Piestar
 member, 829 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Thu 11 Feb 2021
at 18:39
Make games go faster ideas
In reply to Talon (msg # 6):

All good points, I concur.

Oddly enough, because of the infamous reputation for being harsh the dice-roller here, a lot of my players let me roll dice on my desk for them, which helps speed things up sometimes too. Obviously this is optional...
donsr
 member, 2179 posts
Thu 11 Feb 2021
at 18:57
Make games go faster ideas
 my people state their actions and RP it out. I roll dice   off board, for the most part, to and post theresutles.

 Battles go faster then    'downtime', but it is very active.

 I use my own system as well...I also  shaved  down  D&D to a workable  tool, but   it never  worked well for me as a DM, so i use  my system there to....

the main two things  are?  How available our your players? RL can suck at times and that will slow  anybody down.

 if you are married to  turn base and dice  rolls, there isn't much you can do, unless The DM moves things  along ( adds in some hits the characters will take or Give )

Just? use your head. Move the game along with out  screwing ove rplayers, we're GMs  after all, if  we can modify , we realy shouldn't me  runnign a game.
liblarva
 member, 675 posts
Thu 11 Feb 2021
at 19:05
Make games go faster ideas
Another technique to speed up play is framing. Don’t start a scene with the players walking into a bar and asking what they do. Push ahead to something happening, something interesting. Give the players time to talk and roleplay, of course. But don’t start scenes loose, focus on the interesting and evocative stuff. This eliminates a lot of faffing about.

This message was last edited by the user at 16:35, Fri 12 Feb.

Jon Canuck
 member, 16 posts
Fri 12 Feb 2021
at 12:19
Make games go faster ideas
Another technique that speeds things along is ceding narrative control. You have to have mature, trusted players for this, but a high enough roll (often predetermined by the system or house rules, e.g. natural 20s) qualifies the player to narrate the outcome of their own roll.

This moves things along faster than the player rolling and waiting around for the GM to say what happens. It can also lower the GM's mental load and it thrills players since their characters have a moment to really shine.

You can also cede narrative control in other situations. For example, to speed through otherwise routine interactions and add an element of fun or randomness "OK, you spend the evening at the roadside inn. There is a boisterous wedding party in one corner. Tell us, how does the night go?"
Piestar
 member, 831 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 12 Feb 2021
at 15:33
Make games go faster ideas
Must be fun to have players you could do that with. I would have to have the entire party that mature though, can't give that kind of ability without giving it to all of them. I have some, but have never had all.
donsr
 member, 2183 posts
Fri 12 Feb 2021
at 15:42
Make games go faster ideas
 On the rare  occasions i have   Players  Roll for  an outcome,  I give them the parameters and outcomes and they RP it out  after the Roll , Thus..good or bad.. they get to RP the    effects and actions   with the guidelines  provided.

 All the rest, is   they RP out what they are doing and what the hope to accomplish, ( attacks  or other actions with NPCs).. then i write the results.

 Actions with PCs   are done between  them, and  need  be , somewhat talked   about, so thier is  no real 'blindsiding' since we aren't at a table top.

 and yeah? Piestar?  I have   had folks who couldn't be trusted  with this..but they  don't stay around long. No matter what the RP going on, Good things or bad,  the  folks  i have now understand that,  i have a couple new folks that hit the ground  running..others  fall by the wayside..and still others don't get past the  PM interview..

::shrugs::  in your game..you are god... if you  can't  have the structure  and Flow you want, there  really isn't a reason to run the game.
engine
 member, 818 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Fri 12 Feb 2021
at 15:56
Make games go faster ideas
In reply to Piestar (msg # 11):

Lask of trust I have been a game is one of the things that slows down games the most.

Do you find you have to spend a lot of explaining why a player can't do something?

Do you spend a lot of time checking their math or other details?

Do you spend a lot of time having them justify to you why something should work?

Do they spend a lot of time reviewing your decisions?

Do they spend a lot of time debating what to do so as to avoid possible consequences that would not be fun for them?

If the answer to any of these is Yes, then one way to speed your game up is to resolve these issues, by increasing the level of trust at the table. Players who trust their GM and GMs who trust their players can set aside a lot of the effort other groups put in, without worrying that the game is going to flounder.

Other ideas:
Avoid fights to the death. In my experience, players will over analyze combat when the only way to really fail is death. They'll do this even if there's no obvious threat, meaning that they're doing it even when most of the opposition is dead and they're all beating up on one sad little dude who can't possibly hurt them. That is: long past the point where the situation is fun.

The other aspect of this is that when the goal is something other than whittling the other side's HP to 0, the encounter can be over more quickly, because it can end as soon as the goal goal is avhieved or becomes impossible to achieve or just not worth the risk. If the goal is to enter a code into a computer, and no one can possibly prevent that, then it's over quickly; if the computer is destroyed the the fighting, then the fight is also over. The side with that goal might still need to escape, but that's arguably a different goal and a different situation.

The point is that there are ways to craft situations that are challenging and tactical (if that's what you're into) but also quick, or at least fun for as long as they run, rather than spiraling toward pointlessness.

I hope that helps.
Piestar
 member, 832 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 12 Feb 2021
at 16:01
Make games go faster ideas
Things would speed up immensely in the games I am a player in if the DM would simply read the players posts and respond to them, instead of us having to state actions three times, then get chastised for thinking our player actions matter.

I always strive to see each post, and read it carefully so I can accurately reflect the players actions and intents. I don't claim 100% accuracy, but when I miss something and it is pointed out to me, I apologize, instead of pout.

That might just be me though...
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 369 posts
Fri 12 Feb 2021
at 16:09
Make games go faster ideas
Personally, I find that what really kills the momentum of a game is when the players aren't being thoughtful with their player actions. I don't mean their character actions, here, but the actions of the person behind the keyboard.

A game that's flowing neatly along can be murdered in its tracks by one person if that person's character needs to react/respond to something, and they decide they're just not going to, nevermind that other people are waiting on them to do so. By the same token, a game can equally be nuked by one person if that one person wants to react/respond to literally everything that's posted, never giving other players the opportunity to participate in the fun. There's an ebb and flow to a good play-by-post game, and it works best when everyone is being thoughtful and on the same page.

The problem is, unless you happen to play one of those genres that has applicants falling out of the sky, you can't really start just kicking people for being inconsiderate.
donsr
 member, 2184 posts
Fri 12 Feb 2021
at 16:19
Make games go faster ideas
I have seen in the past , espeicaslly when a Co-DMed a  game that the  DM was trying to save?

 Some players think they are the Masters of all things in all games, , one player PMed the DM some  12 times, without making  1 RP   post?  and everyone's  waiting

 I told the person, that if they would post  IC as much as  in PMs?  He could reach his 'coveted ' Milestone.

 The  Game  sadly faded  away when the DM  quict RP   altogether.. I  did, indeed cut that fellow, just as a ceremony .  and the gave never   went anywhere after.

 As a GM/DM.. you have to be able to  'flow past' the players  who won't  or Don't   react, if you have  other players  who are on the Ball.

 In my space game? I have  3  Players on the Shelf  with RL  nasty stuff. they are in the backround, in such  a way, they can pop in and out when they can ...another  player went dark with out preamble? He's way off   in the backround, just to see if he comes back/

 everyone else posts as they can, and with players from all over the world, they do a damn good  job , not only keeping the game flow  going, but  helping  rookies  get up to speed. Just like watching   a Movie  or TV show  where the New person enters and works thier way into the cast.
Piestar
 member, 833 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 12 Feb 2021
at 16:34
Make games go faster ideas
In reply to SunRuanEr (msg # 15):

Wow. I hate players like that. I played a table top game of Vampire, and we were told by the DM that we all had to play as loyal Camarillo. Sure enough, this one jerk of a player decided he secretly wanted to violate the masquerade, and ruined the game just for his own fun. And the DM didn't do anything about it.

Too often I have seen DM's simply let bad players run roughshod over the game.
donsr
 member, 2185 posts
Fri 12 Feb 2021
at 16:45
Make games go faster ideas
 This is the thing, right? No one here..Players of   DM/GM  gets paid to be here.  As   the  showrunner, you have to be true  to your game, they players  need to   follow  the course?   to me, it great when a players uses  somehtign from the past, or even flat out outsmarts me..its great!...but it has to be grounded  in 'game fact'.

 Having   said this? In the course of the 10+ years i  only had  to remove  two players  for being flat out  jerks... I also  removed a guy who was there  for a 'cup of coffee' because he was  , more or less , Harassing a female  player.

 Bottom line, No  player  shoudl  run 'roughshod'// you jerk the   leash  and if that doesn't help. you bounce them... tons of eyars  ago, on the old E-Zboards, there was a Game i was in  where  the  DM  allowed  whack jobs  to do this, and  any new players who  came  in we subject to  harassment  ( they call it bullying now) .. I managed  to use  my character  to goad the  'ring leader" ( more in  OOC then game) to a duel of  sorts.. The  DM had  all my information.. and the  Ring leader who was a few level higher died   of Poison...

 ::shurgs:: when the Player Rage  quit.. and i was sure   he was written out , I left the game..not one of  my most proud Moments, the game didn't last much longer..but..E-zBoards , all across the spectrum  were killed off by hackers, so it didn't matter

  the old saying, 'you can pelase  everyone"  is true...don't try to. Run the game for the folks who enjoy it, in a way that you....yourself..enjoy...if a plyer  doesn't like it?..there are 1000s of games on this site/
ladysharlyne
 subscriber, 3010 posts
 Member before Oct 2005
 The glass is half full
Fri 12 Feb 2021
at 17:12
Make games go faster ideas
Just a thought

I run Freeform games, they are slow to moderate for a reason and the main one we all have real lives.  My games are slow due to not only my health but others, not only things that happen in my life but those that happen in my players life.  A player knows that they can step back in without being overwhelmed and past up in storyline including fights, love scenes, whatever.  So not everyone wants to speed up the games they are in for a reason.

Just saying for those of us that like the pace of our games.

Thanks
LS
Galen
 member, 6 posts
Fri 12 Feb 2021
at 22:41
Make games go faster ideas
I ran a testbed of a PbP game requiring the players to post 3 rounds of combat at a time. In terms of speeding up the combat, it did achieve that. The main drawback was that I had to detail so much of what happened in those three rounds so the players would have enough information to assess what their next actions were going to be. It made the job of GMing more intense for sure.
Yaztromo
 supporter, 422 posts
Fri 12 Feb 2021
at 23:12
Make games go faster ideas
Right now, it works for me having a simple ruleset (Advanced Fighting Fantasy), daily posting (if you don't post, the GM keeps the game moving forward and the story flowing), having a campaign organised in short adventures (that take between one and three months (real life time) to complete - one week doesn't give time to develop the story), having more groups running more adventures in various locations of the map at the same time, having an in game "pace" for the adventures, i.e. all adventures normally take ten days (including transfers, etc. in game time) so at the end of the ten days you can move from a group to another, so you can interact with more people, the groups are generally small (3 to 5 characters).
It's not perfect, but it works for me.

This message was last edited by the user at 11:32, Sat 13 Feb.

Piestar
 member, 834 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Fri 12 Feb 2021
at 23:36
Make games go faster ideas
Sounds like a good system. As I said, it all hinges on the game masters willingness to enforce the rules, sounds like you do that.
LonePaladin
 member, 862 posts
 Creator of HeroForge
Sat 13 Feb 2021
at 02:52
Make games go faster ideas
A while back, I ran an original D&D game here -- "original" meaning "before 1st edition". Combat in it was pretty simple, but to speed things up I included an automatic hit rule. Basically, if you could hit your target on a 10 or better on a d20 (i.e., more than half the time), you could opt to automatically hit. Your damage, if you did, was the average amount you could roll, rounded down. If you rolled a d6 for damage, you did 3 on an auto-hit.

I also publicly posted all enemies' Armor Class and Hit Points, so that the players could determine the chance to hit and whether or not an auto-hit was a kill.
Brianna
 member, 2234 posts
Sat 13 Feb 2021
at 03:20
Make games go faster ideas
Combat in PbP can be a game killer if the DM doesn't find a way to deal with it.  Even in FtF it can slow things up if not handled well.  When I used to play, I had DMs who handled it brilliantly all the way to those whose games died as soon as we got to any kind of major combat.

Most of the successful ones had players post default actions for general use, plus more specific ones once combat started.  If the players were making the rolls, they probably made several ahead of time, but more likely the DM did the rolling.  One who ran a successful game for several years (and may still be running it, he moved to a different site, and my health was making keeping up difficult for me so I didn't follow) normally posted twice a week for game moving detail (we could post as many times as we wished in the meantime, but the party wouldn't go to a new place or anything like that until the regular post), but more like every other day when we were in combat, and also used default, and he did the rolls, to speed things up.  He also had us post multiple actions when we were in combat, using the default if things changed enough to invalidate our later intentions.  If things advanced to the point a character was about to die (and that was a definite possibility) he tried to wait for the player to bring re/actions up to date, but you'd better be checking in regularly.
facemaker329
 member, 7321 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Sat 13 Feb 2021
at 04:36
Re: Make games go faster ideas
Brianna:
Even in FtF it can slow things up if not handled well.


It can outright kill a game.  My longest-running FtF game was a Star Wars D6 game that started in December of 1990 and ran for over a decade...players came and went, some characters got retired and replaced, and a few of the retirees got unretired...

But the game died when the GM decided he wanted to change over to D20 Saga Edition rules.  He had a valid reason...the D6 rules don't scale very well to really advanced characters, especially Jedi, and after that many years, we had a LOT of advanced characters.  But the D6 rules were pretty simple (still one of my favorite systems, for that very reason), and everyone knew them, so running combat was a breeze...we could have a group of nine players make it through a round of combat in a little under ten minutes, because everyone knew what they wanted to do, what dice to roll, they had a ballpark idea of how well they needed to score, etc...

It took us two sessions to convert everyone over to SE rules.  The third session ended up in combat pretty quickly...and an encounter that would have taken us maybe fifteen minutes to resolve with the old rules took an entire three hour session to finish up, because of everyone needing to double-check the rules, and figure out all the extra bonuses and penalties, and this and that and...

And it was the last time that group ever got together to play that game.  Totally sucked the enthusiasm out of everyone, and frustrated the GM enough that he just couldn't muster up the enthusiasm to figure out where to go from there.
liblarva
 member, 676 posts
Sat 13 Feb 2021
at 04:40
Re: Make games go faster ideas
In reply to facemaker329 (msg # 25):

Ditch the SE and go back to WEG d6. And talk to the players of those advanced characters about retiring them for balance reasons. Or have someone bigger and badder gun for them. Then double the cost of advancement.
facemaker329
 member, 7322 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Sat 13 Feb 2021
at 05:14
Re: Make games go faster ideas
*laugh*  Man, that ship sailed a LONG time ago.  That was over a decade ago...the GM is a retired school teacher with Parkinsons, I live an hour away, a lot of the other players have gotten married and had families...

I don't tell the story as a condemnation of SE, particularly.  If you start out with it and get used to it, I'm sure it plays faster than we played it. In this instance, I tell the story as an advisement to Keep It Simple, Stupid, when it comes to combat scenarios, especially online.  I've never been involved in a game, either FtF or PbP, that folded up shop because combat was too simple...but this is one of several that died because combat was too complex.

What constitutes 'too complex' is entirely determined by the knowledge base of the players and GM and how much the GM will let the players do on their own.  I was in a FtF GURPS game ages ago that ran like clockwork, because everybody knew what was going on and could take care of their own business so we didn't sit around a lot (it helped, of course, that all of the characters were actually wizards' familiars, so the available list of actions to perform was pretty short...but it was still GURPS, so there was plenty of number crunching involved).
LonePaladin
 member, 863 posts
 Creator of HeroForge
Sat 13 Feb 2021
at 06:44
Re: Make games go faster ideas
I can advocate for SW Saga, having moved into it from 3E D&D (which used 90% similar rules). Once you knew what you were doing with it, combat moved just as fast as in most other games.

I've also run live Rolemaster games that went quickly in combat -- primarily by giving the players copies of their weapon and spell tables so they could look up the results of their attacks on their own. So how a game runs depends heavily on the group and what everyone is willing to put into it.
Sithraider
 member, 239 posts
 Momento Mori
Sat 13 Feb 2021
at 08:30
Make games go faster ideas
1) I think that there’s a desire to keep things mechanical hidden from your players as a GM. But that slows things down. Not knowing whether your ‘to hit’ roll succeeds and having to wait for an update sucks as a player. An easy way to do this is to set static values. “This room is difficult, any test is a DC17” Hit the Orc, DC17. Open the locked treasure chest DC17. Save vs the fireball, DC17. This way, the players know how to respond to their rolls. Dungeon World handles this with their 2d6 system very well. Added bonus, the GM never has to roll dice.

2) Reduce hit points (for PC and enemies). No one (hypothetically) likes to roll 1d10 damage 30 times to kill the dragon. And if your combat takes a month to complete, it’s neither memorable, or fun (in my opinion). A dragon with 50 hp and good narration, beats three weeks of “I hit, 10 damage” over and over.

3) Narrate the parts you know will happen and use the rules for the “dangerous” parts. Like, “ok, after 20 minutes of battling the goblin horde you are standing face to face with Urdak, the defiler. The broken bodies of his tribesmen.....” In other words, jump to the parts that matter.

4) Kill a PC. One of them dies, and all the rest will think twice about jumping in to protracted combat. In DnD success is basically guaranteed, at least prior to 5e. Haven’t played that.

Just my late night thoughts on the topic. None of which are original. You can find my derivative suggestions on various YouTube channels.
Piestar
 member, 835 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sat 13 Feb 2021
at 13:37
Re: Make games go faster ideas
Sithraider:
3) Narrate the parts you know will happen and use the rules for the “dangerous” parts. Like, “ok, after 20 minutes of battling the goblin horde you are standing face to face with Urdak, the defiler. The broken bodies of his tribesmen.....” In other words, jump to the parts that matter.


As previously mentioned, I am just wrapping up a combat that started back in October. 34 rounds and counting. I seem to manage to have kept things interesting though, and it is certainly the exception not the rule. Three day rule helps a lot, and if they don't post, their character takes no action that round. That seems to motivate.
facemaker329
 member, 7323 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Sat 13 Feb 2021
at 19:48
Re: Make games go faster ideas
In all fairness, despite my arguing for the simplify-combat-as-much-as-possible side of things, it should also be noted that there ARE players who enjoy prolonged combat and rolling dice and so on.  There were even occasions when, during my aforementioned Star Wars game, it was perversely enjoyable to spend a Force Point and wind up shaking a truckload of dice, and it was never not-enjoyable to have the Wild Die roll a string of 6s, even when it was someone else's roll and it would prolong the turn.

It's really about knowing the players' expectations for the game.  If you intend to play out every roll, you should make that known up front, as part of the RTJ information, so you attract players who are similarly interested.  And it may be worth pumping the brakes and extending the fight when your players tangle with a Big-Bad, to build some anticipation of the end result.

There isn't a one-size-fits-all solution.  Figure out what works for you and your players...but I'd say, as a general rule, if combat feels like a chore for you, as GM, odds are really good your players find it boring.  That's when it becomes time to start simplifying or expediting, finding ways to make it faster and simpler.  Because that's when it's going to kill your game.