Monday, April 29, 2024


The next step in my recent youtube video publishing has been to include a 30-minute segment from my last D&D running, where the players encounter a small village in the delta of the Danube river.  The video isn't doing that well on youtube, not that I expected it would.  I suppose it reveals what a fraud I am as a DM, as no doubt I don't blow the doors off game play.  I'm not Mike Mercer.

But I want to talk about editing and creating the video, because I think it's a learning curve to which I haven't sternly applied myself.  I found listening to my delivery, and editing my delivery, a painful and bitter process, as to my mind I fall far short of where I wish I could be.  There's no question the players are invested.  They engage, they ask questions, they're interested in the material and such ... but speaking about myself, it's appalling how much I derail my own running as it happens.

None of that is in the video; I've cut it all out.  But the memory is fresh in my mind and as I'm being honest with myself, I am a mess of bad habits and clumsy, inconsistent exposition.  When I'm dredging up information on the spur of the moment, I stutter in a most frustrating manner.  Even writing about it here is upsetting.

This, I think, is the point.  Editing myself is so unpleasant, my strongest instinct is to never record the campaign again, never force myself to focus on every syllable and every word as I've just done this week, and certainly never put the results of that out in public. Ignorance is a far more desirable prospect here, one that allows me to maintain my delusions and preserves me from having to put myself though an emotional torment like this again.

Which has been my strategy since the invention of youtube, and all the content I've strained to produce in the past.  As such, I haven't even stayed the same over time.  I've gotten worse.  My players are so forgiving, they don't even see how much I'm phoning the campaign in.  I've been able to pretend to myself for I don't know how long ... and if there's anything that's become plain to me in the last seven or eight days, since starting this edit, it's that.  Ouch.

If I'm going to get better; if I ever was better; the only way I'm going to get there is by continuing to rake myself over these coals.  And it makes sense.  Listening to oneself can only help to make one more conscious about what's being done wrong ... and thus encourage the conscious mind to seek a remedy for that.  By hearing myself make the same mistakes, by hearing the tone of my voice grate upon my nerves just so, I at least have a chance of knowing what not to do, what not to say, how not to derail the game to input some observation or give some lecture that doesn't need to be done just then.

So, it doesn't matter if the videos do well, so much as it matters that I make them and force myself, unpleasantly, to post them.  And, occasionally, though I won't much enjoy this either, to listen to them.

I suppose there are people in this world who like the sound of their own voice, and are able to think to themselves, "I did a great job."

I'm not a person like that.

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