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Title: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Warren on January 12, 2006, 07:08:36 AM
Hello all,

I have recently joined a group through a friend at work. I don't know any of the others socially outside of the weekly Vampire campaign I joined in with to acquaint myself with them all. The group are all LARPers, male and in their early-20s and have known each other socially for quite some time. They all are pretty much immersionists, heavily into Actor stance and disliking "metagaming" as it was described to me when I joined. I've been playing with this group for about half-a-dozen sessions now. It's all Illusionist with the players having to follow what seems like a variant on a preplanned White Wolf metaplot. That's OK, I used to play in Illusionist games all the time, and it can be quite entertaining, but the most recent session was quite enlightening.

It's a modern-day Vampire game just before/during Gehenna and the group had just got hold of an ancient scroll written in something Hebrew-looking which we couldn't understand. As we were planning our next move, one the party - L - wanted to copy down the scroll for 'backup'. The GM asked "Did you bring a pen? No, Roll a die, 1-5 you've got a pen." The player did so quite happily, and got a 6, so no pen. A short amount of in-character discussion later, and we realized that there was a late-night store open across the road. "Does it have a photocopier?" The GM nodded, and L went to copy it down. The GM then informed him that as the scroll was larger than A4 he needed to make an Intelligence+Technology roll, difficulty 5, to correctly operate the photocopier. The player did so, and made sure that even afterward he double-checked that the copies were accurate. The group generally didn't seem to have any problem with this, or even obviously pick up on this as strange, but I was somewhat taken aback. Why ask for a roll? All told the "photocopier scene" took 10 minutes, rather than 2 seconds, and I could see nothing which couldn't have been skipped over quickly.

But the group seem loathe the skip anything or frame scenes in any way. During a previous session we had just got off a private plane at a remote airfield and needed to get to a big meeting in town. The GM just left us there, with no transport. After a bit of dithering, I said to the GM, "OK, I go on foot down the main road to town. As soon as I come across a passing vehicle, I hail it - shooting the driver if needed - take the car and come back to pick these guys up. Then we can all drive into town." One of the players, C, seemed quite shocked by this and made a sarcastic comment along the lines of, "Wow, half an hour of roleplaying done in two minutes." The GM did go with me, but I had to play-out each scene nevertheless. I got quite excited when it transpired that the guy who I carjacked was a drugrunner transporting a bundle of heroin, but nothing came of that in the end.

Anyway, back to last weeks session. Later, we took the scroll to a big Vampiric research lab (part of our 'parent' organization, basically) to give for translation. After a bit more IC dialogue, two of the players - L & C - wanted their characters to help translate it. Now this was a scroll that hadn't been decoded in two years of study by ancient powers, but the GM said yes and asked for an extended roll requiring 30 successes between them. Then much rolling of dice from L & C, getting 2 or 3 successes per roll until, in a few game hours, they had cracked a large proportion of it. Now part of me is screaming that this is unrealistic - an ancient scroll in a dead language translated in a few hours by somebody who had to check if he could operate a photocopier! But more worrying is that I could not see what the point of this roll was either? You know that they were going to get the required 30 successes sooner or later, and since there was no significant time-pressure then just say "Yes"?

Shortly after this, the rest of the party decided to go to a goth nightclub. I decided to have my character to cause a fuss; she's Sabbat, has disregard for Mortals but had to be very self-controlled for years previous. If this were PTA her Issue would be "Trying to find a balance between Self-Control and Anger". Being highly trained in combat (9 or 10 dice for most rolls), I was imagining a quick scene Buffy-style, where I take out a few mook bouncers and run off. In fact, it turned into a 90-minute slog of Storyteller Combat System with my character having to take down five bouncers singlehandedly whilst the rest of the party watched from the sidelines. I did so and the group ran off with the alarm bells ringing as the session ended. It turned rather dull and I was getting quite embarrassed at the end of it. One player, C, during this said - disapprovingly  - "We did have to roll a lot of dice this week", which got a lot of scowling approval.

So, the Vampire game is winding up in a few weeks, and I've offered to run Dogs in the Vineyard afterward. But I'm worried about how the players will look at all the dice rolling, as they are not used to having every roll matter. Perhaps Primetime Adventures would be a better fit, but then I'm worried that they won't like the "metagaming" aspects of it. How can I show them that roleplaying doesn't have to always equal "Actor-stance players, Illusionist GM" and that dice rolls can - must - have meaning?

Warren

(As a side point, the dice-rolling in this session illustrates exactly why I dislike systems that have unopposed dice rolls.)


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: TonyLB on January 12, 2006, 07:36:20 AM
'kay ... you've tried it their way, and I think it's fair to say that they made few (perhaps no) concessions to how you might feel about the system, whether you would be uncomfortable with it, whether they needed to figure out a way to spoon-feed it to you.  Instead they just said very clearly "This is the way this game plays, and if you want to play this game then that's that."


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: TonyLB on January 12, 2006, 07:42:27 AM
... and then while I was thinking my son smacked the keyboard with his race car in exactly the way that tabbed to the post button and activated it.  Which ... creepy.

So, to complete the thought:  I don't see why you should treat them any differently than they treated you.  Not in an "eye for an eye" way, but in a "we're all adults, they can and should handle this themselves." 

They're not children, and Dogs is not that hard a system.  If it butts up against their preconceived notions of what must happen then they are the only ones who can deal with that.  You do them a disservice by acting as if you'll take over that duty from them.  It's not something you can do, and if you and they believe that it's your responsibility then they, the only people who can do it won't realize that they should.

Does that make sense?  Is it just too heartless?


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Jason Morningstar on January 12, 2006, 08:06:00 AM
Seriously, they gave you many, many clues that there was going to be some dissonance.  Were it me, I'd charge in and give them a chance to try out Dogs without apologies, as Tony suggested.  You may burn your bridge to the vampire game in the process, hard to tell.  If they make it a disaster, find some new people to play the dirty hippie games with.  If they are willing to give Dogs the benefit of the doubt it will address all of your concerns, which you can raise point by point with actual play examples later. 


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Warren on January 12, 2006, 08:08:57 AM
I think I understand where you are coming from, Tony, but my issue is trying to stop them from throwing thier toys out of the pram on 'gut reaction' - Things like "Rolling how many dice? For an argument? Why can't we just role-play it out?" and give the game a fair go.

I'll also like to come up with a better way of responsing to that kind of argument that hitting them on the nose with a rolled up newpaper and saying "It will make things happen this way, like an hour of IC bickering in Vampire doesn't!", which I think isn't the best way of resolving the issue.


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Ron Edwards on January 12, 2006, 08:17:27 AM
Hi Warren,

Please explain exactly why you are interested in role-playing with these particular people, using Dogs in the Vineyard or any other, similar game.

Best,
Ron


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: jrs on January 12, 2006, 08:27:15 AM
Um.  Warren, I don't think you can control their gut reaction.  You will have to allow for trust--they need to trust you to run this new game, and you need to trust them to play.  I'm not saying it's gonna be easy, but I don't know of an alternative.  You can only say that the game is different and has its own rules.  They may not like it and it might not be the game for this group, but you'll only find out after you try and the trying may take more than one session. 

Believe me, I know about developing trust in your gaming group.  Jeez, I first started paying attention to the Forge as a defensive reaction to Ron continually bringing in these new games.  When I was going--can't we just play Swashbuckler again.

Julie

<Cross-posted with Ron.  I can only add that if you are not interested in developing a trusting group, you should consider carefully his comment.>


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: daHob on January 12, 2006, 08:40:48 AM
Are they interested in Dogs, or are you sort of 'pushing' it on them?

If they have never played anything but traditional sim/illusionist games, they might very well get frustrated with Dogs unless you have preped them. A lot of gamers have very rigid ideas about what rpgs 'are'. If they haven't expressed a desire to try out something new, it might be a rough gaming session. My attempt to introduce Capes to my regular gaming group ended with people looking at me like I had grow a second head and the concensus that Capes wasn't even an  RPG.



Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Warren on January 12, 2006, 09:21:30 AM
Hello all.

Thanks for your comments. I'm interested in getting a group with these people as they are fun to be around, but also, I honestly believe that they are good roleplayers - C's characterisation skills are spot on, L & S are creative and entertaining and so on. I think the thing is that sim/illusionist games are all they know (barring LARPs) and they have been 'brought up' with the White Wolf Storytelling myth - "Look at our shiny metaplot! Follow the GM's story! If you like rolling dice, you are no better than a AD&D munchkin powergamer! Thinking outout your character isn't roleplaying!" etc. Given an open mind, I think they will have a blast with Dogs/PTA/etc.

I think Steve has hit it on the head - I am kind of 'pushing' Dogs on them, and I was wondering if there is any prep I could do that would mitigate any frustration. Julie is correct in pointing that developing trust is the key; but as I am a newbie to this group I don't think that this is going to be easy to engender.

In comparision, I'm also a member of a wargames club (that has no crossover with this group). This lot are mostly older and play occasional games of very heavily Gamist AD&D (in a very Pawn Stance - it's "The Barbarian" rather than "Cebo", for example). I have a blast with them. Gamist isn't my cup of tea, but it's functional! When I introduced those guys to a one-off Dogs game, it went very well, and they want to play again. It's just a pity that it's near-impossible to arrange a regular games with those guys.

Thanks,
Warren


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: coffeestain on January 12, 2006, 09:35:34 AM
Warren,

I think you're going about this completely backward.  I'd suggest building the trust with your group and then introducing them to the games you enjoy (or not introduce them) using that trust as a foundation.  If you're not enjoying the game you're playing in with them, build that trust over movies, or dinner, or cards.  It seems to me that you've got a really precarious foundation right now to be pushing anything onto them.  And it may be wise to consider the fact that you can't game with these people, even though they're fun to be around.

You try creating some crossover between this group and your wargames club group.

Regards,
Daniel


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Tommi Brander on January 12, 2006, 09:37:29 AM
I have kind of the same problem. A bit by bit I am posting things about conflict resolution, beliefs, instincts and traits (yes, it is BW), and talking about them. The same for reward cycles and such. And rules that enforce something more than genre.

Talk with them. It will generally help.


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Ron Edwards on January 12, 2006, 09:41:05 AM
Oh geez.

You're free to do as you wish, and I encourage you to follow your own social standards for whatever it is you end up doing.

But here is my advice: forget it. This is the very last group, under any circumstances, that I would bring Narrativist-heavy games to. And your specific circumstances, i.e. the new guy who clearly "couldn't play right," are the last I would choose for introducing any new game to a group. It seems like the most focused recipe for disaster I've seen in a long time.

I want them to like me and the way I want to play. They don't seem to like either? OK! I want to teach them to like me and the way I want to play!

My advice may well be overridden by any number of positive qualifiers, and there are plenty of people who will slap you on the back and say "You never know unless you try!" Feel free to listen to them instead.

Advice for this discussion: your thread title describes the experience as a "bad session." Really ... bad for whom? Consider that very carefully.

Best,
Ron


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: pells on January 12, 2006, 10:40:33 AM
From what I understand, your main concern is with the use of the system, the use of useless dice rolls, and its effect on the pace of the game. If you're going to be a DM with them, I believe that whatever the game is, the pace of the game would be different anyway. I don't think you'll spend ten minutes over a photocopy and an hour and half over a meaningless combat. In your game, I guess they'll throw less dices, maybe five instead of hundreds, but meaningfull ones. Even a vampire game I suppose. This will bring a big difference, anyway.
As not being an illusionist as a DM, if that's what you want to do, I don't see why it wouldn't work.
Bringing out a new game might 'frighten' them, but anyhow, your game won't look like the one you just described if you don't call for dice rolls as often as they are used to.


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Bankuei on January 12, 2006, 10:47:01 AM
Hi Warren,

Quote
Things like "Rolling how many dice? For an argument? Why can't we just role-play it out?" and give the game a fair go.

Um, this IS the same group of folks that just made a dice roll for operating a photocopier, right?  I suspect that what they want from games and what you want is very, very, very different.  I'm sure they might be great people, but perhaps you should consider finding other folks to roleplay with?  I have many friends who I hang out with, but our tastes in music aren't the same, so we don't go to the same concerts- I think the same situation probably applies here.

Chris


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: dindenver on January 12, 2006, 11:07:00 AM
Hi!
  It sounds like the ST has changed their style since you appeared... The players are complaining about rolling lots of dice, maybe your combat heavy character is encouraging the ST to make YOU roll for non-combat skills in order to show you the error of your ways...
  As far as system, if these guys like to "roleplay" every situation to every minute detail, maybe they need to play GURPS. The character time sheets would serve these guys well.
  I think that maybe, in the guise of game designer, you need to explain metagaming. Going to go carjack a car is not metagaming. Metagaming is standing around waiting for something to happen because the ST will find a way to get you all into town.
  All in all, if they are actually open to you running a game, pick the game you like the most and your enthusiasm will carry over into the group. If you don't feel that there is trust within your group (you of them, them of you), run something they have played before so you can gauge each other's play styles/personalities.
  Good luck man, sounds like this group could go either way.


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: John Kim on January 12, 2006, 11:08:21 AM
I think Steve has hit it on the head - I am kind of 'pushing' Dogs on them, and I was wondering if there is any prep I could do that would mitigate any frustration. Julie is correct in pointing that developing trust is the key; but as I am a newbie to this group I don't think that this is going to be easy to engender.

Hi, Warren.  I played Dogs with my "Harnies" group (whom I've played HarnMaster, Lord of the Rings, and James Bond 007 with), and it went over fine.  We didn't immediately convert to only playing Forge games, but everyone had fun and we still talk about it.  This is the same group whom I've noted as having a problem with trivial stakes (cf. my blog post on Avoiding Trivial Stakes (http://www.livejournal.com/users/jhkimrpg/13336.html)), and have had some other gaming dysfunction in the past.

Here's my advice:  Don't expect them to change what they're fundamentally like.  Don't make the game into a lesson on what you want or like, or a manifesto to tell them what's wrong with them or change them.  Rather, try to make it fun for them.  Put in characters of the sort they might like, background, and so forth.  Sell them on the cool background.  Set up for playing another game in the future.  


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Josh Roby on January 12, 2006, 11:10:46 AM
While you should certainly take the advice of Ron, Chris, Daniel, et cetera to heart -- it is possible that these guys are made of anti-Narrativism particles -- there's no reason not to give it a try.  The thing of it is that it's not just you giving it a try, it's also them giving it a try, and they should understand it in those terms.  It sounds like you're enjoying the Vampire game, even with the dissonance involved, so there's no reason why you shouldn't find out if you all will like playing Dogs together.

I'd suggest, Warren, that you explicitly frame the experience as "let's see if this is fun for our group of people."  Tell them, up front, that it is "a different kind of roleplaying game" and maybe say it's Monopoly to Vampire's Scrabble.  Still an RPG, but fundamentally different.    Just do a one-shot Dogs game (initiation and a quick town).  Don't say "and then we can continue next week if we want" because chances are they consider multi-session play to be a fundamental success metric and feel compelled to make a commitment -- you don't want a commitment right now, what you want is an experiment.


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Frank T on January 12, 2006, 11:24:00 AM
Here’s a little story, I hope it relates. My girlfriend played in an IRC Vampire game which was all about “roleplaying it out” and showing off your deep setting knowledge. It sounded like one of the most awful games I’ve ever heard of, the kind of game we call “Hartwurst” of the worst kind on GroFaFo.

One of the players from that game happened to be a nice guy, otherwise, and my girlfriend regularly chatted with him via ICQ. One day, he came to visit us in Hamburg. I set up a little game of Dogs with them. Didn’t go to lengths explaining. Didn’t discuss why this is so and so. I just said: These are the rules, period. We play.

And guess what? There was no argument. There was no distaste. We played, he liked it. Easy as cake. Next morning when I got up and said good morning, he was half way through the book. Here’s to encouragement.

Something else. I know this whole “they won’t like it, I know, they won’t like this and this, they’ll want to do that instead.” Stop second-guessing them. It’s no use. Don’t get all tense and uneasy. If you go into that session convinced it’ll suck, then it’ll suck. Don’t take all that baggage with you. It won’t be your fault if they don’t like it, and they won’t blame you.

Hope this doesn’t sound too patronizing.

- Frank


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: HenryT on January 12, 2006, 12:28:23 PM
I've been playing with a WW heavy group, trying to introduce them to new games.  (Indeed, Dogs is on that list, and my copy should be arriving soon.)

The question to ask yourself, I think, is what they actually want from a game.  My experience has been that many of the people who get attracted to the Storyteller games are interested in something roughly narrativist (after all, that's how WW bills its games), and who see it as a huge step in that direction from D&D.  Having settled on that, people often pick up on eccentric or incidental factors of the system, and conclude that they're essential to the distinction between roleplaying and power-gaming.  One that seems especially common is the idea that "roleplaying out" all sorts of interactions is the secret.  ("We used to play D&D, and we would just walk into town and tell the GM what we bought.  Now we do it right, and we go through and roleplay through all the interactions.")

So, it might be that they really enjoy the fact that they have to roll dice in order to use a photocopier.  But it might be that they realize it's kind of goofy, but think that without it, the game will just devolve into nothing but combat.

The same thing applies to metagaming--the WW games I've been in tend to make a big deal out of how metagaming is a no-no, because they're used to seeing people who metagame to make their character look good, or do better, or be more powerful, etc., etc..  That doesn't mean they're intrinsically and perpetually opposed to games where players take more active roles in directing the story--it means they've never seen a game that was intended to work that way.  (Ron's writing on ouija-board narrativism may apply here.)

Try to find out what they actually want from the game.  They may be quite open to discussing why they do things certain ways as opposed to others.  The people I've been dealing with have been pretty receptive to the idea that there's "good metagaming" and "bad metagaming;" your group may be the same--you just have to spell out the difference.

Meanwhile, I'd recommend emphasizing that the mechanics in Dogs are really different.  Don't talk about the theory behind it, just sell them on the idea that the rules are different, and may take some getting used to.  Assuming your group is moderately openminded, they may be pretty comfortable with the idea of doing something weird and different as long as they're prepared for it.

Drawing off the group I've been dealing with, a big selling point has been the notion that some people are irresponsible, and, for instance, metagame abusively, but with mature roleplayers working together, that's not a problem.  Most of them have been pretty solid on the idea that many things were necessary specifically to deal with particular individuals who act abusively without them, but are perfectly capable of dealing with a game that drops those rules in favor of an explicit social agreement not to do that.  (Including, incidentally, some--alas, not all--of the people who act abusively when those constraints are absent.)

Henry


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Warren on January 12, 2006, 01:23:55 PM
Thanks for all the replies. They have certainly given me food for thought.

Ron, I've considered what you have said, and I do believe that some members of the group might think that they had a bad session due to my actions. Plus, as Dave M pointed out, the GM might have changed style somewhat in reaction to my character and how I play her. I will certainly bear all those points in mind when I continue playing in this game, so that I fit into this group's style better for the remainder of this game (another few weeks, by all accounts). I also think that Henry has hit the nail on the head as well with how I think that WW groups distinguish between good & bad roleplaying.

But, with all due respect Ron, I think I will attempt to get a one-shot game of Dogs off the ground after the Vampire game has run it's course. If it fails, then so be it. The point that the group and I have conflicting approaches when it comes to roleplaying is well taken, and if it doesn't work, then that's just how things go sometimes.

So, I think I will set up a tight little one-shot Dogs town, aim to play it through in a session after describing that this will be very different from anything that they have done before. Just to see if we like it or don't, as Joshua describes. I think that, in play, I'll restate that the rules of this game are very different and throw them in at the deep-end, pretty much, as Frank did - and nope, not patronizing - all your advice was great and worth restating.

I'll let you know how it turns out back in Actual Play if and when it happens.

Thank you all for your help!
Warren


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: coffeestain on January 12, 2006, 01:37:34 PM
Please do post your actual play, Warren, as I'm interested in hearing what happens.

You might also want to consider posting your town writeup on the Lumpley Games forum to see if you can get a couple of ideas from some of the very experienced Dogs GMs that might make it appeal that much more.

Good luck,

Regards,
Daniel


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Maitete on January 12, 2006, 03:53:35 PM
But here is my advice: forget it.

Actually, this whole thread brings up an interesting point.  People are really headed in two different directions here.  I would ask them as individual questions:

  • What tactics, techniques or other methods can you use to successfully introduce people to different GNS playstyles, with the possibility of opening more horizons in your current group
  • Is it possible or even worth it?

Ron's answer above is pretty clear.  I tend to think that anyone can find ways to enjoy gaming in a variety of styles, if it's approached properly and honestly.  Warren, I think your actions in the Vampire game may have shaken the group's confidence in you, which will make it more difficult to work with them for your Dogs game.  That doesn't mean it can't be successful, but I would recommend a night of discussion, with no gaming involved first.  Just gather everyone together, throw out some chips and drinks or whatever, and talk about what you get out of what you're trying for.  No Forge jargon, no accusations surrounding some sort of failure of their style, just simple things that you think would enrich everyone's gaming experience.  If you're genuinely interested in their opinions, they should respond with at least some modicum of respect for yours.  If they don't, that might be the time to decide how hard you're willing to push.

Hope this helps,
Tony


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Callan S. on January 12, 2006, 05:49:14 PM
Hi Warren,

Is there much benefit from trying dogs with these guys Vs inviting some non roleplayers from your workplace/social scene? I imagine a new player would actually take to dogs better than these guys would.

They might be 'good roleplayers'. But their 'good' is based on years of the illusionist play that you've experienced. In dogs, they'll probably be the same as someone who's never roleplayed before, but it'll take alot more stress on your part to get them there than it would with a newbie.

Anyway, perhaps printing out some actual play accounts and getting them to read them, might help in some way.


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Frank T on January 13, 2006, 12:48:04 AM
Here we are: Ask three experts and you’ll get five opinions. Well.

I’d like to second the idea of posting your town to the lumpley games forum. Have you ever played Dogs before? If not, I would also recommend to do a “dry” conflict, all by yourself, before you start. You should be secure with the rules and have a strong scenario to back you up, that’ll make it a lot easier.

Also, one problem I ran into was that I mixed up who takes which side in the accomplishment conflict. Since that’s the very first conflict, you’ll want to avoid that mistake and maybe re-read that passage in the book.

- Frank


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Mikael on January 13, 2006, 03:29:17 AM
Warren,

regardless of which way you decide to go with this, I hope you have noticed the recent "selling new players" thread in the lumpley forum - might give you some ideas.

Cheers,
+ Mikael


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Warren on January 13, 2006, 03:42:43 AM
Hi all,

I've already described my approach above, and yes, I will post the town to the lumpley games forum soon to see what people think of it.

Callan and Tony, I understand your point, and I agree that new players would grasp Dogs easier than these guys might. But as I hope I made clear above, I'm doing this with no expectation that they will all like it. If it does all fall apart, I can just continue running occasional games of Dogs, etc. at the wargames club. I don't know if I will get an opportunity to have a sit-down talk session before just getting into it, and I've got a feeling that could "scare them off". If I just present "Here's a new game. It's really different; let's see what happens" and talk about any issues that arose afterward - if the group wants to do so.

Frank, yep, I've run three towns of Dogs with the Gamists at the wargames group, the biggest one being Snakeweed Crossing (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=16122.0), so I think I'm pretty set with the rules. That's another reason I'm not going to offer PTA to them, as I have never run that before.

Tony, I think it would be a good idea to start a new thread to discuss "What tactics, techniques or other methods can you use to successfully introduce people to different GNS playstyles, with the possibility of opening more horizons in your current group", if that's OK. I believe that this one has served it's purpose for me as I've got a plan in my head on how to proceed now.

Thanks for all your help everybody,
Warren


Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Aceris on January 14, 2006, 01:13:38 AM
It really seems that the group as a whole isn't happy with the system being used, not just you. Based on your description it does sound to me that they are what I would call an "Immersionist" group who are looking for interesting in-character interactions, but keep getting sidetracked by the system they are using.

As Ron has pointed out, it's very possible that these people will have a negative reaction to dogs, which since you are "the new guy" might be awkward.  They may well be happier with a naked GM-fiat system like Amber or Everway, and you might want to try to encourage them away from illusionism/participationism and towards bass-playing.  Of course I have no idea whether you would be interested in this kind of game.



Title: Re: A bad session and how to make dice-rolling and 'metagaming' non-evil?
Post by: Caldis on January 14, 2006, 07:02:48 AM

It sounds like this thread is pretty much closed but I'd just like to ask for an update once you've actually played.  I'd like to know how well it plays out and to what extent players seem to click.  I fear Ron's right, not just because they wont like what they are doing, but because the socially dominant players will convince the others that they dont like it and that something wrong is going on.  Then again who knows, maybe you'll luck out and they'll see it for a better way to get something they thought they were getting with Vampire.