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Player asking advice on dealing with a new GM.


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#1 Ira

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:47 PM

Hey guys, I have a bit of a problem.

Iv been a dark heresy player for about a year now. As I'v been playing 40k for seven years I know more then most of my mates about 40k fluff. After GMing for a long campaign I decided I wanted to try my hand at actually playing as a character. So the group was disbanded (people going back to college, folks just getting out of the game to persue other games), and a new group was formed. In this new group you have myself, and three people from the former group, as well as one of my mates who plays 40k but has never roll played in his life, and two of my mates who are just getting into the game. So it was a toss up of the three former members of the old group. Of these we decided on a guy who knows a fair bit of 40k fluff, but who was GMing D&D campaigns before I was even born (true story). I thought if he read the Fluff Bible, some Eisenhorn and Ravenor, and read alot of the fluff out of his Dark Heresy book then he would be up to par and could run a good story. And I was right, he is slowly getting it. We just rolled up our characters the other night, and decided that two weeks after christmas we will start. Giving him plenty of time to work up a basis, and us plenty of time to work on character backround and personality.

Now the problem I did not forsee. He is a bit of a control freak with our history, and overall, our characters. He has done a few.... unnessisary things.... That I have grinned and beared for the simple fact that I knew he wouldnt throw us into a situation we could not handle to start. These unnessessities include abducting our characters in the intro scenario, to explain them comming together. In this abduction we may take one possession, either from our starting gear or trade it all off for one item justified by our backround and not too uber (for example, a powersword). And the clothes on our backs.

Before going on, a breakdown of my character. In the hopes that none of my mates have discovered this forum as I have (recently). Revan is a noble-born scum. He formally served the imperial guard as an officer. Granted not a colonel, but a major who commanded one of the elite platoons of his homeworld Quxkos. The ruling elite of Quxkos make up the officer cadre. His uncle, the general of the First Quxkos Infantry became a very paranoid that his heirs would try to overthrow him and take control of the regiment. He sent Revan's father on a suicide mission, which ended his life. Then Revans older brother was found dead in his sleep. Krull had paid off the authorities with his mass sum of money. So Revan knew the only justice for his uncle was in defiance. Soon Revan found his platoon under the direct command of his uncle in a battle against a merciless invasion by a chaos cultist lead by an unknown chaos space marine. Because of the presence of corrupt astartes, the Dark Angels (with their own agenda, of course) offered their assistance. Revan's uncle however, saw this an an oppertunity to remove Revan as a threat to his power, and directly ordered him to spearhead an assault on the chaos lines insted of utalizing the Marines. Revan ignored the orders, and had his men brace themselves with the rest of the force. Because of the dire circumstances, he decided that his uncle was too insane to remain in power. He lead a strike team of his most trusted men into his uncles palace with the aid of trusted informants. Here, he slew his uncle in single combat, power sword on power sword. In the battle, the power generator on his sabre was broken, and he decapitated his uncle with steal insted of a force field. The aftermath of the battle resulted in Revan begging the angels to help, which they did. They broke the chaos assault and took the reneguade marine to the rock to do what they do. After the battle however, Revan was forced to flee. He commited a base crime against the family and with the aid of his younger sister Adrianna he succeeded in fleeing the system. His entire platoon was exicuted for not following orders, although its rumored a few escaped. Since then he has fled far from the reachs of his family on the hive world Solomon. Offering his skills as a bodyguard, and when that gig gets to well known, fleeing to the underhive and stealing to eat and survive. From his former life he carries the broken power sabre (using the stats for a sabre), and his ordinant laspistol with his family markings filed off. He keeps little contact with his sister, but cherishs her letters and words of praise constantly.

I put alot of thought into that backround, and I deeply enjoy the story. It sets up a perfect career track with the starting skills and talants of a noble and the fellowship related skills of a scum. The new GM, whom is also my friend so I dont wish to naysay him too much, has altered this in ways that have no real affect on the campaign. He insists my sabre was snapped in half by my family for my dishonor, but the truth of the matter is that if they discovered me they wouldnt snap my sabre, they would summerily exicute me on the spot for disobaying orders and my mutanty. He also insists the battle was lost due to my actions, however even if fifty five men spearheaded a chaos line they would be decimated within minutes. If the battle was lost due to my actions then I would not have had the chance to flee, and my sister would be very dead.

Insted I am stuck carrying my broken sword and that is it. With all the starting gear offered by the scum catagory I didnt think a sabre and a laspistol was much to ask for. My mate, who is running a Mind-wiped character, is in a similer prediciment. As the GM is insisting that he is a decendent of one of the primarchs, and therefor the emperor himself. Which I believe is straight BS. Denying a mind-wiped character the ability to create a backround is fine in my book, as they cannot recall. But the grandson of the emperor is a bit much.

In essence I don't wish to hurt his feelings, as he is a good friend and may very well prove to be a good GM. But in my time as GM I always followed one thing. "I, the GM, have complete control of the what, why, and who. I leave history to those who have lived it (the PCs)." How best to deal with this prediciment?



#2 jadrax

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:58 PM

Tell him if it doesn't change, that you will not play.

I know it sounds harsh, but not only does it mean you will not be trapped playing a game you dont want too. It will also underline the experience for the GM and make him relaise that players enjoying the game is the most important part of roleplay.



#3 Jack of Tears

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 01:15 PM

>>who was GMing D&D campaigns before I was even born (true story).<<

Not so surprising, I've probably been GMing since before you were born.  Way to make me feel old.

I will make one comment on your background here - while it is interesting, it might be a bit too much.  Most GMs like players who are just begining their careers in ernest, rather than those whose interesting stories have already been told.  The "I was once the coolest guy on my planet, but got jacked for making a mistake" background tends to put GMs on edge - especially us older types.

That all said, the backround in general doesn't seem to be his problem so much as he wants to put you in a situation where he feels you have a legitimate reason to be on the run - "you screwed up, you were outcast."

Do not, as others have suggested, threaten not to play if he doesn't come around - no GM is going to take kindly to that.  If he bends to that sort of pressure now he's going to wonder what happens next - "if I don't get to meet my sister at our secret rendezvous, dispite the adventure, I'm going to quit!"  "If I don't get my father's sacred sword I'm going to quit!" Giving into that kind of demand is the last thing a GM is prone to do.

Instead, talk to him.  Tell him that you put a great deal of work into your history and the changes he has made bother you.  Ask him if there is some middle ground you can reach.  If he doesn't like something specific about your background, perhaps you both can compromise to achieve something that will make you happy ... or at least that you both can live with.

As for the other guy's background ... well, he's been mind wiped so he doesn't need to know it, yes?  Let the GM run with his idea here, it might be very interesting. (or it might blow up in his face, but that isn't your call to make)

 



#4 John Do''h

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 12:58 AM

I'd agree with Jack, if your friend has been GMing as long as you say (and again, I'm another one suddenly feeling old having been gaming since '87 and GMing since about '89, and the wife even longer then that!) and given your issues are valid (which they do appear to be) explain to him on the basis of the background and fluff what the issues are.

He may have specific reasons for what he has done, which he may be happy to explain, or he may simply not understand the nuance of being born of a Primarch (Illuminate anyone?) or the brutal life/death nature of the rulling noble families and may just be making simple mistakes based on missinterpretations!

Either way, so what, I quote from the early days of yor "Its your game, and we wont send round the rules police to knock down your door if you change anything"



#5 Necrozius

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 03:07 AM

Holy Crap. That's pretty epic for a character at Rank 1, unless the players in your campaign start at a higher experience level...

Also: do Scum characters even get the Talent to use Power Swords?

 



#6 Luddite

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 04:35 AM

Its hard to do, i know, but i think you need to let go of the GM reigns and make the switch to player.

Your friend is the GM now.  That means' just like you when you are GM, his word is law.  The GM must be the final arbiter of any aspect of the game.

A healthy groups will create cooperatively of course and players will have as much input as possible but ultimately, its the GMs call.  Would you have it any other way if you were GM?

Now the.  Specifics.

Ira said:

 

He is a bit of a control freak with our history, and overall, our characters.

 

 

GMs have to be.  Players often have a blank page for their character and will fill it with all manner of wierdness.  The GM is there to set parameters and feed the PCs into the story by snipping out anything too 'off track'... 

Ira said:

 

He has done a few.... unnessisary things.... That I have grinned and beared for the simple fact that I knew he wouldnt throw us into a situation we could not handle to start. These unnessessities include abducting our characters in the intro scenario, to explain them comming together. In this abduction we may take one possession, either from our starting gear or trade it all off for one item justified by our backround and not too uber (for example, a powersword). And the clothes on our backs.

 

 

Who says these things are uneccessary?  The GM probably feels they are VERY neccessary, and while not an approach to starting a campaign that i would take, its where your GM is taking things.  YOU may not like it (which is a matter for RL group dynamics and metagame discussions), but thats where you are.  Your PC might not like it...but thats excellent.  Rather than moaning, why not embrace the opportunities of roleplaying a noble PC disgusted with his situation (not disgusted with the GM i might add...)

Ira said:

 

Before going on, a breakdown of my character.

<snip>

 I put alot of thought into that backround, and I deeply enjoy the story. It sets up a perfect career track with the starting skills and talants of a noble and the fellowship related skills of a scum.

 

 

Phew!  that's quite a background.  Rich and finely detailed.  Revan did quite a bit for a starting Acolyte!  Did your GM give out the basic starting xp or did this background spring out of starting at, like level 3 or something?

As a GM i love this sort of thing from players as i can see plot hooks aplenty in that little tale...

Ira said:

 

The new GM, whom is also my friend so I dont wish to naysay him too much, has altered this in ways that have no real affect on the campaign. He insists my sabre was snapped in half by my family for my dishonor, but the truth of the matter is that if they discovered me they wouldnt snap my sabre, they would summerily exicute me on the spot for disobaying orders and my mutanty.

 

 

'The truth of the matter'?!  The truth of the matter is that Revans family are NPCs.  That means they are the GMs to employ.  If the GM says your family snapped the sword - it is snapped.  Perhaps your father should have executed you but just couldn't bring himself to kill his own son so did the worst thing he could think of and dishonoured you by snapping the sword.

You don't have to like it, and personally i would use that to fuel a lovely bit of roleplaying...

Ira said:

 

He also insists the battle was lost due to my actions, however even if fifty five men spearheaded a chaos line they would be decimated within minutes. If the battle was lost due to my actions then I would not have had the chance to flee, and my sister would be very dead.

 

 

Who's to say your right here?  Your GM sees it differently and has again stepped in to control the actions of the NPCs in your backstory.  Sounds like this chap knows what he's doing to me.

He has in fact elevated Revan here from 'hero' to 'epic hero' since his actions directly affected the outcome of something significant...i'd be very happy as a player to take that on board and adopt that into my background.

Remember, background creation is a coorpative effort as much as actual play.  This should be created between you and your GM, which means that sometimes he'll impose things that you may not agree with.  Thats his job!

Ira said:

 

Insted I am stuck carrying my broken sword and that is it. With all the starting gear offered by the scum catagory I didnt think a sabre and a laspistol was much to ask for.

 

 

Your GM does.  Suck it up.  Stop moaning.  Turn it into a positive!  Now Revan has a burning desire to repair his sword, but he can't do that until he has enacted deeds that will redeem his honour with his family.  Now THAT is a very interesting motivation for a PC, and a great. fun opportunity for the player!!

 Ira said:

 

My mate, who is running a Mind-wiped character, is in a similer prediciment. As the GM is insisting that he is a decendent of one of the primarchs, and therefor the emperor himself. Which I believe is straight BS. Denying a mind-wiped character the ability to create a backround is fine in my book, as they cannot recall. But the grandson of the emperor is a bit much.

 

 

Yes, thats a bit much, for me at least (although it is precedented - as the Sensei are supposedly direct Imperial descendants i beleive...).  Perhaps your GM has plans though and all may not be as it seems.  Its worth having the talk with him though.  Presumably he has plans but if this really jars with you (it would me), just let him know your opinions, and why you think thats going a bit far.  He may tone it down...or not...

 Ira said:

 

But in my time as GM I always followed one thing. "I, the GM, have complete control of the what, why, and who. I leave history to those who have lived it (the PCs)."

 

 

Fair enough.  thats how YOU would do it.  But you're not the GM, and your friend it seems has a different approach.

I'd suggest you make the switch to being a player and leave the GMing for this game to your friend. 



#7 Wu Ming

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:26 AM

Ludite make a good point regarding 'making the switch' the group I game with all the players alos run games that we each play in regularly. each have their own distinct naritive styles, tone, 'power level' (ranging from peasents to new young gods) and diffrent takes on rules or even completely unique home brews. It can be jarring to be in a situation where you as GM would do x or y but your mate running the game is going  with b, put three or four GMs around a table and you can often run into interesting sidetracks, what we have learned to do is have a brief aside were a player (also a GM) can say their quick peace, 'oh I always though that the paragraph on pg. 156 meant this...' and each other player might imput their spin. BUT the bloke running the gaming regardless of the opinions of the other's at the table says what actually happens.

This works for us because one as a GM you're used to saying your peice as it is, even more used to getting your way, by at least telling your mate who's running now what you think at least you can get it out there and off of your chest, however as Ludite points out you have to step back and let him run the game how he sees fit. Just try to think of a time a player or players may have disputed something you had in a game, and how you might have stuck to your guns and the players later telling you, once they'd seen or experienced the whole picture or event that they understood why you did what you did or that they just enjoyed it. I know I'd had this occur with me many times both as a player and a GM. While I would like most I thin ktend to agree with you regarding the whole Primarch angle who really knows what's going on in your GMs head or what he has scrawled in his notes the broken sword, mind-wiped Primarch ect could all be a smoke screen for something else, for something better.



#8 Ira

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 07:50 AM

Looking at it now, your right. Forgive my ignorance. I will stay on with the minor alterations to my history and work with it.

Oh, and yes, he has started us with a random expirance number between 1200 and 1700. Most of us rolled high and are at the third rank. I owe however low my rank was to the fact that Revan has been on the run for 10 years. He hasnt had time to keep up with his noble training and learning. He has learned how to use words to charm and decieve others into his bidding (as any scum should), and his combat skills were rolled high so hes rather balanced. His willpower is a little low but thats fine as the blow to his honor has surely weakened his will.

 

Thank you all for the insight.



#9 Nojo509

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 11:33 AM

Ah, I'm glad this wasn't the background for a normal 400 xp starting character.

But I don't get the choice of Scum. If I had this background, I would want Guardsman skills,Given your well thought out background, your GM could let you take a few Scumish skills or tallents as elite advances.

But that's just me. However, you might talk to the GM about taking some Guardsman abilities as elite advances. You are going to want to use that sword someday....



#10 Peacekeeper_b

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 03:17 PM

So you are complaining about the GM before the first session is even played and are mad because he might just have something planned and in mind and thinks the changes he makes maybe for the better to fit his vision?

A player like that comes to me and says "Im not playing unless I get X and Y and Z" I say, "fine, go play somewhere else". Ive been a GM for 20 years or so now, Ive done it before, Ill probably do it again. Never get attached to your character, especially before the game even begins. Let him run his game and if you have issues after the game, talk to him. If you dont want to be the cause of the loss of the battle, perhaps you didnt cause the loss, but people think you did.

I like the idea of the broken sword. It becomes your memneto and "charm" and gives your a character a goal "I will reclaim my honor, and on that day, this sword will be one again... and shortly after that get mono treatment or a power field added to it"

So either buck up and let him run the game, or go back to being a GM.



#11 Ira

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 05:00 AM

Nojo509 said:

 

Ah, I'm glad this wasn't the background for a normal 400 xp starting character.

But I don't get the choice of Scum. If I had this background, I would want Guardsman skills,Given your well thought out background, your GM could let you take a few Scumish skills or tallents as elite advances.

But that's just me. However, you might talk to the GM about taking some Guardsman abilities as elite advances. You are going to want to use that sword someday....

 

 

 

I chose scum for a few reasons. Gaming reasons because he starts with alot of fellowship skills that I believe a noble should have, but a guardsmen doesnt. And I would imagine fleeing from his family for 10 years his command skills would deminish, as well as his more combat related skills. Guardsmen start with a ton of combat training skills and equipment. He has been fleeing with limited equipment. Later down the skill tree scum do get some of that back, so it makes sense to me, and as this will be a long campaign he will have power weapon training long before his sword will get fitted with a power field generator.

As for repairing the sword, I talked to the tech-priest in our group in our last gaming session and he will have the ability to repair it once we get off this feral world and can obtain some components.

 

>>Peacekeeper<<

I havent said the whole X, Y, Z bit.... He and I came to an agreement about the sabre and the backround. As I said in my previous post.






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