The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: Balancing when the players don't want to work as a team

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    A couple of points:

    First, this would be a lot easier if people would actually state their preferences. But everyone says they want a "normal" game, killing monsters, exploring dungeons, looting treasure, foiling the BBEG, rescuing princesses, saving the world, that sort of thing, and says they want a "normal" difficulty with balanced encounters according to the games rules.

    Second, a lot of the tension is between players, as they really resent other people "not pulling their weight" rather than some objective standard of difficulty.
    I'm going to second another poster's recommendation of running Chuubo, or games like it.

    Basically, as long as what you're doing looks like something familiar, both you and they will fall into old patterns unless you constantly push against those patterns. If you say 'this campaign isn't going to be about challenges' but you're running something that looks like D&D, everyone is going to still think about things in D&D terms - which is mostly a succession of tactical encounters, where 'challenge' or 'balance' will be prominent game design principles.

    So if you want to avoid just falling back into old patterns, you have to go someplace that is sufficiently unfamiliar that people don't quickly connect it to things they already have associations and standard operating procedures for. It needs to be something that, when you approach it from the framework of 'balance' and 'challenge', it fails so explosively that it is completely obvious even to the most stubborn person that its a nonsensical way to even look at the game.

    Of course if you have a very narrow thing you're comfortable to run, in combination with a very narrow thing that your players are willing to try to play, its basically impossible to change your situation no matter what anyone says on a thread like this.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Italy
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Balancing when the players don't want to work as a team

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    A couple of points:

    First, this would be a lot easier if people would actually state their preferences. But everyone says they want a "normal" game, killing monsters, exploring dungeons, looting treasure, foiling the BBEG, rescuing princesses, saving the world, that sort of thing, and says they want a "normal" difficulty with balanced encounters according to the games rules.
    we know. your players don't know what they want.


    Second, a lot of the tension is between players, as they really resent other people "not pulling their weight" rather than some objective standard of difficulty.
    we know. your players are jerks.

    seriously, we keep telling you, there is no way to deal with those kind of players. you keep thinking that if you only find the right strategy, the right game, the right balance, then you can turn them in a wonderful group. but you can't. you can't fix the players by changing the game, no more than you can save a sinking ship by rearranging the furniture on deck.
    Last edited by King of Nowhere; 2019-12-09 at 06:49 AM.
    In memory of Evisceratus: he dreamed of a better world, but he lacked the class levels to make the dream come true.

    Ridiculous monsters you won't take seriously even as they disembowel you

    my take on the highly skilled professional: the specialized expert

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Balancing when the players don't want to work as a team

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    "Challenge" in the "tactical basketball simulator" portion of RPGs is laughably easy compared to "Challenge" in war games (RPGs rarely consider "50% chance of TPK; on a win, expect about half the PCs to die" to be "good encounter design"). Thus, arguably, I and my "playing highschool romance drama while everyone else is playing tactical basketball simulator" are perfectly positioned as your target audience.
    Real soldiers wouldn't consider a projected 75% death rate in a single engagement "good encounter design", either.

    Why should anyone?
    Last edited by Berenger; 2019-12-09 at 07:59 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Germany
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Balancing when the players don't want to work as a team

    I still think you should let someone else GM on a system differently than your own. Perhaps Bob has some rulebooks lying around he knows kinda well? (I know I'm probably the oddball around here but I like to read rulebooks, even if I know that I probably never going to play them. Perhaps he does that too?)

    Another idea would be too try another system that has some campaigns or adventure paths or some other name for an multi-part campaign, try running that and the most important part DON'T ALTER ANYTHING AT ALL. They want a challenge by the book, try giving it to them. Ask after every season if it was okay, what could be better, the usual.

    But perhaps they just like to complain it's pretty hard to guess. You have played with them for several years from now on and it seems that they still take their time to play... They can't hate that kind of activiry or they would stop.

    Also I guess they are not that good in unusual fights? Like the one with the demon-thing that could not be hurt by attacking him?

    Have you tried more like that? Do your players like that usually? My players mostly dance around encounters more than facing them head-on it seems that your players don't necesarrily enjoy that and just want the dice-throwing to be thrilling and your attempt of the "dumb stupid monsters" using any amount of tactics throws a wrench in your players plans because they don't expect them doing that. (Yes these kind of misconceptions can be there for years.)

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Balancing when the players don't want to work as a team

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    None of my PCs really like role-playing or adversarial games. At least, not as much as the like killing monsters and taking their stuff.
    This idea clashes with the playing of characters with goals such as "Get all the money" or characters which are constantly shafting/fighting each other.

    Either you've misunderstood your players or they're adding elements to the game which are reducing the fun. Maybe they heard about this "roleplaying" thing and this is an attempt to do it?
    Maybe you have a mixture at the table and all need to be a bit understanding?
    I love playing in a party with a couple of power-gamers, it frees me up to be Elan!


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