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58

So, how do I get out of the vicious circle? Stop doing the thing that's causing it. You diagnosed this yourself: It's probably the worst issue I have as a Game Master, I think of a Game, I write a campaign plot for it, End, Beggining and Middle, get Hyped, Hype my players, and after 2 months I want the story to end, and it's usually too late to make ...


56

Short answer: You do not. You say that he does not fit in with your plans as a DM. But the thing about being a DM is NOT that you tell a rigid story that your players walk through: instead you put them in a series of situations, see how they react and frantically try to fit your story to it. I understand that your story is your baby and the PCs all try to ...


34

Being a Killer GM is just as bad as being a Murder-hobo player The only real way to frame this answer is to show it in a similarly inglorious light and hope to highlight why your initial instinct is wrong. As much as players have a responsibility to make their characters interact with the world you create; as a DM you also have a responsibility to actively ...


18

The problem is not the character. That's just a symptom of the problem. Either: The player chose to make a character that didn't fit with what you communicated You failed to communicate sufficiently what the campaign was supposed to be about Notice that in either case, the fictional character isn't really the problem but one of communication and things ...


15

I believe that each person at the table is a player. To make this response easy to follow, one of those players will be called the GM, but I just wanted to make this aspect of my response clear up-front. "What is going to happen?" is a big part of play for every person at your table... except you, it seems. With your approach to pre-planning the game, you ...


13

There are two aspects to your question: 1. Character fit for your plans You haven't said much about how this character doesn't fit with your overarching plans. Depending on what that exactly that mismatch is, you have one of three problems: You've insufficiently communicated your game world to your players. Since the game is full of imaginative options, ...


11

You're in quite a difficult situation. Your players don't have information, don't have many leads, have one dead party member, and have been launched into confusion. Slow down the overarching plot of your game - grind it to a halt for now, if you need to. Your players (and their characters) both are not ready for it and do not have the information they ...


10

I use graph theory. All you need to do is to have NPCs (and/or places) as nodes and plots as arcs. You can even use something like GraphViz to visualise the graph you created. In general, the more complex the graph, the more potentially complex the plot. Each link could have a cost associated with it that depends on how hard whatever the arc represent is ...


9

The word that comes to my mind is 'ALLIES'. The ally is an NPC that wants (or needs) the group. They can help in three ways A) Offer themselves to the group as a wandering helper. A person who wants to travel to the city you are going to will welcome the extra security. B) Offer them equipment to help the part. It could be a character's parent (mum!) ...


8

You would be overreacting. The reason players gather together to play is, of course, wanting to have fun. This should be true for every person in the gaming group including the game master and it should be everyone's responsibility to work towards this goal. If people are entertained they keep coming to games and they positively contribute to them. If not, ...


6

I'm also a guy who likes to play/run a LOT of different games. What I've done is instead of planning superlong campaigns, I plan short runs: 3-6 session game arcs that folks can play, and finish, relatively quickly. We'll usually play a game, finish, then move to the next game, and come back later if we want to pick it up again. This also works better as ...


5

Killing them off is just asking for problems. They like what they're playing and they probably don't have a problem with it. Throwing him into an unfair combat with the express intent to kill the character might not be your best option. Ultimately you want this player to play a character that is more in the guidelines of what you expect at the table. You ...


5

I like your list but I think you're missing a factor. Common or ambiguous elements of plots. Let's take one of the standard simple plots in a game. Somebody went missing and the party has to find him or her. Okay, you can spin off as much complexity as you want but the plot itself is basic. Now let's run two of those at the same time. It seems that ...


4

"Complexity is how difficult the plots are to follow" My experience is that difficulty in following plots depends on the following factors: Clarity on the goal and role of the PCs Clarity on the goals and roles of the NPCS Anything that is superfluous to the above Anything that casts doubt on #1/#2 Play expectations about how play works and how much ...


4

First, tell the players that you want to end your current campaign but want to give it a proper conclusion. Wrap up your current campaign quickly. You've got an ending in mind; massage the rest of the plans to bring that ending sooner. If necessary, change the final challenge to be more appropriate to lower-level characters. Don't toss in a total deus ex ...


4

From my personal experience with the same problem... Being a gamemaster can be very rewarding. Plotting, creating a world full of life and death, and knowing where all of the bodies are buried. It can be intoxicating. But I've also found that it can be stifling. My cure for it was found quite by accident, when I started into narrative style gaming. ...


4

It seems like the obvious answer here is to give the characters something that they can ACCOMPLISH. Whatever your motivations for things so far, it's clear that the party is basically battered by events. They feel like they are adrift at the mercy of whatever happens to them. The cure for this is to set up some situations in which the party is clearly in ...


4

Personally, I would not kill a PC on purpose. In my current campaign, there is a cleric of a god whose desire is to be the only god on the world, which involves total extinction of every non-believer. There is also another PC following a different diety in the party. Instead of telling the first player that he should play a different character or follow a ...


4

It sounds like you've got the makings of a good campaign already but don't know how to deal with the point you've reached without railroading the players. If that's so, there really is nothing wrong with a tiny bit of railroading, particularly if (as it seems) the players are floundering a bit and don't know where to turn. In these situations, players are ...


3

As others have said, killing him is probably a bad move (and in general, trying to railroad your plot too much will probably be frustrating for your players at other times). I'll focus on one part: I have a Warlord PC who does not work with my overarching plans. His backstory also makes no sense as to how he would be level 1 — he's supposed to be a ...


3

I'm currently running a mostly-sandbox game in the post-Apocalyptic midwestern United States, although I don't intend to restrict the players should they decide to up and drive to Los Angeles or something. So, I've had to address this issue very recently. Here's how I did it. Plan for where they are The players were new to the world, which is a bit of a ...


2

It looks like there are two interwoven issues here. The first is that you're attracted to a new game system. The second is that you've become bored with the campaign you're currently running, and are feeling like you could create a new campaign that would be more rewarding. The lure of a new game system can be difficult to resist. Our group shifts systems ...


2

Take a look at Azura's Wrath, a game for Xbox 360. It have a fantastic plot with a twist on what a daeva actually is. Demon: The Fallen is not exactly about Divs but can be easily adapted to your needs. It's the closest to what you need that I can think of. Aion is an MMO with two angelic factions that have some solid lore, and their schemes can be ...


2

This is an addendum to the existing, perfectly good answers, but I wanted to point out a crucial fact: You ARE allowed to say no. Remember, you're playing the game too. If you're feeling overwhelmed and overworked, it's totally fine to go with a path of lesser resistance. The improv rule about not saying "no" is meant to stop you from shutting down the game, ...


2

There is a cheesy way out that no one has yet mentioned. Switch to the new campaign, but work in a bridge from the current campaign and pretend they are the same. This can work even if you switch to a new system (you can upgrade the characters in place rather than start new ones). Of course, sometimes the new idea is really incompatible with the old one. ...


2

I agree that there is little chance of solving the problem while you're GMing in this way and, sadly, if you keep doing this you won't be able to find anyone that wants to play the games you're designing. That said, I'd like to submit an approach that was used as the foundation for a campaign world that lasted ten years and at times had three or four groups ...


2

The problem is you are creating when you should be game mastering. The creative itch pulls you into going way farther than is necessary, given the short time frame of your attention during gaming. I would suggest developing one campaign while running another. You can pull in concepts from the developing campaign without tying your development to an actual ...


2

I have two suggestions. First: Stop planning the ending. Seriously. What I'm hearing (and I could very well be wrong) is that you get ideas for stories and try to run people through a story - not through a campaign. Let yourself discover what the ending of the campaign is going to be, based on what the players are doing. Let yourself be surprised by ...


1

It sounds like you created an Elder Evil of your own and are running it according to the pace at which you set the events to, this is mostly out of the players control as the events are always larger then the players have any clue about. I suggest you add in the "Notice the Sign" checks to give your players knowledge that they would have no ability or clue ...


1

There is no way to prepare for only and exactly what the players will explore in a sandbox. Two major ways of solving this have emerged over the decades: Prepare Everything The first and most obvious method is to solve the problem with brute force: prepare everything in advance. This is extremely time-consuming, and is a project that few GMs ever actually ...



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