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> Splintered PCs, How do GMs give quality time to all PCs?
Aesir
post May 14 2004, 02:48 PM
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So I wonder. How do you other GMs divide your time when the different characters want to do their thing? (deckers wanna deck, magics wanna astralpastral, faces wanna milk their contacts and so forth) I find it a huge advantage that Shadowrun makes it fun to play characters other than the bodybuilding, gun-slinging action hero. But its hard to give every single character an equal amount of between-two-eyes attention. And what are the others to do?

Dumpshock veterans who have discussed this again and again might be tired of doing so and may ignore this topic. And I should say that anwers of the type "just ignore every part of the game has you in this jam" (are not valid). >edit< I do not care to see :talker: >end edit<
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blakkie
post May 14 2004, 02:53 PM
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QUOTE (Aesir)
...
And I should say that anwers of the type "just ignore every part of the game has you in this jam" are not valid.

Not valid? Perhaps you don't want to see them, but that is different than not valid. :D
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Moonstone Spider
post May 14 2004, 03:19 PM
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In my games I try to give equal time to all, but not always in the same game. I insist that all players have hooks into their backgrounds and if somebody hasn't been getting much time recently, we take an aside and something from that character's past shows up and they get an entire run based around them. Trying to give every player the same amount of play in the same run is asking for trouble unless you only have two or three players.
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Abstruse
post May 14 2004, 04:34 PM
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I always try to throw at least one challenge in for every player -- A mystery for the Face, a magical thingy for the Mage, some security goons to muss up for the Sam/PhysAd, some decking for the Decker, etc. However, overall I give the players back as much as they give me. If the Sam is just some namless guy who was all cybered up by a street gang he graduated from with no real background, I don't have much to work with and therefore can't tie that character into the stories often at all. If the Sam, however, was an ex-Special Ops who has a four-page background with lots of hooks, then I'm going to use some of those hooks. If the decker mentions he hates Humanis, guess who's going to be showing up. It doesn't even have to be in the background either. If the Face starts hitting on the same waitress every time they go to Penumbra and tries to learn about her, she's probably going to have a sob story she needs his help with.

In my opinion, it's just as much the player's responsibility as it is the GMs to make sure they get their fair share of time and plot.

The Abstruse One
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The White Dwarf
post May 14 2004, 06:08 PM
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Theres no supar-sekrit way of doing it. Just keep GMing and hopefully learn to be better. Best advice is to keep bouncing around, hit everyone once before you double back to the smae person again (unless theyre all waiting on one guy to go, then do him so they can get back in the action). Dont let the player keep going, do an action or two, and swap. Constant rotation is the key.
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Nikoli
post May 14 2004, 06:12 PM
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Also, I find the non combat actions per turn a useful guideline for controlling how much interaction each player gets ina pass. keep in mind this only works outside fo combat.

But it basically works like this:
1+Reaction/10 + init dice above 1=actions in a on-combat setting per 3 seconds.
This makes for a good guide line, let someone use up those actions and then go to the next person, and so on. when someone does something that basically takes 1 minutes, you'll have an idea how much interaction to give the other players.
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Fahr
post May 14 2004, 06:40 PM
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I ask each player in turn what they are doing right then, one action, if it isnn't combat. than I resolve it and move to the right, with 8 people this worked fairly well. But I also made sure that they were talking amongst them selves and planning during any downtime like this.

seems to work for me.

-Mike R.
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BishopMcQ
post May 14 2004, 07:33 PM
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I use the rotation angle that White dwarf threw in to the ring. I run a game with between 4-6 players depending on the day, and find that decking takes no more time than astral recon, or calling a contact, and even the lowest street sam generally has someone she can call even if it's just to go shopping for the right equipment for a run. Unless there is combat for the mage or decker they can be in and out while my other players are thinking up the questions they need answered or jotting down a plan.

I admit that this problem is much more obvious when you have either a non-experienced GM or a new player. While my veterans are running through cyberspace making four calls and sending e-mail, the newbie just looks at me. In that case I would recommend having a veteran work with the newer player to go over different aspects and possibilities for the run and see if a fresh perspective shines light on the situation.

Just my 2 cents...
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Mr.Platinum
post May 14 2004, 07:59 PM
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I'll put it this way.

it depend on how much they interact.
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LaughingTiger
post May 14 2004, 08:20 PM
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For starters, I make one character every session my "star". The plot and adventure tend to hang on that PC's goals, dreams, abilities, edges, flaws, backstory. I change from session to session, so everyone gets to be in the limelight. It's worked out so far and my players seem to enjoy it.

I also run with one group or one person until I get to the point when they need to roll the dice.. while they roll, I move on to the next group or person, repeating the process. I go round-robin until I've reached everyone on the table and all the situations have been resolved. This works a little differently in combat, of course, since at that time everybody's rolling. Then I look for "cliffhanger" moments in the action to switch to someone else.
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Snow_Fox
post May 14 2004, 08:47 PM
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We don't do deckers. Other than that the adventures usually run with the GM's planning out different things to apeal to each of our talents. If we want to do something completely off the beam we usually talk to the GM away from the group time.
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Aesir
post May 15 2004, 12:25 PM
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Ive had a copy of Shadowrun since the 80s, but didnt play often at all until resently. Now I got almost all the books for 3rd ed. and many of my players have started to read the fiction. So I thought it was time to go all out and use all the rules and all the concepts in the game. To help with this I wrote compact sheets with the most important possibilities (in terms of actions and maneuvers and a few tables) for combat, decking, drone rigging, driving and magic. I gave these sheets to my players and they have been a huge help. Im sure that with more experience we will speed up our game immensely. I thank you for any advice that can help us in these rocky beginnings.

I just now thought of that you should watch these solo undertakings as scenes in a movie, and make them just long enough for the other players to keep cool or just switch scenes and get back later. Am I right?
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Abstruse
post May 15 2004, 01:42 PM
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Try not to let the group split up TOO much, maybe two or three times a session if you can (though this isn't always possible). When the Decker's decking or the Mage is cruising astral space or whatever, it gives the other players a chance to catch a smoke, order a pizza, raid the fridge, hit the bathroom, etc. I try not to let these little cut-aways last too long though or else everyone else gets bored and one person ALWAYS starts watching TV or trading Magic cards or playing a video game or something.

The Abstruse One
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Aesir
post May 18 2004, 02:53 PM
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I hate when that happens :S :)
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MrSandman666
post May 18 2004, 03:59 PM
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If it was only videogames... in my group we have a compulsive joker. It's almost impossible to stay focused when he isn't fully involved either and even if he is it's still hard enough. I just hope I can work that out in the next few sessions...
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