praguepride
 member, 1636 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Mon 29 Jun 2020
at 20:04
I love player initiative
Partly a topic of discussion, partly bragging about my awesome players...

I love it when players dip their toes across the Player/GM line and describe the scene and environment. Some of them are so cautious with a lot of PMs or OOC comments of "Sorry if I overstepped things" as they go on to describe a beautiful and vivid environment description.

All I can do is sit back and silently thank them for making my job a lot easier so by all means, describe the setting, take some small initiatives with minor NPCs and set dressings.

It is incredibly rare that a player taking those kinds of initiatives ever make my job more difficult and overwhelming majority make my GMing more enjoyable.
Hunter
 member, 1602 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Mon 29 Jun 2020
at 20:28
I love player initiative
Role Playing Games are akin to storytelling, one of which the GM is the primary storyteller.  So, it's always nice when players take a bit of initiative.   It is, after all, a collaborative effort.
OceanLake
 supporter, 1121 posts
Mon 29 Jun 2020
at 23:32
I love player initiative
Until one gets a "no godmodding" note.
praguepride
 member, 1637 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Tue 30 Jun 2020
at 01:42
I love player initiative
It's funny because I see that "rule" listed over and over and over again but in over a decade on here the ONLY time I've encountered godmodding as either a player or a GM was when a PC got pissy about a ruling and just stormed out in the middle of a fight.

I had forgotten a rule that was kind of important but also not really critical to anything but they got so pissed off in the middle of a fight they were like "Well I walk away because the rules don't matter anymore..."

So not really godmodding in the traditional sense. Then again I imagine it's a bit more common in freeform games whereas I tend to stick to games with crunch behind them.
Ameena
 member, 210 posts
Tue 30 Jun 2020
at 09:45
I love player initiative
I don't tend to describe the environment and such (as a player), because I see that as the GM's "territory". But I will absolutely give full narrative descriptions for how all my character's abilities work and stuff. If I know I've hit an enemy a certain way I'll certainly describe what that looks like or whatever :D.
tibiotarsus
 member, 176 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Tue 30 Jun 2020
at 10:58
I love player initiative
I think the line between helpful flavour and godmodding lies in mostly in detail, partly in agency - a character plonking down a mid-village tree or a forest where there wasn't one before would seriously trip me up narratively and bring the game to a screeching halt as I rearranged everything or pulled them aside for a Talk, because being highly aware of how landscape shapes communities, that's a lot. If I'd already said there was a forest and they said they liked the light off that pine tree, or the oak they first kissed a barbarian beneath, or went to chase some local squirrels, all that is welcome (so long as a setting isn't based on one continent's ecology and no-one dumps lions or raccoons in a Standard Quasi-Mediaeval European setting. Tolkien's Magical Potatoes get a pass, but only if noted as such, and only just).

As for agency, thumb rule is "am I 100% sure this is a universal reaction, or is it an NPC I know well enough to be certain that's how they'll react?" Someone having their head cut off in battle reacts very predictably, for example: they try not to have their head cut off, but then their head gets cut off and then they get a career change to corpse and fall down. Declaring everyone in the tavern finds you attractive and laughs at your jokes, however, that's something that takes decisions away from a bunch of NPCs - if the PC has crazy high Charisma you can declare that intent, sure, but that's at least a roll needed. It's super easy to ask the GM before doing that kind of thing, too, as praguepride's players seem to be good at - "will the barmaid flirt back and giggle?" for example; if the answer is "no, she has a wife and a large dog and doesn't feel the need to do that. She likes gross jokes, though, and has a booming laugh", it provides the interested player with a point of interaction with a more interesting NPC, and if they want to flirt with a giggly person the player can still ask the GM where those hang out.

In fact, you could probably summarise here as 'finding a giggly redhead in a pre-existing nonspecific crowd' = flavour, 'declaring a specific NPC is giggly/ginger without GM input' = god modding. Same for props or setting details. Finding a stick in a forest is fine, declaring the specific stick is a seasoned hardwood branch that happened to be to hand during combat...ask.
ladysharlyne
 subscriber, 2693 posts
 You get out of a game the
 effort you put in it !!
Tue 30 Jun 2020
at 11:53
I love player initiative
Hiya,

In my freeform games I strive not to allow godmoding.  They leave if they do.  But I have to say I have also got wonderful writers that give vivid descriptions and it helps all of us playing characters.  I have seen an influx of exceptional writers that could write novella style.  They not only add flavour but give other characters much to react to.  As for NPCs in my games these are just other characters that a Player has, one Player character.  So I don't have them using the NPCs as if they were props but that they respect them as other played characters and this is great.  What I do encourage and my players do is write battles, encounters, with a character named in their post.  That way if it is a scene where that character will be killed off it is done.  I have a rule set that all my players agree to abide and hence we all write well together.  I really have to give high kudos to my Players for playing well in my action/reaction freeform.  We grow out story as we go it is no way scripted as some have said about my games.  So yes, we have a very good membership here that love to and are capable of great writing.

LS
facemaker329
 member, 7223 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Tue 30 Jun 2020
at 15:28
I love player initiative
Speaking as a player, I specifically avoid stating the results of my character's actions unless it's a scenario where it's expected (we're engaged in mass combat and my highly-seasoned Marine sniper is engaging a bunch of common foot soldiers, for instance--but if it's single combat with a featured NPC or even a heretofore unnamed enemy officer, I post what I'm attempting to do and leave the results to be addressed by the GM.)  Sometimes the GM will message me to say that what I was trying worked, or didn't, or I got wounded, and let me post the results.

I'm expanding my style...I used to write a lot (back in the heyday of MUDs and MUSHes, I was added to the Admin of a few specifically to create descriptions for the environments, and focused a lot on descriptive detail...and then I spent a few years TAing a playwriting class.  In playwriting, the primary focus is all on dialogue, because unless it's critical to the show, nothing you specify in the script is guaranteed to end up on the stage...directors and designers and even a tors will all put their own stamp on your words...so I lost the habit of describing much of anything beyond what my character was saying and how he said it.  I'm rebuilding that part of my repertoire.

But I try, really hard, to avoid stepping into territory that I feel is the domain of the GM.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 286 posts
Tue 30 Jun 2020
at 15:45
I love player initiative
I appreciate when people are descriptive and embellish their own posts, but I feel the line is crossed when they start dictating specific NPC (or other PC) actions, or making statements about the world that aren't necessarily true. For instance, when a player starts talking about their family business, it's one thing to describe it as 'a successful business empire'...and entirely another when they describe it as 'the biggest, most successful business empire in the world'. The latter crosses a line, because it veers into territory that belongs to the GM, and needs at least an 'okay' from them before putting it out there in a post. The former, that's perfectly kosher and good on the player for adding some depth. Similarly, a character in a scene in a restaurant is perfectly okay deciding to describe placing their order with a waitress who happens to be blonde, but it wouldn't be okay to decide that the waitress was a hot blonde who fell all over them and decided to give them their meal for free in exchange for the PC's phone number.

tl,dr: Description and not needing your hand held for every little action, that's great! Taking over the GM's role without any kind of 'okay' from them, notsomuch.