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  Click here to go to the first special guest post in this thread.   Thread: Ask a GM [11/17/08]: Who Picks the System?

  1. #16
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    I'm aligned along the same way as Webhead and Gary.

    I allow my Players to have a large part in what Game I run.
    But then, I have several different Games to choose from, and an interest in all of them.

    And I agree with Grimwell if you are not enjoying yourself as either Player or GM, then you should not be participating in the Games.


    I also know a few other GMs, that do run some of the RPGs that I will play in but won't run.
    Usually White Wolf WoD RPG Vampire, Werewolf, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by placebosonly View Post
    new question - at which point is it time to replace a player?
    For me, when that Player is either being constantly rude to the other players, or being abusive to them either verbally or physically.
    Last edited by DragonDM; 11-23-2008 at 12:27 PM.
    Underestimate No One.

  2. #17
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    I usually find a few systems that I want to DM and have the players and I vote on which we want, although this has the downside of lacking a strong advertisement for the game, which can make the players less confident that they're going to want in. But you definitely give the majority what they want when everyone votes.

  3. #18
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    I usually let the players vote, but I also hold veto powers . I want everyone to enjoy themselves, but if the vote comes down to a game that I really can't stand, or one that I don't feel great about DMing, then I'll ask one of the players to run the game. With that said though, I've found that an open line of communication from the DM and players creates a better overall experience. It's a two way street, and the players generally feel better about the choice of game if they have some kind of imput on that game. Just my 2 cents, but it's worked for me for around 15 years.

  4. #19
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    I decide what I am going to run, and recruit for that.

    I usually have access to a large pool of players, which come and go, depending on their own game preferences.

    I don't run games I don't like.

  5. #20
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    The GM pitches a game or three.

    If players say "OK" or "That one" then do that.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Etarnon View Post
    I decide what I am going to run, and recruit for that.
    completely agree with this statement its not hard to plan a story if everyone knows what they are getting into

  7. #22
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    Exactly.

    "This is gonna be Star Wars, d6, system, not d20, nor saga...
    A year before Kenobi and Luke meet, in a far off sector, mostly non jedi PCs, focussing on smuggling and Hutt Crime lords."

    OR

    "Star trek, last unicorn games, Post Undiscovered country, 20 years before Next Gen, romulan border, a small scout ship, senior bridge officers of Starfleet."

    People can then self filter.

    If I get two players that want to play in what i've said, I run it.

    Just like here... about a week and a half ago, I posted an ad for my alternity / traveller game, in sci fi threads. 36+ views, no takers.

    Okay, so i'll toss out something different.

  8. #23
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    i personally recruit my players by posting a flyer detailing the kind of campaign 2-3 weeks before i start at the local gaming store (i hold my games there anyway) that way i KNOW every one who shows up wants to be there and everyone who doesnt show up doesnt and i can run the game i really want to run

  9. #24
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    Normally, I only do that when I'm looking to add more people to my already existing Group.
    In which case I can detail what is already being played (System and Class types) as well as what would best be needed to help the entire Group.

    Or I'm forced to try and find a whole new group. In this case, I'll just list the Game System that I already have the most Adventure Ideas planned out.

    For an entirely new Group, I will usually prefer to start the Group out at 1st level - I can be convinced to increase this, but will not go higher then 3rd level (or the equivalent) until they get some gaming experience with me. Even if the other Players have been playing as long as me - more then 25 years.

    I do this so that they can get as much a feel for the way that I run my games as it is for me to get used to their gaming styles.
    Underestimate No One.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonDM View Post

    For an entirely new Group, I will usually prefer to start the Group out at 1st level - I can be convinced to increase this, but will not go higher then 3rd level (or the equivalent) until they get some gaming experience with me. Even if the other Players have been playing as long as me - more then 25 years.

    I do this so that they can get as much a feel for the way that I run my games as it is for me to get used to their gaming styles.
    that seems like a good approach *adopts method*

  11. #26
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    Awesome! Thanks.

    I usually also leave the first two days completely open.

    Day 1 is everyone meeting, and deciding on the System, if one has not already been decided upon - Including a possible test run, if the game is new to all the Players: so that they understand everything about it.
    - see Ad, above
    If everyone is already familair with the System - then I skip to Day 2's plan.


    Day 2 is everyone making their Characters.
    If they can get done quickly, then the rest of the day is setting up the 'In Character Meeting' in the town or City that I have decided upon.
    This includes making sure that each Character has a background, and describes their travels and entering the town. Once there, they can then start to figure out how to meet and interact with each other and choose their first Quest or Adventure.
    Last edited by DragonDM; 12-13-2008 at 12:19 PM.
    Underestimate No One.

  12. #27
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    Total Agreement

    I make sure that everyone is in total agreement on the system being played. This is mainly due to the fact that players do well in certain systems and the GM is only going to know a certain amount of systems well. I just like to make sure there aren't too many rules-lawyers or powerplayers, which can quickly ruin a game, no matter what system.

  13. #28
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    For myself, I tend to be very honest about what Systems I am familiar with - and whether or not I like it, and why. If the group wants a system that I don't know - or like - and there is another that does know it, then I will offer them the position of DM, and be content to simply play.

    While I can offer advice to the other (possibly new) DM, I do everything I can to not use anything that my Character does not actually find out In Game - lest I ruin the fun for everyone. If I'm metagaming or helping the DM too much, then I might as well have just saved the time and been the DM, myself.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    While Rule Lawyers and Power Gamers can be disruptive, and a pain in the DM's - - side; there are ways to deal with them.

    Try and make these individuals your friends.
    Remind the Lawyer that the game is not about the Rules alone.
    Tell them also that you have House Rules, if you do. It might help if you made a list of what these were, so that you can pass them around to everyone.

    And that while you don't mind having something pointed out to you, it should almost never be in the middle of a game. They can bring it up at the end of the game, or before the start of the next game. If you already knew about that Rule, and made a House Rule, tell them what the change was, and make sure you keep a copy of what it is. Remember, the Rules are meant to follow the Spirit of the Game, not the Letter of the Laws.

    Tell the Power Gamer that it is not how powerful their Character is, but how far the Story goes, that is important. While it may seem unfair, have a lot of equally powerful monsters and foes target the Power Gamer.
    Make a copy of everyone's character and keep track of the abilities, feats, skills - and weaknesses.
    Heck, challenge that Power Gamer to play an All Average Character, just to see how far they can get.

    It's not necessary to consantly kill any form of Munchkin, to get your point across. Yes, the story is about their Character, and is meant to be fun. But it's meant to be fun for everyone at the table - including the DM.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The one type of Player that has the biggest chance of getting kicked out of one of my Games is the Metagamer. This Player only gets three warning in my Game. If you want your Character to be able to do something that you as a Player know can be done, but the Character does not currently have the means to justify how they knew to do that, then tell the Metagamer that they need to do some In Character Research or Gather Information, before they can act upon that knowledge.

    Sometimes as the DM, I find it fun to give the information to another Player's Character, so that they know more then the other Players at the table. It puts the spotlight on them, if only for a short time. I dislike ignoring anyone that sits down at my table.

    Metagamers can make awesome Wizards, since this class has the most means of 'bending the rules' - especially at higher levels. Summon Planar Ally, Clairaudience, Clairvoyance, Scrying, Messanger spells, and Familiars - give them the ability to send and recieve messages quickly, and undetectable to anyone else except another Spellcaster; can make a Wizard very knowledgable and mysterious as to how they found out that information. Remember to have the Metagamer actually roleplay how they go about getting the information in the first place. Important Plot-line information can be done on a 1-on-1 basis, so that the Player can reveal the information to the rest of the Party in the manner they feel best. Information that is useful, but not overly important can be done in front of the entire group.

    Bards can also be a good class for either the Rule Lawyer or the Metagamer. Their Bardic Knowledge can remember almost anything. And their spells list makes them just as effective at being the 'communications expert' as the Wizards. And even if they don't have some of these spells, the DM can always add them. Remember that Bards are like Sorcerers, and they have to choose Communication, Party Support, or Combat spells. And once Chosen, they can't be changed. (Although a Wish can do this, it's usually not worth it, by the time they can afford to get one.)

    One of the things that the DM might need to remind themselves of - is the fact that there will always be Munckins in the Games. In point of fact, a lot of DMs are themselves one form, or another type (or a combination of several) of Munchkin. Don't force change on your Players - that will ruin the experience for them, and cause them to stop wanting to play. Simply adapt as best you can, and encourage them to change.

    For example, myself: I started out very much a Power Gamer and minor Rules Lawyer. Over the years, I toned down. As the DM, I know that in my Games I am the Games Organizing Director - and that if needed, I can kill anyone's Character at any time, in (or out of) the Rules. If I don't like the group that I'm with, I can either step down as the DM, or simply leave - and try to find a new group.

    Or play World of Warcraft!!
    Last edited by DragonDM; 12-14-2008 at 10:27 AM.
    Underestimate No One.

  14. #29
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    Hard liner GM

    Thats easy - i pick the game and players choose to join or not. As a GM, i start with an idea. I never just do throw-away scenarios - my world changes and adapts to character actions so i vetting everything that happens in them. I only play one system now, a universal system i made myself, so thats pretty easy for my players. However, if i'm going to play i may have some input or if as a GM I'm just doing a one-off in a different universe/world, i have been persauded to run an occasional different system - especially true for SCI/FI settings.

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

  15. #30
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    I think you need player input on what system and type of game the players what to play. That being said, as a DM, you have find something that you want to do and that will stir your creative interest.

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