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  #101  
Old March 4th, 2013, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Uriel View Post
I have bowed out of games that this happens consistently in. Part of the fun of RPG's for me is the rules themselves. If I'm never going to have any idea why I'm rolling or what I'm rolling against then it ceases to be a game for me and becomes just playing a puppet in the GM's storytelling.

Different strokes and all that.
Agreed. I've run into a few GMs, surprisingly most if not all of them my age, that of the belief that GM is God, Golden Rule, etc etc etc. Seems like Legacy issues/misunderstandings. Before you think you're the Project Manager, or how you should run the game, realise you are NOT the one in charge, and you are not "Running" the game.

It is a game, with acquaintances and friends. They're the stakeholders - you run the game for their enjoyment (plural) and yours as well (singular). You are all equal in that regard. If you're doing something they dont like, then you're doing something wrong. Probably a good indicator that you shouldn't be GMing.

Ive Run into one too many GMs that a) change rules arbitrarily b) fudge rules in favour of their predetermined plot c) force character down avenues (Story wise) that want because it is their (GM's) story.

Anything you want to run differently from an established (written or otherwise assumed) rule or guideline, you discuss and get agreement with the group. If you don't? You don't do it. In the few times that I do play, I take comfort in the rules. I designed my character to be enjoyable and to know his/her capabilities. Not to randomly throw dice (or have them thrown) for your amusement.
  #102  
Old March 4th, 2013, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
Remember the alien biomechanical diagnostics bed? The player rolls 2D and doesn't know a thing if he fails the throw. The GM can easily take his secret 10+ target down to accomodate the players +3 DM for skill and stat.
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Originally Posted by aramis View Post
  • I sometimes don't tell players what a given roll they made was for until later.
Yep, I do this. They will make a roll against INT, but I won't tell them why.

In S4's ancient-tech medical berth example, I might do one of these, depending on how I felt the situation was going:

1. I might tell him to make a 2D roll against his PC's INT or EDU. On failure, we wait some game-time (varies) before we try again. Once that succeeds, he's made a cognitive breakthrough and can roll specific fact-finding tasks which use his skill levels.

2. As #1, but I DON'T tell him which characteristic to check against, IF ignorance of success or failure is part of the obstacle.

3. I might tell him how many dice to roll, but not the target number.

4. I might tell him the number of dice and the target number, but I will roll one or two of the dice and keep the total result hidden.

Quote:
  • I'm there to play the NPC's and push players into action. It's NOT my story. I'm NOT the director, I'm NOT the author. I'm a bunch of characters.
Ideally that's the way I like it.


My major beef with T4's task system is that it minimized the value of skill. I didn't -- and don't -- mind using the entire characteristic with a task roll, but I did mind that, unless controlled, it could effectively neutralize skill.

Example. My wife, NOT a gamer, enjoys Traveller character generation. So she rolled up a couple dozen characters using T4.1 back in the day. She learned -- fast -- that by putting most of the skill point rolls into characteristic development instead of skills, her characters not only are quite capable, but also more durable against aging. I didn't like that one bit.

Okay, I understand that I cut my teeth on CT, where skill is all-powerful and characteristics are typically buffers against death. So when characteristics become powerful, I have to figure out how that changes the game and if I can live with it. T4 did not achieve a balance, and I didn't like it at all. What's more, it made me leery of any attempt to rehabilitate it.
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  #103  
Old March 4th, 2013, 07:14 PM
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Just ordered my T5 book. Traveller was my first RPG back in March 83' so I had to celebrate my 30th year of gaming! I hear early April for non-kickstarters to expect delivery. Is this accurate?
  #104  
Old March 4th, 2013, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Nerhesi View Post
Before you think you're the Project Manager, or how you should run the game, realise you are NOT the one in charge, and you are not "Running" the game.
Hmm. Most sets of game rules will disagree with you.

Because I have it handy, pg. 5 of WEG's Star Wars rpg, first edition: "The gamemaster, or GM, runs the game...He acts as a director...."

Pg. 26: "You act as a referee, deciding whether the player characters can do wha they want to do."

Pg. 26: "Your word is final in the event of any dispute."

Pg. 28: "Sometimes somebody has to make an arbitrary judgement, and that's you."

Pg. 46: "Occasionally, however, a player may argue, saying he's really at short range, or that he ought to be able to close with his opponent in one round when you say it will take two. There's really only one answer to this: you're the gamemaster. Unless the player points out something you've overlooked, be apologetic, but make it clear that what you say goes."





Another book have handy here at my desk, the 3.5 D&D DMG. Pg. 6 says, "When everyone gathers around the table to play the game, you're in charge."

Pg. 6: ...You're the final arbiter of the rules within the game. Good players will recognize that you have ultimate authority over the game mechanics, even superceding something in the rulebook.



I think most rpgs that define roles put the ultimate authority in the hands of the GM. If it's not specifically written, then it's usually inferred.





Quote:
It is a game, with acquaintances and friends.
Sure. But, someone has to have the final say on diputes. Someone had to be the ultimate decision maker. That's the GM.



Quote:
They're the stakeholders - you run the game for their enjoyment (plural) and yours as well (singular).
The players are definitely an important part of the game, too. But, as mentioned above, good players will agree that the GM's say is final.


Quote:
Anything you want to run differently from an established (written or otherwise assumed) rule or guideline, you discuss and get agreement with the group. If you don't? You don't do it.
Negative on that, at least by all of the rpgs I've played in my lifetime. I do believe that the GM should strive to make the game enjoyable for everyone involved, but I've never seen a set of rpg rules that says the GM's word is not final.

You can agree to run a game by committee, but that's some house rule in your game. If it works for you, great.

I think most, though, will agree the Ref is the ultimate decision maker in a game.







EDIT: Even Classic Traveller presents the Ref as the ultimate decision maker. See pg. 26 of Book 0, "Don't argue with the referee over items of referee judgement...If you feel that you have a legitimate complaint (one which is not due to imcomplete understanding of the rules on your part, and which is not due to a modified house rule the referee is using) bring the matter up to the referee quietly and in a reasonable manner. Make your point logically, and abide by whatever decision the referee makes."

Last edited by Supplement Four; March 4th, 2013 at 07:38 PM..
  #105  
Old March 4th, 2013, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BadgerLord View Post
Just ordered my T5 book. Traveller was my first RPG back in March 83' so I had to celebrate my 30th year of gaming! I hear early April for non-kickstarters to expect delivery. Is this accurate?
Really? That's crazy. Maybe I should have waited.
  #106  
Old March 4th, 2013, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Nerhesi View Post
Agreed. I've run into a few GMs, surprisingly most if not all of them my age, that of the belief that GM is God, Golden Rule, etc etc etc. Seems like Legacy issues/misunderstandings. Before you think you're the Project Manager, or how you should run the game, realise you are NOT the one in charge, and you are not "Running" the game.
Hmm, it's been just the opposite in my 36 years of playing/GMing RPG's on 3 continents. But, that's just me and a couple hundred other players & GM's.
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  #107  
Old March 4th, 2013, 07:45 PM
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Hmm, it's been just the opposite in my 36 years of playing/GMing RPG's on 3 continents. But, that's just me and a couple hundred other players & GM's.
Yes, me too. None of the quotes I wrote above say anything about putting game decisions up for a vote.

At the same time, good refs have happy players and enjoyable games. Nobody wants to play with a Ref that abuses his power in the game.

The Ref is definitely in charge, but his job is to make his players happy that they're gaming with him.

By the same token, good players recognize that someone has to be in charge, and if they agree on which person acts as Ref, they should also agree to abide by his decisions.
  #108  
Old March 4th, 2013, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Supplement Four View Post
At the same time, good refs have happy players and enjoyable games. Nobody wants to play with a Ref that abuses his power in the game.
Sure, no one wants to play with a GM OR other players that are (body part expletive). Those types tend to get weeded out of the "gene pool" though.
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  #109  
Old March 4th, 2013, 09:11 PM
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Remember, Marc is having to dig through literally tons of product and get it out the door. His was one of the top 20 kickstarters overall, and at the time it closed was the record gaming industry kickstarter.
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  #110  
Old March 5th, 2013, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HG_B View Post
Hmm, it's been just the opposite in my 36 years of playing/GMing RPG's on 3 continents. But, that's just me and a couple hundred other players & GM's.

We also thought the world was flat for hundreds of years and that waterfall and heavy process driven approaches were the best methodology to project management for decades

I have no qualms with being a final arbiter - but keep in mind, before you pay attention to anyone's specific preference on what a GM/Referee/etc is, that you are ultimately playing a game. A game, by definition, is an enjoyable activity. Arbitrarily making it un-enjoyable for some people, invalidates the purpose of the activity.

The above statements, can in no way be applied to extreme cases were a player is unwilling to negotiate a point of contention. Whether it be the player with some broken combo making the game unfun, or causing a disruption or so on. Ultimately, in my experience, those people simply stop being included in the games me and my friends play.

My grounding of GM/Referee power and ego was generally regarding:

a) Forcing your predetermined plot/NPC actions/monologue through regardless of player actions
b) Changing any player ability/power/skill without discussing it with the player, being open to the possibility that you are wrong, and/or not offering that player a chance to create a completely new character without any negative side effect.
c) Not giving players a chance to roll for something that would have a significant impact on their fate - the initial topic brought up in here, regarding rolling for players and not telling them what it's about. Most people interested in role playing enjoy their characters and their control over the characters - I find taking away control causes the increase of stress lines on players faces.

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