mickey65
 member, 118 posts
 Long-time PbP player
 Love several systems
Fri 25 Aug 2017
at 20:30
speak up if you're bored
Here is how I understand players and GMs to be bored:

1. No longer being satisfied with using the core rulebooks for their system, but instead insisting on the use of increasingly obscure supplements.

2. Being unwilling to play starter characters or GM for them.

3. Creating campaigns or characters that normally belong to the list of enemies whom player characters fight in a standard, core game.

4. Being dissatisfied with at least five things from the core rules of your game, whether it be a game element, a balance issue, a textual ambiguity, or a restrictive rule.

5. Secretly wishing that your tabletop game had cooler graphics and tested your reflexes more.

You might disagree with my definition of what bored is, but that's not what I'm looking to discuss here. What I want to discuss is why you keep playing or GMing if you fit my definition of "bored." Have at it.
swordchucks
 member, 1432 posts
Fri 25 Aug 2017
at 20:35
speak up if you're bored
You're kind of answering your own question.  Once you become bored with a particular type of story or character, you try a different kind of story or character.

There are also other outside effects that can push GMs down these kinds of paths.  There are also particular ideas that can push GMs to do some of this.  There are realities of RPOL (and PBP in general) that can push other aspects.
pdboddy
 member, 539 posts
Fri 25 Aug 2017
at 20:56
speak up if you're bored
I think your definition for bored is a bit too tight.

That said, I've never reached #1 before.

I don't see #2 as boredom, see above.  However, in answer to it, I think that jumping ahead is fine.  Maybe I (or my players) want to try out the higher levels a specific game might offer.  I don't feel that one has to start at first level to do this.

As with #2, I don't think it's boredom.  Again, to answer it, why not?  We read lots of fiction and see lots of movies where either a) bad guy has tons of fun being the bad guy; or b) bad guy sees the error of their ways and strives to be the good guy.  Star Wars is a prime example.  Palpatine was great at being the bad guy, and Darth Vader is probably one of the greatest modern redemption stories.  The theater cheered uproariously when Vader turned on Palpatine.  Why not play that?

#4 is where your definition is the tightest.  No RPG is perfect.  And even games you like will have bits you don't.  I don't think there's anything wrong with disliking parts of the rules as long as overall you enjoy playing it.

As for #5, I do both: play rpgs and video games.
icosahedron152
 member, 785 posts
Sat 26 Aug 2017
at 03:19
speak up if you're bored
Heh, by that definition Iíve been bored with RPGs since a few weeks after I started playing them, well over 30 years ago, but Iím still here.

As Swordchucks says, the answer is in your question - if youíre a versatile GM (and if youíre not, you wonít last long) youíll find ways around it, tweaking this, modifying that, until you succeed in creating something that will satisfy you - for now. But itís a continuous process: what satisfies you now will not satisfy you next year.

If you were permanently satisfied with what you were playing, how would the manufacturers sell new games and supplements? Letís face it, even the designers get irritated with a gameís limitations, thatís why they create supplements.

IMO, this is what separates an RPG from a board game or a video game - the flexibility to make it do new things, more than it was ever designed for, exploring new avenues, seeking out new modifications, to boldly go...

When I was a kid, I got Ďboredí with playing Monopoly by the rules, so I figured out a way to play cops and robbers on the board, with the robbers pulling heists on various properties and the cops trying to catch them and recover the loot. I got more value out of that purchase than other kids did. Itís basic human nature to adapt and survive - itís what got us out of the jungle (or the garden, for those who prefer).

Boredom by your definition is the natural state for a gamer - why wouldnít you carry on?
mickey65
 member, 120 posts
 Long-time PbP player
 Love several systems
Sat 26 Aug 2017
at 17:27
speak up if you're bored
In reply to icosahedron152 (msg # 4):

Just one comment: I disagree with the suggestion that TTRPGs should follow an expansion model a la World of Warcraft. Computer games require expansions because of their inherent rigidity, but the basic rules of a TTRPG offer an infinite amount of variety thanks to a human GM's brain rather than software running the game. I don't agree that boredom is the natural state of a TTRPG player. It's the natural state of a computer gamer, but not of a TTRPG player. But the influence of computer games has changed the nature of TTRPGs for the worse.
SunRuanEr
 member, 55 posts
Sat 26 Aug 2017
at 18:44
speak up if you're bored
In reply to mickey65 (msg # 5):

"It's the natural state of a computer gamer, but not of a TTRPG player."

I disagree with this notion, as an avid player of both. When I 'beat' a computer game I do the exact same thing I do when I 'beat' a tabletop game: I make a new character and start over (because I've never had a GM 'finish' a game that didn't immediately have another one in the pipe waiting to be run.)

Honestly, I think that if you want to delegate 'boredom' (which isn't really the best term, I don't think) to players, it might even be more applicable to RPG players. I mean... How many players do you know that only play in ONE game? How many GMs do you know that only run ONE game? I know plenty of people that only run ONE character in a game like World of Warcraft, but literally no one who only plays ONE character in ONE game either in true Tabletop, LARP, or RPOL settings. The very nature of only getting to "play" your game once a few days/week/month lends itself to seeking something else to fill in the time between when you get to play.

I don't have that problem when I log into something like WoW - there's ALWAYS something for me to do, there. I'm never, ever sitting around and waiting on other people, being bored.

To hit on the actual points of the original post, though:

1. "No longer being satisfied with using the core rulebooks for their system, but instead insisting on the use of increasingly obscure supplements." That's variety. Sometimes you get bored of making mac & cheese every night for dinner, and want to test out something more challenging, like lasagna.

2. "Being unwilling to play starter characters or GM for them." Please. PLEASE. As a player, I get so tired of constantly playing level 1-3 characters, and never (really) getting to cut loose with something in the 10+ tier. That said, that's not boredom either, that's also just a form of variety.

3. "Creating campaigns or characters that normally belong to the list of enemies whom player characters fight in a standard, core game." Not everyone wants to play the white knight all the time. Sometimes being the villain/antihero is fun, for a change of pace. See also: Variety.

4. "Being dissatisfied with at least five things from the core rules of your game, whether it be a game element, a balance issue, a textual ambiguity, or a restrictive rule." Eh. Sometimes rules are stupid. Sometimes they don't work with your group. Sometimes you just don't like them. I'm not bored of driving just because sometimes the speed limit is too slow.

5. "Secretly wishing that your tabletop game had cooler graphics and tested your reflexes more." That's like... wishing your steak was sweeter and had more chocolate. Go get some cake.

None of these things have anything to do with what I would consider "boredom". People who are truly bored of games tend to stop playing them.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15422 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sat 26 Aug 2017
at 18:51
speak up if you're bored
In reply to SunRuanEr (msg # 6):

Mmmmm.... lasagne...
Tyr Hawk
 member, 314 posts
 You know that one guy?
 Yeah, that's me.
Sun 27 Aug 2017
at 02:17
speak up if you're bored
In reply to SunRuanEr (msg # 6):

To be 100% fair, variety is something one introduces in order to stave off or alleviate boredom. To add excitement in order to keep a flavor from getting old (i.e. You're bored of that flavor), or to keep a game from feeling restrictive (i.e. You're bored with what it allows you to do).

But, also, to be 100% fair, I agree with everything everyone has already said. Boredom is what we're all trying to avoid by doing anything we enjoy. And, sometimes, to enjoy that thing we need to add to it, or to change it to better suit our ever-changing needs and tastes. Is there anything wrong with that? No. Do we need to classify our boredom-avoidance maneuvers as such? Or can we all just accept that it's there and enjoy ourselves anyways?

I dunno, but I like TTRPGs and splatbooks and changing the rules and cake and lasagna and video games and run-on lists without commas on occasion, so... yeah.
icosahedron152
 member, 786 posts
Sun 27 Aug 2017
at 07:33
speak up if you're bored
In reply to mickey65 (msg # 5):

I wasn't recommending that RPGs should follow an expansion model, I was merely observing that most do. And that it's natural to do so.

You are perfectly correct that GMs add variety to a game - but then most will solidify frequently used variations into house rules. The designers do the same thing. It's all part of the same process - it's how you play a RPG. That continuous variety and adaptation is what makes RPGs different from more rigid games.

If the core rules allow for Level 9 characters, why shouldn't you play them? Is that 'boredom' or the 'GM using his human brain' to create variety out of the core rules? Is there a difference?
pdboddy
 member, 543 posts
Sun 27 Aug 2017
at 16:58
speak up if you're bored
In reply to mickey65 (msg # 5):

Video games do not require expansions, rigidity or not.

Skyrim gives you hundreds of hours of stuff to do, places to explore, tons of characters to create, all without using mods or addons.

People today still compete for the highest score in Donkey Kong, decades after its release.

Likewise, roleplaying games do not require expansions either.  Errata, perhaps, but not expansions.  But they are expanded upon, not due to boredom, but to add to what is already there.  More variety means boredom does not set in.  Sure, a GM should be able to take a core book and run with it.  But it is easier to simply read an adventure path book, or a supplement, or a player's guide, to nick ideas from.
Gaffer
 member, 1491 posts
 Ocoee FL
 40 yrs of RPGs
Sun 27 Aug 2017
at 18:09
speak up if you're bored
My game of first choice is Call of Cthulhu. It is essentially the same game now as when it was introduced in 1981 and I've been playing and running it and writing scenarios for it pretty exclusively for almost twenty years. It doesn't get boring because there is always a new slant, new twist, new idea to reinvigorate the game.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15424 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sun 27 Aug 2017
at 18:26
speak up if you're bored
In reply to Gaffer (msg # 11):

And there are a large number of people who still play original D&D and Traveller, eschewing later editions in favour of the simpler mechanics.
horus
 member, 238 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sun 27 Aug 2017
at 19:30
speak up if you're bored
I might fit your definition of bored, but mainly I engineer my own rules because I find existing systems to be deficient in some way - either they are too disorganized for me to wrap my head around, or they are way too rules-heavy, or otherwise clunky to actually work through.

I only used pre-generated scenarios when I first started out.  Even if I use a provided backdrop (e.g., the Imperial setting in Traveller), I will usually embroider it with my own touches.  What Referee doesn't?

No arguments about your definition of bored - you're using a frame of convenient reference.  I hope my answer fits in there somehow.
V_V
 member, 608 posts
 You can call me V, just V
 Life; a journey made once
Wed 30 Aug 2017
at 18:24
speak up if you're bored
For number 5, the one that got the least amount of love. I have actually been there. I'm sure others have as well, I just didn't this angle approached. Maybe I missed it (I read most of it, but skimmed some).

I have multisystem game that I;ve run on three boards and with four systems. I also GM it with two F2F crews. It was low effort, high energy, and it was all based on a map I found online of novel's (I think) world. It was run away hit and unexpected trove of creativity for me.

To the point though, I DID get better graphics for my game. Not most of the time, but when we had a mass combat that contained hundreds of enemies that had different interactions, I ran an RTS of Warlord Battlecry 3. Yeah, I know, not flashy or modern, but my imagination is in still images, or horrible resolution when zoomed out. We played through a war, ahd real time events. The system we normally use rules told us to spend hours rolling, and we said "no!" We liked the PC game, it had the potential to be slowed enough to roleplay and was mostly thematically similar. We muted the voices and gave our own. It was enjoyable. I even named some beefed up units, after small villains the group had heard about that they were just never bothered to pursue directly.

The campaign then resumed the pen and paper (well still technically still on laptop and desktop...) approach and we're playing it with almost zero compatibility notations. We had to make a note that some powers were "wartime" magic. That's about it.

I think being the term you're calling "bored" (which is fine by the way) is something you're entitled to be when doing anything for fun. Artists muck with their piece. Artisans dither with their workshop. RPGs often have stories, when I play or GM, I only get "bored" when they don't. At that point, yeah I will just play a video game if I'm just tracking XP and battling dragons and orcs wantonly.

The rules are also so I can sit with strangers and have some pre-existing label of common ideas. If I just opened game that said "Hey I want to GM! Who wants to play" Think of a space Marine, Sailor Moon sisters, a multitude of clones, a jedi and a street samurai all trying the fight Cthulhu. Pretty wicked right? Well, the players would probably all be very disappointed. You're welcome to prove me wrong if that's better than sliced bread.

The rules-system is like a conversation starter. Some people don't need it. Many do. The rules are also so the world and therefor the characters in it has verisimilitude. Things happen, often at odds, the rules help give put order into entropy and govern which force prevails, where and when. I don't know many people who enjoy following the rules religiously for month after month. Like someone else said. I got "bored" after three weeks.

Maybe that was bit too long of a reply. Oh well. MY boredom is just the fact I have way too much time to kill and an order upon pain of nagging that I'm not to do anymore house cleaning or straightening. That's MY boredom. I also don't want to spam my games, or start a game frivolously.
Heath
 member, 2926 posts
 If my opinion changes,
 The answer is still 42.
Wed 30 Aug 2017
at 19:37
speak up if you're bored
2. Being unwilling to play starter characters or GM for them.

For me, I find the opposite is true.  I become bored when players become so powerful that they don't have to think.  They just pull out their powers, yawn, and there's a dead dragon, or a pit that they can cross by flying, or a horde of zombies that have been destroyed/turned by a cleric, or healing and resurrection at the tips of their fingers.

As a GM, at least, boredom comes when you can't really challenge the characters (or by extension, the players) with unique traps, puzzles, monsters, or settings because they find a workaround that takes no mental effort and character "roleplay" takes a backseat to "roll play."