October 18, 2016

Master of the Game: GMing Tabletop RPGs on Twitch [TwitchCon 2016 Panel]

GMing Tabletop RPGs on Twitch TwitchCon 2016

For the complete list of panels, check out the main TwitchCon 2016 Panel Recap post.

VoD link: https://www.twitch.tv/twitchconfrankerz/v/92237135?t=07h29m55s
FrankerZ Theater Day One
Moderator: Adam Koebel
Participants: Matthew Mercer, Steven Lumpkin, Chris Perkins, Nadja Otikor

  • Tabletop RPGs get an audience because it’s up to the viewer to decide how (s)he visualizes what happens. Unlike most of the current media where this is being visualized for you.
  • It’s important to keep a distinction between you the GM and the players you’re playing with versus the viewers. Don’t let them influence you and your game too much. There’s a lot of backseating involved when it goes to GMing, encourage discussion but don’t take their critique and/or suggestion to heart.
  • There’s not a very big difference between a tabletop RPG online or at a table. The only difference seems to be that people get distracted a bit easier online.
  • Not every tabletop RPG is suitable to be streamed. When the RPG is too complex the audience loses interest pretty quick, in what setting you’re playing doesn’t seem to matter much though.
  • When it comes to finding players to play with it’s important to find a group of players that work well together as a team, it has to be entertaining to watch so you can’t just get a random group together.
  • Every GM can get a group through a D&D session, but the type of GM drastically changes how they get through it.
  • When you have a group that tends to turn away from how you set up the story, don’t be too strict about it and let them take a run with it. The challenge is to afterward try and turn them towards where you wanted them to go.
  • It helps to get a bit of a backstory from your players before you prepare a story for them. It gives you an idea of what setting your story is going to play in so you don’t get laser guns in a medieval setting for instance.
  • If you rotate characters/players you need to think about how for instance death’s will impact the world, legacies, and the rest of the group.
  • You need to prepare for shows/games, but don’t over prepare. Part of the fun is that anything can happen and to find a way to deal with it on the spot.
  • Handwritten notes are handy, but in case viewers want to see the notes when the journey is done it’s easier to keep notes digitally.
  • There are a lot of online resources that you can use so that you always have the information that you need at hand, don’t be afraid to use these resources
  • The hope for the future of tabletop RPGs is that the audience gets broadened and it becomes more of an accepted hobby instead of being somewhat niche.
  • Tabletop RPG’s on Twitch has shown that it’s not that hard to GM your own game or even play your own game and has opened up a bigger audience this way.
  • One of the issues with streaming tabletop RPG’s is scheduling, when you have an audience there are a lot of people counting on there being something to watch so you need to make sure everyone shows up.
  • What you also need to keep in mind is production. It has to look and sound good for your audience, something you don’t have to worry about when it is not being streamed.

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