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An interesting GMing blog post about Making Success Interesting


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#1 Emirikol

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:39 AM

This article is probably the rule for The Gathering Storm if your players knock off the shallow plot NPC right off the bat.

 

 

http://kotgl.blogspo...ing-part-i.html

http://kotgl.blogspo...ng-part-ii.html

http://kotgl.blogspo...g-part-iii.html

 

Any thoughts on this from a WFRP standpoint?  I think a lot of us get caught up in the comedy of watching PCs not only fail, but get punished for failing even more.  The whole world (and everything in the game system) is against them and should be!..oh wait, maybe not.  Maybe its fun for them to succeed sometimes ;)  

 

dice_challenge.png

The challenge then is how to deal with that as a GM.  Sometimes their success is not earned, and using The Gathering Storm as an example, you need to be prepared to soldier on:  Either have a back up that continues the game with the next clue, or "YOU WIN!" is simply stated to the players..and move to the next campaign ;)

 

jh

 

..



#2 Ralzar

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 11:58 AM

I have found that adventures work best when they are mostly a description of an area; interesting persons and locations etc. Because the more an adventure is based on a script, the more guaranteed you are that the players will not follow it.

 

Heck sometimes I have given players obstacles to overcome without bothering to think of how they will do it. I just supply a problem and a bunch stuff that might be potential tools. Then I lean back and see what the players make of it. Then I just have a basic plan of "If they succeed, this happens. If they fail, this happens".

I have often thought of cool scenes and ideas I want to use, but if the players do unexpected things that stop those scenes from happening I just file them away for later use. The players will not know the difference.


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#3 Keats

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 12:41 PM

Personally I hate it when campaigns rely on dice rolls or certain types of decisions in order for the story to progress. It's frustrating for both the GM and players. 


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#4 Emirikol

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 12:55 PM

It's the old "you missed a secret door so you can't progress" situation.

 

I"m a big fan of Robin Law's "Gumshoe" addage where "no important clue should ever be withheld from players."  Sure, there are lazy players that don't try, but I imagine that is sometimes the GMs fault where the GM bitterly withholds clues and fails to remind the players of the plot because he feels they aren't paying attention.  Personally, I just keep the game moving. The dice are there to stimulate conversation (hence why I like this system), but not limit it.

 

The same thing is true for combat.  If the players have the combat won, let it go..you don't have to play out every last round of bloodletting.  The art is deciding when that changeover is supposed to occur (then you don't have to do stupid crap like have "rally phases."  IMO, if you need a rally phase, you're taking waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long with your combats.



#5 Ralzar

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 04:49 PM

I"m a big fan of Robin Law's "Gumshoe" addage where "no important clue should ever be withheld from players."  

 

Yeah, I played some Trail Of Cuthulhu (which uses Gumshoe if I am not mistaken). That exact principle has been buzzing around the back of my head ever since. Which is why I tend to write "situations" instead of storys. In a story, you can easily be stumped if the players do not follow the story. But if you have a situation, you know what would happen if the players did nothing at all, so you can just keep going. As long as you have filled the area with interesting stuff for the players to get mixed up in, they will not be able to tell the difference.


Edited by Ralzar, 05 January 2014 - 04:49 PM.

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#6 Emirikol

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 05:33 PM

THat's a great way to describe it.  I'm stealing that :)  (Situations instead of stories)



#7 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 01:23 AM

I am a big fan of "Fail Forward." Failure doesn't always mean "no" especially when no means the story stops. Best in those times to be "yes, but ..." Give them what they wanted, but create a complication that now has to be dealt with.

 

It's a huge thing in Mouse Guard and Torchbearer (both great to run once or twice just for the different take on how to run games).


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Listen to my actual play podcasts at BeggingForXP.com.

 

Take a look at my Talent Trees (Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion), YT-2400 deck plans for the Lazy Bantha, as well as my other handouts.


#8 Ralzar

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 06:54 AM

THat's a great way to describe it.  I'm stealing that :)  (Situations instead of stories)

 

Thanks :) The idea started to take form after I had played two different published city investigation adventures: Sing For Your Supper (from "Plundered Vaults" WFRPv2) and Winds Of Change (from "Winds Of Magic" WFRPv3)

 

Sing For Your Supper is a perfect example of a "story". Which is the downfall of a LOT of investigative adventures. It leads you by the nose from location to location until the end. Add to this, if the players ask NPCs some unexpected questions or do not exactly follow the path laid out by the adventure, it all collapses and the GM has to improvise like crazy to figure out what would happen. In addition, the adventure ends with a deus ex machina of a group of NPCs approaching the party and informing them of who dunnit. Probably because the chances of the players solving the mystery is so small that it needs to just push the party to the right spot for the final scene.

 

Winds Of Change on the other hand, is a good example of a "situation". It takes an area of a city and gives you information and NPCs for each point of interest in the area. Each point of interest contains several clues to the mystery. There are clues all over the place, because the writer has understood that the players will not find all the clues or understand what all the clues mean. In addition, the adversary in the adventure keeps advancing his plans until they are completed completely independantly of what the players are doing. And the later the players manage to solve the mystery, the worse the situation is at the end. If they do not solve the mystery at all, there are even notes about that.

 

 

In Sing For Your Supper, the GM has to constantly make sure the players find all the clues. While in Winds Of Change, he can just let them muddle around as much as they like and just come up with funny stuff as reactions to what they do. He knows that even if they are completely incapable of solving the mystery, the players will probably still have a good time and the adventure will have a clear conclusion when time runs out.


Edited by Ralzar, 06 January 2014 - 07:02 AM.


#9 abidibladiduda

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 11:20 AM

I found out that it works best if I enter the session with only a list of names and locations with descriptions (the guy with the lazy eye, the tavern with the ugly chandelier and so on) and just wait what the players do. Most stories will start just because some players will investigate some fluff or do something on their own. If that happens in a pre written story the evening is ruined because you will spent your time putting them back on the tracks while they will either avoid that at all cost or feel betrayed because it is not relevant what they want.






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