Thank you for your February support. It's very much appreciated. Last month Musings went out 12 times, including on Valentine's Day. I escaped the wrath of my wife on that one by queuing it up a bit in advance. Whew. :)
Awhile ago I asked you for your GMing questions and tip requests. Some I dealt with directly on Patreon. Others have been answered in Musings.
And recently, I tried an experiment with James Introcaso to answer the few remaining ones.
James runs the Tabletop Babble podcast. I tried podcasting solo but it involves too much time for me, alas. It's the post-production work that I can't squeeze in between writing Musings, creating stuff, and answering emails.
So I asked James if I could be a guest co-host on his podcast and bring some cool questions with me. He said sure!
And we invited Ruty Rutenburg from Maze Arcana as a guest to form a kind of three GM panel.
Here are the questions we tackled:
Mark Ariesen: How do you keep things fresh for your players year-in-year out, when they have seen it all and done it all?
Andy Fundinger: How do you use initiative outside of combat? My group and those I've played in mostly do group discussions and then a quick, "Is anyone doing anything else?" but I'm curious if you have comments on rolled initiative for non-combat, perhaps to disperse/diffuse group-leader effects.
Nigel Guest: I read and hear a lot of DMs who vouch by the impact music and thematic soundscapes has on their gaming, encouraging a more immersive environment. Having never utilised a soundscape I am intrigued as to how various DMs/GMs utilise this feature and whether they consider the use worth investing the time and effort in.
Richard Grilley: How do you help a game table distinguish players from characters? It is great when the brawny footballer can do a high pitch voice with a twist of Scottish accent for his female halfling. But how can we add flavor, know when a PC is talking etc. when a player can't/isn't comfortable talking like a 6 INT with his 1/2 orc barbarian?
James has posted the podcast online so you can get our collective answers:
I felt this worked quite well. It saves James from having to come up with content for his show. It helped me answer your questions and saved me the post-production work. And it was fun doing it.
Best part is I think James and Ruty had awesome answers for you.
So let's do this again!
What GMing questions or tip requests do you have? I'll answer via Patreon, Musings, or a future Tabletop Babble episode.