Trying to wrangle a discord chat into a biweekly DnD session.

As a new DM I feel like the organizational obligations are way harder than any storytelling responsibilities.

@ossifog Well, what obligations especially? Perhaps there are some ways to make it easier. Finding the right timeslot is a challenge for the ages, I‘m afraid.

@Gorgmorg @ossifog I found a way to deal with this with very low stress. I've written a blog post about it, if you're interested I can link it here.

@oliof @Gorgmorg Please do. More perspectives are always appreciated.

@oliof @Gorgmorg Interesting. I like the idea of rewarding levels for attendance, but I feel like a lot of things that you make do without wouldn't be as much fun for me.

@ossifog @oliof I feel it is a good idea to let go of XP and just do milestone-based advancement in Levels.
In general, I found it helpful to build a timeline of things to happen when the players fail or decide to NOT intervene in things.

@ossifog @Gorgmorg for example? I am asking because of course this blog post is a (recent) snapshot of how I do it; maybe I did some things in the past that you'd miss or you give me ideas how to add them back in ...

@oliof @Gorgmorg I dunno that I'd be too okay with people drifting in and out. A cohesive story is important to me. I'd want to tailor my story to the characters, which requires that they be there on a consistent basis.

@oliof I‘m with @ossifog here - but I guess you can be open with your players in that regard: I am part of a Fate campaign that is designed around a character pool with people playing as they can fit it into their schedule - but if you want a personal involvement of your character in the plot, you have to be a regular. You can be a guest star, though.

@Gorgmorg @ossifog "if you want personal involvement of your character in the plot, you have to be a regular." -- same is probably true for my campaign, even though it's not spelt out like that; and I won't fault people when other commitments force them to skip sessions for a while.

@oliof @ossifog Sure, yes. But spelling it out helps and of course you won‘t get „written out of the story“ if you miss a date - but it is nice to have some rules. It is nice for the GM to know who is coming in the next weeks and usually, you can plan around a missing regular character for a while. We use Doodle a lot.

@Gorgmorg @ossifog Oh, I ask three days in advance who will be joining, and people that will miss out for longer also tell me. But I am not planning around PCs; I treat their sudden absence like a connection error in a B-Movie. If regulars suddenly go missing, the rest of the group drives the game in another direction, and we move on.

Maybe it's like this: As referee, I have to provide a cohesive framework, but I am not bound to commitments that aren't matched with attendance.

@Gorgmorg @ossifog I feel this is a "you'd need to have tried it to know whether you like it" thing, but I absolutely understand your reservations against this, as I had them before I started playing (and refereeing) games that are set up this way.

@oliof @ossifog Agreed. I should mention that we are playing Fate Core (also on Discord) and the system itself lends itself to this kind of pool group style - almost any combination of characters can succeed almost in any task, because the focus is more on telling an interesting story with creative problem solving than progressing in a more tactical/power-based fashion.

@Gorgmorg @ossifog "negotiating creative solutions" is my play style as well! And I usually do not pre-assume how an issue gets resolved, I am just there to adjudicate the creative solution.

i.e., in the last session the players moved a gas-trapped cabinet into an elevator and made it crash and break to kill the vat-grown guards that would otherwise have been out of their league; that was great thinking and using what the environment provided. I would never have planned for that, it was fun!

@ossifog @Gorgmorg sure, that's the biggest deviation from "traditional" group setups. I might think about a longer reply, because cohesiveness is not a problem ... /Cc @JollyOrc who is a player in that game for his take.

@oliof @ossifog @Gorgmorg the sessions do build up on each other, and the result is a story, that is strangely compelling and coherent, although a bit weird.

On the other hand, the protagonists in that story change more often than some people their underwear.

@JollyOrc @oliof @ossifog well, I‘d only care about the ‚compelling‘ aspect of it.:thinkergunsunglasses:

@oliof @ossifog @Gorgmorg Example: Over the past, I don't know, 6-8 sessions or so the group got the task to fetch some runaways, travelled to a portal site, conceived and gave birth to goat-octopi abominations, opened the portal, invaded a cult fortress, rescued some of the runaways, escaped through another portal, nearly crashed a Skyfortress, landed on top of a god-prison and freed the last part of the 5th god.

We average on 4 players at the table but there were >12 characters involved.

@JollyOrc @ossifog @Gorgmorg I freely admit that it sounds weird, and before I witnessed it at @kensanata s table I would not have thought it could be an enjoyable experience (I submit that our campaigns are different, but he inspired the methodology). In this campaign, I value continuity-of-play over continuity-of-details. I often tell newcomers that it feels weird exactly once, and then you get used to it. And those that don't, won't return often. And that's OK! No game is for everyone.

@Gorgmorg Basically just corralling people. I also have a lot of trouble staying organized in general, so keeping all the tables and terminology in my brain is a little difficult too.

I think DnD is a little too crunchy for my tastes, but it's what my friends want to play. :)

@ossifog Discord is perfect for this, as long as you make everyone download it on their phone. You can ping people when they need to respond, handle all the rolls in Discord with a dice bot, there's an easily readable log when you all have to take a break for a week because of vacations/work/whatever.

I'm in 4 different games right now over discord. They're slow, but steady.

@Relentless I haven't decided whether I want to play in discord or hold voice chat sessions. In my dreams we do a mix of both, but I guess we'll see what works for my group at session 0.

@ossifog Social stuff is great to have voice, but combat really only requires the DM and one person at a time, so it's sometimes cleaner in a chat whenever people have time.

@Relentless Interesting. I would think that combat would drag on, since there's so much back and forth in a round.

@ossifog The DM needs to be involved, but usually there's a brief flurry of planning... and then one guy rolls. The DM does something. That guy rolls something else. The DM does something.

The wizard who rolled low initiative doesn't care about that at all, he just needs to know who's still up when it's his turn to blow somebody up.

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