I think my group refuses to like things they enjoy

edited May 2012 in Story Games
The conversation, and logic, of my players. This was started after 3 hours of gut busting laughter, and tense role playing, from a game of Fiasco, that they said they did not like.

They say they really dislike GM'less games.
Ok.
But, we play one to give it a try.
They enjoy it, but want a campaign and more rules to engage with. (this was the Fiasco game)
Ok.
We try a GM'less version of Burning Empires (basically PvP, and they do actually enjoy PvP conflict, as is evidence by our previous BE game) they seem to have a blast. Through out the 2 sessions we played they are way more active, proactive, and "involved" than during any other game I have seen them in, ever.

So, thinking I have them now, I ask what they think.
"I really do not like the idea of a GM'less game, someone should be in charge."
"But, you seemed to enjoy the game more than most of the games we play?"
"I did, but there should be someone in charge."
(I am having trouble understanding this)

Comments

  • Put someone in charge.
  • edited May 2012
    Prime Time Adventures? It has a GM, and supports campaigns.
  • It sounds like they find having authorial control over the game unsatisfying (understandable) and they find simple mechanics unsatisfying (also understandable). You can enjoy something, but not find it rewarding enough for long-term play.
  • What Jason said.

    There are lots of GM roles - facilitator, arbitrator, enthisiast, fount of setting or system knowledge. What is the GM role they are missing? Be the GM for that role. We often rely on Steve to take this pseudo-GM role in GM-less games.

    Also, kids enjoy certain games more if there is an adult watching. Maybe it's a bit like that.
  • Try In A Wicked Age. GM with varying degrees of "in charge", no prep, supports PVP. I've had it work for campaign-style play in 3 to 5 session "arcs"

    The game's Oracles inspired Fiasco's playsets, I believe.

    In A Wicked Age has a reputation for being hard to get right, but I never had that problem (I have been accused of being the an idiot savant of In A Wicked Age, and I'd happily answer questions about it, as does the author)

  • Posted By: Simon RogersThere are lots of GM roles - facilitator, arbitrator, enthisiast, fount of setting or system knowledge. What is the GM role they are missing? Be the GM for that role.
    I want to hear more about this.
  • edited May 2012
    Second to Kira's comment.

    What do they do during games that they say do like? I'm curious.
  • Posted By: thadrineI am having trouble understanding this
    I suspect it's confirmation bias in action. As humans, we're generally not great at understanding the reasons behind the emotional reactions that we have. We can't directly observe or own emotional processes, so the conscious part of our brain needs to sort of reverse-engineer how we feel to explain the "why". Usually, when asked to articulate why we feel something we just settle on the first plausible reason we can think of that seems consistent with our emotions. Your players can easily explain away the "we had fun even though the rules do something we claim to dislike" problem by believing something like "we can have fun with this group of people even if the underlying game is terrible" (if they've been playing RPGs for a while they've probably got some evidence supporting this belief, so it's not crazy to think that). This is the same phenomenon that lets people believe that they love a system even when an outside observer would see them fumbling with the rules and getting confused by the procedures -- people form an initial opinion of the rules, and then actual experience has very little impact on their evaluation because play happens in such a "noisy" environment that it's hard to isolate an observation that would definitively disprove their initial reaction. (Note: I'm not calling anybody stupid or unenlightened by saying this. Psychologists and neuroscientists say that this is basically how everybody's brain works.)
  • edited May 2012

    What do they do during games that they say do like? I'm curious.
    Nothing.
    They sit and do nothing, until something happens to them. I am not trying to be facetious when I say this at all. All character decisions they make are purely reactionary.
    That and "Revenge Stories" they tend to make things about revenge, and really enjoy it when they get to exact that revenge.
  • I'm getting the feeling that you don't like the same things they like.
  • edited May 2012
    Posted By: thadrineWe try a GM'less version of Burning Empires (basically PvP, and they do actually enjoy PvP conflict, as is evidence by our previous BE game) they seem to have a blast. Through out the 2 sessions they are way more active, proactive, and "involved" than during any other game I have seen them in, ever.
    I'm not sure why you assume "more active, proactive, and involved" is inherently a good thing. Maybe what they like about RPGs is getting to hear a cool story thought up by someone else, and therefore dislike games that make them work for their fun. Are you sure that you're observing them having fun, and not just observing them doing the things that you would find fun?
    Posted By: thadrine
    What do they do during games that they say do like? I'm curious.
    Nothing.
    They sit and do nothing, until something happens to them. I am not trying to be facetious when I say this at all. All character decisions they make are purely reactionary.
    That and "Revenge Stories" they tend to make things about revenge, and really enjoy it when they get to exact that revenge.

    So if those are the things they like, and GMless games don't give them those things, why would you expect them to like GMless games?
  • Posted By: anansigirlPosted By: Simon RogersThere are lots of GM roles - facilitator, arbitrator, enthisiast, fount of setting or system knowledge. What is the GM role they are missing? Be the GM for that role.
    I want to hear more about this.

    You know when you play board games in the family, there one person who ends up informally moderating the game and dealing with disputes? Sometimes another person knows the rules a little better, and they are called upon to abitrate. When you first play Fiasco, Montsegur or other similar games with non-players, you often end up with one person as teacher and social facilitator. In my old group I was the GM so I always ended up doing this for Risk, Star Fleet Battles or a bunch of other games. Many gamers just want someone else to deal with the rules stuff, and some people are natural adjudicators and social smoothers. So I suppose that's what I mean.
  • edited May 2012
    Posted By: thadrine
    That and "Revenge Stories" they tend to make things about revenge, and really enjoy it when they get to exact that revenge.
    I had a group like that. Turns out what they really liked was defeating challenges, overcoming odds and figuring out 'awesome strategies' (even though THEY WERE GOING TO WIN NO MATTER WHAT). GMless games have a hard time catering to this; you need slightly antagonistic play with imperfect knowledge.
  • Posted By: JacobPosted By: thadrine
    That and "Revenge Stories" they tend to make things about revenge, and really enjoy it when they get to exact that revenge.
    I had a group like that. Turns out what they really liked was defeating challenges, overcoming odds and figuring out 'awesome strategies' (even though THEY WERE GOING TO WIN NO MATTER WHAT). GMless games have a hard time catering to this; you need slightly antagonistic play with imperfect knowledge.
    I think that one probably hits it the most. The I think about the games we play the more I see where they turned the story toward revenge. And that type of story is hard if you have perfect knowledge.
  • So if those are the things they like, and GMless games don't give them those things, why would you expect them to like GMless games?

    This sounds like "does a bear shit in the woods!"

    I think what you got here, are lazy ass players, Nothing wrong with that.
    They generally like to laugh but expect someone to entertain and make them laugh.
    Stop being the joker, the entertainer.

    That's if you are?
  • RyRy
    edited May 2012

    I remember when I realized I cared more about roleplaying games than my friends did. I also realized I couldn't make them care or trick them into caring. That was very painful.

  • I played Dungeon World at a convention the other day. It was late at night, and a sort of thrown together at the last minute session. The DM had never run DW before, and he was trying hard to make it work like other games he was familiar with, and not really succeeding. Everyone was in good spirits though, and we played a very over-the-top, gonzo kind of game. We killed a dragonbear. My theif betrayed the party for his Sorceress mistress.

    We were all laughing and joking and having fun. It was very noisy, with everyone calling out their actions, making jokes, acting out their characters' moves. But if you asked me afterwards if I liked the game, I would have been ambivalent. I had a pretty good time, but that sort of game is not really what I'm looking for in a roleplaying game.

    I played and had fun, but I'm not going to go looking for that kind of game again. Often when I'm really enjoying a game, I'm very quiet. A lot of the fun is very internal - making complex decisions or thinking through an issue.

    What I'm saying is that it can be hard to say what "fun" looks like. Your friends look like they're having fun, and they are, but that kind of fun is not what they want out of a roleplaying game.
  • Posted By: anansigirl
    I want to hear more about this.
    In case you mean "about GM roles in general", there's this essay I wrote which I occasionally feel an impulse to brag about.
  • I've totally been there, introducing some trad players to something and thinking it was great and seeing them be really engaged only for them to say later they don't want to play that game (or kind of game) anymore. I almost felt like they couldn't handle the awesome, and just needed to play 'safer' games ... Creativity makes you vulnerable, right?

    I've read that people are pretty bad at knowing what makes them happy. Explains why I played d&d so long even though most of the time I wasn't enjoying myself.

    Or maybe it's more what people are suggesting here. I look like I enjoy comedies more than tragedies but tragedies can be more satisfying.
  • edited May 2012
    Edit: Eh, I give up. They really don't make sense to me.
  • edited May 2012
    Posted By: Simon CWhat I'm saying is that it can be hard to say what "fun" looks like. Your friends look like they're having fun, and they are, but that kind of fun is not what they want out of a roleplaying game.
    So very, very true.

    I know I've unintentionally tricked people into thinking that I was enjoying a game much more than I actually was, mostly because I try to adhere to the "fake it until you make it" philosophy when trying a new game.

    In other words, I try to be as enthusiastic, committed, energetic, and positive about what's going on as I can be, contributing what I can to the table's atmosphere, trying to stay open to the experience and engaged with it rather than skeptical and closed-off. Sometimes it works and I find that I genuinely enjoy the game and have real enthusiasm for it; other times it doesn't work and I might look like I'm having a great time, but in fact I'm actually discovering that the game just doesn't click with me.

    Probably the worst example of the latter was Primetime Adventures, which our group tried for a couple of months. I'd heard so many good things about it that I was feeling pretty optimistic when we started playing. For the first three sessions, I put a lot of solid effort into trying to enjoy the game, and from the outside it probably looked like I was -- so much so that it kind of shocked the GM when we were chatting after the third session and I asked what the heck I was missing, because I just couldn't figure out how to have as much fun playing PTA as I generally had when we played other games. Up until that moment, he thought I was doing a great job with PTA and was really into it, when in fact the whole time I was dreading every time I had to pick up the cards, and was never, ever as satisfied by or interested in what was going on with the story as I had been in nearly every other game we had played. That's the very first thing I thought of when I read thadrine's OP: the difference between being good at doing something and enjoying doing it can be vast, and you can't just assume the latter because you see the former. His group can absolutely be great at Fiasco and BW and still be 100% honest when they say they don't enjoy either game as much as what they usually play.

    The thing is, it's so much easier to know that you don't like something than it is to be able to describe WHY you don't like it, and in retrospect our group probably should have just accepted my "No, this isn't a game for me" at face value (and the similar "Nope, not fun" sentiments of most of the rest of the group) and bagged PTA right then and there. Instead, we spent a few more weeks trying to suss out what specifically we didn't like and how we could change our approach to PTA to make it work for us, without any success.

    When we did finally shelve it for good, our very next game was awesome, no faking required. To this day, I don't know what the deal is with PTA, but I don't really need to figure it out: our group just crossed it and games like it off the list, and we've got so many other games to play that we'll never miss it. And the two people who actually did genuinely enjoy the game just go and play it with a different group when they get the urge, so I guess it all turned out okay for everyone. It was a learning experience, anyway.
  • edited May 2012
    Posted By: Accounting for Taste His group can absolutely be great at Fiasco and BW and still be 100% honest when they say they don't enjoy either game as much as what they usually play.
    Ahem...
    Posted By: thadrine
    "But, you seemed to enjoy the game more than most of the games we play?"
    "I did, but there should be someone in charge."
    That's what actually makes these guys incomprehensible to me. They liked the session more than they usually do, but still blame the game for not being like those other games.
  • edited May 2012
    Eh, I read that as them not knowing specifically what it is that they didn't like; they know that there's something about their Fiasco/BW experience that didn't work for them, but when they're pressed for specifics, they're pretty much flailing around trying to come up with an acceptable answer. And to be fair, it is ridiculously hard to accurately identify the specific reasons why you didn't like a play experience unless you've had a lot of practice doing exactly that. There's a LOT going on at the table during a game, and dissecting it properly isn't easy.

    It's possible that they did, in fact, enjoy a lot of what they were doing more than in other games...but at the same time, felt there was something else going on that was definitely less enjoyable, and it cast a shadow over the experience for them. Maybe they're right, and the thing that bugged them really is rooted in there not being a GM; maybe they're wrong and that was just the first, most obvious difference they could think of and they glommed onto it in order to try and end the conversation, because they don't feel like trying to work out what went wrong when they could just play something else instead.

    My point, such as it is, is that some games don't click with some people. Maybe they can tell you why, maybe they can't; either way, you should probably accept it at face value when someone tells you that they don't want to play that game again. Even if you think they were awesome at it, even if they reassure you that they enjoyed it, even if you press them for a reason and the one they give you sounds weird. It's great when there's an easy, obvious fix you can try, but that's pretty rare unless you're dealing with a group that's really into breaking down and analyzing their game experiences. Most of the time you should probably just put that game back on the shelf and move on. It's not like there's a shortage of other games you could play instead, right?
  • Don't overlook the geek social fallacy. They might be being polite, since their friend is really stoked about these games they aren't super excited by.

    If somebody tells you they don't enjoy a game, even if in your eyes they obviously did, play something else with them. If that is too much to bear, find new people who really want to play the things you like. Trying to figure out why they say one thing and do another isn't going to make them like the games you like. It is going to make them resent you when you tell them what they are thinking and feeling.
  • I've had the opposite issue with a few players who were obviously miserable playing a game, constantly complained and pulled other players down, then were horribly offended when they were asked to bow out. People do weird things and don't always say what they are feeling.
  • Posted By: Dan MaruschakPosted By: thadrineI am having trouble understanding this
    I suspect it'sconfirmation biasin action. As humans, we're generally not great at understanding the reasons behind the emotional reactions that we have. We can't directly observe or own emotional processes, so the conscious part of our brain needs to sort of reverse-engineer how we feel to explain the "why". Usually, when asked to articulate why we feel something we just settle on the first plausible reason we can think of that seems consistent with our emotions. Your players can easily explain away the "we had fun even though the rules do something we claim to dislike" problem by believing something like "we can have fun with this group of people even if the underlying game is terrible" (if they've been playing RPGs for a while they've probably got some evidence supporting this belief, so it's not crazy to think that). This is the same phenomenon that lets people believe that they love a system even when an outside observer would see them fumbling with the rules and getting confused by the procedures -- people form an initial opinion of the rules, and then actual experience has very little impact on their evaluation because play happens in such a "noisy" environment that it's hard to isolate an observation that would definitively disprove their initial reaction. (Note: I'm not calling anybody stupid or unenlightened by saying this. Psychologists and neuroscientists say that this is basically howeverybody'sbrain works.)

    I think you're right, but if you are: how do you surmount confirmation bias?

    The old "I'm going to redefine the term you're unconsciously prejudicing yourself against" game can be a hard one to play with savvy and intelligent players (it's a tough move with people who are mentally disturbed and dont' see it coming.)_

    In this case the term "GMless" is rubbing up against the ingrained beleif "someone has to be in charge."

    Personally, I dislike authority on deep and intrinsic level, so I loved the sound of "GMless" from the get-go. But I have discovered that GMless games do not lack authority at all, they just spread it around a bit.

    As for the advice of "find new people" I gotta say, from a lonely-in-the-middle-of-nowhere vantage point, that isn't always a viable solution. You find the people you can find and you have to come up with some compromise, sometimes. We'll play a bit of what you want if I can play a bit of what I want.
  • Posted By: anansigirlI want to hear more about this.
    Here's an article I wrote back in 2002 on collaborative roleplaying:

    http://ptgptb.org/0020/coop.html

    I interviewed Ian Millington, who at the time was a PhD in Computers/AI, and the CEO of a company that was developing computer AI. And an avid roleplayer and essayist. Around a few months before that, he put together an essay-game called "ERGO", which basically made the clear divides and scattered the many "faces" of the GM (as listed above) to the actual players themselves. Basically granting several people GM responsibilities.

    -Andy
  • edited May 2012
    Oh hell! Here's the entire ERGO collaborative process (the crux of the interview with its creator Ian M), INCLUDING the illustrative designs, thanks to the WaybackMachine! Sweet!

    http://web.archive.org/web/20021106195024/http://www.collaborativeroleplay.org/information/startingToCollaborate

    And the first draft of Ergo (warning: A little dry):

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030827023732/http://www.collaborativeroleplay.org/games/ian/ergo/ergo_one.txt

    -Andy
  • Posted By: AndyOh hell! Here's the entire ERGO collaborative process (the crux of the interview with its creator Ian M), INCLUDING the illustrative designs, thanks to the WaybackMachine! Sweet!

    http://web.archive.org/web/20021106195024/http://www.collaborativeroleplay.org/information/startingToCollaborate

    And the first draft of Ergo (warning: A little dry):

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030827023732/http://www.collaborativeroleplay.org/games/ian/ergo/ergo_one.txt

    -Andy
    Awesome.
  • edited May 2012

    As for the advice of "find new people" I gotta say, from a lonely-in-the-middle-of-nowhere vantage point, that isn't always a viable solution. You find the people you can find and you have to come up with some compromise, sometimes.
    I know I hate it when people say this.
    This discussion does not come from my current group, it comes from a previous group.
    But if I had to make/find another group now I would be screwed. I already drive 90 minutes every week just to reach civilization and play with them.
  • Been thinking about that, so here's a couple of points to grind:

    a) Just because you have fun doing something doesn't mean that's the kind of fun you'd aim to have if you had the choice. Part of the problem is the value-metaphor we use to describe things. "More fun" makes it looks as if fun was a quantifiable, and a not purely qualitative trait.
    They had fun. Your way of evaluating fun makes you think they had "more" fun - and maybe they did even. But their way of evaluating fun makes that kind of fun undesirable.
    People say I look good in green. I enjoy wearing green once in a while. But give me the choice and I'll pick black almost every time.

    b) You present 'active, proactive, and "involved"' as inherently good. One of the (many) players I had try Lady Blackbird told me after two hours she did like the game, but wouldn't like to play it again, as she found it too taxing. GMless games, Story Games, and old school simulationist games have very different pace and rhythm in my experience.
    Some players may have preferences.
  • edited May 2012
    Posted By: EmeraudeBeen thinking about that, so here's a couple of points to grind:

    a) Just because you have fun doing something doesn't mean that's the kind of fun you'd aim to have if you had the choice. Part of the problem is the value-metaphor we use to describe things. "More fun" makes it looks as if fun was a quantifiable, and a not purely qualitative trait.
    They had fun. Your way of evaluating fun makes you think they had "more" fun - and maybe they did even. But their way of evaluating fun makes that kind of fun undesirable.
    People say I look good in green. I enjoy wearing green once in a while. But give me the choice and I'll pick black almost every time.

    b) You present 'active, proactive, and "involved"' as inherently good. One of the (many) players I had try Lady Blackbird told me after two hours she did like the game, but wouldn't like to play it again, as she found it too taxing. GMless games, Story Games, and old school simulationist games have very different pace and rhythm in my experience.
    Some players may have preferences.
    On the other hand, I'm usually trying to sell a game as "more fun" because I really think it is more fun to play it that way and it seems to answer the complaints of others. I can understand if people would prefer another way of doing things, but if someone genuinely seems to enjoy an experience (we're talking positive body language, more involvement than normal, other simple indicators) then I'm going to want to encourage them to try again - because I like seeing people have fun.

    I kinda hate seeing people sitting around a roleplaying table, bored out of their minds, slight looks of contempt on their faces, complaining afterwards and sort of half caring about what happens in the game they've just committed - what - two to four hours of their life to play?

    It can be baffling to present something different, get positive feedback and wonder why it isn't a hit (why did they go back to being miserable?) It's frustrating when the only reason people give is "we want someone to be in charge." It doesn't make me feel good about myself and, frankly, it kinda scares me.
  • 1) Arpie, I'm with you on some people simply being bad at being honest about when they're having fun. Emeraude's points are well-taken, to be sure—but sometimes people *do* prefer being miserable if that misery is familiar.

    2) As far as pacing, managing the group, and stuff like that goes, I try to be very much "in charge" when I'm running a game or even facilitating a GM-less game—even if I'm pretty open and flexible in terms of game content. A lot of indie games actually don't need to be particularly more burdensome to the player than the average trad game, in terms of creative contribution—just play your character! That's it! AW is particularly good for this.

    Not that I have any evidence you're doing a bad or incorrect job running these games. It's just that, *in general*, some of the buzz surrounding the indie/story-games movement is *all about* the whole "player empowerment" thing. However, while many games do indeed ask for director or author stance from players, not all of them do, and many call for a pretty strong and direct approach to GMing.

    Matt
  • Reading body language is often trickier than one assumes.

    So, if I fall asleep during a game, you'll assume I'm bored, maybe? And this wouldn't be an unreasonable guess.

    But, it could just mean I've been burning the candle at both ends, like, oh, if it's Saturday at 8 am at GenCon. Or Saturday at 4 pm at GenCon -- maybe I made it through the 8 am game and am just crashing now.

    Or maybe I had a long work week. A friend of mine and I both had an unspoken agreement -- he wouldn't bitch at me for falling asleep at his games, and I wouldn't bitch at him for falling asleep at mine. We both worked during the week and gamed on the weekend, and the exhaustion sometimes caught up with us.

    At GenCon, Josh and I were chatting with a GM who was trying to figure out how to handle the type of player who shows up to a convention scenario and stares like a deer in the headlights when the GM says, "Okay, and what do you do?" The GM found this annoying as the people who did this could see the GM was going around the table and had time to think of something, surely?

    Now, as far as bottom line you're-running-a-convention-game-advice on what to do goes, general consensus was, "Okay, I'll get back to you." But as far as what-the-heck-is-going-on-in-the-player's-mind, Josh made an interesting point: Some players are tourists. They're happy watching the game go on around them. But, if you suddenly try to pull them in, they are unhappy. Was this what was going on? I don't know. It's not the way I prefer to game. But, yes, I've gamed with a man who is incredibly shy, barely speaks at all, and sort of stammers when asked anything -- but seemed to enjoy the game, week after week. We did have one special rule there, which I would call an unspoken rule, except I spoke of it explicitly to a new player who has a hot button about getting interrupted: If the quiet player ever, of his own volition, spoke -- which did happen, if rarely -- the rest of us shut up and listened. (The new player was fine with this precisely because of the heads-up.)

    I've seen a player bow out of a campaign, startling all of us. The player's Plucky Reporter had been approached by an old flame who wanted her to leave town with him. The player said, "Oh, well, I've been considering dropping out anyway, so she's going to say yes." The player's reason? The game just wasn't working for him. And, none of us saw this coming. I had, at this point, known him for at least fifteen years, maybe longer. I gamed with him week after week. I talked with him outside of gaming. I saw nothing in his body language that would have led me to think he wasn't enjoying the game.
  • Posted By: merb101I've had the opposite issue with a few players who were obviously miserable playing a game, constantly complained and pulled other players down, then were horribly offended when they were asked to bow out. People do weird things and don't always say what they are feeling.
    That's not weird at all. Maybe they were passive-aggressively giving hints to the GM that they want to play something else, and instead got booted. And persons who would bow out without problems are never those that are actually asked to leave.

    Hell, I'd probably be offended (if not publicly) if I was asked to bow out, even if my performance had been miserable and the game was better without me. One is singled out as a person who ruins other people's fun, and that's inherently very insulting.
    Posted By: ArpiePersonally, I dislike authority on deep and intrinsic level, so I loved the sound of "GMless" from the get-go. But I have discovered that GMless games do not lack authority at all, they just spread it around a bit.
    If you define authority in such broad terms, you're always going to have it in RPGs.
    Posted By: Deliverator1) Arpie, I'm with you on some people simply being bad at being honest about when they're having fun. Emeraude's points are well-taken, to be sure—but sometimes people *do* prefer being miserable if that misery is familiar.
    You're using some weird definition of misery here.
  • edited May 2012
    Some players are tourists.

    Yup. Some prefer to have low participation.
    That doesn't mean they're not having fun - though it may seem like it to people who really enjoy a great volume of activity. That doesn't entail they do not have a significant impact on the game. One such player I know can just make a game session, though he'll only act once... if anything I'd even argue the very fact that he acts so rarely compared to other players contributes to the impact... other players are the necessary noise to his signal in a way. Once he even come to me after a game session to tell to stop trying to force him into the spotlight, as he did not enjoy that.
    Some people just don't enjoy the spotlight, really. Some players don't like being too active. Hell, some players seem to enjoy being an active audience more than being actors at times.

    I know nothing about you or your players, thadrine. Was just saying that it might be worth taking into account.

    Now that I think of it, last time I ran Lady Blackbird, one player, totally new to the medium, acted the most, took leadership and totally shaped the game. I thought he was having great fun. At the end of the session he told me he didn't really enjoy it and wasn't willing to give it another try.
  • edited May 2012
    I have noticed that anything really touted as a story game does not suit "casual" gamers well. If you're just hanging out with buddies and you're not really into roleplaying, then the level of participation required for some indie games will make you uncomfortable. Can't fault people there.

    However, many indie games do appeal to other types of players quite well. Players who enjoy challenges and tactics often enjoy games when you sell them as competitive storytelling. Showing them that they can win by getting the outcome they want has worked for me.

    And players who enjoy the principles behind storytelling also like most of the indie games I pull out.

    Oddly,the people who have responded most negatively to story games I've presented are players who repeat the "I'm a ROLE player not a ROLL player" mantra over and over again. Since they're often the ones most unhappy with traditional games, I felt considerable frustration at first. However, I find that these players are merely seeking an immersive experience where they don't have to worry about rules at all. I tend to steer them in the direction of improvisational theatre games, which I've had some success with - but I don't really want to play theatre sports, so I'm the one who doesn't stick around.

    (Although I'm not averse to the occasional game of Bus Stop or Freeze.)
  • Posted By: ArpieOddly,the people who have responded most negatively to story games I've presented are players who repeat the "I'm a ROLE player not a ROLL player" mantra over and over again.[...] However, I find that these players are merely seeking an immersive experience where they don't have to worry about rules at all.
    Something I've been debating with a friend on this very point a couple of days ago: some story games generally function at a level of abstraction that prevents some players to invest into characters. To those they never become first person characters, they're always third person, removed and external - a piece of narrative to be manipulated, but not a character to project into.
  • I'm tired of reading Jason Morningstar's posts and thinking how perfectly he sums all the issues up. Jason, seriously, stop making sense! You're just going to smash your nose on other people's Backfire Effect. Which incidentally is what the thread starter is currently doing.
  • Posted By: ArpieOddly,the people who have responded most negatively to story games I've presented are players who repeat the "I'm a ROLE player not a ROLL player" mantra over and over again.
    I don't find that odd at all. That mantra is essentially just another formulation of "System Doesn't Matter."

    Matt
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