• 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.

NathanS

Registered User
Validated User
I see complaints about at least AAA title prices all the time.
Doesn't stop them from being cheaper than in the past. Donkey Kong Country was around 80 bucks when it came out, which adjusted for inflation is 137.22 dollars. AAA games are cheaper than ever.
 

eggdropsoap

Cosmic Egg
Validated User
How much transparency do players need? I'm relying on players to have a little common sense and not be rude to powerful people, also, I will frequently include an example of something bad happening to someone who was.

If they still don't learn from the example then I'm not going to give them plot armour.

The worst example of this that I've read about was someone who pissed in a kings wine goblet, in front of everyone at court. That kind of stupid will not be rewarded.
Conflicting assumptions are fairly immune to common sense. Common sense is applied within a context. When your understanding of the context is wrong, it takes a huge mismatch before you stop working with the details of the situation and step back to question the larger context it’s happening in.

There’s an old rule of thumb that, when I read it, stuck in my head so much because it really highlighted the disparity between what’s obvious to the GM and what counts as obvious to the players.

“Everything important must be said three times.” I think it’s called the Thee Clue Rule.

It’s supposed to be a rule Shakespeare used in his plays, but like I said, I read this ages ago so I can’t attest to the accuracy of details.

I can attest to the accuracy of the rule of thumb though. One clue, dropped in three different ways, one bit of setting info, mentioned three times in-game, etc., only just begins to give an honest chance that the players will pick up on it.

The GM already knows the things the GM knows. The players meanwhile are constantly being contfronted with new information, most of it incidental colour, some accidental red herrings, and the rare bit a subtly (it’s always subtler than intended) dropped tidbit of Plot or Hook or something that the GM feels is embarrassingly overt. In practice, players have a hard time figuring out what is relevant and what is background noise, because it all looks the same. Meanwhile the GM feels like they put out a neon sign.

So, three clue rule. I honestly don’t use it as written that much, but it’s very useful as a reminder about the diametrically opposite experiences of a clue or detail for players and GMs. What feels like a bullhorn to the GM is a whisper in a noisy room to a player. This has helped me keep perspective when players are missing information. And when I’m a player, helps me understand that it’s not just the GM being a bad GM and failing to communicate their intentions — it’s actually just hard to bridge that perspective gap.

The practical side of The Three Clue Rule doesn’t directly apply to mismatched assumptions, but the petsoectivevside does. Remembering it helps me as GM from failing to consider that we might have different views of the context re genre or plot armour, and that I might not have communicated the context clearly yet, even if I feel like I have.

If the players are busy in the details, and trusting me to handle the surrounding context, they’re busy focusing on the details and trying to fit what I say into the detail-level. If I’m trying to say something at the context-level, I need to be clear that I’m asking them to pause and step back to a larger view. If I just try to imply context by handing them more details (“The courtiers gasp, the king is visibly enraged”), they are unlikely to consider what meaning that has for context and will just take it as another detail to fit into their existing meta understanding of the game.

So yeah, pretty transparent. They need to know, for example, that they don’t already have plot armour. Bad things happening to NPCs isn’t a signal that means anything if the players thought this game had the PC plot armour setting switch to “on”.
 
Last edited:

Skaorn

Registered User
Validated User
It isn't necessarily that tidy, of course. If you have a small group in an area without a lot of players, sitting out the game can rapidly approach vetoing the game. So at that point is Bob obligated to play something he doesn't want to because it will otherwise stop the game from happening?
For what group activity is this acceptable behavior? It sounds like what you are saying is that it is ok to make a group do what you want so you can play a very specific character type you want to play or tank the game if you can't. In my experience, this type of behavior only ends the gaming group for one person, even if the group is small. Of course, with the people I'm used to gaming with, they wouldn't put up with someone showing up and not gaming because they don't like the game (if this is what you mean by "sitting out") because it is rather passive aggressive.

Recap to avoid this being taken out of context: I'm talking about players who have very specific and rigid likes that they always need to play and are perfectly willing to try to veto games where they don't get to play that. Examples would be only playing a wizard in DnD, a Werewolf in a WoD game even if the GM only wants to use one specific type like vampires, or a Jedi Knight in a SW game set during the Rebellion era.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
Sure, because indies are far cheaper (that and people generally not being fond of paying a decent amount only to have the game try and stick them with a microtransaction after the fact in the first ten minutes).
I was hearing that well before microtransactions had become the plague they've become. And from people who consider indies beneath them (as in, since they can't do a lot of the things it takes a AAA budget to do, they can't be bothered).
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
This may be just me, but I think there are a fair number of campaigns where such transparency would improve (or would have improved) things and cleared up some fundamental misunderstandings of what is at stake in a situation. Sometimes, no matter how cleverly the DM tries to convey it ICly, the players just won't notice where they're headed until they're in deep enough that the campaign itself is in danger.
Its not just you.

On the other hand, its easy to find players who consider transparency the GM trying to steer their decision-making and resent it, so...
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
How much transparency do players need?
Depends on how coy GMs have been with them in the past. Its all too easy for a GM to have presented an opponent in a dramatic way, then get irritable because the players shied away from confronting them. Guess what lesson players learn from that one?
 

KnightVeritas

Registered User
Validated User
The insistence on playing a certain character type can really ruin games; in a Star Wars (nominally Edge of the Empire) game I was in that ended recently, the GM wanted a game like EotE implies - criminals and other somewhat unsavory types pulling off heists and such under the Empire's radar. Unfortunately, in a group of 5 (with a 6th added near the end), my Trandoshan bounty hunter was the only non-Force user, with a Mirialan padawan on the run with memory loss, a genius human former slave developing Force powers, a traumatized escapee of Order 66 hiding out, and a former Inquisitor apprentice dodging her former master. Things became Force-centered very quickly, and my character was left spinning his wheels while others acquired lightsabers or Force training. Eventually the game fizzled when the GM couldn't find ways to challenge the Mirialan player (whose PC had basically become a disturbingly effective Jedi assassin).

Arguably, that was at least partially the GM's fault, since he allowed those characters when they were not part of his premise, but when 4 of 5 initial players agree to the premise and then go around it, that's on them, too.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
For what group activity is this acceptable behavior? It sounds like what you are saying is that it is ok to make a group do what you want so you can play a very specific character type you want to play or tank the game if you can't.
If those are the alternatives, I don't see a single reason the group gets to say "Play something you won't enjoy instead so the rest of us can enjoy ourselves." They've got a choice too; they can tolerate what you get fun out of, or do without you. Otherwise they're expecting you to do the lifting for them, and I see no fashion in which that's a reasonable expectation.

In my experience, this type of behavior only ends the gaming group for one person, even if the group is small. Of course, with the people I'm used to gaming with, they wouldn't put up with someone showing up and not gaming because they don't like the game (if this is what you mean by "sitting out") because it is rather passive aggressive.
No, I'm talking about people just skipping the game. And if you've never seen a game collapse because of too small a player pool, you aren't everyone.


Recap to avoid this being taken out of context:
I'm not just talking about your precise context.
 
Top Bottom