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66 votes
Accepted

What defines a "West Marches" campaign?

You're right, these three things are key to a true West Marches campaign: 1) There was no regular time: every session was scheduled by the players on the fly. 2) There was no regular party: ...
Tiggerous's user avatar
  • 25.1k
51 votes
Accepted

Dungeon World after much D&D (3.5E, 4E and 5E) - struggling with what degree of "fiction first" applies to moves

It isn't OK. I don't mean in the sense of “oh no everything is broken now!”, but in the sense of “yeah, Dungeon World is way less fun, and it will fail to be awesome in ways you wouldn't even know ...
SevenSidedDie's user avatar
48 votes

What's the name of style where GM assumes idiotic behaviour unless stated otherwise?

The root cause here appears that the GM is taking player agency away. Either no information or obfuscation of information in one case and die roll only when convenient for the GM in the other. I ...
Sardathrion - against SE abuse's user avatar
40 votes
Accepted

Avoiding alpha gaming when not alpha gaming gets PCs into trouble

Accept that PCs losing is the price of allowing players to have agency. Most players prefer to have agency to winning every fight and encounter and whatever. 'West marches', aka one shot communities, ...
user2754's user avatar
  • 30.3k
36 votes

Our DM keeps interrupting our long rests

Resource-less can be a mistake or by design. I'm DMing a campaign where the PCs start without any gear, broken and chained to the wall, and they do not get any chance to rest before finishing the ...
Mołot's user avatar
  • 24.4k
35 votes

Our DM keeps interrupting our long rests

This is not normal, because the DM has either violated the rules or instituted modified rules without telling you. From the interaction you described with the DM, it sounds to me like your DM ...
Bloodcinder's user avatar
  • 30.1k
31 votes

How do I get my PCs to not be a bunch of murderous cretins?

[This answer is admittedly D&D-centric, but with 75% of the questions on the site in that family, hopefully this'll be helpful to 3/4 of readers.] Use encumbrance rules. The thesis is: Using ...
nitsua60's user avatar
  • 102k
28 votes

Our DM keeps interrupting our long rests

First, The other answers covered the mechanical definition of a long rest and it's interruption really well. My hope/guess is that the GM isn't aware of that rule, or is not realizing that the hour is ...
CaM's user avatar
  • 5,126
28 votes
Accepted

In session 0, how can I indicate that I'm not interested in a heavily optimized game without denigrating it as a play style?

Min-Maxers always have a plan. So find out everyone's plans. Hi, I'm Thomas, and I'm a min-maxer. And I have played with a lot of min-maxers. If there is one thing that could tip you off to a min-...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
28 votes

Avoiding alpha gaming when not alpha gaming gets PCs into trouble

Stay in character If you play your character right, then staying in character instead of commenting on the situation on a table/metagame level will help you solve most of these problems, or at least ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
27 votes

Dungeon World after much D&D (3.5E, 4E and 5E) - struggling with what degree of "fiction first" applies to moves

It is definitely not "as intended;" the DW rules make it very clear that a player never says when a move is triggered. They say what they are going to do in the in-game fiction, and then you say what ...
mxyzplk's user avatar
  • 175k
27 votes
Accepted

How can I be fair while using a GM vs. players style?

You can’t If you’re playing to beat the players, you will. It’s not possible to be actually fair when the referee is playing for one of the teams. Even if you’re trying to be fair, it just takes a ...
SevenSidedDie's user avatar
25 votes

What's the name of style where GM assumes idiotic behaviour unless stated otherwise?

You have labeled this "system agnostic" - it isn't. Both of the RPGs you named are deliberately screw with the players style. Communication frustration is deliberately baked into the player choice ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
24 votes

What defines a "West Marches" campaign?

Like Roguelikes or GTA-likes, West-Marches-Style games are of a genre fashioned after a particular semi-eponymous classic exemplar, in this case this home game. Like those other founding-work-based-...
Please stop being evil's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

What Does 'Pulp' or 'Pulpy' Mean in the Context of RPGs?

Pulp is about larger than life games. You can substitute phrases like "rip-roaring" or "swashbuckling" for "pulp". Pulp literature tropes and movie logic applies to the type of plots used and to NPC ...
DrBob's user avatar
  • 2,418
22 votes

What Does 'Pulp' or 'Pulpy' Mean in the Context of RPGs?

Pulp RPGs evoke the tone and themes of pulp literature and film. The D&D 3e Eberron Campaign Setting (2003) describes the following as specific factors of its "pulp" influences: "The ...
Quadratic Wizard's user avatar
21 votes

In session 0, how can I indicate that I'm not interested in a heavily optimized game without denigrating it as a play style?

“What sort of playstyle is preferred at this table”? - This is a simple question, neutral sounding, not loaded in any direction and allows you to find out the table’s preferences before you share your ...
AnnaAG's user avatar
  • 9,222
18 votes

How to ease my players away from consensus-based decision making?

This is something of an "auxiliary answer" because most of the question has been answered already, but I feel the need to add: Some people just don't enjoy intraparty conflict, even on a mild level. ...
Airk's user avatar
  • 3,382
18 votes

Why is the GM usually the driving force in RPG?

Why? RSConley's answer comes close, but misses an important detail that, in my opinion, answers historically the central question: "why?" When Dave Arneson was invited to demonstrate ...
nitsua60's user avatar
  • 102k
18 votes
Accepted

How to ease my players away from consensus-based decision making?

In the character creation process, give them (or guide them toward) goals that are overlapping and diverging although not necessarily diametrically opposing. (You can give them opposing goals, but ...
Novak's user avatar
  • 43.3k
18 votes

How to ease my players away from consensus-based decision making?

I'd recommend trying to organize a few sessions playing board games where players have more structured opposed agendas (Battlestar Galactica, Shadows Over Camelot and Dead of Winter are 3 that spring ...
gaynorvader's user avatar
  • 2,423
17 votes
Accepted

Why is it necessary to have a balanced party?

"Party balance" usually refers to covering all your bases, so the players combined are capable of handling anything (reasonable) the game throws at them. A lot of games (but not all of them) involve ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 81.1k
16 votes
Accepted

How to ease new players into taking the game seriously?

This may have been mentioned on this site before: Talk to the Players Gaming is a social activity and like all social activities people participate with differing goals and objectives. You need to ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
16 votes

Avoiding alpha gaming when not alpha gaming gets PCs into trouble

Video games =\= TTRPGs Video games have the idea of an "Alpha" because there is often a right and wrong decision - a video game can't account for personality, moral choices or any of the ...
Lio Elbammalf's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

What's the name of style where GM assumes idiotic behaviour unless stated otherwise?

I'd call this "fail-dangerous", as in, the opposite of "fail-safe". A fail-safe style would be to assume that your characters will, in absence of evidence to the contrary, preserve their own lives in ...
rosuav's user avatar
  • 315
14 votes

How can I make sure my Roll For Shoes character gets XP or new skills?

In order to guarantee you get XP or skills in Roll For Shoes, you'll have to cheat. That's the proper term for influencing a random system to come out the way you want, right? "Cheat"? If ...
Glazius's user avatar
  • 40.7k
13 votes

In session 0, how can I indicate that I'm not interested in a heavily optimized game without denigrating it as a play style?

Session zero is quite late to find out Session zero itself may already be a bit late. If you can talk with the other players before such a kick-off session in the game store, do it, and listen to how ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
12 votes

What's the name of style where GM assumes idiotic behaviour unless stated otherwise?

Two things your GM demonstrated in the examples provided actually differ. The first one can be called "a literal interpretation". You said you climbed on your friend's shoulders, you didn't say you ...
enkryptor's user avatar
  • 68.3k
12 votes

Avoiding alpha gaming when not alpha gaming gets PCs into trouble

ICA = ICC There's a common rule in freeform RPG that goes "In Character Action results in In Character Consequences", commonly shortened to ICA=ICC. While it is meant most often as "You ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 43.4k

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