Sunday, July 14, 2013

Be A Better Player 16 - Find the right group

GM – You watch as the Ork raiding party surrounds the Inn. Their red eyes gleaming in the darkness as they prepare to attack.

Player 1 – Okay if all doors are all braced I'm going to a second story window with my crossbow.

Player 2 – Walking up behind the other people here who are at the windows with bows. Giving them a firm pat on the back as a sign of reassurance... it's not much but it's all I can do.

Player 3 – I'm going to drop out of the second floor window onto the ground below.

Player 4 – I'm... um wait... what did you do?

Player 3 – Going to try and reason with them. See if we can reach some sort of agreement here.

GM – You do realize these are the Orks that have been raiding the countryside for the last few weeks. They've left almost a hundred people dead in their wake.

Player 3 – Still it's worth a shot right?

Player 4 – I would say it's suicide actually.

GM – The Orks eye you very carefully, grins spreading across their faces as several ready their bows.

Player 3 – I hold my hands open and to my side showing I'm unarmed and slowly approach them.

GM – And they let lose with their arrows. Let me make some rolls to see how many of them hit.

Player 3 – What? Don't I even get a chance to talk to them? Try to work something out?

GM – I think I made it pretty clear over the last couple of games that these Orcs are killing everything they come across without hesitation. Even the survivors you have found have repeated this.

Player 3 – Well you should at least let us try diplomacy. You should run this differently.

You see what's going on there? A clash of play styles is occurring. The way the GM and the rest of the group are going about the game is different than the way player 3 wants. Instead of the action and combat approach to this situation he wants the diplomatic approach. Now the thing is neither play style is wrong. But sometimes they just don't work all that well together. This is where the problems usually come in.

The normal way this becomes a problem is when a new person who is used to one playstyle joins a group that enjoys playing with a different playstyle. At this point there seems to come a clash where either the player wants the group to change to match him or the group expects the player to change. Sometimes this works but other times it results in a lot of bad feelings between the two.

Now a bit of sit down and talking with the people in the group before hand can tell you what kind of playstyle they are used to. This also gives you an idea of how well you will fit in even if your ideas don't match up with theirs. A little variety in a group is nice and having people who think differently helps create some interesting games. Communication is key of course, let the others know what you think and why but also be prepared to hear them out as well.

If this still doesn't work out then you need to something different. You need to find a group that fits the way you want to play. This may be as simple as finding an existing group that you can fall into or putting one together a person at a time. Otherwise you will either be unhappy fitting into a group where you don't belong or they will be unhappy as you try to change the way they do things. Both can lead to somebody not having fun and having that fun is precisely what gaming is all about. So be prepared to do some looking to find the right people. You may pass through two or three or even more gaming groups before you find that one where you belong.


  1. Yep, this is my main problem... I need to find another group. Some play styles are more popular than others though... so Mr. Diplomacy up there may have a hard time finding his sympatico.

    1. True in many cases but not all. Usually one follows the plot diplomatic or not, but still get their point across, before he jumped out the window he should have basically said I want to try the diplomatic approach, then allowed the other party members and or DM to explain what was happening then left it alone. otherwise like I stated one normally knows what way the flow of the games going, normally catch that the first 15-20 mines

  2. Definitely a case of find the right group. When I began to GM in a group I had played with for a year or so, I had to teach them that the first rule of play was "You don't always have to fight." Unfortunately, now they have learned this so well, they routinely diplomasize, intimidate, or bluff their way out of encounters I have spent time generating. Which has given us Gwynne's Corollary to GM's Rule 1: Sometimes hou just have to fight. But... it was amusing when they got the gargantuan, uber powerful, undead Nightwave to swim away, by convincing it they had no brains aboard ship by holding the very stupid dwarf over the rail...

    1. Poor dwarf hahaha! Regular players "if there's a loop hole exploit it as best you can at DMS desecration" most use this to their advantage, some don't mind either way, some just want to chop something up because in game they won't go to jail for it haha. Anyways if that's how your group plays, leave it to where there's 1 maybe 2 loop holes make the encounters happen using a loop hole to their loop hole. Sorry off topic of this post.

  3. The right group is always the hardest to find. But, when you find it, it's amazing in an all out conflict scene the diplomatic player should still have an option to use their action in the way they choose. But, keep in mind every action has a positive or negative impact in the scene. With that said, this particular scene the diplomatic player should have attempted to talk to them through the downstairs window. Thus blending the story keeping it moving forward as the others upstairs were loading up to shoot, thus everyone would be happy. But, I do see the point on needing the right way of approaching things. (May have read too deep into something, but tips are there to be constructive. Even with criticism as long as it's constructive and leads both views open to both the tipper and the tippy)