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3

I like to start with one shots and low-commitment games.* It's a chance to play and try out a few different styles of game, and get a chance to make connections, feel each other out, and talk about what kinds of play you like. It also becomes a chance to see which players are dead set on one style of play, or have boundary issues and want everything ...


2

The best tool is the game itself Before the first session but after the GM's interviewed potential new players, confirmed none are obvious sociopaths, determined some players' likes and dislikes, and informed players of some of his likes and dislikes, the GM should make available electronically background information necessary to participate effectively in ...


1

Get to know one another, then draft a Social Contract Introduce yourself. Tell the group who you are, what you do, how you came to be a GM, why you are interested in GMing for a group of players, and the expectations that you have for the game. Once your players get to know you, have the players do the same thing. Build the bonds of friendship and get to ...


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 ...


9

When I'm in this situation, I just wanna talk with my players, ask some basic questions, and listen carefully. First, I gotta make sure I schedule time for this. The orientation discussion should never feel rushed because it's eating into gameplay time. I have great success with pre-game rituals and this can set precedent for them if you want. I've got a ...


-3

What do you mean you can't run a silly Chthulhu plot? Please consult IOU (Illuminati "You are not cleared to know what the O stands for" University), also from Gurps. An ancient tome of evil that speaks with the voice of Dr. Ruth and advises the players to do unspeakable things to improve their sex lives? An object that warps the very fabric of reality by ...


2

Plan a single, coherent session that has the tone you want. Treat this a trial run session and be ready to either forge ahead with your horror plot, or let this fall by the wayside. After the session is over, talk with your players and ask how they felt about the session. Did they enjoy it? Would they be happy if the chronicle as a whole moved in that ...


3

Just Start It Start introducing the new stuff - slowly - and see how the players react. This is similar to Erik's suggestion, but the main difference is that rather than dropping just hints about the new tone, you instead simply start to move the game in that direction, complete with appropriate plot elements, characters, and narration style. Narration ...


11

Hint it and measure enthousiasm The general approach I take when I'm not sure what my players like, or whether they'd enjoy a specific thing, is to hint to it during the session and see if they bite. This works best in an open world or if you've already taught your players that they can say "no" and the story will go on, but even if they're used to being ...


1

What I'd suggest is, omitting actual details, discuss with your players whether they'd be open to a tone change to a "more serious, horror-oriented story arc." That would leave things open for you to revert to your existing semi-silly tone afterward, depending on reaction, but be sure they're on board for the kind of change you're considering -- and not ...


0

I found that going to the local comic book store was the best place to get info because well.. that was the game store :) Just talking to the employees gave excellent feedback as to who plays what game. I almost joined a group in progress but at the time it seemed too exclusive. For me... It was the group of friends I already associated with that ended up ...


5

This isn't your problem. You see him doing something “wrong,” but it's not causing you a problem. The people who get to decide if this is a problem or not are the other players in the group, who are coordinating their characters with his. It's their right and responsibility to judge whether this warden is dead weight or just fine. If there's a problem, you ...


6

Since you said he is an old friend, maybe he just don't know exactly what a defender is supposed to do (Put the monsters on a hard choice between attacking someone who have better defenses, or take a harsh punishment), and instead tried to make a "tank" as defined by the previous editions (Have a huge AC, have a ton of HP) and expecting the monsters to ...


0

As stated in a different answere, there is no way to completely avoid conflict. But you could do a pair of things that might help him understand your point of view. First, don't be confrontational. Wait for a good moment to speak to him, like outside sessions (otherwise you'd spend everyone's valuable game time) and ask him: "Ok, you've made this character ...


2

"how can I tell him that the character isn't filling the defender role in any real capacity without causing any conflict?" You can't. He thinks a thing, and he wants to think it, and you want to tell him he's wrong. That's necessarily a conflict, and there isn't really anything good you can do about that if you want him to change his behavior/change his ...


4

There are two questions you need to ask yourself: Are his actions negatively influencing the party? Is the player having fun? For the first: is the party capable of dealing enough damage to enemies they are not in constant danger of a total party kill? And is this a problem in the long run, on higher levels? If in both cases the answer is no, then there ...



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