#WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?


  • Pitcrew

    @faraday said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    @coin said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    Right. But part of the investment is at chargen. If it is very easy to make a new character, a lot of people (not everyone, certainly not most, but not an insignificant number) will just not give a shit.

    Yes, but that's still a player issue not a system issue. I don't think "make chargen a PITA so people won't want to risk their characters senselessly" is really a good solution to the problem.

    Oh, definitely not, but also "make chargen ridiculously simple and quick to make up for the high turnover rate because the players are kamikaze dopes" isn't either.

    I mean, personally, unless it's important to my character, or if the sacrifice will be worth it, my characters tend to turn tail and run when they don't figure they can handle shit. That fucking "I am a PC, I am invincible" shit never worked with me, lol.


  • Coder

    @coin

    I’d rather charger be as simple as possible so that the decision on how to play the character was with the player, and not the player’s fear of having to engage with the system.

    Kamikaze players don’t sound like fun people to deal with, but it’s a risk I would take for a smoother experience for others.



  • A bit late, but:

    I tend to not ST with kid gloves on. Almost torp'd a vamp in one of the early scenes I ran on Descent.

    Which makes me think about the playing to win. I've never really upset a player by beating the tar out of them. But then, I've never killed someone either - the dice just haven't done it, and I seem to balance the npc's vs the pc's pretty well for a challenge.

    Do players really get mad when you clobber them? Regardless of whether they die or not?


  • Pitcrew

    @coin said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    And it was the best time because I felt like my character had earned that victory.

    Most MUers don't really feel that way.

    I think a big reason for this is the medium, most table top games I have been in have been played to a conclusion (not always a happy one for the PCs) so in table top I am fairly confident that I will see the end to the story, and willing to place more trust in the ST as a result.
    On a mush I would say most stories I have been in over the years end due to game ending, players leaving, changes in RL schedules etc rather than reaching a conclusion on screen so each on screen scene has to be worthwhile in and of itself because there is very little confidence that i will see the rest of the story.

    In the example @coin used that is great in table top, hell I have been in variations of it both as a player and GM but if in table top I have high confidence that if something takes 4 session to build up that i will be there on the fifth when the cool climax happens. On a MUSH there is little reason to assume that so I can totally see why players want the gratification now because later could very well never come.


  • Politics

    @faraday said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    It's like as long as they think death is off the table, folks will fight long past the point at which it ICly makes any sense to fight.

    You remember that time that Erin was incapacitated because she took an arc welder to the groin? She was cautious, but shit happens.

    And it was totally traumatic to her.

    As you said, it's a player issue, not a system issue. I miss all of that.


    @taika said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    Do players really get mad when you clobber them? Regardless of whether they die or not?

    Your hellhounds were beastly, but ain't nothing that can take down Templeton.


  • Coder

    The problem is that the players expect to win.

    They don't really want to be challenged.

    They want to be the bad asses.

    Which negates the whole 'horror' aspect of the setting.

    Which is how we end up with fanged and furry super hero games instead of <insert anything here> of Darkness.

    I mean sure some people might like that, but not me. I want there to be risk of player loss. I want there to be bad asses we can't just grab Suzy the Gangrel with horrid claws and swarm form to roll up on and kill. Or whatever.

    Those players who take the physical monsters /and/ bitch when they face a threat they can't throw dice at... those are the problems to me.


  • Pitcrew

    @arkandel said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    Some throw the rulebook in my face. Anecdote: Back on BITN I ran a PrP about a portal into some weird-ass mystery dimension. One of the mortals in it afterwards made a +job (without consulting with me first), CC'ed me to it, +rolled Academics into the +job and then paged me to give them the answers about how the portal was made and how you can open one or close one yourself. When I tried to work with that by offering some tidbits of information it turned that no, they wanted the full thing. Look, Academics, Library 2, 3 successes, gimme the full manual goddammit.

    That's when you pull out a d% for sanity damage.

    Oh, you didn't know we were playing Call of Cthulhu? We are now, because you had to go poking into things (wo)man was not meant to know.



  • @arkandel said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    @coin Sometimes people like to play a game of chicken. Am I going to kill them off in some random Wednesday evening PrP? No? Then hellz yeah they'll stick around to fight when I say "you can hear reinforcements arriving! Thankfully after you rummaged through the Bad Guy's desk you discovered a secret passage out" two and a half hours after we began.

    Some throw the rulebook in my face. Anecdote: Back on BITN I ran a PrP about a portal into some weird-ass mystery dimension. One of the mortals in it afterwards made a +job (without consulting with me first), CC'ed me to it, +rolled Academics into the +job and then paged me to give them the answers about how the portal was made and how you can open one or close one yourself. When I tried to work with that by offering some tidbits of information it turned that no, they wanted the full thing. Look, Academics, Library 2, 3 successes, gimme the full manual goddammit.

    Obviously as you get more experienced you learn to handle these people but it still serves to explain why STs are hard to find, new ones are shy to start running things, and the ones already playing run things for their own circles since they won't have to handle anyone.

    It probably also helps explain why new games keep running into the same loop of trying to do something different thematically but end up looking like the previous five MU*; it's because the players they get are treating it exactly like their last five MU*, too. There's a lot of effort of behalf of staff to change that mindset, and it's not surprising most don't even try.

    like @Arkandel says (god that hurt to type)

    Your pain... it sustains me.

    Do you staff on Reno? This post reminds me a lot of the way they run their game.

    Woe is me, players are the worst.

    Why would this person try to do research or use his / her skills/merits in a game? They should just sit and wait to be spoon fed whatever it is the ST is providing. They should wait with bated breath for more plot to be tossed their way ... if it never is they should praise me when I deem to include them in whatever, blah blah blah.

    Problems with Staff/Player interactions is perception, attitude, and intent. Maybe that sentence should be the perception of attitude and intent.


  • Admin

    @thatonedude said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    Do you staff on Reno? This post reminds me a lot of the way they run their game.

    I do not.

    Woe is me, players are the worst.

    I'm unclear why that's what you took from this; players aren't a homogeneous bunch who all act and behave the same way, but certain behaviors aren't great and they should be pointed out, examined and if needed remedied.

    Why would this person try to do research or use his / her skills/merits in a game? They should just sit and wait to be spoon fed whatever it is the ST is providing.

    On the contrary, PrP participants should be proactive - that's much appreciated (and fairly rare). The problem in this case was in not consulting with the ST first to discuss the scope of the roll, or to accept the range of information they received out of it; that could have served (and even after the fact I tried to nudge it that way) as an introduction to a PrP about finding a different library to do research in, discuss the time it takes to go through the material, and so on.

    The expectation to break a plot wide open with one roll of the dice is what was unreasonable. Being unable to do so doesn't take anything away from player agency, it simply allows the ST the ability to pace the story as it transitions through its arcs, and hopefully it makes any achievements more meaningful.

    Sure, the entire thing could be unlocked by one person with 1 success on a downtime +job, but it'll probably be more memorable - and fun - if the characters had to sneak into their own boss' headquarters to get access to materials he had explicitly forbidden them to read, find ties to a conspiracy, figure out how to eliminate evidence of their presence and race against the clock to get out before they are discovered.



  • @arkandel said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    @thatonedude said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    Do you staff on Reno? This post reminds me a lot of the way they run their game.

    I do not.

    Woe is me, players are the worst.

    I'm unclear why that's what you took from this; players aren't a homogeneous bunch who all act and behave the same way, but certain behaviors aren't great and they should be pointed out, examined and if needed remedied.

    Why would this person try to do research or use his / her skills/merits in a game? They should just sit and wait to be spoon fed whatever it is the ST is providing.

    On the contrary, PrP participants should be proactive - that's much appreciated (and fairly rare). The problem in this case was in not consulting with the ST first to discuss the scope of the roll, or to accept the range of information they received out of it; that could have served (and even after the fact I tried to nudge it that way) as an introduction to a PrP about finding a different library to do research in, discuss the time it takes to go through the material, and so on.

    The expectation to break a plot wide open with one roll of the dice is what was unreasonable. Being unable to do so doesn't take anything away from player agency, it simply allows the ST the ability to pace the story as it transitions through its arcs, and hopefully it makes any achievements more meaningful.

    Sure, the entire thing could be unlocked by one person with 1 success on a downtime +job, but it'll probably be more memorable - and fun - if the characters had to sneak into their own boss' headquarters to get access to materials he had explicitly forbidden them to read, find ties to a conspiracy, figure out how to eliminate evidence of their presence and race against the clock to get out before they are discovered.

    But ... more fun for who?


  • Admin

    @thatonedude said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    But ... more fun for who?

    Hopefully everyone involved?

    I'm not sure where you are going with this.


  • Politics

    @thatonedude said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    Problems with Staff/Player interactions is perception, attitude, and intent. Maybe that sentence should be the perception of attitude and intent.

    If a player decided by fiat to roll a pool into a +job requesting information and then told me what they should get and how it is to be delivered, I would perceive that the player felt entitled to shit and intended to be a prick about it.

    ST: So, you enter the office. What do you do?
    PL: I'm going to look around to figure out how he is going to rig the election. Here's my Investigation roll, where I get 3 successes. Now, tell me every intricacy of that plan.
    ST: ... this is the janitor's office.


  • Pitcrew

    Yeah, definitely with @Arkandel and @Ganymede here. I'm going to hell for agreeing with them both in one post. Oh well.

    The burden of story is on the storyteller. Unless the system specifically allows you to (some systems allow for players to change things about the story and that's part of the system itself) then how the rolls work and what you get out of them depends on the storyteller.



  • @ganymede said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    @thatonedude said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    Problems with Staff/Player interactions is perception, attitude, and intent. Maybe that sentence should be the perception of attitude and intent.

    If a player decided by fiat to roll a pool into a +job requesting information and then told me what they should get and how it is to be delivered, I would perceive that the player felt entitled to shit and intended to be a prick about it.

    ST: So, you enter the office. What do you do?
    PL: I'm going to look around to figure out how he is going to rig the election. Here's my Investigation roll, where I get 3 successes. Now, tell me every intricacy of that plan.
    ST: ... this is the janitor's office.

    Right, but again... Perception of intent/attitude. I don't know the player that did this job in the example and I only know @Arkandel from his posts here.

    With that said: What if that player didn't know how to move forward? What if they asked someone else what they should do and that person said open a job and CC the person that ran the event/plot? What if a million other things that wasn't the person being a tool was what really was going down? Granted I know there is the possibility this person /decided by fiat/ but there is also the possibility that he/she didn't.

    My point is as a player, that attitude is felt and it has to be part of what makes this whole thing a problem. The ST/Player/Staff "issue".


  • Pitcrew

    @thatonedude said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    @ganymede said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    @thatonedude said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    Problems with Staff/Player interactions is perception, attitude, and intent. Maybe that sentence should be the perception of attitude and intent.

    If a player decided by fiat to roll a pool into a +job requesting information and then told me what they should get and how it is to be delivered, I would perceive that the player felt entitled to shit and intended to be a prick about it.

    ST: So, you enter the office. What do you do?
    PL: I'm going to look around to figure out how he is going to rig the election. Here's my Investigation roll, where I get 3 successes. Now, tell me every intricacy of that plan.
    ST: ... this is the janitor's office.

    Right, but again... Perception of intent/attitude. I don't know the player that did this job in the example and I only know @Arkandel from his posts here.

    With that said: What if that player didn't know how to move forward? What if they asked someone else what they should do and that person said open a job and CC the person that ran the event/plot? What if a million other things that wasn't the person being a tool was what really was going down? Granted I know there is the possibility this person /decided by fiat/ but there is also the possibility that he/she didn't.

    My point is as a player, that attitude is felt and it has to be part of what makes this whole thing a problem. The ST/Player/Staff "issue".

    You're missing this bit, I think:

    @arkandel said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    The problem in this case was in not consulting with the ST first to discuss the scope of the roll, or to accept the range of information they received out of it; that could have served (and even after the fact I tried to nudge it that way) as an introduction to a PrP about finding a different library to do research in, discuss the time it takes to go through the material, and so on.

    Now, I could be assuming, but knowing @Arkandel, chances are he tried to mitigate the situation and the other person was unreasonable.



  • @coin said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    @thatonedude said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    @ganymede said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    @thatonedude said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    Problems with Staff/Player interactions is perception, attitude, and intent. Maybe that sentence should be the perception of attitude and intent.

    If a player decided by fiat to roll a pool into a +job requesting information and then told me what they should get and how it is to be delivered, I would perceive that the player felt entitled to shit and intended to be a prick about it.

    ST: So, you enter the office. What do you do?
    PL: I'm going to look around to figure out how he is going to rig the election. Here's my Investigation roll, where I get 3 successes. Now, tell me every intricacy of that plan.
    ST: ... this is the janitor's office.

    Right, but again... Perception of intent/attitude. I don't know the player that did this job in the example and I only know @Arkandel from his posts here.

    With that said: What if that player didn't know how to move forward? What if they asked someone else what they should do and that person said open a job and CC the person that ran the event/plot? What if a million other things that wasn't the person being a tool was what really was going down? Granted I know there is the possibility this person /decided by fiat/ but there is also the possibility that he/she didn't.

    My point is as a player, that attitude is felt and it has to be part of what makes this whole thing a problem. The ST/Player/Staff "issue".

    You're missing this bit, I think:

    @arkandel said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    The problem in this case was in not consulting with the ST first to discuss the scope of the roll, or to accept the range of information they received out of it; that could have served (and even after the fact I tried to nudge it that way) as an introduction to a PrP about finding a different library to do research in, discuss the time it takes to go through the material, and so on.

    Now, I could be assuming, but knowing @Arkandel, chances are he tried to mitigate the situation and the other person was unreasonable.

    I'm not missing that bit as I said:

    With that said: What if that player didn't know how to move forward? What if they asked someone else what they should do and that person said open a job and CC the person that ran the event/plot? What if a million other things that wasn't the person being a tool was what really was going down? Granted I know there is the possibility this person /decided by fiat/ but there is also the possibility that he/she didn't.

    Meaning, what if they asked someone while @Arkandel was offline? I use that as an example since when I was new to Mu*ing back when I was just a young private in the Army I had a situation where I asked a player how to do X and they gave me bad info. This is a possibility... You see where I'm headed? Even in a hypothetical situation it seems impossible that a player could be anything other than wrong. Or at least that's how I read a lot of what gets said. But! I don't know if that's what is really intended.


  • Admin

    @thatonedude said in #WIDWW pt 2 - ST, Player, or staff?:

    Right, but again... Perception of intent/attitude. I don't know the player that did this job in the example and I only know @Arkandel from his posts here.

    Sure, but why does that matter? This isn't a post about that incident, I'm not exposing someone for being a jerk or anything (they weren't), it's just an example.

    With that said: What if that player didn't know how to move forward? What if they asked someone else what they should do and that person said open a job and CC the person that ran the event/plot? What if a million other things that wasn't the person being a tool was what really was going down? Granted I know there is the possibility this person /decided by fiat/ but there is also the possibility that he/she didn't.

    None of those things would have mattered because this anecdote wasn't meant as a witchhunt for that player. It was to illustrate that STs in the nWoD/GMC needs to oversee control of certain story elements - in this case pacing and exposition - in order to use them as seeds and hooks into other arcs - and then try to frame lapses of that control have a larger effect for the overall setting.

    To use a more abstract example, imagine if I'm playing Sam in your Supernatural game using nWoD rules. You present me with an unknown creature type I've never seen before and plant a potential resolution path for me; in fact that could be the beat and bones of the story, going on a quest around pawn shops, redneck psychics and infiltrating the local police department's evidence room to find all the missing pieces. Sure, I might have missed clues (in which case you can either remind me somehow or feed me information through some other plot device) but deciding on my own I will research this on my laptop and the answer has to be there because I got 1 success isn't an acceptable outcome. It trivializes the content.

    Worse than that, in fact, is that since Dean (or the rest of the party, since we're talking about MU*) doesn't get to come along and do stuff too. I, alone, handle all that by rolling.

    My point is as a player, that attitude is felt and it has to be part of what makes this whole thing a problem. The ST/Player/Staff "issue".

    It's not an attitude. It's just how the interaction between STs and players works. There needs to be some chemistry there, and sometimes it works but other times it doesn't. If you don't like your ST then you can find someone else to run stories for you instead - and I don't mean that in a negative way.



  • I think part of what might be overlooked here is that @Arkandel wasn't a staffer on BITN, either. He was a player, running a PrP for fellow players.

    The player went not to the actual ST running the plot, but to staff. Which the ST wasn't. Now, what @ThatOneDude is talking about re: 'use staff to coordinate with the ST if we're not around at the same time' is a valid possibility regarding intent. Schedules being what they are, that is a thing that sometimes happens and it's easier to handle through a cc'd +job with everybody all on the same page (especially if +comms or whatever the players-only version isn't installed, and it wasn't on BITN from what I recall... and most people don't know about it even when/if it is installed somewhere).

    It's more, 'this isn't something you'd get every detail of in a single roll'. It's more suited to a collection of different rolls for different aspects of the very complex problem. It's not a single action required to understand the totality of it. In another thread, I used the example of 'players need to blow up a satellite'. This would require a number of steps to accomplish, and it wouldn't be reasonable to do it in one roll. Similar issue, and would involve a number of different skills depending on what the thing actually is. Academics would be the step that helps get there, but is it an (Occult) paranormal gateway? A (Science) singularity? And so on.