Monday, 19 July 2010

Communication Frequencies

?????? ?? ??This has all the chance of becoming a rant. But I will try and stay on topic. It's all about communication.So why this topic. I will get to that as examples. ???? ?? ??
???? ?? ??Roleplay games are a form of communication between a group of friends. The thing being communicated is fun, unity and of course the story which is what the game is. But of course things are never perfect. Things can fall apart and break. And it is this that I have experienced first hand, and very recently. ???? ?? ??
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???? ?? ??For a roleplay game troupe to survive there must be communication. Communication between the players and the storyteller. It is two way street and has to be respected. We need this communication so that everyone is one the same page. We use it to understand what each individual wants to get out the game and to learn why things are not quite working/what is working and if there are any issues that need to be worked around.
???? ?? ??The first thing for a rpg troupe that must be communicated is whether or not the group gets along. This may not be obvious at first, but it should never be held back. Keeping quite about things like this can lead to a very cancerous atmosphere in the gaming group where the energy is sapped away and people start looking for excuses for not showing up. It is only by finding out about this issue that it can be addressed and remedied in what ever manner suitable for the group. You can't be afraid of hurting someone's feelings when the entire troupe is at stake (this is an issue I will return to a lot).

???? ?? ??Next up is the game. It is important that everyone has an idea about what everyone wants to get out of the game. You can't run a game that no one wants to play. Equally players can't play characters in a manner that is harmful to the game experience of the rest of the troupe. It is by communication that the desires of all troupe members can be ascertained and a balance can be met. Again, don't be afraid that you are going to hurt someone's feelings. Better to nip this in the bud now than to let it fester through 5 gaming sessions. In fact a persons expectations of a game can change over the lifetime of the game and it is important that this too is communicated.

???? ?? ??Next, the players are struggling. So the game is basically what everyone wants to play. However, along the line it has got too difficult for the players to comprehend. They feel like they are lost, trapped, and basically have no control over the game. In that case it is important to make that known to the storyteller. Things can be easily tweaked and adjusted to make the game experience more fun and less confusing. Once more it is better to say these things rather than be afraid that the storyteller will take offence.

???? ?? ??Next, Characters. Now I have come up against this a few times. And really I find the excuses for not doing so weak. But here goes. Playing in a roleplay game that is story (and thus character) drive, rather than dice roll driven, requires a certain amount of player commitment. You have a certain idea for a character you want to play? Fine, great. But please, please, please write out some form of background for them. Communicate the character concept, put the effort in. Otherwise, why bother? The game and the setting are not just the sole responsibility of the storyteller.

???? ?? ??Finally, and this is a big one relating to most of the above. If things are really not going well outside of game then just speak up, tell the person running the game and things will be fine. Simply not turning up, and not giving enough notice is plain rude! Now sometimes this is not always possible, but those times are rare. In this day and age a simple phone call and text to say you can't make it are easy. However, it is a bad habit to do this always on the day of the game, a few hours before. A day or so before means the person running the game can have time to reschedule things.

???? ?? ??Now am I going to rant about my more personal experiences of any the above? No. Not yet. But that doesn't mean I am happy currently with certain things, and feel very annoyed. Simple good manners are hard to come by these days it seems.

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