarian Battle, the Kingdom of Luminar still wrestled with the upheaval of it's recent events. The city was still being repaired, the dead still being given proper rites, the injured still being cared for by severity of condition. However, the power of the Goddessseemed vibrant in the air. The people worked with excitement. Eventhe Dindah who remained worked happily with the people of the city trying to help out where they could. Deep inside the Mage's guild in the city, the excitement seemed to have penetrated every mage present except one. Thacomus worked diligently,still frustrated with the hard-headed mages who he was forced to work with, frustrated with staying in this city while his son was out in the wilderness all alone, and frustrated with the ashes thatlay in front of him. He had performed countless experiments over the last two days, always ensuring the maximum level of protection, trying to unravel the mystery of where this power had come from. What Kyle had done to himself.Surely such a power could be harnessed for the good of Luminar this time!He thought to himself for the thousandth time. He slumped down into a nearby chair as he felt his wards were within an hour of fading.Well, time to pack up, I'll have to begin again on the morrow once I am able to adequately protect myself. As he stood again, and instantly there was afiery light, and a high pitched scream, like asongbird beingskewered to death. And then…blackness.

Valir Neuthorn walked silently down the street, cursing his new uniform for the thousandth time. Just two months ago he was a simple, happy tanner, now he was a member of the town guard. He looked up as he walked catching the eye of an attractive woman he'd never seen before. He stopped for a second to say hello, when suddenly the ground shook beneath him and an explosion threatened to deafen his ears. He turned siftly towards the cause, and where he expected to see the Mage's Guild, instead he saw a huge fireball. His training immediately took over and he found himself running towards the building, even as he watched the sections not melted away by theconflagration immediately begin to fall in on themselves. He ran faster and faster towards the stench of death and sulfur and all sorts of other strange smells that usually came from the building, but now amplified and twisted by the flames. When finally he reach the building he began to pick through the rubble and bodies, assessing life signs, trying tofind the survivors to carry to safety. After a few minutes of passing over dead bodies he came to a new one, this one horribly burned and broken, twisted into a horrible position with sections of bone exposed and melted away. As he searched in vain for any signs of life on the corpse, he suddenly caught a glimpse of a badge, and with it, his heart sank. Another guard ran up behind him,"Guard Neuthorn, what's going on?!"
"I've got no idea sir, but it there was some sort of explosion from within the building. Someone should go inform her Holiness that we've got at least 5 dead Mages here… including Chamberlain Thacomus."

End result, our Wizard got Rezed at -1 level, all because of solo RP sessions, so yeah, it's doable. :)

If you want background on any of the characters check out the RPG Geeks Wiki (http://www.rpggeeks.org/wiki/index.php5?title=Main_Page)

Mulsiphix
01-31-2008, 01:53 AM
Entire PostI guess I'm old fashioned. I don't believe anything is worth doing unless it is done whole heartedly. This just seems like a quick "out" for the DM who doesn't want to go through the trouble of creating an adventure around resurrecting the fallen PC. It is cool to be able to read something during the down time between games but this just isn't the kind of thing that gets me excited.

Shadow Dweller
01-31-2008, 08:44 AM
I guess I'm old fashioned. I don't believe anything is worth doing unless it is done whole heartedly. This just seems like a quick "out" for the DM who doesn't want to go through the trouble of creating an adventure around resurrecting the fallen PC. It is cool to be able to read something during the down time between games but this just isn't the kind of thing that gets me excited.
Part of the reason we didn't do a res campaign was simple. It had basicaly been established that in this game world there were pockets of divilized, stable world. EVERYthing beyond those small pockets was shrouded in a very, very palpabal madness. There had previously only been 1 cleric, literally in the known world, that could do a true rez. Unfortunately for us he decided the week before to turn and help the badguys which left our cleric as the next highest know cleric anywhere in the world. Questing to try and res him, well it would have been a fools erand. Besides, the entire campaign was based around and centered on out cleric. And this would have I think in my eyes draged the attention away from her.

Mulsiphix
01-31-2008, 08:59 AM
The general theme of my post is still how I view the subject of "out of group" gaming and my previous posts still solidly present how I view solo gaming. However, in this particular instance I stand pleasantly informed. Consider me served Shadow Dweller ;)

Shadow Dweller
01-31-2008, 10:58 AM
The general theme of my post is still how I view the subject of "out of group" gaming and my previous posts still solidly present how I view solo gaming. However, in this particular instance I stand pleasantly informed. Consider me served Shadow Dweller ;)
Woot! Do I win a cookie:D

Drohem
01-31-2008, 12:06 PM
I've been gaming with the same core group of friends for 20+ years now. We are now spread out across several states. We no longer play face-to-face; except for a few times a year when we can visit. The majority of the group is still in LA.

We now play using Skype. One of our friends has a private board that we use for our RPG stuff. We use it extensively for write-ups and down time. It was worked out great. It really helps speed campaign flow. The GM posts write-ups about down time and behind the scenes campaign events that affect the PCs either directly or indirectly. Sometimes, even when it doesn't touch the PCs but moves the events of the storyline and campaign. It's cool because we see the effects of the BBEG behind the scenes and hate him/it even more.

Also, it is great for the PCs as well because we can post write-ups about our characters; insights into their personalities, struggles, growth, etc. We can post write-ups in response to general campaign events, and also PC plans and machinations. We can post information about our cohorts, goals, equipment, designs, etc.

This has really expanded our campaigns, but also has direct effect on how much time we spend on skype. This helps us get to the nitty-gritty while we play on skype and cuts down on other players sitting around while one player and GM have to go back and forth about something specific to that player but not directly involved with the session at hand.

Also, with Skype you can send private chats to the GM or other players. Although, we don't use this extensively, it is useful every once in a while. Either when wanting to talk to the GM in private about something your PC is doing, or when players want to talk and not have the GM hear what is going on until we spring it on him.

rabkala
01-31-2008, 07:48 PM
I like to set things up with emails and things that are not real important can be done via email as well. I like to keep the good stuff for the game though.

Mulsiphix
02-01-2008, 01:50 AM
Entire PostIf I had a solid group that used such a board well then I think it could be a great asset. I don't think the average group would make such great usage of it though. Sounds really awesome though. I hope I can find players that enjoy the campaign so much they want to participate that extensively when away from the game table.

tesral
02-01-2008, 01:57 AM
I come from a strong wargaming background and have yet to truly enjoy role playing.

I'm a wargamer background as well. As I have easier access to role-players than I do to wargamers I tend to role-play more, but I enjoy both. Nothing quite beats opening a can of whup-ass on an unsuspecting opponent. As Dave Winfield will say. "Lead soldiers don't bleed." No guilt involved. I'll play board based games, but I prefer minis.

On the gripping hand I really get into the aspects of role-playing that you simply do not find in any war game. The fact that D&D has held my interest for 32 years has something to recommend the hobby.

Mulsiphix
02-01-2008, 02:11 AM
I was watching The Replacements last night and there was a quote that immediately made me think of war. I felt it was the perfect speech to give to your soldiers before they head into a battle that is looking very grim for them.

"Pain will heal in time, chicks dig scars, and glory lasts forever"

Drohem
02-01-2008, 11:19 AM
That is a real good movie. I liked it as well. I like the quote too.

boulet
02-08-2008, 09:41 AM
Here is an example of a situation that happened in a Sabbat campaign (Vampire the Masquerade) that I had. I'm looking forward to read your comments.

My PCs team was a loose bunch of dumb son of b***hes who spent a lot of time doing lame stuff aside of my main plot. Some of their actions were campaign oriented but the planning was flaky most of the time. I didn't complain : everybody including me had a lot of fun seeing how the group had more and more a reputation of jerks among the vampire elders of the city... One typical thing that would happen while say two of my players were doing serious investigation, is that the rest of the group would say : "hey how about we go to a service station, scare the shit out of the cashier and get some money ?" I would think to myself "oh no, not tonight, please." But they usually wouldn't let any common sense go in their way and rush for mayhem. They knew it would probably end up with a scene where they would flee in a stolen car with five police cars and a helicopter for half an hour on their tail trying to save their life (unlife actually since they were vampires).

Since the attitude wouldn't change, and I didn't want to be a despot about what Players did with their PCs. I decided I would turn a blind eye when the "serious" players (not always the same ones every session) would call the hooligans on their cell phone and tell them that they didn't think it was a good idea to go and do crazy sh*t... Even if it made no sense since those two groups of PCs weren't together at that time and they shouldn't know a bad plan was about to happen. I was just happy that players would enforce discipline on one another :) I know intuitively I could have dealt with the situation better. But in the end we had a lot of fun. In real life we would even call one another randomly saying things like "I don't know what you're about to do but it's a bad idea". Still makes us laugh :D

Shadow Dweller
02-08-2008, 11:25 AM
Wasn't in on my groups last vampires game, but I've heard stories...especailly my friend who decided it was a good idea to shapshift into a wearwolf infront of an active security camera...that didn't end well.

MortonStromgal
02-08-2008, 11:32 AM
As long as it was a good time, its not bad/wrong fun. (and it sounds like it was) If you were not having a good time theres a ton of ways to "correct" behavior from dropping cows to one on ones and talking to players outside of game. The best solution is usually somewhere in the middle. In your particular game if they are well know for their antics a group of hunters might track them down. They might even pretend to be the station attendant. If that fails (I use the word loosely as we are trying to change behavior not ruin anyones fun) perhaps the hunters start killing other vampires and thus making them more than a little unpopular with the locals (blood hunt?). You don't have to outright kill them but encourage diplomacy (willing to meet with the vampires and tone it down, cool you can have a pimp condo downtown). And make consequences for bad behavior. Just remember while do it that its not you vs them its co-operative story telling. If you let them get away with it before they might fight when the law comes down and that will require some out of game talks to fix. :D

Drohem
02-08-2008, 11:47 AM
Sounds like your group was playing vampires like those in the movie Near Dark. I liked that movie.

hehehe....that reminds me of when I played Vampire: the Masquerade once in the early 90's. My friend and I were part of a Jousting company as knights that jousted in various renaissance fairs across the country. We were jousting at the Kansas renn faire. We had made friends with some of the locals, and were invited to one of their Vampire games. The ST let us create ourselves as new vampires, and our characters could have any items that we had in real life. I had a .38 police special with my on the road, and he had a WWII bayonet. My friend and I like the movie Near Dark. So our intro began with us going into a local bar hick bar out on a lonely road. If you've seen Near Dark, then you know where this is going. Anyway, we wound up killing everyone in the bar viciously and feasting.

Oh man, you should've seen the stark horror and shock on that group's faces! It was priceless. Needless to say, we weren't invited for a second session, LOL.

boulet
02-08-2008, 12:15 PM
Just remember while do it that its not you vs them its co-operative story telling. If you let them get away with it before they might fight when the law comes down and that will require some out of game talks to fix. :D

At first when they started to talk of robbing a gas station my reaction was "ok guys, why not ? Do your characters need some petty money that bad that they want to take this sort of risk ?" And the conversation that followed made me understand that they were just in the mood to play with their disciplines and feel how potent they are compared with mere humans. The problems started when the lack of planning and common sense made them act like dumb crackheads gone wild and security alarms rang all over the place. Mind you, I didn't plan to frame them at any price. Had they use their discipline right, they should have been able to get money and a free meal without trouble... Instead they chose to ignore every warnings I was throwing at them... It was like guys playing GTA3 for the first time : "the game is supposed to be very funny when you get chased by the law !" They nearly lost their characters. I hope they would learn the lesson... but hardly (cf. the cell phone warning in my previous post) :D

At least that time they didn't leave dry corpses like Tom Thumb drops stones. And their adventure didn't look supernatural to local police forces...

boulet
02-08-2008, 02:27 PM
If you've seen Near Dark, then you know where this is going. Anyway, we wound up killing everyone in the bar viciously and feasting.
Sorry, never seen this one.


Oh man, you should've seen the stark horror and shock on that group's faces! It was priceless. Needless to say, we weren't invited for a second session, LOL.
Well, it seems that you had the reaction from Camarilla vampires realizing after a few minutes they've been introduced to Sabbat vampires... Now if they lack of humor, I suppose you didn't mind not being invited second time :)

That's another reason I didn't enforce much censorship with my players : they're adult, we were playing Sabbat which was WoD code name for "let's be real monsters". What kind of a joy killer would I be if I was to deny my beloved players their dose of wanton violence in a setting dedicated to ruthlessness ?

Drohem
02-08-2008, 04:04 PM
I highly recommend checking out Near Dark if you like vampire movies.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093605/

Mulsiphix
02-08-2008, 07:50 PM
If you were all having fun then I think you did right by your players. If they made it impossible for you to carry on any sort of plot or planned event because they wanted to do this kind of stuff every single game, I would probably drop them a few in game "redirections" so to speak. Just depends on the setting and what your trying to get done. Sounds like a lot of fun though. What is the fun of being a vampire if you can't feel supernatural ;)

rabkala
02-09-2008, 01:41 AM
You always have to leave a little room for the players to cut lose and act the fool. What a better way to let off steam, than in the game without real world consequence? There is a point where it can be too much or go too far, but it is important for many to have a little extra venting time now and again.

nijineko
02-09-2008, 05:13 AM
i find my situation similar to drohem regarding the gaming group. i find that the people i play with the most are the ones i met in my teens and early twenties. we still get together online, even though we are scattered across 5 states near opposite corners of the country, using skype and gametable and crystalball lite.

we mesh really well, we have interesting and oddball characters that still manage to cover the basics needed... and most important we have fun! =D i find that there is lots more roleplaying and interaction with those guys than typically found in other groups.