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First time DM (Lengthy Post FYI)

   
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Originally Posted by Peacemonger View Post
This. The question of "who is to blame" will lead to someone being ostracized. It goes like this: Figure out who (or who all) is to blame -> how bad is it -> what's the punishment? Instead, look for questions like "what is the miscommunication?", "what can make the game more fun for all?", "what can be improved?" Those kinds of questions will get you to a better place.
That's exactly why I say "don't try to place blame", indeed.

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The question to ask yourself is not whether you like casters or not, but whether you're okay with others liking them? If spellcasters aren't your personal cup of tea, that's not a problem. If it falls under a pet peeve where your own fun is affected by anyone else playing a caster, then I'd go with what others are saying and go for a system/games that don't have them. It's not fair to let someone play a character/class/whatever and then punish them because you don't like it.
Agreed. But then that's just one more reason why he should switch systems to something made for the 40k universe.

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Having "women" as a goal, the first listed goal, when it appears you have female players is... not a very good hook. I mean, can you offer hot dudes as well if that's what you want to go for? Beyond that, it doesn't have to be all that complicated. "Stop a great evil", "get revenge", "survive", there are many great motivations out there that don't take a lot of careful planning.
I'm pretty sure this was an example of his own characters' motivations, though. It seems that he's lamenting the lack of self-motivating/easily motivated PCs in his group, not suggesting that everyone should have this same goal.
Which, amusingly, means that one of my female players would be perfect for his game. She likes 40k and when I don't veto it, I know I'm going to find some variation of "gettin' filthy rich and gettin' all da bitches" in the "goals" section of her charsheet!
(Except sometimes it would be phrased much less politely).

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There's no such thing as a perfect DM. The trick is learning and improving over time. Practice makes perfect and all that. I think if you're thinking, "Hm... there are a few ways that I can do better, and here's what I'll do different" you're on the right track. If instead it's "I can't make things better" then maybe step back and wait a bit until you're ready to give it another go.
Agreed!

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Originally Posted by Farland View Post
Banning legit rules because you don't like their flavor or game effect isn't a good thing, especially if you don't make it clear up front so players can make different choices.
I’m not sure that I agree with the first part of that so much as the second. The first part sounds like a flat ban on houseruling and modifying systems, and I pretty much never would, as a GM, be OK with that. I think it’s the second part that’s important — having decided to allow a sorcerer in one’s game (for whatever interpersonal reasons), one has decided to allow a sorcerer in one’s game. That’s a commitment.

On the “hooks” thing:- One thing I might ask the OP about is player/character separation.

It sounds as if another way to describe the way that they themselves usually play is that they’re comfortable with a certain amount of metagaming. If something looks like it’s meant to be the start of an adventure, their character will go along with it without needing motivation. This is thinking as a player first, not as a character. That’s not at all a bad thing per se — it’s certainly good from a collaborative-storytelling perspective to be trying to work with your GM.

But someone else might feel that it’s important to their engagement that character motivation be part of the story, and that’s not a bad thing, either. I think AsenRG’s suggestion of asking players to supply their own hooks that they think would work for their characters (separation!) is an excellent one.

Their suggestions may not easily fit into a setting that you obviously love, but if what they would like requires you to do surgery on the setting, it requires it. 40K’s particular blend of quirky grimdark is maybe not stuffed with appealing motivations for everyone — I sometimes find it quite surprising that anyone likes it who didn’t grow up reading 2000AD .

I want to say something, but I don't want it to come off as snarky or unpleasant. Please know that, SGill.

That said, I can't pretend that I don't find it strange that you would "lose most of the party" if you admitted that 3.5 DnD in a Warhammer 40K setting turned out to be a poor choice and needed a do-over. These aren't internet strangers (and, to be fair, even in that situation it would be a bit of a surprise); heck, it's your girlfriend and her twin! If groups just up and quit every time a GM in tabletop wanted to switch gears, our little hobby would become a whole lot littler.

I suppose my point is this: it may not just be an issue of you being new to GMing or a mistake of setting being made. Instead, it may be that your current gaming "group" simply isn't much of a group.

However this turns out, good luck to you and your future stories. Cheers and happy gaming!

@Raistlinmc 2 players a party does not make, and to be blunt this group is a mix match batch of people who have common links (half know my gf and are her friends, half are my friends), to be frank they don't exactly mesh personality wise (one group is lets say conservative and the other is much more liberal leaning side) so I think that calling them a group at this point is a stretch. More so its 7 people playing a common game of interest bc they all separately wanted to play, not really that they came together for a game. Which, yes may be one of the many larger problems at hand discussed.

@ArsenRG yes I was saying those as character motivations when I am a player, not that the party should have those.

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Originally Posted by AsenRG View Post
Agreed. But then that's just one more reason why he should switch systems to something made for the 40k universe.
Yeah, but there are drawbacks with this approach which the OP has already noted. Firstly, switching gears might be the least bad thing to do, but it's still liable to cause disruption even if you don't lose everyone. Secondly, some people know one system better than another or just prefer it. Yeah, running a system which is so inherently based around magic when you don't like magic, in a setting it wasn't designed for and doesn't fit well, seems kind of suboptimal... but now that that's happened, the question is whether it's better to take it on the chin and roll with it, or try to start again with a blank slate, and that's a lot less clear-cut.

I say you do what they did to Spider-Man post Andrew Garfield...REBOOT! DM death spell all of the current players and come back with a newer, better game using the right system.

Ok, a little harsh. It's Wednesday, I get edgy on Wednesdays.

I see a lot of the major issues have been hit, and I won't belabor those with a second pass-by, but something I read and I didn't catch particularly responded to in the thread thus far (I've had my head in three different systems lately so reading comprehension's gone down a bit from data overload >_>):

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4. As for "Why 3.5", well short answer: I have a good deal of 3.5 experience as a player (none playing dark heresy or deathwatch, the 40K rpg games), and when no one even knows much about the universe to begin with, that's a much harder sell to the player (in other words, if I said hey lets play a deathwatch campaign they probably would have said no, while they all talked about wanting a D&D session to get going), also I do not have any of the source books for 40K rpg, while I do have access to 3.5 books. So that is the short answer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgill07 View Post
@Raistlinmc 2 players a party does not make, and to be blunt this group is a mix match batch of people who have common links (half know my gf and are her friends, half are my friends), to be frank they don't exactly mesh personality wise (one group is lets say conservative and the other is much more liberal leaning side) so I think that calling them a group at this point is a stretch. More so its 7 people playing a common game of interest bc they all separately wanted to play, not really that they came together for a game. Which, yes may be one of the many larger problems at hand discussed.
(Emphasis mine)

If the group was looking to play D&D, instead of 3.5, why didn't you run a D&D game? I get having a pet system (gods know I love Rolemaster like I have hardcore Stockholm Syndrome) and likewise a pet setting...but it seems like only you and perhaps one other really knows the 40k setting, and playing 40k wasn't what people were interested in. You have to know your audience in a situation like that, where your player base is a very defined number, and especially with a new group of mix-matched people as you said.

Get them hooked in first, getting them what they want- D&D. That assumes the things that come with typical D&D: fantasy setting, magic, wizards, the whole shebang. Of course, toss in your own flavorings to make the setting "yours," but try not to deviate so starkly in ideas that it would throw off people coming in with that kind of expectation. Once the group starts to come together, getting the cohesion and the shared experience down -- building that trust and rapport with your group -- then toss out the idea: "Hey guys, I have this setting that I think I a hell of a lot of fun, and I think you all would enjoy it; want to give it a shot? Fair warning, it's a lot different than what we've been playing so head's up."


For me, looking at this from an outsider, it seems that the group wasn't terribly keen on the setting in the first place and were just sort of forced to roll with it because that's all you were offering to bring to the table. Forgive me if I mis-interpreted, but that feels like one of the first -- and biggest! -- mistakes of storytelling: know your audience. You can't tell a story if no one wants to hear it in the first place.


I grew up around TTRPGs, literally -- my mother and step-father ran a game at home every Sunday since I was six -- and while we mostly played Rolemaster and my step-father was GM, we did change systems and GMs on more than a few occasions because that's what people wanted to play. I never even played D&D in a real group (outside of short-lived sessions in my school cafeteria that I ran which mostly consisted of killing random things in the MM) until I moved out of the area and started playing it online at another site in college. We (the group) never considered D&D as an option of game play because no one wanted to play it. And many had left groups and joined ours precisely because other groups only played D&D.

If we had tried to hamfist a pet system down the group's throat, it might have lasted a little bit because of our built-up relationship at that point (our group was basically family, including some inter-group marriages so they actually were family), but unless they had somehow gotten really interested into the system it wasn't going to last and could potentially divide the group. And considering ours was a massive group -- I think when everyone was present we numbered around 13 -- it was important to find common ground. But I digress.


Point is, it seems like no one really wanted 40k but an isolated few. And I get trying to introduce people to new systems -- my group did that for VtM, Traveler, Earthdawn, even SW d20 just for a change of pace -- but you need to make sure you have a group that's willing to do that ahead of time rather than just a group of people all gathered to play a game you're not selling. Because in that situation, you are selling: the story, the setting, yourself as a GM, all of it.

It's the same on this site for newcomers- you have to sell yourself and your story because no one knows you. The only plus is you often don't have to sell the setting/system because you'll get the people that already know it and enjoy it as opposed to trying to convert people, but the same principle remains.


So, long-winded post going on much longer than anticipated coming to a close, I think (again, based on me not having mis-interpreted anything with my assumptions) your best bet at this time is to be direct with the group and ask them what they truly want, if they want a more traditional D&D setting or to stick with the 40k stuff (now that it seems like you have at least one convert to the setting! Huzzah)...and if it's for going with D&D, if you want a group to play with, I'd go with it -- for now! -- and try to come back to the 40k setting later with 1. A better system for it!, and 2. a new group now a little more open to the possibility.

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj2145 View Post
I say you do what they did to Spider-Man post Andrew Garfield...REBOOT! DM death spell all of the current players and come back with a newer, better game using the right system.

Ok, a little harsh. It's Wednesday, I get edgy on Wednesdays.
Harsh, possibly, but not wrong either xD

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Originally Posted by Voord 99 View Post
But someone else might feel that it’s important to their engagement that character motivation be part of the story, and that’s not a bad thing, either. I think AsenRG’s suggestion of asking players to supply their own hooks that they think would work for their characters (separation!) is an excellent one.

Their suggestions may not easily fit into a setting that you obviously love, but if what they would like requires you to do surgery on the setting, it requires it. 40K’s particular blend of quirky grimdark is maybe not stuffed with appealing motivations for everyone — I sometimes find it quite surprising that anyone likes it who didn’t grow up reading 2000AD .
No, their suggestions just need to be negotiated with Ultimate Setting Authority, a.k.a. the Referee, IME. "I want to overthrow the Emperor" isn't a fine setting goal in 40k, unless you're playing a Chaos cultist, and frankly, I wouldn't allow it, because I don't find it fun to run.

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Originally Posted by sgill07 View Post
@Raistlinmc 2 players a party does not make,
For the record, I disagree. Strongly.
People have been playing "alone with the DM" since before OD&D was published (in Gary Gygax's group, where it was considered the mark of an "advanced" player). It still works today, including in games that have nothing to do with D&D, or else I have been doing it all wrong for many, many games!
You have, at least, more than that.

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and to be blunt this group is a mix match batch of people who have common links (half know my gf and are her friends, half are my friends), to be frank they don't exactly mesh personality wise (one group is lets say conservative and the other is much more liberal leaning side) so I think that calling them a group at this point is a stretch. More so its 7 people playing a common game of interest bc they all separately wanted to play, not really that they came together for a game. Which, yes may be one of the many larger problems at hand discussed.
It's probably part of the problem, but I'm not going to give you advice on this because we lack information.
That said, if you lose half of the group, you'd be left with 3 players and the GM. Which is actually more than you need. Give it a try, I'd say!

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Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
Yeah, but there are drawbacks with this approach with the OP has already noted.
Well, the OP is, with all due respect, a new Referee. Him learning better is the goal of this thread, in fact!

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Firstly, switching gears might be the least bad thing to do, but it's still liable to cause disruption even if you don't lose everyone.
And then you restart the campaign with new characters or just those that were left. The 40k setting is big enough!

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Secondly, some people know one system better than another or just prefer it. Yeah, running a system which is so inherently based around magic when you don't like magic, in a setting it wasn't designed for and doesn't fit well, seems kind of suboptimal... but now that that's happened, the question is whether it's better to take it on the chin and roll with it, or try to start again with a blank slate, and that's a lot less clear-cut.
I'd say "start with a blank slate, never settle for suboptimal" without a second thought! Why?
Because there are enough things to stress your ability as a Referee in a long-running campaign. Adding one more - having to adapt a system that doesn't fit one bit - is setting yourself up for failure, IME.
YMMV and all that jazz. I'm sharing my experience, and in it, the issue is clear-cut.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dj2145 View Post
I say you do what they did to Spider-Man post Andrew Garfield...REBOOT! DM death spell all of the current players and come back with a newer, better game using the right system.

Ok, a little harsh. It's Wednesday, I get edgy on Wednesdays.
Actually, that's what I'd advise, without the deathspell. Though in 40k it might well be in-genre to have a TPK by GM fiat!

That said, @Valsai might have a point that you might want to run a system and setting they're familiar with for a while. Say, run a commercial 3.5 adventure or two (NOT an AP). Meanwhile, read the 40k system...
Then, when you have built a group, announce 3.5 isn't doing it for you, and point out that it's the GM who has to interact the most with the system in any given session. So it's time to change systems...and while you're at it, it's time to give the other setting a try.
You could at least keep more of the group.

@Valsai I will do my best to summarize.
A. Personal interest, in that I am quite frankly TIRED of playing the "knock off middle earth" setting (again perhaps I should have chosen a better system to represent the setting more appropriately, as has already been discussed).
B. Traditional settings have even more of a challenge with crafting a "hook" and plot. This plot was simple. Hey, you are the first people to encounter the Tyranid alien race. Story writes itself.
C. Obviously as people have said already, I am not making a game for myself or I would be a writer not a DM. But equally so, the players can't play without a DM. So this was the setting I wanted to do and make use of my models because it is boring as crap using dice to represent enemies and players all the time and no one in the group has D&D character figures.







 

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