Introduce Yourself

Where new Keepers can ask "stupid" questions without fear of hazing.
Keeper Jon
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post by Keeper Jon » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:23 pm

Hey Storyteller. Welcome! You've got some great posts here already, so welcome aboard. Hopefully we can get a game in someday soon via Skype.

Later,
Jon

TheStoryteller
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post by TheStoryteller » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:28 am

Thanks a lot Jon,

I want to be as helpful as I can. I would love a chance to join you guys on Skype. Do either of you have any spaces for games upcoming? Hopefully, I won't sound like too big of a dork. :geek:
I appreciate the warm welcome to the class,

- Storyteller

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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post by Shannon Mac » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:07 am

Storyteller:

Well, I haven't officially announced it on here but I'm going to be running an Oscar Rios scenario in which you play kids who are all cousins and based upon characters in Mythos literature. It's set during Halloween and you all go up to your grandfather's place and amidst typical Halloween celebrations bad things happen.

I expect a 4-5 hour game and 5-6 seats.

If you're interested shoot me a PM (as well as others).

I will run this a couple of times online; one for people in the PDT zone and then for others in other time zones (which probably means a weekend day if we get people from Oz to Europe as when I ran Dockside Dogs recently).

Oh and I finally have some recording software to record games for those interested.
My gaming blog with pretty pictures: http://www.storytellersjem.blogspot.com/

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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post by Thomas R. Knutsson » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:30 am

Shannon Mac wrote:Well, I haven't officially announced it on here but I'm going to be running an Oscar Rios scenario in which you play kids who are all cousins and based upon characters in Mythos literature. It's set during Halloween and you all go up to your grandfather's place and amidst typical Halloween celebrations bad things happen.
Oh, I've run that. Have you run the sequel also?
In the morning, mist comes up from the sea by the cliffs beyond Kingsport. White and feathery it comes from the deep to its brothers the clouds, full of dreams of dank pastures and caves of leviathan.
-"The Strange High House in the Mist" by HPL

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Shannon Mac
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post by Shannon Mac » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:50 am

I may around Xmas, yes.
My gaming blog with pretty pictures: http://www.storytellersjem.blogspot.com/

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technuthulhu
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post by technuthulhu » Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:45 pm

Greetings from Port Townsend Washington!

I ran across your podcast several months ago and immediately started in on the backlog. I just finished episode 41… you all do a great job! I listen to you when I'm out for walks, luckily my walks take me mostly through the forest so I don't get too many odd looks from anyone other than the dog when I chuckle out loud or throw in my two bits worth. At times it seems like we're all just sitting around chatting about our hobby.

I've gamed for 30+ years and played CoC for the last 20 or so. (With the usual absences for career and family that you've talked about on the show.) In the last couple of years, I taken up being a CoC keeper and I've run into a couple problems.

I run a local meetup.com gaming group. We get together to game every couple of weeks. It's fantastic and we do draw a crowd… last CoC session I had 10(!) players. I ran Dead Light and recast the car trip to being a bus they were on from Arkham to Bolton. It worked out fine and everyone seems to have had a great time. The problem is that it's hard to keep all of the players involved and get all the characters enough "screen time". This is not unique to CoC, we've played other games and have suffered the same problem. Some have died under the weight of too many players and the GM/DM/Keeper not being able to cope. We're actually trying to set up two tables and this last game, the grognards, played a BattleTech game at the same time… good thing too otherwise I'd have had 14 players. I was prepared and had pre-generated 17 characters for the players. Do you have any tips for how to make this work? Should I be making a lot out of the mob (that is the investigators) invading the library/cafe/office or just walking down the street?

Another question in this same vein is how do you deal with players dropping in and out? Obviously with such a large group not everyone shows up or someone brings a friend from out of town. We usually just sort of ignore that they're gone. EG I ran Beyond the Mountains of Madness last year. When someone failed to show, they were not feeling well and stayed in their tent (or the plane) or something.

I will definitely use some of your comments from 40 or was it 39 about the time between the scenarios. I think emailing the players and trying to get some role playing done in the "down time" could help give the players the feeling that they're getting enough screen time. Keeper Dan M.A.P.S is a great idea! I've incorporated into my game as GASPRS (Greater Arkham Society for Paranormal Research and Study). I didn't want to blatantly steal from you. ;-)

Anyhow, all thoughts and comments are welcome… and if you're ever passing through Port Townsend, look us up! Keep up the good work guys! Go Pods!

All my best,
--ron.

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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post by Eibon » Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:59 am

Hi Ron,

May I comment even though I'm not one of the podcast people?

10 is a very big group! I'd be reluctant to play with more than six. The problem is that the model we are working off, Lovecraftian fiction, usually only has one or two protagonists. Even Derleth's Trail of Cthulhu, which is closer to the RPG format, has about six protagonists in Dr Shrewsbury's little group. I suspect the ideal is to find another Keeper and run two groups of five, maybe with the ambition of a campaign where the two groups come together at the end to fight the big baddie and you have a two Keeper session? I've done this a couple of times, and while timing and good communication between Keepers is important, it can really work as a change of pace.

My players tend to split up anyway, so there is usually some off screen time for everyone. One will go to the library, one will talk to the police, one will check out the land registry at the town hall, and one will test the bloodstains. You may need to double people up when they split. I think the trick to keeping payers from becoming bored is to keep the main action nice and atmospheric. Most people like being told a good story, and sessions where players have gone off and got in trouble on their own are among the best remembered sessions because Lovecraftian elements have come to the fore, and when the focus has changed to other players and they've come across clues to what happened to the player, both parties have enjoyed the "mystery".

I have also had a session where a player kept pulling focus back to himself (he had been kidnapped and wanted to endlessly try and escape) which was hard to deal with. So one troublesome players in a big group can be quite destructive. Even telling him he had no chance to escape and I'd get back to him didn't stop him endlessly asking if he had loosened his binding yet or had a clear run to fee. If I'd had another Keeper he could have gone away from the other players and tried to escape, but that wasn't an option and I'm not convinced I handled the situation well.

Lastly, I suppose you could try, at the character generation stage, to pair up characters: a nobleman and his valet; a reporter and his photographer; a professor and his student; a doctor and his nurse; a writer and his secretary (I'm thinking 1920s which is why I've said "his" in all cases). While this does make one of the pair "subservient" it creates role playing opportunities and a reason why there might be such a large group of people looking into the mystery -- half of them are support staff.

I think I would also layout out some "ground rules" at the beginning of the session, to say to people, "It's a big group, so you might spend quite a lot of time waiting for me to get to you, but I will try to be fair while serving the narrative to make the best story, so I hope you'll understand and enjoy the story as it develops and feed into it when you can," or something of that ilk, so that people know what to expect.

A lad has recently joined my main group and he doesn't yet have the confidence to drive the plot forward much. This could also be an issue with a large group, a few could dominate while others sit back. Try getting some feedback between sessions on how people feel it's going, are they quiet because they are content, or because they can't get a word in edgeways.

I hope these fairly random thoughts are of use.

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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post by caddy1071 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:10 pm

Hi Ron! Welcome! I'd have to agree anything over 6 is pretty daunting and is going to be very hard to give everybody adequate screen time. How about recruiting one (or more if you want to "shift" Keepers) to run simultaneous scenarios, and possibly maybe plan some "cross overs" where your players find clues which bring them together at points to collaborate to stitch a larger story together? That would take a lot of work, but with some clever planning, you could make some golden memories there. :)

Kudos for being the max Keeper! :p That's a huge task and it's pretty great you're pulling it off! :)

tty!
Cory
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technuthulhu
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post by technuthulhu » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:58 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys!

At this point, I'm going to have to just "make it work". Perhaps I can recruit someone else to be a keeper soon, but for now… I don't really want to limit folks. I mean heck I have a huge group of people that want and enjoy sitting down (in person!) for 5 hours to play CoC! I shouldn't complain! I may have to run two games though… could be two groups running through the same game… sort of keep the groups fluid so if someone misses one week they could join the other group for the week… sounds very problematic.

Another thought I had I was to write a game where one group plays the antagonists and the other group the protagonists. Then I could put the groups in different rooms and move from room to room… sort of like a chess simultaneous, but with CoC. Ok, after writing it down it's sounds completely crazy, but this is how the games typically turn out (albeit I've never had player antagonists). Where a 5 or 6 person game would have one person head to the library and one to the police and another to the neighbor's house. I've ended up having two or three heading to the library, etc. One the bright side, it's rare that they miss any clues.

I am certainly keeping the communication lines open between games. This past week, the major point I heard was that they want to roll against skills other than spot hidden. Completely my fault, I should have been more thoughtful. Maybe spotting the dead light in the woods could have been a biology roll to recognize it wasn't natural or something. Perhaps accounting for looking through ledgers and paperwork. Library use whenever there's a book involved. Seems that many prepared scenarios rely heavily on spot hidden, but I'm sure most of the rolls could have an alternative. I just need to think a little outside the box. ;-)

Anyhow, thanks again. It sure is nice to think out loud and get responses from more than just the voices in my head. :-D

cheers!
--ron.

Keeper Jon
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Post by Keeper Jon » Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:11 pm

Welcome Ron! Sorry I haven't chimed in earlier. I'm still decompressing from Gen Con. Thanks guys for welcoming and engaging with Ron while our attention was more focused on the con.

Going back to your question about handling a large group of players, I've encountered this at conventions in the past, and I try to be very conscious of each player's time in the spotlight. If I ever think a player has been sidelined, then I'll either ask only that person to make a Spot Hidden or Listen roll, (or I may just give it to them), but I will do my best to get a critical clue into that person's hand. That way I hope to lure the other players to actively engage with that player and draw them in. It has been my experience that shy players tend to pull themselves out of the narration if there are a lot of Alpha Dogs in the game. So I do my best to make the shy guys critical to at least one aspect of the story so the Alpha Dog players will work to draw that player back into the game.

This is a good question that I think the guys and I should discuss on the show. So keep an ear out for that, Ron.

And, Ron, with your grognard pedigree, please consider yourself to be the recipient of a Miskatonic University Honorary PhD in Gaming. :science:

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