Barriers to Exit

edited January 2010 in Story Games
I find that locking the door when the players arrive isn't good enough. You know, windows and all. So when they come over, I offer them their choice of cocktail.

With, you know, horse-grade muscle-relaxant. For taste.

But that's me. What about you? What barriers of exit do you use on your group?

- Ryan

(Seriously, I need help folks. Some of them are starting to get wise and decline drinks.)

Comments

  • Marijuana.
  • If sex, drugs and a home cooked meal aren't enough then man, I don't know what is.
  • Let's try to turn this into a serious discussion :)

    The example given in a previous thread was that crunchy/rules-heavy games can be barriers to exit as players have invested heavily in learning the game and don't want to switch over and learn a new game.

    The reverse is true for me. After having played a couple of rules-light games like 3:16 and Supercrew I can't return to rules-heavy games. Just opening a book like Dark Heresy or Reign makes my eyes bleed.
  • I find that similarity is often a barrier of exit.

    If you try to introduce a new game that is too similar to one already played, the most common responce is "Why don't we just play the first game if you want x?" It seems most people have room for just one game of each genre or format.

    Its really hard to explain the finer details that make the big difference in an exciting way, especially for people who aren't as interested in the distinction as you.

    Also if you manage to change over, chances are there'll be a lot of bagge from the first game, in the form of habits and views. Plus the certainty of players complaining about the lack of things they liked in game 1.
  • Consider the "Cask of Amontillado" option.
  • I block the major exits with my body, one at a time.
  • I have experienced a lot of frustration regarding people's fondness over their favorite game/characters/world.

    It is a huge barrier when you offer them to try a new game and they say "but I love my character", "he already is lvl X" or stuff like that. Come on, people! It's not as if you'd never be able to play that/him ever again!

    Yet it prevents people from being willing to try new stuff.
  • Posted By: TristanCome on, people! It's not as if you'd never be able to play that/him ever again!
    Actually, it kind of IS like that a lot of the time. At least, it is in our group: we tend to cycle through games every 2-4 months, and we don't always get to go back and pick up an old game where we left off. I've got a folder full of characters from games that I will likely never get to play again, no matter how much I would enjoy it: we've just got too many games on deck, some key players in certain games have moved away, campaign notes have been lost...sometimes the sad fact is that you don't get to go back and "finish" playing the way you wanted to.

    Recycling character concepts helps -- if you didn't get to do what you wanted to do with your character in one game, you can tweak it to fit into a new game and try again -- but it can only go so far. Sometimes what you really want is to keep going with the same hard-won relationships and history, and there's nothing that'll take the sting out of not getting to play that character again. The only non-sucky solution is to try and get games to a good ending, one where enough of everyone's goals with their characters are satisfied that they can set them aside without thinking "No, wait, I wasn't finished yet!"


    (And the level comment, well, that one really hurts. Do you know how many D&D characters I've gotten to play past level 9? FUCKING NONE OF THEM, that's how many. It's what led to my current policy of not ever playing low-level D&D again, which unfortunately means not ever playing D&D again, since no one in our group wants to run a higher-level game.)
  • edited January 2010
    Posted By: mordheimLet's try to turn this into a serious discussion :)
    Yay! Someone who thinks they know better than the OP about what the OP wanted from this thread.

    Seriously, start your own damn thread if you want to hijack something. Barring that, at least fuckin' ask. Otherwise, you're just a jerk.

    (Edit: unless "being a jerk by pissing on a thread" is how you create barriers to exit...in which case, I salute your meta-fu.)
  • A gun and a reputation for being a good shot.
  • Large and dangerous dogs that get let out into the yard once the players are inside.
  • Making the players buy things can work.

    At the lowest level, this includes buying a copy of the Player's Manual for the game.

    At its highest, we get something more like WH40K wargaming and its players with hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of miniatures.
  • Posted By: Ryan MacklinPosted By: mordheimLet's try to turn this into a serious discussion :)
    Yay! Someone who thinks they know better than the OP about what the OP wanted from this thread.

    Seriously, start your own damn thread if you want to hijack something. Barring that, at least fuckin' ask. Otherwise, you're just a jerk.

    Sometimes it just takes a little dose of Macklin to brighten my day. :)
  • Clearly you need to deny the validity of your guests connections to family and friends and have them engage in useless repetitive tasks. Having a magnetic personality won't hurt, either. This video will help you get the most out of these strategies.
  • Feed them Cheetos until they're too big to fit through the doors.
  • Wait... are you trying to say this isn't a serious discussion?
  • Posted By: mordheimLet's try to turn this into a serious discussion :)

    The example given in a previous thread was that crunchy/rules-heavy games can be barriers to exit as players have invested heavily in learning the game and don't want to switch over and learn a new game.
    This has been true for my group with D&D4e, though it's partly because we have some MMO players who are very, very into optimization and such. Guys who normally balk at the notion that they should read the rulebook before we play a game were suddenly spending *hours* tweaking their characters and contemplating the best options. Of course, now that campaign has ground to a halt because the DM got too burned out.
  • Ryan, have you tried knock-out gas? Obviously you'd want to keep a gas mask handy (but out of sight, so as not to arouse suspicion).
  • I sometimes leap on my chair and pretend to be a Velociraptor, complete with screeching and kitchen knives as forearm claws, when my players make to leave.

    -Andy
  • edited January 2010
    Posted By: mordheim...Just opening a book like Dark Heresy or Reign makes my eyes bleed.
    Wait, what? I don't mean to derail, I just feel the need to voice how odd those two games lumped together feel to me. To me, Reign is vastly simpler than DH. I know I'm probably just biased, but even still. That's a really jarring pair.

    Noah
  • edited January 2010
    Wait, what? I don't mean to derail, I just feel the need to voice how odd those two games lumped together feel to me. To me, Reign is vastly simpler than DH. I know I'm probably just biased, but even still. That's a really jarring pair.
    Sorry, but I received a little dose of Macklin so I'm out of this thread. This thread is not meant for serious discussion.

    So, when my players want to leave I threaten to show them my ...... (fill in the blanks)
  • Posted By: Ryan Macklin
    But that's me. What about you? What barriers of exit do you use on your group?)
    I play at a table whenever possible, and not sitting in easy chairs or whatever.

    I have a definitive END TIME for any game I start, and always ask permission to keep going when we hit it if we run over, and STOP if anyone objects. Knowing that the End is Near holds their attention much better than if we just 'play till we're tired' or whatever. Make a schedule and stick to it if you aren't already.

    I let the PCs help design as much of the game world as I can. All of the best games I'd played in have a had a strong 'gestalt' quality, with the PCs creating the major bad guys and important places that I then shoehorn my lame plots into. Nothing holds their attention like making sure they're invested in the outcome of someone besides just themselves.

    Eating before the game, not during.

    -Jim C.
  • edited January 2010
    Posted By: mordheimSorry, but I received a little dose of Macklin so I'm out of this thread.
    Fuck! This is what I mean, guys. If I was on my A game, he wouldn't have been able to leave.
    Posted By: Quintin StoneRyan, have you tried knock-out gas?
    We don't play trad games, so I have been avoiding the use of ether. I'm thinking that's part of my problem.
    Posted By: Jim CrockerI play at a table whenever possible, and not sitting in easy chairs or whatever.
    I used to get us to play in easy chairs or whatever, but then they hid the duct tape from me. And in my house, a comfortable chair has to come with the risk of random garage-style bondage or it's just not interesting. Though, Graham tells us not to be constantly try to be interesting. I should re-read Play Unsafe with an eye towards game room hi-jinks.

    - Ryan
  • "Oh, you guys are leaving? One quick question -- does this smell like chloroform?"
  • I am thinking there are some synergies between this thread and the Gaming in Prison thread. Have you considered a simple lock-down? You'll want to make sure that you strip search them before you start playing, to be sure you've confiscated anything they could use to pick locks or invent a makeshift knife or crossbow (gamers are creative folks).
  • I usually just make them watch movies. Not many people can get off their asses when pictures are moving before their pretty eyes.
  • edited January 2010
    Trees.
    I have trees along my driveway. One of my players hit one while trying to back out one night. That slowed her down for sure.
    And Bollywood movies. Krrish will do it every time.
  • Posted By: Ryan Macklin at least fuckin' ask.
    Ryan, what are you actually asking for? If you're hard up for a game because your players are leaving on you, ping me. We can finish up that BPRD FATE game from way back.
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