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Author Topic: I can't think of a good subject to go here.  (Read 994 times)
7VII7
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Posts: 59


« on: July 27, 2009, 10:15:37 AM »

Ok, I've been thinking of making an rpg for awhile now, but so far I only have half-baked ideas and such, however I have several ideas about what I want it to be, one big thing is that I want the GM to be able to play as well, for this I have several ideas;

Currently my favorite is what I consider the dealer system like in a card game, one person GMs then after a certain time it moves on to the next person, with this is a matter of scale, should the GM switch each round, (probbably the fairest but too much work) each session, (currently my favorite) or each adventure (good for keeping focused through out the adventure, but again too much work)

Another idea is too split things up between the players, each player would control / decide on a monster, an NPC, etc.

Currently my favorite would be session most of the time, with adventures thrown in for plot advancements, with each player taking turns deciding on the major parts of the setting.

Any thoughts?
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lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2009, 10:40:53 AM »

The grandmother of co-GMed and GM-rotating games is Ars Magica.

The easiest way to do it is just to pass GMing whole and intact from one player to the next. You can do it by time (like, I'm GMing now, Meg's up when we finish this adventure) or by subject (like, I'm the GM when the characters go into the woods to the North, Meg's the GM when they go down into the city).

More complicated, design-wise, is divvying out the GM's responsibilities among the players. For examples of that kind of game, maybe look up Universalis by Ralph Mazza and Mike Holmes, Polaris by Ben Lehman, Breaking the Ice and Shooting the Moon by Emily Care Boss, Shock: by Joshua A.C. Newman, 1001 Nights by Meguey Baker (disclosure: Meg and I are quite close), Spione by Ron Edwards. Those are off the top of my head, and a biased list; there are plenty more if you dig around a little. Co-GMed games represent a smallish but distinct and thriving design movement around here. You'll be in good company.

-Vincent
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Luke
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2009, 10:52:07 AM »

In Mouse Guard, if your patrolmouse dies, you take over as the GM.

-L
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7VII7
Member

Posts: 59


« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2009, 11:00:39 AM »

In Mouse Guard, if your patrolmouse dies, you take over as the GM.
That would be a good solution but I don't expect character turnover to be that high and it might influence the GM to activily kill the other players to be able to get back into the game.

I don't so much want to have Co-GMs as get rid of the GM entirely and have the players take over his responsibities and will still be able to play while GMing however I can't help but think that there's too great a risk of cheating, I know most people won't abuse the power but they'll still cheat in little ways, I have some ideas on how to handle this, including having the other players be sort of like a jury able to give rewards for good GMing and vetoing bad GMing, but I dunno, there seems to be too great a risk of abusing such a system. . .

so any ideas on that?
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Alex Abate Biral
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Posts: 22


« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2009, 11:06:32 AM »

Like Vincent said, there has been a lot of work done by people around here on the subject of dividing up the GM responsibilities. You can get a lot of good advice by asking around here, reading older posts or reading the games promoted in the site. Even Forge games that still retain a GM are likely to change the usual power distribution in ways that give players more say in the game.

The question of how to divide up these responsibilities is one that is bothering me right now, so I don't think I can help you very much here, but I do have one piece of advice: prototype! Thinking about your game is a whole lot harder when nothing is nailed down yet. Don't worry too much in getting it right on the first go. Instead, try to make something playable as soon as possible. Once you have something solid to base your questions on, it becomes much easier to see where problems may lie or what is not helping your central premise.

Sorry if this doesn't help you much, but it is a mistake I often make. I often think about things in such an abstract level that there is very little insight that I can get from my questions.
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Bill_White
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2009, 11:08:23 AM »

In Robin Laws' Rune, you play Vikings with a rotating GM who gets experience for his or her character based on how harrowing an encounter he or she is able to run.
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Selene Tan
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2009, 07:38:33 PM »

Collaborative Roleplaying: Reframing the Game by Emily Care Boss is a neat article discussing various ways to spread typical GM tasks among all players.
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greyorm
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My name is Raven.


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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2009, 07:46:23 PM »

I don't so much want to have Co-GMs as get rid of the GM entirely and have the players take over his responsibities and will still be able to play while GMing however I can't help but think that there's too great a risk of cheating, I know most people won't abuse the power but they'll still cheat in little ways...

Seriously, look at the games suggested by Vincent, because what you are afraid of doesn't happen. "I'm afraid my players will cheat" is one of the biggest bugaboos of fantasy adventure gaming.

Because if you're afraid of that, what are you saying: that you play with cheaters? That the people you play with have to be restrained from ruining everyone else's fun? That they can't be trusted to abide by the rules? Then WHY are you playing with those people?

And if you don't play with people you can't trust, then why is this an issue? It isn't. It's an issue in your head, and built up in the hobby as a scarecrow -- but it's full of straw.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
JoyWriter
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Posts: 469

also known as Josh W


« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2009, 02:53:56 PM »

In Mouse Guard, if your patrolmouse dies, you take over as the GM.

-L

Luke I'm gobsmacked, that may be genius!

I can see a few flaws with it on reflection; players that are not properly invested in their character or the setting may end up taking over the GMing job just by their own carelessness, which is not great, but apart from that it puts the disincentives for character death on the most powerful seat in the game, making it really about the "why"s not the "whether"s. The right kind of mood in one simple rule.

7VII7, you are presumably referring to the idea of conflict of interest; where one person is supposed to act in two different directions at once, and we must rely on their integrity and mental coordination not to mix the two up. It's the reason judges don't play the games while they judge them, and MPs have to declare if they will be affected by their own laws. Stopping this happening would depend on the specifics of what you require players to do; the directions they would be pulled in by the various activities they will be required to do.

So how about you work out what each player wants to do, and what support they need in order to do that. It may be that you can make one player support another appropriately as a a built in part of play! I've played without a single GM/arbitrator before now too, using dice, voting or random people in other rooms to settle things! It can be done, the question is how to do it in a way that suites the game experience you want.
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2009, 04:21:33 PM »

In Lee Garvin's Control, a character who advances far enough into the conspiracy can challenge the Controller (the GM) and take over running the game.

Paul
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Callan S.
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2009, 04:37:57 PM »

Hi,

Cheat at what? Breaking the rules or breaking how the fictional world 'aught' to work? Roleplayers often seem to consider both as cheating, as if how the fictional world 'aught' to work is a set of rules as well - when really they all have one one single rulebook between them and in terms of fiction, multiple individual ideas of how the game world works, which may match in some ways but not in others. It always surprises me how roleplayers, upon finding a discrepancy between them in how they think the game world works, never seem to think 'Damn, were all working from different fictional rules on this - lets all give up thinking the fiction is any sort of ruleset we can adjudicate our activity by!' and instead leap to thinking 'He's cheating!'. Cause we always think we make sense and it's always the other guy who's random/non sensical/cheating.

Or did you mean cheating at breaking the books rules?
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Simon C
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Posts: 495


« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2009, 10:56:22 PM »

Yeah, as I see it, there are two things at issue here.

"Cheating", which I take to mean actually breaking rules in the book, like rolling a 5 and saying you got a six, or telling someone to roll five dice when they should have only three.  I think that's a red herring, as has been described.

The other issue, as has been raised, is "conflicts of interest", which are a genuine problem.  That's like when you're responsible for providing adversity (like "there are five orcs here") and you're also responsible for overcoming that adversity (fighting the orcs).  This isn't so much a problem because people advantage themselves, as it is because it's just no fun in play.

So don't worry about "cheating", but do worry about conflicts of interest.
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