View Full Version : Get me excited about Roleplaying

Gerry Sezzler
2007-06-21, 12:23 PM
...because I can't seem to work up any enthusiasm for an impending game of DnD. I don't know what it is. Perhaps I've just had my hopes dashed too many times. I had a good game I was running fall apart because of players not showing up. When one player wouldn't show up repeatedly it discouraged consistent players from coming until finally the game just petered out. I had a guy tell me he wouldn't promise to show up to the game because his life did not revolve around DnD.

I joined a pick-up game at my local hobby shop which ended up containing a halfling NPC who would pilfer our starting equipment and no attack roll or grapple check could touch. The teenaged DM's explanation as to why rolls of 18 and 19 could not affect him: "Dude, he's a halfling they have a bonus to Dex." Also it was a world without magic but our very first encounter magic was used against us.

Now the person who told me he couldn't promise to show up to my games because DnD was not his life wants me to come to his game. Remembering his characters in my game I don't have high hopes. His characters were always good aligned because he explained someone should help progress the DM's storyline, even though I had been introducing the primarily Chaotic Neutral party of bards and rogues to recruiters from criminal organizations almost from the start. He always complained about not getting any treasure, complaining he didn't have any magic weapons at level 3.

This may be conceited to say and it's probaly elitist at the least but I feel like I am a seasoned gamer with refined tastes mixed in with hamfisted amatuers. I want my first masterwork armor to be special and worn longer than a single session. I want to deeper adventures than "Hit/Zap the guys in black hats then wade through the pile of treasure behind them"

This is pretty much the only game in town. How do I get in the frame of mind to enjoy this I'm certain to be a shallow beer and pretzel game

2007-06-21, 12:32 PM
You have two real choices. You can either go to the game, and enjoy the 'beer and pretzels' for what they are: an excuse to hang out with friends. Or you can choose not to go, but as you said, it's the only game in town. If that's the case, I see it as a choice between the lesser of two evils.

How bad do you want to play?

Also, consider that it may be the only game in town, but you still have a community of online friends to come to for your gaming fix.

2007-06-21, 12:38 PM
...I feel like I am a seasoned gamer with refined tastes mixed in with hamfisted amatuers.

Open secret: all gamers feel like this. Elitism is par for the course in our sub-culture, and a sense of disappointment with what we have experienced is part of what keeps us coming back in hope of what we will experience next time. :smallwink:

I want to deeper adventures than "Hit/Zap the guys in black hats then wade through the pile of treasure behind them"

The words you speak above make no sense in my brain. Is your problem that the pile of treasure is not big enough to sit in/roll about in, or something else entirely? :smallbiggrin:

(I keed, I keed)

This is pretty much the only game in town. How do I get in the frame of mind to enjoy this I'm certain to be a shallow beer and pretzel game

Drink before the game.
Expect little (and you won't be disappointed).
Try to raise *your* part of the game above the norm (ie: lead by example).

Eventually all the vast majority of larval gamers get over their hack-n-slash, "Munchkin"-is-my-playsheet phase and blossom. Just have patience, lead by example and hope for the best.

2007-06-21, 12:39 PM
This is pretty much the only game in town. How do I get in the frame of mind to enjoy this I'm certain to be a shallow beer and pretzel game

Simple answer: Don't.

Verbose answer: If you know you're going to hate the game (as a sidenote here - being a poor player does not indicate being a poor GM, and vice versa), don't join it. Tabletop is a hobby - something to enjoy. It isn't a cause or ideal for which you should suffer simply because this is "the only game in town."

Which it isn't.

There is this new and exciting place called the Internet which, among (many) other things, provides gamers in predicaments similar to yours with opportunities to find kindred spirits. Whether through forum play-by-post, chat programs, or even voice-over-net applications such as Ventrilo, it is possible to set up and play games online. Neat, huh? :smalltongue:

Personally, I highly recommend OpenRPG (www.openrpg.com). It's a program made specifically for tabletop - it comes with its own diceroller, a node system for storing/sharing files such as character sheets, miniatures, etc. and even its own battlemap. There are others out there, I'm sure.

Just look around.

Miles Invictus
2007-06-21, 12:47 PM
Look at it as a D&D-themed wargame, and try to ignore the irony inherent in that statement.

You could try weaning your friends off of beer-and-pretzel gaming. Run a new campaign, and make your players write backstories with a bit of detail to 'em. Then, you start off with your basic beer-and-pretzel scenario -- white hats, black hats, plenty of opportunities for badassery -- to get them hooked on the campaign. Tie their backstories into the plots, and gently work the roleplaying in. If you can get them comfortable with that, you've scored a minor victory. The key is to balance what they like with what you like, so no one's bored.

2007-06-21, 12:52 PM
I wish I had your problem. The only games I get to PLAY in are online.

Consider your alternatives.

Gerry Sezzler
2007-06-21, 12:57 PM
I can see ya'lls points.

And just because these are dudes I can sit around and play poker drinking steel reserve and have a blast with doesn't mean I have to sit around and play a subpar (In my opinion) game of DnD with them out of loyalty if I don't want to.

And then on the otherside of the coin I don't know what to expect out of this guy. He is an English major. Guy can write some fiction. So maybe my sour expectations are actually a good thing so I can be more easily pleasantly surprized.

And I'm not saying it can't be fun, I just know it'll never as good as I'd like but I guess that pretty much how life goes.

2007-06-21, 01:16 PM
I can more or less emphasize with your problem; it sounds that the core of it is just the major concentration of bad players / bad people where you play, to be blunt. I heartily recommend that you try playing on forums by post (even here, though I will be honest and not recommend it) - there are generally better people there, stories go slower but with much more consistency and plot, and the effort required to actually write a sensible post discourages a asst majority of "jerks" like you described.

If you are interested in trying this feel free to PM me for some links of place(s) which I have found very worthwile and good overall.

2007-06-21, 01:30 PM
Elitist. :smallconfused:

2007-06-21, 03:57 PM
Random advice:

Play a good charater. If he thinks their important while he's playing, they probably will be important while he's DMing.

Also, play a cleric and max out some knowledge skills. Than you have carte blance to ask questions about his setting and possibly force him to put some meaning behind why you are killing the gobblins.

At the end of the day, a DM is a good as his players, and the players are as good as the DM. You can weild major influence from a players seat if you do it subtly and not all "I'm right and your wrong"aly.

2007-06-21, 04:48 PM
If you're convinced that you won't have fun, don't play; it will only make you bitter. However, you could sit in on one session to see if he's as bad a DM as you suspect. If you never return, they can write out your character. If you DO have fun, all the better. If you're still iffy about it, express your dissatisfaction, politely, to the DM, and maybe you can give him suggestions.

Since you feel like the seasoned gamer, you could try using that to your advantage. Play a grizzled veteran (an experienced cleric, a war-worn soldier, a sage-like wizard) and lead them down the right path.

Jack Mann
2007-06-21, 04:55 PM
Explain your concerns with the DM beforehand. Let him know what you're' hoping for in a game, and what you're afraid of. As has been said, your concerns may be unfounded. And if you end up leaving the game, this gives the DM a bit of a heads-up, so he won't be caught up short by the loss of your character.

2007-06-21, 05:19 PM
Well, if you're looking for online gaming, with an emphasis on both adventuring and casual role-playing (and character development!) please feel free to check out our online chat game.

Link is in my .sig, below.

2007-06-22, 11:55 AM
Based on my own personal experiences, I wouldn't join this guy's game because if he can't commit himself as a player, how the HECK is he going to commit himself as GM?

I realize skills as a GM and skills as a player are somewhat different. But if he's made it clear he doesn't consider D&D worthy of a definite time commitment, then chances are he's a crappy GM. A GM who can't commit is no GM at all.

But beyond that, Gerry, I think you answered your own dilemma when you posted. You clearly don't sound excited about this game, and nothing we say will make you excited. You want to be convinced this will be fun, but you're going in it with low expectations, and that makes it hard to convince you otherwise.

I've been gaming long enough to know that while there are gaming dry spells, you will eventually find a group that suits your needs and play style. I would rather play one good, enjoyable game--even if I have to WAIT to get it started--with a committed group of players than be in three campaigns with crappy stories and commitment levels.

As others have pointed out, there are other opportunities. You can play online. You can advertise at your gaming store for new players. You can find out where local game and comic conventions are and get your fix in that way. You can take a break even, and maybe when you come back to gaming you'll be more easily enthused.

But based on what you've said about the GM and your own attitudes, no, I would not touch that game with a standard issue dungeoneer's 10 foot pole.

AS AN ASIDE, based on the OP's original comment: I've had bad experiences with games falling apart because players can't show up, etc. I almost gave up on GMing, but I had a good idea for a campaign.

So I went to my gamer friends and said, "I want to run. If you want to play, you will respect the amount of time I put into preparation. You will not say you can play if you can't commit. If you don't show up, I will run without you. If you don't show up three times in a row, you're out and I will invite a new player. We will play the first Saturday of every month. This will be on everyone's calendar, so no surprises pop up. We will add in additional games as possible. Yes, I will be a bitch about this, if I have to be." I expected some people to be upset about my putting my foot down.

I have been running this campaign for two years now, and it's the most fun I have ever had running any game, and some of the most fun I've had playing D&D. The players that joined in are committed, and yes, sometimes I run without someone (but I usually catch them up in a solo session, so they still get their play in). Yep, it's often only once a month--we're all hitting our 30s and working full time, so it's hard to schedule more often, but those sessions are guaranteed to happen 98% of the time (the 2% kept for emergencies and other unexpected problems. Only 1 session was ever canceled).

If you seek out players who will give you the time and experience you want, you will find them.

Dean Fellithor
2007-06-22, 09:49 PM
ok, enjoy this: you are talking to a Hot Half-Elf chick at a Bar, you must woo her.

^ there, that exciting enough for you? ^ :biggrin: :wink:

2007-06-24, 02:08 PM
This might be the only game in town now, but it doesn't have to be.

I've been in a new city for about two years now, and I've discovered that the best way to get good players into a game is to train them yourself. I don't mean that you should spend a whole lot of time shaping them into the players you want them to be, but honestly, D&D newbies are often much, much better players than D&D grognards.

No offense to the grognards, there are lots of you who are awesome too :smallsmile:

Here's my rationale: If you start a game yourself, you don't have to include any of the things you don't like, and if the players are new, you have a little bit more in the way of control over what goes into your games.

I'll admit, I'm a reasonably experienced DM for somebody my age (19), and it's not easy to find a group you're compatible with. I spent four years building one (joining games, finding the one or two players there I could get along with, and then leaving after I couldn't take it anymore, taking those one or two players with me), and then I moved to Windsor Ontario, leaving them all behind.

My new group (built out of friends I can get along with) are all basically new to rpg. We haven't started playing yet, but they're the art/literature/drama crowd, and their characters are pretty sweet: All I had to do is help with the numbers.

If you're not up to DMing, I totally understand that, but if you've never tried it, now might be the time. It's a totally different experience, one that has its own merits and flaws, and I really, really enjoy it.

Last thing in my ramble here (sorry about that, by the way, I just wanted to get some of this out there):

Don't give up, there's always something out there to find, something you never expected.

Good luck, and good hunting :smallcool:

Tequila Sunrise
2007-06-24, 03:32 PM
I say, give this guy's game a go. Make a good-aligned character and whatever else will fit in with the DM and group. If you can, make your character important to the plotline. During and after the first session, act as excited as you can about playing. And then don't show up second session. If he asks why, regurgitate his own comment back to him. If he doesn't ask, rinse and repeat until he does.

Or maybe a miracle will happen and you'll enjoy the game...maybe he's a completely different DM than player. Although no matter what, he needs to be told that making a commitment to a game is different than centering your life around it.

Shiny, Bearer of the Pokystick
2007-06-24, 09:09 PM
First step, as I see it: give 'the only game in town' a shot. Pre-game judgments are no substitute for post-game reflections. If, after a session or two, you aren't involved, move to step two.

Second step: get a new town. Or, more pointedly, a playground. I had terrible gaming experiences with local yokels, so much so that I didn't play for almost a year- one guy would only run certain modules, another would aim for a fudge-intensive TPK almost every session- but nowadays, I'm doing a lot better. The Playground has already given me at least three fulfilling, interesting games, and inspired me to start work on my own.

So, give it a shot, but if it doesn't work out- stick around here. Head on down to the recruitment forum, make up a sheet, see if you make it in.

I also second the recommendation for OpenRPG.

2007-06-24, 10:12 PM
And then on the otherside of the coin I don't know what to expect out of this guy. He is an English major. Guy can write some fiction. So maybe my sour expectations are actually a good thing so I can be more easily pleasantly surprized.

Like others, I say give it a chance. You wont know what the game is like until ya know.