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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    I'm DMing with some new players and it's been teaching me a lesson that I think is equally applicable to old hands as well.

    It's difficult- very difficult- but vitally important to make players understand the scope of their choices. Since my players have only played CRPG games before, I began to notice that they were falling into a pattern- they were constantly looking for the action that would 'trigger the next scene' but not understanding that, unlike a computer game, they can simply construct situations -within limitations- of their own initiative.

    So I gave them an example. I explained to them what the Tomb of Horrors was. Ordinarily one solves the Tomb of Horrors through an incredibly cautious, well balanced approach through the chambers -if one solves it all-. However one group of players, when confronted with the problem, responded by digging down into the main chamber, thus bypassing all traps and defenses. Not only was this approach acceptable, it was brilliant, a paragon among strategies.

    The story helped a little, but the problem isn't solved altogether in the group. Does anyone have any examples of strategies designed to make players realize that they can and should do and try anything and that there's no hidden 'script' which they have to obey? That they can and should subvert my and their own expectations?

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizl' Bjorn View Post
    The story helped a little, but the problem isn't solved altogether in the group. Does anyone have any examples of strategies designed to make players realize that they can and should do and try anything and that there's no hidden 'script' which they have to obey? That they can and should subvert my and their own expectations?
    I don't really get your example of ''some players went through the Tomb of Horrors adventure by not playing''.

    I don't think there is much you can do to get players to understand they can try to do anything in a RPG, other then just let them play and get experience.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    It may sound silly but find two players and have them do an inter party fight. A friend that was big on the RP aspect and my self Got in to a argument because he dragged us in to a fight he picked. A new players jaw dropped and afterword she went up to the GM and said something along the lines of "What just happened? ...What you can do that?"

    A lot of it also depends on if you are around the same area in game. Do the locals start to recognize return customers? Does someone have tasks they can do that changes something in the town?

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizl' Bjorn View Post
    It's difficult- very difficult- but vitally important to make players understand the scope of their choices. Since my players have only played CRPG games before, I began to notice that they were falling into a pattern- they were constantly looking for the action that would 'trigger the next scene' but not understanding that, unlike a computer game, they can simply construct situations -within limitations- of their own initiative.
    As a largely computer gamer, my issue is that anything can happen out of my actions, leading to unpleasant consequences that make me so upset I just call off the game entirely. I still don't know how to handle such situations, or how to avoid them entirely if that's better for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizl' Bjorn View Post
    responded by digging down into the main chamber, thus bypassing all traps and defenses. Not only was this approach acceptable, it was brilliant, a paragon among strategies.
    I avoid such solutions simply because it's less fun for both the players and the GM. It skips right past the entire point of playing the game. It's like entering a cheat code that automatically brings you to the YOU WON! screen. Sure, you technically won, but why did you even start the game at all?

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    It's a bootstrapping thing. If your players have initiative you aren't going to be running intricate set pieces as much, because you can collectively improvise. So it becomes less 'they're skipping the content' and more 'the content is all about what they end up doing, rather than what was planned'

    So I think the tomb of horrors thing is just a bad example.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by goto124 View Post
    I avoid such solutions simply because it's less fun for both the players and the GM. It skips right past the entire point of playing the game. It's like entering a cheat code that automatically brings you to the YOU WON! screen. Sure, you technically won, but why did you even start the game at all?
    That's a lot of assertion for a heavily personality-dependent statement. It comes down to what one wants out of the game. Is playing the ruleset fun? Or is being bogged down by rules boring? Is thinking around the problem fun? Or would one rather kick in the door?

    The group that did that would say that the point of playing the game is achieving the goal. Tomb of Horrors' goal is get the MacGuffin and get out alive. They chose to excavate instead of wandering through wondering whether the next animal sculpture has permanent darkness hiding the next key or a Sphere of Annihilation in its mouth (to use a vaguely-remembered example of one of the more BS traps in Tomb of Horrors). Frankly, if Tomb of Horrors is anything like I remember it being, the most fun option in dealing with it is turning around and finding a different adventure to go on.

    edit:

    OP should ask their players those questions, come to think of it. What do they want out of the game, and is everybody on roughly the same page? Lack of lateral thinking is only a problem if they don't know it's an option. Which you sort of implied with your first post, but it's always good to get an explicit answer.
    Last edited by Siosilvar; 2016-01-04 at 03:37 AM.
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    I like the "Dig Down" approach. This is just lateral thinking. It is impossible to by pass an adventure that does not have plot holes, it the players see one that the GM didn't well that's fair enough! well done them! I had a wizard who by passed an elaborate trap/puzzle door buy casting stone to flesh on it. then just cut through. He went on to open a kebab shop. Well done to the guy! You have got to get your players to think in terms of "Anyone else in this world would not stand a chance in our situation! How do we flip the odds in our favour by being the most sneaky cunning S*%ts we can be?" Like Han, Luke, Laia and the rebels in star wars. They where up against an imperial fleet AND a Death star! But they made a sneaky plan and pulled it off! That's what an adventure should be.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by goto124 View Post
    I avoid such solutions simply because it's less fun for both the players and the GM. It skips right past the entire point of playing the game. It's like entering a cheat code that automatically brings you to the YOU WON! screen. Sure, you technically won, but why did you even start the game at all?
    Quote Originally Posted by Siosilvar View Post
    The group that did that would say that the point of playing the game is achieving the goal. Tomb of Horrors' goal is get the MacGuffin and get out alive. They chose to excavate instead of wandering through wondering whether the next animal sculpture has permanent darkness hiding the next key or a Sphere of Annihilation in its mouth (to use a vaguely-remembered example of one of the more BS traps in Tomb of Horrors). Frankly, if Tomb of Horrors is anything like I remember it being, the most fun option in dealing with it is turning around and finding a different adventure to go on.
    "Someone very smart - probably smarter than us - has turned the maze under this hill into a death trap?" Kudos to the players who thought to strip mine the hill, both for creativity and role-playing. Kudos to the DM for not railroading the players into having to go through the maze. But doesn't sound like a fun time to me. Also sounds like someone wasted their money buying that module. The DM probably should have let their plan work, but had them first play the "idiots" who didn't come up with that idea and died in the mazes, so it could be a win all around (and their strip mining characters could probably loot the characters that they made just for this adventure, to boot.

    Quote Originally Posted by goto124 View Post
    As a largely computer gamer, my issue is that anything can happen out of my actions, leading to unpleasant consequences that make me so upset I just call off the game entirely. I still don't know how to handle such situations, or how to avoid them entirely if that's better for me.
    Can you explain what you mean here?

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Can you explain what you mean here?
    I think it means that this person is very anxious about playing games where you cannot reload a savegame and do a challenge over and over and over again until the most optimal outcome comes to pass, with all possible consequences perfectly known in advance.

    Then save the game, rinse and repeat for the next encounter.

    Basically, it translates to: "I cannot deal with games where I cannot fully control a situation as DM, because these pesky players keep coming up with thoughts I did not anticipate, and take-backs are not allowed."

    My advice to this person would be: Do not play games with other people.
    Last edited by Jornophelanthas; 2016-01-04 at 12:13 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizl' Bjorn View Post
    It's difficult- very difficult- but vitally important to make players understand the scope of their choices.
    That sounds more like your personal preference than like a rule about the game itself.

    I've wanted to play D&D myself for a long time, and I've always imagined that I would play more like you than like your friends, but does that make it better than your friends' preferences?

    Since my players have only played CRPG games before, I began to notice that they were falling into a pattern- they were constantly looking for the action that would 'trigger the next scene' but not understanding that, unlike a computer game, they can simply construct situations -within limitations- of their own initiative.

    So I gave them an example. I explained to them what the Tomb of Horrors was. Ordinarily one solves the Tomb of Horrors through an incredibly cautious, well balanced approach through the chambers -if one solves it all-. However one group of players, when confronted with the problem, responded by digging down into the main chamber, thus bypassing all traps and defenses. Not only was this approach acceptable, it was brilliant, a paragon among strategies.

    The story helped a little, but the problem isn't solved altogether in the group. Does anyone have any examples of strategies designed to make players realize that they can and should do and try anything and that there's no hidden 'script' which they have to obey? That they can and should subvert my and their own expectations?
    It sounds like they prefer scripted games and you prefer unscripted. Maybe start the next conversation with "This is what I want, that is what I feel you seem to want, how can we play together with this in mind" rather than "My way is the right way, how can I make all of you see that"?
    You can call me HeadAche

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Telok's Avatar

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    In my supers game the party just defused some gas bombs in a sports stadium during a ball game. While I kept mentioning 50,000 fans I also had ten little circles drawn on the mat and crossed one off after every couple of actions that the characters took. A couple of them were starting to look anxious once it was down to the last three circles. They defused the bombs on the second to last circle, which meant that they succeeded with about 12 seconds left on the timer.

    For the next adventure they chose horror. So they've quickly dealt with a monster that's brutally slaughtered half a nightclub while laughing and giggling. It took the whole team, hitting it with three cars, two explosions, and half the building collapsing but they defeated it. Which won't do them much good since the body will disappear and the monster will reappear. Tough monsters with claws aren't actually scary or horriffic though, the party is already picking up on clues that something else is going on, something for which mass murders are a mere distraction. The horror I'm aiming at is the last fight when they know that they have the option of stopping the monster or stopping the villain's plan and have to choose between another slaughter or a subtle long term plan.

    Luckily this is a supers game and I expect them to do something surprising and heroic to try to accomplish both goals at once.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    I'd suggest that for a handful of encounters you place some obvious traps that the party could fairly easily take advantage of, maybe have an NPC go with them at some point and activate one to considerable effect if they fail to pick up on hints/opportunities. Make sure that you make these feel really clever the first few times, and it might help them realize that they can do anything they can verbalized to you
    The first rule of gaming, before you have even chosen the game is and always should be

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  13. - Top - End - #13
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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Tell them (after a game session) when they did something completely unexpected.

    DM: "Remember when you guys did X? I totally expected you to do Y, or Z. I even thought you'd do A. I had to improvise everything after you did X."
    Player1: "Wait, you made everything up after X?"
    Player2: "I didn't even notice."
    DM: "I made up W, and I made up the results of doing Y, Z, and A. Of course I made up X. I make it all up, sometimes on the spot, sometimes in advance. That's my job as DM."

    If they need an example of this (possibly because they never do anything unpredictable enough), show them a few DM of the Rings comics. Most players will have some familiarity with the storyline, and you can pick a few comics in advance to suit your purposes. Point out how the players in that comic do hilariously stupid things and the story changes to reflect it, and those changes don't kill the fun of the campaign. (Though also point out the comic is exaggerated beyond how most table top groups operate.)

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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by HeadAcheron View Post
    That sounds more like your personal preference than like a rule about the game itself.

    I've wanted to play D&D myself for a long time, and I've always imagined that I would play more like you than like your friends, but does that make it better than your friends' preferences?

    It sounds like they prefer scripted games and you prefer unscripted. Maybe start the next conversation with "This is what I want, that is what I feel you seem to want, how can we play together with this in mind" rather than "My way is the right way, how can I make all of you see that"?
    These are brand new first time players. They don't know enough to have a preferred game or play style yet. Tabletop RPGs should not be run or played like computer games, and it is helpful to get the players to understand the difference.

    Did you try simply telling them that the game lets them pursue their characters' goals without requiring any specific actions, and they are limited only by the logic of the game world and the rules of the game?

    You may want to make some rolls in front of them for a while, especially those where you are determining NPC and monsters reactions to their behavior and diplomacy. Once they realize that the dice are deciding whether someone likes them or doesn't like them, it might help it sink in that there is no "right" thing to do. Almost anyone might be a friend or a foe, and there is nothing specifically expected or required of them.

    Use hypotheticals to explain it as well. For instance, you could say They don't need to find the key for a locked door if they can plausibly find a way to take the door off its hinges, or just bash it down. Of course, bashing it down or spending time taking it off the hinges might have other consequences, such as alerting guards from other areas with the loud noise or being caught in the act by a wandering patrol.

    Anything you could think to do in the real world, given the resources of the characters, is something that could be attempted in the game world. Just like the real world, some actions could have consequences that you might not always foresee.

    If it was YOU, in the characters' situation, what things would you think to do?
    Last edited by Thrudd; 2016-01-04 at 05:02 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Jornophelanthas View Post
    My advice to this person would be: Do not play games with other people.
    ... I think I need advice on how to be less anti-social.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrudd
    If it was YOU, in the characters' situation, what things would you think to do?
    I switched over from CRPGs to actual RP fairly recently. Trying to unlearn all my bad habits from years of playing against scripted computers was hard. Heck, I wouldn't be able to answer that question, since I've been disconnected from reality (aka sapient people who have real feelings and are actually able to think with a certain level of smartness).

    Once, during RP, my PC (and her PC boyfriend) had helped taken out some monsters, and were on their way to claim their reward from a DMPC who amounts to a Queen. The NPC (leading them to the DMPC) starts to talk about the history of the place, and my PC starts screaming, freaking out and asks him to shut up (I thought it was a natural response...). For this, a bunch of people stared at my PC, and the NPC stays awkwardly silent for the rest of the trip to the DMPC.

    I decided to take a timeout, and let the boyfriend's player talk to the DMPC to claim their reward while my PC just stays silent.

    I am not a mature person.

    ... what sort of game (system) would be best for me, by the way?

    Spoiler: This is how I feel when I play an actual roleplaying game, as opposed to a CRPG
    Show




    I probably should write my own stories, instead of trying to roleplay with other people.
    Last edited by goto124; 2016-01-05 at 08:56 AM.

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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by goto124 View Post
    I probably should write my own stories, instead of trying to roleplay with other people.[/spoiler]
    Certain styles of writing involve extensive role play. If you have the time and inclination, character-driven writing will help you roleplay better.

    "Character-driven" writing is when you do the following:
    1) Define a world. It might be fan fiction, where you take an existing world and write in it. Or you might build your own world. The goal here is to define the basic structures (countries, technology level, magic, etc) as a framework for your story to take place in.

    2) Create some characters with conflicting goals. Within the framework of the world you've build/chosen, come up with some people. Make their personalities, abilities, and most importantly, goals. You need to do this for at least one protagonist and one antagonist, but more on either side of that line can be helpful.

    3) Say to yourself, "what would Bob do?". Take each character and put them into a situation, then decide how that character would react. Their personality, history, abilities, and what they currently know about their situation will determine what they do. Decide how other characters nearby react to the same situation, and how the two characters interact with each other. If their actions put them into conflict, decide how the two characters react to that conflict.

    4) Repeat #3. You can make short stories or entire series of novels, but the important thing is learning to see a made up world through a made up character's eyes. That is pretty much how role playing works (you have a made up character in the DM's made up world, and you decide how said character would react to various situations in that world).

    5) Discuss. Find a real human and convince them somehow to read what you wrote. I recommend someone you feel very comfortable with. Explain the world, the characters, the situations, and let them read what the characters do. Get their input on whether they believe the characters would have reacted the same way you wrote, or differently. This is the refining process that takes you from the mental exercise of #3 and #4 to true improvement, as it increases your confidence and helps you iron out differences in opinion between you and at least one other person. You don't have to always agree, but seeing how someone else views things will greatly help you around the RPG table.

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    Segev's Avatar

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    One possible approach, though it is risky, is to set up a situation and not think at all about how the PCs will solve it. Just create the problem. Create the NPC actors and their personalities. Know how it will go if the PCs do nothing. Make sure there's plenty of visible hooks for PCs to latch onto, and have a few you can throw anywhere the PCs happen to look.

    But don't make any plans at all that are scripted responses to PC actions. Force yourself to react to what the PCs do.

    As the PCs encounter obstacles to whatever they're trying to do, if they're not already going over options and trying to come up with solutions, start by helping to walk them through it. Nail down what they want to achieve. Then nail down what is preventing them from doing so. Then go over their resources, starting with their character sheets and moving on to their relationships to the setting. Get them discussing what "might" work.

    Then be flexible enough to play Schroedinger's GM and allow what they try a CHANCE to work. If you'd had a fool-proof defense against it, invent a better fool in the defensive works. Otherwise, simply let them try. See what they can do. Then let them know that you saw none of it coming. Let them know you HAD no specific plan for how they could overcome it, but figured they'd figure something out.

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    One possible approach, though it is risky, is to set up a situation and not think at all about how the PCs will solve it.
    I second this idea.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Zombie

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    I don't think there is much you can do to get players to understand they can try to do anything in a RPG, other then just let them play and get experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by HeadAcheron View Post
    That sounds more like your personal preference than like a rule about the game itself.

    I've wanted to play D&D myself for a long time, and I've always imagined that I would play more like you than like your friends, but does that make it better than your friends' preferences?

    It sounds like they prefer scripted games and you prefer unscripted. Maybe start the next conversation with "This is what I want, that is what I feel you seem to want, how can we play together with this in mind" rather than "My way is the right way, how can I make all of you see that"?
    Words of wisdom for you right there!

    Give your players some more time and see what their style is. Maybe they like it scripted? There's no fault in that.
    Get on Stage: www.stage-rpg.com

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by goto124 View Post
    ... I think I need advice on how to be less anti-social.



    I switched over from CRPGs to actual RP fairly recently. Trying to unlearn all my bad habits from years of playing against scripted computers was hard. Heck, I wouldn't be able to answer that question, since I've been disconnected from reality (aka sapient people who have real feelings and are actually able to think with a certain level of smartness).

    Once, during RP, my PC (and her PC boyfriend) had helped taken out some monsters, and were on their way to claim their reward from a DMPC who amounts to a Queen. The NPC (leading them to the DMPC) starts to talk about the history of the place, and my PC starts screaming, freaking out and asks him to shut up (I thought it was a natural response...). For this, a bunch of people stared at my PC, and the NPC stays awkwardly silent for the rest of the trip to the DMPC.

    I decided to take a timeout, and let the boyfriend's player talk to the DMPC to claim their reward while my PC just stays silent.

    I am not a mature person.

    ... what sort of game (system) would be best for me, by the way?

    Spoiler: This is how I feel when I play an actual roleplaying game, as opposed to a CRPG
    Show




    I probably should write my own stories, instead of trying to roleplay with other people.
    That's a perfectly normal response to a video game character going on and on about something, IME. But would you respond that way to someone IRL? One of my friends knows me well enough that, when I start in on a story, she finds herself a comfortable place to sit (that always makes me happy). I'm just trying to imagine you, in the same situation, freaking out and screaming at me

    I'm not sure how much effect a different system would have. A pure war game could limit your RP options while you grow acclimated to playing with others. A system with flaws could... give you something for your outbursts, at least, if you could predict / describe them accurately in advance.

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    There are basically two things you can do.

    1) Provide them with more open-ended problems where the players have to ask you questions about the world and act based on them. "Go here and kill this dragon" is a problem where the players can imagine the "scenes" - travel to the dragon's lair, navigate the lair, find the dragon, kill the dragon. But a problem like "become the mayor of the town" is an open-ended problem. There are no obvious scenes. The players will start asking you questions like "how did the current mayor get elected." They might decide to kill the mayor and set up a military dictatorship, ruin his reputation through a scheme, appeal to the local Count or Duke to remove the mayor, or go kill that dragon and bring back its hoard to enhance their own wealth and prestige to the point that they can challenge the mayor in an election.

    2) Provide them with resources and knowledge. A character with "sword it" as his only option has a limited number of "scenes" he can reach. A character with a spellbook, allies in the world, access to spellcasters and merchants, and information about what exists around him can imagine many more "scenes" and select which one he wants to reach.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by goto124 View Post
    I probably should write my own stories, instead of trying to roleplay with other people.
    No, you should not see roleplaying as a game that you have full control over. Contrary to the games you are used to, you are not the only one with agency in a tabletop roleplaying game. That means that everyone will have a (hopefully) equal chance to define the story, the actions and the consequences. Without savegames or takebacks.

    You just need to change your expectations. You will not be able to dictate all the actions and consequences, so do not try to achieve that. Instead, let go of this need for control and enjoy the ride. Do not try to create the perfect world for your character to live in, but rather get your character to make meaningful decisions in situations it cannot fully control. (And try to come out on top.)

    Create meaning, not control.

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    I've found that trying to get players to try new things tends to start out easier if you give them a list of example options and go with it from there, improvising most if not all the consequences thereof. On the downside, most of my groups have been fairly lacking in the RP aspect, beyond what their character's schtick is, so it's been difficult to get them to open up more in character beyond that.
    Elxir Breauer, at your service...

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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by goto124 View Post
    ... I think I need advice on how to be less anti-social.

    Once, during RP, my PC (and her PC boyfriend) had helped taken out some monsters, and were on their way to claim their reward from a DMPC who amounts to a Queen. The NPC (leading them to the DMPC) starts to talk about the history of the place, and my PC starts screaming, freaking out and asks him to shut up (I thought it was a natural response...).
    IRL, if you have helped someone out, and they're bringing you to meet their boss, and they start talking about their organization, would YOU start screaming and freaking out?

    For this, a bunch of people stared at my PC, and the NPC stays awkwardly silent for the rest of the trip to the DMPC.
    That's pretty much the reaction that would happen IRL.

    I decided to take a timeout, and let the boyfriend's player talk to the DMPC to claim their reward while my PC just stays silent.

    I am not a mature person.

    ... what sort of game (system) would be best for me, by the way?
    The issues here would not be significantly different whether you're playing D&D 3.X or GURPS or Warhammer or Vampire or Rifts or whatever.

    I'm taking a wild guess that you're using tabletop roleplaying games as a sort of therapy or practicing method for social isolation issues?

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Jornophelanthas View Post
    No, you should not see roleplaying as a game that you have full control over. Contrary to the games you are used to, you are not the only one with agency in a tabletop roleplaying game. That means that everyone will have a (hopefully) equal chance to define the story, the actions and the consequences. Without savegames or takebacks.

    You just need to change your expectations. You will not be able to dictate all the actions and consequences, so do not try to achieve that. Instead, let go of this need for control and enjoy the ride. Do not try to create the perfect world for your character to live in, but rather get your character to make meaningful decisions in situations it cannot fully control. (And try to come out on top.)

    Create meaning, not control.
    I'd have to agree: I mean roleplaying games aren't just about playing a character precisely the way you want to, theyre about reconciling how that character works together with the rest of the party and how you/your character compromises, so you're gonna have to learn how to work together with other players.

    You can't have your way all the time in RPGs but if you establish a rapport with the people you're playing with, the DM and other players should WANT to help you have fun, and play your character the way you want (to an extent).

    If you want a game where your choices and opinions are the only ones that matter, you'll have to play a single player RPG.

    If you want to play a character that screams and freaks out at NPCs talking to them I guess that's still possible, but you'd have to talk about it to your DM and your party outside of game, otherwise you're gonna piss everyone else off because maybe your fellow players really wanted to hear about the history of the place you know?

    Maybe you could compromise by having your character uncomfortable being talked to and directing anyone talking to them to another party member, rather than telling them to shut up; youve gotta be considerate of the other people at the table.
    Last edited by kraftcheese; 2016-01-05 at 09:52 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Perhaps try an open world tabletop RPG-campaign? You know, kind of like sand box approach. Sure, there are pre-set destinations but the players can actually explore them as they please. If there are no rails and no predetermined story, sooner or later, they have to choose their destiny themselves.

    My experience with them is limited but I think I picked it up rather well. It's liberating to decide for yourself where you want to go and what to do once there. I really felt the impact of my choices because I managed to secure my position as the leader of the party (and NPC-followers) early on and after that, I called all of the shots. Sometimes, I ignored plot hooks and just lead us to roam about because I thought we needed resources, not "quests". Sometimes, I even forged the quests myself, when I set our goals and then planned how to get there. Some of them were profitable and glorious, some... less so.

    Of course, if you want everyone to learn how to make actual story altering decisions, it might not be ideal that one of them has higher status and authority over everyone else.
    Last edited by Raimun; 2016-01-05 at 11:40 PM.
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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    If I remember the module correctly, Against the Giants was pretty sandbox-ish, as was Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (though do be careful with EttBP, it has some decidedly off-the-wall encounters). Updating them to 3.5 or the like shouldn't be TOO much of a hassle, though finding them in general might be more trouble or cost than you feel is worth it.
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by goto124 View Post
    ... I think I need advice on how to be less anti-social.



    I switched over from CRPGs to actual RP fairly recently. Trying to unlearn all my bad habits from years of playing against scripted computers was hard. Heck, I wouldn't be able to answer that question, since I've been disconnected from reality (aka sapient people who have real feelings and are actually able to think with a certain level of smartness).

    Once, during RP, my PC (and her PC boyfriend) had helped taken out some monsters, and were on their way to claim their reward from a DMPC who amounts to a Queen. The NPC (leading them to the DMPC) starts to talk about the history of the place, and my PC starts screaming, freaking out and asks him to shut up (I thought it was a natural response...). For this, a bunch of people stared at my PC, and the NPC stays awkwardly silent for the rest of the trip to the DMPC.

    I decided to take a timeout, and let the boyfriend's player talk to the DMPC to claim their reward while my PC just stays silent.

    I am not a mature person.

    ... what sort of game (system) would be best for me, by the way?

    Spoiler: This is how I feel when I play an actual roleplaying game, as opposed to a CRPG
    Show




    I probably should write my own stories, instead of trying to roleplay with other people.
    There doesn't need to be a "best" game, and there is no pressure to pick one single "perfect" game or system.

    My advice is to try to have fun doing whatever it is you are doing, especially when other people are involved. Try different things and see what you like. Read lots of different game systems and ask your friends to try new games with you if you find one that catches your fancy. Don't be afraid to do the same when someone else proposes something new.

    If you are in a group that is into "serious" role play with dramatic acting and "deep" characters, just do your best. Don't worry about what is "right" or "best" and just ham it up. Try to think of it like a movie or a tv show and emulate a character you like.

    Just don't take it too seriously, these are all games we're talking about.

    Also, if you've got stories in you and a propensity for writing, do it! There's no reason you can't write stories, play crpgs and play ttrpgs all at the same time. They're different creative and fun pursuits (or should be).

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizl' Bjorn View Post
    Does anyone have any examples of strategies designed to make players realize that they can and should do and try anything and that there's no hidden 'script' which they have to obey? That they can and should subvert my and their own expectations?
    A Tale of Two Plans:

    One researched and well thought out; probably using roughly what the GM expected.

    One...less so, but ultimately effective.

    I'm not sure if there's a strategy that will make them more creative; they might just have to learn it from a more experienced player. However, if you're trying to get the idea across that the entire world is theirs to interact with, that they can try anything they think might work no matter how crazy, stuff like the above could be helpful. Ultimately it's just a rephrasing of your Tomb of Horrors story, but they might relate to this one better.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Some thoughts on making your players understand the scope of their choices

    Play Fiasco first...then play whatever RPG you're going to play.

    As for the OP, I think you should ask your players how serious they want the game to be. It won't be fun for anyone if your answers and theirs don't match up.
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