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72

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, ...


66

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 ...


51

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 ...


44

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 ...


42

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 ...


42

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 ...


39

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 ...


38

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 ...


35

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 ...


33

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 ...


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 ...


32

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 ...


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 ...


28

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 ...


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 ...


26

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 ...


26

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 ...


25

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 ...


25

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 ...


23

Roles Really Aren’t That Important in 3.5 To begin, spells are the most powerful class feature in the game. Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 doesn’t really care much about roles: you will be more powerful the more magic you have. You will never be more powerful going for a non-magic class, even if the rest of your group is already magical. So I call ...


23

“This isn't fun anymore.” Stop the game. Put it on pause. Say "I'm stopping the game. Let's pause here. We need to talk." You have a player who is unable or refusing to play according to the general agreement of how the group will play. Put that on the table without accusation. "We're trying to play a game together here, and that means we all ...


22

The first thing is: get a game that inspires them. Without that, you're sunk. Often, settings will inspire people: try Poison'd, Kagematsu, Prime Time Adventures, Mouse Guard, Burning Wheel or a specific Fiasco playset. If you can, get them to choose one themselves. Particularly, try a game with a GM. This does two things. Firstly, it gives them some ...


21

This always seems to be the answer, but... Talk to the player first. I'm assuming you have some means of contacting your players outside your normal game time, if only to set up game or let each other know of cancellations or emergencies. Send your player a message, something along the lines of "Hey, I've noticed that you seem dissatisfied at game lately. ...


20

I don't think you should change anything about the game itself. You just need to invite female players and make sure they feel comfortable. If they show up and spend more time brushing off unwanted advances than rolling dice, they're not going to have fun and they're going to leave. Even if they think you're inviting them to the game just because they're ...


20

Don't lie about it and don't cause drama. Just tell them you need to back out of the game for a while. I quit all my games every several years. I get really burnt out on tabletop gaming and it stops being fun until I take a 6-12 month break. Whenever I've come back from such a break is when I've had the most fun and come up with my best characters. I've ...


20

Welcome and great question! You have two major paths you can try. More Social Characters One of the joys of roleplaying is trying out things different from yourself. And personality types are as much a part of that as being an elf or a dwarf. You can do research (read How To Win Friends and Influence People, watch some of those personal-makeover shows, ...


20

Questions Well, the easiest way is to have your character ask or empathize with other characters in play. "This war has to be pretty hard on you. Weren't you a civilian before?" These work well because they can be a chance to roleplay your character and ask valid questions of theirs. Some players get stage fright though, so be mindful of that and ...


19

Have you thought about breaking it up into two groups in the same campaign setting? That might be a way to make it more manageable. To get the quieter people involved, you will have to give their character information or knowledge that no one else has and get them to share it. This requires a bit of enforcement regarding what is in-character vs. ...


19

This is clearly something the master has no decision whatsoever. The characters need to find an agreement on that. Let them fight. Don't get involved until you see Coke bottles flying around.


19

I'm currently running a weekly game and think I've hit upon a series of tactics that, for me, works better than anything else I've tried thus far. 1) Regularly Scheduled One Off Night - Most gamers suffer from a bit of magpie behavior (flitting from one shiny object to another) and that's not necessarily a bad thing. To create an outlet for this, we have ...



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