RPPR Episode 128: My Player’s Keeper

bsides_volume3News: RPPR B-Sides Volume 3 is now available! Help support our podcast and get 20 actual play episodes, including Tom’s Pathfinder campaign and a Fiasco game with Thad.

Thrilling Intent will have a livestream run of Tenra Bansho Zero on May 28 at 5 pm EST. Check out the details here.

Synopsis: Player characters develop relationships with other during the course of a campaign. They can help or hinder the campaign itself. Faust, Shaun, Tom, and I discuss how to build them in games and what kind of complications arise as a result. Keeping the narrative focused while balancing screen time between all players can be difficult. We also have shout outs and anecdotes!

Promo: The Redacted Files, an actual play podcast.

Shout Outs

  • Welcome to Night Vale: A novel based on the podcast, just as surreal and humorous.
  • Vagante: An indie platforming rogue-lite now on Steam.
  • Jeeves and Wooster: A hilarious Brit-sitcom based on the P.G. Woodehouse stories.
  • Barkley Marathons: A documentary about the world’s most grueling ultra-marathon.
  • The Big Short: A film about the people who predicted the 2008 financial crisis and profited from it.

Song: MAMAIA_2084 – Side A – She Used to Be Mine/Fresh Start  by MAMAIA_2084 & ~senpai vaporwave

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  1. Ross: “If your an AP Hound…”
    Welp, thanks Ross! I now have to run a Trail of Cthulhu game or Fear Itself thing called “AP Hounds of RPPR” or something…

  2. It’s fun having new people on the podcast, but Shaun could ease up in the mic a little bit.

  3. One game that can handle relationships really well (as it’s built into the system) is MonsterHearts. It does a good job of allowing players to form relationships but with the abilities built into the game they can go as deep or as superficial as the game requires. Our friends at the Drunk and the Ugly just completed a 10 session campaign of it that does a good job of highlighting it working when the players work together to make relationships intuitive and not forced.

  4. “More like a degree in railroading, motherfucker!” Nice.

    DramaSystem also does a neat thing with building relationships since you draw out a relationship map as part of character generation.

    It’s really great because it means that every character has at least a couple links to other characters. And those relationships tend to be more complicated – things like “I want this person’s approval” but the other player has to come up with the reason that they are withholding that approval.

    It also shows off how a good relationship develops both characters, which is one of the best things about exploring them in games.

    I’ve considered just stealing the relationship map for other games, but doing chargen as a group and making time for vignette-type scenes does a lot as well.

    For Shaun’s point about couples playing in the same game: I think it really is a case by case thing. I get that when it’s bad, it can be really bad. But I’ve both run and played in many games where I don’t think it’s been an issue.

  5. Did Faust just say a character will die in TI?

  6. Shout out to Shaun for actually saying words like “edgelord” (and yes, that is still a thing) and “chuunibyou” aloud. Though talking about microphone etiquette, I’d like to ask that if he’s on future regular episodes to maybe bring it down a notch for me and my fellow headphone users, shouting “INVEST IN RED MARKETS” every time got a little unpleasant.

    To agree and expound on Lost Carol, I think all *W/PbtA systems do that “character relationship” concept pretty well as almost all of them have some kind of required section on the character sheet to describe one’s relationship with other PCs or NPCs. I know not everyone is into the idea of “checking off” their CC options, but given how PbtA is usually a character or interaction focused game which tries to emulate various fictional genres it works very well. These games also usually put some mechanical weight or currency to the relationship too, to maybe drive them a little.

  7. Caleb ran entire campaign with Sara and (presumably) there were no issues, so…

  8. If you want to wind up the 40k bros, be sure to include Squats in the campaign. And make sure you call the Squats ‘Space Dwarves’ and the Eldar ‘Space Elves’. 😉

  9. That marathon is going right into my Base Raiders campaign idea.

    The Raiderade Race to the Base Adventure Race!

  10. “Couples shouldn’t game together because … my ex wife” as horrible as that experience have been I think that might be too specific example to create a generalised rule

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