Hunter
 member, 1722 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Sat 12 Feb 2022
at 03:41
Working this through...
While I thought a bit about necroing an old thread (as much of the content is still relevant), I instead decided to put forward a new thread instead.

I've come to the realization that I like GMing for much the same reason I like character building: it's creating a story and seeing how it plays out.  Sometimes, it goes a direction that I didn't expect, and that's a good thing...I think.

And here's the however.  While I've mulled over a few ideas lately, and even attempted to GM again; I'm running into the roadblock of translating ideas into playable content.   For those of you who don't know: I'm both Bipolar and Autistic, which makes this particular hobby even more of a challenge than it might otherwise be.

And so....how does everyone else deal with it?
donsr
 member, 2513 posts
Sat 12 Feb 2022
at 03:50
Working this through...
I'll say this, at first?... I like when  players 'outsmart me' or take a path that i didn't see, for whatever reason.

don't get me wrong, if there was someomne wheo  went against the  rules and frame work i have..that's  not going to stand...but good  honest RP..that's the thing!

............

 now for the last part of  yourn post? I do not think i have those issues?...I'm older  so no one thought of that when i was in school...

 my only advice?...you know your  limits...play/run your game with in those limits..and? don't be afraid of  Mistakes that might happen under  stress... just roll with it, and your players  will too.

 not much help?..we have tons of  folks on this  site...some one has to be able to view this from standing in your shoes!
Gaffer
 member, 1722 posts
 Ocoee FL
 45 yrs of RPGs
Sat 12 Feb 2022
at 04:31
Working this through...
What you describe, Hunter, is a very common stumbling block.

Like donsr, I have no diagnosed psych/neuro issues. And I've probably written and run more than a hundred scenarios in my nearly 50 years of RPG. I've also got a couple dozen partially- (or even fully-) written adventures in a drawer and on my pc that have a fatal flaw of nonplayability.

Usually, it's because the players lack agency. They wind up as audience rather than characters who can affect the plot. Sometimes it's because the whole thing spins into an overly complex and convoluted series of unfortunate events that I cannot bring to fruition without losing elements that made me write it to begin with. And occasionally it's because the spark that seemed so intriguing at first just fizzles and lies there wet and smoldering.

Not all the ones I've brought to the table (literal or figurative) are flawless gems, mind you. Some rate no better than two stars. But a few end up being fun and exciting and ultimately satisfying for the players and for me.

The only advice I can give is to keep at it and not be discouraged at the ones that don't pan out. The ones that do work are gold.
donsr
 member, 2514 posts
Sat 12 Feb 2022
at 15:02
Working this through...
Gaffer has the  right of it..As i mentioned, my 3 games have been around for a while..one is a niche  game..one is a fantasy game that i switched over to my home brew system, and my space game that  was always run on my home brew system.

 Depending on what...YOU...want, you tailor your  game  for   'action'. RP, or the  combined  bit of both. I have had Gung Ho players who came into my games, Loved it ( too much) and tried to take over  or become  co-GM..nope? Not gonna happen

 I had players who come in, Loved it and RL takes them away ( including RL death)

I have had player who come in..'take  a shot' then whither on the vine, because they don't like the  'feel', the system, or me?

 In the end? My games are not for everyone. And there is no way anyone's games could be for everyone.

 first step? You step up and run the game how you wish...this includes taking  some PMs to heart if someone suggests something you think would work. Buy GMs  are the God of thier worlds,and should run it as such...you look around the boards here? Look at the forums, many times a year, folks who play, either a GM , Player, or both, wil mention  about the 'slow down"..it happens..RL can be a real jerk..I am in one game , on another site..only game i play elsewhere... I am lukcy to get 1 post a week from my GM...and other threads aren't much better, except for those who have a few more PCs  and they interact more. 'Slow Downs' happen all the time, don't let a slow down in your game, make you think bad thoughts  about your GMing  or game.

 YOU...have to have fun...and if you're having  fun, you gather players  who will enjoy it as well.
evileeyore
 member, 648 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Sat 12 Feb 2022
at 16:08
Working this through...
Hunter:
I'm running into the roadblock of translating ideas into playable content.

I have no idea what you mean by this.

Probably because my issue is always generating ideas... I'm fantastic when it comes to translating ideas into working solutions.  Indeed, my best games have always been run with a partner who has too many ideas and needs to be edited down into playable plotlines.

Maybe hit me in rMail, bounce your ideas off of me, and I'll bounce scenarios back?  Maybe even just articulating your ideas into an rMail can generate solutions (that often times works for me, as I work through articulating the problem, I generate a solution or three).
engine
 member, 872 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Sun 13 Feb 2022
at 03:52
Working this through...
Sometimes I'll layout to the players what I'm trying to achieve and get their help. This trades off certain elements that are popular with GMs, though not entirely, and the trades can be very good. This is particularly helpful if the concern is with presenting material in a way the players will engage with. Getting their direct input makes this effortless.

I know people will say this ruins the surprise, a) not as much as people who have never tried it seem to think and b) if the game isn't even getting off the ground, there are no surprises anyway, because there's nothing.
Hunter
 member, 1725 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Fri 18 Feb 2022
at 03:29
Working this through...
In reply to evileeyore (msg # 5):

Okay, let me see if I can explain this.  I'll pick on a theme I've used before with some success:  High technology people trapped in a low technology world; something like Traveler characters in a D&D world.   The concept itself is straightforward enough; but I'm running into "what do I do after they get on the planet" and "how do I advance the story along" once they get there.

While I still feel that I want to GM something...experience warns me that I'm only walking into another disaster.  So anything that might be helpful, and prevent frustration (player and GM) would be grear.
ladysharlyne
 subscriber, 3320 posts
 Member before Oct 2005
 Creative Writing ROCKS!!
Fri 18 Feb 2022
at 12:54
Working this through...
Hunter be rest assured that the feelings you have about being a GM, creating a story that others will want to play in, will it be a success, will it be a disaster.  We all feel that hun so give yourself a break and a pat on the back as you are doing alright.  I have been reading down through this thread since the beginning.  I have some illnesses as do so many others that either play or GM here or anywhere else whether real life or the Web.  You are not alone, what I do find is this site is one of the most helpful sites I have come across and hence I stick to this place like glue.

Somehow I think there is a Forum that lets players put their game ideas out there and work through with others.  I have looked for that but can't seem to find it.  Maybe someone else would know.  There you can describe, I think, your game idea(s) and get a feel from others about it.  Please anyone that knows the link could you please give it to us, thank you.

Hunter, all you can do, all anyone can do, is create the game you have running about in your head and create it here.  It is either going to be something others want or can work with you on developing it or it gets no interest.  Please don't give up too soon when you create a new game.  Sometimes it takes months for it to spark and interest.  When running a game, you will always have 'dry' periods where there is no life or interest.  Yet suddenly it picks up again, maybe a new video game or TV/Movie comes out that sparks the interest again.  But if a game gets no interest or it dies that does NOT mean you did anything wrong as a person/GM.  Yes, we are all human.  It simply means you tried and it wasn't the right time or others just didn't have the interest.  You tried.  The old cliche' that you can only fail if you don't ever try has a ring of truth about it.

So create that game, anytime you have the idea for one.  You never know how that is going to turn out unless you do try.  My own health issues keeps me from being a rapid fire player or GM.  I am blessed with wonderful players that understand and they wait.  Any players you have that just sign up and then disappear off into oblivion is not you fault.  Some mean well then something happens in real life that they can't commit.  Some aren't able to be honest and let you know annnndddd some are just flakes and you would not want them in your game anyway because if they ghost you and just disappear they have done that to countless other GMs in other games.  They are not serious about any game and not worth your worry about them.  All you can do again is 'try' to reach them then move on if you can't.  But TRY, please TRY your game ideas, they are important to you and your creative mind has come up with them.  So straighten your shoulders, straighten your crown, and go for it for YOU are a GM my friend!
donsr
 member, 2519 posts
Fri 18 Feb 2022
at 13:15
Working this through...
Lady was  the right of it?

 make your game, set your parameters and go from there. be selective in your players..i do an 'interview' of sorts, a player  has   to be the right fit, to get into the game...however? i still make mistakes   letting the wrong  type in from time to time.

 No game, anywhere is goign  to be right, for everyone..i have had players  who  thought the game, too fast, or had  troub;e with my system.. I also had   folks who turned out to be jerks with other players, and they get bounced fast.

 You don't need 'elite players'  you just need 'Elite player' for you game.

 now?  Afterall these years..did i make   mistakes... you bet!..players  will PM me , or tell me OOC... and i either try to fix it..or we have  to roll with it  as the game flow  continues...you can't 'redo'.

 The concern you have..is  every GM's  concern when you start a game...here are two hard fast rules, i  use.

1....run the game the way you would  want it run, if you were a player.

2...Not every player who signs on, is going stay.

 people leave, because they don't like the  story...don't like the system..or  don't like   where thier character  fits in...that's  the way it goes....If you stick to Rule  1.. your game  will be good and active...you'll lose players..everyone does..you get some others..its the 'circle of life' here.

and? if you are worried  about the game no doing well?..take a look at players wanted, and seem how many deleted games  there are? The fact that you are concerned ( for whatever reason or reasons) says alot  about  your mindset..a Good GM worried  about having a good game..and once you start the game and its running, out  job is to just keep it going...not all the players will like what's  going on all the time...and that's good..it makes the RP  'more real' and challenges players  skills.
Hunter
 member, 1726 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Sat 19 Feb 2022
at 02:13
Working this through...
Thank you for the responses.   I'll attempt to put a game proposal together and see if the duck can fly after all.
donsr
 member, 2520 posts
Sat 19 Feb 2022
at 02:38
Working this through...
::chuckles:: even if it can't  fly? it should still float
Hunter
 member, 1794 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Sun 22 May 2022
at 20:21
Working this through...
I'm at the point of just giving up.   The characters that I still want to play are too niche for general use, and there hasn't been anything (game wise) in quite a while that's sparked my interest.

So....I'm going to go site hunting.  I don't feel that this is the place for my more "adult oriented" ideas.
Hunter
 member, 1817 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Sat 30 Jul 2022
at 08:33
Working this through...
I'm hanging up my GM hat, possibly for good.   I've got ideas that don't seem viable and too many deleted games.  I feel like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall....and just going nowhere.
drew0500
 member, 225 posts
 D&D Gamer
 Eclipse Classless
Sat 30 Jul 2022
at 11:23
Working this through...
Take a break. Step back. Go on a hiatus. Do things that you enjoy and donít stress about it.

Being a GM is a tough gig. You have to come up with a viable plot or goal, garner enough interest from players to join and then the herding of cats happens as players sometimes what to play a Wild West cowboy in your gallant knight world.

Iíve had players try to take over my games, Iíve had players go nuclear when they donít get their way, and all sorts of in between weirdness.

Point is, being a GM is a tough gig and really has to be a labor of love. If you donít have the passion it will show.

Only delete a game if the passion is gone. Iíve repurposed many of my old games to make something better.


As to getting a game for your concepts. My advice as a GM that does run games for the looking for GM forum, Iíd say you need to water it down to concepts and not adopt my favorite character.  People are more interested in concepts than trying to take over for an abandoned character.

Also, if you need help running a game try getting a co-GM. That can be handy for ideas or a different angle.

Hope that helps.
donsr
 member, 2641 posts
Sat 30 Jul 2022
at 12:34
Working this through...
::chuckles:: Yeah? Drew?

have one guy came in..year  two? maybe year 3 of  my space game ? He was all gungho and spotted off acronyms  be cause ...supposedly...he was   an ex Military guy. I told him not everyone on this site was Military, and my game wasn't a SIM. we have our own jargon( future space game)..and our own Military  structure, as it were.

 started out  real nice..then threw thigns  at me that 'should happen" in PMs. when that didn't happen he would actively  pursue , what he wanted , in IC threads trying to ralley the players.

Next step was saying ' you have a tiger by the tail here..how about if i CO-GM '  i laughed and said no.

 then he started demanding, he didn't like something in the  upcoming Jump off and threatened me 'i'll be sorry'

 needless to say, i did what the  flow was taking  is to..and he..::chuckles::  Tries to Kill  The  Commander  during a Briefing ...then rage  quit.

 just to have  fun, i rolled the dice, with his mods, and he missed..shot an innocent  Vid screen.. our Master  Chief  shot him in both knees and we sent him to 'the colonies;, where he  died,

so?  you have to keep control of you game, while, at the same  time, being opened to your players.

as a sidebar.. after a few years,the player who was in another GAme , where we were both plays ( GM was an EX-=players of mine)..left the game  after  the GM had some health issues...he sent me an Rmail asking to join my game!..i just said, 'you were hear once before?"..never heard from him again.
evileeyore
 member, 709 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Sat 30 Jul 2022
at 17:11
Working this through...
Hunter:
Okay, let me see if I can explain this.  I'll pick on a theme I've used before with some success:  High technology people trapped in a low technology world; something like Traveler characters in a D&D world.   The concept itself is straightforward enough; but I'm running into "what do I do after they get on the planet" and "how do I advance the story along" once they get there.

I just noticed this from before, I somehow missed it back then...

You don't have "ideas", you have "idea".  You either need more than one idea or you need Players who will sandbox the hell out of your "one good idea" and generate their own content... and those Players are few and far between on Play-by-Post[1].  Also, I just read your Game Information pages from all the games of your I could find, around 6 of them.  All but two were very "epic quest" orientated and that doesn't lend itself to sandboxing.  My suggestion?

Work out the intro and ending at the very least, or the ending you "kinda hope the Players will aim for".  If you can get those two ideas hammered out, I find the rest starts to fall together as PCs interact with you intro and the bread crumbs of the ending you deploy.


And by intro I don't just mean "High tech characters crashland on D&D world".  That's a premise.  I mean "and what happens next?"  Like they crash, but then do you have the first three-to-infinity encounters planned out?  Do they crash in the middle of Lizard man swamps and make friends?  Orc territory to be hunted as prey?  In the middle of the Elf nation to be Poncy-Elfed at?  In a remote area where it'll be months of hard scrabble survival before they meet anyone and have to contend with the native wildlife and magical and such beasts?

That's your intro.

As for ending, even in a "The Minnow would be lost" pure sandbox scenario... to what end?  What are you hoping the PCs will get up to?  Build a high-tech haven on this benighted magical backwater ala almost every fantasy author ever?  Integrate?  Become world leaders?  Defeat the ancient Evil using their high-technology Swiss Army light-sabers?  Even in a pure sandbox, you need something going on in the backdrop for the PCs to either interact with or ignore or co-opt as their own.  If you have nothing...  the Players won't do all the work for you.

So yeah, maybe hang up your hat for a bit and work on those ideas.  Hammer out some campaign blueprints, beginning and middle/end, and then come back at it.  Or do what I'm doing right now by accident, find another GM who has those High Concept beginning, middle, and end parts and help them (or have them help you) and run the rest of the game.


1 - Yes, yes, we're all perfectly individual snowflake Players who can on a whim come up with all the sandbox content a GM could ever want... except no, we really aren't and it's a two way interaction.  Players need a GM tossing out ideas and wrinkles to the Player's plans, and GMs need Players who generate their own plans and find a 3rd option to the GM's planned out scenario.  And then all the filler Players to fluff out the team with, we perfect snowflakes know what I'm talking about; the murder-hobos, the coattail riders, the sheep, the cats, the dogs, the makeweights...
bazhsw
 member, 61 posts
Sat 30 Jul 2022
at 17:18
Working this through...
I have a vision donsr of everyone reading your post going, 'I remember that person in my game'!  Now, it could just be someone very busy or a common player type that everyone gets once in a while!

Disrespectful players can be easily remembered to the detriment of remembering all the brilliant players and GMs out there.

I think Hunter, that taking five may be an option, because it's not fun when you feel the effort is wasted, but I would say it's not a reflection of you or your ideas.  Personally, I have a few ideas for games and I rarely create them as I have a negative self-doubt that something is to similar to another game bumped weekly OR it's to niche and no one will be interested.  Ultimately, one never knows what flies, or who is looking for what when.  I hope you do refresh and get the muse to create again.
Hunter
 member, 1818 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Sun 31 Jul 2022
at 02:28
Working this through...
Thank you for your responses.   :)
facemaker329
 member, 7409 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Sun 31 Jul 2022
at 06:43
Re: Working this through...
evileeyore:
Players need a GM tossing out ideas and wrinkles to the Player's plans, and GMs need Players who generate their own plans and find a 3rd option to the GM's planned out scenario.


So much this.  I've seen games where the GM basically has a setting...and that's pretty much it.  They rely entirely on the players to create the plotline.  And I will never join one of those games, because if I wanted a story to happen exactly the way I envision it, I would just write the story (maybe I should...I've got, like, six or so of them in various stages of incompleteness).  I don't play games to have what I think should happen played out...I'll guess at what's going to happen, perhaps, or have my character speculate IC about what's going on, but I enjoy the process of discovering the situation, learning what the problem is, and finding a way to solve that problem (preferably a way that involves as little damage to my character and any party members or NPCs that may be around him as possible.)  I don't rely on the GM to completely write the entire game from their own mind...it's cool to have little tidbits that I leave dangling in a character background come back around to be part of the plot, or to have some element of a plotline that I impacted spin into something new and unexpected.  But RPGs are (or should be), like theatre, a collaborative exercise, and I enjoy the twists and turns that the GM (and other players!) introduce to the game.
Hunter
 member, 1819 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Sun 31 Jul 2022
at 09:45
Re: Working this through...
In reply to facemaker329 (msg # 19):

I've found that the "Guided Chaos" approach seems to work best.    Yes, I (usually) have a concrete plot line worked out...but rarely with specific time frames between adventures/scenarios.  if the characters decide they need 3 months of downtime before they're next adventure; I can work with it.

And as a player, I usually have one or two ideas that relate to character background.   For example: the Pixie Shadowrunner that I made (and probably never will get to play); I've envisioned a situation where she's going to have to rescue her older sister (said character is adopted, btw) from her own past ... indiscretions.
facemaker329
 member, 7410 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Mon 1 Aug 2022
at 04:30
Re: Working this through...
That's the kind of stuff I'm talking about.  My favorite GMs have all had one incredible trait in common...they may have a storyline in mind, but they improvise well when characters go off the rails, or screw up their tentative timeline, or somehow manage to do something that short-circuits a major plot complication they had waiting in the wings.  One of the games I'm in right now is very much a case of the GM starting out with a setting, and a vague plot...and as the game has gone on, portions of the plot have grown or fallen in importance based on characters' reactions to it.  The GM isn't always consistent about these kinds of things, but it keeps the game engaging and (mostly) unpredictable, and those of us who've been in the game for a while are often rewarded with some new tidbit being dangled that hearkens back to some earlier in-game event, or it turns out to be a formerly-forgotten plotline that's resurfacing (and changed somewhat because of events between then and now.)
1492
 member, 43 posts
 I like monkeys
Thu 4 Aug 2022
at 15:59
Re: Working this through...
facemaker329:
My favorite GMs have all had one incredible trait in common...they may have a storyline in mind, but they improvise well when characters go off the rails, or screw up their tentative timeline, or somehow manage to do something that short-circuits [their plans].

In my experience this is also one of the keys to enjoying life. Embracing the curve-balls, obstacles, detours, etc., that interfere with our grand plans.

ďThe best laid schemes o' mice an' men, gang aft agley.Ē

This message was last edited by the user at 15:59, Thu 04 Aug.

donsr
 member, 2647 posts
Thu 4 Aug 2022
at 16:20
Re: Working this through...
::chuckjles:: yeah... some of my best moments in my games come, when  a player sees   something ( rather..his character sees it) and its manufactured into something they can do with it.. and it surprises me.. i have to stp  back, look at the reactions of the  NPCs ( who , by this time in the games  have a life of their own).

 why is this so much fun?.. because it  adds to the story..keeps me 'moving' as well..BUT..it shows players  pay attention. so may players who leave  the games, do so because  they  are 'lost' no matter the amount of support  the other PCs   and I gave them.

 thuis is not the same as a PC is pinned down, and pulls a rocket launcher out of his butt to  use?.. we have load outs  for Jumps off, fanasty game has  your   sheets what you carry. But the  real good players will 'fine ways' and that's  fun for me too!