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  • A Question for Breaking Into the Game

    As the title pretty much states, I'm looking for advice on how to really get into playing a game of Geist: The Sin Eaters with a regular crew. I've played all of one pre-game game, where I played a bit of my character before he died (and died), and I can say I was kinda crap at it. I'm not great when it comes to roleplaying, but I'd still like to give it a try, and I have read up more on Geist since those days (though I admit I'm still pretty much a noob). Hence the advice seeking.

    I do have friends who like World of Darkness, but they're either quite busy, not taken with Geist or simply not interested in GMing (if not some combination thereof). The group I was previously with pretty much dissolved after those pre-games, sadly, and I don't think I endeared myself to them anyways in spite of my efforts.

    Thanks for reading, and apologies if this is the wrong area to be discussing this.

  • #2
    Well, as far as not being good at roleplaying goes, that's just something that will take time and work. I've found that when I make a character, I find it easier to get into their head if I consume a lot of media with similar characters, and one weird thing: If you assume the right posture, it can help. For example, I have a character I'm playing in a Beast game who's quite frankly, a cocky bastard. When I'm in character, I sit sideways in my chair; I try to take up extra space, and I take power stances. I'll admit, playing the character is a lot easier to do since it's online, so I don't look like a doofus to the other players.

    When it comes to finding a group, there's often gaming groups in comic and game stores, so I'd look those up. I live in a college town, so there's no shortage of groups at the local U, either.


    Genius: the Transgression 2E is a thing that's being worked on.

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    • #3
      For Finding players, hard to say. I met most of my players either a) at college or b) at or as a result of meeting people from LARPing.

      In terms of running a game, I have some general suggestions

      1) Communicate what kind of game you intend to run, and have players communicate what they want to play. People don't always know what they want so be prepared to make decisions, but let them know generally what you are thinking.

      2) Discuss, don't hide behind rules. House rules are great if players know about them first. if you are bending rules for the sake of story, be clear about that. Be clear what expectations are with that. Communicate why you do what you.

      3) Determine amount of roleplaying players want. Determine comfort zones. Sex and romance are a huge part of my games, but would make some players uncomfortable. Queer themes also come up a great deal.

      For Geist Specific, find what they want in a game like Geist. How do they want to see ghosts? Do they want a city full of Sin-Eaters or do they want to be some of the few, or all of them.

      Example: "I would like to run a Geist game somewhere on the East Coast of the United States. I want East Coast for the Older Settlements there to have more (recorded) history to draw on. I am looking at slice of life, so I may ask you about what your PCs do for fun or to blow off steam. Consider in any Aspitations some simpler ones...are the working, in college? Consider their goals if no plots ever showed up. As this is Geist, I also know what you like, or dislike, in a ghost story. Give me a list of 3-5 of your favorite horror movies, with a focus on ghosts or Revenants of some sort." If following the example, get time to recieve feedback and go on from there...maybe they really want West Coast? You could negotiate from there. Or, say, Prague.

      You can also steal plots, ideas, NPCs, places, etc from my Balance of Shadows game in my sig. It's been a highly successful game of 5.5 years so far and going strong. It also gives a very role playing intensive example of play.


      Onyx Path Moderator
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      [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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      • #4
        You know, I never thought to check out my college for a tabletop roleplaying group. I know that there are at least a few people there who regularly play Magic The Gathering, but as for Geist...hmm, definitely worth venturing.


        Originally posted by malonkey1 View Post
        Well, as far as not being good at roleplaying goes, that's just something that will take time and work. I've found that when I make a character, I find it easier to get into their head if I consume a lot of media with similar characters, and one weird thing: If you assume the right posture, it can help. For example, I have a character I'm playing in a Beast game who's quite frankly, a cocky bastard. When I'm in character, I sit sideways in my chair; I try to take up extra space, and I take power stances. I'll admit, playing the character is a lot easier to do since it's online, so I don't look like a doofus to the other players.

        Funny enough, a friend of mine admited that doing that while voicing Mettaton from Undertale during a skype call helped him get into character. I'll have to employ that at some point.



        Originally posted by Baroness Nerak View Post
        In terms of running a game, I have some general suggestions
        I've surprisingly not run into that advice before, in spite of being given advice from three other people who've GMed games. Seems kind of obvious, but the most obvious things are the ones often missed or mistaken. Thank you. :-)

        Originally posted by Baroness Nerak View Post
        For Geist Specific, find what they want in a game like Geist. How do they want to see ghosts? Do they want a city full of Sin-Eaters or do they want to be some of the few, or all of them.

        Example: "I would like to run a Geist game somewhere on the East Coast of the United States. I want East Coast for the Older Settlements there to have more (recorded) history to draw on. I am looking at slice of life, so I may ask you about what your PCs do for fun or to blow off steam. Consider in any Aspitations some simpler ones...are the working, in college? Consider their goals if no plots ever showed up. As this is Geist, I also know what you like, or dislike, in a ghost story. Give me a list of 3-5 of your favorite horror movies, with a focus on ghosts or Revenants of some sort." If following the example, get time to recieve feedback and go on from there...maybe they really want West Coast? You could negotiate from there. Or, say, Prague.

        You can also steal plots, ideas, NPCs, places, etc from my Balance of Shadows game in my sig. It's been a highly successful game of 5.5 years so far and going strong. It also gives a very role playing intensive example of play.
        Definitely something to ponder about, and a very kind offer as well. I've perused a bit through the tread actually, I have to say it is one of the most elaborate games I've yet to see, not only in the set-up but how it has been documented. Very interesting to read, and something I shall have to examine for inspiration. It's also great to see another long running game still going strong. Best of luck in continuing it, and thank you for the valuable advice. :-)

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        • #5
          Thank You

          I should note; Some groups do very well with a strict GM/Player divide. Some players prefer to react IC and no more. That's fine, and just as viable as my way of playing. I still think communication of expectation and desires is key, but some groups are quite happy with a "voice of God" GM vs. Collaborative Storytelling. And it is a continuum. Find your, and your groups place. Many, many game problems come down to crossed wires in communication or just different expectations (A player who learned gaming as competing with the GM, for example, as opposed to one who trusts their GM almost implicitly.)

          I will note WoD (Classic or New) assumes a measure of cooperation, and has relatively few controls to keep characters "in check" on the understanding it is not necessary.


          Onyx Path Moderator
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          This is my mod voice. This is my goth voice.
          [Geist: Balance of Shadows ][ Vampire: The Conspiracy of Hrad Černá Hora ][ Scion: Bohemian Front][Changeling: Malibu Dream House] [Demon: Night Train Detective Agency] [WoD: The Golden Eagle]

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          • #6
            I freely admit that I was intrigued by Geist after reading the Balance of Shadows thread. As I originally planned on running a Beast chronicle I decided to start planning on what and whom the characters may interact with the Beast chronicle has been shelved for now. I've decided on a Geist story for now, I have only just begun the initial work and hand outs for players including some questions that I need answered.

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            • #7
              The way I've started my last two geist games is with one or two players who knows the rules relatively well or have the free time to research any rule call that's required for the new players (like how exactly a krewe is founded, where does the twilight network come from) you know the questions that I know the answers to but would only derail the plot in a large group, in my circle of friends we think of the role as a "veteran" of the game line or vet for short, taking lead of the group in the early session by placing their character(s) in a mentor role for all the new players in the group, that way I don't have to take the time in plot to explain the basics of the game line and sometimes it even enhances the gameplay to have designated mentors in the characters krewe for between sessions game play.

              In either though, both the games I built were themed around second chances and showing the world in a state of impermanence and I displayed these themes from the very beginning by having the "Vets" in my group play the survivors of a krewe that had lost most of its members to a crucible at some point in the past. The vets of recruited these new krewe mates in an attempt to finish the job that their krewe had stalemated after many casualties sometime during the prolog of the game. It seems to work best when I let the Vets in the group write up a krewe sheet and start them off with a bit extra exp (no more than 50) and a bit of krewe exp (no more than 15) before the rest of the group writes up their characters. This way the players who have put in the time and effort to learn all of the flavor of the game line can be surrogate storytellers. I have the Vets run solo sessions between our game nights to make up for the descrepency in exp between Vets and the rest of the group and tell them a limit of how much exp they can reward the "new blood" in their krewe for their private sessions with a mentor. Also, these private sessions add to the amount of krewe exp that I give out only after our weekly sessions.

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              • #8
                And as far as breaking into a game, it starts with death. And don't flirt with it, just do it. I don't mean just the kind that creates the bound, I'm referring to the kind that changes your life at an odd hour of the morning and scars you forever. Make it quick, poignant, and lasting. I suggest starting each session with something very very final to set the mood.

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