Thursday, November 3, 2011

Things Role Playing Bloggers Tend Not To Write About

Noisms wrote a post about Things Role Playing Bloggers Tend Not To Write About, and since I do have an opinion about some of these things, I might as well answer the challenge.

Book Binding: I'm pretty careful when it comes to books, and hardcovers tend not to be as bad as softcovers.  That having been said, yes, it's annoying — a casual observer can determine the two World of Darkness books I've read the most, because they're falling apart (for those keeping score at home, those are Dark Reflections: Spectres and Ratkin).  And used books are frequently iffy.

Doing a Voice: Of course!  It's something that's only started in earnest since I've started running D&D (one of the players enjoys encountering goblins because she likes the goblin voice), but it's something I've always done.  Dr. Zirpoli, Charles Odderstol, and Archbishop Vladimir in The Imperial City all had recognizable voices, and all of my current PCs have distinct voices (Hida Musashi's cadence is distinctive enough that I can type in his voice and people will recognize it).  For those keeping score at home, my goblin voice is inspired by Zak Smith's goblin voice and Drew Cole's goblin voice.

Breaks: I'm used to a free-wheeling orgy of disorganization.  Breaks happen naturally, whenever someone is getting food, or using the bathroom, or smoking.  The latter is probably how I got into the habit — my smoking friends place natural demarcations in game sessions by wheedling for smoke breaks.

Description: I'm not sure how my descriptions rank.  I try to be quick most of the time, unless lavish description is necessary.  Lavish descriptions are funnier if they're about something threatening, though, because the players are immediately trying to talk over you and each other to explain their reactions, all before you're even done describing it.  It reaches maximum humor when the thing seems threatening, but actually isn't.  "You see a huge, hulking —" I ready my weapon; I start casting; I lunge at it "— statue of Emberdove Glorygold, the legendary gnomish jester."  Cue collective sigh of relief.

Balance: I err on the side of not being a dickhead — unless being a dickhead would be more entertaining to the whole group than any other option.  Sometimes it is.  Note that I've had friends who err more on the dickhead side of things, but we usually have fun anyway.

PC-on-PC violence: I never ban it, but it's not encouraged, either.  It's typically handled on a case-by-case basis.  With my group, though, this usually means a fight happens — I had a Sabbat pack violently self-destruct one time.  My NPCs were really just part of the trigger, like the zombies who set the humans at each others' throats while they're cooped in a small space.  Fun times.

Explaining RPGs to New Players: I'm still not sure how to explain it.  I usually go with improvisational acting, though analogues to video games and such may also be used.

Alcohol at the Table: I never mind it.  People are welcome to drink so long as it doesn't get too ridiculous.

Absent PCs: I try to be as hands-off as possible.  At the earliest opportunity, I will move the character out of the action.

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