Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Better, Digital, Difficult: RPG Advice

This weekend Virtuacon put on a number of really interesting on-air panels on rpgs and the hobby in general. I moderated three of these on Saturday- and each offered several moments of “geez, I wish I’d thought of that.” Below I provide the YouTube videos for the panels. Ialso converted those to mp3 for those of you who prefer podcasts to watching videos. You’ll find links to those below each video. If you’re interested in the other panels, you can find the complete list as well as the videos here at RPG Geek. They assembled some great topics from RPing with Kids, to Worldbuilding, to Hiring Artists, to Managing the Playtest process. Great topics, great moderators (the other guys, not me), and great guests.

Thing I Thought of After the Panel: Later in the day we talked about GMs should figure out what different players want. Different players get different things from a game. The same thing applies to players: try to figure out what your fellow players enjoy. See if you can play to that. At the very least use that to help you understand why they might react the way they do in the game.

Thing I Thought of After the Panel: In my experience, running an online game stresses me more than f2f play. At the table, I’m more comfortable letting the players run with their discussions, spin off on tangents, and free play. I can read the table more easily and judge body-language and reactions to know when I ought to intervene and tweak things or have something bust through the door. I also feel I have to keep running intensely while online. I can’t take the same kinds of breaks or tangents that I do at the table. That may be a question of experience; I’ve only run a couple of campaigns online. 

Thing I Thought of After the Panel: I think many game systems waste a ton of energy writing their rules for “That Guy.” They have to make things water-tight or add clarifications, restrictions, and limits to tie down those who would exploit the game. But I wonder how much “That Guy” is actually a boogeyman cluttering up core books and keeping designers from doing their best work.

Overview and lessons learned from Virtuacon tomorrow. 

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