Rinandien
 member, 34 posts
 Have fun,
 help others.
Mon 31 Jul 2017
at 11:16
RTJ: asking for references
There was a discussion regarding how DM's other games reflect on him. What avout reverse?

If GM asked you to provide a reference from another GM in whose game you are already in? Not as a strict requitement, but to give your application some extra weight.

Of course there are problem, will you disclose which character is yours, if you are new to the RPoL or all games you were in are dead etc. But let's discuss.

Idea behind it is to give DM some certainty that the player will stick around.

P.S. format would be that playwr peovides the game link, after which GM can contact the game's owner and ask for the reference of the player by name. Yes it would take a while longer to go through the rtj process but still. (Again, someone could just starting around for players claiming they are joining their game, so players should inform GMs they were listed as a reference)

Thoughts?
SunRuanEr
 member, 53 posts
Mon 31 Jul 2017
at 13:15
RTJ: asking for references
I don't know about this one, myself. There are plenty of times where personalities simply don't mesh well, and you could find one GM not providing a good reference for a player that (if you gave them the chance) you might find being one of your favorites.

Sometimes, GMs and players just don't fit each other.

My opinion may vary, but I think that if you were going to ask for references of any kind (although admittedly I don't know how you would do this), the ones that would actually be valuable would be those of other people an applicant has played with before. The GM holds all the cards in a game, in a sense of being the referee if one wants to use a sports analogy, but it's the other players that make up your teammates. How you play with them is far more important, in my book.
swordchucks
 member, 1414 posts
Mon 31 Jul 2017
at 13:30
Re: RTJ: asking for references
Rinandien:
If GM asked you to provide a reference from another GM in whose game you are already in?

In the past, I've seen RTJs request a link to a game you're playing in with open threads and the character name you're playing.  The implication wasn't that they were going to ask the GM, but rather take a look at your activity in that game and see how you've acted in the past.

In the end, though, it suffers from the same limitation of all things like this.  Past performance isn't a reliable indication of future performance.  PBP is a long term format, and it's rare that someone's life doesn't throw them a curveball somewhere along the way and their posting habits change.

SunRuanEr:
Sometimes, GMs and players just don't fit each other.

Presumably, if the player is giving the reference, they won't pick a bad one.

Of course, not every GM is going to want to answer some other GM's request for feedback on a player.  Some people can be... prickly.
Merevel
 member, 1196 posts
 The Unlucky Gamer
Mon 31 Jul 2017
at 15:28
Re: RTJ: asking for references
Yeah, I would go by personal experience and give people I do not know a white slate at first. After all, based on past experience I would say ban me from gming after all my failed games.
horus
 member, 202 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Mon 31 Jul 2017
at 16:31
Re: RTJ: asking for references
I'm kinda with swordchucks on this one.

I get that a Game Master who puts a lot of time and effort into preparing a game setting and adventures wants players who are, in the words of Adalai Niska, "Solid".  I'm just not so sure the reference system described here is a more deterministic way of going about it than just exchanging a few posts and employing one's powers of observation and discernment to make a decision.

Everybody has different ways of getting to the point of decision.  Me, I'm still getting started as a GM/Referee here, so I'm just glad to have folks who are willing to take a chance and play in the sandbox with me.  So far that's had its ups and downs, but the folks who are still with me see that I work with them when they communicate with me.  I like to think they respect that.

The other end of this is:  how is a player to know that a GM asking for that kind of personal information is not a social engineer who wants it for some other purpose, such as, oh, I don't know, opening a duplicate adult access account?  I'm not sure I'd be comfortable playing with someone who requires that kind of information about me.

(I know Jase and Co. here at RPoL do everything possible to make certain our environment is secure, but a determined attacker is a determined attacker.  Why tempt fate?)
bigbadron
 moderator, 15396 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Mon 31 Jul 2017
at 16:40
Re: RTJ: asking for references
swordchucks:
In the past, I've seen RTJs request a link to a game you're playing in with open threads and the character name you're playing.  The implication wasn't that they were going to ask the GM, but rather take a look at your activity in that game and see how you've acted in the past.

At one time, RPoL didn't reveal the names of GMs, games were all listed under the in-game GM alias.

So on one occasion I had an RtJ where the user told me that he played a particular character in a specific game.  He didn't realise that I was also the GM of that game, and knew that he was not the player of the character.

When I revealed this fact to him, he grew quite indignant and threatened to report me for having two accounts, since the GM names were different.

Ah... good times.  :D
LonePaladin
 member, 616 posts
 Creator of HeroForge
Mon 31 Jul 2017
at 17:03
Re: RTJ: asking for references
bigbadron:
At one time, RPoL didn't reveal the names of GMs, games were all listed under the in-game GM alias.

I remember that. I actually like the new version -- some of my more dedicated players actually seek out other games that I'm running. It's flattering, really.

But I've had the occasional run-in with a player, where we just didn't get along or had different play-styles or misunderstandings. It's nothing against those players, because you can't expect to get along with everyone. But if another GM asked me for a referral on that player, my answer might negatively influence the other GM. That's not fair to either person.
icosahedron152
 member, 771 posts
Mon 31 Jul 2017
at 18:54
Re: RTJ: asking for references
In my experience, GMs are just as unreliable as players - a player in one game is a GM in another. What makes you want to trust a GM you've never met over a player you've never met?

Get real, guys, this is a game, not a job interview. Sure, you put a lot of time into your game as a GM, but it's not the end of the world if you recruit a bad player. If you don't like them, ditch them. What're they going to do, complain to the the RPG Players Union?

Most of the games that demand creepily in-depth RTJs are the games that have a surfeit of applicants, otherwise you couldn't be so picky. So just get another player from your waiting list to come in and pick up the spare character until you can write it out. Or just NPC it and re-recruit.

My games are usually less-popular genres and I can seldom afford to turn players away, but my games survive. You don't need to resort to references and trick questions - just talk to the people who respond to your ad. You'll make a lot more friends by chatting to them than you will by interrogating them.

Personally, if a GM asked me for a reference, I'd find another game - not because I can't name a GM I can work with, but because I've probably just found one I can't work with...
NowhereMan
 member, 161 posts
Mon 31 Jul 2017
at 19:00
Re: RTJ: asking for references
Yeah, I'd see it as generally a bad idea, which seems the consensus so far. Not to mention that there are a lot of players out there that would be detrimentally affected through no fault of their own if, say, they only play in games that don't have public threads, or haven't had a good run of GMs.

Like icosahedron, I'd find another game if a GM asked for a reference, as I'm pretty picky about the games I join and it'd be too big a red flag to ignore.
praguepride
 member, 1179 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Mon 31 Jul 2017
at 19:23
Re: RTJ: asking for references
I did that for a long time but in the end I scrapped it because it didn't mean anything. You could be a player in good standing for 5 years but then life happens and you drop. I could look at your history and see "oh...5 years this player is perfect....where did he go?"

I have been an rPoler for over 13 years (i think...after 10 who counts) but I've definitely flaked out on games accidentally. Life happens, you forget to check it or you think you've posted but then realize it didn't post so for like 2 weeks you've been waiting for a response only to realize that they've been waiting on you...

It's a complete crap shoot (in general). The best thing that I do is just keep a list of names of players i like and players I don't like and keep an eye out for them in the W-GM or in RTJs.
Rinandien
 member, 35 posts
 Have fun,
 help others.
Tue 1 Aug 2017
at 05:46
Re: RTJ: asking for references
Thank you all for your thoughts. It definitely seems it has less benefits than I hoped for, and is riddled with more possible problems. *shrug* In gut we trust.
Lauriebear
 member, 17 posts
 There is no truth. There
 is only perception
Tue 1 Aug 2017
at 20:40
Re: RTJ: asking for references
icosahedron152:
In my experience, GMs are just as unreliable as players - a player in one game is a GM in another. What makes you want to trust a GM you've never met over a player you've never met?

Get real, guys, this is a game, not a job interview. Sure, you put a lot of time into your game as a GM, but it's not the end of the world if you recruit a bad player. If you don't like them, ditch them. What're they going to do, complain to the the RPG Players Union?

Most of the games that demand creepily in-depth RTJs are the games that have a surfeit of applicants, otherwise you couldn't be so picky. So just get another player from your waiting list to come in and pick up the spare character until you can write it out. Or just NPC it and re-recruit.

My games are usually less-popular genres and I can seldom afford to turn players away, but my games survive. You don't need to resort to references and trick questions - just talk to the people who respond to your ad. You'll make a lot more friends by chatting to them than you will by interrogating them.

Personally, if a GM asked me for a reference, I'd find another game - not because I can't name a GM I can work with, but because I've probably just found one I can't work with...


I do not usually reply here but as a Player in one of this GM's game I want to say they are amazing.  I had some personal issues come up and had to take a break, it took me a while to even get enough courage and energy to tell them and yet when I did nothing but support...when I wanted to come back nothing but open arms.  Now with another game, not so much but before this I had been a regular poster in both.  Two different reactions indeed.

I guess as a solid player (never having been a GM) if a game I wanted to enter asked for GM references I just wouldn't even bother asking to join.  This is a game, for fun...I shouldn't have to depend on if a GM's reference allows me to play, I have no problem giving a GM a sample of my style of writing and I have no problem having a one on one via rmail or PM with a potential GM.  But as a straight up player if I saw that I'd pass.
OceanLake
 member, 1008 posts
Wed 2 Aug 2017
at 03:17
Re: RTJ: asking for references
As far as I'm concerned, the GM sets the entry conditions. I can apply or not. In general, "my" GMs have been considerate and hard-working.
icosahedron152
 member, 772 posts
Wed 2 Aug 2017
at 04:24
Re: RTJ: asking for references
Thanks Lauriebear. :)

It simply reflects my view of GMing: I treat PbP games exactly the same as FtF games. My players are not employees, servants, numbers, or faceless discardable puppets, they are new friends that I'm inviting into my home to share my leisure time with.

If they are rude, obnoxious, and abuse my hospitality, I'll kick them out. Otherwise, I hope they'll grace my games and my leisure time for many years to come.

I don't use references from other people to choose my friends.
facemaker329
 member, 6950 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Wed 2 Aug 2017
at 05:21
Re: RTJ: asking for references
I've found that my best filter for GMs that I can enjoy is just my own gut reaction to them.  Some I knew I'd enjoy playing with before I even started an RTJ, just because of what I'd seen them post in public forums.  Some, I just got a good vibe from our initial conversation.  Some asked just the right questions on the RTJ...not too long and burdensome, enough to make me feel like I had an idea of how invested they expected me to be.

A few I gambled on...and it paid off.  A lot I gambled on didn't.  But if I don't feel like a GM is a good fit for me, I walk away before I even start on the RTJ, no matter how much the game sounds appealing otherwise.  I've been burned too many times to go through that anymore.