donsr
 member, 1955 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 14:32
Re: RTJ request RANT
I was taken to task...long ago... b3ecause i wanted 18  and over?.. why?..because i wanted  my games to last....even the most active players  get bored...have lifer changes..ect ect... but  I want folks who have   a commitment to play, and not  quit  after  a few  weeks 'because they are Bored"...or found a 'New Game".

 I stick by my guns, because  its my game..I'm runnign it.. Football teams  cut  guys who don't  fit thier team.. I will refuse  RTJs if they become adversarial, because i don't  want my Core players to have to  deal with crap like that.

 Most players who are accpted  ..end up become  part of that core.

so?..RTJ?   GM  makes it..no one is forcing anyone   to sign up for something they  don't want..and  there isn't  any GM  or Player getting paid  to play here!
PCO.Spvnky
 member, 439 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 15:44
Re: RTJ request RANT
My favorite is when they request a massive amount for their RTJ and then ghost or drop the game three weeks later..... "Thanks for wasting my time."

Or better yet tell you that you were denied and then message two weeks later that people dropped and would you like to join..... "Yeah, I wasn't good enough, remember?"

This message was last edited by the user at 15:46, Thu 11 June.

donsr
 member, 1959 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 16:04
Re: RTJ request RANT
::chuckles:; Spvnky.. had a Guy  joined..sorta 'over qualified'..Military guy (we were told)  threw out jargon left and right.

 complain  alot   about some of the things  i did..but  i pointed out , this wasn't a military  SIM, and....things  are run the way the Main NPC runs it.

 after   about a year of telling me how great the game is ( despite whining)  he starts  telling me in  PMs  that 'you can't  do this..You'll be sorry ect ect ect"

 in the end? he made a IC post trying to kill the Admiral.. I   did allow  the  attempt and make the rolls..he smiied..SEC did not..and off he went to   the Penal colony.In between his post and mine..he quit...

fast forward 5 years later? he was in one of the games  i spoke about, when it was  clear that the Game was dead..he sent me a Rmail askign to join my game... i simpole answered...you were here ocne before..remember? "..never heard from him again!

so? it works both ways.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 274 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 16:16
Re: RTJ request RANT
PCO.Spvnky:
Or better yet tell you that you were denied and then message two weeks later that people dropped and would you like to join..... "Yeah, I wasn't good enough, remember?"

In fairness to GMs that do this, in some cases there are a limited number of spots available in the initial game, and not making the cut doesn't remotely mean you "weren't good enough" as much as maybe you were just too late, or pitched a character that wasn't their most ideal. I know a lot of games that try to keep a good gender/class/whatever balance and even well-pitched characters might not make it past the first cut if they're too much like other characters.
PCO.Spvnky
 member, 440 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 17:07
Re: RTJ request RANT
I don't think GM's pay attention to how long it takes to do a good back story submission. I always cut mine short now because after spending 3+ hours multiple times now I just think "well this will be a big waste of time if I don't get in."  Then of course I'm dissatisfied with my submission and half the time I don't even put it in.  In the end play by post has a lot of issues but it does allow for more rp than I would normally get, just wish it was more consistent.  I've been guilty of writer's block too though, lol.
Shannara
 moderator, 3856 posts
 When in doubt,
 frolic!
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 18:05
Re: RTJ request RANT
If any GM asks for information you are not 100% comfortable in giving, wish them luck with their game (or not) and move on to another game.

GMs, much like shady lawyers acting on behalf of deceased rulers from assorted miscellaneous countries that want you to help them smuggle millions of dollars out of the country but first need you to wire them a measly $5000 as a show of good faith, can ask for anything.  (Not saying that any GM is necessarily asking for the same sort of nefarious purposes as said shady supposed lawyers, just that we are in control of what we feel is reasonable for an uncertain (or even a certain) return.)

There's not a game out there, even if run by someone claiming to be a prize-winning author - that I'd want to play under bad enough to give them any personal information that I wouldn't otherwise be comfortable in posting myself in the OOC section.

RTJs help to weed out games that don't fit our styles to play in as much as they help GMs weed out players who won't be a good fit for the game they want to run.
facemaker329
 member, 7212 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 19:51
Re: RTJ request RANT
In reply to PCO.Spvnky (msg # 17):

Considering how many GMs are also players, I'm actually pretty sure they know exactly how much effort goes into creating a character.

I'm not a GM by choice (the one game I'm running, I inherited from a GM who had some medical issues...and even then, I was,, by my own choice, not the first choice for a co-GM.  But when the first choice went inactive two weeks into his tenure, and completely unresponsive to PMs or emails, the game almost died.  The GM made it back, swapped things around so I was co-GM--made me promise to not let the game die--and then vanished again, years ago.)  That said, the characters that I've developed some kind of comprehensive background for, needed or not, are the characters I've come to enjoy the most.  And I can see why GMs ask for them...they're increasing your 'buy-in' to the game.  If you've invested more in that character, you're less likely to walk away and abandon it.  They may or may not find elements of the background that make good story hooks...but for most GMs I know, they're not fishing for story hooks.  They want dedicated players, and they want to have enough information about potential characters to have some idea if the characters fit--not only the game, but with each other.

If you don't like fleshing out characters for RTJs, then don't RTJ games that ask for a thorough background, just as you shouldn't RTJ to a GM that asks for any personal information you're reluctant to share.  If the GM's RTJ clashes with your sensibilities, there's a really good chance his style of play will do the same.  I consider the RTJ process a filter...not only for the GM to filter players, but for prospective players to filter their GMs.
OceanLake
 supporter, 1117 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 20:14
Re: RTJ request RANT
Should GMs ask for extensive background in a submission, I'd appreciate them providing good game information, something to hang my hat on. Also,I'd appreciate a point-buy system or default set. It's annoying to write a background only to find the stats don't fit.
RosstoFalstaff
 member, 188 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 20:24
Re: RTJ request RANT
Re: Oceanlake. Yep, it's a two way street, and part of why I try to ask for less from applicants and more of a dialogue.

Honestly as a DM I have to say that I get way more RTJs than I have room for and I limit them thusly:

-Did they follow basic instructions on the RTJ? Acknowledging that they didn't put something in counts even! Did they read my small requirements and try to follow them in spirit? I'm not talking burying a passcode in the setting info or the game rules (though no offense to people who do that, so long as it's not something completely apple) I mean if I'm running a D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder game and I ask for no sheets in the RTJ, just a short writeup, a sheet being submitted doesn't predispose me to you.

-Are they someone I know to be a problem player from previous experience? People do this, and an otherwise neutral player can swiftly change in my opinion if a request to alter something (they should take ranks in Knowledges if they want to use their own game knowledge for instance) or a small inconvenience causes them to react extremely negatively.

-Are they writing A LOT of backstory? I'm never going to ask people for a full on backstory if I can help it, your ability to badly write fiction on the spot is not a skill I'm looking for. Very few people write well in play by post and the ability to write up something with no input from me or other people isn't reflective of how you're write in play. If there are things I need to know that weren't in the RTJ I'll ask them

-Is their application not as interesting as someone else and I'm running low on spots? I try to fill slots all at once at the end of the recruitment run, so as not to prejudice people applying later with despair, and to not reward speediness which usually indicates overeager energy, already existing characters that have been knocked back before (nothing wrong with that, but if I get ten paragraphs inside an hour of putting the ad up . . . they didn't read anything) and might dissuade people from carefully crafting their apps. But at the end if I have five slots, four shoe-ins and five maybes, four people are gonna be disappointed.




As to the OP, yes that sucks and I tend to avoid DMs who want a lot of unnecessary backstory. But as to the no creative criticism, if I may offer the other side:

When I'm rejecting apps, I have at least three as many I'm knocking back as letting in. Accepting people is also the time to open character sheets and get people gelling in the OOC. I honestly don't always have time to tell every single people who didn't make it in why their app didn't get in (but see above for a few reasons). You may notice a lot of the above reasons would feel like personal attacks. So imagine having to take the time to write up 12 paragraphs unique to twelve people you're rejecting. Try to find twelve unique ways to say "our goals don't align" or "it seems you want to write a book with the other players as supporting cast" or "you've been abrasive this whole time and I made the decision from the beginning to not take you but was busy putting my time into the ones I wanted in my game"

It's also important to remember that people whose job it is to reject people don't have to do exit interviews where they life coach and workshop the problems with the application. It's nice to get constructive feedback (and it's a good sign) but shouldn't really be expected from someone who's doing it for free in their free time
evileeyore
 member, 343 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 20:59
Re: RTJ request RANT
SunRuanEr:
I was searching through some games the other day, and encountered a game where the GM had added every player to the cast list by their RPoL User Name.

That's exactly what I do.  Granted, The Player will know beforehand, so if they want to back out, their call.


Personally I hate the "double" anonymity.  If I find someone that has a playstyle I'm completely incompatible with, I want to know to avoid joining that game if their behavior is that bad.  Also, if that person is playing multiple characters (and it's not a "I need to leave this game" level of personality clash), I'd like to know which other PCs to avoid interacting with.

But that's me.  I don't understand the desire for double anonymity so many seem to be enamored with on this site.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 275 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 21:25
Re: RTJ request RANT
evileeyore:
I don't understand the desire for double anonymity so many seem to be enamored with on this site.

Honestly, I think there are a few reasons for this.

One, it preserves the integrity of the character in a game. The character is the most important thing, not the player behind it (I realize some people may think differently, but that's my opinion). For some people, it's quite difficult to have realistic (in-game realism, here) interactions with Big Burly Bob the Bruiser if they know that Bob is actually played by Little Mary Sunshine. (Or vice versa).

Two, it prevents players from being abused/ignored/not given a second chance. Sometimes, people play poorly in one setting and are entirely different in another. Sometimes, people go through rough patches, or simply learn how to be better players over the years, but knowing that Character X is being played by Player A that you had that big blowout fight with three years ago might keep you from giving Character X a chance. (As you stated yourself, by noting that you'd like to know 'who to avoid' in a game, despite the fact that their behaviour might not be the same in that game.)

This is why you can see GM names, and GMs can see applicants' names - so that you/they CAN avoid people that you/they know are "problem children" or don't play in a style that you/they like, because the GM-Player relationship is an OOC one. It's important for GMs and their Players to be able to get along, OOCly. There's no reason/need to know that as a player, about other players. Characters are characters, and their interaction with other characters can be solely IC, which makes it irrelevant who is behind them.

Obviously, your mileage varies, but I've encountered a lot of players over the years that play very different in one game than they do in another, or post very differently on the forums than they do IC in a game, or even play one character differently than another within games. It's important to keep things distinct, for the betterment of the games as a whole, to me.

This message was last edited by the user at 21:26, Thu 11 June.

evileeyore
 member, 344 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 22:14
Re: RTJ request RANT
SunRuanEr:
Characters are characters, and their interaction with other characters can be solely IC, which makes it irrelevant who is behind them.

I've never been in game here that didn't have an OOC thread.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 276 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 22:20
Re: RTJ request RANT
Note I said "can", Eeyore.

If you desire to keep your interactions with the other players solely IC, you have that option. While you are correct that most games do have an OOC thread (I have seen ones that didn't), I have never encountered a game where players were forced to post in it.
dparasol
 member, 11 posts
 looking to uh have fun
 and destroy civilization
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 22:22
Re: RTJ request RANT
In reply to SunRuanEr (msg # 23):

I'm fairly certain I don't agree with that. The character matters greatly, of course, but there are various types of play styles. Two different play styles can mesh well with a GM's own style, but conflict badly with one another. This often comes down *entirely* to the players and has nothing to do with the characters.

And this is, of course, something that two players will know before the GM comes to understand it.
facemaker329
 member, 7213 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Thu 11 Jun 2020
at 22:54
Re: RTJ request RANT
I treat a rejected RTJ like I treated a failed audition.  It doesn't mean what I did wasn't 'good enough'.  It means that, for whatever reason, I wasn't the right fit.

That concept is hard for people to understand, unless they've ever been involved in casting a show.  I directed a one-act play in college that had a cast of two people...one man, one woman.  I think I had fifty people audition for it.  I could easily have cast that show thirty different ways and been altogether satisfied with the results.  But there were two women who really stood out from the pack...they had auditions that were not just solid, but they brought something unique to the character, where the rest all pretty much felt the same...competent, but unimaginative.  And there was one man who REALLY stood out from the rest...seemed like the obvious choice to me, even though he was, physically, probably the furthest from the type indicated in the script.  Watching his audition made me re-evaluate everything I had already decided about the script.  So I knew I wanted him...and I had to figure out which of the two women would best complement him, in the context of the story being told.

There were only maybe a handful of people that auditioned about whom I thought, "that was terrible...I don't want to work with that person".  It just came down to who was the best fit...which guy had the most imaginative take on the character, and which woman would contrast that most strongly and to best effect (the show was about an early-middle-aged man going in for a draft physical and how he went from trying to convince the nurse he was a bad choice to being angry and confrontational that she, like the rest of society, didn't see him as an individual but just as yet another number to be processed and rejected or accepted with no personal interest in the result.)

I've been in casting discussions where a girl who was CLEARLY one of the best dancers was rejected because she had such an athletic build that she looked like an Olympic athlete next to the guys in the cast, where a girl who was hands-down the single best audition in the whole group was al.ost not cast because she was so much shorter than any of the men who auditioned, etc.  Sometimes, you're just not the best fit.

And I can also tell you, from my own experience on both sides of the casting process, that "you weren't the best fit" is tough to swallow.  But most of the time, it's the truth.  It's not about what you could change or how you could improve...what you did, you did perfectly well, or at least good enough that any feedback would sound equally as hollow and frustrating.  But somebody else did something just as well as you did, which the director or GM saw, and said "THAT...that is what I want."  It's something they don't need to re-shape, or it's so close that they feel they can get there with a nudge or two.

Yes, it's nice when you get feedback...but outside of an academic setting, there's usually no practical reason to do it.  They've got a show to build or a game to run, and the people involved are expecting their attention to be focused on that endeavor, not taking the time and focus to provide feedback to everyone who didn't get accepted.  They certainly don't want to spend several days responding to dissatisfied inquiries about "what wasn't good enough?  What do I need to improve?"  They're there to get a creative endeavor running.  Some of them may choose to provide feedback...but it shouldn't be expected.  They're, in our context here, running a game, they're not a writing coach.
Jarodemo
 member, 834 posts
 My hovercraft
 is full of eels
Fri 12 Jun 2020
at 07:42
Re: RTJ request RANT
In reply to SunRuanEr (msg # 16):

Agree. This is especially true for popular settings such as 5e. A GM could easily get several dozen RTJs for a game that has 4-6 PC slots. Missing out doesn’t mean you were bad, just that the GM preferred the balance of the 4-6 they chose.

Personally if I was the GM in that situation I might inform positive concepts that were rejected that they would be reconsidered should slots come open in the future, but no guarantees offered. The reality is that players can disappear at any time, but this happens most in the first few weeks of the game.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15898 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Fri 12 Jun 2020
at 07:58
Re: RTJ request RANT
I used to tell people that I liked their character but the game was, unfortunately. filled, and that I would keep them in mind should  places open up in future.  But after one too many, "Don't bother.  If I'm not good enough to get in then I don't want to play anyway." type responses I gave up on that.  :(
Zag24
 supporter, 633 posts
Fri 12 Jun 2020
at 14:14
Re: RTJ request RANT
Really?  That surprises me, because I've had several players I've had to waitlist that way, who later joined the game and became great additions.  I've never seen the reaction you describe, but I would just figured I had dodged a bullet, anyway.  If someone is so entitled that they can't understand that "game is filled now" is not an insult, I don't want them, anyway.
L0st S0ul
 member, 210 posts
Fri 12 Jun 2020
at 14:28
Re: RTJ request RANT
Thank you all for your responses.  There is a lot of great advice here on all different aspects of the RTJ process and I think you all for that.  I didn't write my original post because I was turned away recently, I did it to see how others react.

When I begin a new game and I get requests for players, I get some players that have RTJd to other games of mine and either disappeared or were a hassle in the game.  I have taken a list of those people and make sure that if I get an RTJ from them that I don't bother even opening the RTJ.

One of the more frustrating things about being a GM is accepting people into your game and then they disappear into thin air, no word, or nothing.  Sure people have RLs but a courtesy PM even would be good, even if it is to say I don't like your style of GMing.  Then you need to find a replacement and as Bigbadron said, sometimes you get the Don't bother responses, and thus you had burned that bridge, oh well..

Anyways, thanks for all your thoughts on the subjects!
praguepride
 member, 1625 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Fri 12 Jun 2020
at 19:44
Re: RTJ request RANT
bigbadron:
I used to tell people that I liked their character but the game was, unfortunately. filled, and that I would keep them in mind should  places open up in future.  But after one too many, "Don't bother.  If I'm not good enough to get in then I don't want to play anyway." type responses I gave up on that.  :(


Agreed. I had a game where someone who made it in immediately dropped/went AWOL and so I reached out to someone I just sent the cut announcement for and got that response.

In my opinion that kind of personality is someone I don't want in my game so it was better to find that out sooner than later. That is not the response of a team player, imo.
Silverlock
 member, 110 posts
Fri 12 Jun 2020
at 20:35
Re: RTJ request RANT
Long RTJs....that recalls a game many years ago that I sent in a long, detailed PC, all sorts of fluffy stuff as per the GM's request.  Never heard from the GM again, but did see the game reposted as 'looking for players'.  I sent in another PC, less fluff this time, and - was accepted as a player.  The first NPC my new PC was sent to meet was my First PC - didn't change a word of the description either, not even the name, nothing !   I waxed wroth.  So if a GM wants a huge RTJ - I think very hard about wasting the time.
jamat
 member, 653 posts
 P:5 T:7 W:0 F:0 B:3
Sat 13 Jun 2020
at 16:57
Re: RTJ request RANT
It's not when gms reject something you put forward that annoys me it when in the past I've put a lot in the gm wanted thread. Put in the type of game of like to play in and the system in be interested playing. A potential gm then gets on board there's a few posts back and forward all looks good a link to a game is set up you apply and wait and wait and wait then you notice all the slots have been filled and you get a post saying sorry you didn't make it this time......that really pees me off after it was my initial post that started the ball rolling in the first place.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15900 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sat 13 Jun 2020
at 17:15
Re: RTJ request RANT
I don't usually ask for an essay, just a few sentences - enough to give a rough idea of the character so that I can spot possible clashes/overlaps with other characters.  However...


A long time ago, on a site far, far away...


I was setting up an Amber game, and I asked for more detailed characters.  First RtJ I received was just five words... "i will be a elf"

"Okay... " said I, not exactly overexcited about this first response, "I was actually hoping for more information.  Can you tell me a bit more about your character?"

"i will be a elf with a magic sord"

*sigh*  *head desk*
OceanLake
 supporter, 1118 posts
Sat 13 Jun 2020
at 18:25
Re: RTJ request RANT
sord (sɔːd)
n
(Zoology) a flock of mallard ducks
vb (intr)
to ascend in flight

I'm a University of Oregon fan, so I know about quack attacks. So you'd have a most interesting character for outdoor adventures.
Akarui
 member, 199 posts
 Active since: 2010
Sat 13 Jun 2020
at 20:43
Re: RTJ request RANT
I ask for backgrounds in my nWoD  gamesfor two reasons. Though, I don't ask for an essay, it's up to the player how much they want to write and XP is awarded for it.

1) I think it is important to know your character. I have had too many players bringing in characters and when faced with some basic difficulties they cannot decide how their character would act and kind of just leave it to the GM to decide. This is not the GM's job. I find by writing out a background (despite the length) you know exactly who you are playing.

2) In a sandbox game and long running games things can get stale at times for characters and that is where I find having their background at hand it very handy because if they have wandered away from a plot I can find another to throw at them.

Concerning the RTJ, before the site automatically showed that you have access, it was required for the GM to get an age statement from players and I guess for many, like myself, that have kind of stuck. I see the GRANTED but as far as I know it is still required that the GM confirms it.