RPPR Episode 136: Playing for an Audience

puppetland-coverNews: Puppetland is now out! I wrote two adventures for it and we will do an actual play of it in the near future. Stay tuned. Also, Faust has moved to Washington so he can work for Camouflaj and we wish him the best of luck!

Synopsis: Caleb and I discuss the challenges and rewards of recording games, either for podcasting or sharing with the community, or just for posterity’s sake. Technically, it’s easier now to record than ever before but how does it affect the game itself? It definitely makes a GM more self-conscious about what kind of games they run and how they are run. Is it worth it? That’s a question only you can answer, but Caleb and I go over the pros and cons of recording games. We also have some shout outs and an anecdote from this Patreon special game: Delta Green – Hearts and Minds.

Shout Outs

Songs: Selections from Blank Banshee Mega.

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  1. I saw the title and thought, “This should be good”. And then I looked down the page, saw uselray’s comment, nodded and smiled.

  2. I think I was spoilt by RPPR being one of the first AP podcasts I listened to.

    God both the groups procrastinate all the time.

    Side note: Can we/ I have some player advice? because the aforementioned I struggle because I have trouble with being Proactive and assertive more than I’d like. (if your still interested in podcast content requests.)

    Caleb: This kickstarter seems to be going in the right direction for combat.

    I held back because I was spamming the kickstarter page on the forum.

  3. As always the discussion/banter/debate in the shout outs would make for an awesome podcast all itself. If Caleb is still thinking of doing a spin-off thing I would love it to be just a discussion or debate focused on movies, shows, and comics with other RPPR people. I would love Aaron explaining and then debating the merits of some anime or sentai series to Caleb and Ross’ chagrin.

  4. Yes. Bonus shoutouts. I think it would be great to have Aaron convince people to watch an anime. Possibly using a format like Dragon’s Den.

  5. Hey; Rag-NERD-Rok name drop.
    The branding discussion was really interesting, about how becoming know for a thing might box you in in some ways.
    And off that topic, I didn’t really think about how you’re feed back might drop off when you stray from horror. I’ll have to endeavour to comment more.
    I never really liked horror genre of anything until I started listening to RPPR, and I’ve since started dipping my toe in horror movies more.

    I was always surprised that you guys never played an actual game of Apocalypse World for the podcast, I thought maybe you guys way have been turned off by the Sex Moves or something.

    The talk about changing what you say for the podcast hit a cord with me because before I started making APs I did accents and voices a LOT more than I do now, and that is because I don’t want to offend someone by doing a shitty Scottish accent.

  6. I was the player who made poor Caleb do the Hungarian reference. For the record, it was hilarious and I loved it. Thanks for humoring my stupid request!

  7. Man, Caleb showed his students The Fall? I hope they all appreciate that their English teacher is WAY cooler than 99% of English teachers. Including all of mine.

    Good advice and commentary about how recording APs affects the style of your game. We’ve found the same thing. There are additional factors if you’re running online games for recording, such as how difficult it is to manage more than 3 or 4 players without having people talk over each other, and having varying qualities of microphones for different players.

    Something that I don’t think you mentioned is how APs can affect the way you use physical handouts or props. If you’re doing a video AP (like Critical Role for example) handouts can be a fabulous addition. For an audio-only or online AP, they’re a bit of a challenge. I recommend doing what you guys usually, do, and verbally describe the handout in detail for the listeners. Since I often use a lot of handouts and images for my Technical Difficulties games, we have to do that a lot.

  8. Coming off Ethan’s comment; sometimes if I’ve written something up for the players I’ll share it on the AP post. There is a document for our Adventure Base Raiding campaign that explains what ABR is, and there is a link to that on the AP posts.

  9. How have you not read Invisible Cities, Ross.

    You are in for a treat, but it is a weird book to read.

  10. That Logans Run game idea sounds amazing.

    How much do I have to throw at the patreon to make that a thing?

  11. @Caleb Freely given input for your Hong Kong game. It should be about the mooks that get beaten up by the Lone Hero ™. The Players describe the violence done to their character based on a single die role (Say a d20 or a d100) for guidance. So I guess the game would play a bit like Last Girl (I think that’s what it’s called)

  12. Listening to RPPR has been good for making my own games more “lean” – thinking about why this scene or subplot is there and how likely it is to pay off. It’s also useful in seeing the kind of prep that really pays off (to provide cool moments and setpieces) versus good times to improv and riff off what the players are saying.

    Overall, I think part of the appeal of APs for gamemasters is that they let frequent GMs see the game from the “player” side of the table a bit more, which is incredibly useful in examining your own GMing.

    When I recorded a beta game of Red Markets, I have to admit that I felt more nervous about getting the rules wrong. But it also motivated me to make my own cheat sheets and handouts, so that was helpful.

    When it comes saying awful things (even in character) on a recorded medium, there’s also the fact that your audience probably only knows you through that medium. As Caleb alluded to with the facial tattoos, the way that you are in the rest of your life doesn’t come through in a few recordings. That certainly means thinking about how things might come across to a stranger versus your old friends.

    I’m sort of curious if the “non-brand” games get fewer downloads (as well as fewer comments) than the horror/sci-fi ones. I really like that RPPR goes outside their comfort zone to run lots of games, but I also know how much time it takes to learn and prep a new game.

    Ross’ Logan’s Marathon campaign sounds amazing. At last, a way to make a campaign out of character funnel games.

    Aaron Explains Anime likewise sounds like a treat.

  13. I subbed to Yog-Sothoth for the second time and…their APs are…MOSTLY sidetracking. talking about shopping and food. and they’re also only two hours long each! the first 10 minutes is them remembering where they were last time, and then it’s sooo slow-paced, man, I dunno. really makes me appreciate the ever-onward style.

  14. Author

    We can do a player-focused episode on the same topic in the near future. I’ll get Tom and Aaron on it.

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