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Gamers Will Be Gamers…

Written by Krystal - Published on April 9, 2010

It means hanging out and playing DnD. Though, for each person they look forward to different things on different occasions. Game night is a release for a lot of people, an escape from their home lives a lot of time and a chance to let loose. It’s come to my attention recently that someone has asked about keeping everyone in the game and in character. This can be tough sometimes, especially if people aren’t actually there to game but mostly to hang out. My boyfriend is the “Host DM” which means everyone comes over to our house to game and he, or I, usually DM and when we do we always show up as soon as possible. Sometimes it can take us hours to get started because we are hanging out, laughing, and “Getting the sillies out”. We will even shout and joke and laugh just before we start to play around so we can focus more and get into character. The question is how to differentiate between too much game, and too much distractions.

I want to play the game, beginning to end, no distractions.

We often feel this way at my house sometimes too, and as I said before we make sure we have time to hang out either before or after the game or even find a way to incorporate breaks into the game where the DM can prepare the next encounter and everyone can joke around for a minute.  Remember not everyone can be serious all the time. Take this into account, but they should also respect the fact that you are here for the game and not necessarily for the social interaction (at least, not during the game.). Talk to everyone so that you all have the same mind set for the game, and not everyone else having their own idea of what should be happening, and what -is- happening. Most importantly, remember you’re not the only person here who has an idea of what they want to happen and if you wish to keep the other people around, you’ll have to respect their wishes as well and not be too over bearing, as they should be able to respect the same thing.

I don’t really come for the game…

Ahh, well remember that people set this up for a DnD group and if you aren’t really here for that let them know, perhaps they can make time to just hang out and be social before the game, so you don’t have to interrupt during, and just because you are there for other reasons doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the game as well, take your social interactions in game too. There is plenty to explore in this new world, and new friends or new faces of old friends to discover. Think of it that way, rather than “Just playing DnD’. Get into it, enjoy it. Don’t suffer through a DnD and a big thing is -never- force yourself to play DnD or another person, then the game is choppy, not very fun, and rather glum. Be careful who you invite to play, and who you don’t.

In the 4E DM’s guide there is on page 8 a section called “Player Motivations”. Read through this as a player and a DM, they are good things to think about. My DM asked everyone to read through and write, discreetly on a piece of paper which they think they are and give them back. Not which one they think sounds cool, but the persona that fits them best. Sometimes this doesn’t work, so you as the DM or as another player need to take your own steps to decide which best fits who.  Now don’t start “Stereotyping” people, but do keep in mind that these are rather accurate motives created by the writers of the game, and are good to prepare for all of these situations. I have been categorized as an Instigator, but sometimes it varies depending on my character and can change within the game — though commonly most people play the same basic character repeatedly, it’s good to try and get people out of their comfort zone.

Sorry, a little off point here. The main point is under this it has something called the “Watcher” which is described as “…a casual player who comes to the game because he wants to be part of a social event…” “..he wants to participate, but he doesn’t really care if he’s deeply immersed..” There are many other “Motives” described and I strongly urge you to check them out, this not only helps DM’s but hosts who wish to create an involved game. Decide which type of gamer you are inviting over.

You’ll never be able to control every situation, no matter the position you are in, but in some areas you will have more say than others. Realize which areas have more sway, and what type of communication gets to your group better ie. Sweet talking, being straight up, or giving small hints. It may not be fun to do these things, but if you wish to avoid confrontation the only way to do that is by being calm and collected about your decisions. Be logical, and intelligent; if you keep emotions out of a conversation it’s less likely to spring into a heated, emotional debate. Even if you are keeping emotions out, still consider the way the other person feels when talking to them. Never objectify someone (meaning don’t expect them to do something exactly the way you expect because you do something, for example pushing a button on a computer might turn it on. Saying “No” to a person might make them accept it. Remember that every person will have different reactions.)

Sorry if this seems all over the place, it’s really hard to give advice on individual situations as they are just that- individual, and each situation can be unique, or very similar to each other but when handling a situation such as players preferences they will vary from group to group, person to person, and you need to keep all that in mind when dealing with a “Host” situation and decide the type of person you want to be. Do you want to be the stickler, or really laid back? Remember, if you feel the game should go a certain way sit down and talk with them about it, explain why you feel that way and if there is anything they can compromise on to help you. Communication is key in any type of relationship and your DnD group -is- a relationship just like a friendship is, and if you are unable to communicate to your DnD group then it will make gaming a LOT harder (seeing as a BIG part of DnD is communication.) so good luck, and I urge you to be open with your group. You don’t have to tell them your private life secrets, but if it involves them you should be up front and honest so that everyone can better understand each other. Rather than arguing and fighting, or letting it bottle up so you explode and storm out during a game one day….those are never pretty and leave an awkward air afterwards and makes it harder for that person to come back later on for fear of judgment or embarrassment.

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Written by Krystal

At a young age, my mother opened up her own gaming store. We had two game rooms, an office, and the front area which had a ton of miniatures and books. I helped manage that store for several years, my mother teaching me the ropes and treating me like an adult so I could learn. Even beyond that she played games at stores like Haster Hobbies and several other places. In fact, my parents met gaming! DnD kind of runs in my blood, as well as any other gaming you can think of. I’m simply a gamer at heart, an artist, and a jack of all trades. I love to write and that’s why I’m here at Dungeon Mastering! I’m going to be going to school for Video Game Design, and my bf is going to school so he can publish Core Rule Sets. In the short few years I’ve been with him I’ve learned all about how to create my own rule system and create a game from the ground up! But my expertise is not limited to DnD alone. I’ve ventured far into Call of Cthullu, and beyond to games like Shadowrun and some White Wolf games..though I’m not a big fan of dice pools. :)

Anyways! Gaming is my passion and my life. I game constantly, go to conventions, and so much more! Maybe I’ll see you there! Happy Gaming!

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 Comments

17 Responses to “Gamers Will Be Gamers…”
  1. Noumenon says:

    I’m guessing your submitted title was edited so that it no longer makes sense with the first line of the article?

  2. Brian says:

    Yeah, kinda looks like it got cut off. I’ll check to see if there was a sentence that got cut off

  3. Admin says:

    No, actually it’s supposed to be that way. Try re-reading it.

  4. Noumenon says:

    I re-read it when it confused me, and have now re-read it again, and it still looks like an antecedent with no referent. “(The saying ‘gamers will be gamers’) means hanging out and playing D&D?” That doesn’t make any sense.

  5. Sounds fine to me.

    At this point in my gaming apex (yeah, I’m cool), I’m narrowing my ideal group. I just want to play with a group of dudes and dolls that are there for the same reasons that I have.

    -Tourq

  6. Krystal says:

    Hey guys! It’s totally my fault I’m sorry, I actually ended up changing the title. The beginning should read “Game night means many things for many different people…” and then read into that. I’m so sorry that’s my error!

    Sorry guys!

  7. Brian says:

    NP Krystal, not a big deal. Good article

  8. Elderon Analas says:

    I love all your articles Krystal. Your more recent ones have been the best yet. [switches feet with excitement] I love everything you write. But, I have noticed you have not really done anything with my blog. I know that you’re busy and well probably have a real life and more important things than D&D and blogging. (i’m only 16 and just have to worry about school) I feel a bit sad for you but also happy that you can do alot more than me. But, that is not the point of this. I am here to say “Good job, really love it!” and that is the point. I tend to wander but really everyone knows this and I really like that you guys can well, accept me and my long winded conversations about, nothing really. But well, I think I’m done for today.

    Your Friendly Brass Dragon,
    Elderon Analas

  9. Krystal says:

    # Elderon

    Aww, don’t be sad. I’m sorry, really. I barely get the things to yax that I’m suppose to get to him. :P I really need to up the anny, but I also have four other jobs plus I’m enrolling to finish school. But at the very least I will make sure to keep writing stuff here. :) Thanks guys.

  10. Elderon Analas says:

    @Krystal
    Yeah I know it can be hard.

    If it wasn’t tottaly illegal I would put your articles up on my blog but that’s plagerism and stealing from this site, even if I give credit to you and this site it is still wrong and if it wasn’t it would make me feel bad because I feel it isn’t right anyway. So if you ever get the time I can you know put the articles up. but i will need to go through and look at laws or something so I can figure out what I CAN and CAN’T do. I would put your articles up and give credit where credit is due, but I just don’t know. I don’t want to end up with a lawsuit and other legal actions taking place. I mean if it was as simple as Admin mailing me saying that i need to take it down then fine, but i’m scared of legal repercusins taking place and that scares me greatly.

    Your Worried Friend,
    Elderon Analas

  11. LordVreeg says:

    It’s a timeless subject.
    You have different types of players, different motivations, and on top of it different people’s lives have ups and downs.

    So a GM’s job is often not just running a game or creating the campaign, more experienced GMs become situational managers as well. It’s a social hobby (pro-social), and as such it means sythesizing many distarctions to bring the different people into the same mental space.

    You are right to say a GM can’t control everything, but often, controlling the things they can can solve a lot. This often means creating the right atmosphere, setting up context cues, keping in touch with the players and knowing where their heads are at, seting up the spotlights situations to engage people at the right time, and diffusing situations (often ruining stuff the GM has created for the good of the game).

    The first couple on that list deal with setting mood and context. It’s easier to get people in the same mental space if you cheat. Period or ambient music, the right lighting, and having everything ready helps a lot. Routine is also a huge help, as ‘teaching’ your players when to get serious is often just a matter of teaching them a routine. Both my live groups have dinner and wine before gaming, but as the eating rounds down, i normally start talking game, and the chatter slows down immediately.

    A lot of keeping people in the game is a matter of contact before and after the game. Update the maps and lists and notes online before the session, and it is no longer on your head to answer as many old questions while playing a new session.
    And many grievances can be headed off if you know ahead of what is in your players head.

    Again, great topic, and a great discussion to have.
    (ok, I’d love to go on, but work calls).

  12. Elderon Analas says:

    Ok i’m really in a bind here. I would like someone to adress the issues i made in my earlier comment. I’m in a serious bind here. I want to put Krystals articles on my blog but i don’t want to get into any legal problems. If ither Brian or Yax could like give me permission or if Krystal could send them to me as well I would be able put them up and give Krystal credit or I could do something. I don’t know what to do. Can any of you give me some help. I’m really in some trouble here and would like something to help here and I don’t know what to do.

    Your worried dragon friend,
    Elderon Analas

  13. Krystal says:

    @Elderon
    I’m sorry, but the articles are specifically made for dungeonmastering, but you are allowed to talk about similar topics and paraphrase part of the article and link back to the original article, I’d feel more comfortable with that. :)

    @LordVreeg
    All that is very true, and I agree wholeheartedly. :) To start our games the GM usually goes super silent and looks at everyone, and sooner or later we all end up figuring out it’s that time and shut up, it’s kind of an unspoken agreement type thing.

    Everyone we game with are all close friends, so we are in contact a lot, that probably helps too. Getting a lot of new people in and out of a game can sometimes be difficult if you try to set up a regular routine but it doesn’t hurt to try. xD

  14. Noumenon says:

    Elderon, this kind of partnership seems like it should be discussed in private e-mails. Also, just take no for an answer and stop begging. Next time, try explaining why *she* should want to write on your blog and not why you would want her to.

  15. Brian says:

    Krystal, you seem to be in high demand =)

    Elderon, you may post articles in the form of a “quote” , as long as you provide a link back to the original post in your version of the article. So for example, you might say this in your posts:

    “I recently read a fantastic article on DungeonMastering.com by Krystal about…” Then talk about the article a little. Then, you can paste the parts you liked as quotes within your post.

    Just make sure to link back to give proper credit where credit is due

  16. Elderon Analas says:

    @Noumenon
    First off i’m not begging. I’m simply asking. She has agreed to help out with my blog as well as work here and be awesome all around. I was just stateing that I would like to have the articles on my blog as well as here. I’m only trying to be nice and yes this sort of thing should be disscussed in private but I don’t know Brians email, though mine can be found in the site database I guess. Anyway, thanks for making my good day into something of a downer, now I think I will burn your house down and laugh.

    @Brian
    I take it “quote” just means bits and paices as i’m very certain I am not entitled to the entire article. I was planning on giving credit and if I do post the article in the fassion I was hopeing I will send you the link via email. I have also invited Expy to be a author as well, mabey something like a ghost writer, all my authors are under no sort of commitment of any kind. I just like to have my friends around and if anything help promote the site as best I can.

    Your Dragon Friend,
    Elderon Analas

    PS I was wondering how I could get to have my picture with my comments instead of just the stupid ghost man?

  17. Elderon Analas says:

    I know the way my articles sound and I hate the way I keep talking like Krystal and other such people aren’t even here. It doesn’t sound right and I think it is demeaning to the people that I am talking about.

    Sorry to all those I may have offended.

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