Page 255 - Premature Pessimism

7th Mar 2013, 6:00 AM
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Premature Pessimism
Average Rating: 5 (6 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 7th Mar 2013, 6:00 AM edit delete
If you have a player like Applejack who reads a lot into everything, do them a favor and let them know when they're just spinning their wheels for no gain. There are times where this kind of intense investigation can really strengthen the party, and but there are also times when this just wastes the player's energy.


Digo 7th Mar 2013, 6:07 AM edit delete reply
The problem with telling such a player to chill out is that many times their paranoia is aimed at you so why would they want to believe your "Trust Me, You're Safe" line to begin with? :D
Out of the two GMs in my group, they take opposite stances on this kind of player:

GM1 - He says "You're just grasping at nothing" and the adventure ensures their paranoia is nothing more than a red herring.

GM2 - He says "You're just grasping at nothing" and the adventure ensures that every thing they said not only comes true but is used against them.
Hemi-PoweredDrone 7th Mar 2013, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
As one of these players, I can attest to this. In fact, it only makes us want to use copius amounts of digging even more.

DM - On the path, the party passes a farm.
Me - Perception check!
DM - Um... It's growing wheat. There's a farmer. No back to the rest of the...
Me - I go up to him and ask for his knowledge of (events surrounding campaign)
DM - You aren't supposed to be talking to him, but fine, he doesn't know anything.
Me - Sense motive check!
DM let's out a groan of years of exasperation.
Digo 7th Mar 2013, 11:50 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, it pretty much unfolds as you put it. :)
I generally work at the type 1 GM.

As a player, I actually have the opposite problem. I just don't ask enough questions.
The Guest 7th Mar 2013, 12:23 PM edit delete reply
Ideally, you randomly utilize both methods to keep players on their toes. Are they just being paranoid? Are they being Genre Savvy? Heck, use both methods at the same time. Have their suspicions turn out to be red herrings that screw them over.
Malroth 7th Mar 2013, 1:06 PM edit delete reply
Option 3) you dont have an adventure planned at all and their paranoid quest ideas create the plot as you go along
DCHorror 7th Mar 2013, 8:46 PM edit delete reply
Sometimes, I kinda wish I had these types of players. Sometimes, my players don't get the cluebat until I'm throwing monsters at them.
Dragonflight 8th Mar 2013, 6:26 PM edit delete reply
What I love about situations like that, is if I'm the GM, I'll either just make stuff up off the top without bothering to roll dice or consult notes, and it'll become fairly obvious quickly that there's nothing there. It's no skin off of my nose. Eventually the rest of the party will realize the other guy's wasting their time, then peer pressure will push them back onto the right path.

Of course, I've got years of experience running off-the-cuff games, based around the idea that I'll have a general concept, and maybe a couple of actual villains written up. But what happens along the way is written mostly by the PC's. I just stay half a step ahead of them, and let their curiosity (and paranoia) fill in the situation and background. *Let* them explore the dark caves. I'll invent a completely unrelated backstory and even a whole adventure, if they want.

Eventually, I've had players forcibly restrain the "alpha" gameplayers from developing *yet one more* plot hook, because they're tired of me endlessly spinning up irrelevant plot threads. They'll eventually force the players to go back to the actual story.

Most of the time. :)