Page 741 - All-Natural Disaster

21st Apr 2016, 6:00 AM
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All-Natural Disaster
Average Rating: 4.5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 21st Apr 2016, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
In most normal games, the players are hungry for whatever details about the current situation they can get their hands on, but sometimes things get in the way of the DM explaining what they want to explain. Usually a tangent or a slightly more pressing problem. What's worse is if you have to explain something lengthy and involved from start to finish more than once... which happens regularly in online conference call games.

29 Comments:

Aggro Gamer 21st Apr 2016, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
I can emphasize with the GM here. My players are ALWAYS interrupting me while I'm trying to do recaps, explain details or talk as an NPC - especially to crack jokes at my or the character's expense. It's so annoying that I've tried countless methods to make them shut up, from 'no table talk' rules to GM-inflicted 'wrath damage'. None of it works, and I'm really starting to get very angry. I can't get them to take anything seriously. Even with my 'laid-back' 50 Fathoms game I still can't get them to be quiet or even give their characters legitimate names. Hell, one of them has named their Kraken character Krkn McKraken! AGH!

So yeah, pony GM - I feel your pain. More than you know.
Digo Dragon 21st Apr 2016, 6:40 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Ouch. I've had talkers and jokers, but never that bad as to prevent all my exposition. I try to keep the explanations short though, just in case...
aerion111 21st Apr 2016, 7:15 AM edit delete reply
aerion111
They might not be taking you entirely seriously.
Maybe try actually saying, before the game begins (maybe to them individually, before they get together and start talking over you), that they are being bad enough to ruin your enjoyment of the game.
You need to have fun running the game too, not just the players.
Mykin 21st Apr 2016, 7:17 AM edit delete reply
Mykin
I had something similar happen to me recently. In the FO:E game I'm in, we had recently hit a slaver's camp and were back at camp waiting for the two whom we captured to wake up so we could question him about where the slaves had gone, why he was a slaver, some details about the camp, and other questions that came up. Or at least, that was my intention. Two of the other players, one whose character was an ex-slave with a vendetta and the other who was basically sitting on the moral event horizon, wanted to torture him for the sake of torturing him/satisfying morbid curiosity. No joke, every time I asked a question and our GM tried to answer, those two would cut him off and go on a rant before I had to shout them down and try again. After the eight attempt, I literally told them all to SHUT UP! before taking a break and getting myself something to drink before I killed the two of them.

It says something about how little they respected me when another player shows up and asks the guys some similar questions without any interruption. Of course they nearly went at it again when the suggestion of letting the slaver join us after reforming was brought up, but that's a story for another time.
Evilbob 21st Apr 2016, 11:08 PM edit delete reply
Evilbob
@Mykin: I think you're confusing player-character distinction. TBF, The in-character interruptions were in the FO:E game is different from player interruption of GM exposition.

Our characters was trying to do a pretty unsuccessful interrogation to a clearly belligerent prisoner, and it basically devolved into two of the interrogators wanting to kill/torture the prisoner while your character were still trying to (unsuccessfully) ask questions.

The shutting up when that other player came in wasn't because of the player... but because of that character... We're talking about the mare who can cause heads to explode with a single unarmed punch, remember?
Mykin 22nd Apr 2016, 6:57 AM edit delete reply
Mykin
@ Evilbob: Still doesn't change the fact that you guys wouldn't let me have a word in for more than a half hour. There's playing your character and then there's playing them to the point where someone wants to strangle the other player for what their character keeps doing. Even if it was keeping in character, you two were dangerously close to the latter and the fact that all you two were doing was basically repeating the same thing over and over again only added more insult to the injury.

As I said, I wanted to get more information out of him and to hear what the GM was going to say. However, I just never got the chance to do so since your antics just kept getting in the way and it seemed that that was all you two cared about.

EDIT: Sorry. Re-reading this made me realize that I sound a lot angrier than I actually am. I guess what I wanted to say is that it really is great to have fun and all of that stuff, but if it comes at the expense of someone else having fun then maybe it's time to just step back and re-evaluate how we're playing the game. This kind of crap keeps happening to my game store GM during the summer, when there's eight or more people per GM and everyone has something they want to do at the same time. I've seen him go through the same thing as the OP here and I've grown to really dislike it as a result. To the point where I actively try to stop it when I can.

I guess the bottom line is that no one likes being cut off or interrupted repeatedly, regardless of if it's just out of game stuff or in-character. And no one likes having the person they were listening to interrupted repeatedly either. At the end of the day, it's all a matter of respecting the people you're playing with and knowing when you're going overboard with your actions, ya know?
Dragonflight 21st Apr 2016, 7:35 AM edit delete reply
I've GM'ed a whole raft of games, and played in others. Our group is awesome, and loves RP more than "roll" play, so that's great too.

But even with that group, they will at times derail the game with interruptions, alternate conversations and so on. More than once I've had to remind people that I can barely hear the RP on the other side of the room over the completely irrelevant conversation people are having closer to me. That usually gets them to at least tone it down.

But the simple fact is that RP sessions are as much about a bunch of friends showing up to joke around, talk about the issues of the day, and generally unwind from a long week(s). Keeping them on track is *hard*.

What every GM needs to understand is that while this will happen, they also have a right to expect the players will conform to certain behavioral models while the game is running. After all, if they're not going to respect the game, why are they there in the first place?

Set aside a room away from the gaming area. The kitchen, or an outdoor balcony. Places like that. Tell people that if they want to have conversations which have nothing to do with the game, to please take them there. Few people will do so for long periods, because they don't want to lose track of what happens.

Another thing you need to do is tell everyone at the start that their arguing, shouting and interrupting is taking away from *your* enjoyment of the game as well as everyone else's. Don't bother pointing out exactly *who* is bothered by this, leave it general. Let them feel the weight of peer pressure encouraging them to behave. They'll be more than happy to convince themselves that the rest of the team is upset with them.

A trick I often use once they start arguing or talking over me is I'll stop running the game. I'll just sit back, much something, drink, and wait it out. The rest of the players will realize pretty quickly that they will get *nothing* until the talkative morons shut up and let the game get back on track. At that point, you'll have the rest of the gaming group hushing them up *for* you, so that the game can continue. It works surprisingly well.
Apostate 21st Apr 2016, 7:52 AM edit delete reply
They don't want to listen? then just continue talking, it's their fault if they don't listen or interrupt you. If later they see that they have problems or are confused, you only say it's their fault. You could even add unexpected things, like if they are going to fight a warlock, then they find a giant tree monster or a dragon, and if they ask you shoot them that it's not your fault they didn't listen.
Digo Dragon 21st Apr 2016, 10:22 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I've done that rarely, but there have been occasions that what I want to say in an exposition is hard to pronounce or say. Thus i'll preface the speech by telling my players "I will only say this bit once, so please pay attention."

Tended to work with my group. A minor advantage of pbp is you can reread text posts, so I don't think I've had an issue since moving to pbp style.
albedoequals1 21st Apr 2016, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
albedoequals1
Wow, that's awful. Listening to the GM talk is kind of the whole point of tabletop rpgs. If all they want to do is talk and make jokes they can do that on their own time.

If you discuss it seriously with them and they still don't alter their behavior, you might want to find another group. Not everyone has the attention span for this kind of game.
Venseyness 21st Apr 2016, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
Reminds me of my group, except we're not really the most... involved of groups. We certainly take the playing seriously, but it's rare to have everyone's attention at once. I've gotten used to it. I only prepare bullet points in advance most of the time, and while I make upwards of five we only get through maybe three in a normal four hour day. Bullet points that include "Meet the queen" "Fight the dragon" or "Travel to the village" end up taking hours at a time.
We are getting better though, if in short bursts, as the group gets more experienced. (We just got a new player who wants to name themself "bubbles". Flattering, I know.)
Specter 21st Apr 2016, 11:32 AM edit delete reply
Specter
Similar dilemma, different ending (as a GM).

As I am Continue to talk some players will get this little idea to speak and cut off everything I have just said. Depending on who I have, one or two of the players will keep them quiet for me.

Similar problem, different ending (as a player)

It's not only the other players who start a conversation, but the GM (dependent on who) will join them on whatever topic is being used.

As for aid in how to get them to hopefully stop, the only thing I can offer is to show them how much they are annoying you by banging your head on the table, or wall, or whatever you have next to you. It's not a smart move, but t's an obvious one. Sorry I can't be more help.
Winged Cat 21st Apr 2016, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
I've played almost entirely text-only (online) RPs for so long I forgot this was an issue. But even when I've done FTF (or online voice) games I've never encountered this problem to that degree.
Freemage 21st Apr 2016, 3:03 PM edit delete reply
It may be time to go full PABS (Passive-Aggressive BS). It's not particularly fun to do unless you actually like that sort of thing, but it can be effective.

Here's how it'd work. When you get interrupted, sit back and wait for the table to return to complete silence. I mean, ~complete~. If anyone is saying anything other than a direct question to you about why you aren't saying anything, continue to say nothing.

If the conversation continues for more than a minute or three, pull out a book and read, continuing to wait until they have fallen silent. Only then should you resume the explanation. If possible, pick it up exactly where you left off, even in the middle of a sentence.

Be prepared, if necessary, to do this for the planned length of the session. Eventually, it WILL sink in that they cannot expect you to fight them for control of the table, and that if they cannot train themselves to actually give you the opportunity to speak, there will functionally be no game happening.
Jupiter Star 22nd Apr 2016, 1:57 AM edit delete reply
This, basically, is the best way I've found to handle it if asking politely doesn't work. I want to add onto it an extra step:

If they don't shut up, start packing up. THAT will get them to pay attention. Now, this can also seriously cheese people off, who will feel offended that you're ending the session early on them, but it better drives the message home. However, if you need to pull this card, your gaming group is liable to soon collapse anyway, I've found.

I've also done a lesser version of this: walking away from the table. I used to game in stores, so I'd just get up, and go check out the board game selection. Eventually they go, 'hey, where's the DM?' go looking for me and we'd continue. Eventually we ended up having a few 'police' players who would get everyone to pay attention to me since I am soft-spoken and very easily talked over.
j-eagle12212012 21st Apr 2016, 9:32 AM edit delete reply
j-eagle12212012
* The Mostly Spoiler Free Review *

Gauntlet of Fire

A Spike episode that is actually really good

We got worldbuilding
Dragons, lots and lots of Dragons
A bunch of new characters that can be used as a reference for anyone wishing to draw any of the dragons in Spuds FiD campaing

Overall a really good lore and worldbuilding episode
only one downside no Starlight Glimmer
Hopefully Starlight is in the next episode

J-eagle12212012
Aka
Jurri Rig (hitbox)
Aka
Jamie (irl)
Random Person 21st Apr 2016, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
All Hail the Dragon Lord!!!
Winged Cat 21st Apr 2016, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
Dragons...and a dungeon.
Tatsurou 22nd Apr 2016, 3:11 PM edit delete reply
Tatsurou
Honestly, I'm looking forward to how Newbiespud incorporates that episode into the comic. I mean, new characters, new mysticism, a dungeon raid? It's made to order for D&Difying!
Blueblade 22nd Apr 2016, 8:44 PM edit delete reply
You're a Dragon Spike.
Hawkflight 21st Apr 2016, 10:30 AM edit delete reply
So, taking all bets on how somepony else will get the ticket this time.

Personally, I'm betting on a hilarious misunderstanding making Spitfire think it was all thanks to Fluttershy, giving her the ticket instead.
Winged Cat 21st Apr 2016, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
No bet. That'd be right up her alley.

The question is, how actively involved in the mishap are Pinkie Pie and her player?
albedoequals1 21st Apr 2016, 8:13 PM edit delete reply
albedoequals1
That would be a sucker bet, seeing as how that's nearly what happened in the original episode.
Hawkflight 21st Apr 2016, 10:30 AM edit delete reply
So, taking all bets on how somepony else will get the ticket this time.

Personally, I'm betting on a hilarious misunderstanding making Spitfire think it was all thanks to Fluttershy, giving her the ticket instead.
Captain Snark 21st Apr 2016, 7:44 PM edit delete reply
So... Fluttershy gets the ticket after saving the day then. XD
Digo Dragon 22nd Apr 2016, 4:05 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Bet she saves the day through some uncanny luck of rolling 20s.
Specter 22nd Apr 2016, 6:44 AM edit delete reply
Specter
Happy Earth Day everyone.

I wanted to learn more about Earth Day, it was interesting.
The MunchKING 22nd Apr 2016, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
The MunchKING
There's a lot of tickets going to bumpkins if they can afford to give them away to entire cherry-picking crews, and now the entire racial population of a whole city just because they do something amazing. :D
MjaxMajoran 26th Apr 2016, 10:40 AM edit delete reply
MjaxMajoran
Following this comic has been like learning DnD without ever actually playing it...wish i could but good groups are hard to find... ALSO I finally made an account So I can be her and be square!