seeking advice from experienced gamers

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seeking advice from experienced gamers

Postby Khayankh on Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:16 am

I'm in a D&D group now that's kind of frustrating me. I started playing last winter, when it was me and Amy, Bob, Charlie, Dan, and Ed. (Not real names, evidently.) Amy and Bob are a couple, and they really enjoy roleplaying. Charlie was the DM, Dan's a young genius, and Ed's sort-of friends with Charlie although they never got along that well. This worked for awhile, but in August Amy and Bob went off to college four hours away.

Charlie decided to stop DM-ing because it wouldn't be the same without them. I tried to write a campaign but gave up partway through because it was too complicated and I'd never really given much thought to the game mechanics. Ed tried to run a campaign that fell apart within a few sessions because a) Charlie's character was an infuriating person, b) Ed got fed up and set up Charlie's character to get killed, and c) the campaign was so combat-heavy that I got really bored. Dan's younger brother, Fred, who is also a genius, participated in that short-lived game.

Dan then started his own campaign, which continues to this day. Charlie's character for this game was nearly as annoying as his earlier character, and Charlie eventually quit. So last night I played with Dan, Fred, and Ed, and realized that I was half-asleep the entire time because it was all dice-rolling and stuff-killing.

Given that a) this is highschool and there aren't other gamers around, b) I am working with a group of boys under the age of sixteen, c) D&D is very combat-focused anyhow, and d) I'm not likely to be able to write a really good campaign anyway - would it be a waste of my time to try to write a character-driven campaign and get the guys to do something more interesting? Even though nobody knows any other game systems, would one of them be more suited to this? Or am I completely wasting my time - should I just put up with the boringness until I get to college where there's LARP and fun stuff like that?
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Postby Tom the Fanboy on Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:40 am

If you want something more character driven I would suggest something by White Wolf ( even if it's just the Sword and Sorcery setting for d20). Even if you aren't interested in the Horror stuff there's Exalted. Exalted makes combat quick and messy and actually has RULES for social combat!

There's a lot of systems out there but the best ones for roleplaying are pretty genre specific and require a lot more thought than the average 16 year old combat munchkin is likely to contribute.

If creating a campaign was too complicated for you the first time maybe we could give you some tips. It's obvious that a lot of us are experienced gamers and a few of us are even experienced gamemasters. It wouldn't be too hard for us to help you with the number crunching for your campaign.

Heck, we can even come up with a 101 subtle ways to make Charlie pay for running an annoying character. :twisted:
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Postby Punstarr on Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:49 am

Tom, don't forget Shadowrun...

There's also any one of the various superhero genre games out there.
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Postby Susan Calvin on Sun Oct 21, 2007 10:56 am

Or skip systems and improvise. The horror adventure we ran (A group of sieblings returning to their home village in contemporary northern Sweden) worked pretty well without interruptions for rolling. A few simple abilities (Snowboarding, divulging information) worked well. Haven't tried it in a campaign format, though, but it's good for a few hours at least.

Paranoia is an old classic. Why argue about rules when you can give the whole rulebook Ultraviolet clearance and kill any character who's player brings it up? ^^
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Sun Oct 21, 2007 12:43 pm

There should also be ways to make combat more interesting - Ways that don't involve describing blood and gore. I'm experimenting with some of them in the dungeon crawl thread.
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Postby Susan Calvin on Sun Oct 21, 2007 2:15 pm

Stress the environment, and keep it moving. Why walk through a doorway and start shooting when you can crush a window and swing in? Let people experiment with surroundings. The scene with Jaws and Bond in a train compartment is an excellent example of alternate settings for an action sequence. And _very_ few people do nothing but hack, duck and shoot. An action sequence is no reason to avoid acting. Personally, I like to keep the rules simple (if not improvised) during them.
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Postby Thunderhowl on Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:07 am

I agree with Tom. White Wolf's Storyteller system is relatively easy to learn and use mechanic-wise, and is heavy on theme and mood and less heavy on dice-rolling. It's a good place to start changing dice chuckers into role-players.

Have you ever read Knights of the Dinner Table? Your situation sounds like Sara's in that magazine. Hang in there. If you stick to your role-playing guns, you might be able to bring the other players around.

Mention your concerns to the GM. If you ask him to help you shift the game to a more role (rather than roll) playing style, he might be able to help you out. It's also possible he doesn't even know that you are getting frustrated.

Also, murder Charlie's character first chance you get...you'll feel lots better, even if he doesn't take the hint. :lol:
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:26 am

That's...Not a hint. That's a club upside the head.
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Postby Thunderhowl on Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:22 am

Sometimes a using a club is the only way to hammer the hint through a particularly thick skull. :wink:
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Postby FirstAidKit on Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:53 am

The clue bat is a vital tool in the arsenal of any person, especially a DM. I prefer my giant nerf bat with "Clue Bat" scrawled on the side in sharpie. Give em a whack with that when they do something stupid/find something obvious.
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Postby Tom the Fanboy on Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:42 am

Thunderhowl wrote:Sometimes a using a club is the only way to hammer the hint through a particularly thick skull. :wink:


Well, sometimes. Like the times where you don't have a hammer.

I've taken to being blunt and making very straight forward requests of people like "Please don't murder all the NPCs. Please look for the story and adventure I've written so I don't have to make stuff up."

Soon I may have to ask my Vampire players to "Please scheme against those in power, please act like evil, manipulative undead..."
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Postby Punstarr on Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:54 am

Did somebody say Clue Bat? :roll:

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Last edited by Punstarr on Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Punstarr on Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:56 am

Tom the Fanboy wrote:Soon I may have to ask my Vampire players to "Please scheme against those in power, please act like evil, manipulative undead..."


Fortunately I don't need to do that for my Vampire players (well for my wife's Vampire players... she's the one who runs the game). The trick in my area is finding players who don't act like evil, manipulative undead bastards in games -outside- of Vampire: the Masquerade. :-?
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Postby Susan Calvin on Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:13 pm

Why ask them? Let an Elder or two manipulate them into increasingly bad situations until they get it? "Why are you four bastards vandalizing gravestones in the middle of the night?!" "We were told to..."

Second, ghouls are under-used. ^^
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Postby Punstarr on Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:14 pm

Susan Calvin wrote:Second, ghouls are under-used. ^^


QFT
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:54 pm

Punstarr wrote:Did somebody say Clue Bat? :roll:

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...Is that intentional irony?
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Postby Punstarr on Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:41 pm

Narf the Mouse wrote:
Punstarr wrote:Did somebody say Clue Bat? :roll:

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...Is that intentional irony?


Somewhat. I mainly think the image is funny and cute though. :) :P
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Postby Narf the Mouse on Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:48 pm

...The one that says 'Use your own sever to host images'? Or is that just my comp?
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Postby Punstarr on Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:20 pm

That's... odd. It shows up for me. Let me move it to my Photobucket account.

Better?

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Postby Narf the Mouse on Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:39 pm

That one is visible.
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