• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

The Trust Problem

R

RPGnet Columns

Guest
Post originally by Mark Threlfall at 2005-05-18 06:39:16
Converted from Phorums BB System


I believe you hit the nail on the head here. Trust is the biggest issue when it comes to getting a game off to a good start and that trust starts with character creation.

My group is damaged, it was damaged because of a trust issue. The cause of the damage is no longer with us but it has left in its wake a hole, and that hole is a trust issue. I no longer believe my players fully trust me, at least on of them does not but his issue which he claims is beyond trust bring a different light into your argument.

The player in questions likes to play, paraphrase, "people that can do things I cannot do, that are better than me". Essentially what he is also saying is that if his "fantasy" is flawed then why bother playing it, real life is flawed.

For a long time I have attempted to point out to him that flaws make the hero but I beleive he no longer has the same trust he once did. I managed it about two years ago, to gain his trust, and he loved the experience. What I want to be able to do is win it from the outset, gain the trust immediately.

Also, as an asside, there are certain game systems that do not play to the model you are presenting. Is this purposeful are you saying there are game systems that cause you to approach the trust issue from the wrong state immediately?
 
R

RPGnet Columns

Guest
Post originally by Ross Winn at 2005-05-18 15:13:01
Converted from Phorums BB System


<i>Also, as an asside, there are certain game systems that do not play to the model you are presenting. Is this purposeful are you saying there are game systems that cause you to approach the trust issue from the wrong state immediately? </i>

Yep, and more on that later...

<i>For a long time I have attempted to point out to him that flaws make the hero but I beleive he no longer has the same trust he once did. I managed it about two years ago, to gain his trust, and he loved the experience. What I want to be able to do is win it from the outset, gain the trust immediately. </i>

I think we all would, but that isn't realistic. You have to earn it!
 
R

RPGnet Columns

Guest
RE: The Trust Problem???

Post originally by Sensei at 2005-05-22 18:00:00
Converted from Phorums BB System


This is just a general comment, for Mr. Ross or anybody else who is reading about this "trust" issue, because I'm a bit lost and could use some explanation...

Holy Crap on a Stick, dudes. What kind of fucked up people do you guys play your games with?

When I play role playing games, I play with my friends. FRIENDS. These are people I like and who like me, whom I get along with. We trust each other, because, if I haven't mentioned it, we're friends.

Mr. Ross' text indicates that he has some serious issues with trust between GM's and players, and feels this mistrust hampers play.
Well, I don't get it. Maybe I'm in some bizarre miniscule subset of gamers who has never had a problem with trust, but why the hell are you playing with people you can't trust?

My players trust me to run a game, and I trust them to play their characters appropriately to the genre/ PC idea/ adventure scenario. We get along fine. Regardless of drawbacks or advantages (which I never have and never will use), we've never found a reason to distrust each other.

Perhaps this word "trust" is being used in a way I'm not getting the gist of? Any elaboration would be appreciated.
 
R

RPGnet Columns

Guest
RE: The Trust Problem???

Post originally by Jethrow at 2005-05-23 00:44:46
Converted from Phorums BB System


Wise words, Sensei. I agree, although in my case some of those I play with are no longer close friends. I nearly always run the games in my group, we still all trust one another inside the game, just maybe not in real life, socially. We are all big enough and ugly enough to keep game stuff to the game, and out personal issues out of the game. I almost always play and run Harnmaster and its derivatives, where there are no such things as disadvantages in the sense of this discussion. Characters do end up with what could be thought of as disadvantages, but these are usually of a medical or psychiatric nature. I usually get chosen to run games because I am a fairly good GM, but as a player I have a problem with wanting to win. As a GM I win every time the players want to come back for more.
 
R

RPGnet Columns

Guest
RE: The Trust Problem???

Post originally by Shoggoth at 2005-05-24 16:56:22
Converted from Phorums BB System


In my experience it is very easy to play with people who you trust in real life, with ordinary everyday things, but who you don't trust in game. This isn't because they are bad people, or because they are misguided or whatnot; I believe it has to do with the confrontational attitude endemic to roleplaying that Ross points out.

A very topical example is a fantasy game I'm running right now for a group I have gamed with for about 4 years. Some of the players trust me to make good judgement calls concerning their characters and the rules of the game, but there is one person in particular who doesn't trust me. One of his major concerns ingame is being a viable part of the group and being important and this is often expressed in a combative attitude about the rules of the game and the restrictions on his character. He wants to feel important, just like anyone does, and he feels threatened when he feels like his character is being controlled or marginalized. He comes to game to feel like part of the group, and to be important, and to "win" something by making the good roll or casting the spell that saves everyone and get the pleasure of that. I don't want to begrudge him that, but inevitably there is a push/pull over what he can/can't do, what the limitations of his character will/won't allow, etc., as the player tries to protect his ability to be important (and I mean this in no way negatively!) and so trust is lost, and there is some tension.

I like this person alot, I enjoy gaming with this person, I trust this person outside of game, but the dynamic of "GM is in control, player must fight for his power to affect the world" is not only I believe relatively common, but highly destructive to a cooperative gaming environment.
 
R

RPGnet Columns

Guest
RE: The Trust Problem???

Post originally by Sensei at 2005-06-03 15:25:13
Converted from Phorums BB System


>> "I trust this person outside of game, but the dynamic of "GM is in control, player must fight for his power to affect the world" is not only I believe relatively common, but highly destructive to a cooperative gaming environment."

Have you guys had any luck in breaking any fellow players of this mindset? Have you ever played with someone who eventually just 'got it' and said, 'hey, the GM isn't trying to screw me personally, so I can just relax and have fun?'

I can see now how distrust can exist, but I guess my trouble now is seeing how it can persist. I'd figure that after someone games for any length of time with a good group and a good GM, they'd stop being quite so combatative. It'd be nice to hear of anyone who had a distrustful player in a group who came around and now isn't.
 
R

RPGnet Columns

Guest
RE: The Trust Problem???

Post originally by Ross Winn at 2005-06-07 07:43:51
Converted from Phorums BB System


I think the cognitive disconnect is that you may only game with a set group of people. Game with four or five groups and you may more readily grok this.
 
R

RPGnet Columns

Guest
RE: The Trust Problem???

Post originally by Kaladorn at 2005-07-21 13:58:48
Converted from Phorums BB System


I've had the good fortune to game with about 22 players in my AD&D campaign over the last 15 or so years it has run. Some left due to life circumstances, one due to disillusionment (he was very much of the 'competitive' nature and we had lots of head butting contests and he eventually figured out that it just wasn't for him). But I have some of the original players, all these years on. I probably have six regular players and a few occasionals.

In another gaming group I have joined, there have been about 9 people over the last few years. One wasn't an RPGer and was only interested in his own subset of other games so drifted off. Two were thinned out due to real life moves. Of the remainder, I get along really well with 2, pretty well with 2, not so good with 1, and virtually not at all with another. Now, this is partly a stylistic conflict issue and partly an issue of personalities that clash. We can play together in a game well enough, but we but heads at different moments and over unexpected topics.

I played with another group for six years, and that group included six other players who regularly showed out. I had a competition thing (same class in high school, etc) going with one of them, so we butted heads a lot. I butted heads with one of the others because he was a bit knowitall and that got tiring. But the others I got on fine with.

And yet, all that said, out of all of these people, I'd call a goodly portion (over 80%) close friends and the remaining 20% friend or acquaintances. None were enemies. Even the ones I clashed with in the game I got along with in real life to one extent or another.

The issues I see that tend to divide games:
- Conflicts over control (DM has it, players try to get their own share)
- Conflicts over style (Is the world predictable and precisely defined or more vaguely defined and open?)
- Competition between people for the limelight (a bunch of people wanting to be 'the guy')

Trust is also not a binary switch (to me). It isn't a 'yes I trust you' or 'no I don't'. It is more 'I trust you in most matters except X Y Z' or 'I trust you except where this might be at stake' or 'I don't trust you very much in any regard, but particularly not in this particular'. As a rule, people are complex and they can be absolutely rock solid dependable in one regard, and not trustworthy (in the sense of backing you up) in another. I have friends I would trust with my life and who would reciprocate that trust, but we wouldn't have the same sensibilities about a game aspect so we wouldn't totally trust one another to have similar judgements/approaches to various situations in a game. Trust comes in degree - I can trust someone with my life, with my wallet, or not to wander off and open a door exposing the party to a new wandering monster because he's bored at the back of the party. They aren't all the same level and trusting a person for one of them doesn't imply all of them.

And people who say "I only game with friends" (I am fortunate to have that luxury) have no idea how lucky they are as a rule - there are lots of folks desparate for a game, and they end up having to work with a very mixed bag of available gamers. Hence they have to deal with issues at the table that those of us with long established groups do not have to face (entrenched issues with long history are another different challenge). Don't rag on these folks - they've got a mixed bag of grapes and they're trying to make a decent wine with it.
 
R

RPGnet Columns

Guest
RE: The Trust Problem???

Post originally by RW at 2005-07-22 07:22:53
Converted from Phorums BB System


I didn't think I was ragging on anyone.
 
R

RPGnet Columns

Guest
RE: The Trust Problem???

Post originally by kaladorn at 2005-07-24 19:42:19
Converted from Phorums BB System




RW wrote:
-------------------------------
I didn't think I was ragging on anyone.

Kaladorn:
Sorry Ross. That particular comment was made in response to Sensei's original post which seemed to suggest people really should just play with friends, vs. the mixed bag you often get dealt when you're new to an area, trying to find gamers in a gamer-poor region, etc. So I was just saying we shouldn't deride people for having these sorts of difficulties - we should help them. If we're lucky enough personally to not have them, due to gaming with friends we trust, then that's great. But that's not everyone's experience and in those situations, some of your articles comments were very accurate.
 
Top Bottom