yep... have to agree with you here... my % might be more along the lines of 80%/10%/10%
I believe that the GM is a part of the group, however the GM's XP does count for something and so does the system.
If you run a crappy system and still everyone had fun -- that's a good group!
I'd have to agree, the group is the biggest part of it. Without players that get along well and have play styles that work well together, the game is going to fall apart regardless of anything else.
The GM is probably #2, while he can put a lot of influence into the game its really the players that steer things. That said we've all played for good GM's and bad GM's and know the different they can make in the game.
The system is the least important in having a great game night. Like you said its a background world and rules. So long as the rules are balanced well enough, then the rest of the fluff and lore can be rewritten how ever fits you best.
Glad it was helpful!
Sascha - Yup - I explained in a detailed email but the very next game session, someone tried but failed the role.
SDJ - That rocks. I'm so doing that.
Way back in the days when I GMed Shadowrun, there was someone who abused the whole magic system and specifically Spirits.
What I did with him was have the Spirits get a little miffed that he was calling them for every little thing and so they started refusing to help him. At one point they ignored him for a week. The player did get upset, but after a while he stopped "wasting the Spirits time" and played his character better.
If I recall, we made a loose house rule that gave a incremental bonus/penalty depending on the frequency and reason for the use of the Spirits. It worked out pretty well and even had some people conserving their use to have a big bonus for when they needed it most.
Hope this helped!
Sounds like you and your players have differing views on the extent of spirit services. Have you talked to them about it?
I make nacho's and quesadillas for people cause they're quick and easy. No matter how much prep time I have for a game it never seems like enough though so if you can cook a meal for everyone and run a good game props for you .
I like anything with the suffix "of doom" added
I forgot to conclude this blog. The players loved it. And decided that they would like to keep the points coming this way. Not all the cards were rewarded since many depend on the scenario but this kept folks very focused on the game.
LOL - A "through the looking glass" or "down the rabbit hole" game eh!
Thank you guys for the thoughts. This guy was in his 40's which is why I guess I was so disappointed. Older folks I guess I expect more adult reactions from - at least out of game.
BIG THANKS - I went to the hospital last night after throwing out my back. Got a pain killer that knocked me out for 12 hours. So this was nice to read now that I am conscious again.
Now I'm working on my game now. Should be interesting being on pain killers.
Malruhn's pretty spot-on (though I'd replace "playing styles" with "social contract"). And yeah, it's a player's responsibility to gauge if they're willing to agree to an existing social contract, and bow out respectfully if they're not. Sorry to hear this wasn't the case.
I always think my storyline is the best thing going and am quite perplexed when my players don't enjoy it as much as I do.
I think it's quite a credit to the DM when she can weave in a character's backstory into the campaign. I don't ignore it either and sometimes it really bugs me. I want the story to go one way but my players choose a different road.
I feel your pain. With as much effort as you put into this story I hope that turkey at least chipped in for your pizza.
Nothing puts a hair up my nose like planning and running a good adventure and the group can't even pick up my pizza tab.
Keep the faith, BGG. They should be lining up to join your game!
I've had a few of that ilk, count yourself lucky that he didn't stay longer and potentially ruin your game.
It can happen... it did to me... twice! Once our group bent over backwards trying to adjust our style, but after a dozen games we weren't having fun anymore and the newbie was still complaining... goodbye to him and back to the way the others enjoyed gaming.
Now a days I try for a few games, but I'm with Gailen, if you don't like it, leave.
I also understand Malruhn's point and when introducing newbies I try to keep things clear, but I don't always manage it.
And I know I've got blind spots -- which is why I constantly pester my players for feedback and suggestions.
Just keep at it and don't sweat the small stuff
After re-re-reading the original blog post, it may just be incompatible playing styles - something I am dealing with in my campaign right now. This kid MAY have been used to, "If it speaks about evil, it must be evil, so kill it," playing, and this NPC was sounding "evil"... at least toward women.
Just because your crew knows that you play an adult game, did this new guy? Did he REALLY know it was an adult game? Did he know what YOUR definition of "adult" was? I've played some "adult" games where the PC's were expected to draw swords and KILL the bad guys for doing their heinous crimes... and some "adult" games where female slaves licked you clean after you went potty... and everything in between. He MAY have been used to nerfed campaigns that were all Care-Bear - and his definition was killing bad guys. The NPC MAY have sounded "bad" to him.
And as for your question about which is worse... I would have to say that it depends on the situation. Was it a PC that was burned alive? How is this different from a fireball from an unseen opponent?
This kid MAY have seen the NPC getting drunk and mouthing off as "evil" while the PC that was burned alive "deserved it." Just today in my game, the group captured a bandit, and a CG character told him that he had a choice - talk or die... so the guy talked. Then, after he spilled his guts, the CG character announced that he would let him live - that he would cut the bandit's hands off and cut out his tongue - all so he could make a new start of life. Yes, he was serious. In the past, I've seen LG characters that attempted to rationalize the purging of future Orc armies by killing the females and Orc kids. Definitions of "evil" varies - and when WE are doing it, since WE are on the "good" side, anything we do may well be justified if we describe it properly.
The kid may have seen what he thought was "evil" and wanted to kill it - and quit out of frustration.
Hey, when I've had players that wanted to kill the princess they were rescuing because they couldn't be positively sure it was a real princess and not a Demon Lord - and still expected to receive the reward offered for recovering her body - yeah, there are some VERY different definitions of "evil"...
Actually, the NPC right at the beginning got nearly disowned and took a strike by his parents for standing up to them over a female PC at the beginning of the day. His drunken ramblings were vocal not physical. He warned the males that females only break your heart. It's a violent future world.
I do give warning that I run an adult game. 100% agreement on the medieval worlds and all.
Here's the question: Which is worse - getting drunk and mouthing off (NPC) OR burning someone alive while they sleep (PC)?
I appreciate the moral support.
Sorry, I don't buy it. There is a certain amount of responsibility that lies with the player. If he doesn't bring his brain, his eyes, and his ears,... then he's no use to you anyway. I've seen way too much of this kind of RPG Gamer snobbery. "Oh I love your story, but I hate the house rules." Or worse, the guy leaves with no reason, no explanation and no "ki$$ my a$$".
This is a fantasy. Its a game. Its an escape from the real world for a few hours on a weekend afternoon, but in a social event that allows like minded people to share that escape, making it even more precious. Having it spoiled by game mechanics/lawyers, purists, and puerile tantrum throwers destroys the whole purpose.
As far as sensitivity, that's a psychological fault I make sure I weed out in the gamer selection process. And I tell them up front,... "people who are easily offended, need to be, as often as possible". My core crew are all friends, have been for many years, some more than 25 years. If someone can't handle the language and the banter around the game table,... there's the door. I will not destroy the very natural and open interaction between long time friends because the new guy is too sensitive to handle it.
Now your problem didn't sound like a sensitivity issue. It sounded more like a player hung up on how he thinks people should act in the world, and how others should respond to that. Perhaps he thinks that the society should be allowed to stifle the behavior of free men. Seeing as this is a fantasy RPG, and probably medieval based, what the society's norms might have been for proper behavior versus what this NPC actually did is not clear. Did the NPC actually hit anybody? Did he just get drunk and make improper advances (verbal only)? Was their a stereotypical bar brawl?
Applying today's "politically correct" nonsense to a medieval society's codes of behavior is ludicrous at best. Yet some players have been so programmed with this upside-down mindset that they can't leave it at the door.
Unfortunately, what I see here is a case of "Proximity Blindness" - You are too close to the situation. YOU know all about this NPC and where you want to take it, and your group had at least a small idea of the same.
Turn it around.
This new guy shows up and runs into a drunk misogynist that sounds like a stereotype of every abusive male ever described (abuses, then apologizes with gifts, saying that it will never happen again). Don't forget that it happened on the FIRST time the group met him! The rest of the group seemed to be totally fine with this NPC's actions (meaning that they support it).
You don't know where this new player came from. You may have been role-playing his very own FATHER... who drank heavily, beat Mom and then attempted to bribe her and the rest of the family to like him again afterward - you'll never know. Unfortunately, this was the one AND ONLY time he has gamed with you guys, and you seem to have enjoyed the actions of this NPC. This is like Hollywood and politics - perception is reality. You can't think about what YOU wanted to have happen - you have to think about what he may have PERCEIVED.
With over 30 years of gaming, I've seen this repeatedly - heck, I've DONE it repeatedly. I've found that the more into the NPC's I've been, the less I've been able to see their REAL affect on the group. If I say "A", but the NPC MEANS, "B" - and I know it, I have to keep in mind that all the group heard was, "A".
Unfortunately, you'll have to accept the fact that your group is a bunch of wife-beating, drunken, woman-haters - or at least that's what this kid may think - and be done with it. Find a new person to round out the group, and be a little sensitive with that first session and what they witness.
Have you considered looking for floorplans in walkthroughs for video games? Deus Ex, Metal Gear Solid, Alpha Protocol (any Spy-/ Sneak-/ Subversion-kind of game should do) all should fulfill your needs to at least some extent.
We used to game with this one guy who loved playing Elves and would make their names almost a sentence long and hard as heck to say... I kid you not, one of the name's wrapped into 2 full lines... Typed!
One day, the GM insisted that he say the entire name -- every time he referred to the PC. Even he couldn't pronounce it.
We wound up calling him something like "WannaSlurpee" (it was as close as we could get to the first bit of the name) much to the annoyance of the poor player.
After that, we made a house rule -- if you can't pronounce your own PC's name then it had to be changed.