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Vallum
2012-12-02, 04:05 PM
Weird thread, but I have no clue where else to ask. Thought fellow gamers would be able to help me out.

I have a friend of mine who has never GM'd before, who is interested in running a Star Wars game. A group I introduced him into is full of players who only have played 4e D&D for 8 months so far in their entire gaming career. We have many players who have a strong grasp, but other who... Still have little to no grasp of the game, (still ask which dice to roll, don't know other powers, no idea of equipment, can't level or create a character on their own, takes random feats).

I suggested to the DM to run SAGA edition, as it's much easier to run then Revised, and the players would connect to the game more as SAGA has many proto-type ideas that WotC transported to 4e, (second wind, per encounter abilities, ect.).

Just... how he reacted to the suggestion worried me, saying
"I am a hard-headed, stubborn person, if you try to push me into something that I don't particularly want to do, I'll just drop the whole thing and go the way I want."
As a GM, I always want to make the game better, and always ask at the end of every session


what the players liked about the session
what they didn't like
what I can do to make it better.


I just couldn't imagine a game where I disregard a player's input. I am worried the new GM is getting into a game where he will get frustrated with a new player not understanding the much bigger rule system that is d20, especially the optimization curve that can drastically change how the GM will throw encounters at the party. I hate this situation, because the new GM is a great friend of mine, but I don't want him to get frustrated and dive head first into something he's not preparing for. He has the mentality of a player, not a GM. They are very, very different, (in my opinion). I worry so much about this game and his attitude because I run this in a card shop I work at. If I bring in a bad GM, word-of-mouth can kill any inclination of running not only an additional day in the week for RPGs, but also kill any other RPGs I'm running if no players show up, or even worse, my boss or manager overhear the problem and punish me for it, (as I'm in charge of RPG events ran at the shop).

TL;DR

Should I just roll over and trust a new GM, who doesn't listen to player input, to run a game for a group of players new to RPGs?

Should I even be in a game where a DM doesn't listen, give him the benefit of the doubt, work through the issue, and keep trying to coach him?

Should I just let him do his thing and keep quite?

TheThan
2012-12-02, 04:20 PM
Hrrrm.
Tell him that you personally donít care which system he runs. But that you think the other players will have an easier time of it playing saga. You could also do some prying, see if he has other reasons for not wanting to run saga (maybe he doesnít have the books, had a bad experience with it etc), and work out his reasoning and present a counter argument to his ďI donít want toĒ.

Other than that, if heís going to be ďhard-headed, stubborn person that wonít listen to others", then Iím afraid thereís not much you can do other than to find someone else to DM.

Vallum
2012-12-02, 04:26 PM
Hrrrm.
Tell him that you personally donít care which system he runs. But that you think the other players will have an easier time of it playing saga. You could also do some prying, see if he has other reasons for not wanting to run saga (maybe he doesnít have the books, had a bad experience with it etc), and work out his reasoning and present a counter argument to his ďI donít want toĒ.

Other than that, if heís going to be ďhard-headed, stubborn person that wonít listen to others", then Iím afraid thereís not much you can do other than to find someone else to DM.

He said, when I said the Scout can cover up the lack of a Frniger,

"The Scout can't do anything anywhere near what the Fringer can. Trust me. Or don't, it's your choice, but the Fringer is specialized as to what it can do, and gets way more bonuses (and at the time I write this I've got the Fringer and Scout up doing a side-by-side comparison). Yes, Saga is condensed, but they shrank it so much in some places it loses some of the magic."

I threw the tech specialist web enhancement his way, and am hoping he will like it... I just don't get why he is hung up on a class, when he's going to be the GM :smallconfused:

navar100
2012-12-02, 05:38 PM
I don't know about SAGA, but I can say this with my experience playing Star Wars Revised. Using the Force . . . sucks. You have to spend your hit points to use it, meaning you are killing yourself. I understand SAGA got rid of that.

prufock
2012-12-03, 07:41 AM
I don't know about SAGA, but I can say this with my experience playing Star Wars Revised. Using the Force . . . sucks. You have to spend your hit points to use it, meaning you are killing yourself. I understand SAGA got rid of that.

It sure did! SAGA uses force abilities like per-encounter powers. You take feats to get the force powers you want, and can use each one once per encounter. There is also a refresh mechanic if you really need that second Mind Trick or whatever.

To the OP: GM's response was ridiculously stupid (rather than explaining why he wanted to use Revised, he instead said "I R stubborn, durrr"). This doesn't necessarily mean the campaign will be bad, but I would beware of railroading. If all the other players are on board with using Revised, though, the system isn't a problem. They might have a slight learning curve. If all the other players are opposed to using Revised, then it's a problem. Best you can do in that situation is run a game yourself instead.

Yora
2012-12-03, 07:57 AM
Saga is by far the best d20 I've seen (though D&D 5th Edition might beat it).
Because it's simply and the rulebook is short. It's much easier to just jump in and have fun that pretty much any other d20 game.

hymer
2012-12-03, 08:31 AM
What's your priority here, the newbies, your friend, or yourself?

Your friend has admitted to not caring about anyone else's fun. He may turn out to be good at what he does, though, despite this (and he may learn a thing or two, also). So I'd give it a try, and do my very best not to interfere with anything. Now, from here on, I'd decide depending on my priorities.

If it's my own fun, I'd hang around as long as it's fun. Once I'm no longer having fun (whther or not this occurs), I'll wish them all the best and leave (handing over my PC so the DM can do whatever he wants with it).

If my priority is the newbies, I'll hang around and make a good impression, so I can pick them up for my own game later.

And finally, if my priority is my friend, I'll stick with him. I'll gently try to talk with him every now and again, but if he doesn't want my input (or any input), I'd pull back and let him do it his way.

But I will say that the whole "I am a hard-headed, stubborn person" is a considerable warning flag, and unless this changes over time, the DM will fail at making a fun game in the end.

Sidmen
2012-12-03, 08:35 AM
Hi Vallum,

I thought I'd pop in and give a quick summary of what this read like to me. Hopefully you'll see something in this that will help you think of your problem in a different light.


Your Friend, lets call him Starjammer, wants to try his hand at being a Storyteller for the first time. He's really excited and has decided on the game he's most comfortable with: Star Wars Revised Edition.

Then, Vallum comes in and tells Starjammer that Revised is old and not very good, and that Saga is where it's all at.

Starjammer listens to Vallum then tells him that, no, he would much rather run Revised for various reasons (none of which are more important than "because I like it")

Vallum then persists, annoying Starjammer to the point where Starjammer is thinking about just dropping the whole thing.

I understand you have concerns, but you shouldn't nag on your friend for his choices. Saga edition is good - I like it, but it isn't a good idea to try and force a Storyteller - especially a new one - to change to the edition of a game that you personally like. I happen to despise Pathfinder, but when someone in my group wants to start up a Fantasy RPG they always reach for it. I could complain and try to convince people of 4.0's aspects - and why I personally like it (it's the classes, I can't stand Pathfinder's classes), but it would be pithy of me to think that the game can't be run in Pathfinder or even 3.5, because it can - Star Wars Revised has been used to great effect in many games over the years, all it takes is people wanting to have fun.

If the game ends up being terrible, no harm done - it's Starjammer's first time, and everyone playing will know that. Games can be terrible in any system, but you should at least let him try. And no, disagreeing with you about which edition of a system does not mean he's off to a bad start, if anything you're off to a poor start for trying to force something on him that he's not comfortable with.

Vallum
2012-12-03, 02:51 PM
Hi Vallum,

I thought I'd pop in and give a quick summary of what this read like to me. Hopefully you'll see something in this that will help you think of your problem in a different light.


Your Friend, lets call him Starjammer, wants to try his hand at being a Storyteller for the first time. He's really excited and has decided on the game he's most comfortable with: Star Wars Revised Edition.

Then, Vallum comes in and tells Starjammer that Revised is old and not very good, and that Saga is where it's all at.

Starjammer listens to Vallum then tells him that, no, he would much rather run Revised for various reasons (none of which are more important than "because I like it")

Vallum then persists, annoying Starjammer to the point where Starjammer is thinking about just dropping the whole thing.

I understand you have concerns, but you shouldn't nag on your friend for his choices. Saga edition is good - I like it, but it isn't a good idea to try and force a Storyteller - especially a new one - to change to the edition of a game that you personally like. I happen to despise Pathfinder, but when someone in my group wants to start up a Fantasy RPG they always reach for it. I could complain and try to convince people of 4.0's aspects - and why I personally like it (it's the classes, I can't stand Pathfinder's classes), but it would be pithy of me to think that the game can't be run in Pathfinder or even 3.5, because it can - Star Wars Revised has been used to great effect in many games over the years, all it takes is people wanting to have fun.

If the game ends up being terrible, no harm done - it's Starjammer's first time, and everyone playing will know that. Games can be terrible in any system, but you should at least let him try. And no, disagreeing with you about which edition of a system does not mean he's off to a bad start, if anything you're off to a poor start for trying to force something on him that he's not comfortable with.

Its defiantly less about what I want. I don't give two copper on what game I'm in so long as everyone at the table can have fun.

The issue is more on, with my experience with being the DM for 9 months, for the group he is about to GM. The DM who thought them 4e, the DM who went through the aches and pain getting the group to where they are now... With 4e, the simplest edition I have ever ran.

I know this group, I know their learning curve, and I only wish to help the GM for Star War because he will have his hands full DMing for the first time. Ever. I what to make it as easy for him as I can, not because I'm a SAGA fanboy, (which, I'm not, sci-fi isn't my shtick as fantasy is).

hiryuu
2012-12-03, 06:01 PM
Its defiantly less about what I want. I don't give two copper on what game I'm in so long as everyone at the table can have fun.

The issue is more on, with my experience with being the DM for 9 months, for the group he is about to GM. The DM who thought them 4e, the DM who went through the aches and pain getting the group to where they are now... With 4e, the simplest edition I have ever ran.

I know this group, I know their learning curve, and I only wish to help the GM for Star War because he will have his hands full DMing for the first time. Ever. I what to make it as easy for him as I can, not because I'm a SAGA fanboy, (which, I'm not, sci-fi isn't my shtick as fantasy is).

Really, Star Wars is fantasy. It's totally D&D hero fantasy with a coat of shiny paint on it.

Also, were I a first-time GM I would want to use a system that I am comfortable with and enjoy. As a GM it is my right to have fun, too, and when I'm having fun, it's easier to help other people have fun. If the GM does not like the system she or he is being forced to use, the game will suffer. No matter what system is being used, because your GM can't get into it, can't make quick decisions, and can't make consistent rulings, since they don't know and don't like what they're doing. A GM has the dishonorable task of setting up the milieu, the milieu's situations, trying to make sure the game is enjoyable for more than just one person (themselves included), managing the mechanics for both all the player characters and NPCs, and then smiling and nodding and trying to figure out how to make it right when told they're inevitably told that they're doing it all wrong to begin with.

Forcing, especially through this kind of "well, I don't really care, but I care" behavior, your was to get the GM to use a different system that what they like sucks all the fun out for everyone. Maybe you can help transition it a little? Ask if you can start introducing some concepts to the mix as time goes on.

Captainocaptain
2012-12-03, 07:04 PM
Just a warning about SAGA, I played a year and a half long campaign, and the force is horrendously broken. It becomes extremely easy as a Jedi who is focused in the force to solo encounters way above the rest of the party's abilities.

Jessica1990
2012-12-03, 07:54 PM
Just a warning about SAGA, I played a year and a half long campaign, and the force is horrendously broken. It becomes extremely easy as a Jedi who is focused in the force to solo encounters way above the rest of the party's abilities.

That makes two of us.

Dienekes
2012-12-03, 08:04 PM
Just a warning about SAGA, I played a year and a half long campaign, and the force is horrendously broken. It becomes extremely easy as a Jedi who is focused in the force to solo encounters way above the rest of the party's abilities.

It depends on the level, sadly. The basic mathematics of the system means that a Force User with Skill Focus (Use the Force) can utterly dominate low levels because they're getting a +10+Cha+1d20 at level 1, vs the opposing 10+1+1ish+Dex/Wis/Con. So essentially a 2 vs a d20. At level 20 however (after a few prestige classes and bonuses and whatnot), the defenses of characters gets higher, much faster than the Use the Force. So it ends up being 10+10+Cha+1d20 vs 10+20+3+Dex/Wis/Con at level 20. The middle levels are generally considered where the system is the most balanced, also that's where the non-Force users start getting their own tricks.

For instance if you know how to build a Scoundrel/Gunslinger you can basically take down any boss opponent you want in a couple shots. While in terms of pure damage output and room clearing nothing, and I mean nothing, can beat a Soldier/Elite Trooper.

Vallum
2012-12-03, 08:30 PM
Forcing, especially through this kind of "well, I don't really care, but I care" behavior, your was to get the GM to use a different system that what they like sucks all the fun out for everyone. Maybe you can help transition it a little? Ask if you can start introducing some concepts to the mix as time goes on.

I'm sorry that I didn't make it clear that the conversation the GM and I have been having has been in private and online. I am the last to want my group to sit through arguing.

The transitioning is why I thought SAGA would be good. It retains elements that they are familiar with, (second wind, per encounter abilities), while getting them familiar with concepts that are more entwined with d20 systems that are similar with Revised, (class tables and their formats, multiclassing, certain feats that are a call back from previous editions, less (not completely) power based the 4e). It's not because I 'enjoy' it more, as any game is just that: a game, and games are meant to be fun.

When I think of Revised, (or even 3.5), I see a very different game from 4e. It's as something for players to learn, as just trying to explain skill points is going to be fun, let alone all the goodies that go along with that jump.

kardar233
2012-12-03, 10:05 PM
Your points about the players' learning curve is valid, but whether the DM is comfortable with the system is far more important whether the players are.

SWD20 is okay, as long as the GM realizes just how squishy people are. A crit with any ranged weapon will instantly drop most characters or enemies.

hymer
2012-12-04, 02:27 AM
@ Vallum: Maybe the online nature of the conversation is at the root of the problem. We come across gruffer, as I'm sure you're aware.
Still, I stand by my advice, as long as it's carried out with grace. :)

KillianHawkeye
2012-12-04, 05:33 AM
Your points about the players' learning curve is valid, but whether the DM is comfortable with the system is far more important whether the players are.

This is the issue that I see as well. DMing is an intense and difficult process for a lot of first-timers. It is a skill which takes a long time to master. Trying to learn a new game system at the same time just a bad idea. A new DM is much more likely to succeed if they use a system that they have plenty of experience with as a player.

prufock
2012-12-04, 07:35 AM
It depends on the level, sadly. The basic mathematics of the system means that a Force User with Skill Focus (Use the Force) can utterly dominate low levels because they're getting a +10+Cha+1d20 at level 1, vs the opposing 10+1+1ish+Dex/Wis/Con.

Yeah, I've heard that a lot of groups outright ban that feat option or give it a prerequisite so you can't take it until a later level (around when you can take PrCs).

Friv
2012-12-04, 07:45 AM
Yeah, I've heard that a lot of groups outright ban that feat option or give it a prerequisite so you can't take it until a later level (around when you can take PrCs).

Or revise it to be crappy at low levels, so that people who really want that degree of difference can have it, but it's not a great choice (providing half your level rounding up, to a maximum of +5, is a popular choice that works out well. Our group's Jedi is holding about steady with everyone else.)

IdleMuse
2012-12-04, 10:21 AM
Re: the Jedi powerlevel thing, aside from the too-good ability to buy Skill Focus right off, which has been mentioned about, a lot of the rest of the apparent power level simply comes from the fact that it's just a lot more obvious how to build a good Jedi character. I mean, it's laid out right there for you; Jedi into Jedi Knight into Jedi Master. Pick obviously good powers from the list, and raise the obvious stats, and you're pretty much golden. Optimising other characters (particularly Scouts) is a fair bit harder. Okay, Soldier into Elite Trooper or Scoundrel into Gunslinger is fairly obvious, but these are rarely gonna be as 'optimised' as the best Jedi who just took Jedi Knight. Non-force users have to dip about a bit, shop around a bit for feats and talents, and understand the equipment system, but their power level 'potential' is just about as good as Jedi.

There are a couple of things Jedi can do that make them a step above anyone else if you focus in them (Mind Trick, Phase come to mind), but these really are specific things, not whole-class-power-level modifiers.

Dienekes
2012-12-04, 03:54 PM
Hmm, I sorta half agree. While a non-Jedi can definitely benefit from a bit of jumping around every class has a distinct advancement prestige class in the Core Rulebook alone. Now, not all of them are as explicitly obvious as Soldier -> Elite Trooper, but even a brief look at the prerequisites makes Scoundrel -> Gunslinger, Scout -> Bounty Hunter, and Noble -> Officer rather obvious (though honestly, Noble -> Crime Lord can be terrifying although many want even think about it for fluff reasons. Also as an aside, I've made Crime Lord the unofficial Politician prestige class, because considering how important senators are in the SW movies it's ridiculous they have no prestige class for them).

NEO|Phyte
2012-12-04, 06:05 PM
(though honestly, Noble -> Crime Lord can be terrifying

Noble/Crime Lord is only as terrifying as the group's best combatant.
Standard action: Give beatstick a standard action.
2 minor actions: Give beatstick a standard action.

It's possible there's other ways to build them, but I've never tried it.

Sidmen
2012-12-04, 06:45 PM
I much prefer Noble -> Corporate Agent.

You can walk around impervious to assault (the enemy thinks your an ally), while turning your enemies against each other. It's hilarious.

But I've never really understood how Jedi can be "broken" I mean, sure, they're close-range powerhouses, but beyond 12 squares or so they're going to get killed badly.

IdleMuse
2012-12-04, 06:52 PM
Kinda stupidly, Crime Lord is one of the best PrCs for Jedi to take. Dipping to get the prereqs doesn't really hurt, since there are some useful things you can gte there, and as a reward, you can get twice as many Force talents as any other class. :smallmad: unintentional use, certainly, but it's a great way to load up on awesome force talents.

snoopy13a
2012-12-05, 12:06 AM
I worry so much about this game and his attitude because I run this in a card shop I work at. If I bring in a bad GM, word-of-mouth can kill any inclination of running not only an additional day in the week for RPGs, but also kill any other RPGs I'm running if no players show up, or even worse, my boss or manager overhear the problem and punish me for it, (as I'm in charge of RPG events ran at the shop).



For me, this was the important section of your post. It appears that your boss wants quality GMs running games at the shop so players will come to the shop and buy items. Thus, part of your job is to bar poor GMs from using your shop because they might drive away customers. If your friend is likely going to be a poor GM because he won't accept constructive criticism, then he can run his game at his own place, not your boss's. Your priority here is to your employer.

You can always lie to your friend and mention that your bosses only allow experienced GMs to run games (hopefully, none of the GMs running games are inexperienced :smallbiggrin: ). This way, you reject him without making it personal.

Sith_Happens
2012-12-05, 02:29 AM
For me, this was the important section of your post. It appears that your boss wants quality GMs running games at the shop so players will come to the shop and buy items. Thus, part of your job is to bar poor GMs from using your shop because they might drive away customers. If your friend is likely going to be a poor GM because he won't accept constructive criticism, then he can run his game at his own place, not your boss's. Your priority here is to your employer.

Seconding this. As long as your job and/or the reputation of your store in any way depend on it, the answer to "Should I trust this guy to GM despite blah blah blah?" is "Not a chance."

prufock
2012-12-05, 10:40 AM
Or revise it to be crappy at low levels, so that people who really want that degree of difference can have it, but it's not a great choice (providing half your level rounding up, to a maximum of +5, is a popular choice that works out well. Our group's Jedi is holding about steady with everyone else.)

Haven't heard of that houserule before, but it sounds pretty reasonable.