07 November 2011

RPG Things to Talk About

Originally spotted at Jeff's Gameblog.

Noisms at Monsters and Manuals things we need to talk more about some stuff.

Book binding. (I can't be the only person who bemoans the way new rulebooks tend to fall apart like a sheaf of dry leaves after about 5 seconds of use).

I'm all digital these days.

"Doing a voice". How many people "do voices"? Should they? How do you get better at "doing a voice" if that's your thing?

I almost never do voices, though when the inspiration for the NPC is someone I've known I often break out into voices.

Breaks. How often do you have breaks within sessions?  

We have marathon sessions of 6 hours or more - most often without breaks. Players come and go as their character enter or leave the action. There are frequent scenes where a character is out of the action for one reason or another (we don't generally do underground dungeons), so individuals can take breaks regularly.

Description. Exactly how florid are your descriptions? 

There's so much gaming to cram into a session that my descriptions usually have one or two senses described (most often visual or auditory, with the occasional scent or general malaise.) Players' imagination of a scene is much better than I can describe improvisationally.

Where do you strike the balance between "doing what your character would do" and "acting like a dickhead"?  

Oddly, the characters in our games tend to not be murderous cretins most of the time.

PC-on-PC violence. Do your players tend to avoid it, or do you ban it? Or does anything go?  

Players generally act in concert at our gaming table; but, player-vs-player activity does happen every couple of sessions. Its very much in character when it happens. Perhaps the worst bout was when I was a player and, honor bound by an oath to my king, I challenged another player to single combat. Although wounded, my character triumphed and the other player had to roll up another character.

How do you explain what a role playing game is to a stranger who is also a non-player? (Real life example: my friends and I were playing in the local M:tG club space. A M:tG groupie teenage goth girl came over and asked, "What are you playing?" "[We answered.]" "Sounds kind of gay.") 

Improvisational theater with dice.

Alchohol at the table?  

Players are welcome to consume whatever vice they please so long as they don't disrupt the table. As referee, I can't really do my job well even after a single drink or drag. So I stay sober.

What's acceptable to do to a PC whose player is absent from the session? Is whatever happens their fault for not being there, or are there some limits?  

We aim to start and end an adventure all in one sitting. Thus we have marathon sessions. Absent players' characters are also absent. This is true even when the adventure stretches multiple sessions, in which case we simply turn a blind eye to a character not being there for one session but present for another.

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