Monday, November 7, 2011

Letters! We get letters!

So some folks have questions. Answers...
  • Book binding. (I can't be the only person who bemoans the way new rulebooks tend to fall apart like a sheaf of dry leaves after about 5 seconds of use).
Welcome to low-profit-margin hobby publishing. A print/copy shop will rebind it for you. A three-hole punch and a cheap binder will hold it together. Ignoring the problem also works.
  • "Doing a voice". How many people "do voices"? Should they? How do you get better at "doing a voice" if that's your thing?
Do the voice if you're good at it. Don't if you're not. Regular NPCs should have distinctive voices and/or speech patterns. Most PCs should talk with their player's voice, because it turns out most people aren't good at voices.
  • Breaks. How often do you have breaks within sessions?
How much fun are we having? How hungry are we? How much fun are we having? Does anyone need to call their kids/parents? How much fun are we having? When I'm running a game, I call a break every couple of hours, more often if people are glazing over,  less if people are leaning forward with eyes all a-glitter. When I'm playing, GMs don't call breaks often enough.
  • Description. Exactly how florid are your descriptions?
Not very. The fewer words I give you, the more your head makes it up. And since I don't do the Dungeons Must Kill You style of game where tiny environmental details can wreck your PC, the subtle nuances of meaning in my descriptions aren't essential.
  • Where do you strike the balance between "doing what your character would do" and "acting like a dickhead"? 
If what you're doing causes other players to have less fun, knock the hell off. You need to either grow up or go find a different group, depending on whether you're a jackass or just clueless about human dynamics.
  • PC-on-PC violence. Do your players tend to avoid it, or do you ban it? Or does anything go?
We're here to have fun together. Will the PC-on-PC violence be fun for all parties involved? Then go for it. If not, see answer above.
  • How do you explain what a role playing game is to a stranger who is also a non-player?
Why would I?
  • Alcohol at the table? 
It's been known to happen. I don't encourage it.
  • What's acceptable to do to a PC whose player is absent from the session? Is whatever happens their fault for not being there, or are there some limits?
I don't have a regularly scheduled game, so it doesn't come up much. I assume that the missing person likes playing their PC, so I don't do anything that would fundamentally change either the character or their goals. A GM who'd punish absent players by screwing with their PCs is, as noted elsewhere, either jackass or ignoramus. The whole question presumes both a regular play session and that attendance at said session is a Big Important Priority; neither of those sounds like much fun, does it?

That said, the carousing tables and lost-in-fairyland tables I've seen floating around are pretty interesting. I'd use those, if my players agreed beforehand.

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