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Actual Play Threads


Thalaba

What would you like to see in an Actual Play thread?  

36 members have voted

  1. 1. What would you like to see in an Actual Play thread?

    • Note-form descriptions of the action that happened in the session, kept very brief.
      6
    • Prose descriptions of what happened in the session, told as a story with dialogue.
      7
    • Descriptions of mechanics and how they were used only when the GM thinks they are worthy of note.
      10
    • Descriptions of mechanics that are very thorough, describing every event.
      0
    • I would probably never read an actual play, regardless of genre.
      2
    • I would only read an actual play if the genre/setting interested me.
      9
    • I would read an actual play regardless of the genre.
      3
    • Something other than the choices above.
      0


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With a new campaign coming up in the new year, I've been thinking about actual play threads and their utility.

Out of curiosity, I'd like to know if

a) people are interested in reading actual RPG session reports, and

B) what kinds of things are necessary to make them useful or interesting to people.

The poll asks: What would you like to see in an Actual Play thread?

1. Note-form descriptions of the action that happened in the session, kept very brief.

2. Prose descriptions of what happened in the session, told as a story with dialogue.

3. Descriptions of mechanics and how they were used only when the GM thinks they are worthy of note.

4. Desciptions of mechanics that are very thorough, describing every event.

5. I would probably never read an actual play, regardless of genre.

6. I would only read an actual play if the genre/setting interested me.

7. I would read an actual play regardless of the genre.

8. Something other than the choices above.

The poll is multiple choice, so select anything that applies.

Edited by Thalaba

"Tell me what you found, not what you lost" Mesopotamian proverb

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Since I opened the poll yesterday it's been viewed 56 times, but only had 11 responses. Even factoring in that some people would have viewed the poll twice, I think the lack of response probably says even more about how the community feels about actual plays than the responses do. Myself, I'm somewhere between 'would only read one if the genre was interesting' and 'would never read one' and I always wondered if I was an exception or the norm. Now I think I have the answer to that!

Thanks to everyone who responded. :)

"Tell me what you found, not what you lost" Mesopotamian proverb

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I wouldn't go out of my way to read them, but I sometimes enjoy them, mainly as ideas for scenarios.

However, I don't particularly enjoy the "and then I rolled a 10" style.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

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soltakss

I wouldn't go out of my way to read them, but I sometimes enjoy them, mainly as ideas for scenarios.

However, I don't particularly enjoy the "and then I rolled a 10" style.

Same for me.

rust

I have to admit that I rarely read descriptions of actual games, most of the few examples I tried to read where not really interesting and tended towards a "Look how great my character is" writing style.

Most of the descriptions I've read are also along that style.

However I think Thalaba has a good idea. Actual play threads would help spread ideas and give useful examples, whatever style they are written in. Its the closest you could get to actually being at another GM's table to experience their play style. I will contribute my play threads if the idea is carried out.

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I got to thinking about this because we have a new campaign coming up and it would be a chance to start fresh from the beginning. I've never done an actual play before, but there are quite a few at RPG.net in their own subforum. I've often wondered if people actually read them other than the people who are in the game.

I already write fairly detailed summaries of our sessions. I send these out to the players a night or two before the next session to remind them what happened and get them in the mood. I've occasionally sent them to other people who inquired about our campaign and received favourable comments. Plus, people usually ask to learn more about my campaign - perhaps because of it's bronze age inspiration. So it seems like a reasonable way to share.

In order to turn the session summaries into something more useful to outsiders, I would have to add the GM commentary about the mechanics. I was curious to know how much mechanical discussion would be needed, because I don't really need to add extra work to my life. It seems, from the poll, that it needn't be too heavy, though.

In the end, I find I can't quite make up my mind about whether it would be a worthwhile exercise.

"Tell me what you found, not what you lost" Mesopotamian proverb

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