((I talked this over in PM with Cornflakes yesterday and it was figured out, but for posterity's sake, and the sake of everyone else reading this, I'm going to respond here. Cornflakes felt like I was being arrogant, calling the players stupid, saying that they couldn't have fun without my hand-holding them, and saying that the players know nothing and only the GM does.))
Cornflakes_91 wrote: ↑
Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:56 am
so your gist of "you cant have fun without me explicitly holding your hand to do so" is kinda wrong
Being completely honest: I didn't mean that at all. The best fun is had without the GM's intervention - completely without the GM's intervention - but the GM can shape things behind the scenes, such as giving your paladin things to steal and murder, or pointing out new and interesting aspects of your cultist argument. I'm not saying the GM is
the fun, I'm saying that they create the world. That's all. The world is the stage, but the stage is just a stage without the characters to act on it.
As to the "players are idiots" sentiment:
I think I may not have gotten my intentions across. My players aren't idiots. None of them are. All of you guys are wicked smart - many of you without a doubt smarter than I am, possibly by a fair deal. Sometimes that makes me feel a bit inferior, especially when you start in on more scientific subjects that I'm not very knowledgeable in.
The players don't "need" the GM to have fun. Fun is made by the players, with the exception of the story. If you guys do nothing interesting, I can't make anything interesting happen. I can throw interesting things at
you - I can set the stage - but if you fail to interact with it/in it/around it, the story is just useless noise. The roleplay is the fun part, but the players need the story and setting to set up a stage they can act in.
As to "you don't know anything, only the GM does":
I'm mostly talking about newbies. When I talk about veterans, often != usually. It just means it happens. Everyone "learns" "how to RPG" at different rates. Some people learn more quickly than others. To other people, everything in the game is stats and skills to them - it's all just numbers. They don't really "get" the roleplay. I mean, obviously, you do: your three examples were all about roleplay, right? And the roleplay is the fun part. Early on I thought that rules and stats had to be "just so" or else "the game will suck" but it's actually a lot more complicated than that, and there's a lot more leeway when good players and a good GM are involved, because a good player won't want
to be too overpowered, and a good GM will know how to tweak things so they'll never feel like there isn't room to advance. In that regard, the stats and skill play a lesser role in making the game fun than it may immediately seem to a new player.
As to being arrogant: I most certainly hope I never become so. That's a step on the path to becoming a bad GM: when you ignore what your players say and stop "listening" just because you think you know everything already. You stop growing, and you stagnate, and in the stagnation you lose the ability to learn and adapt - and it's essentially a permanent condition, because even if you're told you're stagnating you won't believe it. A GM should always, always
challenge themselves to learn, and always keep an open mind. That's why I gave each of the recent posts in this thread a day's thought to think about it before I responded. I wanted to understand exactly everyone's perspective before I replied, so I could see it from their angle; I wanted to query what I was saying myself to see if perhaps I was in the wrong. That may not have come across clearly, though. I'm bad at communication sometimes, but I'm trying to be better.