Confessions of a Bad MC

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Chris

  • 342
Confessions of a Bad MC
« on: January 18, 2011, 03:10:45 PM »
So you're a screwup sometimes, of course you are. But specifically, what's your deal, your issues? I'll air my dirty laundry later, because there's so much of it, but's what's yours?
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Re: Confessions of a Bad MC
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2011, 06:37:40 AM »
Last game I ran I totally failed to make the Gunluggers life interesting. There was some cool stuff the players came up with during the first session, involving rival factions and a gladiator style contest. When I got to asking the Gunlugger what he was doing he said he was sitting in his room. Nothing else. I was kinda lost what to do with him so just left him there......


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NilsH

  • 79
Re: Confessions of a Bad MC
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2011, 08:32:07 AM »
I push too hard the first session so everything explodes, instead of letting things build up slowly.

I make things too dramatic- not giving enough room for interaction between players and players and NPCs. The have to react instead, al of the time. I kinda want to perform well, and I end up doing it too much, performing.

I fail to use my fronts. Always. I don´t feel that I have time to look at them. Still havn´t figured out a way to make them helpful... So many papers in front of me and when it´s my turn to talk I can´t find anything... So I just make something up.

Don´t know if it´s a language question with me not speaking english fluently. I don´t "get" the urges and wants the different threats have- they don´t transform from words into in-game-actions for the NPCs. I dont know what a Hive Queen actually does and wants. In theory I know, but in my head it doesn´t transform into game actions and moves.

I involve too many NPCs, by asking questions so that the players invent new NPCs, instead of asking questions about the NPCs that we already have. So we end up with a lot of intrigues and NPCs which swamps the story, instead of having a few things and playing with them.

I have had a hard time giving the Driver Funtime cause everything happens inside the hold...

I forget to skip ahead in time- everythings happens now, now, now, instead of saying- two weeks have passed, what has happened, which gives new air, new possibilities etc.

I sometimes have a hard time finding what drives the NPC in this scene, right now, and make them lame and passive. This doesn´t happen the first session, but later on when I have a lot of history and established relationships to relate to. It´s too much information to process and I can´t just ask questions cause... it has to fit in. Hmmm? thinking of it, why couldn´t I just get help from the players in making the NPCs fit into the plot and situation???

Sometimes I think the anwers I get from the players are lame, and loose my interest...

/ Nils

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Chris

  • 342
Re: Confessions of a Bad MC
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2011, 01:34:43 PM »
Mine's scale, always scale. Like Nils, I go with too much, all the time. Eight factions, dozens of NPCs, all with separate motivations, all pulling the PCs in too many directions.

I also make my PC-NPC-PC triangles a little too hard and I get a LOT of PvP fighting, almost every session. This is also a consequence of the scale thing, as the world is too big and the PCs aren't well tied together.

And I don't play up scarcity enough, so the problems are way up Maslow's Hierarchy and the stakes don't feel hardcore enough. I've had a player tell me that one session was the best episode of Blossom he's ever seen.

When there's a lot going on, the PC's tend to spread out into their own little fictional kingdoms, where I sometimes feel like I've got four solo games going. I respond with hard, hard, hard triangles, but since they're spread out, they don't need each other and they murder each other. Once one of them takes a debility, it doesn't stop until one is dead, just debilities back and forth.

A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

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Chris

  • 342
Re: Confessions of a Bad MC
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2011, 06:54:45 PM »
AW makes me push into Right to Dream play, at least as far as I've ever been able to understand RtD.

I look at the tone of the book and the media influences and as the MC, I want a very, very specific outcome, in terms of tone and color, before we even sit down. And the guy who sits down, looks at the Hardholder playbook, picks Barnum as his name and then plays a crazy clown ruins it for me.

It puts cool ideas into my head about the sort of literary pretension that should be part of the game and makes me wish, sometimes fervently, that my players would make better, more literary decisions for their player characters. It makes me want to make them all go outside for awhile whilst I play the game by myself and make everything go the right way and use words like "whilst" during character dialogue. Not character talk, but dialogue. And then I can tell them about how well it all went later on.

:)
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Re: Confessions of a Bad MC
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2011, 01:55:25 AM »
Last game I ran I totally failed to make the Gunluggers life interesting. There was some cool stuff the players came up with during the first session, involving rival factions and a gladiator style contest. When I got to asking the Gunlugger what he was doing he said he was sitting in his room. Nothing else. I was kinda lost what to do with him so just left him there.....

I always default to Raymond Chandler in situations like that: "Undoubtedly the stories about them [hard-boiled detectives] had a fantastic element. Such things happened, but not so rapidly, nor to so close-knit a group of people, nor within so narrow a frame of logic. This was inevitable because the demand was for constant action; if you stopped to think you were lost. When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand."

-JC

Re: Confessions of a Bad MC
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2011, 03:17:26 AM »
Sure... This topic is for me to...

The setting impulsed by the players and colored by myself is good and lively, nevertheless, my NPCs builded on the spot are still soulless... they need time to really be born.

And the moves... Arggghhh so hard to simply be with the player characters and thinking playing moves... The conversion goes the way it always does and, often, status quo is the only fucking answer!

I feel like a convalescent who needs to relearn how to speak... Very disappointing... And so great to discover my own weaknesses and trying to improve.

MCing Apocalypse World is a very great experience. Thank you Vincent for the possibility of being one of the "rest of you are just lucky".