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GM has some issues

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Moonrunner

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« on: (10:56:09/08-14-19) »
Last night we played the first game of 6e SR with a guy that has GM'ed in the past in some games I've played in.  I am usually the GM in most groups we do but we decided to give him a chance with SR.  In the past he has run into a lot of issues with players for railroading them in adventures, being closed minded and not fair, etc.

Last night my fiancé was playing the premade downloadable Rigger character, Emu.  Part of her MO is using all her drones to do surveillance and to provide support fire for the group.  During the game last night the GM argued her that she cannot use her drones because she did not have them with her even though she stated she was carrying them in her Rigger van.  He tried to argue that they are too large to store all of them on the van and still have room for the players.  I am the only person in the group that has the core rulebook and not just the Beginner Box so I looked all of them up.  Her drones are all microdrones, which are tiny in size and one is small in size.  They range in size from the size of an eyeball to the size of a hawk. 

After presenting him with these facts, he then tried to argue that she does not have them because the character sheet does not contain the full stats for all of her drones.  He argued they were missing values for Acceleration, Handling, Armor, etc.  I tried to explain to him that this is because it is the beginner set and did not contain full info that would later be found in the core rulebook, giving you just enough to work with to get through the beginner adventure but he continued to argue nonetheless.  I gave him the full stats from the core rulebook.  He also did not seem to understand that buy neutering her character in such a way was unfair because every other character was allowed to use everything on their sheets.  He actually tried to argue that since there was no equipment card for the majority of her drones she was not meant to have them even though they are listed on her character sheet, to which I had to remind him that Emu was not included in the Beginner Box.  She was a downloadable extra character from online.

It just seemed to me he did not want to deal with her drones so he was making every excuse to limit her to not have to deal with it, which is not fair to that character at all.  He also does not seem to understand that it is a Beginner set and they would not have put those drones on the character sheet with basic stats to boot if they did not intend for her to have access to them.  It even mentions in the section on her usual tactics that she uses them for surveillance and support fire and launches them all from the back of her Rigger Van often.  Why would all of this be on the character sheet if she was not intended to actually have access to them?

What do you all think about this GM?

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #1 on: (11:22:13/08-14-19) »
They're all unarmed spydrones. Who gives a frag about their stats. Let them fly.
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Moonrunner

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« Reply #2 on: (11:34:12/08-14-19) »
They're all unarmed spydrones. Who gives a frag about their stats. Let them fly.

One of them is armed with a gun and one is armed with a smoke grenade but still your point is well taken.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #3 on: (11:38:05/08-14-19) »
Rotodrone is in the cards though its gun isn't. And yeah they should have supplied extra gear cards with Emu.
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Jayde Moon

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« Reply #4 on: (11:48:20/08-14-19) »
Based solely on the info in your post, I would not play with them.
That's just like... your opinion, man.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #5 on: (11:53:43/08-14-19) »
Now, it's not necessarily a bad thing to enforce what's what.  For example, if a character just has "drones" you can't be having one kind of drone this week and that kind of drone next week... but also yes allowances should be given in a context like this pregen. But it sounds like a larger issue than the stats not being given.

Shadowrun isn't a game that's well suited to railroad plots, and if that's your GM's preferred style he's going to have a million and one problems trying to impose it.  There are three entire "worlds" (Physical, Matrix, Astral) and any challenge can be overcome by any one of those avenues... for example: a locked door.  It can be picked or bashed open (Physical) it can be hacked (matrix) or a mage or spirit can just project past (Astral).  Everyone, GM included once the players complain, will have a bad time if the GM insists only the way he wants will bypass the locked door.

And yes, you could be on to an accurate observation that the lack of stats was an excuse and the real problem was the GM didn't want to deal with something he didn't understand.  That's a real problem with Shadowrun. 6we is better at integrating the same rules across different aspects of the game than previous editions, but there will always be rules specific to the Matrix and rules specific to the Astral plane and so on.  Unless the GM wants to (and has the TIME to) become a total SR nerd, he won't master every aspect of the game.  SR GMs usually allow players to master the rules regarding their characters, and your GM doesn't sound like someone who's willing to let a player tell him what the rulebook says.  If so, there are two feasible suggestions I can offer.  Have someone else from your circle GM when you play Shadowrun... or have a conversation outside an ongoing session and talk about the GM altering his style while running Shadowrun.
« Last Edit: (11:59:10/08-14-19) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #6 on: (11:59:53/08-14-19) »
I should note that the very first Chicago mission my players broke the run by socialing a scene that literally only listed combat tactics. In another the run basically went *lists dozen ways the alarm can go off* "if they somehow avoid all that there's no alarm" and they managed just fine. So yeah rails fail in Shadowrun.
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Lormyr

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« Reply #7 on: (12:16:31/08-14-19) »
Your gm is a punitive dunce. There is no arguing or negotiating with that type, just save yourself the headache and remove him/move on

kr3wZ

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« Reply #8 on: (12:32:41/08-14-19) »
As someone who tried to get into running Shadowrun 5E for our group and feels better about them accepting 6E, I was looking over the sample Rigger in the CRB yesterday.  It is daunting thinking of preparing for someone with that amount of drones.  But, like Chandra said, a lot of them were smaller or microdrones and I feel like I have a handle on drones in combat so, it was just surprising to see so many on a right out of the gate sample character.  I'm trying to go through creating each archetype as it were so I can help anyone with whatever kind of character they want to create.

Moonrunner

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« Reply #9 on: (13:48:02/08-14-19) »
As someone who tried to get into running Shadowrun 5E for our group and feels better about them accepting 6E, I was looking over the sample Rigger in the CRB yesterday.  It is daunting thinking of preparing for someone with that amount of drones.  But, like Chandra said, a lot of them were smaller or microdrones and I feel like I have a handle on drones in combat so, it was just surprising to see so many on a right out of the gate sample character.  I'm trying to go through creating each archetype as it were so I can help anyone with whatever kind of character they want to create.

I completely understand that it can be difficult to adjudicate all these different subsystems and even intimated my understanding for that to the GM during the game.  All through the session I had my core rulebook out and referenced tons and tons of things to help the flow of the game and assist the GM to make his life easier.  However, you should not arbitrarily and artificially limit a character's abilities just because you are intimidated by them.  It is not fair to the player, especially when you have other players helping you with it all.

kr3wZ

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« Reply #10 on: (15:05:40/08-14-19) »
For sure, if you don't want to do that kind of preparation and collaboration you probably shouldn't DM Shadowrun. 

FastJack

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« Reply #11 on: (15:54:35/08-14-19) »
If they don't want to do prep and collaboration, they shouldn't DM/GM at all. My first time running Shadowrun was at a mini-con, waaaaaaay back in the days of the Universal Brotherhood just being exposed. I'd written a detailed run where the runners were all prisoners of KE, given a chance to commute their sentences by taking out the hive and getting data back to Ares (yea, I'm as surprised that I was spot on as you are).

Very Dirty Dozen (or for you millennial-types, Suicide Squad), but I allowed them access to some of their gear, just not their contacts. To this day, I'm still not sure if I was just frazzled from my first Convention GM or that the player came up 2 minutes before start, but I missed that he had a grenade launcher built into his cyberarm. I had the entire hive planned out, very maze-like with lots of techno-organic horror (think Aliens) to get through, fighting through flesh-forms and true-forms to get to the queen in the center of the maze. They go in, and this dude makes a terrific perception test with his thermographic cybereyes, then launches a grenade a the wall, blowing a hole through it and avoiding the maze to get to the queen. Then they (mostly him) kill the queen with sustained fire and grenades (did I mention a maze that was going to eat up resources?) in just a few rounds. I congratulated him, thanked the players and learned the lesson that players will always turn left when you plan for them to turn right.

Unfortunately, regarding GMs, they bring in personal bias with them all too often. The perfect GM is someone that works with the players (think "yes, and?") instead of just monitoring whether they are "breaking" the rules. I've run into a number of Shadowrun GMs at various cons that seem to live by the notion that they are experts at the game and, by having the GM title, whatever they say goes. Many times, this results in the least fun games I've ever had, and they turn into Gatekeepers, preventing new people from wanting to invest in the game.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #12 on: (16:39:13/08-14-19) »
Unfortunately, regarding GMs, they bring in personal bias with them all too often. The perfect GM is someone that works with the players (think "yes, and?") instead of just monitoring whether they are "breaking" the rules. I've run into a number of Shadowrun GMs at various cons that seem to live by the notion that they are experts at the game and, by having the GM title, whatever they say goes. Many times, this results in the least fun games I've ever had, and they turn into Gatekeepers, preventing new people from wanting to invest in the game.
Do you remember the SRM story where a player cast Fashion on themselves, and the GM sent in astral patrols, ran SIN checks and a spellcasting license check, and after they survived all those checks the cops warned the player that 'deceptive' spellcasting wasn't tolerated?
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Shadowjack

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« Reply #13 on: (16:47:26/08-14-19) »
The GM strikes me as the sort of person that argues a lot and fails to accept defeat. As for his GMing skills, they are clearly quite poor to the point of ruining the enjoyment of the game and thus I would not allow him to GM again, and to be honest, I'd just boot him from the group entirely. Sorry if that sounds excessive but I've seen various versions of this story pop up countless times and I think it's ultimately better to just remove problem players if they fail to mesh with the group.
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Sphinx

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« Reply #14 on: (18:35:48/08-14-19) »
Sounds like he needs to be reminded that he's supposed to be playing with the players, not against the players. The first job of the GM is to ensure everyone has fun. I hope he's a better player than GM.