First weekly vlog

Last night I published the first in what I hope will become a series of weekly vlogs, the idea is to make some quick videos (with minimal editing) where I talk about RP stuff that I’ve been up to in the week before.

If anyone has any RP related questions they wish to ask please post them in the comments section of the vlog and I’ll try to answer them in the next video.

As I film more of these I’ll be added them to the playlist page.

Committing to a System

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about why I find certain new systems a little difficult to get into, it takes me a while to pick them up, whilst some older systems (like the OWOD system) are very firmly lodged in my mind; now this might not seem like much of a problem but it can be frustrating, since you tend to hit that point of fully understanding and mastering a new system fairly near the end of a campaign (or at least I do). As someone who hasn’t really tended to run a lot of consecutive games using the same system, by the time I swing around to running the same system again I normally have to brush up on the rules again, whereas with OWOD I went through a period in my student days where I was running and playing in many different games all using that system, so I really had a chance to get into it and learn how it worked.

So why am I rambling about this? Well I’m currently running a Star Wars campaign (you can see the videos of that by clicking here), I’m loving the system but, like most games it takes a little bit of mastering; myself and my players are starting to use the intricacies of the system a little more (we are running session 8 of the game in a couple of weeks), but again I fear we’re only going to hit that sweet spot where we’re all up to speed and really comfortable with the system a little further down the line. This seems a shame, and so I’ve decided that, rather than my normal behaviour, running a single game using the system and then moving on to something else, that when my current Edge of the Empire campaign game finishes (although that won’t be for some time yet) I’m going to follow it by running another Star Wars game. I may decide to run Age of Rebellion or Force and Destiny instead of Edge of Empire since these games use the same rules system, but I definitely want to master the system more.

A more regular video/blog schedule

As part of my commitment to really focus on my blog/writing and Youtube channel in the New Year I’ve already started making some alterations to the blog and content produced, tweaking our logo and the layout of the blog to make it quicker to load on people’s computers was the start of this and I’m going to continue that positive energy into the New Year and beyond.

Part of that is having a more regular schedule of releasing videos and blog writing, currently I’m planning on the following weekly schedule:

o Monday - Vlog style video (minimal editing) looking at my previous weeks RP based activities, also playing in and promoting TheRogueDM's excellent WFRP campaign that I am playing in.
o Tuesday - Blog post.
o Wednesday - This is going to be my evening for running any one-shot games that I may have going.
o Thursday - Blog post.
o Friday - Video release.
o Saturday - Day off.
o Sunday - Actual play of campaign game running that evening.

Now I realise this is quite a full schedule and there will no doubt be times that I cannot stick to it or RL gets in the way (as it tends to do with such things) but from next week I’m going to start trying to stick to this schedule as much as possible.

Positive/Negative Language

This is not something I’ve thought about a lot on a conscious level until recently; generally whenever I am trying to sell my players on the virtues of a new system I prefer to point out the positives of adopting the new system rather than the negatives of the old. I’ve never consciously made that as a decision, it just always seemed like a logical thing to do; for example, recently I approached my group about bring our Star Wars campaign under the umbrella of the Tides of Change Star Wars RP club.

For those of you who may not be aware, Tides of Change is a roleplay club where GMs run a series of loosely linked campaigns using the Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars RPG; GMs share rumours between games creating the feel of a larger universe, it also uses an innovative mechanic where in each game Tide Changes (plot twists) are proposed and the members of the club then vote on them in a facebook poll. The one with the most votes becomes the twist that occurs in the game.

Tides of Changes is chaired by Andre Martinez.

I didn’t want to spring such a change on my players so we had a series of votes in our campaign facebook group and discussions about what moving our campaign into Tides of Change would mean; I pointed out the positives of this, some of which included:

  • Being part of a larger game universe.
  • Use of the very interesting variant mechanics proposed by the group.
  • Support from a larger community.
  • Exposure to a wider audience.

At no point did I cast any aspersions on our current way of running things or say that there was anything wrong with our current method of gaming, partly because there wasn’t, but also I find that if you tend to portray things with a focus on the negative then people tend to respond negatively to them, whereas if you point out the positives then their reaction often (not always) mirrors this approach.

Contrast for instance if someone comes up to you at work and says “you’re doing this wrong”, you’re more likely to respond negatively in a knee-jerk fashion than if someone says “it might be better if you do this.”

I actively noticed this recently on a LARP Facebook group I belong to where people were setting out guidelines/dos and don’ts for the event, and I as I read them I noticed that I was becoming progressively more disenchanted with the idea of actually attending; I realised as I went through that this was due in part to the negative language being used, everything was “don’t do this” and “don’t do that”, the assumption seeming to be that people would behave like idiots, and this rankled me somewhat (although I am aware their are idiots out there).

It’s definitely something worth keeping in mind though whenever you’re trying to sell players a new game or campaign setting, focus on the positive points of whatever you’re trying to get across to them rather than the negatives of other things.

RPG Review: Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook

In my latest RPG Review video I look at the OSR product, the Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook:

AJ Pickett’s D4 System

AJ Pickett has recently posted his minimal D4 system on facebook, the system is essentially based around the random roll of a D4, although the author does provide some suggestions for incorporating skills/talents.

Click here to see the system

Matters of Fate: GM role in Game Creation

In this episode we continue to explore running the game, looking at the GMs role in game creation:

Or you can listen to the audio version below:

Direct download link for audio version

 

Using live-chat on Youtube Actual Plays

With BrigadeCon 2015 I started to watch a few more videos live on Youtube as they were being recorded, unfortunately I don’t get as much time to do so as I’d like but I enjoyed using the live-chat feature on the videos I was watching.

For those of you who aren’t aware of the live-chat feature it allows you to chat with other people who are watching the same video whilst it is playing.

Now I’ve never been able to actually get this to work on my own live actual-plays, however TheRogueDM was kind enough to show me how to do it, apparently I needed to set up my live events in Youtube directly rather than through Google+ as I had been doing previously; this seemed a little weird to me but I’ve got used to the various quirks of the Google+/Youtube relationship so I gave it a try in a test hangout with TheRogueDM and it worked absolutely fine.

I’ve reset my next Jadepunk event to make use of this feature, you can find a link to that down below:

I also enjoyed being part of the live-chat during  TheRogueDM‘s WFRP campaign which I played in last night, you can see the actual play video of the session below:

At the start of the game there was a scene that my character was not involved in, it was great to be able to chat to the audience about what was going on in the game and see what people were thinking of our characters; having the live-chat in a seperate pop-up box made it really easy to reference during quiet moments.

I’m a massive fan of getting feedback on my games from people, so this is something I definitely plan to use in my own games going forward.

Terror on the Outer Rim: Session VII

In Episode VII of our Edge of the Empire game Terror on the Outer Rim our heroes discover some of the truths behind Project Blackwing and a potential unexpected alliance is forged.

RPGs with young people

For anyone who has read my previous post and is interested in helping young people get into RPGs or has young people amongst their players, there was an excellent panel hosted by Nate of WasD20 for BrigadeCon2015, check it out 🙂