The award winning blogger the Id DM joins us for this advice episode looking at helping players stay engaged at the table and discussing DM prep time (and where the most effective place to put it is). We also discuss D&D Next news and GenCon!
Be sure to join the Tome Show's live recordings at GenCon they are:
Tome Advice (guest to be announced) SEM1233024
Gamer to Gamer (with Chris Perkins) SEM1233028
Behind the DM Screen SEM1233180
That was one of the least insightful, meandering stretches of banter I’ve ever sat through in a podcast. Well, technically I didn’t sit through it all. My tolerance for mediocrity can only take so much. The guest and host basically agree on everything, offer no novel ideas, and fail to provide a shred of insight that cannot be gleamed from already available online information.
Sorry you didn’t like it Speechless. I hope you can find something out there in the gaming podcast community that better suits your needs.
Speechless may be overly harsh in his assessment, but there is a point beneath his scathing criticism. A lot of your advice seems to be very common-sense. For example, you guys mentioned that people should not just roll for damage and attack, but also inject some role playing into the encounter. Right. Isn’t that the definition of RPG? Not exactly ground-breaking material.
I found the tips to be useful for new members of the hobby and those with experience in the hobby. For those new into the hobby, it teaches them techniques that they can mine for your games. For the experienced, it can offer a different way of doing something or a refresher of ideas to keep in mind for play. Yes, the information can be gleaned elsewhere or is common sense to those who use those techniques but you can’t increase awareness of the subject by limiting where stuff gets spoken about. More those role-playing techniques are discussed, the more those techniques can become and remain standard practice.
Seattle, are you angry the Sonics left town and are on the cusp of the NBA Finals?
I thank you for your feedback, although I wish there were more specifics. If you have specific questions, then I’ll be happy to do my best to answer them. The “But The Simpsons already did this” piece of feedback is something I cannot control. The Internet is a big place and there is a great deal of overlap in terms of suggestions for DMs.
Greg, your feedback is more specific and I appreciate that. As for the suggestions being common-sense, that is a fair point - although something that is “common-sense” for you may not be common-sense for someone else. If just one DM listens to the podcast and thinks, “Yeah, I do fall into the trap of just managing the combat encounter instead of furthering the story” then I think the podcast is useful.
The episode did seem to be pitched more for beginner DMs, which is fine. Perhaps you could retitle it “Beginner DM: Player Engagement and Prep Time” or something. You could make it a series.
I have been a DM and player for over 30 years and I thought the show was great. It just goes to show you there are different strokes for different folks. The Id DM makes an excellent insightful guest. I look forward to hearing him again on the podcast. Job well done. I enjoy hearing how others approach and play their games. It helps me make my games better. I take out and incorporate what I like and discard what I don’t. Simple as that. Keep up the good work all.
I could see how some people may see it as being pitched better towards beginners. That said, I often make the advice episodes personal and try to look at things that are helpful to me. I know I got a lot out of the conversation with the Id DM and I’ve been DMing for 24 years now.
Sometimes it’s not about hearing something brand new, sometimes it’s helpful to get a reminder about the things that you may have forgotten or let lapse along the way. 4e has changed a lot of my play style based on how it’s designed and some of this advice addresses that specifically.
That said, sometimes it is about hearing something brand new and we try to bring you a bit of both when we record advice episodes.
And ultimately, if someone doesn’t like an episode, another advice episode is just a month away and will have an entirely different guest, which always changes the dynamic of the advice (that’s precisely why we choose to have rotating guests).