RPPR Episode 90: Theater of the Mind

Buy Their Book! Buy Their Book!News: Transhuman, a sourcebook for players in Eclipse Phase is out! Caleb and I both wrote for it, so check it out. In other news, Base Raiders is rapidly nearing completion and in playtesting. More importantly, Gencon draws near! Tom, Aaron, Caleb and I will be there. The RPPR Meetup will be 6 pm on Friday the 16th at the Hyatt Lobby. See you there.

Synopsis: Describing things is the primary job of the gamemaster, but many times, something gets lost. Players misunderstand what is being said or the gamemaster forgets an important detail. What do you do when players make a mistake? Whose fault is it? Tom, special guest Bill, and I talk about our approaches as gamemasters when it comes to describing scenes and dealing with player interpretations. Plus, Tom has a letter, shout outs and anecdotes!

Shout Outs

Music: Eliezer’s Waltz by Disparition

Promo: The UnderDiscussion Podcast

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  1. Spoiler! #CLUSTERFUCK!

  2. This is one of my fave topics you guys have covered.

    My take on the players saying things are there is a mostly yes and take. Will the chandelier take away from the scene? No. Will it add more fun, of course! So why shoot it down if its reasonable?

    Tom: cinematic combat is so much more interesting than roll hit roll miss, one of my fave systems that I was only introduced to within the past couple years is 7th Sea which is cinematic in every regard.

  3. Bill speaks surprisingly elegantly on this subject for the number of games we have heard him run.

    Having been on the delivering and receiving end of this, I will say that giving players a second chance when they misunderstand what is said is definitely a fair bet, especially if you don’t frame it specifically as them making a mistake, but rather pointing out more what the scene is like.

    Besides, it’s more fun to see players have all the information and still do the batshit insane thing. If they succeed at it, then awesome. If they fail at it, it’s only slightly less awesome (if only because of the 5 stages of gamer grief: denial, denial, denial, denial, and denial).

    In the times where I actually need to have a specific layout for a thing, I will go to google draw and make a map and pieces (I would do it on paper except Skype gaming).

  4. Why are they saying Posthuman, when the graphic clearly says Transhuman?

  5. Glad to hear the news Tom re: the cellphone watsit. Looking forward to backing the next thing.

  6. Oh, if you like ‘Welcome to Nightvale’, you should check out Transmission. It’s a weird radio drama, that I, not coincidently, wrote and produced. PLUG. LISTEN TO MY SHOW http://transmissiondrama.com/

  7. I believe Tom and Bill accurately sum up how I work things when I GM. Usually, though, I’ll ask the PCs for the actual details of their plan, and point out the flaws they would have to notice as characters (i.e. that, if they are looking through a peephole, all they will be able to see is the span of hallway directly across from the door).

    Obviously, this requires a lot of trust between the players and GM, and wouldn’t work in the Adversarial model, but it does give the PCs a better idea of what they’re characters can see (and gets all that “of course there would be a toaster in this hotel room” nonsense out in the open).

  8. You guys really need to play Apocalypse World or some hack of it, I think you’d have a blast!

  9. What TTT said. I think you guys would really dig it.

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