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Castlecruncher

Anyone have advice for a novice GM?

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Greetings! I'm a new SM (Star Master. Have some word play when you master the game), and have some difficulty when coming up with stories. I guess you could say I'm a sandbox GM, because whenever I try a campaign I force it on the players. Now I'm trying to make a free play experience. I'm hoping it works, but I'd like some advice on how to actually include a story every now and then, because the reason I force it on them is because they tend to kill main characters.

So, any advice for a new GM? If you have anything that you'd suggest, I'd like some suggestions.

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Lean on your players.  If they have suggestions, go for it, as long as they are reasonable and fun.

Try varying amounts of preparedness.  Go into a session without a single thing written down one week, then do another one while planning out every last thing.  Find your balance.

Don't be afraid to have fun.  Your players aren't there to judge you.  They're there to have a good time.  Always remember that!

Have your players make you a backstory.  Have them include places, characters, adversaries, and whatever else they can think of.  Abuse the hell out of them.  Let them choose their own adventure, but make sure you make it awesome no matter what.

And remember, the adventure they choose might not always be the one they want.  If they set themselves up to get caught and thrown in jail because they murdered an Imperial Moff, well, that's their own problem.  If a crime lord just happens to steal their ship and they go to get it back, and you wanted them to do that, well, what you wanted and what they wanted were the same thing.  Remember that with enough bread crumbs, your PCs can end up doing exactly what you want, even if it isn't in the same fashion.  While that doesn't always happen and you should always be ready to account for extreme cases of PC creativity, it is a wonderful tool for storytelling.  The "illusion" of choice.  Even if it isn't an illusion, if you make one story route sound REALLY cool, but entirely optional, your players are going to want to do it.

In the words of God from Futurama,

"When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all."

Edited by Endrik Tenebris

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"Star Master"  I like it.

 

Do you know why they kill all the main characters?  Learning what they want out of the game will be a huge help.  If it's that they just want to play combat, then a sandbox approach might help.  Let them be a group of mercenaries and have certain contacts reach them to set up an adventure.  

 

If they are shooting up both ally and 'nemesis' characters, you may want to isolate your "main" NPCs from the players.  A crime boss would rarely meet with them in person.  (Jabba catching Han at the Falcon being an exception, and even then he had guards, including Boba Fett)  Most often, however, a boss wanting to hire them would send an agent.  An enemy will have minions between the players and himself, not to mention having an escape pod immediately available.  

 

edit: It just dawned on me that pirates is probably a better opportunity for them than mercenaries.  

Edited by GM Stark

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"Star Master"  I like it.

 

Do you know why they kill all the main characters?  Learning what they want out of the game will be a huge help.  If it's that they just want to play combat, then a sandbox approach might help.  Let them be a group of mercenaries and have certain contacts reach them to set up an adventure.  

 

If they are shooting up both ally and 'nemesis' characters, you may want to isolate your "main" NPCs from the players.  A crime boss would rarely meet with them in person.  (Jabba catching Han at the Falcon being an exception, and even then he had guards, including Boba Fett)  Most often, however, a boss wanting to hire them would send an agent.  An enemy will have minions between the players and himself, not to mention having an escape pod immediately available.  

 

edit: It just dawned on me that pirates is probably a better opportunity for them than mercenaries.  

 

Yeah, one of my big question for me was if they were killing just enemy NPC (in which case isolation like the post above points out is best) or if they had a habit of killing random people, important allies and even just "random NPC in road #5." If they kill everyone, all the time "just for kicks," then honestly, I don't how you play with people like that, lol.

 

Example: GM - "You go into the shop that has the part you need, the owner is behind his desk and the shop is otherwise empty save the junk all over."

Player 1 - "He's alone, okay we kill him..."

If I was GM, here'd be my responce, "Really, you're not even going to try and talk to him?" *player shakes head no* "Well, I'm going home then, if y'all want to just kill everything then one of you guys can role for random NPC's from the back of the book, you don't need a GM. Enjoy your waves of enemies with no purpose."

 

My main advice for a new GM is to remember that the rules are there to help you have fun, not make the game bog down. And remember, don't compromise too much. A little is great but if you cave all the time, not only will your players not respect you, but you're game will fall apart, the GM is there for a reason, say No, and say it with conviction, and be clear that you're there to have fun too, not just to let them be "god of the universe," for two or three hours. I see a lot of new (and even "veteran") GM's who can't say no. If you're going to let the players have 100% free reign to do as they please then you may as well toss the books and dice out and just improve, it'd be more productive and less work just making up a story where everyone plays a character and can do what they want when its their "turn."

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I agree about whether it's even worth the time to play with players who literally just want to kill every character they encounter.

 

I feel like that's a kind of baseline lowest-common-denominator easiest type of character to play--one that doesn't have any qualms about killing anybody and most likely doesn't form any strong attachments or connections to any other characters.

 

You might just discuss with your players some about what they want to get out of the game, what are they trying to accomplish?

 

Personally I have enjoyed roleplaying characters (in Star Wars Galaxies many years ago) who are criminals in the mold of the Godfather films. In those films, the characters are criminals and do often have no problem killing people they don't consider important to get what they want. However, they have a philosophy about it and they do form attachments to other people.

 

Edge of the Empire seems like a great setting for characters who are shady and have some level of criminal attitude, but like TCBC Freak said, who really needs a GM to just introduce wave after wave of enemy for them to kill if there's no roleplaying involved?

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If I was GM, here'd be my responce, "Really, you're not even going to try and talk to him?" *player shakes head no* "Well, I'm going home then, if y'all want to just kill everything then one of you guys can role for random NPC's from the back of the book, you don't need a GM. Enjoy your waves of enemies with no purpose."

 

That is awesome.  Remember, the GM SM is there to have fun, too, not be a sandbox MMO server for murder-hoboes or a mark for immature boys to screw around with.  All of that is particularly inappropriate for a setting that features a cosmopolitan galaxy.

 

Any ways to address the OP, GMing is a big job, but it can really be broken-down into three different jobs: planning, refereeing and improvising.  That's chronological order with respect to any actual session, but in terms of progressive skills, I would say refereeing (adjudicating rules at the table), planning (organizing the basic adventures/plots -- the "world" the PC's encounter) and improvising (making up stuff at the table) is the order to practice.  Every new game requires a GM to work through those skills again to not only learn the system itself, but also find out what works and what doesn't in terms of content.  This is why it's easiest to run through the sample adventure in the book or start with some other published adventure. That's what I do, and I've been GMing for . . . much longer than I care to admit in a public forum.

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There are big differences to me between sandbox, railroading and being a normal GM. I ran a sandbox for murder-hobos for all through high school it was a lot of fun they'd kill my story NPCs, I'd kill their characters, rinse and repeat. Hey what do you want, we were kids. Now my group (the same murder-hobos, with a few female additions) are into a more sophisticated storytelling experience.

 

I bring up railroading because OP refers to resorting to "force" to make the story happen. Railroading is a bad way to tell a story. Railroading is forcing your players to play a story and they have little input and no options as far as the direction and choices of the story. GM: "You come down the stone steps into a long hall way, there is a wooden door ahead." PCs: "I go back up the stairs." GM: "The ceiling above the staircase collapses, you cannot go back. You're stuck in a hallway with a door." That's forced story. I know it's a crude example, but hey it's a metaphor. One path, one door, and you can't go anywhere else.

 

Now-a-days I run story games in a sandboxy world. By that I mean I have plot in an open world. I only prepare one session a head. I make sure that my plot points are vague enough that I can drop them in front of the PCs at appropriate moments, but not specific moments. I think that makes sense.

 

I don't write plot points with super descriptive situations the PCs need to discover, because I've learned over the years: everything you plan will be thwarted or negated or ignored by the PCs if you plan too much detail, so I could never write something like, "When the party gets to Tatooine, they'll be abducted by jawas. They'll be sold to a moisture farmer, then they'll try to run away so the nephew of the moisture farmer will go after them. And that's when they'll meet the old Jedi who points them in the right direction towards Alderaan." This would never work for me. If I ever hinted that there is a plot device on Tatooine, my group would immediately say, "Let's go to Nar Shaddaa to pick up some workin' gals, and gamble until we're broke. Then we can plan a heist on the local Hutt boss." Yup, that's what would happen I am sure of it.

 

Instead of going through the entire rigamarole of planning the whole Tatooine scene just so they can meet an old jedi that points them to the plot. I just plan an old jedi that will point them to the next plot line. Then drop that old jedi into play wherever it makes sense for him to pop up at. Whether its a cantina on Nar Shaddaa or on a freighter ship the party decides to attack in hopes of pillaging "sweet sweet loot."

 

Often times I also plan a "good" outcome and a "bad" outcome for certain plot points. Like in a recent engagement the session left off right after they had captured a lieutenant to a local crime boss. For the next session I planned two different ways the group could progress, basically if they went light side on him, they would gain an ally and he would help them out taking down his boss. If they went dark side on him, torturing and such they would make yet another enemy that would try to escape and warn his boss. I think needless to say; the next session, my group opted for the latter and he did attempt to escape, but one PC cut him down pretty quick. I destiny side pointed, and edited it so he got away (barely) instead. Now the local boss was warned about their encroachment, which he had time to set up traps and ambushes. I know it's a bit cheap to destiny point to let him get away, but I wasn't about to let them get off without consequence by killing the guy, after he spilled all his information because they tortured him.

 

My biggest secret in my GMing career is that I don't directly plan anything until the session before it happens. I will write a quick summary of the plot I want to run for the whole adventure. Like "Plot: destroy the death star. Plot points: find death star plans, meet old jedi, try to blow up death star." In that example two of those things will definitely happen. The party will find the death star plans, whether it's on an old droid they buy on Tatooine, or on a computer in a secret backroom of a shop on Nar Shaddaa they decided to break into (it's a front for the rebellion of course), or on a datapad they find on a bothan ship they decide to 'acquire'. Or they'll meet the old jedi somewhere, as mentioned above, who will give them a mission to go find the plans. Often good plot points don't have to be in a specific order. The party might already have the plans, and the old jedi will offer them a mission, or idea, or divine purpose to deliver the plans to the rebellion. The party might meet the old jedi before they acquire the plans. I go by what feels right for the plot.

 

If those plot points pan out and they make it to the rebellion with the plans, then the rebellion will ask them for help. But knowing my party they would rather turn in the plans to the Empire. Which I would reward them greatly for; in monetary rewards. The party will then be broadcast across the Empire as heroes of loyalty, the ultimate shining example of loyal citizens. Immediately the rebellion tracks down who it was that sold the rebellion's only hope to the Empire and sics rebel forces, and bounty hunters after them. Meanwhile the Empire sends a well trained assassin after turning them into idols to silence for dual purpose: prevent any information they may have gleaned from slipping out, and framing the rebellion, turning the loyal heroes into martyrs uniting the loyal public against the evil rebellion.

 

Heh good times, but I digress. It's a good idea to have a good idea of the plot you want to run, but only plan specific details as you need them and make them versatile enough that you can use those details wherever the PCs wander off to. Simultaneously making them ambivalent enough that they can be adapted to any choices the PCs may make.

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Ok, let me rephrase this: I was trying out the adventure from the book, and had them find the droid in the can while passing through an alleyway. While one of them strips him of parts, the other one shoots it in the head to 'end is suffering.' That much made sense, but it got annoying when they killed an important part of an adventure. And another time, one of them had just got transported to a station, and went to the cantina. The captain of the transport had gone as well, and was attacked by some goons who the captain owed money. But instead of helping the captain as would be planned, he decided to shoot the guy up and get a cut from the goons. It took some serious convince meant to get him to work with the captain (mainly by the captain setting the room on fire after two triumphs and being completely BA), but afterwards he tried to extort the captain for helping him. It just gets annoying that they always try to make a profit and kill stuff.

Anyways, I have been thinking of making them pay for their actions. There was one time when one of them got thrown in a cell for trying to kill a member of a mercenary organization over pety insults, but he got frustrated and to appease him I had the previously pacifist Ithorian traveling with them break him out. And another time he tried to attack a guy who spoke the same language as someone who tried to kill him a while ago. No matter how much I told him it was racist, he thought it was reasonable, and was only lucky that he attacked the friendly one of the group, not the die hard religious ones.

It's a tough group, and I'm trying to get used to them and maybe make it easier to do a game with them, and make the violent one less violent and the uncaring one more caring. Anyways, thanks for the advise. Really useful.

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My advice for a Novice GM (I am one, too) especially with novice players is that be flexible when it comes to actual roleplaying.  Players often have varying comfort levels with RPing.  Some people will just be like, "okay, I try negotiating a price".  Other players will actually say what the character says (with an accent or something, to boot) and go through all the dialogue.

 

new players usually are unsure of how to do it, so don't be afraid to set the tone.  If you think the players are shy or unsure of how to do it, maybe keep the RPing light (narrate what is happening rather than "act" it out) and build up as everyone gains confidence.

 

Also, new players expect to be told what they CAN do, rather than coming up with something they WANT to do. Like, "you walk up to the computer".  Then the player says, "well, what CAN i do with the computer".  Encourage them to come up with a goal in mind, then talk about how to use the computer to reach that goal, things like that.

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Ok, let me rephrase this: I was trying out the adventure from the book, and had them find the droid in the can while passing through an alleyway. While one of them strips him of parts, the other one shoots it in the head to 'end is suffering.' That much made sense, but it got annoying when they killed an important part of an adventure. And another time, one of them had just got transported to a station, and went to the cantina. The captain of the transport had gone as well, and was attacked by some goons who the captain owed money. But instead of helping the captain as would be planned, he decided to shoot the guy up and get a cut from the goons. It took some serious convince meant to get him to work with the captain (mainly by the captain setting the room on fire after two triumphs and being completely BA), but afterwards he tried to extort the captain for helping him. It just gets annoying that they always try to make a profit and kill stuff.

Anyways, I have been thinking of making them pay for their actions. There was one time when one of them got thrown in a cell for trying to kill a member of a mercenary organization over pety insults, but he got frustrated and to appease him I had the previously pacifist Ithorian traveling with them break him out. And another time he tried to attack a guy who spoke the same language as someone who tried to kill him a while ago. No matter how much I told him it was racist, he thought it was reasonable, and was only lucky that he attacked the friendly one of the group, not the die hard religious ones.

It's a tough group, and I'm trying to get used to them and maybe make it easier to do a game with them, and make the violent one less violent and the uncaring one more caring. Anyways, thanks for the advise. Really useful.

 

A quick little quote that I GM by from Paranoia, "Reward your players for doing things you want, and punish them for doing things you don't like."

 

 

My advice for a Novice GM (I am one, too) especially with novice players is that be flexible when it comes to actual roleplaying.  Players often have varying comfort levels with RPing.  Some people will just be like, "okay, I try negotiating a price".  Other players will actually say what the character says (with an accent or something, to boot) and go through all the dialogue.

 

new players usually are unsure of how to do it, so don't be afraid to set the tone.  If you think the players are shy or unsure of how to do it, maybe keep the RPing light (narrate what is happening rather than "act" it out) and build up as everyone gains confidence.

 

Also, new players expect to be told what they CAN do, rather than coming up with something they WANT to do. Like, "you walk up to the computer".  Then the player says, "well, what CAN i do with the computer".  Encourage them to come up with a goal in mind, then talk about how to use the computer to reach that goal, things like that.

 

Encourage players to role play, let them tell you their character's part of the story. Ask open ended questions that allow the player to role play.

 

Negotiation example. If a player says "I want to negotiate" I would say, "what are you saying to him?" PC answers. Me: "Go ahead and roll" Roll, comes up success/failure. Me; "narrate how you succeeded/failed your negotiation."

 

Computer example. PC: "I want to use the computer." Me: "Tell me how you're using the computer, and what you are looking for."

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Now that you've rephrased it, this is a common issue in role playing games.  It's been around as long as AD&D and "Chaotic Neutral" if not longer.  As a certain Scholar, serving as aid to a Gadgeteer Bounty Hunter succinctly said, "Some men just want to watch the world burn."  

It's not necessarily a matter of bad playing or bad GMing.  It's just a difference in what the two expect out of the game.  The GM wants to set up a story, presenting neutral characters for the players to win over, great challenges to overcome, and puzzles to solve. The players just want to shoot stuff up and loot the bodies.  

Now, I'm guessing that these players aren't fond of the Obligation game mechanic.  "My character wouldn't stress out about owing money (or having a criminal record, or -insert obligation type)."   But it's there.  The rules specify that taking on obligation should always be the players' choice. I would say that your character who turned on the transport captain would pick up the Betrayal obligation.  "Hey, you can't do that!  It's the player's choice."  "You turned against an ally for monetary gain.  You made the choice in-character."   Okay, so I doubt I would actually force this to be the case.  More likely, if a player announced this intention, I would make the offer before playing the scene, and not if the group already had a high obligation.  Even without using the Obligation mechanic, doing something like this is bound to have consequences.  The transport captain may have had friends.  Maybe he owed money to more than one source, and the other guy wants his.  The simplest, and most immediate consequence would be to have the goons turn on him once he's helped them.  After all, as the great smuggler Baron, Vladamir the Hutt, said, "Never trust a traitor, not even one you created."  

 

Doughnut hit a very important point.  "Reward your players for doing things you want, and punish them for doing things you don't like."   I generally let players know in advance the type of things I plan to reward.  For example, during character creation, I let them know that certain motivations, especially those that make adventure hooks easier to come by, will be worth a greater XP bonus than others.  I am especially looking at the Ambition:Greed motivation.  If I were Lando, I would bet Cloud City that more than one of your players (possibly half the party) has this motivation.  The group I play with mostly started with Shadowrun, so they love playing out The Meet portion, where they negotiate how much the job will pay.  It works different in Star Wars.  Usually it's "your recognize so-and-so.  There's a 10,000 credit bounty on his head - get him!"  Using a job or reward as an adventure hook will still net an experience reward for the session, depending on the difficulty.  If a session gets underway because of a motivation that doesn't involve material rewards, (basically any other motivation) then I will include role-playing bonuses, especially if the player with a certain motivation is key in getting the rest of the players to go along.  

For the most part, I prefer a Reward and Withhold Rewards methods over a system of Reward and "Punishment."  Usually this works.  

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Ok, let me rephrase this: I was trying out the adventure from the book, and had them find the droid in the can while passing through an alleyway. While one of them strips him of parts, the other one shoots it in the head to 'end is suffering.' That much made sense, but it got annoying when they killed an important part of an adventure. And another time, one of them had just got transported to a station, and went to the cantina. The captain of the transport had gone as well, and was attacked by some goons who the captain owed money. But instead of helping the captain as would be planned, he decided to shoot the guy up and get a cut from the goons. It took some serious convince meant to get him to work with the captain (mainly by the captain setting the room on fire after two triumphs and being completely BA), but afterwards he tried to extort the captain for helping him. It just gets annoying that they always try to make a profit and kill stuff.

Anyways, I have been thinking of making them pay for their actions. There was one time when one of them got thrown in a cell for trying to kill a member of a mercenary organization over pety insults, but he got frustrated and to appease him I had the previously pacifist Ithorian traveling with them break him out. And another time he tried to attack a guy who spoke the same language as someone who tried to kill him a while ago. No matter how much I told him it was racist, he thought it was reasonable, and was only lucky that he attacked the friendly one of the group, not the die hard religious ones.

It's a tough group, and I'm trying to get used to them and maybe make it easier to do a game with them, and make the violent one less violent and the uncaring one more caring. Anyways, thanks for the advise. Really useful.

 

I had a group like this once. I GM'ed three times and then made it very clear that I was not okay with this kind of "roleplaying," and that if it continued I was stepping down as GM. One of them called me stuckup, another had some more choice words. That was around 10 years ago when I first got into RPing (I almost didn't keep roleplaying, their selfishness nearly killed my love for the hobby but then I found a better group) and I've never played with them since. Only one of a group of three even still talks to me. Its hard to stand your ground, but that's not fun playing to me... as a GM or a player; its just childish. No real character is like that, so why would you play someone like that? Maybe your group is young and will grow into true roleplaying (though I've known guys in their 30's who still play like that) maybe your group will be more understanding, maybe they just don't understand that this is not a shoot'em up like DnD can be, or like Deathwatch is. Those are fine if that's what you want to play and everyone is on the same page about it... but EotE isn't built like that. Its why when I play Pathfinder or DnD I don't allow chaotic nuetral or any evil allignments unless the player has shown they are mature enough to handle it.

Edited by TCBC Freak

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I find these people are being a pain in the rump on purpose.  They really don't want to play (don't like the game or some of the people), but they have nothing else to do, or are playing due to pressure from someone else. 

 

If you have difficult members of a group, you can always play them against the group.

 

If the 'crazy' players are killing randomly and end up killing important members of the adventure.  So be it.  The adventure ends as you killed the important contact.  I have nothing else planned, good night, see ya all next week.

 

If they are being horribly brutal, but not taking the adventure completely off the rails, then add tons of obligations to the player/group.  You killed a popular politician that was making strides for alien rights, now an alien rights league has put out a bounty on you.  Oh darn, your party obligation is over 100....no more xp spending.

 

If they are just doing things non-sensically.  Have it matter.  Word got back to the employer that you killed some allies, your reward is reduced.  You drew a lot of extra attention for no reason, now the employer has to play politics to put out some fires making him angry, reducing the reward....perhaps cutting that individual out all together (you were all going to get 2000 credits, but now I must use that money to appease those you angered.  You each only get 250, and you as the main instigator of problems get nothing).  Reduce XP gains if it makes sense at all.  On a recruiting mission for the Rebels but he started a fight with a religious group of MonCals, well, you made things worse, so while you got some support, you lost other support.  Instead of 15 xp, you all only get 5xp.

 

Create scenarios where that player will be tempted to muck things up, and use it against him.

 

Now it won't just be bothering you, but the other players.  They will end up doing something about it.  They'll force his character to play by the rules so-to-speak, or they'll kick him out of the group for making life harder on the rest of them.

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Best advice I can give a new GM is make your players thoroughly flush out their characters. Have them fill out any of the many character creation questionnaires that are floating around these forums.  Without them CREATING part of the story, too much falls on you.

 

Dont be afraid to cola berate on a 1on1 basis to flush out NPC's in their past, so you can use them in your current game.  Old friend, family, employeer, rival etc.

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Thanks! This is some useful stuff.

Now, I suppose I might as well point out we're all in highschool. They're both a year younger than me, and are both the only people I know that can join an RPG club and have any sense in it.

Now, what do I do about no-shows? Plenty of people join, and only a handful show up periodically. The rest are more 'murder hobos' (and I was sure to tell them that this was unacceptable. It was fun calling them murder hobos) who hardly show up and when they do overthrow the game.

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Thanks! This is some useful stuff.

Now, I suppose I might as well point out we're all in highschool. They're both a year younger than me, and are both the only people I know that can join an RPG club and have any sense in it.

Now, what do I do about no-shows? Plenty of people join, and only a handful show up periodically. The rest are more 'murder hobos' (and I was sure to tell them that this was unacceptable. It was fun calling them murder hobos) who hardly show up and when they do overthrow the game.

 

There are a lot of options. If you almost never have anyone show up consistently then having pre-gen character for the group that they claim as first come first serve can be a good idea, it lets whoever does come jump in with little problem and gives the GM a good idea about the types of character's to expect. If you only have a smuggler/pilot, bounty hunter/assassin, colonist/doctor, and technician/mechanic available for the players then no matter what players come you will know what kinds of adventures to build around instead of setting up a huge epic space battle only to have two of your four guys show up and not one of them made a character with pilot or gunner.

 

If you do have one of two that are core and always there and a few that come sometimes then I would just have the main two be your story driving force and not worry too much about the other players, let them level up with the 2 mains for the most part and just find a list story reasons you can drop in for why this or that crew member isn't around this adventure. Imagine it like this, Han and Chewie are both PC's, they are the regular gamers, there every week. Now Luke and Leia and R2's PCs are one and off, Leia is a bit more regular but not as much as Han and Chewie are. Now when Luke's player isn't there his character is still doing stuff, flying an X-wing towards the death star while Han and Chewie have to decide to go back or not, Luke is fighting outside the base on Hoth in an airspeeder while Han and the other players are escaping the base. You know, because you're treating Luke as an NPC, that he'll be fine and escape on his x-wing after the battle. While the party that is there this week is flying in the asteroid field avoid Imperials and mynocks and a giant space worm, Luke is training with Yoda, but then Luke's player comes back and meets up with the party on Bespin, and a new player joins, playing Lando. Next week though Han's player is missing, now he'll see the other side, so to account for him missing the game you have his character get frozen in carbonite, the rest of the PC's then plan and execute a dangerous and daring rescue from the Hutt's palace but the next week when Han's player gets back he's blind and... see where I'm going?

 

So if you followed my little crazy bit up there, you see that if you have two or three folks that are there most every meet, have their characters be the focus, have them be made by the players and then have other folks just come and go as they are able or please, their characters (can be made by them or pre-gened by you, but either way make sure you hold on to all hte character sheets) are just doing something else this week when hte player isn't there, it's a big galaxy, lots to do and it may or may not be important stuff in the long run but its easy to keep an absent players character busy.

 

One last bit, as I've gotten older and more mature myself I have found that most people will live up or down to the expectations you have for them. What I mean is that so long as they want to be there and they know what you expect of them and your time together most people will do right by your expectations, or very quickly move on of their own accord.

Edited by TCBC Freak

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Thanks to everyone for the advice. I've found out that none of my players really want to play EotE, as one quit the group due to the other on, and everyone else is too busy and never shows up, and the only two left are one who is only now becoming narrative through a game that had large rewards for his good roleplaying and the other on is a more narrative player, but sometimes says he hears things his character dosn't hear (another player is captured outside the inn he's at, and he says he goes to investigate because he heard the conversation, even though I didn't say he heard it and he didn't take a check).

Still, I plan to get some other people into a new group that meets maybe every other weekend or such. I hope it works better, because the people I have in mind includes two very narrative players.

Also, what should I do if they stray from roleplaying? Should I tell them that it would be more fun to roleplay and hope for the best, or should I make things happen that give benefits for roleplaying? And how should I avoid player preference? I used to give more attention to certain players more than others, and I want advice on how to kbetter avoid it.

One last thing--I'm planning to play the game by co-SMing with my brother. He's a superior GM when it comes to the spot and descriptions, but I tend to think things out more. Any examples of good GM duos or advice on how we could cooperate? Thanks again, and in advance.

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Anyways, I have been thinking of making them pay for their actions.

 

Dude, Newton's third law has got your back: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

 

Luke blows up death star = Luke attracts imperial attention.Han blows off Jabba = Han gets frozen in carbonite. Player murders shopkeeper = shopkeeper's bounty hunting brother comes after them. Players steal and strip a droid = Black Sun now wants a 'word' with them about a missing courier droid and 10 kilos of high quality blow (Wait! What drugs? We didn't see any drugs! Too bad - someone must have gotten them first, but YOU were the last ones seen with the droid). Players gun down a cop = every policeman in the city is now after these Cop Killers (and they might accidently "fall down some stairs" once or twice when they do get caught).

Edited by Desslok

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To add on to Desslok's examples above... have this excerpt of an actual EotE session:

 

GM: "You all look up out of the cockpit of your landed ship, where you see a guy standing outside your ship looking back at you with a blaster, crossed arms... and Mandalorian armor."

Player: "... bounty hunter?"

GM: "... you just stole from the biggest crime syndicate in the galaxy! They put out a 150,000 credit bounty on your heads! You've had an Obligation of 115 over the past three sessions!!"

Player: "... do the escape pods in this ship work still?"

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Whelp, I finally have the whole campaign planned out. I didn't exactly set up a defined campaign and only have the basics so I have room to expand, but it should last for a long time. And I also have some side adventures for they go on random directions (I expect them to).

Also, I plan to put the campaign idea I had up here. It won't be on this specific topic, and will probably be on its own, but I think it will work pretty well.

So, any last thoughts? Anything I should know at the last second? I still have a few weeks until I can get all of my players at one spot, so I have time. But I would appreciate any last minute suggestions. I'll also be sure to post the beginnig on here when it's done.

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Here are a couple things I try to do with my players, many of whom display the same cavalier attitude towards storylines as you have described:

 

Never underestimate a player.  They are fickle, surprisingly creative, and almost certainly outnumber you.  They will do what you least expect and what you most fear.  However, you can use this to your advantage, as their actions will inevitably create a far more interesting story than whatever you had planned.  But keep in mind that...

 

If a NPC is within visual distance of the players, that NPC is expendable.  Between the dice and their imagination, nothing is safe.  If you want to follow a certain plot, you may need to keep certain important characters alive (or kill them off).  The easiest way to do that is keep them away from the PCs.  Even if you think it'd be cool for them to meet.  Especially if you think it'd be cool, and you've planned out an epic intro for them, because...

 

Things will not go according to your plan.  This is a good thing. Plots will be circumvented or outright ignored.  Mooks will crit, and the Big Bad will whiff.  Someone will always think of a "better" idea.  When they do...

 

Instead of saying "no", say "yes, but..." instead.  If they really, really, really want to go for it, let them.  Whether they succeed or fail, it'll make for a good story.  Just remind them that it will not be easy, and...

 

There will be consequences.  They may be "chaotic neutral", but the rest of the galaxy sure isn't.  Dealing with the aftermath of an unexpected action the characters take can create an awesome story, either run with it or save it for later.

 

 

EDIT: These may come across as warinings (they are) but that doesn't mean they represent things to avoid.  Instead, use this knowledge to adapt when they inevitably happen.  The best adventures I've ever GMed were the ones where the players took control of the plot, and I was dragged along for the ride.

Edited by Joker Two

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Well, I've posted the basis of the campaign up, and like I said, it has its own topic. I'll just put it down here...

 

http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/91101-campaign-colonial-exploration/

 

Feel free to give any more last minute advice, and be sure to post any advice on the campaign itself on its own post.

 

I've got my players organized, and they all have their characters made up. I'm now ready to begin playing, and will about a week or so from now. Last minute advice would be appreciated. Anything I should be afraid of? Should I expect anything specific based on this kind of campaign? Should I take some precautions to keep them from destroying the game?

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