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54

One of the things I say first when I'm about to start running a game for a new group of players is that it is not my responsibility to come up with increasingly convoluted reasons why a disparate set of characters with nothing in common should adventure together. I've been there and tried it, and it is stressful, frustrating and simply not fun. I'd much ...


20

Talk to the players Others have said it, but this can't be over emphasized. Most traditional RPGs are collaborative affairs and the GM cannot be responsible for making everyone happy. So talk to them plainly and see what they want. They may be highly supportive of ending this campaign and starting a new one or of working with you to change the direction ...


18

I ran into this too, with the diverse characters and the hard first-session railroad. I became disillusioned because they wanted me to tell a story and I wanted a sandbox, but the result was the same: I had no desire left to run it. It's awful advice, but my conclusion was that not every game is made to be continued, and it's only a failure if it's pushed ...


15

This is a non-starter. Paladins don't get their powers revoked in D&D 4e, nor are they granted by a god to begin with. If you have your PHB1 handy, turn it open to the Paladin class description and take a look at the paragraph in the top-left of the second page. In short, Paladins receive their powers through training, an initiation rite, their ...


15

Enlist the help of your Creative Player to involve the others. CP is very creative and he is clearly motivated with the game. Explain him you have to focus on the other players and use hooks for them, so he could help you creating those hooks, being in character (he ask the other PCs favours that involve them) or totally out of character (he makes up that ...


14

When I have time to make a quality character with a player (rather than hashing out what will work for their first session because they just showed up ten minutes before start), I try to ask qualitative questions that players quite often forget. Where are your parents (and don't tell me you're an orphan) Siblings! Do you have them, what are they doing? ...


13

Whenever a game I'm running gets this way (mostly D&D where alignments are unshakable without serious consequences) I sit my players down individually, and explain exactly what you said: "I like the character for a one person narrative, but it would really help the game if you could alter a few details to make them group/game friendly". Most players are ...


13

Either through high mortality rates, copious amounts of backstory, or actual force of personality, some characters become more "main" than others. This is something you should be taking advantage of. There are a few things you can do: Ask for more holes in backstory to make a common backstory for other characters. ("We both defended the City of ...


12

Seems like you have only a few reasonable options (other than running a game you don't like). All of them start the same way: Talk to the players, and say that you don't want to run this type of game. Then, how you proceed is up to the group. If they want to continue playing these characters with you as the DM, there needs to be an understanding that ...


11

I think you've already answered your own question in your write-up: your character has lost his faith. Tragedy and self-doubt have shaken his beliefs and driven him to lose his devotion to his code and his cause. You don't need a god to punish him — the paladin is already punishing himself! Maybe he hates Pelor now. Maybe he just thinks of himself as ...


11

There are definitely types of game that will and won't work for this. I have played this way, and very successfully, using an episodic game (we used Prime Time, but there are plenty out there) where the continuity was less important. Here are the things that are important to make this work: Each Session (or GM-period, if you choose to do 2 or 3 games ...


10

Would adventurers arise if treasure was about... To your first question, yes. Though it is more about "dungeons filled with treasure" then necessarily the magic or the monsters. People tend to seek ways to make profits, especially if those can be made quickly. People are willing to take on risky endeavors to do so. Today, in the "First World", we tend ...


9

I hate to say it but I disagree with pretty much all of the comments above except those regarding railroading. There is a ton of opportunity in your situation. Certainly their characters will not be fully developed and will be looking for reasons to work with each other or perhaps not. It will take time for them to form into a working party. So don't rush ...


8

First, maybe the player is not much into creating an entire back story beforehand. You don't need to know every details about the character before you start playing it. You can start by small elements and dig deeper but leave some space for the character to grow. I think you need only one generic question and then you build on the answer and ask more ...


8

I think Phil nailed how to get the party to be a party with each other. However, it is my experience that a party tends to act like the member with the lowest moral standing, if not lower. Unless you have a dedicated moral compass (which is a player thing, and not many players do this) or you have some kind of stick in the mud paladin (in which case, you ...


8

You don't need to know all kinds of backstory detail. Where are James Bond's parents? How was James treated as a child? Who knows... that never matters to the story. The only things we know are the things that matter. So you have to ask yourself, "What matters?" What you want to know is the characters motivations as pertains to the campaign. What are ...


8

In real history, almost no land except impassible mountains and deep desert wasn't settled, and there are exceptions even then. The population of the world during the European medieval age was much lower than today, but widely spread out in all the known habitable regions of Earth. Take that, and now add powerful, inimical monsters to the wilderness. ...


7

(I'm not going to repeat all the great advice found in the other answers, just add an additional option that you could find useful.) Adapt and introduce a game mechanism that supports - sometimes implicitly - character personality development towards a less-evil approach. If the game you're playing already has one, rely on it heavily. What do I mean by ...


7

Push your PCs together. You can do this several ways. Your excitable player is going to be the most vocal person at the table no matter what, so to involve the other players, make his vocalizations be with them. Call for a scene. "This is going to impact Simon the Mage, let's see the scene where you two talk about it." If your excitable player's new ...


7

For the simple reason: Because when you add dungeons full of loot, this becomes the 'gold rush'. The get-rich-quick that doesn't work for 95% of the people who try it. For the complex reason: Unless you're doing some house-ruled system with a lot of differences in how things work, fantasy worlds are not usually analogous to medieval Europe. Yes, it ...


7

The Closest 'Real World' Equivalent to DnD Adventurers is the Noble Class One of the best, and only, ways to enter the Noble class from the peasantry was to be so ridiculously puissant at combat that you were given a command - and from that tiny band of men, achieved so much so prominently and notably that you were given a higher rank, and so forth. Saving ...


6

Cars have a number of uses without infrastructure, but not all of them are as good as others. For one, it is essentially the same as any other wheeled cart in terms of the fact that they can be drawn by horses (so long as the tires stay intact, and even then it wouldn't be impossible to replace the rubber with other things. The resulting vehicle would not ...


6

I have not read it very much, but I think that Ars Magica is the reference game for Troupe Roleplay. But talking about what I have actually read, in the revised Vampire Player's Guide there's a whole chapter about Troupe Roleplay, considering many variations. In the purest form, all players share all the setting and all the NPCs and thus know all about ...


6

A lot of profound and thorough answers here already. I thought I might chip in with a purely in-game solution: Have the party stumble across the hideout of the main plots super powerful villain. Let them see all his evil and depravity, and stare into the bleak and burning future that is the world after he has his way with it. Give them every reason to hate ...


5

It's been a long time since I have looked into 2e books, so I'd rather go into the story aspect. If something does not fit rule-wise, you as a GM can fudge it, if it's not logical story-wise, being the GM will not help you :) A wizard has been used to infiltrate an organisation that in turn causes harm to the royal family. That's a devious plan, very ...


5

In some eras of Medieval Europe, there was a military unit known as a lance. It is like a squad, but also mirrors adventuring parties really well. This is especially true if you consider some of the attributes of lances: Everyone had a role or specialization within the lance (the knight, page, crossbowmen, the dude with the bill-hook, etc.) Basic lances ...


4

I have two suggestions: The One Ring: Adventures Over the Edge of the Wild published by Cubicle 7 in 2011 is a relatively new RPG set in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth. It emphasizes narrative and description and is light on magic. Very evocative of the mood of Tolkien's books. The One Ring has won several awards & receives favorable reviews. Lone Wolf ...


4

In addition to what's been said - just talking it over with your players is usually enough IME to get things back on track - you can make it so that you do encourage people to follow along one story at a time by presenting PCs with rational consequences. It is perfectly normal and right to say "okay, I understand that it doesn't make sense for your character ...


4

You might want to take a look at my Scourge of the Demon Wolf. It doesn't have much in the way of read aloud text, though I do write enough details in each encounter for a referee to run it with little prep. What prep there is thinking about how to roleplay the NPCs rather than preparing any type of mechanics. While statted out for Swords & Wizardry ...


4

Just to add to some very very good answers, here are my 2 pence. Talk with them RPGs are a group activity, an activity in which a group of friends come and talk with each other about fictional characters. The main thing here is the "talking" part and from here I believe that your solution should come. Talk with them after the session; understand why they ...



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