Aug. 16, 2018 Thursday Night Gaming Discussion

General Redmark Momentum & Focus

How do you rate on-air vs. off-air play? Cross-talk and phone checking in Redmark games an issue? Energy level (both GM and players). Momentum (consecutive games and campaign velocity). Campaign fatigue? Resetting pitch / charter / focus periodically (see https://www.instapaper.com/read/1091969879, point 4).

Findings: Other AP vs. Discussion Podcasts

I reviewed Happy Jacks and Fandible to see if Actual Play vs. Roundtable format was more appealing. Too much noise in the data to determine anything though. Happy Jacks Roundtable Podcast and Actual Play receive roughly the same number of views on Youtube.

Findings: Poll Results

If you were to listen to our actual play RPG sessions, what would you most be interested in hearing us run? (57 votes)

  • Short campaigns / multiple systems — 77%
  • Long-term campaign / one system — 23%

What types of RPG podcasting would you most likely support on Patreon? (30 votes)

  • Short Campaigns with Different Systems — 47%
  • Discuss GM Tips, Reviews, & News — 40%
  • Long Campaigns with the Same System — 13%

Sample poll comments:

  • “Three part story arc then move to new system. You could even play same characters in a new system from time to time.”
  • “I had another thought, what if you combined Tips and Long Campaign. Run a long campaign and insert tips along the way. I know there are podcasts that cover tips and campaign separately but none that do both. That would set you apart.”
  • “I either want to learn a new system or learn one system better / get new ideas for my own games. A setting based on some sort of dimensional shenanigans might be interesting. Playing the same characters or general archetypes across various systems.”
  • “I picked “Long Campaign” because I like the idea of a long story, however if it were a system that I wasn’t interested in, I obviously wouldn’t listen. With short campaigns you’re more likely to appeal to the masses.”
  • “I’d be interested in a series of planning (discussing options, picking genres, looking at system options and existing settings, setting ground rules etc), short campaign (actual play), lessons learned (possibly as ongoing post game discussions), and post campaign system review arcs.. Stuff that would really help us with our own campaigns…”
  • “I would say a blend of Short campaigns with different systems, with bits of GM tips thrown in. Then you could maybe do a review of the system at the end of the short campaign.”
  • “I’m torn on this. Listening to actual play podcast I think of being drawn into a long story. However it would be interesting to experience multiple systems.”
  • “Multiple systems I’d actively avoid, but shorter possibly-connected campaigns in the same system? Sounds good.”
  • “Please have good audio.”

Podcasting Developments and Constraints

  • Mason will be done GMing his Imperium story arc around Dec./Jan. and we’ll need a new GM for the actual play.
  • Mason pondered recently if Traveller is the best system for on-air play or if we should switch to Fire/Cortex Plus or Star Without Number to avoid rules complexity and on-air rules lookups.
  • Mason only wants to run one long term campaign at a time (he is also running a Fallout campaign).
  • Stan working harder longer term than anticipated.
  • Stan only wants to run one long term campaign at a time (he is also chairing the roundtable and will run the Patreon, plus the thrice-monthly Redmark).
  • Roundtable is easier to chair than a game to run (from Stan’s perspective).

Podcast Format and Focus

  • What do we as players (and GMs) want most?
  • Podcast Sustainability and podcast GM pool.
  • System mastery Concept: If we optimized for the ‘Learn the system and setting while having fun’ crowd, then maybe we move to the ‘System Mastery’ format I’d floated a while back: (a) a 30 minute review of the key rules with shownote links to a Stan 1-page rule summary behind the Patreon paywall, (b) a short campaign arc (1 season, 1-6 game sessions) game which yields 2-12 episodes, and (c) a 30 minute post-campaign review of the system (and its strengths and weaknesses).

Potential GM Pool

  • John S. — Open to running.
  • Bailey — Open to running.
  • Mason — Open to running while not running another campaign.
  • Chris — One-shot to test play a system.
  • John S. — Fine with modern supers game.
  • Jeff Loftin — Traveller, 13th age, D&D, CoC, Rolemaster and quite a few others frankly but would want to run a refresher first before something longer. I’d want to really know the rules inside and out. I’d be open to the group’s ideas too regarding system.
  • Stan — Open to running but not if also doing the Roundtable and Redmark (maybe I can do one-shots, mini-campaigns as a break from Redmark, and eventually the campaign post-Redmark could possibly be podcast).

Podcasting Room & Attendance Constraints

Observations: We currently have a soundboard that only supports 1 GM plus 4 players. Jeff Loftin needs to reserve 1 week a month for family. About half (or more) of game session we are down one player (meaning if we podcast those nights we’d have enough mics). August attendance:

  • Aug. 2 — John S. out
  • Aug. 9 — Podcast (Loftin out since it’s the podcast; but otherwise would have been there)
  • Aug. 16 — Chris out
  • Aug. 23 — John S. out
  • Aug. 30 — All there

Possibilities to Mull

Podcast Scenarios

  • Original idea was to eventually have Stan to both podcast campaign AND Redmark AND Roundtable (on reflection, this is not sustainable).
  • Long term campaign / one system (multiple GMs)
  • Short campaigns / multiple systems (multiple GMs)
  • Future Possibility: AP of all Stan post-Redmark Campaign episodes ~1 year from now

Ideas

  • One-shots, optionally on air: add in some one-shot trial games by potential Season GMs (Crimefighters (John), Fate Core and Cortex Prime (Stan), Icons (Jeff Loftin), etc.).
  • ‘Kanban’ / Burst AP scheduling: Do a ‘season’ of ‘Burst APs’ (3-6 weekly contiguous episodes of a mini-campaign, all in a row), then lay fallow for 6 months and return to normal Redmark gaming all weeks of a month.  Like Kanban (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanban) we do enough of these to get a good backlog then throttle off until we need to restock our episode inventory.
  • Opportunistic Podcast Schedule: Run podcast game anytime we don’t have all Redmark players present (would have 4 or fewer players); leads to more inconsistent cast but higher AP games velocity

Long Term Options

  • New soundboard/bigger table (always have option to podcast).
  • Post-Redmark main campaign becomes a long-term campaign AP but Roundtable and Short-term AP also remain?

Example Scheduling Scenarios

  • Current Schedule_ AP 1st Thursday / Roundtable 3rd Wednesday
  • AP Two Thursdays Month / Roundtable 3rd Wednesday (look for opportunistic night with only 4 players)
  • AP Each Week / Roundtable 3rd Wednesday
  • Roundtable 1st Thursday, AP as time permits
  • Roundtable 1st Thursday, AP rest of games

Scheduling

Potential Roundtable Scheduling

  • Sept. 12
  • Oct. 17
  • Nov. 14
  • Dec. and after (Roundtable date TBD)

Potential AP Scheduling

  • Burst AP: March 14-April 25 (7 weeks) while Stan is out during Lent? (Maybe borrow my sound equipment and relocate to another house during that season).