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Old 07-24-2020, 06:45 PM
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Old vs New

Any advice for an old school DM to keep players interested?
I've started a number of games and they all seem to fade away after just a few weeks.
I've been told I need to engage PC's on a personal level to spark more interest instead of just telling them the situation and waiting for them to respond.

My other issue seems to be alienating the whole group while dealing with one individual.

Questions, Comments, Emotional Outbursts?
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:24 PM
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Hey Hyregoth, to be honest, that was one hard thing in PbP to me as well, you just don't have that real time feedback, that eye contact, we just don't know how players are feeling about a game. And then they just disappear, but sometimes not just from one game, but from the site.

I think PbP is very niche and not to everyone, unfortunately, I think people need to be willing to cooperate with a story and work with the DM toward that end. It should not be the DM's story, but a story crafted by everyone. I have a little poll that I like to make on my games, and players are free to reply or not. That gives me a feeling of what everyone expects and then I can try to adjust to that and add a bit of everything if possible.

So, I don't think the problem is with something you're doing or not, it's just the very nature of PbP. And probably a lot of DMs are seeking this balance and how to deal with PbP and all of its intricate enigmas. Some DMs are lucky to find people that enjoy PbP, other DMs find people that want to play RPG, but can't do that in RL, and try PbP, but that's just not what they wanted, too slow, too much RP, too much writing and reading. Some people just want to test builds and go thru some fights, and will get bored easily with the 'novel' sort of dealing of PbP.

I'll be watching this thread, because advice and suggestions are always great.

 

Last edited by Schwarz; 07-24-2020 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:46 PM
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Thanks Schwarz. I was asking periodically but got no response. I'll keep working at it. I appreciate the feedback.
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Old 07-25-2020, 02:14 AM
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Mind if I take a perusal of some of your old games to get a feel for what was going on?

As a quick set of advice without though, I've noticed some things from my relatively limited experience:
1. Personally involving the PCs is less about pulling/pushing characters in and more about molding the situation in such a way the players would believe their characters naturally want to be involved. Things can start ringing hollow if someone feels like they're going along with everything just because they're a part of the game.
2. Make sure the players know if they can push the scene. I've been a part of games where I could have probably done more with my posts, but was too worried about overstepping.
3. Don't fight against the current. Play-by-post gives you time to pivot to an unplanned path (or entirely new storyline) in a way in-person doesn't.
4. Make sure you don't fundamentally alter the players' actions in DM posts without talking to them about it first. This is a bit of a personal pet peeve, but it comes across as a certain lack of respect and I've had the urge to drop every game where it occurs.
5. Try to keep the planned post schedule, even if individual players don't. Waiting for a player can actually cause people to slip on checking back, and the game just ends up petering out.
6. Dealing with an individual can be a bit more private in pbp than in other scenarios. Whatever it was, however it was handled, I can't know. However, between secret text and PMs you can at least attempt to avoid turning other pcs into unwilling spectators.

Last edited by Auron3991; 07-25-2020 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auron3991 View Post
Mind if I take a perusal of some of your old games to get a feel for what was going on?
Sure, help yourself. Please be gentle.

Thanks for your input, I've noticed a few things I've been doing. Probably a few times I reacted a bit too hard when folks went against the grain. I did do it privately but that didn't stop them from quitting.
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Old 07-26-2020, 02:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyregoth View Post
Please be gentle.
Doesn't matter how gently applied, peroxide always stings.

Now that I've had a chance to read through some of your games, I can give some more tailored advice. Dead Suns looked like something you didn't have control over. Sometimes, games just end up dying for outside reasons. As for Island of Myst, unless you had PMs saying otherwise, I think you may have given up on it too easily. I generally assume a game isn't dead until two full post cycles have passed with no activity in either the OOC or In-Game thread and you had that activity. A set of pms to check on everyone before calling it might have saved it (of course, this is assuming you did not do so). Both of these are issues with getting used to pbp though, and reflects no baseline issues.

Alien Hope though, I have one question I would need answered before saying anything: Is the post relevant to post 21 gone by your volition?
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:40 AM
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I deleted the message because after I told the player repeatedly (by PM so as to not embarrass) that he was a passenger in the hold of a converted Space Shuttle that he had no way of communicating with the Captain. He persisted even to the point of trying to say that he could tear apart his helmets communication device and rewire it to contact the bridge. I said, the hold has only limited pressurization and very low oxygen, you can't tear apart government property in those conditions. The guy quit after a brief argument. I guess he didn't realize that I'm an Electrical Engineer IRL and that I wasn't going to let him run my game. After, he quit, I deleted those messages having to do with him talking to the Bridge.

It's kind of like the guy in an RPG that tells the GM, I start digging while the other players want to do something else. The rest of the group is trapped while this guy keeps digging with a shovel and the GM says 'you don't find anything.' 'I keep digging' says the player. How long do you let this go on as a GM.

A long answer I know but every game I run, I tend to run into folks that want to control things. I wrote hvg3akaek at the time as we go way back. He advised me not to end the game but to just kick the player. I get discouraged easily and decided to just end it like I did the Isle of Myst.

I understand that it's Pbp but having to make decisions for players and having them post once or twice in a 2 month period or posting BS just destroys my motivation. I'm thinking I probably need to go through a much more indepth selection process to make sure my players are ones that I can live with.

I appreciate your input and looking over my games. I have even earlier ones where I had similar problems.
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:43 PM
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Okay. I would have recommended removing your post quoting the removed one then as well and posted the relevant information over to the OOC thread then. It's hard for me to explain the precise feeling, but I personally have a bit of negative reaction when I see quotes without being able to hop to the relevant posts. On that note though, I can definitely understand the frustration of dealing with situations like that. I had one instance IRL where I asked the players ahead of time if they were cool with running a dungeon, they said yes, then one decided to spend every moment trying to not be in said dungeon. Sometimes it's hard to weed out those people though without spending some time to check the previous games they've been involved with. I know it's going to be difficult, but sometimes it's good to remind yourself if you have only one person not on the same wavelength in a group of four, it means you have three who are having a good time. Implies you're doing something right.

I hope your games go better in the future though.
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:50 PM
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Thanks Auron3991. I appreciate your input. I hope I can incorporate your (and the other contributors) advice to make a better game for everyone.
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