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Author Topic: Sode #19: I Will Turn This Game Around!  (Read 7336 times)
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Meg
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« on: July 27, 2008, 10:13:50 PM »

Warm-Up:

Each time we record, we watch a video or find a picture to get us in the mood for the episode. It doesn't always have anything to do with the episode, but frames our minds, so we're going to share so you can be appropriately framed as well.

    * Purely awesome fight scene

Icebreaker:

    * TV character that would suck to play with

Douchebag of the Week:

    * The Secret Keeper

Main Topic:

4 Steps in the 12 step Healing Process
Strategies for healing a diseased group, or to build cohesion in an already healthy group

1. Choosing the Right Game

    * D&D 4th Edition
    * Spirit of the Century
    * Dogs in the Vineyard
    * Bad Choice: Burning Wheel

Side conversation:

The 4 roles in D&D 4e compared with the 4 Ninja Turtles:

    * Leader: Leonardo
    * Controller: Donatello
    * Striker:Raphael
    * Defender: Michelangelo

2.  Making a Cohesive Character

    * Force a backstory
    * No secrets
    * Plug: Misspent Youth

3. Running the Game so everyone plays nicely

    * DM= Part Facilitator, part Antagonist
    * DMPC's- usually bad, but if you're gonna, do it right
    * Take time to practice the mechanics so everyone can fight together before it comes up for real

4. Playing the Game so everyone gets along

    * Buddy System
    * Appropriate Behavior
    * Why are we together?
    * Think Win-Win

« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 01:02:30 PM by Meg » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2008, 02:22:05 AM »

Loved the TMNT/4ed roles comparison...however tenuous a comparison it was.  :fan

I wish sharing this episode with the two players destroying one of our gaming groups would cure what ails us, but I think that a marriage counselor is going to be more the order of the day... 

How awesome was it that you guys interrupted your own podcast to run a commercial for your own podcast? Pimping your own FTW!  Clap
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2008, 07:17:38 PM »

Man, what a great flashback to the TMNT theme!  Horrible song, good memories. 

Although I agree most 80's theme songs are rancid, I fuckin love Galaxy Rangers.  Just too much nostalgia, I suppose.  What are some of the other ones I really dig...?

Y'know, it's not so much the theme songs, as the level of animation is often SO HIGH comparatively... lots of good art goes into those things.  So sad they only pull out the good artists for the 15-30 second intros and exits.

OOH! Robotech is a good'n' too.  Man, that was epic!



DOT.. man I hate secret note guy!  what a Douche!  It's always the foppy rogue or bard doin' it too! 
Seriously, when was the last time the dwarven merc or street shaman get all pen and icky with little postits?
"I push my sword through his face" the mysterious 1/2 orc PC writes, hoping no one notices the king's vizier bleeding all over the king.
"I discreetly summon meteor swarm to silence the guard before he can warn the citadel of our stealthy assault." quietly scrawls the pyromaniacal warmage depicted by my ritalin-dependant little brother.

Raw bullshit. 

<tangent>
You guys need to spend a few minits talking about the panful reality that Characters ultimately ARE the players.  anyone who games for any time just gravitate into characters that really reflect who they are as real people. 
Douchebag note writer: always a rogue or bard-- also overdramatic guy.
asshole control freak: wizard.  or diplomacy-that-equates-dominating-everyone character.
insecure bully: tough guy with big gun/sword
spazz case: chaotic everywhere coo coo for coacoa puffs character
You can just smell what kind of a gamer someone is if you sit with em for 15 minutes.
<end tangent>



Bravo about what is said is what the team gets.  Very nice.
I play PBP exclusively, and we use "improv rules" in that what is said in thread is fact.  We can make up anything we want about each other's character on the spot... and it works pretty well.
1st. no one on the team is a douche.. so a lot of respect is present (very important)
2nd. no one on the team is overly assumptive.. so they can impose a lot of small nuances and "micormanagement" decisions on behalf of each other (and the DM!) regarding insignificant, non plot-altering stuff just to keep things flowing.  This makes things a bit "out of control" for all the players and the DM's... random player suddenly decides a character or NPC has an insecurity around women.. that's gonna stick for the rest of the game. 
...er... I just realized this doesn't really prevent or repair anything gone awry, but it is a radical next step taken to the "build yer own background/history" team exercise. 
This is what they do in comedy improv... if an actor says it, it will permanently modify the rest of the skit
"Now patient, don't you worry.. I'm the best surgeon in the country..."
"Doctor, that's amazing since you don't have any arms!!!"
Now, the guy playing the doctor has to go through the skit as though he has no arms. 
Pretty farking funny.

I just realized I rambled pretty good there.. so I'll just nip this with a
<end rant>


Good stuff!  I've enjoyed everything you've put out so far!
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2008, 02:19:36 AM »

Man, what a great flashback to the TMNT theme!  Horrible song, good memories. 

Although I agree most 80's theme songs are rancid, I fuckin love Galaxy Rangers.  Just too much nostalgia, I suppose.  What are some of the other ones I really dig...?

Y'know, it's not so much the theme songs, as the level of animation is often SO HIGH comparatively... lots of good art goes into those things.  So sad they only pull out the good artists for the 15-30 second intros and exits.

OOH! Robotech is a good'n' too.  Man, that was epic!


Galaxy Rangers was an awesome show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMpsAmWbSJg

It features space heroes each with their own powers.  There was a bionic guy, a psycho shape-changer guy, a computer hacker and a girl. 

Does anyone remember Saber Riders?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXtQTzJKikg&feature=related

It features 3 guys each with a different hat and a girl.

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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2008, 07:11:31 PM »

OOH! Macross is a good'n' too.  Man, that was epic!
Fixed that for you Wink

Also, Thundercats, M.A.S.K., C.O.P.S., Bucky O'Hare and more Big Grin

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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2008, 07:24:38 PM »

Hey Bowen!  long time no hear--

Gotta agree with C.O.P.S. and Bucky o'hare... great intro segments.  TCats.. Does anyone NOT like Cheetara?  My only complaint: she stands around too much.  she needs to be charging across giant landscapes with lots of foes to smite ALL the time. 

Truly the aeon flux of the 80's. 8)
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2008, 11:52:40 AM »

I'd just like to say that playing Burning Wheel requires the wearing of big boy pants. Also, you forgot to mention nomination. That has to happen before you vote, and Meg never mentioned it. So, it's not like:

Player 1 - "I was the Workhorse!"
Player 2 - "Nuh-uh. I was!"

It's more like:

GM - "Okay, who was the Workhorse this session?"
Player 1 - "I think Player 2 should get it. He spent most of the game (insert reason for nomination here)"
GM - "Great! All for? All against? Sweet. Player 2, have some Artha."

Yes, I am a Burning Wheel fanboy. Aside from that, great show.
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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2008, 11:55:43 PM »

asshole control freak: wizard.

I'm not sure every wizard is an asshole. I would say that most wizards have a higher control need, thus the playing of a controller Smile.

I play wizards, I am a control freak (to some extent) I am not enough of an asshole, working on it though.
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2008, 01:27:43 AM »

I play wizards, I am a control freak (to some extent) I am not enough of an asshole, working on it though.

Here is the secret to being a good asshole.  When you have a position on something, make statments that initially assume everyone agrees with your position.

example: Now we all know Vampire sucks ball, so what kind of system should I use if my players want to play vampires?

example: Since there was no Serenity RPG I made my own. 
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Meg
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2008, 08:38:31 PM »

I'd just like to say that playing Burning Wheel requires the wearing of big boy pants. Also, you forgot to mention nomination. That has to happen before you vote, and Meg never mentioned it. So, it's not like:

Player 1 - "I was the Workhorse!"
Player 2 - "Nuh-uh. I was!"

It's more like:

GM - "Okay, who was the Workhorse this session?"
Player 1 - "I think Player 2 should get it. He spent most of the game (insert reason for nomination here)"
GM - "Great! All for? All against? Sweet. Player 2, have some Artha."

Yes, I am a Burning Wheel fanboy. Aside from that, great show.

Ok, so I JUST made the connection between this post and Episode 19 of This Modern Death where Shaun apologizes to me for "insulting" me for this post and commented on our comment about the voting system in Burning Wheel.

Dude, if this is insulting, then... I think I love you.  This is the nicest "insult" ever and I can assure I did not take anything as an insult.

I love that you posted this as not enough people know about Burning Wheel and showing your side deepens everyone's understand.

That being said, I still maintain that the voting system in Burning Wheel isn't great for building cohesiveness with the group.  It's not a bad thing-- but it can cause some tension in a group and drive in wedges where cracks weren't even noticed before.  And I said, it's a very minor part of the game and really will only come up for the sensitive, but it has the potential of causing strife.  I bet most groups would be fine with it, and the ones that even see anything, it will be such a minor part it won't matter, but still- it's something to be aware of.

The orgasm-off is an entirely different conversation Wink
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2008, 07:12:21 PM »

No Firefly theme love? Really? That's one I *never* skip over.  Love

I have a Secret Keeper in my game. It's been driving all of us nuts, but her PC is -finally- starting to crack. It should be said, though, I don't think she's been Keeping the Secret to be coy. I think she just hasn't worked out what the Secret IS yet.

Has this happened to anyone else?
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2008, 09:35:03 PM »

That is the worst kind of secret keeper. This is the player who just wants to be able to make their character seem special. Normally I'm in favor of PCs being AWESOME, but in this instance it detracts from the game.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2008, 10:44:44 AM by Zeke » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2008, 09:46:23 PM »

The worst secret keeper I ever ran into threatened dramatic character killing and/or suicide if his secrets came out. I let myself be suckered into "do-overs" half a dozen times on that.

He'd installed tracking and control devices in another character's cyberware. The secret came out the first time when she went in to get an upgrade. The victim player knew at that point, but after a tantrum from the secret keeper we agreed to back out the reveal.

I still don't know how to deal with a player like that.
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« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2008, 03:44:19 AM »

The worst secret keeper I ever ran into threatened dramatic character killing and/or suicide if his secrets came out. I let myself be suckered into "do-overs" half a dozen times on that.

He'd installed tracking and control devices in another character's cyberware. The secret came out the first time when she went in to get an upgrade. The victim player knew at that point, but after a tantrum from the secret keeper we agreed to back out the reveal.

I still don't know how to deal with a player like that.
Don't let them keep secrets from the players, just the characters.

I had a character who was pathological about that kind of thing.  Turns out it helped the group an awful lot.  Especially when they could pass lie detector tests and could still be tracked.
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« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2008, 12:54:30 PM »

That is the worst kind of secret keeper. This is the player who just wants to be able to make their character seem special. Normally I'm in favor of PCs being AWESOME, but in this instance it detracts from the game.

The real reason this became an issue for me was because I was using all kinds of material from the backgrounds and "public secrets" of the other PCs. I try to keep the spotlight moving, but I felt like the only times I could swing it the ranger's way were "the party's in the wild" or "We need to track something." If I don't know Talan's history, I can't use it. But that wasn't an issue for the player - she was having as good a time as the rest of us - so it remained a stone in my shoe for a few miles.

I finally made peace with the situation by point-blank asking the player "Do you want Talan's secret(s) to EVER come out?" during a hiatus. When she said "no," I stopped trying to crack the case, and filed Talan in with the Eternally Mysterious Protagonists.

Maybe it's because I've relieved the pressure, but now Talan's secrets are coming out, and I think his player is realizing that it's a good thing.
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« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2008, 09:18:00 PM »

That Douchebag of the Week is so true. I had a guy who did kind of the opposite, and he revealed a supposed secret that happened in my backstory that I hadn't discussed with him, and he ended up looking like a twat waffle.
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« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2008, 06:47:05 PM »

I had a guy who did kind of the opposite, and he revealed a supposed secret that happened in my backstory that I hadn't discussed with him, and he ended up looking like a twat waffle.

Wow, that reminds me of a wrinkle somebody tried to introduce regarding one of my NPCs. Paraphrasing:

Player: "You have a star in your right eye. That means you're my brother."

NPC: "My right eye is cybernetic. Also, I'm not human, and you are."
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« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2009, 04:24:28 AM »

one thing I've found that works great for getting the group together, at least in PBP, is to set up an In Character general chat. I do this in any PbP game I do and it either is just the characters randomly talking, or, as I found in my current game, all the characters have gotten together at the bar and set up little interactions at the bar. So, the way I usually do it is to set up a light roleplay thread that is set in a tavern, because that's one of the best places to arrange social interaction. And the tavern I set up this time was "The Conquered Wench" run by a gnoll. The tiefling cowboy started off and set up an instant background piece with the barkeep of having a "usual" which the barkeep always pretends to forget to give him a hard time, I loved it, and used it. Hell, my players have taken this so well that I've actually not had to really poke in too much.
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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2009, 08:54:17 PM »

Heh, so now I see you had secret keepers once already... but you seemed to only really touch on secrets kept from the players, which is at least possible to do well if the GM doesn't try to force a reveal immediately yet the player foreshadows ("What kind of personal incantation for Haste is 'allow savoring of the earthly womb'?") and then plays along when the time comes instead of acting as though they "lose" if the other players know.  Remember, kids, your character doesn't seem mysterious if he doesn't react to anything unexpected or in an unusual way, just dull!

The ones who really bug me, though, aren't the ones who keep secrets from the PCs -- it's the ones who keep secrets from the GM.  This is the sort I talked about in my post to the Douchebag of the Week thread.  If you want to expand this beyond secret-keeping, it could also be expanded to players who refuse to collaborate with the GM in general.  -- Pteryx
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