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Thread: Ask a GM [10/16/08]: Shy Players

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meatbag View Post
    If that doesn't work, disfigure them. People never stay silent when you've just stabbed out one of their eyes.
    Um, you do mean in-game, right?

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    LOL, let's hope!

    A follow-up question for you Fury... would it set you off bad if you are settling in with a new group and the GM politely inquired about your shyness? In a private conversation naturally. This would give him/her the chance to learn more about you, but I'd hate to do that if it's going to trigger a negative reaction from a person.

    Talking to them away from the table is what I've always gone for, but this could be a learning moment for me. Not that I've ever had someone react negatively to me when I've done it, but just in case I'm pushing a button and don't know it.
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    Grimwell

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    Quote Originally Posted by grimwell View Post
    A follow-up question for you Fury... would it set you off bad if you are settling in with a new group and the GM politely inquired about your shyness? In a private conversation naturally. This would give him/her the chance to learn more about you, but I'd hate to do that if it's going to trigger a negative reaction from a person.
    Nah, I think that would be perfectly reasonable. As much as I'm afraid to talk to people, at my core I really do like to talk about myself. It's like there's a hump there - once I get past that blockage, I'm a lot more forthcoming from there on out. If you ask them privately about their issues, maybe they can give you advice for making them more comfortable.

    I guess it could backfire if you present it badly - they might think their shyness is causing a problem, which would make them even more self-conscious, and then become even more withdrawn. And some shy people get embarrassed by any attention at all, good or bad. But one-on-one is still less embarrassing than being drawn out in a group.

    So I say go for it, just don't fail your Diplomacy check.

  4. #19
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    may i suggest that when you have said discussion that you bring magic chocolate (or insert other favorite food of subject) of diplomacy +10?
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

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    getting a shy one to roleplay

    Build a plot element into the game that could call for the character to interact w/ NPCs in a non combative way that generates role play. For example, I had a similar situation. The character in question was a member of a special fighting order called, Order of the Golden Bow. This fighter, game after game only participated in melee and when the rest of the session revolved around role playing, which is a big part of my games, was absent from helping the game move forward. So after several missions were successfully completed a promotion was offered to the fighter character, which was accepted, more prestige and all that. The fighter became responsible for 6 trainees. The fighter also had to interact with the leaders of the order which was experiencing an internal schism. After establishing relationships w/ the trainees I killed one off and all hell broke out within the order. The character was invested in the role and stepped up to perform. This worked out very well for the player and role play picked up from there. Needless to say I took advantage of the player's being involved in management in her professional career to weave role playing into how she ran the character. Look at what a person is interested in with real life and find a parallel to build on, not the same but something for the player to relate with. Good Luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grimwell View Post
    would it set you off bad if you are settling in with a new group and the GM politely inquired about your shyness? In a private conversation naturally. This would give him/her the chance to learn more about you, but I'd hate to do that if it's going to trigger a negative reaction from a person.

    Talking to them away from the table is what I've always gone for, but this could be a learning moment for me. Not that I've ever had someone react negatively to me when I've done it, but just in case I'm pushing a button and don't know it.
    Talking to them seperate from the Group usually works for me as well.
    There are times that I have gotten negative responses, and they leave the Game. However, I get more 'dedicated' players this way.
    One cannot please everyone. Best to be true to yourself, and let others decide if they like it, or not.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    While it is true that some of your 'shy' players are unsure of what to do, or afraid of others making fun of what they try to do..
    – This can especially be true for players that are new to the game.
    They want to be involved, but are afraid that asking questions will disrupt the game, and that the other Players will be annoyed with them.

    Some of your “shy” players are actually rather smart, and quickly become bored with the regular “Hack and Slash” style of play.
    However - watch out for too much "Soft RP", since this will lose the interest of the other Players in the Game. Finding the Balence can be really hard.

    I usually tell the Players at the Table that they can take over almost any NPC slot, and add their flair to the Games.

    :Rant:
    I think that the problem stems from a few outside sources: America is the worst of all the Nations about conditioning people to stop thinking when doing something:

    TV – it is called the Idiot Box (or Boob Tube) for a reason. Everything is done for the viewer. Sure, people have opinions of whatever it is they watched – but usually only after it happened.

    Movies are just another form of what the TV does, but costs the person money to go do.

    Video Games – Click a button, and figure out the Plot of the Game, and you win. There are no changing the outcome of the game.

    Online MMOs – are a slightly more advanced Video Game. But again, there are severe limits to what can be done by the Players. If the programmers did not place into the game that something can be done, then nothing the Player does will make the attempt succeed. In a Tabletop RPG, if the Player(s) want to attack the NPCs, there is no game mechanic to stop them, the DM has to find ways to either stop them, or punish them for doing it.

    Books – There are only a few authors that show the strength of Good, and the 'rewards' of Evil – while still keeping the “humanity” in all their Characters. I could list a few of my favorite authors, but I think that I will wait to be asked. Since people have such strong opinions about Alignment, suggesting any reading material on such things is risky.

    Getting people to break free of this “passive participation” trend can be a challenge. Especially when the RPG is based on the same 'style' of play that an MMO is.
    :/Rant:
    Underestimate No One.

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    As another of those shy-at-first players, I have to agree with the consensus here, personal and private attention helps a LOT. Time can be effective too, but sometimes it takes a LOT of time. I've been playing with a group for over 5 years now and only recently realized that I won't be ostracized if my character develops a relationship with another character. Yeah, with a decent group it's not a problem, but randomly people get upset about that kind of thing.

    The point is, I think more often than not, a little honest and openminded discussion with a shy player will really help make her feel at ease, though only time and experience can really completely solve the problem.


    Sometimes the cheesiest cliches are the most fun to play. After all, how do you think they became so cliche?

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    I read a lot of these answers and chuckle.

    I don't have time or the interest in coddling or ego stroking players to get them to come out of their shells. I tell them as Morrissey would, "Shyness is nice, but shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you'd like to." and then if they're still shy or timid, then it's time to cut the umbilical cord and send them out into the world.

    Least I'm straight up with them, unlike their moms were.

    PS: Another good way to break them out of their shells. Take them to a strip club, they'll spend 100 bucks for a girl to sit there and listen to their ramblings. That'll help build their social skills - especially because the girl isn't going to tell them to 'get lost'. She knows where the money is. Heck, she's even role-playing (for a fee).
    Last edited by Moritz; 12-25-2008 at 10:08 PM.
    "And then you wake up."

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    Personally, I'm one of those shy-to-begin players. But, usually it's just because I'm waiting to see how to match my playing style with that of the rest of the group. If I still seem shy after a few sessions, then it's just because I don't desire the limelight for the time being. Trust me, when I feel it's time for my character to shine, then shine he will.
    "When all is said and done, you have two basic choices: do what's crazy, or do what's smart. And people of character do not stick with one such choice, but make the choice that is best for the situation" Myself
    Doromii

  10. #25
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    *lol* I agree with akela122301, but even more so. Once I get past the initial shyness, I'm a total attention whore. I mean, I share the limelight, but when it's on me, I LOVE it.

    Oh, and Moritz, if you wanna take me to a strip club and spend a hundred bucks on me, by all means, feel free! ^.^
    Last edited by hueloovoo; 12-29-2008 at 11:33 PM.


    Sometimes the cheesiest cliches are the most fun to play. After all, how do you think they became so cliche?

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    Character creation and then let the players do most of the work

    As a GM, when i encounter shy players, i will know at the time of character creation. I always take new players aside right after i bring them into the game and give them some sort of unique knowledge or insight to make sure they understand their character is just as important as the others, and even that they have an advantage over the others in something. Prior to game sessions i use the character creation process to help get them enthused about their character and the potentials it has in-game. But, once the character starts, i really let the players work to draw them out and establish the in-game flow. If the player wants to stay supporting and not get involved too deep thats just what they get. My core players are VERY good at working with all sorts of players... all of them are 20+ years of gaming. I let the group dynamic build without any interference unless its asked for or required to keep things on track. I do make sure each character has a part to play wherein their knowledge or skill is important - i try to adjust to the level of participation a player is comfortable with. The more shy the player is, the less i depend on their abilitiy and action and more on bits of helpful knowledge that can be teased out by other players or NPC's.... but i do make sure all characters have an important role over time.

    Incarna; Role-Playing Game System
    www.incarna.net
    Running: 3+ campaigns set in single custom milieu world.

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    "blood and thunder!"

    The last game I played with my old D&D group was with one of my friends' girlfriends, who had never rolled a die before. We rolled her up a sheet and she sat for the first hour of the game with her silent just following everyone around: she didn't know what to do. We stopped and asked if she was okay, if she wanted to stop, and she said, "No, sorry, I'm just nervous. I've never done anything like this before."

    At that point, the DM (at the time, we switched on and off) had everyone put down everything and, one at a time, shout "BLOOD AND THUNDER!" at the top of their lungs. The new girl asked why we did it, to which the DM replied "We all look like idiots now. It doesn't really matter."

    That's how we deal with shy players: help them realize that you can't be nervous playing an elven wizard because the person next to you is pretending to be a half-orc barbarian. We're ALL pretty silly.

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    without reading all the posts I will just blindly reply;
    Make them the center of attention. Use their history. Every character should have a history even a sketchy one
    If you don't want to use history, what skills does the character have that the others dont? What abilities?
    Make them the only person who can hear a "voice" leading them to a secret grove or treasure or whatever, and the voice for whatever reason doesn't like being talked to by the other players.

    So focus on the things that make the character an individual, make it center stage.

    I have my players roll up their histories and take advantage of them. One player has rolled up a number of lovers and one of them manufactured a masterwork FNP90, which has been recently damaged. He is going to seek them out and have to relive them not parting on the best terms. next series I will pick something out from another players history and rotate on and on and on

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    Quote Originally Posted by Killwatch View Post
    without reading all the posts I will just blindly reply;
    Make them the center of attention.
    Well, when you do get around to reading all the posts, see mine (#11). If you make me the center of attention too early, before I've had a few sessions to get used to the group, you may well never see me again. Not all shy people are permanently shy, they just take a while to warm up to a group's dynamic. Rush it, and you lose everything.

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    I wouldn't demand it of course. I simply give you the opportunity. That's all I can do. If you let soemone else take the reigns then that's on you. but I wouldn't do this to soemone just sitting down, uncomfortable with the group. Maybe 10 games in once I get a sense of you, if you are pleased as punch to be sitting int he background fine. If you want something to healp you break out and take center stage I can do that to.

    I give what I expect from my players, a good attitude and patience.

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