Traveller Store CotI Features New Posts Mark Forums Read Register


Go Back TravellerRPG.com > Citizens of the Imperium > Referee's Lounge

Referee's Lounge Discussion of how to (and not to) Referee Traveller and Cepheus Engine games. No edition warring allowed.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #41  
Old October 8th, 2018, 11:38 AM
creativehum's Avatar
creativehum creativehum is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,336
Gallery : 2
creativehum Citizen++creativehum Citizen++creativehum Citizen++creativehum Citizen++
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
It's not the referee that tells the story - it is the actions of the players through their characters that tells the story.

The referee's job is to set the scene, adjudicate the rules, and run the NPCs.

I have seen too many games fall apart over the years because the referee had this cool story to tell that the players would be part of - except the players kept doing stuff off script which spoils the referee's story.

A good ref has adapts to what the players do, he/she doesn't try to have a script that the players must follow.
While I understand for that a lot of gamers the Referee is supposed to have "a story" he has pre-built and the players are expected to walk their PCs through it... that isn't how I Referee and it isn't the kind of game I'd play it. So I'm with Mike all the way.

As Shawn has noted movies and books are one thing, RPGs are another. The strength and value of an RPG, in fact, is that the protagonists drive the story with their actions in ways that the Referee could never have anticipated. He or she gets to be surprised as well.
__________________
TRAVELLER: Out of the Box. Lots of blog posts about original Traveller and playing with Traveller Books 1-3.
"The beauty of Classic Traveller Book 1, 2, and 3 is that the ref is free to make such decisions for themselves." -- Mike Wightman
"The beauty of Classic Traveller Book 1, 2, and is that the ref must make most of the decisions himself." -- flykiller
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old October 9th, 2018, 12:18 AM
ShawnDriscoll's Avatar
ShawnDriscoll ShawnDriscoll is offline
Citizen: SOC-13
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 839
Gallery : 0
ShawnDriscoll Citizen+ShawnDriscoll Citizen+
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whipsnade View Post
I can't even begin to count the number of times I've had players turn to me during a Try Traveller one-off at a FLGS and ask out of character "What should I do now?"
YouTube is filled with recorded game sessions like that. The people in those games are playing "Mother, May I?" I never have players ask me questions during a game session. It's part of an agreement made before starting a game.
__________________
diceroll 2.4

Last edited by ShawnDriscoll; October 9th, 2018 at 03:08 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old October 9th, 2018, 01:04 AM
Whipsnade's Avatar
Whipsnade Whipsnade is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Dover, New Hampshire, USA
Posts: 5,916
Gallery : 5
Visit Whipsnade's Blog
Whipsnade Citizen+Whipsnade Citizen+Whipsnade Citizen+
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnDriscoll View Post
YouTube is filled with recorded game sessions like that.

I've seen them too. It's "cargo cult" role playing. The people involved have seen role playing before or have had it described to them and now they're going through the motions thinking they're role playing. They're like those Melanesians cutting down trees, clearing brush, painting chevrons on their arms, marching around with bamboo poles, and fiddling with radios made out of coconuts in the hopes that DC-3s full of boots, booze, and Spam will land again.

Quote:
I never have players ask me questions during a game session. It's part of an agreement made before starting a game.
Because my "Try Traveller" games have people trying Traveller, I don't mind questions about the rules and whatnot. Stuff like "Can the radio reach the ship in orbit?" or "What's the range of my rifle again?" is just folks who first saw the equipment or so an hour ago. It's those questions like "What should I/we next?" that have me shaking my head. For example, they're on Mithril, they have the map the warden gave them, they know where they are, they know what they need to investigate, and they still ask me "What direction should we drive?"

They're passive voyeurs instead of active participants.
__________________
"The beauty of CT LBB1-3 is that the ref is free to make such decisions for themselves." - Mike Wightman
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old October 9th, 2018, 03:03 AM
ShawnDriscoll's Avatar
ShawnDriscoll ShawnDriscoll is offline
Citizen: SOC-13
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 839
Gallery : 0
ShawnDriscoll Citizen+ShawnDriscoll Citizen+
Default

I'll do a quick practice session first with new players so they get the feel of game flow and when dice are used and for why.

But for answering questions, I always have an NPC of some sort that players can talk in-character with.

Player - "Shawn, is there a way that my Traveller can see who is behind that wall?"

NPC - "Are you asking me?"

And an answer is found quickly from there. Almost all talking is in-character during our games.
__________________
diceroll 2.4
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old October 9th, 2018, 07:17 AM
Ulsyus's Avatar
Ulsyus Ulsyus is offline
Count
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Trailing to Rimward
Posts: 1,484
Gallery : 0
Visit Ulsyus's Blog
Ulsyus Citizen+Ulsyus Citizen+Ulsyus Citizen+
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnDriscoll View Post
I'll do a quick practice session first with new players so they get the feel of game flow and when dice are used and for why.
With new players I've done character generation then a short vignette straight away so they can get the hang of the system, the setting and at least one other player before they get started.

I used to do a thing, a bit like in Zozer's Solo, where each character would have a connection to at least one other character so that there was a reasonable basis for the PCs to work together.
__________________
Pray assign me any part in the government you please; but remember that no single man can bear the whole burden of Empire

Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar

_____________________________________________
tc+ mt 23 tne t4 t5 IMTU: ru+ ge 3i c+ au+ as+ so da+
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old October 9th, 2018, 09:08 AM
coliver988's Avatar
coliver988 coliver988 is offline
Baron
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Asheville
Posts: 1,375
Gallery : 87
Visit coliver988's Blog
coliver988 Citizen+coliver988 Citizen+
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoki View Post
....
Involve the players. It's their game. Make them want to participate. Give them a chance to create and even make the game go in directions you didn't expect. For that, you need to be alert and able to work on the fly as the players do things.....
It is this that I've found works. I've refereed 2 games in the last year or so. The first game was w/2 players who had never played before, and I ran mostly RAW. I think it was a so-so game - it was a big sandbox to get from point A to B. One player had a pretty good time, the other not so much.

Next game had 6 players (I was expecting 3). I was actually running what we call a short month (club alternates 2 month sessions w/1 month sessions) and I played a Mongoose adventure using mostly CT rules. But this time I allowed for a more generous character development process. While not the way I like to do things (I find it more interesting to play flawed characters, and I actually had 1 very enthusiastic player who DID want to generate RAW. He went so far as to buy a book downstairs during our session 0 to play the Vargr free trader).

Bottom line: it is the players game, make sure they get the game they want to play and don't force them to play RAW unless that is something they want to do.

(as an example, the D&D game we're in, everyone starts with some pretty heroic stats. I'd be okay with an average character, but this is the way this group mostly likes to play. Although I did get a bit carried away [who, me?] with my character's family. Hey, the character had a scroll of pedigree. https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1...it?usp=sharing
__________________
Mostly lurking about...CT is still my favorite with T5 as a neat tool box to plunder.


Duke of The Solomani RimLANGELOS A4249A6-FLangelos Write Up AlphaTrane / Glisten 2038
Baron, IpkurIpkur C564543-9Ipkur Write Up AlphaRomar / Glisten 2140
Knight of the Third Imperium [x2]Rhylanor A434934-FCyan / Trojan Reach 2102
Knight of the Third ImperiumIkuna E000410-AKryslion / Trojan Reach 2002
MCG For Conspicuous GallantryThe Assault On AlellSelshor / Trojan Reach 1402
Travellers Aid Society 2798Dudid B510526-9Blog - mix of OTU and MTUhttp://traveller-ct.blogspot.com/
Pilots Guide To D'Arlee QuadrantTraveller Github spacehttps://github.com/COliver988/Traveller
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old October 9th, 2018, 10:08 AM
Whipsnade's Avatar
Whipsnade Whipsnade is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Dover, New Hampshire, USA
Posts: 5,916
Gallery : 5
Visit Whipsnade's Blog
Whipsnade Citizen+Whipsnade Citizen+Whipsnade Citizen+
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by coliver988 View Post
I think it was a so-so game - it was a big sandbox to get from point A to B. One player had a pretty good time, the other not so much.

That's what I'm seeing on my table and on other the tables in the FLGS and student union. A few players taking full advantage of the sandbox they all claim to want while the rest sleepwalk through the session.

It's what creativehum wrote: The referee is supposed to have a "story" and the players expect to walk their PCs through that story. There's no initiative on their part. They're dragged along by either the referee or by the one or two players who are active participants. Role playing to them is nothing more than a live action video game.

Quote:
Bottom line: it is the players game, make sure they get the game they want to play...
That doesn't work in the face of players' increasing passivity.

There's a DM running a Pathfinder campaign at the FLGS. He usual has 3-4 permanent players plus a varying number of "guests". He usually has 4-6, but I've seen him with as many as 8. He created a sandbox based on prior feedback, asks for feedback after each session, and his constantly tweaking things between sessions. Two of his permanent players might as well be potted plants. They answer his questions every week, make suggestions, get handed what they want, and then do nothing.

They're just there to sleepwalk through someone else's story. They don't even attempt to collaborate in creating the story.
__________________
"The beauty of CT LBB1-3 is that the ref is free to make such decisions for themselves." - Mike Wightman
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old October 10th, 2018, 01:06 AM
ShawnDriscoll's Avatar
ShawnDriscoll ShawnDriscoll is offline
Citizen: SOC-13
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 839
Gallery : 0
ShawnDriscoll Citizen+ShawnDriscoll Citizen+
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulsyus View Post
With new players I've done character generation then a short vignette straight away so they can get the hang of the system, the setting and at least one other player before they get started.

I used to do a thing, a bit like in Zozer's Solo, where each character would have a connection to at least one other character so that there was a reasonable basis for the PCs to work together.
Role-players can figure out quickly the reason for why their characters are together at the start of a new game without game mechanics.
__________________
diceroll 2.4
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old October 10th, 2018, 01:09 AM
ShawnDriscoll's Avatar
ShawnDriscoll ShawnDriscoll is offline
Citizen: SOC-13
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 839
Gallery : 0
ShawnDriscoll Citizen+ShawnDriscoll Citizen+
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whipsnade View Post
They're just there to sleepwalk through someone else's story. They don't even attempt to collaborate in creating the story.
"I attack it with my +1 sword."
__________________
diceroll 2.4
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old October 10th, 2018, 02:31 AM
Enoki Enoki is offline
Citizen: SOC-14
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,760
Gallery : 29
Enoki Citizen++Enoki Citizen++Enoki Citizen++Enoki Citizen++
Default

I'll add this. With Traveller, because of the way characters are generated, and because I have a penchant for it, I will sometimes start with a split party. That is, the players are not in a unified bunch with a unified objective they can work together to.
Instead, they are given different motives and objectives, and these can be in conflict with other player's.
When I have done this, the veteran RPG'ers usually have serious difficulty playing in character. They're sort of "What do you mean I might have to get into a fight with other players?" It stuns them to think they aren't playing to a unified goal like a typical RPG would have them do.
Their mindset seems to be that TK'ing (Team Killing) or PK'ing (Player Killing) is something that is verboten.
Well, because of the unique way Traveller is set up in terms of character generation, I see the game as being one where this is not a bad thing. You are generating a character for a scenario or game, not one you might play for years that grows. That is a real serious difficulty for many RPG'ers to wrap their heads around.
Yes, I warn them up front about this, and stress that they should be prepared for it, but it often doesn't sink in.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need help with personal combat in T5 - brawling, blade and personal weapons OjnoTheRed Traveller 5 11 January 2nd, 2015 05:33 PM
CT Only: Skills that provide levels in other skills JEH Classic Traveller 6 September 11th, 2014 03:05 PM
JG Referee Screen ShapeShifter Classic Traveller 16 March 20th, 2013 12:07 PM
I'm a referee again! robject The Lone Star 31 August 4th, 2009 09:44 PM
My personal good news and bad news. Blue Ghost Random Static 2 April 21st, 2009 02:05 PM

This website and its contents are copyright ©2010- Far Future Enterprises. All rights reserved. Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises .
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright (c) 2010-2013, Far Future Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.