DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1405 posts
Mon 13 Aug 2018
at 23:19
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
evileeyore:
quote:
But that "talking to" need not always be a literal ooc talk.

Yes it should be.  Otherwise all your showing is that it is a competition of who can win.  And the GM can always win.


And yet my suggestions were non-competative and had consequences other than victory/defeat.

There are two major issues here,

First, is gamey thinking. Some players are introdhced to rpgs as a boardgame, and thus learn to expect and play the game like a videogame. The default expectation is thus that every encounter should be a balanced encounter with the goal of player victory over the encounter. Notice the entirely metagame thinking here.

Second, is that the above thinking is not changed until the player is faced with non-mechanical consequences that are highly significant to them. Thus, breaking them out of the above mentioned gamey thinking is to hit them with strongly motivating consequences that are based entirely on the world milieu and not mechanics. This is what makss them stop judging everything as a boardgame and start looking at the actual narrative world to judge consequences.

An example of this technique to shift exoectations at work (though for different expectations) is actually given in an Extra Credits youtube video, when they talked about how in one game, the player's first mission has a 5 minute time limit, so when the player starts inspecting everything, cause it is a game and that is what you do in games, they end up being late and lose that first mission, driving home that the world does not wait on them.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1406 posts
Mon 13 Aug 2018
at 23:28
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
Some folks seem to think such player behavior is because they are bad players, and while it might be true for some, most players learn certain expectations and "rules" from other sources, such as gms that have those ideas, or even from video games, and then the players operate acvording to those expectations and learned behaviors without even realizing it until it proven to them through firsthand (or rarely secondhand) experience that such expectations and habits are wrong.

It is important to note the, probably uncomfortable, notion of this happening without that player being able to see it in themself. It is an unconcsious thing and therefore must be dealt with unconcsiously.

True, some folks learn to be aware of such things, but even for them, it is much easier to handle after appropriate firsthand experiences rather than just talking.
evileeyore
 member, 108 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 02:12
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
DarkLightHitomi:
And yet my suggestions were non-competative and had consequences other than victory/defeat.

That doesn't matter as much as properly and clearly establishing the social contract in the first place, and reinforcing it via OOC discussions when the Players are violating it.


Going straight to "teach them via consequences" is often inappropriate and often leads to exacerbating the problem.  Also, if when you talk to them OOC they shoot down the social contract, you know anything more is a waste of time.

Cut the Player free, find better ones.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1407 posts
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 13:07
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
How they respond to "teaching via consequences" tells you a great deal more about them than any conversation ever could. As for social contracts, that should be established with everyone before play even starts. This sort of problem occurs because that social contract wasn't understood in the first place, and if it wasn't understood to begin with, then a simple ooc talk is highly unlikely to clarify anything.

Heck, even with pro game designers I have to play 20 questions to get an idea of them as players, because even those pros can't talk about it very well. But simply playing with them reveals those answers and more. And that is pros, the people whose job it is to understand this stuff.
Gaffer
 member, 1531 posts
 Ocoee FL
 40 yrs of RPGs
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 14:59
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
quote:
aguy777: As for PCs never being afraid of things, I can't control that as a GM so easily. D&D 5e has Inspiration, which allows me to reward those who play their character, but some characters are the typical Captain America-types who never surrender/back-down/flinch. I'd be interested to hear if someone has a solution for those characters, other than OOC saying "no".

Gaffer:Kill them.


donsr:
there are worst things  then killing them...

If they are just sloppy,  they get wounded.. lose a level..knocked  down in rank ...

If they  are hurting  the game.. or do overly stupid stuff...then, of course, they die.

I wasn't suggesting that character death should be the penalty for all fractious behavior, or a punishment at all.

I was responding specifically to "PCs never being afraid of things". Teach them to fear the right things by letting a bad 'un show them the consequence of their hubris. Anything less and they'll just think they were unlucky THAT TIME and the same character is still around to act the same way.

Let nature (or un-nature) take its course. Kill them.
donsr
 member, 1379 posts
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 15:14
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
 Gaffer?... the  'punishments ' posted  were for  those who hurt the game.. either the flow, or the enjoyment of the other players?

 Losing  one player who ignores the  wishes of the GM, and or  other  players , need to find another game.

 GOOD... players    catch on..ask questions  and get into the flow...That's what you want in PBP, because  you want your  game to grow and Flow.
evileeyore
 member, 109 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 21:22
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
DarkLightHitomi:
This sort of problem occurs because that social contract wasn't understood in the first place, and if it wasn't understood to begin with, then a simple ooc talk is highly unlikely to clarify anything.

It has always worked for me.  Whereas the GM simply continually pounding on my character because I'm "doing something wrong" (and when they don't bother explaining anything OOCly) just makes me think the GM is being a [EXPLICATIVE DELETED].
gladiusdei
 member, 721 posts
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 21:44
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
This thread seems to have totally focused on the more extreme examples of what I was talking about.  I was talking more about subtle things that don't necessarily ruin the game as a whole, but can really make a gm lose enthusiasm.  Like players assuming their character simply won't look at things the way the game world implies, or deciding that their character is the exception to dramatic aspects of the game that the books set out.

A good example is Vampire the masquerade.  Players often totally ignore the aspects of the game that detail the beast, and how it controls a vampire.  The books are very explicit in showing that every vampire is one botched roll away from being a possible murderer, and that for older vampires it is guaranteed that they have failed these rolls at some point, simple odds dictate that, and so all vampires live with the knowledge that the beast is the uinsurmountable rift between human and vampire.  That's why older vampires begin to lose their humanity at an accelerated rate.

But many players have a tendency to dismiss this, and assume that their character simply wouldn't have a problem with it.  That they can still act human, and be successful at it, even though the existential crisis at the core of the vampire game is the fact that you simply can't resist the beast forever.  That it is inevitable, and is why vampire is a tragic game.  Your characters are monsters, not people.

when players miss this aspect of the game, it doesn't kill the game.  It isn't necessarily something that is big enough to warrant kicking a player out of the game.  But it can seriously destroy dramatic tension in a situation, and make the gm, me at least, lose quite a bit of enthusiasm.  Fixing it in game by forcing a frenzy roll or situation where the player is confronted by their beast, could take months of real life time.  And bringing it up OOC often feels like I'm lecturing players on how to play, or at least can be misconstrued as that.  This is why I was so frustrated and not sure how best to handle it.

This message was last edited by the user at 05:29, Wed 15 Aug.

evileeyore
 member, 110 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 22:25
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
gladiusdei:
And bringing it up OOC often feels like I'm lecturing players on how to play, or at least can be misconstrued as that.  This is why I was so frustrated and not sure how best to handle it.

Nothing you can do.  If explaining to the Player a few times the way the setting and genre are supposed to work and be played doesn't get through to them, then you have two choices:

1 - Accept it and keep running the game.
2 - Find 'better' Players.



Some people play to 'escape reality' and 'be more than they are'.  Some play to run a tactical miniatures game.  Some play for the 'beer and pretzels' level, soft interaction mostly chilling and laughing with friends.  Some get 'into it' and are driven for pathos and 'deep immersion'.

Figure out what you want, make it clear, and then hunt for Players who want the same thing.
hegemon
 member, 154 posts
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 23:19
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
One of the things I have done recently is speak to them via voice service, so I can see how our personalities mesh. Also, has helped me set expectations, and just as important see what their expectations.

I have found by making that personal connection I and the player have felt more invested in each other as people. This has helped make my games more successful in the player management area.
donsr
 member, 1380 posts
Tue 14 Aug 2018
at 23:36
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
  I sorta have an Interview.. I lay out the game,  what I expect, and what they can expect .. some will change their mind.. some will play for a bit  and  either be over whelmed  or  not very  active.

  those that stay will stay for  a while,  in 71/2 years I hade to  'release' two players for the betterment of the game.


 The players know going in, my games  aren't for everyone..a bit darker, with  anti-hero stuff... all I ask  is they  tell me they are leaving.. every player owes the GM that much... as  every GM owes players  the  consideration of   saying when they are going to shut  down, or bail on thier own game.


 Players  need to becaome part of the game.. I have two newer players that ask  questions in PMs   or OOC.. and  my Vets , or myself  will help them along.. they are becoming   well meshed into the flow of the game.


 those are the players  every GM  wants.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1408 posts
Wed 15 Aug 2018
at 04:03
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
evileeyore:
It has always worked for me.  Whereas the GM simply continually pounding on my character because I'm "doing something wrong" (and when they don't bother explaining anything OOCly) just makes me think the GM is being a [EXPLICATIVE DELETED].


Except I never said to pound the player in question. Actually, my suggestion was to teach in play without pounding. That was the entire point of my response.
evileeyore
 member, 111 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Wed 15 Aug 2018
at 04:59
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
DarkLightHitomi:
Except I never said to pound the player in question. Actually, my suggestion was to teach in play without pounding. That was the entire point of my response.

And my point is, without the OOC talk, it's just pounding the character.  Even if it's pounding on the entire party equally.
icosahedron152
 member, 898 posts
Wed 15 Aug 2018
at 05:24
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
quote:
bringing it up OOC often feels like I'm lecturing players on how to play, or at least can be misconstrued as that.

If they need lecturing, then do it.

I haven't played Vampire, but I've picked up a bit from chat. It seems to me that vampires are (or used to be) people, and they will naturally try to avoid doing 'beastly' things, but the rules presumably have measures (dice rolls?) that make it impossible to avoid this. Isn't that the idea of the game?

If they're acting too human, they need more situations that confront them with their new nature. The same process is occurring in-game and meta-game: they want to act human, but the Beast/GM forces them into diabolical deeds. Players and characters alike slowly realize that they are not in control of the vampire they have become.

It may take weeks or months for this realization to dawn, but if that is an aspect of the game that you specifically want to explore, the time is not wasted, it's an integral part of the game.

However, the players need to know, up front, that you are running an adversarial game: that the GM, in many ways is the Beast, and that ultimately they will lose control of their character.

It may be particularly difficult for a player to fully understand this, since in most games there is an unwritten law that the GM doesn't take over or puppet a PC, but in this game losing control of your character is part of the game play.

It may be that even experienced Vampire players are not used to this, since other GMs may have played down this aspect. If it's important to your game, it needs to be clearly specified OOC and then continually reinforced IC.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1409 posts
Wed 15 Aug 2018
at 07:16
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
In reply to evileeyore (msg # 65):

No pounding means no pounding, not equal pounding.

Players cause problems like this precisely because they don't face appropriate consequences that reinforce the nature of the narrative world as a living breathing world and not simply a gameboard with cardboard pieces that never act real.
icosahedron152
 member, 899 posts
Wed 15 Aug 2018
at 07:52
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
Guys, IMO there is a distinct difference between 'pounding' and 'fate'.

Pounding is where some Player doesn't share his pretzels with the GM, or his PC argues with the GMPC, so the GM makes sure that every monster from that point on targets that PC first. Not fair.

Fate is where the PC snatches the Arkenstone from under Smaug's head and says "Yeah? Watcha gonna do about it, lizard?" The GM then describes a pair of smoking boots. Fair and logical.

In a good game, you need expectations of reality.
evileeyore
 member, 112 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Wed 15 Aug 2018
at 11:07
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
DarkLightHitomi:
Players cause problems like this precisely because they don't face appropriate consequences that reinforce the nature of the narrative world as a living breathing world and not simply a gameboard with cardboard pieces that never act real.

Players cause problems like this precisely because they don't understand or agree with the game the GM wants to run or the expectations the GM has.

"Teaching them a lesson" is just teaching them that "the GM always wins".  And for some, all that will do is up the anti.



icosahedron152:
Guys, IMO there is a distinct difference between 'pounding' and 'fate'.

From the GM's side of the screen, yes.  From the Player's perspective?  Sometimes they are identical.

That's why I keep saying "Have the talk".  Ignoring the talk and going straigth to punishment mode rarely works.

quote:
Pounding is where some Player doesn't share his pretzels with the GM, or his PC argues with the GMPC, so the GM makes sure that every monster from that point on targets that PC first. Not fair.

No, pounding is where the Player has the Character take actions they expect to succeed and having those actions fail despite every expectation for success.  And for this to keep happening, over and over.

quote:
Fate is where the PC snatches the Arkenstone from under Smaug's head and says "Yeah? Watcha gonna do about it, lizard?" The GM then describes a pair of smoking boots. Fair and logical.

Sure, if the PC isn't expected to be capable of taking Smaug.  I've played games where that is not the expectation.

quote:
In a good game, you need expectations of reality.

False.  In a good game you need the Player's and GM's expectations to line up.  Nothing more, nothing less.

"Consequences", "reality", "verisimilitude", "consistency", etc.  These are not required for a 'good' game.  They are only required for genres that are built upon those words.
icosahedron152
 member, 900 posts
Wed 15 Aug 2018
at 12:55
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
quote:
False.  In a good game you need the Player's and GM's expectations to line up.  Nothing more, nothing less.

I'll concede that. That's where the OOC chat comes in, to make sure expectations do line up.

Personally, I'd never GM a game where the PCs could take on a dragon in personal combat, it's be too much of a headache trying to come up with challenges for them - but as you say, that's something players need to learn about me. Preferably very early on.
donsr
 member, 1381 posts
Wed 15 Aug 2018
at 13:04
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
 the thing to keep in mind.... this isn't table top.

  As GMs  we  run the  games  as much  for  our  enjoyment, as for the players. We cannot   'correct' little things  you might be able to do  as you sit around the table.

 Some folks like to Roll dice.. some folks  like Heavy RP. And that point must get across  , however you run your game.

 In the end?  If the player is taking away from the GMs format.. and/or  other  players  are  complaining, or leave because of this...then you get them  to follow your  rules or you  release the problem player , from your  game.

 The expectations   should be  well set  when yo answer their  RTJ.. if they do not like it  as the game begins, they should  thank the GM for thier  time and say "..this isn't for me".. or" this isn't what I thought"... and the GM should do the same.

 there are 100s  of games here to play..no one should feel slighted.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1410 posts
Wed 15 Aug 2018
at 15:35
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
I've never had nor seen an ooc talk solve this kind of issue, jot in nearly 20 years of gaming as both player and gm.

I have been that player complained about and told off for "not being a team player" cause the group was doing really weird stuff that they thought of as the popular true gaming style. It took paying attention to the in-game to figure out the problem, cause the gm couldn't make it clear.

I've never seen a different outcome.

Now perhaps there might be some miracle of a communicator out there for a gm, but using the gameplay doesn't require an extraordinary capacity for communication, and ooc talk requires miraculous communication.
donsr
 member, 1382 posts
Wed 15 Aug 2018
at 16:04
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
 I have  had  years ago, on other sites, GMs   'outing' players on this.

 on this  site, I have seen other players  attack GMs ( to which I would normally  reply in standing up for the GM)

 In my games,  I will get PMs  from players  asking me to step in on issues  that the offending player is doing...and.. I do..

 In the end?.. The game and the players who enjoy it, are more important to me then the players  who are disruptive ( no matter   the way)

 Better  to  release the   offending  player, the  ruin it for those who have  helped grow the game.
Brianna
 member, 2159 posts
Thu 16 Aug 2018
at 01:31
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
In reply to donsr (msg # 73):

Indeed!  Else you end up with only the disruptive players left, while the others have gone looking for something they can actually enjoy.
horus
 member, 542 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sat 18 Aug 2018
at 00:54
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
I can see some of my previous posts here may have touched off contentious debate.  Such was not my intent.

Adieu.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1411 posts
Sat 18 Aug 2018
at 06:06
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
I find that disruptive are sometimes just expecting a different style of play, and usually putting them through situations that have very clear consequences according to the style of game being played sorts out such players, especially if it also denies the sort of rewards they were expecting. Generally, this leads to either a shift in how they play, or they realize the difference for themselves and leave on good terms (which to me is much preferable to leaving on poor terms).

Only once have I had a player leave on bad terms. He was a new player that wanted to say he was evil yet refused to ever do evil things. I never figured out why it was so important to him to be called evil. It didn't matter to him about npc responses either. He didn't care that npcs treated him like a decent person. He just wanted to claim being evil without actually being evil.
MalaeDezeld
 member, 82 posts
Sat 18 Aug 2018
at 21:22
Re: Players not playing in character 'correctly'
gladiusdei:
Like players assuming their character simply won't look at things the way the game world implies, or deciding that their character is the exception to dramatic aspects of the game that the books set out.
[...]
Players often totally ignore the aspects of the game that detail the beast, and how it controls a vampire.


I kind of had a similar problem with D&D and White-Wolf: to me, the mechanical rules aren't in sync with their setting (or the kind of stories I see in the fluff and want to replicate). This discrepancy can be bridged by talking or with in-game consequences like other said, but in my case, I went system shopping (also because I wanted something more rule-light). Some subsystems of the Chronicles of Darkness (the 2nd edition of the New World of Darkness) can inspire you. Maybe V5 could be a better fit (I have yet to check the final version). One time, my friend made the players used different colors dice when the characters where low on blood (just for the psychological effect).