The social aspects of role-playing games.

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80
votes
10answers
5k views

How does a player correct a GM mistake without being a rules lawyer or pushover?

You are playing in a game. The GM says that you need to roll a given roll. The rules clearly state something different. I realize one solution is to go along to get along, then tell the GM after ...
57
votes
13answers
5k views

Where can I find other RPG players?

I'd really like to learn how to play pen-and-paper RPGs. I know that it takes a few players to actually sit down and play, but I'm not at all sure where to find more gamers. How do I find existing ...
52
votes
21answers
2k views

How can I avoid players spending too much time planning?

Several times when I have played in or ran a game in which the players had an objective and reasonable resources, a lot of (real) time was spent trying to plan for every contingency. For example, ...
39
votes
11answers
1k views

How do I deal with GM burnout?

There are groups that share the role of GM/DM/Storyteller/Ref, and there are those that don't. In either type there is always the threat of burnout - too much responsibility is put into the hands of a ...
36
votes
14answers
1k views

When and how should I get the players to cut back on their out of character chatter?

I like that my players have all become such good friends. But they're all louder than me. We end up just chatting and hanging out more than gaming because I can't get them to stop having out of ...
34
votes
11answers
2k views

Is there a limit to Rule 0?

Rule Zero: All other rules can be changed by the GM. I appreciate that there is a massive amount of work that goes into be a GM and the last thing that any GM wants or deserves is to have his ...
33
votes
11answers
3k views

Is it practical to run a weekly lunch-hour game of D&D with my coworkers?

I'm looking to get some of my coworkers together and start a lunch time, casual, D&D game. Has anyone done this - is there a practical way to do this? Our lunch breaks run for about 1 hour, but I ...
32
votes
7answers
496 views

What can I do to keep my cool at the table?

I've had some problems in the last couple of weeks with getting on tilt when things start to go a bit downhill in the game. In the first game, random effects converged in just such a fashion as to ...
32
votes
3answers
571 views

What policies should be made at the start of a campaign, to define the desired game experience and avoid bad feelings later?

My group and I work on the assumption that a game system's default assumptions are its manifesto, and that by choosing a system we are choosing to let its assumptions stand except where we institute ...
31
votes
17answers
901 views

How do you reassure a parent who is worried about RPGs being unhealthy for their children?

Are there any constructive steps fellow players and GMs can take when a high-school age player's parents express concern at their roleplaying game hobby? Assume the player is a healthy creative ...
31
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I check whether an extremely adult/mature plot idea would be accepted by players without revealing any details of the idea itself?

I am running a post-apocalyptic zombie game with a dark and mature story, exploring a number of adult themes. I have complete buy-in from the players; some of them have stated it is their favourite ...
31
votes
6answers
1k views

What To Do When You Just Seem To Not Belong With a Group?

I'm looking for some advice and input on a situation I've found myself in as a player. To give a little background, my gaming group (4 men, 2 women, between the ages of 25 and 32) is about to end a ...
31
votes
3answers
866 views

How to handle a 'power-GM'?

My rpg group is generally very good about 'playing well with others' and most of us lean towards story-gaming more than anything else. We have one member, though, who tends to be a pretty prototypical ...
31
votes
11answers
462 views

How to get better feedback from players?

OK, we started a new campaign yesterday and I really want to take quality feedback from my players. When I ask, "How was it? Do you like it?", I generally get some vague answers like "It was good, I ...
31
votes
10answers
626 views

Is it advisable to rotate the GM role between players?

Is it advisable to run a campaign where the GM occasionally rotates to be a regular player while a player becomes the GM? I've seen some mentions of this strategy to prevent the GM from getting burned ...
29
votes
12answers
1k views

How do you compensate your game master?

It's fairly common to see games (especially D&D) choose someone as the bullet-swallower - one player becomes the emulation engine on which the game runs. The bait is the ability to take charge of ...
26
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I make my role playing group a not exclusively male one?

My role playing groups have been, almost exclusively, male. What are some ideas/options for making the group and the experience more likely to attract, and retain, female players?
26
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I quit a game gracefully?

I've been in a game for a while and I've been distracted for several sessions because the game simply hasn't been very interesting to me. The setting and story set by the GM aren't very gripping and ...
26
votes
20answers
1k views

How do you deal with missing players?

If you know ahead of time that you're going to be missing a player, do you reschedule? Or just play them as an NPC or as a group puppet?
26
votes
7answers
3k views

My children want to start playing RPGs; at what age should I allow them to participate unsupervised?

Some games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, come with ratings/recommended ages before they can be played. Are those accurate? Beyond the ratings, are there any general guidelines I should follow when ...
26
votes
4answers
836 views

How can I politely ask a player to leave my game?

So, after a few sessions, the new player I'd invited has been a bit of a disaster. He doesn't get on well with any of the other players, laughed when someone's character died (in our campaign that's ...
25
votes
9answers
817 views

Bad group, how to leave?

I have sometimes joined groups whose play style didn't work for me. At some point it became clear that as much as I wanted to enjoy the game I couldn't. And I was probably undermining the fun at the ...
25
votes
6answers
1k views

How to deal with players not taking things seriously?

As both a player and GM I play with my group of players (and close friends) on multiple occasions and they will often make fun of either my characters, NPC or a specific situation and won't stop ...
25
votes
8answers
527 views

How can I encourage a style of play where enhancing others' fun is the most important goal?

Let's assume that we can break play styles into two categories: "selfish play," where you want to have fun, and "less-selfish play," where you want to have fun but you want everyone else at the table ...
25
votes
5answers
870 views

How can I bring a player back to immersion and away from the distraction he brings to the table?

Currently, one of my players brings his 3DS to the table. He picked up a new game, and insists that he's "just grinding," and that he's paying attention (and to his credit, for the most part he is), ...
24
votes
16answers
2k views

How to design game elements other than combat?

Most RPGs I know about and have played are fighting-centered. That doesn't mean that all gaming is only about fighting, but that most of the rules and character abilities are primarily useful in ...
24
votes
13answers
746 views

Narrativist Gaming: How do you transition more traditionally-trained players into them?

This was obviously inspired by the corresponding question on GM-less gaming. For the past couple of years I've become really interested in RPGs that are less about dungeon-crawling and combat and ...
24
votes
3answers
411 views

How to support useful Intraparty Conflict

This is a question calling for tried and tested methods for facilitating entertaining CvC intraparty conflict. Although Player versus Player (PvP) seems to be the accepted term among a large ...
23
votes
10answers
4k views

A player leaving without warning and dealing with the mess?

I had a player that was very very angry and took stuff way too seriously. After the end of the last campaign, we (the party as a whole) were hesitant to re-invite him but decided to give him a chance ...
23
votes
6answers
514 views

How do you switch from parenting-mode to GM-mode?

Directly related to this question. My players are my children, aged 7 through 14. A GM has a different relationship with players than a parent does with children. A parent tries to encourage and ...
22
votes
9answers
4k views

Helping a player who states “I have very little imagination” enjoy the game more?

I have a friend in a couple of my role-playing groups who just isn't enjoying the games very much. (We are currently running Exodus in one campaign and an D&D retro clone in the other.) This ...
22
votes
2answers
499 views

How do I politely decline to hear a gaming story?

Sometimes I'm just not in the mood to hear a story about a game that I wasn't in, especially if it's objectively a lot less interesting than the people who were in the game thought it was. Or, and ...
21
votes
6answers
710 views

How can I treat old and new players fairly, without upsetting anyone?

The last time I ran a game of D&D there was a lot of tension between new players (both to the group, and D&D) and old players. It stemmed partly from oldbies not wanting their ball taken away, ...
20
votes
6answers
515 views

How to encourage new GMs (in a club environment)

I am part of a games club that has been running for years. Our size varies but we usually have around 10-15 members and run 2-3 games at a time. We change games every 6 months (this also varies ...
19
votes
10answers
1k views

How do I encourage a GM to use the rules as written?

Related to this question, there are some game masters who either don't know the rules or ignore them properly. They come into conflict with rules lawyers, players who know the rules well and expect ...
19
votes
9answers
496 views

What makes a good pitch for a new game?

What should make up a pitch about a new game to a prospective group of players? What does a good RPG pitch entail? What should go into the case for why a game should be played (and why that GM is the ...
18
votes
9answers
2k views

What is a good way to get regular people interested in D&D? [closed]

How do I get regular people, non-gamers, into playing D&D? Anybody have any useful ideas?
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Group social issues when roleplaying as the opposite gender

Some time ago I was thinking of a character for a system (which I won't mention, to avoid any bias) who was of the opposite gender. I'm fairly convinced that it's because of the characters background, ...
17
votes
9answers
977 views

What real world skills can RPGs improve?

What real world skills can be improved by playing Role-playing games? What skills have you or others in your experience improved through gaming?
17
votes
4answers
720 views

How do I, as a DM, help a girl integrate into a group of all male role-players? [closed]

We have recently had an addition to our gaming group. She is very bright and has picked up the rules quickly and seems to have enjoyed herself. We have had one session with her involved and she has ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

As a player, how can I help other players explore their characters on a deeper level?

I'm playing in a group with a diverse group of players. Some have everything about their character planned (like myself and one other player), others came to the table with a concept and nothing else. ...
16
votes
1answer
332 views

How to play a character that has an alien mindset and thought process?

I have a character that I am currently portraying who is not human, and I would like to increase the obviousness of his non-humanity ( mainly through dialog and actions ). The character is a ...
15
votes
8answers
397 views

Can rules changes fix interpersonal problems at the table?

Can rules tweaks help deal with some of the common interpersonal problems at the gaming table? For example: Someone is not really interested in the game, and reads and ignores play until they ...
15
votes
5answers
509 views

Specific Items In A Group Social Contract?

Some gaming groups actually do a formal social contract, wherein they explicitly set some of the expectations and rules for the gaming group. What items should a group considering doing a social ...
15
votes
3answers
186 views

Remind players of critical information that would be obvious to the characters?

To make a long story short, a campaign I was playing in [as play-per-mail] has come to a standstill. The cause of this is the following: My character dove into the river, to retrieve something that ...
14
votes
9answers
269 views

How to encourage the GM-curious?

I have a couple of players who might be interested to try GMing, but have so far been reluctant to "take the plunge" and start up their own games. I think this is mostly because they're not sure that ...
14
votes
0answers
182 views

How can a GM calm down the group when they're chatty? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When and how should I get the players to cut back on their out of character chatter? Now and then the groups I play in or GM can get rather chatty. They're talking and ...
13
votes
8answers
922 views

Out-Of-Control Characters

As I review the suggestions in the D&D 4E DMG (pg32), I wonder what other suggestions that are realistic. I know that if a player is out of control (ie: killing masses for no reason) a DM would ...
13
votes
6answers
406 views

Finding time to play

How do people find time to play an RPG with friends, around work, study and partners? I've a preference for weekly play but I just can't find the time to dedicate to roleplaying anymore. And when I ...
13
votes
8answers
736 views

How valid is lying to players about the rolls they are making in The Dresden Files?

In last weeks Dresden Files game, the players followed the bad guy using a tracking spell, and found him in the projects at an apartment that they knew little about. Seeing his car, they decided to ...