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Old 01-29-2019, 11:44 AM
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Ideas on DMing

You asked for a thread, and voila. How do you make games last?
Quote:
Heyo!

Thought I'd check in on a project I'm working on/was volunteered for and then accidentally actually volunteered for.

I'm writing a guide on what it takes to make a game and keep it going. How do you make it work from the beginning, how do you recruit the best possible players, how do you keep a game going once you've started, despite shenanigans? Things like that. I'm asking DMs I like and trust their opinions and advice you'd give someone.

So what are yours?
-Sass
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Last edited by Sassafrass; 01-29-2019 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:07 PM
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Here's some thought, they might not be moral or what people want to hear, but I'm convinced it's how to go about it.

The key obviously is for players to don't drop\quit, and for the DM to be able to sustain the pace without burning up.

Players

Let's start with the players. There's no guarantee that a player will last or not. You need to evaluate proper risk management.

1. Identify your top applications, and look at the following. I know it's extreme, but since I’m applying this without mercy, my game didnt died.
- Look at the player post rate in the last few months, that will show you if he's active.
- Look at his behavior in his current games, you need to check if he's active and contribute to the current game he's playing in
- Does the players is in too many games already? We have a lot of compulsive people out there that join all the games. It's the kind of players that are too much spread and will give you very little participation. That's the worst because they might not drop, simply just be a ghost in your game
- If players dropped from other games, you should seriously consider that a risk
- In doubt, ask other dm about this player, that's the best feedback you can get
- You can also ask other players who played with that person if he's someone fun to play with
- Don't just take the player words or commitment, past behavior is usually what you will get. Don't be naive!!!

If you skip one of those checks, you are taking risk bro. Too bad for you and don't ask yourself why your game die.

Only exception to all this, I usually recommend that you take one newbie with no history as a wildcard to give a chance to new people ONLY one, or you are taking too much risk. Who knows, you might discover new talent.

2. Between 5 to 7 players sounds to be the sweet spot.
- It gives room to manoeuver for people who will quit
- It increase your chance to build a core team of 3-4 steady persons, with people dropping and joining around them
- Smaller party are risky, it's hard to recover and replace people if you get two consecutive drop.

3. Replace immediately people who drop out!!! Don't let your game get cold.

About the DM

1. Whatever you do, don't try to DM more than two games, it's a recipe for disaster unless you are highly experienced and know your limit.
2. Instead of creating more game, put more energy in your current projects. Sooooo many time I see DM starting new things and spread themselves too thin. Happened to me a couple of time.
3. You need to be stubborn, persistent and never give up! At the end of the day if you don't quit your game, it can always continue to infinity with you recruiting more people.
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:07 PM
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Here's some thoughts, maybe it's too much transparent\blunt...

If you like it I can give some thoughts about other topics.
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Old 01-31-2019, 09:01 PM
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Oh also, it just raw ideas, if you like it, I can certainly write it nicely and public friendly.
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Old 02-01-2019, 11:13 AM
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Certainly! That looks great, except the part about more than 2 games... I obviously disagree :P

That's where I'm going to be starting from, definitely, but after that I'm going to delve into the nitty-gritty of how to keep going, even when it seems like the fuel has run out.

What do you do when you lose inspiration for your game? When you don't feel inspired to write? When you get disheartened by players dropping, for all sorts of reasons? When you don't win a contest your game was up for (HoF has killed so many games that didn't make it I don't know how to really approach this, but I'm giving it some thought)? How do you keep morale up? How do you manage mechanics vs. roleplay? How do you manage post rate? What level of fluctuation is ok? What about players who are absent, or are habitually gone at certain times (like, ekidnu is like clockwork on when he has vacation and thus one of my primary characters in CC disappears for about three months of the year because of it, as an example)?

Just a few starting questions
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Certainly! That looks great, except the part about more than 2 games... I obviously disagree :P
LoL... it's a recipe for disaster unless you are highly experienced and know your limit.

I think the key is to think about who is the audience, most people will fail trying to do that to my opinion.

Quote:
What do you do when you lose inspiration for your game?
Here's what I do about this in the following order.

- I try to conclude the current scenario if possible and point the party on a new quest\topic that might inspire me more.
- Many DM try to go for the long campaign that might take years to get to a conclusion. One key here is trying to fix reasonable goal and achievable in 4-6 months time. This allows you to catch your breath, and start another arc that might be different and more inspiring
- Take a break, nothing wrong by taking a month pause as long you are honest about it with your players. I did that in one of my HoF game that went on for 3 years and I came back at full force.
- If everything fails, you can simply collaborate with your players. Maybe you guys can agree on a reboot or simply do something different. At the end of the day, we shouldn't dramatize if a campaign has to ends, fun is the key! Not all campaign are meant to last for years.

Quote:
When you don't feel inspired to write?
Same answer as previous question can apply I think.

Quote:
When you get disheartened by players dropping, for all sorts of reasons?
You can't control people, you can only control yourself. As soon you accept that, you might be able to cope with this situation better.
The key here is to recruit new players immediately!!! When you lose one, a second drop might be around the corner and you don't know, just don't wait that you lost half the party, it's hard to recover at this point.

Quote:
When you don't win a contest your game was up for (HoF has killed so many games that didn't make it I don't know how to really approach this, but I'm giving it some thought)?
It's all about perspective. Dude, first don't expect anything out of HoF. Really, just don't, you will hurt your feelings. You should participate and try to win, I think there's value in the contest, but keep your expectation low. It's not because your game didn't win, that it's not a good game. Competition is fierce, a lot of good campaign out there. Unfortunately we can't make everybody win, otherwise it will dilute the value to be part of HoF.

Also... you can ALWAYS try again the next year. Make me thing of PIG, Legacy of fire game, one of the best game I read out there, it took them 3 years before they won. Just don't give up, try again. What's the rush?

Quote:
How do you keep morale up?
High activity game is key, even if you don't have the time to post an in-game post. Talk with your players in OOC, this help to keep a good vibe. Get to know also the players you play with, they are people, develop a relationship and people will feel they belong to the game and moral will be good.

Quote:
How do you manage mechanics vs. roleplay?
Depend on what kind of game you want and the expectation your set at the beginning. Make it clear how it's going to be!!!
PBP is working better when you focus more on roleplay and story. What's the point to ask for a diplomacy check if the PC just made the effort to write a very long post of how he's going about it. Give some slack to the players, and don't over-engineer the rules, keep things simple. This make a much more fun environment for everybody.

Quote:
How do you manage post rate? What level of fluctuation is ok?
Again set the rules clear as crystal at the beginning of how you will go about it and apply what you say without mercy. Here's my rule about it in my campaign.

The expected rate of posting is minimum once every seven (7) days after the latest DM post. If I have to hunt down your character frequently, to stop drinking and post, I will retire your character.

If somehow RL strike beyond your control please tell me as soon as possible so that we can arrange something.

If your character disappears for three weeks after his latest post without notice, I will retire your character without warning.


Quote:
What about players who are absent, or are habitually gone at certain times (like, ekidnu is like clockwork on when he has vacation and thus one of my primary characters in CC disappears for about three months of the year because of it, as an example)?
There's nothing wrong with absence to my perspective as long the PC tell you ahead of time and that you can plan. Everybody goes to vacation, everybody has some RL issue at some point. My advice is, just don't be tolerant if the PC didn't give you the heads up, it's just disrespectful for the group, it takes a minute to write a PM to explain. I have no mercy when someone disappears and come back after a month with some excuse.

I personally never had this situation that some people have to disappear three months per year because of vacation and tell me ahead of time. If it's a one shot thing per year, I would just NPC the character until the PC return, assuming it's a good player that has a positive contribution to the campaign.

Again... make it clear how you will deal with it at the start of the campaign and do what you said you will do. People will respect you for that.
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Last edited by MoonZar; 02-01-2019 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:35 PM
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Cool, I'll add this to my list of things to consult when I make the guide. Don't expect everything to make it in and I may attribute things to you, but yeah. Thanks again!
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:38 PM
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Ok good luck!
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