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New GM, need advice

thomasglover0503

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I'm currently GMing a sci-fi campaign with my friends using a my own homebrew system based on Cogent. The problem is that now I only have two players. Aaaaaaaand I'm pretty sure that one is losing interest. I already do everything I can to have engaging, rewarding gameplay so I don't know how to get his interest. But anyway, my problem is that with so few players, is it even worth continuing? Also, where can I find players who aren't always busy?

I really enjoy world-building, quest writing, and the rewarding process of GMing, but every potential player I meet never has a free day my current players also have. I'm 15 so I can't just open my doors to anyone but I'm just wondering for possible ways of meeting TTRPG players near me?
 

mitchw

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The best place for finding gamers in your area is to find the local game stores. You may also consider playing a more common system and hold of on homebrewing until you get a larger player pool.
 

g33k

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Hello, and welcome!

I'd sit down with the wavering player and ask what might engage / re-engage his interest? If anything can, that is... RPG'ing isn't for everyone; maybe he's concluding it isn't for him.

It's also possible some meta-issue is in play: a fight or disagreement never satisfactorily resolved, play-styles in conflict, real or perceived GM-bias, in-character issues bleeding through to RL, etc etc etc.
 

Mr Blobby

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- Not just 'RPG'ing isn't for everyone', it's also that there's so many ways to RPG, and Thomas' wavering player may simply not be into the type being played.
- Perhaps you're asking for too much time? I see the comment 'all day'; well, not many folk have oodles of free time, and while some people could do a 'whole day block', I'd have to really want to do it so I shuffled around my life so said block existed. And before you ask - yes, this also applies to the 15 year-old Blobby too. Stating 'three hours max' [two hours RP, one of set-up/down, OOC-ness etc] is much more 'manageable' and frankly much less of a commitment.
- Have you tested your homebrew on anyone before? Thing is, what the creator(s) think would work in a game sometimes falls apart on contact with the players. That's why modern game makers do serious alpha and beta testing.
- Your format may also be... let's say 'unsuitable'. Having a 'long-runner' is quite a commitment; how about instead playing a series of short [single session] stories with perhaps one-shot characters? This doesn't just help shake up the players, but you as a GM too - one week you might run a hack-slash, the next a spy story, then a murder mystery [and so on].
- Perhaps also playing other RPG's is an idea. Get a feel of various games, etc. If you couple that with the above, it means you can shake things up. You can find pretty cheap older core books for various games on online retailers, and there's a few free ones online too. Both this and the previous point means that if you encounter a 'dud game', you all know next session won't feature it.
 

thomasglover0503

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Validated User
The best place for finding gamers in your area is to find the local game stores. You may also consider playing a more common system and hold of on homebrewing until you get a larger player pool.
I’ll google if there are any game stores near me, thank you
 

thomasglover0503

Registered User
Validated User
Hello, and welcome!

I'd sit down with the wavering player and ask what might engage / re-engage his interest? If anything can, that is... RPG'ing isn't for everyone; maybe he's concluding it isn't for him.

It's also possible some meta-issue is in play: a fight or disagreement never satisfactorily resolved, play-styles in conflict, real or perceived GM-bias, in-character issues bleeding through to RL, etc etc etc.
I’ll speak to him about it, he seems to have a lot of ideas he just doesn’t seem interested in the sessions
 

thomasglover0503

Registered User
Validated User
Hello, and welcome!

I'd sit down with the wavering player and ask what might engage / re-engage his interest? If anything can, that is... RPG'ing isn't for everyone; maybe he's concluding it isn't for him.

It's also possible some meta-issue is in play: a fight or disagreement never satisfactorily resolved, play-styles in conflict, real or perceived GM-bias, in-character issues bleeding through to RL, etc etc etc.
I’ll speak to him about it, he seems to have a lot of ideas about his character he just doesn’t seem interested in the sessions
 

thomasglover0503

Registered User
Validated User
- Not just 'RPG'ing isn't for everyone', it's also that there's so many ways to RPG, and Thomas' wavering player may simply not be into the type being played.
- Perhaps you're asking for too much time? I see the comment 'all day'; well, not many folk have oodles of free time, and while some people could do a 'whole day block', I'd have to really want to do it so I shuffled around my life so said block existed. And before you ask - yes, this also applies to the 15 year-old Blobby too. Stating 'three hours max' [two hours RP, one of set-up/down, OOC-ness etc] is much more 'manageable' and frankly much less of a commitment.
- Have you tested your homebrew on anyone before? Thing is, what the creator(s) think would work in a game sometimes falls apart on contact with the players. That's why modern game makers do serious alpha and beta testing.
- Your format may also be... let's say 'unsuitable'. Having a 'long-runner' is quite a commitment; how about instead playing a series of short [single session] stories with perhaps one-shot characters? This doesn't just help shake up the players, but you as a GM too - one week you might run a hack-slash, the next a spy story, then a murder mystery [and so on].
- Perhaps also playing other RPG's is an idea. Get a feel of various games, etc. If you couple that with the above, it means you can shake things up. You can find pretty cheap older core books for various games on online retailers, and there's a few free ones online too. Both this and the previous point means that if you encounter a 'dud game', you all know next session won't feature it.
- The “free day” I was talking about is usually just a 3 hour session, I used “day” because none of my player friends are free on the same days, so there’s nowhere to fit a session in.
- As unpopular as the Cogent system is, my home brew changes quite a lot and feels quite rewarding and fun in our sessions, but we’re always working on it together. Me and the wavering player have discussed switching to D&D but the second player didn’t want to learn such “complex rules”.
- That’s really good advice, thank you. It honestly hadn’t dawned on me to do completely separate one-shots. I’ve discussed doing flash-back one-shots and got mixed responses.
- I think I’m definitely going to put this into action, thank you Blobby
 

Mr Blobby

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Validated User
- I think you've hit the problem: the sessions are turning from a 'RPG session' to a 'RPG making session'. Naturally, the latter is only fun if you find that fun.
- There's other games about than D&D. This forum is full of people who would be very willing to sell you on their preferred system / to fit your requirements. Plus, by playing different games you'll see the strengths/weaknesses of each system.
- Another option is to do what I call the 'episodic' format; each session is a self-contained story, but players play the same characters each time - akin to the episodes of some TV shows. This also means you could get more sessions in as you wouldn't need to have all the players there to play [after all, you don't have to see all the characters in a TV series in every episode, do you?]. It also allows you to cater to no-shows, drop-in players and even that one accursed time only one player shows [never mind; solo episode!]
 

baakyocalder

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Playtesting rules isn't fun unless you are into playtesting.

Also, with two players, you definitely depend on both of them being engaged to get a good game.

Episodic games work well. For science fiction, some kind of clubhouse blues approach where all the PCs work for an organization could work well. Rotate in the characters who are being played and the rest are back doing the regular boring stuff in the organization.

I'm not familiar with Cogent, but if you and your players find it cumbersome and are tweaking it, think about what's cumbersome. There's probably another science fiction game in a similar genre space with different rules and there's also a variety of games outside the science fiction genre that work.

If your local area is light on gamers and you want to play online, there are many virtual tabletop sites out there where you might be able to find some additional players if you want to have everyone meet up online. Not having to physically meet in the same place makes some logistics easier.

Good luck with your quest to find the game you want to run and play and definitely ask a lot of questions here. There's is no perfect game, but for each person game, some games are more fun.
 
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