December 8th, 2003

Conflict between PC's

I was wondering how you feel about conflict between PC's? Is it disruptive, or is it necessary? Somewhere in the middle?

Personally, I think it depends on the type of game. In LARP, you've gotta have it, I think. Generally there's a large number of people, and it's often hard for the people running the game to bring about a plot that involves every player. The players have to create some of the plot themselves.

But for other sorts of games, I'm not so sure. When I wrote my last post in here, I wasn't particularly happy with the direction things had gone, and I'm still not. One person gave the feedback that they would not want to participate in a game in which there isn't conflict between the player characters. But this was the person that everyone else sided with. They weren't the person who had everyone else against them. And I've decided. I do NOT want to play in a game in which I am at odds with EVERYONE else. In our first couple of sessions, we'd gotten along quite well, and everyone had a lot of fun. That says to me that conflict between PC's isn't necessary for the game to be enjoyable. I've decided that if our next session (next weekend) is like the last one we had, I'm not playing in it anymore. They can enjoy all the in-fighting they want. I had more fun when we got along.

I'm not talking about the occasional argument that is bound to happen in any group. I'm talking about the sort of in-fighting after which you wonder if it's safe for your character to sleep at night.

A resource

I've been reading the posts here and I've seen players complaining about X behaviour (of GMs of other players) and GMs complaining about Y behaviour...and what is interesting is that much of this stuff is well talked about in the book Robin's Laws of Good GM'ing, by Robin Laws. Some of the behaviour being described can be attributed to the type of player/GM. By being able to identify the type/needs/wants/dislikes of yourself, your players, your GM, lots of these problems can be avoided.

So...I recommend the book.

Narratives again

My players were asking me if they could turn in character backgrounds for extra XP and I was telling them I didn't want any narratives. They whined a bit so I said okay but they shouldn't be too long. Then of course I hear "well, in the last campaign [with another DM] we got more experience for turning in longer backgrounds."

So I said I'll award XP based on the ratio of actual information to the length, which one of my players called the Utility/Futility ratio. I liked that.

Introduction and Thoughts on Group Cohesion

I realized that I haven't made an intro to the group...and so here it is (coupled with food for thought).

I started playing D&D Basic Box (Red) back in 1983/84. Got all the boxes, and moved to AD&D 1e. Also played Car Wars. Did that for a while. GM'ing that year as well. The early days also included Paranoia, Marvel Heroes, DC Heroes, and the like. I found GURPS and never looked back. I've been GM'ing GURPS since around 1987/8. Also play Call of Cthulhu, Runequest, Rolemaster, Vampire, Over the Edge, and you name it. I've been forced to play D&D 3e recently. And it's okay, but I still don't prefer it as a system and would rather avoid it. But maybe I'll play it, if it's my only option.

I am currently GM'ing GURPS Swashbucklers, and playing in Trinity.

Topic: Group Cohesion. People always seem to think the group cohesion works or doesn't work based on D&Ds Good/Evil binary. While I think that group cohesion works or doesn't work based on the Chaos/Evil binary. This is assuming generally compatible alignments. I was in a party of Lawful-Evil, and Neutral-Evil folks, and we works together very well. We were all bent on world domination and we were efficient, co-operative, we made nicey-nicey with each other as we all were bent on our evil ends. But I've been in groups where the Chaotic-Goods and the Lawful-Goods just could not be in the same group. They both wanted to do Good, but the Chaotics' disdain for the Law, and the Lawfuls need to uphold all laws just caused the group to fall apart. don't think that Evil automatically means backstabbing and group chaos. Thoughts? Discuss?

Long Character Backgrounds

Background: I'm running Fading Suns. One of the PC's came up with a big character background that caused me to start musing about "Kitchen Sink Backgrounds" - basically backgrounds that are so overloaded with stuff that they end up being utterly implausible. What's more frustrating is that most of the "stuff" in the background is already resolved, leaving me as a GM with very little to draw on in actual play.

During my online discussion / research on this I was linked to a great rant on the subject:

I think Ralph is really hitting the nail on the head here with some insights about lengthy character backgrounds being a substitute for satisfying in-game play.

Anyone have any further insight or thoughts on the subject?
  • morlock

Star Wars D20 question...

i'm playing a droid heroic character in a sw d20 game. we just hit 8th level, and i know that droids can't gain ability points in physical stats(dex, con, str) and only in mental. now while i see this is perfectly fine and normal, cause droids shouldn't be able to work out and get buffer, you should be able to make a craft droid roll or somthing to make them able to lift more, or to move faster - such as better or different parts or new programming in how to move.

are there rules for this? or is my droid always going to have a 9 dex?
  • Current Mood
    confused confused