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Old 09-10-2008, 03:18 AM
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Default Game goal setting Q

kcdusk 06-02-2008, 08:59 PM Whether as Refs or Players, in your T2K gaming do you prefer the Ref to give the players a goal to achieve or do you prefer for the players themselves to decide on their own group objective?



Initially i thought having a small short term objective (ie escape from Kaliz) meant the players could choose a direction to run in and thus a short term goal. Then having done that the players had to decide on some longer term plan was good. It meant the players bought into the long term game because it was their own objective they were working towards.



But having seen a few games and been involved in a few, i think games are better when the Ref presents a short term goal (sometimes just the initial encounter) and then also sets a medium or longer term goal. Otherwise the players are often just "running" and maybe even just looking to clock the encounters up rather than achieve anything too much game wise. So now i think its best for games when a clear objective is given to the players.



Your thoughts?

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Targan 06-03-2008, 12:25 AM There's nothing wrong with presenting a PC group with short, medium or long term objectives in a campaign. After all, they always have the option of ignoring those objectives outright or abandoning them along the way.

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General Pain 06-03-2008, 01:12 AM There's nothing wrong with presenting a PC group with short, medium or long term objectives in a campaign. After all, they always have the option of ignoring those objectives outright or abandoning them along the way.


As HQ probably agree on - The ref usually defines a goal - then the player f*** up everything...

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Hangfire7 06-03-2008, 02:18 AM Yep, leave it to the players to louse a GMs well laid plans up.


Having had that happen more than once I learned you must not plan too detailed and not focus on anything else. Because the player characters may not choose to follow the path to your plans.


So a very loose cause or objective is good but always make sure you keep it flexible just in case the PCs don't follow your idea.


As a GM, you must have a plan as well, to keep the players interested, and be sure to find room to include all of them rather than one or two who become the stars of the camapaign and you leave everyone else out. That is no fun, so find a way to plan it all around that has something for everyone,.

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MajorPo 06-03-2008, 07:57 AM As both a player of Twilight and a GM of other games I think it can certainly help keep the story ticking along if the GM presents some kind of goals for the players. They can always ignore them (or approach them in some weird way you never expected).

As a player I think it's nice to have goals or at least values in mind for your character. Values being more 'what your character believes in' and not so concrete as actual goals. Values would tend to influence how your character approaches situations and give a nice feeling of consistency to their actions across time.

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Raellus 06-03-2008, 02:17 PM Good question, KC.


I think that some of the modules- like Pirates of the Vistula- are a bit easier to run than others in that they already come with built-in long-term goals already. Escape from Kalisz is a bit tricky in that it's pretty much wide open. Most parties will probably opt to try to break out to the west but it's not a given. The possible goals they can set for themselves are almost limitless. That can make planning and preparation pretty difficult for the GM.


From my limited GMing experience, I know how players can surprise the ref when presented with a potential short-term goal. My crew is always doing the unexpected and I have to scramble to stay a step ahead of them. If they weren't already on board as far as the long term goal of the campaign, I'm not sure I'd be able to keep up.


Improvising can be fun and rewarding but it can be draining too. In a nutshell, I think it's best to have a clear-cut, ling-term goal for the campaign. Even if there are twists and turns along the way, the game is always moving in one general direction.

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pmulcahy 06-03-2008, 04:36 PM You don't give the players goals -- you give them possibilities. And be ready -- they'll probably come up with completely different ideas!

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weswood 06-03-2008, 04:56 PM I think goals are important in a campaign of any type, but the GM needs to be quick in coming up with alternatives. The players are free willed and thier thought processes aren't always the same as yours.

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Targan 06-03-2008, 11:45 PM Improvising can be fun and rewarding but it can be draining too.Actually as a GM that is what I thrive on. Some of my best plots have been the result of me having to throw something to gether in five minutes as a result of something unexpected the PCs have done. Organisation, I have to admit, is not my strong suit. But inventing NPCs and plots on the fly is.

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Hangfire7 06-04-2008, 12:46 AM Actually as a GM that is what I thrive on. Some of my best plots have been the result of me having to throw something to gether in five minutes as a result of something unexpected the PCs have done. Organisation, I have to admit, is not my strong suit. But inventing NPCs and plots on the fly is.



Amen! That was what happened with one of my best chat campaigns ever. It was on the fly and I threw something out in desperation to keep my players attention. And what they did with that spured me on to do other things and it lasted for the better part of a week with some great role playing and not just alot of firefights and combat either but some touching scenes.


Here is one scene that stuck in my mind:


The PCs had captured a Russian roadblock/check point as field police. <OOF the dreaded field police> They were stopping every vehicle that went East. They stopped each vehicle and checked its pappers. Of course they have a German who spoke and read Russian and collected the units information.


Then one convoy of trucks roll by filled with POWs, Americans from the 5th. One of the POWs lets fly with a wad of spit at one of the party members, an American Dressed as a Russian. The POW of course is severely beaten by with the rifle butt of one of his guards.


So how would you handle that as a character?


And, this all spured from me, the evil GM putting the players on the run and trying to think of what the heck to do next.


The cool thing was, the PCs managed to run the chekc point for several days playing the role until one day they tried their bluff with the officer in charge of the check point making a routine check of his men. It was interesting.

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kcdusk 06-04-2008, 01:43 AM As players then, would you rather be given a goal to chase or would you rather just have a blank page?


Some players get lost knowing what to do or struggle to think too big re goals and so they end up just doing day to day stuff rather than something long term (like rebuilding a town etc). In my experience its not often a group gets itself organised enough to do anything of consequence (maybe i dont have enough experience).


But when a ref sets a goal, even a big one, then the players can work towards something bigger than surviving the next encounter. For example if a ref says "this town needs to be rebuilt", then the PCs will work towards that, but without it being pointed out its often doubtful they would do anything apart from "runnnnn!!!"

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Hangfire7 06-04-2008, 02:08 AM I when I have a good regular group have a main long term goal with several lesser goals or quests to lead up to that goal. And then you toss in the routine stuff, maruaders, ambushes, encounters with the poor and needy seeking the aid of the PCs to divert them or delay them from their quest.


Idealy and I have used this more in my US Campaigns looked at the PCs as knights on a quest, and yes the quest is important but so is looking after the poor and defenseless.

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Raellus 06-04-2008, 02:29 PM Actually as a GM that is what I thrive on. Some of my best plots have been the result of me having to throw something to gether in five minutes as a result of something unexpected the PCs have done. Organisation, I have to admit, is not my strong suit. But inventing NPCs and plots on the fly is.


I hear ya. GMing a PbP and a FtF game offer different challenges/opportunities. Unfortunately, as a PbP GM, I don't get too many chances to improv. Most frustrating for me is planning out a cool mini-adventure and then have the players pass up the opportunity to play it out. All that forethought for nothing! I want so much to share what might have been with my players but it seems weird to do so. Improving lots of stuff would eliminate this wasted effort.


KC, as a player, I think it helps to have a long-term goal. Otherwise, like you said, it's easy for the game to just devolve into running and fighting. That does get old after a while.


I guess I have subconsciously built my game like some of those classic PC RPGs like Baldur's Gate. I present one major goal and then lots of little "side quests" that the players can choose to either take or ignore.

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TiggerCCW UK 06-04-2008, 03:18 PM What I find works best is to imply some larger scale objective that may even be outside of the scope of the party to achieve on their own, but let them feel that their actions are aiding this goal. I find that this combines the best of both worlds - it lets the players have a long term goal, but also gives them the freedom to take off at a tangent if they particularly want to.


In my group we are currently playing Star Wars , which is being run by a guy taking his first shot at GM'ing. We had to sit and have a serious (and slightly uncomfortable) talk last night as the majority of the group are unhappy with the style of game. It started off very promisingly and for the first few sessions was great craic, but the last few sessions have left a bitter taste in my mouth, and the mouths of several others. Its just really felt like no matter what we did it had no real effect on the outcome of the game as the plot had become very linear. We tried to ride it out but it never showed any signs of improving. I think this is one of the biggest pits that a game can fall into - the players feel that their actions no longer matter. We've reached a group consensus that he's taken our feelings on board and we'll keep trying the game for another few sessions, but that if it doesn't improve we'll just bin it. Its a shame because the game showed so much promise in the early stages. There are other problems within the game - the GM massively favours one player and heavily penalises myself and another of the group and if anyone has any helpful pointers in how to deal with that I'll be more than happy to hear them!


Sorry, went a wee bit OT there, but I don't want to see anything bad befalling our group.

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copeab 06-04-2008, 08:10 PM To paraphrase a German field marshall (replacing "enemy" with "players"):


"You can be sure, gentlemen, that of the three choices available to the players, they will pick the fourth."


Brandon

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General Pain 06-05-2008, 01:28 AM To paraphrase a German field marshal (replacing "enemy" with "players"):


"You can be sure, gentlemen, that of the three choices available to the players, they will pick the fourth."


Brandon


excellent quote - who said it ?

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copeab 06-05-2008, 01:41 AM excellent quote - who said it ?


Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke (to his staff)


Erwin Rommel also had a quote that some GMs here seem to follow:


"Never intterupt the players when they are doing something wrong."


Funny how applicable some military quotes are when you change "enemy" to "players" ...


Brandon

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