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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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49437503 No.49437503 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

> DM demands a backstory from all players
> Write a ten page one, he sees no issue with it.
> As the campaign progresses, DM goes "Wait, what?!" again and again when I mention events and things from it.
> Turns out, he didn't actually read it.
> It was not the first time I've mentioned it either - I dropped those things pretty often during inter-party dialogues.
> Turns out, DM never reads those either, because he only cares about his own plot.


>> No.49438323
File: 9 KB, 300x222, cannot contain me.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

> DM demands a backstory from all players
> Write a ten page one, he sees no issue with it.
> As the campaign progresses, DM goes "Wait, what?!" again and again when I mention events and things from it.
> Turns out, he didn't actually read it.
This is completely normal.
> It was not the first time I've mentioned it either - I dropped those things pretty often during inter-party dialogues.
> Turns out, DM never reads those either, because he only cares about his own plot.
what the fuck

>> No.49438336


>> No.49438352

So he demanded back stories, but not for any reason to do with the game? Just to assign busywork?

>> No.49438360

What level were you? Hell 10 pages isn't justified at any level.

Keep it to 1 page, at max 2. Preferably just a few paragraphs with important people/events/places.

>> No.49438613
File: 8 KB, 152x200, 1461433404803.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

>Be DM
>Ask for a backstory of characters so i can get a small summary of how they work
>Get a 10 page backstory from this one fucking retard
>Already have 1-2 page long backstories from 3 other guys and an entire campaign still to prep up for
>Fuck if i am going to read your stupid fucking novel, i'll just skim through it for the important points
>He keeps bringing up un-important points of his story as if they matter in the big picture
>mfw I am at fault for not focusing solely on his overly long backstory according to him

>> No.49438682

Thats some bad high school teacher level bullshit right there

>> No.49438933
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Damn dude, I never write more than three paragraphs as a rule, unless it's one of those special games where you get to work with the GM to determine a few places and people within the setting.

>> No.49438977
File: 1.37 MB, 348x186, hicks_smoke2.gif [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]


>ten-page backstory

>> No.49439002

Do you count character description as part of backstory because I sorta due so I write about a page max.

>> No.49439031

I have a feeling this is the case.

>> No.49439068
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Not him but I do. If anything you should opt for character descriptions even shorter than your background story. And by that I mean a description should be like two-three sentences at most. Or better yet go for a picture.

Creativity is great and all, but no one wants to read two paragraphs of shit like "And across her moon-colored face and jade eyes, crimson-gold locks fall in deleciate tresses". When you can just say "She has green eyes and red hair".

>> No.49439069

>10 pages

>> No.49439171

As a GM, all I ask for is a few bullet points for really important stuff. I am not likely to read much more than that. Since as a player I chafed at having to write much more than that, I think it's hypocritical of me to ask for more.

GMing is a lot of work, and I already have life stuff on top of that. You might get me through a single page of backstory if you're a good writer, have nice formatting, and keep it focused on things that actually matter to the game. Even that is really pushing it, so I'd advise keeping it down to a few short paragraphs at most. Err on the side of brevity.

Like imagine if you were trying to summarize a character like Superman to someone who never heard of him. How much space would you really need to get the important stuff across?

>> No.49439182

I don't give exact heights and weights, I'll say a bit taller than average or very short. I'll throw in a couple of descriptors to get a tone for my character, but by far most of what I write is going to be promptly forgotten by everyone unless it comes into play every once and a while. I won't write that they smoke a lot or drink a ton, because you will probably see my character doing those things in between or during adventures. They won't care if I write that I take trophies from the things I kill, I let it come up in play. At most a character description should describe what a character looks like at a glance, no more.

>> No.49439194


For an RPG character that certainly is.

The entire point of the campaign is *that's* the character's story. The backstory should be the framing device, not a chronology of his entire fucking life.

>> No.49439243


>> No.49439261

>DM demands a backstory.
>Not seeing the red flag.

Your fault OP.

>> No.49439315

This could be reasonable but you've likely read a 200-400 page rulebook to get to this point.

>> No.49439338

Holy shit, do people still not get this?

Your backstory is a single page of short lines or even bullet points, detailing key people and events in your character's life.

Your backstory is NOT a dramatic novel, detailing exactly how you escaped from those bandits that one time when you were twelve.

You're roleplaying, you should be able to come up with something decent on the spot should it ever come up.

>> No.49439372

>Write a ten page one

He said backstory not a fucking novel.

>> No.49439389

>So anon, tell me about your character, why did he become an adventurer and where he learned his skills.
"Ah, well, uhm, my character Anon McNeckbeard, name may change. He's a, uh, ranger who, uhm, ahh, basically has a wolf companion who, uhm, ahh, well, kinda basically was rescued by Anon when he was basically a puppy because uhm ahh he liked animals because he was from a farm. He's from, uhm, what's the place's name again. Basically the biggest, uhm, farmer area. His parents, uhm, died from bandit orcs, uhm, raping them. NO I MEAN RAIDING THEM. And then Anon basically became an adventurer because he, uhm, wanted to learn new, uhm, things and uhm travel and get money and basically fuck all the bitches. He also has a magic sword that basically is just a normal sword but magic"

>> No.49439393

>Do you count character description as part of backstory
Not him, but I don't.

Basic stats like age, height, and weight are not backstory to me. They're just numbers and can be easily scanned.

To make it easier on me, write it like this
>race: Human
>ethnicity: White, German descent
>age: 24
>height: 5'9''
>weight: 190 lb
>hair: brown
>eyes: brown

If you write it like this:
>Anonymous is an average white-skinned German in his prime, he stands about the average height of his race' and just under two hundred pounds. He has brown eyes and hair.
Then it counts as backstory because it takes attention for me to read it.

>you've likely read a 200-400 page rulebook to get to this point.
And I have to write up stories, characters, factions, monsters, locations, dungeon-maps, treasure drops, motivations, and statblocks every week for even the most basic possible adventures to keep my players from getting bored. GMing is a lot of work already, so I don't want to make it any harder than it needs to be.

>> No.49439442
File: 91 KB, 600x450, StrawMan1.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

Shut up or fuck off, ideally both in either order

>> No.49439452
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>OK a backstory without reading it
>not asking for a cliffnotes version

No, GM defence force, your mental gymnastic bullshit won't fly this time.

>> No.49439464

hi OP, you still mad nobody cares about your novel?

>> No.49439489


If a guy shows up with a 10-page backstory then their "cliffnotes version" will almost certainly also be filled with banal crap no one should care about.

If the player was capable of picking out and presenting only the important details then he wouldn't have handed in a fucking short story.

>> No.49439497

This guy's right, you know.

>> No.49439498
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>can't read the posters number

For you dumbo, I'm just saying that I'm not OP

>> No.49439527
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Is this b8?

>> No.49439535

If a player shows up and clearly has the wrong end of the stick, you correct him.
You don't act like a passive aggressive little bitch and hope he reads your mind appropriately.

>That's too long, I'll need a short version
>If you can't do that, then I won't be able to include your backstory in

Was that really so difficult?

>> No.49439545
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No, newfag.

see, it's easy: if a different anon posts in a thread, the number of posters that have posted in the thread increases.

I'm calling you dumb because you didn't see that the number of posters increased when I replied to your first shitpost and you assumed that I am OP.

>> No.49439647
File: 208 KB, 1901x933, wat.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]


>22 different ip's

What am I supposed to do with this number?

>> No.49439657

Don't write ten pages. Nobody wants to read ten pages

>> No.49439663

Because the backstory, at least the one you give to the DM, should be the cliff notes of the backstory.

>> No.49439684

It's irrelevant whether or not OP's (likely embellished) DM is shit. The absolute maximum you should ever do is 2 pages. No one is going to read through half a dozen pages (usually filled with shit) for one character, regardless of the quality (usually shit).

Any prepared DM would ask you to do this just to ensure that you're not going to show up on the first day and answer every question about your character with

>> No.49439740

And when someone's clearly fucked that up, a good GM would tell them so and ask them to submit a short version.
If they refuse to do that or have repeatedly submitted novel sized backstories, then they either don't get their backstory taken into consideration or they get outright kicked, depending on how obnoxious/self entitled the player is acting.

What you DON'T do is claim everything's perfectly fine and ignore it, because that way lies being a doormat and/or passive aggressive asshole.

>> No.49439797



>> No.49439916

Could be worse, like way worse
> DM demands a backstory from all players
> He demands a minimum of 5 pages, 10 font size
> My PC dies in the 1st session
> Have to reroll a new character and write another 5 pages
> Two other PCs die in the second session
> Mine dies in the 4th session
> 5 pages more
> Rinse and repeat twice more
> Realize he's a killer GM who must be fucking messing with us
> Reroll character, write 5 pages just with "He kills stuff" repeated over and over again
> GM "If you aren't going to take this seriously the door is that way"
>His face when we all leave at the same time

>> No.49439952


If this actually happened that gm should have his gm license taken away.

>> No.49439956
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Sorry you're not hardcore enough.

>> No.49439994

Nah, I lied, we actually left with our third death, not our fourth

>> No.49440015


>thinks this is hardcore

I require all my players' backstories in at least 200 lines of iambic pentameter

>> No.49440030
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>> No.49440065

Fucking noobs, every story in my games has to be palindrome divided in haikus

>> No.49440101


>he doesn't require character backgrounds written in ancient Chinese in the eight-legged essay format

Go on, keep proving to us you've never actually played role-playing games.

>> No.49440114

And a few more pages on the main characters of your story is the straw that breaks your back?

>> No.49440170
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>ask my players for a backstory to their characters, nothing extravagant, but lay down some rules so we can get some decent fluff going
>at least 10 pages, it must be fluent, cohesive, and concise with little emphasis on unimportant details and should pertain to the topic of your character
>double line spacing, proper heading page, date posted and date completed included
>citations for character art in MLA format, character stats in Roman numerals, one secondary language of choice as a copy so we can deal with the bilingual nature of our group
>must be mailed by Oct 20th 2016, I will not accept unfinished work
>IN ADDITION, I would like you all to begin reading the player's handbook and write your thoughts out and staple it to your backstory, write 1-3 pages about it and read your fellow player's thoughts as well, be sure to build constructive criticism
>not a single one of them has completed it

>> No.49440220

Isn't the entire purpose to DnD to not do work? When did killin' goblins and shit become the next Tolkien novel?

>> No.49440226


Are you a teacher?

>> No.49440244

>Also could you get it penned in the lifeblood of your previous group to symbolise how you will carry the lessons and memories taken from your time with them while still being able to hurt them by moving on?

>> No.49440304

it is your responsibility as a player to devote at least 28 hours for every 1 hour of session time, if not you should drop this class

>> No.49440306

Finally a DM that knows how to DM!

>> No.49440369 [SPOILER] 
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I think you forgot about the font size m8 your players are too lazy to see loop holes.

>> No.49440372

>And a few more pages on the main characters of your story is the straw that breaks your back?
It's a matter of burnout. The more work I end up taking on, the faster that's going to happen. I want to keep the workload down to a level that I can reasonably sustain even when life doesn't leave me a lot of time.

And if you think it's so easy and I'm just a lazy GM, then I'd like to invite you to try out GMing yourself. Please try GMing so you can see what it's like. And if it turns out that you find it's super easy to sustain the effort no matter what life throws at you, then that's wonderful because we need more GMs like that.

>> No.49440423


He said MLA format, which requires 12 pt Times New Roman.

>> No.49440564

>ancient Chinese
>he thinks this is hardcore
I require all of my players to only write in Linear B.

>> No.49440612


>Linear B
>not Cuneiform

So what's it like DMing snowflake powerfantasies for a bunch of casual edgelords?

>> No.49440669
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>GMing for once
>Want to run a roleplay-heavy, backstory driven game
>Tell my players to write up backstories for their characters
>My group has only done something like this once before so I tell them just a few paragraphs would suffice
>One player just mutters 'oh' and he's avoided me since
>Another player makes a show of refusing to write anything and quits right there
>Other two give me at least a page

Is this the norm? Did I just have bad luck here? I had no idea this was such an offense to some players.

>> No.49440726
File: 6.15 MB, 400x300, rip.gif [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

My mistake

>> No.49440761

Generally speaking when asked for multiple pages that I don't expect anyone to read, I just write one and fill the rest with lorem ipsum. When somebody brings it up, I apologize for submitting test print accidentally and write the rest overnight. So far this got me two "elaborate backstory" characters, half a dozen small projects and one semester thesis.

>> No.49440793

>Holy shit, do people still not get this?
>it's the CURRENT YEAR

>> No.49440974
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> Be DM
> ask players for a brief backstory so they can have some basis for character personality
> before starting first session ask everyone if they've got at least a basic plot point
> nope.avi
> everyone plays 100% self insert autistic murderhobos
near TPK 3 sessions in.
I ain't even mad

>> No.49440976


Sometimes the thinking on that is that they don't need to see it, but they do need to know that you thought it through. For the record, I think it's stupid as hell.

>> No.49440978

that sounds like a brutal creative writing class

>> No.49440991

>Write a ten page one
As a GM, fuck you.
I don't have time to read that shit.
Summarise it to 3 fucking sentences.

The rest is unacceptable, but expecting your GM to read your short story is not fair.

>> No.49441039


I'm a player in a game where half hte group is that.

So far it's just me and the computer hacker tag-teaming every mission because the other two players couldn't come up with characters with useful skills or compelling backstories.

>> No.49441127

Backstories are generally a waste of time.
Why anyone would play a game centered on them is beyond me.

Why even bothering adventuring if all I'm gonna do is explore my past while analyzing everyone else's? It's boring.

>> No.49441183


Backstories work best if you have some kind of even or person which can show up again later in the campaign.

A close family member went missing, an easily-recognizable villain burned down your homestead, you "got away" with some high-profile crime, you owe a debt to someone, etc.

>> No.49441219

I'm not seeing why you need one you could just make that up on the spot.

Plus those are terrible cliche examples.

>> No.49441237

>Backstories are generally a waste of time.
On one hand - it gives GM potential plot hooks and character motivation (read: new and exciting ways to fuck the PC over).
On the other hand - it gives PC reasons to know things beyond the stuff coming implicitly with their race / class choice (read: justifies minimaxing)

>> No.49441243
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>Plus those are terrible cliche examples.


>> No.49441264

if your backstory contains "justification" for your PC to have items/knowledge/powers beyond what chargen provides you are a terrible player and should consider yourself lucky your group puts up with you

>> No.49441269
File: 521 KB, 825x755, Minako.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

>Why even bothering adventuring if all I'm gonna do is explore my past while analyzing everyone else's? It's boring.

>> No.49441286

>BBEG kidnaps your loved one

Are you serious?
See: >>49441237

>> No.49441313

I admit, I often enjoy writing long backstories for characters and it's not uncommon for even a level 1 character to have a 6-10 page backstory, especially if it's a character like who's lived for a century like a dwarf or an elf.

>> No.49441324


That's a GM problem, not a backstory problem

>> No.49441380

when I DM I demand my players have a backstory

I usually want anywhere between 3-6 paragraphs that helps describe where they came from, what their motivations are, and what their goals of the future are.

I generally skim over them and have run into situations where I have to ask players what they are talking about when they reference something specific in their backstory

I don't really see a problem with me not knowing the specific details of their characters (ex: color of their best friends hair who died when they were 10 leading to a deep sense of hatred for the gang/cult/race/government that was directly/indirectly responsible for his death)
but knowing the generals (ex: that he hates x group because his friend died) is probably a good idea

I have had people bitch at me before because I didn't remember minute details about their 10 page long backstory that they had some pre conceived notion of how their story would pan out and this very small detail was actually a clue to some greater thing that they want to happen later.

when I want a backstory I just want something general so that I know who you are. Please don't do 10 page writeups with very specific details.

>> No.49441384

Sounds like a crutch for GM's who can't develop plot hooks based on what they have for the group.

Not to mention its a surefire way to engage one PC while boring the shit out of the other PCs.

>> No.49441447

Because characterization is emergent from actually playing the game and dynamic around the table.

Backstories that are more than an elevator pitch are typically a wash outside of storygames.

>> No.49441498

from my experience yeah

it isn't because of reasons like >>49441447

its just because people are lazy fucks and failed 10th grade english so they can't be bothered to even attempt to put effort into creative writing. The worst players are the ones who are pissed that you are requiring backstory but want to play so they either phone it in and write a terrible piece just so they have it or write something that is ironically bad just to piss you off

>> No.49442557

Not him, but how is it terrible? I don't see how knowing what animals are in the surrounding area are because you decided your guys backstory was he hunts alot is bad. Nor do i see how having a dude that grew up on the streets knows a few low level connections in the underworld (mainly drug dealers and little shit) it makes their character unique and its one less thing i have to remember to make them roll for if it ever comes up.

>> No.49442646


A good GM will find a way to make one PC's backstory affect everyone.

Watch any decent television show. If you have a character with some sort of troubled past or issue, then it's almost certainly gonna get dredged up. And it'll have an impact on that character's friends or anyone else who's around them.

>> No.49442771
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>Be player
>DM asks for backstory from all players so he know why we are who we are/who we will be in the near-ish future
>Jump on it, writing a 5-10 page backstory full of backstory,
>And I'm starting from day 1 nigga
>primary/secondary characters, places, a few important plots, motivations, aspirations, how they came to be here
>DM actually reads it all
>Adds relevant characters
>Incorporates the major backstory plot into future sessions
>Adds locations from backstory
>Uses some of my lore for his world lore
>All 3 players do this
>We have fun

Truly the greatest of times.

>> No.49443330

I found I can streamline this process by just asking my players for two MINOR NPCs from their past with one filling the role of future or current party ally and the other one the villain role.

>> No.49443470

>shit that never happened
Human beings are all drooling, self-indulgent apes and it's not possible for any group to be as cooperative and good as the one you've described.

>> No.49444585
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Oh I agree anon, we are definitely that bad at base. But when we all decide to put aside our differences and squabbles to stab orcs and grapple wyverns for 4-6 hours once every week or two, it's quite good.

I mean, we aren't without fault, not a single group member is, some of us can suck more then others at times, and these things are pretty easy to list, but hey, can't be perfect, just better then most.

>> No.49444658

Let the anger flow through you

>> No.49444822
File: 107 KB, 500x382, understanding.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

>Ten page back story.

The sperg is strong in this one.

>> No.49444982
File: 107 KB, 736x869, tink2.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

Side note from a gm's perspective on back stories.

One of my favorite games to run is the new WOD Changling. In particular the characters, The first group I introduced to this game I had make child characters, aged 10-15. The year was set in the mid 80s

After 2 sessions of some really freaky shit they kept getting picked off one by one. when the last of the 4 players "died" I handed out character sheets for their archetypes, each becoming Lost of a different type that meshed with their original character's personalities.

Then fast forwarded to the game proper with them escaping with little or no memories of their time in Arcadia around 2001 in earth years. Their backstories from Arcadia were randomly rolled and if they wanted to figure it out they had to figure it out themselves.

It was a pretty fun game 2 of the players didn't care too much about their own past in arcadia while the other two were trying to piece it together while the overarching plots rolled along.

What I'm getting at is character backstories are only really important to you. and getting too deep into them leads to melodrama 10 pages deep that doesn't matter. So keep it simple and sweet or as the GM don't let the players have complete control over it and make them work it into the story.

>> No.49445487

The GM okayed it though

>> No.49445626
File: 30 KB, 400x400, low-quality bait.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]


>> No.49446262

As a DM this is what I did.

>All of you are from the same bumfuck nowhere city
>Nothing interesting ever happened
>None of you did anything interesting
>All yall lives basically consisted of existing and doing things to prolong your existence another day
>Its got everything a city should have just boring
>Earthquake destroyed the city and yall are one of the groups that made it out
>Adventure start

>> No.49446385

>Joining existing group
>Get asked to submit character concept including backstory
>Just make something basic to explain how they got there
>They wanted 7 pages minimum
>GM says it's fine, he can work with it
>GM and entire group sits me down later on because there's one thing they don't like
>It's a game of casters and they don't like my character motivation for being a caster
>I come up with reason after reason to learn advanced magic, including the pursuit of fucking knowledge
>Nothing is good enough
>Ask another player their excuse
>They tell me what their character does, not why they do it
>They all feel pity for me that I'm not smart enough to make a decent character

I still don't even

>> No.49446819

No this is a TG DM. They've read character optimisation boards and just make the rest up by fudging dice rolls/inventing monster stats on the spot /railroading the players into their failed novels.

>> No.49446888

Not that guy, but I offloaded about half my setting details onto the five players and tied what they suggested together into a narrative whole by using backstory and desired playstyles into a 4 year long campaign with slightly rushed but still satisfying ending.

Only had to kick one guy out to do it, too.

>> No.49446920

If the GM accepted the 10 page background he has absolutely no room to bitch. If you don't want 10 pages of background then you should fucking say so and ask for something shorter, not OK it and then turn into a whiny bitch later.

>> No.49447000


Then correct the player so that they can shorten it before game starts or before the next session.

Don't just be a lazy cunt and then blame the player because you were too stupid to put your foot down.

>> No.49447004


Why the fuck would you be stupid enough to write ten pages of backstory? That's enough info to create the details of a setting, let alone writing one players backstory.

>> No.49447015
File: 40 KB, 800x804, 1376692384780.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]


>10 pages

>> No.49447027

Might as well share a similar story.
>Friend of a friend is running a D&D campaign
>Other 3 players are my friends, only 1 is mutual
>GM demands backstories
>Write about a page
>GM says "it's a good start", asks for more detail about various family members and characters in the story
>Write another half a page or so
>Game is at his house that takes around 1 hour to get to on the subway
>Tells us about the island we're adventuring on, various loot, etc.
>Asks us "how did the party meet"?
>"Uhh... how about we're on the same ship going to that island?"
>Spends the first hour just talking about backstory and doing 1-on-1 role playing with the mutual friend
>Finally get to the boat (mutual friend will meet us on the island, he says)
>Spend another half hour doing pointless RP on the boat. "I talk to the cook." "I go fishing." etc.
>We keep thinking something will happen, but he keeps saying "Ok, it's the next day. What do you do?"
>Finally get shipwrecked in a storm. Waste 20 minutes doing pointless skill checks to try to save the ship/people.
>wash up on the island, most of crew is dead.
>Make camp. More time wasted on meaningless skill checks.
>Hear noises at night, captain is missing, track him into the jungle.
>It was giant spiders.
>Spend 2 and a half hours fighting spiders, mutual friend joins combat to help us.
>GM constantly getting distracted from combat, goes on 10 minute tangents talking about non-game shit
>Me and friends desperately start saying "whose turn is it?", "what does X do?", etc. to try to end this combat.
>Getting late, and subway stops running at midnight.
>GM keeps mentioning "it's ok if you guys sleep over" "I have sleeping bags you can use"
>"No thanks"
>My character gets killed near the end of combat
>GM didn't seem to expect this, seems like he wants to take it back
>"No really, it's ok"
>Half an hour later we finally leave.
>Nobody went back for a second session, never met the GM again.

>> No.49447033


>It's not written on your sheet so you don't know how to do it.

People like you are a fucking joke.

>> No.49447038

"describe your backstory with 3 limericks" might be pretty fun for a Brothers Grimm style fantasy game.

>> No.49447046
File: 4 KB, 192x182, 1426509114678.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]


>writing ten fucking pages

literally not going to read that shit

Have you ever heard of the concept "more is less?". You should be able to describe your character in ten lines, not ten pages.

>> No.49447109


I can appreciate you had a bad session which always sucks.

I do wonder though what's wrong with roleplaying small details like fishing and so on ? From experience the game actually comes alive from a culmination of those little details and playing out , to a degree at least, things like campfire scenes, travel scenes, feasting inn scenes and so on. They had a lot of richness and colour to the world and characters otherwise all you're doing is moving from combat to dungeon to combat etc which removes the roleplaying bit from the game.

>> No.49447172

Jeff Goldblum, is that you?

>> No.49447204

>DM demands party have intricate connections with each other before game starts
>spend a few hours with everyone getting shit together a week before game day
>me and another guy get really into our characters history together
>end up spending 20 hours over 3 days building on it/refining it
>GM quickly skims our little 500 word summary version of party history we prepared for him
>"I don't really like this, lets just scrap it and have you meet at the start of the game."
>me and friend get super butt mad and keep working on our characters story for over a year
>eventually get that shit on amazon as an ebook
>get a decent review from a well known fantasy author by chance
>end up in top 10 best selling fantasy book on amazon for 1 day
>send screenshot along with copy of book to GM
>he is mad we didn't use his game story and says we owe him a share of the money

Fucking GMs man. He tells anyone who will listen at our LGS that we stole his campaign and made it into a 'best selling' book that made thousands of dollars.

>> No.49447205
File: 59 KB, 288x396, 1311117096423.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

As a GM, one of my players once gave me three pages of backstory which was basically just "His mothers sister is her brother and blah blah shadrack begot nishmael"

On the other hand, how is it that players are always willing to bust their nut writing up a fucking manuscript of backstory but always give you the run-around for making character sheets?

>> No.49447257

Link to the book then?
I find it somewhat hard to believe you, but I'd like to.

>> No.49447264

> itt. things that never happened

>> No.49447300

Well, one of the big problems was that anything we did on that ship was pretty much moot, since almost every character we met died in the shipwreck, and destroying the ship wiped out most of the other stuff we did (repairing the ship, making food, etc.). Still, at least getting to RP was better than the combat slog or the waiting while the GM does an hour-long solo session.

Anyways, for a first session, I'd really like to get straight into the action. My ideal first session would pretty much be a James Bond cold open, already in the middle of the dungeon, surrounded by monsters, running or fighting for our lives, etc.

I think the small details are easier to appreciate after you've already done some cool stuff. We saved people from the orc slavers, now we can chat with them back in town and maybe the blacksmith we rescued wants to forge us a weapon as a token of thanks. Or we got back from the dungeon with a bunch of loot, and now we get to interact with NPC shopkeepers, artisans, potential hirelings, etc. Or we've escaped from the evil duke, and we set up camp while worrying about whether his minions will find us.

I don't want to build a campfire in my firepit at home during the morning before I go camping. I want to sit around a campfire after a long day of hiking.

>> No.49447308


>Write a 10 page bacstory

Your DM sounds like a cunt, but please don't fucking do this.

No one wants to read a 10 page backstory, keep it to 1-2 pages.

>> No.49447324

ok but like, you have to understand 10 pages of amateur prose is kind of a big commitment
no one cares about your elf dude as much as you do
edit it down to the juicy bits and fit it on a page (and I'll still only skim it unless your writing is beaut)

>> No.49447343

> Using anything beside letters found on Kish tablet

It's like you don't even try just to spite the group, anon. Why are you cancering up our sessions?

>> No.49447380

I personally would have skimmed it.
That's not hard.

There is no way in hell I would have read all ten pages, but I would have skimmed it to make sure that
> A) You aren't trying to sneak past some henderson bullshit
> B) I get a basic idea of where your guy is coming from
You both failed, but the fact that your DM apparently couldn't even do a glance fails far harder in my eyes.
Your own failure was simply a case of overenthusiasm.

>> No.49447398

>pointless RP
Role playing is never pointless for it IS the whole point of the game.

>> No.49447423


>> No.49447480

I didn't even read this whole post.

>> No.49447487


Yeah I get where you are coming from.

I think I've pretty much started all my campaigns in media res in this way to get the players into the action fast and a lot of the time it can work really well. I decided differently for my current game and just placed them in front of the main city on the map and told them they could do whatever they wanted. Whether that was entering the city or exploring the map etc.

They decided to go into the city at the safest but most populated entrance . So the opening of the game was just them standing in line in a queue. I'm British so that had a particular thrill for me.

That session led to them to stealing loot from a merchant wagon, amputating a plagued girls arm to save her which they did , breaking up a street protest against the city leaders before it turned violent and aiding the guard in the slaughter of a bunch of rebels in the city including their leader. This was all with lots of cool added detail spliced in.

They did this all of their own choice mostly informed by their characters personal goals and the groups goals or just how their characters would act. Some of the events were scripted to happen if they went to certain places but that choice was up to them how they approached.

So yeah I guess my point is you don't need balls to the wall action to run an interesting game and details are cool and flesh out the world.

Pointless skill checks are a pet peeve of mine as well and it sounds like that happened a lot in that game. Either the skill check needs a clear result for success and consequence for failure or there's no point rolling it. I've happily just had my players describe that they do some hunting and just say it happens without rolling survival checks or whatever because they were under no time pressure.

Sounds like you had a shit session anyway glad you got out of there and didn't come back. Way too many people punish themselves by going back to bad sessions.

>> No.49447508

>the whole point of the game
Meh. It's a means to an end. The primary means in a roleplaying game, but still.

>> No.49447516

Jesus fucking christ, that description.

>> No.49447529

Thou hath been a major dickweed to thy friends, ye bastard.

>> No.49447831

If you were playing in a Kingmaker Pathfinder campaign I truly am sorry.

>> No.49447937
File: 11 KB, 443x262, tmp_3204-1472134091158-821746839.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

Fucking this.

I usually require back stories from my players as I feel like it helps them develop a better mindset of who their characters are when they write it out.

I only ask for a few paragraphs, they can write out two pages if they want but no more. If they include some interesting hook points I'll add them in.

Had one player write a 31 page back story about his bard's life story of being in the circus and handed it to me. I just looked at the stack of paper, then him, and told him no.

>> No.49447957

>using existing languges
>not requiring players to invent their own languages with grammatic rules and basic vocabulary written down in an appendix of at least 30 pages at the end of their character backstory
>player character backstories have not sold at least 10,000 copies

Literally playing with mongoloid downies. It's like you pretend that Tolkien did not start fantasy genre

>> No.49448094

Na cunt, youre a fuckboy if you want to play a game based on imagination and math and then dont want to read. It doesnt matter if youre a player or a DM, youre a fuck either way.

>> No.49448408
File: 66 KB, 625x626, image.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

Do people really write intricate fucking back stories for their characters? Isn't that what the game is for? You're level 1, ideally you should have done fuck all with your life by this point

>> No.49448439

>being forced to 10, likely gruelling and horribly written, cliched filled pages describing a fantasy character that pretty much only your friend cares about is a totally reasonable thing to believe

Literally fuck off, you are the cancer killing tabletop. Nobody is having fun about your fanfic tier anime alter ego, cretin

>> No.49448720

Writing backstories is the worst way to handle establishing the player characters anyway.

The best way to establish characters is to get the players in a skype call/around a table for a few hours before the first session and have them bounce ideas off of each other.

That way you can have some pre-established character relationships if you want them and the most terrible ideas are all but certain to be killed off in the tomb.


Many, perhaps even most, campaigns do not actually start out at level one.

Some classes also require you to be like, 30 years old or something.

The idea that your character has done literally nothing and has no established history or traits seems to strain credulity.

Establishing characters ahead of time also helps prevent blatant asspulls.

>> No.49448805

3 sentences is not enough to detail important life events that the GM may need to know about, and include a description, and include a COHERENT backstory.

>> No.49448816

Lol your group just invents some languages? Might be good for babies first RPG.

>Not expecting each player to write a 15,000 line Epic Poem in their invented languages in the equivalent of dactylic hexameter detailing their character, their history and epic deeds.
> etched into clay tablets by hand. Bet you faggots use paper lol
>Not devoting the first 12 sessions to each player reciting their Epic to the group.
>Thinking Tolkein invented fantasy when he stole it all from ancient mythology.

If we don't purge cancerous neophyte gamers from the hobby hard enough we are all going to be left playing miniature wargames.

>> No.49448869

So this thread has me thinking.

What would you, as players, think about it if you were given a basic setting, a few rules, then told to build your character and write a backstory mentioning at least a few important moments in your life, a few important people (including relatives), personal aspirations, and your first adventure (whatever you want within the world's bounds), then the DM incorporates the backstories into a bit more worldbuilding and goes from there? I'm thinking of getting a few people together and doing this now.

I feel it would add a personal touch to the world and give more freeform options with several different plot hooks the players could take or refuse at will.

>> No.49448875

pfff. you are like weak baby fantasy author. My group writes their backstories in pheromonal smells to truly give the DM a feeling for their stories, and can only communicate in throat singing and painting their actions in various yet distinct shades of blue.

>> No.49448886

DM is a dick for approving without reading. That said, 10 pages is a lot.

Now, I am a DM and a sucker for writefaggotry, so I enjoy when people send me a good backstory. But the backstory should just be a framing device about how your character is and what motivated them to go on adventure. Backstories should not be super-detailed mini-novels about every single thing you ever did.

One of my players once sent me 18 FUCKING PAGES of backstory, all written in laughably bad "epic" prose, that began on the origins of mankind. His character didn't even show up until page 15. I wish I was making it up,

I took a quick look, laughed, and told him there was no way I (or any of the other players) would ever read that.

>> No.49449283
File: 178 KB, 655x600, dz.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

>Be DM
>Demand three to four sentence back story
>Suddenly no group
>Everyone must take a month off to hatch their ideas that turn out be murderhobo excuses anyways


I can't imagine bringing up how exactly they decided to work together

>> No.49451384
File: 51 KB, 651x794, campaign Mastercraft.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

Remember the thread that this image was made in and how everyone thought it was great for quick and easy backstories that affected play? Does anyone still use it?

>> No.49451543


>and can only communicate in throat singing and painting their actions in various yet distinct shades of blue.
>allowing any sort of verbal or visual communication

Confirmed for casual. My players have to write their epic poem backstories in a made up language and then translate it into braille before I'll even consider approving it.

Go back to your play-by-post freeform garbage you weab.

>> No.49451668

I would go into deep character development and encourage others to do the same over things like "having shared or not a pumpkin pie" just to spite you.

>> No.49451724

Actually, a backstory in bullet point form works great. I usually do this and then spend time creating an NPC rival or something, so the DM can include part of it without having to design the rival or enemy from scratch.

>> No.49451854

I always liked the approach that narrative games use for character gen, which is basically just everyone sitting at a table and brainstorming their backstories together. It's usually a great resource for the DM to draw hooks from and it establishes everyone's relationships.

I don't always feel like running narrative games, but they definitely have some useful little systems for character generation and world building.

>> No.49451873

>be DM
>tell players they don't need much of a backstory
>backstory can show itself in play
>play creates a story, and the characters grow
>they got a character background by having fun instead of writing pages on pages of pointless shit

>> No.49451950


>Be player
>GM tells us that we don't need much of a backstory
>Everyone builds murderhobos and wacky gimmick characters
>Story never progresses far because everyone gets bored and retires their character every other week
>Months later, everyone decides to drop campaign and try something else
>Meanwhile, my backstory goes to waste and never gets explored because all people cared about was murdering monsters and loot

Feels bad man.

>> No.49452242

>A few more pages
>Ten pages of shit
>That I have to dig through whenever I want to find anything important

Look just give me the basics, what you look like, who your parents and family are if you know them, important people in your life, where you came from, etc. So shit like.
>My character looks like this
>His dad is named X, he lives in Y and does Z for a living, his relationship with my character is ...
>His mother is named X she lives with him and does Y, her relationship with my character is ...
>His older brother is named X, he lives in Y and does Z for a living, his relationship with my character is ...
>His younger sister is named X, she lives in Y and does Z for a living, her relationship with my character is ...
>My character's tutor/educator/master/boss/mentor is named X, he lives in Y and does Z for a living, his relationship with my character is ...
>My character's goals are ...

If I am going to decide to go near one of your important people or your hometown or whatever I will talk to you so we can flesh anything out then so the details will be worked out and I won't have to dig through ten pages to find out
>What is your hometown called?
>Who is your father?
>Why would your role model be special?

>> No.49452366

>experiencing your characters through your lowly human senses
>Not hosting your entire session in a sensory deprivation tank
>Communicating with your meat flaps
>Not realising all matter is condensed vibrating energy and we are the universe experiencing itself.
>Not having reached enlightenment via your game.

Literally troglodytes.

>> No.49452614

>be DM
>tell players they don't need much of a backstory
>everyone builds murderhobos and wacky gimmick characters
>make the dungeons fucking hard with heavy casualties
>make the players care when their player reaches level 2
>make players so invested they can't leave the game
>make the game a story
>a story better than any backstory

>> No.49452749


>be player
>GM tells players they don't need much of a backstory
>everyone makes murderhobos and wacky gimmick characters
>GM makes dungeons virtual meat-grinders
>At least one player dies per dungeon.
>Eventually lose investment in the game since most of my characters die every other weak
>Eventually start to refer to my character as [race][class] from [place] since I can't be bothered to become attached to them
>Eventually lose interest in roleplaying and go on GitP and paizo forums to keep up with the power gamers
>I have a level 6 human wizard who I don't even enjoy playing anymore and the campaign eventually fizzles because the GM burns out
>Now all I have left is a binder full of notes and character sheets for builds I'll never get to use

Hello darkness my old friend.

>> No.49453054

>Be DM
>Tell players they don't need much of a backstory
>Make dungeons challenging
>At least one player character dies per dungeon
>Players get a little tired but at least fun things happen and they die in funny ways, so they keep at it
>start learning how to not die in dungeons, how to avoid damage with retainers, items and clever thinking
>eventually they start gaining levels
>they are now much stronger than they were previously
>and they have an assortment of items they've acquired on their journeys
>can take out dungeons much more easily
>they finally set up a stronghold
>start taking over land
>they can now hire other people to go check the dungeons
>players decide they want to be those characters
>they retire the characters who have succeeded in life
>they set out to find out who the next person to succeed, or fail, will be
>and who will be the next to make a mark on the world

>> No.49453164


>be player
>gm tells players they don't need much of a backstory
>tells us that he's "going to make dungeons challenging"
>All the power gamers come in with broken shit like a master summoner or a transmutation wizard
>Every dungeon gets cleared in half a session because everyone is optimized to stop everything.
>GM escalates the danger to combat the power gamers
>Power gamers are unfazed due to power gaming builds.
>I'm stuck in the back giving out bonuses because I rolled up a bard with average stats.
>Bored to the point of tears, I take out my phone and fuck around until the GM calls it for the night.
>Eventually, I get hit by a SoD trap that I failed dodging and come up with some stupid excuse to stop going.

Bad end

>> No.49453245

>be DM
>tell players they don't need that much of a backstory
>tell them I'm making the dungeons more challenging
>some players come in with broken characters
>tell them we're playing a basic system that emphasizes creativity over looking stuff up on a wiki
>the players need to work together to maneuver around the dungeon
>and everyone's skill is valuable
>power gamers eventually get that it's not just about them, it's about everyone at the table
>power gamers chill out
>tense and fun sessions
>sometimes some character dies, but it's not that big of a deal
>everyone is enjoying themselves
>they show up every week
>and every time they come back they get reminded of why they stick around
>the fun and the friendship

>> No.49453482

That wasn't even a goddamn loophole he just straight up had an evasion clause is the contract.

>> No.49453484


It's almost as if one is fun to do, while the other is a chore because you're using a shit system.

>> No.49453491

Yeah your GM sounds like he's not very good. I'd look for a better one.

On a semi-related note, you should never write a ten page backstory, or really any significant backstory. The game should be the story of your character. His adventures, and his personality, are things you should develop during play. If you start out with a huge predefined story, it will rarely if ever have any relevance in the game, because even good GMs will usually not be able to integrate most of it or remember it all.

But worse, it puts you in a spot where you're trying to roleplay a character that is already defined. That is a big part of why people have so many problems playing with others. Everyone shows up with a set in stone idea of how they are going to behave, and when these different and rigid personalities don't mesh, everyone feels like they are being asked to change something vital to their character. A loose and vague outline will leave you able to evolve and develop yourself as you go. It will serve you much better.

>> No.49453522


>Be player
>GM tells players they don't need much of a backstory
>tells us that he's "going to make dungeons challenging"
>power gamers come in with broken shit
>GM vetoes their characters and forces them to reroll in front of him.
>One power gamer gets butthurt and storms out
>Another tries fudging his rolls and gets the boot
>The last guy keeps killing off his characters on purpose and the GM gives him the boot too.
>Now it's down to only me
>Game disintegrates

>> No.49453577

>be DM
>tell players they don't need that much of a backstory
>tell them I'm making the dungeons more challenging
>some players come in with broken characters
>tell them we're playing a basic system that emphasizes creativity over looking stuff up on a wiki
>3 out of 4 players gets butthurt by this and they all disappear in different ways
>invite adults to play
>everyone has fun

>> No.49453605
File: 85 KB, 500x628, I seriously hope you guys don't do this.jpg [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

Well, have you ever watched any of the roleplayng that goes on in world of Warcraft? It's that sort of mentality. Everyone has pages of information about all the cool things they've done, and they pretty much sit around and tell each other about those things they made up.

It isn't really roleplaying, because you're not "playing". It's just a form of public masturbation through wish fulfillment. It becomes sort of like Facebook, where no one really listens to anyone else, they just congregate around the shared lie that someone is paying attention to them talking about themselves.

Generally speaking, when people write big backstories, that's the sort of background they come from, and that's the sort of roleplaying they are interested in. They want to read their fanfic to you, and this is how they want to do it.

>> No.49453673

I bet you laugh at Sir Bearington.

>> No.49453716

We use crutches for a reason.

>> No.49453747

>make the dungeons fucking hard with heavy casualties
>make the players care when their player reaches level 2
If only we lived in fairyland, huh?

>> No.49453871

But it's fun though, but I suppose you need a classic gold-to-xp system to make it work.

>> No.49453879

This why I read my backstory to my DM. Of course I'm also too lazy to write ten pages of backstory. I tend to be a half page to a page kinda guy.

With that said, yeah the DM should always read any and all backstory and give input on it before session 1 of any campaign.

>> No.49453916

I'm know it's fun, I just wish it were possible. Rather than existing purely in the form of greentext.

You don't make player's care by making dungeons hard. Players have to care to begin with, and be invested in that kind of game to begin with.
My backstories always amount to a couple of sentences. The character's more important than the backstory -- the character always gets at least two paragraphs.

>> No.49453957

I dunno, my current campaign started with a pretty difficult dungeon and the players were way more hooked on that campaign than on anything else I've done, such as storydriven games where everyone has to come up with exactly what their characters are like before they can get on with the actual game.

>> No.49453964


>> No.49454245

>Eventually lose investment in the game since most of my characters die every other weak
More accurate than intended?

>> No.49454277

Better roleplay with an at least competent character. Allows fun either way.

>> No.49454283
File: 205 KB, 375x416, fe3.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]

>GMing four person
>One player was 33
>he said that he played role-playing games for about 10-15 years
>Other players(all rookies) sent me at least five page
>He sent me half a page
>The most retarded backstory about the most retarded barbarian of all time

>> No.49454797


>Cannot un-hear

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