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Author Topic: Hosting Games - An Introspective  (Read 1678 times)

Offline Archdemon Stu

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Hosting Games - An Introspective
« on: March 19, 2014, 09:54:55 PM »
So, since many people here are or have hosted games (Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Board Battles, other boards, etc.) I'd like to hear your experiences and maybe see what problems you've encountered and how you overcame them, since I am currently hosting a Pathfinder game and looking for ways to improve.  I find a great way to learn is through the experiences of others.  If you'd like to share your experiences as well, please do!

Current Problems:

-Describing Environment: I always forget to do this.  Maybe spend a few minutes prior to the game writing something to give people a feel for the surroundings?

-Variety of Players:  I have 2 very experienced players in my party that like political intrigue, deep plot, and serious role-play.  But, I also have 3 players that are complete noobs who I have to help level up every session.  The new players get completely lost when it comes to diplomacy, discouraged in difficult combat, and lose interest when there's political intrigue, and naturally, just want to play around in a tavern and kill random people.  So far, I've found the best way to solve this is mixing humorous situations that are relatable to real life for the new players, and fantasy elements for the veterans (i.e. the Orc Pride Parade [all orcs are gay and born from the earth in my world according to a player's character history] and the "spiritual journey" they went on with the village shaman).

While successful, I don't like repeating the same strategy every session however, so has anyone else dealt with this and figured a way to make it work smoothly?

-Leveling Up Noobs:  Do I keep helping them and hope they catch on, or do I toss them out of the bird's nest?  They're about lvl5 now, and at one point my eye began to twitch from suppressing the stress of dealing with this.  Perhaps my patience just needs work?

-Drunk Players:  My friends and I are drinkers, and while myself and my lady can hold our drink, the others... get distracted.  I decided to put rules on drinking to make the drinks effect their characters in the game, but this angered some and created unwanted butthurt.  I revoked the rule, and people have slowed down on it naturally since they're learning to get more into the sessions, but occasionally, somebody will have a bit more rum than intended, and will become unable to concentrate.

-Overpowering Metagamer:  I've talked to one of the more experienced players who insists on telling everyone else what to do, but sometimes he still slips since he's sort of just made a habit out of it.  I've also talked to the others saying they are perfectly welcome to ignore him.  For example:

"I open the door and-"


"I attack the-"

It's usually not in character either.  I don't want to create a strict gaming environment by saying, "Dude, get off their nuts for a second."  It's becoming less of a problem, but just in case, do you guys know a good work around?

What I Think I'm Doing Right:

-Making Them Feel Awesome and Relevant:  I look at character histories first, and then begin to build my basic world around them so that everyone is included.  I alter villains I had planned to be antagonists for different players.  Also, as their character progresses, they get custom abilities that I've crafted for them based on their personality, goals, and past events.  Everyone definitely talks about how awesome they were afterward, so I assume that's good.

-Improvisation:  These weirdos never do what I expect (I used to spend hours planning elaborate dungeons that they would then find the most direct path through without interacting with anything or asking any questions), so now I essentially lay down an outline, make a few possible characters and encounters, and make terrain and stats up on the spot.  As much as I thought this would never work, it seems to keep things running at a solid pace, and keeps people interested in the scenario.

-Rewarding Outside-the-Box Thinking:  Whether or not I truly feel it would actually work, when people think of an idea that's outside of the box, or something that I didn't think of, I tend to give them pretty good bonuses on rolls.  I feel it's important that players break what I have planned, otherwise things can often feel too linear.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 11:43:15 PM by Archdemon Stu »

Offline Shadow Chorus

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Re: Hosting Games - An Introspective
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2014, 12:10:53 PM »
One thing I can say is; make the world. If you use a pre-existing one, make sure you know it like the back of your hand, or otherwise make a new one yourself. The better a GM knows the world he's playing in, the better he can present that world to the players.

I like hosting WoWRPG sessions because I know so much about warcraft I could create a believable situation anywhere on the timeline of the universe and provide oodles of background info for the players.

From there, you really only need a start and an end in mind, followed by some details and story arcs in the middle, and the rest can evolve as it goes.

A list of characters the players will interact with more than once would also be helpful.

That's generally all I start out with. A universe I know by heart, a general outline of the major plot and smaller story arcs therein, and a list of important characters to remember. Then everything just unfolds naturally.

As for the metagamer; next time he does that, tell him to make a reflex save against a divine act of punishment by the god Gygax. (This is an actual god in most dnd and pathfinder settings) If he fails he's bolted with lightning or hit with a sphere of annihilation. Die or drop to unconscious hit points.

Don't be afraid to hand out punishments for that kind of stuff when the players are in a safe place. If there's no immediate danger then if you bolt the metagamer they can just rest a bit and heal him back up before moving on.