Monday, July 14, 2014
The Sound Of Dice From Speakers
I just started another online T&T campaign last Saturday, I think this is my sixth in ten years. This one is going to turn trippy as it is the prequel to "The Falling Sky" campaign from many years ago. This one is called "Crossed Stars." My current influences are a lot of ancient (as in ancient-ancient) history and Sumerian mythology and Larry Niven. The notes for things are complete. Still I wonder how long is this campaign going to take.
I have noticed over the course of the fifteen years of running these chat rooms (video and typed), not just T&T, that everything moves really slow and are wearing on the participants. Dice-roller role-playing games are damned hard online. Let's take the last session.
We ran from just before 9pm until 11:30pm. The players got to the first encounter of the introductory adventure and I was wiped out. Now mind you, I was up early. Also I'd had four beers during the afternoon writing on other stuff. I then had three during the course of GMing. As far as I know, I wasn't slowing down nor slurring (well, not enough to be commented upon). At the end of the session, I was exhausted. I was in bed at 11:44 and shutting off my reading lamp in less than five minutes. This was an extreme case of "the tireds," and I enjoyed the mental stimulation of the game which induced restful sleep that lasted for at least four hours straight.
The progress of that session was actually pretty good. I've had sessions where someone's technology wasn't anywhere it needed to be to for coherent video chatting. I've had sessions where a couple of players were repeatedly distracted by TV shows and/or eating dinner though totally oblivious as to how they were ruining the session for the other players and myself. I've had a player that seemed inordinately opposed to any sort of plot moving forward -- when it did, he'd fall asleep. So while Saturday's game was a bit of work, everyone was able to get through the events and stay connected most of the time. SUCCESS.
Chat room (or is it chat-room? Chatroom?) gaming is helpful though. It does carry on campaigns over distance. It helps groups continue to bond and formulate norms. Most helpful is that it helps groups stay in touch before they see each other at conventions or similar gaming events.
Still... It is mentally exhausting.