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Old 09-02-2014, 04:38 PM   #21
Mailanka
 
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Default Re: Doing Things Better #1: Entertaining your fellow-players

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
If I set up a party, and not a game session, then a game will only happen if the guests spontaneously decide to game.
A party is a larger set that roleplaying games are contained within. The same larger principles that apply to putting together a good kegger, a good birthday party or a good tea party apply to putting together a good roleplaying game. Naturally, the details on all of these matter. Nothing in what I said claimed that they didn't.

Yes, obviously, if you put together a good tea party, it'd be a terrible roleplaying game. But that's decidedly missing the point.

Derive your specifics from larger principles first.

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If you show a documentary, or serve a meal, or have cocktails, or whatever, you are providing something fun to do, or to facilitate talk, but you aren't running a game.
How is this even relevant?

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I don't think they are invalid. The versions I proposed hit all the same points, except that a game and not some other random party happens happens. My point (3) also has food and beverages.
Yes, you proved that the larger principles I described could be applied to other things. Well done.

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If I set up a game session and people come over and "just shoot the breeze and drink my beer and eat my pizza and make jokes and completely fail to connect with the game" then I won't have fun and I won't consider it a success. Isn't my enjoyment of my own free time relevant?
Of course it is. That's the entire point of my post.
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:42 PM   #22
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Default Re: Doing Things Better #1: Entertaining your fellow-players

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The point is that you are describing what you regard as necessary conditions. And some of them may be necessary conditions. But you went on to say that they are sufficient conditions; that is, that if you get me and four or five of my friends together, and we sit around and eat and drink and shoot the bull, that that's a perfectly good evening and fulfills all the essential functions of a gaming session. And I'm saying, and I'm pretty sure a couple of other people are saying, that no it doesn't.

Those things may be pleasant, and they may be desiderata, and they might even be essential (though I don't they all of them are); but if we don't actually game, or if we have a vague, poorly focused game because everyone is too busy chatting, or the game just isn't very good, then I won't have gotten what I came for and I'll be disappointed. And I may not come back.
I tried my best to clarify in my original post that these were the, as you say, necessary conditions, not the total sum of roleplaying. It seems I failed to communicate that. So I'll say again: I don't disagree with anything Brett said when it comes to running a good game. I just believe these elements must come first before Brett can put those subordinate principles into action.

Choosing the proper tea is important to having a tea party too. Without serving tea at a tea party, you have a crap tea party. But you still need those other elements too (ie, no people, no tea party).
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:44 PM   #23
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Doing Things Better #1: Entertaining your fellow-players

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Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
How is this even relevant?
Lots of things fulfill your point five that aren't gaming.
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Yes, you proved that the larger principles I described could be applied to other things. Well done.
"Other things" being having a successful game session as opposed to a wedding reception.
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Of course it is. That's the entire point of my post.
If I schedule a game session, and everyone else has fun then should I consider it a success, even if there was no gaming at all (or unsatisfactory gaming)?

Last edited by sir_pudding; 09-02-2014 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:03 PM   #24
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Default Re: Doing Things Better #1: Entertaining your fellow-players

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5. Have something fun to do, or to faciliate talk among your party attendees.
If I throw a party and want to show a documentary but it turns out that nobody is interested, yet they have a good time anyway, that's still a successful party. If I set up a game session, and it turns out no one is interested, yet they have a good time, is that a successful game session?

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Old 09-02-2014, 06:11 PM   #25
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Default Re: Doing Things Better #1: Entertaining your fellow-players

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I tried my best to clarify in my original post that these were the, as you say, necessary conditions, not the total sum of roleplaying.
The place where you failed to do that, and indeed conveyed the diametric opposite, is where you said, "Even if people just shoot the breeze and drink your beer and eat your pizza and make jokes and completely fail to connect with the game, if they have fun, they'll consider it a success and will want to do it again."

At that point, you have said "the game part isn't necessary to have a successful game; the hanging out part is sufficient without the gaming part." And that is what you are getting negative responses on. Or it's the main thing.

(Note that semantically, a, b, c, d, and e are necessary conditions says that they're things you need; but a, b, c, d, and e are the necessary conditions says that they are the only things you need, that is, that the are sufficient.)

I'd also say that the social part isn't all that crucially necessary. I've invited people into my games who weren't friends—some who were friends of friends and were recommended to me, some who heard about my games and asked on their own hook, even some whom I met through the newsgroups. Some of them went on to become friends; some didn't. But the ones who didn't were still sometimes entirely satisfactory players. So a model of rpgs as "friends getting together to hang out with each other" is a poor fit for what I do; there are people at some of my games whom I wouldn't ever see if we didn't game togather.

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