Author Topic: My problem at being the GM  (Read 9330 times)

Dracones

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Re: My problem at being the GM
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2012, 05:17:22 PM »
wizard: I cast magic missile!
*silence*
gm: fine by me.
*silence*
wizard (feeling awkward): shouldn't I roll for this?
gm: what do you think?
wizard: I don't know, should I?
*silence*
gm: yes. I already told you like ten times. Read on your sheet: "when you unleash a spell..." you always have to roll.
wizard: oh, I got it! Let's roll then!

I don't see the player doing anything wrong with this. How this would flow with me:

wizard: I cast magic missile!
gm: Okay, roll for cast a spell.

or

wizard: I cast magic missile!
gm: Okay, you're hidden from the monster and are able to take your time with the spell. It flies out and slams into him. Roll damage.

or

wizard: I cast magic missile!
gm: The Lich sees you casting the spell and waves his hand. A shimmering shield appears around him and your missile deflects away from it and slams into the ceiling causing debris to begin to fall. What do you do?

The player initiates the action but waits to see how the world(voiced by the GM) responds to it. They can't roll dice yet because they don't know if the world is going to treat it as a move.

(not that) adam

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Re: My problem at being the GM
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2012, 05:43:01 PM »
@mease19, ah, I get it. I was approaching this from a game perspective, but it really doesn't have anything to do with the game. Its a matter of unclear social expectations between players.

@(not that) adam, didn't mean to derail your thread.
nothing to worry about: social expectations are part of the game as well! (Right?)
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

noofy

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Re: My problem at being the GM
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2012, 11:13:54 PM »
One of your principles is to ask questions and use the answers right Adam? So when you get the blank pause from the gang (like with the wizard example). Instead of making a statement, ask a question and use the answer to establish fictional positioning and deepen the verisimilitude of your Dungeon World.

wizard: I cast magic missile!
*silence*
gm: So what do you do? Extend you wand and shout an incantation? Wave your fingers about? Dance a jig? What does you casting the spell look like? In fact, what does magic missile like like? How does it damage your foes?
*silence*
GM (asking another player) Hey Cuthbert, you've seen this wizard smite monsters with his magic before yeah? Did he ever cast a missile of pure magic? What did it do?....

wizard (feeling awkward): shouldn't I roll for this?
gm: To do it, do it yeah? So tell us how you unleash your magic missile and then you can roll! So what do you do?
wizard: Oh well, I waggle my fingers and cry own 'incedio', blasting the hideous beast with my magical fire!
wizard: oh, I got it! Let's roll then!



(not that) adam

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Re: My problem at being the GM
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2012, 11:26:33 PM »
Actually I do that all the time, but while it's funny to describe a spell in detail the first times it's used, after a while it gets boring and we proceed with just "I cast magic missile", describing more the effects of the spell than its casting.

While I hope there will be no more of such blank moments, it's a good tactic to fill them up with Q&A!
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

Tarnop

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Re: My problem at being the GM
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2012, 01:38:09 AM »
In the game I'm running it's fine for players to default to that after the initial colourful description.  They've told me how they cast the spell, so I have something concrete to work with in case of a miss.  They've given me solid fictional detail, so I know whether they need to be able to vocalise to cast a spell, whether they need to be able to freely move their hands, etc.  However, if they're trying to cast when under some kind of pressure, then I will still ask for a full description, because in doing so both I and the player will easily realise whether they have the fictional position to pull off the move.

Scrape

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Re: My problem at being the GM
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2012, 03:49:01 AM »
After you gave your example, it does sound weird. These are experienced roleplayers? Maybe they're expecting you to not always ask for a roll? Have you straight up talked to them about this, like "there a few things that you will ALWAYS roll for and those are on the sheet, here's an example"? Otherwise I'd say just respond to them quickly. When he says "magic missile," you say "great, roll +Int!" and keep it flowing.


stras

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Re: My problem at being the GM
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2012, 03:03:15 PM »
I have a different question.

Why does this make you feel stressed?

Scrape

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Re: My problem at being the GM
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2012, 10:52:10 PM »
I have a different question.

Why does this make you feel stressed?

That's a really good question. It kinda sounds like he feels like the game should be more intuitive but they're not grasping it. Maybe if they're not engaging the rules, they're not engaging the game either? If that's the case, I could see that being frustrating.

(not that) adam

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Re: My problem at being the GM
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2012, 02:16:34 AM »
I tend to gather up players from all ranges of experiences. Funny fact, I gave a shot at World of Dungeons with a veteran roleplayer and recurring protagonist at my DW tables, but the one who grasped better the "only move" and the die of fate was a complete newbe.

It's stressful because I feel like it's not my job to continuously advocate for rules I explained a bunch of times before. Or as I said in my first post, maybe I'm just going crazy. I wish I could just play smoothly. But don't worry, I'm going to have so much large index cards for the basic moves next time, I will just point to them with a stick when the situation comes up again (and it will, I just know it).
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

Scrape

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Re: My problem at being the GM
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2012, 03:10:05 AM »
If it's really slowing down play, then it's a legit problem. From just reading the thread, it seems like it wouldn't be that difficult to just call for the move and keep things flowing. But then again, I'm not at your table and can't see how bad it is.

I asked this before, but it got lost in the shuffle: have you straight-up talked to them about this? Maybe they need a discussion, or permission or whatever, to call out and roll their own moves when they trigger them. Or maybe they have actual questions about when to trigger them. Have you discussed it at the table yet?

stras

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Re: My problem at being the GM
« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2012, 08:30:27 PM »
As far as I can tell, the players state what they're doing, and the GM calls for rolls as appropriate.

Obviously at a table, there will be some back and forth.

GM: "That sounds kind of dangerous.  Give me a Defy Danger pluuuuuus..."
Players: "Str!" "Dex!" "Wis, it's about him noticing the ledge."
GM: "Sure, lets go with Dex."

Player: "I try to puzzle this out..."
GM: "Cool."
Player: "What do you think? Is that a Discern Realities?"
GM: "Oh yeah! Gimme a roll + int!"

I'm not surprised at your Newbie/Experienced player story.  I'll never forget the looks on the faces of my players when a first time roleplayer rallied a village to come and help (they never thought of it because of preconceptions - clearly the heroes have to solve all problems on their own!)  Playing these games sometimes damages our capacity to roll in the fiction, and that's what the players should be doing: putting down a story together.  The game's pretty robust.  It can handle most things.  Thinking inside the moves as your only options frequently stymies it.

If they look up, and wait for you to acknowledge a move, just do it.  It's cool.  The book gives you permission.  Don't let it rattle you.  It's just part of the back and forth.

mllaneza

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Re: My problem at being the GM
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2012, 10:54:03 PM »
It sounds like what you want is for the player to say "I cast magic missile" and then immediately roll on their own. If they do that, they are skipping stakes/move negotiation.

Maybe not just go ahead and roll, but the ideal DW player will know they're making a move and have their dice in their hand and be ready to roll when the DM is paying attention and expecting a die roll.