Advice on how to Encourage Players to use their Resources - Page 3 - Myth-Weavers


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Advice on how to Encourage Players to use their Resources

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamazaki View Post
I've debated the TPK route, but I suspect that, as StarryKnight suggested, they will just chalk it up to bad rolls and make something new. Furthermore, no matter what I've tried to force them to use their per-day abilities, they tend to avoid it and still come out on top. Although the few times they do bring their spells to bear, great results occur!
(Emphasis mine).
Important question, do they use out-of-the-box thinking to get those results?

I'm asking because if that's the case, they sound like some of the best players I know. It would totally suck to GM for those guys using balanced encounters, but adopting a different paradigm should make it fun for you, too!

I'd split this up into two problems. The first is hording and, well, you're not really one of us if you're not a massive pack-rat. The second is them not having a clue what their own characters can do, which feels to me like a bigger deal.

If you're only playing once a month or whatever, it's kind of hard to get around this completely. However there are things you can do to help.

Firstly, the classes. If they're struggling to remember even quite basic things, keep it simple. A Path of War class ought to work well for this because there's not really any hording to worry about - they get their manoeuvres back each fight.

The Crusader from Tome of Battle is perhaps the best because your manoeuvres refresh themselves and there's no benefit to not using them before they do so. Path of War's Mystic class has the most similar mechanic, though it's also more complex in other ways.

3.5's Warlock was another good one. With only a very small number of invocations, all of which are usable at-will, there's little to stop people firing them off willy-nilly and there's not a lot to remember. It's actually not that hard to convert the Warlock to Pathfinder (some invocations may need to be tweaked - Chilling Tentacles will use CMB, etc - and Imbue Item is now redundant, but it's not a big deal) so you could perhaps try that.

If you're really keen on "training" them to pay more attention and have slightly better system mastery, then you can do that a bit through encounters. Consider having a foe who is immune or at least especially resistant to their regular forms of attack, but who can easily be countered by an ability one of them has. This works best in a long, slow fight. They can be there, really struggling to harm the enemy, and you can keep saying "yeah, his Protection from Everything spell is too strong - if only you had some way to get rid of it!" until one of them remembers that they have Dispel Magic prepped. It depends how obvious you want to be with this.

Spellcasters with defensive buffs seem to be ideal for this, though perhaps something with regeneration might work. I guess high AC foes or foes with DR could work too, since there's then pressure to harm or debuff them some other way - perhaps a high-Dex foe who can easily be stunned, entangled, or otherwise rendered flat-footed?

Or if you want to keep it really simple and really easy, create an environment obstacle which requires some outside thinking. Something which they need to use their Fly spell to get past, or a magic door which wants them to cast Fireball on it, or whatever.

You might have to do this several times in a row to get it to stick.

You could also offer bonus XP for creative solutions to problems or even just for people remembering that they have stuff. It's not subtle, but it tends to encourage people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AsenRG View Post
(Emphasis mine).
Important question, do they use out-of-the-box thinking to get those results?

I'm asking because if that's the case, they sound like some of the best players I know. It would totally suck to GM for those guys using balanced encounters, but adopting a different paradigm should make it fun for you, too!
They're pretty clever when it comes to coming up with solutions, and they surprise me every so often. And then they go and do something stupid the following session LOL. But this is why I tolerate their short-comings, besides being the only friends I get to hang out with.

@TheFred
I'll keep those suggestions in mind. Thankfully, since this new campaign is a bit higher level, throwing those sorts of challenges will be far easier than normal. And hopefully, we'll get to play more often with the new day and medium, thus resulting in more things sticking.

Now I just gotta solidify some of those encounter ideas for the opening act...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamazaki View Post
They're pretty clever when it comes to coming up with solutions, and they surprise me every so often. And then they go and do something stupid the following session LOL. But this is why I tolerate their short-comings, besides being the only friends I get to hang out with.
Well, that sounds like it confirms my suspicions.

In short, I suspect that they're very much a group that would thrive in a Combat As War environment. IME, such players often like kicking butts, but have an aversion to learning many rules, and expending resources - because under the paradigm they're operating with, it actually doesn't make a modicum of sense to do so unless you absolutely have to!
Conversely, people who want Combat as Sport...well, they play Pathfinder and the likes (D&D 3 through 5). And they play them the way you do, expending resources and thrusting that they'd get time to get new resources before the next fights. It is true under their paradigm.
(That is also an insane assumption that's going to get you TPKed with a Combat as War GM, and players who think in those terms instinctively - or at least I have no better word - understand and expect this. They might be unable to even articualte why - I've seen this. But they usually feel it's an idea that makes no common sense).
Also, such players are often casual towards the rules, and don't want to learn new rulesets...sound familiar? They'd play Pathfinder if that's what you're offering. They'd play GURPS if that's what you taught them first. They'd play almost anything, as long as their plans can work there... and since they seldom depend on rules, they can work almost anywhere.

Maybe I'm wrong, of course. But from this thread and the last thread about teaching them Spheres of Power and Might?
They fit the type to a T. I'd suggest that you read to them (without telling them anything, even the names Combat as War and Combat as Sport) the description of the two groups in the blogpost I linked to, and ask them which group sounds like more fun and which group they'd prefer to play like!
And if they point the Combat as Sport group, you're fine and I'm wrong.

(But if they point the CaW group, it's not a mismatch between only Pathfinder and your group - PF is just a system that supports what seems to be your GMing style. But it's a mismatch between your GMing style and their playing style.
No, I've got no solutions to offer. Just try to check whether I'm right first.
If it seems like I am, think long and hard how much you're willing to change. Because even if you can reach a compromise, it would require you to change your approach somewhat, including realizing that 80% of what PF has to offer is useless to their playstyle).







 

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