RPPR Episode 28: Great. Expectations.

Synopsis: Every gamer has their own expectations at the gaming table. Most of the time, everyone has similar enough expectations that they can all enjoy the same game but this isn’t always the case. How do you deal with people who seem to have mutually exclusive expectations of a RPG? Ultra realism or cinematic action? High fantasy or hard sci fi? We discuss how to collaborate and compromise so that the game can reach a suitable middle ground. We discuss the five hot spots where expectations are frequently violated: genre, style, violence level, maturity level and consistency in the game. Plus, a letter from Tom to Splynncryth the alien intelligence from Rifts, anecdotes and shout outs:

Shout outs:

  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The classic regency romance novel, with new scenes of zombie mayhem. Can Mr. Darcy find love in a zombie apocalypse?
  • Root of All Evil: A Lewis Black Comedy Central series about pop culture and evil.
  • Armored Trains: A book about the use of armored trains in war, especially WW1 and WW2, with lots of great pictures. What’s not to like?
  • Look Around You: A BBC parody of educational TV. The Water and Sulfur episodes are hilarious.
  • Lovecraft is Missing: A horror/pulp webcomic about H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos.

Music: Wagering Lights by Venn & Euler.

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  1. I LOVE Look Around You. In addition to Water and Sulfur, Maths is pretty goddamn funny too.

  2. This made my day.

  3. Hey guys – just listen to this ep and its great as usual.

    So glad to hear that you like Look Around You. Surely you are aware it was never intended for US consumption – figuring that nobody in the US would “get” it. Sounds like you havent seen the 2nd season yet which IMHO better than the first.

    They have a great ep on Computers but here is one of my favourites from Music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwyuB8QKzBI

  4. I love the music on this episode. Very nifty. Good topic as well. We just went through a campaign reboot recently in my Star Wars game because the GM and the players were having increasingly divergent expectations of what the campaign should be. So we restarted so that we could get people on the same page again.

  5. I actually find I run into this problem a lot, even though as a player I’m very straight forward and honest about my play style and what I’m looking for in a game/group. I learned a long time ago that you have to be very vocal about what you will/will not tolerate at the gaming table or people will take advantage of you. Though I still have difficulty there because at times I’m so serious about certain things that it just sucks all the fun right out of it.

    I’ve found it’s my experience that certain expectations, and certain play styles just can NOT co-exist harmoniously and that if you have one of those “personalities” it’s best to find a group that meshes with you, rather than try and fit yourself into a group and compromise on things that you’d rather not.

  6. “I skin my dead enemies alive.” Classic.

    Also, I hate that motherfucker too. I suspect I have one in my current group. Going to refer back to this episode in the future.

  7. Just listened to this episode Ross and if you liked the Osprey book on armored trains I suggest you pick up their two books on the “Armored Units of the Russian Civil War.” One book for the reds and one book for the whites and both books are about 3/5s armored trains.

    Now I just have to wonder if I should run the Armored Train Scenario set in Siberia during the Civil War at GenCon ’09? Would you prefer that over the U-Boat or the Hadley Page bomber?

  8. Author

    This sounds like a new comedy movie. “Rob Schneider traveled back in time to World War 1. He’ll have to ride in a U-Boat, a bomber and a train to get back to our time in “Planes, Trains and Unterseeboots”

    I vote for armored trains. I’ve already fallen to death and a TPK seems quite likely in a U-boat. One failed skill check and everyone drowns.

  9. Ross, I promise it takes more than one blown roll to end up sinking to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea… It’s not like running along the back of an flying zeppelin while a star vampire is chasing you after all.

    As for the trains… I’ll see what I can do. U-boat scenario is finished. Armored train scenario is very incomplete. But for the chance to have you fall between the cars of a speeding armored train and be ground into hamburger by the steel wheels… I’ll do my best.

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