Do we need staff?



  • Magnus and Ink? I haven't heard stories about them! Do tell?


  • Pitcrew

    @ganymede said in Do we need staff?:

    I am of the opinion that every game needs not a PHB but a Hammer: the person that will come down and without hesitation intervene when a player comes off the rails. Too often, there's no such staff member; everyone believes that if we all just play nice, everyone will play nice.

    Agreed 100%. When Staff hesitates to remove problem players, or hesitates to approach borderline players before they become problems, the game suffers. You need a staffer to be the hatchetperson (that can be the sole staff member if that's all you feel the game needs, but there needs to be someone willing to do the dirty work).

    I do, however, agree with @Arkandel also that Staff needs to be a mediator -- that should be their default in my opinion, but sometimes you need the hammer.


  • TV & Movies

    @ganymede said in Do we need staff?:

    @bored said in Do we need staff?:

    Without it, you get raped by otter furries. And I don't want to get raped by otter furries.

    You know why you're bored? The absence of otter furry rape, I reckon.

    Probably. You guys should get on unbanning Nuku, I guess?

    re: the rest, I honestly don't follow your argument. You say WoD = toxic players, but then point out WoD games that are exceptions. So it's the specific game, not the genre/system, right? Are you just arguing 'a few quality staff' > 'lots of bad staff'? I don't disagree with that, but my point was never 'get tons of shitty staffers,' either. Just that WoD probably requires more staff input per capita than some other things do. A good staffer will still pull more weight in that equation than a shitty one.

    @faraday said in Do we need staff?:

    I've never played on WoD games, but I have to say that the degree of toxicity attributed to them, described on these boards on a regular basis, simply has not existed on the range of games I've played on (not just my own, but any I've played).

    What do you play, genre/system wise? Its pretty trivial to come up with tons of systems/genres that have infamous horrible reputations: Lords & Ladies (Firan, SC), Sci-fi or Space Opera (tons of shitty SW games, that Serenity/Firefly place), Comics (UH, BNW), etc. Even at the height of the BSG craze weren't there a couple drama GOMOs? So I'm curious which are the 'good' ones. It seems like you'll have to engage in the same exercise @Ganymede is, ie picking out particular games not the genres/systems.


  • Coder

    @bored said in Do we need staff?:

    Even at the height of the BSG craze weren't there a couple drama GOMOs? So I'm curious which are the 'good' ones. It seems like you'll have to engage in the same exercise @Ganymede is, ie picking out particular games not the genres/systems.

    All games have some degree of drama. I've had to discipline or boot a handful of people through the years from my various games, but I consider those examples of problem individuals not problem games or genres. By and large, people on games I've been on have gotten along pretty well.

    The thing that all of these games have in common, though, is not genre but the way they approach player conflict. They have either been:

    • Expressly cooperative, where players are on the same team versus a greater evil (TGG, Babylon 5 for the most part, the various Battlestar games, The Fall).
    • Low conflict, where you kinda have to go out of your way to be at direct odds against other PCs (Sweetwater, Martian Dreams), or
    • Full consent, where players are forced to cooperate OOCly or end up in a stalemate (Maddock and some other historical games).

    I think a lot of this is just basic human nature. When you pit people against each other, you're going to see more inter-personal conflict and need more refereeing than when you make them work together. Especially when they're strangers on the internet - many of whom are entirely too invested in their PCs as their personal avatars.

    ETA: And some games just have crazy staff (e.g. that Serenity place). I mean, when the person at the top is toxic, what can you expect. That's not the genre's fault.


  • Pitcrew

    A lot of people play cross genre. A lot. And a lot of the famous drama and gross people HAVE played on BSG/WoD/L&L you name it.

    But. Staff philosophy and tight shipness and tight theme and game culture can make a huge difference in how people get along. When RfK was in its heyday, I saw people who were notoriously horrific to others OOC actually be able to play with others well. I really don't want to know the hours that the headwiz personally sunk into making that a possibility, but it was. A lot of these people won't not play on a game just because it's low powered/open sheet/ect. But they will act better if they know they'll be kicked off if they don't, or if people can safely ignore them.

    There is no difference between <any genre> players. The crossover is too great. The people who only play one genre and never any others are the outliers.

    So again, it is often the culture, not the content of the games. And unfortunately, with a few exceptions the WoD Game CULTURE has been garbage and/or extremely tolerant and even celebratory of abusive behavior. When taken out of that environment and given firm boundaries, many of the people who act like stupid assholes on any number of loosey goosey WoD games behave like normal people on another.


  • Politics

    @bored said in Do we need staff?:

    I honestly don't follow your argument. You say WoD = toxic players, but then point out WoD games that are exceptions. So it's the specific game, not the genre/system, right?

    I don't recall ever saying that World of Darkness games are exceptions to any rule. What I said was that World of Darkness games attract a certain variety of players. That does not mean that other games do not do the same; my comment is specifically-related to a particular genre of games, and that genre is generally known by the system employed. There are a variety of games within that particular genre/system.

    I am arguing neither that "few quality staff" > "lots of bad staff" nor that World of Darkness games require more staff per capita than other games. What I am positing is that having a Hammer around helps to keep away the certain players I've described which generally make everyone's life on the game miserable in myriad ways, and that, in my experience, games with no such staff member soon get crushed by these players.

    I don't agree that World of Darkness games actually require more staff per capita, although this ends up being the case. As many can attest to, this occurs because of the certain variety of players I described. The general flexibility of the system, which is a boon to storytellers and players alike, can get gamed hard by people who want to twist it to their advantage, and this is a problem inherent in the system itself. In my opinion, this is a sad mockery.


  • Coder

    @arkandel said in Do we need staff?:

    True, but there's no way to systematize right.

    No, I have to argue with this.

    The way to 'systematize' right is frankly up to the people running the game.

    If it's not right for you (the queen's you) then it's none of your damn business. Leave them have their right and go somewhere else.

    Too many people try to force their version of right on everyone else, and then we wonder why the hell we have problems.