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Help! How to manage group dynamics

Hi there, new user here. Also newly back playing RPGs after a long while. I'm curious if anyone has any advice in managing group dynamics, which probably sounds a little vague so let me elaborate.

My group has one player who is always interested in the newest shinyest official licensed intellectual property type material, so one week it's all about 5e, the next week it's all about wanting to play the new modiphius conan, the next it's infinity, the next its the new edition of wfrpg etc. He's also rather bullheaded about it.

I personally don't care all that much about systems specifically, just am only personally interested in running games where I can create original settings and scenarios and also importantly follow them through. He's more on the power gamer side of the spectrum while I'm definitely closer to the roleplaying side with some osr sensibilities mixed in.

The other players are just as happy to be there, but also maybe slightly more on the roleplay side.

Is our group doomed? What can I do? Should i just suck it up and play conan or lotr or whatever? Is there any way I can still get a satisfying game for myself out of this?

He prefers to participate as a player, and I've said that I love gm ing but I'm only really interested in doing that with games where I can prepare original stuff. I'm not really that picky about systems beyond that.

Anyone have any advice?


You are Number 6
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Well, in my group, a new system is introduced by the person who buys the game and runs the game. That's how we ended up playing Trail of Cthulhu. I bought it, I ran it, etc.,
Oh he buys a new game pretty much every other week. We play once a month. I guess I can just play the conan game if he runs it, and if I'm not getting anything out of it either stick it out for a while or start a new group.


Registered User
Validated User
As someone who runs games and has "system ADD" (as was told), I'd advise the "shiny-lovin'" player to be careful about throwing in too many new systems, unless the systems fit different genres. You keep switching on players, they never get comfortable at the table, and begin to feel like test subjects for your purchases. I know this, because I've subject my players to it, and, while they were always good with it, you could hear the fatigue when you'd pitch a session and they'd response with a sighing "what system?" (while being polite enough not to add "THIS time..."). I think it's okay to tool around with different stuff, but DO give a system a chance to succeed before bringing in the new shiny. If you simply must switch because you get bored quickly (wondering if this is the person's issue, actually), then consider making genre the driver, as in, "We're playing Supers for a few sessions, so we'll be going with ICONS." "Okay guys, on that pulp campaign, what about Savage Worlds?" "We're returning to high fantasy next week. Is 5E still okay?"

Beyond that, player A needs to remember he is one of a group. It's not just about his fun. Plus, there's nothing that says he can't run other groups with different systems.
Yes I hear that about systems and genres. I have been running the lost mine of phandelver for these guys as an intro to getting our rpg legs back while preparing an original setting for a 5e game, and we're not even finished that and he was wanting to abandon it and play the conan rpg, nevermind the work I've been doing coming up with original content that I personally think will be more interesting and stimulating than premade adventures.

I'm not even partial to 5e. If it was up to me the game of choice would probably be whitehack, but I felt like 5e was a good compromise as it was new and shiny at the time.

I dunno, maybe I'm just sour at having all these ideas that I may not be able to bring to the table. I can suck it up and play a modiphius game or two and see if that also gets burnt out quickly.

There are a couple players in the group who are pretty stoked to do original campaigns and not super picky about the system, one who is certainly more like minded to myself. Maybe my friend comes around once the shinyness of new products wears off, or maybe I just have to start a new group. I don't want to be a jerk, but at the same time I'd like to explore the parts of the hobby that interest me more. I dunno, still kinda stuck.


Godamn Catwoman
Validated User
"Well, if you're so pumped about [New Game Of The Week], why don't you run a game of it, and show us all what's great about it?"

I'm a big fan of the "More GMs means there's less burnt out GMs in the long run." and "Well, if you think it's so easy to just come up with a campaign and run a group? Then show us what you can do!" methods of dealing with over eager and less than patient players.
That sounds pretty wise. I'll suck it up for the time being and take the time to continue working on my stuff, and either we'll get around to playing it in a few months or I'll run it with a slightly different group, including some from this group


Southern Mane
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I'm in three games at the moment, each of them biweekly. Is there another night of the week where you-all could test-play his new shiny, or perhaps alternate campaign-play-week with new-game-week?
In all honesty once a month is about as much as I can commit to. I work 60hrs a week, have 3 kids, and also write record and release original music. I've tried gently suggesting to others that they go ahead and play other rpgs without me but that seems not to have gained much traction.


RPGnet Member
Validated User
Many people are not willing to GM long-term or move outside their comfort zone of play. As such, if you've suggested it and they don't bite, the players just don't get to play.

Since you're busy and want to run, I suggest some short campaigns where you can work your creativity but don't have long stories to finish. A 3-shot arc would get you through 3 months. Game of the month GM could run some games in between and give you time off as you work up each trilogy.

Some people just like reading new games-I used to be more like that but after years of gaming realized I like the games I like and I'd rather play them with fun people than learning a new game every week.

As for powergaming, it's a playstyle. You either find a way to work with it or you find that you can't play certain games with a player. The bad powergamers are ones who make other players not want to play. A good powergamer with tact can figure out how to optimize the system and can help other players with their rules mastery.
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