Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Mangrale
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Mangrale

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Greetings and thank you for stopping by.


For a long time there has been RP concepts that I've worked over in my head, some of them exciting me to the possibility of finally running a game of my own. Of course, plenty of ground will need to be covered before any one project reaches a state at which it can be pushed forward. My circumstance and diligence are not where I'd deem them optimal, but they probably never will be, so I might as well get the ball rolling now that I'm able. Maybe I'll surprise myself.

That said, this thread will very likely be where I post most of my RP related topics, from inquiries about GMing and world building to updates about future projects. Generally how it will work is that once in a while I'll present either a new topic or update to an existing topic for discussion and so forth. Trying to think ahead, I believe that most of what I might have in store could fit into categories with different objectives in mind, so I'll be sure to make clear my intentions behind each.

Keep in mind that once I update to an entirely new topic, it's usually safe to assume that I've finished talking about the previous subject.



Table of Contents


Gradual WIP



Opening Discussion
Words of Advice Welcome

It seemed fitting to start this whole thing off by asking for something as rudimentary as advice, pointers, truisms and so forth that you all have found that has helped you in some way. I will have to admit however, that it's possible that what works for you might not work for me, and that what I've set my heart towards will potentially demand that I operate contrary to what is sensible. Even so, I will always appreciate your constructive input on anything I propose or put out, even months down the line.

Speaking of which, I can tell everyone right now that I have my first project in mind and an overview along with some preliminary details will be coming hopefully sooner rather than later. Aside from that, there is likely a great deal that I've forgotten to mention, but I'm okay to address some things as they come. So for now, no matter when you're reading this, thanks for hearing me out. I'll keep going for as long as I am able.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Spambot
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- Spend some time ensuring you actually want to do something before doing it. Some people, myself especially, can have the spark of GMing passion only to find it dying a few days later. If you're going to make something, commit - if you want to go for the long haul, make sure that you personally are going to put in the effort.
- Remember that a game can live or die on your own initiative, and that should things slow down, you are obliged to get them back up. Many failed roleplays due to apathy could have been solved with GM pokes.
- Do not be afraid to reject something because it fails to fit into your roleplay's vision. Too many games falter because the GM did not have the strength to say 'no'. Conversely, when making judgements, be sure you are able to explain them clearly to avoid a reverse 'gotchya!' for bad decision making.
- Know your players. I'm not saying stalk the people who joined and their former posts, but on the other hand, stalk the people who join and their former posts so you have a gist of what you're working with and know how to handle them.
- I don't think I need to tell you about using too dark colors on a dark background regularly and the stupid tiny-text format if you just carry on with the presentation you've been using. It's pretty good. Keep doing.
- Redirect OOC troubles to your DM box when appropriate. Shutting people down when they have a problem without followup is a good way to damage your GM rep, but having a shitshow in the OOC isn't too great either. If it's something all people should know, of course give replies to the OOC - just don't be too bogged down. If, of course, the person is unreasonable, have no trouble with bringing it up to mods.
- Sometimes things will fail. Go in with that as a distinct possibility however confident you are and have contingencies for yourself and your plot should that happen. Use what fails as inspiration to do something better, get new people, reboot, whatever you need to do.
- Express your setting and wishes clearly, but concisely. Attempt to find the balance between providing everything people want to know and could know, and ensuring people can do it without having their eyes bleed. Be clear in what you're striving to achieve.

Idk, general prompts make me spew random things. Maybe I wrote something good. You decide.
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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Mangrale
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@Spambot I don't believe I could have asked for a better response to have under that starting post of mine, that I can look at whenever I come here. Thank you very much.

I would wish to ponder over and address each and every one of your points on this very thread. But I'm sorry that I won't be able to fit them all into one post. Rest assured that I don't intend to @ you for every one, given you were possibly just passing by and don't rightly care to be pestered continuously on the subject. With that in mind, I'm pretty sure that quoting the pointers should be fine as long as the @ isn't there. Sorry if you get notified anyway to your annoyance. I will take the quote references a step back if there's a problem.


- Spend some time ensuring you actually want to do something before doing it. Some people, myself especially, can have the spark of GMing passion only to find it dying a few days later. If you're going to make something, commit - if you want to go for the long haul, make sure that you personally are going to put in the effort.
Spambot

It feels to me that on the scale between roleplayer and writer (however amateurish), I likely fall closer to the writer side of things. What I mean is that I'm more comfortable making the decisions on a written work and going at my own pace. With that in mind, I imagine this planning/writing phase of the process will be easier for me as opposed to the active and collaborative effort of GMing.

Underneath both phases however, will lie the motivation that this a project that is under my complete control, something I cannot say after being a mere participant after all these years. I imagine that my thoughts echo the sentiments of many fledgling GMs who enter into this pastime alone, without a devoted circle of players. I do this for myself first and foremost, and I have the willingness to exert myself and make decisions towards a (hopefully) reasonable goal.

GMing, to me, can be likened to a conclusion that occurs and has occurred to me very often in the roleplaying space. And while I cannot and will not by any means pursue it with an obsessive or singular devotion, I don't believe it is a passing fancy for me either.

I don't mean for this to be my final word on this point, but I will go on to the next one if no one would care to add anything.

Edit: I don't use quotes often, so I'm unaccustomed. It said a quote was sent, so if you do indeed mind them coming your way, I'll see to excluding your name next time Spambot, and that should settle this. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Spambot
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I would wish to ponder over and address each and every one of your points on this very thread. But I'm sorry that I won't be able to fit them all into one post.


For 'thinking reasons' as compared to any perception of space, I assume. Regardless, that's fine.

Rest assured that I don't intend to @ you for every one, given you were possibly just passing by and don't rightly care to be pestered continuously on the subject. With that in mind, I'm pretty sure that quoting the pointers should be fine as long as the @ isn't there. Sorry if you get notified anyway to your annoyance. I will take the quote references a step back if there's a problem.

Pings should only count once in a post, as this format should prove. If not, well, something changed, as that would be very new to me. No need for extra work removing them for that reason. Further, on this site, I think it is by default normal to ping someone when addressing them, and the iota is on them to say 'please don't ping me' in a reasonable manner. if they're really opposed to being replied to with such a thing.


<Snipped quote by Spambot>
It feels to me that on the scale between roleplayer and writer (however amateurish), I likely fall closer to the writer side of things. What I mean is that I'm more comfortable making the decisions on a written work and going at my own pace. With that in mind, I imagine this planning/writing phase of the process will be easier for me as opposed to the active and collaborative effort of GMing.

Being a writer in the sense of having your facts straight is all well and good, but being a GM requires both heavily inclining in the roleplayer end and being able to account for something a writer rarely has to in the same way - change. Players are the 'X' factor. I'm not saying you will, but I will say it would be wise to temper any effort to 'railroad' the plot beyond an effort to keep things sensible and on-point. If different choices are made by the crew, consider a new angle. You may end up throwing out plans as a result of player decisions, and I think this is the most natural state of a GM. It's certainly an active effort.

Underneath both phases however, will lie the motivation that this a project that is under my complete control, something I cannot say after being a mere participant after all these years. I imagine that my thoughts echo the sentiments of many fledgling GMs who enter into this pastime alone, without a devoted circle of players. I do this for myself first and foremost, and I have the willingness to exert myself and make decisions towards a (hopefully) reasonable goal.

All well and good, so long as that 'complete control' terminology is tempered by a willingness to accommodate. Never push over, but always consider the compromise that respects player choice in conjunction with your design. You may be the GM, but a GM often functions as a guide, and if people are to follow an exact vision despite things plausibly going another way, it may be best to more strongly indulge in the writer side alone. This may be very clear to you already, and I apologize if it is.

GMing, to me, can be likened to a conclusion that occurs and has occurred to me very often in the roleplaying space. And while I cannot and will not by any means pursue it with an obsessive or singular devotion, I don't believe it is a passing fancy for me either.

It should pretty much never be an obsession, so as long as that is true and persistent, you should be fine on that point.

Edit: I don't use quotes often, so I'm unaccustomed. It said a quote was sent, so if you do indeed mind them coming your way, I'll see to excluding your name next time Spambot, and that should settle this. Sorry for the inconvenience.


Again, one ping for post, or so it should be, though unless they're added automatically, it's not strictly necessary as this is one of the last places on the site I have any regular care, presence or checkups for, and when I log in, I automatically glance here. Regardless, the ping's immaterial, if it comes through it does, if not, I'll find it.

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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by BrokenPromise
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As spam bot touched on, you're not going to please a lot of roleplayers if you rule with an iron fist. You might want Dalton (player character) to be the one that relays the message to queen Jezebel (NPC) about the incoming sugar dragon invasion. Even though you'd like Dalton and Jezebel to meet up, events in the RP could make this condition very hard to fulfill. Maybe Dalton's player leaves, maybe Dalton tries to take on the sugar dragons himself, or maybe he has ongoing arrangements with another player that prevent him from meeting Jezebel at this time. It would be a lot easier to change that milestone from "Dalton must meet Jezebel" to "Someone must meet Jezebel," and then try to arrange the fated meeting later if you still feel it would be a cool hook. Most players do not want to help you write a novel, they want to become part of a world that reacts to their actions. It's fine to have hard progression flags for your story, but make sure they aren't so specific that only a single character can activate it.

Dervish's Guide to GMing is a pretty good read if you're serious about being a GM. But remember that like all things, it takes experience and time to get really good at it. That's not to say your first RP is doomed to fail (mine didn't), but there will be lots of room for improvement!
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Mangrale
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@Spambot@BrokenPromise Thanks guys. I believe there is nothing so important that doesn't need a good reminder from time to time.

I will admit that "complete control" probably wasn't the best choice of words, and while I do know what comes easily for me, I do of course recognize the fuller scope of a GM's responsibilities. I had counted on receiving links to premade instructional posts, but I do really appreciate you narrowing it down to one, BrokenPromise. I will refer to it regularly as things progress.

What I hope to accomplish is a game that runs on a fair amount of prewritten pieces like location/object descriptions and main/side quest (for current lack of a better word) progression for when it's necessary. Will even my most favored premade assets need to be altered or tossed aside for the enjoyment and consensus of the group as a whole? - That is a definite possibility. Can so much be written that some things, even in their rawest form, might not even be covered in a single playthrough? - That is the dream.

Although I know why it's done, what I'd like to avoid as much as reasonably possible is that railroading scenario in which the GM posts a gradual series of events, with the goal of leading the players from point-A to point-B, and the players have no recourse but to follow along with their character's respective responses, or reactions to be quite honest, this taking place over the course of weeks.

Again, I know that the basic idea can be called for, but so long as I can avoid that specific case being "all the game is about" for weeks, maybe months, then I'll be satisfied. If a small group of adventurers have to get to a predetermined destination to move the plot along, then I'd want to do that in as few posts and as quickly as possible. What really interests me is for the tools to be available for players to play within, not simply be guided through, the game world. Really sorry I can't articulate it better than that.

I have certain things, game mechanics and such, in mind that should support the end result I want, but they will have to wait until I get to them in future updates to the thread.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by FamishedPants
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@BrokenPromise

Maybe Dalton wants you to use his OC and not him as the person in your example. Nerd. Maybe Dalton is gonna point you towards the bottom of his profile's bio and hope you end up meeting that. Maybe when Dalton changes his bio is about 4 days, he'll give you a bigger space on his profile if only out of spite.

That said, we need to continue Jezach at some point.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by BrokenPromise
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@FamishedPants Can it Zachary, or I'll leave something for you on my bio, which I've been working up to for years now.

Don't make me do it.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Mangrale
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- Remember that a game can live or die on your own initiative, and that should things slow down, you are obliged to get them back up. Many failed roleplays due to apathy could have been solved with GM pokes.
Spambot

Very true. For a time when I imagined handling an RP with players numbering more than 7, it felt easy to just assume that Co-GMs would handle things like making sure everyone else is following along. Course, as I'm getting a better idea of recently, it's a bit of a stretch for a GM to expect players to keep engaged with an RP without the content and follow through to warrant it. So while it would be nice to have helpers to oversee OOC discussions while I'm not around and so forth, it's not right to ask others to put in more effort than I'm willing to.



- Do not be afraid to reject something because it fails to fit into your roleplay's vision. Too many games falter because the GM did not have the strength to say 'no'. Conversely, when making judgements, be sure you are able to explain them clearly to avoid a reverse 'gotchya!' for bad decision making.
Spambot

Sounds like something that might be brought up on a case by case basis as far as straight suggestions for the game itself. That said, as time moves on and certainly by the time a project reaches a completed state, I would feel that if not written down explicitly for myself, I should at least have a clear idea of what I want out of the RP in regards inspirations and features. Anything that someone might suggest will have to be considered against both what I want for the game and the enjoyment of players as a whole.

I will definitely make the effort to explain my decisions in such a way as to avoid confusion as well as willful misinterpretation as much as possible.

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- Know your players. I'm not saying stalk the people who joined and their former posts, but on the other hand, stalk the people who join and their former posts so you have a gist of what you're working with and know how to handle them.
Spambot

Such an initiative would be so much more bearable if ghost mode prevented you from also appearing in people's visitor list. Oh, well.

My thoughts after that are along the lines of "I doubt I could alter my approach to a significant extent for any single player" and "Given how the players themselves are in the best position to know just what they're capable of, wouldn't it be more practical to lay down what I/the RP will expect from them and they would decide if they're capable of making it work".

Saying that out loud, it does sound like a rather naive stance to rely on completely. I can't help from imagine that I could only tell so much from public posts with conceivably limited context. It's also doubtful to me that anything of significant detriment will come up in a search aside from perhaps evidence of behavioral conflicts that might arise. In a worst case scenario I imagine, "handling them" might not seem like a suitable option.

Course, I'm probably just unaccustomed to the whole thing, and perhaps a clearer way of working with interested players will come to me in time. I am quite interested in examples and hypotheticals on the subject of player inspection, what to look for and so forth, but otherwise I'll likely just conduct the best dive I feel would be necessary into a player's history and use my best judgement from there.



- I don't think I need to tell you about using too dark colors on a dark background regularly and the stupid tiny-text format if you just carry on with the presentation you've been using. It's pretty good. Keep doing.
Spambot

Thank you. I would have loved to say that the simple presentation I tend towards is out of deliberate consideration and not out of laziness and habit, but it's good to hear that everyone's a winner in that case.

I have used small-text now and again, but never to the extent of full paragraphs on paragraphs of content, as I had seen some others use toward some manner of ascetic effect. It never appealed to me personally, so that shouldn't be a problem if that was what you had in mind.

For better or worse, I am someone who loves his eye-catching pics and imagery, yet I can assure you that I know how to implement them in a manner so as not to ruin a post's structural cohesion (for lack of better phrasing), especially when it comes to large portrait images, which had always been a gripe of mine in the past.

Hidden 13 days ago Post by Mangrale
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- Redirect OOC troubles to your DM box when appropriate. Shutting people down when they have a problem without followup is a good way to damage your GM rep, but having a shitshow in the OOC isn't too great either. If it's something all people should know, of course give replies to the OOC - just don't be too bogged down. If, of course, the person is unreasonable, have no trouble with bringing it up to mods.
Spambot

That does ring true as the way I ought to operate. I of course wish I could stay connected all the time to handle disputes immediately when they spark up, but that likely won't be possible for me, so I may very well rely on Co-GMs to see to lighter matters and things easily resolvable until I make it online.

Discord is something I'll have to start using in earnest eventually, and I foresee quite the learning curve ahead of me, what with its propensity toward getting inundated with messages very quickly. For setting players aside though, guildside PMs are likely what I'll be more comfortable with, but I'll be willing to use Discord if the player prefers it.



- Sometimes things will fail. Go in with that as a distinct possibility however confident you are and have contingencies for yourself and your plot should that happen. Use what fails as inspiration to do something better, get new people, reboot, whatever you need to do.
Spambot

If I'm confident in anything, it's that nothing will be flawless, not even by the second or third attempt. I don't mean that in a defeatist sort of way, but rather in recognition that GMing is a composite of skills that are developed over time, and even the best out there know that not everything can be accounted for, certainly not at the start.



- Express your setting and wishes clearly, but concisely. Attempt to find the balance between providing everything people want to know and could know, and ensuring people can do it without having their eyes bleed. Be clear in what you're striving to achieve.
Spambot

With all I intend to pass through this thread, I will be nothing if not transparent, even before an interest check is released. Some time ago, I heard that a major cause of player dropoff may lie in the RP ultimately differing from their expectations. Looking further ahead, I believe that if any IC I put out can not just inform players of what the RP will be about, but also how the game will function, then hopefully anyone that joins will be less likely to find themselves dissatisfied. All the more work on my part, but it might pay off in the long run.


Thanks again for the pointers, Spambot. If you or anyone wishes to send any more my way, I say go for it. Even if I don't respond right away, I'll of course listen to it.

Reckon my next post will likely be the first actual update. There are mechanics and features I have my mind on and they will shape what my RPs look like, so it's best I address them first. All in good time.
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