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Old 09-16-2008, 07:27 PM
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As a ref/GM, have you ever done something plot-wise that has turned several players off or pushed them away from your game?

If so, how did you handle it?

I run a Pirates of the Vistula PbP on RPoL and I recently unleashed a plot twist that pretty much forces the PCs to give up their uber-powerful Wisla Krolowa river tug. I thought that they'd appreciate the challenge and admire the curve-ball but I'm getting the distinct impression that the opposite is the case. I'm not sure how to handle the situation that I've created.

P.S. I don't want anyone to think I'm a forum whore but I've posted this on a couple of the "new" forums simply because I'm not quite sure where everyone is quite yet.
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Old 09-17-2008, 03:09 AM
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In my experience its normally been other players or the ref who has turned players off, rather than the plot.

In this specific case Rae, i think the players put allot of effort fitting out the river tug. They have likley been through many battles with her since sailing. So there is likely a larger emotional attachment to the tug than if it was simply "issued" to them. Makes it harder to give it up.

I guess the nature of the module/game is that at some point the river needs to be deviated from, and hence the tug abandoned or left in the captains care.

In my view, if players are attached to the tug then the game itself has generated allot of emotion and investment. So thats a huge positive (congratulations to the ref and players).

So if they are reluctant to leave the tug then maybe the players need to reasses their missions/goal. If they dont want to leave the tug, then maybe they cant "go home". Instead maybe they need to choose to do other activities that enables them to use the tug.

Run guns, medical supplies, explore other villages are possibilities. Or choose a village and decide to rebuild it. Whatever, you know the options they have. In this way they are working towards something else while still having the tug available.

Retorhical question for you Rae, can the players choose to do their own thing, or are you railroading them to abandon the tug? No problems either way, both the ref and players need to be happy with the games direction. Maybe talk it out quickly OOC and see if they are totaly against leaving it or just dissappointed to be leaving her. After all, thats what you'd do if you were all sitting around the table top ...
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:21 AM
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I've not had that problem yet myself, but I have played in a game recently that the players forced the GM to abandon. One of our group was very keen to run a D20 StarWars game, so we said go for it. Unfortunately he had no real knowledge of the rules, which really slowed things down as he kept having to stop and look things up. We could have perservered with it but he was running a massively scripted game, more like he was directing a film than proper roleplaying, and a lot of the time that we attempted to do things we were flat out told 'No, you can't do that'. I know that there has to be a certain amount of scripting in a game otherwise it wouldn't progress, but we got to the point where we felt that nothing we did had any impact on the game as he had planned out everything, including what we were meant to do in every situation. On top of this he was favouring one of the players massively over everyone else, so we sat down, talked it through and binned the idea.

I don't think that this is where your game is - I think the characters are merely attached to somethin that they have worked hard on, fought from and come to consider home - kudos on generating this level of feeling in a game, its very hard to do. I think the players will realise that they have to move on at some stage, and are possibly just roleplaying their disillusionment with leaving what has become a place of safety?
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:07 AM
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I can't speak for everyone involved, nor can I assume at this point. But I know I am not turned off by the plot. I don't have any attachment to the tug. I think some people are just frustrated that no plan seems to be good considering the limitations the group must follow (keep the cargo, keep the destination, and time).

Keep it up Rae. If people drop because of a boat, then whatever. The real fans will stick it out.
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:31 PM
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Thanks fusilier.

To answer your question, KC, I kind of did railroad the group. In my defense, the established RESET game thread/side-plot in my campaign called for a major obstacle at this point in the game. I felt it would be unrealistic to dispense with this and simply throw another platoon of garrison troops at them. The tug has chewed up everything I've thrown at it so far, including an Mi-17 gunship and a 30mm cannon armed hovercraft.

On the other hand, I had kind of grown tired of the limitations the tug has placed on the game and its players. Since the beginning, I've had player complaints about their PCs being stuck on board the tug whenever groups went ashore. I've been unwilling to man the tug with NPCs (unrealistic and too much work) to solve the problem so this seemed a way to deal with it.

So, in this case, I am guilty of railroading. For the most part, though, I've given the PCs the freedom to go, say, and do as they please. The only times I've stepped in is when the story started to lag and needed to be prodded (or pushed) along a bit and this always after repeated warnings. This is the first and only time so far that I've forced a particular course of action. I hope it's the last.

I don't want to ever end up the kind of GM Tigger mentioned in his post.

As for players being emotionally invested in the tug, I hope that is the case- at least a little but. However, no one has ever expressed any kind of attachment to the tug, either IC or OOC. I think it's more of a comfort object for some and- to be a bit harsh- and excuse for some players not to post sometimes. This may not be fair, but it's sure seemed this way at times.

So, I've made up my mind and am compelling the party to leave the tug and strike out for Warsaw over land. We'll see what happens.
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Last edited by Raellus; 09-17-2008 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 09-18-2008, 02:46 AM
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(muttering under breath) ... i missed out on a Hind encounter :-(
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:03 AM
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An M-17 would be a hip not a hind i believe. Quite a bit of firepower either way.
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:22 AM
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Howd the hele encounter play out, anyone know???
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:21 AM
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Shot down by a friendly river patrol boat.
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Old 09-20-2008, 07:10 PM
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Can anyone shed any more details on this encounter?

What specifically shot it down?

Can i be linked up to where the encounter began to read the in game posts?
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Old 09-21-2008, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
P.S. I don't want anyone to think I'm a forum whore but I've posted this on a couple of the "new" forums simply because I'm not quite sure where everyone is quite yet.
I'm a forum whore. A cheap one too.

As I said in reply to this question on another forum, let the players suffer. Suffering is a major part of the in-character experience of playing T2K. Its one thing to run a campaign where there is no success for the PCs, no joy, and the GM thwarts the players at every turn. But it is quite another to take away their tug boat for a legitimate reason in the game. The gaming gods gave them the tug, the gaming gods take it away. In the words of Westley in The Princess Bride "Life IS pain your highness. Anyone who says otherwise is lying or trying to sell you something".
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcdusk
Can anyone shed any more details on this encounter?

What specifically shot it down?

Can i be linked up to where the encounter began to read the in game posts?
Hope this works. The part of the encounter involving the heli begins at message #198.

http://www.rpol.net/display.cgi?gi=2...9125&msgpage=9

Exactly who and what shot it down are on subsequent pages.

Targan, things are working out OK. Some of the players compained just a little but no one has quit and everyone is working to make the transition to dry land. I almost caved, though. Thanks for stiffening my backbone.

The hardest bit for them, I think, is leaving behind their 82mm Vasilek automortar and their trio of DShK HMGs, not to mention a couple of tons of humanitarian aid for the refugees up at Warsaw. It does change things quite a bit.
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Last edited by Raellus; 09-21-2008 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
I'm a forum whore. A cheap one too.

As I said in reply to this question on another forum, let the players suffer. Suffering is a major part of the in-character experience of playing T2K. Its one thing to run a campaign where there is no success for the PCs, no joy, and the GM thwarts the players at every turn. But it is quite another to take away their tug boat for a legitimate reason in the game. The gaming gods gave them the tug, the gaming gods take it away. In the words of Westley in The Princess Bride "Life IS pain your highness. Anyone who says otherwise is lying or trying to sell you something".
Well, even the Great Buddha said, "all life is suffering until one achieves Nirvana." Achieving Nirvana means transcending the the emotion of want.

Chuck M.
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