11 October 2016

Owen KC Stephens's 100 Questions For Your Group: Questions 41-50

Questions 1–10
Questions 11–20
Questions 21–30
Questions 31-40

Questions can be found here.

#41. Have you ever played an RPG sessions where the GM wore a cape (as is often represented on TV shows that include an rpg-ing character)? Has your GM ever worn anything distinctive during a game? would you enjoy a GM wearing something distinctive, or would you just think it’s silly and distracting?

The closest was the GM wearing a monk's robe and a stick. I don't feel that improves the session in any way, and in case of more silly vestments, such as the aforementioned cape it would be more distracting than helpful. I would have to be paid to wear something like this while GMing, but personally I generally dislike of dressing up myself (at to the point of not going for parties when organizers insisted on dressing up being the theme)...

#42. What’s your favorite furniture arrangement for rpg playing? Do you like a big table with dinning chairs, or prefer sofas and a coffee table? Does your preference vary based on the game system or type of encounter?

Not terribly important as long as it's comfortable for everyone most of the time. Majority of games I participate are combination of chairs, sofas, and sitting on beds, as the space allows—games are adjusted to fit living conditions more than the other way. The only specific preference is tied to use of playmats, as discussed in question #44.

#43. Do you roll your dice in a dice tray? Using a dice tower? Do you need a lot of space for your dice? If playing a diceless game or one with cards, do those need special space?
Nope. No (what is it anyway? I heard the term but I have no idea what it is, to be honest). Not much space needed for dice. Snacks usually occupy much more of available space than dice. Card-based games require more space. The playmat-using games require a lot, but those are currently at hiatus for me until the future arrangements or a new group assembling to play them.

#44. Do you enjoy using a playmat and miniatures for your RPG sessions? Does it depend on the game system? Do you use them only during fights, or in any type of encounter? Do you like 3D terrain? Do you have a preference between printed maps and blank maps a GM can draw on?
System-dependent. Specifically Pathfinder/3rd edition of D&D are the only games where I used playmat and miniatures/tokens regularly. Only used during fights or dungeon crawling. 3D terrain is nice to look on but would be rather impractical with the wide array of locations that appear in games I play and GM. I have single printed map I got as a birthday present. Blank map to draw on is much more practical (if less flashy). I have a blank playmat fitting the coffee table my gamer roommates left when they were moving out.

#45. Have you ever used mood lighting in an rpg sessions? Did you enjoy it? What kind of mood lighting do you think might enhance a horror-themed rpg encounter? Exploration-themed? Combat? Diplomacy?
Yes, adjusting the lightning to the session general theme is technique often used by people I play with, including use of various kinds of lamps and candles. I focus less on it myself when I GM, though.

#46. Do you enjoy music during an rpg session? Does the type of music and rpg session need to match? What kind of music do you think would enhance an rpg campaign you are currently playing? What music that you otherwise enjoy would you not like to have playing during an rpg session?
Yes. Yes. The GM is already using various music for both Aphalon and Dresden Files games. I use it less, though he is at advantage because we usually play at his place while I would have to bring my own music. Any music I enjoy would be inappropriate when not fitting the style, genre, theme, and mood of the particular session.

#47. Have you played an rpg session enhanced with soundboards or sound effects? Did you enjoy it? What do you think might make sound effects better for an rpg session? What would make them less fun?
I don't think so. I'd be wary of it much more than of background music.

#48. Have you played in an rpg session with other efforts to set a tone in the environment beyond miniatures, lights, and sounds? Can you imagine an rpg session be enhanced by other props, or scents, or other theatrics? What would you like to try during an rpg session that you’ve never experienced?
Scented candles or incenses, hand-written or printed letters, fitting food and beverages, cell phone with a number to an informant, slavering troll screaming (well, that was GM's child actually).

Personally I don't feel like experimenting with props. It can give a lot of fun to players but it distracts me as a GM. I prefer to focus on the game and plot itself more.

#49. Do you mind when people not playing the game watch an rpg session? If you don’t mind, what might make you prefer to not have a guest? If you do mind, what could a guest do to alleviate your concerns?
If those are people I know and don't disrupt, it's not a problem. I watched a lot of session of my friends (though I can't say that I am 100% innocent of any disruptions that happened). As a GM I'd want to be sure that all of the players are ok with having someone watch them playing. If the watchers will start causing issues I'd either ask them to leave (or if it wasn't possible) I'd paused the game and move it to a more private place.

#50. Does it matter to you if you have a regular place to play rpgs? Or is any reasonable play space fine, even if the same campaign has to hop from locale to locale?

Experience tells me that regular place is better than locale-hopping, though I done that as well. Organizing games is easier with regular place, though I also participated in spontaneous and not so spontaneous games in pubs or even on a random desk in the park.

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