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91

How do I help my group/GM stop cheating ourselves out of plot? The only person that is cheating you out of a cool plot is your GM. Because he told you. If he had not told you, you would not feel cheated and more importantly, you would not know the plot. So your GM could recycle it into a future adventure and still use it to good effect. There is no ...


62

Seperate in character quick thinking from out of character quick thinking. Players, especially new ones, should get some time to think about what they are going to do. They should even get time to talk to the DM, maybe roll dice (like knowledge checks) to determine things they know about the situation. It's not really fair to pressure the player into ...


37

My current playgroup has a very similar effect, but that's mostly intentional, as we tend to get distracted and wander into weird places. From what you've said I don't think this is something that can be addressed by the players, since when you're attacked by a bad guy, it's only reasonable that you would fight back, especially when you don't know the ...


30

No, you shouldn't have to ask about everything. One of the good practices of GMing is remembering that nothing exists until you narrate it into existence. Your GM should have told you everything that your character can immediately spot without difficulty. This is one of the most important aspects of player agency that you have the capacity to make an ...


19

Players should be aware of the consequences of the actions their characters are supposed to be taking. If the players do not know these consequences, how are they supposed to decide on which course to take? As a D&D noob myself: I have never heard of a green jelly. If someone just explained to me "A green jelly drops on you. How do you react?" I ...


15

Bearing in mind the Participationism tag, I still don't think there is much that you as a player do to help directly in this situation. I'm not 100% convinced it is your job, and even if it is, I don't think you have the tools and perspective to help in this situation. In this case, you knew that the bad guy might be an important bad guy, but it seems ...


13

As the GM for my own group of friends, all I can really say is that it is possible that your GM forgot to point it out to you, or thought that he had already made it clear in some way. If he's as good a GM as you say he is, it is likely he didn't intentionally mean to exclude that bit of information (having a group of adventurers miss an entire corn field is ...


12

Make Sure Your Players Want To Be Interested Check with your players - are they really all that concerned about being invested in each others' characters? It could well be that your players want to play a pure hack 'n slash game, where characters aren't much more than a collection of stats. If so, then let them do it! If you personally want a more ...


11

Your GM can just tell you. GMs can indicate an NPC’s future importance either with in-game foreshadowing, or by just telling you outright: Hey, this guy here? I have plans for him. Plans I know you’ll like. Do what you will, but keep that in mind. Foreshadowing is obviously a neater, cleaner way to accomplish the same thing, which is how it might be ...


11

This is an issue on the GM side As players you should never know about the almost recurring antagonist that you snuffed out. Your GM should have backup plots and NPCs waiting in the wings to step in should you have too much success as players.


8

I do several things to keep the player characters interested and invested in each other. At the start of the game, I insist that players coordinate backgrounds (subject to my approval) such that each character know at least one, and preferably two or more, of the other characters. In general, I prefer these connections be positive; the most negative I ...


8

One of the primary activities in an RPG is problem-solving. Make sure that each scene you run has a problem to be solved! (If you can't think of a problem with a given scene, don't bother running it. It's okay to skip the boring bits!) Here are some examples. The local army recruiter has decided that your character would make a great recruit. He keeps ...


7

I would suggest that you point your GM at Don't prep plots. It is an enormously liberating way to GM and it puts the decisions that the players make at the centre of the stage. Applying the advice in the article to your specific example, here is the plot: Bad guy A with minion B will summon Sea Monster C Here are the same circumstances as ...


7

Many game systems have mechanics for this built-in. For example, in Numenera, the GM could say: "I'm offering a GM intrusion. If you accept this intrusion, the undead guy dodges your Wall Of Fire, and you get two experience points. If you decline the intrusion, you have to give me one experience point..." That way, the players get rewarded for doing ...


7

Problem 1: Different expectations If the GM and player have different expectations, either about background details not narrated (how tall the wheat is) or which bits of the setting can be handwaved (no, we don't need to roleplay buying supplies), or the rules (can you auto-kill a tied up enemy out of combat), it's easy for the player to feel cheated if ...


6

There is a huge number of things that could be included in an answer to this question, but as I do not know what your general process is like as well as for the sake of brevity I will just delve into one exercise that has worked well for me. Start by deciding what kind of personality you'd like your character to express This may seem a little obvious ...


4

The GM made a bad mistake here, probably because he had a plot in mind and wanted to force the issue. I don't think any reasonable person would have felt that the characters would not have noticed the torches disappearing into the "tall wheat" after they had already seen them approaching. The PCs were clearly watching what was going on, so there was no need ...


4

What you need here is (to quote TVTropes) Contractual Boss Immunity. I would consider this as 100% GM responsibility. The top-level bosses in a game will be immune to the player's most effective or strongest attacks. You might have noticed this in any RPG, where main bosses are unaffected by spells such as "Zombify", "Death", or the like. The main ...


4

Since this is a system-agnostic question I will pretend you're not tied to whatever game system you're playing now. Of course, some of the things I will talk about can be ingrained in other games as well, but be a ware that I'm talking aout mechanics that interact with other parts of these gaming systems, as opposed to psychological tricks that can be used ...


4

Train them You put pressure on an inexperienced player, with dire consequences for her action. This is overwhelming. Requiring players to think quick when their character needs to think quick is a perfectly good (and very immersive) thing to do, but you have to train them. Create some situations where they need to think quick, with very small consequences ...


4

I think this boils down to roughly three cases in general: We can assume the character would know something about green jellies, but the player doesn't. At this point, explain what we can assume the character knows and give the player a couple of minutes to reach a decision (maybe let other characters act while the player thinks). A relatively fast ...


4

Putting pressure on players can be good, if they know how to handle it. If they don't, don't pressure them. As you said for yourself, the player is an inexperienced player. This means that he/she is probably not at all familiar with what her character even can do in that situation (even though the answer to that would be "everything you can imagine, pretty ...


3

Railroading: Embrace It Or Give It Up It seems to me that the players and GM are not all on the same page as to how they want the game to play. Maybe you want "participationism" and desire for him to railroad you into the larger setpieces regardless of what you do. It does seem like when you hear about how a fight or plot might have developed without your ...


3

To consider your second example, given in comments: "Pushing the villain off the roof while monologuing" is a subversion of the fictional conventions that the GM expected. Put simply, it is not realistic for the villain to stand around completely defenceless grandstanding (at least, not if he's supposed to be a genuine threat), so you can either have a game ...


3

Exploring the past, literally One thing I like to do, and that work in all systems (but not in all settings) is to have the group be stuck in a "mystic/magic/virtual" space where they have to explore each other background. For example, in my current MHR game, the characters got stuck in the Psychic plane, and had to explore each other's mind. Each scene ...


3

You say you're "not awful at quipping IRL". So, make a character that has your own personality. You're still not playing yourself exactly, because you don't live in the character's world or have the character's abilities. 1 1 (Unless, of course, you're playing in a present day setting, and have a rather mundane character. Or amazing abilities in real life) ...


2

Incorporate elements of a characters backstory into the backstory of other characters. This is a good way to get the characters interested in the overall backstory of characters other than their own. When you have a person create a character, normally you'd ask them to write a paragraph or two including a few NPCs which they've met or that have influenced ...


1

I tend to allow the players to make whatever characters they want. I then try to find ties (with the players help) within the group to make them somehow know each other or make their backgrounds intertwined. I must admit the system I play makes this fairly easy (edge of the empire). Once the game starts the best thing you can do to tie everyone together is ...


1

When it comes to downtime remember that if it isn't fun, hand wave it. To be honest, Truly interesting downtime requires many different bits to even set up properly. You stated using redesigned adventures. It is in my opinion that downtime events are easier with this adventure type but not as in depth or important as they are when you have designed a ...


1

If this is recurrent problem with this GM, you should probably help them do otherwise. This is the GM's problem, and the first step is to talk to them about it. Afterwards, though, you can help them improve by temporarily changing the way you play a little. When you go to make a decision, frequently ask "Is there anything else my character would consider ...



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