Author Topic: How do you handle player suggestions/requests?  (Read 13223 times)

Phelanar

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How do you handle player suggestions/requests?
« on: March 29, 2009, 05:05:42 PM »
As per the usual, I have an ulterior motive for asking this, but I figure it's a good general RPG question to ask and get opinions on. When you're GMing a game, how do you handle player requests or suggestions that come from players? Not just things like item/equipment wishlists, but anything else. Plotlines, encounters, scenarios, house rules, whatever. Not just in the positive (things that they want to see), but the negative (things they don't want to see anymore). Do you lean towards taking them vitally important or not very important at all? Do you work in everything when possible or cherry pick what to add to the game? What do you do when something someone wants contradicts what someone else wants?

When I GM, I tend to treat player suggestions/requests as fairly important. It helps me guide a game more towards what everybody likes to see or at least what they don't like to see. I rarely take everything exactly as requested though. At the very least, it keeps players more on their toes if they don't know quite what to expect. Also helps to avoid conflict between what different players want or when it doesn't gel with my own plans.
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Tadanori Oyama

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Re: How do you handle player suggestions/requests?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2009, 05:17:32 PM »
Player comments are the most important thing to listen to.

The game is about having fun. They tell me how they want to have fun and I try to provide.

I try to implement player suggestions as soon as possible, within reason. I don't retcon the world or previous adventures but I will make changes to NPC attitudes and positions.

dragonshaos

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Re: How do you handle player suggestions/requests?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2009, 05:46:13 PM »
Ill try to add in to an extent what they want.  usually in past games the players comments are along the lines of 'omg that one part where we did X and then X happedn to X and we were like XXXXXX and XXXX' or 'I hate you...so much' (jokingly on that second part)

I like to add just a bit of everything into an adventure and see how players react to different parts, and work off those parts more and keep mental notes as to what each one likes and seems to dislike.  After game comments are very useful to this too.

My players are: 1. The powergamer/metagamer, 2. The Just Watches girl, 3. He who attempts to role play metagamer, 4. The Idiotic, argues w/ me about everything, ADHD musician who would rather role play himself playing an instrument than fight guy, or fight them with musical instruments (like a flute, just a regular flute), and 5. The nerd who actually knows what he's doing.

In game I can deal with them all NP whatsoever, Im friends with them all in RL.  But I know just what each of them wants, so I tend to lightly season my meal of a session with different spices each players likes, having them experience each flavor and tending to want more of theirs, which represent the roleplay aspects, the planning of plans, the fighting, etc.

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clockworkjoe

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Re: How do you handle player suggestions/requests?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2009, 07:20:23 PM »
My biggest problem with player suggestions is that the players ask for stuff that is outside of what I want to do in the game - Tom wants to play a monster or the Punisher usually or in the Watchmen game - everyone wanted to be a psychopathic millionaire with superpowers. I fixed that though. They don't have superpowers.

I've learned to be more forceful when saying no since I started since while I can work around weird or unusual PCs, it still negatively impacts the game. Players get frustrated when I don't work in their plot angles or whatever so I tend to rule out or tell them upfront that I can't do much with their story. On the plus side, when they do give me something I can use, it works great. Last session of the mutants and mastermind game had a great scene revolving around Tom's backstory and everyone dug it.

rayner23

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Re: How do you handle player suggestions/requests?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2009, 09:29:27 PM »
First off, I will be playing this Friday night NO MATTER WHAT!

Secondly, during D&D jr. I had a kid who was playing for the first time. I didn't really want him to play with us, but I was accomodating because he is my student and I have to be nice. I have to be nice, that is, until he starts fucking with my game.

Players were to sneak up on a goblin cave to grab an important item. I know, not a particularly original scenario, but the kids were new at this point, so I had to keep it simple. After initiative a few players take their turns and then I get to newbie. I ask him what he is going to do and he says, "You know what would be really cool Mr. Walker?" I don't even get to respond when he says, "If there weren't any goblins in the cave, but instead, a dragon LIVES THERE!"

The room is silent and I break it by saying, "well, since you are a level 1 fighter, I don't think you can handle a dragon just yet. Give it some time . . ."

"Or how cool would it be if there were a whole bunch of orcs in the caves and they came out to fight us?!"

Again, more silence, and I broke it with, "What is your character going to do?"

He ignores me and says, "Maybe I could write some stories for you Mr. Walker and we could play them out."

Completely angry at this point, I cut him off and say, "All right newbie, listen up, who is in charge of this game? You or me?" I don't let him answer, "I've been playing for a long time now, okay? For all intents and purposes, I am God here. I have established a story for you to play through and now you will play through it and you can make suggestions after the game, but while playing, please remember that this is your first round and you have no idea what you are doing. Again, I am God and you don't tell God what to do, he tells you what to do. Got it?"

He had to leave midway through the session because his parents found out what he was doing and he got in trouble for not telling them.


I guess this isn't a good enough representation of how I deal with suggestions. Normally, I take suggestions after a round and design the campaign on individual character stories. I don't take them during the rounds and I definitely don't take them from first time players.
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Maze

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Re: How do you handle player suggestions/requests?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2009, 11:14:37 PM »
When my players suggest or request something from my game, I punch them in the throat and tell them to "Shut. The. Fuck. Up." It's a good way to keep them in line.

My players are: 1. The powergamer/metagamer, 2. The Just Watches girl, 3. He who attempts to role play metagamer, 4. The Idiotic, argues w/ me about everything, ADHD musician who would rather role play himself playing an instrument than fight guy, or fight them with musical instruments (like a flute, just a regular flute), and 5. The nerd who actually knows what he's doing.

That is SAD. You might wanna try to ease them into roleplaying and if that fails, punish them for metagaming or something. Basically the answer to my e-mail in the last episode.

Completely angry at this point, I cut him off and say, "All right newbie, listen up, who is in charge of this game? You or me?" I don't let him answer, "I've been playing for a long time now, okay? For all intents and purposes, I am God here. I have established a story for you to play through and now you will play through it and you can make suggestions after the game, but while playing, please remember that this is your first round and you have no idea what you are doing. Again, I am God and you don't tell God what to do, he tells you what to do. I will rip your head off and shit down your throat you motherfucker! I'm going to fuck your mom, tape it and send it to your grandparents! I will hang you upside down, use a cheese grater to remove all the skin on your face, stab you in the eyes with a blunt pencil and take a piss on your face, YOU COCKGOBBLING FROG SNATCH. Got it?"

Jesus, man. Short-tempered? I might have misquoted you (;)) but aren't you a bit harsh with the dumb boy? Then again, maybe when it happened it was worst than how you're telling it now.

I bet his parents grounded him for playing devil-worshiping games. Oh, and what the fuck is D&D Jr.?

Anyway, the extent of player suggestions I usually get is what they want their character to become. I usually come up with creative and interesting stories and they trust that whatever the setting will be, it'll be fun.

dragonshaos

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Re: How do you handle player suggestions/requests?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2009, 03:06:38 AM »
That is SAD. You might wanna try to ease them into roleplaying and if that fails, punish them for metagaming or something. Basically the answer to my e-mail in the last episode.

Oh god have I made progress with them.  Now that we're actually playing a structured game with rules I'm going to be more strict.  They've come pretty far from when we first started, not even knowing what a roleplay was.  The musician thought he had to role play with a robot voice and tone for his elves.  I don't know why...

But my group has gotten a lot better.  They act things out now, they're beginning to understand that what they know isn't what their characters know, etc etc.  So I think over some more time I'll have a group of players im not embarrassed of.

but yeah, the metagaming thing, Im working on it with them.  Ive had some talks and discussions for awhile with them explaining what it was and what they were doing and they're genuinely sorry for it.  So punishment has been something Ive begun to do, it's cut it back quite alot.

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Tadanori Oyama

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Re: How do you handle player suggestions/requests?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2009, 01:35:20 PM »
Of course there's the problem with suggestions colliding. I've had players in the same group request, seperately, for the game to be more gritty and more light hearted. In cases like that the players tend to break the group before I can work out a balance. I used to have two major groups running. Then it was three. Now it's back to two.

I think it's come down to one dude who's really responcible for breaking the group. The last three combinations of players he's been in have fallen apart and I don't think he's realized he's the common element yet.

So, to bring this back around to suggestions again, make sure your players actually want what they ask for. It's complex, puts too much weight on you (the GM I assume), and it's not fair... but someone has to do it to keep the group together.

Or, sometimes, let it shatter. If your getting constant suggestions from the same people asking for different things, their either bored or have a really short attention span.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2009, 02:16:18 PM by Tadanori Oyama »

ethan_dawe

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Re: How do you handle player suggestions/requests?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2009, 02:13:21 PM »
I ask my players after every few sessions if they are having fun and if there is anything they want me to change.

Generally I'm open to requests and discussion of the rules. Since this is my first time GMing 3.5 (the game has been going on for two years now) it's been a learning experience.

I've tweaked some rules and added in particular aspects to the story based on requests. For example one of my players has a lot of mounted skills and wanted a chance to use these more often as he hadn't been able to. That is a valid request which I've added in. Of course, our group had a rule of "no vampires" after having three games with vampires as a major foe. I then through them into Expecdition to Castle Ravenloft after a bunch of my own adventures. The meta discussion was humorous when they figured it out. :-)

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Re: How do you handle player suggestions/requests?
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2009, 12:48:11 PM »

Completely angry at this point, I cut him off and say, "All right newbie, listen up, who is in charge of this game? You or me?" I don't let him answer, "I've been playing for a long time now, okay? For all intents and purposes, I am God here. I have established a story for you to play through and now you will play through it and you can make suggestions after the game, but while playing, please remember that this is your first round and you have no idea what you are doing. Again, I am God and you don't tell God what to do, he tells you what to do. I will rip your head off and shit down your throat you motherfucker! I'm going to fuck your mom, tape it and send it to your grandparents! I will hang you upside down, use a cheese grater to remove all the skin on your face, stab you in the eyes with a blunt pencil and take a piss on your face, YOU COCKGOBBLING FROG SNATCH. Got it?"

Jesus, man. Short-tempered? I might have misquoted you (;)) but aren't you a bit harsh with the dumb boy? Then again, maybe when it happened it was worst than how you're telling it now.

I bet his parents grounded him for playing devil-worshiping games. Oh, and what the fuck is D&D Jr.?

Anyway, the extent of player suggestions I usually get is what they want their character to become. I usually come up with creative and interesting stories and they trust that whatever the setting will be, it'll be fun.


I call D&D with my students "D&D jr." because they aren't very skilled at it yet and because I like the idea of it. We play 3rd ed.

Also, to be fair to me, the player wouldn't follow basic directions and really didn't want to play by the rules. Also, in making his character, he just gave himself whatever he wanted even though we specifically went through how to make the damn thing. He is really infuriating and every single time I started to describe the scene, he kept cutting me off to input what he wanted to say. By this point, I was infuriated and he needed to shut the fuck up. It was a good example too because everyone else started acting more serious in the game as well.

Sometimes cruelty is the only thing that can be done.
I'm from Alaska. About Fifty miles south of Ankorage there's a little fishing town, maybe you've heard of it, it's called fuck your momma.

rayner23

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Re: How do you handle player suggestions/requests?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2009, 12:50:05 PM »
Plus, he wears a football jersey to school every day. He graces us with the Titans, Patriots, Bears, Broncos, and a ton of other jerseys every single day.

What a douchebag.

Not only a douchebag, but a douchefag.

Or a douchecrab.
I'm from Alaska. About Fifty miles south of Ankorage there's a little fishing town, maybe you've heard of it, it's called fuck your momma.

Maze

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Re: How do you handle player suggestions/requests?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2009, 01:39:17 PM »
Hahaha. Man, people that always wear jerseys, what idiots.

Alright, alright, you win. You should have cock slapped him afterward though, to drive the point home.