Episode 209 – game pacing

* (0:55) Journey Quest, a web series from Matt Vancil and the other creators of The Gamers.

* (1:45) Wayne has passed the 20,000 word mark on his serial fiction over on the Skies of Glass site.

* (3:05) Providing examples of Dan’s GMing notes.  Check the Resources page for samples of the What’s Really Going On document, NPC reference, and two session outlines.

* (10:56) The issue of pacing within a game, as inspired by our own foibles.  For the sake of discussion, we break pacing down into two types: the immediate engagement of the player as opposed to the overall arc of storytelling.  We start by describing the first kind and offering some ideas for players and GMs to keep everyone engaged and deal with the moments when people have to get drawn away from the table.

* (28:49) The pacing of storytelling within a game.  Deciding how long a specific plot within the campaign should last, and the importance of the breaks that occur between those plots.  We outline some options available to Game Masters and thoughts on picking the right one.

Hosts: Dan, Pat, Wayne

Comments (3)

ChristophOctober 21st, 2010 at 9:39 am

Wayne, it would be awesome if the chapters of your Skies of Glass book was on iTunes. Then I could read it on my iPhone on my commute.

ChristophOctober 21st, 2010 at 10:18 am

I use other terms for Chapter and Episodic play. I use Serial for Chapter play and Series for Episodic play.

I also find you can and it may be best to intermingle Serial and Series Episodes. Using Television as an example, serial episodes pursue the meta-plot, while Series are monster-of-the-week Episodes. Shows like Fringe, Supernatural, Buffy, and even Babylon 5 have obvious Serial and Series Episodes.

TheAberrantOctober 23rd, 2010 at 8:08 am

The one SuperCampaign I ran (8 years, 1st – 20+th level D&D, over the course of two [three if you count 3.5] editions) combined elements of the Chapter and Episodic games as well. There was an overarching metaplot which went all the back to the first adventure that got them all together, sprinkled with one-off character-building and character-project adventures. These helped to strengthen the game as a whole, since it gave suitable breaks for characters to explore other aspects of the world, gain new knowledge, and become more *ingrained* in the fabric of the game universe, and also allowed me some off time to work on the metaplot without the frantic demands of a weekly game. (Although since I was in high school/college at the time, my planning could easily outpace my DMing back in the day — unlike now where I’ve got five hours to game time and have just a handful of encounters planned and then sketchy notes for after).

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