To: My players
cc: Every player in the world
From: Your GM
Subject: Seriously, come on, guys
I love you guys, I do. You make me laugh. You bring my ideas to life. Without you, none of these adventures I dream up would see anything but the inside of a notebook, or the inside of my head. But GOD you can be frustrating.
First, roll your dice on the damn table in front of everyone. If I see you roll your dice, then immediately pick them up again and pour over your character sheet, what do you think I am thinking? For the love of all that is holy, stop fudging your rolls! See, failing a roll is not the end of the world. I will NEVER have you make a roll that says “Succeed, and you save the world, fail and it burns.” Furthermore, you are disrespecting all the preparation I do for an adventure. Even if I am improvising a lot of the session, I have drawn up some stats ahead of time, and balanced them for the group to make them challenging, but not certainly lethal, and to do that, I have carefully considered the probabilities of success and failure inherent in the system. You don’t have to connect with every hit, or block every blow. If you come through an adventure unscathed, either I have not done my job of creating a challenge for you, you have been lucky beyond reasonable expectations, or you have been cheating. Stop it. Furthermore, I might be field-testing a new system, trying to fine-tune it’s balance. If you fudge even ONE roll, it throws off my entire sense of what I need to change and what’s about where it should be. Don’t do that to me, please.
And please, please, be a man. If you take damage, deal with it. You are NOT invincible, and every warrior worth his salt has scars. Don’t bitch when enemies attack you. Don’t bitch if you are suffering penalties. Don’t bitch if everything didn’t go as you planned. Don’t sigh heavily or sulk. Don’t say things like “not like it will matter,” or “well, I’m dead,” after making a roll. It makes you sound like a whiny little kid. You don’t know what I rolled, if you’re taking damage, or what is happening next. Suck it up.
And be ready. I might be running a game with 7-8 people in it, and with that many people, things get hard for me. I have 8 people to keep track of, plus all the NPC’s, enemies, and so forth. I can do it, I’m a highly trained professional, but you need to work with me. When your turn comes around, be ready to tell me your action, roll your dice, and give me the results. See, if every player takes about 30 seconds for a combat action, the round takes about 4 minutes, give or take. If every player takes 2 minutes, the combat round takes 16 minutes. Now, combat rounds represent a few in-game seconds, so let’s try to make them move along, please. This isn’t rocket science, it’s basic arithmetic. If you have questions, you may ask them, but the point is, don’t waste my, and your fellow players’ time.
And don’t destroy the mood. See, I work hard to maintain the tone that I want out of the game. That’s not to say there won’t be some comic relief in a serious game, but I swear, if you keep spouting one-liners during combat with untold horrors, or swaggering about cockily while in the depths of hell, I can’t be held accountable for my actions. If I’m trying to cultivate a feel of desperation or panic, and you’re yelling things like “This is how we do it in my town!” there is very little I can do to bring the tone back down to where I want it. I don’t want to invent sanity mechanics just to bring you under control, but I’m thinking about it. I think long and hard about the feel I want my game to have, and I work to bring that to the players, so they can experience the atmosphere I had in my mind when I came up with this adventure. I promise, if you stop and think for a second, it’s fairly obvious that an adventure that centers around the struggle for survival in a collapsing city is not the time for cocky catchphrases. So shut up.
And one more thing. Cut down on the tangents and cross-talk. You’re welcome to enjoy yourselves, but when I am talking, or when another player is talking, discussing WoW in depth, or quoting the latest internet short is disruptive. This ties in to the whole “ruining the mood” thing, and the whole “be ready” thing, and if there was only one thing I could get you to remember, it would be this. You’re here to play a game, not talk about WoW or quote Monty Python. If that isn’t why you’re here, go away. I am serious. If you cannot refrain from inane comments, don’t bother to show up. So guard your tongues, and play the game. I am pretty sure, nay, I am certain that you will enjoy a game more than you will enjoy 4 hours of quotes, memes, and MMO theory.
[tags]Role playing games, roleplaying games, advice[/tags]