Cutting Words is a weekly review of Misdirected Mark–a summary of what games, what definitions, and what advice came from the lips of Christopher Sniezak and Phil Vecchione about “gaming and game mastering“. Of course, be there LIVE and strap in for the #Chatroom4Life with Bob Everson every Tuesday–because really, the show is about entertaining YOU, the listener!
“Bards of the College of Lore know something about most things, collecting bits of knowledge from sources as diverse as scholarly tomes and peasant tales. Whether singing folk ballads in taverns or elaborate compositions in royal courts, these bards use their gifts to hold audiences spellbound. When the applause dies down, the audience members might find themselves questioning everything they held to be true, from their faith in the priesthood of the local temple to their loyalty to the king.“ (Player’s Handbook 54)
If this your first time reading about Misdirected Mark, what a great time to start! Last time on Misdirected Mark, Chris and Phil decided to welcome some of the newer listeners of the show by bringing them up-to-speed with the on air personalities–namely, this was an episode 0 where they got to talk about the kinds of games they love. I mean, really, we all love talking about games, but it is actually a good idea to remind people where you are talking from once in a while.
In comparison to their usual episodes, there was more banter, rambling, and geeking-out than usual, but it really hit home about what games Chris and Phil play. Having beta-read a couple chapters from their GMing advice book, I can see how they are trying to delve into the topic of how they play and run games without giving away the book. They managed to give some really good and entertaining points about games like D&D, Dungeon World and The Airy Peaks, gushing over anything Powered by the Apocalypse, and Night’s Black Agents.
Being a show about “gaming and game mastering“, this would not be a proper review of Misdirected Mark without looking at what advice was dispensed on the episode. A great takeaway from this episode is the “BBC or Netflix school of broadcasting” thought. I used to think that the gold standard of roleplaying game campaigns was the never-ending story. I believed as such up until very recently when Gaming and BS changed my view about it. Taking the concept of ending the campaign one step further is to create natural end-points or arcs or seasons for a game, where the story reaches a conclusion and closure–thanks Phil for that definition. The players and GM are given the choice to renew for another season or be satisfied with the ending and move on. This is definitely something I am building into my campaign structure from now on. Also, this approach naturally allows the GM to plan out episodes like a television series, where an episode generally focuses on one character and their problems or struggles, while moving the overall story forward.
One small criticism: The episode title would have sounded better as How We Game rather than How we Run.
Done reading my ramblings? Check out the Misdirected Mark Google+ community for more between episodes, but do not be late for the #Chatroom4Life at 8:45 PM Tuesday nights and join the discussion LIVE! Come meet Her Royal Majesty, the Queen!
But… what do I know…?