Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I am currently playing in an EotE game and the GM seems to have a problem with chronically being stuck in 1st gear and seems to have a need to describe everything in full sequence rather than using screen wipes. I have expressed my dismay about this situation, and I become disengaged rather quickly while the GM bogs the game in excessive description and inane dialogue. I like to Role-Play, and I like world detail, but the pacing here seems to be perpetually off. 

As a player it is relatively easy usually to get the GM to slow down, you can just say "hey can we do this?" or "Can we go back to that for just a minute?" but I have yet to find a way to speed this stuff up that doesn't come off as rude. I don't really want to quit the game but the inefficient use of time is getting to me. 

Any suggestions as to how you can get a GM to speed up? If not for this specific situation then just as a general topic? Thank you :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you and the group just need to talk to him or her. Maybe say you'd like a slightly faster-paced game, and suggest ways you might convey to the GM when you all feel it's time to move on. In play-by-post games, I and other players sometimes say things like, "I'm cool to screen wipe to the ship now, unless anyone else has something they want to do here." Maybe your group and the GM could work out short phrases like that that could work at the table. "I'm ready to move on. How 'bout y'all?" can be effective.

Edited by SavageBob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds frustrating. It sounds like you have brought it up, but it's still happening. I'm really sorry that your GM isn't listening to you. If directly addressing this with the GM won't help, that puts the burden on you, which is unfortunate and unfair. Honestly, I'm having trouble thinking of ways that could be interpreted as universally "polite", other than adding "please". As a GM, a brusque nudge would not upset me in situations like this, but I can't speak for your GM. Maybe if you presented your "impatience" as "enthusiasm" to get the plot/action? It shouldn't be your sole responsibility to bring and maintain the energy and pace, but maybe if you did others would follow suit?

Best of luck, and I hope you can resolve this and still enjoy your game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pacing is definitely a matter of finesse that GMs will learn and have to practice over time. 

I agree with @nameless ronin - does the rest of the group share this perception, or is it just you?  "Excessive description and inane dialog" paint an interesting picture here, as there is a common complaint about description and dialog being in short supply.  Is the GM reading this off a page? 

As for a GM improving their pacing, the best option is to listen to the pros - find some podcasts/videos that do feel right, and observe how they manage it.  There are a number of treatises around pacing to be found via google but honestly the best examples are common examples like episodic TV shows and even commercials in which a lot of information has to be conveyed in a short period of time, and stick.  Show, don't tell, and if chekhov's gun is there, we expect to see it go off at some point. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, themensch said:

"Excessive description and inane dialog" paint an interesting picture here, as there is a common complaint about description and dialog being in short supply.

“Dialog” also usually implies more than one person being involved. Only usually, not always, so I’m keeping an open mind for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a case of the GM as meticulously written out a in-depth and detailed story, and must ensure that the players bask in the glory of every carefully crafted description and line of dialogue.

Easy trap for GMs to fall into, and I did that with my first few homebrew adventures.

If he is not open to a direct chat about this, Its up to you as good players to take his on rails interactive novel so far off script that he realises that is not how to run this system. Thats how I learnt not to over script my adventures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

Where does the rest of the group stand? Have you brought this up with the other players? 

I have, and they tried to split the baby so it wasn't a definitive sort of resolution. I specifically have told the GM exactly what I am talking about and in detail. In the next session I am going to just have to say something in the moment and not worry about how it comes off. As a player I tend to be active, which is to say I am trying to do things to engage hooks and to otherwise drive action and a story (in the form of what is happening), so being stymied by time killing is a bummer.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, themensch said:

Pacing is definitely a matter of finesse that GMs will learn and have to practice over time. 

I agree with @nameless ronin - does the rest of the group share this perception, or is it just you?  "Excessive description and inane dialog" paint an interesting picture here, as there is a common complaint about description and dialog being in short supply.  Is the GM reading this off a page? 

As for a GM improving their pacing, the best option is to listen to the pros - find some podcasts/videos that do feel right, and observe how they manage it.  There are a number of treatises around pacing to be found via google but honestly the best examples are common examples like episodic TV shows and even commercials in which a lot of information has to be conveyed in a short period of time, and stick.  Show, don't tell, and if chekhov's gun is there, we expect to see it go off at some point. 

He isn't reading from anything but just seems to be averse to movement through and into new scenes.  That is good advice though I will try to get that into play. 

Edited by Archlyte

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope It works out for you and your group! GM'ing is a skill and it takes a while to get it right. I usually have fairly passive players and have to do a lot of prompting to get them to take action and express their needs. It's of course due to them being fairly inexperienced.  I would love some more active player as well as players giving me feedback!

Remember; when giving feedback it's best to try to look at it as a gift that you are giving the person. Be specific about what it is with examples, and be honest with how it makes you feel. 

Another thing to remember is that the GM is entitled to the same level of enjoyment as the players. So be mindful of that when giving the feedback.

Ultimately, if the GM refuses to listen to feedback you should not play with that GM. RPG's are a big time investment and should be enjoyable! (at least most of the time) 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are all really good points.  I would like to follow up with a couple items.

1.)  Don't issue ultimatums.  Ultimatums have this interesting effect where either you end up being looked at as a bully, OR will just entrench the other person in their position.  If you make the decision to leave, just thank the group for the "good times" and exit.  If you feel it necessary, give the GM a side note with your feedback, and if you are feeling particularly generous, some examples you find may be helpful.  Be careful not to be disparaging in your feedback.  Also keep in mind exiting on "good terms" is in your favor.  In the role playing community, you'd be surprised how fast it can get around if you are a little more than brusque.

2.)  In your feedback, also discuss things you feel the Individual did well. I mean there is some reason you've stuck it out this far, and at least some of it has to be credited to the GM.  You might want to lead in with what you think are really their strengths before delving into this one item which is a deal breaker for you.  You might even be able to say something along the lines of "... but you know what would really help bring the game to life for me,  maybe a little less verbosity in the descriptions and more concise dialogue,  and maybe some more of <Insert XYZ things you'd like to see more of>."  Follow through with examples of what you feel is "Too much dialogue" or "too much description," and be prepared with a couple tips that you've used yourself, or if you've never GM'ed before, ones you've read/discussed about with GM's you've had fun with.

3.) Do a little soul searching.  By this I mean, recognize that you may have erred in joining this game, or at least didn't recognize sooner that the play style being presented does not mesh with you.  If the GM was up front that this would be a more "Role play" / narrative / description heavy game, and you joined it,  that is on you.   However, if your GM was not forthright about the nature of the game,  point that out to them while giving your feed back.  It's very important for GMs to advertise the style of the game to be run (and preferably not only with flashy buzzwords).  A good description can help avoid these situations where expectations are not being met.

4.)  If you do decide to leave this group, and try to find another, use this as a learning experience. Identify what you liked and disliked about this game, and then when joining another group, ask the GM up front about the specific "hot button" items that you've learned are your priorities.  An "interview" with a new GM is also your opportunity to learn about them and their style. 

Those are just a couple items. that came to mind reading this thread.

Good luck :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Archlyte said:

He isn't reading from anything but just seems to be averse to movement through and into new scenes.  That is good advice though I will try to get that into play. 

It almost sounds like your GM is tired!  I hope you all can work it out, often times leading by example is the most peaceful way to move forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, TrystramK said:

These are all really good points.  I would like to follow up with a couple items.

1.)  Don't issue ultimatums.  Ultimatums have this interesting effect where either you end up being looked at as a bully, OR will just entrench the other person in their position.  If you make the decision to leave, just thank the group for the "good times" and exit.  If you feel it necessary, give the GM a side note with your feedback, and if you are feeling particularly generous, some examples you find may be helpful.  Be careful not to be disparaging in your feedback.  Also keep in mind exiting on "good terms" is in your favor.  In the role playing community, you'd be surprised how fast it can get around if you are a little more than brusque.

2.)  In your feedback, also discuss things you feel the Individual did well. I mean there is some reason you've stuck it out this far, and at least some of it has to be credited to the GM.  You might want to lead in with what you think are really their strengths before delving into this one item which is a deal breaker for you.  You might even be able to say something along the lines of "... but you know what would really help bring the game to life for me,  maybe a little less verbosity in the descriptions and more concise dialogue,  and maybe some more of <Insert XYZ things you'd like to see more of>."  Follow through with examples of what you feel is "Too much dialogue" or "too much description," and be prepared with a couple tips that you've used yourself, or if you've never GM'ed before, ones you've read/discussed about with GM's you've had fun with.

3.) Do a little soul searching.  By this I mean, recognize that you may have erred in joining this game, or at least didn't recognize sooner that the play style being presented does not mesh with you.  If the GM was up front that this would be a more "Role play" / narrative / description heavy game, and you joined it,  that is on you.   However, if your GM was not forthright about the nature of the game,  point that out to them while giving your feed back.  It's very important for GMs to advertise the style of the game to be run (and preferably not only with flashy buzzwords).  A good description can help avoid these situations where expectations are not being met.

4.)  If you do decide to leave this group, and try to find another, use this as a learning experience. Identify what you liked and disliked about this game, and then when joining another group, ask the GM up front about the specific "hot button" items that you've learned are your priorities.  An "interview" with a new GM is also your opportunity to learn about them and their style. 

Those are just a couple items. that came to mind reading this thread.

Good luck :)

1) great advice, I agree. 

2) I do this, and I was doing it a bit too much I think initially because couching my feedback in too much of the positive stuff made the point get lost in the good job sandwich. I have a lot of GM experience under my belt, a lot more than my current GM, but people are different so I don't want to assume too much because of this. I started out with slight hints and now I'm too the point of giving concrete examples of scene movement in our private discussions. 

3) I think this is a tough one, because someone can say all the right things and then you play the game, and their version of that description and yours are light years apart. I believe in trying to adapt to the style of other people, so I have bent quite a bit already, but the sheer amount of time being wasted is just awful to me. I imagine to the GM the narrative is clipping along just fine, but to me the characters have their feet in molasses. 

4) I will certainly follow this advice, thank you :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every question that begins with "How do I get my GM to..." or "How do I get my players to..." can be answered with "just talk to them before or after the game."

Overly-descriptive GMing is a side-effect of being new to game mastering. My personal rule of thumb is, if I'm using self-created box text to describe a scene, to keep it to three or four sentences. I'll go longer if I'm setting up a brand new location and there are important visuals to consider, but, in general, brevity is best.

A good GM should be open to feedback. If it was me, I'd say something like, "Hey, in general, I like how the game is going. I do find it difficult to follow what's happening with your scripted descriptions/box text/whatever. Would it be possible to just give us what we need to get through the scene?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Concise Locket said:

Every question that begins with "How do I get my GM to..." or "How do I get my players to..." can be answered with "just talk to them before or after the game."

Overly-descriptive GMing is a side-effect of being new to game mastering. My personal rule of thumb is, if I'm using self-created box text to describe a scene, to keep it to three or four sentences. I'll go longer if I'm setting up a brand new location and there are important visuals to consider, but, in general, brevity is best.

A good GM should be open to feedback. If it was me, I'd say something like, "Hey, in general, I like how the game is going. I do find it difficult to follow what's happening with your scripted descriptions/box text/whatever. Would it be possible to just give us what we need to get through the scene?"

Excellent advice all around, but I'd go one step further and suggest taking the very essence of what the written text is meant to convey, make a bullet-point list, then at game-time just describe it on the fly.  Perhaps this is just me, but when I read written text aloud, it sounds just like that unless I've practiced it to get the right phrasing so it doesn't sound like I'm reading off the page.  I won't say I detest reading aloud from the page, but it really breaks my flow. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Archlyte said:

2) I do this, and I was doing it a bit too much I think initially because couching my feedback in too much of the positive stuff made the point get lost in the good job sandwich.

A good rule of thumb I use when giving feedback is: 2 good things and 1 criticism. That way the criticism isnt lost (hopefully) and it is still mostly positive feedback.

If the GM is having trouble describing the scene, maybe suggest that he use maps and pictures. You know the old saying "A picture says more than a thousand words".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, VanHippo said:

A good rule of thumb I use when giving feedback is: 2 good things and 1 criticism. That way the criticism isnt lost (hopefully) and it is still mostly positive feedback.

If the GM is having trouble describing the scene, maybe suggest that he use maps and pictures. You know the old saying "A picture says more than a thousand words".

That's an excellent idea, and thank you. I think you are right about the two things, which is why I can now give you my criticism because I got the two nice things out of the way :) I'm just kidding, couldn't resist. 

I think that's a good thing about virtual tabletops is that pictures are involved a lot, this is a live game but we could still have the images so that's a good idea. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Concise Locket said:

Every question that begins with "How do I get my GM to..." or "How do I get my players to..." can be answered with "just talk to them before or after the game."

Overly-descriptive GMing is a side-effect of being new to game mastering. My personal rule of thumb is, if I'm using self-created box text to describe a scene, to keep it to three or four sentences. I'll go longer if I'm setting up a brand new location and there are important visuals to consider, but, in general, brevity is best.

A good GM should be open to feedback. If it was me, I'd say something like, "Hey, in general, I like how the game is going. I do find it difficult to follow what's happening with your scripted descriptions/box text/whatever. Would it be possible to just give us what we need to get through the scene?"

Maybe this is the key point here, because while he has talked about his experience that experience can be of varying levels, and quality. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Serious answer: try to talk it out and air issues in a calm, mature manner like everyone else has suggested.

 

Immature answer: If it gets too boring attack someone (preferably nearest npc) or throw a thermal detonator down the street/corridor. Nothing kills a narration like "and then everything exploded"

You can also ask yourself "what would Sterling Archer do?" your character be damned.

Alternatively, do loud fake snores and pretend sleeping when it takes too long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...