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Running a game

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1 Running a game on Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:53 am

I learned a couple of things running my game this past Saturday.

1. We don't have the staying power anymore to run an all-niter. I am normally in dream land by 9:30 to get up at 4 for work. So staying up all night is alien to me.

2. Players never see the big picture of a game. So when I am running one, players just think that I am being an asshole in making it too complicated or putting in too many factions trying to hold up a game. I see as making it fun not just for the players but me also. I have to walk away with something also when I am at the table.

3. As a DM watching players make the decisions that they do confounds me. Take my last session. I gave a player the chance to gain enough power to make him a god right where he stood. This was the second time I did it. While the first time it was offered to a character let his sense of duty didn't let him go for it because of his high moral standing. But even giving it to someone of questionable standing he didn't do what I expected him to do, allowing himself to be killed.

4. Even giving a party member a wish doesn't guarantee the success of the mission much less giving him two. So this is where I have to agree with Moose that I am an asshole. If I don't agree with how the game is being played, here is where the asshole in me comes out. So I have to pervert the wish that was given so that I can achieve the goals I set for myself, when I thought up the game that I wanted to run, and how I wanted it to end. So pervert it I will. I wish we could get a game going before he leaves and get everyone at the table just so I could see the look on every ones face when I tell them how it all will now play out.

5. I do get tired of running games and not being able to play every once in a while which I am grateful that Lem and the others allowed me to join their sessions. But I really do love being the DM and telling my stories to the players. Just so I can see the looks on their faces when things just don't go their way.

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2 Re: Running a game on Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:13 pm

My thoughts:

1. I haven't played in so long, but I know if I have to get up early the next day, I need to at least be in bed by midnight. Now, if I can sleep in the next day, I can still stay up late.

2. I see this as a common complaint. I think it is hard to focus on a big picture in the middle of combat, but you always have to try to think about what the point of the combat is. I think a good DM puts thought into encounters and where they will take the game, so players need to think of it that way, as well. I am always looking at the big picture, and trying to figure out every angle that will help me out as a player and help the group advance.

3. That is the fun of roleplaying... you never really know what will happen. You can think it will go one way, and then BAM, frost giants. Or for a DM, you can think that a player will want to be a god, but then they picture Bruce Almighty, and think "no thanks".

4. This, I think, is kind of wrong. You aren't letting the game evolve into what it can be... instead you are forcing your players to stick to your agenda. That isn't right. I understand that you have the whole thing in your brain, but you can't manipulate the players to do what you think they should. If a person makes a wish exactly the way that they should (as they need to be worded specifically), you shouldn't then pervert it just to get what you want. That isn't fair the the player. As a DM/GM, your role isn't to get what you want, it is to facilitate the players. Sure you can have goals and wants for the game, but you can't change the rules to satisfy what you want. That goes beyond just being an asshole... that is like cheating.

5. If you like being the DM/GM just to fuck with people, I can't imagine that your games are very fun. You have to have some kind of balance. If all you like to do is dick moves and punishing people, that isn't being the benevolent god you are supposed to be as a DM/GM. If you want to manipulate a game, stick to being a player. You are supposed to be a guide and creator, not a hindrance and asshat.

With all that said... I know that the DM/GM has to make a lot of asshole calls, and has to point people in the right direction. Your post just makes you seem to enjoy the fucking people over part more than the everything having fun part.

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3 Re: Running a game on Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:54 pm

Two Cents:

1. We used to play from noon to about 2ish on a semi regular basis and we've done an all-nighter with Cambria husband but I know that at around 3 I can't trust or rely on my decisions anymore.  Sad I missed it though, I hear the encounters and loot were boss.

2. Sitting on both sides of the table I know what you mean but I have been learning that we have to expect it.  For a player their world is what their player encounters, if they are the kind to get fully immersed they are still only seeing what immediately effects them.  Most don't commit fully, it's difficult.  As the storyteller we see how everything is connected and we are a part of every encounter, every conversation, every seemingly random occurrence.  No other player at the table can claim this and as such we need to be aware that they can't see it all like we do... even if we believe we are clearly leaving a trail of breadcrumbs.

3. We think we know but we have no idea.  Players are humans with bias and caprice that affect our actions and choices, GMs and PCs.  What Moose might do right now, tired after an awesome weekend, is not what he might do if he is stinging from a hard session with a hardass GM.  Now you take that and add the fact that a player is always wondering just how much rope we are giving them to hang themselves, and suddenly you begin to see that even predictable players can easily confound.

I recently had a player in a mobile base created by her company, she instantly fell in love and had plans for it.  Her Orbital Satellite which had gone Rogue AI and begun blowing up towns told her to evacuate because he decided that the base was a threat to him.  He gave her a modest countdown and warned that he did not want her hurt but he could not allow the base to continue to exist.  I had planned this for a week and after the explosion the party was due for a collection of unique loot customized for their characters(Mainly her).  What she did was stay in the vehicle and tell the AI that she was not leaving.  He explained that he would/could not and as I warned that the countdown was almost done she still refused to go.  Boom.  Base destroyed, player near dead and all of her stuff destroyed.  I could not have fathomed that this was what was going to happen but to add to that she refused the new equipment because she was mad.  A week of planning and 'knowing' my players... you never truly know.

4. I understand your view point but if you are willing to throw a wish into your game then you need to be willing to let that wish derail your story.  Perverting the wish because of its wording is a part of the job description but you still need to be fair.  If the wish destroys the item that the party is trying to stop the bad guys from getting then the item should stay destroyed, now maybe the shards become a new threat.  But if the original threat is stopped you have to show fairness if you expect players to trust you and feel like you are a balanced GM.  I've played with GMs that do what they wan and clearly 'cheat' the players to get their way and it is not fun and that is the overall point, you need to have fun but so do we.

5. I too love that look.  There is even a thread about them: Fun with players!!!


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4 Re: Running a game on Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:18 pm



With all that said... I know that the DM/GM has to make a lot of asshole calls, and has to point people in the right direction.  Your post just makes you seem to enjoy the fucking people over part more than the everything having fun part.[/quote]

Truth

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5 Re: Running a game on Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:55 pm

*EX husband....

I used a wish once... it helped us and hurt us. We were at a tower, and we were getting destroyed. I believe this was the time that our NPC priest that we all were fond of was dragged to hell by a balrog. We were all at low hit points, almost out of spells, and basically fucked. I wished for the tower to be destroyed. It was instantly annihilated. Dust. We survived. However, the DM (Jimmy) said that we lost on a ton of amazing loot, because I destroyed it. It was a wizards tower, so we gave up magical items and potions and other things.

This thread just made me think of that.

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6 Re: Running a game on Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:17 am

I have to disagree with you on this Cami. Your only seeing it from the players point of view. I gave the wish so I could give them agreater chance at winning the fight and to see how his mind is working. Anyone can wish to destroy a tower. Then that's it, adventure over. Now what? I guess i can get home early enough to make dinner... Where was the challenge for the players and the DM? If anything I see it as your DM at the time punished you for destroying the tower. The reason I pervert the wording is because I want you as a player to challenge me. I promise you will be rewarded for the work. If you do shit gaming you get shit loot.

I would have destroyed the tower but left every thing inside it in tact. If he would have asked for something to help him win the battle I can do that. He didnt he took a short cut so I have to pervert the wording. The loot was on par for them based on the work and the encounters they had. More money than they can carry out and weapons and armor to make a pack mule cring with the thought of carrying it.

Plus don't judge my game until you have sat at the table with me. With as aggravated as he gets even he knows he has a lot of fun.

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7 Re: Running a game on Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:03 am

You can learn a lot by reading. That's all I'm saying in this thread.

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8 Re: Running a game on Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:09 am

I wasn't comparing my situation to yours. I just thought of it, so I posted it, since it was about a wish. I absolutely agreed with Jimmy not giving us any of the loot. I had never used a wish before, and everyone told me how specific it had to be, and suggested using as little words as possible, to not give the DM a vice for "perverting" it. We were in an unwinnable situation, and I did what I thought was best. Loot is not worth anything if everyone is totally dead, and not able to collect it. The dude that got dragged into hell by the balrog was our only healer at the time. We were seriously screwed.

As far as where was the challenge... that encounter lasted a very long time. We were out of options. It didn't stop the game or the story. Did we lose loot? Yeah. Did Jimmy get disappointed that we didn't get the loot inside? Yeah. But as a DM he stayed true to the game, and didn't change the outcome just to get what he wanted out of it as a DM. Our adventure continued, and only got better from there.

None of us that day did "shit gaming". We did badass gaming, and I did what I had to do to help us survive.

Maybe I do see it only from a players standpoint, but you can't introduce an item like a wish, and then punish the players for using it in a way that you didn't think they should. That just isn't right. If you only want them to use it certain ways, then give it to them with conditions. Give them a ring of wishes wrapped in a note with an ominous warning, which limits their use to the ways you know they need to use it. If you don't put parameters on it, you can't then say "Well, you didn't use this the way I thought you should, so i am fucking you over."

If that is the kind of DM you want to be, that is on you, but it seems pretty shitty to do that to players. You are making yourself a player in the game when you do that. The DM isn't supposed to be a player.

DAMN I HAVE MISSED THE DISAGREEMENTS AND SNARKINESS!!!

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9 Re: Running a game on Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:46 am

Nah.  I agree don't punish, and I am not, but pervert oh hell yeah.  He didn't use it the way I wanted him to so I will punish him.  That isn't me.  He didn't use it the way I wanted him to, do i pervert the hell out of it and still give him what he asked for.  Yep!

On two occasions I had my group of players kill the main guy before the adventure really even got started.  Imagine a week of reading and preparing to be snuffed out in 30 minutes of gaming.  Since then I knew that I had to do better at throwing twists into my adventures.  

Take the wish.  There are so many ways he could have used it  but he didn't he took a short cut.  He went for the easy win.  Moose wouldn't have done that.  He would have used it to boost himself up and ran in and left a high body count.  That is good role playing.  I expect that.  I want a fight or a good idea.  Not I wish they all didn't exist.  That is a cop out to me.  

You said that I can't be a player as a DM.  Okay, I agree but I expect some gaming from you the player.  Not the easy win.  Yeah I can't play but I expect to have fun at the table also.  Challenge me.  Make it worth my time to come out, and give me as much of a challenge as I am giving you.  That's why we role play.

I also figured it was time to bring the conversation back to the forums.

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10 Re: Running a game on Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:02 pm

Ok. Now I need you to actually describe the wish. Because saying "I wish they didn't exist." COME ON? What is the fun in that? Did they even try to play, or did they just wish all the enemies away? When I wished the tower to be destroyed, we had literally been in that encounter forever. We had scouted and prepared and we fought and fought until we were going to all die. I didn't just roll in and wish it away. We tried to defeat everything that came for us, but the balrog fucked us up big time, and the wizard was in the tower just sending one thing after another. We fought and we tried, and I only used that as a very last resort. I was so afraid to wish for something that would end up fucking us even more. The destruction of the tower seemed to be the best way to handle it. We never did get to go to hell to rescue our dude. I think the game fell off soon after that... I think that is the time that Chad left for his world tour. Geez. I miss Chad.

If they didn't even try to fight, and just wished the enemies away, I totally see your point. Besides, that is how wishes work. You have to be completely specific, and wishing something didn't exist leaves the door WIDE open for a shitload of terrible outcomes.

Tell me exactly what happened, so we can discuss that aspect.

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11 Re: Running a game on Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:40 pm

So here was the scene. It was a last stand of the city inhabitants against an army of its own undead citizens. In the center of the town where the gallows are, sitting on her throne is a drow priestes, her two brothers and hiding behind several buildings so as not to be seen are two dragons. Standing on the wall keeping the 75,000 undead from over running the last section of the city are what's left of its hero's and the city watch. The battle was in full swing. The undead were swarming the wall in an effort to get to the last Dredge's of life. Mage's are using there most destructive spells in an effort to break up the swarm. Undead bodies are being launched 50 feet into the air as fireballs are exploded to force them back. Great hero's are jumping into the swarm to break up the columns of undead scrambling and climbing each to get up the wall.

The players see this as they climb to the roof of a building. They had just finished putting down 7 ogers, 40 zombies, 7 Kobolts, a drow and an Illithid. Not to mention looting a but load of cash and weapons, armor and going to my open all day and night magic shop and buying potions and getting everything identified. Finding the magical items that were the cause of most of the head aches they had.

Was that everything Moose?

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12 Re: Running a game on Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:42 pm

I would like to say that a wish is nothing but a harbinger of doom..... I rather buy what I need that wish for it .
With that being said the wish was used at the end of an all night session when nobody could think straight, Rick even said "could I think about it before he gave the answer" and you said no then you ended the game to give yourself time to think about how to pervert it.....Not very fair
Was the wish a good one No but it was pretty straight forward and should get the job done.
But I feel if you made him use it right then,then you should have gave him the answer Right then, not be allowed to take your time to figure out how to "pervert it".
I suggest a re-do if he keeps it the same then so be it.
As for you like players Challenging you ......Horseshit !!!!!! I challenge you almost every game and you constantly beat up on me, Limit me or threaten to break an appendage
But as for this session it was for the most part a good one and you weren't to much of a asshat so overall I enjoyed it.

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13 Re: Running a game on Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:28 pm

LMAO. See he keeps coming back for more! Laughing No one else in the group has 2 natural attacks per round.

As for me rushing him, he decided to used it I never told him too. He said he was going to use it and said what he wanted. Then he wanted to think about it. That was when i said no say it now. You stated what you wanted, then want to take it back so you can reword it? Nope. That doesn't fly. Think first then say what you want to do. How many times have you sat there thinking about how to word a wish before you say it. Plenty of times. Do I fault him for trying to end it no. Was I wrong for rushing him, no. He said that he wanted to use is said what he wanted, then asked for time to think about it. NO. I know that I am slow one in the group but not that slow.

I agree we were up way too freaking late and were all having brain farts. I was also upset with that wish Deadmeat to the sun. Talk about over kill. It was a pretty straight forward wish but again a cop out. There were so many other things he could have used the wish for but didnt. I am pretty sure you could have come up with something a whole lot better than that.

As for taking my time to pervert it yep. But to show you good faith I will make them all drop out of existence. The question now should be did it help or hurt you? Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

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14 Re: Running a game on Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:10 pm

The question is, how exactly did he phrase it? That could change how you choose to grant the wish. If he wished for them to have NEVER existed, that can change the entire make up of the world... maybe even some of your players would cease to exist. You never know, because you don't know how one person influences another and another and on and on.

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15 Re: Running a game on Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:15 pm

Cambria wrote:The question is, how exactly did he phrase it?  That could change how you choose to grant the wish.  If he wished for them to have NEVER existed, that can change the entire make up of the world... maybe even some of your players would cease to exist.  You never know, because you don't know how one person influences another and another and on and on.  

To tell you the truth at that point I have already checkout so I really don't remember what was exactly said.

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16 Re: Running a game on Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:20 pm

You Know how I hate to disagree with you Joe but the thing I do remember is him asking to be allowed to use it next session and you said he had to use it right then but that aside It wasn't worded the best way it could have been so it is what it is, and Joe I knew we were screwed since I found out he had a wish.
I got a wish for you I wish I was in neverwinter...... Paco The Rouge pirat pirat

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17 Re: Running a game on Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:26 pm

His words were "I wish the undead, the Drow Priest and 2 Dragons never existed". and I agree it changes the whole dynamic of the game. This is why we pervert a wish. When you leave a big hole for us to go thru we tend to go thru. You cant just open a door and not expect us to walk thru it.

I ended the game there because they were right we were all tired and my mind needed time to process what had happened during the whole game. Monday I was in enough of my right mind to think about the wish. So I said the words for the wish over in my head. Moose is right it is pretty straight forward and a decently good wish. So does that mean I change a whole world filled with undead? Eliminate an entire species, zombies, vampires, liches, ghosts? And 2 random dragons? Then it hit me. The worst thing I could do was grant his wish, which would change the entire dynamic of the game. Laughing Imagine getting my way by letting you guys have yours.

Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

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18 Re: Running a game on Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:13 pm

Toepoker wrote:You said that I can't be a player as a DM. Okay, I agree but I expect some gaming from you the player. Not the easy win. Yeah I can't play but I expect to have fun at the table also. Challenge me. Make it worth my time to come out, and give me as much of a challenge as I am giving you. That's why we role play.

I also figured it was time to bring the conversation back to the forums.

I disagree, we are players. We are passive players but we run the most players and log the most hours playing. We have to know the rules better than everyone else and adjudicate the story but we have to do everything the PCs do and then some. Don't mistake the fact that we have authority for us not being just another player at the table.


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19 Re: Running a game on Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:16 pm

Toepoker wrote:His words were "I wish the undead, the Drow Priest and 2 Dragons never existed".  and I agree it changes the whole dynamic of the game.  This is why we pervert a wish.  When you leave a big hole for us to go thru we tend to go thru.  You cant just open a door and not expect us to walk thru it.  

I ended the game there because they were right we were all tired and my mind needed time to process what had happened during the whole game.  Monday I was in enough of my right mind to think about the wish.  So I said the words for the wish over in my head.  Moose is right it is pretty straight forward and a decently good wish.  So does that mean I change a whole world filled with undead?  Eliminate an entire species, zombies, vampires, liches, ghosts?  And 2 random dragons?  Then it hit me.  The worst thing I could do was grant his wish, which would change the entire dynamic of the game.  Laughing   Imagine getting my way by letting you guys have yours.    

Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

Seeing the wording of the wish I can see why you would want to pervert it. I feel it in the back of my mind... what fertile ground.


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20 Re: Running a game on Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:20 pm

"I wish the undead, the Drow Priest and 2 Dragons never existed"

That is a huge wish. That could change every single aspect of every characters life. What if one of those dragons, in the past, happened to kill another dragon that would have risen to much higher levels of power and greed. Without that death, what would happen? Who would have suffered?

If I remember correctly, you said the undead were people from the very town they were in; right? So if you wish that they never existed, does that mean that the actual people never existed? If so, how does that change the make-up of the town. Will the potion shop disappear, because the potion masters parents never existed? Will the very building they are standing on cease to exist, because the builders were wished away?

With that said... considering they were all at full strength and had a lot of potions and weapons, they should have kept the wish for a while. I would have at least tried to come up with a strategy to win without using a wish.

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21 Re: Running a game on Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:26 pm

Like I said it was a forced wish at the end of the session, He wanted to hold on to the wish until next session and if the DM didn't force him to use it the outcome could have been totally different...

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22 Re: Running a game on Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:30 pm

Cambria wrote:"I wish the undead, the Drow Priest and 2 Dragons never existed"

That is a huge wish.  That could change every single aspect of every characters life.  What if one of those dragons, in the past, happened to kill another dragon that would have risen to much higher levels of power and greed.  Without that death, what would happen?  Who would have suffered?

If I remember correctly, you said the undead were people from the very town they were in; right?  So if you wish that they never existed, does that mean that the actual people never existed?  If so, how does that change the make-up of the town.  Will the potion shop disappear, because the potion masters parents never existed?  Will the very building they are standing on cease to exist, because the builders were wished away?

Oh, the possibilities. Joey, you are in such a fantastic spot right now... lucky bastard.

Cambria wrote:With that said... considering they were all at full strength and had a lot of potions and weapons, they should have kept the wish for a while.  I would have at least tried to come up with a strategy to win without using a wish.

Having played at Joey's table you have no idea how untenable that combat would have been and he's punishing. You want to leap over an enemy but you've forgotten that the ceiling is too low? He won't remind you, he will just have you knocked unconscious and make you sit out the rest of the fight. He's no joke. 2 Dragons and couple thousand zombies? It was a wrap.


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23 Re: Running a game on Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:15 pm

He could have wished for a thousand different thing to help them against the odds. He chose that. While rushed maybe, but if he wanted time to think about it then he should have kept it quiet while he thought about it. So capitalize I will. But that leaves a lot of work for me to do. Since Moose hasn't had a chance to set up our next game plenty of time to do it in.

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24 Re: Running a game on Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:02 pm

I do think it is a little wrong of you to make him rush to make the wish. You know how serious wishes can be. It is almost like you wanted him to make it so you could take all these weeks to fuck it up. If you knew you were going to end the session, you should have let him wait to make it.

However, I am very interested to know how it ends up. That wish was so terrible, I want to watch it unfold!!!!

What are some things he could have wished for instead?

You should tell your buddy to get on the forum so we can discuss it with him.

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25 Re: Running a game on Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:16 pm

I too sometimes force the players to take action knowing I'm going to end the game there. It's sometimes better for the game to give the GM time to work the game in the direction the players want to do. I'm at that situation right now: Will my players work with the Temple of Thor to try and fix what's happening or will they follow their own greed and caprice... what will they do? I need to plan for both. ideally I would have made them make a decision before I ended the last game so I could focus on one path.

You have to rush them sometimes but rushing a wish is kind of a setup.


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