Experienced GM's - Penalizing players.

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GurgleSnuff
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Experienced GM's - Penalizing players.

Postby GurgleSnuff » Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:05 pm

Now penalizing players is somewhat an anti climax to what RPG is supposed to be about. Rpg is about fun and good times. But sometimes there's someone who takes it either too serious or not at all. Too serious I won't speak of, but rather the counterpart. Not taking the game or the Game master seriously, appreciating the hard work that's been laid down to bring joy and fun to others:)
So...what do one do when this occurs? What do u say or do when a player interrupts u after being told not to. What do u do when more than one will not focus on the gaming at hand?
That was just a couple of examples certainly. The more experienced GM has probably been through it all, and survived the few frustrations og GM'ing.
Im not an experienced GM, so in this Im trying to be pro-activ asking advice and guidance if u will:)

Maybe IM too serious and stuck up:)

Thanks!
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Postby Jeffreywns » Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:54 pm

Have the rest of your players show up early, and when that player arrives- JUMP OUT OF HIDING AND PUMMEL HIM WITH YOUR CROWN ROYAL BAGS OF DICE!!!!!!
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Postby Mongoose Gar » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:19 pm

Talk to the player. Say "look, you're disrupting the game a bit, and I'd like you to focus on actually playing a bit more."
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Postby GurgleSnuff » Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:04 pm

Noted:)
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Postby Oly » Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:25 pm

Certainly try and talk to the player if you can.

One thing I will say is not to penalise or punish, that's what you do to children.

However I'm more than up for for positive reinforcement. I give out little glass beads in my game as rewards for good RPing, good gaming or even just making us all laugh (at the right time). The beads count as 50XP each and act as an incentive and guide as to what sort of gaming I'd like to see in my sessions as a GM.

The beads are given out immediately not at the end of the session. That way it's clearer to people how they're earned and I don't have to keep track of who's earned what and why during the game.

I tend to be pretty free with them and have no trouble giving out ten or so to each player for a three hour session.
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Postby GurgleSnuff » Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:35 pm

And it sounded like a fun thing to do also:)
Mind if I try it?
It also works as a good motivator.
Do u take one away when they do something bad?
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Postby Oly » Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:44 pm

GurgleSnuff wrote:And it sounded like a fun thing to do also:)
Mind if I try it?
It also works as a good motivator.
Do u take one away when they do something bad?
Go for it, I borrowed the idea myself from the 7th Sea RPG.

No I don't take beads away, that would be punishment which as I said would be a bad thing on so many levels.

What I've seen happen is that players will want to earn the beads, we all like nice shiny things. As long as your style of playing isn't worlds away from what the players want to do then they'll drift into line with it.
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Postby Dpetroc » Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:45 pm

The only time I penalize players with negative XP is when they make a reeeaaaallly bad pun or sing ABBA songs...(automatic 500xp penalty)
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Postby Jeffreywns » Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:14 pm

Maybe give the player a game session or two to run an adventure or scenario you can play in. After all, he might not realize how frustrated you are feeling about his actions. Guess Im spoiled as that my group has to work at our weekly games and really appreciates the time we've made for each other. THEN resort to the Crown bags full of dice. Doesnt leave marks.
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Postby GurgleSnuff » Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:40 pm

This sounds like good stuff to me:)
I liked the beads idea...I might use poker chips:) Works!
And no abba minus 500...check:)

Cuz I dont wanna b tough, although Im kind of expecting some dicipline:)
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Postby Oly » Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:32 pm

GurgleSnuff wrote:This sounds like good stuff to me:)
I liked the beads idea...I might use poker chips:) Works!
And no abba minus 500...check:)

Cuz I dont wanna b tough, although Im kind of expecting some dicipline:)
I'm sure that chips will work just as well as beads, they're just something visible and tangible that the "good" players are rewarded with.

Don't view it as enforcing any kind of behaviour, don't even explain them as being "rewards" for good behaviour. Just say they're immediate XP awards for good roleplaying or giving everyone a good time as you don't want to keep a track and hand them out at the end.
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Postby argo » Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:01 pm

Tokens for good roleplay are a good idea. Positive reinforcement >> "punishment"

What exactly do you mean when you say the problem player is "not taking the game seriously"? You say he interrupts you. Does that mean he is interrupting the NPC monologue with some snarky insult aimed at the NPC? (this happens all the time in my group) Maybe he wants a faster pace and more action, or maybe he is trying to inject more humor or "fun" into the game. It is important to try and understand what the player wants in the game and try to figure out how his playstyle should mesh with the rest of the group so that everyone has a good time (you included). Talk to the whole group about this, not just the player.

OTOH if he is doing things like sending txt messages on his cell phone when it is his turn in combat or having completly unrelated discussions while other people are trying to talk in character. Then that sort of thing is a sign that he has other things that he wants to be doing besides the game... and it is just plain rude besides. Talk to the player, but again don't "punish" him. Talk to him about priorities: we play the game for fun. If he wants to be doing somethng else then, by all means, go do something else and best wishes. But if he wants to be at the game then he needs to be at the game at least for the time that he is there.

Hope that helps.
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Postby Majestic7 » Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:06 pm

...and if all fails, throw him out of the gaming group and get a replacement.
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Postby GurgleSnuff » Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:16 pm

A lot of good replys here:)
Sounds like you have been in these situations b4.

I would like to be a nice guy. Implementing fun and games. And only rewards
for good play.
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Postby SnowDog » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:21 am

If I got really riled up I literally throw the offending player with a dice to his head! Well, not hard but it's still enough to get attention. Then I try to continue and when things cool down I talk to him if it is necessary.

I have considered of buying a fuzzy d20 for a situations like that :)

One thing that might also help is to ask the offending player whether he would like to run the game and see how much work it is. Those who have never been GMs don't really see how much work (in general) it is to prep and run a game.
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Postby Majestic7 » Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:36 pm

SnowDog wrote:If I got really riled up I literally throw the offending player with a dice to his head! Well, not hard but it's still enough to get attention. Then I try to continue and when things cool down I talk to him if it is necessary.
Have your players started to wear helmets?

Seriously though, different players (and GMs!) like different styles and genres of gaming. Although tastes may change, especially with age (more mature players are usually less inclined towards hack n' slash), conflicting interests are often hard to mix. The best recipe for succesfull gaming is to try to form a gaming group, where the people involved want to play the same kind of games. It is quite frustrating to try to run (or play) atmosphere-heavy horror scenario if one of the players is only interested in loot and killing. Likewise, a group wishing to play light D&D-like "slay and loot" game will be frustrated by a player, who wants to spend hours just chatting up with the barmaid.

Compromises between different styles and tastes are of course possible, but the end result is always less satisfactory. Just think about a Sherlock Holmes -style detective story filled with periodic swordfights to keep the action junkie in the group from getting bored.

Of course, some gaming styles are easier to compromise between than the others. Good example is the question about the powers and abilities of GM when compared to other members of the gaming group. People who wish to share the narrative power between all players equally won't simply fit together in the same game with those who want a strong GM.
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Postby SnowDog » Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:57 pm

Majestic7 wrote:
SnowDog wrote:If I got really riled up I literally throw the offending player with a dice to his head! Well, not hard but it's still enough to get attention. Then I try to continue and when things cool down I talk to him if it is necessary.
Have your players started to wear helmets?
No, fortunately there has not been the necessity :lol:
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Postby Harlock » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:24 am

well what I call a disruptive player is a few of the worst I've had over the years, a pair of them actively cheating during a campaign, another who, during a con no less actively threatened the players characters and harassed them more then the villains. What I do is a variation of the same theme. I give them large doses. The more outrageous offenders get the maximum on the first ocurrance, others first get a bad case of brown trousers, then a near undeath experience if they dont catch on. If they never get the point let them get roasted, their character that is. Thats exactly what I did with the obnoxoid twit at the con years ago.

What might be worth considering is something that pokes fun at the offending player, this takes some extra care to make teh point your actually trying to make.
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Postby SnowDog » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:43 am

LOL! We had some in party fights too but they were caused more or less by character personalities (that were rolled using Central Casting) or because of alignment. In one case one PC had another PC under a sword and threatened to kill him if we (rest of the group) would get any closer (as we were trying to capture him). When we didn't stop and called his bluff he actually killed his hostage! Well, we sort of didn't like that and hacked the poor b*stard to pieces. He didn't have a chance.

GM didn't intervene, nor should he have done so. Some things are best left to be handled by players :)
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Postby librarycharlie » Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:37 pm

Announce this: 1 hour in-game-only for 1000xp.

If EVERYONE in the group can stay in character (with tiny, brief exceptions like going to the bathroom, asking for a piece of pizza, etc.) for one hour, EVERYONE gets a thousand bonus xp on top of anything else earned that night.

When your offending player screws it up, as he inevitably will, YOU do not have to do anything to punish him. The rest of the group, on the other hand, will take care of discipline for you... hopefully he'll survive.

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