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Pokerole: Need Help
#1
Heya people! Spiritmon here! Well, I going to the point: I need some tips. For quite a while (long while actually) I been playing Pokerole. In my country there isn't places to play Pokerole, so I introduce the system for some friends of mine, and well...after a while my friends vote for a new type of table to play and things happen, and they choose me to be GM on a Pokerole campaigh. They brazilean friends of mine and they never see the system before, so they are excited to try it.

To be honest, I was quite surprised and...shocked. Since...well, I never GM in my life and I actually quite nervous. We gonna the table on Discord via voice channel, and for that reason I kinda need some tips of other GM around here in the Forums (Like Dragonstrike, No One, Iron and Lord Windos).

Since one the things I should ask is: Should I ban the number of limitations Actions? In text campaighs such as Skull Ruins or Primal Shadows, they are fine, but on a campaigh where gonna be Voice channels and all that, might have problems.

I also need any other tips anyone might share with me. This is my first time as a GM and I dont want to screw things up....
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#2
Oh, GMing via a discord voice channel?  Nice!  I personally feel like pokerole works better in live sessions than they do in a play-by-post, mostly because PbP works better for systems that are closer to being fully turn based.

As far as multiactions go in Pokerole, the system is actually designed with reactive play in mind, which is far easier in a live game.  Instead of giving a whole round's worth of orders (and conditionals) at once, you can just give orders one move at a time, similar to how DnD and similar work.  If the target wishes to evade/clash the attack, they can then just state they're doing that on the spot.  Much easier than writing complex conditional orders to account for every possibility!

I have a whole host of general tips I could give, but I'd say my biggest (besides have fun) is to make sure you have a good idea of the direction you want your story to take and stick with it.  A little planning goes a long way.  You don't have to sweat all the details right away, though.  A general outline of the story is usually sufficient, and you can plan in greater detail as the players explore the world you create.  If they aren't visiting a place, they probably don't yet need to know that someone's mother's brother's uncle is currently experiencing a financial crisis, but maybe they hear there's been a drought that's whithering all the crops in that area from someone on the road.
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#3
Yeah it will actually be easier to GM in a live play than anything we've done on the forums.

With new players you'll probably want to start simple. You can see how big an 8 gym game grew here on the forums. You don't even have to worry about multiple actions for a few levels.

And when designing towns and stuff, remember that it's all about the Pokemon!
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#4
(12-03-2020, 03:26 PM)Spiritmon Wrote: Heya people! Spiritmon here! Well, I going to the point: I need some tips. For quite a while (long while actually) I been playing Pokerole. In my country there isn't places to play Pokerole, so I introduce the system for some friends of mine, and well...after a while my friends vote for a new type of table to play and things happen, and they choose me to be GM on a Pokerole campaigh. They brazilean friends of mine and they never see the system before, so they are excited to try it.

To be honest, I was quite surprised and...shocked. Since...well, I never GM in my life and I actually quite nervous. We gonna the table on Discord via voice channel, and for that reason I kinda need some tips of other GM around here in the Forums (Like Dragonstrike, No One, Iron and Lord Windos).

Since one the things I should ask is: Should I ban the number of limitations Actions? In text campaighs such as Skull Ruins or Primal Shadows, they are fine, but on a campaigh where gonna be Voice channels and all that, might have problems.

I also need any other tips anyone might share with me. This is my first time as a GM and I dont want to screw things up....

So this is your first time up to bat as a DM, and you got nominated for the role at that? Pffffhahahaha! Oh dear mate, I'm not sure whether your blessed or cursed with fortune, but I can guarantee you that your game will be one you'll remember, for better or worse!

Jokes aside, I'm proud and excited your finally dipping your feet into DMing Pokerole! Now all that is left is for Phantom to run a game themselves and the whole original group (sans Larry and the other guy who left) will have graduated into the DMing experience! 

Dragonstrike and Iron offered solid advice already, so I'll echo a little tip I learnt from them too: start keeping notes of EVERYTHING you plan, your players plan, and any ideas that happen to catch your fancy. That also includes WHAT they accomplished in a given session, and how that impacted the overall world and setting you made and all your plans that lay within it. Organize it all so you can find what you and everything else like it easily when you need/want to, and from there use your ideas to start laying the foundations, limitations, continuations, and endgoals of your campaign. Without a solid base and record book of your campaign it will either fall apart or spiral out of control like it did with mine, though if you want a wilder, more loose and exciting experience you can deliberately choose not to overly plan and go on improve and quick thinking like I did!

The above all goes especially for Discord and IRL Sessions, as you can't easily reference past information in those settings like you can with forum posts games, so remember: Take. ALL. THE. NOTES!

I also recommend having or borrowing templates for character creation, and creating/finding a few basic maps/pictures for areas, dungeons, or specific landmarks/buildings to flesh out your ideas and give you a strong reference and jumping off point for future design of it and others. If you and your players can picture it, you can understanding your ideas a heck of a lot better and make better decisions and plans! 

Another kernal of wisdom I have is try to get your players to do as much of the RPing and story building within a given scene as possible, while you focus on the overall plot, Big Moments, and what you want to flesh out. For example, you set up a comedy scene, and you let your players have at it while you offer just enough input to keep it going until they're done with it and/or it has accomplished what you desired. If the players are invested in their characters and the world you present to them you don't necessarily have to put in a heck of a lot of extra work getting into the nitty gritty of things and have to try hard to grab and keep their attention! Of course you could get murderhobos and players not terribly interested in doing the RPing themselves, in which case....well, you tailor your approach accordingly as you see fit. Or just kick them; if they're not making the game more enjoyable or actively dragging it down, you have the right to enforce your standards onto them and tell them to either shape up or get out.

Speaking of characters, I recommend you get your players to write up at least a Three Paragraph Backstory for theirs, which includes any Starting Pokemon they got and their relationship with them, any quirks, skills, or experience they have to their name, Interesting Events that helped define them, and any overarching motivations and goals they have within the framework you've presented your players (Did you give them an Adventure Story, A Heroic Quest, Free Roaming Exploration, etc. to work with ?). These are easy ways to include content and generate ideas for your campaign that will DEFINATELY catch their attention and draw them in, and it also ends up giving you less work trying to make stuff up that might appeal to them. Remember, DND is a two-way street when it comes to content creation and progression, so make them help you out in building your game world and fun!

Keep an eye out for your player's moods too as you run the actual game. If they're not too thrilled with what's happening for one reason or another, talk to them about it and see if their issues can be reasonably addressed or not. By 'reasonably' I mean 'How much do I want to change my game for them and the others?' and 'Is what they're asking/complaining about really a concern?' If yes, then course correct or make some changes; if not, then try to get them to come around to your side of things or recommend they try different approaches. If you can't please them at all regardless, though, then ask them if they would like to quit your game, or make up a new character if their lay their problem. Nothing is worse than playing a game with someone that clearly isn't having fun, or forcing them/yourself to endure each other's attitudes towards the resulting tension.

And that's all the advice I have for you right now! Sorry it took so long to get it to you, but life's been busy for me and keeping me away from the forums! Hope this helps, mate!
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