Sunday, October 11, 2009

Once Again onto the Breech

I actually wanted to write a little bit of fiction but I want to spend longer than a half hour on it. So I am going to go do something else.

Last night I totally failed at writing about the contract between GMs and their players. This is mostly due to a poor approach to the problem.

So lets start with some of the basic problems.

The Rules of Fear Syndrome- Lets say you are going to play 3.5 for the first time and you've never really been exposed to dungeons and dragons before. At some point you are going to make a series of realizations. There is a book full of things that give you examples of things you can or can not do with your new pretend charecter. There are a lot of rules for combat and, they are somewhat boggling depsite the fact that everyone else tells you that it is really easy to pick up. Then that person is going to see that the GM has his own book that is full of all sorts of things, and another book full of things that want to kill you.

I've observed that there seems to be a sort of instinctual understanding that the players are expected to play a major part in the story. And they want to, why the hell else would they be there? So they want their character to be good. Because there is a whole book full of monsters over there and a GM who isn't afraid to use them. When the gm starts to narrate the opening lines of the game all the sudden? This shit becomes real. There is a desire to do well.

How each player handles that desire is what will eventually define the cohesivness of the group. Fer instance:

The rules lawyer- In trying to know all the rules at the same time, and by twisting those rules as much as possible he seeks to wrest away as much power from the GM as humanly possible in order to keep his stop as a protagonist.

Power Gamer- A close cousin of the rules lawyer and the two share pleantly of overlap. Power gamers use the rules to make perfectly legitimat charecters who are capable of dealing with threats that should be impossible at their level.

Goofball- The kid who wants to suceed, doesn't know how, so he shoots for comic relief instead because it becomes much easier to have no investment in anything when nothing is taken seriously.

Deer In the Headlights- These players I've seen alot of. They freeze up, don't really know what to do, and take a back seat while the others determine the action. Sometimes these players will turn into something else. Sometimes they just stay locked in place.

The Role Player Extraordinaire!- These people are weird. They will do everything they can in charecter to ensure that they never have to pick up and roll the dice ever. They will give thousands of arguments both in game and out of game as to why they should just be able to role play out the situation instead of just rolling the damn dice.

The Critic- These are pople who kinda sit back and heckle just about everything the gm does until the get the exact game they want.

To be perfectly fair I've been both the critic and the goofball. There are more of course but this covers, in a broad sense, the diffrent play modes inherent in D&D along with the various extreams players will take these modes.

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