PDA

View Full Version : Survey: What do you want from other people at the table?



AvatarZero
2010-07-13, 04:30 PM
A few questions about tabletop RPGs, if you have the time. I'm asking about personal taste, so don't be afraid of talking about what you like instead of what you think everyone likes.

1a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your fellow players to be doing?
1b: What should they never do?

2a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your DM to be doing?
2b: What should he/she never do?

3a: When you're DMing/running an RPG, what's the best thing for your players to be doing?
3b: What should they never do?

Private-Prinny
2010-07-13, 04:44 PM
A few questions about tabletop RPGs, if you have the time. I'm asking about personal taste, so don't be afraid of talking about what you like instead of what you think everyone likes.

1a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your fellow players to be doing?
1b: What should they never do?

2a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your DM to be doing?
2b: What should he/she never do?

3a: When you're DMing/running an RPG, what's the best thing for your players to be doing?
3b: What should they never do?

1a: Flesh out their character and contribute to the campaign as a whole. D&D is a group game, so the whole group should be involved.
1b: Conversely, they should never try to actively sabotage the party, or start PvP without party consent.

2a: I like my DMs to have a plan. The further ahead they're thinking, the better. Encounters can be much more fun if the DM has a specific goal in mind compared to a random statblock fetched from the Monster Manual.
2b: The DM should never actively try to destroy his party. Note that challenge =/= destroy, and unwinnable fights can be fine if none of the characters actually die.

3a and 3b are effectively the same as 1a and 1b. I wouldn't want my players making things less fun for anyone else involved, or actively try to destroy the campaign I'm running.

oxybe
2010-07-13, 04:50 PM
what do you mean by "doing"? are you talking about out of game aspects like table chatter or in-game aspects like focusing on certain tropes or genres when RPing

Harperfan7
2010-07-13, 04:57 PM
1a: Thinking of what to do next with their character that is smart and helpful to the party's goals (as opposed to, say, talking until its their turn and then doing something stupid)
1b: There isn't any one answer to this, just don't be immature or stupid, at least not on purpose.

2a: He should always try to be impartial and objective, and always be thinking of how the game world should react.
2b: Be silly, act out of emotion, or personally reward/punish a player.

3a: As 1a, except also roleplay their characters.
3b: Give up or whine. You're adventurers, act like it.

Optimystik
2010-07-13, 04:59 PM
Is this for a paper or something? I ask because you also did the "finish this sentence" thread.

Lord Vampyre
2010-07-13, 05:00 PM
A few questions about tabletop RPGs, if you have the time. I'm asking about personal taste, so don't be afraid of talking about what you like instead of what you think everyone likes.

1a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your fellow players to be doing?
1b: What should they never do?

1a: I like it when everyone stays in character. In a few of my past groups, I've had a number of players that would start talking about things not related to the current game. This tends to derail other players from focusing on the game. It also makes it difficult for the DM to achieve the desired level of suspense when everyone is distracted.

1b: Tell other players how their characters should react to certain situations. This is a job for the DM, if the DM allows it then it works.


2a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your DM to be doing?
2b: What should he/she never do?

2a: Keep the game moving. The DM needs to prompt the players when they're not doing anything. If necessary, he should give them a few hints when they seem like their at a loss. They don't need to be blunt with the hints, but they do need to present them in such a way that they make sense. This is to help game flow. If the players are stuck, then characters are going to be stuck. This is another reason DM's need to allow for multiple solutions to a particular situation. If there is only one way, then it can turn into a guessing game for the players. This can seriously hamper the enjoyment of the game.

2b: Spend too much time on one character/player. Sometimes its interesting watching a scene that your character isn't involved in, but if it happens too often it lessens the other players enjoyment. This is the main reason I don't encourage the party to split up. It causes this situation far too frequently. Players want to feel that their characters are involved, and when you spend too much time on one person this doesn't happen.


3a: When you're DMing/running an RPG, what's the best thing for your players to be doing?
3b: What should they never do?

3a: When I'm running the game, I like my players to roleplay. This means that I want them to interact with each other, as their characters. I want them to consider how their character would react to a situation. This means that I want them to leave all of their player knowledge at the door, and consider what they would do if they didn't know all of stats for a dragon in the MM.

3b: Cheat. :smallfurious: RPGs are not about winning and losing. I get tired of players who can not accept the fact that their characters will fail at certain things. To me this seems to be the reason that 4E went away from the players rolling their HP and Ability Scores. 3.5 and 3.0 allowed players to take the best 3 out of 4, because they couldn't accept that their characters would start out somewhat average and then rise to be exceptional.

Thebazilly
2010-07-13, 05:13 PM
1a: Most fundamentally, paying attention. Still... it's a problem in the groups I play with. Other good things are remembering to work as a team and thinking out plans.
1b: Actively attempt to destroy the DM's plans or sabotage other players for no reason (or OOC reasons).

2a: ALWAYS GIVE OPTIONS. It's no fun to be told, "Well, if you want the plot to keep going, I wouldn't do that." Say yes to the zany schemes and see what happens next.
2b: Favor players (or disfavor them) with loot/XP/less monster aggression/etc. Also, sometimes railroading can be acceptable, but usually it's not very fun.

3a: Listen. Listenlistenlisten. Comprehend and think about the things the DM says. Talk in-character as much as possible. Think of context and roleplaying material for your character. Make cool plans. Come up with things the DM hasn't thought of yet. Be creative.
3b: Complete and total sabotage is no fun for anyone involved (except maybe the sabotaging player).

Mark Hall
2010-07-13, 05:23 PM
1a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your fellow players to be doing?
1b: What should they never do?

2a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your DM to be doing?
2b: What should he/she never do?

3a: When you're DMing/running an RPG, what's the best thing for your players to be doing?
3b: What should they never do?

1a: Making sure everyone has fun. This means not hogging the spotlight, taking it with good humor when the dice are against you, and being willing to jump on a plot hook even if there's no immediate reason for their character to do so.
1b: Be a jerk. Insist that their character is on the spot for every action, try to run other people's characters, or cause in-party fights because "that's what my character would do."

2a: Make sure everyone has fun. This means not favoring certain characters unduly (some sessions may be a "This is the X and Friends show", but it will be with the understanding that other sessions will be the "Y and Friends show", or that the "friends" roles are robust ones), not fudging the dice too much either way, and giving us hooks we're going to at least sorta be interested in and challenges that occasionally make us close our sphincters in fear, without resulting in "The baddy shows up and... you die."
2b: Be a jerk. Focus on one character, especially by letting that character do everything. Fudging the dice too much, either in or out of favor of the PCs. Throwing ridiculously impossible or simple challenges at the players, or giving us things that our characters simply would not do. Forcing the Paladin to fall with tons of no-win situations. Refusing to let ideas outside of your preconceived solutions work (and, my besetting sin, letting them work too easily because you didn't prepare).

3a: Talking to me. Tell me what kind of game they want, and what motivates their characters. Tell me what they like and dislike about a session. Be willing to run with things a bit, and trust me not to be a jerk.
3b: Play purposefully disruptive characters. Ignore when other people are looking uncomfortable, especially if you're crossing lines (and I'm looking at you, Mr. "I want to play a priest of Talos, breed these special 3HD goats from a game we're not playing, collect semen samples from fallen hobgoblins, and insist that the healing spell will only work if my character touches your character's boobies.")

In short, don't be a jerk.

WarKitty
2010-07-13, 05:28 PM
1a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your fellow players to be doing?
Pay attention and try to contribute to the group.
1b: What should they never do?
Play on your cell phone, read, etc. We don't want to have to remind you when it's your turn.

2a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your DM to be doing?
Make sure everyone is engaged and involved, and getting a chance to be heard.
2b: What should he/she never do?
Reward one type of player over another (trust me, as an introvert, you have to be VERY careful how you do rp stuff. I find myself left in the dust a lot because I can't come up with stuff for my character to do fast enough.)

3a: When you're DMing/running an RPG, what's the best thing for your players to be doing?
Pay attention and let me know what they want or don't want.
3b: What should they never do?
Complain about the DM using published material instead of making their own. I mean, I understand wanting better stuff, but remember your DM has a job and a life please, and I'm just not good at making up riddles.

AvatarZero
2010-07-13, 06:28 PM
Is this for a paper or something? I ask because you also did the "finish this sentence" thread.

It's impossible to answer that question without sounding unconscionably smug. I'll answer it anyway, but I'll put the thing in a spoiler box, because hopefully being silly and pompous at the same time is hard.



I just finished the first year of my games design course. I'm a student game designer, my flash game design implementation got me a First, I'm unreasonably proud of myself, this is the first time in my life I've been doing something productive because I enjoy it rather than because I thought I had to.

That said, I got a 2-1 overall for this year, and my lecturers flat-out told me that if I'd used more game design theory then I would have gotten a First for everything. So I've been reading a lot of theory, and part of that has been Ron Edwards' GNS model. I've been absorbing the arguments, the praise and the criticism (wow was there a lot of criticism), and have decided to try to come up with my own model to help understand what "fun" is and how a game designer can encourage "fun". It's not for a paper, although if I come up with something coherent enough I'll probably show it to one of my more awesome lecturers.

Here's what I've got so far:

At it's core, an RPG is about engaging with other players in the context of the game world. If there aren't other players involved, you're reading a book. If there isn't a game world involved, then you're doing something else with people, possibly tennis.

What people want out of a game varies, but it's all based on interaction around the table, and all the interaction can be expressed as giving and receiving.

Some people want to create a fantasy world, some people want to explore one. Giving and receiving ideas, or receiving and giving attention. Both sides get something out of it. If I complete this model, I'll have a lot of pairs of activities. Or maybe I'll realise that not everything can be expressed as part of a pair, and I'll tear down this part and start again.

Now, I've always liked this one quote.
"Some vices miss what is right because they are deficient, others because they are excessive, in feelings or in actions, while virtue finds and chooses the mean."
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Datalinks, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Loved that game.

So the ideal situation is that the guy who is expressing his creativity through the RPG is spending about the right amount of tabletime doing it, and the guy who came to immerse themselves in other people's ideas is doing the right amount of listening/exploration. What happens when this goes wrong? If the creative guy is too interested in his own ideas, and he's the DM, we already have a word for that; it's Railroading. If he's a player, and he's not bringing any of his own ideas, then it's possible that the immersion guy won't care (it's only one guy at the table), but if he does, he's probably the guy we've heard complaining on these forums about "that one guy in my group who doesn't roleplay and is just playing a generic Human Fighter". Not sure what "too much listening" means, possibly being too demanding of detail or going off on their own.

Finally, once I've worked out what a pair is and why it's fun when it's done well, I spend some time working out how the game everyone's playing can make getting it right easier for everyone. That's when all this work starts to bear fruit.

So, RPGs are about interaction, interaction is about giving and receiving, you can do too much and too little of either and a good game helps you find the mean. Choosing it is a matter of you and your fellow players not being [RICHARDS].

That's my theory. That's version 1. Since I'm creating it out of observations from this forum, I'll probably call it the Playground theory. I'll probably come up with a thread for it at some point, when I've sucked all the fun out of my choice of words and come up with enough long, obscure adjectives.

What do you think? Also, please keep answering the questions, it helps me think about why people who aren't me play RPGs.

Dust
2010-07-13, 06:34 PM
1a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your fellow players to be doing?
Come to the table with interesting characters that are willing to participate in the story, even if their reasons are sinister. Present characters that are setting-and-genre-appropriate.
1b: What should they never do?
Tell another player, OOCly, that their decision was incorrect or stupid. Berate other players oocly.

2a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your DM to be doing?
Provide a story that makes sense and, ultimately, is fun, while being prepared for each game. This means haveinga list of npc names on hand, just in case. Pre-drawn battlemaps if we're dealing with a game that requires grid combat. And so on.

3a: When you're DMing/running an RPG, what's the best thing for your players to be doing?
Providing me with character backgrounds and motivations, in order for me to tailor the plot specifically to their characters.
3b: What should they never do?
Fail to express a complaint. If they're bored, they should tell me and I'll make a change, and so on. Trying to constantly read body language on top of everything else can be incredibly tiring.

arguskos
2010-07-13, 06:36 PM
A few questions about tabletop RPGs, if you have the time. I'm asking about personal taste, so don't be afraid of talking about what you like instead of what you think everyone likes.

1a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your fellow players to be doing?
1b: What should they never do?

2a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your DM to be doing?
2b: What should he/she never do?

3a: When you're DMing/running an RPG, what's the best thing for your players to be doing?
3b: What should they never do?
1a: Being having fun without directly detracting from the other's experiences.
1b: Not directly detract from one another's fun.

2a: Give us chances to shine, as according to our skills and strengths.
2b: Not do that.

3a: Being involved, having fun, enjoying it.
3b: Not doing that.

Ajadea
2010-07-13, 06:47 PM
1a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your fellow players to be doing?
Have fun and participate. Bring an appropriate character, not a pile of over-optimized nonsense with a dumb name and no backstory or motivation.

1b: What should they never do?
As above: no TO nonsense with no real motivation or personality. Don't take over someone else's characters. Don't steal other player's spotlight: No 1-hit-KOing wizards and CoD-zillas who finish the fight before the meat shield and scout get a chance to do anything.

2a: When you're a player in an RPG, what's the best thing for your DM to be doing?
Come to the table with an actual plot. Preferably one that doesn't break at a poke. Roll with the punches and keep the game moving. Give every character a time to shine and a time to support. Keep the spotlight-bits short and sweet.

2b: What should he/she never do?
No excessive railroading, no killing the party on purpose, no excessively favoring players. Don't focus too much on one player.

3a: When you're DMing/running an RPG, what's the best thing for your players to be doing?
Explaining if they're confused, giving me a backstory to work with so I can add some more dimension to the game.

3b: What should they never do?
Come to the table with a nonsensical pile of classes on a race from an obscure third-party splatbook and a BoH full of nightsticks or something in one hand, and/or a plot-shattering sledgehammer in the other.

I don't mind if players go off the dotted line and do something weird, but don't purposefully break the game because you can.