Sunday, March 22, 2015


A picture taken of the combat ongoing in my campaign tonight, taken by one of the players.  Just got it in an email, so I didn't even know the picture was being taken.  The party names are plainly visible - image taken straight off the monitor.

The bright splash of colour around the orcs (without names) is faerie fire, added to the image once the spell was cast).

And here's a view of me DMing last night.  It includes the party's decision to let themselves into the combat above.  Apologies for the aspect ratio.

Note the point where I just stop talking, letting the party work it out for themselves.  Note also how I try not to even move or have any expression while this is happening, except when it's necessary to make a distinction or keep the party on track.


  1. Some things I found instructive:

    1) Your handling of the player responding to being interrupted by a third party near the end of the video.

    2) Brushing off an unnecessary apology firmly but without further flustering the apologizer.

    3) A simple "on focus" and hand motion when the party has gotten distracted by the topic of jellies - but not before contributing a fact of your own. I suspect you don't immediately stop them because that would make you look like a hardass. A little mental wandering can be worthwhile to help trigger exciting ideas,but wandering too far can lead to just talking about playing the game instead of playing the game.

    Question: what would you say is the level of game tension (drama, etc.) during this video? It seems like it's low but slowly increasing, with the possibility of a fight getting larger and larger as the party retreats from the enemy they don't understand to the one they do.

  2. At 10:55 forward - when the speaker stops, and I push them to finish - that is actually a point where the players were not in agreement; the tension is a lot higher at that point then it maybe sounds in the voices. My abrupt "It's okay, just finish" is in response more to faces than to tone. After the video was over, the two players moved off and talked for about 15 minutes (we called a break) while I set up the movement forward into the orc lair.

    So yes, without much encouragement from me, I would say that the party's tension does increase.

    I think it's great you found the three points instructive. I don't stop the wandering because most times people will say one comment and then move on; it is only when the comments are starting to grow that I feel I want to cut it off.


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