Narrative Control – Episode 55 – Player Trust

Hi and welcome back to Narrative Control.  This episode starts with a rather raspy intro as I lost my voice while doing the editing, but rest assured the main portion of the show was done with all voices intact. This episode Ryan Macklin came on to talk with me about a tweet he made regarding player trust.  It resonated with me and I knew it would make for a good show.

Hosts: Sean Nittner and Ryan Macklin

Length: 33:27

Show Notes

[00:27] Intro to the show. Sean’s raspy voice
[00:52] On with Ryan Macklin.  In front of the mic rather than in front of the coffee.  Responding to this tweet.
[01:39] Player trust. What are we talking about? How did it resonate with Sean?
[02:02] Reactions one: Players jealously guarding their parts of the story.
[03:13] Reaction two: Players ignoring other player’s plot threads.
[03:58] Ryan’s confessional – Way back when he was a wee babe.
[04:32] What it feels like when people won’t validate your offers.  Why players turn away from each other?
[05:19] When story elements have mechanical effects, they become more precious.
[06:14] What to do when players are playing their own private game.
[07:35] Causes for players not to trust each other.
[08:36] “Why’d you eat my girlfriend?”
[09:12] Ryan’s game. A Fate Heist game.
[09:59] Game started with the characters distrusting each other.
[10:46] Players not familiar with collaborating on the narrative.  Oh… and I narrowly dodged being knifed by Ryan.
[11:49] Players all trying to do their own thing, intentionally separate from each other.
[12:20] Trusting the GM not to pull a “gotcha”. Player-GM baggage.
[13:49] Assertions of players being rejected/ignored.
[16:32] Secrets – notes passed.  Making a public secret to encourage players to make their characters vulnerable.
[17:42] How do we address this distrust?  Player-GM baggage, Player-Player baggage. “in character” distrust.
[18:14] It starts with the GM, who has to start forging connections between PCs by asking them questions.
[20:57] Game rewarding players for taking risks or doing things together (example: compels).
[23:00] Players building trust by backing another player’s offer.
[24:51] In a game of hyper competent sexy cool people, make the first thing you do make them look like hyper competent sexy cool people.
[25:18] Two set of advice here. How to encourage it as a GM and as a player.
[26:10] What do we do if we realize in the middle of the game that this has happened?  GM pulling back and creating interactions between the PCs.
[28:15] As a player, talk to the table about what’s going on in the game.  This is risky:  Schrödinger’s cooperative game.
[29:28] Advice to players who don’t want to share.  You’re characters will be more awesome if they have changed and gone through trials.
[30:31] John McClain is the dude who gets the crap kicked out of him and is awesome because of that.
[31:19] Or just bring a taser…
[32:26] Closing, thanks to Macklin and a few bits to date the show.

Direct Download: NC_Episode_055.mp3

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