Making Undead Cool Again — RPT#626
Earlier this month, Roleplaying Tips kicked off the RPG Blog Carnival with the article Making Undead Cool Again. Featured in both the Roleplaying Tips Newsletter on October 6th, you can find the article here.
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Show, Don’t Tell
Thank you for the link to “How To Be A Better Player”. I’ve be GM’ing a group of guys who only liked hack n slash. Absolutely no role playing whatsoever on their part, only on mine. A couple of guys actually said role playing was “kinda weird”, but was okay because it was different. I had, and still have, no response to that.
I had gotten to where I didn’t really plan our games anymore since all they wanted to do was to fight. I’ve been playing for 30 years so I know how to provide fun things to do, but if the party doesn’t want to do them, doesn’t take the bait, or worse yet, completely ignores the bait, what can I do? I’ve hated hack n slash forever and here I was doing it.
Anyway, one of the main role-playing haters was tired of my once-a-month game, so he decided he was going to try running his own game, which he promised would be more often than mine. I didn’t have a problem with that.
Step 1: The new GM is a huge Christian, and has never allowed an evil PC in the game….ever. He’s been playing 25+ years, so it took quite a bit of convincing on my part, but he eventually allowed me to roll up a neutral evil sorcerer. I instructed him that I would never turn on my fellow PC’s. That’s not how you have fun!!
Step 2: The first time we sat down, and he began role-playing as GM, 30 seconds into the session I did the same exact thing he has always done to me. “Naw!! Don’t care! Nope! I don’t care what he says. I’m Not Role-Playing” Everybody else at the table laughed because they remembered him doing those things, only he didn’t. He actually denied that he had said such things. That went on for about 30-45 seconds, then I showed them fools how role-playing was done. Including him
Step 3: Right off the bat we were employed by a casino owner who had us try to collect from some people who owned him money, which we did, but boy were they tough. Almost too tough!! While we were fighting the bad guys I made it a point to role play my attacks and trash talk. On our way back to the casino I began telling the party that the casino owner set us up!! He was trying to kill us by having us go against people who weren’t playing.
Well we weren’t going to play that either!! We confronted the casino owner by threatening him and telling him that if this was going to be amateur hour then he’d need to double our pay, and pay us up front. The GM and I role played that entire conversation which took about 5 minutes. The rest of the party just watched in awe, and were grateful for the money.
Step 4: Our next mission took us to the docks, which we promptly got into a fight with some folks who didn’t think they owed the casino anything. The last enemy standing was kicking our butts. We weren’t taking him down. Only one other enemy was alive, but he was on the ground and bleeding out. When it became my turn I grabbed the last enemy’s attention by yelling at him, and when he looked my way, I punched my dagger through his dying friend’s head. Then I told the enemy to lay down his weapon, which he did. My group still did nothing but watch.
Step 5: We tied up the last guy, and after questioning him, I sliced open his face, and instructed him to tell others there is a new group handling collections for the casino.
Step 6: We instituted a no weapon policy in the casino, which everyone minded except for a couple of members of the City Watch. We role-played the “Don’t wear your weapon in here ever again” conversation, which was pretty tense, but they got the message. We spoke to their boss, and we instructed him that if any of his men wore their weapons into the casino ever again there’s going to be problems. Official business or not. That conversation took about 10 minutes, and one other player actually joined in.
Step 7: One night, immediately after closing, some thugs attacked us by kicking open the doors, and breaking through the windows. While the fight was going on, during my turn I was yelling about how much those doors and windows were going to cost, and that they were going to repay us with their blood. We won the fight, and cut off the head of the boss thug. One of the other party members suggested we load the dead bodies onto a wagon, and leave it in front of the compound the thugs were associated with. Finally the group was learning how to role play.
During my games there is a LOT of conversation about all kinds of stuff which has nothing to do with the game. There was so much action that they weren’t playing video games on their laptops, (because the fights are fun), but now that they’re learning how to role play maybe that trend will end. We’ll see.
We haven’t played my game yet, but so far, three of the players want to change their alignments from good to evil, including Mr Christian. They now know how to make D&D fun, but unfortunately, I couldn’t properly voice how that should be done. I could only show them. The website you’ve shared explains more succinctly then I ever could. I have passed the link onto my group.
I love your blog, but the thing I love most is your game summations. I love reading those. Thanks Johnn. No matter what, you’ve made my game better in more ways than you can possibly imagine.