What Makes a Game Boring? How Would You Fix It?

edited July 2008 in Story Games
On the "GM as Prime Listener" thread, the problem of bored players popped up.

Specifically it popped up in the tricky form of: sometimes certain players (myself included) get bored in a game and zone out.

Now, obviously, this is more likely to happen in some games than others. For instance, I don't like Monopoly very much (even when I play with the real "auctions and loans" rules - which vastly improve it, by the way.) So, I spend a lot of the game thinking about something else whenever I get drug into a play session (consequently, I lose at Monopoly. A lot. I'm also rather lousy at Chutes and Ladders, but I'm quite good at Clue and Clue Jr.)

The same problem pops up when I run into certain standard situations in a DnD game. Divvying up treasure, for instance. I just don't care, so I often end up with the crappiest chunk of the take. I'm often in the worst attack position in the group (back when people still obsessed about marching order, it was a nightmare.)
And as for the standard opening tavern brawl... I do whatever I can to avoid it (but the last DnD game I played a few months ago made it a pre-requisite.)

As for the new crop of story games, I haven't gotten bored in Prime Time Adventures or "With Great Power..." yet*, but I recently played a Dogs in the Vineyard game that bored me silly. We spent a lot of time waiting for the GM to concentrate on each of our characters in turn, often for long periods of play time, all unable to add our own suggestions to the motley of the current turn or even to play one of the many NPCs the GM introduced or to participate by means of any of the usual diversions I'm starting to crave in my games. Also, I didn't much like the escalation system, so that helped add to my disinterest. (The GM really, really loved the escalation system, but by the end of the demo, me and the other players were either trying to avoid it or, in one guy's case, to successfully break it. He figured out how to play the odds and win just about every conflict before it needed to go up to the first stage of violence.)

Now, I'm not looking for defences of your favorite game, here. I would like to know what makes people bored in games. I know, I know, it's very likely somebody was doing something wrong in these games (it was probably me, I admit.)

I'd also like any suggestions people might have on improving this situation, although these aren't as important as I don't have any to offer at the moment.
(All I can do is harp on some old theories, and quite frankly, I'd like to hear some fresh ones.)

*I haven't really been able to finish a game of PtA or a full game of "With Great Power..." either, so I have no basis of comparison.

Comments

  • edited July 2008
    Posted By: ArpieI'm also rather lousy at Chutes and Ladders [...]
    Just an observation: You can't really suck at Chutes and Ladders because it is not a game. There are no decisions involved.
  • A GM can make a game boring. Yours did, through poor choices and maybe inexperience. A player trying to actively break a game mechanic - that's also boring. Avoiding interfacing with the game's rules - also boring. So from your example, I'd say people can definitely make a game boring. Happily, that's easy to fix! You can talk about it and, if that doesn't help, there are many other people to play with.
  • As a player:
    when I'm bored because my character is not involved, I go and make some tea. Or check the oxygen in the room. Or prepare the dinner.
    This keeps me from making silly comments, taking over the GMs part, chatting with other bored players, or asking how long we're going to play.
    ...
    OK, to be honest, I typically try the first and end up with the second.

    As a GM:
    either I change something (scene, mood, action, air, food), or I take a nap. Players will wake me up when they need me again.
  • Simon, in our gaming group, makes games boring when he GMs. We've solved this by sending him out of the country for a few weeks.

    Graham
  • {Glib mode ON}

    1. get invested in other players scenes
      1a. get you character involved in other characters stories.
    2. play your character so other players get invested, either by making it grabby to the other playres character or just plain interesting for non-participants.
    3. as GM, invite "loose" players to play NPC's (possibly why you're more involved in WGP?)

    Yeah, it's the old one of "everybody is there to entertain everybody". Once that goes... well, it's gone. After that, you're there to witness someone else enjoying themself until it's your turn to enjoy yourself.

  • I consider it my job to create an interesting story for myself and my group whether I'm a player or GM. I guess I really take story gaming's roots in creative writing and improv theater very seriously, and the weirdos in my group do the same.

    If someone in your group isn't into playing, do something else: watch a movie, play a board game, draw pictures, take a walk together, talk!
  • A GM can definitely make a game boring at times. However, I make it a point to create my own fun if I'm a player. I create my character with their own personality, their own dreams and goals. And... if they feel that the story isn't going anywhere, they will often get up and try to follow their own wants and needs, bringing the other characters along for the ride and hopefully they get into it as well. I love players in my games that do the same. If i don't currently have something going, it's totally permitted to say "Hey, i wanna follow XYZ storyline".

    I think a player should be responsible for their own level of fun... all the blame can't be put on the GM.

    -Oni
    http://www.thirdeyegames.net
  • I have a friend who plays Warhammer FRP in a group of about 10 players. I simply couldn't imagine that sort of downtime between spotlight moments. Then again, I play with one other person, and we typically go "GMless," so my participation is 100%, 100% of the time.

    So...I guess I'm saying that group size is sometimes a factor.
  • I'd agree... larger groups can get WAY out of hand and that becomes less fun. I like smaller, more intimate games (like up to 4 or 5 at most), where its easier to manage and easier to make sure that nobody's fun gets overlooked.

    -Oni
    http://www.thirdeyegames.net
  • A mechanic that gives players the power to give constant feedback even when they are not where the action is, such as PTA style fanmail or tSoY style gift dice, might be easily ported into other systems.

    There's this technique for running action games that I used to use all the time in Feng Shui, and was recently reminded of by Rafael Chandler at a minicon last week, where you basically do a description halfway and throw it back at the player. "You turn the corner. The room's shadowy, and there's something moving in the corner. What is it?!" That sort of thing. Instead of throwing that sort of question at the player whose character is the current focus of action, you could toss it at one of the otherwise uninvolved people at the table.
  • Throwing the "Mountain Witch trick" at uninvolved is a very cool idea, Jeph!

    Another thing not to forget is that you _can_ speak up and say when you find something boring! Oftentimes, you're not the only one. By breaking the ice, you can get everyone back on the groove train. "Typical gamers" tend to forget you can do this, but in my games with non-gamers, I've often been shocked by their willingness to say, "Hey, can we just skip this and pick up at the villain's castle?" Well, OK! It's often worth the effort.

    This discussion also reminds me of a group I used to play with. They used systems that were... not entirely conducive to the style of play they were into... and scenarios that were often lacking, including randomly-generated "adventures" from some random book, etc. Everything was set for a totally boring experience. But they were really, really good at generating fun through their characters' actions. Whenever things got boring or uneventful, they would throw their characters into the most unlikely situations (fearlessly!), play pranks on each other, start up audacious enterprises (in-character), etc.

    For instance, I was GMing one day. The characters were security officers on a space station, and a crazy man with a bomb was threatening to blow up the station--a full-blown terrorist in space. Well, one of the characters snuck off to find him, without telling the others, and ended up in a shootout with one of the other PCs. Another climbed up to an unlikely spot and broadcast a message saying that he, too, had a bomb and was going to blow up the station! He made demands that were a thinly-veiled parody of the actual terrorist's demands. Suddenly, everything was in chaos.

    They would constantly create fun, crazy situations like that, and that's where the bulk of the "fun" in that group came from.

    Another technique I've seen that comes to mind is starting up dialogue, in-character, with another uninvolved player. Like, you know, ask them about their childhood or plan a heist or something. (This one isn't for everyone, of course, and really hard-ass control freak GMs will probably object to the side conversation.)

    Finally, a great tip from Pete:
    Posted By: pete_darbyas GM, invite "loose" players to play
    Having a few "loose" players at the table (or under it) always give you something fun to do if the game gets boring.
  • I'm perplexed, but not surprised, that many of the solutions boil down to 'play better.'

    What about the impact of system? Surely there's something to be said for the number of people actually required to resolve a scene, and the way a game interweaves participation from multiple people (or fails to do so.) The players as spokes on a wheel with the GM as hub isn't the only option, and GM-less isn't the only alternative -- Polaris adequately demonstrates that, from what I understand. What other schemes have you seen or can you think of? How might we alter games structurally to reduce 'nothing to do, checking out' syndrome?
  • Decisions that don't matter, or feel like they matter. Either tactical/system decisions or in-game decisions.

    Long processes that don't add any additional information or tension. Primarily a system problem, although GMs who insist on mechanizing everything can create this problem as well. How few steps can you take from tension to resolution?

    Systems that don't allow players to flag their interests (or that allow them to flag only obliquely, or that actively obfuscate player interests) can lead to hapless GMs floundering around pushing the wrong buttons. Possibly also a setting/premise problem, if the game's premise is unclear. Side thought: Lacuna avoids this trap -- even though there's nothing flaggable on the character sheet, the underlying premise and questions are so compelling and clear that everyone knows what they're signing up for.

    Followup to the side note: Games with unclear premises. Off the top of my head, I was bored to tears by Nephilim and Whispering Vault because their premises were so obscure. I also had a hell of a time working out what kinds of characters would fit with the premise. So nobody has any good character-making guidance and the whole thing just ended up a bust. I imagine an unclear premise results in some pretty intractable SIS problems, and with nobody on the same page you'll end up at least frustrated, if not bored.

    Lack of "helping" rules. This jumped out at me in Reign most recently -- there's no way for a second character to provide any mechanical benefit to another character. BW's help rules are exactly the opposite, even going so far as to bribe helpers with free tests for advancement.

    p.
  • Posted By: Max HigleyHow might we alter games structurally to reduce 'nothing to do, checking out' syndrome?
    Here's the weird thing. I will totally check out of games, but not generally because I am not on camera and only audience, I'm cool with that. My checkouts usually happen when I feel that my presence isn't required at all. That what I'm playing really amounts to little more than a game of chutes and ladders. With loaded dice. Otherwise, when I'm not on camera, I'm usually very interested in what's happening on screen.

    That being said, I think if there's a system in play where it's encouraged to riff off the contributions of others, that can help you pay attention. Like, in a game where you are encouraged to ignore in game but out of character information, well, seriously, what's the point of paying attention if my character is not on screen. But if I'm encouraged to use out of character information to create bangs for the other players, well, paying attention then is golden.
  • That brings up a related, if somewhat tangential observation I've made:

    "Indie"-type games, where all the players contribute to the fiction in active ways, all the time, seem to require more mental energy, or something. I've noticed that whereas I used to be involved in sessions that were 4, 5, or 6 hours long, now (with the same people), I feel totally spent after a two hour session.

    Anyone else have this experience?

    I wonder whether the "zoning out" serves as a sort of resting period for people, allowing them to play longer, or if it just contributes to frustration.
  • Throwing the "Mountain Witch trick" at uninvolved is a very cool idea, Jeph!

    Huh. So that's what the Mountain Witch trick is. :)
  • Posted By: Paul T."Indie"-type games, where all the players contribute to the fiction in active ways, all the time, seem to require more mental energy, or something. I've noticed that whereas I used to be involved in sessions that were 4, 5, or 6 hours long, now (with the same people), I feel totallyspentafter a two hour session.

    Anyone else have this experience?
    God yes.

    But, by comparison, I try not to get into any other sort of game for 4+ hours. It seems strictly an rpg thing for me.

    Hell, poker bores me after 2 hours...
  • Posted By: Paul T.
    "Indie"-type games, where all the players contribute to the fiction in active ways, all the time, seem to require more mental energy, or something. I've noticed that whereas I used to be involved in sessions that were 4, 5, or 6 hours long, now (with the same people), I feel totallyspentafter a two hour session.

    Anyone else have this experience?
    Yes, but I consider it a feature, not a bug. It's like being tired after a good work out. Exhausted but better for it.

    Jesse
  • Jesse-

    Right. It's like getting a more intense, focused workout. "Good tired" just about describes it.
  • Posted By: wanmansouPosted By: ArpieI'm also rather lousy at Chutes and Ladders [...]
    Just an observation: You can't really suck at Chutes and Ladders because it is not a game. There are no decisions involved.
    Yes there is - there's the decision to play it in the first place. Gambling is always a choice.

    To be lousy at chutes and ladders is to be uninterested in that decision and watching the ramifications of the choice play out. Which is more an agenda clash than being crap at it.
  • edited July 2008
    Posted By: Paul T.I wonder whether the "zoning out" serves as a sort of resting period for people, allowing them to play longer, or if it just contributes to frustration.
    I'm inclined to think it is. That's why I think the smallest practical group you can get is three players - because two people bounce off each other, and when one exhausts, the third steps in (indeed, they are drawn in by the lull in conversation it often seems - emergent spotlight time, I guess). Once someone else exhausts, the resting player steps back in, and so on.
  • edited July 2008
    On the main topic, I think the question is, is the goal just to have some ephemeral fun? Popcorn play?

    If there's something you want beyond fun, like some insight or understanding of character, or in gamist play, some long term recognition, then you might miss this if you stop paying attention.

    But then again, that doesn't solve the problem of bored players, if you include yourself as a player. If your just interested in keeping them occupied, by your own nature, your not interested in some greater insight or understanding (even if the other players are). Eg, if some great insight about character were about to happen, like um, the princess stabbing the hero in the throat after being saved, because she loves the big bad guy, then that insight/event should not happen because it gets in the way of the goal that is short term, instant gratification fun.



    On a side note, character creation bores me. Purchasing equipment (pre game) even more so (I do enjoy considering equipment purchase in game to be quite interesting though). This makes me different to the vast number of roleplayers, it seems, even my friends. I get the feeling some people do the game part in character creation, then finish with the game there and just make up story on the events of that game. Like playing chess to a conclusion, then roleplaying out the various pieces and whether they died, are dying or are saved, what each piece thinks of the loss, etc. I wonder if people play character gen like chess, then just stop playing and start making stuff up (with occasional dice rolls for the impression of system). Certain even indie games can't seem to get away from a big fat character generation chapter at the start of them. IMHO, yawn! >:)
  • Posted By: Paul BDecisions that don't matter, or feel like they matter.

    p.

    This is it for me.

    I'd also throw in: feeling blocked from contributing.

    --Ken
  • I get bored when the gameplay and/or the group's attention stays focused on any one player for too long. Even (especially?) if that player is me.
  • Even (especially?) if that player is me.
    Heh, this is probably a vicious cycle
    Dem *OMGZORZ, he's bored, spend more time on him until he isn't!*
    U *OMGZORZ, their spending more time on me, I am getting bored by that!*
    Dem *OMGZORZ, he's bored, spend more time on him until he isn't!*
    U *OMGZORZ, their spending more time on me, I am getting bored by that!*
    And so on...
  • edited July 2008
    Posted By: Paul T.That brings up a related, if somewhat tangential observation I've made:

    "Indie"-type games, where all the players contribute to the fiction in active ways, all the time, seem to require more mental energy, or something. I've noticed that whereas I used to be involved in sessions that were 4, 5, or 6 hours long, now (with the same people), I feel totallyspentafter a two hour session.

    Anyone else have this experience?
    Yes. But I think that's a good thing. I'm not a fan of long games.

    Well... it's a good thing for MOST indie games, anyway. That Dogs game I mentioned lasted like 4 hours. I wasn't spent at all at the end of that one.

    Oh, and I noticed a lot of "play better" responses on this thread as well. That's kind of a moot point because A) I can only play so well and B) if the GM is bad, sometimes I'm playing my best and STILL getting bored (because the GM is shutting down all my attempts to "play better.")

    People kept spouting that "involve yourself" line to me when I complained about the lack of player interaction opportunities and motivations in the rules of various Vampire LARPs and Cangeling LARPs. I don't really think it's a solution.

    Oh, by the way:

    Thank you Thank you Thank you! Everyone who listed something that actually bored them in games!
    Specifically useful: Jason Morningstar, Eloi LaSanta, Jeff K, Callan S, C Hearns and Paul B.

    But especially Paul T for the quote above!
  • The question of how to keep the whole group sufficiently engaged that no one wants to run off to another room is something I've been trying to figure out for a while.

    One thing I noticed when I was playing D&D with my friends is that during battles everyone was in fact paying close attention the whole time, on account of everyone have a moment-to-moment vested interest in what goes on.
  • I once playtested a system where between combat turns, you rolled certain dice and tried to get as high a score as possible before it became your turn again. I gave up on it probably not for the best reason - one player just didn't like it. I think he liked every single dice roll observed and listened to (to refer to the recent GM as listener thread) and they weren't be paid attention to. Remembering it now, I liked it. I must try it again some time.
  • One thing I've noticed in my group is that there's a tendency to run scenes in parallel -- one half of the table is doing something when the other half finds themselves free, so the people without a scene will strike up some interaction on the side to keep themselves entertained. If you're not in either of the scenes going on, it's hard to pay attention to either. This is because the participants try not to bother anyone, so they physically separate from the group by turning toward each other, and speak softer than usual so each half of the group can hear the people they're interacting with over the background noise. If you find yourself as the left-out party, even the audience role is not available or at least an awful lot of work. Since most of the people at the table are entertained, side scenes also have the effect of allowing much longer scenes (too long, I think.) End result: someone is really bored a good chunk of the time, and they also get blamed for not involving themselves.
  • Also, different people have different ideas of what is boring. My GF would just sit with us while my group played and just listen. I talked to her about it after a few sessions and said "Are you sure you don't want to actually play? You must be really bored just sitting there listening." and her response was "No. I like listening to it all... it's like watching a play and i like the story." Now, I know that I'd be REALLY bored if i wasn't involved in the goings-on, but it takes all types.

    -Oni
    http://www.thirdeyegames.net
  • If you find yourself getting bored at a game, perhaps it is time to take a break. I do this occasionally in my games when I feel my attention start flagging. "Okay, everyone, let's take a break for a bit." Then, when we come back, everyone's energy is back up, and it turns out quite well.
  • Max,

    That side scenes idea brings up an interesting problem I've frequently run into:

    Sure, grabbing another player and doing a little off-to-the-side vignette is a fun way to keep yourself occupied in a game, particularly if your GM doesn't have a problem with "table talk" - but what if your GM DOES have a problem with it?

    I've pulled players off for a little impromptu side scene in some games and the GM will just kill it. Kill it dead. A lot of Vampire GMs I played with were particularly bad about that. "Could you share that with the rest of the table, please?" or they'd all just stop and watch us. I mean, it's not like we were doing anything but talking in character a half a room away! We were even keeping it low key.

    So, yeah, that's a great rule to write into a game. "Let players interact with eachother in character if they're not part of the main action and you can't get back to them for a while." I want to be able to point to that in my freaking rulebook sometime.
  • On the "I get bored when I'm not onscreen problem", I have the same problem, and I think I've found a solution in the game I'm currently running (I can't think of a player solution with no GM buy in): If not everyone at the table has their character involved in the scene, treat the scene as downtime, and handwave everything with a minimum number of dierolls. It won't work for some groups of course (namely groups where the players like not being in the action), but it seems to work so far with mine.
  • Or, you could just assume they don't need any die rolls at all. If something happens that affects the main flow of the game's action, they can resolve it mechanically when they return to the table. If you're going to get into a side scene, you probably don't need to use mechanics to negotiate, anyway.
  • See, the two posts above seem to approach mechanics and die rolls differently with there group. Normally, my play group trails off every so often when there's too much conversation. Then all you have to say is "Roll for awareness" or "Roll for initiative" and they are alert and ready to see what the hell is going on. While i did speak earlier about being proactive and taking charge of your own fun, players in a game with a GM are (by nature) reactive, as they choose what to do in response to the GM's actions.

    I short: Action. If the players are bored, make something happen.

    -Oni
    http://www.thirdeyegames.net
  • Posted By: ArpieOr, you could just assume they don't need any die rolls at all. If something happens that affects the main flow of the game's action, they can resolve it mechanically when they return to the table. If you're going to get into a side scene, you probably don't need to use mechanics to negotiate, anyway.
    Yeah, that works too. The point is to have a very small (a minute or two at most) amount of time focused away from the group.
  • A note about 'If the players are bored, make something happen' - it's rather toxic to your own creativity and spiritual core, so to speak, if your running a game about something important to you. Say you were running a game about losing a relative after you had actually lost a relative, as a straight forward example. It pits whats personally important to you against having to stave off others boredom. It kind of demeans that importance to pit it up against something so banal. Of course this goes against the typical 'common sense' of roleplay culture, that fun and players not being bored are paramount. I remember years ago I wrote a post on the forge where I realised I was trying to twist character choices around to what would please the players, thus typhoid Marying myself. Eh, just a line of thought to consider.
  • Posted By: Callan S.A note about 'If the players are bored, make something happen' - it's rather toxic to your own creativity and spiritual core, so to speak, if your running a game about something important to you. Say you were running a game about losing a relative after you had actually lost a relative, as a straight forward example. It pits whats personally important to you against having to stave off others boredom. It kind of demeans that importance to pit it up against something so banal. Of course this goes against the typical 'common sense' of roleplay culture, that fun and players not being bored are paramount. I remember years ago I wrote a post on the forge where I realised I was trying to twist character choices around to what would please the players, thus typhoid Marying myself. Eh, just a line of thought to consider.
    I wouldn't want to run such a game myself. And I try to make sure I know what trigger issues are among the other players so I don't push them as well.
  • Posted By: Callan S.A note about 'If the players are bored, make something happen' - it's rather toxic to your own creativity and spiritual core, so to speak, if your running a game about something important to you. Say you were running a game about losing a relative after you had actually lost a relative, as a straight forward example. It pits whats personally important to you against having to stave off others boredom. It kind of demeans that importance to pit it up against something so banal. Of course this goes against the typical 'common sense' of roleplay culture, that fun and players not being bored are paramount. I remember years ago I wrote a post on the forge where I realised I was trying to twist character choices around to what would please the players, thus typhoid Marying myself. Eh, just a line of thought to consider.
    Well, if this is why you're running the game, should it matter to you that the players are bored?
  • Well, yes. It should matter if the players are bored. I wouldn't like people to be bored with my personal issues, even if they were the only ones being dealt with.

    Ideally, a game like the one Callan S suggests would provide opportunities to everyone involved to explore personal issues.
  • Julian,

    Heh, you'd think so! But if you didn't realise your playing for an important issue, you wont go and protect/prioritise that issue. Particularly when faced with social faux pas if you were to even think about prioritising it.


    Robert,

    I'm thinking it would be rather like the ritual of a wedding or funeral - in that, it's not your moment, it's someone elses. Whoevers moment it is, it's theirs - part of making it their moment is, if you think you'd be bored by it all, declining to attend.

    Just saying that's what it'd be for the type of play I'm talking about.
  • I was running a game that had a "bored" moment yesterday, for at least one of the players.
    I was running Spirit of the Century. Two characters, one a newb and the other a fairly experienced player, were driving down a winding mountain road in a lumber truck commandeered from a lumber village full of Deliverance rejects. They were being pursued by a Nazi ubermensch wearing magical jumping boots. He ran them off the road, and attempted to kidnap the more experienced player (henceforth known as "my wife"). So, rather then busting out his guns, and risking killing them, he kept trying to throw the newb out of the way and grab my wife's character so he could run away quickly.

    Instead, he kept rolling really really poorly. Combined with the fact that I statted him out to be able to take more then double the normal amount of damage a character can endure, and the whole experience took almost an hour, before he was finally damaged to the point that he just ran away.

    About half-way through, I could tell the newb was getting frustrated and bored. The rest of us, who have more experience then she does, know that, occasionally, the dice just don't cooperate, and thereby make things slow and irritating. I'm worried this might be a deal breaker for this player and that she may start to lose interest in the game. Hopefully, I can do things a little better next time, and renew her interest. We'll see, I guess.

    I'm thinking now that I should have split up the action a little, buy cutting to the other two characters a little bit, as they tried to search the mountains to find the two characters who were being pursued. At least it would have broken the fight down to manageable chunks and given the non-fighting characters a bit more to do. That's my thinking for a situation like this.

    I'm curious, however, what some of you might do in this kind of case.


    I
  • edited July 2008
    Posted By: sacredchaoAbout half-way through, I could tell the newb was getting frustrated and bored.
    This might sound a bit weird, but, why didn't you do something right then and there? Why not have the bad guy run away right then? Or have him take a bullet through the head by a mysterious assailant? Or have that be the moment that the two characters searching the mountains find them? Or any number of things that would have ended the fight? Because, while it sounds like that one player was bored, I get the impression from your words that even if the others weren't bored, they weren't having any fun:
    Posted By: sacredchaoThe rest of us, who have more experience then she does, know that, occasionally, the dice just don't cooperate, and thereby make things slow and irritating.
    EDIT: My words seem a bit aggro , but I was acting With Love and Directly.

    EDIT2: Also, welcome to Story Games Ryan.
  • It's cool, I appreciate directness. Thanks for the welcome.

    I thought about it, but couldn't figure out a way to do it effectively. The two searchers were stuck somewhere else at that moment, owing to an aspect compel (basically, player accepted in-game currency to force him to do something that made sense for his character, but wasn't a particularly good idea at the time).

    I thought about making him run off, and looking back, I probably should have. Hindsight = 20/20 and all. However, the fact that I really wanted my wife's character to be kidnapped, blinded me to the obvious. An NPC killing him wouldn't have been a good idea as he has the secret to one of the PC's amnesia-lost, military-experiment past. A PC killing him might have been cool, as it would have created inter-PC drama between the killer and the PC with the forgotten past.

    Thanks for the feedback.
  • edited July 2008
    Posted By: sacredchaoAbout half-way through, I could tell the newb was getting frustrated and bored. The rest of us, who have more experience then she does, know that, occasionally, the dice just don't cooperate, and thereby make things slow and irritating. I'm worried this might be a deal breaker for this player and that she may start to lose interest in the game. Hopefully, I can do things a little better next time, and renew her interest. We'll see, I guess.
    In your own words, it's up to you to renew her interest. But with your current system the dice can go against you doing that. So the current system can actively damage your efforts. Why are you using that system? Or do you like having to fight against the system to deliver a good game? Perhaps looking forward to your next chance to beat the system and run a good game for her? I'm genuinely asking - it may be something you enjoy and that needs to be taken into account in advice (the answer isn't to immediately suppress such enjoyment).
  • Posted By: sacredchaoHowever, the fact that I really wanted my wife's character to be kidnapped, blinded me to the obvious.
    Ahhh... I think we've all had those moments, where we see something cool and we want it so bad. It can be difficult to give up on those ideas.
  • edited July 2008
    Posted By: Callan S.
    In your own words, it's up to you to renew her interest. But with your current system the dice can go against you doing that. So the current system can actively damage your efforts. Why are you using that system? Or do you like having to fight against the system to deliver a good game? Perhaps looking forward to your next chance to beat the system and run a good game for her? I'm genuinely asking - it may be something you enjoy and that needs to be taken into account in advice (the answer isn't to immediately suppress such enjoyment).

    I don't think I was fighting the system. The issue was that everyone involved (a scientist, a spy/demolitions expert, and a super-soldier) were all doing things they didn't normally do - the scientist and spy aren't really cut out for direct, close-range combat, while the super-soldier doesn't usually try to bring anyone in alive. While this could be a very interesting scene, I think that I failed to use the drama implicit in having three characters who aren't very good at what they are trying to do compete. I let it drag on and on, when I should have cut it short, once the impending outcome had become obvious.
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