PDA

View Full Version : Gamer Drama Problems with a first-time Tabletop Storyteller



SilverSheriff
2016-01-22, 01:28 PM
After dealing with a lot of bullies and Prima Donnas in the local LARPing scene a few friends and I have got together to do some tabletop gaming, the current storyteller was rather decent a few years ago when he was running a game in the scene but unfortunately his table-topping Game Mastering style leaves a bit to be desired.

He has decided to run a game based in a pre-established world written by a rather famous author using PF and everything is just wrong, he waffles on to himself between two of the more prolific characters in this the books the game has been written in, has snapped at a player for maiden-of-mercy-ing 2 NPCs that the rest of the party were OOC debating how to kill for "shutting down roleplay", got upset at the whole group for (rather unfortunately) steam-rolling his under-utilized encounters that would otherwise have been a very challenging encounter in a slightly more experienced set of hands. On top of it all he doesn't spend any time even briefly prepping for the game, so he has nothing to actually run with when it comes to game night (which really does nothing for my ability to immerse).

I'm not the most eloquent with words but I just don't quite think he's quite cut out to be a storyteller at this point in time, and I'm kind of hoping to get some advice on expressing my concerns without sounding disrespectful, or perhaps maybe some links to tools for Newbie game-masters that may help better his skills?

Thanks.

Fidilarfiin
2016-01-22, 04:00 PM
Sounds like the guy is just Lazy...

Constructivly:
Suggest an original story or setting, that isn't known to anyone, this might ignite some creativity in his preparations, its easy to grab a module and try to run with something you didnt put much thought into.

Co-DM with him or offer to help with something, a little committment from the players typically makes me want to give them more for thier time.

Ask really leading questions to the group not the DM, things like:
Wouldn't you think this way would cause this
i would bet that if we went here then this
I wonder what would happen guys if we decided to go here
Things that steer the DM into thought without actually forcing action yet...this can make it seem like he is the one who came up with the idea when you really planted that seed.
Or
You be the DM and show him how its done, that's what i did when i got tired of waiting for one guy to do anything with his game, i made my own and brought everyone over to the dark side.

goto124
2016-01-22, 09:05 PM
he waffles on to himself between two of the more prolific characters

got upset at the whole group for (rather unfortunately) steam-rolling his under-utilized encounters that would otherwise have been a very challenging encounter

I just don't quite think he's quite cut out to be a storyteller at this point in time

He's a nice storyteller, but a bad DM. Looks like a fairly railroady kind of DM.

SilverSheriff
2016-01-23, 12:54 AM
Sounds like the guy is just Lazy...

Constructively:
Suggest an original story or setting, that isn't known to anyone, this might ignite some creativity in his preparations, its easy to grab a module and try to run with something you didnít put much thought into.

Co-DM with him or offer to help with something, a little commitment from the players typically makes me want to give them more for their time.

Ask really leading questions to the group not the DM, things like:
Wouldn't you think this way would cause this
I would bet that if we went here then this
I wonder what would happen guys if we decided to go here
Things that steer the DM into thought without actually forcing action yet...this can make it seem like he is the one who came up with the idea when you really planted that seed.
Or
You be the DM and show him how its done, that's what I did when I got tired of waiting for one guy to do anything with his game,I made my own and brought everyone over to the dark side.

He's not running a module he's running an on-the-fly story loosely based around his favourite novels, and I know nothing about said novel series. At the moment I don't have the time to assist him too much as I'm quite busy writing up the story to the game that will be run by myself when his game comes to it's planned close in a couple of weeks.

gtwucla
2016-01-23, 09:09 AM
I think you just got to be straight with him and if it doesn't work out then you got to be patient and find another group. Maybe talk with the rest of your group without him and see how they feel. Not everyone is compatible when it comes to rpgs. I could be wrong, but in my experience a bad DM (not mediocre mind you) is usually a bad player too.

Segev
2016-01-23, 11:02 AM
To be fair, if his game's ending in "a couple of weeks" and you're going to take over then, you could just ride it out.

If he asks for feedback or suggestions, do your best to be honest without being insulting. That can be hard, I know, because people don't really like criticism, as a rule. Even when we ask for it. Even when we know we need it. We get defensive, wedded to our ideas, etc. It may help to suggest ways to do some things better. I've also heard people say that it's easier to deliver criticism if you sandwich it between compliments. Open with something they did right, segue into where that went a little sour (with suggestions for how it might be handled better if it comes up again), and then end with a positive compliment about how they handled something similar, if possible.

Heck, using that as a "do more of this" to complement the "do less of that" or "do that other thing differently" can be a good way to deliver advice. If you can tell somebody to do more of something they already have done, they're likely to be less defensive about "changing," since it's magnifying something positive.

Anonymouswizard
2016-01-24, 08:50 AM
If it's enjoyable despite being bad, my suggestion is to ride out the last couple of weeks and then give honest feedback. Don't ruin the fun being had at the table.

Here's the thing, improv-heavy GMing isn't bad. It might not be what you're used to, but it can be really fun. My standard session involves me showing up with a folder of NPCs, seeing if a character has a quest they want to pursue, and then weaving a plot around what I have. I even sometimes fill in new NPC sheets at the table pre-game (for example, if my mooks are too weak or too strong to give a decent challenge). However it sounds like he's gone overboard and not had anything prepared, instead of being ready to weave a story with pre-created resources. Make sure you bring this up.

I'm also against running in pre-established world's not built to be game settings, and this is why.