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... Was to utterly despise the vapid, "tell me your lore" or "how would this race behave in this situation" questions that permeate /tg/ like herpes. I've made plenty of mistakes while becoming a GM, but the one that was by far the most painful was to put more effort into making a believable world, than putting effort into making a fun and memorable world. That's putting the cart before the horse, it's jerking yourself off instead of having sex. There's no point to it when the alternative is right there.

Players worldbuild. Players are the ones who obsess over the bullshit minutia of the setting. Players are the ones who live in the world, that's why they care about these things. The lore of the world ultimately doesn't matter, the *tone* of the world does, sure, but that's one of the few conceits GMs should give their players. Instead of telling me how "my Orcs are actually photosynthetic plants that nonetheless require protein because their organelles don't produce it," tell me how that actually becomes a scenario in your campaign. How the party are stuck in a cabin with an Orc slowly succumbing to the Dark Hunger. That's where the roleplay happens, where the fun happens.

Because that's ultimately what campaigns are meant to be. Fun. As I said before, it's like sex; people say some utterly embarrassing things during sex, some blatantly stupid things during sex, but it's delightful in the moment because it lives in the moment. Don't be the dumbass that tries to map out every possible way the sex can go, because then it becomes routine instead of a romp.
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>>87485103
I hate it when the DMmakes me worldbuild for him
>>
For me it was putting so much effort into a believable map that it stopped being a fun map. What's circlewanked about on /tg/ isn't always how games are or should be.
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>>87485103
You're absolutely correct. What happens during ACTUAL PLAY is the only thing that matters. The GM's notes become relevant and meaningful only when they relate to what is actually happening in the game.
Do not prepare lore. Prepare interesting encounters, be they with NPCs or with some other facet of the game world.
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>>87485121
>DMmakes
considering you're too lazy to even put spaces between your words...
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>>87485263
Youexpectmetodouourjob?
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>>87485103
Another hard lesson for you to learn is going to be that feeling-words like "believable", "fun", and "memorable" are meaningless, because everybody experiences these things differently.
By posting this bleeding-heart wall of text, you aren't passing on a lesson or generating valuable discussion, especially not in the context of games; you are just babbling. Blogposting.
But not to worry, most of this board hasn't learned that lesson either. You have a chance to be better. Make better threads. See things for how they are, instead of how they " f e e l ".
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>>87485103
Completely based. I'll sketch out the rough outline of my world and then largely let the players fill in the blanks.
Some of the worlds I've run games in have had pretty established 'lore,' but there was still plenty of room for the players to insert their own things and own them. Really, a game setting should be like a framework that gets everyone on the same page, so they have something of a shared vision to work towards, and everything else is extraneous.
This lore focused wiki culture is cancer.
>>87485308
I'm not a liveplay show host and my job isn't to entertain you while you sit there and do nothing. If you want the GM to do a "job" go fucking pay one.
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>>87485316
>>87485103
To synthesize your opinions, the real secret is knowing what your players/audience consider fun, believable or memorable, and making the effort to deliver it (or better) to them in a way that you also enjoy.
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>>87485103
I agree.
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>>87485249
This
Theme parks all the way
I'm putting a skull shape pirate archipelago, a flying castle and a spiral shaped demon ridden land and YOU WILL enjoy kt
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>>87485431
i WILL play as he-man
i WILL sexually assault your skeletor
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>>87485103
It's funny how you somehow landed on the right conclusions but with completely wrong reasoning.
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>>87485781
Man, I have to say, there is no skeleton here, but thanks to your precious input, I will add one undead pirate
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>>87485103
Imagine worldbuilding for your players' sake and not because you just find it the most fun aspect of the hobby in and of itself. You know why there are so many threads about the minutiae of worldbuilding to the point it's utterly irrelevant for an actual campaign? Because that's FUN.
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>>87485814
yes. YES!
>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOiDk6BFKFY
>AAAA2
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>>87485798

How should he have come to the conclusions he did then?
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>>87485103
>Hey DM, I ask the [quest giver] if he can tell us a little more about these monsters he wants us to kill
>IDK lol haha... no he can't...
wow.... amazing....
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>>87487337
That's not his point at all.
To use a personal example of what he's getting at:
Awhile ago a Gm handed me his homebrew races for a campaign. I leafed through them and picked out his dark elves. They're the tall, wiry, savage type. They have a natural berserk state and their technology is backwards in comparison to the rest of the world because they just keep killing each other. Enough to play them.
And from there, as I came up with a pair of characters and played them, I inserted all the details as they came up in the actual game.Specifics of their martial culture, slavery practices, beliefs on what is and isn't an honorable death, etc.
For him to have autistically worried about all that shit from the get go, just for nobody to have played one anyway, or maybe ever even ran into one, would have been a waste of time.
Instead I got to invest my time into fleshing out something I was enjoying.

Nobody is saying 'don't do any worldbuilding at all, to belligerently not plan the details of even the creatures the players are meant to fight.Just to,as in ops orc example, lay out the framework and let the players actualize their own fun out of it.
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>>87487417
>For him to have autistically worried about all that shit from the get go, just for nobody to have played one anyway, or maybe ever even ran into one, would have been a waste of time.
That's the crux of the matter, you, OP and many others see the creation of the world the game takes place in a a chore to be performed so that the fun part can take place, whereas us that love to flood this board with worldbuilding threads treat the issue differently, as the creation aspect itself is what we have fun in, regardless of whether or not it'll ever feature in our games. I myself am currently losing a few neurons trying to work out the inner workings of the !Ming Dynasty that forcefully brought a lot of !Asian influence to the otherwise !European corner of the subcontinent that makes up my setting. Will the !Ming ever feature on my games? Fuck no, they're a a whole tundra away in the opposite direction of the way I want the campaign to develop and in fact don't even exist anymore as a political body, but it's just incredibly fun to come up with a lot of things and see how they'd play out to get what sort of influences they would and wouldn't have had on the piece of territory they previously occupied before being forced out, even though that's something I wholeheartedly expect players to either never even think about or be satisfied when he hears that it's due to a not!Chinese invasion that held certain lands for some time a while before the campaign started and not question further.
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>>87487685
>you, OP and many others see the creation of the world the game takes place in a a chore to be performed so that the fun part can take place
If I despised it so much I wouldn't be enthusiastic about doing it as a player, now would I?
It's a waste of time in terms of preparing the game for functionality. If you enjoy it as its own separate hobby, which I do as well, that's an entirely separate matter.
Nobody should stop doing anything they enjoy, but I think the point, at least from me, is to be cognizant of how you can leave room for your players to be more engaged via participating in establishing setting. Not just to manage your own time, but for me at least, doing the worldbuilding with the players at the table is half the fun. A few hours after every session are inevitably devoted to assessing the implications of this or that on the things we've already established.
So I suppose it's a waste of time in my preferences because if nobody sees it or interacts with it, it doesn't get utilized in worldbuilding the way I most enjoy it, with my players. Not just because it's never experienced as part of the game.
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>>87487417
>I inserted all the details as they came up in the actual game.Specifics of their martial culture, slavery practices, beliefs on what is and isn't an honorable death, etc.
YOU, the player, had to come up with basically the entire fluff as to how a whole ass race works?
That sounds fucking awful I wouldn't do that
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>>87488105
>So I suppose it's a waste of time in my preferences because if nobody sees it or interacts with it, it doesn't get utilized in worldbuilding the way I most enjoy it
Sounds like you're not doing a good job of showing off your own work.
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>>87488155
Most fun I ever had playing a nonhuman race.
But as I was saying here >>87488105 I play with an entire group of world-building autists. For him to leave no room for me to be interpretive would be roughly analogous to him handing me an empty icecream cone and stating he figured I wouldn't want to put in the effort of eating it.
If the beginning and end of what you want to do in an RPG is play a single character, that's fine. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I'd get bored out of my fucking skull.
>>87488207
This statement makes zero sense in context.
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>>87488228
>For him to leave no room for me to be interpretive
There is literally always room to be interpretive on any race, class, archetype, etc on any system unless explicitly stated otherwise
He didn't "give you room to interpert"
He made you create the whole race from scratch
That sounds fucking exausting and frankly really shit, if you have no idea what the state of the world you're playing in is like, races included, it's a bitch to make something that seamlessly fits and feels natural
That sounds, again, awful
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>>87488228
>him handing me an empty icecream cone
That is also exactly what he did, he then asked you to bring your own icecream from home, too
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>>87488155
>That sounds fucking awful I wouldn't do that
I have only ever known people who want to do exactly that.
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>>87485256
>Do not prepare lore. Prepare interesting encounters, be they with NPCs or with some other facet of the game world.
How the fuck do you divorce one from the other? I suppose at best you can just ensure you phrase your notes in such a way that the session relevance is uppermost, but that's not intuitive to most people (ironically).
It's easiest to create encounters and imagine situations in a rich world full of intriguing details.
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>>87485103
Good job on failing to grasp the basic D and D dynamic. You know there's an entire category of player who actually like learning world lore, right? Way to completely fuck over those players.
>DM builds world, simple or complex
>players proceed to poke, pull, prod, and run amok upon said world, changing it with their actions
>collaborative emergent storytelling ensues
People like you are who boxed campaign settings are made for, I guess.
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>>87485819
STOP HAVING FUN!
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>>87488280
>I have only ever known people who want to do exactly that.
You have only ever know people to come up to the table and say "Hey DM I want to play an elf, what are the elves like in your setting? Actually no don't tell me, I will make my own" ?
That is very strange to me
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>>87488313
"muh lore" fucking sucks though. It's the complete opposite of actual storytelling.
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>>87488386
>wants to tell a story but it immediately falls apart into a billion pieces if the players dare ask the dreaded question of "DM, could you tell me more?"
How?
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>>87488270
Yes, good.
>>87488259
>He made you create the whole race from scratch
Made is a strong word. But yes, at a cultural details level I functionally did, and I had fun doing it.
>That sounds fucking exhausting
Easiest shit in the world, anon.
> if you have no idea what the state of the world you're playing in is like, races included
There was plenty there to go on regarding overall scope, cultural tone and politics. If you need minutia down to the finest detail before you can play something, well, good on whatever dynamic you and your GM have I guess.
I'm up there agreeing with the guy who loves worldbuilding more than any other part of the game, you're not going to convince me doing it is suddenly somehow shit, exhausting, and awful because I'm not the GM today. That makes zero sense.
>>87488355
nta, but, yeah borderline. I'll outline the basics like 'there are elves, their nations are here, and their loose culture and statblock is like this,' but more than that isn't usually necessary. Someone wants to be an elf knight? Didn't think about that, sure, let's sit down to make your character and talk about what roll knights play in their culture.
I had a statblock for norsemen in my current game, and the player who wanted to run one just handed me his family tree, local politics, and more information about historical Scandinavian cultures than I knew what to do with.
This is a completely normal state of affairs at every table I've played at after highschool.
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>>87488401
>wants to spend weeks prepping tidbits of info only for it to not matter because the players never interact with it
I'm not going to waste my time writing shit that doesn't matter, and I'm not going to play with contrarians who'd rather poke holes in everything than actually engage with the game. Get fucked.
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>>87488475
>and I'm not going to play with contrarians who'd rather poke holes
If asking you to explain a little more about a race or something is "poking holes" in your world it probably isn't very good
Nobody is asking you for their tax policy, but do you really not think up anything beyond "race and 3 words to describe it" ?
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>>87487417
This was very rough for me in my first campaign. I had so many elaborate encounters, puzzles, side quests, extra terrains that I spent hours on, and so many times my players just walked right past the "Dark spooky scary statue" that I made a point of mentioning.

I don't like railroading, but I really need to just have a tilting floor trap that delivers my players into all the shit I put effort into. I still have terrains from three years ago that have never seen the light of day.

My games nearly always descend into grindy company-scale wargames too, I try to give my players the means to make a difference in the world, without following the tropey adventurer hero supermen shit. That inevitably leads to macro-economic headaches, combat that takes three hours, and a shitload of dead NPC's when they start dropping artillery on a bandit hideout.

Now I just give them a direction to walk in and make shit up as I go along, with nothing but a loose, intangible idea of where I want the session to go.
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>>87488516
Anon, you know there is a middle ground you are likely failing to reach?
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>>87488458
>Easiest shit in the world, anon.
I am not building an entire race for you just to play at your table, man
If you want me to come up with the specifics of my character I will but I will not create the Race's entire for your handbook just to play
If you have literally no idea what the race is like in-setting aside from it's states and want me to come up with it I'll have a hard time getting invested in it to be honest
Maybe you just like being a DM a LOT and it bleeds into your play, I don't
>his family tree, local politics, and more information about historical Scandinavian cultures
He described his character and his village, he did not write how Norsemen function as a society in-setting, like you previously described
This I do every game
The thing you mentioned before about elves? Nahhh maybe once or twice but nah
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>>87488573
>Race's entire
entry
>aside from it's states
stats
God I hate laptop keyboards
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>>87488513
>Nobody is asking you for their tax policy, but do you really not think up anything beyond "race and 3 words to describe it" ?
Of course not, but I'm not about to chart out their entire history or anything. It's unnecessary.
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>>87488598
>I'm not about to chart out their entire history or anything.
Well yeah of course nobody is asking that
But if your whole ass description for your dark elves is like the other guy said for example "They're the tall, wiry, savage type. They have a natural berserk state and their technology is backwards in comparison to the rest of the world because they just keep killing each other." and you can't even come up with some extra shit on the spot if a player asks "what do they think about humans", like.. c'mon man
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>>87488516
Sounds like you need a game that better handles running nations and such.
I don't usually prep dungeons and stuff too much ahead of time. It's not hard to make the process of dinging one, when they want to, involved and interesting enough that I can leave the session at 'you found the thing!' then actually make the thing for next week.
>and a shitload of dead NPC's when they start dropping artillery on a bandit hideout.
Ah yeah, I had this happen once. They tried to get a wizard tower to surrender by flinging artillery at it. which given the magic level in setting, might have worked, but they picked one with a giant weaponizable set of astrological mirrors and shit on the roof. In the ensuing firefight, the NPC they were there to capture took a scorpion bolt to the heart. In the aftermath, her nature witch second in command started stalking the party relentlessly with familiars and feeding information to any and everyone who might want to fight them for any reason.
Good times. Every random happenstance can turn into a catalyst for something else.
>>87488573
>He described his character and his village, he did not write how Norsemen function as a society in-setting
I assure you he did. When I say 'local politics,' I mean he handed me a nine page primer on the relationships of three kingdoms, mythology, honor culture, and a magic system he scrabbled together because he didn't like the stock one. Ontop of god knows how much he's typed at me in the process.
>Wouldn't play at my table
Alright. Different strokes. I'm under no illusion that the people I play with occupy a play culture anything like the majority share of RPG hobbyists.

>>87488631
>you can't even come up with some extra shit on the spot if a player asks "what do they think about humans"
As the other guy in question, it's not that my GM couldn't do any of this. He's perfectly capable, I wanted to do it myself. I'm used to people who would rather, or at least collab it.
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>>87487337
They're fictional creatures. Make something up on the spot. Be sure to write it down so if they encounter the same monsters you remember that they will do ANYTHING for a single creamy mouthful of steaming hot elf shit. That's how you get good procedural gameplay.
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>>87488527
Absolutely there is, but sadly my group of players require their hands to be held to actually do anything. This feeds into them walking right past the extra stuff I put in. Unless I make it screaming shouting clear that there are shiny things behind the weird standing clock, they'll walk right past it, or do the entirely wrong thing, and blame me for not just outright telling them what to do.

Heres an example. I had told them that in order to solve the issues of long combat, they needed to come up with orders for the small army of soldiers they had amassed. One player got the idea, and sent out the scouts to handle side objectives and look into where the rebels might be hiding. The other player that understood had his APC's give the scouts a ride, and function as back up in case they got into the shit. All was going well, they found the rebel munitions cache, and their main base. I told them that they could distract the rebels by attacking from multiple angles, and I'd just do some off-screen rolls to resolve the other combats. They took their entire fucking army to the rebel base and it turned into a four hour long slog of combat because they had already forgotten what I told them.

That same story has played out a hundred different ways of my players just blatantly ignoring shit I've put in to help them and make the game more fun. It isn't even an issue of me not saying it. I ran a session two weeks ago and told them "Hey, you have heavy artillery to knock out the bunkers ahead. Make a ranged attack roll with the laser designator, and make a Navigation check to give the coordinates to the artillery." two minutes before combat started. Not a single one of them used their laser designators and a 15 minute combat turned into an hour and a half.

I don't want to have to spoonfeed them because they are just flat out not listening to what I tell them. I've looked for new players, but half of players are faggots and the other half are retarded faggots.
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>>87488631
>player asks "what do they think about humans"
If it's important, then yeah I'll come up with something. But most of the time it's not, so I don't worry about it.
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>>87488681
>Make something up on the spot.
hard agree on this but the OP was talking about it like the players should be making it up
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>>87488664
>I'm under no illusion that the people I play with occupy a play culture anything like the majority share of RPG hobbyists.
Very much fair
About your friend, I fail to see however how the DM would handle other northmen on ... wait you're the DM right
How would you handle other northmen, be it players or NPCs on the setting, then? If he created them, would you just ask the player?
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>>87488664
Yeah, you are probably right on that. I've looked around for a game that can handle businesses and nation building, but I run pretty much exclusively modern(ish) settings with machine guns, artillery, aircraft, tanks. Finding a system that is better than Genesys/SWFFG for modern weapons is difficult. I have tried about two dozen different game systems just to see how they handle modern weaponry, and none of them come close. I think I just need to sit down and spend some time homebrewing a module for nation building that will work well with Genesys.
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>>87488155
Some of the most fun I’ve ever had during CharGen was coming up with My Dude’s Culture. And when My Dude’s Culture gets presented by my GM and used as a subplot it makes the campaign that much better.
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>>87488807
Did you come up with the culture for the entire race worldwide and how it's viewed in the setting or just for the specific culture your dude is from?
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>>87488703
Listen anon, I know how much players ruin the games us DM's spend so long making. I know that the ungrateful cunts are useless, retarded lemmings that will fuck things up and blame anything they can in order to avoid a single moment of introspection.
I know that players are giant fucking faggots who can't help but talk about how much they love BLM or how much they want to genocide all the darkies.
But these are the players we have anon. This is the clay you work with. So you get players who are giant faggots? Fine, that is what you have to work with, as long as they are not retards who cannot remember game mechanics then you can work with that.
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>>87488731
OP said players inherently enjoy the creative process, especially when it’s their own guy. When you transplant a tree it’s going to keep native soil before the roots start growing into the new land. It’s the same thing with PCs.
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>>87485103
>Players worldbuild.
They shouldn't be, it's not their job to do that. The GM makes the setting, creates the world, and the players create characters who live in that world using the information the GM gives them.
>Players are the ones who obsess over the bullshit minutia of the setting
They really don't.
>Players are the ones who live in the world, that's why they care about these things
The PLAYERS do not, their CHARACTERS do, and that's important, but if the setting is boring and/or constantly contradicts itself they're going to not give a shit. Players want a setting that makes sense within the confines of its own worldbuilding, not a random hodgepodge of whatever you think up on the fly.
>The lore of the world ultimately doesn't matter
It absolutely does in the sense that it informs the norms and rules of the world and gives players a way to make characters that fit the setting.
>Instead of telling me how "my Orcs are actually photosynthetic plants that nonetheless require protein because their organelles don't produce it," tell me how that actually becomes a scenario in your campaign
That's retarded, you're retarded, the plant orcs exist and you as the GM know why they exist as they do, but the players and thus their characters will only know if one of them IS an orc or they go digging for answers. Just because your setting has lore doesn't mean the players will or should know all of it at the get-go. They're on a need-to-know basis until they decide to pursue further information.
>How the party are stuck in a cabin with an Orc slowly succumbing to the Dark Hunger.
If you don't know what the Dark Hunger is long before the players get into that situation, then it's going to feel like it came out of fucking nowhere to the players and you'll have jumped the shark. The Dark Hunger should be established fact in-setting.
>Because that's ultimately what campaigns are meant to be. Fun.
You're why people say fun is a buzzword.
>it's like sex
It isn't. At all
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>>87488767
>If he created them, would you just ask the player?
Yup. Once I have a clear image of them from him, of course, I'll run whatever I have to. But I'll ask him for clarifications or reminders on a regular basis.
Nobody else is playing a PC one. If they intended to, they'd work with him about it, yes. They're all pretty enthusiastic about his application of historical reading on the subject.

It's really not a 'game master as creator/entertainer and player as participant/audience' dynamic at all. I don't really see myself as the modern conception of a DM, and more like the age old conception of like, a PBM GM. I put things in motion, I play everything that isn't the players, and impartially arbitrate events to the best of my ability. If they want to assert things about the setting? Cool. Want to point out that some historical minutia could be cool to take into account? Rad. People want to assert the existence of NPCs and hand me finished character sheets for them? Fuckin' go for it. Plop a new PC down? Sure, one of my players is running four. (this should be more normal, but that's a whole other discussion.)
I think a lot of that as well is it's a table composed solely of people who also do or extensively have GMd. Everyone's on the same page, nobody is trying to one up shit or force a story. we're just trying to occupy and operate a fictional world, and I'm there to turn the crank. And with that, I'm also at a "I stopped looking at custom character abilities and they stopped asking for permission like a year ago," levels of trust with my players, and I understand that's a luxury not a lot of people get.
>>87488781
I feel you on modern weaponry man. Group's tried to design something satisfactory on several occasions. There's high hopes for the latest iteration, but haven't tested it yet.
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>>87485103
>>87488943
>it becomes routine instead of a romp.
Again, extremist retardation. Your setting should have established facts, rules, ways things work, established lands and factions, and then you should give the players all they need to make characters and only drip-feed them more information as they ask for it, investigate, and uncover that information. Sure the world should reflect the actions of the player characters to some degree as appropriate but if the sky is green there should be a reason for it and it shouldn't just become purple for no reason.
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>>87488311
>How the fuck do you divorce one from the other?
You don't need every objective to be knee-deep in lore, you just need to have the lore for your own reference to ensure internal consistency.

As long as what happens doesn't break the world in half, metaphorically speaking, then it's fine.

If you have established that your dwarves live underground and then the party finds a settlement of dwarves on a floating fucking island in the sky you had better have a damn good explanation ready for that because the players WILL question it because it conflicts with what you've already established.
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>>87488961
>Yup. Once I have a clear image of them from him, of course, I'll run whatever I have to. But I'll ask him for clarifications or reminders on a regular basis.
>Nobody else is playing a PC one. If they intended to, they'd work with him about it, yes.
That's so weird, I've never been in a table like that, in my experience people create their backgrounds and whatever is associated with them and the DM only really consults it to add something or other to the story to engage more with who the players are, like what village they come from why they are adventuring what their customs are like do they have any enemies et cetera, not creating entire races and such
More power to you if you like it I suppose though
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>>87488816
It was my dude’s specific culture, I gave the basics of it in my character writeup and I figure the GM interpreted the rest of it through casual conversation. You get the gist of a society when you’re just openly talking about the character at the table; things like food, important symbols, government, how they view matters of religion or war. All you need to do is talk about your dude. The specific instance with me was when I wanted to play a Māori type dude, and over the course of discussing aesthetics we determined they wore war masks to dull the reality of taking another’s life, that they participated in champion culture in ritualized spots to minimize bloodshed, that the bow and javelin were regarded as tools of the hunt, not of war (due to the difficulty of ranged fighting in jungles) and that they have a vibrant mercantile tradition of pearl diving, coral weaponry and sea-silk production.

All this came wholesale through conversation, because I wanted to play an Elf from an archipelago the DM threw on the map.
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>>87488475
>I'm not going to waste my time writing shit that doesn't matter
It all matters to the consistency of the setting. If your setting is not internally consistent because you haven't prepared explanations for the things that happen there and constantly change explanations and give the players conflicting information they're going to realize it really fast and call you out for the lazy slacker piece of shit you are. They won't want to engage with the game because the game world makes no fucking sense and so anything they do can be completely flipped on its head or nullified because nothing is consistent and you can change the rules whenever you want.
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>>87488999
>It was my dude’s specific culture, I gave the basics of it in my character writeup and I figure the GM interpreted the rest of it through casual conversation.
Yeah that's the normal, pretty sure everyone does that
Creating the whole Elf race for the campaign like people are talking about is what's weird
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>>87488999
Oh yeah cool elf btw, I love campaigns in or around water... maritime I think is the word
It's sick
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>>87488598
>I'm not about to chart out their entire history or anything
Nobody's asking for this but a timeline of major events is important. I run a fantasy game and I've got a personal and a public document. The former is for my own reference or for when the players ask for information/start seeking stuff out. The latter was made so they could make characters taht fit the setting and understand the setting. They don't need to see 2 pages of bulletpoints on the timeline of the setting because their characters are unaware of 99% of it, and so unless they go digging they may never know the whole story, and that's fine, but I'm not a lazy faggot so I make sure I'm prepared and that my setting maintains its consistency.
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>>87489041
Why would you even bother to do that? If the Elves on the other side of the world never come up, you don’t ever have to worry about them.
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>>87489060
>Why would you even bother to do that?
Good fucking question, I don't know either
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>>87489060
Because unless you're a railroading faggot GM who forces his players to only do what he wants instead of letting them do what they want and explore, they WILL get curious and they WILL go exploring and you WILL need to worry about them because they WILL come up.

Players love that shit, they love to throw shit at you and hope to catch you unprepared.
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>>87489081
Good thing there’s a week between sessions for me to slap something together then! I can even personalize the Elves for the party’s sensibilities, just a little.
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>>87489081
He is talking as a player, anon
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>>87489081
>making the group play the game you prepared and that they agreed to instead of letting them fuck off on a whim and go to the other side of the planet for lulz is bad
Nah, fuck off.
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>>87489154
Then he's an NPC who just goes wherever everyone else goes and has no agency.
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>>87489188
It's railroading. You might as well be running a module if you aren't going to give them freedom to explore or put in the legwork to actually be a good GM.

>>87489150
>Good thing there’s a week between sessions for me to slap something together then!
Enjoy the party pointing out how these elves make no fucking sense and how the world map makes no fucking sense.
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>>87489800
Is it railroading to establish the limits of the map at the beginning of the game? Something like "it's a big world, but the game will happen on the island of X and you guys basically shouldn't leave the island during the campaign. It's very big and there's lots to explore, enough to last us however long the game is."
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>>87489826
>you guys basically shouldn't leave the island during the campaign
It is pretty blatant railroading when you do it like that.
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>>87489800
>>87489772
I don't understand what you're arguing for, how do you GM? How did your last campaign go?
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>>87485316
Extremely correct opinion.
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>>87485103
Written like a worldbuilder bitter that he isn't a better worldbuilder. Let me condense it for you so you cannot hide behind these vapid "epiphanies" of yours; git gud.
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>>87489878
Go play no man’s sky, sandbox faggot
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>>87489923
He is arguing for building a world instead of going "idk lol make it up" when a player asks what elves are like mid-campaign
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>>87490064
And no one is arguing that the GM doesn't have to provide any framework whatsoever. Just that the detail of that framework is going to vary by taste from group to group.
Nobody is telling their players "I don't know, make it up yourself," in the middle of a session without it being closely tied to their character, or something they've already been responsible for.
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>>87485103
the hardest leasson I've learned over 25+ years of GMing is that 99.99% of the times; players don't care.
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>>87490064
>He is arguing for building a world instead of going "idk lol make it up" when a player asks what elves are like mid-campaign
Anon, he's throwing a tantrum over the idea that GMs don't craft every aspect of the world before the campaign begins, and that a GM's primary interest should be in providing a fun and immersive experience for the players through scenarios and roleplay. If Elves did not come up in conversation until mid-campaign then they were clearly not an important facet of the campaign, and none of the players decided to press the issue by making an Elf or Elf-associated character. It's Aragorn's Tax Policy all over again.
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>>87490190
>And no one is arguing that the GM doesn't have to provide any framework whatsoever
OP literally did though
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>>87490317
OP said that the framework of a world should be crafted in accordance to what they believe to be "fun" and "memorable" for the group. Anything that does not serve a purpose in the campaign (whether tone or scenario) should be excised and ignored.
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>>87490209
this
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>>87485819
>>87485103
I think both of these are true worldbuilding is fun to do on your own and imagine but it can also get in the way of actually playing a game. I've personably had a few times where I either don't use anything I spent so long worldbuilding or the players just aren't that into it and aren't as attached to it as I am. overall its decent to have a realized world with factions and cultures and junk but you should try consider how players will actually interact with it.
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>>87485121
It's not a binary situation.
For example, I have had GMs and been That GM who writes novels about his fucking setting and gets upset whenever anyone diverges from it.
I have since learned to chill.
However I have also had GMs who have said "this is a religious nation" so I ask if I can play a paladin from there.
He says sure.
I ask what the nation is like.
"Religious built around a king who is also high priest"
Cool. What's the religion?
"Multiple gods."
Okay, most of the setting has had multiple gods, what's different here? What gods do they worship? Anything?
"Oh, you can figure that out and I'll go with it."
At which point I lost all interest in even working with the setting because at that point why have it?

A good GM gives enough for players to work off of but lets the players evolve it.
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>>87490064
This

>>87490230
>he's throwing a tantrum over the idea that GMs don't craft every aspect of the world before the campaign begins
If you aren't willing to put in the effort to make an established, consistent setting then you don't deserve to GM.
>a GM's primary interest should be in providing a fun and immersive experience for the players through scenarios and roleplay
Which you cannot do without a consistent world. Immersion is immediately broken as soon as you have to hesitate to answer a question or you declare something that contradicts what you previously said about something because rather than establishing a baseline for your world, you make shit up as you go along.
>If Elves did not come up in conversation until mid-campaign then they were clearly not an important facet of the campaign
But that doesn't mean they aren't important to the world the campaign is taking place in, and it doesn't mean you should ignore them completely until oh shit, someone asked about them and you have NOTHING prepared because you're a lazy cuntbag who shouldn't be GMing.
>none of the players decided to press the issue by making an Elf or Elf-associated character
because they didn't have the option. Players will pick whatever they find the most interesting, and if you don't have any lore at all for any player options and you don't provide players with your elevator sales pitch of the race, they won't care about or choose that option.
>It's Aragorn's Tax Policy all over again.
piss off, I'm not saying you need to know every minute detail of every single square inch of a world, but you should have broad strokes ideas of important figures in societies, a sales pitch for each of the established races in the setting (which should be decided on before the game starts so the players can actually have a choice and make characters that fit the world instead of being a hodgepodge of unfitting retards isekai'd into the world with no grounding in it), and common knowledge in-setting
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>>87491489
Peak Playoid behavior.
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>>87491489
>instead of being a hodgepodge of unfitting retards isekai'd into the world with no grounding in it
Hard agree, I have no idea how people here can think otherwise
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>>87491407
>Cool. What's the religion?
>"Multiple gods."
>Okay, most of the setting has had multiple gods, what's different here? What gods do they worship? Anything?
>"Oh, you can figure that out and I'll go with it."
>At which point I lost all interest in even working with the setting because at that point why have it?
>A good GM gives enough for players to work off of but lets the players evolve it.
Exactly!!!
Like, if you as the DM don't give a shit I'm not writing it for you, the hell?
But if you do give a shit and can at least tell me SOMETHING I'll be glad to extrapolate my own little thing if I want to, sure
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>>87491546
I think the people here assume the GM has offered a premise for the campaign they're running for their friends, and a hook by which their characters will get involved. That's what the *tone* OP mentioned is about; is this a swords and sandals campaign? A swashbuckling campaign? What kind of environment does this campaign take place in, are we expected to fight a lot of undead, or humans?
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>>87489800
>if you don't let players do whatever they want and drop everything to do whatever their zoomer ADHD tells them to do at a moment's notice then you might as well just run a module!
No. Fuck you. This is literal child behavior. You knew what the game was going to be, the GM prepped for that game, and you agreed to play in that game. You don't get to suddenly change your mind and go off galavanting to the other side of the world because "muh freedom!"
Play in the space you are given.
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>>87485103
The problem with this board is that it's obviously filled with people who spend more time theorycrafting than playing.
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>>87485316
Correct opinion.
The key to worldbuilding as a GM is making a campaign that the players would enjoy, and then building your world in a way that facilitates it.
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>>87491743
>>87485316
>>87485360
>>87489952
OP here. Your wisdom has been given, but will I learn it? I hope so. The only thing I ever strive to do as a GM is to give my players, my friends, a fun night of roleplay and dice rolling. Evocative descriptions and memorable characters are certainly part of that. Thank you for your advice.
>>
I don't mind the threads, except when that one dipshit who only asks vague questions with shit generic fantasy pics is involved.

Ideas benefit improvisation, for players too. The threads are one of many sources for me. Where I might otherwise default to a rote or unsatisfying answer, I have more. Not as high concept and involved as plant orcs, but more than "green, big, violent, about what you'd expect".

I don't think a GM should have detailed settings or maps. A lot of work is wasted, and even the most invested players won't make characters that fit. It's better to collaborate, and have plenty of fun ideas to add to the mix.
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>>87492097
For my most recent campaign I started with a session zero where we just put on the table what everyone wanted to play, and what everyone wanted the setting to be like, the tone, things they don't want to see, etc. Been one of my smoothest campaigns yet. While my last campaign was my autismal pet campaign where I made my own pantheon, semi-detailed setting, and even made an alternative weapons and armor list to fit more in line with the cultural inspiration (which was also the first thing I dropped). And that one I remember as nothing more than an exercise in constant frustration.
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>any given piece of content should take less time to prep than it takes to play
this one's hard. you learn what prep looks like by reading examples, but the examples (published adventures) are made to be picked up and run by someone other than the author. nowadays i don't even use complete sentences in my prep, anything i'll remember at the table i don't even write down. but that's hard, it doesn't feel right, you worry a lot, and the second hard lesson comes into play
>most players are just happy to be playing
players don't give a fuck. i guess you occasionally get pricks or cinemasins type pedants or /tg/ retards but with my usual group there's plenty of margin for error because they just want to play and if it's not perfect who cares
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>>87492186
>And that one I remember as nothing more than an exercise in constant frustration
Jesus Christ, you too? The same thing happened with my "serious" campaign. It turns out once you start fretting over every tiny thing about your setting, it becomes a chore and not an event. You can't build anything fun, you can't do anything wild; because it's your baby, and you aren't going to start waving around your baby.
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>>87492922
On the one hand, I understand. On the other, you kinda need to get over yourself. Spike that baby, see what happens.
Kill your darlings.
>>
Setting spammers, worldbuilders, and storyshitters are the worst people on this board and they fulfill no purpose other than replying to bumpfag. Their "work" is nothing but idle daydreaming, they never make anything gameable, the most they can ever scrabble together is a wojak chart and a non-gameable magic system. They can't write fiction and if they did it wouldn't belong here anyway. They can't draw and if they could it doesn't belong here by default. They don't paint minis. They aren't even secondaries, because even passively consuming media is a distraction from maldaptive daydreaming and shitposting. This wouldn't be a problem on its own, but the bastards are so numerous and 4chan-addicted that they drown out any directly Traditional Games related discussions. These mouthbreathers are killing this board with endless bait and stupid questions but the almighty Posts Per Hour doesn't suffer for it so nobody cares.
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>>87492934
>Kill your darlings.
That's eventually what I did, but not after I ended that campaign due to the stress of it all. It was a bitter lesson for me to learn, but you're going to learn it sooner or later. People in this thread who insist that you need to be some worldbuilding god who prepares novellas for their players frustrate me, because not only is that peak Playoid behavior, it's an utterly toxic suggestion that leaves DMs learning lessons like I did in the worst possible way; thinking they were meant to do it the way they did it, and they failed because they're not good enough.
Oh hey, >>87492965 wrote what I was getting at in a more poignant way, nice. You can instantly tell the people who insist DMs need to write these big introductions to their setting are doing so simply so they can happily devour the imagination of the DM... And then say, "Nah, I don't want to play."
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>>87492965
>they drown out any directly Traditional Games related discussions
So discussion that completely ignores any lore or story, hmmm
Like uhhh.... what kind of dice you use?
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>>87493010
Read the op again carefully.
Try telling people about shit that happened in your game instead of just the setting you 'want to run,' or 'totally did one time.'
That's all that's being asked.
I talk about setting and worldbuilding here relatively often and people like >>87492965 have basically never thrown shit at me, and it's for that very simple reason; I relate it to how it effected the players and the game experience that I actually had. Or at the very least, how it plays into my plans for the game I'm running.
And no, Lore isn't games. Full stop.
As well, if all you can think about to discuss outside of worldbuilding that has to do with games is 'what shape dice you use,' then you clearly don't play anyway, or have so little interest in the mechanics of these games that you may as well fuckin' not.
>>
Making a good scenario or adventure is far more important than making a good world.
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>>87492922
Yeah, pretty much. I got really hemmed in by my own expectations of the setting, and it felt like I had to wrangle my players through a maze I had set up for myself. I'm still somewhat fond of the setting itself, but I realize that's just purely a me thing. The experience of the players isn't determined by my lists or hidden lore, it's by what they do in the setting. Me pulling out of my ass that the Ratfolk librarian has a thing for the reserved Captain is much more memorable than my reasoning for why the magic college isn't allowed within city limits.

Frankly, I'm making a session zero before I even start thinking about a setting the standard for any future campaign I might run.
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>>87493066
>I talk about setting and worldbuilding here relatively often and people like >>87492965 have basically never thrown shit at me, and it's for that very simple reason; I relate it to how it effected the players and the game experience that I actually had. Or at the very least, how it plays into my plans for the game I'm running.
So... change /tg/ to /blog/ ? shit 4chan says but 'shit 4chan saw in a game one time' ?
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>>87493173
So you don't want to talk about game mechanics
You don't want to talk about your games
You are literally just here to talk about lore then, and don't even see anything about games as a valid topic?
Then yeah, call /tg/ whatever the fuck you want.
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>>87493190
>So you don't want to talk about game mechanics
Like, /tg/ being a FAQ for systems? The mechanics are on the page
Or do you mean sharing builds? /powergamerg/
>and don't even see anything about games as a valid topic?
You're the one bitching
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Glad to see I'm not alone in my experiences as a GM. Worldbuilding is just masturbation. Suggestions and dialogue with players far surpass any solo exercise, so long as you keep a leash on them and don't let THEM get carried away with player masturbation (long backstory).

Recent example. Tell Player A "I want to run a game. BBEG and Forces of Good did a double KO 600 years ago, world is a green and verdant fantasy post-apocalypse getting back on its feet. Big focus on exploring ruins and the wilderness. You got a character concept you wanna do?".
He wants to be a "scrap knight" who salvages from ruins, get a clownsuit of magic relic armors and weapons and RP it somewhere between a Blood Raven and a Techpriest. He asks if there's anything his character should be wary of in ruins, decide on a whim that there is Stalker-esque magic Anomalies everywhere. I ask him if he wants to be local, or someone from far away lands. He says he's a wanderer, I ask if he comes from a desert land, he says he likes it and ties in his techpriest vibe with an ancient relic in his village that he maintained (it could turn sand into potable water),

And so on for every other player and their character. Wow, and players are now invested in a setting they helped build, and I know exactly what content to prepare more of. It's easier, and more satisfying for everyone. Just do it.
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>>87493262
Ahhh, you got me.
This has been good bait. One of these days I'll learn my fuckin' lesson. Kudos
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>>87485103
I get what you're saying.
But plenty of people enjoy stroking their dick. And /tg/ is a good old fashioned circle jerk.

Is it bad GMing? Yeah sure.
But that doesn't mean people don't enjoy doing it.
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>>87485103
You're going to have to use a different example.
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>>87493267
>And so on for every other player and their character. Wow, and players are now invested in a setting they helped build, and I know exactly what content to prepare more of. It's easier, and more satisfying for everyone. Just do it.
Anon... Thank you. You described my GMing Style to a T, I'm not alone. My experience with campaign-building was similar, but it was designed around a canon setting (Rokugan) because I was playing Legend of the Five Rings. I asked each player what their Ninjo (Obligation to the Clan) and Giri (Personal Desires) were, and built my entire campaign around presenting scenarios that would challenge those two often divergent goals, and at one point I spent 2-3 months just running single-player sessions basically every day, working out their personal quests. It never felt like work, everyone was having a blast, and by the end of it they still to this day describe it as one of the greatest campaigns they've ever played.

I smile when I think about that campaign. It made me feel like I did something good. Something that mattered. All because I chose to make the game start with a simple premise (you're going to a tournament to represent your Clan,) and then asked each player what their character wanted out of life, and what their Clan expected out of them.
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>>87485103
This is the correct way to worldbuild, with a focus on the gameplay.

In my Adeptus Evangelion game, I've crafted a Gordian knot of interweaving NPC relationships and backstories, stretching back to before the PCs were born. And the entire point is so the teenage PCs can investigate, interrogate, manipulate, and persuade the adults in a way that provides greater agency to the players.

In my Godbound campaign, I've written up a sprawling setting with as many neat "points of player interest" as I could fit in. A living world, shaped with love... all so that the demigod PCs can RIP IT APART, set it on fire, and build something else from the ashes. I am SO DAMN EXCITED to see how they wreck the world!
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>>87488313
>You know there's an entire category of player who actually like learning world lore
Unless the entire group consists of players like that, it's gonna be fucking misery to sit there and (listen to) a loredump.
As a published fucking author, you're supposed to weave exposition into the narrative, not fucking bludgeon people over the head with it.
Not to mention, TTRPGs are not a format for long explanations of how king fuckface IV slew emperor whatshisass von kartoffeln and expanded Navlona by five miles eastward or whatever.
Ideally you create encounters that contain interesting lore that the players can engage with, and build on further, rather than just forcing them to sit there and listen to your shitty made up history book that doubles as a sleep aid.
There's nothing wrong with the very occasional session that's more expository, but after hearing zoomzooms IRL say that they "loved the last loredump episode of Critical Role" (and watching said episode to see wtf they were talking about) I've come to despise the concept more than I ever did before, having seen just how incredibly fucking rancid it can get.
Also, if you predefine your world's lore down to what Farmer Joe had for breakfast that day, you're taking away design space for player ideas and creativity, and monopolizing the creative process in a collaborative storytelling game.
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>>87488401
lrn2improv scrublord
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>>87493088
/thread
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>>87485103
>Players worldbuild. Players are the ones who obsess over the bullshit minutia of the setting. Players are the ones who live in the world, that's why they care about these things.
Man, I wish my players were actually like this.
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>>87485316
OK but then how can you ever know if a mechanic or rule or anything is a good idea? How do you know what to do? You have nothing to go by.
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>>87485431
I have a skull-shaped archipelago in my world, a kingdom terraformed by a dragon queen to have an impassable mountain wall (think Bhutan), a mad prophet ruling in a crystallized desert. Players love the relatably unrelatable.
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>>87492965
any standout examples?
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But how does acne treatment work in your setting? This is a clearly important thread that won’t die after 11 posts of naval gazing. It’s on topic so you can’t complain, and bumpfag isn’t real you schizo. Now tell me what dwarves look like in your setting and have no further conversation beyond this surface question.



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