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Author Topic: Problems with getting the players to quip and quote (long)  (Read 1840 times)
Ace
Member

Posts: 204


« on: April 09, 2002, 10:42:33 AM »

One of the problems I have been having in my RPG campaigns is been getting the players to put a little dialog into the game,

I think it may be to much gameism or simulationism but I can't get the players to get into the spirit of the game.

I feel I am doing my part, good descriptions interesting characters to interact with and a well developed world the players seem to understand.

Too much relentless video game style action and not enough dialog and roleplaying

We don't watch Die Hard to see MCain  kill the bad guys  like some silent  robot. We want him to quip "Yippee Kai-A Motherf***er as he blast away.

Steven Seagal a notable silent type usually has a line or two

Heck even the Terminator who is a robot  gets good lines

 I am trying to get the players to approach combat not as a tactical game but a dramatic !BANG!

A sample problem. The pcs are ambushed by an archer

the way they would play it now. "I move around the archer and attack
him." "My Wizard casts light." "I ready a weapon"

 What I am trying to get them into into the idea of dialog

Something like One guy yells  "Lets get that son of a bit** "

The wizard players yells (at reasonable volume of course) "Fiat lux" and the third guy well maybe he doesn't need to talk yet but he will get his chance later

After that  the rolling and stuff can happen.

 The solutions I have come up with thus far (baring new players :)
 
Soliique interupt, Basically a quip or quote takes 0 time in combat and can always be done if the character can physically speak. Heck if he/she can't I'd allow an obscene gesture ala the end of "They Live"

A drama point system, good dialog is worth a mechanical bonus on rolls. This may encourage good dialog with other tasks as well. A trap defuse is more fun with a "I have a bad feeling about this" then a series of die rolls.
 
Requiring all spells to be vocalized. None of this I cast "Invoke Fire. "Instead the player must actully speak an invocation, the can write themdown or even reuse them if they like but they have to say it if the spell requires verbalising

For social situations I am going to state something like "When I say Drama Rule is in action then in order to do anything that requires interaction with NPC's you have to interact with them. You want to buy something then you will have to talk to the person selling it or roleplay your characters sullen silence"

I won't always use the last rule of course sometimes 'getting stuff' is just a side bit of what's going on and it would be mind numbing to act out every clerk in a store.

Any more suggestions?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2002, 10:49:21 AM »

Hi Ace,

I'm interested in your solutions, certainly, but I also must ask whether this issue is really ... well, really any of your business.

One assumption that seems to have crept into role-playing, over time, is that the GM is the final judge of how things have to be played. It's as if the 80s rules that he is the final arbiter of in-game events has crept into the behavioral sphere, and he is now the "warden" of how everyone is supposed to be acting.

(As a side note, I think that this assumption is at the root of some folks' perception that GNS theory is all about the GM imposing his values onto the players ...)

Perhaps your players do not want to provide dialogue in their characters' voices. Perhaps they like speaking in the third person, and imagining the voices and expressions later, in private.

Now, on the other hand, it may be that such activity would be welcome in your game and they just feel a little shy about it or haven't developed the habit of doing so.

It seems that if matters stand more with the latter, then cool, let's take a look at those solutions you mention. But if they stand more with the former, I am disinclined to think that the problem lies with them, so much as with you ...

Best,
Ron
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jburneko
Member

Posts: 1351


« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2002, 11:10:16 AM »

Hello,

I'm kind of with Ron on this one.  Micromanaging your player's behavior is not really a good idea.  However, I know that the line between micromanaging player behavior and just trying to GM the style of game that is most fun for you is a very thin line and I trip and fall over it all the time.  Thankfully, I have very loyal and understanding players and I haven't, yet, completely alienated them in some of my more obsessive moments.

The one thing I can recommend however is to always remember that system rewards behavior.  It's why I really dislike d20's combat system.  I dislike it because it's so GOOD at rewarding the exact behavior I want to discourage in my players which is treating combat like a tactical mini-game.  So you might want to consider if whatever system you're usuing just really promotes tactical thinking.   If it does then your first step might be to play another game that downplays the tactical mini-game and focuses more on the flare and style of combat.  7th Sea does this very well to pick something that is still fairly 'traditional' in its design.

If you don't want to change systems you might want to build in a reward mechanic that rewards witty dialog.  To take something from the tactical heavy D&D3E game you might let a player add their Wisdom or Charisma bonus to their attack roll if they preface their attack with some comment or dialog.

Just some suggestions.

Jesse
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Ace
Member

Posts: 204


« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2002, 11:25:52 AM »

Sorry Ron I edited my post. The emoticon Iwas using turned out to be a UBB code

As I see it

All the players want to do is "play the system" and not participate in the game beyond the Dialo-esque hack and slash level.

At the risk of being selfish, If they don't help world build, don't roleplay and treat the gaming exercise as a combat sim or an exercise in system fiddling what do I get out of it?

I have a computer if I want to do the sort of games that are being played.
For the price of a couple of game books I can get Dungeon Siege or Everquest  and play for the next thousand hours.

No muss No Fuss No Work and I would get more Roleplay out of it. At least the NPC's would talk to you, sort of.

Sorry If I sound bitter but I have seen three of these players excell in Roleplaying and leave blown away by games. Its just the allure of pure gamism is much too strong and it creeps into games Roleplaying is the stated goal.

When the purpose of the game is clearly understood to be Roleplaying and the idea of Roleplaying is clear then why turn the game into a tactical exercise every time.

Worse is when I hear Well we'd like to have you in our D&D game, You are a good player. There will be Roleplaying and stuff and one of  the senior players turns into a the type of gamer many of us were at 19, Hack and Slash with a "skin" a shallow character personality.

Don't get me wrong the invitation is appreciated.


Right now I am in game Limbo as the group plays D&D3e  It is a decent gamist game but obviously not my kind of game)
  I am hoping that they will  eventually want to try another style of game or make some space in their game for my prefered style  

If they don't I am reluctantly no longer going to game with these people as what they enjoy is rather incompatible with what I enjoy even though it has been compatible in the past
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Ace
Member

Posts: 204


« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2002, 11:51:45 AM »

Quote from: jburneko
Hello,

I'm kind of with Ron on this one.  Micromanaging your player's behavior is not really a good idea.  However, I know that the line between micromanaging player behavior and just trying to GM the style of game that is most fun for you is a very thin line and I trip and fall over it all the time.  Thankfully, I have very loyal and understanding players and I haven't, yet, completely alienated them in some of my more obsessive moments.

The one thing I can recommend however is to always remember that system rewards behavior.  It's why I really dislike d20's combat system.  I dislike it because it's so GOOD at rewarding the exact behavior I want to discourage in my players which is treating combat like a tactical mini-game.  So you might want to consider if whatever system you're usuing just really promotes tactical thinking.   If it does then your first step might be to play another game that downplays the tactical mini-game and focuses more on the flare and style of combat.  7th Sea does this very well to pick something that is still fairly 'traditional' in its design.

If you don't want to change systems you might want to build in a reward mechanic that rewards witty dialog.  To take something from the tactical heavy D&D3E game you might let a player add their Wisdom or Charisma bonus to their attack roll if they preface their attack with some comment or dialog.

Just some suggestions.

Jesse


Good suggestions. Keep them coming please.

The solution I have been stuck with is dumping systems thats aren't appropriate for the type of game I want and explaining what is wanted.

 If they don't want to take the effort at this time thats OK go play something else.

I hate to whine about D&D3 (a system that does what it means to do quite well) but the nostalgia factor and ease of play issues have stolen all of the players away.

Players that used to like either Roleplaying or Story Oriented games now are interested in the same kind of crud I gave up at oh 19-20.  

The current game "You are all in a psuedo earth circa 1640 or so. You were being transported to a colony for "no reason required" "
Deal with it.
I did try as session or two but it was basically one long boring meele.

No NPC's to interact with (I tried), No real reason for the encounters that was interesting none of the characters have motivations ( I asked), backgrounds that matter, or are distingusisable from the other except in fighting style.

The game is rather like Diablo2 a relentless advance or die hack fest.

This is very annoying when you character is a barber/surgeon (well a psionic barber)
 Can I have my character cut hair or not go onto the zombie haunted ship?

 No because i will miss an adventure and get no treasure or power ups.

.  You know the monsters will get tougher

How... Thrillingly realistic (sorryI have simulationist tendancys)

Friends or no friends one session  of that was plenty. I just don't feel like
I will get what I want out of the game.

Conflict is not all combat and I don't like advancement driven games.

What I am going to do is find some new players  who do not want to play that type of game- D20 mostly (hard to do) and make sure that they are interested in the same kind of games I am just to be sure.

Until then I will hastle all you folks here on the Forge and work on some game projects that are banging around in my head.

Oh and thanks for the "Gripe space" and the ideas. I needed that.
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Eugene Zee
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Posts: 61


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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2002, 01:03:59 PM »

Ace,

I think that there is an important distinction to be made between forcing and dictating how your players should behave and giving them more options during gameplay.

One method that I will use to encourage players to become more invested in a different manner is to put into place creative rewards for a variety of different things.  You are the gamemaster you can add in an option to reward a player for a great conversation or roleplaying, as long as you do it sensibly.  I think it is important to give them the option of earning extra experience for negotiating effectively or developing battle cries, as opposed to dictating that they do it.  It should be subtle.  Don't tell them that you are doing it, just give out a small reward when one player does something else that you find interesting and different.  The range of things is totally up to you.
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Eugene Zee
Dark Nebulae
Ace
Member

Posts: 204


« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2002, 01:09:37 PM »

thank you all for the advice.

I have a new solution for the system difficulty I have been having.

My players system of choice is the Gamist D&D and my system of choice is well something else it still may be possible for me to please both of us.

I will create a few house rules (derived from existing D20 stuff) that encourages the type of behavior I want without a dictatorial attitude

Thanks for the idea.
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2002, 01:41:02 PM »

Hey Ace,

My players system of choice is the Gamist D&D and my system of choice is well something else...

My recommendation is to not be so frustrated, to try something just to have a little fun. How about write down forty or so movie quotes, removing name references and making them generic enough that they could be uttered by characters in your game setting. Give each player four or five at the beginning of the game session, and tell them to keep them hidden. Explain that if they can use a quote without getting caught by the other players, the usage is worth 100 exp. If the characters are higher level, make the award higher. If they get caught, there's no penalty, and the player who caught them gets to re-roll their next die roll if they want. If a player accuses another of using a quote, and is wrong, that player gets a penalty to their next die roll. Expect player use of in character dialogue to become more over-the-top across the board as players "bluff" that they're using their quotes. Let players draw a new quote whenever they use one from their hand.

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
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Ace
Member

Posts: 204


« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2002, 02:32:51 PM »

Thank you all for the advice!

If I go the D20 route, which would please the players muchly
 I was thinking maybe I should giving "Drama Points"  which would work like Action Points in  Spycraft or  Force Points in Star Wars.

The catch would be there is only one way to restore them, cool dialog and good roleplaying.

Toughen up the encounters and heheheh They'll be roleplaying in no time.

Plus If I use social feats and don't give EP's for combat....

Hey I might be on to a solution.

You guys are great....
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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2002, 05:41:11 AM »

Another suggestion: ditch your initiative system and action order mechanic, whatever they may be.

Try to run combats in real time, 1st person perspective; do NOT break out into turn-based top-down map mode.  This requires great trust from habitually gamist/sim players, but can be done.
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Ace
Member

Posts: 204


« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2002, 09:48:03 AM »

Quote from: contracycle
Another suggestion: ditch your initiative system and action order mechanic, whatever they may be.

Try to run combats in real time, 1st person perspective; do NOT break out into turn-based top-down map mode.  This requires great trust from habitually gamist/sim players, but can be done.


Thats an interesting idea to apply to gamist games like D&D for sure. I do exactly that with my modified GURPS and it works quite well.
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Tim C Koppang
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Posts: 356


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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2002, 10:35:10 AM »

Quote from: Paul Czege
Explain that if they can use a quote without getting caught by the other players, the usage is worth 100 exp.

I like this idea because it doesn't break away from the overall gamist mode of play.  Players are encouraged to add flavor to the game, but still get to be competitive - especially if bluffing tactics become common.  And who cares if the dialogue becomes over the top.  If the game already has a lot of D&D style combat than crazy quips will fit right in.
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TSL
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Posts: 41


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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2002, 09:01:31 AM »

Ace,

White Wolf's Adventure! has a neat suggestion for this.  Players who have a character with high Wits [if you know WW it's 4s and 5s] get to know something that one of the GM's NPCs will say during play.  This gives the Player advance time to come up with a fast comment that his witty character would come up with on the fly.

In D&D terms, you could take aside your players who have characters with high Intelligence/Wisdom and give them the 'set-up' line.  If they come up with an entertaining or engaging answer they get the bonus xp.

When I run Feng Shui, I always give the player's a bonus Fortune die if they can come up with a cool / in character quote that cause me and/or the other players to burst into laughter.  But then again, FS is all about over the top. :)
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TS
Servant of Mantorok since 1863
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