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Author Topic: Help...front loading gamers  (Read 1023 times)

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Offline axlerowes

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Help...front loading gamers
« on: September 03, 2009, 09:22:28 PM »
Preface:
 I have this iron age-fantasy game going and my best friend in the group and  the most engaging player just moved away to take another job.  At the same time I get an email from a couple that had expressed interest in gaming with us six month ago but turned away when they found we were doing sci-fi/horror games.  I tell them we are doing this long term Iron-age fantasy game, and they ask to join.  That was two weeks ago and I have probably exchanged about 100 emails with them. They want to add new power sets to the game, they want to add new spells to the game-this is actually good, but they are constantly trying to tweak the mechanics of the game with regard to their characters, and they haven't even played yet.

Have any of you encountered this? What do they get out this? Is this just cause they are excited about the gaming and find some satisfaction in all this deck chair stuff?  They say that they prefer roleplaying, and are interested in power gaming, but isn't micromanaging the game mechanic a form of power gaming.  I have never turned a gamer away. I have made some cry, but I never turned one away.  Help me understand these people.

Offline manfred

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Re: Help...front loading gamers
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2009, 07:10:01 PM »
Well, some people are simply game masters, they may not even know it. World-building can be an addictive experience.

See what you can get out of them, what is useful and compatible with your vision of your gaming world, and what not. Perhaps you can integrate some of that into the world, as an exotic group/new continent/new sources of knowledge coming into the foreground.

It is your world, so you get to decide what works in it. But the final rule is the same as the first rule: it is about the fun of the players, and yours. Use them to create more fun in the game.
Do not correct me, I know I am wrong.

Offline axlerowes

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Re: Help...front loading gamers
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2009, 11:29:34 PM »
I have taken in their suggestions of different themes and other influences. But most of what they stress about is not narrative driven, it is mechanics driven. And we are using a very standard out the book mechanics. They want more power for their characters.  Indeed all their character concepts are linked to some power the character has rather than a personality trait or an overall goal for the character.  Since they have played in a couple of secessions, their mechanics complaints have stopped.  World buidling i can understand, but a 1000 word easy on why one should have a better base attack bonus was something I had not encountered before.  So here is the question....

Why do people get off on mechanics and flashy powers? There are not special effects in these games, the only way to bring a character "to life" is through the narrative? I have always asserted that the rules-basic mechanics" don't really matter, in as much as the final product is the in game play and the rules are the medium in which that product in realized.  Do you find rules mechanics limiting to the stories you can tell?   

Offline manfred

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Re: Help...front loading gamers
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2009, 03:36:34 PM »
Coz' dem powerz are so cool. Let me ramble some.

One way is to show them, that there are other cool things in games. Still, different people, different tastes.

If someone wants to be a better fighter, why not? Just keep to the other side of equation, put on more downsides and make them feel it. So they have been trained since five years, but they don't know how to read, which everybody else does; or they just know too little of the real world. Also, for every attack is a counterattack, every strength has its flaw.

One thing I did in my game, was to give the PCs a small, personalized bonus after completed adventures, for something specific they excelled at. It was never something useful every day, but it was there as a personal badge of honor, it remembered them of what they came through and made them speculate as to how they could use it.

One should reward character development in some way, and if raw power is the reward, then, sigh, so be it. What I'm trying to say is, make the powers specific, rather than general, and reinforce their characters and identity. Were they born on the steppe and joined many campaigns? Let them have various bonuses and skills for fighting on the plains, but let them lose some or even become penalties in other environments. Nobody is "an ordinary guy, just better at everything". They come from somewhere and their powers, too (not to speak with all the baggage that comes with that, principles, vendettas and missions). If they want general powers, give them general downsides - and let them come into play. At least that's what I would do.

If they are already in play, consider the world around them. If necessary, let it react. If they are known to be powerful, some will try to make use of them, some may challenge them for feeling threatened. Some may refuse to deal with them; in extreme, towns may close their gates to known or presumed troublemakers! If they just want their share of spotlight, let them have it - as long as the other players have it as well.

And as for rules... rules should never limit a great story from being told.
Do not correct me, I know I am wrong.