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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [BW] Anatomy of A Disaster  (Read 3506 times)
Andy Kitkowski
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2005, 05:54:16 PM »

Hey Luke-

Man, I was reading through that, trying to think of a way to offer suggestions.  It's hard, cause I'm not used to running huge parties in an RPG (exception: Star Wars d6, only when I've been drinking a bit).  

Any way you cut it, it looks like the players weren't on the same page.  No matter how many twists you do to remove the "return to the nest backdoor" in the adventure, there's still gonna be ways for it to fall apart if a select... well, majority... decide to rip it up.

One thing I thought of was a quick "Bulletin Point Summary" of the character's background on the back of the sheet.  I'm notoriously bad at skimming a pregen's background, then doing whatever the fuck I want with it. The only reason I get away with it is because I'm charming, and because I touch maybe on one or two of the PC background points, even if not all that much.

Anyway, I am not good with reading through a lot of backstory fiction, even when well written.  I mean, I can force myself to eat through it, which I usually do, but in most situations I simply think, "Goddamn, why couldn't the GM like condensed all this shit into a few main points? If I have to remember all this shit, and the GM expects me to play it appropriately... well, whta the fuck? Am I some kind of puppet?"  

Well, that's not what happened above, but I can see it happening with others, So maybe in the future, at the TOP of the "character background" section, write in bold font: "The Top Five Things You Need to Know About This Character."  Then make the items simple:

1) He is gruff because of his warlike past.
2) He doesn't trust others.
3) Yet he ALWAYS trusts Snikt, his comerade-in-arms.
4) He hates the pack leader, and wants to see him fall.
5) But he wants to make sure the pack is protected from confusion and chaos, so he wouldn't outright kill him.

Now, the above would help me. It would maybe help others in the above adventure- Even if they don't read through all the background, or just skim it like I do, they still know the most important parts of the character. Just in the same way a director might tell the actor: "Here's what you need to know about the part you're playing", rather than, "Pull up a chair, because I'm going to tell you a complicated story about the part you're playing."

Aside from that, to be brutally honest, it sounds like your group was too filled with young goobers.  If it was me, I'd do the following:

1) In the guide book, list my adventures as "Rated Mature".
2) Simply turn down players who seem like they'll be disruptive or too young to get it.
By this: I play at cons where the majority of players are 18+.  I've never had a problem picking up the occasional 15 year old, or even 10 year old (!), because they seemed ernest, etc.  The problem comes when you have a PACK of kids.  Hell, I almost called a session because 3 of the 5 folks in a game I ran (who were all college-level) were buddies/pack, and they were being disruptive (backstabbing, telling others how "This guy, in our weekly campaign, did the same thing when he played a half-elf barbarian, and the following happened... INSERT LONG STORY HERE").

So be restrictive.  If possible. If not, at least mark your adventures as "mature", and only allow kids in if they look like they're not with the pack.

Not an ideal solution for you, because it looks like you want to fiddle with the "coding of the adventure matrix" to make these situations impossible to occour, but my solution, while cold, is probably the most guaranteeable situation.

Maybe.

Good luck, man!
-Andy
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