April 18th, 2002


Riddle me this, Batman.

My slightly insane(is there any other kind) Vampire LARP Storyteller has decided to use me as a catalyst for all things destructive. I'm not complaning. However, she has asked me to create a Hunter character and make him a FBI Special Forces unit. Now, I've never played Hunter, and I haven't even read the books(picking them up this Saturday). I'm sure she'll have some mold for me to fall into, but, I've never been good with doing what people tell me to do. So, any suggestions, ideas, "what are you, a complete morons!?"s?
  • Current Mood
Eternity Shard Bright

GameMastering Styles

This conversation ensued last night prior to the D&D game I play in, and I wanted to get some more opinions on the matter.

My GameMaster of last evening, mistervimes stated that he felt I am very hostile toward the PCs in my own game. (I run Deadlands, in which he plays). A verbal tussle ensued where we each tried to defend our own GameMastering styles. But basically, it worked out to these two styles. (He claims styles arise mostly on the era in which you began gaming).

He (gaming since those twilight years in the mid-seventies) says that he feel much like he said Mr. Gygax stated back in the day: "We don't really need these dice". I assume from that statement that Mr. Gygax felt that it was the GameMaster's job to decide what happened when, moreso than the dice. mistervimes says he has no problem invoking GameMaster Caveat and cheating for the players or the monsters in any particular situation. He feels that if a character has done everything he can to overcome an enemy or obstacle, taken every open course of action, then that character should be afforded some modicum of immunity to death from the situation, regardless of the dice rolls. Likewise, he states that monsters can "grow" new hitpoints if a battle turns out to be absurdly simple fo the PCs.

I, on the other hand, like to live smartly by the rules and the probabilities of the Dice rolls. I rarely alter npc stats or dice rolls. I believe in letting the dice (or chips, in the case of deadlands) fall where they may. I don't feel I am hostile toward the PCs in my game, but I sometimes do relish when a bad-guy gets an exceptional hit on a PC, mostly because my players are smart and thus their characters are pretty tough. Likewise, I will not pull any punches, even if a character is about to die. I may, given the right situation, have an enemy turn from a badly wounded character to fight another, but if that bad-guy just happened to get a lucky hit on a PC, and it killed them, then that PC is dead.

The difference here is that in his game, combats will apparently change and mold themselves to the PCs at the moment. If the players are having a horrible dice-rolling night, then the monsters are suddenly not quite as tough. On the other hand, if we're all rolling natural 20s, then we find our enemies to be made of much tougher stuff than we first thought. To me, there is no threat here. I, personally, become more attached to a character that I willingly put into life-or-death situation. I feel its not as fun if you don't fear death as much.

In my style, if I've cooked up some weird nasties that I feel are a good challenge for the PCs, but the PCs are all rolling heinous damage rolls and easily mop the floor with them, then good for them. Heroes have good days sometimes. On the otherhand, if those same Nasties start mopping the floor with the PCs because they can't roll dodge checks to save their lives, then I feel they might consider a retreat. Heroes have bad days sometimes, as well.

On the other hand, if I throw something at the posse, and it quickly becomes apparent that I underestimated the monster, and that even with the dice going their way, the PCs are getting trounced, I might suddenly make that monster a bit easier to kill. But I'll only do this if its my fault.

I know there are a lot more individual styles of Game Mastering out there, so I want to see what you all think and how you deal with situations such as these.

Do you fudge a lot of rolls in most situations, keeping things at a pretty even level, thumbing your nose at the Gods of Luck?

Or, do you let the chips fall where they may, allowing for some really easy encounters sometimes, and some really tough ones other times, simply based on the preferences of the Gods of Luck on that night?
  • Current Mood

Where is this going...?

Ok I play in this GURPS game every Thursday night. The GM has been running this same game since early `95. Now with all the little supplements out there for this system this is whats been in this game; Vampires, Werewolves, Werebears, Mokole', Mages, Hunters of every kind, people with psionic powers of everykind, solos, cops, corps, aliens, cthulu creatures, and every other thing from other dimentions. All of this in one city in the year 2040.

This game was great and the thing to play when I started about a month after it all was started. This was my first time playing in anything with the World of Darkness in it. I was hooked and played for nearly 2 years straight.

Now here we are about 7 years after its all started and where do we find ourselves? Nowhere!! Isn't the point of playing a RPG is that there is at some point a place where its to end? With this game it goes from handling one group of evil to about 12 others and keeps getting bigger and bigger. If you ever loose you character and bring another one in, you start out as a newbie and have to fight your way to stay alive in an already 7 year campaign.

The GM will not change, start new, or do anything differently from what he's been doing. At times it seems that the NPCs are running the game and they all act like the GM. He is a guy who has this almost conspiricy theory type mind, is about the only way I can put it. A small example of how a normal scene goes down:

GM: Hey I have this kid who needs a job, I'll send her over.
Player: Nah, thats alright. I think I have everything under control.
GM:She's a great kid, a little hyper sometimes but she'll do whatever you need.
Player: Thats ok.. thanks anyh...
GM: Great! I'll bring her by. You'll love her!
Player: I said no thanks. I don't need any he..
GM: I'll be right back. I promise she's great! (NPC Exits)
Player: NO!! Wait!! DAMNIT!!

This happens quite alot. Its almost like a we should kill these morons so that we can keep them out of our hair. You can scream and yell to tell this NPC(GM) that you don't want certain things going down and the GM will do it anyway!!

Has anyone been in a similar situation or know of something that a player could do to try to make these "pills" easier to swallow?? I already drink now during the game so I can at least have a little fun. And I have added a couple of points here and there on new characters to bring in after my last character (kinfolk) got killed due to getting punked out by a Mokole.
  • Current Mood
    frustrated frustrated
khromatic (pensive)

Unbridled, and Probably Short-Lived, Egotism :)

I hope it's cool that I'm posting this here. It's the player handout for "Aftermath," a homebrew RPG that I hope to run as a PBeM in the near future. I've been tinkering with this game in its current incarnation for about a year, and I still haven't had quite the inspiration I need to get it off the ground. Since I'm absolutely certain none of my players read this LJ community, I thought I'd post some of what I've got so far, and see if anybody can give me advice or constructive criticism. I've been interested in games for about twelve years, and I've been in a bunch of freeform RP games, but I've done almost no GMing of my own. I'd like to hear what more seasoned campaigners have to say about it.

Oh, and if anybody has a good suggestion for a rules system that works well with wildly multi-genre games and play-by-email, let me know! And if a couple of races sound like races from GURPS Aliens with the serial number rubbed off, that's 'cause they are. :p In fact, the scary-sounding fascist Chtri are actually the cute lil' 6" tall rodent-like Cidi in great big battlesuits... Shhh, don't tell my players. ;)

Collapse )
  • Current Mood
    anxious anxious