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112

Don't run the campaign It is often important (but not always) for the party to have a preexisting, long term reason to stay a party. It is especially important in situations like this, with non-standard parties. Unless that reason is part of your pitch, it is incumbent upon the players to come up with that reason. Your Options Make it a One-Shot So you ...


76

I think it boils down mainly to the winning two step formula of Invite females to play Don't be a dick to them when they do Step one should be fairly self explanatory, but for some reason many people worrying about this topic skip it. Try it, it works. My roommate was talking to a manager lady at work about an unexpectedly shared interest in Babylon 5, ...


75

The game you want to run is not the game they want to play. Fundamentally, gaming is a consensual activity. You clearly have very strong views about what kind of game you want to play, strong enough to trump your annoyance with the rest of the players not playing that game. While it's not "wrong" to require justification, it will leave you without players ...


73

"Fine, then we just won't play." "OK." Call their bluff, whether you think it's a bluff or not. If they're bluffing, they do want to play and will buckle down and figure it out if they have to. If they're not bluffing, they don't really want to play anyway and you've dodged a bullet. (GMing for a group that doesn't really want to play is a ...


54

You're not having fun. Since the entire point of role-playing is to have fun, you need to do something about it. In particular, it sounds like the character he's playing (called a GMPC) is seriously distracting him from his GM task of running a fun story for the other players at the table. You have several options, depending on whether you're willing to ...


54

The DM is charged with making rulings on a huge variety of things that go on in the course of playing the game. You can make your case for why you think it should be a given way, and then await a ruling. Once the ruling has been made at the table, the DM is right.(1) During play, accept that and then press on as the other players wish to play for fun ...


53

There are a ton of issues with that. That doesn’t automatically mean it’s the wrong move, just that it’s fraught with problems. Ultimately, most people feel that roleplaying works best when everyone, ya know, plays a role. As in, behaves as their character would, based on what their character knows, rather than how they would, based on what they know. This ...


51

Ask more generally about their comfort boundaries Tell the party that you have some ideas you think might be crossing the line, and ask them where they'd like the line to be drawn. In that context you might even give examples and include something similar to your idea as just one of several. Throw in a scaled-down version as a test Use the general concept ...


46

Just to add to something others have been saying: If there is any secret information in the game, then Pass notes to every player, constantly! Occasionally scribble random gibberish like "Look at this paper and smile knowingly." and pass it to a random player. Make sure everyone gets used to it as "one of your GM quirks". Mix this up with meaningful ...


45

Two words: Dramatic Exit Though others adequately attempt to help with the group dynamics, I'll answer the question as asked instead: "How do I quit a game gracefully?" and work my way around to the same place. Work within the fantasy. Make appologies to the GM and offer to work with him/her to make it work within the story of the game. Make your last ...


45

So here's my issue: I like my character, I like our party, and I don't want to pull a 180 on my character and make him nice or throw away important motivations for him. Well, it sounds like your character just may be evil, or at least on the evil side of neutral. That doesn't mean he has to do evil things, especially if he has a reason not to. And, if ...


42

Sounds like you have a couple separate issues mixed in together. Uneven Spotlight Time If only some characters are engaged in the planning, make sure and spread the spotlight time around to the others. After 5 minutes of the planning characters doing their thing, go around to the other characters and get 5 minutes of what they're doing, don't let the ...


36

As with any motivational approaches, there's the carrot and the stick. You have to be careful to not simply be permissive of the late behavior, or else you won't incentivize the people who are showing up on time to do so. Start at a known time and allow a buffer. On our group we have a "doors open" time and a "game" time, to allow for people to show up ...


35

Female gamer geek, checking in with 2 cents... It's okay to treat women/girls like "one of the guys" -- as a matter of fact, it's preferable. Walking on eggshells around us is just as much unwanted attention as never taking your eyes off our breasts. Ignore people who suggest you have to communicate differently, be PC, etc. to get female players: the ...


35

If you don't give your players guidelines, then they will do whatever. That said, you did give a guideline ("At least give a me a reason, any reason, you know each other"), a pretty low, low bar to meet, and the players aren't interested in meeting it. Your options are: Play the gonzo game with no expectations I'm not a huge fan of this, just because ...


33

In a game where logistics and character death aren't core parts of play, putting pressure on them to keep logistics discussions to a minimum is necessary. "For every 5 minutes you spend planning realtime, an [hour/day/week/whatever's appropriate] goes by game time. Over 10 minutes realtime and I start checking to see if the enemy gets wind of your plans and ...


33

Switch to Paranoia. Paranoia is an RPG where the players are expected to backstab (and occasionally frequently frontstab) each other. If you die, just pop out one of your backup clones. This way the players can play the game they want to play without hurting (and in fact improving!) the overall session. Then talk to them. If you want to run a serious ...


33

NO It's not overkill, it's awesome. I just used the SPT to kick off a new group. Most (4 of 7) had never played before, and one thought that D&D was some sort of board game. We had a get-together before the first session where we just hung out and talked about media - what games, tv shows, books, etc., we liked and what kind of stuff we would want to ...


32

We had this happen once. She always said it was her character. Eventually, in the middle of a dungeon, she tried to loot another (unconscious) player's body. The rest of us knocked her character out, left her to get eaten by the giant insects, and took the other unconscious PC to get healed. That was us responding in character. We invited her to create a ...


31

As noted, this is a player decision rather than a GM one. However, here is the system that one of my groups used to good effect in the past: Loot is pooled until the end of the night or adventure (although particularly powerful upgrades may be lent out on a temporary basis). Calculate the total sell value of the pool of items (that is, how much the players ...


30

A note: While this is a system-agnostic question, certain systems (ex: DitV, FATE, Paranoia) are much better at handling this than others (ex: Any D&D system). Some games are even focused entirely around CvC conflict (En Garde, Everyone Is John, etc). For the purposes of this response I'm going to assume that in this game the party is all on the same ...


29

I thought about making up an excuse to talk to all players in the bathroom during stuff like the assassination example above so everyone will be suspicious of each other but it sounds like too much hurdle. Unfortunately, that's your answer. Metagaming in this case isn't going to be deliberate, but it's going to be hard to avoid. If you constantly ...


29

I've had similar challenges, both with getting group buy-in to try new systems and with getting people to feel comfortable GMing anything at all. My solution was a long-game process of changing the "landscape" of how people at the table viewed their role in the game. I didn't set out to deliberately address the challenges you're facing, but it's ...


28

I think you are right in assuming that "everyone pulls their own weight" is not very helpful or realistic. However, everyone can pull different weight. In my group I'm the host, which means I clean up after my friends. In return, I don't have to travel on game night - an even trade as far as I'm concerned. I think when you are the "one in charge", you ...


28

These are all interpersonal problems rather than gaming ones. Here's how I'd handle each of them. Same Character I'd tolerate it. Not a big fan of this kind of behavior, but it happens. I think it's a roleplaying maturity thing. One thing I used last game might help you. I like the list of 100 questions about your character, but didn't want to ...


28

The best way to handle attention-hogging "diva" players is to set limits, then enforce them. Set Limits Divas, whether in RPG groups or in real life, take advantage of the social expectation to be polite and accomodating in order to get away with their behavior. So to protect your own sanity and your game, you need to create an alternate social expectation ...


28

Story issues I think the transformation of your character could well work out the way you described it, but I think for such a basic and deep change to your characters morality and basic alignment you also need a very strong motivator/cause. For Anakin that was fear of the loss of the ones he loves, catalyzed by the death of his mother, a vision of his ...


27

Arranging a separate session is both most convenient and most effective. It's actually most convenient, because it inconveniences two people (you and the player) a little bit, while avoiding inconveniencing even more people (everyone else) by having them sit around doing nothing. Arranging a separate session might be slightly inconvenient for you two, but ...


26

Roles Can Be A Bummer Making actions/options not available to people can force people out of the magic circle pretty quickly. Sure, roles can help people feel special, but it can go overboard. This does not mean that the rogue shouldn't be stealthy, or that the cleric can't be tank-y, but not being able to use or do something because of an arbitrary class ...


25

Let people talk While experienced groups often have a rule that says "keep out-of-characters banter to a minimum", that can go out the window for a fresh group of strangers. Give people chances to chat. That means keeping a big gap between "everyone is here" and "let's start the game", so people can get to know each other. It also means pausing the game for ...



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