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If you don't want to play, don't Post!

1342077900
Tommy R.
KS Backer
I have seen 3 pretty decent games die after the first week because GM's are unable to get players to respond after being begged to run a game. I have heard all 3 GM's rant to me about this issue which has turned me off from GMing to random groups myself. Do not get me wrong, in all of the game there were small issues, related to the GM getting used to Roll20, mics/cameras not working, lag/connection issues, or the fact Roll20 is still just a beta. But please, I need to get this straight. You beg for a GM to run a game, then one eventually shows up, he agrees to YOUR game, finds players, spends hours setting up a campaign, more hours running your campaign, and then you won't even have the decency to answer e-mails for a continuation of that game? I wonder how often this happens or am I just bad luck? But, if this is as often as I fear because it is over the internet and people feel they do not have any real obligations, there will soon be a trend no one will like. Good GM's will stop posting to run good games and will stop helping random groups. A trend none of us want. I know that PnP is not for everyone, and I know that often players don't like other players and player's won't like GM's .... but people, be courteous and at least answer an e-mail/PM and tell them. I apologize for this small rant (seem to be doing that here latley.)
had a group on last sat. we were over flowing with request to get into the game. had atleast 7 people signed up
1342101806
Tommy R.
KS Backer
There are plenty of one off groups getting started and that is awesome. That is what these forums are for. I know there are a lot of new players on here figuring out what they want to play and even if they want to play. The problem is that people drop just as fast after the first game, and from what I hear from a couple of GM's they won't even respond to reschedule e-mails/ PM's. All I am saying is be courteous to those spending hours running games for everyone.
I've only had one session here on Roll20 but I've posted about my interest in multiple threads and haven't gotten into any of those other games, for whatever reasons. I do agree with you about the whole lack of obligations over the internet and it doesn't surprise me at all. I think that is the one flaw in all these virtual tabletops. The anonymity really removes any of the social repercussions normally associated with playing together with real people. Without that factor I really don't see these virtual tabletops being a big thing as time goes on since the communities will basically crumble.
1342112108
Tommy R.
KS Backer
@Galen, personally I am less worried about the communities as long as there is a product I can use over some platform. What this has taught me as a GM is just to be pre-cautious and run a few single session modules and feel out the players. Who shows up, who communicates, who particpates ect... I just moved and lost get the chance to play with friends, this gives that back to me. I have also always wanted to play with my cousin that I taught DnD 20 years ago, but he lived in another state. This gives me those chances. If I meet a few new friends (which I have) along the way, that's even better.
Well I look at it like this. If the communities fall apart then the need/desire for these virtual tabletops decreases. Once that need/desire goes away I think that some of the people running these sites will find themselves hard pressed to keep them up and running. Sure they are nice for those niche cases, like yours, where you want to be able to get friends together to play but when looking at the big picture I don't see these sites remaining online for very long if their "market" becomes so small and specialized.
1342115012
Tommy R.
KS Backer
I am hoping that if such things happen, they will release tools to pull images / resources from sources that are likely going to keep on dropbox / google drive, ect. I would be fine running it as an app through google hangouts. Another problem is extremely divided communities amongst the various Virtual Table Tops which is expanding monthly it seems. I am hoping who ever ends up on top has enough in their marketing bucket pulls in a continuous amount of people. Then we have another problem that I created a thread for about all of the book trading, which could have a back lash for any newly created books.
I've never used Google+ for anything but the DM of this campaign I signed up for said he was wanting to use it for the incidental stuff like loot, recaps and etc. It seems like a pretty good idea so I'm all for it. As for the divided communities, I agree wholeheartedly. I don't know who was here first or all that mess so hopefully no one will crucify me for what I'm about to say. It seems like some of the virtual tabletops are coming into prominence because of Roll20's success on Kickstarter. Ideally everyone would come together and make one site where people could go rather than having many different ones all with slight variations on the formula.
1342116429
Tommy R.
KS Backer
It puts you into a weird predicament. I have met some real cool people on other VTT forums that I want to play on Roll20, but it's a fine line to bring up. Did not mean to get off track about other VTT's, but I just realize how much of a small sub-culture we really are.
Could you elaborate on your meaning behind that last bit? Is there some kind of hipster-type taboo associated with Roll20 or something?
1342117021
Tommy R.
KS Backer
No, hipster meaning at all. Was pointing out: 1. I don't like advertising for A on B's website. Seems rude. 2. Just stating that the PnP crowd is relatively small when compared to other forms of entertainment and we need to be mindful of that when we think we are going to split even more.
I understand now. I thought it was something along the lines of if you posted asking people to play on Roll20 that they would get up in arms about Roll20 for some reason. I see your reasoning now and it makes sense. You make a very good point about splitting the community as well.
1342127153
Balladeer
KS Backer
One thing that I'd like to make sure everyone is aware of is that the current LFG forum is just a placeholder until a better system for finding and joining groups is developed.
That would be a welcome thing. A place where people can provide input into what game(s) they want to play, when they are available, and what (in the game) they want to play... as well as a place for GM to post what games they are willing to run and how many positions they have available. Now to help with this, there should be some sort of rating system, so that if you as a GM runs a game with 4 people and 2 people do really well you can give them a 2 star rating, if the player plays well, give them a star, if the player did not play well (disruptive, argumentative, cursing, etc) give them a negative rating, that way others may have an idea if they want a person like that in their games. This can also be done from player point of view by rating the GMs of the games. Just some tings to think about.
1342129699
Tommy R.
KS Backer
@Hector, I really like the idea of a rating system. It really does fix quite a few of the issues I have as GM's and players alike have a better grasp of what they are getting into.
I have to agree with Hector and his idea of some sort of rating system for the users. It would give some degree, however small, of accountability. It would cause people to think about how they act and treat other people rather than doing/saying whatever they want with no consequences. @Balladeer - I'm looking forward to it. Having the major systems broken down into their own forums, or whatever you guys have in mind which I'm sure will be fine, would really be an improvement.
Rating scheme could be a good way to curb this. Its definitely not a problem unique to Roll20.net, seen it across RPG websites.
1342260208
Tommy R.
KS Backer
Rating scheme could be a good way to curb this. Its definitely not a problem unique to Roll20.net, seen it across RPG websites. As small as the community actually is, it is kind of sad to hear. You think everyone would be banding together, but I guess too much optimism there.
1342263388
Only potential pitfall of rating system is when it becomes too elitist and only the high rated get to play in the good games. This is not to condone the actions of those that are lowering there rating but I also have a hard time alienating people because lets say they do realize that they shouldn't be dropping or not responding. If there rating has already dropped and they are stuck with a low rating then they could be "locked out" of a lot of games. When you add ratings for that sort of thing it can be very easy to slip into a "only ratings of X or higher allowed" situation which is not good either.
1342274980
Tommy R.
KS Backer
Only potential pitfall of rating system is when it becomes too elitist and only the high rated get to play in the good games. This is not to condone the actions of those that are lowering there rating but I also have a hard time alienating people because lets say they do realize that they shouldn't be dropping or not responding. If there rating has already dropped and they are stuck with a low rating then they could be "locked out" of a lot of games. When you add ratings for that sort of thing it can be very easy to slip into a "only ratings of X or higher allowed" situation which is not good either. I don't know if that is a bad thing really. If I am going to go play golf, I need to know before hand if the person joining with me is going to need some coaching or is ready to just play. You are either going to have patient GM's who don't mind adding in a newbie or one that will just get frustrated, might as well let them know up front. I am personally thinking about saving 1 spot in each of my games weekly for 1 new person to help teach them the game.
what would be awesome is when a gm starts a game he is given his own Game page where his group that he invites can go to and organize without cluttering up the lfg page. something simple. just to organize without having to wait for peopel to join the actual virtual table top. things like char sheets can be put there and auto get into tabletop. and customizable character sheets that the dm can make and players fill out.
1342293200
Tommy R.
KS Backer
I think that is far too intensive for what Roll20 wants to do, which is why they are looking to do some basic integration with Obsidian Portal (if you haven't heard of it, check it out.)
1342302634
Agemegos
KS Backer
@Taedrial I am doing that by using the private message system. I go to "inbox" in the blue patch in the top right, and click "start a new conversation". I add the handles of all prospective players, and then type a welcome message into the text box. Any reply to that message is sent to all the people named, and all the replies are organised into a thread in my inbox that is separate from other conversations I have going on.
1342305662
Yes I too organize my games, after picking up the appropriate number of players, through the private message system in a group conversation. It helps to be able to see all of my different groups separated out. Side note: it would be nice to name conversations so I could tag one group as "Star Wars Wednesday Nights" or something. @Tommy - But wouldn't that "coaching" be more on a rules system rather than just role playing in general. To have a rating system like that you would have to rate players individually on how well they know a system individually to let you know how much you will have to coach them on that particular system. That sort of rating is also not what we were talking about though. We were talking about a "reliability" rating, or something close to that, to let GM's know if a player will actually follow though with what they are saying (at least that was my understanding from your original post). That sort of rating can be good but it can also be very frustrating. It is good when it does work by lowering the rating of people that are just flat out not reliable or are willing to blow off games because "itz de internet lalz!!!", but it gets bad quickly when people start loosing rating because of things like other issues coming up, or misunderstandings, or inexperience. I think there would probably be more cases of the later category than the former. If that is the case then it could still all be fine and work great, but it could also easily fall into that elitist situation I said before or the other way were people are loosing ranking for BS reasons and the rating system becomes useless anyway. Anytime you start giving people rating outside of a competitive environment things tend to not work as well. Some sort of warning system might work, where you warn a player if they are a no show or extremely disruptive (this would ideally be after you tried talking to the player yourself), after so many warnings the player has to give an explanation as to why they shouldn't have been warned (this is were the misunderstandings and the like would be able to be handled so no one gets "punished" for something unjustly) If explanation is not given or deemed not a good reason then the player is blocked from joining games for a X amount of time. Just makes the entire process more personal and not so easy to judge people bast on a number that was given to them.
Well I would love to learn and play some GURPS, Dungeon Fantasy, but no one seems to be similarly interested or motivated.
I'm in the same boat as Mark here. If anyone feels like starting up a game, I should be able to faithfully commit to a campaign if we can work out the time.
1342448864
Tommy R.
KS Backer
This thread is not about you personally about getting a game, but about players in general and their reliability to stay in the campaigns they have dedicated themselves too. Please go post a new thread if you are looking for a campaign or in one looking for the type of game you want to play in. I hope you do find one.
1342626628
Ajax
Pro
If as a GM running a Campaign or an Event, if you provide a good game, word will get out, and players will want to join and those players hopefully will keep coming back. Now I ran an Event last night and had a dozen players all either posting or PMing saying "Count me in", "Oh I want to play badly", etc. I sent the link to 10 people 6 responded, which was the optimal number for this event. We had a very good session, I had made a note of the players I sent the link to, none of the NO SHOWS bothered to PM that they couldn't make it or whatever, Point is I will never invite any of the NO SHOWS to a game of mine again, and I have to say it will be their loss. Sorry about the rant, GAME ON.
1342628492
Tommy R.
KS Backer
Jeff, that was exactly my point. What people against a rating system do not understand is that what you don't want is to offend DM's ....... they are the ones that keep this whole system going. BTW ... Checked real quick if I had replied to that post of yours and checked my PM. Had myself a bit worried. LOL.
1342629320
I am a GM (I play maybe one campaign out of 6) and I am against a rating system, at least a rating system that is being described here, as stated above.
I don't think this is just a roll20 problem, I've seen a lot of internet groups just kind of dissolve for no reason.
1342746019
Ajax
Pro
Keep this up players and pretty soon you will have NO BODY to run anything! Hats Off to the Courteous players who will at least let you know they can't make it.
1343179157
Ajax
Pro
THIS SHOULD BE AN ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!!
I don't feel this should be an announcement, or that it belongs on the LFG boards to be honest. If anything, it's a warning to GMs of the peril of online play: people have very little invested beyond a fleeting inkling to try a game. Since there's no solution for human nature, it falls to GMs to protect everyone's time (which really is part of the job description). Ask for a reasonable amount of prep-work from players such as character sheets, bios, and pictures within a short time frame (3-5 days), and specify that those who miss the boat will sadly be left behind. This will help you gauge initial interest and commitment, and hopefully make for a more cohesive group. Ultimately though, people will drop as interest wanes and real life situations arise. It's understandable that as a GM you consider your time investment lost if too many players drop. Here are my proposed solutions that I plan on using for my campaign: Few players drop (THREAT LEVEL: EASY): Make some people VERY happy by posting in Looking for Group section that you have an opening or two for a full-fledged ready-to-go campaign! Make it first-come-first serve for players who meet requirements above (char sheet, bio, etc). New players join in at whatever level the PCs currently are. Many players drop (THREAT LEVEL: CHALLENGING): As above, but consider rebalancing levels. There are a lot of fun experiences for low Level characters that new players may not want to miss out on. If remaining PCs are happy to roll-back their characters and continue the campaign, go ahead, possibly offering some compensation. E.g., implement triple XP rewards until everyone reaches the old level so that continuing players don't suffer too greatly. All players drop (THREAT LEVEL: OPPORTUNITY!): You've spent days (weeks? months!?) preparing maps, characters, plots and intrigues for your warriors & wizards/spacemen & aliens/investigators & half-Sasquatch-sidekicks, only to have the campaign abruptly end. LFG-post to the rescue, this time with the added bonus that you have a slew of enticing material to post, a more robust history, and the opportunity for the new players to approach the campaign from their own angle. This is also useful in the event that your current PCs all die but the players want to continue in some form.
1343224606
Another thing to consider on the GMs side of things is that if you as the GM build enough interest in your game before the game even starts then fewer players are likely to drop or no show. Most of the time when players drop out is that they have either lost interest in a game that they probably said they would play in on a whim and don't want to deal with the awkward conversation of dropping out (Especially if they were the ones that suggested the game to start with) or they found something that they would rather do. In both of these cases if you the GM can excite the players and make your game the singular thing that they ARE looking forward to then you won't have as many problems. There will always be situations were players have to drop out, that is just part of playing online with people, but if you can captivate the players before the first session then you can cut the number of dropped players down.
1343225752
Tommy R.
KS Backer
@Daniel, I initially posted this on the Off-Topic's thread and mods moved it here.
1343226669
Ajax
Pro
It should not be a burden for players to simply PM a Gamemaster and say, "Sorry I have to drop out", "Your game was not what I was hoping for", "I thought I would have the time", "You suck as a DM", etc. But that is not what I understood to be the crux of the original post. Players should just think before looking at a Looking For Game Post and thinking oh boy another game, I think I'll sign up for that one too, then I'll after I've committed to three games on the same day I'll pick one and screw the other two. All I would appreciate as a GM is players asking themselves do I really want to commit to try this particular game. As far as players dropping out, that is largely the responsibility of the GM. At the end of a game session put the players on the spot ask them outright, are you going to comeback next session. If they don't and you run a Good Game it will be their loss.
1343226927
Tommy R.
KS Backer
It should not be a burden for players to simply PM a Gamemaster and say, "Sorry I have to drop out", "Your game was not what I was hoping for", "I thought I would have the time", "You suck as a DM", etc. But that is not what I understood to be the crux of the original post. @Jeff, that is exactly my point. Being a little courteous will go a long way in getting people somewhere.