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Kobato

Do we have to tell a story?

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I have a question I showed this game to my group and we played for a month and I tried doing the whole story telling and it didn't catch on to my group. so do we have to tell a story while playing this game or can we let the players do what ever they want?

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In short: no, of course not.

To elaborate a bit however, RPGs are a collaborative storytelling exercise/format for a social gathering that's meant to be fun if not exciting, so someone has to be weaving the story. Someone has to be driving the action with interesting and dynamic situations. Often times players (especially new or inexperienced ones) are paralyzed by the tyranny of choices that exist when a GM just looks at them waiting for them to do something next. You don't have to have a cohesive plot with an end goal, but you do have to present them them with scenarios and options that will spur them into action in interesting ways. Often times the easiest way to do that is through a loosely planned plot line. But you should always allow room for your players to do what interests them, and you also want to keep things moving forward.

Does that make sense? What are you having trouble with specifically about your story, maybe we could help?

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Well I'm having a hard time keeping my players in the mind set of this world is different from the actual world because two of them are in the military and one of them went away from the party and said how the military would do this and that and just went ahead and did it (totally not part of my story) and one other person always tries to use his heavy lifting advantage when slashing someone with a kukuri. got any tips on how i can keep them in the mind set of this world is different from the actual world??

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It's a fine line, because you don't want to strong-arm your players into doing what you want. At the same time, in this setting, they should understand that to go it alone is basically suicide. Zombies, bandits, LE, military, etc...  I kind of disagree with your statement that this game is different from the real world; yes, it's a game, so that's different, but the whole point of this particular game is that you're playing yourself, in the area you inhabit, albeit with extreme circumstances.

 

So, to answer your question, this ISN'T your typical DnD session, where you plan everything. If you read the book, and think about it a little, this is much looser. As it takes palce in the real world, with real poeple, you can't direct them as much; they will, by defintion, have more "free will". You basically establish a timeline, maybe  some area encounters, or randoms, then be ready to improvise. I gave my players a map of the area, and let them go nuts. FYI, it's hilarious how quickly one guy was willing to murder someone for his truck ;)

 

So, give them free rein, with the understanding that going anywhere alone is tantamount to suicide, then have fun !

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Also, be judicious with what you "allow". A player can attempt anything. You be the judge of how hard it is, right ? You wanna wade into a throng of zombies with a kukri knife ? Go right ahead. You wanna execute military style tactics with untrained allies ? Sure. Leap off the third story while pitching a molotov behind you? Well, you get the idea...:)

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With all due respect, I find it hard to believe the "solo" guy is in the military as you pretty much get pounded into your head that you are a team and success depends on the team working together as a unit from day one.  You're pretty much taught being a lone gunman is a sure-fire way of getting yourself killed.

 

-Former U.S. Army btw. 

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Well I'm having a hard time keeping my players in the mind set of this world is different from the actual world because two of them are in the military and one of them went away from the party and said how the military would do this and that and just went ahead and did it (totally not part of my story) and one other person always tries to use his heavy lifting advantage when slashing someone with a kukuri. got any tips on how i can keep them in the mind set of this world is different from the actual world??

I apologize, I'm really not understanding what exactly the problem is.

For one, I WISH my players would treat the game world more like the real world. But that aside, is the problem that the party has split, or that they're doing things you didn't expect, or acting too conservatively, or...?

Ultimately, GMing is tough, and it's a true skill and art to balance the progression of a storyline you feel strongly about, and letting your PCs have the freedom to do whatever that they would have IRL. Try to figure out ways to bend your story into their framework. There has to be more than one way to do what you're trying to do.

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Well I'm having a hard time keeping my players in the mind set of this world is different from the actual world because two of them are in the military and one of them went away from the party and said how the military would do this and that and just went ahead and did it (totally not part of my story) and one other person always tries to use his heavy lifting advantage when slashing someone with a kukuri. got any tips on how i can keep them in the mind set of this world is different from the actual world??

I apologize, I'm really not understanding what exactly the problem is.

For one, I WISH my players would treat the game world more like the real world. But that aside, is the problem that the party has split, or that they're doing things you didn't expect, or acting too conservatively, or...?

Ultimately, GMing is tough, and it's a true skill and art to balance the progression of a storyline you feel strongly about, and letting your PCs have the freedom to do whatever that they would have IRL. Try to figure out ways to bend your story into their framework. There has to be more than one way to do what you're trying to do.

 

 

Edit:  Misread quote.  So removing previous comment due to misunderstanding.  Would delete post if I could.  Apologies.  :-/

Edited by Brother Malachai

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Well I'm having a hard time keeping my players in the mind set of this world is different from the actual world because two of them are in the military and one of them went away from the party and said how the military would do this and that and just went ahead and did it (totally not part of my story) and one other person always tries to use his heavy lifting advantage when slashing someone with a kukuri. got any tips on how i can keep them in the mind set of this world is different from the actual world??

 

If your players want to run a mindless zombie-killing action game, that's cool.  (Assuming you're cool with it, too, of course.)  Running an RPG is all about having fun.  Yes, they often involve some sort of story, but it's a story dictated by the players as much as the GM.

 

Of course, ZA may not be the best game engine to use for an action-heavy game - this game has loose rules and leaves a lot up to the imagination, which is generally better for story-heavy games rather than combat-heavy ones.  But nothing is impossible.

 

For the guy who's goingoff on his own - just let him go.  Throw a few large hordes of zombies at him and he'll probably return to the group, assuming he lives.  I would not advise pulling punches - if the dice say he dies, then he dies.  That said, don't try to force him back to the group.  Just... show him why he might want to do so. :P

 

For the kukri guy, I'd try to explain that slashing is less about "lifting" force, more about kinetic force passing by the target.  I suppose his logic is that "Heavy Lifting" = strong = more force behind his swing.  However, if he's pushing that hard into the body of his target, the only thing he's likely to accomplish is getting his weapon stuck inside.

 

For a loose-rules game like ZA, the benefit of an ability like this should really only be applied to cases that are descriptively appropriate.  ie: lifting things.  If he's not lifting something, it doesn't count.  If he wants to try picking upa  zombie and throwing it at otehr zombies; now we're talking. :P

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