27 September 2016

Owen KC Stephens's 100 Questions For Your Group: Questions 21-30

Questions 1–10
Questions 11–20

Here is the third batch of Owen's questions.

#21. Do players have a responsibility to the GM or other players to help them have fun?

Yes, within their means. That's the point of role playing games—to enjoy a shared story. Without enjoyment there is no point in gathering for a session in the first place.

If you feel you can't help other with enjoying the game, at least do your best to not hinder fun of others.

#22. If you knew an action your character was about to take would upset the GM or another player (not an NPC or PC, but the actual people at the table), and not taking that action would be out of character, would you still have your character act that way? Would you discuss the action with the people you thought it would upset, either before of after taking it.

In the past I'd say follow the character buy I changed my stance on that. The shared enjoyment of the game is more important than my own underdeveloped acting-in-character shtick so I'd try to avoid that, unless I could reliably discuss that with the GM and the player involved. I'd be wary of forced, dishearted "go with it answers" without the player meaning it, though.

In my case more of an issue would be me missing the clues that something could upset GM/player, though. I am more prone to including potentially upsetting imagery as a GM than player, anyway.

#23. If you like the idea of a campaign of evil characters, discuss reasons players in general might not enjoy such a game. If you dislike the idea of a campaign of evil characters, discuss reasons players in general might find such a game fun.

I like the idea, and we had actual discussions about Evil campaign with one of my groups from time to time. It all boiled down to two primary factors: completely different expectations from different players—one of the most vocal proponents of the Evil party was the most squeamish one, and another player bluntly reminded her every time that if she couldn't stomach their past game where they were playing a bunch of ruthless, cold-hearted mercenaries or troublemakers, how would she want to stomach the rest of party playing truly Evil group. Second factor that is issue with playing evil characters is that the party and character creation becomes even more delicate process, with the even greater need for the right motivation to tie them together. Too often the idea of playing Evil character leads the player to focus on acting against the rest of the group in a shows of petty selfishness being passed as true Evil, in reality being merely considered a pass to being a jerk to other players.

#24. Paper or plastic? Now defend the answer as a heroic champion of all that is good and right. Now answer as a conniving scoundrel. Now answer as a master scholar. Now answer as a violent antisocial psychopath. Explain why you answered as you did in those personas.

Plastic. Trying to avoid flimsy ones, though, and reusing the bags whenever possible.

Heroic Champion: Plastic. It can be used multiple times. I have plastic bags that I use for a few years now. Paper bags are destroyed much faster (usually after a single use) so they make a bigger ecological strain.

Conniving Scoundrel: Plastic. Oh, look how it matches your outfit! You should try it yourself, it really suits you!

Master Scholar: Plastic. We can work over the proper recycling and reuse them. With just a bit work we could easily make them into raw material for 3D printers or more reusable long lasting products.

Violent Antisocial Psychopath: Leather. Freshly tanned leather. Really freshly tanned leather. Do you like its smell? I do.

#25. If a player consistently and definitely has worse luck than any other player or the GM, and that makes the game less fun for them, should the GM or other players make any special rules to compensate for that player’s unluck?

Depending on the level of unluck involved possibly. Some direction toward ideas that require less rolling are one of the ways out. Reduced amount of rolling in general as well.

We had a player who rolled a lot of 1s on his rolls, especially attack rolls in 3.5 campaign. It was particularly painful because we were using homebrew fumble rules... There was also assumption that magic items can form spontaneously in extraordinary situations. After many sessions his belt (or maybe boots, I don't remember at the moment) became imbued with enough of his bad luck that they become a sort of magic item, giving him a 50% chance of bouncing results of 1 rolled on an attack roll to the target of his attack. Many further fights were helped by his unluck...

Another player seems to have a particularly bad hand to rolling below average in our Dresden Files game. It's FATE, though, so it involved various mechanics that help cope with poor rolls, like spending token to either gain extra +2 to roll or re-roll the roll, building advantage to gain a virtual token to spend in certain conditions. And you can use multiple tokens or advantages to stack chances in your favor even when your dice wish you nothing except brutal death.

#26. If you knew another player was cheating, and it didn’t seem to impact the enjoyment anyone else was having, how would you handle that?

Shrug it off mostly if it wasn't happening often. Depending on the way it was done I might pretend to consider it a mistake pointing out that he forgot to count some penalty or condition.

#27. If you knew the GM was altering die rolls or NPC statistics, how would you handle that?

Unless it would felt to be done with real malice just to hurt and subdue players (and not the characters) and without contributing toward the better game, I'd probably do nothing.

#28. If you found the out-of-character actions of another player was making the game not enjoyable for you, how would you handle that? What if it was the GM? How would you like other players or the GM to handle the situation if you are the one making a game unfun for someone else?

Depending on how much it spoiled my fun I'd either do nothing or try to speak with the player, GM, or whoever about the issue (though I'd be more inclined to speak about GMing issues with GM than player issues with the player, and more inclined about speaking of things that seem to cause discomfort to another player than to me). I'd expect other players/GM to speak with me about the issues they have with my actions and decisions, out-of-character or not.

#29. If you found a character concept or the actions of another player’s character was making the game not enjoyable for you, how would you handle that? What if it was the GM and an NPC? How would you like other players or the GM to handle the situation if your character is the one making a game unfun for someone else?

ASpeak, speak, speak, assuming it would be really spoiling my fun. I would probably ignore minor things avoiding the issue, though. Again, I'd be more likely to speak with GM about NPC/GMing issues than to other players about their character issues.

#30. Name one gaming-related pet peeve of yours that you admit is unreasonable.

I refuse to play myself in games (i.e. you were transported into another world, what do you do). As GM I insist on players not using their names for their characters.

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