View Full Version : Dull sessions =(

2009-07-18, 01:05 PM
Ok, I'm Gming a saga campaign and we just had our first session. The players would kill a room of clone troopers in one round and sell all of there equipment the next. It seemed that the players were half-asleep until combat because I bored them. So I ask you three things

1. How can I liven up the game for more excitement
2. What are some good non-hack and slash plot hooks
3. A way to make my characters be a little un-evil

2009-07-18, 01:05 PM

Read this. Take notes.

2009-07-18, 01:08 PM
oK, Thanks. now dont, let this discourage you from letting me be your GM

2009-07-18, 01:21 PM
...I'm gonna have to be honest here, sweetie, I'm... not looking forward to that idea and I was looking for a way to politely turn it down.

Uh, some general tips for maintaining interest - this is what I do, I can't speak for others:
- Open up with a quick recap of the previous session or the plothook. Use description well, but focus on giving the party an immediate springboard into action. Prepare these ahead of time so they can be delivered quickly and with good emotion. One of my past teasers:

You walk into a slightly rundown but well-furnished wooden building, noting the worn but expensive burgundy carpet laid across the floor. It is embroidered with Riedran designs - imported from far-off Sarlona, no doubt. A grand bell rings out four times in slow, precise succession - when you turn to face the noise, you see an elaborate grandfather clock of Aerenal design. The owner has expensive tastes, even if he doesn't know how to coordinate them very well... or take good care of them. There are scratches and marks all along one side of the clock case.

Someone politely "harrumph!"s to your left - a very short and very broad dwarf, with a goatee and fancy clothes to mismatch his carpet. "Name's Marquan, and these're Marquan's Rooms for Let. You looking to board?"

A handsome man of medium height and pale skin smiles pleasantly and nods. "Correct. We may be staying for... a while. Or a short time. We're unsure."

"Stop squirming," an armored woman with hair like fire mutters, staring down an unkempt man from the slums. He nervously clutches one arm, while she squeezes the other with an iron grip.

"Or we'll deskratt you!" a furry, wild-haired man in robes chants with glee from behind the thief.

"Will one of you blokes please shut the monk up?! I can't take it anymore!" the thief screams.

An equally hairy woman coughs, hiding her smile. The fair-haired elf to her right makes no attempts to hide his, though. "This is part of your punishment, after all."

The short young man in the corner leans back and sighs, flipping his knife in mid-air. "My 'lords', you don't keep shopkeeps waiting in this city." He catches the blade and stows it back in his bandolier, nodding at the dwarf.

"Thank you," Marquan says, a slight hard edge in his eyes. "So how many rooms for you all?"
- Keep combats short until you know the rules well - then begin adding complexities, like running fights, higher difficulty, more opponents, etc. Watch movies for ideas.
- Anytime there's a lull? Describe. There should never be a quiet moment. If the PCs are neither engaging in happy OoC chatter nor in IC description, you need to remind them of the situation IC. Do not talk over them if they are already roleplaying.
- You can't make the players be what they don't want to be. DMing and PCing is a cooperative effort. Talk with them OoC and work out your desires for this game.

2009-07-18, 01:33 PM
Star Wars not turning into a Loot Quest is easy, because getting things bought and sold in Star Wars is practically a plot hook in itself.

Think of how much time it takes to loot a Stormtrooper. How much armour that guy has, getting the undersuit off, making sure the thing isn't tamperproofed, not to mention what poor disguises they make in a system where you are a number and noone writes theirs down. So the armour is a pain. Especially if a distress signal is activated and reinforcements are on the way. Don't tell me you still had your blaster out when you get jumped stripping PFC Fodder. Actually, did you holster the thing? It might be sitting on the table 10 feet away.

The weapons sell alright, to the right people. These people might not be on this planet, and woe betide you if a sweep finds the local constabulary gear (storm or clone, whatever player) nestled in your hull. Not to mention in all eras military weapons are illegal and very readily found in routine sweeps. So carrying a box of ex military blasters, serial numbers glistening like beautiful, incriminating jewels is also a fast way to the cells or a disciplinary hearing.

All other gear is decent loot, and as long as not marked with anything permanent should find an interested buyer on planet, though not at the best price. Creds though, come in secure and loose flavours. That's another challenge - finding a decent slicer.

Just grabbing weapons, ammo and supplies for yourself really is the way to go in Saga. I mean, who's CARRYING all this junk?

Glass Mouse
2009-07-18, 03:48 PM
Okay, I'm a D&D'er by heart, but maybe my two pennies can help anyway (from a gamer and DM-to-be's point of view).

Some questions...

- What's the plot? (if it's too straight-forward, people will get bored. It needs to have twists and surprises, puzzle-qualities, something that they'll discover (or uncover) along the way, a sense of connection through the campaign - maybe the seemingly-no-name trader they visited last session is suddenly very important because someone sold him the macGuffin that the players need. Maybe they are betrayed by the guy they worked for (oldest one in the book, but you can twist it). For the player, it's awesome to be able to say "Damn, I didn't see that one coming..." or "Oh, I remember that!" or "Wait, I know! We could use THIS thing/information/person from earlier! It makes perfect sense!").

- How are the NPCs? (are they boring no-names, or do you provide them with characteristics? No one should be "That guy who sent us on that quest." Instead, make him "That dude with the badass axe who didn't like the king... wait, why didn't he? Should we trust the king, then?". Also, give your NPCs some conflict. Sure, the PCs have to kill that dragon that terrorises the countryside, but on the other hand they feel kind of bad for her because they know she's just crazy with sorrow after humans wiped out her children).

- How involved are the players? (the plot you throw out, could it be solved by anyone, or does it need the special qualities of this particular team? Does it even draw on the characters' individual backgrounds? Does it cater to their skills and strengths? (in D&D, having a rogue on the team, and an adventure without a single lock or trap is... boring, at least to the rogue). You can include character race (maybe they meet a racist), ideologies and personal convictions, personal history, special abilities or skills, phobias (if any), the list is endless. Maybe the NPCs could even have a connection to the PCs - a sibling, an old mentor, a personal admirer, a nemesis, someone that the PC manages to befriend or offend during the campaign).

- What are the power level and predictability of the fights? (constantly swiping the floor gets boring - they are adventurers or Jedi, not janitors. Have the occassional easy encounter, sure, but make the level vary, sometimes easy and sometimes strong. Also, include mystery or twists. Make them expect something, then throw them off. How could that no-name enemy suddenly one-shoot that important guy? Is that guy over there a no-one, or... did he just use the force?? That type of enemy should not be found here, what's this about? Keep your players on their toes).

There's probably a lot more to consider, but these are good places to start (IMHO, at least).

Good luck with your next session! :smallsmile:

2009-07-18, 04:25 PM
I would listen to the Fear the Boot podcast a bit here. Some of the more recent episodes cover maintaining interest, and it is in general full of really good advice. However first sessions are always the most difficult, and usually the hardest. Its all uphill from here.

2009-07-18, 04:28 PM
I would listen to the Fear the Boot podcast a bit here. Some of the more recent episodes cover maintaining interest, and it is in general full of really good advice. However first sessions are always the most difficult, and usually the hardest. Its all uphill from here.
Fear the boot REALLY needs to listen to their own podcast.

I listened to three of their episodes and feel asleep, having learned nothing.