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34

You simply might have creative differences Your player seems to enjoy idealized stories, where the only thing necessary to make a things right is effort by a willful, and well-meaning individual. There's nothing inherently wrong with wanting to tell, hear, and be a part of stories like this for a campaign.You on the other hand seem to be interested in a ...


31

The big thing is how a game structures its facts when you want to have clue scenes. Pre-established Facts The GM decides what happened beforehand, and now the point is to have all clues and witnesses eventually point towards that fact. This is the most common way games handle things, but there is rarely good advice towards doing it well. Start with Free ...


27

Write it down! Perhaps they find snippets of computer files (autosaves, etal), pages left behind on some printer, or some other written information leak (or leaks) that gives them clues as to what has really happened. Business documents are another good clue -- think along the lines of invoices, leave requests, inventory sheets, and maintenance ...


23

Nitpick Try not to script things as immutable. That may be one thing that is frustrating your player. It is in general advisable to avoid making immutable plot points. The Savior You have a player with a very specific thing they have in mind for what they want in a game. My advice is to use this to your advantage, and create plots where saving the day, ...


23

Expose bits of information through the agents/the minions of the villain. This can happen in several ways, e.g. Interrogations Written notes found on the bodies of the agents (in several forms - eg. it could be a message on the phone) Conversations overheard by the PCs remarks or comments addressed to the PCs I find this approach satisfying because it is ...


21

Setting Expectations Whenever I as GM am dealing with multi-PC/NPC conversations, I first remind my players that I am a single-thread processor and can therefore only handle one conversation at a time, then proceed to deal with them one at a time as appropriate for the configuration of speakers. 1. One-to-Many Conversations The easiest way to handle this ...


15

Let them know that they don't have to do theatrical stuff. Ease them in with third person statements like "My character chats up the female manticore" or first-person "I tell the guard I'm working for the King" etc. and let them develop into deeper immersion. Some people never do; it's not a requirement and there's no need to penalise them for not doing it ...


14

When questions come up about how much detail to plan for when prepping for a campaign/session etc, one of the answers I tend to agree with is that you only do as much as the players are going to see/experience. There's no point in having a detailed history of some far off land if it is never going to come up. To a certain extent the same applies here. ...


13

Release the Wombat of Discourse! This is my default strategy for the first time a group starts talking over each other so much it hinders play: I bring a stuffed animal to the session, and name it The [Animal] of Discourse. The GM may speak at any time, but only the player with the Animal can talk. They pass the Animal amongst themselves however it suits ...


13

The problem you have encountered was once known as the 15-minute workday. Since health, spells, etc are all things that are regained over time, the safest strategy is usually to do one fight, then back off to a safe distance and regenerate to full power before tackling the next challenge. SevenSidedDie wisely suggests ensuring that the world does not wait ...


11

The GUMSHOE system (used in Trail of Cthulhu and some other games) is a whole game system designed to keep things going during investigation games. Investigation is generally hard to play in some systems because either you flat out give the information to the players with no effort on their side or there's some kind of roll that, if failed, stops the PCs on ...


10

You have several major options depending on your desired playstyle. Easy Game Mode - Either level them up so they overwhelm the dungeon, or sprinkle in more magic (especially healing), or just change the rules so they can recover everything with a short rest. There are infinite variations on this. No death penalty! If you kill an enemy you regain your ...


9

There are two techniques that can go 90% of the way to making playing-initiated retreats like this not boring or tedious. "Time passes" Use your role as DM to control the passage of time. Skip the uneventful parts. Do you know that nothing will inconvenience them on the way out of the dungeon? Narrate to skip ahead then. You backtrack through the halls ...


7

Put him outside of his comfort zone Disclaimer: I don't know your friend at all, so take what I am writing here with a grain of salt. I know it worked on myself and on friends of mine, but take a moment first and try to imagine how your friend might take this. It might be fun and challenging for him, broadening his personal horizons. Or it might make him ...


6

Presuming a single "canonical" timeline, with alterations to that timeline always having had been true, the language you're looking for can be found in the Continuum role playing game. You can get a sample glossary, sans philosophy, at the Continuum glossary. Of particular import are the concepts of "up/down." and "age/yet". Therefore, "Down [in the ...


6

I watched a whole lot of Law & Order with an eye toward trying to understand how they structure their mysteries. I noticed a few things that I think ought to help run a mystery game. (Life has gotten in the way of testing my theories in the game I was to run, so do report back if any of this helps!) First, a mystery is not a confusing story--it's a ...


5

Lead by Example Exhibit the behaviors you want to see. When your players type a question, reply to it by voice. Be sure not to exclude them, or even to let the comfortable players hog the spotlight. Make sure you query them directly - OK, Joe, what do you do? (of course, if your table's convention is to use character names, do that instead) When they ...


5

Bringing someone into RP over a voice medium for the first time is difficult, especially if you have players who do not know each other. I would recommend getting the group together on skype for something not related to gaming, where you are not putting anyone on the spot for decisions or roleplay. A fun option is to pick a movie off netflix if everyone ...


5

I greatly agree with Joshua's answer, but I feel he's taking some shortcuts in his understanding of the player you have a problem with. It is not so much that he likes idealized stories, whilst you like realistic stories. For one, people do change, and with effort a lot of people can be convinced, so from that perspective scripted stories are the unrealistic ...


5

I don't know if this answer will be pertinent to your group and it doesn't strictly answer the question, but mine was once in a very similar situation and, as we learned to play the game (this was 2nd edition), we noticed that the problem eventually disappeared due to a slight change in our combat approach. We were somehow doing it "wrong", and it was ...


5

Let them die or be a hero despite their flaws. Those who live by the [dice] die by the [dice]. By rolling characters, and choosing not to build for combat prowess, you clearly have a very specific and challenging game in mind. While I would recommend investigation into other systems that may better fit your needs; the situation you've set up here has a very ...


4

"Just the facts" just isn't enough Plan more flavor and context into your scenes, and your story. WoD games often lend themselves to strong thematic overtones, so don't skimp. Small side stories, or a growing tapestry of NPCs can both add a feeling of depth to the play experience. As you write later scene, call back to those "useless" or "flavor" ...


4

Use Marvelous Initiative This strategy is a formal rules-based implementation of basic "turn-taking" etiquette. It is probably only necessary if your group really likes rules, or as training wheels toward the group figuring out its own conversational rhythms. I haven't tried this with freeform conversational RP, but it's worked well in Fate where tense ...


4

The basic math is this: A difficulty of [the rating of the skill being rolled] will succeed almost 40% of the time (and succeed or tie about 60% of the time). Increasing the difficulty rapidly increases the chances of failure: a difficulty 2 higher than the skill being rolled means the chances of tie-or-better is less than 20%, forcing the player to spend at ...


3

You Don't You are asking impossible, contradictory things. In essence, this question asks How do I get an impossibly rare and delicate social structure to occur spontaneously and persist in inhospitable conditions? Let's talk contradictory first: All members of the group should be roughly equal in value/respect The party must contain at least ...


3

You have reached the point where you like the story and not the exploration. You have fun when you see your players grow, explore, and have fun, and you are happiest when they are happy. You have reached a point that most don't get to and you should now (some GMs do this too soon, and it goes bad) explore… Building your own world Build the base ...


3

Psychology Handling a hostage crisis and Stockholme Syndrome of the NPCs. Perhaps, unless dealt with, the hostages intervene on behalf of their captors? Or, the PCs are the captors and must diffuse the stressful NPCs and keep them in line (or win them over). Don't just have them roll, have them explain exactly what they're doing and saying. Mitigating ...


3

Defectors, hostages and allies Either someone that was working for the BBEG, or who they'd kidnapped or someone who was independently working to take down the BBEG (because the BBEG poked their cat or whatever) With this you get a temporary ally (depending on their abilities) and you can spoon feed them with an interaction scene what you want from their ...


3

In the end it all depends on your group of players motivation to expose Johnson's motivation or simply get a pay checked without being double crossed. If your players have any kind of street smarts they will probably run some background checks on their employer. They may find some info about who he contacts regularly (Knight errant related people for ...


3

Use cut scenes. It's a literary/theatre device that works remarkably well in games such as these. Set them down with their snacks and their drinks and whatever, dim the lights, and start off by describing a scene that their characters aren't involved in, and gives a glimpse into something deeper. You don't have to have your big bad involved in the scenes - ...



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