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My problem with RPG's

 Post subject: My problem with RPG's
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:51 pm 
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Oddly enough, the problem I have with RPG's is not the RPG's themselves, but the players. I can't tell you how many players I have gone through that just are not team players. I am shocked. I love a good story. I love a good cohesive story that makes for a great campaign. I can't get people to think one step before themselves.

Either people bring characters that are so specialized in one minute and razor sharp laser point that they are completetly useless in anything else OR I get that guy who brings the number cruncher. He's that guy who simply cannot role play (or act) but he can recite ervery rule from 1st edition to 9th edition.

I see more adult players unable to play as a unit than I did as a child playing with children. It almost seems as though people *need* to have the spotlight on them and their character. Nobody can remember the last village they went to, nobody can remember whose child they saved, nobody wants to make any command decisions, but is willing to call out the problems with a plan after it fails. You know the, "I knew that was going to happen." WTF, you "knew" it was going to happen? Then why didn't you say something before hand? "Oh...it's not my place...." OMG, really? Really? Why should I put in all this work to make a scenario, only to have you completely screw it up.

One of the things that always killed me was my warning to the players, "look guys, my villians are villains. They have an agenda. Little villains are little villains. Big villains are big villains because they killed off all the competition and killed off good guys too. They only know what is available to them. They do not know what I, the game master, know, but they are alive in this game."

I was playing in one game where we were all beginning characters and the GM said, "You are all walking down a road to the next town. You are in a civilized land that is known for its amicable people and industriousness. There is a sense of honor in even the most common of peasants. It is high noon and as you reach the bend in the road, you see a coach stopped in the road. One of the horses is dead, and a woman is crying. She is leaning over a man laying motionless on the road." Several of the other players at once shouted, "Vampire!" WTF? Really? Really?!!?! When is the last time you heard of a solar vampire? It's freakin high noon! What has the GM said to even hint at the woman being a vampire. "Well....she's leaning over his body...." Yeah dumbass, she's crying b/c she probably got robbed and the driver, friend or loved one is hurt or dead. What is wrong with you people? "Yeah, uh, you're probably right, but if we go claoser, I'm preparing to throw my holy water." Oh. My. God.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:18 pm 
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First, nice thread, yet again...

Second, my main problem with RPGs is that the vast majority of players are HUGE dorks. They tend to be very eccentric and have to many issues (such as the need for attention that you mentioned above).

Also, I find very few DMs who can tie all the aspects together that make playing fun. I like a good storyline, fleshed out NPCs, adventures that make sense, and decent, somewhat normal people to game with, good maps, and a decent mat to play out the combats on.

I'm not too big into talking in little funny voices, or dressing like my character, but I get a great deal of appreciation out of people who play their alignments.

Well, that is a start... :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:01 pm 
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Ahhhhhh, good call; alignment! I am so sick of adults playing evil charatcers and going completely stupid. I have seen, time and time again, players either just outright kill an NPC for the pointless reason of "I'm evil." To the screwing over of party members, soley because "I'm evil."

Now my rant is just my opinion. It is just my opinion and is no more or less valid than anyone else's. Truly evil people, do nice things. They view people as tools. You don't waste an expensive tool on a whim, that makes you not evil, but crazy. Evil people who do evil things and know that they are surrounded by good people who may, one day, rise up and kill him, know they should keep the evil on the low down. So let's not let it be public knowledge that we are evil, okay? We do nice things to collect more tools that we can use.

I was DMing one game and a player had a half-orc babrbarian character. He hated orcs and would hunt them down whenever possible. Okay, the party was cool with that. Well he went on one adventure and attacked a small orc village. He managed to kill an orc chieftan that had a powerful battleax that did an extra 10 points of damage to "good" beings. So later he is with the party and starts picking a fight with the biggest local yokel in a raodside inn. It's unarmed and he starts pummeling the guy, so his buddies jump in. He kills one guy with his bare hands (the peasant had 4 h.p. come on). The bartender uses his mace to try to subdue and knock the half-orc PC out. Well the half orc PC pulls out his new battle axe and literally cuts this guy in half! Everyone is just shocked and the leader of the group, a fighter, pulls out his bow and tries to make called shots to the orc OC's legs to prevent him from moving so they can calm him down. Fair enough right? The half-orc barbarian rages and attacks the leader. He says, with a smile on his face, "I'm using the big battler axe!" He rolls and does a critical hit (as luck would have it). He does some ungodly damage and outright kills the leader (a 6th level fighter for you D&D folks). The fighter just looks at the group and says, "I'm dead." and walks out for a smoke. The half orc PC smiled and said, "Yeah, did you see how much damage I did? I can fight like T's character." I looked at him and said, "Do you realize that all you did was kill the group leader?" Mike, the half orc PC, said, "But I'm evil. He used a weapon on me? It was self defence."

I'm all for a group of good people having that one dark, S.O.B in the corner that does that nasty work that nobody else wants to touch. It adds...flavor. He's that one guy who might, one day in the future, surrender the party for a greedy deal, he might not, but you never know. This adds to the group dynamic, but the evil guy doesn't just go off and kill party members, especially ones that have risked their lives time and time again to save his.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:56 am 
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So my Lawful Evil Rogue was given a choice. He could:

A: let the Lawful Good Radiant Servant of Pelor convert a team of mostly neutral and evil characters over to the side of good. As an evil outsider, he cannot change my tiefling alignment.

B: Kill him cause I'm evil and thats the cool thing to do.

Or. . .

C: Wait until we're in a fairly neutral and anti-magic town, start a fight with a guy and make sure that once the authorities are called, I get him to heal me, getting him arrested for breaking the law.

I choose C. Evil is easy. Act mean and like a (&#$@!) and work for your own goals. Its the corresponding alignment that makes you fun.

Are you chaotic and willing to work with the party one day on a whim and then the next demand they pay you, or better yet work for the mayor and then demand he pay you double what he promised or you would kill him now that you're in his hall getting thanks and mostly unguarded?

Are you neutral and truly out for yourself?

Are you lawful and conniving waiting to seize the opportunity to make the laws of the people work against them?

Once again SamuraiCat, you've made a great post. And you're right Too often are we RPGers characterized by the far too childish stereotypes that accompany the RPG stigma.

But the only thing worse than a power gamer. . . A power DM/GM, who forces you into linear plots and plays NPCs that outshine the party all by himself. . .

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:42 am 
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Great Post...

As a DM and a Player I have seen everything you have discussed here.

When I was in the Service we had fist fights break out during some games over issues that came up. That was wild...

The lastest was a fight that happened in a parking lot after the game had broke up.

But I have found that no matter who you game with you find at least one in every crowd that drags the game down to their level.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:16 pm 
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Mattsama wrote:
But the only thing worse than a power gamer. . . A power DM/GM, who forces you into linear plots and plays NPCs that outshine the party all by himself. . .

God, yes... :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:21 pm 
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Indeed, there is always one guy out there that for whatever reason, he just has to try and muck it up for eveyone else. I can't tell you how many times I've spent weeks working on a game, fleshing out NPC's and weaving things together, only to have one guy in the group go hog wild crazy-mad and do something just....just.....just explosive.

I have a friend that loves to run games. I however, can't play in his games. They are ultra linear stories where there is no room for thought. The players MUST go from A, to B, to C and to D and there can be absolutely no deviation. the PC must act the way he believes they should act and the NPC's always outshine the PC's. I now anouther guy who simply can't leave the party alone or allow them to be successful. He doesn't take the view of "The NPC's verse the PC's," but he follows the "Me against them." Really? Really?! Do we really have to play this way? How old are you? Just what I want to do; spend a hard week at work so I can go spend 4-7 hours on the weekend getting screwed over in a game. Great thanks buddy!


Last edited by SamuraiCat on Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:51 pm 
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SamuraiCat wrote:
Really? Really?! Do we really have to play this way? How old are you? Just what I want to do; spend a hard week at work so I can go spend 4-7 hours on the weekend getting screwed over in a game. Great thanks buddy!

:lol: You crack me up... :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:53 pm 
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Down at my local game store there are grown men in their 20's and 30's who seem to measure "fun" purely in XP and loot gained. They play min/maxed cheese characters and backstab each other for every scrap of loot they can. Every time someone passes a note to the GM, you can tell someone's pocket is being picked or someone is sneaking off to get the treasure first. Story and background exist only to provide an excuse for another dungeon crawl. If any of the players can come up with a three-sentance description of his character's background I'd be surprised.

I would gouge my own eyes out if I had to play with this group for a few sessions. If one of these people joined my regular RPG group, he'd be asked never to come back... probably half-way through the first session. Even so, the game store group loves that style of game and really cannot comprehend that they are doing it "wrong". And really, as long as they are all having fun, it's not wrong.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:43 am 
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Hate it when you have a game where there is no danger whatsoever. There's usually some redshirt NPC's who seem to get all powerful. Also some GM's tend to throw money around only too readily, then you find for the next few encounters theres no loot whatsoever.

Also hate games which are just fights. The GM just blindly rolls encounter rolls and plants the orcs or manticore or whatever in the middle of nowwhere. I mean, they could make an encounter a ruined village, or a mine or something but no, they just stick whatever they rolled flat in the open.... I'm sure some intellectual challege would be nice but that's too hard for textbook style GMs....


Years back I remember, some smart ass thinking he could hog the limelight. Argued with me as to whether there was a temple in the town. Being the GM I was tempted to hurl a lightning bolt at him.

He got wasted pulling some stupid heroics whilst surrounded by orcs. He didn't need to die, but I had to put an end to his stupidity....


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:52 pm 
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No danger. I have a friend that has melted the world of SG-1 and a series called Doc Sidhe (pronounced Doc She). The world of Doc Sidhe is a 1920's-1930's era where magic exists. So you have this odd balance of industry and sorecery. The fairworlders, as they call themselves, are generally allergic to iron and contact to iron is poison to them. They will die. The grimworlders, as they call us in their myths, obviously have no problem with iron, but we can't use magic like they can. It's a good book if you get a chance to read it. Anyway, the world is very colorful and they are in New Cairo right now. It's kind of the center of the world, like New York or London or Paris or Rome is. The problem is, there is no danger. My friend feels that everyone should have a good time and anyone who dies...well, that's no fun. Everyone has to be a winner, except the NPC's of course. So no mater what the PC's do, no matter what they do, no matter what they do (get the picture?), they walk away free and no penalties. Drive down a street with Tommy guns blazing, have the android fire up his gatling gun and make innocent bystanders do the chaingun shuffle? No problem. Have the group mage poison a local brewers beer to ensure they get the bad guy (and hundreds of innocents die in the process?), no problem. Use explosives to get the mad Chinese sorcerer and blow up both the Chinese embassy and the orphanage that the British subsidize right next door by accident? Well it was an accident, sorry. Execute a member of the German High Command b/c he was doing some illegal arms deals and was at the wrong place at the wrong time? No problem. Assassinate the high preistess of Odin because of circumstancial evidence? No problem. No danger, no problem. No threat of retaliation? Why play? Poor DMing is just as bad as poor playing.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:38 am 
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Oddly enough, my problem with RPGs of late (not that I've gotten to play one in four years...) is the lack of "seriousness" of prospective groups/players I've encountered. Though I don't want to play with anyone who's too uber-serious about the game (power-gamers, cheese-players, spotlight-hogs, etc), I have a hard time wanting to get involved with people who merely happen to be playing a game of D&D or whatever while drinking. Not taking the game seriously at all is just about as big of a buzzkill as taking it <i>too</i> seriously.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:33 pm 
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This is exactly the problem I have in trying to run a CoC (Call of Cthulhu) game. The characters are made, fleshed out backgrounds, the same for NPC's and the players are all briefed beforehand; new investigators thus have no true knowlege of the dangers in the world. Yet, once the game begins, everyone makes comments, ""Don't open the THAT door!" "There's a (insert unmentionable creature here) in the basement, I bet." "Oh it's probably a ...." Whoa! Hold please, hold please, please hold, uh, YOU SUCK! What is wrong with you? Your character has no knowledge of the Cthulhu mythos yet and why are you even trying to figure out what monster it is to begin with? Your character is brand new, he's a freakin musician in a honky-tonk bar in Oklahoma that made a bad bet and is now wrapped up with the other loser charatcers! Comeon, work with me will you?

Then there is the overly serious GM. Ugh! We're all on a cruise ship and we can't seem to find what happened to the crew. Very odd. In certain hallways we have low lying mist or vapor, some rooms seem too hot while others seem too cold. Every now and then we hear the echo of a child laughing and maybe the pitter-patter of feet. Very intense. Very spooky. Liking it, I'm liking it. We head towards the B deck where there is the Olympic swimming pool and we have seen some lights in that area. I'm liking it....and when we enter the deck, the Olympic pool is filled with hundreds of dead babies. WHAT THE FU..!!!!! What is wrong with you?? Where is your sense of suspense? Where is your horror meter? I mean my Gawd, hundreds of dead babies? Oh I'm sorry hundreds of dead, mutilated babies that are singing "I need a hero" Right, now you have gone so totally outside the realm of horror to just...I don't know. We all have to take insanity checks and now we suddenly have phobias and you want all of our actions from this moment onwards to reflect said phobias?
You just made one guy afraid of tight places, you just made another guy afraid of open places, you made one guy afraid of water (nice) and the other guy is totally fine and all he can say at the site of the post mortem infants is, "Hmmm that's strange. Lets go check out the dining hall on C deck." Oh come on! And your going to penalize me for not making every decision based on my characters newly formed phobia? Oh and now you're gong to make my flashlight go out and because I didn't say I was specifically grabbing D batteries earlier for my flashlight (electric torch) that now I'm in the dark and everyone has to take a penalty for low light? Good night, I'm done. I wonder if I can get to the bar before it closes....


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:58 am 
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Quote:
This is exactly the problem I have in trying to run a CoC (Call of Cthulhu) game. The characters are made, fleshed out backgrounds, the same for NPC's and the players are all briefed beforehand; new investigators thus have no true knowlege of the dangers in the world. Yet, once the game begins, everyone makes comments, ""Don't open the THAT door!" "There's a (insert unmentionable creature here) in the basement, I bet." "Oh it's probably a ...." Whoa! Hold please, hold please, please hold, uh, YOU SUCK! What is wrong with you? Your character has no knowledge of the Cthulhu mythos yet and why are you even trying to figure out what monster it is to begin with? Your character is brand new, he's a freakin musician in a honky-tonk bar in Oklahoma that made a bad bet and is now wrapped up with the other loser charatcers! Comeon, work with me will you?


I completely know how this feels. I have been told I get too into my characters. :( Isn't that why I'm here? I've gone from being brand new to roleplaying and being the kind of person you know, to really diving in and learning every character and background. I've even been known to keep character journals (almost every character I've played in teh last 5 years has a 2" binder filled with notes, journal entries, hand made maps of places and such. . . a memoire if you will of each one).

And as far as the dead babies thing? I wouldn't have made that a sanity check. I would have made it a fortitude check to avoid vomiting, and then made it a -5 to will saves for the remainder of the game. . . assuming you where playing D20 style. . .

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:21 am 
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We were using the old percentile rules. The game was fine until the pool of babies and then it just became too silly. I am a firm believer that if you are going to run a CoC game, constant low level suspense and horror needs to be applied. Very little sanity needs to be lost over a game session; it needs to be a cumulative effect.

The more wild and outrageous the "horror" becomes in the game, the higher the "unrealistic" factor. The boat game eventually had us, you guessed it, meet Cthulhu himself and one of the members went apesh*t and became a devotee. Sigh, of course. God forbid that Cthulhu should, oh I don't know...maybe...kill everyone on the boat?!

One of the best games I played was hunting down a "serial killer." The game eventually led us to a wealthy retired man and his mansion. Inside his mansion, we found a room with dozens of cereal boxs pinned to the walls with very precise cuts in the boxes and a small shrine with the company logos on the altar. It was funny b/c this was his where he stored his victims (get it "cereal' killer?). But the true crimes is were being committed by a ghoul that was stuck inside a series of mirrors. It could leave only if a mirror was brought outside the mansion. Thus all the female victims had little compact mirrors on them. Some were even pulled back into the mirror realm, which explained why we heard cries from rooms, laughter, begging and what have you. We all lost a few points on that scenario, but we all took away a good time personally and our own tortured thoughts in character. One guy was afraid of enclosed spaces. We walked away with some useful knowledge and it was a good game.


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