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Author Topic: Players establishing facts about the world in play  (Read 1234 times)

FingerRod

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Re: Players establishing facts about the world in play
« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2021, 02:04:08 PM »
As a GM I want to limit the use of previous obstacles as solutions.

Why's that? Is it that you don't want to make it easy for the PCs?

Thanks for the question. My goal is to neither make things hard nor easy for a PC. My goal is for game elements to be fun and compelling. I find action moving forward more compelling than action moving backwards.

The statement you quoted was a supporting statement to the existence of a present obstacle (locked door). If I put a locked door in front of the PCs, it is an opportunity for something interesting to happen. If we are just going to pretend the solution to that locked door was already to be found on something already conquered, why put it there in the first place?

Real story from this weekend involving a locked door... One of the PCs asked me, “Does the door open into the next room or would it open towards me?” I told him it opened towards him. He then wanted to know if it had two or three hinges. At that point I already knew where he was going with it. I told him there were two, he made a shitty face and said, “I want to pop the door off the hinges.”

Now don’t get me wrong, after thousands of locked doors over the years, they are hardly compelling. I have been foiled by which way the door opens a hundred times. Because the PC stayed in the moment he was able to make fun of my shitty door, see that look in my eyes when I knew that he had gotten me, and that made it fun. I did not have to place a key that never existed on a body, and he did not have to evoke his Aspect of Opening Locked Things.

Looking back at your posts, I don’t believe we are entirely disagreeing. I think you want to make sure I am not advocating being a dick for the sake of being a dick, or intentionally finding fun in making things hard for people. I can assure you that type of GMg is not fun. Am I off here or missing something? If so, hit me right between the eyes with it, I am having a Monday of Mondays hah.

Steven Mitchell

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Re: Players establishing facts about the world in play
« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2021, 02:14:07 PM »
As a GM I want to limit the use of previous obstacles as solutions.

Why's that? Is it that you don't want to make it easy for the PCs?

Sometimes, when the players don't have a good idea how to handle the situation, I want them to retreat, regroup, look for another way--anything but continue to pound their heads against the current "scene" until it is resolved.  It's hard enough to get players to do that sometimes as it is without encouraging, "I'll narrate a way to pull the solution out of my ass."  But that is secondary.  The primary reason is that sometimes there is a key on the guard; the players know I'm not bending the world to their whims; and therefore they know when they've hit on something that works, it was them exploring the world instead of narrating it.


S'mon

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Re: Players establishing facts about the world in play
« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2021, 05:22:10 PM »
As a GM I want to limit the use of previous obstacles as solutions.

Why's that? Is it that you don't want to make it easy for the PCs?

Thanks for the question. My goal is to neither make things hard nor easy for a PC. My goal is for game elements to be fun and compelling. I find action moving forward more compelling than action moving backwards.

The statement you quoted was a supporting statement to the existence of a present obstacle (locked door). If I put a locked door in front of the PCs, it is an opportunity for something interesting to happen. If we are just going to pretend the solution to that locked door was already to be found on something already conquered, why put it there in the first place?

Real story from this weekend involving a locked door... One of the PCs asked me, “Does the door open into the next room or would it open towards me?” I told him it opened towards him. He then wanted to know if it had two or three hinges. At that point I already knew where he was going with it. I told him there were two, he made a shitty face and said, “I want to pop the door off the hinges.”

Now don’t get me wrong, after thousands of locked doors over the years, they are hardly compelling. I have been foiled by which way the door opens a hundred times. Because the PC stayed in the moment he was able to make fun of my shitty door, see that look in my eyes when I knew that he had gotten me, and that made it fun. I did not have to place a key that never existed on a body, and he did not have to evoke his Aspect of Opening Locked Things.

Looking back at your posts, I don’t believe we are entirely disagreeing. I think you want to make sure I am not advocating being a dick for the sake of being a dick, or intentionally finding fun in making things hard for people. I can assure you that type of GMg is not fun. Am I off here or missing something? If so, hit me right between the eyes with it, I am having a Monday of Mondays hah.

I don't think I was trying to 'get' you! :)

I guess in my GMing a locked door 99.5% of the time is a simulation element - yes, prison doors would logically be locked & yes - likely the key would be nearby. I sometimes GM published adventures where a door is set up as an obstacle to the players, but I don't think I do that much in my own stuff. I occasionally worry there aren't enough traps in my homebrew D&D games, since I normally only put traps in a dungeon when & if I think someone would have put them there. My players don't generally seem to realise this though, and will freak out at the sight of two facing serpent statues in the tunnel that I only put in for dressing...

FingerRod

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Re: Players establishing facts about the world in play
« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2021, 06:11:29 PM »
I don't think I was trying to 'get' you! :)

I guess in my GMing a locked door 99.5% of the time is a simulation element - yes, prison doors would logically be locked & yes - likely the key would be nearby. I sometimes GM published adventures where a door is set up as an obstacle to the players, but I don't think I do that much in my own stuff. I occasionally worry there aren't enough traps in my homebrew D&D games, since I normally only put traps in a dungeon when & if I think someone would have put them there. My players don't generally seem to realise this though, and will freak out at the sight of two facing serpent statues in the tunnel that I only put in for dressing...

Very fair. Given recent behavior from newer members I would certainly understand if you were skeptical of my intent. I am glad you are not.

If traps are your blind spot, giving out magic items is undoubtably mine. Holy crap I take a lot of heat for being stingy on the magic items. For very similar reasons too. You are looking for logical reasons why a trap would be placed, and for me, if something was so magical and great, why would somebody leave it locked up?

At any rate, interesting topic and good read.

Dropbear

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Re: Players establishing facts about the world in play
« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2021, 08:50:30 PM »
I have conditions players must meet before they are allowed to submit detailed backstories or suggestions.

  • Read the campaign manual if it’s a published pre-packaged campaign setting, or the campaign notes I provide you with if it’s a homebrewed setting.
  • Build your backstory with an understanding of those details, and inside of those parameters.
  • Realize that suggestions you make outside of the parameters provided may not be integrated.

I don’t usually care much for injecting any and every race into a swords & sorcery campaign, or things that break with whatever setting I’m using, regardless of players desiring to use their input to forge the new breed of half-races with whatever stat boosts make them gods at their class at first level and all that Tasha’s nonsense on race construction.

And some races will be Evil, whether someone comes to my table demanding that they should be able to play a Lawful Good yuan-ti pureblood because the race is in Volo’s and monster alignment is “optional”now or not.

Greentongue

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Re: Players establishing facts about the world in play
« Reply #35 on: May 13, 2021, 01:20:03 PM »
I think it helps with "buy in" when you are first starting with a new group.
Provides for some vested interest, subject to the GM's approval.