Mechwarrior players really pack a punch

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WolfWarden3062
07/09/04 12:27 PM
172.173.152.19

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Well.... since my last post on the request for a few ideas, thank you by the way, I have become privy to the fact that not just Mechwarrior, but players in general in an RPG are apparently plot assassins. I have never seen three people just take a beautiful, hand carved, painstaking detail plot and just molest and devour the thing. But maybe thats just Pittsburgh. I have learned the hard way that I should have a back up plan. I never saw the Mechwarrior book warn of this. lol.
-The most difficult factor of battle is taking the most devious path and making it the most direct route. The art of manuver is just that; Art.
-Sun-Tzu, The Art of War
-Who wants to have a good time and blow crap up?
-Paul Stanley, KISS
CrayModerator
07/09/04 01:11 PM
24.50.80.39

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Yes...intentionally and accidentally, players are uniquely able to screw up a detailed plot.

My solution is not to have a detailed plot.

When I make an adventure, I now get together a background plot that explains the reasons for the adventure. The players cannot affect this background plot - it's the background, after all, and big parts of it probably already happened before the adventure begins. Then I start collecting a jumble of NPCs, scenes, and goals that are related to the background plot. These are tossed out in the path of player characters where ever they stumble and bumble into. They can also be discarded on a whim, or re-forged into new encounters. I mean, if you have a set of 10 goons for a bar scene, but the players pick a fight in a church instead, just relabel the 10 goons as 10 kung fu clerics and you're good to go.

I kind of imagine GMing like playing that old video game, Pong: you have these paddles that try to move into the path of the PCs, no matter where they go.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.
Minnime
07/16/04 01:24 PM
217.229.98.15

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A battleplan hardly survives the first rounds of battle, the same goes for a plot.

Don't even make one, it's only distracting. Create actors who have goals which they want (or will) reach, the PCs just play a role in that game... that's it.

If you setup a setting and let it grow/change from the input of the players and NPCs it will be more realistic and interesting, than a setting that has a plotted plot offering the PCs no chance to escape.

The reason players screw plots is the same reason you don't know why they do something, they have a different state of information at their disposal and make judgements based on that, in most cases their opinion will differ alot from your opinion.

Just because you think that the PCs should do something, they do not think the same. Things that are logic from your point of view, might be nonsense from a players point of view.

Minni
Brandx0
07/21/04 02:20 PM
24.207.34.161

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The problem is that the plot is the glue which keeps the party together. Without a plot, where the players are free to persue their own goals, you run into one of two situations:

A) D&D Syndrome: "Hello I don't know any of you but I will gladly drop everything important in my life to help you and fight to the death if need be to help you all attain your goals"

B) Vampire Syndrome: "I don't really like any of you so I'm going to go and do my own thing without regard for what you want"

The problem is that A is completely unrealistic and makes for little enjoyment aside from hack'n'slashers, and B ruins the game because nobody stays with eachother, thus turning it into a series of small one person games.
CrayModerator
07/21/04 05:07 PM
68.200.111.156

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Quote:

The problem is that the plot is the glue which keeps the party together. Without a plot, where the players are free to persue their own goals, you run into one of two situations:

A) D&D Syndrome: "Hello I don't know any of you but I will gladly drop everything important in my life to help you and fight to the death if need be to help you all attain your goals"

B) Vampire Syndrome: "I don't really like any of you so I'm going to go and do my own thing without regard for what you want"

The problem is that A is completely unrealistic and makes for little enjoyment aside from hack'n'slashers, and B ruins the game because nobody stays with eachother, thus turning it into a series of small one person games.




That's a pretty good summary.

Vampire players need to learn to work together to survive and further the plot; DnD players need to learn to work apart to be more than drones. It's an interesting balancing act.
Mike Miller, Materials Engineer

Disclaimer: Anything stated in this post is unofficial and non-canon unless directly quoted from a published book. Random internet musings of a BattleTech writer are not canon.
Brandx0
07/21/04 06:14 PM
24.207.34.161

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I've spent exstensive time playing Vampire, though not so much D&D (got out of that ASAP) but thats generally what I noted from those two games, being, in my opinion, the complete opposites of the spectrum in terms of the proverbial "party"
Nightward
07/25/04 02:58 PM
211.26.23.161

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In Vampire's defence, the Coterie setup actually does create friction. After all, you're an immortal being who can only advance at the expense of the Kindred around you, and since the other PCs are more manipulatable than, say, the Prince, that's who gets screwed first.

OUR DnD party is a "you've all just met a few weeks ago" deal. We were all gypped out of one thousand GP each and have banded together to get it back. Unfortunately, all of our PCs hate each other. The Druid is a nutjob, and we all hate him. The Monk and Soulknife work together because they suck alone. For unknown reasons, it's my PC (Cleric) and the Barbarian/Fighter Half-Orc who anchor the party in combat and out. But even we hate each other IC.

I really think it's easier for the sake of the RPG to go "dungeon crawling" style with regards to PC interactions for the sake of playability and fun.

In BT, you can easily get away with the standard "you were all assigned to this one Lance/Star/Whatever and had to learn to work together" angle any way.
Yea, verily. Let it be known far and wide that Nightward loathes MW: DA. Indeed, it is with the BURNING ANIMUS OF A THOUSAND SUNS that he doth rage against it with.
Lone_Wolf_Radick
08/06/04 06:02 PM
129.33.119.12

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I haven't played much Mechwarrior RPG, but I too have noticed the D&D syndrome occurring time and again... I agree that it should be kept simple (the plot that is) and for a rich story keep it unalterable, like a background or a historical event or something occuring outside the PC's sphere of influence... You can actually create a very enjoyable game by flying by the seat of your pants (to some degree) and simply create and throw things at your players based on how they handled the previous obstacle, or just on whim... It doesn't hurt as much as a Gamemaster to see a whim destroyed as it does to witness a player rape of a carefully woven tale...
War Never Determines who is right, only who is left.

"I find your lack of faith disturbing-Darth Vader"
UncaRat
08/06/04 10:02 PM
172.128.75.140

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True, Oh Lone Wolf, but it does require that the man in charge have a good understanding of how the game works. Otherwise the game bogs down as the Game Master has to halt the action to 'look it up' and that ruins the flow.
It also helps if the rules set is limited by the Game Master AND the urge to be a 'Rules Lawyer' is dampened by bad things happening to them.
(Evil grin. Sabotage of the mech coolant was a favorite! roll a 12 on 2D6 and loose a heatsink of your choice. But only after their stressed in battle!)
We did mostly play before 29 so a lot of high tec gear was unplayed.
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