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emo samurai
This was inspired by my D&D game, where people constantly make shitty jokes and then laugh about them in Summoner Geeks voices. They even quote Summoner Geeks. And laugh at the quotes in Summoner Geeks voices.

Plus, my fucking GM looks at her notes for everything, taking 45 seconds to begin answering a question about a spell that's on a scroll. She's really, really slow, and I think she has a problem. Even given that, she shouldn't GM, since a GM should be quick-witted.

I have since quit this D&D game.

So... how do you keep these things from happening in your game? How do you make everybody shut up without pissing them off? How do you keep everyone on track? And how do you make yourself GM faster?
fistandantilus4.0
Well, for GM-ing faster, be familiar with your material. Much of that jsut comes with time and practice. Getting familiar with rules until they become second nature.

As for Summoner geeks, I have a guy that does that. I throw things at him.
emo samurai
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
As for Summoner geeks, I have a guy that does that. I throw things at him.

They even have laughing voices like the Summoner geeks, or at least one dude does.

Does it work, throwing shit at him?
fistandantilus4.0
I use a system of escalated violence. It starts with throwing a couch pillow or something to that effect, and goes up in hardness/density of said thwon object until the deired result is achieved. hyzmarca could probably wrtie a great formula for that.

Failing violence, especially if you don't have a lot of room, or innocent bystandards ,you could apply good ol' "Bad karma". I kind of took a variant of the thing from the Shadowrun Companion, basically giving the bad guys karma, or more edge in SR4, specifically against people that detract from the game over all. I use it as a last ditch, so peopel tend to pay attention to it.

I also use it if anyone steps on one of my books.
Dog
Sometimes the game session is the only opportunity for some guys to get together. It might be a worthwhile investment to sit around and shoot the breeze for a half hour or so before you start. Catch up on gossip, tell stupid jokes and all that.
For a GM not to waste time they need two things: preparation and improvisation skills. Have notes prepared, and for heaven's sake, be organized! If you don't have an answer, make one up.
fistandantilus4.0
We always "start" at 1pm, and actually start around 2:30. I completely agree with ya' Dog.

emo, just keep in mind why everyone is overthere. Some just want to chit chat, some just want to get things done.
Kagetenshi
I'd love to be totally organized for every session, but I'd love to pass my classes more. Some things are just more important than making sure no question requires a minute to answer.

On the other hand, if you know you aren't going to remember things, writing them down in some semblance of order doesn't take much time and helps later.

~J
fistandantilus4.0
For a lot of people, just the act of writing it down sticks it in your memory better. or it could just be that your DM is scatterbarined. it happens, just don't give her any caffeine. You might just need a better DM. Or maybe it's emo taht needs de-caf. Just a thought. But I do agree that a good DM is quick on their feet, good at improvising. It's harder if you have to reference notes all the time. Is it a new DM?
emo samurai
I think so, but I'm much less experienced than she is, and much faster, if I say so myself.

And it's not just D&D. Like when I call to schedule a game, I'll name a time, and she'll take about 10 seconds thinking about it. It's not a "looking at the schedule" pause, either; it's a "I'm looking side to side and blinking a lot" pause. There's no shuffling of paper, and she does the same thing in person.
James McMurray
Keep the game itself moving fast. People stop and chat about old worn out jokes when the game moves slow. If every time someone mentions World of Warcraft you have ninjas attack, people will eventually stop mentioning World of Warcraft. Alternatively, when things go slow have the ninjas pre-emptively attack and cut off the opportunity for chatter.
emo samurai
Hmmm... Ninjas!!!
fistandantilus4.0
some people just process things at differnet paces. Maybe you jsut need more patience? If it's relly bad have someone else run the game, or perhaps a co-DM.or learn to cope, it's just the way she is.
emo samurai
Nah, I just quit. It was, like, 8 hours a week, and last week, everything turned out to be a dream sequence that nobody got experience from.
fistandantilus4.0
eek.gif

QUIT!? For THAT!? Send in the freaking drop bears for that!
mintcar
biggrin.gif You totally wouldn't be able to stand me in person, Emo, and it would propably be mutual too. The net is a grand thing for cutting out all the chemistry and manerisms so that very different people can conversate without going apeshit.
fistandantilus4.0
I'm fine with a long game that was all a dream, as long as it was interesting. but no exp, that's bunk.

maybe you should try subjecting your group to personality tests before you play with them? spin.gif
Fortune
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
maybe you should try subjecting your group to personality tests before you play with them?

How do you think you would fare under an emo personality test?
Kagetenshi
FAIL

~J
emo samurai
WHO FAIL?
Kyoto Kid
...before I launch a new campaign with new players, I do two things

I meet with them in a non play session to go over characters give a background leading up to the campaign's launch, outline any house rules that I am employing, and lay down basic ground rules to keep things moving and enjoyable.

Next, I set up a "test run" session, using a one night "SR Missions" type scenario. This allows me to see how the players/characters work (or don't work) together, assess the team's power level, and whether the players are there to participate in the game or just socialise. This works most of the time.
Wounded Ronin
Well, if people are actively joking around, I would just tell them the game's started.

If people are stuck because the lack ideas I sit there in stony, Ozymandius-like silence and let them stew.

I wasn't really ever a user of the "now there's ogres" tactic to push people.
Fortune
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin)
... I sit there in stony, Ozymandius-like silence ...

It's quite interesting just how well this technique can work. biggrin.gif
Black Jack Rackham
QUOTE (Fortune)
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Nov 15 2006, 01:56 PM)
... I sit there in stony, Ozymandius-like silence ...

It's quite interesting just how well this technique can work. biggrin.gif

Only problem with this is the player who can outlast you (and therefore the other players). We have one who simply WILL NOT, under any circumstances, make a decision if the others do not suggest one (or several) courses of action for her character to make. Of course, knowing this I've just made the best of it. I give her 5-10 minutes of trying to make a decision or simply sitting quietly (just enough that the other players start to fidget, get angry, start crowding her, etc.) then I narrow things down a bit for her. "Would you like to do X, or perhaps Y?" And before we get off on a tangent, I keep her around for several reasons. First, she is having fun. Second, her decision to "follow the group" doesn't bother them for the most part. Third, with encouragement from myself and the other players, she has been able to make some decisions on her own (these would be IRL not IG, so much the better). So mostly, I see the minor annoyance of having to cajole her on those few occasions she finds herself alone to be tolerable.
Mark
Ryu
What I sometimes need to do is set a limit on real-world planning time. Ill give something like 30min for discussion, then Ill wrap their ideas up (if needed) and make them decide.

The non-roleplaying discussions mostly die down once the game started. Thats when rules discussions take over. Those have two effects:
a)if it cant be adressed shortly, it is delayed until after the game (the main rulesmonger is female, so bitching WILL happen)
b)if the request itself is not resonable, the player just painted "target" on her forehead. Higher thresholds (SR4 for us) for success, getting shot at... Im not always as grown up as my age would make you hope. The basic hope here is to establish that unreasonable requests dont lead to positive things, so need not be discussed until one side "won". Note that a) takes precendence.

Another thing to do is reduce the complexity of the tasks your players have to do. Decisions concerning their contacts are more interesting than checking the security network for blind spots AGAIN. Strategy games are better played on a PC or with a table top, and the tactically oriented players can be pleased better with a few combat scenes where a simple shoot-out is NOT the best solution. To much planning bores the roleplayers.

One should also try to rope the silent players into the game. One ex-GM of mine had the annoying habit of monopolising the game when playing. Stop that early by asking specific questions to the silent types and leading the hyperactive player to research something in person (easy "trap" for those). That one will be to busy getting back into the game to start OT discussions.
fistandantilus4.0
QUOTE (Fortune)
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0 @ Nov 15 2006, 04:07 AM)
maybe you should try subjecting your group to personality tests before you play with them?

How do you think you would fare under an emo personality test?

dunno, depends on if it was a test emo made or not. wink.gif

If you're really interested, PM you, I'll let you knwo the general results of the last one that I took (as in an acutal one, not jsut something off the internet).
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Ryu)
the main rulesmonger is female

That's pretty hot. eek.gif
Fortune
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
dunno, depends on if it was a test emo made or not.

Wouldn't matter if he's the one judging the end results. wink.gif biggrin.gif

QUOTE
If you're really interested, PM you, I'll let you knwo the general results of the last one that I took (as in an acutal one, not jsut something off the internet).


No real need. I consider myself to be a pretty good judge of character. smile.gif
fistandantilus4.0
QUOTE
No real need. I consider myself to be a pretty good judge of character


Except for Gemini's. My wife is a sterotypical gemini . Hafta judge her twice!
Fortune
I'm on the cusp of Cancer and Gemini. Three times the personalities means three times the fun. wink.gif biggrin.gif
Ryu
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin)
QUOTE (Ryu @ Nov 15 2006, 08:25 AM)
the main rulesmonger is female

That's pretty hot. eek.gif

No, Im afraid its not. Her looks are quite ok, but her soft skills can be a mayor turn-off.

The position of hot gamer-girlfriend is taken anyway, shes in my group too biggrin.gif
(I will not provide evidence on the hot part, no need to ask)
Blade
Here is how I try to avoid such problems :

Non-Roleplaying chat :

1) Don't start the game right away. Have some casual chatting, especially if the players don't meet too often.

2) Ask your players what they want. For some players, playing is just a nice way to have fun together, they'd rather have fun joking and talking than getting the story moving.

2) Don't stop players when they're having ingame discussions. In-game discussions are great for character developpement. If some players can't restrain themselves from joking, have them tell their joke in character, that'll be far better.

3) The best way, in my opinion, is to captivate the player's attention. When the game is underway, if the players are interested, they'll get into character and won't interfere with the storytelling.

4) For rules question, write them down somewhere and promise to look at it later. If there are two opposing ideas, roll a dice to decide which one will be used. Just warn the players beforehand that you'll proceed this way.

Fast GM-ing :

1) It totally depends on you. Some may need to have everything handy (NPC sheets, scenario...), other will be lost with too much information and will only need one sheet of paper.

2) Knowing the rules is nice, getting the players to know the rules is even better. Have the mages automatically roll the drain, have everyone know how to handle "7P with 3 successes, 3 round wide burst".

3) If you can't handle a fast pace, don't worry. Just find the rythm you're at ease with. I know some good GM who speak slowly and take some time pondering each action, but this way they manage to get a lot of atmosphere into the game. When you're infiltrating a corporate warehouse, this way of speaking slowly just enhance the pressure.

Quiet players :

Some players actually enjoy not acting too much. They are ok with following the group and they don't mind the other telling them what to do. So, talk with the player to check if that bothers him or not.
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