Author Topic: "It's a Plot-Monster! RUN!" - Thoughts on Player Revolt  (Read 12703 times)

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ImperatorK

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Re: "It's a Plot-Monster! RUN!" - Thoughts on Player Revolt
« Reply #60 on: September 18, 2011, 05:13:03 PM »
You can't railraod.
You can't sandbox.
You even can't give an illusion of sandbox while railroading.
Yeah... you're fucked. Sorry man. :(
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Or you could just be a cleric of an ideal. Like, physics and say that the domain choices reflect potential and kinetic energy.

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InnaBinder

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Re: "It's a Plot-Monster! RUN!" - Thoughts on Player Revolt
« Reply #61 on: September 18, 2011, 07:46:58 PM »
You can't railraod.
You can't sandbox.
You even can't give an illusion of sandbox while railroading.
Yeah... you're fucked. Sorry man. :(
I'm flummoxed.  How is it that this issue rears its head so often in games I see, and yet other folks apparently don't have issue with it?  It's not my GMing style, because it's not restricted to when I GM.  It's not me being a whiny player, because I'm not the one making the commentary at the table.

How in the blue hell am I the lucky special winner who gets into games with this issue that apparently others avoid?

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« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 05:08:25 AM by InnaBinder »
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Mooncrow

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Re: "It's a Plot-Monster! RUN!" - Thoughts on Player Revolt
« Reply #62 on: September 18, 2011, 11:19:11 PM »
You can't railraod.
You can't sandbox.
You even can't give an illusion of sandbox while railroading.
Yeah... you're fucked. Sorry man. :(
I'm flummoxed.  How is it that issue this rears its head so often in games I see, and yet other folks apparently don't have issue with it?  It's not my GMing style, because it's not restricted to when I GM.  It's not me being a whiny player, because I'm not the one making the commentary at the table.

How in the blue hell am I the lucky special winner who gets into games with this issue that apparently others avoid?

I don't know, from your descriptions, it seems like they don't really want to play?  But since they show up, there must be something that they're enjoying.

I stopped having a "plot" a long time ago; my players don't really roll that way and I used to have to deal with the snarky "the DM wants us to do X, guys" crap.  Now, all I do is write up a the big picture, the various groups in power, etc and let the players roam free.  Then they get to show me what they're interested in by what they pursue.  I got really excited when I first read the Dresden File rpg, because it advocates a lot of stuff that I've been doing for years: for example, if you're doing a murder mystery, don't bother deciding who did it ahead of time, the players will advance the plot towards the story that they find interesting.  And then all the GM has to do is come up with a way to tie the "clues" that the party followed, and then he looks like a genius, and the players get to feel like they're clever.  And that works with any type of plot. 

And if that doesn't work, idk, I would agree with ImperatorK, I think.

Bloody Initiate

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Re: "It's a Plot-Monster! RUN!" - Thoughts on Player Revolt
« Reply #63 on: September 19, 2011, 12:14:53 AM »
Every group is different, with some hanging around one extreme more than others. It's beginning to sound to me like your fellow players just need to have a frank discussion about some things, because if I were there I'd be up front about my ZERO interest in player motivations and character development - as a player.

For the same reason I despise background stories on 1st level characters, I get annoyed with players think that THEIR plotline or THEIR character is interesting or important at all. Mind you again, I'm speaking from the perspective of a player, not a GM.

My characters are not interesting, they do not have motivations other than the mission (Which they will solve as they see fit), and if my characters die then I'll make another.

The DM tells the story, the players tell how their characters behave within the story. That's how the game works. I can't stand when someone wants to waste everyone else's time so THEIR character can satisfy THEIR fluff. MY fluff is that I do the job at hand and I work with other party members. I don't go off to a masquerade ball without them and I don't have complex rituals that I need to satisfy which don't involve them. Every second that I'm at that table I'm trying to make sure I'm not the only one in the spotlight, and any time I notice time increments larger than 1 round being spent on me I duck out from under it.

On another forum someone asked how to solve the problem of making characters with different motivations and alignments form a party in a believable way. Basically the person asking the question was having trouble understanding why player characters should hang out together at all. It's a good question, or it would be if you don't realize the correct answer is simple and WON'T be consistent with your PC's preference: "If you don't play together, we don't have a game."

Perhaps your players need to learn that what their characters want means jack shit, because they're just puppets for a bunch of D&D geeks? Railroading is taking control of the PCs away from the players so that you can force and outcome (This doesn't have to mean you take control of the PCs, it means you simply don't let the players control them. Example: the cut scene where your character stands aghast at something instead of taking action.). As long as the DM isn't doing that, then the players who like to shout "It's a Plot-Monster, RUN!" should shut their mouths and play the game. Not every plot is as good as the last one, some campaigns are written better than others.

If you want to avoid the plot, then you are deliberately alienating one player: The GM. Never forget that everyone at the table is playing the game, one in particular has just saddled a greater burden. The GM gets to decide what the world looks like and what's in it other than you, you only get to decide what YOU are doing in that world. It's not railroading, it's just the roles you play.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 12:57:01 AM by Bloody Initiate »
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weenog

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Re: "It's a Plot-Monster! RUN!" - Thoughts on Player Revolt
« Reply #64 on: September 19, 2011, 12:49:39 AM »
You can't railraod.
You can't sandbox.
You even can't give an illusion of sandbox while railroading.
Yeah... you're fucked. Sorry man. :(
I'm flummoxed.  How is it that issue this rears its head so often in games I see, and yet other folks apparently don't have issue with it?  It's not my GMing style, because it's not restricted to when I GM.  It's not me being a whiny player, because I'm not the one making the commentary at the table.

How in the blue hell am I the lucky special winner who gets into games with this issue that apparently others avoid?

Have you considered the possibility that you're just wrong?  That this stuff isn't happening as you describe?  It does seem very unlikely that you would run into this problem frequently over 30 years from all angles and with many varied groups, when few if any others are.  It seems much more likely that you're being oversensitive to something you think is there and isn't, exaggerating offhand remarks and focusing on them, and totally ignoring harmonious times.

Take a giant step back, look at things with detachment, ask yourself "Am I full of shit?" and answer honestly.  If you can't answer the question yourself, start taking a stopwatch and a notepad and record what portion of the session time was disruptive behavior, and simple notes of what, specifically, the disruptive behavior was.  If you wind up with something like 15 minutes of a 6 hour session was "disruptive" and most of those disruptions were along the lines of "made a sarcastic joke, a few people laughed, we got back to it", you need to lighten up.

If you find that you are full of shit, and you can't lighten up about it, maybe the hobby is not for you.  30 years is a long time to turn your back on, but there's no good in chasing sunk costs.
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InnaBinder

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Re: "It's a Plot-Monster! RUN!" - Thoughts on Player Revolt
« Reply #65 on: September 19, 2011, 03:26:02 AM »
@weenog: I have timed it, on more than one occasion.  It's roughly 45 minutes or more of derailment per 4 hour session that I'm talking about.  That's a significant enough time sink to be a noticeable disruption unless you're willfully ignoring it, IMO.
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Mooncrow

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Re: "It's a Plot-Monster! RUN!" - Thoughts on Player Revolt
« Reply #66 on: September 19, 2011, 03:47:42 AM »
@weenog: I have timed it, on more than one occasion.  It's roughly 45 minutes or more of derailment per 4 hour session that I'm talking about.  That's a significant enough time sink to be a noticeable disruption unless you're willfully ignoring it, IMO.

So what, exactly, do these players enjoy doing in-game?

And I'm not trying to be snide or anything; if the plot isn't motivating these players, finding out what does motivate them is likely to be the key to understanding the underlying problem.

kitep

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Re: "It's a Plot-Monster! RUN!" - Thoughts on Player Revolt
« Reply #67 on: September 19, 2011, 07:24:54 AM »
I'm flummoxed.  How is it that this issue rears its head so often in games I see, and yet other folks apparently don't have issue with it?

It happens to others.  It happens to me.  Heck, I've been the instigator on more than one occasion :)

I think it just bothers you more than other people.  And alas, human nature being what it is, it can be fun(?) to do it to people who react to it, causing it to happen more often and more intensely.

And even though it happens in every group, after reading your library thread, I think it's worse than most in your current group.  Players that don't come consistently don't care about plot.  Players who only care about combat don't care about plot.

I think you might be best served if you can split into 2 groups, one that wants to roll-play and one that wants to role-play.  If someone's willing to run the roll-play group, it should be easy.  If not, I'm not sure how you'ld accomplish this.


But I feel for ya, man.  Hope you can find a way to mak it more enjoyable for yourself, and soon.

veekie

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Re: "It's a Plot-Monster! RUN!" - Thoughts on Player Revolt
« Reply #68 on: September 20, 2011, 07:17:52 AM »
Considering the library thread matter, you're just in special circumstances where your players simply don't have sufficient attachment to the plot. The players each time is not constant, they aren't going to be working as a unit(with as many players as there are, each only has moments of spotlight available for them to hold on to).
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InnaBinder

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Re: "It's a Plot-Monster! RUN!" - Thoughts on Player Revolt
« Reply #69 on: October 14, 2011, 10:43:28 PM »
Considering the library thread matter, you're just in special circumstances where your players simply don't have sufficient attachment to the plot. The players each time is not constant, they aren't going to be working as a unit(with as many players as there are, each only has moments of spotlight available for them to hold on to).
What about all the games I've seen where it happened that weren't a result of the aforementioned special circumstances?  When it happens with a consistent player base, it's not because they've not got sufficient attachment to either characters or players, I'd think.  Similarly, in most other groups I've gamed with, 4 - 6 players was the norm, which seems consistent with most RPG expectations.  Surely the spotlight time isn't so precious a commodity in those circumstances as to warrant the 'revolt'?
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Zuriel

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Re: "It's a Plot-Monster! RUN!" - Thoughts on Player Revolt
« Reply #70 on: October 24, 2011, 08:01:33 AM »
This website has some insightful info on designing a somewhat more reactive campaign. Warning: It is a long read.

http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/node-design/node-design.html
Wow, what an inspiring approach and an absolutely fantastic resource!

Signed up just to say thank you for posting this. :)

veekie

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Re: "It's a Plot-Monster! RUN!" - Thoughts on Player Revolt
« Reply #71 on: October 24, 2011, 09:22:12 AM »
Might be that they're the gamer equivalent of rebel without a cause. No need a reason, just something to rebel against. Try them out on collaborative games? Maybe a variant playstyle would help.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."