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"GMing: Player Preference vs Balance" Topic

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09 Jan 2015 1:01 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian09 Oct 2011 9:27 a.m. PST

Let's say you're a GM at a convention event. You have four players, only two of which are experienced with the rules. The players must form two teams. The two experienced players request to play on the same team, which would pit them against an inexperienced player and a novice.

What do you do?

* respect the players' preference
* put the experienced players on opposite teams
* no opinion

Mako1109 Oct 2011 9:36 a.m. PST

If they want to play together that would be fine by me, but fairness would dictate providing technical advice on the rules to the newbies.

If the experienced players don't like that, then they get separated.

rusty musket09 Oct 2011 10:00 a.m. PST

I would discuss the situation and try to reason to a good balance either of players or assisting the less experienced player.

Cherno09 Oct 2011 10:06 a.m. PST

Depends on how competitive the experienced players are. If they're not, I'd tell them to cut the newbiews some slack and play in a fun, but not necessarily winning way. If they are, then you would probably have to use a handicap bonus, giving the experienced players less points or similar.

JSchutt09 Oct 2011 11:14 a.m. PST

Asuming they insisted I would fake a cellphone call that my long dead grandmother was dying again, cancel my game and go hang out in the dealer area leaving them wondering when I was actually going to the hospital. She would immediately experience a miraculous recovery whereupon I would be too distraught to consider resuming my game….telling them they were insensitive jerks without the slightest notion of what convention gaming was all about.

Pictors Studio09 Oct 2011 11:23 a.m. PST

I don't think it is unreasonable for them to play on the same side. I'd ask them if they wouldn't mind spliting up but if they wanted to play together that would be fine. It is about having fun, if they are going to have fun playing together then they should do that.

You never know, they might be buddies who don't see each other except at the con or something.

I would provide technical rules advice to the new players here and there, of course.

Don Manser09 Oct 2011 11:25 a.m. PST

I would try to split them up but if they insisted on playing together I would be ok with it. I would however coach the two new players throughout the game so they could also have an enjoyable experience.


Angel Barracks09 Oct 2011 12:07 p.m. PST

What Mako11 and Don Manser said.

vojvoda09 Oct 2011 1:22 p.m. PST

Let them play together, but give tactical and rules advice to the other two.

James Mattes

The G Dog Fezian09 Oct 2011 1:46 p.m. PST

They can play together…as the attacker…and they just lost a chunk of their initial troops to battlefield confusion.

and I'll be walking the defenders through each turn and pointing out opportune actions they should take.

Dan 05509 Oct 2011 9:48 p.m. PST

I'd be cautious about splitting them up. If they felt they were more a lot more experienced than the other player they were set up with, they may try to take over the game for their side, leaving the other player wondering why they were even playing.

cavcrazy10 Oct 2011 5:41 a.m. PST

I'd let them play together, The dice don't care how experienced you are…..We have all seen the mighty fall….and when that happens its just plain funny!

Willtij10 Oct 2011 7:44 a.m. PST

What Mako 11 and Don Manser said, and throw in cavcrazy also, for kicks.

JoeGKushner10 Oct 2011 9:38 a.m. PST

Opposite teams.

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