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Desslok

Players and the Perpetual Poverty Problem

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Few thoughts.

 

When PCs are rich, they are noticed by those who may want to take their stuff and money. At certain point, I would make campaign more about PCs defending their property than going to adventures. If one leaves his home unattented for two weeks while he is adventuring in some distant planet far far away, criminals might visit his home and take away everything he left there. Maybe criminals would even empty his bank account. (There are reasons why IRL people are discouraged to tell about their vacation plans in facebook etc.) I probably wouldn't actually rob PCs from their fortunes, but I would try to encourage paranoia and fear about losing it. Remember PCs don't need to go to adventures, adventures (although different) can come to them.

 

If they are rich enough they will be noticed by Hutt crime boss. Or rivaling business man who acts as friend, but actually tries to con PCs and acquire their money and space ships. Remember, having all the money in universe makes you the only target for criminals.

 

If your players act play an idiots, then don't be afraid to give them in game penalties about in game stupidity.

 

Ask your players what they and their characters want? If they want to acquire riches, then ask why? Do they want to powerfull? Talk about other ways to be powerfull. Remember movies, Jabba the Hutt was one of the most powerfull/richest crime lords, but he was killed by a "slave girl". If players really want to play a game where they acquire possessions, them that is their type of game (and IMO that is not bad or wrong), and best solution for you would be to try finding a new group of players as another group you play with. But, changing the way group plays is not impossible, but may be hard and take long time. Pile up all the problems having too much money will cause to players and then have a one shot with different characters (same players) with totally different premise, and no stress which money is inducing. Embrace the narrative game mechanics, go for light hearted Action. After the oneshot talk about it with players. Which game style they prefer. But remember to respect players. If they clearly prefer current kind of money hogging game then try to enjoy it. Embrace it. Make money center of the game. Create new house rules for it. And remember, if money is the center of game, then losing it must be the adversity. Make adventures about finding out where money is disappearing. "The ship Long Shadow of Emperors Left Leg is costing averagely 20% more than other ships on of its scale on your fleet. You have to make an inspection." Good (or bad depending on your preferences) side: less changes for combat. And remember, good employees are hard to find. After PCs spend two sessions interviewing clueless NPCs to find a good majordomo, they may actually appreciate something new (even if it's low paying adventure).

 

Let some NPC take those missions which PCs turn down as not paying enough, and make him acquire a lot of reputation and XP (or even money) from them. "You remember Johnny Pathetic who took the mission you turned town? You hear a rumour he was just granted a new [insert very expensive ship here] as a reward for saving the daughter of a Hutt who also was in the lost space ship you declined to search." (PCs don't know your adventure plans, so don't hesitate to sometimes change them and reuse them if PCs don't catch the bait. But also remember this is about players having fun. So everything you do should enhance the players enjoyment in immediate or long run. And if you use this kind of bait and switch, them remember sometimes give larger than usual rewards to players (that way those don't seem just as a tease). Not necessary money, but something useful. E.g. Hutt lord or imperial Moff promises a favor to them.)

 

Have PCs cross paths with a Hutt crime lord Borga Desilijic Prooda (name random generated), whom they anger. Then crime lord asks (orders) them on mission, as partial payment from their crime. If PCs attack the Hutt or don't obey his orders they'll anger him and maybe even the whole Desilijic clan. That would be quite obligation.

 

What kind of obligations they have? How high they are? If they high enough, no lawfull official will want to have anything to do with PCs, and if it's low enough, no criminal will have anything positive to do with them. 

 

Order 66 podcast had a good episode about players with D20 midset, and how to handle them with them. Listen Episode 24 (starting around 56 minute), and episode 22. Both contain good tips and toughts.

 

And, lastly. Think about your adventures. Are they entertaining enough?

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Sadly I have game with these same guys for over 30 years.  They dont change.  On one hand the RPGs say let your players shine, on the other hand you have to have balance and challenge.  These guys always play the same.  Power hungry.  I want to be the most powerful player at the table.  We want to kill EVERYTHING.  We dont take mouth/direction from anyone.  They play like idiots.  They always have,  Its never been Roleplay but Roll play.  After I spend $100s on books and take weeks to prep, I finish each session with, yeah, just need to TPK them or beat them down every session until they get it.  Which they wont.  For some reason any game non DnD or Powers and Perils and they just take a who the F cares approach, and once again I stop running games and just them play DnD on their own.

 

I hate to say it but you need new players.  This is exactly the wrong kind of game for people like that.  I am lucky to have good players, but part of that is that I don't allow players at my table (or in my email games) unless they 'buy-in' to the game I'm trying to run.  

 

I know it's easier said than done to tell your friends they are a bunch of jerks, but seriously, try to get into an online game or something.  You'll enjoy it much more when you're playing with people on your own wave-length. You can still play Imperial Assault or boardgames with your good-for-nothing munchkin friends, but save the RPGs for people who deserve it.  

Edited by Maelora

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Sadly I have game with these same guys for over 30 years.  They dont change.  On one hand the RPGs say let your players shine, on the other hand you have to have balance and challenge.  These guys always play the same.  Power hungry.  I want to be the most powerful player at the table.  We want to kill EVERYTHING.  We dont take mouth/direction from anyone.  They play like idiots.  They always have,  Its never been Roleplay but Roll play.  After I spend $100s on books and take weeks to prep, I finish each session with, yeah, just need to TPK them or beat them down every session until they get it.  Which they wont.  For some reason any game non DnD or Powers and Perils and they just take a who the F cares approach, and once again I stop running games and just them play DnD on their own.

 

I hate to say it but you need new players.  This is exactly the wrong kind of game for people like that.  I am lucky to have good players, but pat of that is that I don't allow players at my table (or in my email games) unless they 'buy-in' to the game I'm trying to run.  

 

I know it's easier said than done to tell your friends they are a bunch of jerks, but seriously, try to get into an online game or something.  You'll enjoy it much more when you're playing with people on your own wave-length. You can still play Imperial Assault or boardgames with your good-for-nothing munchkin friends, but save the RPGs for people who deserve it.  

 

 

Outside of your a little bit too much attitude … well I have to agree.

 

Nothing wrong with that type of players in general, but there is no point in having them either if you do not enjoy that particular type of play. There are tons of play styles for RPs and not all of them are for you or me or really anyone. The "DnD" mindset is disgusting for me too, but hey, whatever people enjoy., it's not my problem because it certainly will not happen on my table. ;-)

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Outside of your a little bit too much attitude …

 

Oh, I'm full of attitude.  I learned from Desslok and Donovan, two of the very best!

 

But yeah, those players ultimately need another game and Bob needs different players. Nobody is gonna enjoy themselves here.

Edited by Maelora

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Credits really aren't the problem. The GM has complete control over the ebb and flow of party resources. It's Star Wars--have a fuel cell deplete, hyperdrive go out during battle. Out of battle--the part, ship, mining colony, whatever they just bought was stolen (restricted, about to be taken by a criminal organization).

 

With this in mind, you can let the players fly their own ships, collect their bounties, and build their bases without fear. Just let their actions drive the story.

 

The players I know...

 

Their actions would always lead to a quick death.

 

Okay, time to make new characters again (their favorite part).  Okay lets spend hours or a few weeks as a GM creating a story.  Okay whats your plan or reaction to the situation?

 

Really?  Okay - action consequences.  Need to kill them off again or rob them blind again.  Except it takes to long to come up with adventures or a world just to have them take a same approach.   WE WHACK IT!  WE LOOT IT!  WE DOUBLE CROSS IT!  IF ITS A FEMALE WE TRY TO SLEEP WITH IT!

 

Doesnt matter what RPG system - they treat it more like a computer game, just shoot your way through it.  +Armor till max + Damage till max.  Buy biggest bulldozer and plow under.

Edited by BlackOpsBob

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In the 3 games we played I have said in game and in meta that "the Hutts" are in control. 

 

No. I mean have you laid out in very clear, very precise terms that you are dissatisfied with the game and the style that they seem to default to. That Star Wars is about the story, not the gear. Don't obfuscate the matter with in-game talk about the hutts being in control. Tell them YOU are unhappy the direction the game has taken and that you'd like to see them try something new.

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Really?  Okay - action consequences.  Need to kill them off again or rob them blind again.  Except it takes to long to come up with adventures or a world just to have them take a same approach.   WE WHACK IT!  WE LOOT IT!  WE DOUBLE CROSS IT!  IF ITS A FEMALE WE TRY TO SLEEP WITH IT!

 

Doesnt matter what RPG system - they treat it more like a computer game, just shoot your way through it.  +Armor till max + Damage till max.  Buy biggest bulldozer and plow under.

 

Desslok has a great point. Those kinds of players really haven't ever been told no (and that honestly was probably a parenting problem). Acting like that IRL gets your a** kicked--I'll start the line. Acting like that in a campaign will draw the ire of every single person, family, organization and government they wrong. Make sure that your players know that their actions have consequences from the starting line.

 

So they lie, cheat, steal, whack, pillage, plunder, etc. <--So do plenty of other creatures in the Star Wars universe, but they don't just do so with abandon. They do so cautiously, to not attract attention. If your players keep being stupid--let them. But punish the crap out of them for it. Space authorities can be bought, "oops" that mercenary group you cheated out of that contract just stole your ship. The husband of the wife they seduced reported them to the Empire and now they can't move without getting shot. If they act like that they will have to watch their backs constantly.

 

My #1 rule as a GM is punish stupidity, reward creativity.

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A few toughts on roleplaying in general:

The money-topic is discussed every few weeks but i think it is a placeholder for different styles of game. The "Keeping them Hungry"- section in the core rulebook is a advice but it is not the core of the game mechanic.

Sure it is possible to play a Han-Solo-Style campaign where the players have to decide between buying food and spaceship replacement parts but that is not the only way to play. Even not in a "Scum and Villainy" campaign in edge of the empire. There is Lando Calrissian who is certainly not in need of money or Boba Fett who has every tools he thinks is appropriate for the job.

To me the problem is that the GM and the Players want to play a different style of campaign. Sure - the GM is the final arbiter on everything on the table but we play this game together and if there is no common ground i think playing the game is kinda useless.

There are dozens of ways to get the players involved. Not just money. If the players are too good equipped than give the enemies good toys too. A Boba Fett doesn't mess with the regular cantina scum. There are also far more motivations than just boring money. Friends, family, allies in need, enemies to be feared or hunted...

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If I may offer a few variations on what's been offered up so far---

- Start a session with them being offered a job that pays "too little." The party offering the job takes offense at their seeming attempt at extortion, and sics some of his muscle on them. He also starts spreading the word that they're shakedown artists, which, the more they try to negotiate for higher pay, the stronger that reputation grows, increasing their difficulty in negotiating for better pay. On top of which, the thugs from the original NPC who took offense are now recurring thorns in the PC's sides.

- Separate them from their money for a while. No, don't drain their accounts, but maybe lock them as they are investigated for crimes against the Empire. Or have their hyperdrive go out in a civilized area of space where Imperial credits aren't honored. They need parts to repair the ship, but their mounds of Imperial currency can't help them. Either way, you could milk a few sessions out of them having to get by with only what they have on them.

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Really?  Okay - action consequences.  Need to kill them off again or rob them blind again.  Except it takes to long to come up with adventures or a world just to have them take a same approach.   WE WHACK IT!  WE LOOT IT!  WE DOUBLE CROSS IT!  IF ITS A FEMALE WE TRY TO SLEEP WITH IT!

 

Doesnt matter what RPG system - they treat it more like a computer game, just shoot your way through it.  +Armor till max + Damage till max.  Buy biggest bulldozer and plow under.

 

Desslok has a great point. Those kinds of players really haven't ever been told no (and that honestly was probably a parenting problem). Acting like that IRL gets your a** kicked--I'll start the line. Acting like that in a campaign will draw the ire of every single person, family, organization and government they wrong. Make sure that your players know that their actions have consequences from the starting line.

 

So they lie, cheat, steal, whack, pillage, plunder, etc. <--So do plenty of other creatures in the Star Wars universe, but they don't just do so with abandon. They do so cautiously, to not attract attention. If your players keep being stupid--let them. But punish the crap out of them for it. Space authorities can be bought, "oops" that mercenary group you cheated out of that contract just stole your ship. The husband of the wife they seduced reported them to the Empire and now they can't move without getting shot. If they act like that they will have to watch their backs constantly.

 

My #1 rule as a GM is punish stupidity, reward creativity.

 

 

 

Yeap -- the "world" of the game needs to stop babying players like those we have in question here. 

 

All the NPCs need to start reacting like real people in those positions would react. 

 

Despite the melodramatic / faerie-tale structure of the Star Wars setting, it would not surprise me if the Empire, Rebellion, Hutt Cartel, Corporate Sector, and various other powers don't have some very unofficial back-channel contacts where they all mutually "disavow" certain VERY BAD actors and make them persona-non-Grata across borders in an effort to preserve what they're all fighting over.   (While the ISB is very dogmatic, Imperial Intelligence reputedly has a lot of pragmatic holdover from the pre-Empire era). 

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All of this is great advice... assuming the players don't realise what they are doing and can adjust their behaviours.

 

But I think the problem is that Bob wants to GM a Star Wars game and they want to play GTA (or it's deliberately over the top parody, Saints Row).  Or something like 'Hatred' that really is just murdering pedestrians, and I didn't even believe it was real until I saw it on Steam... 

 

With players like that, they usually won't ever take advice or adapt to the game world.  At best, they might do all right playing board games but they just don't 'get' RPGs.   

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Yeap -- the "world" of the game needs to stop babying players like those we have in question here. 

 

All the NPCs need to start reacting like real people in those positions would react. 

 

Despite the melodramatic / faerie-tale structure of the Star Wars setting, it would not surprise me if the Empire, Rebellion, Hutt Cartel, Corporate Sector, and various other powers don't have some very unofficial back-channel contacts where they all mutually "disavow" certain VERY BAD actors and make them persona-non-Grata across borders in an effort to preserve what they're all fighting over.   (While the ISB is very dogmatic, Imperial Intelligence reputedly has a lot of pragmatic holdover from the pre-Empire era). 

 

Indeed. Stop the coddling and get after the problem players. Have entire sectors stop doing business with them entirely. COMPNOR has close to unlimited resources, as do many of the crime syndicates. Max has the right idea again.

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All of this is great advice... assuming the players don't realise what they are doing and can adjust their behaviours.

 

But I think the problem is that Bob wants to GM a Star Wars game and they want to play GTA (or it's deliberately over the top parody, Saints Row).  Or something like 'Hatred' that really is just murdering pedestrians, and I didn't even believe it was real until I saw it on Steam... 

 

With players like that, they usually won't ever take advice or adapt to the game world.  At best, they might do all right playing board games but they just don't 'get' RPGs. 

A GM should be guiding that starship back into the proper galaxy far far away Maelora. We want every player to have a blast, and there are an amazing amount of options available for that to happen (57 races by my last count, a ridiculous number of mix and match career/specializations).

 

Begin every campaign with clear expectations for both the GM and players. If you want to play a parody campaign--great! Start it that way. Don't ruin it for everyone else.

 

Edit: didn't save my original post for some reason :/ You get the super abridged version.

Edited by Jell0prime

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All of this is great advice... assuming the players don't realise what they are doing and can adjust their behaviours.

 

But I think the problem is that Bob wants to GM a Star Wars game and they want to play GTA (or it's deliberately over the top parody, Saints Row).  Or something like 'Hatred' that really is just murdering pedestrians, and I didn't even believe it was real until I saw it on Steam... 

 

With players like that, they usually won't ever take advice or adapt to the game world.  At best, they might do all right playing board games but they just don't 'get' RPGs. 

A GM should be guiding that starship back into the proper galaxy far far away Maelora. We want every player to have a blast, and there are an amazing amount of options available for that to happen (57 races by my last count, a ridiculous number of mix and match career/specializations).

 

Begin every campaign with clear expectations for both the GM and players. If you want to play a parody campaign--great! Start it that way. Don't ruin it for everyone else.

 

Edit: didn't save my original post for some reason :/ You get the super abridged version.

 

What I have known for years, decades, is that I need to get online on meetup or something to find players who wish to have my kind of gaming experience.  Because the guys I know treat any game I have ever tried to run (Super Heroes, Star Wars etc) is just a time to "screw off".   Its not roleplay time its roll play time. GTA reference.  The last session the Wookie just stared at his Ipad except when he need to roll initiative and hit something with his Vibroaxe.  Thats all he was there for.  Talking to them is useless because they dont respect me in my honest opinion,  If I were to try and set rules or ask "hey come on now", the reply would be FU pretty much.  Honestly I never liked RPGing with these guys but tiny towns and limitations.  Maybe I will try Roll20 again.

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Yeah, you need to get out of that and find a new group - easier said than done, I know. How big of a town are we talking? 50 people or 5,000? Try looking at the local comic shop or Library? If you are age appropreate, how about something at school? Do you have other friends that you can woo into playing? Are there nearby towns/population centers that you can draw upon?

 

That or F it - go online!

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Thoughts in order of importance on how I want them to be considered

1) The single most crucial part of any game regardless of system is having a good DM/GM who is adaptable, approachable, able to improvise, knows the system well enough to balance out the actions of the player, and overall make the game FUN for the players. 

2) The second most crucial part of any game is (1) having 'good players' (positive, communicative, adaptive, friendly, rational)

3) and if that is not possible then at least  (2) having good communication between the players and GM and establishing clear expectations and preference for what type of game and how its run. 

DONE. OVER. FINISHED. END

 

We all play these games to have FUN, socialize, get away from our daily lives, etc etc ... if its not going to be fun.... don't waste your time. Talk things over as a group and work it out so its fun for the players and the GM. If its not... Find another group....Find another system.... Don't be unhappy and then complain about it...... fix it. If you don't like certain players and can't talk things through with them, don't invite them next time you DM. If you don't like a DM and can't work with them to enjoy their game.... don't play in their game. Eventually you will have a network of 'friends' you can actually enjoy playing rpgs with. 

Other positive comments: some people had very positive suggestions and good advice for how to run better games... thanks for sharing. I got some good ideas from a few of you and I appreciate it.  I quite enjoyed the side conversation on food requirements/shipping (economist here) but honestly if your playing in a star wars universe (or most other fantasy/sci fi ones) just accept that the economy/technology/politics/etc don't have logical consistency or real life conversion. If your a DM and want to fix that - you will need to do ALOT of work and bookkeeping trying to re-balance the game. The best thing I can say about "credits" is that they can be an entertaining abstraction of a currency and that they are not the gold pieces/silver pieces used in many other games :)

The prevailing questions about keeping people poor come down to 1) balance and 2) motivation. A good GM can always motivate good  players regardless of wealth. A good GM can always balance encounters against stronger/weaker parties. 

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A GM should be guiding that starship back into the proper galaxy far far away Maelora. We want every player to have a blast, and there are an amazing amount of options available for that to happen (57 races by my last count, a ridiculous number of mix and match career/specializations).

 

But if they just don't want to play and only want to kill and loot things, no amount of options or good GMing advice is going to help.   

 

It doesn't sound like Bob's players just need a bit of guidance to be better players. It sounds like they're total jerks.

 

 

 

What I have known for years, decades, is that I need to get online on meetup or something to find players who wish to have my kind of gaming experience.  Because the guys I know treat any game I have ever tried to run (Super Heroes, Star Wars etc) is just a time to "screw off".   Its not roleplay time its roll play time. GTA reference.  

 

This.  If you want to run a story-based game with a good plot and cool interactions, it's not going to work if all your players want to do is kill stuff and act like jerks.

 

You won't enjoy it, they won't enjoy it.

 

 

Yeah, you need to get out of that and find a new group - easier said than done, I know. How big of a town are we talking? 50 people or 5,000? Try looking at the local comic shop or Library? If you are age appropreate, how about something at school? Do you have other friends that you can woo into playing? Are there nearby towns/population centers that you can draw upon?

 

That or F it - go online!

 

Yep, this. It's sad but if you keep gaming with unsuitable people, it will ruin gaming for you :(

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Yeah, you need to get out of that and find a new group - easier said than done, I know. How big of a town are we talking? 50 people or 5,000? Try looking at the local comic shop or Library? If you are age appropreate, how about something at school? Do you have other friends that you can woo into playing? Are there nearby towns/population centers that you can draw upon?

 

That or F it - go online!

 

Yep, this. It's sad but if you keep gaming with unsuitable people, it will ruin gaming for you :(

 

 

Speaking as a librarian who encourages gaming in the library, I can say that it's useful only if the library is supportive of it. Otherwise gamers might be at the library, but it'll be hard to identify them, and the librarians might not be supportive of posting contact info in the public space.

 

But if your library is into gaming, there's no better place to find people. And if you want to make your library into gaming, volunteer to teach kids how to play D&D or somesuch for a few hours a month in the summer. We're suckers for community activities.

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All of this is great advice... assuming the players don't realise what they are doing and can adjust their behaviours.

 

But I think the problem is that Bob wants to GM a Star Wars game and they want to play GTA (or it's deliberately over the top parody, Saints Row).  Or something like 'Hatred' that really is just murdering pedestrians, and I didn't even believe it was real until I saw it on Steam... 

 

With players like that, they usually won't ever take advice or adapt to the game world.  At best, they might do all right playing board games but they just don't 'get' RPGs. 

A GM should be guiding that starship back into the proper galaxy far far away Maelora. We want every player to have a blast, and there are an amazing amount of options available for that to happen (57 races by my last count, a ridiculous number of mix and match career/specializations).

 

Begin every campaign with clear expectations for both the GM and players. If you want to play a parody campaign--great! Start it that way. Don't ruin it for everyone else.

 

Edit: didn't save my original post for some reason :/ You get the super abridged version.

 

What I have known for years, decades, is that I need to get online on meetup or something to find players who wish to have my kind of gaming experience.  Because the guys I know treat any game I have ever tried to run (Super Heroes, Star Wars etc) is just a time to "screw off".   Its not roleplay time its roll play time. GTA reference.  The last session the Wookie just stared at his Ipad except when he need to roll initiative and hit something with his Vibroaxe.  Thats all he was there for.  Talking to them is useless because they dont respect me in my honest opinion,  If I were to try and set rules or ask "hey come on now", the reply would be FU pretty much.  Honestly I never liked RPGing with these guys but tiny towns and limitations.  Maybe I will try Roll20 again.

 

 

LOL. But honestly, get players from out of town if you are in one of those incest driven 500 people villages. And if that is not on option because you live basically in the alaskan woods or something like that. Is that really a good place to be? ^-^

But maybe I am not a little dogmatic and as well plenty of spoiled with living in urban areas nearly exclusively. 

Edited by SEApocalypse

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Not sure how one could be spoiled by living in a human hive... :P;)

 

Human hives have this thing which is called infrastructure. Shopping, internet, cheap and reliable public transportation, about 6 FLGSs, a dozen or so hema clubs, you know, that kind of stuff. 

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Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this conversation. A lot of great insights and great ideas in this thread. Of course, we won't always find or have the ideal players (though that would be amazing). But, it is nice to know that there are GM's who go out of their way to make the game the most it can be.

 

I know it doesn't always seem like our efforts are worth it as GM's. My session last night (the end of a campaign) brought the comment from a relatively new player "that was so f***ing fun, I want to try running a short campaign next if that's okay with you." Bringing up that next generation of gamers feels good.

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