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Doc, the Weasel

Best length for a play session podcast

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After recording our last series, Underworld Rising, our group is gearing up to record the next. My sessions run roughly four hours, so those podcasts get long. Maybe too long. I've been thinking of talking with Gitzman to cut the sessions in half and post the two.

Do you guys listen to sessions that long, or would you be more inclined to listen to two hour sessions, and have twice as many podcasts?

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Hehe, over the last week I listened to the Underworld Rising episodes.

To be honest, compared to the Witch's Song-episodes I found those hard to listen to. The WS-episodes are also quite long with durations from 2-3 hours, but it seemed to me that the proportion of storytelling and roleplay was bigger in those. If you take episode 2 of Underworld Rising for example there are almost 90 mins right at the start of the episode where people are just rolling dice. Also I found myself lost a couple of times, not knowing what exactly was going on. Especcially in lenghty combat situations.

But when that happens it happens, the group and gm was having fun so no need to change the course of a game for the listener's sake. happy.gif

I have no problem with long episodes, although duration of four hours make the tracks somewhat bulky. I burn the podcasts onto cds, kinda oldfashioned, i know, and listen to them driving to work. So after 140 minutes into an episode you think twice before you change a track because fast forwarding 140 minutes is a drag. But I guess that's just my problem. gran_risa.gif

But thanks for putting those podcasts up and for all the work you invest to let us take part on your sessions.

 

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 Doc,

 

I haven't listened yet to these podcasts, but are interludes used at all in the game?

I think that podcasts of > 1h might be a bit much if it's sessions. I would try and keep it even shorter if possible, and cut around the interludes?

 

 

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I'll chime in here with my thoughts...

Live play sessions serve a very particular purpose in my mind.  They teach people how to play, show alternate play styles, provide entertainment, make it 'feel' like you are playing (because you cant get a group going for whatever reason).

I also find that Live Play Sessions are really mostly listened to by the hard core.  Nobody causally listens to hours of other people playing a game unless you are really dedicated to the hobby and just have to have more.  So, given the majority hard-core listener base, i have less of a problem providing a longer session (though i have some advice in a sec). 

Our normal Episodes run roughly an hour, and these are more like a show than a play session.  They maintain more structure, little more editing, a topic document, etc.

Live Play Sessions should be longer.  I dont know anyon who only plays for an hour, even teh quickest groups go longer than that.  Rarely do i see a group who has a session under 2-3 hours.  Given that, I try to keep our Reckless Dice hosted sessions in the 2-2.5 hour lengh because i find much more than that to be a little hard to handle. I try to design these sessions to be digestable by people who may not be quite as hard-core and give them a chance to enjoy a live game.

But we are recording these sessions to provide them as a learning tool and entertainment.  We are purposfully designing the sessions to be quick and bite sized.  Doc's sessions are a full blown regular gaming group with a whole lot more depth.  These sessions are for the hard-core. So a longer 3.5-4 hour episode doesnt bother me.

HOWEVER!

I'd like to explore splitting Doc's gaming sessions into smaller chunks.  Perhaps build into the gaming day (and therefore recording) a break half way where we are essentially ending the "episode" and then after the break starting a new "episode".   This would allow more episodes to post, and quicker, more bite sized content.

Thoughts? =)

Gitzman

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Gitzman said:

HOWEVER!

I'd like to explore splitting Doc's gaming sessions into smaller chunks.  Perhaps build into the gaming day (and therefore recording) a break half way where we are essentially ending the "episode" and then after the break starting a new "episode".   This would allow more episodes to post, and quicker, more bite sized content.

Thoughts? =)

Gitzman

That was my thought, was to have an artificial break mid-session, and post the two as separate files.

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Regarding the benefits of the podcasts, I agree with you completely Gitzman.  

As a WFRP newbie I've found the few that I've listened to so far to be very instuctive, not just from a rules perspective (although I too sometimes get a little lost in the intricacies at times) but even more from the style of play angle.

As to duration, I'm all for shorter 'episodes'.  If it's a long session, say, four hours for example, it would be great if the podcast was split into two segments.  The reason being I rarely have four hours straight to listen to a podcast - real life intervenes too often.  Two two-hour podcasts would be much more convenient for me.  

That said it's not a deal breaker, I do have the option to pause the podcast and just leave the window or tab open until I can get back to it.

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Regarding the benefits of the podcasts, I agree with you completely Gitzman.  

As a WFRP newbie I've found the few that I've listened to so far to be very instuctive, not just from a rules perspective (although I too sometimes get a little lost in the intricacies at times) but even more from the style of play angle.

As to duration, I'm all for shorter 'episodes'.  If it's a long session, say, four hours for example, it would be great if the podcast was split into two segments.  The reason being I rarely have four hours straight to listen to a podcast - real life intervenes too often.  Two two-hour podcasts would be much more convenient for me.  

That said it's not a deal breaker, I do have the option to pause the podcast and just leave the window or tab open until I can get back to it.

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I'm also a big big fan of the live play session podcasts.

I'm currently harrasing my players to make a german version of my dwarf only group. And I'm also one of the oldschool guys with burning them on cd and listen them on the drive to work. But with only 20 mins in my car to work im kinda lost what was the point of them beeing there and killing guys.

So my idea would be to make it episode wise, or make it an hour long.

A complete new idea which I'm using at my play sessions is the "previously on Batle Star Galactica" part.

We play 3 hours every week or every other week. Sometimes we have missing players, so at each new session I let one of the players retell the last session, or what has happened so far. I make then additions or clarifications on points that are important for them to solve something. So at each new session everyone knows where to start and where to go. I know that for a live play session a recap of the gm might be too much. But a short introduction. What was happeing in the past and what will happen now might be very good. But the editing could be a lot of work. Or the GM simply let one of the players do the talking.

When I have mabe made my first own I might have a different opinion on this. happy.gif

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I certainly thing the "previously on..." is very important for live play sessions and rpging in general.  It refocuses the group and reminds listeners what the heck is going on.

I think 1 hour sessions in unrealistic unforunatly.  2-2.5 is the shortest you can hope for.

We'll look in to breaking larger games into two parts.  Hopefully we can work in a natural breaking point in the story and make it actually feel like two episodes rather than an awkward cut between two halves.

Gitzman

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I like listening to your podcasts (and hope my players don't since we're going to play some of that material). It's entertaining, but most importantly it's great inspiration for me as a GM to pick up new ideas, styles of play etc. The lenght of the individual episode is irrelevant for me really as I just listen for as long as I want anyway, be it half an episode or 2½ episode. :)

 

But I'm glad you spend the time creating the poscasts.

 

Would be fun posting ours, but I'm not sure a danish wfrp poscast would have that big an audience gran_risa.gif

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I'm certainly not opposed to posting podcasts or sessions in other languages, many of our listeners are from all over the world at this point.  My only hesitation is how to present it effectivly. Im up for ideas.

Gitzman

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Gallows said:

I like listening to your podcasts (and hope my players don't since we're going to play some of that material).

 

Dont worry - Now I wont ... I was tempted to listen to them ...but dont want to ruin the surprises / fun of our campaign

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Boehm said:

Gallows said:

 

I like listening to your podcasts (and hope my players don't since we're going to play some of that material).

 

 

 

Dont worry - Now I wont ... I was tempted to listen to them ...but dont want to ruin the surprises / fun of our campaign

 

Hehe, perhaps we could do an english session at some point... setting being some place north so our accent fits in :D

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Gallows said:

I like listening to your podcasts (and hope my players don't since we're going to play some of that material). It's entertaining, but most importantly it's great inspiration for me as a GM to pick up new ideas, styles of play etc. The lenght of the individual episode is irrelevant for me really as I just listen for as long as I want anyway, be it half an episode or 2½ episode. :)

 

But I'm glad you spend the time creating the poscasts.

 

Would be fun posting ours, but I'm not sure a danish wfrp poscast would have that big an audience gran_risa.gif

I'd listen to it ;)

 

I agree that length is not an issue. I listen to it in the car as well (bluetooth + random apple product) and it works great. Had no problem following Underworld Rising (great series of podcasts) and enjoyed the free form play. Was it different from Witch's Song live play? Yes a lot, but not for the better or worse. It just goes to show the differing RPG groups and playstyles. Great to have several of these hosted at Reckless Dice imo.

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Things i've learned through doing "live play podcasts" that might help:

  • Make sure to give a solid recap of whats going on at the begining of every session.
  • Refer to players by their character names often. (we point and say 'hey you' a lot while playing and that translates very poorly into the audio for listeners.)
  • The GM should summarize what the group is doing often after the PCs debate their choices or argue how to proceed.
  • The GM and PCs should announce the success/failures of their dice roles.
  • Try to avoid long pauses or dead air.
  • Try to avoid excessive food eating near the mic (the chips bags crackle crazy loud lol).
  • Try to keep the profanity down (some peopel do actually care =).
  • Try to keep the session length in the 2-4 hour range (though my preferred length is 2 hours)
  • Lastly, remember the listeners have NONE of the visual queues you are using to play.  Use lots of descriptive language and describe what is going on, on the table to help keep listeners engaged.

Gitzman

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The profanity thing is really only mentioned because the podcast you are providing is likely distributed by iTunes.  There is a fair likelyhood that it will be flagged as explicit which severly limits the available audience, not to mention the host podcast can be labled as such as well.

I've dont my best to turn to bleeps and bloops for profanity when possible. 

I keep a notepad with me to mark when we take breaks, when we return and when we drop the F bomb.  (i do a single recording and remove stuff in editing afterwards).

Gitzman

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Gitzman said:

The profanity thing is really only mentioned because the podcast you are providing is likely distributed by iTunes.  There is a fair likelyhood that it will be flagged as explicit which severly limits the available audience, not to mention the host podcast can be labled as such as well.

I've dont my best to turn to bleeps and bloops for profanity when possible. 

I keep a notepad with me to mark when we take breaks, when we return and when we drop the F bomb.  (i do a single recording and remove stuff in editing afterwards).

Gitzman

 

Yeah it's not that we use a lot of profanity. But perhaps different cultures have different views on it. It's a bit funny to me for instance that I hear people say and use the "F Bomb" expression, like that's almost alright, even though everyone knows what it means and in their mind they're thinking that very dirty word. :)

 

But I generally agree. Profanity is pointless and to be more precise it's not that Karla uses lots of profane words as such, it's more her description of other people that shows off a complete lack of compassion. But how about a word like B****? How is that viewed in terms of being profanity over there?

 

IF we were to do an english version (however unlikely all my players is up for it), it would be pointless if the podcast got flagged as profane. :)

 

Cheers Gitz

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Haha very good points and i couldnt agree more.

Generally American are not sensitive to language all that much but the governing bodies that manage the distribution channels are.  On the other hand, Americans are very protective of what their kids might hear, and thats mostly where i am coming from.  I've found that many people end up listening to the podcasts in the car on the way to work.  This often means other people, like kids may be in the car too.

Generally referencing a bad word is totally okay here.  Even though everyone knows what it is.  Heck on TV when bleeping out content, you dont even need to bleep the whole thing, just 50-75 of it.  You can have the first and last letters still audible if you really wanted to, however many shows choose to be classier than that.

We have a whole list of words that are TV okay after a certain time of day which generally include A**, B****, etc.  Though there are still big no-no words. 

Honestly the language is less an issue for me when in the context of the story or games.  it becomes an issue when i it is used in unecessary conversation, like "that was f***in cool".

Actual game content can be one of the more interesting topics though.  Especially when you begin dealing with more underworld content which could be viewed poorly by some parties. Underworld Rising had risen a few concerns between Doc and I about the slave trading, human trafficing and ***** houses (more specifically what went on in them).  We debated for a while whether to have  disclamer in the front or not.  Something like:

"The reckless dice podcast is intended for mature audiences, please listen responsibly blah blah you know what i mean."

Gitzman

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