“…outsiders find deep gnomes’ overly serious attitude to make for sour company…”
I talk for a living. Nothing as fancy as a voice actor, but I speak daily with clients. I express myself best through speech and words. Therefore, tonight, during session 3 of our Out of the Abyss game… I feel like the game fell short again. Yes, I have a sore throat and have mostly lost my voice. Again. (I am allergic to cats, by the way, which really screws over my respiratory tract.)
This session the party managed to talk their way into Blingdenstone. I could not really sell the tension and even the music sounded a bit hollow today. I feel like the roleplaying fell a bit flat as well as I could not really get comfortable with my voice. Also, we changed the layout of our seating, giving me more room, but forcing myself to turn my head and face away half the party at one time. We are trying new things and we are far from optimal at this point. And even all my preparations seemed to leave me as we delved into Blingdenstone.
Looking back on the session, there are a few things I noticed:
- I need to ratchet up the energy and enthusiasm. The players feed off that, which can make them jittery, panicked, or just frantic. All of those are good.
- Try to keep everyone in your general eyesight at all times. Today I sat on the long side of the table, but while speaking with one player, I could not keep eye contact with the others. I am imagining a way to reconfigure the table…
- Combat was sluggish today. I need to enforce better time constraints and keep the pace. People took too long deciding then looking up their actions. More table rulings as the DM, then move on. A good combat encounter can really make or break a session with its feel.
- I never realized how dependent I am on my voice and intonation. Also, if I do not have access to my range, how frustrated I feel. I am sure that showed today when trying to play out the characters.
- I made a lot of technical preparations for the session today, but somewhere along the way, I feel like I did not prepare enough. My combat music, area music, and monster files all worked perfectly, but I was not able to play out certain areas very well.
Overall, today was not the best or worst session for the game to date. Readers of the blog may have noticed that two weeks passed since our last session and that may have contributed to the dip in quality. I hope the game next week picks up, along with my voice. The session summary will be up in the next few days (delayed from the regular Monday schedule, sorry). Thanks for reading!
But… what do I know…?