MoonHunter Sayeth 234


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A well meaning rant #234
Sometimes players just need to be shocked to wake up.

I invest a lot of time and effort into my game. I am a GM, that is what people expect you to do. My players are told up front that I expect some effort out of them. That they should actively play the game and maybe actually help some.

I love my RP groups, but enough of the people in them absolutely will not do any kind of research or reading about an RPG outside of game night, including info about the rules and the setting. For them, either they learn it directly from the GM's mouth during play or they never learn it at all.

That said.

After some truly stupid things one night, I gave up on them. (Note: There had been a pattern of laziness and directed ignorance.)

Actually, I started randomly doing screw ups of the rules and setting that night. No, your roll really is 6 or less. Yes, the giant robots have always been there. Now roll to dodge as it tries to step on you. They were all going wait... that isn't right. So I said, "Really? Show me the rules for that." or "Really, was it in the Chronicle Pack? Show me. Oh, a previous session? Do you have any notes on that?"

They were looking up and reading rules. They checked the Chronicle Pack. They realized they should be taking notes (or found out that I had some notes).

Things went back to what you expect for a game... players helping.

Until the next session.

Well, it was okay, until there was some blatant ignorance of the rules and setting (things they had done before).... Then the giant robots came back. (It was a game set in Japan it was appropriate... even if it was feudal fantasy japan.)

So... when the realized that when they interacted with the rules and paid attention to the setting material... I stopped being destructive and I was willing to "rewind back to the point of stupid". They realized it was "just better" to be involved.

So this was pretty drastic, but it did create a turn around. The Giant Robots have never turned up again (except in a super hero game when it was very appropriate and I got to reused those game writeups... always recycle and reuse when you can.)

--- -0- ---
Later on, I came up with a smoother way to deal with this than giant robots.

Normally, I use player points. They are like Drama Points, but I use them in all my games. So when players are either ignorant of basic rules or seem to be blowing off core pieces of the setting or not taking the game as seriously as the rest of the troupe (or to the level we normally expect), I make a big show of putting a point in a public pile in front of me.

Someone made a roll, I asked them to reroll and took a chip off the pile. Play continued. This happened a second time.

Eventually, someone realized that I was doing this and asked. I told him, "These are player points for the bad guys. They will cause you to reroll or allow them to reroll." There was a pause for effect. "And, I will use them against the entire group, not just the person who generated them."

Then later in the session, I stopped the characters from taking out the important bad guy (earlier in the chronicle than I expected) by forcing them to reroll some awesome attacks.

OOC: The players soon get really into player points, as they discover how powerful they can be.

Since spare player points get converted to spare experience points, points in my pool became penalties to their experience for the session. (Several people whined that they should of rerolled more rolls.) In general, they were all pretty pissed at this. I told them a put a lot of work into making the game fun. I was willing to work with them to help the game be fun. If they met me half way, this would never happen again.

The players nudged various players; players helped other players. They were going to meet me half way.

Point piles seldom happen, but there are some sessions.....

Peer pressure works.
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