Rants, Ramblings, and Essays on Gaming and RPGs
Also on Game and Story Design
This dovetails with something I've really been crunching on lately. I'm 3 sessions deep into a new campaign with 5 players. I've only roleplayed with one of them before, none have played this RPG before (Dark Heresy), none of the players had met any of the other players before & three were complete strangers to me.At the very beginning I was ecstatic about just getting a full-blown campaign off the ground. Now, a few sessions later I find myself really focused on the players I have. I'm putting in a lot of time on this & I find myself getting more matter-of-fact about what I really want out of the players.Getting that proper fit for player-to-campaign is tough when you haven't played with any of them before and three were strangers. My network of players is not yet nearly strong enough to assure that I won't be playing with new strangers in the future and I think this makes sense even for playing with friends.I'm thinking of coming up with a New Player Candidate document - a brochure, if you will - that lays out:1) What this campaign is about2) What they can expect from me as the GM3) What is expected from them as a player4) Why this document is important for everyones' funLike with anything new I would expect some raised eyebrows and/or comments at first, "Wow, you're really hardcore." But playing with players that aren't a great fit for your campaign makes it very compelling.
One of my groups warns potential new players when they ask about joining with the following. "Before you join this game you need to understand. In this group we take our gaming very seriously. This is something we all choose to do as both a way to socialize and to entertain ourselves at the end of the week. It's more than just a game as a social thing. So if you want to play, that's fine. Just understand that we take it seriously and we expect you to be here consistently or you'll be asked to leave."So far we haven't had to ask anyone to leave, though a couple people have been told that they are not invited to the next campaign unless they can promise better commitment.Outside of that group we also have a couple "drop in/drop out" games where we don't care and the idea is to be more light hearted. But for the Friday games, plans are made on the expected presence of a player. If the player isn't there it wastes everyone's time.