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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> General Forum --> Gaming surveys --> Generic Game Give-and-Take
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Innat 999
Newbie
Karma: 2/0
13 Posts


Generic Game Give-and-Take

Survey? Kinda ... (see below)

Okay, as a long-time lurker and peruser of many and sundry games here at the Inn, I have decided to touch on a subject that I feel is necessary, but lacking, from what I have seen:

A place where Players and DMs can pass information to each other -- HELPFUL information -- that can make the gaming experience easier for some and more enjoyable for all involved. This information would be passed/posted in a general sense, not "pointing fingers" at a specific game or person (even vaguely).

Information posted here would (and should) be applicable to most, if not all, games here at the inn, whether meant for DMs/GMs or players.

Of course, for the suggestions or information to be effective, people must periodically read this thread, and I can't even guarantee a single post (after mine), or that what is presented here would be of interest. I say this because of the subject I am about to mention below (one of many I have noticed and noted).

MY DISCLAIMER: My own comments here are my opinions, nothing more. They are based on my observations and compared between the various games I have followed (and am following), and also compared to my own experience. They are not judgements, nor are they meant to be degrading, belittling, or "inflammatory" (I've seen that one a lot here).

My first example is that of the "silly question(s)": In many games here, I have seen players ask questions if the GM that they can answer themselves by reading the game books/references/manuals to find the information. It seems to me that a vast majority of players feel that any effort beyond creating the character is the realm or territory of the GM. I have seen players ask questions like:

What languages can my elf speak?
Why can't I use the bastard sword one-handed?
What material components do I need for my wizard spells?

And many more similar questions. All the questions above, and most of the similar ones could be answered by the player, if that player simply read the book(s). Effort that some players will put on the GM unnecessarily.

Now, in all fairness, there are those who do not have the reference books for some of the games they are in, and must rely on the other players and, in a few cases, on the GM(s) alone for their information. For some of those games, the references are online and the links to those references can, and have been, provided by more than one person at the Inn to others. Using these links would decrease the load on the GM(s) considerably, based on the number of instances of "silly questions" I have witnessed.

The above diatribe leads to this, my suggestion(s):

if the player has the necessary books/manuals, they should expend the effort necessary to look up the information they need before asking the DM/GM.

If a player has a question for the DM/GM, a few extra characters typed at the beginning of the request would explain the why of the question, i.e. :
I can't find where it says (describes, states, shows, illustrates, etc.). Could you (provide, explain, describe, etc) ... ...?

I don't have the reference (book, books, manual, etc.) necessary for (?), could you provide it?
IMOHO, I think both players and GMs alike need this thread. Some of us really do want to learn how to find, and some of us who already know how to find don't want to expend the effort to do it anymore ...


Posted on 2008-09-19 at 17:33:26.

Eol Fefalas
Keeper of the Kazari
RDI Staff
Karma: 453/28
7561 Posts


Hmmmm...

...so what you're suggesting is what exactly? A 'repository thread' of some sort where general rules and resources are listed, maintained, tracked, etc or am I missing a point or two somewhere in there?

Granted, a thread with links, references, write-ups, and such might be quite useful but could also grow quite lenghty and possibly out of control in a relatively short amount of time. There was a point where you said "Information posted here would (and should) be applicable to most, if not all, games here at the inn, whether meant for DMs/GMs or players."
With that statement/thought in mind, I don't see where it would be possible to consolidate even 'general' info that would be applicable to ALL the games here at the Inn... There are at least three different versions of just the D&D rules being played (2.5, 3, and 3.5), then you've got house rules that the individual DMs/GMs, gaming groups may use, not to mention completely home grown systems or some 'frankensteining' of systems that kind of defy applying 'general' rules/resources/references where these kind of systems may be concerned.

Now, havign said that, the Inn does have a plethora of resources, references, and other things of that nature available... they're just not consolidated in a single thread. There's the DMs Corner, for example, where DMs might go to find information they might need, and the Player's Guild in which Players can browse through all sorts of things that they might find relevent... both of these corners of the Inn are always open to accepting new article submissions from anyone out there who'd care to submit... Also, there are teh Q&A threads for the individual games, and the General Forums (particualrly the Common Room) where questions the like of those you mentioned should be able to be asked and addressed without fear of being made to feel silly, etc.

As you noted, some folks may have an abundance of gaming info at hand and available to share, some have 'just enough' to carry them through the games/systems they're interested in, and others have absolutey nothing but a vivid imagination and a willingness to play. With that range of resources and experience, it's not too uncommon that you get groups consisting of players and GMs representative of alllllll three and, in cases like those, you're bound to get 'silly questions' whether you're a DM or a player.

Anyway... as I said, I'm not sure I'm 100% clear on exactly what you're suggesting here, so I might have gone off on a completely unrelated tangent... my apologies if so. Sooooo, feel free to jump in and clarify or turn me in the right direction.



Posted on 2008-09-19 at 18:36:25.

Innat 999
Newbie
Karma: 2/0
13 Posts


Well, ...

I tried to exlain my intent for this thread the best way I could at the time. I fear that further elaboration would only "muddy the waters" even more. At least until I can find the words that everyone will understand.

A few of your questions, though, were answered in the intro post. I don't know how to make the wording or structure more understandable -- yet.

So, for now, I'll have to trust that someone will understand what it is I am trying to do.

If not, then this thread won't go very far, will it?


Posted on 2008-09-19 at 19:20:27.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 353/55
6362 Posts


methinks I have missed the point...

I don't see a whole lot of finger pointing on our boards, as is. Sure, the odd incident, but whatever.

I think that we have what you are looking for in the DM's Corner and Player's Guild areas (as Eol has pointed out), as well as in the game-specific Q&A threads.

I suppose one could start a generic game question and answer thread... that would be fine, and would probably be well received here. But things like "what languages can my elf speak" are only answerable by your DM/GM. Campaign settings differ from game to game, and even two DMs may have different rules, even if they use the same setting.



Posted on 2008-09-19 at 19:22:46.

Innat 999
Newbie
Karma: 2/0
13 Posts


Well I THOUGHT it was a good idea (a the time), but ...

Far be it from me to duplicate effort.

Oh well.


Posted on 2008-09-19 at 22:19:43.

Ayrn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 122/12
1999 Posts


I think I know what you're talking about...

Wizards of the Coast had one of these things on their community boards.

It was a Q&A board for simple questions pertaining to game mechanics for 3.5 Ed (they probably have one for 4th Ed now... I haven't been on for a while). Those that responded, either answered the question directly or redirected their attention to a thread that already answered the question.

I'm not sure I'd want to replicate it, but perhaps a sticky thread with links to helpful places might be nice. I know Utan has posted in a number of threads links to the hypertexted Standard Reference Documents for 3.5e.

Am I on the right track?



Posted on 2008-09-20 at 02:13:54.

Innat 999
Newbie
Karma: 2/0
13 Posts


Hooray!

Someone understands (part of) my idea!

There's hope for me yet ...

[ edit ]
Yes! I was not aware that WoC had something like this, old or new, and was not attempting to emulate it (whatever it was). Nor was my attempt to duplicate the purpose of any existing thread, much less any game-specific Q&A threads.

Using my previous example of "silly questions", I'll try another tack ...

Although I am not a DM (not here anyway), let's pretend that I am -- briefly. My point, as a DM, when speaking of "silly questions" was to attempt to get players to help their GMs out by doing some of the research to answer their questions for themselves, before asking (hence the suggested preface: "I can't find ...").

At the same time, I was attempting to suggest to the DMs (who, I feel, should know which players have the references) that they could, in turn, suggest that the player look it up (IF, in fact, the DM is using a published rule that the player has access to).

The above example is applicable in any game forum, setting, or melieu, but is only valid if:
1 ... The player has the necessary references, and is not relying on the GM or other players for game information.

2 ... The GM knows which, if any, of hisher players has the necessary references to find the requested data.

3 ... The requested data is not "altered", "home-grown", "custom", etc.
Now, as a player, I could be attempting the same thing, but as an effort to find out if others feel the same way I do, or if my particular outlook is not viable or "the way things are done" in the forum or game. Then the exchange of information from players/GMs informing me of this would ensue, but probably in a different form or format ...

(( ? ))

[ Deep breath, cross fingers, and hope -- again ... ]


Posted on 2008-09-20 at 02:51:11.
Edited on 2008-09-20 at 03:19:02 by Innat 999

Ayrn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 122/12
1999 Posts


I think that's the problem...

WotC put out so many supplements for 3 / 3.5 with so many different feats / skills / class features / etc, etc that override the core rules that it has become burdensome to all save the most hardcore folks.

In a more possitive light, because that are some many details to the game mechanics of 3 / 3.5 E, it's easy to forget/ miss/ misunderstand a step.

Here at Inn, sure, sometimes folks don't read the DM's posts and ask silly questions. That happens though.

Here might be another suggestion: A "Before you start recruiting" sticky thread that lists some guidelines and suggestions on starting games at RDI.

For instance, any recruitment for a rule-based game should have the following information clearly laid out in the opening recruitment post:

1. What rules-based game system are you using?
2. What Campaign Setting are you placing this game in?
3. What "type" of game is this? Intense hack and slash, political intigue, modern military, and / or hardcore story writing, etc?
4. What books/ supplements are allowed in your game?
5. What level will you be playing at?
6. How are recruits to determine their ability scores?
7. What will be the starting funds level?
8. Are there any limitations on what items (magical or mundane) that the characters can purchase?
9. Are there any other limitations which regards to the characters (alignment, classes, etc, etc)
10. Is there any specific information you would like with regards to the characters (phobias, traits, history, etc)?
11. What do the recruits need to be familiar with in order to play (i.e. should know how to play DnD, or need to be familiar with Eberron, etc)?
12. Please provide a standard character sheet for your game, that recruits can copy, paste, fill out and resend.

I think that covers the basics...


Posted on 2008-09-20 at 03:52:40.

Innat 999
Newbie
Karma: 2/0
13 Posts


Wow! Perfect! Yer good, ya are!

And I mean that sincerely!

Never thought of it that way, and your description/guidelines have been copy/pasted for posterity on my machine as well worth having!

It also eliminates the need for this thread, which doesn't really bother me. Your "list of guidelines" covers pretty much everything necessary, up front, for any game.

Would any of the following options be viable, in your (anyone's?) opinion?

4a. Ask players to provide a brief list of the allowed reference volumes for this game that they possess (if any, or even if none).

10. Is there any specificand/or additional information you would like ...

??. Will there be "home-grown" rules, races, places, etc.? Provide as much information as possible, early on, and inform players when and if additions/changes are made.

??. Will the game be created/advanced "on the fly"?

??. Is there a frequency requirement (minimum or maximum) on posts?

??. Is there a requirement (minimum or maximum) for post length?


Posted on 2008-09-20 at 05:17:51.

Ayrn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 122/12
1999 Posts


Editted questions

I think all your questions are fine... though here's what I've included:

1. What rules-based game system are you using?
2. What Campaign Setting are you placing this game in?
3. What "type" of game is this? Intense hack and slash, political intigue, modern military, and / or hardcore story writing, etc?
4. What books/ supplements are allowed in your game? Are there any “house rules” that the recruits should be aware of?
5. What level will you be playing at?
6. How are recruits to determine their ability scores?
7. What will be the starting funds level?
8. Are there any limitations on what items (magical or mundane) that the characters can purchase?
9. Are there any other limitations which regards to the characters (alignment, classes, etc, etc)
10. Is there any specific information you would like the recruits to provide with regards to the characters (phobias, traits, history, etc)?
11. What do the recruits need to be familiar with in order to play (i.e. should know how to play DnD, or need to be familiar with Eberron, etc)?
12. What is your expected frequency of posts for recruits? Do you have a set time that you plan to “update” the game? What happens if players don't meet the posting deadlines?
13. What do you expect recruits to include in their game post? Please provide a “sample” post. Is there a minimum (or maximum) length with regards to in game posts? Where do you want players to post their OOC questions and comments?
14. Please provide a standard character sheet for your game, that recruits can copy, paste, fill out and resend.
15. Providing an opening "teaser" paragraph or three (or more) is nice for new recruits too. It should be something that gives recruits a feel for the "type" of game you are hoping to DM.

I don't know if I'd want to include too many more questions/ guidelines as it starts to get burdensome. 15 already feels like a lot... though I think they are helpful. And a stardard way of posting recruitment posts might be nice.

Still, there will be recruits who don't read what you've written (for variety of reasons) or just overlooked what you wrote. Being polite and gracious in such situations is usually a good idea. Sending a PM to "repeat" offenders as opposed to posting to the thread is probably a good idea.

PbP also lends itself to a good chance of misunderstandings as text on a white screen only conveys a bit of what I'm thinking / feeling (unless you are a superb writer). It misses the pitch and tone of my voice, along with my body language... something that's easier to catch around the table.

Anyway... time for bed!


Posted on 2008-09-20 at 06:34:44.

   
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