From Gaming Skills: Neil's Group Dynamic Management

edited February 2008 in Play Advice
From this thread.
Posted By: vodkashokGroup Dynamic Management- looking at your group and seeing where the 'ouch' point is and quietly, calmly and effectively dealing with it. Introducing a new member to a group and easing their passage into being an accepted member of the group. Recognising changing life priorities within a group and dealing with them maturely.
Man, I read this and I wince because I totally do it and there is a point where it is ludicrous and it should just stop.

I think my main use for this is knowing when not to put two gamers who are poison for one another at the same table because I have no patience for this shit anymore, none at all. I have to really watch it, because this kind of thing is something I'm good at and its a drag to have to play constant diplomat at the table. Nowadays, I avoid it at the root whenever possible

How about youse?


  • I have, during my gaming time, been called 'Dad', 'Uncle Neil', 'Mother Hen' and 'Mr Organised'. ....

    I'm very lucky indeed. My immediate gaming group has been together for seven years now and we are very comfortable with each other. My extended gaming family needs a bit more maintainence sometimes, especially when WoW intervened and caused all sorts of casualties.

    For me its about respecting the priorities more than anything else. We have three academics in our group so when they are marking, we have to slow the gaming. I work on the other side of the academic fence so for me around September is a nightmare. One of our group's fiances works shifts and he likes to see her occassionally. You get the idea? Working timetabling and even the nature of our games to accommodate that is a skill unto itself - and being sensitive to their needs as they change.

    In the past I have been guilty of the worst sort of conflict avoiding group management. You know, when you have a new player who simply makes the group seethe with their dislike so .... you move the game, never tell him and avoid all contact until he gets the message and moves on. Now, that just wouldn't happen. The communication and feedback structures are all there to allow us to learn from our sessions - and indeed, the willingness to learn and adapt is there too.

    But yes, sometimes, I so do act like some sort of personnel manager and yes, it can become a lot tiring!

  • >> Recognising changing life priorities within a group and dealing with them maturely.

    This is a really weird one for me: My weekly Thursday group has transitioned (due to shifting priorities, babies, and polarization) from a Hardcore Game Every Week group 6 years ago to a Laid Back Game Every Week, sometimes cancelling gaming to chat or play board games, Group 2 years ago, to recently "Let's talk about Life, Love, Coding, Politics and Entertainment ovre a nice German Boardgame" group.

    It was really hard to acknowledge losing RPGs in that group. But it was going to happen. What I recognized is that I still like that weekly dinner and discussion time with friends, and playing new board games. We'll probably do a campaign of D&D when 4E comes out, but for the most part that group is done. The three heavier RPGers in the group are meeting on weekends and other bi-weekly games to get their RPG fix in, which is working well.

    But yeah, it was hard to admit and hard to see it happen, but in the end it feels great. I'm like: "Oh, man, there goes my gaming group! Now I only have... uh... THREE regular gaming groups. OK maybe that's not so bad."

  • Neil,

    Like you, I too am a big ole nurturing man and yeah, I have played my share of uncle and nursemaid.

    Shit, I still do put on my peacekeeper hat more often than I'd like, probably.

    There definitely is a point where I'm nursing too many ouch-points and the game no longer becomes viable to me. And over the years, my tolerance for this kind of bullshit has gone way, way down.
  • I'm the executioner, the bringer of bad news.

    Last Saturday, I had to tell someone that our game was "full." It's a total stopgap measure, a shortterm fix, for an annoying player that no one wanted to have around, but were too nice to say so. But I know I'm going to have to confront this person head on, and that takes more preparation and courage than I was able to put into it.

    A few years ago, I was tasked by a student org to inform our student representative that they weren't anymore. That was awkward, but it had to be done for the good of the group (not any social relationship stuff- actual logistics like getting rooms!), and they knew I could be blunt and open about it.
Sign In or Register to comment.