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Doomdecahedron
2018-06-24, 09:19 PM
My apologies is this is posted in the wrong place. I need to talk to someone about this.

Iíll be the first to admit that I get really into the story. Iím eager to talk to both NPCís and other players. A lot. I use the game to escape a stressful life and get REALLY into it.

So when my DM let me know that I was claiming the spotlight a bit too much and to allow others time to shine as well, I was a bit surprised, but tried tone it down from that point onward. They were right Ė the more silent players WERE getting pushed to the background a little bit.

We're a few months in the future now. I talked to some of the other players, and told them to call me out on it if they ever felt that their characters were getting pushed to the side. None of them have done so since then. The story has heavily focused on a few of the more silent players, to the point of some of us feeling that there wasnít much for us to do compared to them. But that was okay. I enjoyed their backgrounds and unfolding stories a lot, too. It wasnít exactly equal, but thatís impossible with 6 players, and weíd all get our turn eventually. All was fine.

Or so I thought. Turns out the other end didnít think so. I was recently informed that some people still felt sidelined, and itís started to strain interactions in-game. To the point of worrying about relationships out-of-game. I really donít want to get any more detailed than this, since my group might be reading these forums as well. They are all wonderful people and I adore them to pieces, and the last thing I want is to make some of them feel like their characters donít matter.

I guess my point isÖ am I the problem here? Iíve tried talking to them about it, and that didnít seem to work in the long run. Iíve cut back on taking the spotlight. Last session I had 2 conversations that lasted about 5 minutes in a 5-hour session (one of which was cut off early which, honestly, made me sad). Iíve tried to drag other people into the spotlight by asking about their backgrounds, but mostly that gets rejected. Iíve actively stayed in the background in combat because I know other people enjoy it more than I do.
What else can I do? Do you guys have any tips on situations like this? What other kinds of things can you do, as a player, to keep your fellow players happy? You know, without becoming miserable yourself?

My apologies if this is overly vague. :smalleek:

Hurske
2018-06-24, 09:32 PM
As a DM, there are definitely silent players in my face group, and definitely a couple that will take a spotlight for a majority of the time if they want. One approach is that specifically spend more attention to the players who happen to be quiet.

This might be best to have the talk with the DM of your group.

Doomdecahedron
2018-06-24, 09:37 PM
Thank you for the reply.
I did talk with the DM about this - they're the one that let me know what was going on. The first talk led to the story switching to focusing on their characters directly. The second talk was a couple of days ago, and it's still mulling around in my head. They've let me know that they're not exactly sure yet what to do about this, either.

Darth Ultron
2018-06-24, 10:02 PM
You are not the problem (and they are not the problem). It is much more blurry then that.

At the most basic, there are type A people and type B people: open/social and not so much. And while a Type A person has little problem being social mostly anywhere any time, the Type B person will always be 'not so much', no matter what. Even under a huge spotlight: a Type B person is who they are.

This is why changing what you do does not matter much: it does not change who people are. Your presence and existence will always bother a Type B person. It's a lot like if your attractive, or otherwise interesting, people will flock to you. Now ''you'' are not doing anything, but others will feel left out.

You might be able to ask them what you can do, and if they say 'do X', you can do it......if it is reasonable. Chances are it won't be, but you can still 'try' to do whatever they want...there is a small chance it will make them happy.

The best advise might be for you to simply find another game. Maybe a group of deep storytelling role players or otherwise social people like yourself. At least find another outlet other then this game for yourself. You might even want to find an online game that you can 'really' get into.

denthor
2018-06-24, 10:15 PM
I have a problem like yours I enjoy most NPC and Interaction between them. My party does not.

Jay R
2018-06-24, 10:30 PM
There's so much we don't know, and therefore we cannot advise you on. But there is one aspect I think I can point out.


...They were right Ė the more silent players WERE getting pushed to the background a little bit.

We're a few months in the future now. I talked to some of the other players, and told them to call me out on it if they ever felt that their characters were getting pushed to the side. None of them have done so since then.

That's what "silent players" means. By definition, they will not be able to tell you when they are unable to speak up.

Doomdecahedron
2018-06-24, 11:14 PM
You are not the problem (and they are not the problem). It is much more blurry then that.

-snip-



That... might be it. There are two of us that are quite vocal (in this group) when we get swept up by the story. The rest... not so much.
I wonder. Would the dynamic change if the vocal player turned into a vocal DM?


That's what "silent players" means. By definition, they will not be able to tell you when they are unable to speak up.

That is true. Perhaps I still haven't toned it down enough for them to feel comfortable speaking up.
I did tell them that they could let me know whenever. During breaks, or after-session, or even with a little note during/after the game if they didn't want to bring it up directly to my face. Maybe that way just doesn't work? :smalleek:


I have a problem like yours I enjoy most NPC and Interaction between them. My party does not.

How do you handle this?

MrSandman
2018-06-25, 02:44 AM
For you as a player, and knowing very little about the situation, I would suggest trying to actively include them in the spotlight, rather than passively making room for them.

It so happens that many people who don't take the spotlight don't do so for reasons other than because someone else is taking it. So not taking the spotlight isn't really going to solve anything.

What you can do is to try and be sort of a story catalyst. There's an NPC with a moral dilemma? Talk to her and say, "Hey, my buddy here is a Paladin, he'll know about that. What do you think, Harry?" Do you need to get an invitation to a high-class party? Hey, Lucy, you've got Lore (Nobility), don't you? How about you and I go and make some friends?

The idea is, when there's something to do or someone to talk to, don't just stay in the background. Try to include the other players and do something together.

EDIT: It just occurred to me that it is probably best if you have a talk with all your group and get to the bottom of the issue. What you say makes me think that the problem was never that you stole too much spotlight to start with. If that had been the problem, it would have been solved by you taking less spotlight. I think you should ask them why their not having enough spotlight is a problem and how a fun game would look for them.
It may simply be that the underlying issue is not that some people get more spotlight, but that when they take the spotlight they make the game go in directions they don't like. Some people may be there just for the tactical combat and feel that there is too much talkie-talkie and not enough smashie-smashie. If that's the case, the only way to deal with it is to make everybody aware that some people are in there for the combat and others for the social interaction and find a way to compromise.

denthor
2018-06-25, 08:49 AM
That... might be it. There are two of us that are quite vocal (in this group) when we get swept up by the story. The rest... not so much.
I wonder. Would the dynamic change if the vocal player turned into a vocal DM?



That is true. Perhaps I still haven't toned it down enough for them to feel comfortable speaking up.
I did tell them that they could let me know whenever. During breaks, or after-session, or even with a little note during/after the game if they didn't want to bring it up directly to my face. Maybe that way just doesn't work? :smalleek:



How do you handle this?

Found a happy medium. I speak to the NPC's to get what information they have before the game. That way I get what is needed for my playing choices.
Then if possible I become one of the quiet players . Very hard for me .

Andor13
2018-06-25, 09:50 AM
Iíve tried to drag other people into the spotlight by asking about their backgrounds, but mostly that gets rejected.

Well, the problem with this specific example is that by definition dragging them into the spotlight only works if you're in the spotlight. What you want to do it act like the intro act, who then passes the spotlight. So you try to set up an interaction between (PC & NPC, PC & PC) and then step back. Think of it like being a match maker for a shy couple.

Sir Stig
2018-06-25, 11:34 AM
That... might be it. There are two of us that are quite vocal (in this group) when we get swept up by the story. The rest... not so much.
I wonder. Would the dynamic change if the vocal player turned into a vocal DM?

Yeah, you can always give DM'ing a try. That sounds like it could be a good solution, since you get to take part in all NPC conversations. World building can be a lot of fun.

Rhedyn
2018-06-25, 11:47 AM
I GM for 7 people. I never have a problem with someone hogging the spot light.

My suggestion is to take a conversational approach. If someone is trying to talk, let them. Take breaths every so often.

I'll note, you shouldn't have 5 minute conversations just like someone shouldn't take 5 minutes on their combat turn. If no one else is into the conversation you are having, then it's probably good to move on or try to abbreviate it such as, "I keep trading stories with the barmaid well into the night, do I learn anything of note?"

Segev
2018-06-25, 12:37 PM
If nobody can spell out for you where you're stepping up too much, and tell you, when it happens, that others need time, too, it's not on you.

This really is the GM's responsibility. This also needs to be something aired at the open table. The players who feel sidelined need to tell the whole group this, and everybody needs to have their thickest skins on, while being careful not to be more accusatory than necessary. It is likely that some will be called out as taking too much time. It is also likely that others who feel sidelined will be told they're not stepping up enough when given the opportunity.

But people need to be as specific and clear as possible about what they'd like to see. How do the players who feel sidelined WANT to be more included? What do they see as obstacles to them doing so?

It is possible that you ARE getting more screen time than you think, while they think you're getting more than you are. It's also possible that they're just plain wrong and are holding on to a mental model that inflates the screen time you're getting by taking any instance of it and making that the marker for "ah, having spoken, this person has now hogged all the screen time."

There's also a possibility that OOC participation is making them feel like you're intruding and dominating scenes even when your PC isn't active or even present. This isn't to say that's what's happening, but it's one possibility.

In any event, all of you need to, at the start of next session, discuss this as a group. Maturely, and as friends, and without getting offended. You'll need to come up with specific ideas for how to get the sidelined players more involved. Specific ideas. Things that you can point to and say, "We are doing this" or "we have failed to do this" when you evaluate your performance after a session. Anything less will just amount to everybody stewing as vague intentions and aspirations without metrics lead to everyone with a problem feeling like "everyone else" isn't doing what they promised they would.

Telonius
2018-06-25, 12:51 PM
If nobody can spell out for you where you're stepping up too much, and tell you, when it happens, that others need time, too, it's not on you.

This really is the GM's responsibility. This also needs to be something aired at the open table. The players who feel sidelined need to tell the whole group this, and everybody needs to have their thickest skins on, while being careful not to be more accusatory than necessary. It is likely that some will be called out as taking too much time. It is also likely that others who feel sidelined will be told they're not stepping up enough when given the opportunity.

But people need to be as specific and clear as possible about what they'd like to see. How do the players who feel sidelined WANT to be more included? What do they see as obstacles to them doing so?

It is possible that you ARE getting more screen time than you think, while they think you're getting more than you are. It's also possible that they're just plain wrong and are holding on to a mental model that inflates the screen time you're getting by taking any instance of it and making that the marker for "ah, having spoken, this person has now hogged all the screen time."

There's also a possibility that OOC participation is making them feel like you're intruding and dominating scenes even when your PC isn't active or even present. This isn't to say that's what's happening, but it's one possibility.

In any event, all of you need to, at the start of next session, discuss this as a group. Maturely, and as friends, and without getting offended. You'll need to come up with specific ideas for how to get the sidelined players more involved. Specific ideas. Things that you can point to and say, "We are doing this" or "we have failed to do this" when you evaluate your performance after a session. Anything less will just amount to everybody stewing as vague intentions and aspirations without metrics lead to everyone with a problem feeling like "everyone else" isn't doing what they promised they would.

Seconded.

I will say that the GM is a key component here, and does need to be on board for whatever solution you guys come up with. The GM is the main spotlight, so it's likely they'll have to start doing something at least a little bit different.

For what it's worth, I tend to have a similar problem as the OP when I'm gaming. I'm not talkative in general, but gaming is where it usually comes out. I've done the same thing as you - pre-emptively ask people to rein me in if I'm taking up too much time, and let them know that I know I have a tendency to do this, and it's totally okay to say so. Results are kind of mixed. Like others have said, a person who has trouble speaking up in character, is going to have trouble telling somebody to quiet down out of character. I've found it helps if I try to think of myself as a co-GM (when I'm not the actual GM); there to help the rest of the team have fun. Try to notice who hasn't been talking. Ask their character what they think about something, or what their plan is, or even just a random impromptu scene. The scenery and the NPCs aren't the only things that you can react and relate to.

RazorChain
2018-06-25, 01:17 PM
That... might be it. There are two of us that are quite vocal (in this group) when we get swept up by the story. The rest... not so much.
I wonder. Would the dynamic change if the vocal player turned into a vocal DM?




I'm a vocal, spotlight hogging player....which is one of the reasons I GM 80% of the time because then I don't have to share the spotlight so to speak.

I also love interacting with NPC's which means I love having my NPC's interacting with the PC's.

But being a spotlight hogger doesn't make anyone a great GM....practice does.


Those who crave much spotlight they thrive better in smaller groups where there IS more spotlight to be had. It's one of the reasons I as a player and GM prefer group of 4 PC's, because then there is more spotlight to go around for everybody.

You are not to blame for being a spotlight hog, every group has one or two and often those are the driving force of the party, they become the leaders of the party, demand that decisions get made and things get done. It's the difference between the more silent players looking to each other when a decision needs to be made or the often vocal players saying aloud " I vote to go right, how about you guys?"

IMO a vocal player that get's immersed in the game is the best player you can get as a GM with the caveat that I have only been GMing for 30 years with over dozen different groups and with an open table at a gaming store.

In fact one of the things I do as a GM is is to coach the silent players to be more active.

You seem to be aware that there can be too much of the good stuff and are aware of your fellow players needs and that is a good thing. I put the sole responsibility on the GM in this case and even then he seems to be trying with making a story arc for the silent players and cajoling them out of their silence. Maybe there is just a group dynamic here that doesn't work.

I made a group a couple of years ago and to my surprise the group dynamic is effing awesome for the most part. This is rarely the case, it's like winning the lottery where 5 out of 6 players love my GMing style and almost no problems between the players. Usually there are style mismatches

RazorChain
2018-06-25, 01:30 PM
I'll note, you shouldn't have 5 minute conversations just like someone shouldn't take 5 minutes on their combat turn. If no one else is into the conversation you are having, then it's probably good to move on or try to abbreviate it such as, "I keep trading stories with the barmaid well into the night, do I learn anything of note?"

I'll note that different groups have different approaches to gaming. Having a 5 minute conversation is just fine within most games. If your fellow players are invested in the game they can also take enjoyment from other people conversations.

Let's take a dinner party of 6 people where people listen on the conversations. John is telling about his time in Rome and the other listen in and ask questions. Now some might say that you absolutely cannot hog the time for 5 minutes because that is unfair and the others will get bored but in most cases this isn't true. Then we have other hobbies like theater sports where part of the enjoyment is to watch the others when it's their turn.

In RPG's you are the actor and the audience, you are both telling a story and being a part of it. In games like mine where there is maybe one combat encounter per 6 hour session then most of the time will go into planning, inter party dialogue, NPC interaction and doing stuff/going places (heist, exploration, stake out,)

Darth Ultron
2018-06-25, 04:54 PM
I wonder. Would the dynamic change if the vocal player turned into a vocal DM?


It might be the best of all things if you yourself become a DM. After all, the DM gets to play all the time.

Even is a 4 person game, each player only gets 15 minutes an hour...but that means 45 minutes of sitting around. Some of the time some of the other players 'let' you play during their time....but not very often. The DM on the other hand is always playing throughout the whole hour.

Doomdecahedron
2018-06-25, 06:00 PM
Thank you all for the replies. I was really worried that I was ruining their fun, and have been trying different things for a while now to see if it helped, to the point of getting in the way of my own fun.

I had another talk with our DM yesterday - he doesn't like the current tensions either, but has talked to the other two players that felt sidelined. I've sent them both a written apology message (we're all very busy people and generally just can't meet up more than once/twice a month), and an invitation to talk. DM said they needed some time to think of what to say and how to say it.

I've written down your advice, and intend to just listen, take notes and ask questions at first. Then share my own point of view after I understand theirs. Here's to hoping it goes well.

I'll let you guys know how it went! Thanks again for all the help, I really appreciate it. :smallsmile:

Segev
2018-06-26, 02:49 PM
Good luck! Listening and trying to understand their problems is a good strategy to trying to find solutions.

kyoryu
2018-06-26, 02:59 PM
Late to the party, but:

There's definitely a problem. I don't know if you are the problem. It sounds like you're not, since it sounds like you're trying to solve things and making an effort. While it's impossible to know without being at the table, that's not true with 99% of "problem players".

Sometimes there's just a problem with people that have styles that are independently legitimate, but together just don't mesh, and that's okay.

I'd talk to the GM about how to do things to help ensure screen time for everyone. Something semi-structured or measurable may help. Also make sure to actively include others in what you're doing, that can be incredibly helpful.

And, sometimes, people just don't mesh together in a way that makes it difficult for them to play together. And that's okay, and doesn't mean anyone is a bad person. It just means you don't fit in a gaming sense.

Quertus
2018-06-27, 02:38 PM
You are not the problem (and they are not the problem). It is much more blurry then that.


I would suggest trying to actively include them in the spotlight, rather than passively making room for them.

It so happens that many people who don't take the spotlight don't do so for reasons other than because someone else is taking it. So not taking the spotlight isn't really going to solve anything.

What you can do is to try and be sort of a story catalyst. There's an NPC with a moral dilemma? Talk to her and say, "Hey, my buddy here is a Paladin, he'll know about that. What do you think, Harry?" Do you need to get an invitation to a high-class party? Hey, Lucy, you've got Lore (Nobility), don't you? How about you and I go and make some friends?

The idea is, when there's something to do or someone to talk to, don't just stay in the background. Try to include the other players and do something together.

EDIT: It just occurred to me that it is probably best if you have a talk with all your group and get to the bottom of the issue. What you say makes me think that the problem was never that you stole too much spotlight to start with. If that had been the problem, it would have been solved by you taking less spotlight. I think you should ask them why their not having enough spotlight is a problem and how a fun game would look for them.
It may simply be that the underlying issue is not that some people get more spotlight, but that when they take the spotlight they make the game go in directions they don't like. Some people may be there just for the tactical combat and feel that there is too much talkie-talkie and not enough smashie-smashie. If that's the case, the only way to deal with it is to make everybody aware that some people are in there for the combat and others for the social interaction and find a way to compromise.

I'll second these statements... and tell my traditional long, rambling story. :smallwink:

I'm a war gamer. I love war games. I love detailed rules and challenging tactical combat. You know, the type where, in theory, each side has an even chance at victory.

In an RPG, that wouldn't work out too well. Having a 50% chance of TPK each encounter would mean only 1/1000 parties survives 10 encounters. Further, assuming 50% of the PCs would get wiped out even if they won, that means that a character surviving 10 combats would be a 1-in-a-million occurrance!

So, compared to war game combat, RPG combat is an easy-mode snooze-fest in comparison, by design. Despite my wargaming background, RPG combat just really doesn't do it for me. Thus, despite - or, perhaps, even because - I'm a war gamer, combat really isn't where I get my fun in an RPG.

Thus, I'm perfectly happy playing characters who are less effective in combat than my fellow PCs. I'm perfectly happy letting combat be other PC's place to take the spotlight, their place to shine.

My signature character, for whom this account is named? He's a tactically inept academic, whose grand goals in life include things like publishing books on the knowledge he's accumulated on monsters, magic, and multiple realities. He hates adventuring (although it does provide new experiences to write about...), but is quite thankful for powerful companions who can handle this scary "combat" thing, and is happy to provide his meager help with the little things, like teleporting / plane shifting them about, or giving them information about the monsters that they fight.

So, what's the point of all my rambling? It's that it's important to understand what everyone wants out of a game. Talk to the players, find out what they want, and what it is, specifically, that you are doing that is interfering with their fun. Then try to figure out of it's something that you can change / not do, or if not doing it would kill your fun.

And figure out what you want out of a game, what you'd be willing to compromise, and what is required for your fun.


We're a few months in the future now. The story has heavily focused on a few of the more silent players, to the point of some of us feeling that there wasnít much for us to do compared to them. But that was okay. I enjoyed their backgrounds and unfolding stories a lot, too. It wasnít exactly equal, but thatís impossible with 6 players, and weíd all get our turn eventually. All was fine.

Or so I thought. Turns out the other end didnít think so. I was recently informed that some people still felt sidelined, and itís started to strain interactions in-game.

Um, if the story is about them, and you're that much in the background, and they're still not happy, something's horribly wrong. The problem has clearly been misdiagnosed. You need to talk with them, and find out what it is that they actually need to be happy, and what it is, specifically, that they feel you are doing that robs them of their happiness.


What else can I do? Do you guys have any tips on situations like this? What other kinds of things can you do, as a player, to keep your fellow players happy? You know, without becoming miserable yourself?

My apologies if this is overly vague. :smalleek:

Oh, I see you've grasped the notion that you fixing the problem might cause the problem of killing your own enjoyment. Good. Sounds like you know not to go down that path, then.

The vagueness is a bit of an issue, but "talk to people" seem good advice, regardless of how much we know.

Um, allow me to also suggest that everyone in your group attempt to gain a common vocabulary with which to discuss these problems - or, at least, do so if your initial attempts at communication fail. I'll recommend Angry's 8 Aesthetics (horrible name, what did he rename those to?) as a not-completely-wrong-minded and simple enough starting point - doubtless, someone else will give you other, likely better, advice for good group reading material should people need a hand expressing their desires and playstyles.


This really is the GM's responsibility. This also needs to be something aired at the open table. The players who feel sidelined need to tell the whole group this, and everybody needs to have their thickest skins on, while being careful not to be more accusatory than necessary. It is likely that some will be called out as taking too much time. It is also likely that others who feel sidelined will be told they're not stepping up enough when given the opportunity.

But people need to be as specific and clear as possible about what they'd like to see. How do the players who feel sidelined WANT to be more included? What do they see as obstacles to them doing so?

In any event, all of you need to, at the start of next session, discuss this as a group. Maturely, and as friends, and without getting offended. You'll need to come up with specific ideas for how to get the sidelined players more involved. Specific ideas. Things that you can point to and say, "We are doing this" or "we have failed to do this" when you evaluate your performance after a session. Anything less will just amount to everybody stewing as vague intentions and aspirations without metrics lead to everyone with a problem feeling like "everyone else" isn't doing what they promised they would.

Although I'll disagree about it being the GM's responsibility (I consider it everyone's responsibility), and about it needing to occur during the session (in some groups, this is best handled as part of a separate social occasion (so as not to intrude on precious gaming time!)), I strongly advocate the much more productive attitude of "talking about what they'd like to see". I do get too focused on trying to solve the problem - this focus on a vision for the future is much better advice. Kudos!

Still, as you go on to say, one does need to identify the nature of the impediments to that future, so one cannot simply ignore the problems in pursuit of said vision.

For the notion of people keeping promises - I strongly recommend a two-session approach (I really need a better name for that). So, the first session, it's simple stuff, like "I need you to be more positive, OK?" and they agree.

Then, the second session, it's "You agreed to be more positive. But, here, Quertus, you focused on the problem. A more positive response would have been to focus on the goal. Also, you spent 80% of your time disagreeing with people, and only 20% of your time pointing out things that they said right. I want to see at least 50% of your time spent agreeing with people. That's what I said when I asked you to be more positive. Do you think that you can do that?"

In the second session, you show them how they did not live up to what you thought that they had agreed to (and they do the same with you!). This helps with miscommunication, helps get everyone on the same page, helps get everyone invested in making the game better together.

Or something like that. Anyway, it's the technique I've found to be most useful in social situations.


I'll let you guys know how it went! Thanks again for all the help, I really appreciate it. :smallsmile:

Please do!


Late to the party, but:

There's definitely a problem. I don't know if you are the problem. It sounds like you're not, since it sounds like you're trying to solve things and making an effort. While it's impossible to know without being at the table, that's not true with 99% of "problem players".

Sometimes there's just a problem with people that have styles that are independently legitimate, but together just don't mesh, and that's okay.

I'd talk to the GM about how to do things to help ensure screen time for everyone. Something semi-structured or measurable may help. Also make sure to actively include others in what you're doing, that can be incredibly helpful.

And, sometimes, people just don't mesh together in a way that makes it difficult for them to play together. And that's okay, and doesn't mean anyone is a bad person. It just means you don't fit in a gaming sense.

Yeah, I'd advise going really basic here - figuring out what everyone's playstyle actually is, what it is that they value in a game - is often required in order to define the problem in order to create a plan to fix the problem - or, yeah, sometimes, to realize that the problem just can't be fixed. :smallfrown:

Koo Rehtorb
2018-06-27, 07:29 PM
In an RPG, that wouldn't work out too well. Having a 50% chance of TPK each encounter would mean only 1/1000 parties survives 10 encounters. Further, assuming 50% of the PCs would get wiped out even if they won, that means that a character surviving 10 combats would be a 1-in-a-million occurrance!

Assuming that losing a fight means you die. Which is an... odd assumption.

lawgnome
2018-06-27, 08:38 PM
One of the best bits of advice I heard when I started GMing again was to talk with all of the other players and ask what they were looking for in the game. This advice made a huge difference, and explains why my first attempt at GMing a decade ago went so poorly.

I think this advice applies to both sides of the table. If your GM is running a game that isnít what people want to play, this needs to be addressed. If your fellow players are looking for more of a combat oriented game and you are more interested in story and conversation, this needs to be addressed.

It doesnít sound like you are a problem (per se). It sounds like your fellow players are being very passive about their desires (and passive aggressive when dealing with you about it). Talk with them and figure out what it is that they are hoping to get out of the game. If they want to be more involved in the conversation, but are too timid to step in, then they should let you know when you talk to them (and then you can do things like lead them into conversations).

Also, no part of the game should be one person doing everything for long periods of time. Combat, conversation, etc. Everyone should be generally active, otherwise everyone else is bored.

Doomdecahedron
2018-06-28, 01:37 AM
Update incoming!

Thank you so much for all of your advice, guys. I think we're going towards a good conclusion here.

I talked with one of the two players so far. No idea still what the problem is with the second one, but as for the first one - you guys were right. It wasn't strictly an IC problem. Some of it was - I used to go out of my way to prompt their character, and the player admitted that this actually made them clam up and unable to think about what they wanted to say. But some of it also had nothing to do with the game itself, and that bled over into the game.

(Does leave me with a bit of a puzzle, though. They want the spotlight, but they're shy to take it, me passing it towards them makes them clam up, and purely letting the DM take care of it makes others feel sidelined in turn. Including me. Hm. :smallconfused: )

So far we've agreed to switch places around at the table, so I can see their visual clues when they want to speak up. Up until now they were in a corner where I couldn't see them unless I specifically leaned in.
It's the little things, isn't it? :smallbiggrin:

The other player is taking a little more time with formulating their issues. If you want, I'll let you know what happened with that converstion, too.

Thank you for all of the advice, again! It really helps a lot :smallsmile:

Segev
2018-06-28, 05:58 PM
I strongly advocate the much more productive attitude of "talking about what they'd like to see". I do get too focused on trying to solve the problem - this focus on a vision for the future is much better advice. Kudos!Thanks! I have found that knowing what you want to happen is far better for getting to where you want to be than knowing what you dislike about where you are. There is value in the latter, but it will only help you avoid getting back to there in the future; it doesn't help you get where you want to be.

I suspect the motivational speaker types and pop psychologists who promote "positive thinking" are drawing from this truth, then twisting it all about due to their own misunderstanding or poor communication skills (or desire to make it sound easy so people buy their products). But it's true: knowing what your goal is to be makes it much easier to pursue it. It's just not enough on its own.

There is a world of difference between vague aspirations, "I want to be happy," "I want to be more included," "I want my chance to shine," and specific concepts of activities, "I want to earn enough money to support myself and a wife," "I want to be the one telling the jokes that people laugh at, sometimes," "I want my character to have a chance to use his thieving skills to sneak the party past some obstacle," "I want my character to have a chance at a romance subplot."

I also use this when designing characters. I try to envision "scenes" I would like to see them engaged in. I want my illusionist in a 5e game to use mirage arcane to be the lord of a castle that shifts and warps at his whim, for instance. I want my necromancer to smirk as he blatantly lies about why the soldiers in all-concealing armor behind him are totally obedient and never make a peep, but the town guard is too scared to call him on it. I want my paladin to stand between innocent townsfolk and a wicked villain and say, "No more."

I also suggest this technique to others who're having trouble deciding what character to build, or how they want to play. What, when they think of their PC, do they envision the PC doing that's awesome? Build to be able to do that.


Update incoming!

Thank you so much for all of your advice, guys. I think we're going towards a good conclusion here.

I talked with one of the two players so far. No idea still what the problem is with the second one, but as for the first one - you guys were right. It wasn't strictly an IC problem. Some of it was - I used to go out of my way to prompt their character, and the player admitted that this actually made them clam up and unable to think about what they wanted to say. But some of it also had nothing to do with the game itself, and that bled over into the game.

(Does leave me with a bit of a puzzle, though. They want the spotlight, but they're shy to take it, me passing it towards them makes them clam up, and purely letting the DM take care of it makes others feel sidelined in turn. Including me. Hm. :smallconfused: )

So far we've agreed to switch places around at the table, so I can see their visual clues when they want to speak up. Up until now they were in a corner where I couldn't see them unless I specifically leaned in.
It's the little things, isn't it? :smallbiggrin:

The other player is taking a little more time with formulating their issues. If you want, I'll let you know what happened with that converstion, too.

Thank you for all of the advice, again! It really helps a lot :smallsmile:Yeah, RL issues impacting mood definitely don't help these situations. I actually have a friend who is similarly naturally quiet and easily overlooked, and I have yet to find a good solution.

Since you're at a table, maybe give them a large, obvious signaling object, like a fan or a talking smilie face on a paper plate on a stick, which they can hold up and extend into the middle of the table as a sign they're waiting for a chance to speak. The agreed-upon etiquette need not be that people immediately shut up to let them, but rather that whoever's talking acknowledge it with a nod and wrap up what he's saying, then people let the one extending the sign of "I want to talk" have the floor.

I don't know if it will work, but I suspect it's less intrusive than trying to talk over people or guess when there's a verbal space to interject, so might not be quite so intimidating.

D+1
2018-06-28, 10:28 PM
[CAPS used for emphasis below, not for shouting.]

Active player interaction is a basic requirement of the game for ALL participants. If some players are... inhibited to the point where they cannot ACTIVELY INTERACT at the fundamental level that the game is BUILT ON, then you are not responsible for their personal issues. Give them opportunity to speak up and get with the program; point them at the spotlight, even push them a bit; BE that player that WANTS to see everyone at the table engaged and TAKING the game in directions rather than watch them waiting to be dragged there.

But if they still want to sit, silent and all wallflowerish - that is not your problem and brook no insinuations from anyone, DM or player, that it is.

Simply taking the analogy of the spotlight to its inevitable conclusion should reveal all you need to know. A spotlight shines a bright light upon a person, place, or thing on a stage and in doing so focuses attention of any viewers. Unless the DM locks it in place, the spotlight is ALWAYS on a swivel. It will naturally point at those who draw attention to themselves by stepping up to front and center stage and belting out a solo, or kicking up their heels, or making an impassioned speech. If additional players step up next to the one in the spotlight - the spotlight is EXPANDED to include both and continues to follow them around the stage. It DOESN'T get turned to those who sit immobile on the floor, half-hidden by the curtains and who simply hum quietly along with the melody, except to bring into stark contrast their NON-participation in the show. And the spotlight does not ever forcibly move anyone or anything, anywhere. No amount of narrowing of the spot or increase in brightness will actually push people into center stage and MAKE them engage. That is a VOLUNTARY action on the part of players and attempts to coerce that choice out of them will rarely, if ever, succeed. If the player remains idle and silent, the spotlight will - and should - move elsewhere, to those people and things that warrant more attention. If anyone ever feels they need more spotlight time it is simplicity itself to get it to turn their way (and without needing to disrupt the show to do so). Just PARTICIPATE. The light will shine on you soon enough. If EVERYONE is active and engaged then there is nothing for a spotlight to really do because it keeps moving around to different players too quickly, hence no NEED to increase attention on the one actively participating player.

The only real exception would be players who have genuinely diagnosed psychological issues with social engagement - but we're not talking about them, are we? We're talking (I assume) about otherwise normal, emotionally stable and capable people. Even for those clinically afflicted with some disorder getting in the way of their participation - you're still not their psychiatrist nor their therapist. Don't assume that you have an obligation to be. Everyone else is not a victim of not being pushed out to center stage and forced to dance at gunpoint until they finally start smiling.

It is one thing to HOG the spotlight and overshadow the actions of others at the table - to upstage them when they try to step forward on the stage where they will naturally draw more attention. It is entirely something else for the spotlight to simply remain on the ONLY player to draw its attention. Nobody plays D&D to have fun inflicted upon them. They are supposed to be there to join in, to create fun for themselves and everyone else at the table and not just passively receive it.

Radical POV, I know. As long as the wallflowers aren't being DENIED opportunities to be a more memorable part of the show, and maybe given an occasional gentle prod - you're doing enough. It's ultimately up to them, not you.

YMMV

Koo Rehtorb
2018-06-28, 10:37 PM
I broadly agree with the above. People are responsible for their own fun. If you're not actively sabotaging other people's fun then their issues aren't really your problem.

Quertus
2018-06-30, 07:55 AM
Assuming that losing a fight means you die. Which is an... odd assumption.

Not for a war game. Or most combat in D&D. Or for the referenced TPK scenario. :smalltongue:


So far we've agreed to switch places around at the table, so I can see their visual clues when they want to speak up. Up until now they were in a corner where I couldn't see them unless I specifically leaned in.
It's the little things, isn't it? :smallbiggrin:

Bloody brilliant! Let us know if it helps.


I broadly agree with the above. People are responsible for their own fun. If you're not actively sabotaging other people's fun then their issues aren't really your problem.

A Happy Slave is a Productive Slave
(I'm trying not to get kicked out of the Lawful Evil club, so I had to scrap the more touchy-feely version, Ok)

Allow me to clue you in on one of the common traits of successful evil overlords: even slaves need happiness.

Yes, they're just slaves, and their happiness should be their own problem. Heck, they should be grateful that you spared their lives, and put their miserable existence to use being a part of something greater than themselves, allowing them to participate in the greater mechanism of your grand design.

But, sadly, most slaves don't see it that way, and repeatedly Mindraping them all to enforce a more productive mindset is prohibitively expensive. You're trying to make a profit off keeping these slaves, after all!

No, to maintain slave productivity quotas, it behooves the clever evil overlord to understand his slaves, and know what makes them happy. Give them just enough "circuses and peanuts" to maintain the level of happiness that products the most cost efficient productive work force.

The evil overlord who can master the goal of maintaining happy slaves with minimal cost has a bright future indeed.

When attempting to blend in with the heroes, the fledgling overlord can still work to build these skills. Simply refluff "maintaining cost effectiveness" and "preventing an uprising" as "caring about others", and the dupes will generally fall for it.

Segev
2018-07-02, 01:50 PM
A Happy Slave is a Productive Slave
(I'm trying not to get kicked out of the Lawful Evil club, so I had to scrap the more touchy-feely version, Ok)

Allow me to clue you in on one of the common traits of successful evil overlords: even slaves need happiness.

Yes, they're just slaves, and their happiness should be their own problem. Heck, they should be grateful that you spared their lives, and put their miserable existence to use being a part of something greater than themselves, allowing them to participate in the greater mechanism of your grand design.

But, sadly, most slaves don't see it that way, and repeatedly Mindraping them all to enforce a more productive mindset is prohibitively expensive. You're trying to make a profit off keeping these slaves, after all!

No, to maintain slave productivity quotas, it behooves the clever evil overlord to understand his slaves, and know what makes them happy. Give them just enough "circuses and peanuts" to maintain the level of happiness that products the most cost efficient productive work force.

The evil overlord who can master the goal of maintaining happy slaves with minimal cost has a bright future indeed.

When attempting to blend in with the heroes, the fledgling overlord can still work to build these skills. Simply refluff "maintaining cost effectiveness" and "preventing an uprising" as "caring about others", and the dupes will generally fall for it.

It is often amazing how closely such optimized systems look to overt capitalism, to the point of not even requiring overseers to prevent slaves from revolting and to compel them to keep working. You don't even need to keep them from running away if you're doing it right; they wouldn't be getting a better wage or living condition elsewhere.

If you're clever, you can even tell them you'll sell their contract back to them for what it cost you to buy them, plus some interest. And then follow through, because they'll give you back some of the money you paid them that kept them happy, and then you can keep employing them at the same wage anyway, because it was enough to keep them happy!

Doomdecahedron
2018-07-02, 08:57 PM
I'm not entirely sure how keeping fellow players happy turned into a how-to guide on profiting off off tricked slaves...:smallconfused: :smallbiggrin:

Maybe lawful evil is the way to go, after all.

Armored Walrus
2018-07-02, 09:14 PM
Because these are the GitP forums and you are almost at the bottom of page one, so useful posts are just about over and it's time for tangents and arguments.

ross
2018-07-04, 08:19 PM
Not for a war game. Or most combat in D&D. Or for the referenced TPK scenario. :smalltongue:



Bloody brilliant! Let us know if it helps.



A Happy Slave is a Productive Slave
(I'm trying not to get kicked out of the Lawful Evil club, so I had to scrap the more touchy-feely version, Ok)

Allow me to clue you in on one of the common traits of successful evil overlords: even slaves need happiness.

Yes, they're just slaves, and their happiness should be their own problem. Heck, they should be grateful that you spared their lives, and put their miserable existence to use being a part of something greater than themselves, allowing them to participate in the greater mechanism of your grand design.

But, sadly, most slaves don't see it that way, and repeatedly Mindraping them all to enforce a more productive mindset is prohibitively expensive. You're trying to make a profit off keeping these slaves, after all!

No, to maintain slave productivity quotas, it behooves the clever evil overlord to understand his slaves, and know what makes them happy. Give them just enough "circuses and peanuts" to maintain the level of happiness that products the most cost efficient productive work force.

The evil overlord who can master the goal of maintaining happy slaves with minimal cost has a bright future indeed.

When attempting to blend in with the heroes, the fledgling overlord can still work to build these skills. Simply refluff "maintaining cost effectiveness" and "preventing an uprising" as "caring about others", and the dupes will generally fall for it.

Well on the plus side, at least now we all have an example to help us imagine exactly what kind of awkward, stilted, dialogue the OP might be producing that's putting everyone else off of participating.