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19

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 ...


11

I have used two games to introduce resistant players to non-traditional roleplaying games. I can't actually say what it is about them that makes it easier for traditional, sit-back-and-let-the-GM-be-creative players to get their hands creatively dirty with them, but for some reason it has been true. I know it seems like putting the cart before the horse, but ...


9

You can also encourage everyone at the table to follow guidelines established by improv practitioners; these become less "rules of the game" and more "rules of play" (i.e. they don't really answer "what can I do next" as much as they address "whatever I'm going to do next, how do I do it?"): Accept every offer. During the course of play, other players will ...


6

Depending on how amenable you and the group are to house rules, you maybe try easing it in one mechanic at a time. I'm very fond of the FATE system because it plays very traditionally, but has some very unique twists (aspects, fate points) as well. Find a mechanics like that which you enjoy, and import it into the standard game as a bit of a meta-game toy. ...


6

My personal favorites are: Rolling for determination of outcome choice defining truths spending fate or experience to define some setting truth Using skill rolls to define setting truths cooperative setting building. To detail these better.... Rolling for Determination of Outcome Choice You don't roll for success nor failure; you roll to take control ...


5

Framing There's about a hundred mechanics like this; this is the main thing the indie games movement is into nowadays. On the far side where the players take on so much of the storytelling responsibilities that you don't even need a GM, you have examples like The Committee for the Exploration of Mysteries and Fiasco. There's a large spectrum of options with ...


5

I tried Omniscient for a while and the players found it annoying so I stopped. Definitely worth checking with your players. At the start of some game sessions I have used "News Report" where I read out a monologue that describes how the news reported what they did in the last game session. It helps the players get their minds into the game and shows them ...


5

Most children do narrative story telling without rules or reservation. They (we) can come up with amazing story lines that us 'older' people envy. What happens is we become ossified into the type person we thought we would never become. We are afraid to do some imaginative inputting because someone may laugh at it. Also we don't practice it so we are ...


4

The best device I've seen to do this organically is Beliefs in the Burning Wheel systems. By stating their current, short-term goals for their characters the players can drive plot development. When the players do this together, as group, it's even better. And they don't need to have similar or related Beliefs - in fact it can be better if they are at odds ...


4

Speaking from experience, you may need to accept the possibility that some players just don't want to try new things. Consider finding new players and making a new group. This does not necessarily mean leaving your existing group, especially if you're still enjoying the games you're playing with them.


3

This is an interesting question - I've always tried to use the following technique: Character-based perception is always the way I go, but for situations where something important has happened and would have required omniscient narration to share, I write it into NPC or companion character dialog. The players get the info, though usually too late to do ...


3

As a GM, the bedrock of my interactions with a gaming group is the precept that You (PC) are not Omniscient. If there is a perceived conflict between what I said and what you THINK I meant, the fault is in your deductions; it's not MY problem. :) The players are forced to reexamine their assumptions, and are thereby nudged toward the correct solutions. ...


3

Embrace their backstories. Yes, this means you'll have to convince them to write backstories, or at the very least verbally brainstorm with each of them. Take what the players give you and put that into the game. And I don't just mean devoting a session or two to Joe the paladin's sidequest. I mean focus the entire game on the story the players gave you. ...


2

If you're dealing with absolutely new players, probably the best thing you can do is accept whatever suggestion they make the first couple of times. That way they continue making contributions. If they get shot down early on they'll learn they don't want to do it, because it doesn't get accepted. That's probably why these mechanics got introduced in the ...


2

It's a player preference. Most GMs will go with whatever they prefer as players. I think it's just a matter of knowing your group and seeing what works for them and what doesn't. Some players would certainly take the comment about what they don't see as a reason to double back and take another look. The danger I've seen with narrator omniscience is that ...


2

I keep everything firmly tied to the perceptions of the characters. Sometimes, in the write-ups of the sessions on our website, I'll throw in some NPC motivations or something from the POV of an enemy. This helps cement the larger world in the players minds while keeping it obviously out of the character's knowledge. Cut scenes like "No-one noticed Slave ...


2

Here's a thought coming from another angle... I'd embrace the idea that the story IS the game, not the game mechanics and go from there: Cast the new narrative-only game as a new way the exact same world, genre, characters, etc. a currently highly visible version of this is Wil Wheaton playing Cal & D - a more narrative-focused house-version of D&D. ...


2

First off, it's important to realize not all players like all things. Maybe they're just not into it and that's fine (you'll find other people to play those games with, if that's the case). I generally prefer to give people 1 shots or maybe 3 session runs so they can decide if they like things or not and it lets them try it without having to make a major ...


1

Some players are not interested in narrative role play. There is nothing you can do to force them to like it. Well, there is plenty of things you could do but should not do if you do not want to become a despicable scum bag. Finding the right players is important. That said: Get ride of all the rules! While system matters, rigid rules do not and ...


1

I would go for a game that supports both. In my case I've found Dragonlance 5th Age to handle it well. My girlfriend takes to narrative games like Zorcerer of Zo quite easily, but traditional games like HârnMaster not so well. In contrast, my brother has quite a lot of experience with traditional games, and plays Diablo and Guild Wars quite a bit, but had a ...


1

Well it seems to me that it has very little to do with how you run games and more to do with the fact that your players still feel they need the crutch of a GM. What you have done so far seems to be pushing them in the right direction. Try changing the game plot: key it off the backgrounds of the characters, or have the story itself be more driven by the ...


1

You absolutely should not tell PCs anything except what they perceive (and what their characters might already know). Any "backstory" must be presented by an NPC or the like (e.g. an interrogated prisoner reveals they followed your ship unnoticed). Otherwise you are breaking character. "Unreliable narration" suggests misinformation from the referee, which ...


1

As with most things with GMing, it mostly depends on your players and the situation. In the example you gave it would be hard for most players not to meta-game this knowledge to some extent and that might be fine in the situation. If you feel that they are being too knowing then gentle reminders should get them back into the realm of character knowledge. ...



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