GreenTongue
 member, 871 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Tue 30 Jul 2019
at 19:23
How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
I have found that with new games a lot of people show up wanting to join and most will create characters then after maybe one or two post will fade away.

A couple of "Restarting" with the people that remain and a core of consistent players are left.
The game then can run for years.

Is this common or do other people have good luck right from the start?
engine
 member, 722 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Tue 30 Jul 2019
at 19:28
How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
I have yet to restart a game, but many of my games, as both GM and player have run out of steam after a relatively short time. I expect any game I run or join to last for a short time, to save myself the disappointment.
donsr
 member, 1667 posts
Tue 30 Jul 2019
at 20:51
How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
 I switched    sysetms in one game..it sorta  died, but then picked up... by  homevrew  systems   never   stopped , though one is wildly  more active  , then the other.

 As a GM.. you step  back and look, sometimes you need to sift through your RTJs  better?.. sometimes its on you and you need to  adjust the game.

 everygame is  differant..as are  the GMs.
Ski-Bird
 subscriber, 27 posts
Tue 30 Jul 2019
at 20:53
How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
I have seen it work a few times where a few initial players drop and then a re-recruitment effort gets the thing going again.  It keeps you on your toes, to be sure (working the new characters into the tale, I mean).  I have never restarted the tale though, I usually just work the new players into the tale wherever we happen to be.

The 'flake rate' is sort of a planning factor I have long accepted in PbP.  It's exacerbated, of course, when the recruitment effort is of the first-come, first-served variety.  I'd like to avoid it, but I'm such a big softy that unless there are some glaring red flags in the RTJ, I accept the first few folks that respond.  I don't think I'm alone when I say that style of recruiting hasn't always worked out.

I'm relatively new here, though, so it may take me some time to suss out who the dependable, committed players are.

One trick I have relied on in the past to get ahead of that problem is to simply recruit more than I need.  If I need four players, and I take the first six that apply, then even if there are some no-shows in there ... I can continue with four or five.

I have seen a few re-recruitment efforts where the abandoned PC is simply offered up for another player.  I suppose that's one way of skinning that cat, but I have never tried it.

As far as restarting the whole game?  I have done that once or twice.  One superhero tale in particular (that I ran on another site) got through one-and-a-half iterations.  That is, I played it straight through with one group, right up until the finale.  Then, a year or so later, when the superhero bug bit me again ... I reran the tale for a new crop of players.

I guess it's essentially the same as running a new party through a published module.

One of the challenges I had to deal with was a recycled player.  They enjoyed it enough to do it again — different character and everything — but I felt like it was a disservice to them when we trod on familiar ground.  I sweated it too much — trying to change this and that, keeping the scenarios fresh, I mean — and when it was all said and done, it sort of took the wind out of the sails for me.

A case of the not-funs set in and I didn't finish the tale with the next crew.  :(
Ski-Bird
 subscriber, 28 posts
Tue 30 Jul 2019
at 20:54
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
donsr:
... sometimes you need to sift through your RTJs  better?


^^ I'm definitely guilty of this.
GreenTongue
 member, 872 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Tue 30 Jul 2019
at 21:03
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
A RTJ can only tell you so much.
Doesn't really tell you how the player will mesh with others, besides not knowing those others either, or if they will stick with a game.
donsr
 member, 1668 posts
Tue 30 Jul 2019
at 21:10
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
when I look at the RTJs   I  will PM the person and  give them an Interview   (  this is heavy RP  game..its  active.. Vets will help you..ask questions  ..dark world  ect ect )

 when I am done, I ask them if they thing   its  a game they will like.. if they agree.. I signed them up..get  thier    simple  sheet done and drop them into the game.. most hit the ground  running.

  some?  they seem  less then  eager?... I expect them to bail..and they do... others?.. I just say, " this  may not be the  game  for you..thank you  for your consideration"

 it works..more or less.. I do not getdozens of   RTJs  a week.. the ones  I do get..most might night want in  after the 'interview'..

 but?.. I've  seen a lot of demanding  GMs  ..al the way down to the color you use?.. yeah.. I wouldn't sign up for that either.

 but? everyone has thier  own thing..  this works  for me.. the people who stay make the game  a lot  better.. those who leave,at least gave it a shot.
Hunter
 member, 1524 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Tue 30 Jul 2019
at 22:17
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
Ski-Bird:
donsr:
... sometimes you need to sift through your RTJs  better?


^^ I'm definitely guilty of this.


I think most of us are guilty of that to some degree or another.  I hate turning anyone down, myself.
donsr
 member, 1670 posts
Tue 30 Jul 2019
at 22:21
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
Indeed  , Hunter?.. But  if  I have some one  who seems  a bit   sarcastic   as I describe the  game, I am inclinded that   that player  won't  really put the effort  into the RP   that I  expect..and  my other players  expect.

  every now and then you get that 'gem'..that fits right in   and   soaks  up the note threads  and   asks question in OOC opr PMs, and you know, for as  long as they can stay?  You have a 1st class   RPer.
icosahedron152
 member, 978 posts
Wed 31 Jul 2019
at 02:44
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
I've only ever had one game earmarked for a re-start, but I haven't actually got around to re-starting it yet - I don't have a time-slot available.

Most times, I'm with Ski-bird, I re-recruit into an ongoing game rather than stopping the whole thing and re-starting with a new cast. I look on re-recruiting as an occupational hazard for a GM. It's a constant requirement in most games, like re-stocking your fridge.

Unless you happen to find that Goldilocks crew that just gel together and your game runs for years. <wistful sigh>

I rarely have the luxury of turning down RTJs. I often game in less-popular genres where, if someone actually sends you a RTJ, you grab them with both hands!

Fortunately, the people who send RTJs to fringe games have usually given it some thought, and they're perhaps less of a hazard than the average applicant, but even so, there's only one, or perhaps two, in every five who make the transition from tourist to resident.
donsr
 member, 1674 posts
Wed 31 Jul 2019
at 03:01
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
I've been lucky.. my most active  game has a  damn solid   core.. I lost some over the eyars..a few to RL  death. But the obes  who stay   fit  right in.

 Aagain, folks have to leave..some..move on... they great opnes let you know..the less cool, just go dark

 I made a  few mistakes  with RTJ..where    players became  ghosts  and  I cut them.. or they became   a problem for the  game  and  I released them.

 I like  have a lot of players, because  most of  my games  have plently of room for people. In the   end..its  up to them  whether they   stay or not..no one gets paid here.
Brianna
 member, 2192 posts
Wed 31 Jul 2019
at 05:53
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
Even for a FTF game you need to allow for players to leave, and to add in new ones at some point, even more so with online.

As to who will stay, there's no good way to tell.  You can, after you run a few games, build a  base group to which you add a few new ones to keep it fresh - and again replace those who leave, because no matter how good, how steady, the players, anyone can have a RL crisis, and/or life changing event.

I've never tended to GM, but as a player there are things I like to see.  No first come, first served.  For one thing, you get the people who join indiscriminately and don't last, for another, you aren't likely to get the quality players who are likely to be more cautious.  I also like the GM to ask for a writing sample of some sort.  I've ended up in too many games with someone who appears to be functionally illiterate.  LOL I remember one game (on another site) where neither my character nor I could figure out what the other character was talking about so mine got up, said she had somewhere to be, and didn't go back.  That GM added anyone who applied, despite being warned about that particular player.  His character didn't last long; he tried to kill the queen of the fairies, another PC, because he'd decided his favoured enemy was fairies, typical of his style of play, even when you could understand his posts.  In that game, his character was quickly killed by friends of the fairy queen, but in other games he tended to drive all the other players away with his 'my foolish way or the highway' attitude.

That brings up another point, if you have a player who makes trouble of whatever sort with other players, give them a chance to work it out, but not long, especially if s/he is obviously irritating more than one other player.  If it's only one other, sometimes it's hard to tell who's at fault, if either.  Try mediation but if that doesn't work, especially if the irritant doesn't show any intention to deal better, dump him, before he spoils the whole game.  If a game isn't fun any more because there is an idiot to deal with, the good players are likely to go, leaving you with only the idiot!  And there won't even be any point in getting new players if the idiot is just going to do the same again.
OakMaster
 member, 116 posts
 "Choose you this day
 whom ye will serve..."
Wed 31 Jul 2019
at 06:14
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
We have over 40K posts, and are approaching 15 years on RPoL.

There have been times of great activity, and times of pause.

Good GMs and good players aren't enough, because a chain is only as strong as the weakest link, and everyone's schedule becomes a weak link at some time or another.

The way we have survived and thrived is by having multiple GMs and multiple players, structured mostly into solo threads.  That way, players and even GMs have been able to come and go without destroying the game overall.

Every so often, we have opportunities to have a combined adventure before going our separate ways again.

However, by emphasizing solo threads, and by starting with solo threads, we are able to weed out the folks who are less inclined to stick around before they end up slowing things up for everyone in a group thread.

Your mileage may vary, but that is the formula that has worked for us.  :)
donsr
 member, 1675 posts
Wed 31 Jul 2019
at 15:31
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
very neat Oakmaster… 15 years  is a long time.

I've  been  here since  2005  ( my number is  437)..I was a player for the most part until about   9 years ago..then I   ran a game, then added two more.

 all of them have been on going   since then, with various  levels of activity.. , The Most active   approaching  88K for the 8+ years  its been here.

 As a GM.. you  have to keep the  game moving.. you have to  be  able  to   change    the flow of the game with the flow  of the  players...some of  my Vets ..this is thier 'Busy  RL time, so they post slower  for    these 3 or  4 months.. others  ebb and  Flow with RL... the  trick is to carry  those  PCs  along, so the game  doesn't  stop, and the PCs  aren't left behind.

 It also helps  when you have  very good players  who give you a heads up when a  slow time is comign for them ( Vacation..Hospital  ect ect)
OakMaster
 member, 117 posts
 "Choose you this day
 whom ye will serve..."
Wed 31 Jul 2019
at 16:32
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
88K?  And in only 8 years?  Nice.  :)

I've been on RPoL since 2003/2009 as a player/GM, mostly as a player.

My "GM"-ing in the 40K game has mostly been as a caretaker, coordinator, and IT support.  I carried the ball for a bit when the original GM took an extended break, but other folks have done the heaviest GM creative lifting.

Our structure has been very useful by allowing folks to taken extended breaks (days, weeks, months, years), and then return if and when desired.  That flexibility means that we don't have to eject inactive folks, which helps keep the pool of potential participants from dwindling too quickly...  :)

This message was last edited by the user at 16:33, Wed 31 July.

donsr
 member, 1676 posts
Wed 31 Jul 2019
at 18:58
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
 Thanks Oaky.... I only had  two games  at the time, when I entered a  'Starship trooper s game'.. the  GM  was   ok  as far as table setting  but  relied too much  on 'Free Form'..Mine is  semi free form  with a Home Brewed  system.

 anyway..i liked the way the game was setting upo..but the GM  got 'lost' a lot.. and the game died.. I started  my space game, based on a book I started to  write...and we  built it from there... we lost  two of the   'charter   folks' one due to RL death..one   to RL ( her husband was Military and they just had a baby)..I have one player  left from the charter group,  and he helps keep the  game steady,( as his charcter  does  on the ship!)

..The important  thing, no matter how you do it , is to keep games  moving..slow  games  die.!..The trick is , for  your players to have  fun... I tell RTJs , my games aren't for everyone..don't even try to be..but those who like it, tend to stay.
GreenTongue
 member, 875 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Thu 1 Aug 2019
at 10:58
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
I think that you have to take a chance on players to get that stock of stable players.
Especially when just starting.

Until you have had a chance to play with them you never really know.

I guess you could try to poach players from other games ... not sure if that happens or works out.
donsr
 member, 1677 posts
Thu 1 Aug 2019
at 13:40
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
 When games I am in Die..I will ask players if they want to come to my game.....sometimes  with the  understanding , that  if/when the old GM  comes back   we  all come back to  thier game too..

 Unless of course the GM  flat out  says he's deleting   or  quitting, then there is no  reason for that.

 I have allowed a few players  over the years to 'advertise' thier game in my OOC thread.. lets face it?  if  folks leave your  game for another.. they were gonna leave  anyway.

 a few played in Both.... sadly.. games that have died, stayed  dead.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15777 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Thu 1 Aug 2019
at 14:22
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
I usually put a thread in my games which is intended specifically for advertising.  I'll advertise my own new games in it, and encourage my players to advertise theirs.

And it works in my favour too, because sometimes they will post about games that I'd like to join.  :)
donsr
 member, 1678 posts
Thu 1 Aug 2019
at 14:27
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
 yeah, always good to get 'insider info'.

 I get bummed when I see  a  game I might like to join and the GM is a  'rules Nazi'  with  a ginat list of   rules... or I see the GM  has  55 game 48 of them deleted  ect ect.
GreenTongue
 member, 877 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sat 3 Aug 2019
at 12:02
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
I made the mistake once of letting in a new player at a point in the story where one plot had pretty much ended and another was starting.
There was over a year of game history to get a feel for the tone and pacing of the game.

It was close to Noir Pulp and he tried to change it to Action Pulp and grab the spot light.
By the time I realized that they were not trying to come up to speed they had already done things that total screwed up the story / game.

I suppose it was my fault for running it with a light touch but I had assumed people that play in this format read and try to work with the story not against it.

It was very jarring to the long time players and broke the game.

One of the other players had joined as it was on going with a very smooth transition so I know it can be done.

So, I might have been better off restarting without that disruptive player.
donsr
 member, 1679 posts
Sat 3 Aug 2019
at 13:35
Re: How Many Times Do You Usually Have To Restart Games?
   I  try to have the  main Plot  flow. the subpolot  players have to uncover..and  there are others they create  in  RP...

 The  MAjor  NPCs  move  the plot  along, most of them  are in postions  of  Command.. but there are   scores and scores  of  'grunts' as well...

  I tell the players, the GAmes is  to have your charcter  grow throughout the game... the ones who stay  do that, and its  like a little family   both OOC and IC... the ones that don't , don't last very long.